On April 22, 2004 Pat Tillman, the military poster boy who refused a multimillion-dollar contract to play defensive back for the Arizona Cardinals in order to join the Army Rangers after 9/11, was killed in Afghanistan. U.S. Government and military officials maintained Tillman’s death was the result of an insurgent ambush, thus granting Tillman a posthumous medal, an elaborate televised funeral, and the praise of a nation, lionizing him as the ultimate patriotic American.
In the past few days, details have surfaced refuting the claims. It is now known that Tillman was killed by friendly fire from his own platoon and investigations reveal that up to nine officers, including four generals, knew of the truth behind Tillman’s death in less than a few days — yet the cover up continued.
In the aftermath, bloggers — both American and non — can’t believe their ears. Some claim the government evaded the truth to sacrifice Tillman’s mother grief, others firmly attribute the story’s spin to draw attention from the accumulating Abu Ghraib media mess, and most agree the cover up was to conceal the harrowing demise of the military’s poster boy, thus enabling the success of a much needed propaganda machine.
Here’s what bloggers are saying about the cover up of Pat Tillman’s death:
“C’mon! The Pentagon’s inspector general concludes that nine top officers were involved in the cover-up of NFL football star Cpl. Pat Tillman’s “friendly fire” death, yet insists that this apparent conspiracy to conceal the truth does not rise to the level of criminality?” — Robert Scheer, thenation.com
“It’s sickening. Around this same time, you had the contractors in Iraq burned and dangled off of a bridge, you also had the prison scandal. America was at a severe low point, they needed something to drive recruiting back up. So they cook up a story about the man who gave up millions to serve his country dying a Hollywood death.” — Random-a hole, blog.myspace.com
“Thanks to the Pat Tillman charade, we know we can trust our military to deliver the hard, honest facts about deaths in combat.” — Philippe & Jorge, thephoenix.com
“He is not the only person that has been killed by a useless, careless, military mistake! It is such a big deal because he left money to join. His choice!!!! He is no different than all the other soldiers in our armed services.” — Princess, blog.myspace.com
“There have been countless tragedies, of course, and perhaps it’s unfair that the Tillman case, as awful as it is, has generated so much press. Still, this sad episode will probably go down in the history books as emblematic of the absurd propaganda used against the American people during the Bush II regime. And as is always the case, nobody suffers more than the family.” — Stilwell, nwprogressive.org
“That said, although I feel bad for the Tillman family, I’m starting to grow sick and tired of Ms. Tillman. It’s starting to sound like the surviving family members of airline crash victims. You feel bad at first, but then when they constantly push for millions in lawsuits, your sympathy begins to erode. Ms. Tillman is becoming one of those. You feel bad for her, but she needs to realize that war is hell, combat is absolutely crazy, and we’re all human.” — Mike71067, cbsnews.com
Talk: How far should the punishment for the concealing of Tillman’s death go?