Must Read Article About Pat Tillman Cover-Up
On Tuesday, Congress is opening its first inquiry into the death of former football star and Army Ranger Pat Tillman. The hearing will also expose the Bush administration for taking advantage of Army Pvt. Jessica Lynch in April 2003. Lynch is expected to testify:
The Pentagon leaked false details about Lynch fighting back fiercely against her captors when she never fired a shot. Critics claimed the administration exaggerated her rescue -- televising the covert raid by commandos -- to boost public morale at a time the U.S. invasion of Iraq appeared bogged down. Lynch later complained, "They used me to symbolize all this stuff. It's wrong."Here's information about Tillman's death and the Army cover-up:
"What is striking to me is that the two highest-profile soldier cases for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq both were characterized by false stories," said House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles, who requested the hearing.
"What we're trying to find out is, was this the result of incompetence, miscommunications or a deliberate strategy? In both cases, (the military) used the people involved in a way that put the war in a favorable light as a result of their heroics."
A key focus of Congress' probe will be to determine what role high-level officials in the Pentagon or the White House played in releasing the false information to the public.
Lawmakers plan to seize on a high-priority memo sent five days after Tillman's death to Gen. John Abizaid, then chief of U.S. Central Command, warning that the former NFL safety probably had been killed by friendly fire -- not by the Taliban, as the Army had claimed publicly.
In the memo, Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal urged Abizaid to contact "POTUS" -- the president of the United States -- "in order to preclude any unknowing statements by our country's leaders which might cause public embarrassment."
Rep. Mike Honda, D-San Jose, said the memo suggests that several top administration officials knew a false story was being spread to Tillman's family and the public but did nothing to set the record straight.
"The question is how high does it go? When did they know it and who knew it?" Honda said. "Hopefully Congress will bring that out. I think, along with the Tillmans and Patrick's widow, we and they all deserve the unvarnished truth."