Thursday, October 7, 2010

"Betrayal of an all-American Hero" The Murder of Pat Tillman

A new documentary captures his families struggle to get to the truth, and exposes the criminal behaviour of the military, in keeping the family in the dark and covering up a murder.
Good article here.

The Golden Military Boy-

For the US military, Pat Tillman’s enlistment provided an opportunity of a different kind. Tillman was a celebrated sportsman, a professional footballer playing for the Arizona Cardinals who turned down a three-year, $3.6 million contract so that he could serve his country. No scriptwriter in the Pentagon press bureau could have devised a more persuasive poster boy. Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary, sent Tillman a personal note commending the 'proud and patriotic’ thing that he was doing.
Rumsfeld, after sending Tillman his personal letter of congratulations on June 28 2002, emailed the Secretary of the Army, Tom White, noting that Tillman 'sound [sic] like he is world-class. We might want to keep our eye on him.’

Clearly, the military thought they had a real propaganda booster right in their ranks.
Great for encouraging others to enlist.

Not so Golden.. in the eyes of the military-

Tillman refused to play the role of poster boy. He declined to explain why he had enlisted, turning down all interview requests from the media and asking family members not to comment.

After basic training, Pat and Kevin (his brother) were assigned to the US Army Rangers, an elite combat corps, with the rank of 'specialist’ – between private and corporal – and in March 2003 they were among the first US forces deployed in the invasion of Iraq. Doubts soon began to set in. At 25, Pat was older than most of his platoon, and according to his mother he grew frustrated at the lack of intellectual stimulation. 'It disturbed him that the military didn’t use people to their full potential and that things were done that seemed to make no sense.’ He also began to question the prosecution and legality of the war in Iraq.

Uh, oh, a thinker......

Returning home after his first tour of duty, Tillman told his mother that the war was 'pretty much bullshit’. Among the things they discussed was his concern that he seemed to undergo more psychological evaluations than other soldiers in his platoon. 'I said, “Maybe it’s because they’re curious about you,”

After his first tour of duty he was offered an honourable discharge.

Whether the army was concerned about Tillman’s views or felt he had served its purpose, he was offered an honourable discharge. He refused. 'Pat had signed up to fight for three years, he was going to fight for three years. That was the deal,’ his father says – and in early April 2004 Pat and Kevin were redeployed with their 'Black Sheep’ platoon to Afghanistan.

His death came at a difficult time for the US Military

The death of America’s most famous soldier came at a particularly critical time for the US military. In early April 2004 American forces had suffered a humiliating setback in the abortive attempt to capture the Iraqi city of Fallujah, and the 131 US casualties that month would be the highest in nine months. America was fast growing disillusioned with its 'war on terror’.

On the day that Pat Tillman was killed Donald Rumsfeld was addressing the Newspaper Assoc­iation of America, imploring them not simply to write about 'the attacks and setbacks’ but to 'give context’ to the events in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Donald Rumsfeld dictating to the Newspaper Association of America, don't tell the truth! Don't write about the attacks and setbacks, but give "context" to events in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In other words, sugar coat the wars, sell them to the American public to keep support high and keep people in the dark. Because, the main stream media is always willing to sell themselves to the highest bidder, lie to you, and always dispense government propaganda. But, I digress....

So, the military covered up his murder and via the msm sold the death of a hero. The martyrdom of "christ figure" (Christ being a hero figure, on a losing journey, that was nonetheless an inspiration)

A hero was required to sell the war

What was required, it seemed, was something positive. What was required was a hero. On the evening of April 22 Tillman’s family were informed of his death. 'We were told Pat had been shot in the head getting out of a vehicle,’ his mother remembers. 'That’s all we knew.’ On April 30 – only two days after the first images of the abuse of inmates at Abu Ghraib prison had been shown on American television. The army wanted to give Tillman a full military funeral with honours, but his wife, Marie, refused. Apparently mindful of how the army might continue to use him in the event of his death, Pat had given Marie written instructions that 'I do not want military involvement’ at his funeral.
Interesting, clearly Tillman knew his name and image were exploitable and indeed would be exploited had he died.

Meanwhile in Afghanistan-

In Afghanistan, a series of highly unusual steps had been put in train in the immediate aftermath of Tillman’s death. Other members of the platoon were ordered to say nothing of the incident, and phone and internet connections at the base were shut down.
His brother Kevin, who had not witnessed the incident and knew only that Pat had been killed but not how, was put in 'quarantine’, and within days would be sent home with Pat’s body, accompanied by another soldier who was under strict instructions not to tell Kevin or the family what had happened.

In contravention of army protocol, which stipulates that the uniforms of fallen soldiers be returned to America, Pat’s uniform, helmet and combat vest were destroyed, along with his notebook. (remember this part, the excuse for this destruction will come later)

Within hours, an army captain, Richard Scott, was ordered to prepare a report on the incident. His draft investigation, prepared in a matter of days, was condemnatory. Tillman’s death, Scott concluded, was fratricide – the military term for friendly fire – and the result of an act of 'gross negligence’ by soldiers in Serial 2. He recommended to head­quarters that there should be a further investigation by the army’s Criminal Investigation Command to establish whether there had been 'criminal intent’ in the killing.

This was not the report the military had been looking for-

Instead, another investigation – to be known as a '15-6’ – was ordered at battalion level.
Pat Tillman's mother explains what this "investigation was meant to do.
Mary Tillman is in no doubt about what she thinks Yellen’s statement (you can read that in the linked article) meant: 'We’ve got Abu Ghraib, all this other stuff [the garbage], but this soldier [the steak] who is very high profile has been killed; we can use this to our advantage. . That means we’re going to have to spin it. You’ve got it, you work it. It’s a grotesque way of saying it. And yet that’s what he says.’
The first Mary Tillman learnt of her son having died from friendly fire was on May 28 2004 – five weeks after his death – in a telephone call from a reporter for the Arizona Republic news­paper.
When Mary was first shown the results of the 15-6 investigation in June 2004 she was immediately struck by all the unanswered questions that remained.
She drafted a list of her concerns to Senator John McCain, along with a request for her son’s autopsy and the field hospital report into his death. It was the beginning of a paper trail of some 6,000 pages of military documents, most of them heavily redacted, the names of officers and soldiers blanked out, that she would follow over the next three years, attempting to piece together the truth of what had happened to her son. The more Mary read, the more the anomalies began to stack up

After much digging by Pat Tillman's mother....

In November 2004,a further investigation into Tillman’s death. Conducted by a brigadier general, Gary M Jones, the report – made up of 2,100 pages of transcripts and detailed descriptions of the incident – concluded that the army had known almost immediately that Tillman had died of fratricide.

But the investigation maintained that there had been 'no reluctance’ to report the facts of the incident, and that any failure to immediately notify the family had been born of a desire to avoid giving them 'an inaccurate or incomplete picture’ before a full investigation.

There is that "context" Donald Rumsfeld talked about. No reluctance, despite the lockdown of the base and the isolation of the brother. No reluctance despite the bogus second "investigation" No reluctance despite the destruction of Pat Tillman's uniform and personal notebooks. Nope, no reluctance at all. They just wanted to be sure an inaccurate or incomplete picture was not given before a full investigation. Though there was a full investigation done immediately which pointed to fratricide. You see? "Context".

Getting back to the destroyed uniform-
Putting it in context, of course.

The destruction of Tillman’s uniform, body armour and combat vest may have contributed to perceptions that 'the army was trying to hide that this was fratricide’, but 'nothing could be further from the truth’: the items were permeated with blood and posed 'a biological hazard’, and retaining the physical evidence 'could have had a significant negative impact on the morale of Cpl Tillman’s unit’.

In direct contravention of army protocol! A biological hazard? Wouldn't all uniforms present that same hazard, and yet, the protocol is to return them home....?????

Read the rest at the link above!


  1. Penn These things are not new,sadly. I did three tours in Vietnam also in Special Forces US Army Rangers.
    No one has to tell me about the Bullshit that flies around in the military.
    Of the one thing that you can be sure is that whatever the military says publicly is privately known to be a LIE.

    In Vietnam the illusion that we were fighting communism lasted for about two weeks after that you just pinched your nose and held your ear to the rail listing for that freight train that was gonna run over your ass if yuh didn't tow the official line.

    I'd like to say that I rebelled but that would be being somewhat conservative with the truth. If the truth be known the fact is that myself and the rest of my unit simply did that which we had to do to stay alive from one day to the next. Perhaps Tillman had not learned what NOT to do in the Military to stay alive, and that is to tell the truth.

  2. Why didn't he take the $3m job?
    This is what annoys me more than anything. People that volunteer to go to war should know they are entering the dragon's lair.

    All this patriotic bullshit pisses me off so much.

    (I'm guessing you were enlisted Silv?)

  3. Yes Edo I enlisted, I volunteered, I sold my sole. But the thing is that I played my part very well and after I was wounded in the fall of 1970 and while recovering in the VA I was offered the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in any post of my choosing. Needless to say I turned them down flat. They spent the next six months trying to convince me to stay on, they just couldn't understand that I was sick and tired of the lies, corruption, murder and deception.

    The one thing that has ALWAYS annoyed me about the war in Indo-China is that I have Never heard one person mention the REAL reason that America was involved in the war, not one. Everything that you have heard is just Bullshit.

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  5. Yeah, I remember researching this myself a ways back, Pen . . . but as usual, you have uncovered even more. Nice work.

    Tillman was a true hero, a true man. He stood for principles . . . what incredible bravery. I might look on it as somewhat foolish and naive from a perspective of self-preservation, IMHO but . . . I give him my full marks of respect.

    Thanks for the context, Silverfish.

  6. "I have Never heard one person mention the REAL reason that America was involved in the war, not one."

    Er... yes... and the crazy thing is that there we were vaguely hoping that you might actually tell us. But no such luck it seems. It's not a case of if-I-told-you-I'd-have-to-kill-you is it? Could you give us a hint? What if you did it as charades?

    It's a saying!

    Five words!

    First word!

    Two syllables!

    Fly, bug, bee? Bee! Bee ...because! We were really in Vietnam because...

    Sorry Silv, I couldn't help myself there. But honestly mate, no fair bagging out people for not telling us, and then not telling us. (smiley winky thing!)

  7. Ok done Charades it is then or riddles if you like but you'll have to DIG for them.

    Two words, first letters starting with an oriental drink.
    If you get the first word it may shine some light on the answer and if you get the second it may help you put the solution in the can although you might have to frog jump back in time to test the metal of the conquerers.

  8. Hey Penny,...The abuse of our military has a long and dishonourable history, ongoing shameful exploitation of naive patriots.

    Oh, by the way; Silverfish, I served with a Company of Australian soldiers for a short period that were established along the same lines and for similar roles as the US Rangers, the posting didn’t last long as the unit was disbanded, so I am intrigued by your statements and I have couple of questions:

    “I did three tours in Vietnam also [?] in Special Forces US Army Rangers.”

    What Corp were you prior to completing your Ranger course, Infantry Lurps?

    Is that the Corp you served with for the three previous tours?

    Did you do your Ranger course while with another regiment or Corp other than Lurps?

    Which Ranger Company did you serve with and which major US combat unit was this Company assigned to?

    “I was wounded in the fall of 1970...”

    Having been wounded twice myself, the odds of being shot with a ball round are incredibly low, yet Hollywood shows bullet wounds as though they are the norm, I was wounded by shrapnel both times. Was your wound the result of shrapnel or ball round?

    “I was offered the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in any post of my choosing.”

    Wow, that’s amazing, I failed my Potential Recruit’s Course (PRC) for pre-selection as an Officer Cadet because during the assessment period I broke my ankles on a Night-time qualification jump while acquiring my ‘Assault Trooper, Cavalry’ parachute wings. Were you an Officer at the time you were offered the quite lofty Rank of Lieutenant Colonel? The ‘Subject Courses’ for that Rank are quite substantial and take many months of academy time to complete.

    Were they going to run you through the Academy after they made you up or was your rank to be substantiated after you completed your Academy time?

    The only ‘OR’, ‘GI’ (‘Other Ranks’, ‘General Inlistment’) soldier that I ever knew of that was ‘promoted in the field’ was a VC winner and a Warrant Officer Second Class (WO2) at the time: Due to the wounds he sustained in the action for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross, he completed his service in Squadron HQ in a desk job.

    Were you taken out of field force and put on a desk?



  9. Hey Silv, Edo, slozo, nobody and veritas!
    Nice to read all these comments.

    So where to begin??

    I am sad to say that Tillman did speak truth to power and that cost him his life, and it shouldn't have, In a decent world it wouldn't have.
    If this world was not so convoluted, his truth telling would have been valued and appreciated. His challenging of authority and lies should have made people stand up, pay attention and ask more questions, but it didn't.
    His murder, his silencing says more about the world that we live in then we realize.

    Hey Edo
    Who know why he did not take the money? Honour? Duty?
    All we can do it guess.

    So silverfish, can I fathom a guess and say it was drugs?
    Drugs were the reason for the war in Vietnam?


    Truth telling is always a risky business.

    I wanted to mention yesterday regarding the news coverage of this documentary.

    There is very little coverage of it.

    Coverage by local news outlets, more so then national.

    Even as far as entertainment coverage, it is scarce.

    Yet, it is such an important story.
    Google searched in the news and found just 52 results. 52.

    I also noted with much interest how Donald Rumsfeld stood in front of the press and as much as dictated to them how to "cover" the war, the concept of context, is to give as much spin to it as possible.

    Makes me think of that saying.
    The first casualty of war is always truth.

    Nobody- still a silly goose :)

    And veritas! Good day.

  10. Yeah, yeah, riddles whatever, I couldn't be fagged playing. Really I'm down with PG. Or to put it another way, I was sitting at home when the thought suddenly popped into my head a colonelcy?!? WTF!? and I had to rush down the library to log on and ask How on earth did you manage that mate? And there's PG to answer my question Does no one else think that that's weird?

    Honestly Silv, how does a bloke who joined the army in 67~68 at the age of 17 get offered a colonelcy 3~4 years later? Between officer school, staff college, or even the years required for an NCO to earn a commission, I just can't see how it's possible.

    A colonelcy? The whole thing is so unlikely that we'd really need to replace the word 'unlikely' with something much stronger, you know what I mean?

    And yeah, I do know about men from the ranks rising to a commission (depending on how you look at it, my father was one of them), but that took him 25 years mate. And he was a capable officer who, well, to cut a long story short: did three jungle wars before he got to Vietnam; ran one of Australia's biggest body count battles with Westmoreland shaking his hand; and ran the jungle warfare school for pretty much every platoon leader following - and he took 25 years to make it to colonel.

    I'm shaking my head mate. Really I'm left with only two possible explanations for this. One is obvious and I don't really need to say what it is, and the other would pivot on the question of What exactly did you do in Vietnam? The only possible thing I can think of is that you were 'army' like Albert V Carone was army, which is to say 'a spook'. Fuck, for a colonelcy you'd have to be the uber-spook, king of the wet-job. Which is it mate?

    While you're at it, I'd be curious to hear what you have to say on the subject of the Phoenix Program. And how about Kay Griggs and the whole idea of 'cherry marines'. And I recall you being utterly dismissive (albeit in a similarly riddle-like fashion a la above) whenever I spoke on the topic of SRA and the paedophocracy etc.

    What's going on mate? You've tripped me across the line now. I kept my thoughts to myself before this, but now all those small headscratchers have tipped the scale. Too much at-odds-with-itself weirdness for yours truly. Your picture stopped making sense. Feel like spilling the beans? Honestly mate, 'option one' is looking like your best bet here. What do you reckon?

  11. Very interesting. Interesting indeed.

    Would love to see a response from Silverfish here.

    And just wanted to elaborate on my take on Pat Tillman as a very brave man, a "real man":

    I mean that, even as a foolish and indoctrinated young man who enlisted, he showed great character in doing so, for obvious reasons. He probably wasn't the smartest guy in the world, but he certainly was no dummy however, and he quickly learned how wrong the war was, and how wrong a path he had chosen.

    This, to me, was actually one of the bravest acts he did - admit he was wrong. Most people could never do so, and instead they rationalise everything away . . . especially when it is all done under the public eye, and at great cost of humility to yourself.

    But he didn't stop there - he held true to his principles. He knew that the war was wrong, and started to research things, get in touch with people . . . and he knew he would have some serious sway/power because of who he was and why he went over there in the first place. He had already decided, I think, to go public and fight against the war at that point.

    Unfortunately, he forgot he was still on the field of battle amongst killers . . .

    Certainly a guy strong enough to sacrifice comfort for pain when he believed in something; strong enough to admit he was wrong in something he first thought was noble; and brave enough to start picking up the challenge of fighting the war, knowing he would become a target.

    He underestimated the ruthlessness, the utter, depraved, psycho ruthlessness of the guys he was fighting, unfortunately.

  12. Excellent comments Slozo> Thank you.

  13. slozo;

    very good thoughts on that whole situation, very good.