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

March 2015

A Sage in Harlem

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Man Stopped

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Spy Who Fired Me

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Giving Up the Ghost

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Invisible and Insidious

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
No Slant to the Sun·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“She didn’t speak the language, beyond “¿cuánto?” and “demasiado,” but that didn’t stop her. She wanted things. She wanted life, new experiences, a change in the routine.”
Photograph © Stuart Franklin/Magnum Photos
[Browsings]
Burn After Reading·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

William Powell published The Anarchist Cookbook in 1971. He spent the next four decades fighting to take it out of print.
“The book has hovered like an awkward question on the rim of my consciousness for years.”
© JP Laffont/Sygma/Corbis
Article
The Fourth Branch·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Both the United States and the Soviet Union saw student politics as a proxy battleground for their rivalry.”
Photograph © Gerald R. Brimacombe/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images
Article
The Spy Who Fired Me·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“In industry after industry, this data collection is part of an expensive, high-tech effort to squeeze every last drop of productivity from corporate workforces.”
Illustration by John Ritter
Article
Invisible and Insidious·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Wherever we are, radiation finds and damages us, at best imperceptibly.”
Photograph © 2011 Massimo Mastrorillo and Donald Weber/VII

Hours per day that a death-row inmate in China wears hand and ankle restraints:

24

A multidisciplinary team detected cardiac arrhythmia in the works of Beethoven.

There was a run on cases of 5.56mm M855 green-tip rifle bullets, after the White House moved to ban their manufacture and sale because they can pierce police armor.

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

HARPER’S FINEST

Driving Mr. Albert

By

He could be one of a million beach-bound, black-socked Florida retirees, not the man who, by some odd happenstance of life, possesses the brain of Albert Einstein — literally cut it out of the dead scientist's head.

Subscribe Today