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The Crusader

From the In the Northwest roundup column, on Discovery board chairman John Miller
The crusader: As a Seattle congressman from 1984 to 1992, Republican John Miller spoke out against both his city’s and his administration’s foreign policy.

He denounced human rights abuses by the Sandinista rulers of Nicaragua at a time when Seattle political and religious figures were acting as shills and apologists for the Marxist regime.

Miller marched on China’s embassy in Washington, D.C., in 1989 to protest the Tiananmen Square massacres, just as the Bush I administration was sending Gen. Brent Scowcroft to Beijing with private word that students’ bodies wouldn’t be a bump in the road to better relations.

“Some people who wanted me in this job were aware of that protest,” Miller joked on Wednesday from his new digs in Washington, D.C.

Miller has accepted a major human rights appointment at the State Department under Bush II. He is directing the Trafficking in Persons Office — created by Congress as a way of committing American resources to stop the worldwide spread of slavery.

Yes, slavery remains a global reality nearly 140 years after Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. “The situation has grown to where 700,000 young men, women and children — mainly young women — are shipped around the world each year as sex slaves,” said Miller.

Miller’s challenge will be to make his new office a player, able to offer the carrot of aid to countries interdicting sex slavery, while using the stick of withholding money from governments that tolerate it.

“It is one of the great moral challenges of the 21st century,” said Miller. “This issue is just beginning to seep into public consciousness.”