Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Pentagon faked heroic death for icon shot by fellow Rangers

Pat Tillman became a national icon last year when it was reported that the sports superstar who had turned down a multi-million-dollar contract to join the army after the terrorist attacks of September 2001 had been killed by enemy fire.

His parents, who learned the truth weeks after a nationally televised memorial service, broke their silence yesterday, accusing the Pentagon of telling "outright lies" to his family and the nation.

"All the people in positions of authority went out of their way to script this," his father, Patrick Tillman, a lawyer from San Jose, told the Washington Post. They "interfered with the investigation, they covered it up. I think they thought they could control it, and they realised that their recruiting efforts were going to hell in a hand-basket if the truth about his death got out.''

His mother, Mary, yesterday told the newspaper that the Bush administration capitalised on the false account to counter the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal then unfolding. "I think there's a lot more yet that we don't even know, or they wouldn't still be covering their tails.

"If this is what happens when someone high-profile dies, I can only imagine what happens with everyone else."

Related: Tillman's Parents Are Critical Of Army
Related: Evidence destroyed after Tillman's death

What was said at the time?

"Although his group was safely out of that danger area, the Army said Tillman ordered his team members to get out of their vehicles and maneuver up a hill near the enemy's location. As they got to the crest of the hill, "Tillman's voice was heard issuing commands to take the fight to the enemy forces ... on the dominating high ground." It was during this effort, as he provided suppressive fire, that Tillman was shot and killed, the Army said."
Flashback: Tillman was killed by enemy fire

The Faked Jessica Lynch Story.

Her Iraqi guards had long fled, she was being well cared for - and doctors had already tried to free her.

"We gave her three bottles of blood, two of them from the medical staff because there was no blood at this time,"said Dr Harith al-Houssona, who looked after her throughout her ordeal. "I examined her, I saw she had a broken arm, a broken thigh and a dislocated ankle. Then I did another examination. There was no [sign of] shooting, no bullet inside her body, no stab wound - only RTA, road traffic accident," he recalled. "They want to distort the picture. I don't know why they think there is some benefit in saying she has a bullet injury."

Recap: The truth about Jessica

What was said originally?

'She was fighting them to the death. She did not want to be taken alive,' said one US military official in Iraq, who described a scene in which the 19-year-old recruit fired her weapon until she ran out of ammunition, killing several enemy soldiers.'
Flashback: How Private Jessica became America's icon

Wouldn't it be easier to tell the truth? Do people need to have fairytales?

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