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Pentagon: 9 Army officers knew Tillman's death was friendly fire

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by tommyp, Mar 23, 2007.

  1. tommyp

    tommyp Member

    4 generals included.


    CBS News Exclusive: New Finding in Pat Tillman's Death

    WASHINGTON (KCBS) -- CBS News has learned that an investigation by the Pentagon inspector-general into the "friendly fire" death of San Jose's own football-star-turned-soldier, Pat Tillman, will blame nine officers, including four generals, for failing to follow regulations and using poor judgement in a series of missteps that kept the truth of how he died from his family for more than a month.

    From her home in San Jose, Tillman's mother, Mary, told KCBS that the Pentagon has not contacted her, and that the investigation's conclusions were "absolute news to me." She declined further comment. Pat Tillman, a San Jose native, graduated from Leland High School.

    The official version of his death was that the former NFL player had died in a firefight with the enemy and it was only after a national televised memorial service was held that Tillman's wife and parents were told he had been mistakenly shot by one of his own men.

    Until now only the soldiers who were part of Tillman's unit of Army Rangers have been disciplined for the events which resulted in his death. It will be up to the Army to decide what if any disciplinary action will be taken against the nine officers.

    In May of 2002, Tillman turned down a $3.6-million contract with the NFL Arizona Cardinals to enlist in the Army. He fought in Iraq, then Afghanistan, where he died in April of 2004.
  2. Bubbler

    Bubbler Active Member

    CBS reported it, so it can't be true. [/conservativeyokels]
  3. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Generals using poor judgment?

    I'm shocked!
  4. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    And it gets better --

    AP: Gen. tried to warn Bush on Tillman

    By SCOTT LINDLAW, Associated Press Writer

    SAN JOSE, Calif. - 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, according to a memo obtained by The Associated Press.

    It was not until a month afterward that the Pentagon told the public and grieving family members the truth — that Tillman was mistakenly killed in Afghanistan by his comrades.

    The memo reinforces suspicions that the Pentagon was more concerned with sparing officials from embarrassment than with leveling with Tillman's family.

    In a memo sent to a four-star general a week after Tillman's April 22, 2004, death, then-Maj. Gen. Stanley McChrystal warned that it was "highly possible" the Army Ranger was killed by friendly fire. McChrystal made it clear his warning should be conveyed to the president.

    "I felt that it was essential that you received this information as soon as we detected it in order to preclude any unknowing statements by our country's leaders which might cause public embarrassment if the circumstances of Cpl. Tillman's death become public," McChrystal wrote on April 29, 2004, to Gen. John Abizaid, head of Central Command.

    White House spokesman Blain Rethmeier said Friday that a review of records turned up no indication that the president had received McChrystal's warning. Bush made no reference to the way Tillman died in a speech delivered two days after the memo was written. But Rethmeier emphasized that the president often pays tribute to fallen soldiers without mentioning the exact circumstances of their deaths.

    The family was not told until May 29, 2004, what really happened. In the intervening weeks, the military continued to say Tillman died under enemy fire, and even awarded him the Silver Star, which is given for heroic battlefield action.

    The Tillman family has charged that the military and the Bush administration deliberately deceived his relatives and the nation to avoid turning public opinion against the war.

    Tillman's mother, Mary, had no immediate comment Friday on the newly disclosed memo.

    The memo was provided to the AP by a government official who requested anonymity because the document was not released as part of the Pentagon's official report into the way the Army brass withheld the truth. McChrystal was the highest-ranking officer accused of wrongdoing in the report, issued earlier this week.
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