Pat Tillman's Super Bowl

When the Arizona Cardinals take the field tomorrow, the most famous Cardinal will not be with them. 

I speak, of course, of Corporal Pat Tillman, who left the NFL after 9/11 to serve in the Army Rangers. Tillman was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004. For months after his death, he was used as a propaganda tool to glorify Bush’s failed wars. The exposure of the truth behind Tillman’s death has since turned him into a symbol of the duplicity of the Bush Administration, the fight for the truth, and the futility of the war itself.

Shortly after his death, the Bush Administration (already campaigning for the 04 election) pointed to his sacrifice. Karl Rove waxed, "How does our country continue to produce men and women like this." On May 1, 2004, Bush again focused on Tillman’s sacrifice in a speech at the White House Correspondent’s dinner.

The loss of Army Corporal Pat Tillman last week in Afghanistan brought home the sorrow that comes with every loss, and reminds us of the character of the men and women who serve on our behalf. Friends say that this young man saw the images of September the 11th, and seeing that evil, he felt called to defend America. He set aside a career in athletics and many things the world counts important: wealth and security and the acclaim of the crowds. He chose, instead, the rigors of Ranger training and the fellowship of soldiers and the hard duty in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Corporate [sic*] Tillman asked for no special attention. He was modest because he knew there were many like him, making their own sacrifices. They fill the ranks of the Armed Forces. Every day, somewhere, they do brave and good things without notice. Their courage is usually seen only by their comrades, by those who long to be free, and by the enemy. They’re willing to give up their lives, and when one is lost, a whole world of hopes and possibilities is lost with them.

This evening, we think of the families who grieve, and the families that wait on a loved one’s safe return. We count ourselves lucky that this new generation of Americans is as brave and decent as any before it. (Applause.) And we honor with pride and wonder the men and women who carry the flag and the cause of the United States.

Not only did Bush invoke 9/11 in his statements in spite of DOD insistence that there was no support for such a statement, but he neglected to mention that DOD had already determined that Tillman was killed by friendly fire, a heroic but pointless sacrifice that perhaps better embodies the stupidity of Bush’s wars.

As Tillman’s brother Kevin testified,

April 2004 was turning into the deadliest month to date in the war in Iraq. The dual rebellions in Najaf and Fallujah handed the U.S. forces their first tactical defeat as American commanders essentially surrendered Fallujah to members of Iraq resistance, and the administration was forced to accede to Ayatollah Sistani’s demand for January elections in exchange for assistance in extricating U.S. forces from its battle with the Mahdi Militia. A call-up of 20,000 additional troops was ordered, and another 20,000 troops had their tours of duty extended.

In the midst of this, the White House learned that Christian Parenti, Seymour Hersh and other journalists were about to reveal a shocking scandal involving mass and systemic detainee abuse at the facility known as Abu Ghraib.

Then on April 22, 2004, my brother, Pat, was killed in a firefight in eastern Afghanistan. Immediately after Pat’s death, our family was told that he was shot in the head by the enemy in a fierce firefight outside a narrow canyon.

In the days leading up to Pat’s memorial service, media accounts based on information provided by the Army and the White House were wreathed in a patriotic glow and became more dramatic in tone. A terrible tragedy that might have further undermined support for the war in Iraq was transformed into an inspirational message that served instead to support the Nation’s foreign policy wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

[snip]

There was one small problem with the narrative, however. It was utter fiction. The content of the multiple investigations revealed a series of contradictions that strongly suggest deliberate and careful misrepresentations.

We appeal to this committee because we believe this narrative was intended to deceive the family but more importantly to deceive the American public.

[snip]

Revealing that Pat’s death was a fratricide would have been yet another political disaster during a month already swollen with political disasters and a brutal truth that the American public would undoubtedly find unacceptable. So the facts needed to be suppressed.

An alternative narrative had to be constructed. Crucial evidence was destroyed including Pat’s uniform, equipment and notebook. The autopsy was not done according to regulation, and a field hospital report was falsified.

[snip]

This freshly manufactured narrative was then distributed to the American public, and we believe the strategy had the intended effect. It shifted the focus from the grotesque torture at Abu Ghraib and a downward spiral of an illegal act of aggression to a great American who died a hero’s death.

I raise Tillman today because, as his mother Mary pointed out in an interview last spring, no one has yet been held accountable for turning Tillman’s death into a propaganda fiction.

And there is just—the bottom line is, no one has been held accountable for anything. There have been people that have had some slaps on the wrist for doing certain things, but—and some people have just been scapegoated.

[snip]

I would like someone to be held accountable. I’d like for them to discover and try to discover who was involved with this cover-up. It’s a horrible thing that they did. And I think that if people don’t see that, it’s very sad, because it means that we have been numbed to all the lies and deceptions that we’ve been faced with during these last eight years.

Tomorrow there will be other heroes wearing red–undoubtedly Spidey Fitzgerald, maybe, if he can elude Pittsburgh’s blitzes, Kurt Warner. And, I suppose, it’s appropriate that we get a fresh face like Fitzgerald to represent Arizona this year. It’s a new year, a new President, there’s much talk of looking forward.

But we should never forget the heroism and fight for truth that Pat Tillman and his family have come to represent.

* [Update] Yes, the transcript I linked to does say "Corporate." I checked the Internet Archive for a few days in 2004, and there was no transcript posted of the speech on Whitehouse.gov.

Update: wanted to include this from bmaz:

Earlier this morning, Marcy posted this serious and wonderful piece on Pat Tillman, and the Super Bowl he is missing. Unfortunately, it has turned somewhat, and predictably, into a knock down drag out on conspiracy theories and acts, I would like to return for a moment to the subject of her post, namely who Pat was, and what he did, which is why the answers his family seeks are so important in the first place.

First off, Pat gave up a large contract with the Cardinals to join the Army after 9/11. That is well known and part of the lore. What you should also know is that the contract offer could have been much bigger than that, but Pat was willing to take less money than he was worth on the open market to stay with the Cardinals because he believed in their redemption and he loved the community of Tempe and Phoenix. He had grown roots here from his four years at Arizona State and was determined to see the Cardinals through the transformation into a winning team. The contract he walked away from with the Cardinals was for about 3.6 million; he had turned down previously a 9 million dollar multi-year contract with the St. Louis Rams, right in the middle of their Super Bowl years, in order to stay with and build the Cardinals in what he considered to be his home at the time. That is the kind of man that Pat was.

Pat didn’t give a damn about money and the trappings of celebrity. Years after already being a high paid and wealthy NFL star, you would still find Pat traversing the streets of Tempe on his bicycle, looking like a hippy with his long hair and book bag. This was literally how he would go to work every day at the Cardinals training center in South Tempe. Pat was an avid reader. Of everything. He loved politics and world events, and there was nothing he loved more than spirited discussion of the same, whether it was current events, WW II, or ancient European battles. And he could discuss all intelligently, deeply and passionately. Pat knew business and marketing as well, that was his major at ASU and he was brilliant at how he understood, and could see through, the forces at work in our economy.

Pat was an iconoclast. He was his own man and would back down from nothing, and no one, if he thought he was right. This is what made him an odd fit for the military. He had every ounce of the heroism, valor, trust and honesty that the military has always purported to stand for, and then some. But he was not a yes man and was trained, from my estimation since birth, to question authority, especially if it was malignant and wrong. I believe this may have caused a rougher ride for him in the military than most would have expected, or would suspect even now, from the outside, and almost certainly played a huge role in how his death was handled, irrespective of how his death occurred. LabDancer spoke the word in comments:

Pat’s death was caused by our side; our side covered that up, employing things our side knew were untrue; our side used that same cover to distort, turn and pervert the story of his death into a symbol aimed at promoting a falsehood: that Pat died pursuing a myth our side knew for a fact he’d personally determined beforehand to be a lie – meaning that, in end, our side rendered an obscenity from Pat’s death. That’s more than enough to earn him the status emptywheel submits as his due.

That is right on the money. It is also what motivated me to write this, the use of Pat is, at this point, not just by the Bush Administration for their glory, but by the contra for theirs as well. From being a player who loved football as a game, Pat has become the football in the game. That is wrong, very very wrong.

As you may surmise here, or as some may recall from discussions at The Next Hurrah long ago, I had the privilege of knowing Pat Tillman a little. I did not know him well, but well enough to get the measure of the man he was. I used to live a little less than a mile from the Cardinals headquarters and practice facility in South Tempe. On days when I worked at home, I used to ride my bicycle to a little deli, Capistrano’s, between my house and the Card’s facility. It was there that I met Pat, who also stopped in on his bicycle, and had a few long lunch conversations with him. He was everything he has been made out to be and more. He was twenty years younger than I, but you would never know it. He was such a deep and diverse thinker that he was almost the antithesis to the world as we currently know it.

The nation, and the world, lost a lot with Pat Tillman’s death. When we talk about the type of people we need to foster and grow to lead into the future, he was a prime example. That, to me, is why his loss stings, and lingers, so deeply. Pat’s family, the nation, and the world deserve the answers to what happened, it is, and remains, important. But, above and beyond all else, what people should be taking away is not the dickering over the mechanism and coverup of his death, although that is important; but more importantly, the facts and honor of his life, beliefs and hopes. Honor and fight what he stood for, and what he wanted the country to stand for, that is what he would want.

And, as you watch the Super Bowl tomorrow, remember Pat and his beliefs; for he, of all, should have been around to see the day. 

Marcy has been blogging full time since 2007. She’s known for her live-blogging of the Scooter Libby trial, her discovery of the number of times Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, and generally for her weedy analysis of document dumps.

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including the Guardian, Salon, and the Progressive, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse and dog in Grand Rapids, MI.

  1. perris says:

    I raise a toast to Tat tillman, thanks for revisiting his story Marcy, it’s an important story we remember

  2. Leen says:

    You know I was just thinking about how so many Americans will be watching the Super Bowl tomorrow as 5 million Iraqi people continue to be refugees due to the situation created by our government. During one of the NPR reports this morning one of the folks interviewed about the situation in Iraq said that every person has had someone in their family or someone they know killed or injured. Must be that Catholic upbringing can not stop thinking about this

    Pat Tillmans family members testimony were so moving, getting chills just remembering his mother and brother testifying. Such love, such devotion, to their son and brother. I honor them for their commitment to the truth and accountability.

    Kevin Tillman testifies
    http://crooksandliars.com/2007…..ated-lies/

    Bryan O”Neal’s testimony on Pat Tillman’s death
    http://cardinals.fandome.com/v…..ans-death/

    According to my friend Haroon (studied here in the states on a Fulbright, big family in Afghanistan) the situation in Afghanistan is far far worse than he had heard from his family’s descriptions when he was in the states for close to three years. We continue to communicate and from his descriptions it is not looking good

  3. bmaz says:

    Wow. I checked, and it was in the linked copy of the speech too. Did Bush really call Pat “Corporate Tillman”? Jeebus, that is the way they treated him, but still….

  4. Minnesotachuck says:

    Great post, Marcy. We must not forget Pat Tillman, and all he represents regarding this first decade of the 21st century.

    Speaking of Afghanistan, George Friedman of Stratfor (a private intelligence company based in Austin, for those who are not familiar with it) has an important post up on his company website about US strategy in that unfortunate land. To summarize, he regards Obama’s Surge plans there as a strategic blunder.

  5. barbara says:

    It is immensely troubling that the United States of America seems to have become the land of too little, too late and, in the name of “let’s not waste time and energy looking back,” zero accountability. I cannot wrap my wee mind around the growing likelihood that BushCo will walk into the sunset, unrepentant, unpunished and laughing at all of us. Pat Tillman is one of the more visible vestiges of a not-so-long-ago lawless government, and I’m not talking about the old west. Rather, the new west, as peopled by the likes of George W. Bush and (sometimes) Richard Cheney.

    • barbara says:

      Memo to self: Gaza and the tanking U.S. economy is providing total cover for the retreating BushOCons. Far more pressing issues than prairie justice. Money better spent dorking around with infusions of humongous amounts of cash, aka stimuli. Prosecute Bush and friends? No time to say hello, goodbye, too late, too late, too late. {spit}

    • Leen says:

      All of the “move on, turn the page, look forward” talk that has come out of our congress, Obama and many others the last several years is disturbing. If any of these people had a kid who had been killed based on a “pack of lies” we know they would be very different. The lack of empathy is astounding

      Accountability Yesterday!

    • KevinHayden says:

      I cannot wrap my wee mind around the growing likelihood that BushCo will walk into the sunset, unrepentant, unpunished and laughing at all of us

      At the least, I’m still hoping for a huge, groundswell of independent monkeywrenching throughout the foundation pours and subsequent efforts to build Gee Willie Bush’s own little liberry. May it never be successfully constructed due to the sons and daughters of liberty who take the time to muck it up.

      All he should get is a giant headstone with the names of the hundreds of thousands of people he’s murdered on it.

  6. Sharkbabe says:

    Friendly fire my ass, Pat Tillman was murdered.

    Milk him for propaganda to a fare-thee-well, then shut his loud mouth.

    Or is Cheney too nice a guy for that?

    • eCAHNomics says:

      Why was he murdered? Your comment seems to imply that it was for propoganda purposes, but that seems to be a very high risk for not a lot of payoff.

      • emptywheel says:

        Note Kevin Tillman’s reference to his notebook.

        Pat Tillman was turning on the war–reading Chomsky when he was killed. There has been some suggestion that he might have denounced the war.

        Also note this quote from Tillman’s mom, which I didn’t include in the post.

        What bothered me most is the—you know, the leadership at the helm at this time. I didn’t have great trust in the Bush administration, even at that point. And that concerned me, and I talked to them about that. And of course, they didn’t disagree with me. But they also said you cannot choose your leaders when you’re—you know, at that point, you’re stuck with the leaders you have when you’re in a national crisis. And they could only hope that our leaders would make appropriate choices in a time like this.

        • eCAHNomics says:

          Yes, I remember that he was turning on the war. However, to murder him to prevent the possibility that he might speak out still seems to me to be a highly risky business. But maybe that’s just me.

          • emptywheel says:

            It’s the destruction of his notebook that is most disconcerting on taht front. Why destroy his notes from his last days?

            That’s not proof he was murdered, but I think it is one source of suspicion about it.

          • wavpeac says:

            Wouldn’t outing a spy fall in the same category of “risky”? Wouldn’t violating the Geneva conventions so you have to pass laws in retrospect be risky? Wouldn’t lying to start a war be considered risky?

            I don’t know. This cabal operates in a pathological manner. They seem to feed on risk.

    • Leen says:

      go watch Brian O’Neals testimony. Sure makes you wonder

      If you missed Amy Goodman’s interview with Mary Tillman..here is the link.
      As is often the case Amy Goodman goes wide and deep for truth and justice

      http://www.democracynow.org/20….._slain_nfl

      MARY TILLMAN: Yes, many of the soldiers did. The ones on the ridgeline were pretty clear that—actually, the soldier next to him and one of—several of the soldiers behind him knew he was killed by the soldiers in this vehicle. The rest of the ones on the ridgeline suspected it, but, you know, some of the soldiers were not—did not know.

      Kevin did not know. He was fifteen minutes behind his brother when this happened. And so, he was told that he was killed by the enemy also. But, of course, at that moment when he first arrived on the scene, it wouldn’t have served anyone’s best interest to tell Kevin right away. But the fact is, they never told him until, you know, four weeks later, when in fact they all knew.

      And of course, in this scenario, they did say, like I said, that Pat and the MF were 150 to 250 meters away, but in fact they were probably thirty to forty—thirty-five to forty meters away. We were told that the MF was shot when he was standing, in that original story, but three weeks—

        • Leen says:

          there has been a fair amount written about that.
          I also read somewhere that Tillman had made some kind of appointment to talk with media about his insights and questions into the war. I thought I had read that he had had some contact with Seymour Hersh or some other journalist of that caliber.

          Can not find this anywhere

        • californiarealitycheck says:

          right, pat was not the praying type. he was big, tough, smart, famous and kept a diary of all the misdeeds. they couldn’t let him live.

  7. eCAHNomics says:

    Finished loading a disc on my ipod, so onto other stuff. Will check back later to see if anyone responded to my question.

    If it was his fellow troops who murdered him, I have another question, which is: was he liked by his troopmates? Seems like it would be hard to murder a football hero who you like, just because he turned against the war. OTOH, if they resented him for some reason, then it’s easier to understand. (Though completely unforgivable. I’m not condoning, just trying to understand the perp’s POV.) Also, if it was one of the troops who did it deliberately, they’d all have to be in on it because of the need to cover it up.

    • Minnesotachuck says:

      I recall reading that there was tension between Tillman and many of his troop mates because of his open atheism, and willingness to push back against evangelization. It’s been a while, however, and I don’t recall where I read this.

  8. timr says:

    There have been many american soldiers die by “friendly fire” thruout the wars that the US fought in-WWII- the most famous blue on blue(ie;friendly fire)incident was when american ground forces fired on american airborne troops during the battle for Sicily. There were several blue on blue incidents during the Korean War, as there were during Vietnam. During GWI we were the ones who were responsible for most of our own KIA/WIA.(Killed In Action/Wounded In Action)
    Finally the Tillman incident in Afghanistan. IMPO, the officer in charge of that patrol is the one who screwed up and caused the casualties. That officer split his patrol and did not have enough situational awareness to be able to figure out where everyone in his patrol was. I don’t know what if anything happened to that officer, but he proved to me that he should not have been in that position and one hopes that at the very least his OER-Officer Efficiency Report- reflected that so he could not be promoted. I am 30 years out of service, and was only a platoon sgt-E-6- yet if I had been in charge of that patrol, I would not have sent part of them off without a radio and forgot where they were. Mr Tillmans death was a totally preventable action. A blue on blue death that should not have occurred. What happened afterwards brought shame on the upper ranks of the officer corps of the US Army-if this was in fact ordered by someone in the bush administration, then again shame on those officers who obeyed the order to cover up his death- and unfortunately reminded me of way to many officers that I met or heard about while I was in Vietnam.

    • bmaz says:

      I agree with what you relate, however, you seem to accept that it was accidental and there is pretty disturbing evidence that Pat’s death was not accidental. The original forensic evidence was fraudulent, Pat was killed by three closely grouped shots to the forehead fired at closer range than originally stated. It is almost certain that the kill shots were intentional. Which is not to detract from the actions of the unit commander you describe in splitting the force. They also had malfunctioning and broken vehicle issues in the mix as well.

      • plunger says:

        It’s called “destruction of evidence” – akin to graveling and sanding over the lawn of the Pentagon in the aftermath of an explosion there that wreaked of cordite according to veteran military experts who were first on the scene.

  9. Leen says:

    “Most members of that Committee haven’t the ethical sense to qualify for wiping Pat’s ass. Instead they kissed Donald Rumsfeld’s, Richard Meyers’, and John Abazaid’s. I’ll be coming back to this shameful and anemic display. It’s emblematic of not just Congress, but in particular of Democrats who continue to tip-toe around anything to do with the war as if they’re walking through a rattlesnake pit.”

    Stan Goff
    The Fog Of Fame: Pat Tillman as Everyone’s Political Football
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..59192.html

  10. yellowdogD says:

    The Rove line “how does our country produce men like these” comes straight out of the movie The Bridges at Toko-Ri. It was at the end, with an admiral lamenting the deaths of William Holden, pilot, and Mickey Rooney, rescue helicoptor pilot. Never having read Michener’s book, (that’s about the only Michener book I haven’t read), I don’t know if it was a movie line or book line or both.

  11. Neil says:

    Mary Tillman should write Eric Holder a letter with a copy for Barack and the Washington Times asking for the accountability she deserves.

    • LabDancer says:

      Waxman’s committee under the 110th Congress wrote this letter dated July 7, 2008 to DoD secretary Gates requesting de-classification of about what it describes as “100-150″ pages of 10,000, on top of 30,000 the committee reviewed described as unclassified:

      http://oversight.house.gov/doc…..164306.pdf

      So I don’t think this is a DoJ matter; but rather a WH matter, given what is now Towns’ committee so far at least is continuing to feature Waxman’s “Special Investigations Division” established in 1998, and what’s different today is the identity of Gates’ boss.

      [Indeed, but for the replacement of one smiling bespectacled chipmunk white face with a smiling handsome black face, the committee’s website appears identical to what it’s been since early 2007.]

  12. timr says:

    As for Mr Tillman being murdered, In 28.5 years of working for the FedGov I never saw any conspiracy theory that survived an investigation. IOW, while a conspiracy might happen, there is a 99.9999% chance that there was none at all. Coincidences abound, but were never an actual conspiracy.
    I spent 12 years in uniform and I have to say this. Soldiers who serve as Navy SEALS, Army Rangers or Special Forces and Marine Force Recon are not now and never have been thugs. In fact I would have to say that they are just about the smartest guys in the entire country, most of the officers have advanced degrees just as most of the enlisted have college credit or are college graduates. The vast majority speak more than 1 language, some speak 3 or more. No, he was not murdered. Soldiers speak up against whatever war they are fighting in and against the stupidity of their leaders all the time, Soldiers in the same unit in wartime are closer than brothers and one does not kill his brother. No, I believe that the comments written here speculating on Mr Tillmans murder have no personal knowledge of soldiers in high stress-combat-situations and are reading facts that are simply not there into the narrative.
    BTW-Fragging is the act of using a grenade against an officer whose callous disregard of his men result in unnecessary casualties and Mr Tillman was shot at a distance that he could not be recognized as an american. Combat does strange things to the senses, acts that might not-in a civilian world-be construed as threating, can be easily interpreted as threatening while in a combat situation. You were not there, you have no idea what stress factors were involved, so to say that Mr Tillman was murdered by his fellow soldiers is ignorant and shows a very closed thought process as regards the military.

    • Twain says:

      I’m sure that you know many things that I don’t but how could you have 3 shots across the forehead? He would have started to fall when the first shot hit and the other 2 would have to be while he was lying on the ground or the other 2 would have hit him lower or not at all. Seems reasonable to me. But regardless of anything else, his family deserves the truth and they don’t have it yet.

      • timr says:

        1-That there shots in the head in a tight grouping simply means that they were good shots.
        2-bodies do not fall as quickly as they do in the movies, several people shooting at the same target-and using the 5.56mm(or .223 caliber, a caliber that is considered to be too small for Deer hunting)-would, in their experience, have to be shot numerous times to kill that person.
        3-firing 3-6 shots in less than 3 seconds is not world class shooting.
        4- a good marksman, can hit a target at 100 yards at least 10 times in 4 seconds using a semiautomatic rifle-one that fires 1 round for each pull of the trigger, an M-4 or M16A2 that has 3 round burst capability could fire at least 15 rounds in 3-4 seconds.
        5- the M-4 Carbine or M-16A2 that the patrol carried has on the selector switch a Safe, Fire and 3 round burst selection(this means that for every pull on the trigger 3 rounds are fired)
        6-the last time I was on the range, using a bolt action rifle which you must hand cock each time before you fire a round, I was able to get off 3 rounds in 2.9 seconds and they all hit the target. Using a semiautomatic rifle-one that recocks itself after you fire a round-I can get off 5 rounds in 2.4 seconds and I am nowhere near either the accuracy or the time required to fire as an active duty soldier in a war zone would be.
        7- As far as I know there is no way to determine how far away a target is except when a weapon is fired so close as to leave gun powder residue-which would have to be less than 3 feet from the target(as a general rule)
        8-when a member of your patrol is killed by your own guys it is very possible that the leader-who made many errors-would panic and attempt to cover up what happened. I don’t excuse it, but I understand it. I observed that type of behavior in Vietnam-and on the DMZ in Korea in the late 70s during combat patrols- so it doesn’t surprise me

        • Twain says:

          I certainly don’t know all you obviously do about weapons – I hate guns – but something HAD to be wrong about this death. Too many stories, too much coverup – something just didn’t pass the sniff test at all. I repeat, his family deserves the truth. I hope they never let it drop.

          • timr says:

            Why did something “have to be wrong”. In wars, shit happens. People die. Blue on blue happens when bad decisions by leaders are made. I have seen nothing that convinces me that his fellow soldiers murdered him. Granted, there was a coverup by the chain of command, but how does that prove murder? It is very easy to get the several shots off and Rangers are good shots.
            I have neither seen nor heard of any evidence that says murder. Congress investigates. And? Yes there was a coverup, but the Army felt that by making Tillman a hero-bush appointees or perfumed princes(brown noser officers who stay in the pentagon rather than on the front with the war fighters)they would make something of a sports figures death,but notice how quickly that fell apart. People talked, they always do, and so the cover up fell apart

    • bmaz says:

      I didn’t say there was a conspiracy to murder him (there may have been, may not have been, I have no idea), what I am saying is that it appears he was intentionally killed. Secondly, it is crystal clear that there was a conspiracy to cover up the circumstances of Pat’s death, and it has indeed been unraveling. I appreciate your service and opinion, but the known facts seem to run a different line than the “it is all an unfortunate accident” meme you are promoting. And quite honestly, you have to be kidding that the various special forces units in the US military are all pure and golden. That is a joke.

    • Neil says:

      Whether the death was murder or manslaughter, doesn’t the cover-up count as a conspiracy? After all, it appears to have involved an awful lot of people going right up to the top.

      • timr says:

        No, I was in the Army between 1968 and 1980. I never said or implied that I was there. I simply stated that the conditions in which Mr Tillman was killed are similar to what I saw in Vietnam and Korea. I am to damn old to be running around Afghanistan.

        • dakine01 says:

          Did you ever read the book Friendly Fire by C. D. Bryan? About a US soldier killed by friendly fire during the Vietnam War?

          If memory serves me correctly, the Army got in a world of sh*t for trying to cover up what happened then as well. And even more when the actual number of friendly fire cases surfaced. Which was far higher than the Army had been reporting.

    • LabDancer says:

      To me, the problem with your comments is that you bring up a number of prudent bureaucratic calls for caution, over-generalized homilies and citations of incidents from other American forces campaigns, all without regard to what is already publicly known, which by itself has been judged by the Waxman committee to be in a state sufficient to topple all of your prudence, homilies and citations.

      Meanwhile, you’re not just attacking commenters here for too eagerly seizing at the [not at all incidentally] number of established facts that don’t just leave open but, by operation of legal principles, necessitate serious consideration of the possibility of a homicide being covered up, you seek to take advantage of the government’s failure to de-classify information which appears likely to eliminate some of what is by that withholding alone rendered speculative, then jump on the back of those missing pieces to skip right over the controversy to dismiss it as political opportunism, and worse: IN FACT a typical incident of ‘heat-of-the-moment’ and/or mistaken-identification [classic if you will] friendly fire.

      Citing your experience is not just fair but important; but using it in an effort to beat down unruly facts you can’t or won’t deal with is not. You made your point, and it only went so far before it was exhauseted; if you insist on beating it to death, at least have the decency to spare us from watching you do it.

  13. Neil says:

    while a conspiracy might happen, there is a 99.9999% chance that there was none at all.

    Making up objective numbers, to substantiate an argument is not characteristic of of a rigorous analyst.

    In fact I would have to say that they are just about the smartest guys in the entire country, most of the officers have advanced degrees just as most of the enlisted have college credit or are college graduates. The vast majority speak more than 1 language, some speak 3 or more. No, he was not murdered.

    How did you get from really really super smart guys to “No, he was not murdered.”? I must have missed something. I you count yourself in the company of “just about the smartest guys in the entire country”? Then let us in on the details.

    • timr says:

      While making up the number it is in fact indicative of the truth in my personal experience. in 28.5 years I never saw any conspiracy that survived an investigation
      I was explaining about my experience with “conspiracy theories”

      No, I was attempting to refute the claim that all soldiers are thugs/dumb which has been and remains a staple of most(note I said most, not all)progressive/left wing blogs.
      Soldiers are neither stupid or thugs and they do not kill as casually as you all seem to assume. Just because you have equated soldiers with evangelicals-admittedly there is a problem with this-I have never met any soldier/evangelical (or group of them) who would kill someone in their platoon who believed differently. In fact, they would attempt, by talking, to get you to change your mind. Not by killing you. Same with changing attitudes on the war. The soldiers that I have spoken with-my son is stationed at Ft Hood Tx and has 4 tours in Iraq and 1 in Afghanistan. He has been in the Army for 14 years and has 3 purple hearts(he has been wounded 3 times)would never kill someone just because he did not believe in the war-my son has very strong opinions about Iraq, and he, along with over 50% of his fellow soldiers, is very much against the Iraq war. After having been in Afghanistan, his belief is that given the history of the place we are better off out of there also.
      My belief, from reading the comments here, is that few if any of you have ever had any contact with either soldiers or people who shoot guns for practice or pleasure(it is a hobby just like any other) Therefore, it is again my belief, that you have equated soldiers in your minds with gangsters or with actors in movies-Apocalypse Now perhaps?
      At any rate you all have decided, without any proof-but with “circumstantial” evidence(whether this evidence is real or not I will not comment on)that the soldiers in Mr Tillmans platoon killed him. You all have decided that soldiers=killers so have made up your minds.
      I spent 12 years in the Army, 4 years as a platoon sgt in charge of 40 men, I have been in combat in both Vietnam and Korea. I now spend lots of time at my local VA hospital talking with vets from WWII to GWII. None of those that I have talked to in the last 10 years-since I retired in 1998-was a killer. Soldiers are not killers they are not trained to be killers, yet you all seem to believe that because of “facts” that you have gleaned you understand the inner workings of Mr Tillmans mind along with the inner workings of all those who were on patrol with him. You have no understanding of the closeness that develops between soldiers, you have no understanding of a soldiers life, yet you have fully developed a conspiracy that still holds-In my experience, a group of criminals-be they white or blue collar-can not keep their mouths shut. This same holds true of people in the military. While we were trained to keep security secrets, a conspiracy falls apart quickly. Someone will always talk because soldiers are not trained to keep secret things that are against the UCMJ-the criminal/legal code that covers all soldiers-instead american soldiers are given classes thruout that soldiers time in the military about the UCMJ and what to do if given an illegal order. Stupidity is a different matter, but if an illegal order were given a soldier is expected to not follow that order and report it up the chain of command.
      My reading of all your comments leads me to believe that what we believed about liberals in the 60s and 70s is still true today. I spent my year in Vietnam, I survived and came back to catch a plane at San Francisco, where some long haired people screamed at me, called me a baby killer, and in Chicago actually threw rotten fruit at me. I was in WaDC during the “days of rage” when helping a friend take his sick wife to Walter Reed some people attempted to disable our car. My friend pulled a gun on them and threatened to kill them. I had to go at very high speed to get onto my base out in California in 1975 because of the protesters who would have destroyed my car. I met some very fine very smart people in the military who were patriotic and served at great personal cost to themselves, yet they were called everything from killers to cannibals.
      I am once more begining to see this same attitude from the liberal side. I consider myself to be a democrat, I dislike what republicians have done to our country, yet I am also a gun owner who enjoys shooting. I am a hunter who has been a hunter since I was 16 years old. Yet I believe in conservation. It is the hunters whose money and time has expanded the deer and elk herds. It is the Duck stamps that bird hunters buy that has preventd the loss of habitat.
      Yet according to many liberals I am one of those wing nuts who owns a gun-actually I own 10 guns, which I keep in a gun safe.
      To state that Mr Tillman was murdered by his fellow soldiers, with proof that is easily refutable, is indicative of the same mind set that I saw in the 60s and 70s. And I do not like it.

      • emptywheel says:

        Now who is making gross generalizations?

        At any rate you all have decided, without any proof-but with “circumstantial” evidence(whether this evidence is real or not I will not comment on)that the soldiers in Mr Tillmans platoon killed him. You all have decided that soldiers=killers so have made up your minds.

        Pretty broad statements–made even to some on this list who are, themselves, veterans (I guess that says something about the assumptions you’re making, huh)?

        I don’t pretend to know what happened. I do know there is abundant evidence of a cover-up. The question is whether it is–as you say–a cover-up by the unit officer, trying to make up for his own mistakes in judgment, or something more. I don’t know one way or another. All I said is that it is suspicious that they destroyed Tillman’s notebook, in addition to his uniform and the initial reports on the death.

        I do, however, find it downright un-American of you to assume you know what we all think here (much less assume that none here is a veteran, which, I assure you, is wrong).

        • emptywheel says:

          And one more point. To what do you attribute Kevin Tillman’s suspicions? Do those come because he’s some caricature you’ve dreamt up of a liberal? Or, perhaps, might he know something about this, having served in the same unit with Tillman?

      • marymccurnin says:

        I agree that the way the returning soldiers in the Vietnam era were treated was horrible. I am so sorry for the pain it caused you. I do not see this happening to the soldiers coming back from Iraq. There have been posts and hundreds of comments on this blog concerning the mal-treatment of our soldiers and veterans. We know that the soldiers have not received the medical care they need and deserve. We know that reserves were sent back from Iraq less a week of service that would provide them with education and medical care that regular soldiers get. We know that soldiers are discharged with conditions provoked by the war but diagnosed as prewar conditions. We know that the republican party actively denied the vote to black soldiers in Iraq by voter caging. We know all of this and many have worked to correct it.

        • Neil says:

          Many FDLers and EWers supported Sen Webb’s GI Bill of Rights. I think we learned the lesson of Vietnam, don’t blame the soldier for the policy; and anyone who serves deserves post service medical care, support, and educational opportunities to advance themselves in post-service life.

          George Bush and John McCain did not support Sen Webb’s GI Bill 2008.

      • Neil says:

        While making up the number it is in fact indicative of the truth in my personal experience.

        All I’m saying is that you shouldn’t argue using statistics to substantiate your argument when you don’t have statistics to substantiate your argument becuase it undermines your argument. It makes me think, this guy is making shit up.

        To state that Mr Tillman was murdered by his fellow soldiers, with proof that is easily refutable, is indicative of the same mind set that I saw in the 60s and 70s. And I do not like it.

        I understand how you feel about it.

        I haven’t look at the evidence closely or made a determination for myself. I think he was either murdered, killed without premeditation or it was a battlefield accident. Others here are raising specific undisputed evidence and saying why they think it indicates a murder. Look at the evidence they cite and and agree or disagree with the conclusion they draw about that evidence.

        I think we can agree there was a cover up of his cause of death, a destruction of evidence, and falsified reports. Honor and honesty are two bedrock values of the US Army. You would expect that the Army would investigate this and hold responsibility people accountable at whatever level or rank they hold. Did that happen?

        I think we can agree the Bush Administration used Pat Tillman’s death for propaganda value to get reelected in 2004. I do wonder if the highest levels of our government knew he was not killed by the enemy and yet used his death for their personal political gain.

      • jdmckay says:

        * I appreciate your POV.

        * I don’t agree w/your assertion:

        (…)soldiers are thugs/dumb which has been and remains a staple of most(note I said most, not all)progressive/left wing blogs.

        … that sounds like a charactarization I’d expect to hear of lw blogs from ‘winger blogs, not to mention Rush and the TOWN HALL contigent.

        I know for a fact it’s not true, although there are a vocal minority in that category.

        * Hard to compare US soldiers shipped off to Iraq w/those of your era: eg. the training standards were drastically diminished (down to 2 weeks army boot camp around mid-’05 from memory) as was acceptable testing/evaluations for admittance. And then extended tours… etc etc.

  14. plunger says:

    The Shadow Government:

    They’ve got consumers over a barrel, on purpose, and no one will simply tell them the truth of how it came to pass and that if we just forgo the concept of “cheap consumables” in favor of the resurgence of a manufacturing-based (rather than services based) economy, everyone will be able to afford the goods manufactured here because they’ll be working again (think Henry Ford).

    As it is, the ONLY job options for desperate young fathers is going to be the military – which helps to explain why there was no need to institute the draft (they had this planned) and why they’ll be able to find plenty of cannon fodder for the next wars they’ll soon be starting (for the good of the “markets” and the banksters).

  15. plunger says:

    Can we all be adults and discuss this and other related conspiracies without being accused of being “Conspiracy Theorists?” You were taught that catch-all by a controlled media who doesn’t want you to investigate anything on your own, and seeks to brand you as a lunatic in the eyes of your peers if you do. That’s called brainwashing or social engineering or propaganda, all of which require actual conspiracies in their own right (two or more people is the definition).

    Having a theory about a conspiracy was a prerequisite for Fitzgerald’s investigators. It’s time to praise those who are able to think outside the box and comprehend the means, motive and opportunity that leads to these types of Conspiracies.

    It’s time to raise the level of discourse where the term “Conspiracy” is concerned:

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/…..ug2005.htm

    We’ve all been conditioned to snicker and ridicule when non-professionals offer theories about conspiracies. It’s time to talk about all of these theories and unravel the every conspiracy (which the term cover-up encompasses), as would any investigator.

    • marymccurnin says:

      Yes.
      A real investigation into 9-11.
      A real investigation into the most current “banking” problems.
      A real investigation into the news industry.
      health care
      dept. of justice
      etc.
      etc.
      Even stupid questions are better than none.

  16. marymccurnin says:

    timr,

    Perhaps you are correct in your evaluation of the Tillman death; perhaps not. But when an administration uses and abuses the truth as Bushco did it muddies the waters of all investigations. The Bush admin tried to use Tillman’s death to their advantage. They own lack of regard for human dignity and basic truth has been their downfall. They are horrid people who caused the deaths of thousands. This tends to color how others judge what happened during their reign. A conspiracy to kill Pat Tillman fits within the mind set of Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld. Everyone who has died in Iraq has died for naught. I fear we will never know what really happened.

    • LabDancer says:

      I should really emphasize that your reply here was to commenter “timr” [whose blog id I simply don’t recognize as having seen before, so I can’t claim to speak to his (?) general reputation here or elsewhere]. Your reply follows the point of the thread established by Fearless Leader, and fits within, as far I can tell, the reason why Pat Simmons is such an appropriate symbol of heroic scale for tomorrow’s first Super Bowl after the Reign of Error:

      Pat’s death was caused by our side; our side covered that up, employing things our side knew were untrue; our side used that same cover to distort, turn and pervert the story of his death into a symbol aimed at promoting a falsehood: that Pat died pursuing a myth our side knew for a fact he’d personally determined beforehand to be a lie – meaning that, in end, our side rendered an obscenity from Pat’s death. That’s more than enough to earn him the status emptywheel submits as his due.

  17. hackworth1 says:

    First the boys are golden, then the golden boys “when a member of (their) patrol is killed by (their) own guys it is very possible that the leader-who made many errors-would panic and attempt to cover up what happened”.

  18. tjbs says:

    Murder ? A triple tap to the forehead in a 2″ circle. (triple shot setting on weapons with one trigger pull)
    You need to be mighty close to obtain that pattern.
    Criminal investigation by doctors stopped. By whom ? For what?

  19. tjbs says:

    This also opens the question of wiretapping Tillman’s ( Chomsky ?) conversations so the listener would know All American Pat Tillman was coming home to call Bullshit on the invasion labeled a war by bush/rove.

  20. marymccurnin says:

    No, I was attempting to refute the claim that all soldiers are thugs/dumb which has been and remains a staple of most(note I said most, not all)progressive/left wing blogs.

    I could not read past this statement without commenting. Do you know how many folks on FDL are veterans? A dozen strong, at least. I know that FDL is supportive of the soldiers and veterans of this country.

    • timr says:

      Yet you readily believe that Tillmans fellow soldiers killed him for his antiwar(supposed) or atheistic(again, supposed) views. Those are the views of the most left wing groups.
      Yet I-a veteran, gun owner and hunter- also am a supporter of FireDogLake, I support this site with my money, just like I supported Obama.

      People who hate and fear guns-remember how the antigun groups said that the streets would run red with blood if concealed carry of guns were allowed?-simply take that fear and apply it to soldiers-they carry guns, they shoot people, so they must be killers, no? A+B=C therefore, because soldiers carry guns. A, and shoot people. B, soldiers must have killed Tillman. C.
      If you believe that he was murdered because he was either an atheist in a group of wild eyed evangelical soldier/killers or because he was going to call a press conference(I mean, come on, really?) about his “anti war” views, then you are profoundly antiwar/soldier and nothing anyone can say can change your mind.
      But anyway, no matter how much I have enjoyed twitting all of you antiwar people,(oh yes, I was against the war in Iraq back in 2000 when bush stated that was one of his goals and while I was for killing any and all alQaeda terrorists, just getting rid of the Taliban is nor going to do any good due to the massive corruption in Afghanistan)-more than half of all the soldiers at Ft Hood(where my son is stationed) are against the war in Iraq. They have been there,but they have not drunk the wing nut kool aid) I have to go to the VA hospital What, on Sat? Yep, I go 4 days a week and have for over 25 years. That too is what being a veteran is all about.

  21. marymccurnin says:

    Yet you readily believe that Tillmans fellow soldiers killed him for his antiwar(supposed) or atheistic(again, supposed) views. Those are the views of the most left wing groups.

    The only thing I readily believe is that due to obfuscation we will never know what happened.

    • californiarealitycheck says:

      we WILL know but it might not be in our lifetime. this secret will come out with death bed honesty. those involved have a heavy load.

  22. Petrocelli says:

    The Tillmans need us to stand up with them and demand an investigation. Every Soldier and their families deserve our support and that includes my nephew who is over there on Stop Loss.

    If they are willing to lay down their lives for our freedoms, we owe them this much.

    Thanks Marcy, for shining a light on this.

  23. Stephen says:

    ” Is it coincidence that after more than three years it has been discovered that there were never – before – mentioned US snipers in a second group? “

  24. bmaz says:

    Earlier this morning, Marcy posted this serious and wonderful piece on Pat Tillman, and the Super Bowl he is missing. Unfortunately, it has turned somewhat, and predictably, into a knock down drag out on conspiracy theories and acts, I would like to return for a moment to the subject of her post, namely who Pat was, and what he did, which is why the answers his family seeks are so important in the first place.

    First off, Pat gave up a large contract with the Cardinals to join the Army after 9/11. That is well known and part of the lore. What you should also know is that the contract offer could have been much bigger than that, but Pat was willing to take less money than he was worth on the open market to stay with the Cardinals because he believed in their redemption and he loved the community of Tempe and Phoenix. He had grown roots here from his four years at Arizona State and was determined to see the Cardinals through the transformation into a winning team. The contract he walked away from with the Cardinals was for about 3.6 million; he had turned down previously a 9 million dollar multi-year contract with the St. Louis Rams, right in the middle of their Super Bowl years, in order to stay with and build the Cardinals in what he considered to be his home at the time. That is the kind of man that Pat was.

    Pat didn’t give a damn about money and the trappings of celebrity. Years after already being a high paid and wealthy NFL star, you would still find Pat traversing the streets of Tempe on his bicycle, looking like a hippy with his long hair and book bag. This was literally how he would go to work every day at the Cardinals training center in South Tempe. Pat was an avid reader. Of everything. He loved politics and world events, and there was nothing he loved more than spirited discussion of the same, whether it was current events, WW II, or ancient European battles. And he could discuss all intelligently, deeply and passionately. Pat knew business and marketing as well, that was his major at ASU and he was brilliant at how he understood, and could see through, the forces at work in our economy.

    Pat was an iconoclast. He was his own man and would back down from nothing, and no one, if he thought he was right. This is what made him an odd fit for the military. He had every ounce of the heroism, valor, trust and honesty that the military has always purported to stand for, and then some. But he was not a yes man and was trained, from my estimation since birth, to question authority, especially if it was malignant and wrong. I believe this may have caused a rougher ride for him in the military than most would have expected, or would suspect even now, from the outside, and almost certainly played a huge role in how his death was handled, irrespective of how his death occurred.

    LabDancer spoke the word in comments:

    Pat’s death was caused by our side; our side covered that up, employing things our side knew were untrue; our side used that same cover to distort, turn and pervert the story of his death into a symbol aimed at promoting a falsehood: that Pat died pursuing a myth our side knew for a fact he’d personally determined beforehand to be a lie – meaning that, in end, our side rendered an obscenity from Pat’s death. That’s more than enough to earn him the status emptywheel submits as his due.

    That is right on the money. It is also what motivated me to write this, the use of Pat is, at this point, not just by the Bush Administration for their glory, but by the contra for theirs as well. From being a player who loved football as a game, Pat has become the football in the game. That is wrong, very very wrong.

    As you may surmise here, or as some may recall from discussions at The Next Hurrah long ago, I had the privilege of knowing Pat Tillman a little. I did not know him well, but well enough to get the measure of the man he was. I used to live a little less than a mile from the Cardinals headquarters and practice facility in South Tempe. On days when I worked at home, I used to ride my bicycle to a little deli, Capistrano’s, between my house and the Card’s facility. It was there that I met Pat, who also stopped in on his bicycle, and had a few long lunch conversations with him. He was everything he has been made out to be and more. He was twenty years younger than I, but you would never know it. He was such a deep and diverse thinker that he was almost the antithesis to the world as we currently know it.

    The nation, and the world, lost a lot with Pat Tillman’s death. When we talk about the type of people we need to foster and grow to lead into the future, he was a prime example. That, to me, is why his loss stings, and lingers, so deeply. Pat’s family, the nation, and the world deserve the answers to what happened, it is, and remains, important. But, above and beyond all else, what people should be taking away is not the dickering over the mechanism and coverup of his death, although that is important; but more importantly, the facts and honor of his life, beliefs and hopes. Honor and fight what he stood for, and what he wanted the country to stand for, that is what he would want.

    And, as you watch the Super Bowl tomorrow, remember Pat and his beliefs; for he, of all, should have been around to see the day.

  25. lllphd says:

    thanks to both of you for this, but especially bmaz – for the story, your insights, and a peek at this side of you.

    quite becoming. appreciate it.

  26. TSop says:

    Roger Goodell the good Commissioner of the NFL (and spouse of Faux News’ Jane Skinner)could truly honor Mr. Tillman’s memory and service by providing the documents requested by a group of Vets back in August 2007 to help shed some light on the shameless cover up. Instead he and the NFL have decided at the embarrassingly last minute to run a ‘video tribute’. The NFL and the Pentagon both desired to use Pat Tillman’s death to propagandize the GWOT. Goodell, while not Commissioner at the time – was clearly second in command and likely had drawn up plans to ‘market’ Tillman for recruiting purposes.

  27. JohnLopresti says:

    Both alHaramain and Reynolds cases hinge on the states secrets aspect of how records are withheld. Maybe the Tillman matter is one of the instances the new sunlight executive order last week will help see light of day. When collateral factors are involved, the publication occurs as it did with Felt, whose memorial service last month both Bernstein and Woodward attended, effectively years after he could have engaged in much helpful conversation about his part of the information that halted the Nixon transgressions.

  28. rkilowatt says:

    eCAHNomics–…because of the need to cover it up.

    Not so. One .50cal to the head from a designated sniper is Standard Operating Procedure. No one else will know anything. Snipers are available who take orders only from the highest levels.

    I had read that the wound looked like .50cal. That is sniper quality. Years ago I had dibs on one who laid-low in a Coast Guard outfit, awaiting an occassional call to duty for you-can-guess-what. He would disappear and shortly return to his hiding-out/cover post.

    As for “risk of exposure”, recall Cheney’s “So?”. Any risk is mitigated in-advance. Layers of cover and mis-direction available.

    Of course this is all fiction.

  29. robota says:

    Thanks, Marcy

    Well done post on a really important issue.

    To the Tillman Family – you have our support and prayers.

    • katymine says:

      I almost turned it off…… after all there is a House marathon that I can watch….

      Pat Tillman is sadly missed in Arizona, my two oldest kids went to college with Pat at ASU and one knew his wife. It was a turning point in the support for the Iraq war here in AZ

  30. RevBev says:

    OT: The CBS competition is not 60 Minutes but a reprise of the Obama campaign. At least, it has a happy ending.

  31. crazyacres says:

    Poor Pat Tillman…everyone is using his service to suit their own agenda and view….all he wanted was to service his country.

    Stop the war…give peace a chance.

  32. bobschacht says:

    AZ & CA aren’t getting the superbowl live? But here in HI we get it live? What the heck kinda deal is that? OK. I’ll cease and desist.

    BTW, as a 17-year resident of AZ I got mixed feelings about them Cardz.

    Bob in HI

  33. JTMinIA says:

    I’m sorry, but one doesn’t stop live-blogging because some people are waiting for their TV. That’s as silly as posting corrections to typos.

    • bobschacht says:

      Cardz with a tip and interception!

      Stats are lopsided for Pitts, but on the scoreboard, the diff is only 3 points. The Cardinals’ defense is starting to assert itself.

      Bob in HI

  34. bluebutterfly says:

    ” The doctors _ whose names were blacked out _ said that the bullet holes were so close together that it appeared the Army Ranger was cut down by an M-16 fired from a mere 10 yards or so away. “

    “In his last words moments before he was killed, Tillman snapped at a panicky comrade under fire to shut up and stop “sniveling.”

    “_ Army attorneys sent each other congratulatory e-mails for keeping criminal investigators at bay as the Army conducted an internal friendly-fire investigation that resulted in administrative, or non-criminal, punishments. “

    ” in December 2006, Kensinger repeatedly contradicted other officers’ testimony, and sometimes his own. He said on some 70 occasions that he did not recall something. “

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..25_pf.html

  35. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Mr. Tillman was certainly killed by his own team under suspicious circumstances and his death was the object of a cover-up affirmed or orchestrated by the White House and the top echelons of the DoD. Whether it was a murder is disputed. His death was abused and its circumstances remain hidden behind acts of official obstruction.

    It is one of many acts that in the interest of justice Mr. Obama should open to sunlight and public scrutiny. In some cases, Mr. Obama can act directly to overturn injustice, such as the case of Gov. Siegelman. As with the Dreyfus case in turn of the century France a hundred years ago, permitting the “justice” system to run its normal course often perpetuates the injustice and perverts it into that thing called Texas justice.

    • CTuttle says:

      Earl, speaking from experience… The 75th Ranger Regt. has little tolerance for political (or other dissent) amongst their ranks…! Three shots to one’s forehead speaks volumes… Typically, AK-47 rounds would be utilized, but, they didn’t even use that mere courtesy…!

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        We’ve had this fragmented discussion before. Three closely-spaced rounds to the forehead, a double tap and the coup de grace, is brutal and impossible to do by accident. I guess they were counting grenades that day.

        Obama could dispense with the word play and innuendo by telling his DOJ and DoD to get to the bottom of it and release the story to the family. Bush Cheney have left this as only one among the many similar events and cover-ups to uncover.

        • bobschacht says:

          Three closely-spaced rounds to the forehead, a double tap and the coup de grace, is brutal and impossible to do by accident.

          Not only that, but unseemly haste in getting rid of the collateral evidence. This has to have been a hit job. Someone should get courtmartialled for it.

          Bob in HI

  36. bluebutterfly says:

    ” One of the statements used to support Pat Tillman’s Silver Star was written by O’Neal, who said Tuesday that his original statement was changed without his consent, to include statements about enemy fire. O’Neal said he knew from the beginning that Tillman was killed by his fellow soldiers. “

    ” Kevin Tillman added he doesn’t know why his brother’s uniform was cut off his body and burned. “

    “He got there [to the field hospital] 90 minutes after he was shot. Pat was gone,” he said. “They tampered with his body. It doesn’t make sense.”

    http://www.armytimes.com/news/…..ch_070424/

  37. KayInMaine says:

    I wonder if President Obama jumped up and yelled when Harrison got the ball and started running? LOL Hey, I’m bored and these are the things I think about…

  38. Petrocelli says:

    Is there a performer that has as much fun as Bruce ? His voice is so incredible after all these years !

    • demi says:

      And, that ain’t all that’s still incredible about him, baby.
      *g* Couldn’t disappoint ya.
      What a show.
      Gotta party sometimes, yeah?

        • demi says:

          Yes, dear.
          Got to keep our priorities.
          It’s back, and I’ve got to make the burgers, but I’d like to buy you one of whatever you’re drinking…
          and I’ll see you later.
          ((Petro))
          ((Nahan))
          ((Barbara))
          Enjoy your sweet selves.

          • Petrocelli says:

            Being as how the Super Bowl is an American Classic, I’m having Bud. Got some Feta Cheese for those Burgers ?

            • demi says:

              I swear, I used the very last of the feta on the omelet this morning. I did.
              We’re doing cheddar on the burgers and you know, Those Buns.
              You are not drinking Bud.
              Have a Widmer Hefeweitzen. I’m still on my 2nd.
              Cheap date.

  39. bobschacht says:

    Geez. Warner lobs a pass in the endzone to Larry Fitz, who had a defender draped all over him, but Larry jumped and caught it for a TD! Most people would not have considered him “open,” and it seemed to me that Warner didn’t even look to see if he was open or not. He was throwing to a spot, and Larry knew where the spot was.

    Bob in HI

  40. Petrocelli says:

    Marcy & bmaz, this was a great tribute to Pat Tillman, who showed the best that is America and the best that is within each one of us.

    Thank you so much for this tribute !

  41. al75 says:

    Thanks for remembering Tillman. One item, as noted here, often not included in the eulogy: Tillman was killed by THREE BULLETS FROM A US M-16 FIRED AT CLOSE RANGE. THE US ARMY MILITARY EXAMINER CALLED FOR A HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION, BUT WAS IGNORED.

  42. al75 says:

    Joined: 27 Apr 2005
    Posts: 1647

    PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 9:45 pm Post subject: Tillman 3 shots in the forehead close range by M-16 Reply with quote
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..02025.html

    By MARTHA MENDOZA
    The Associated Press
    Thursday, July 26, 2007; 7:59 PM

    SAN FRANCISCO — Army medical examiners were suspicious about the close proximity of the three bullet holes in Pat Tillman’s forehead and tried without success to get authorities to investigate whether the former NFL player’s death amounted to a crime, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

    “The medical evidence did not match up with the, with the scenario as described,” a doctor who examined Tillman’s body after he was killed on the battlefield in Afghanistan in 2004 told investigators.

    The doctors _ whose names were blacked out _ said that the bullet holes were so close together that it appeared the Army Ranger was cut down by an M-16 fired from a mere 10 yards or so away.

    Ultimately, the Pentagon did conduct a criminal investigation, and asked Tillman’s comrades whether he was disliked by his men and whether they had any reason to believe he was deliberately killed. The Pentagon eventually ruled that Tillman’s death at the hands of his comrades was a friendly-fire accident.

    The medical examiners’ suspicions were outlined in 2,300 pages of testimony released to the AP this week by the Defense Department in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

    Among other information contained in the documents:

    _ In his last words moments before he was killed, Tillman snapped at a panicky comrade under fire to shut up and stop “sniveling.”

    _ Army attorneys sent each other congratulatory e-mails for keeping criminal investigators at bay as the Army conducted an internal friendly-fire investigation that resulted in administrative, or non-criminal, punishments.

    _ The three-star general who kept the truth about Tillman’s death from his family and the public told investigators some 70 times that he had a bad memory and couldn’t recall details of his actions.

    _ No evidence at all of enemy fire was found at the scene _ no one was hit by enemy fire, nor was any government equipment struck.

    The Pentagon and the Bush administration have been criticized in recent months for lying about the circumstances of Tillman’s death. The military initially told the public and the Tillman family that he had been killed by enemy fire. Only weeks later did the Pentagon acknowledge he was gunned down by fellow Rangers.

    With questions lingering about how high in the Bush administration the deception reached, Congress is preparing for yet another hearing next week.

    The Pentagon is separately preparing a new round of punishments, including a stinging demotion of retired Lt. Gen. Philip R. Kensinger Jr., 60, according to military officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because the punishments under consideration have not been made public.

    In more than four hours of questioning by the Pentagon inspector general’s office in December 2006, Kensinger repeatedly contradicted other officers’ testimony, and sometimes his own. He said on some 70 occasions that he did not recall something

    At one point, he said: “You’ve got me really scared about my brain right now. I’m really having a problem.”

    Tillman’s mother, Mary Tillman, who has long suggested that her son was deliberately killed by his comrades, said she is still looking for answers and looks forward to the congressional hearings next week.

    “Nothing is going to bring Pat back. It’s about justice for Pat and justice for other soldiers. The nation has been deceived,” she said.

    The documents show that a doctor who autopsied Tillman’s body was suspicious of the three gunshot wounds to the forehead. The doctor said he took the unusual step of calling the Army’s Human Resources Command and was rebuffed. He then asked an official at the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division if the CID would consider opening a criminal case.

    “He said he talked to his higher headquarters and they had said no,” the doctor testified.

    Also according to the documents, investigators pressed officers and soldiers on a question Mrs. Tillman has been asking all along.

    “Have you, at any time since this incident occurred back on April 22, 2004, have you ever received any information even rumor that Cpl. Tillman was killed by anybody within his own unit intentionally?” an investigator asked then-Capt. Richard Scott.

    Scott, and others who were asked, said they were certain the shooting was accidental.

    Investigators also asked soldiers and commanders whether Tillman was disliked, whether anyone was jealous of his celebrity, or if he was considered arrogant. They said Tillman was respected, admired and well-liked.

    The documents also shed new light on Tillman’s last moments.

    It has been widely reported by the AP and others that Spc. Bryan O’Neal, who was at Tillman’s side as he was killed, told investigators that Tillman was waving his arms shouting “Cease fire, friendlies, I am Pat (expletive) Tillman, damn it!” again and again.

    But the latest documents give a different account from a chaplain who debriefed the entire unit days after Tillman was killed.

    The chaplain said that O’Neal told him he was hugging the ground at Tillman’s side, “crying out to God, help us. And Tillman says to him, `Would you shut your (expletive) mouth? God’s not going to help you; you need to do something for yourself, you sniveling …”