Actually,WE killed Pat Tillman
and then tried to hide it
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The last minutes of Pat Tillman's life were a horror of misdirected machine-gun fire and signals to firing colleagues that were
misunderstood as hostile acts, according to an account published Sunday of the death of the NFL player-turned-soldier.
It took the Army a month to change the record to show that Tillman, the Arizona Cardinals defensive back who gave up a $3.6 million contract to become
an Army Ranger, was killed last April not by Afghan guerrillas but by his Ranger colleagues.
Even then, the statement by Lt. Gen. Philip R. Kensinger Jr., head of the Army's Special Operations Command, gave few specifics of the corporal's
death and implied that he was trying to suppress enemy fire when he "probably died as a result of friendly fire."
The Washington Post on Sunday, in the first article of a two-part series, published what it described as the first full telling of how and why Tillman
died. The newspaper said it had access to "dozens of witness statements, e-mails, investigation findings, logbooks, maps and photographs."
A series of mishaps and missteps began the chain of events that resulted in Tillman's death in eastern Afghanistan, the newspaper said. A Humvee
broke down, which led to the splitting up of his platoon.
The segment of the platoon with Tillman, Serial One, passed through a canyon and was near its north rim. The other segment, Serial Two, changed its
plans because of poor roads and followed the same route into the canyon. It came under fire from Afghan Taliban fighters.
Men in Serial One heard an explosion that preceded the attack, and Tillman and two other fire team leaders were ordered to head toward the attackers,
the Post said. The canyon's walls prevented them from radioing their positions to their colleagues, just as Serial Two had not radioed its change in