home

Pat Tillman's Death: A Look Back in Time

The Inspector General of the Pentagon has asked the army to open a criminal investigation into Pat Tillman's death in Afghanistan.

The request, which came out of the inspector general's review of four previous investigations of the April 22, 2004, shooting, will likely lead investigators from the Army Criminal Investigation Command to return to Afghanistan and conduct a monthslong investigation into whether Tillman's death may have been a homicide, the result of criminal negligence or an accident, said an Army official who asked to remain anonymous.

Tillman's mother says:

"The Army used him. They knew right away he was killed by fratricide and used him for their own purposes to promote the war, to get sympathy for the war, for five weeks."

Why would the military do that? All one has to do is go back in time to April, 2004 when Tillman was killed and look at the headlines coming out of Iraq. Here are a few:

It doesn't take a giant leap of faith to believe that the military decided to misrepresent the circumstances of Tillman's death in a desire to avoid even more bad press about the war in Iraq. It certainly wasn't going well.

Which makes me wonder: It's still not going well. Iraq is on the brink of, or in the midst of, civil war. So many of us believe that these words, written by Princeton Theologian George Hunsinger at that time, still ring true:

Adequate words are lacking to describe the mendacity of the current administration and the folly of its "preemptive" war. Judged by just-war standards, it has waged war on Iraq without just cause, without legitimate authority, without right intention, without due regard for civilians, and without reasonable chance of success. It is hubris that will come to grief, one that threatens to engulf the entire world.

Have we just decided to accept the war? Where did the dissent go? We invaded another country under false pretenses, there were no weapons of mass destruction, Iraq did not play a role in 9/11 and almost two years after the bad press at the time of Pat Tillman's death, we're still there. Something is very wrong with this picture.

< Psych Test for the Day | Is Rudy Running in '08? >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft


  • Re: Pat Tillman's Death: A Look Back in Time (none / 0) (#1)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Mar 04, 2006 at 11:22:19 PM EST
    Again, if there was a crime, it was in the lies and coverup of the circumstances of Tillman's death. What will be found in this investigation? There were a bunch of scared soldiers who shot at anything. What they shot was already a hero. Why would the military want to change that?

    Re: Pat Tillman's Death: A Look Back in Time (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Mar 05, 2006 at 05:12:33 AM EST
    Two thoughts upon reading this very sad Tillman story: (1) We need to redouble our efforts to compel the United States to withdraw all American service members from the neocon's illegal and pointless debacle in Iraq. It is only going to get worse, it is not going to get any better (regardless of what Haliburton and Ann Coulter would like us to believe). To do less will only guarantee that more good people, Americans, Iraqis and others, will die useless, painful, lonely deaths. (2) That Silver Star awarded to Patrick Tillman, regardless of how great his sacrifice in leaving the NFL and joining the Army, was not earned and it is going to have to be rescinded. Terry Kindlon

    Re: Pat Tillman's Death: A Look Back in Time (none / 0) (#4)
    by DonS on Sun Mar 05, 2006 at 06:16:08 AM EST
    Have we just decided to accept the war? Where did the dissent go? Excellent questions. I have no prescient answers, but I think we can look to the climate of fear promoted by the Bush administration as a way of discouraging dissent, and continuing to paint dissenters as unpatiotic while gratuitously noting of course our "right" to dissent. And to be fair, for many Americans, the climate of fear, combined with confusion over what are the real threats and needs to deal with terrorism, takes its toll. Clearly, too, the lack of independent press scrutiny of the government's propagandistic approach deflates energy for opposition. But if we remain specific to dissent over an illegal war of choice, and the myriad ways in which the American people have been lied to and manipulated into acquiescing, it remains a mystery to me as to why we are not in the streets. Some of us did it in the run up to the war and some thereafter, but little now. Quite obviously the political system remains a damaged and blunt instrument when it comes to dissent, at least in the country. So, is disssent and demonstrating "so '60's", that we have moved on to an even more callous and materialistic America which just doesn't have time to, like you know, pay attention to morality in civic affairs. Or have we let the right so define the proper field of morality that we have become impotent? Maybe its only us "60's warriors who even sense there is something missing?

    Re: Pat Tillman's Death: A Look Back in Time (none / 0) (#5)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Mar 05, 2006 at 06:20:42 AM EST
    Ann Bartow--Sorry, I guess I wasn't clear. You are quite correct that Mr. Tillman died in Afghanistan. His death there has been discussed in the media frequently since his shooting on April 22, 2004. As almost all of those stories have stated, Tillman was a very thoughtful and brave patriot who turned away from fame and fortune to join the Army so he could fight in Afghanistan. As was the case with so many other good soldiers, his patriotism was cynically exploited by the neocons in the Bush Administration when they misused him, and thousands of other soldiers and Marines, in their illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq. Tillman is often quoted concerning his opinion that the invasion of Iraq was as idiotic as it was illegal. It was this connection that led to the comment we should withdraw from IRAQ. On the other hand there are many responsible people who believe that we should continue our efforts in Afghanistan, and the comment did not relate to whether or not the United States should still have a presence in that conflict.

    Re: Pat Tillman's Death: A Look Back in Time (none / 0) (#6)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Mar 05, 2006 at 07:11:29 AM EST
    This really is a metaphor for the entire shrub administration and their handling of the War. Fall asleep at the switch, let disaster strike, take advantage of a natural inclination to rally 'round the flag, exploit the situation, find a Pat Tillman to put a face on your efforts, exploit the hell out of him, lie about the circumstances of his death, cover up the circumstances of his death, exploit his death, frustrate the efforts of his family to bring to light the circumstances of his death, ad infinitum. This administration would classify the local weather report if they had their way. As Jon Stewart said recently on TDS, if Bill Clinton had just stamped "classified" on his little friend it would've saved us all a whole lot of trouble. We also wouldn't have "so-called" religious lunatics injecting themselves into family medical decisions or Cat-carvin, medicare-defraudin', videotape-misdiagnosin' doktor mengeles-in training types doublin' as majority leaders of the senate. We'd also probably have a more complete lower Manhattan Skyline and just another Mardi Gras, but I guess competence and integrity are too trying for some folks.

    Re: Pat Tillman's Death: A Look Back in Time (none / 0) (#7)
    by john horse on Sun Mar 05, 2006 at 07:40:10 AM EST
    The military has investigated the Pat Tillman incident four times, but this time they promise it will be different. This time they will investigate to find out the truth.

    Re: Pat Tillman's Death: A Look Back in Time (none / 0) (#8)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Mar 05, 2006 at 07:48:57 AM EST
    I am sure it will be helpful to find out how Mr. Tillman died so that some low ranking soldier can be the scapegoat -- that being the prevailing pattern in these kinds of things since Rumsfeld has been in charge. What I would be more curious to know is (1) how the initial story came out in the first place, and (2) why the other investigations found nothing of note. But this investigation is not directed to finding answers to those questions, is it? And even if it was, wouldn't careers be ruined for those who came close to the answers? No, this too will dissapear.

    Re: Pat Tillman's Death: A Look Back in Time (none / 0) (#9)
    by Darryl Pearce on Sun Mar 05, 2006 at 08:44:17 AM EST
    Have we just decided to accept the war? Where did the dissent go?
    We're all in the abused family now. Those in charge: abuse is the only expression of power they know.

    Re: Pat Tillman's Death: A Look Back in Time (none / 0) (#10)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Mar 05, 2006 at 09:41:16 AM EST
    Ann, thanks very much for catching that. I fixed it.

    Re: Pat Tillman's Death: A Look Back in Time (none / 0) (#3)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Mar 05, 2006 at 09:43:57 AM EST
    Pat Tillman died in *Afghanistan*

    Re: Pat Tillman's Death: A Look Back in Time (none / 0) (#11)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Mar 05, 2006 at 10:06:43 AM EST
    Negligent homicide, my foot. Outright murder. The military didn't want him to go home because he knew too much about Afghanistan. And no mention in any of the recent news articles about his missing diary. I can't find the article on that right now - it's been burried in the memory hole - if anyone has sites referencing it, please post the link. I know I read it on prisonplanet.com, but can't find it there now.

    Re: Pat Tillman's Death: A Look Back in Time (none / 0) (#12)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Mar 05, 2006 at 10:20:57 AM EST
    I am so sick and tired of this administration's secrets getting in the way of my right to know. It happens at every turn. And everything they say is a lie. Everything. It's very disturbing.

    Re: Pat Tillman's Death: A Look Back in Time (none / 0) (#13)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Mar 05, 2006 at 11:13:06 AM EST
    Now that there is a new investigation into Pat Tillman's death, it's time to learn what he thought of the Iraq War: 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 Baer, who served with Tillman for more than a year in Iraq and Afghanistan, told one anecdote that took place during the March 2003 invasion as the Rangers moved up through southern Iraq. "I can see it like a movie screen," Baer said. "We were outside of (a city in southern Iraq) watching as bombs were dropping on the town. We were at an old air base, me, Kevin and Pat, we weren't in the fight right then. We were talking. And Pat said, 'You know, this war is so f-- illegal.' And we all said, 'Yeah.' That's who he was. He totally was against Bush." UPDATE: A little more from the same article: Mary Tillman said a friend of Pat's even arranged a private meeting with Chomsky, the antiwar author, to take place after his return from Afghanistan -- a meeting prevented by his death. She said that although he supported the Afghan war, believing it justified by the Sept. 11 attacks, "Pat was very critical of the whole Iraq war." Another soldier in the platoon, who asked not to be identified, said Pat urged him to vote for Bush's Democratic opponent in the 2004 election, Sen. John Kerry. Senior Chief Petty Officer Stephen White -- a Navy SEAL who served with Pat and Kevin for four months in Iraq and was the only military member to speak at Tillman's memorial -- said Pat "wasn't very fired up about being in Iraq" and instead wanted to go fight al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

    Re: Pat Tillman's Death: A Look Back in Time (none / 0) (#14)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Mar 05, 2006 at 01:23:53 PM EST
    Where is the dissent? Sadly, all of us dissenters have learned that the Bush Administration has no interest in dissent. It does not matter to them who -- or how many -- dissent. In Mill Valley, CA, for one small example, a group of grandparents stand weekly at a street corner with signs protesting Bush's Iraq war. Question is: What (aside from a new and zealous Congress) will make dissent visible to the current adminstration. Beyond that, what would make them back down off of their impossible and costly war in Iraq that benefits none but Haliburton.

    Re: Pat Tillman's Death: A Look Back in Time (none / 0) (#15)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sun Mar 05, 2006 at 01:51:08 PM EST
    It seems to me the only way this reopening could occur, given the Pentagon's great distaste for it, is that somebody has come forward and confessed or accused someone of Tillman's murder.

    Re: Pat Tillman's Death: A Look Back in Time (none / 0) (#16)
    by Jlvngstn on Mon Mar 06, 2006 at 05:53:31 AM EST
    He didn't think the war was "illegal" when he enlisted, did he? He was killed, not murdered, and all the more reason to hate war. I find it hard to believe that a few soldiers were convinced by some people very high up who were afraid of him speaking to Chomsky (who I love) to execute him. The administration made this story sound great and the MEDIA BOUGHT IT. Write your letters to the media for their complicity in this cover up along with the many others this administration has pushed right into the paper. Every administration dem and repubs will spin as FAR as the MEDIA will let them.