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The Carpetbagger Report » ‘Deliberate and careful misrepresentations’

April 24, 2007

There’s been a lot of news lately about the gag that was put on the military, regarding the friendly fire murder of Pat Tillman. The Carpetbagger Report highlights the latest news.

Pat Tillman’s death in Afghanistan has gone from being tragic to suspicious to scandalous. As you probably know, Tillman, a former NFL star who retired from football to become an Army Ranger, was killed in Afghanistan in 2004 and his death was quickly seized upon for public relations purposes. In fact, the Army said Tillman was killed by enemy gunfire when he led his team to help another group of ambushed soldiers.

That wasn’t true — Tillman died as a result of friendly fire. The Pentagon knew better, but was reluctant to say so. A few weeks ago, we learned, “Just seven days after Pat Tillman’s death, a top general warned there were strong indications that it was friendly fire and President Bush might embarrass himself if he said the NFL star-turned-soldier died in an ambush… The memo reinforces suspicions that the Pentagon was more concerned with sparing officials from embarrassment than with leveling with Tillman’s family.”

What’s more, it took five weeks for Tillman’s family to learn about the incident, in part because, “within hours of Pat Tillman’s death, the Army went into information-lockdown mode, cutting off phone and Internet connections at a base in Afghanistan, posting guards on a wounded platoon mate, and ordering a sergeant to burn Tillman’s uniform.”

Steve points out that this is another worthwhile pursuit of Henry Waxman. The Tillman family and Jessica Lynch testified in front of Representative Waxman’s committee today.

The Rest of the Story

Steve concludes with the best line [emphasis mine]:
It’s not enough, apparently, to honor and celebrate the thousands of Americans who volunteer to serve and do their duty; the Bush administration seems to believe the truth needs to be “dramatized.” Maybe it’s to encourage recruiting, maybe it’s to rally support for mishandled military campaigns. Either way, it’s dishonest and today’s hearing is yet another embarrassment for an administration that has a problem with the truth.

“The government violated its most basic responsibility,” said Waxman.

If I only had a nickel for every time I’ve heard that phrase over the last six years….


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