Tillman Family Reacts to Army Investigation
The family of Pat Tillman has issued a press release in response to the findings I blogged about earlier today. Suffice to say, they are not pleased with the outcome:
The briefing we just received was shamefully unacceptable.
Our family is therefore compelled to continue our pursue (sic) the full truth about the circumstances of Pat Tillman’s death and the so-called “missteps” and “deficiencies” of Pat’s unit, the Army, the Department of Defense, and this administration.
The characterization of criminal negligence, professional misconduct, battlefield incompetence, concealment and destruction of evidence, deliberate deception, and conspiracy to deceive, are not “missteps.”
These actions are malfeasance.
The Army Regulation on the award of the Silver Star requires a detailed summary, confirmed by witness statements, of the exact circumstances of the event, which precipitates the award.
The award was directed before the unit had even returned from the field for debriefing.
The original draft of the award falsely claimed that Pat was killed by enemy fire, when Pat was not subjected to enemy fire throughout the entire incident.
We know, from sworn statements, that the draft was changed to exclude explicit reference to enemy fire – probably as a precautionary legal measure – while maintaining the impression that Pat was killed in an intense firefight with the enemy … which he was not.
The Army can still not cite a single instance of any Silver Star, before Pat, that was awarded in the case of fratricide, when the subject of the award was never fired upon by the enemy.
No one who knew Pat ever doubted his physical or moral courage.
But the award of the Silver Star appears more than anything to be part of a cynical design to conceal the real events from the family – but most especially, from the public – while exploiting the death of our beloved Pat as a recruitment poster.
You can read the whole thing here. Tillman’s family is no doubt much more aware of the facts surrounding this than I. If even a small part of their allegations are true, then that’s pretty disgusting behavior by the Pentagon. If a soldier dies in combat, the family is entitled to know the truth about that soldier’s death. And for the Pentagon to deliberately fabricate the circumstances surrounding a soldier’s death to score some PR points dishonors everyone who died in uniform.