Washington Babylon — June 2, 2010, 8:36 am

More on Congressman Miller’s “Service” During Vietnam War

After I posted an item yesterday about California Congressman Gary Miller misrepresenting his military service, Miller’s office contacted several of the publications I cited to correct the record. Miller told a local paper that “he didn’t know how the incorrect information got out,” even though a number of the publications I cited — Congress.org and Project Vote Smart — use biographical information provided by the offices of elected officials.

Miller spent about seven weeks in boot camp in the fall of 1967, at which point he was discharged (due to the fact that he had ulcers at the age of ten, he now says). Yet the publications cited above and a number of others — like the official members’ guide to the California State Assembly, where Miller formerly held a seat — reported that he served in the military between 1967 and 1968.

As I noted in the item yesterday, Mount San Antonio Community College named Miller Alumnus of the Year in 2003. An item about his on its website — taken down after my story ran — read, “In 1967, Congressman Miller joined the United States Army and served his country during the Vietnam War.”

And Miller doesn’t know who the incorrect information got out? Who told the college that? And where did the California State Assembly get its information about Miller’s military career, if not from Miller himself?

The local paper also said in its story about Miller:

He said he never makes a big deal of his short military career. “I never bring up anything about it,” Miller said. “I did events all day yesterday (Memorial Day) and never mentioned (Army service),” he said. “I never ran a campaign saying I was in the Army. I never mention it at all. I don’t put out campaign literature … I don’t give speeches like that.”

That’s not quite right either. Miller became more tight-lipped about the subject a few years back, when he received queries about it from the media. And he was featured in “Once a soldier…Always a soldier,” a publication from the Association of the United States Army which highlights military veterans in Congress. “It has been a tremendous honor to have served in the U.S. Army,” Miller wrote in a comment that accompanied the section about him. “The American people owe their freedom and liberties to those who serve in the armed forces. They are indebted to those who have made the ultimate sacrifices for their country in previous world conflicts.”

Note: I mentioned in yesterday’s item that the American Legion website also listed Miller’s military career as spanning 1967 to 1968. I just received this email from Mark Seavey, New Media Manager at the Legion:

You cited The American Legion as a group that has Miller’s incorrect bio. Sort of…..that website is an outside vendor “Cap Wiz” that we use to handle our grassroots online lobbying. We don’t actually have any significant control over the bios etc. We are trying to get it rectified now, but “The American Legion” is only displaying the improper bio by proxy, we don’t tend to verify the bios on there as our lobbying shop is rather small.

Share
Single Page

More from Ken Silverstein:

From the November 2013 issue

Dirty South

The foul legacy of Louisiana oil

Perspective October 23, 2013, 8:00 am

On Brining and Dining

How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy

Postcard October 16, 2013, 8:00 am

The Most Cajun Place on Earth

A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits 

Get access to 164 years of
Harper’s for only $39.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

August 2014

The End of Retirement

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Octopus and Its Grandchildren

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Francis and the Nuns

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Return of the Strongman

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Post
“From the nerd squabbles of Internet discussion threads rose an urban legend that culminated in a film that hinges on digging through my town’s trash.”
Illustration (detail) by Timothy Taranto
Article
Return of the Strongman·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“If Tunisia is where the Arab Spring began, Egypt seems poised to become its burial ground.”
Photograph (detail) © Ahmed Ismail / Getty Images
Article
The Seductive Catastrophe·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“The world’s leaders were moved by a populace fused into a forward phalanx, were shaken by a tidal wave of militancy jubilantly united.”
Photograph courtesy Mary Evans Picture Library
Article
Me, Myself, and Id·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“The one defining trait of the narcissist is that it’s always someone else.
Painting (detail) by Gianni Dagli Orti
Post
The Many Faces of Boko·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“People want education. Open a school and they will rush.”
Photograph © The author

Average number of sitcom laughs an American hears during a prime-time season:

12,000

Czech and German deer still do not cross the Iron Curtain.

British economists correlated the happiness of a country’s population with its genetic resemblance to Danes.

Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!

HARPER’S FINEST

In Praise of Idleness

By

I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.

Subscribe Today