"Cease fire, friendlies, I am Pat [explitive!] Tillman,
were the last words repeatedly shouted by the recruitment poster child of the expanding global war on terror. Then three bullets to
the forehead, just one week before the public outing of the Abu Ghraib scandal, silenced him permanently. New revelations as to what he was about to
say regarding Bush's War on Iraq however are nothing less than shocking.
FAMILY DEMANDS THE TRUTH
New inquiry may expose events that led to Pat Tillman’s death
Robert Collier, Chronicle Staff Writer
Sunday, September 25, 2005
The battle between a grieving family and the U.S. military justice system is on display in thousands of pages of documents strewn across Mary
Tillman’s dining room table in suburban San Jose.
As she pores through testimony from three previous Army investigations into the killing of her son, former football star Pat Tillman, by his fellow
Army Rangers last year in Afghanistan, she hopes that a new inquiry launched in August by the Pentagon’s inspector general finally will answer the
Were witnesses allowed to change their testimony on key details, as alleged by one investigator? Why did internal documents on the case, such as the
initial casualty report, include false information? When did top Pentagon officials know that Tillman’s death was caused by friendly fire, and why
did they delay for five weeks before informing his family?
“There have been so many discrepancies so far that it’s hard to know what to believe,” Mary Tillman said. “There are too many murky
Indeed. And the plot thickens.
"I don't believe it,"
Interviews also show a side of Pat Tillman not widely known — a fiercely independent thinker who enlisted, fought and died in service to his
country yet was critical of President Bush and opposed the war in Iraq, where he served a tour of duty. He was an avid reader whose interests ranged
from history books on World War II and Winston Churchill to works of leftist Noam Chomsky, a favorite author.
seethed conspiracy theorist Ann Coulter, who's career seems to be
regaining focus with her obvious talents for attacking the credibility of grieving
Hannity, Coulter "don't believe" that Tillman liked Noam Chomsky, opposed Iraq war, Supported John Kerry; Tillman's mother disagrees
On the September 27 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, co-host Sean Hannity and right-wing pundit Ann Coulter told co-host Alan Colmes
that they "don't believe" a report that Army Ranger Pat Tillman was a fan of leftist author Noam Chomsky, opposed the Iraq war, and planned to vote
for Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) in the 2004 presidential election. But according to a September 25 San Francisco Chronicle report that Colmes cited,
Tillman's mother said that he had planned to meet privately with Chomsky and that "Pat was very critical of the whole Iraq war." Tillman, a former
pro football star, served in Iraq before being killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan in April 2004.
Responding to Colmes's statement that Tillman "was a Noam Chomsky fan, was going to vote for John Kerry, was against the war in Iraq," Coulter
insisted, "I don't believe it." Hannity concurred, saying, "I don't believe it either."
But she and other's did believe the initial official story from the Pentagon that the football player that selflessly spurned a $3.6 million contract
extension to fight al Qaeda had died heroically in combat with the enemy. President Bush hailed him as “an inspiration on and off the football
field, as with all who made the ultimate sacrifice in the war on terror.” Coulter herself praised Tillman as "an American original — virtuous,
pure and masculine like only an American male can be."
His ultimate sacrifice:
Pat Tillman, according to testimony, climbed a hill with another soldier and an Afghan militiaman, intending to attack the enemy. He offered to
remove his 28-pound body armor so he could move more quickly, but was ordered not to. Meanwhile, the lead vehicle in the platoon’s second group
arrived near Tillman’s position about 65 meters away and mistook the group as enemy. The Afghan stood and fired above the second group at the
suspected enemy on the opposite ridge. Although the driver of the second group’s lead vehicle, according to his testimony, recognized Tillman’s
group as “friendlies” and tried to signal others in his vehicle not to shoot, they directed fire toward the Afghan and began shooting wildly,
without first identifying their target, and also shot at a village on the ridgeline.
The Afghan was killed. According to testimony, Tillman, who along with others on the hill waved his arms and yelled “cease fire,” set off a smoke
grenade to identify his group as fellow soldiers. There was a momentary lull in the firing, and he and the soldier next to him, thinking themselves
safe, relaxed, stood up and started talking. But the shooting resumed. Tillman was hit in the wrist with shrapnel and in his body armor with numerous
The soldier next to him testified: “I could hear the pain in his voice as he called out, ‘Cease fire, friendlies, I am Pat f—ing Tillman,
dammit.” He said this over and over until he stopped,” having been hit by three bullets in the forehead, killing him.
The soldier continued, “I then looked over at my side to see a river of blood coming down from where he was … I saw his head was gone.” Two
other Rangers elsewhere on the mountainside were injured by shrapnel.
Kevin was unaware that his brother had been killed until nearly an hour later when he asked if anyone had seen Pat and a fellow soldier told him.
Tillman’s death came at a sensitive time for the Bush administration — just a week before the Army’s abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib in Iraq
became public and sparked a huge scandal.
And this is my interest. While huge questions do surround the murky details, changing story and five weeks
it took to even inform the family of
the truth, one thing is certain
The Pentagon, at a minimum, knew the Abu Ghraib scandal was days away from exposure and Tillman was executed by friendly fire, but waited five
after Abu Ghraib, after Nick Berg, and after many, many meetings, scandals and posturing in the press, to quietly inform the family of the
Suspicions I have that are less certain include:
Did the Pentagon (or other rogue operatives) have knowledge of their poster boy's dissatisfaction with Bush's policy in Iraq? He was eventually
transferred out to Afghanistan where he intended to go all along. He must have also talked at some point to his "friendlies" about his views on
Bush, the war and even the election against John Kerry, who he not only supported but mirrored in views.
And now the trifecta: The Abu Ghraib sandwich.
I have serious unanswered questions about who actually killed Nick Berg just one week after the Abu Ghraib scandal broke.
As do many
. It can't be denied the first terrorist beheading changed the topic on the
news just as good as changing the channel, taking the focus off the Pentagon in the process and an increasingly dissatisfying War on Iraq.
Where does Tillman fit in just one week before? Especially now that we know he did not fit in
with the rationale, official story or any of the
things being said about him at home as the right wing poster boy for the Iraqi conflict?
[edit on 28-10-2005 by RANT]