The U.S. Senate has confirmed former Seattle Congressman John R. Miller as Ambassador-at Large, upgrading his current position as head of the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. Miller leads much of the U.S. effort to fight slavery around the world.
Miller, who served until last year as chairman of Discovery Institute’s Board of Directors in Seattle, was confirmed only a few minutes before the Senate adjourned for the summer last weekend. Many ambassadorial and other appointments needing confirmation were held up by Democrats who have been engaged in political struggles with the Bush Administration. Miller’s appointment was secured, according to Bruce Chapman, president of Discovery Institute, because “He not only had lead support from Republicans like Richard Lugar of Indiana and Sam Brownback of Kansas, but had the active backing of several Democrats from Washington State, including Maria Cantwell and Rick Larsen.”
As a result of Miller’s bi-partisan backing, Minority Leader Tom Daschle decided to allow the nomination to go to the floor, where it was approved unanimously.
Miller’s office deals with slavery and forced servitude worldwide, including outright slavery in places like the Sudan, selling of children as servants in Thailand and sex slavery rackets in many countries–even, it turns out,the United States. Last month Miller intervened to help break up a
slavery racket in Seattle.
The State Department estimates that over 700,000 slaves were trafficked last year. Discovery Institute gave Ambassador Miller its Humanitarian Award for 2004 in a ceremony last March.
Ambassador Miller is now one of the highest ranking political appointees from Washington State in the Bush Administration.