Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Unraveling the truth about Pat Tillman's death


General Stanley McChrystal was just one of three authors of the military Industrial Congressional complex (MIC) reports on Pat Tillman's death. He is living proof that liar Generals in Afghanistan, America and Iraq get promoted. If General Stanley McChrystal will not truthfully report fratricide how can we trust him to tell the truth about an entire war. We can't, his report is just another bag of manure from the Military/Industrial/Congressional complex. Lets all stand and salute the bag of manure. "All Hail Caesar"


By: Clint O'Connor
The Cleveland Plain Dealer

Pat Tillman, the football star who enlisted in the Army following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, became a four-star tragedy.

Hailed for his unselfishness in a profession dominated by pampered prima donnas, Tillman, a hard-hitting safety for the Arizona Cardinals, left the cushy NFL life to become an Army Ranger. When he died in battle in eastern Afghanistan in 2004, he was 27. The White House and Pentagon went into PR overdrive selling Tillman as a hero slain by the Taliban in the global war on terror.

Then the facts started trickling in. Tillman was killed by members of his own unit. Horrible as that was, friendly-fire casualties are not rare. The real dagger to the denouement of Tillman's life was an elaborate, cynical cover-up that lasted years and racked up hundreds of lies.

Do not read "Where Men Win Glory" sitting near sharp objects. It can fill you with outrage: The soldiers who were with Tillman were instructed to lie; the soldiers who killed Tillman were told to lie; the autopsy was tainted; evidence was burned.

Jon Krakauer, the gifted writer who has tackled rugged individualists in "Into the Wild" and "Into Thin Air," deciphers the lies and the liars in his new book.

Although sluggish in the early chapters, it becomes a fascinating account of the betrayal of Tillman by the very people he was serving. Krakauer's extensive research paints a frightening picture of military hierarchy. Three separate investigations of the incident were riddled with falsehoods.

"It might be tempting to regard Tillman's resounding alpha maleness as his Achilles' heel, the trait that ultimately led to his death," Krakauer writes. But "the sad end he met in Afghanistan was more accurately a function of his stubborn idealism -- his insistence on trying to do the right thing."

Krakauer arrives at such insights through interviews with Tillman's widow, Marie, and access to the Ranger's diaries and computer entries.

Football provided Tillman many rewards -- a college degree, a high-paying job, an enviable life -- but he kept hearing a nagging inner voice. "These last few years, and especially after recent events, I've come to appreciate just how shallow and insignificant my role is," the California-raised Tillman wrote on the eve of enlisting.

He was hardly your typical jock. He loved to argue politics and philosophy. He loved to read. The one thing Tillman was not seeking from his Army experience was publicity; he turned down all interview requests and refused to become a media mannequin. He feared, however, that if he was killed in action, the Defense Department would exploit his death. He was right.

Tillman was caught in an ancient truism, notes Krakauer, succinctly stated by Aeschylus more than 2,500 years ago: "In war, truth is the first casualty."

O'Connor is the film critic of The Plain Dealer.