5,800. 4/22/2004

Pat Tillman, who left his career in the NFL to become an Army Ranger, was killed in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004. “Less than a month after the army had released a stirring description of the circumstances of Tillman’s death charging up a hill in Afghanistan, Central Command issued a perfunctory new release saying that Tillman had died instead ‘as a probable result of friendly fire while his unit was engaged in combat with enemy forces.’ …The San Francisco Chronicle eventually found that General John Abizaid, the top American officer in Iraq, and others in his command had learned by April 29, 2004, that friendly fire had killed their star recruit. That was the day before the army released its fictitious press release of Tillman’s hillside firefight and four days before a nationally televised memorial service back home enshrined with the fake account of his death. Yet Tillman’s parents, his widow, and his brother (who served in the same platoon), as well as politicians such as [Senator] John McCain [R-AZ], who spoke at the memorial, were kept in the dark for another month. ‘The [Bush] administration clearly was using this case for its own political reasons,’ said Patrick Tillman, Pat Tillman’s father, who learned that crucial evidence in the case, including his son’s uniform and gear, had been destroyed almost immediately. ‘This cover-up started within minutes of Pat’s death, and it started at high levels.’ ”

 – Frank Rich, The Greatest Story Ever Sold, Page 129

Categorised in:

Comments are closed here.