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
Interesting, clearly Tillman knew his name and image were exploitable and indeed would be exploited had he died.
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.
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!