Saturday, July 28, 2007

Dishonoring Pat Tillman

Leave it to someone in the Kooky Kult of Koslam to take something legitimate and reduce it to Kosling Conspiracy Theory No.___, another example of what passes for civility within the Web's premier cesspool of progressive group-think.

We all remember Pat Tillman. He had turned down a multi-million dollar offer to play for the St. Louis Rams, choosing instead to accept a $500,000 offer to stay in Arizona and play for the Cardinals.

He became an American hero when he walked away from that contract to answer a higher calling: to serve his country, his response to 9/11.

In announcing Pat's death in 2004, the world was told that he died during an ambush in Afghanistan. I was one of the millions who watched as Pat's body was committed to the grave, in full belief that he had given the ultimate sacrifice on the battlefield in combat with an evil, maniacal enemy.

At, Radley Balko reported on November 2, 2005:
We now know that Tillman died in friendly fire, shot accidentally by members of his own platoon. Soldiers interviewed in subsequent investigations have since testified that it was apparent to everyone involved that Tillman died from friendly fire the moment he was taken off the battlefield. A series of serious errors by Army commanders and Tillman’s fellow soldiers — none of them by Tillman himself — led to his unnecessary death. These events were tragic, but they certainly don’t reflect poorly on Tillman, his bravery, or his memory.

It’s also now clear that U.S. Army brass knew early on how Tillman died, but allowed alternative histories to permeate the media and sink in with Tillman’s friends and family for weeks. They even hid the truth from Tillman’s brother, who was in the same platoon, but didn’t witness Tillman’s death. He was immediately flown back to the U.S. with Tillman’s body.

Tillman’s public memorial service, held on May 3, 2004, took place a day after Army Secretary Les Brownlee was officially told of Tillman’s fratricide. There, Tillman was posthumously awarded a Silver Star in which the Army described battlefield events that clearly never happened. It wasn’t until May 28 that the Army told the Tillmans the real circumstances surrounding Pat’s death.

The [Washington] Post reports that investigations documents show this decision was not based on a sudden desire to release the truth, but because many Army Rangers would be returning over Memorial Day, and they could no longer hold fast to the Army’s version of the story.

A subsequent investigation into the cover-up of Tillman’s death found “gross negligence” among commanders of and soldiers in Tillman’s platoon, and called for stern punishments. But here it gets odder: The officer who issued that report was quickly replaced by a higher-ranking officer.

The [San Francisco] Chronicle has since discovered that since the original report was issued, soldiers and commanders were allowed to go back and change their testimony. The subsequent report is more reluctant to place blame, and calls for less severe punishment. More disturbing, the commanding officer who gave an ill-considered order to break up Tillman’s platoon — which the original report determined to be a key mistake leading to his death — was not only given an opportunity to revise his testimony to the first investigator, he was given immunity, and was allowed to disburse punishment to those below him.

One of those punished, Tillman’s platoon leader, had correctly protested the commanding officer’s order. Tillman’s platoon leader, who took shrapnel to the face during the incident, was subsequently dismissed from the Rangers.


It would have been tough for the military to concede its own ineptitude caused the death of the war on terror’s poster soldier in any setting. But just days after Tillman’s death, the Abu Ghraib scandal broke. The military was in desperate need of some good news. Recycling Tillman’s selfless bravery put torture stories on the backburner for at least a news cycle or two.

What’s tragic is that the military’s duplicity in all of this has buried the better story — what a remarkable man Tillman was. Tillman, we’ve since learned from media interviews with friends, family, and fellow soldiers, was a thinker. He defied easy classification. He was a poet, kept a journal (which vanished after his death), and subscribed to the Economist. He admired Winston Churchill, but was also interested in anti-war academic Noam Chomsky. He read Emerson and Thoreau. He wasn’t religious, but had read the Bible, the Koran, and the book of Mormon. He brought along a portable library of classic novels for his platoon pals to read.
Citing as a primary source a website that's home to nearly every conspiracy theory you've ever heard -- and many you haven't -- Kestrel9000, an asshat of the Koslamistan kind, proudly announces
We have confirmed that Tillman had arranged to meet with a leading anti-war intellectual, Noam Chomsky, upon his return stateside. One can imagine the panic in the Office of the Secretary of Defense at the vision of the much trumpeted poster-boy hero of the War on Terror returning home and speaking out against the evil charade of the War.
Confirmed what? As shown above, FoxNews ran with that information in 2005.

And other aspects of Kosling Conspiracy Theory No.___ are debunked as well. The 2005 FoxNews report concluded with
Perhaps most interestingly, Tillman opposed the war in Iraq. He’d told platoon mates he thought the war was “illegal,” and a distraction from the war on Al Qaeda, but fought in Iraq anyway, owing to a sense of duty.

We lost a complicated, interesting, fascinating guy 18 months ago, a guy who exhibited the kind of critical thinking that seems to be in short supply among the men who commanded him. They, and we, owe Tillman a lot. Truth and accountability would be a good start.
It would make for an excellent start.

Truth and accountability, the only things the Tillman family has asked for since it was disclosed that Pat died as a result of "friendly fire". Their many requests have been answered with nothing but stonewalling and a few sacrificial lambs.

Kosling Conspiracy Theory No.___ suggests that Pat Tillman was executed on the orders of either Dick Cheney or Donald Rumsfeld; perhaps both.

I'll believe that when the Magic Kingdom welcomes Jews as tourists and allows them to tour Mecca and Medina.

There is a conspiracy in play, however. A conscious decision was made to withhold from the Tillman family the confirmation that Pat died in a "friendly fire" incident. How high up the chain of command this initially went -- and who chose to perpetuate it -- needs to be determined and publicly disclosed. There must also be revealed at what level the decision was made to erect barriers preventing the Tillman family from ascertaining what happened. And we must be told why the stonewalling continues.

I was hopeful that President Bush would address this matter during his weekly radio address today. He didn't. He talked only of the importance of revising FISA.

Mr. President, we get it, you're preaching to the freakin' choir.

Don't be surprised if some day a staff member reports that Moonbat Nation has a new chant that's mirrored on their signs:

Tillman Died And George Lied

What credibility you have remaining will further erode each day you fail or refuse to address this despicable and shameful matter.

After all, if a government is willing to lie about how a soldier died, how much trust should the people continue to invest in that same government?

Conscious decisions have been made to continue denying the one thing the family of Pat Tillman -- and many Americans -- asks for.


Also at LGF -- Ft. Hard Knox

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