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“THE [UNTOLD] TILLMAN STORY”

President Obama & Congress‟s Bipartisan Whitewash of General Stanley


McChrystal‟s Central Role in the Cover-Up of Pat Tillman‟s Friendly-Fire Death
Guy Montag, feralfirefighter.blogspot.com
August 14, 2010 [Updated 12-28-10]

―War is always about betrayal, betrayal of the young by the old, of idealists by cynics and of
troops by politicians.‖
-- Chris Hendges (2009)
―It went up to the two-star level and the two-star took it right up to the four-star level. … ‗Here is
the steak dinner, but we‘re giving it to you on this … garbage can cover. You know, you got it,
you work it.‘‖
-- Brigadier General Howard Yellen (May 2004)

―He [Secretary of Defense] knows the administration‘s position on the matter was a cover-up. …
But it worked. And they didn‘t want the president to look bad.‖ … ―[The Secretary of Defense]
never told a lie, at least not in the way he could be caught in it. … Nonetheless, they would
become the government‘s official pronouncement on the day‘s action.‖ … ―And the media gave
them their forum, always ascertaining beforehand that their allegations were borne out by facts if
not the truth.‖
-- Senator James Webb, ―Something to Die For,‖ (1991)
THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page #:

Prologue: Iddo Netanyahu & Kevin Tillman‟s “Battle for the Truth” 4
...

Letter to “The Tillman Story” Director Amir Bar-Lev (July 26th 2010) 9

“Did They Teach You How to Lie Yet?” -- Senator Webb‟s Betrayal of Pat Tillman 15

―Something to Die For‖ -- Letter to Mary Tillman (February 4th 2008) 16


A Sense of Honor‖ -- Letter to Senator James Webb (April 3rd 2008) 21
―Did They Teach You How to Lie Yet?‖ – Letter to Senator Webb (May 26th 2009) 29

“The Tillman Story” Script -- Congress Fumbled the Ball 36

“The [Untold] Tillman Story” -- Congress Didn‟t Fumble, They Threw the Game: 41

Hearing: ―Misleading Information from the Battlefield‖ (April 24, 2007) 45


General Wallace‘s Review of Tillman Fratricide Investigations (July 31, 2007) 56
Hearing: ―What the Leadership of the Dept. of Defense Knew‖ (August 1, 2007) 66
Report: ―Misleading Information from the Battlefield‖ (July 17, 2008) 81

“The [Untold] Tillman Story” -- President Obama‟s Big-Time Fumble: 84


―Barely a Footnote‖ – Superbowl XLIII and the NFL‘s Betrayal of Pat Tillman 85
―The Emperor‘s General‖ – President Obama‘s Whitewash of Gen. McChrystal 87
―Lies Borne Out by Facts, If Not the Truth‖ – NYT‘s Thom Shanker‘s Whitewash 94
―Did They Teach You How to Lie Yet?‖ – Congress‘s Gen. McChrystal Whitewash 102
Senate Confirmation Hearing for Gen. McChrystal‘s Promotion (June 2009) 112
Senate Armed Services Committee‘s Secret McChrystal Hearing (May 2008) 123

Conclusion: “Maybe It Had Been Trash from the Get-Go, Myths to Feed the Public” 129
―A Country Such As This‖ 129
―Remember the Iconoclast, Not the Icon‖ 135
―My King a Lost King, and Lost Soldiers My Men‖ 137

Postscript: “This Story is Not Over Yet” 139


―He Who Shall Not Be Fact Checked‖ – CNAS‘s Andrew Exum 144
―Where Men Win Glory‖ – Letters to Jon Krakauer 153
...

Epilogue: “That‟s My Hero” – Pat Tillman, Rachel Corrie, & Yoni Netanyahu 160

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APPENDICES

A1 -- Dept. of Defense Inspector General‘s Tillman Investigation (March 26, 2007)

B1 -- House Oversight Committee‘s 1st Tillman Hearing (April 24, 2007)

C1 – Gen. McChrystal Invited to Testify Before Congress (July 13, 2007)

D1 -- Gen. Wallace‘s Review of the Tillman Investigations (July 31, 2007)

D2 – House Oversight Committee‘s 2nd Tillman Hearing (August 1, 2007)

D3 – Gen. McChrystal Did Not Testify at 2nd Tillman Hearing (August 1, 2007)

...

E1 -- Senate Armed Services Committee Secret McChrystal Hearing (May 15, 2008)

E2 -- Senator James Webb Interview - NPR Diane Rhem Show (May 27, 2008)

F1 -- House Oversight Committee‘s Report on Tillman Fratricide (July 17, 2008)

...

G1 – ―Did Congress Cover for McChrystal‖ - Diane Rhem Show (May 15, 2009)

H1 – ―The McChrystal Protection Act of 2009‖ (May 20, 2009)

I1 – Senate Armed Services Committee McChrystal Hearing (June 2, 2009)

J1 -- Gen. McChrystal‘s Contradictory Congressional Testimony (June 2, 2009)

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―BATTLE FOR THE TRUTH”


Iddo Netanyahu, Kevin Tillman and the Cover-up of their Brother‟s Death
February 4, 2008
Guy Montag, feralfirefighter.blogspot.com

Benjamin, Yoni (Jonathan), and Iddo Netanyahu (1966)

Richard, Pat, and Kevin Tillman (2002)

―And of him one may say in the words of David: ‗They were swifter than eagles, they were
stronger than lions… O, Jonathan, thou wast slain in thine high places. I am distressed for thee,
my brother Jonathan… Very pleasant hast thou been unto me, thy love to me was wonderful…‘
The same heroism in the man. The same lamentation in the heart of the people.‖

-- Israel Prime Minister Shimon Peres, Yoni Netanyahu funeral (July 1976)

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“BATTLE FOR THE TRUTH”


[edited from February 2008 letter to Mary Tillman]

Iddo Netanyahu is the youngest of three brothers. All three brothers fought together in the same
elite Israeli army unit (Sayeret Matkal) during the 1970‘s. Now, Iddo is a radiologist. His other
brother, Benjamin Netanyahu, was Israel‘s Prime Minister from 1996 to 1999 and is the leader of
Israel‘s Likud party [now Prime Minister again]. But, Iddo‘s oldest brother, Jonathan (Yoni)
Netanyahu, has largely been forgotten in the US after his death 30 years ago leading the Rescue
at Entebbe.

Like Kevin Tillman, Iddo‘s oldest brother died in battle, became a national icon, and had the
truth covered up by his government. For the past 30 years, Iddo has been engaged in a battle for
the truth about his brother‘s death.

And, like Pat Tillman, Yoni Netanyahu was also a remarkable man. The reality of both Pat and
Yoni was much deeper than their iconic images. Both possessed a core of honesty and integrity,
led by personal example, and lived their lives intensely. Neither cared much about money or
personal comfort. Both were mavericks, intellectuals and avid readers. For example, from the
foreword to ―The Letters of Jonathan Netanyahu‖:

―Of all the aspects of his character one predominates – integrity. By this we do not mean
only honesty toward one‘s fellow man, but, above all, honesty toward oneself. An inner
wholeness marked Yoni‘s entire behavior, inspired his way of life and determined his
objectives. That wholeness resulted from a great need for absolute harmony between his
thoughts and deeds.‖

―For Yoni, unlike many of us, could not hold beliefs without living them to the full. Once
convinced of the rightness of an idea, whether in the personal or national sphere, he had to do
what he could to actualize it, regardless of the hardships or risks involved. Again and again
he asked himself whether he was working toward the realization of his life‘s aims.‖

After reading about the Rescue at Entebbe, I was struck by the many parallels between the life
and death of Pat Tillman and Yoni Netanyahu:

Yoni died July 4, 1976 at Entebbe, Pat was born November 1976.
Both were the oldest of three brothers and the ―stars‖ of their family.
Both served in the Army in ―special forces ―and in combat with a younger brother. Both
became national icons after their deaths.

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Both died from negligent mistakes made by a fellow soldier.


The truth about their deaths was covered up by their governments, and their deaths were
more ―heroic‖ than the official story.
Friendly-fire deaths during battle were covered-up by their governments.
Both Pat and Yoni‘s families have fought what Yoni‘s younger brother Iddo called a
―battle for the truth‖ about their deaths.

Perhaps you recall the Rescue at Entebbe. Thirty years ago, an airliner was hijacked by terrorists
and flown to the Entebbe airport in Uganda. On July 4, 1976, Israeli aircraft landed at Entebbe
and soldiers assaulted the terminal where the hostages were held. About 100 hostages were
rescued at Entebbe. The official story was that seven terrorists were killed and three hostages
―died in the cross-fire‖. Yoni Netanyahu was the commander of the assault force and the only
soldier killed ―…shot in the back by a Ugandan soldier from the top of an air traffic control
tower after the initial assault had been completed‖.

Yoni became a symbol of heroic sacrifice for Israel. His funeral was televised nationally and
Prime Minister Shimon Peres gave his eulogy. Several years later, Iddo discovered that the truth
about his brother‘s death had been covered up by the Israeli government. Iddo Netanyahu
published his account of his brother‘s death in ―Yoni‘s Last Battle‖ (1991 Hebrew, 2001
English).

Iddo‘s book revealed that embarrassing details of Yoni‘s death had been covered up. After
Entebbe, the Israeli government didn‘t want to admit that some hostages had been killed by
―friendly fire‖. They didn‘t want to give terrorists credit for killing Yoni Netanyahu. Or reveal
that Yoni died because his second-in-command, Muki Betser, failed to do his job of
spearheading the assault and missed his assigned doorway.
...

Twenty-three years ago, as a young paratrooper and student at the University of Michigan, I read
the collection of letters by Yoni Netanyahu entitled ―Self Portrait of a Hero.‖ It became one of
my treasured books.

Four years ago, I believed Pat had been an idealistic, patriotic, ―dumb jock‖. I refused to watch
any of the flag waving coverage of Pat‘s death on TV. It seemed like a sideshow distraction to
the Abu Gharib story that was breaking about the time of his death. Then, in October 2005, I
read David Zirin‘s article, ―Our Hero‖ in The Nation, which referenced Robert Collier‘s 9/25/05
SF Chronicle article.

I discovered that Pat was my kind of warrior: a fiercely independent thinker, a book reader and a
maverick. With a radical edge (like my other military heroes including Stan Goff, Donald

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Duncan, and James Webb [now VA U.S. Senator]. Pat even read Noam Chomsky! I was
angered that the truth about his death and his character had been buried by the media and the
government.

The more I read about Pat, the more he reminded me of Yoni. In October 2005, I re-read my
dog-eared paperback copy of ―Self-Portrait of a Hero.‖ Then, I discovered that Yoni‘s younger
brother Iddo had written a much more recent book, ―Yoni‘s Last Battle,‖ about the raid on
Entebbe. I was stunned to read that Yoni had been shot in the front of his chest by a terrorist as
he personally led the assault teams forward at Entebbe. What? My recollection as an 11 year
old boy watching the movie ―Raid on Entebbe‖ was that Yoni was shot in the back by a Ugandan
soldier from the control tower!

I‘ve taken the cover-up of Pat Tillman‘s death a bit personally. Like Stan Goff, I feel a kinship
with Pat Tillman. When I was ―young and dumb‖ I joined an Airborne Ranger Long-Range
Recon (LRRP) unit. I was the ―college kid‖ and bookworm of my company (I recall the CO
catching me sitting against my rucksack reading ―Meditations‖ by Marcus Aurelius). I was 17
years old when I enlisted. I grew up in the Army, enjoyed being a LRRP, and being with the
guys. But, the lies of the first Gulf War were the last straw for me. I no longer wanted to be in
what Donald Duncan [Special Forces LRRP, one of the first veterans to protest Vietnam] called
―The New Legions.‖ A slave who would be told who to kill for oil or other ―national interests‖.
After eight years, I got out of the Army in March 1991, and have spent the last 17 years as a
firefighter.
...

In the early 1970‘s, Yoni wanted to join his brother Benjamin on the assault of a hijacked plane.
His brother Iddo argued that it was irresponsible to risk both brothers‘ lives on the same
mission. Yoni countered by saying, ―My life belongs to me, and so does my death.‖

But Yoni‘s death hasn‘t belonged to him. His brother Iddo has spent 30 years in a battle for the
truth. Nor has Pat Tillman‘s death belonged to him. The Bush administration [the Obama
administration and Democratic Congress are also culpable] has buried the truth about his death
with a series of ―latest and greatest investigations.‖ Pat can‘t even speak for himself through his
wartime journal, since the Army ―lost‖ it after his death. Now, it‘s up to his family and friends
to reclaim the truth and integrity of Pat‘s life and death.

...

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―My wife and I lost Abe in a tragic and senseless accident, a month or so before his fifth
birthday. If parents are fated to mourn a son, and if one can envy such bereavement, my wife
and I can envy the Netanyahus. Their son died for his people and for all men, in the full
flush of manhood, doing a famous deed. In his death he helped to save more than a hundred
lives, brought glory to Israel, and gave the world a blaze of hope in a very dark time. For our
son, we have only the tears of the scar of a senseless waste. …‖

-- Herman Wouk, Foreword to ―Self-Portrait of a Hero‖ (1980)

My boy, Nathan, is three years old. He is, to use a quaint term, ―a pistol.‖ Good-hearted, but a
bit wild, always with a mischievous glint in his eyes. I don‘t want to even imagine losing him.
(Hopefully, I can keep him from following my footsteps into the Army 15 years from now!)

What can you do with the ―tears of a senseless waste?‖ I hope that your forthcoming book will
contribute to redeeming the integrity of Pat Tillman‘s life and death.

...

―When we close the book, we know the man; all we have to know, and all we will know. He
inspires and ennobles us, and he gives us hope. That is enough. That is the best that art can do.‖

-- Herman Wouk, Foreword to ―Self-Portrait of a Hero‖ (1980)

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“NOBODY HAS EVER REALLY PAID A PRICE


FOR WHAT WAS DONE TO THE TILLMANS”
July 26th 2010 Letter to “The Tillman Story” Director Amir Bar-Lev

―… we have all been betrayed. It isn‘t just our family. Every time they betray a soldier, they
betray all of us.‖ … ―We had officers that we trusted. We had high regard for them. … in your
heart they are your kids and you turn them over, and we trusted. … we knew they [Pat & Kevin]
could die or they could come back wounded … But we never thought that they would use him
the way they did‖
-- Mary Tillman, Congressional testimony (April 24, 2007)

"There is another man who will not be in the room. That is Lieutenant General Stan McChrystal
... Because of his extraordinarily sensitive position with covert special forces, he is not appearing
in public. And so he will not be questioned further by the [House Oversight] committee in an
open hearing." [italics added]
-- Barbara Starr (CNN, August 1, 2007)

―… there‘s been no culpability on the second half of this tragedy, which is the higher ups trying
to cover it up. … to borrow a football metaphor, they [Tillman family] ran the ball 99 yards over
four years‘ time, they handed it off at the one-yard line to Congress and they fumbled it.‖

-- Amir Bar-Lev (July 20th 2010)

―This is an unsolved mystery; nobody has ever really paid a price for what was done to the
Tillmans,‖ he said. ―No one has taken accountability or made an admission for a deliberate
attempt to conceal the truth. This story is not over yet.‖

-- Amir Bar-Lev, (June 24th 2010)

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Letter to “The Tillman Story” Director Amir Bar-Lev


[edited from July 26, 2010 letter]

On January 29th, shortly before the Sundance premiere of your film, ―The Tillman Story,‖ I sent
you a brief e-mail that described how ―the Democratic Congress and Obama Presidency have
protected General McChrystal.‖ You replied, ―thanks for your email -- … Have you seen the
film? I'm pretty hard on the Democratic Congress!‖

Well, a month ago, I drove 10 hours from Michigan to finally see your film at the Silver Docs
Film Festival in DC (and the following day drove a more sedate 13 hours back home). A bit
extreme, literally driving half the weekend, but I wanted to see your film before it‘s August 20 th
release and possibly speak with you (and the road-trip was a good excuse to see an old college
roommate).

Thanks again for creating your beautiful film. The beginning and end of the film, with Pat just
looking at the camera was especially poignant. And it was good to see Stan Goff on the screen
again (I first saw him in 2004‘s ―Hijacking Catastrophe‖). And the Tillman family, especially
Richard dropping his F-bombs, were f----ing great (I still like your film‘s original title, ―I‘m Pat
Fucking Tillman‖, it works on several levels, although I think your final choice is most fitting).

[Postscript: WTF! What an obscenity the MPAA gave the film an ―R‖ rating. Fuck them]

During the Q & A session after your film‘s Silver Docs screening, I asked why your film ended
with Congressman Waxman‘s August 2007 hearing. I believe your film‘s account of the cover-
up ended too soon; the cover-up continued through General McChrystal‘s June 10th 2009 Senate
confirmation as the Commander of the Afghan War (and continues to this day).

Unfortunately, I never got the chance to talk with you afterwards. Just before you left the
theatre, I did hand you a binder with an outline of my ―Feral Firefighter‘s Tillman Files.‖ I
regret not pressing to speak with you further; I think we both would have enjoyed sharing our
knowledge of the Tillman story.
...

At the end of his April 2007 Tillman hearing, Congressman Waxman says in frustration, ―What
we have is a very clear, deliberate abuse intentionally done. Why is it so hard to find out who
did it?‖ His House Oversight Committee‘s July 2008 final report blamed a ―pervasive lack of
recollection‖ that made it impossible to assign responsibility.

After finally seeing your film, I would still argue that you weren‘t ―hard‖ enough on Congress.
True, your film does portray Congressman Waxman‘s Oversight Committee as ―fumbling‖ in
their questioning and ineptly allowing themselves to be stonewalled by a long series of ―I don‘t
recall‖ by Rumsfeld and top Army generals.

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But, it wasn‘t just stonewalling by Bush and the Army. It wasn‘t a lack of Congress‘s courage
or will. It wasn‘t Congress‘s loathing to call Rumsfeld and the Army generals out on their
bullshit. In reality, the Tillman cover-up has been a thoroughly bipartisan affair. The
Democratic Congress didn‘t just ―fumble‖ the ball, they threw the game.

The Army and Bush administration ―handed off‖ its‘ cover-up of Pat Tillman‘s friendly-fire
death to the Democratic Congress and Obama administration. Congressman Waxman‘s House
Oversight Committee‘s 2007 ―investigation‖ was a pro-forma sham. President Obama
nominated Gen. McChrystal to be promoted to the Army‘s highest rank despite apparently
knowing of his key role in the cover-up. Then the Senate held a perfunctory confirmation
hearing for McChrystal‘s before confirming his promotion (and they had held a secret
confirmation hearing in 2008 for McChrystal‘s previous promotion).

The ―untold story‖ is that the Army made General Kensinger the scapegoat for General
McChrystal‘s key role in the cover-up, the Democratic Congress betrayed the Tillman family by
pretending to investigate while they protected McChrystal from public scrutiny, and then
President Obama and the Senate promoted McChrystal to the Army‘s highest rank despite his
complicity in the cover-up:

Waxman‘s House Oversight Committee‘s so-called ―investigation‖ (like the DoD IG


investigation) was not an honest attempt to get at the truth. Despite the concerns raised
by his Committee during their April 2007 hearing about the altered Silver Star witness
statements and falsified award citation, they never looked further into Gen. McChrystal‘s
role, who was at the very center of these actions. They failed to scrutinize General
McChrystal‘s key role in writing the fraudulent Silver Star, altering witness statements,
early knowledge of fratricide, failure to inform the family, and his deceptive P4 memo.
It appears that Waxman‘s Committee acted to shield McChrystal from public scrutiny.
Although McChrystal was ―invited‖ to testify at the August 2007 hearing, McChrystal
―declined‖ and never appeared. Yet, Waxman never explained his absence. [I recently
found a CNN quote that appears to show the Committee held a secret, closed hearing
with McChrystal].

12-28-10 UPDATE: I‘ve placed the full transcript of the CNN 8-01-07 broadcast in
Appendix D3 . Now, although a closed hearing was possibly held, I think it‘s more
probable Barbara Starr was referring to McChrystal‘s interview with the DoD IG.

During Spring 2008, after receiving my April 3rd letter asking him to help Mary Tillman,
Senator James Webb conducted a secret ―review‖ of McChrystal‘s role in the Tillman
case. Senator James‘s Webb betrayal of the Tillman family cuts me the deepest. I‘ve
trusted his sense of honor for thirty years. If anyone in Congress should have cared, it
would have been him. Webb, as a young Marine veteran, spent 8 years to clear the name

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of a dead Marine for his mother‘s sake! I‘m hard on Webb not because I dislike the man,
but that I‘m disillusioned by him. As an old man and politician, he‘s turned into exactly
what he once reviled as a young veteran!

On May 15th 2008, while Mary Tillman was in Washington, D.C. on her book tour, the
Senate Armed Services Committee (headed by Levin and McCain) held a secret
―executive session‖ where McChrystal testified ―in detail about his actions behind closed
doors. Shortly afterwards, the Senate promoted him to Director of the Joint Staff.

The following year, on May 11th 2009, President Obama nominated McChrystal to be his
new commander of the Afghan War despite McChrystal‘s key role in the Tillman cover-
up.

On May 13th, Obama gave the ASU commencement address at Sun Devil Stadium
without once mentioning Pat Tillman, presumably to avoid embarrassing questions about
his McChrystal nomination.

That same day, Obama back-pedaled on his previous decision to release torture photos,
presumably because some may have shown torture by JSOC forces under McChrystal‘s
command. On May 20th, Senators Lieberman, Graham, and McCain (working with the
White House) introduced a bill (―The McChrystal Protection Act of 2009‖) to change the
FOIA law to block the release of photos showing detainee abuse. The Senate passed
it the next day.

On June 2nd 2009, The Senate Armed Services Committee held General McChrystal‘s
confirmation hearing for his promotion to four-star general and Afghan war commander.
The hearing was strictly ―pro-forma.‖ Senators Levin, McCain, and Webb didn't press
McChrystal aggressively. The real hearing was held behind closed doors in 2008.

On June 10th, the Senate confirmed General McChrystal‘s promotion by unanimous


consent after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made an impassioned plea on the floor.
But, despite General McChrystal‘s key role in the Tillman cover-up, he was barely a
footnote in your film (only mentioned as the P4 memo‘s author, his photo appeared
briefly on a chain of command chart). However, I believe McChrystal is the thread to
pull on, to unravel what you referred to as the ―… unsolved mystery; nobody has ever
really paid a price for what was done to the Tillmans. No one has taken accountability or
made an admission for a deliberate attempt to conceal the truth. This story is not over
yet.‖
...

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―The Tillman Story‖ will be released on August 20th. During your Q & A session, you urged the
audience to spread the word to friends and hurry to see the movie, warning that documentary
films don‘t usually have a long run. Hopefully, since much of the Tillman story is unknown to
the general public, your film will be compelling enough to have a decent run on its own merits.

However, as it now stands, your film won‘t create much controversy or ―news.‖ Your film tells
the story of how the Army and the Bush administration used Pat‘s death as a propaganda tool to
promote the war and take the edge off the Abu Gharaib torture scandal. Nothing that hasn‘t been
reported previously (although your film does visually pull the story together). The Republicans
have already dismissed the film as Bush-bashing propaganda and left-wing revisionism. The
Democrats will ―look backwards‖ and point to the evils of the ―past‖ perpetuated by the bad
Bush administration.

You could create controversy and ―news‘ (as a bonus more people will want to see your film and
learn more about the Pat Tillman story) by telling the ―untold story‖ of how the Democratic
Congress & President Obama betrayed the Tillman family. In addition, your film would be seen
as independently bashing both Democrats & Republicans. And, your film would piggy-back on
the recent controversy surrounding General McChrystal‘s recent firing by President Obama.

How could you tell the ―untold story‖? Well, it‘s probably far too late to reopen the film (as you
did for Richard‘s interview) but perhaps the release date could be pushed back to allow for
further edits? Possibly, you could add an ―Epilogue‖ to run at the end of your film? Perhaps
more feasible would be to release some ―extra‖ footage to the media as part of your promotional
efforts prior to the films‘ release? Or, at the very least, you could tell some the ―untold story‖
using your DVD extras.
...

During a Fox News interview, you said, ―nobody has ever really paid a price for what was done
to the Tillmans.‖ The release of ―The Tillman Story‖ is your chance to make these politicians
pay a political price. None of ―the higher-ups trying to cover it up‖ will ever pay a price unless
you also tell at least some of the ―untold story.‖

Just before the 2006 mid-term elections, Kevin Tillman published his eloquent letter, ―After
Pat‘s Birthday‖ at truthdig.com:

―Somehow torture is tolerated. … Somehow lying is tolerated. … Somehow faking


character, virtue and strength is tolerated. … Somehow a narrative is more important
than reality. … Somehow American leadership, whose only credit is lying to its people
and illegally invading a nation, has been allowed to steal the courage, virtue and honor of
its soldiers on the ground. … Somehow the same incompetent, narcissistic, virtueless,

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vacuous, malicious criminals are still in charge of this country. Somehow this is tolerated.
Somehow nobody is accountable for this.‖

In 2006, Kevin had hoped the election of a Democratic Congress would bring accountability
back to our country. But, just as with warrantless wiretapping and torture, those responsible for
the cover-up of his brother‘s friendly-fire death have never been held accountable for their
actions. As the Obama administration is fond of saying, ―They‘re moving forward, not looking
backward.‖

It‘s not surprising that after the initial fratricide cover-up fell apart, Army officers and the Bush
administration lied to protect their careers. But the Democratic Congress, after they took control
of both Houses of Congress in 2006, could have gone after those responsible. Or at least not
promoted them!

President Obama and the Democratic Congress are responsible for continuing the Bush
administration‘s Tillman cover-up. Those most culpable (including Congressman Waxman,
Senator Webb, Senator McCain, Senator Levin, and President Obama) have not yet paid any
political price for their betrayal of the Tillman family.

But, as your film currently stands, it gives these politicians a ―pass‖ on their role in the cover-up.
...

Since I returned home from my DC road trip, I‘ve been working on ―The [Untold] Tillman
Story‖– President Obama & Congress‘s Bipartisan Whitewash of General Stanley McChrystal‘s
Key Role in the Cover-Up of Pat Tillman‘s Friendly-Fire Death.‖ Over the past few years,
scattered throughout my ―Tillman Files,‖ I‘ve told the story of the bipartisan Tillman cover-up.
This document attempts to update the story and pull together the story into one place:

―The Tillman Story – Congress‘s Oversight Committee Fumbled the Ball‖ is a partial
―transcript‖ of your film‘s depiction of Secretary of the Army Secretary Geren‘s briefing on the
Wallace Review and Congressman Waxman‘s hearing (obviously it‘s not totally accurate or
using precise quotes since it‘s based only on my recollection of seeing the movie).

―The [Untold] Tillman Story – Congress Didn‘t Fumble, They Threw the Game‖ is my ―script‖
that explains how the Army made General Kensinger the scapegoat for General McChrystal‘s
sins, uses McChrystal‘s own testimony to show his complicity, and describes how Congressman
Waxman‘s ―investigation‖ was a continuation of the Army‘s cover-up. I‘ve broken the script up
into sections using ―prose‖ from my other Tillman Files to give background detail.

―The [Untold] Tillman Story -- Obama‘s Big-Time Fumble‖ is an ―epilogue‖ that describes
events after ―The Tillman Story‖ ends with the August 2007 hearing. It updates the story to the

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present day, by showing how President Obama and the Senate have protected General
McChrystal from scrutiny (and promoted him twice).
And, I‘ve also posted my draft Appendices to ―The [Untold] Tillman Story‖ with my working
notes and links to source documents. These Appendices are a work in progress; some are pretty
much completely edited, while others are simply a raw collection of notes.

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DID THEY TEACH YOU HOW TO LIE YET?


Senator James Webb‟s Betrayal of Pat Tillman‟s Family

―Across the room [in my Senate office] … my mother‘s father, B.H. Hodges, stares out at me …
as he has done in every office I have occupied for more than twenty years. … Defiant he was,
and tragic too. He was a fighter, a lonely champion of lost causes who himself lost everything
because of the causes he championed.‖
-- Senator James Webb, ―A Time to Fight‖ (2008)

―They ought to make a movie about this. Mr. Smith comes to Washington.‖ ―Yeah, I called my
pa last night and he says, Judd boy, you been up there with them muck-a-mucks two days, now.
Did they teach you how to lie yet?‖
-- Senator James Webb, ―A Country Such As This‖ (1983)

―Who had I become? …. A cute-mouthed monkey boy, neither serene nor engaged, who had
simply become accepting. … And I had come to stand for nothing.‖

-- Senator James Webb, ―The Emperor‘s General‖ (1999)

―If nothing ever works out all the way, and if all things change, what‘s left? Your family and
your friends and your values, that‘s what‘s left. And your duty to them … They‘re the only
important things in life. … And that the rest of it might change a million times, be called wrong
or right or anything else, but you must never violate your loyalty if you wished to survive the
judgment of the ages.‖
-- Senator James Webb ―A Country Such As This‖ (1983)

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“SOMETHING TO DIE FOR”


February 4th 2008 Letter to Mary Tillman
Guy Montag, feralfirefighter.blogspot.com

―I was stronger then, but I am fiercer now. I was so certain of life, and of my place in it. I was
so sure of my love, and of my future. I now have none of those certainties, but at least I can
comprehend pain. I was so ready, so eager to fight and now I pay, richly pay, for having fought.

-- Senator James Webb, ―A Sense of Honor‖ (1981)

―I found myself awash with a sense of injustice that I could not define. Or perhaps it was merely
that I was young. I had never seen with such clarity that … courage could destroy one man
while flight could make another man king.‖

-- Senator James Webb, ―The Emperor‘s General‖ (1999)

―I guess that‘s what the world does to you. It makes you realize that honor and loyalty are traps
with no reward.‖
-- Senator James Webb, ―A Sense of Honor‖ (1981)

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February 4th 2008 Letter to Mary Tillman


[Edited & abridged from ―A Sense of Honor‖]

Stan Goff mentioned that you and Narda Zacchino are working together on a memoir about Pat
Tillman. I am writing to suggest you ask Senator James Webb to review your book.

I‘ve been reading James Webb‘s novels for almost 30 years, starting before I enlisted with an
Airborne LRRP unit [SSGT 1983 -1991, Co. ―F‖ (Ranger) 425th Infantry, MI Army National
Guard]. Webb is a self-proclaimed ―redneck‖ and can be blunt and outspoken. I haven‘t always
agreed with his opinions, especially those concerning the wisdom of the Vietnam War. But it‘s
clear to me that he is a man of integrity and honesty. And for 30 years he has written novels with
themes of betrayal, honor, integrity, and justice.
...

Webb's novel, "Something to Die For" (1990), is reminiscent of the cover-up of Pat Tillman's
death. The novel centers on a Marine named Fogarty who fights a mistaken battle in Africa
because of political games by the Secretary of Defense. The nature of his death is covered up.
He's posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor by the President during a nationally televised
state funeral service [see Appendix ―B‖]:

Ron Holcomb [Secretary of Defense] never told a lie, at least not in the way he could be
caught in it. But he was a master dissembler, … Holcomb‘s prepared speech had been
given a ―spin‖ …As a consequence, the remarks were a mix of bald truth, diplomatic
half-truths, and what Holcomb had privately called ―necessary, unconfirmable
distortions.‖ Nonetheless, they would become the government‘s official pronouncement
on the day‘s action. … And the media gave them their forum, always ascertaining
beforehand that their allegations were borne out by facts if not the truth. …

―He [Secretary of Defense] knows the administration‘s position on the matter was a
cover-up. Eritrea was a mistake. But it worked. And they didn‘t want the president to
look bad.‖

―God save me from manipulative bureaucrats in polyester-wool suits, button down collars
and power ties, and the kiss ass officers who let them get away with it. I don‘t need to
see my men die because somebody cares more about helping the careers of their fellow
madrigal singers over in the White House or the State Department than they do about the
troops they compromise and misuse in places like Beirut and the Persian Gulf.‖
...

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James Webb‘s novel ―A Sense of Honor‖ (1981) is a prequel to ―Something to Die For.‖ The
novel takes place during one week at the Naval Academy in 1968. Captain Lenahan is a Marine
officer stationed at the Academy. He and Cadet Fogarty are scapegoated by the brass to cover
their ass [see Appendix ―C‖]:

―I was stronger then, but I am fiercer now. I was so certain of life, and of my place in it.
I was so sure of my love, and of my future. I now have none of those certainties, but at
least I can comprehend pain. I was so ready, so eager to fight and now I pay, richly pay,
for having fought.‖

―Poetry will sustain your emotions. It‘s the lightning rod of the soul. Don‘t be afraid to
be sensitive, just because you‘re a hard-ass.‖ … ‗Nay, whatever comes/One hour was
sunlit and the most high gods/May not make boast of any better thing/Than to have
watched that hour as it passed.‘ There‘s a poem for you. Ezra Pound‖ … He [Lenahan‘s
son] is sensitive and fierce, a poet and a warrior, as Irish as the day is long. He is, in fact,
myself in a matchbox.
...

―The Emperor‘s General‖ (1999) is a historical novel that dealt with General MacArthur‘s
―military commission‖ war-crimes trial of Japanese General Yamashita. Webb‘s sympathies lie
with the honorable Yamashita who displayed ―majime, the wisdom and courage to eliminate any
distinctions between his actions and inner thoughts” [see Appendix ―D‖]:

―… what he‘s [General MacArthur] doing is a sham. We‘re Americans, Captain. We‘re
supposedly bringing an accused man into the American system of justice. ... MacArthur‘s
not a lawyer, and this isn‘t a court convened a military commission! It‘s not – a – court.
It‘s his own little creation. … I reminded him that we‘re supposed to be operating under
traditional American concepts of law, such as fairness, decency, and justice. And do you
know what he told me? ―We‘re in a hurry.‖ … Do you realize what this trial – if you
can call it a trial – this illegal, judgeless commission is going to look like? It‘s going to
be nothing but! He‘s a public circus!‖

―The ―trial‖ was finally over. … It was December 6. MacArthur, with his penchant for
anniversaries, had arranged for the verdict to be read to the world during a live, fifteen-
minute radio address on Pearl Harbor Day. … [Frank Witherspoon] filed a petition to the
Supreme Court. …. ―General MacArthur has taken the law into his own hands, is
disregarding the laws of the United States and the Constitution, and has no authority from
Congress or the president.‖ …

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―Despite a scathing dissent … the Court declined to intervene in the case. ... since the war would
not be officially over until formal peace documents were signed, MacArthur still retained the
power to convene a military commission ―so long as a state of war exists.‖… ―This indictment
in effect permitted the military commission to make the crime whatever it willed. Such a
procedure is unworthy of our people.‖
...

Webb‘s most recent book is ―Born Fighting‖ (2004) a history of the Scots-Irish in America.
The book contains auto-biographical material and hints of Webb‘s independent, populist political
views. I find it poignant that Webb‘s own father opposed him risking his life in Vietnam as a
Marine. Today, perhaps Webb feels the same about his own son in Iraq? [see Appendix ―E‖]:

―My own father [career Air Force colonel], who had defined for me the notion of loyalty,
became disgusted with McNamara‘s ―whiz kids‖ after being assigned to the Pentagon in
1965. … he urged me more than once to go into the navy, find myself a nice ship where I
could, as he so often put it, ―sit in the wardroom and eat ice cream,‖ and not risk myself
as a Marine … my father put in his papers to retire from the air force [after Webb‘s
graduation from Annapolis], telling me he ―couldn‘t bear to watch it‖ while still wearing
a military uniform … this strategically botched war [Vietnam] was not worth my life.‖
...

James Webb graduated from the Naval Academy in 1968 and graduated 1 st in his Officer Basic
course. He fought in Vietnam, was highly decorated and left the Marines with a bad knee. He
received his law degree from Georgetown University in 1975. Webb has worked as a lawyer,
journalist, and novelist over past 20 years. During the 1980‘s, he was an Assistant Secretary of
Defense for three years and was the Secretary of the Navy (he resigned after serving a year).

If you‘d like to learn more about James Webb, I would suggest you go to his websites:
jameswebb.com and webb.senate.gov. I would also highly recommend reading Robert
Timberg‘s book ―The Nightingale‘s Song‖ (1995). This book defies genres. It is an absorbing
biography/history/political analysis of the Reagan Iran Contra era centered on five Annapolis
graduates: John McCain, John Pointexter, Bud McFarlane, Oliver North, and James Webb.

Webb spoke out against the current Iraq War before it started (and against the first Gulf War as
well). His only son left college to enlist in the Marines is now an infantryman in the Anbar
province of Iraq. Webb has fiercely protected his son‘s privacy and refused all public comment,
even to President Bush [see Appendix ―A‖]:

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Last year, Webb narrowly won George Allen‘s Virginia Senate seat and became the Senate‘s 51 st
Democratic member (I was happy to see that my paltry campaign contributions helped him to
edge out Allen by 4,000 votes!) Already, the Washington establishment has targeted Webb as a
troublesome maverick. As they well should! (But, I don‘t think the Democrats will be any
happier with him). Webb has always been outspoken and his own man..

If the ―latest and greatest investigation‖ by the Defense Department Inspector General does not
satisfy the Tillman family, I believe James Webb might be interested in assisting the Tillman
family in their battle for the truth. As a Senator on the Armed Services committee, Webb could
possibly push for Senate hearings (Perhaps they might turn out better than last years‘ House
hearings?).

P.S.

In 2004, Webb gave a lecture entitled ―Perspectives of an American Ronin‖ ―A ronin is a


Samurai warrior who has no master except the truth‖. That‘s how I‘ve felt since leaving the
Army in 1991 in disgust over the 1st Gulf War. Perhaps your son Kevin feels the same way?

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“A SENSE OF HONOR”
April 3rd 2008 Letter to Senator James Webb

Marine & LT James Webb – Vietnam, 1968

Pat and Kevin Tillman – Saudi Arabia, March 2003

―If nothing ever works out all the way, and if all things change, what‘s left? Your family and
your friends and your values, that‘s what‘s left. And your duty to them … They‘re the only
important things in life. … And that the rest of it might change a million times, be called wrong
or right or anything else, but you must never violate your loyalty if you wished to survive the
judgment of the ages.‖
-- Senator James Webb ―A Country Such As This‖ (1983)

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April 3rd 2008 Letter to Senator James Webb


[Edited & abridged from ―A Sense of Honor‖]

Four years ago Pat Tillman was killed by ―friendly fire‖ in Afghanistan. Six ―investigations‖ and
two Congressional hearings later, Pat‘s family is still struggling to learn the truth about the
circumstances of his death and those involved in the cover-up of his fratricide.

Mary Tillman, Pat‘s mother, has written a memoir, Boots on the Ground by Dusk: The Life and
Death of Pat Tillman. Her book will be released on April 29th.

I‘ve read your books for thirty years, starting before my eight years in the Army and continued
my past seventeen years as a firefighter. After recently re-reading your novels, I noticed several
parallels between Pat Tillman‘s fratricide and your novels. I believe you might feel a sense of
kinship with Pat Tillman and his family.

I‘m writing to ask that you consider becoming an advocate in the Senate for Mary Tillman‘s
struggle for the truth. Perhaps you could arrange to meet Mary in May during the Washington
D.C. leg of her national book tour?

...

Last year, on April 24, 2007, Kevin and Mary Tillman testified before the House Committee
on Oversight and Reform at a hearing entitled “Hearing on Misleading Information from
the Battlefield.”

Kevin Tillman, Pat‘s brother, began his testimony with a prepared statement:

―Two days ago marked the third anniversary of the death of my older brother, Pat Tillman, in
Afghanistan. To our family and friends, it was a devastating loss. To the nation, it was a moment
of disorientation. To the military, it was a nightmare. But to others within the government, it
appears to have been an opportunity.‖

―Revealing that Pat‘s death was a fratricide would have been yet another political disaster ... So
the facts needed to be suppressed. … An alternative narrative had to be constructed. Crucial
evidence was destroyed including Pat‘s uniform, equipment and notebook. The autopsy was not
done according to regulation, and a field hospital report was falsified. An initial investigation
completed … before testimony could be changed … [and which hit disturbingly close to the
mark] disappeared into thin air and was conveniently replaced by another investigation with more
palatable findings.‖

―… while each investigation gathered more information, the mountain of evidence was never
used to arrive at an honest or even sensible conclusion. … The handling of the situation after the
firefight was described as a compilation of ‗missteps, inaccuracies and errors in judgment which
created the perception of concealment.‘‖

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―Writing a Silver Star award before a single eye witness account is taken is not a misstep.
Falsifying soldier witness statements for a Silver Star is not a misstep. … Discarding an (15-6)
investigation that does not fit a preordained conclusion is not an error in judgment. These are
deliberate acts of deceit. This is not the perception of concealment. This is concealment.‖

Mary Tillman, Pat‟s mother, also testified at that hearing about the fratricide cover-up:

―We had officers that we trusted. We had high regard for them. … in your heart they are your
kids and you turn them over, and we trusted. Certainly, we knew they could die or they could
come back wounded … But we never thought that they would use him (Pat) the way they did.‖

[Mary wrote: ―… the Army was placed in a position to spin the narrative of Pat‘s death …
(General) Yellen stated it was like, …‘It went up to the 2-star level and the 2-star took it right to
the 4-star level … now all of a sudden, … ‗Here is the steak dinner, but we‘re giving it to you on
this … garbage can cover.‘ You know, ‗You got it. You work it.‘‖]

―And we shouldn‘t be allowed to have smokescreens thrown in our face. … in every way, they
(Army CID investigators) dodged. They are dodging us, and the (Department of Defense) IG
condoned that even though they make the public believe they did such a grand job because they
pointed the finger at four generals and five other officers. That is a smokescreen. These officers
are scapegoats.‖

―It is a bit disingenuous to think that the (Bush) Administration did not know about what was
going on, something so politically sensitive. … The fact that he (Pat) would be killed by friendly
fire and no one would tell (Defense Secretary) Rumsfeld is ludicrous … … the idea that they
wouldn‘t tell Abizaid (Centcom commander) what was going on if he didn‘t already know is
ridiculous.‖

I believe you might feel a sense of kinship with Pat Tillman and his family:

The Tillman‘s are of Scots-Irish descent. Pat‘s picture is among those of famous Americans
featured on the cover of Parade Magazine‘s October 3, 2004 issue, entitled ―Can You Guess What
They All Have in Common?‖ (adapted from Born Fighting.)

Military service was prevalent and respected in the Tillman family. Mary Tillman‘s uncles were
at Pearl Harbor, her brother was a Marine, and her father was a Marine during the Korean War.
Mary wrote, ―From the time I was very little, I was aware of my father‘s pride in being a Marine.
When I was three years old … I would stand between my parents, feet digging into the soft
leather of the big front seat, and sing the entire Marine Corps Hymn at the top of my lungs.‖

Your own son chose to leave college to enlist with the Marines. Likewise, Pat Tillman chose to
leave a multi-million dollar NFL contract (and new wife) to enlist in the Rangers with his brother
Kevin. Pat didn‘t feel that he ought to remain privileged while others were sent to fight. As his

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mother testified, ―Pat had high ideals for the country. He did, and he thought it was imperfect.
He certainly didn‘t join for political reasons. He thought the country was in need. It didn‘t matter
who was in office. It didn‘t matter which party he voted for. That is beside the point. The
country was in need.‖

(Ironically, Pat and Kevin were later sent to fight in Iraq although they had come to believe, in
Pat‘s words, ―This war is so fucking illegal.‖)

Similarly, in Fields of Fire, Lt. Hodges said, ―They were only soldiers. They had never owned or
determined the reasons for a war, and they had not asked for this one. They had merely yielded to
their honor and tradition and agreed to fight it. And they were not wrong, not wrong.‖

Pat Tillman was driven by a core of honesty, integrity, and loyalty. His mother wrote, ―Pat was
honest and incorruptible; he would be offended and outraged about the actions taken in the
aftermath of his death. … He was such a loyal person. He always wanted to do right by the
people who mattered to him.‖ Coach Dave McGinnis said at his memorial service, ―Honor,
integrity, dignity; those weren‘t just adjectives in Pat Tillman‘s life; they were his life. Pat
Tillman was the embodiment of loyalty and commitment.‖

Similarly, in A Country Such As This, Senator Judd Smith said, ―If nothing ever works out all the
way, and if all things change, what‘s left? Your family and your friends and your values, that‘s
what‘s left. And your duty to them. … They‘re the only important things in life. … And that the
rest of it might change a million times, be called wrong or right or anything else, but you must
never violate your loyalty if you wished to survive the judgment of the ages.‖

Pat Tillman lived his life intensely, led by example, and went all out every play. He was well-
read and an independent thinker. In school, he earned a 3.84 grade-point average. Pat had written
in his journal since he was sixteen years old (his wartime journal was ―lost‖ by the Army
immediately after his death).

Pat Tillman was a character much like Cpt. Lenahan and cadet Fogarty in A Sense of Honor: ―He
is sensitive and fierce, a poet and a warrior, as Irish as the day is long. He is, in fact, myself in a
matchbox.‖
...

Over the past thirty years I‘ve read all your books. I started with Fields of Fire as a teenager, and
continued reading your books during my eight years serving in an Airborne LRRP company
[SSGT, 1983 -1991, Co. ―F‖ (Ranger) 425th Infantry MI Army National Guard] and my past
seventeen years as a firefighter.

After recently re-reading your books, I noticed several parallels between your novels and
Pat Tillman‟s fratricide:

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In Something to Die For, Col. Fogarty was ordered to place his Marines into a precarious fight in
Eritrea. This mistaken battle was covered-up by the Secretary of Defense and Fogarty was
posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor by the President during a nationally televised funeral
service:

―He [Secretary of Defense] knows the administration‘s position on the matter was a cover-
up. Eritrea was a mistake. But it worked. And they didn‘t want the president to look
bad.‖

―Ron Holcomb [Secretary of Defense] never told a lie, at least not in the way he could be
caught in it. …As a consequence, the remarks were a mix of bald truth, diplomatic half-
truths, and what Holcomb had privately called ‗necessary, unconfirmable distortions.‘
Nonetheless, they would become the government‘s official pronouncement on the day‘s
action.‖

―And the media gave them their forum, always ascertaining beforehand that their
allegations were borne out by facts if not the truth.‖

Similarly, Pat Tillman died as a result of a dangerous order to split his platoon, was posthumously
awarded the Silver Star, and his memorial service was televised with Senator McCain among the
dignitaries offering eulogies. Tillman‘s fratricide was covered-up by Secretary of Defense
Rumsfeld, Army generals and the White House.
...

In Fields of Fire, Lt. Hodges lost three of his men because he was ordered by Lt. Kersey (at the
Battalion command post) to put them out into a dangerous LP:

―LPs on the other side of this wire are crazy as hell. … The rule I use is, would I think it
made any sense if I got sent out on it? And I wouldn‘t. So I don‘t like it.‖

―Now, if the Lieutenant believes the LP shouldn‘t be out there, I suggest he go talk with
the battalion staff.‖

―Hodges did not know how to force his point. ―Can‘t ask for more than having the Big
Six consider it, I reckon.‖

―Bullshit.‖ … ―He (1st Lt. Kersey) ain‘t gonna talk to the Colonel about this. … As long
as he‘s looking good to the Man, he couldn‘t give a rat‘s ass how many people are
bleeding.‖

―He (Lt. Hodges) had met a dozen Kerseys in the Marine Corps already. They held all
ranks, although to him they seemed to be mostly Majors.‖

Lt. Uthlaut was Pat‘s platoon leader. His platoon had been held up by a broken humvee.
Maj. Hodne at the TOC wanted ―boots on the ground by dusk‖ in the village of Manah
merely so he could mark that task accomplished on-time on his checklist. Major Hodne,

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through Cpt. Saunders, ordered Lt. Uthlaut to split his platoon. Half would go to Manah,
and half would escort the humvee to the highway for pick-up. Lt. Uthlaut thought it was
dangerous and unnecessary to split his platoon. He repeatedly argued the point with Cpt.
Saunders in the TOC.

Near the end of Fields of Fire, Lt. Hodges is ordered to secure a dangerous perimeter around a
disabled tank. During the ensuing firefight, he is shot in the face and killed:

―Hodges grunted. ―Fucking tank.‖ … Snake shifted his gaze to the treadless tank that had
anchored them in such an indefensible position. It sat like a wounded mastodon in the
middle of the exposed paddy. … The company was digging a perimeter around it, to
protect it.‖

Similarly, Tillman‘s platoon was put into danger by a disabled humvee. During the ―friendly
fire‖ that resulted from splitting his platoon Lt. Uthlaut was hit in the face, his RO shot in the leg,
and Pat Tillman killed by criminally negligent fire by the lead vehicle of the second section
(Tillman was killed by rounds fired from only 35 meters away).
...

In A Sense of Honor, Cpt. Lenahan and cadet Fogarty were kicked out of the Naval Academy to
protect their superiors from a ―hazing scandal‖:

―Admiral, I‘ve got a man in trouble on a plebe-indoctrination charge. … My man won‘t


stand a chance.‖

―Do you realize the implications if this gets out, Captain? You were there when these
violations were going on. … If we sided with Fogarty, we could lose the whole plebe
system. … In fact, we‘ve lost more than Fogarty. I‘m afraid you‘ve just become a
casualty yourself. … You get orders out of here before somebody decides to investigate
you.‖

Similarly, Lt. Uthlaut (First Captain, top of his West Point Class) was offered up as a low-ranking
scapegoat and kicked out of the Ranger Battalion for his ―failure‖ to control his platoon during
the ―friendly fire‖ incident. (Captain Saunders and Major Hodne later denied they ordered Lt.
Uthlaut to split his platoon).
...

In The Emperor‘s General, Army lawyer Frank Witherspoon railed against the injustice of
General MacArthur‘s war-crimes trial of Japanese General Yamashita:

―… what he‘s [General MacArthur] doing is a sham. We‘re Americans, Captain. We‘re
supposedly bringing an accused man into the American system of justice. … He‘s
convened a military commission! It‘s not – a – court.‖

―I reminded him that we‘re supposed to be operating under traditional American concepts
of law, such as fairness, decency, and justice. … Do you realize what this trial – if you

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can call it a trial – this illegal, judgeless commission is going to look like? It‘s going to be
nothing but a public circus! ... why are we wasting our credibility as the United States on
this man?‖
...

Kevin Tillman, Pat‘s younger brother, enlisted and fought with Pat in Iraq and Afghanistan. After
Pat‘s death, Kevin refused all interviews and remained silent for 2 ½ years. Just before the
November 2006 elections, Kevin finally broke his silence with a short essay ―After Pat‘s
Birthday‖ (excerpted below):

―It is Pat‘s birthday on November 6, and elections are the day after.‖

―Somehow our elected leaders were subverting international law and humanity by setting
up secret prisons around the world, secretly kidnapping people, secretly holding them
indefinitely, secretly not charging them with anything, secretly torturing them.
…Somehow that overt policy of torture became the fault of a few bad apples. Somehow
subversion of the Bill of Rights and The Constitution is tolerated. Somehow suspension
of Habeas Corpus is supposed to keep this country safe.‖

―Somehow the most reasonable, trusted and respected country in the world has become
one of the most irrational, belligerent, feared, and distrusted countries in the world. …
Somehow American leadership, whose only credit is lying to its people and illegally
invading a nation, has been allowed to steal the courage, virtue and honor of its soldiers on
the ground.‖

―Luckily this country is still a democracy. People still have a voice. People still can take
action. It can start after Pat‘s birthday.‖

...

“Did they teach you how to lie yet?” (Senator Smith‘s father in A Country Such As This)

Note: Senator Webb‘s great-aunt Lena asked him this question in 1975 after he had finished law
school.

Last summer, on August 1, 2007, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform held a second
hearing: ―The Tillman Fratricide: What the Leadership of the Defense Department Knew.‖ The
phrase, ―I don‘t recall,‖ was uttered repeatedly by witnesses.

Mary wrote, ―General Brown, retired generals Meyers and Abizaid, and Rumsfeld have great
difficulty remembering what they knew and when they knew it. Someone sitting next to me
whispers, ‗They have collective amnesia.‘ Rumsfeld was asked several times in various ways
when he learned of Pat‘s death, but he couldn‘t recall.‖

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Mary continued, ―… we were not happy with the hearing at all. We had spent weeks helping
getting questions prepared and sending information. The Republicans on the committee were at
best indifferent … Most of the Democrats disappointed us as well. They were not prepared and
they didn‘t think on their feet. We expected more from Congress.‖

The White House claimed ―executive branch confidentiality‖ when the House Committee on
Oversight and Reform requested information about their handling of the Tillman fratricide. The
White House refused to release e-mails and documents or to allow White House staff to testify
before the committee.

During the April 24, 2007 hearing, Mary said, ―… Congress is supposed to take care of their
citizens. … Pat died for this country, and he believed it was a great country that had a system that
worked. It is not perfect. No one has ever said that. But there is a system in place to allow for it
to work, and your job is to find out what happened to Pat.‖

In A Country Such As This, Senator Judd Smith argued: ―And no, the military isn‘t just fine. The
point is, it isn‘t corrupt. It‘s a system with human failures.‖

But when ―human failures‖ systematically extend up every single link in the chain-of-command
(to include the Chair of the Joint Chiefs, Army Chief of Staff, and the Secretary of Defense) up to
and including the White House, how is this not a corrupt country? Every single institution in this
country has failed the Tillman family, including the Army leadership, Congress, White House and
the mainstream media.

Perhaps Senator Rowland, in Something to Die For, hit the nail on the head:

―How lofty it must have been to have burnt with the purity of the Revolution! Before the
days of multi-million dollar election campaigns that brought politicians to their knees
before the monied temple of the contributors. Before the time of computerized politics
that cause them to await the wisdom of those oracles known as pollsters before they
spoke. Or maybe it had been trash from the get-go, myths to feed the public.‖
...

Your novels over the past thirty years have dealt with themes of honor, integrity, loyalty, and
betrayal. I believe you might feel a sense of kinship with Pat Tillman and his family. Perhaps
you could arrange to meet with Mary Tillman during her May book tour? And perhaps you would
consider becoming an advocate in the Senate for the Tillman family‘s struggle for the truth?

P.S. I was an early supporter of your long-shot ‘06 Senate campaign (from the fall of ‘05
through your election I made six contributions to your campaign). Most satisfying money I‘ve
ever given to a ―lost‖ cause! Perhaps only the ―lost‖ causes are worth fighting for?

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“DID THEY TEACH YOU HOW TO LIE YET?”


Senator James Webb, General Stanley McChrystal,
and Congress‟s Betrayal of Pat Tillman

Marie Tillman (wife), Mary Tillman (mother), Richard Tillman (brother),


Kevin Tillman (brother), Patrick Tillman, Sr. (father) – May 4, 2004 Memorial Service

―… we have all been betrayed. It isn‘t just our family. Every time they betray a soldier, they
betray all of us.‖ … ―We had officers that we trusted. We had high regard for them. … in your
heart they are your kids and you turn them over, and we trusted. … we knew they [Pat & Kevin]
could die or they could come back wounded … But we never thought that they would use him the
way they did‖
-- Mary Tillman, Congressional testimony (April 24, 2007)

―They ought to make a movie about this. Mr. Smith comes to Washington.‖ ―Yeah, I called my
pa last night and he says, Judd boy, you been up there with them muck-a-mucks two days, now.
Did they teach you how to lie yet?‖
-- Senator James Webb, ―A Country Such As This‖ (1983)

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Memorial Day 2009 Letter to Senator James Webb


[adapted from ―Did They Teach You How to Lie Yet?]

Five years ago on Memorial Day weekend, five weeks after he was killed in Afghanistan, Pat
Tillman‘s parents were finally told their son was ―probably‖ killed by friendly fire.

This Memorial Day weekend, the Senate Armed Services Committee has scheduled General
Stanley McChrystal‘s confirmation hearing for June 2nd. Chairman Carl Levin and Senator John
McCain don‘t foresee any problem with his confirmation.

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said, "We feel terrible for what the Tillman family went
through, but this matter has been investigated thoroughly by the Pentagon, by the Congress, by
outside experts, and all of them have come to the same conclusion: that there was no wrongdoing
by Gen. McChrystal."

However, Pat Tillman‘s parents believe McChrystal played a central role in the cover-up of their
son‘s fratricide. Pat Tillman Sr. said, "I do believe that guy participated in a falsified homicide
investigation.‖ Mary Tillman e-mailed AP, "It is imperative that Lt. General McChrystal be
scrutinized carefully during the Senate hearings."

In the past, Mary Tillman has harshly criticized the actions of General McChrystal. In her book
―Boots on the Ground by Dusk,‖ Mary wrote:

―Not only is he [McChrystal] lying about the circumstances surrounding Pat‘s death, … he
is proposing false language for the Silver Star narrative. … His statement [P4 memo]
indicates that no one had any intention of telling us, or the public, that Pat was killed by
fratricide unless forced to do so.‖

And shortly after General Wallace‘s findings were released in July 2007, Mary said:

"That memo [P4] is damming as hell. And yet, nothing happens to [McChrystal]. He is
writing fraudulent language in that memo. He is giving examples of how they can script
the Silver Star award, even though Pat was killed by fratricide. And he is saying we need
to keep our leadership abreast of things so they don't embarrass themselves, IF the
circumstances of Pat's death should become public‖ … ―He should be saying 'We're going
to have to put a hold to the Silver Star and we're going to have to notify the family [of
suspected friendly fire].' That is what he would say if he was innocent, but he is not. He is
trying to find a way that they can continue this false, elaborate story of theirs. And the fact
that he is off the hook is atrocious.‖

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THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

I believe the Senate Armed Services Committee should postpone General McChrystal‘s
confirmation and take a closer look at McChrystal‘s central role in the Army‘s handling of Pat
Tillman‘s fratricide.

Five years ago, Pat Tillman‘s family were handed a tarnished Silver Star. It will be a travesty of
justice if McChrystal is confirmed by the Senate, promoted to the Army‘s highest rank, and
handed his fourth star.
...

Congress and the senior leadership of the Army have shielded General McChrystal from close
scrutiny and protected him from punishment for his central role in orchestrating the cover-up of
Pat Tillman‘s fratricide:

Last year, you conducted a secret review of General McChrystal‘s role in the Army‘s handling of
the Tillman fratricide at the request of Chairman Levin. On May 15th 2008 the Senate Armed
Services Committee met in ―executive‖ (closed) session to consider McChrystal‘s nomination.
On May 22th 2008, General McChrystal was unanimously confirmed by the Committee and
promoted to Director of the Joint Staff.

Last year, I spoke with you on the Diane Rhem NPR radio show (May 27th 2008; at 40:56). You
said,
―I went through a fairly thorough review of that process [what happened in the aftermath
of Tillman‘s death] at the request of the Chairman of the [Senate] Armed Services
Committee [Senator Levin].‖ … ―the Army knew that this was a friendly fire incident
fairly quickly, they did not tell the family, they allowed a ceremony to go forward which
implied otherwise… I‘m not sure where responsibility for that decision really lies, in
terms of the chain of command, how it was handled publicly… You cannot help but still
feel angry about how his death was used.‖

I share your anger about how Pat Tillman‘s death was used. But, I don‘t understand why you
were unable to determine ―where responsibility for that decision really lies‖ to cover up Tillman‘s
fratricide. I doubt you actually conducted a ―fairly thorough review‖ of General McChrystal‘s
role. General McChrystal was the central figure in the Army‘s cover up of Tillman‘s friendly fire
death: McChrystal received confirmation of Tillman‘s fratricide within two days, had the
responsibility to tell the family, made the decision not to tell the family about fratricide, and he
directed the writing of the ―misleading‖ Silver Star award with ―inaccurate statements‖ (and was
one of three Army officers who were in the approval chain that altered the two witness
statements).
...

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On July 31st 2007, Secretary of the Army Pete Geren presented the findings of General William
Wallace‘s review of the previous Army & Dept. of Defense Inspector General (DoD IG) Tillman
investigations. However, Wallace disregarded the IG‘s findings that General McChrystal was
―accountable‖ for the inaccurate Silver Star recommendation and failed to notify the Secretary of
the Army of fratricide. McChrystal received no reprimand for his role in the handling of the
Tillman fratricide. Instead, General Wallace singled out General Kensinger as the scapegoat
responsible for the public believing the Army covered up the Tillman fratricide.

However, Army Secretary Geren and General Cody‘s defense of McChrystal doesn‘t hold up
under scrutiny. General McChrystal was guilty of the same charges for which Kensinger was
scapegoated! That is, General McChrystal was responsible to ―inform the family about friendly
fire,‖ failed to ―inform the family about friendly fire in a timely manner,‖ failed ―to inform the
acting Secretary of the Army [his chain of command] of the fratricide investigation,‖ and made
―false official statements.‖
...

During 2007, Congressman Waxman‘s House Oversight & Reform Committee conducted an
investigation and held two hearings on the Tillman fratricide. However, Congressman Waxman‘s
Committee appeared to conduct a half-hearted, pro-forma investigation. Chairman Waxman‘s
decision to narrow the scope of his investigation to only ―look up‖ the chain of command took the
focus off General McChrystal and other Army officers involved in the cover-up. Although
McChrystal was ―invited‖ to testify, he never appeared. [Note: I‘ve recently uncovered a CNN
transcript which suggests that McChrystal may have testified during a secret ―closed‖ hearing
before the Committee]. After raising questions about the Silver Star, they didn‘t look into
McChrystal‘s role in approving the Silver Star with a fraudulent citation, justification and altered
witness statements. The Committee never questioned the ―timeliness‖ or misleading contents of
General McChrystal‘s P4 memo.
...

The Senate Armed Services Committee June 2nd confirmation of General McChrystal will be the
final layer of the Army and Congressional cover-ups of Pat Tillman‘s death.

During the April 24th 2007 Congressional hearing, Mary said,

―… Congress is supposed to take care of their citizens. … Pat died for this country, and
he believed it was a great country that had a system that worked. It is not perfect. No one
has ever said that. But there is a system in place to allow for it to work, and your job is to
find out what happened to Pat.‖

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In your 1983 novel, A Country Such As This, Congressman Judd Smith argued, ―And no, the
military isn‘t just fine. The point is, it isn‘t corrupt. It‘s a system with human failures.‖

But when ―human failures‖ systematically extend up every single link in the chain-of-command
(to include the Chair of the Joint Chiefs, Army Chief of Staff, and the Secretary of Defense) up to
and including the White House, how is this not a corrupt country? Every single institution in this
country has failed the Tillman family, including the Army leadership, Congress, White House and
the mainstream media.

Perhaps Senator Rowland, in your novel, Something to Die For, hit the nail on the head:

―How lofty it must have been to have burnt with the purity of the Revolution! Before the
days of multi-million dollar election campaigns that brought politicians to their knees
before the monied temple of the contributors. Before the time of computerized politics
that cause them to await the wisdom of those oracles known as pollsters before they
spoke. Or maybe it had been trash from the get-go, myths to feed the public.‖

...

―Across the room … my mother‘s father, B.H. Hodges, stares out at me … as he has done in
every office I have occupied for more than twenty years. … Defiant he was, and tragic too. He
was a fighter, a lonely champion of lost causes who himself lost everything because of the causes
he championed.‖
-- James Webb, ―A Time to Fight‖ (2008)

Four decades ago, you were drawn into the Randy Herrod case. A Marine patrol was accused of
killing sixteen Vietnam Villagers. Herrod, the patrol leader and veteran of five months, had been
found not guilty. Yet Sam Green, a black eighteen year old with eleven days in Vietnam had
been convicted even though no testimony had been presented that he had actually killed anyone.

From Robert Timberg‘s ―The Nightingale‘s Song‖:

―The case continued to bedevil Webb …. He wanted to help Green, but wasn‘t sure what
he could do. … He joined forces, pro bono, … to try to get the conviction overturned in a
civilian court. … The secretary [of the Navy] declined to act. … About two weeks later, in
August 1975, Webb received a telegram …: TRAGIC CONCLUSION SAM GREEN
DESTROYED HIMSELF.‖

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THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

―He had never met Green, spoken to him only once by phone, but he had committed
himself to clearing his name. … He felt helpless, his sense of futility laced with outrage.
Isn‘t any of this going to come out right? … Green was dead, but Webb couldn‘t let the
case go. He … filed an appeal … asking that Green‘s dishonorable discharge be upgraded
to honorable. Webb personally argued the case before the board.‖

―In December 1978, eight years after the shootings and three years after Green‘s suicide,
Webb wrote to Mrs. Green: ―At last, Sam‘s name is cleared.‖ He explained that her son‘s
discharge had been upgraded to a general discharge. … ―This is small solace, I know,‖
wrote Webb, ‗I only regret we were unable to do more for him sooner.‖

...

I never met Pat Tillman. I never really knew anything about him until a year and a half after his
death. But, I‘ve taken the cover-ups of his death a bit personally the last few years. Why? I feel
a sense of kinship with Pat Tillman. I‘m not in his league, but I was an Airborne Ranger and an
autodidact and a bit of maverick. And I‘ve always had outrage for injustice and rooted for the
underdog.

I‘ve been bedeviled by the Tillman case. For five years, I haven‘t been able to let the case go. I
hoped this could be one small cause I might be able to make a difference with all the other shit
going on the past few years. It would be nice if this ―letter‖ of mine would make a difference.

...

For thirty years your books have dealt with themes of honor, integrity, loyalty, and betrayal. Re-
reading your books, I noticed many parallels between your books and the story of Pat Tillman‘s
death. On April 3rd 2008, I sent your office a letter asking you to become an advocate in the
Senate for Mary Tillman‘s struggle for the truth about her son‘s death (I doubt my letter made it
past your Military Affairs gatekeeper Gordon Peterson).

I believed you would feel a sense of kinship with Pat Tillman and his family:

The Tillman‘s are of Scots-Irish descent. Military service was prevalent and respected in
the Tillman family. Mary Tillman‘s uncles were at Pearl Harbor, her brother was a
Marine, and her father was a Marine during the Korean War. Mary wrote, ―From the time
I was very little, I was aware of my father‘s pride in being a Marine. When I was three
years old … I would stand between my parents, feet digging into the soft leather of the big
front seat, and sing the entire Marine Corps Hymn at the top of my lungs.‖

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THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

―Pat Tillman was driven by a core of honesty, integrity, and loyalty. His mother wrote,
―Pat was honest and incorruptible; he would be offended and outraged about the actions
taken in the aftermath of his death. … He was such a loyal person. He always wanted to
do right by the people who mattered to him.‖ Coach Dave McGinnis said at his memorial
service, ―Honor, integrity, dignity; those weren‘t just adjectives in Pat Tillman‘s life; they
were his life. Pat Tillman was the embodiment of loyalty and commitment.‖

Similarly, in A Country Such As This, Senator Judd Smith said, ―If nothing ever works out
all the way, and if all things change, what‘s left? Your family and your friends and your
values, that‘s what‘s left. And your duty to them. … They‘re the only important things in
life. … And that the rest of it might change a million times, be called wrong or right or
anything else, but you must never violate your loyalty if you wished to survive the
judgment of the ages.‖

Five years ago, Pat Tillman‘s family were handed a tarnished Silver Star. It will be a travesty of
justice if McChrystal is confirmed by the Senate Armed Services Committee, promoted to the
Army‘s highest rank, and handed his fourth star.

But, perhaps you were right years ago in your novel, ―A Sense of Honor,‖ when CPT Lenahan
said, ―I guess that‘s what the world does to you. It makes you realize that honor and loyalty are
traps with no reward.‖
...

I feel you owe a duty to Pat Tillman and his family. A duty to place a ―hold‖ on General
McChrystal‘s nomination and stop his confirmation on June 2nd.

Yeah, that could be a lost cause. You‘d piss off a lot of people. But, at least you would give Mary
Tillman the small solace of knowing there is one man of integrity in the Senate willing to stand as
her advocate. Someone willing to ―be a lonely champion of lost causes…‖ Perhaps you need to
take a long look at the picture staring at you from your office wall?

You‘ve been a hero to me for three decades, since I was a teenager, through my years as an
Airborne Ranger LRRP, to the present day as a firefighter. I haven‘t always agreed with your
positions on the Vietnam War, etc. But I‘ve never before doubted your integrity. I‘ve always
trusted your sense of honor.

I‘d like to think that, after three years in Congress, you are still able to answer ―No‖ to the
question your great-aunt Lena asked of you in 1975; ―So you‘ve been to law school. Did they
teach you how to lie yet?‖

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“THE TILLMAN STORY” SCRIPT:


Congress‟s Oversight Committee Fumbled the Ball

―… there‘s been no culpability on the second half of this tragedy, which is the higher ups trying to
cover it up. … [The Tillman family] ran the ball 99 yards over four years‘ time, they handed it off
at the one-yard line to Congress and they fumbled it. ... ―

-- Amir Bar-Lev, ―The Fog of War‖ (July 20, 2010)

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Congress‟s Oversight Committee Holds Tillman Fratricide Hearing

NARRATOR: On April 24th 2007, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee
held their hearing on the ―Misleading Information from the Battlefield‖ that followed the death of
Pat Tillman. Chairman Henry Waxman began with his opening remarks.

CHAIRMAN WAXMAN: ―News of the fratricide flew up the chain of command within
days, but the Tillman family was kept in the dark for more than a month. … Evidence was
destroyed. Witness statements were doctored … The least we owe to our courageous men
and women who are fighting for our freedom is the truth, and that is what we are going to
insist on in this hearing and in our subsequent examination and investigation.‖

NARRATOR: Kevin Tillman, Pat‘s brother who served in the same Ranger platoon with Pat in
Iraq & Afghanistan, harshly criticized the March 26, 2007 DoD Inspector General report.

KEVIN TILLMAN: ―Revealing that Pat‘s death was a fratricide would have been yet
another political disaster ... So the facts needed to be suppressed. … An alternative
narrative had to be constructed. Crucial evidence was destroyed including Pat‘s uniform,
equipment and notebook. The autopsy was not done according to regulation, and a field
hospital report was falsified. An initial investigation completed … before testimony could
be changed … [and which hit disturbingly close to the mark] disappeared into thin air and
was conveniently replaced by another investigation with more palatable findings.‖

―… while each investigation gathered more information, the mountain of evidence was
never used to arrive at an honest or even sensible conclusion. … The handling of the
situation after the firefight was described as a compilation of ‗missteps, inaccuracies and
errors in judgment which created the perception of concealment.‘‖

―Writing a Silver Star award before a single eye witness account is taken is not a misstep.
Falsifying soldier witness statements for a Silver Star is not a misstep. … Discarding an
(15-6) investigation that does not fit a preordained conclusion is not an error in judgment.
These are deliberate acts of deceit. This is not the perception of concealment. This is
concealment.‖

―… the fact that the Army, and what appears to be others, attempted to hijack his virtue
and his legacy is simply horrific. The least this country can do for him in return is to
uncover who is responsible for his death, who lied and covered it up, and who instigated
those lies and benefited from them. Then, ensure that justice is meted out to the
culpable.‖

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NARRATOR: Mary Tillman, Pat Tillman‘s mother, also testified:

―We had officers that we trusted. We had high regard for them. … in your heart they are
your kids and you turn them over, and we trusted. Certainly, we knew they could die or
they could come back wounded … But we never thought that they would use him (Pat) the
way they did.‖

―And we shouldn‘t be allowed to have smokescreens thrown in our face. … in every way,
they [Army CID investigators] dodged. They are dodging us, and the [Department of
Defense] IG condoned that even though they make the public believe they did such a
grand job because they pointed the finger at four generals and five other officers. That is
a smokescreen. These officers are scapegoats.‖

―It is a bit disingenuous to think that the [Bush] Administration did not know about what
was going on, something so politically sensitive. … The fact that he (Pat) would be killed
by friendly fire and no one would tell [Defense Secretary] Rumsfeld is ludicrous … … the
idea that they wouldn‘t tell [Gen.] Abizaid [Centcom commander] what was going on if he
didn‘t already know is ridiculous.‖

―… we have all been betrayed. It isn‘t just our family. Every time they betray a soldier,
they betray all of us … and that is why we are in front of Congress, because Congress is
supposed to take care of their citizens. … Pat died for this country, and he believed it was
a great country that had a system that worked. … and your job is to find out what
happened to Pat.‖

Army Made Gen. Kensinger the Scapegoat for “Perfect Storm of Mistakes”

NARRATOR: On July 31st 2007 the Army presented the findings of Gen. Wallace‘s Review of
the Tillman investigations. During a press briefing, Secretary of the Army Pete Geren laid most
of the blame for the Army‘s ―perfect storm of mistakes‖ onto Gen. Kensinger.

SEC. GEREN: ―For casualty notification, safety investigation and administrative control
of the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, General Kensinger was the captain of that
ship, and his ship ran aground. It ran aground because he failed to do his duty.‖

REPORTER: ―You've described a litany of errors and mistakes going more than three
years involving a lot of people, yet all the blame falls on General Kensinger. I'm just
trying to make some sense of that‖ … ―He happens to be retired. Is there a coincidence
there? … Lots of people did lots of things wrong it seems, but he's the only one who's
really being singled out with the harshest punishment.‖

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MARY TILLMAN: ―It is disturbing to me that the Army keeps blaming Gen. Kensinger
for the fact we weren‘t notified. I think Kensinger is culpable to a point, but he is not the
ultimate bad guy. He would not have been the one to make the decision not to tell us. …
the cover-up wouldn‘t start at the three-star level‖

[Pan up chain of command organizational chart, brief glimpse of Gen. McChrystal‘s


portrait on the chart as the view moves up to President Bush at the top]

Did the Tillman Cover-Up Go All the Way Up to the White House?

NARRATOR: ―Several days after the March 26, 2007 Dept. of Defense Inspector General (DoD
IG) briefing, an AP reporter was anonymously sent a copy of a P4 memo sent by Gen.
McChrystal on April 29, 2004. His P4 memo warned top generals to inform the President about
the fratricide to avoid ―unknowing statements by our country‘s leaders which might cause public
embarrassment if the circumstances of Corporal Tillman‘s death become public.‖

[Pan P4 Memo Text]

NARRATOR: ―Did the President receive this P4 message? Well, two days after the P4 memo
was sent, President Bush delivered his speech at the White House Correspondents‘ Dinner. As
the P4 advised, the President did not discuss how Corporal Tillman died.‖

[Video of President Bush delivering speech during May 1st WH Correspondents‘ Dinner]

Oversight Committee Stone-Walled by Rumsfeld & Generals

NARRATOR: ―On August 1st 2007 the House Oversight Committee ineptly questioned several
top Army generals and former Defense Secretary Rumsfeld about when they received the P4
memo and what action they took after reading it.‖

CHAIRMAN WAXMAN: ―We are also grateful that General Myers and Secretary
Rumsfeld ... are here to testify. And we are pleased that you have taken this
opportunity to be with us … and certainly in the case of Secretary Rumsfeld, who went to
great pains to be here. And I appreciate the fact that he did come. …‖

[Generals and Rumsfeld using some variation of ―I don‘t recall]

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THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

Chairman WAXMAN. ―OK. Well, let me conclude the hearing by indicating the facts that
General Myers and General Brown knew about the friendly fire issue at the end of April.
General Abizaid learned on May 6th. Secretary Rumsfeld learned on May 20th. All of
these are the senior leaders that knew before the public and the family——

Mr. RUMSFELD. ―Could I correct that? … I want to make sure this is precisely accurate.
I do not believe I testified that I learned on May 20th, … My testimony is that I do not
recall; … —I just simply do not know …‖

General ABIZAID. And, sir, if I may, I also wanted to make sure that the 6th is a logical
day. It is not ‗‗the‘‘ day; the day is somewhere between 10 and 20 days after the event. It‘s
the best that my staff and I could come to a conclusion on at this point.

Chairman WAXMAN. You were all very busy. There is no question about it.

General BROWN. Sir, one other thing, if I could interrupt also to correct. Your statement
was that I knew about the friendly fire, I knew that there was an investigation ongoing, the
potential for friendly fire.

General MYERS. That goes for me, too. General ABIZAID. And for me, as well.

Chairman WAXMAN. Well, you all knew or didn‘t know within that timeframe. … The
System didn‘t work, errors were made – but that‘s too passive. Somebody should be
responsible.‖

The Tillman Family Expected Some “Oversight” from Congress

MARY TILLMAN: ―Yes, … someone should be responsible. … We have been let down.
… the Republicans on the committee were at best indifferent … most of the Democrats
disappointed us as well. Their performance is not what it was in April. They were not
prepared and they are unable to think on their feet. We expected more from Congress.‖

PATRICK TILLMAN: ―I expected ‗oversight‘ from Congress‘s Oversight Committee.‖

MARY TILLMAN: ―After more than three years of … persistent pushing to get answers,
our family has twice been heard before a congressional committee. … We‘ve done all we
can do …‖

NARRATOR: ―The Tillman family did all they could do to uncover the truth. But no one has
ever paid a price for using Pat Tillman‘s death as a propaganda tool to support the war effort.‖

[Rumsfeld leaves hearing, gets in his limo, and drives away … Capitol Building at night]

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“THE [UNTOLD] TILLMAN STORY”


Congress Didn‟t Fumble, They Threw the Game

House Oversight Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (August 1, 2007)

Army Secretary Geren & Gen. Cody (July 31, 2007) Sec. Rumsfeld, Gen. Meyers, Abizaid, and Brown (August 1, 2007)

"There is another man [besides Gen. Kensinger] who will not be in the room. That is Lieutenant
General Stan McChrystal. It should be very clear to everyone, General McChrystal is the head of
covert special forces. The so-called dark or black forces. The ones who stay undercover ...
Because of his extraordinarily sensitive position with covert special forces, he is not appearing in
public. And so he will not be questioned further by the committee in an open hearing.‖

-- Barbara Starr, CNN correspondent, (CNN, Aug. 1, 2007)

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THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

On April 24th 2007, the House Oversight and Reform Committee held the ―Hearing on
Misleading Information from the Battlefield‖. Ranger O‘Neal testified that his Silver Star
witness statement had been altered. Chairman Waxman concluded, ―It wasn‘t misleading
information. We have false information that was put out to the American people, stories that were
fabricated.‖

Pat Tillman‘s brother, Kevin, testified:

―The handling of the situation after the firefight was described as a compilation of
―missteps, inaccuracies and errors in judgment which created the perception of
concealment‖…. Writing a Silver Star award before a single eye witness account is taken
is not a misstep. Falsifying soldier witness statements for a Silver Star is not a misstep.
… Discarding an (15-6) investigation that does not fit a preordained conclusion is not an
error in judgment. These are deliberate acts of deceit. This is not the perception of
concealment. This is concealment‖

However, following the hearing, instead of exercising oversight by looking ―down‖ at the Army‘s
investigations (e.g. questioning the officers involved in writing the fraudulent Silver Star
package), Chairman Waxman decided to pursue a very narrow focus and only look ―up‖ the chain
of command to determine what the top officials at the White House and the Defense Department
knew about Tillman‘s fratricide.

...

On July 31st 2007, Army Secretary Pete Geren presented the results of General Wallace‘s Review.
Wallace singled out General Kensinger as the primary reason many people believe the Army
covered up Tillman‘s fratricide. However, I believe General Kensinger was merely the scapegoat
for the sins of the Army and Bush administration. I would argue that General McChrystal was
just as guilty of the same charges for which Kensinger was singled out: despite having early
knowledge of fratricide he failed to tell the family, he failed to inform his change of command
(Army Secretary) about fratricide, and he made false official statements in his congressional
testimony and his Silver Star recommendation.

...

On August 1st 2007, the Committee held their last hearing, ―The Tillman Fratricide: What the
Leadership of the Defense Department Knew.‖ Chairman Waxman focused on a ―Personal For‖
[P4] message that MG McChrystal sent on April 29th 2004 and sought to find out how and when

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THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

the top military leadership learned about fratricide. Former Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and
three retired generals (Meyers, Abizaid, and Brown) testified.

Mary Tillman wrote in her book ―Boots on the Ground by Dusk‖:

―General Brown, retired generals Meyers and Abizaid, and Rumsfeld have great difficulty
remembering what they knew and when they knew it. Someone sitting next to me
whispers, ‗They have collective amnesia.‘‖ … ―we were not happy with the hearing at all.
We had spent weeks helping getting questions prepared and sending information. The
Republicans on the committee were at best indifferent … Most of the Democrats
disappointed us as well. They were not prepared and they didn‘t think on their feet. We
expected more from Congress.

Although McChrystal had been ―invited‖ to testify at the hearing, he never appeared. The
Committee acted to shield McChrystal from public scrutiny of his actions by either permitting
him to ―decline‖ to testify or by having him testify during a secret, closed hearing.

General Kensinger was also invited to the hearing, but evaded a subpoena. However, he was later
interviewed by the Committee. General McChrystal was invited, but never appeared. For some
reason, he was never interviewed at a later time despite his key role in directing the writing of the
fraudulent Silver Star and P4 memo.

After the hearing, despite once again raising the issue of the fraudulent Silver Star citation and
altered witness statements, the Committee never followed up by questioning those in ―the
approval chain‖ who were accountable: COL Nixon, LTC Kauzlarich, and MG McChrystal.

...

Almost a year after their last Tillman hearing, on July 14th 2008, Congressman Henry Waxman‘s
House Oversight & Reform Committee finally issued their report ―Misleading Information from
the Battlefield: The Tillman and Lynch Episodes‖ which concluded, ―The pervasive lack of
recollection and absence of specific information makes it impossible for the Committee to assign
responsibility for the misinformation in Corporal Tillman‘s and Private Lynch‘s cases…‖

...

Overall, it appears Waxman‘s Oversight & Reform Committee held a perfunctory ―pro forma‖
investigation into the handling of the Tillman fratricide which served to protect McChrystal (and
others) from close scrutiny of his central role in the cover-up of Pat Tillman‘s fratricide:

Chairman Waxman narrowed the scope of his investigation to exclude examination of


McChrystal, permitted him to refuse to testify at the hearing, and never interviewed
McChrystal despite his central role in the handling of the Tillman fratricide.

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After raising questions about the Silver Star award during their first hearing, they didn‘t
probe further into the false narrative of the Silver Star package and altered witness
statements

Waxman‘s Committee never questioned the ―timeliness‖ of General McChrystal‘s P4


memo. Although McChrystal was informed of confirmed fratricide just two days after
Tillman‘s death, he decided not to inform the Tillman family.

The Committee never took a hard look at the contents, and forthrightness of
McChrystal‘s misleading P4 memo or McChrystal‘s role in approving the Silver Star
package containing a fraudulent citation, justification and altered witness statements.

It‘s particularly puzzling the Committee failed to interview General McChrystal and
closely scrutinize him despite his central position in the handling of Tillman‘s fratricide
between the Ranger RGT officers and the senior Army leadership.

...

Why did the House Oversight Committee protect General McChrystal from scrutiny? Perhaps the
Congressional leadership told them to give McChrystal a ―free pass‖ because he was a rising star
in the Army whose JSOC operations were considered indispensable to the 2007 Iraq ―Surge‖
effort? (In ―State of Denial‖ President Bush told Bob Woodward that ―JSOC is awesome!) And
as with other issues such as warrantless wiretapping and torture, the Administration is ―looking
forward, not backward.‖

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“MISLEADING INFORMATION FROM THE


BATTLEFIELD”
House Oversight Committee Hearing, April 24th 2007

Ranger Bryan O‘Neal testifying before Congress (April 24, 2007)

Patrick Tillman, Sr. & Kevin Tillman (April 24, 2007) Mary Tillman before Congress (April 24, 2007)

―… Pat died for this country, and he believed it was a great country that had a system that
worked. … And we shouldn‘t be allowed to have smokescreens thrown in our face. … it is a
betrayal, but it is not just a betrayal to us, … and that is why we are in front of Congress because
Congress is supposed to take care of their citizens.‖

-- Mary Tillman, Congressional Hearing (April 24, 2007)

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“Misleading Information from the Battlefield”


House Oversight Committee Hearing, April 24th 2007

On April 24th 2007, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a hearing on
the ―Misleading Information from the Battlefield‖ that followed the death of Pat Tillman in
Afghanistan. Among the witnesses who testified were Mary Tillman, Kevin Tillman, Dept. of
Defense Inspector General (DoD IG) Thomas Gimble, and Army Ranger Bryan O'Neal.

Note: The following summary is based upon Appendix B1 -- House Oversight Committee‘s 1st
Tillman Hearing (April 24, 2007). Go there for full quotes and commentary.

Tillman Family Says that the Army and DoD IG Threw “Smokescreens” in Their Faces:

Kevin Tillman criticized the Army and Dept. of Defense IG investigations saying, ―… while each
investigation gathered more information, the mountain of evidence was never used to arrive at an
honest or even sensible conclusion … These are deliberate acts of deceit. This is not the
perception of concealment. This is concealment.‖

Mary Tillman said, ―And we shouldn‘t be allowed to have smokescreens thrown in our face. … in
every way, they [Army CID investigators] dodged. They are dodging us, and the [Department of
Defense] IG condoned that … It is a bit disingenuous to think that the [Bush] Administration did
not know about what was going on, something so politically sensitive. …and your job is to find
out what happened to Pat.‖

Did Early Word of Tillman‟s Fratricide Reach the White House?

IG Gimble testified that word of Tillman‘s fratricide started up the chain of command ―within the
next day‖ and that COL Nixon told MG McChrystal of fratricide on April 23rd. IG Gimble laid
the blame for the failure to notify the Tillman family upon COL Nixon for keeping the fratricide
information ―close hold.‖

On April 29th 2004, a P4 memo was sent by MG McChrystal to three high ranking generals. The
P4 warns: ‗It is highly possible that Corporal Tillman was killed by friendly fire‘ and the
President . . . ‗might include comments about Corporal Tillman‘s heroism and his approved Silver
Star medal in speeches currently being prepared, not knowing the specifics surrounding his
death.‘ Mary Tillman said she didn‘t think ―that these generals acted on their own‖ and that
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld ―would have received this information‖ about Pat‘s
fratricide from the P4 memo.
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The Committee asked IG Gimble if the P4 memo made it to the White House. Gimble replied,
―We think the P4 memo stopped with the three generals that were on it.‖ However, Gimble
mentioned that any White House response would have been through ―… the Public Affairs chain
of command, … and that wasn‘t really a part of what we were looking at.‖

IG Gimble “Unable” to Find Out Who Falsified the Silver Star Witness Statements:

Mary Tillman said, ―I think that the Silver Star has been focused on a great deal, and one reason
that has been the case is because it leaves a paper trail. It is not the most outrageous lie or cover-
up that is part of this story, but it does leave a paper trail.‖

Kevin Tillman said, ―To falsify a witness statement in a Silver Star award, fabricating it with
these kids‘ names on it, that is an example of something that it is sitting right here. Why isn‘t it
addressed in the conclusion? How come no one is held accountable for this? The whole thing is
riddled with nonsense, sir.‖

Congressman Clay pointed out that the Silver Star citation was written so that anyone reading it
would ―believe that Pat was killed in a firefighter with enemy forces‖ and ―there is nothing in
here at all about friendly fire.” Ranger O‘Neal testified that someone had altered his Silver Star
witness statement, removing his references to friendly fire and adding references to ―devastating
enemy fire‖.

When asked ―who would have been the most likely person to have made alterations,‖ IG Gimble
replied, ―We were unable to determine who in the chain of command actually did the alterations
of it. I could speculate, but I just prefer not to. It is somewhere in the approval chain that it got
edited. ‖

Predator Drone Footage of Tillman Firefight was “Lost” by the Army:

Congressman Honda asked General Johnson about the Predator footage of the Tillman firefight.
Johnson replied, ―there was no Predator records of that particular point on the battlefield.‖

However, it‘s quite interesting that CNAS‘s Andrew Exum began his Washington Post book
review of Jon Krakauer‘s book, ―Where Men Win Glory,‖ with a personal account of how he saw
the Predator feed of the Tillman firefight at Bagram AFB on the evening of April 22nd.
Ironically, Exum‘s hostile review lambasted what he called ―conspiracy theories‖ while his own
eyewitness account lends support to the notion that the Army destroyed evidence of fratricide!

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Guy Montag‟s Response to Committee‟s April 24th 2007 Hearing

Chairman Waxman concluded his April 24th hearing by saying, ―… It wasn‘t misleading
information. We have false information that was put out to the American people … These aren‘t
things that are done by mistake. … Why is it so hard to find out who is responsible and to hold
them accountable?‖

1.) Well, the White House and the Dept. of Defense certainly bear the blame for stonewalling the
Committee. After the hearing, Chairman Waxman sent letters to the White House and Dept. of
Defense asking them for documents about the circumstances of Tillman‘s death. But, both the
White House and Dept. of Defense withheld most of the relevant documents from the Committee:
―the White House could not produce a single e-mail or document relating to any discussion about
Corporal Tillman‘s death by friendly fire.‖ And, to Chairman Waxman‘s credit, he at least asked
for Public Affairs (PA) documents, something that IG Gimble said ―wasn‘t really a part of what
we were looking at.‖

2.) However, the Committee wasn‘t sufficiently skeptical of the IG report conclusions. It‘s
important to note that the findings and evidence in the IG report don‘t always agree with their
conclusions (As Kevin Tillman said, ―the mountain of evidence was never used to arrive at an
honest or even sensible conclusion.‖) For example, IG Gimble‘s report blamed COL Nixon for
his failure to notify the family of fratricide. But the Committee failed to notice that MG
McChrystal also had early knowledge of fratricide, the responsibility to notify the family, and yet
failed to do so. McChrystal even admitted he ―made a conscious decision‖ not to tell. And the
IG Timeline‘s account of when Nixon told McChrystal doesn‘t match Gimble‘s testimony.

3.) The Committee failed to press IG Gimble to ―speculate‖ on who altered the Silver Star witness
statements even though Chairman Waxman concluded,‖ These things aren‘t done by mistake.‖
There were only three officers involved in the ―approval chain,‖ the same three who Gimble
found made ―inaccurate statements‖ in the Silver Star citation; LTC Kauzlarich, COL Nixon, and
MG McChrystal. Yet, the Committee never subpoenaed those three officers to testify in detail
about their falsified Silver Star recommendation package

4.) The Committee failed to question the timeliness of MG McChrystal‘s P4 memo. Athough
Gimble said MG McChrystal had been informed of fratricide on April 23rd, McChrystal
supposedly waited six days, until the 29th to finally send his P4 memo to ―warn‖ his chain of
command of fratricide. (In actuality, he probably just picked up the phone on the 23 rd, certainly
by the 24th when he received verbal confirmation from the initial 15-6 investigating officer).

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Congress‟s Hearing Reveals Army Gave Out “False Information”

NARRATOR: On April 24th 2007, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee
held their hearing on the ―Misleading Information from the Battlefield‖ that followed the death of
Pat Tillman in Afghanistan. Chairman Henry Waxman began with his opening remarks.

CHAIRMAN WAXMAN: ―News of the fratricide flew up the chain of command within
days, but the Tillman family was kept in the dark for more than a month. … Evidence was
destroyed. Witness statements were doctored … The least we owe to our courageous men
and women who are fighting for our freedom is the truth, and that is what we are going to
insist on in this hearing and in our subsequent examination and investigation.‖
[p.1, HOC 4-24-07]

NARRATOR: Kevin Tillman, Pat‘s brother who served in the same Ranger platoon with Pat on
tours in Iraq & Afghanistan, criticized the March 26, 2007 DoD Inspector General report:

KEVIN TILLMAN: ―Revealing that Pat‘s death was a fratricide would have been yet
another political disaster ... So the facts needed to be suppressed. … An alternative
narrative had to be constructed. Crucial evidence was destroyed including Pat‘s uniform,
equipment and notebook. The autopsy was not done according to regulation, and a field
hospital report was falsified. An initial investigation completed … before testimony could
be changed … [and which hit disturbingly close to the mark] disappeared into thin air and
was conveniently replaced by another investigation with more palatable findings.‖

―… while each investigation gathered more information, the mountain of evidence was
never used to arrive at an honest or even sensible conclusion. … The handling of the
situation after the firefight was described as a compilation of ‗missteps, inaccuracies and
errors in judgment which created the perception of concealment.‘ … Writing a Silver Star
award before a single eye witness account is taken is not a misstep. Falsifying soldier
witness statements for a Silver Star is not a misstep. … Discarding an (15-6) investigation
that does not fit a preordained conclusion is not an error in judgment. These are
deliberate acts of deceit. This is not the perception of concealment. This is concealment.‖

―… the fact that the Army, and what appears to be others, attempted to hijack his virtue
and his legacy is simply horrific. The least this country can do for him in return is to
uncover who is responsible for his death, who lied and covered it up, and who instigated
those lies and benefited from them. Then, ensure that justice is meted out to the
culpable.‖ [p.16, HOC 4-24-07]

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THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

NARRATOR: Mary Tillman, Pat Tillman‘s mother, also testified about the ―smokescreens‖
thrown in her face by the Army ―investigations‖:

―We had officers that we trusted. We had high regard for them. … in your heart they are
your kids and you turn them over, and we trusted. Certainly, we knew they could die or
they could come back wounded … But we never thought that they would use him (Pat) the
way they did.‖

―And we shouldn‘t be allowed to have smokescreens thrown in our face. … in every way,
they (Army CID investigators) dodged. They are dodging us, and the (Department of
Defense) IG condoned that even though they make the public believe they did such a
grand job because they pointed the finger at four generals and five other officers. That is
a smokescreen. These officers are scapegoats.‖

―It is a bit disingenuous to think that the (Bush) Administration did not know about what
was going on, something so politically sensitive. … The fact that he (Pat) would be killed
by friendly fire and no one would tell (Defense Secretary) Rumsfeld is ludicrous … … the
idea that they wouldn‘t tell [Gen.] Abizaid [Centcom commander] what was going on if he
didn‘t already know is ridiculous.‖

―… we have all been betrayed. It isn‘t just our family. Every time they betray a soldier,
they betray all of us … and that is why we are in front of Congress, because Congress is
supposed to take care of their citizens. … Pat died for this country, and he believed it was
a great country that had a system that worked. … and your job is to find out what
happened to Pat.‖ [p.59, HOC 4-24-07]

...

CHAIRMAN WAXMAN: ―Our hearing today has been about two cases, the Tillman case and
the Lynch case, … It wasn‘t misleading information. We have false information that was put out
to the American people, stories that were fabricated and made up. In the case of Specialist
O‘Neal, his statement was doctored. It was actually rewritten by somebody. These aren‘t things
that are done by mistake. There had to be a conscious intent to put a story out and keep with that
story and eliminate evidence to the contrary and distort the record. … What we have is a very
clear, deliberate abuse intentionally done. Why is it so hard to find out who did it? Why is it so
hard to find out who is responsible and to hold them accountable?‖ (p.109, HOC 4-24-07)

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News of Fratricide Rapidly Went Up the Chain of Command

NARRATOR: IG Gimble said that news of Tillman‘s fratricide rapidly went up the chain of
command, within the next day, on April 23rd.

Mr. SARBANES: ―The most interesting thing to me is we have already heard testimony
that very quickly the word of this being a friendly fire incident started going up the chain.
Is that correct?‖…

Mr. GIMBLE. ―Within the next day.‖ (p.104, HOC 4-24-07)

Chairman WAXMAN: ―Mr. Gimble, according to your report, on April 23rd, Sergeant
Fuller and Sergeant Birch told Captain William Saunders and Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey
Bailey that they suspected fratricide … You also found that Colonel Bailey then told
Colonel James Nixon who in turn told Major General Stanley McCrystal, Commander of
the Joint Task Force, is that right?‖

Mr. GIMBLE. ―Right.‘ (p.94, HOC 4-24-07)

Note: But IG Gimble‘s testimony contradicts the timeline in his own report that asserts that COL
Nixon did not tell MG McChrystal about fratricide on the 23rd, only KIA. See ―General
McChrystal & General Abizaid Gave Contradictory Testimony at Congressional Hearings‖ for
more detailed evidence that McChrystal and/or Abizaid perjured themselves.
...

NARRATOR: IG Gimble laid the blame for the Army‘s failure to tell the Tillman family about
fratricide on COL Nixon. But MG McChrystal said he had made a ―conscious‘ decision to not
tell the family. Why wasn‘t McChrystal held accountable as well?

Mr. GIMBLE: ―With regard to the notification of CPL Tillman‘s next of kin, DoD and
Army regulations require that next of kin be advised of additional information concerning
a Service member‘s death as the information becomes available. In this case, … [his
family were not told ] until 35 days after his death. This was a result of the decision of
CPL Tillman‘s regimental commander [COL Nixon] to keep information about the
friendly fire investigation ―close hold.‖ (p.5, Gimble 4-24-07)

. Mrs. MARY TILLMAN: ―General Jones, when he interviewed General McCrystal for his
[15-6] investigation, he asked, … ‗once you became aware that this was possible
fratricide, was there a conscious decision made not to tell the family of the possibility?‘ …

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THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

General McCrystal answers, ‗there was a conscious decision on who we told about the
potential [fratricide] because we did not know all the facts. … I believe that we did not tell
the family of the possibility because we did not want to give them some half-baked
finding.‘ But the irony is that is exactly what they did. They made up a story. … you are
supposed to tell the family right away if you suspect fratricide, period. It is not nebulous
as Colonel Nixon said. It is not nebulous at all. You simply tell the family you suspect it.
Then you can investigate. Then you can give the family your conclusions. So the idea
that they were trying to protect us by not telling us until the investigation took place is
ridiculous.‖
(p.62, HOC 4-24-07)

Note: The DoDIG Report Appendix D: Casualty Reporting & Next of Kin Notification
Flowchart shows that McChrystal both knew about fratricide and was responsible to tell the
family. Yet the IG conclusions don‘t hold McChrystal accountable for his failure, only Nixon.
...

Note: It‘s important to realize the IG report Conclusions sometimes contradict their own findings
and process flowcharts! It appears that Nixon and Kensinger‘s wrongdoing was emphasized, and
McChrystal‘s role omitted by the IG, even though McChrystal was the man in the middle of the
reporting chain!

For example, the IG found that ―COL Nixon failed to initiate, through his chain of command,
timely notification to the Army Safety Center and CENTCOM of suspected friendly fire‘ (p.59)
However, the IG neglected to mention that Nixon did tell McChrystal of fratricide on the 23rd.
McChrystal was responsible for then notifying Abizaid (CENTCOM), not Nixon

Also, ―COL Nixon was accountable for his decision to delay notification to the primary next of
kin until the completion of the friendly fire investigation.‖ (p. 60). Yet, once again, the IG report
neglected to mention that Nixon did tell McChrystal of fratricide on the 23rd. McChrystal was
then responsible for passing the supplementary casualty report on to Kensinger at USASOC.
Further, McChrystal even testified in the Jones 15-6 that he made the decision not to notify the
family of fratricide!

After being notified of fratricide on the 23rd, supposedly McChrystal failed to immediately notify
Abizaid (as discussed in the following section, McChrystal claims he waited a week until he tried
to notify Abizaid with the P4). Yet the IG conclusions do not fault McChrystal. Instead, they
blame Nixon and Kensinger for delaying notification to the next of kin. In actuality, McChrystal
promptly passed up probable fratricide on the 23rd and confirmation on the 24th to Abizaid.
Either Abizaid or McChrystal lied in Congressional testimony about when they learned about the
fratricide.

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The Silver Star Citation and Witness Statements were Falsified

NARRATOR: Congressman Clay pointed out that the Silver Star citation was written so that
anyone reading it would believe Pat Tillman was killed by enemy fire:

Mr. Clay. ―Now, Mrs. Tillman, I want to turn now to Pat‘s Silver Star award. … The
certificate says that Pat Tillman put himself in the line of devastating enemy fire. It also
says that Corporal Tillman was mortally wounded while under fire that resulted in the
platoon‘s safe passage. Mrs. Tillman, there is nothing in here at all about friendly fire, is
there?‖

Mrs. MARY TILLMAN. ―No. No, there is not, sir. They are very careful to stay away
from that.‖

Mr. CLAY. ―So anyone who reads this, including you, would believe Pat was killed in a
firefight with enemy forces, isn‘t that right?‖

Mrs. MARY TILLMAN. ―Yes, sir.‖ (p.51, HOC 4-24-07)

NARRATOR: Ranger O‘Neal testified that someone had altered his witness statement that was
used to justify the Silver Star recommendation package:

Mr. BRALEY. ―… In addition to being an eyewitness to Corporal Tillman‘s death and


reporting this incident up the chain of command, you were also involved in writing a
statement that was used to award Corporal Tillman the Silver Star …‖

Mr. O‘NEAL. ―What happened, sir, was I got sat behind a computer, and I was told to
type up my recollection of what happened, and as soon as I was done typing, I was
relieved to go back to my platoon, sir, and that was the last I heard of it.‖

Mr. BRALEY. ―This version of the statement also says you ‗‗engaged the enemy very
successfully,‘‘ that the enemy moved most of their attention to your position which ‗‗drew
a lot of fire from them.‘‘ Did you write these sentences, claiming that you were engaged
with the enemy?‖

Mr. O‘NEAL. ―No, sir.‖ (p.95, HOC 4-24-07)

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NARRATOR: But, Mr. Gimble, the Dept. of Defense Acting Inspector General, preferred not to
―speculate‖ on who altered the witness statements. However, he did say that ―it was somewhere
in the approval chain that it got edited.‖

Mr. GIMBLE. ―… We were unable to determine who in the chain of command actually
did the alterations of it. So we concluded that when people approved those statements or
those citations based on those statements, being the Battalion [LTC Bailey], Regimental
[COL Nixon] and Joint Task Force [MG McChrystal] Commanders, that they were
accountable for the misstatements and inaccuracies.‖

Mr. BRALEY. ―Did you ever determine in the course of your investigation who, out of
all the possible people who had contact with that statement, would have been the most
likely person to have made alterations to the statement originally prepared by Specialist
O‘Neal?‖

Mr. GIMBLE: ―Actually, no, we could not determine that. I could speculate, but I just
prefer not to. It is somewhere in the approval chain that it got edited. So we really can‘t
pin a face to the actual, who did the keyboard changes on it. So that left us the only action
we had after that is when you sign up on something. … So when you have the signatures
on those citations and recommendations, they become accountable for it.‖
(p.98, HOC 4-24-07)
...

NARRATOR: The IG couldn‘t determine who made the alterations? There were only three
people in the ―approval chain‖ who could have made the alterations to the Silver Star
recommendation to remove all references to friendly fire: LTC Kauzerlich, Col Nixon, and Gen.
McChrystal. Why didn‘t the Committee press Gimble to ―speculate‖?

[DoD IG Report: Appendix E: Silver Star Award Process Flowchart showing only three officers
in that approval chain: LTC Kauzlarich, Col Nixon, and Gen McChrystal]

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Oversight Committee Decided to Look “Up” the Chain of Command

On April 27th 2007, Chairman Waxman sent letters to the White House and Dept. of Defense
asking them to ―provide documents relating to how and when White House officials learned of
the circumstances surrounding Corporal Tillman's death‖ and to ―provide documents relating to
how and when high-ranking Defense Department officials learned of the circumstances
surrounding Corporal Tillman's death.‖

Shortly after the hearing, Chairman Henry Waxman decided the House Oversight Committee‘s
would only look ―up‖ the chain of command to ―determine when the President, senior White
House officials, the Secretary of Defense, and other top military leaders learned that Corporal
Tillman had been killed as a result of friendly fire and what they did upon learning this
information.‖

Waxman‘s decision to narrow the scope of his investigation to focus only on how and when the
top leadership knew about Tillman‘s fratricide, meant that Chairman Waxman ruled out
investigating the ―false information‖ that was put out such as Ranger O‘Neal‘s altered Silver Star
witness statement revealed at the hearing. Why didn‘t Congressman Waxman also look ―down‖
the chain of command‖ at the Ranger RGT officers involved in the cover-up?

Chairman Waxman himself said at the end of the hearing, ―It wasn‘t misleading information. We
have false information.‖ Yet, by only looking ―up,‖ Chairman Waxman effectively declined to
exercise oversight over the previous DoD and Army investigations whose adequacy and
forthrightness the Tillman‘s had criticized as being ―smokescreens‖ and whose ―mountain of
evidence was never used to arrive at an honest or even sensible conclusion.‖
...

On July 13th 2007, Chairman Waxman and Ranking Minority Member Davis sent a letter to the
White House and to Secretary of Defense Gates objecting to the withholding of documents related
to the death of Pat Tillman.

In addition, Waxman announced that a hearing would be held on Wednesday, August 1st 2007 to
investigate what senior officials at the Defense Department knew about Corporal Tillman‘s death.
The Committee invited former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and five generals to testify
at the hearing: Meyers, Abizaid, Brown, Kensinger, and McChrystal.
...

On July 31st 2007, the day before the Committee‘s 2nd Tillman hearing, Secretary of the Army
Peter Geren held a press briefing to announce the findings of General Wallace‘s review of
the previous Army and Dept. of Defense Inspector General (DoD IG) investigations.

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GENERAL WALLACE‟S REVIEW OF ARMY & IG


TILLMAN FRATRICIDE INVESTIGATIONS
Press Briefing July 31st 2007

Secretary of the Army Pete Geren & Gen. Richard Cody (July 31, 2007)

―The errors we made … created in the mind of many a perception that the Army intended to
deceive the public and the Tillman family … there was a perfect storm of mistakes,
misjudgments, and a failure of leadership that brought us where we are today… For casualty
notification, safety investigation and administrative control of the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger
Regiment, General Kensinger was the captain of that ship, and his ship ran aground. It ran
aground because he failed to do his duty.‖
-- Secretary of the Army Pete Geren (July 31, 2007)

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General Wallace‟s Review of the Army & IG


Investigations of the Tillman Fratricide
July 31st, 2007

Note: the following summary is based upon Appendix C1 -- Wallace Briefing (July 31, 2007)

General Wallace reviewed the previous Army investigations, the Dept. of Defense Inspector
General (DoD IG) investigation and examined the conduct of ten officers. On July 31st 2007,
Secretary of the Army Peter Geren held a press briefing to announce the findings of Wallace‘s
review [I was unable to find a copy of ―Executive Summary, Army Action – DoDIG Report
Related to the Death of Corporal Patrick D. Tillman‖ (undated)]. Secretary Geren denied there
was a ―conspiracy … to deceive the public‖. He said, ―There was a perfect storm of mistakes,
misjudgments, and a failure of leadership …‖

General McChrystal did not receive a reprimand for his role in the handling of the Tillman
fratricide. However, General Wallace disregarded the DoD IG report which found General
McChrystal ―accountable for inaccurate and misleading assertions contained in the award
recommendation package‖ and ―accountable for not notifying the award processing channels
[Secretary of the Army] that friendly fire was suspected to ensure that the recommendation was
considered based on accurate information.‖

Instead, General Kensinger was singled out as the scapegoat. Secretary of the Army Pete Geren
said, ―General Kensinger failed in his duty to his soldiers, and the results were a calamity for the
Army …‖ He ―failed in his duty to inform the family about the friendly fire incident in a timely
manner …‖, ―failed to inform the acting Secretary of the Army of the fratricide investigation‖ and
―made false official statements.‖

During the question and answer session of the press conference, Secretary Geren and General
Cody defended General McChrystal‘s handling of the Tillman fratricide. However, their defense
of McChrystal doesn‘t hold up under examination. In fact, although Kensinger was culpable, I
believe General McChrystal was guilty of exactly those same charges for which Kensinger was
scapegoated by the Army!

General McChrystal was guilty of failing to ―inform the family about friendly fire in a timely
manner‖, failing ―to inform the acting Secretary of the Army [his chain of command] of the
fratricide investigation,‖ and appears to have ―made false official statements‖ in his testimony and
his Silver Star package. General Wallace‘s review was merely the final layer upon of the Army‘s
continuing cover-up of the handling of Pat Tillman‘s fratricide.

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Gen. Kensinger Scapegoated for Gen. McChrystal‟s Sins


NARRATOR: On July 31st 2007 Secretary of the Army Pete Geren presented the findings of
Gen. Wallace‘s review of the DoD IG‘s Tillman investigation. During the press briefing, Geren
laid most of the blame for the Army‘s ―perfect storm of mistakes‖ onto Gen. Kensinger.

SEC. GEREN: ―For casualty notification, safety investigation and administrative control
of the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, General Kensinger was the captain of that
ship, and his ship ran aground. It ran aground because he failed to do his duty.‖

REPORTER: ―You've described a litany of errors and mistakes going more than three
years involving a lot of people, yet all the blame falls on General Kensinger. I'm just
trying to make some sense of that‖. …―He happens to be retired. Is there a coincidence
there? … Lots of people did lots of things wrong it seems, but he's the only one who's
really being singled out with the harshest punishment.‖ (DoD Briefing, 7-31-07)

...

NARRATOR: In 2007, General Stanley McChrystal was not yet retired, he was a rising star in
the Army. From 2003 to 2008, McChrystal was the commander of the Joint Special Operation
Command (JSOC) whose ―work … was the untold success story of the Surge and the greater war
on terror campaigns‖. President Bush said, "JSOC is awesome!"

...

REPORTER: ―Mr. Secretary, could you explain -- we understand that Lieutenant General Stan
McChrystal, who was singled out in the DOD IG report for inaccurate awards information -- can
you explain why he will not receive any punishment?‖
(DoD Briefing, 7-31-07)

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Gen. McChrystal Failed to “Timely” Notify His Superiors


SEC. GEREN: ―… General McChrystal, when notified of the friendly fire incident, he alerted
through his P-4, General Abizaid, General Brown and General Kensinger. So he did notify his
chain of command …‖ (DoD Briefing, 7-31-07)
[Pan P4 Memo Text]

NARRATOR: On April 29th, one day after sending up his Silver Star recommendation, Gen.
McChrystal sent a high-priority P4 memo to top generals supposedly ―warning‖ them of the
―potential‖ friendly fire death of Pat Tillman.

GEN MCCHRYSTAL: ―And so, we initially were waiting for the outcome of that initial
review before we went forward with any conclusions. So, it was a well-intended intent to
get some level of truth before we went up.‖ (p.17, SASC 6-02-09)

GEN MCCHRYSTAL: ―I also sent a [P4] message informing my chain of command


that we believed it was fratricide, and we did that when we were told there were going to
be fairly high-profile memorial services. … when I sent the message, the intent entirely
was to inform everybody up my chain of command so that nobody would be surprised.‖
(p.18, SASC 6-02-09)

GEN ABIZAID: ‗… General McChrystal did exactly the right thing. He sent a timely
message in a timely fashion through the most secure channels.‖ (HOC 8-01-07, p.223)

NARRATOR: McChrystal said he learned of friendly-fire on April 23rd. But, Secretary Geren
implies that McChrystal learned about potential fratricide on the 29th, then sent the P4 to alert his
superiors.

Why did McChrystal wait six days until he sent his ―timely‖ P4 message on April 29th?
McChrystal said he wanted ―some level of truth before we went up‖?

And just two days after Pat‘s death, on April 24th, the investigating officer CPT Scott passed
confirmation of fratricide up the chain of command.

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Gen. McChrystal Was Quickly Told of Confirmed Fratricide

GEN MCCHRYSTAL: ―Corporal Tillman was killed on the 22nd of April … I arrived back into
Afghanistan from a meeting in Qatar with General Abizaid on about the 23rd, and I was
informed, at that point, that they suspected that friendly fire might have been the cause of death,
and they had initiated what we call a 15–6, or an investigation of that. (p.17, SASC 6-02-09)

NARRATOR: But just two days after Pat‘s death, on April 24th, the investigating officer CPT
Scott passed confirmation of fratricide up the chain of command.

[Narrator reads from LTC Bailey‘s testimony from the Jones 15-6 report
(section Z, p.53), view Mary Tillman‘s copy with names hand-written above redactions]

LTC BAILEY: ―Sir, within three or four hours of being out here on the ground by the
incident, I went back and I told [COL Nixon] that I was certain that we had killed him. …
In fact, I think just about everybody around knew that. And certainly, by the next day
when we did the investigations, I confirmed it. … So, after [CPT Scott] did his first five
interviews, he came back to me and said, ―Sir, I‘m certain. I‘m sure.‖ And then I called
[COL Nixon]. … I think it was the 24th. [Jones 15-6, Section Z, p 52-53)

NARRATOR: Just above COL Nixon in the chain of command was Gen. McChrystal, followed
by Gen. Abizaid, Gen. Meyers, and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. Within just two days of
Tillman‘s death, confirmation of Tillman‘s fratricide moved up the chain of command. … But,
the Army maintains it took five weeks to confirm fratricide!

[Chain of command chart]

―The operational chain of command for CPL Tillman‘s unit … was: (DoD IG, p.12)

1. Headquarters, Operations Team [LTC Bailey or MAJ Hodne]


2. Headquarters, 75th Ranger Regiment [COL Nixon]
3. Headquarters, Joint Task Force [GEN McChrystal]
4. CENTCOM [GEN Abizaid]
GEN Meyers
Sec of Defense Rumsfeld
President Bush

Note: for more details, see ―General McChrystal & General Abizaid Gave Contradictory
Testimony at Congressional Hearings‖ McChrystal and/or Abizaid perjured themselves during
Congressional testimony. Also see DoD IG Timeline and Fraticide Notification Notes

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McChrystal Failed to Tell Tillman Family of Fratricide


REPORTER: ―But if McChrystal is sending a [P4] message to Abizaid saying it's highly
possible it was friendly fire, why couldn't McChrystal just have called the family?‖

GEN. CODY: ―Because in the casualty reporting business, those forces that -- under
Joint Special Operations Command are chopped to him in an operational control status or
attached, as you know. The administrative control in processing for casualty reporting,
we do not encumber the JSOC commander [McChrystal] with all of that; that's done by
the regiment and done by the Army through the United States Army Special Operations
Command [Kensinger]‖. (DoD Briefing, 7-31-07)

SEC. GEREN: ―So it was General Kensinger's responsibility.‖

NARRATOR: Yet, if you look at the casualty reporting flowchart, you‘ll see that Gen.
McChrystal‘s Chief of Staff was responsible for sending a supplemental casualty report after
learning of friendly fire. It‘s also noted on the flowchart that both McChrystal and his Chief of
Staff knew about the fratricide by the 25th [actually on the 23rd] and yet they, and everyone else in
the chain of command (including the JAG lawyers) did not send the required report because they
supposedly didn‘t know about the regulations.

[DoDIG Report Appendix D: Casualty Reporting & Next of Kin Notification Flowchart]

...

Note: Gen. McChrystal had early knowledge of fratricide, had the responsibility to tell the
Tillman family about fratricide, and failed to do so.

McChrystal testified in Gen. Jones 15-6 that he made a ―conscious decision‖ not to tell the family.
Furthermore, McChrystal himself told General Jones that ―there was a conscious decision on who
we told about that potential [fratricide] because we did not know all the facts. … I believe that we
did not tell the family of the possibility because we did not want to give them some half-baked
finding.‖ But, shortly afterwards, he contradicted himself, saying, ―I did not know there was a
decision not to tell the family. They had another [son, Kevin,] in the firefight.‖ So which is it?

During his April 2007 testimony, IG Gimble laid the blame for the failure to notify the Tillman
family upon COL Nixon for keeping the fratricide information ―close hold.‖ But how is that
possible? Since, Nixon told Gen. McChrystal, logically the IG should have held McChrystal
responsible as well for his failure to tell the family.

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Gen. McChrystal Directed Writing of Fraudulent Silver Star

SEC GEREN: ―As far as approving the Silver Star award, General McChrystal said that he was
aware of the circumstances of his death, that it was friendly fire, when he approved the Silver Star
award.‖ (DoD Briefing, 7-31-07)

NARRATOR: But if McChrystal knew it was friendly fire, why didn‘t he include that
information in the Silver Star citation? General McChrystal testified he relied on four
factors to conclude that Tillman deserved the Silver Star. Yet the DoD IG report (p.56)
states that ―CPL Tillman‘s commmanders did not directly, or clearly, state these four
factors in the award recommendation factors.‖ And if McChrystal only knew what he
read from the Silver Star package, how could he know about these four factors?
...

GEN MCCHRYSTAL: ―… in retrospect, they [P4 & Silver Star] look contradictory, because we
sent a Silver Star that was not well written— and, although I went through the process, I will tell
you now I didn‘t review the citation well enough to capture—or, I didn‘t catch that, if you read it,
you can imply that it was not friendly fire. [p.18, SASC 6-02-09]

[Pat Tillman‘s Silver Star Citation]

NARRATOR: ―Imply that it was not friendly fire‖? The Silver Star narrative justification
and citation bore little resemblance to reality and were carefully edited to imply Tillman
died by enemy fire without actually coming out and saying that. Anyone reading the
citation would think Tillman was killed by enemy fire! Both Silver Star witness statements
were altered to remove any mention of friendly fire and contained false statements.
...

KEVIN TILLMAN: ―Writing a Silver Star award before a single eye witness account is taken is
not a misstep. Falsifying soldier witness statements for a Silver Star is not a misstep. These are
intentional falsehoods that meet the legal definition for fraud.‖
[p.16, HOC 4-24-07

Mr. BRALEY: ―This version of the statement also says you ‗engaged the enemy very
successfully,‘ that the enemy moved most of their attention to your position which ‗drew a
lot of fire from them.‘ Did you write these sentences, claiming that you were engaged with
the enemy?‖

Mr. O‘NEAL: ―No, sir.‖ [p.95, HOC 4-24-07 ]

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Note: ―in the case of the statement attributed to SGT Weeks certain assertions could not be true
because he was on the other side of a ridge from CPL Tillman and could not see what had
happened to him‖ (DoD IG Report p. 55).

...

Mr. BRALEY: ―Did you ever determine in the course of your investigation who, out of people
who had contact with that statement, would have been the most likely person to have made
alterations to the statement originally prepared by Specialist O‘Neal?‖
[p.98, HOC 4-24-07]

Mr. GIMBLE: ―Actually, no, we could not determine that. I could speculate, but I just
prefer not to. It is somewhere in the approval chain that it got edited. …‖
[p.98, HOC 4-24-07]

NARRATOR: The IG couldn‘t determine who made the alterations? There were only three
people in the ―approval chain‖ who could have made the alterations to the Silver Star
recommendation to remove all references to friendly fire: LTC Kauzerlich, Col Nixon, and Gen.
McChrystal.

[DoD IG Report: Appendix E: Silver Star Award Process Flowchart showing only three officers
in that approval chain: LTC Kauzlarich, Col Nixon, and Gen McChrystal]

...

SEC GEREN: ―General Wallace concluded and I agree that he [McChrystal] reasonably based
his conclusions on the recommendations that came from the field and had no reasonable basis to
call into question the recommendation that came up endorsed by the commanders in the field who
were there and had first- hand knowledge of the circumstances of his death and his heroic
actions.‖ (DoD Briefing, 7-31-07)

GEN MCCHRYSTAL: ―In the case of Corporal Tillman, a Silver Star was
recommended. I sat down with the people [Ranger Regiment officers] who recommended
it [Silver Star]. … and we went over a whiteboard, and we looked at the geometry of the
battlefield, and I queried the people to satisfy myself that, in fact, that his actions
warranted that, even though there was a potential that the actual circumstances of death
had been friendly fire.‖ [p. 18, SASC 6-02-09]

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THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

NARRATOR: But, Gen. McChrystal didn‘t just sign off on a piece of paper that landed on his
desk. He was one of the ―commanders in the field‖ and personally led the writing of the Silver
Star package on the ground in Afghanistan working with the Ranger Regimental commanders Col
Nixon and LTC Kauzerlich.
...

Note: In failing to reprimand Gen. McChrystal, Secretary Geren disregarded the DoD IG report
findings that General McChrystal was ―accountable for inaccurate and misleading assertions
contained in the award recommendation package‖ and ―accountable for not notifying the award
processing channels [Secretary of the Army] that friendly fire was suspected to ensure that the
recommendation was considered based on accurate information.‖

As noted above, upon examination, none of Secretary Geren‘s assertions defending McChrystal‘s
approval of the fraudulent Silver Star hold up under examination. More importantly, Geren never
even tried to explain how the witness statements were somehow altered by some ―perfect storm of
mistakes.‖ How do you argue that away? You can‘t, so the Army didn‘t even try.

Wouldn‘t General McChrystal have a ―reasonable basis‖ to question a Silver Star package
containing no mention of friendly fire after he had been informed of confirmed fratricide? The
Silver Star narrative justification and citation bore little resemblance to reality and were carefully
edited to imply Tillman died by enemy fire.

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THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

When Did the White House Learn of the Tillman Fratricide?

MARY TILLMAN: ―It is disturbing to me that the Army keeps blaming Gen. Kensinger for the
fact we weren‘t notified. I think Kensinger is culpable to a point, but he is not the ultimate bad
guy. He would not have been the one to make the decision not to tell us. … the cover-up
wouldn‘t start at the three-star level‖

[Pan up chain of command organizational chart to President Bush at the top. See a brief
glimpse of Gen. McChrystal‘s portrait on the chart as the view moves up.]

MR. SCAHILL: ―I've talked to former Bush administration officials that have described
an incredibly cozy relationship between former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld,
former Vice President Dick Cheney and General McChrystal, where General McChrystal
was essentially reporting directly to Rumsfeld and Cheney on operations, and they were
effectively carving JSOC out of the broader military chain of command. …

MR. SCAHILL: I've also heard from people that Cheney helped coordinate the testimony
of General McChrystal about the death of Pat Tillman in Afghanistan, which was
determined to be a friendly-fire incident, and that Cheney actually colluded with General
McChrystal to attempt to cover up that death.‖

[NPR Terry Gross radio interview with Jeremy Scahill 12-16-09]


...

NARRATOR: Did news of Tillman‘s fratricide reach the White House? Several days after the
March 26, 2007 Inspector General briefing, an AP reporter was anonymously sent a copy of a P4
memo written on April 29, 2004 by Gen. McChrystal. McChrystal sent the high-priority memo
to top generals warning them to inform the president to avoid ―unknowing statements by our
country‘s leaders which might cause public embarrassment if the circumstances of Corporal
Tillman‘s death become public.‖
[Pan P4 Memo Text]

NARRATOR: Did President Bush receive the P4 message? Well, two days after the P4 memo
was sent, President Bush delivered his speech at the White House Correspondents‘ Dinner. As
the P4 advised, the President did not discuss how Corporal Tillman died.

[Video of President Bush delivering speech during May 1st WH Correspondents‘ Dinner]

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THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

“THE TILLMAN FRATRICIDE: WHAT THE


LEADERSHIP OF THE DEPT. OF DEFENSE KNEW”
House Oversight Committee Hearing, August 1st 2007

House Oversight Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (August 1, 2007)

Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Gen. Meyers, Gen. Abizaid, Gen. Brown (August 1, 2007)

"There is another man [besides Gen. Kensinger] who will not be in the room. That is Lieutenant
General Stan McChrystal. It should be very clear to everyone, General McChrystal is the head of
covert special forces. The so-called dark or black forces. The ones who stay undercover ...
Because of his extraordinarily sensitive position with covert special forces, he is not appearing in
public. And so he will not be questioned further by the committee in an open hearing.‖

-- Barbara Starr, CNN correspondent, (CNN, Aug. 1, 2007)

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“The Tillman Fratricide: What the Leadership of the


Defense Department Knew.”
House Oversight Committee Hearing, August 1st 2007

Note: the following summary is based upon Appendix D2 -- House Oversight Committee‘s 2nd
Tillman Hearing (August 1, 2007). Go there for full quotes and commentary.

Chairman Henry Waxman presided over the House Oversight Committee‘s August 1st 2007
hearing to ―examine what senior Defense Department officials knew about U.S. Army Corporal
Patrick Tillman‘s death by fratricide.‖ Chairman Waxman said, ―Our focus has been to look up
the chain of command, … Today we will be examining the actions of the senior leadership at the
Department of Defense. … ―what did the senior military leadership know about Corporal
Tillman‘s death, when did they know it, and what did they do after they learned it?‖

Chairman Waxman said, ―One possible explanation is that a series of counterintuitive, illogical
blunders unfolded, accidentally and haphazardly.‖… ―The other possible explanation is that
someone or some group of officials acted deliberately and repeatedly to conceal the truth.‖ …
―Well, that was the view of Kevin Tillman.‖

Chairman Waxman commended Army Secretary Geren for ―the forthright approach he is taking
its [Army‘s] continued investigation‖ … ―Progress has been made, but we still don‘t know who
was responsible for the false information‖ and as ―the Army noted yesterday [Army Secretary
Geren‘s Briefing], in seven investigations into this tragedy, not one has found evidence of a
conspiracy.‖

Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld denied the existence of a cover-up, ― in no


instance has any evidence of a cover-up, to use the phrase you use, been presented or put
forward.‖

Chairman Waxman said he was ―grateful that General Myers and Secretary Rumsfeld, who
rearranged his schedule so that he could be here today, are here to testify.‖ … ―and certainly in
the case of Secretary Rumsfeld, who went to great pains to be here. And I appreciate the fact that
he did come.‖

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P4 Message Recipients Say They Didn‟t Pass It Up the Chain of Command:

Chairman Waxman said much of the Committee‘s ―focus will be on a ‗‗Personal For‘‘ message,
also known as a P–4, that Major General Stanley McChrystal sent on April 29, 2004.‖ … to Gen.
Abizaid, Gen. Brown, and General Kensinger. ―For today‘s hearing, we invited all of the
recipients of the P–4 to determine how they responded. Did they, in fact, alert the White House?
Did they alert the Army Secretary, the Secretary of Defense? Did they pass it up the chain of
command?‖ Congressman Cummings asked the panel, ―I want to ask how is it possible that you
didn‘t know before May 20th that Corporal Tillman died by friendly fire?‖

General Brown said, ―…When I got the P–4, I made the assumption—and probably a bad
assumption, since I was an ‗info‘ addressee and not the ‗to,‘ that flow of information
would flow through the chain of command.‖

General Myers asserted ―I can‘t recall specifically‖ but he ―knew right at the end of April
that there was a possibility of fratricide …‖ and Secretary Rumsfeld said, ―I just don‘t
have any recollection‖ … ―I simply do not know‘ … ―I don‘t remember precisely how I
learned that he was killed.‖

General Abiziad testified that the high-priority P4 somehow ―went astray‖ for some
nebulous reason, ―It wasn‘t the first P–4 that went astray and it wasn‘t the last one. But it
happened, and that is all I can say about that.‖ … ―… It is very difficult to come to grips
with how we screwed this thing up, but we screwed this thing up.‖

Abizaid‟s Account of When He Learned of Fratricide Contradicts McChrystal‟s:

General Abiziad testified that General McChrystal only told him that Pat Tillman was KIA, and
never told him about the potential fratricide: ―On the 22nd, the incident occurred. I believe on
about the 23rd, General McChrystal called me and told me that Corporal Tillman had been killed
in combat, and that the circumstances surrounding his death were heroic. I called the chairman
and discussed that with the chairman…‖ But during his June 2nd 2009 confirmation hearing,
McChrystal testified that he was told of fratricide on the 23rd.

Supposedly, Abizaid first received word of ―potential‖ fratricide when he finally ―found‖ the P4
after a week‘s delay: ―On the 29th, General McChrystal sent his message, … it is my recollection
… probably the 6th, it is a guess, … But it is clear that all along fratricide was called as early as
April 29th, [actually 23rd] and that on May 28th, we conclusively stated it was fratricide.‖

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Rumsfeld & Generals Were Not Involved in the Silver Star Award Process:

Representative Clay said, ―… on April 30, 2004, the Army … announced that Corporal Tillman
has been posthumously awarded the Silver Star. … It was rushed through so it would be ready in
time for the memorial service for Corporal Tillman on May 3, 2004.‖ Clay noted, ―… the Silver
Star citation was false. … the Defense Department Inspector General [Gimble] concluded that the
Silver Star citation and supporting documents had materially inaccurate statements and
erroneously implied that Corporal Tillman died by enemy fire. …‖

Rumsfeld and the generals all testified that they weren‘t involved with the Silver Star award
process. General Myers replied, ―My response is essentially like Secretary Rumsfeld‘s. The
chairman‘s office, the Joint Staff is not involved in these awards. This is an Army responsibility.‖

Committee Still Doesn‟t Know Who Altered Silver Star Witness Statements:

Representative Issa asked, ―Can anybody on this panel give me an answer, how that happened,
that the specialist, on-the-ground eyewitness [Ranger O‘Neal] right beside Corporal Tillman, …
wrote an accurate description of what happened indicating friendly fire; and yet downstream we
follow that time line, we in the Congress and the American people got a different story?‖

General Abizaid said, ―Sir, in General McChrystal‘s personal forward he said the
potential that he might have been killed by friendly fire in no way detracts from his
witnessed heroism‖ … ―I believe that the Army has looked at the award on several
different occasions. They have upheld it on every occasion.‖

General Brown agreed with Abizaid, ―I have talked to General McChrystal several times
and the actions of Corporal Tillman, based on the discussion I had with General
McChrystal, certainly would warrant a Silver Star.‖

Chairman Waxman also noted, ―At our last hearing, … Specialist O‘Neal told us something else.
After he submitted his statement, someone else rewrote it. This unnamed person made significant
changes that transformed O‘Neal‘s account into an enemy attack. We still don‘t know who did
that and why he did it.‖

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Why Didn‟t Gen. McChrystal Appear at the Hearing? Did He Testify at Closed Hearing?

During his opening statement, Chairman Waxman noted, ―General Kensinger refused to appear
today. … The committee did issue a subpoena to General Kensinger earlier this week, but U.S.
Marshals have been unable to locate or serve him‖

CNN reporter Barbara Starr said, ―There is another man who will not be in the room. That is
Lieutenant General Stan McChrystal.‖ On July 13th 2007, General McChrystal was ―invited‘ by
the Committee to testify at the hearing. However, McChrystal never appeared. Unlike with
General Kensinger, Chairman Waxman has never explained McChrystal‘s absence.

Barbara Starr continued, ―Because of his extraordinarily sensitive position with covert special
forces, he is not appearing in public. And so he will not be questioned further by the committee
in an open hearing.‖ (Perhaps I‘m reading too much into that quote, but it sure sounds as though
the Committee had just questioned McChrystal in a secret closed hearing. Not so far-fetched
considering that in May 2008, the Senate Armed Services committee held just such a secret
hearing for McChrystal‘s promotion to Director of the Joint Staff).

12-28-10 UPDATE: I found the full transcript using a Lexus-Nexis search. I‘ve placed it in
Appendix D3

Generals Praised Gen. McChrystal‟s Actions Saying “He Did Exactly the Right Thing”:

Although General McChrystal did not appear at the hearing, his fellow generals lavished praise
upon him during the hearing:

General Myers said, ―…When I learned that General McChrystal had initiated an
investigation, that was—that was good for me. … I knew his integrity. … We will learn
the truth.‖

General Abizaid said, ―General McChrystal reported the incident in a forthright and in a
timely fashion.‖ … and so again General McChrystal did exactly the right thing. He sent a
timely message in a timely fashion through the most secure channels.‖

Chairman Waxman Ends Hearing Inconclusively “Somebody Should Be Responsible”:

Chairman Waxman attempted to conclude the hearing by summing up when each witness learned
about ―the friendly fire issue‖ leading to a series of corrections. Finally, Waxman concluded with

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THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

―Well, you all knew or didn‘t know within that timeframe. But it appears that all of you had some
indication before the ceremony [memorial service] where the world was being told that Corporal
Tillman was killed in the line of duty.‖

Chairman Waxman ended the hearing with, ―And you have all admitted that the system failed. So
I just think that the public should have known, the family should have known earlier who was
responsible. But—none of you feel that you personally are responsible, but the system itself
didn‘t work.‖ … We are obviously trying to find out what went on and who had responsibility,
who dropped the ball. … The system didn‘t work. Errors were made. That‘s too passive.
Somebody should be responsible …‖
...

Guy Montag‟s Comments on Committee‟s August 2007 Hearing

1.) Waxman‘s equivocal remarks such as, ―Well, that was the view of Kevin Tillman‖ and ―what
roles, if any, the Defense Department and the White House had in the deceptions‖ and ―errors
were made‖ were in marked contrast to his scathing April 24th concluding remarks: ―It wasn‘t
misleading information. We have false information … These aren‘t things that are done by
mistake.‖ … ―What we have is a very clear, deliberate abuse intentionally done. …‖ Waxman
had a change of heart since the first hearing. Why the backpedaling?

2.) The Army‘s approach to investigating the Tillman fratricide was hardly ―forthright.‖ For
example, Geren disregarded the DoD IG‘s findings that McChrystal was accountable for
―inaccurate information‖ that included falsified Silver Star witness statements. And what was
the ―continued investigation‖ to which Waxman referred? The Wallace Review was the end,
except that Geren slapped some officers on the wrist.

3.) Although Rumsfeld asserted, ―I would not engage in a cover-up,‖ given the ―incredibly cozy
relationship between former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, former Vice President Dick
Cheney and General McChrystal‖ (with McChrystal reporting directly to Rumsfeld), it‘s
impossible to believe Rumsfeld wasn‘t told of fratricide on April 23rd by McChrystal.

4.) Gen Abizaid and Gen McChrystal‘s testimony about when they were told of Tillman‘s
fratricide are contradictory. McChrystal said he learned of fratricide on April 23rd, yet Abizaid
said on the 23rd McChrystal told him only that Tillman was killed in action. Someone didn‘t
testify truthfully before Congress.

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5.) Within just two days of Tillman‘s death, confirmation of Tillman‘s fratricide moved up the
chain of command. … But, Gen. Abizaid claims he wasn‘t told until weeks later, and that it took
the Army five weeks to confirm fratricide! All the General‘s talk about ―potential‖ knowledge of
fratricide was so much bullshit.

6.) Although Chairman Waxman said ―Much of our focus will be on a ―Personal For‖ message
… that MG McChrystal sent on April 29th 2004,‖ his Committee never took a hard look at the
contents, and forthrightness of McChrystal‘s P4 memo. If you carefully read it, the memo was
anything but ―forthright‖. As Mary Tillman said in an interview (8-10-07) with Mike Fish:

"That memo is damming as hell. And yet, nothing happens to [McChrystal]. He is writing
fraudulent language in that memo. He is giving examples of how they can script the Silver
Star award, even though Pat was killed by fratricide. And he is saying we need to keep our
leadership abreast of things so they don't embarrass themselves, IF the circumstances of
Pat's death should become public … He should be saying 'We're going to have to put a
hold to the silver star and we're going to have to notify the family [of suspected friendly
fire].' That is what he would say if he was innocent, but he is not. He is trying to find a
way that they can continue this false, elaborate story of theirs. And the fact that he is off
the hook is atrocious."

John R. Reed does a hilarious job of tearing apart the P4 memo point-by-point in his article
―Lessons to Be Learned from Pat Tillman‘s Death‖. For example,

―McChrystal is absolutely certain about Tillman deserving the Silver Star, which normally
requires a highly subjective assessment. However, he has to await the outcome of an
investigation to determine whether Tillman was killed by friendly fire, which was a no
brainer in this case. Apparently, public-relations efforts like awarding dubious medals
require virtually no investigation or thought, but revealing unattractive truth, well, we
gotta do a whole formal ―15-16 investigation‖ before such an unnatural act.‖

7.) General Brown mentioned that General McChrystal had called him (an presumably other
generals including Abizaid) on April 23rd to tell him of ―potential‘ fratricide. Then, why didn‘t
Gen. Brown (and the other Generals) pass this information up the chain of command? They
didn‘t need to wait 6 days for a P4! General Brown himself said, ―It would have been simple for
me to pick up the phone and call the General.‖ The Committee‘s effort to trace the P4‘s journey
up the chain of command is a red herring; the fratricide information flowed via phone or face-to-
face, without leaving a written trail.

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8.) I don‘t understand how Tillman being killed by friendly fire ―in no way detracts‖ from his
witnessed heroism.‖ The only true statement on the Silver Star citation was Tillman‘s name. The
―heroism‖ was all based on the false narrative of devastating enemy fire.

9.) I‘m puzzled that the House Oversight & Reform Committee never followed up on the
revelations of altered witness statements in their first hearing. The failed to further investigate
who falsified the Silver Star witness statements, after raising this question during both of their
hearings. Why didn‘t the Committee expand the focus of their investigation to look ―down‘ the
chain of command and interview MG McChrystal, COL Nixon, or LTC Kauzlerich about the
writing of the fraudulent Silver Star recommendation and the misleading P4 memo, both issues
that were central to the Committee‘s investigation?

10.) On July 13th 2007, the Oversight Committee ―invited‖ Gen. McChrystal to testify at their
August hearing. However, like Gen. Kensinger, McChrystal did not testify. Chairman Waxman
explained that Kensinger evaded a subpoena, but Waxman never explained why McChrystal
didn‘t appear at the hearing. Did McChrystal refuse to testify? Or did Chairman Waxman decide
to drop McChrystal from the witness list? (Was Waxman‘s excuse that, on the previous day,
Secretary Geren had officially ―exonerated‖ McChrystal of all wrong-doing ?)

12-28-10 UPDATE: An 8-04-07 AP article said that McChrystal ―declined‖ to appear. See
Appendix D3 And McChrystal was still on the ―invited‖ list as of 7-28-07.

Later, in 2008, Kensinger testified in a closed hearing with the Committee. If for whatever reason
McChrystal wasn‘t able to appear in August, why didn‘t the Committee follow up and interview
him sometime during the following year until their report was issued

But McChrystal never testified (except possibly in a closed hearing). It appears Chairman
Waxman shielded McChrystal from public scrutiny of his central role in the Tillman cover-up.
Why? Perhaps because McChrystal was not yet retired, was a rising star in the Army, and his
JSOC special forces were playing an important role in the Iraq ―Surge.‖ It appears the
Committee‘s ―investigation‖ yet another ―smokescreen‖ thrown in the face of the Tillman family
in their battle for the truth.

11.) Chairman Waxman closed his hearing by saying, ―We are obviously trying to find out what
went on and who had responsibility.‖ But, it‘s not obvious that the Committee was making a
good faith effort to uncover the truth. As previously discussed, by defining the scope of the
investigation only to look ―up‖ the chain of command, the Committee failed to provide oversight
over the Army‘s actions and investigations. They failed to further investigate the altered Silver
Star statements. Most importantly, they either chose not to have Gen. McChrystal testify or he
testified during a secret hearing. If the Committee was ―obviously trying to find out what went

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on‖ they would have looked into McChrystal‘s key role in the cover-up. Instead, it appears the
Committee chose to shield McChrystal from public scrutiny.

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Committee Focused on Gen. McChrystal‟s P4 Message

CHAIRMAN WAXMAN: ―Much of our focus will be on a ‗‗Personal For‘‘ message, also
known as a P–4, … This memo was sent on April 28, 2004, by Major General Stanley
McChrystal, the Commander of the Joint Task Force in Afghanistan, where Corporal Tillman was
killed in 2004.‖… General McChrystal explained why this P–4 message was so important. He
stated, ‗I felt it was essential that you received this information as soon as we detected it in order
to preclude any unknowing statements by our country‘s leaders which might cause
embarrassment if the circumstances of Corporal Tillman‘s death became public.‖
(p. 29, HOC 8-01-07
...

Although the Committee questioned Sec. Rumsfeld and the generals about when they received the
P4 memo, the Committee never took a hard look at the contents, and forthrightness of
McChrystal‘s P4 memo. If you carefully read it, the memo was anything but ―forthright‖:

―It is anticipated that a 15-6 investigation nearing completion will find that it is highly possible
that CPL Tillman was killed by friendly fire‖:

How is it ―nearing completion‖ when Scott‘s 15-6 was a ―Final Report‖? (And how was it
―nearing completion‖ when Nixon ―officially‖ started the 15-6 on the 29th?) Scott‘s report
concluded friendly fire; ―highly possible‖ means ―definitely.‖ Of course, in reality,
General McChrystal was told of probable friendly fire on the 23rd and confirmed fratricide
on the 24th! And, if McChrystal is waiting for the completion of the 15-6 investigation,
wouldn‘t it make sense to wait until it is complete to forward the Silver Star package?

―I felt it was essential that you received this information as soon as we detected it in order to
preclude any unknowing statements by our country‘s leaders which might cause public
embarrassment if the circumstances of CPL Tillman‘s death becomes public‖:

Note the ―if‖. Not when! And McChrystal‘s concern is for embarrassment of his bosses,
not to ensure his family knows or that the Secretary of the Army knows before approving
the Silver Star!

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Why did McChrystal send the P4 memo on April 29th?:

Well, on the 29th CPT Scott submitted his 15-6 ―Final Report‖ concluding friendly fire.
It‘s interesting to note that COL Nixon ―officially‖ appointed Scott on the 29th (even
though Scott began work on the 23rd). Perhaps Nixon & McChrystal were creating a
paper trail to show friendly fire wasn‘t suspected and an investigation begun until after he
approved the Silver Star package on the 28th?

I believe McChrystal only sent the P4 memo to provide a paper trail he could use later, if
necessary, to cover his butt. The P4 provides a paper trail that he told his superiors about
fratricide, it allows him to argue that he thought Tillman deserved the Silver Star even if it was
from friendly fire. And he could argue that he had approved the Silver Star before he was
informed about possible friendly fire.

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Gen. Abizaid‟s Testimony Contradicts that of Gen. McChrystal

NARRATOR: But it appears that Gen Abizaid and Gen McChrystal were less than ―forthright‖
when they testified before Congress about when they first heard of Tillman‘s fratricide.

GEN MCCHRYSTAL: ―Corporal Tillman was killed on the 22nd of April … I arrived
back into Afghanistan from a meeting in Qatar with General Abizaid on about the 23rd,
and I was informed, at that point, that they suspected that friendly fire might have been the
cause of death, and that they had initiated what we call a 15-6, or an investigation of that.‖
(p.18, SASC 6-02-09)

GEN ABIZAID: ―I believe about the 23rd, GEN McChrystal called me and told me that
Corporal Tillman had been killed in combat, and that the circumstances surrounding his
death were heroic. I called the Chairman and discussed that with the Chairman.‖
(p. 23, HOC 8-01-07)
...

NARRATOR: So, McChrystal says he learned of fratricide on the 23 rd, yet Abizaid says
McChrystal told him only that Tillman was killed in action. Someone was not telling the truth.
And, as discussed previously, on April 24th McChrystal was given verbal confirmation of
fratricide, making all the talk by the generals about ―potential‖ fratricide sheer nonsense!

Note: See ―General McChrystal & General Abizaid Gave Contradictory Testimony at
Congressional Hearings‖ for more detailed evidence that McChrystal and/or Abizaid perjured
themselves during Congressional testimony. Also see DoD IG Timeline and Fraticide
Notification notes.

On April 24th, the investigating officer CPT Scott passed confirmation of fratricide up the chain of
command to COL Nixon. Just above COL Nixon in the chain of command was Gen.
McChrystal, followed by Gen. Abizaid, Gen. Meyers, and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld.
Within just two days of Tillman‘s death, confirmation of Tillman‘s fratricide moved up the chain
of command. … But, Gen. Abizaid claims he wasn‘t told until weeks later and that it took five
weeks to confirm fratricide!

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We Still Don‟t Know Who Altered Silver Star Witness Statements:

Mr. CLAY: ―… the Silver Star citation was false. And here is what it says: Corporal Tillman put
himself in the line of devastating enemy fire as he maneuvered his fire team to a covered position
from which they could effectively employ their weapons at known enemy positions. In his March
26, 2007, report, the Defense Department Inspector General concluded that the Silver Star citation
and supporting documents had materially inaccurate statements and erroneously implied that
Corporal Tillman died by enemy fire.‘‖ (p.192, HOC 8-01-07)

Mr. BRALEY: ―This version of the statement also says you ‗engaged the enemy very
successfully,‘ that the enemy moved most of their attention to your position which ‗drew a
lot of fire from them.‘ Did you write these sentences, claiming that you were engaged with
the enemy?‖

Mr. O‘NEAL: ―No, sir.‖ [p.95, HOC 4-24-07 ]

CHAIRMAN WAXMAN: ―At our last hearing … Specialist O‘Neal told us something
else. After he submitted his statement, someone else rewrote it. This unnamed person
made significant changes that transformed O‘Neal‘s account into an enemy attack. We
still don‘t know who did that and why he did it.‖ (p.2, HOC 8-01-07)

Mr. ISSA: ―… Specialist O‘Neal … wrote a witness statement in the immediate aftermath
of Corporal Tillman‘s death that made it quite clear that this was a case of friendly fire.
But then something happened. Someone rewrote that statement … Can anybody on this
panel give me an answer, how that happened, … [how] we in the Congress and the
American people got a different story?‖ (p.216, HOC 8-01-07)

General ABIZAID: ―Sir, in General McChrystal‘s personal forward he said the potential
that he might have been killed by friendly fire in no way detracts from his witnessed
heroism or the recommended personal decoration for valor in the face of the enemy. I
believe that the Army has looked at the award on several different occasions. They have
upheld it on every occasion. Whether or not the wording was correct or not in the initial
stage, I do believe that the Corporal Tillman deserved the award that he received.‖
(p.193, HOC 8-01-07)

NARRATOR: None of the witnesses knew anything about who altered the witness statements.
Then why didn‘t the Committee interview MG McChrystal, COL Nixon, or LTC Kauzlerich who
were in ―the approval chain‖ which altered those statements? It‘s especially puzzling the
Committee never questioned McChrystal. McChrystal would have been the logical person to
question about both the P4 memo and the Silver Star

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Did Committee Shield General McChrystal from Public Scrutiny?

HEIDI COLLINS: ―Well, Barbara, is there anything that any of them [Rumsfeld, other
top Generals] are expected to say that could actually change the investigation or the way
possibly the family, who we understand will be in the room, will feel about how things
happened?

BARBARA STARR: ―I don't think that is likely from any of these very top officials. But
let's be clear, there's a couple of people who will not be in the room today. So what is not
being said may be equally interesting‖

―Lieutenant General Phillip Kensinger, censured yesterday. A three star retired general.
Likely to lose one of his stars. He was subpoenaed by all accounts. He is traveling away
from home. They cannot find him. Apparently the marshals unable to serve a subpoena.
He will not appear today. He has already filed papers objecting to his punishment, saying
he was not deceptive to investigators when he was questioned. That he simply said what
he knew to the best of his recollection.‖
(CNN Newsroom, 8-01-07)

NARRATOR: But another general was also missing from the hearing. On July 13th 2007,
General McChrystal was ―invited‖ to testify at the hearing. However, McChrystal did not appear.
Chairman Waxman never explained McChrystal‘s absence.

[screen print from Oversight Committee hearing announcement dated 7-20-07


listing McChrystal as ―invited‖ to testify]

NARRATOR: Why didn‘t McChrystal appear at the hearing? Apparently Chairman Waxman
dropped him from his witness list after McChrystal ―declined‖ to appear before the Committee.

BARBARA STARR: "There is another man who will not be in the room. That is
Lieutenant General Stan McChrystal. It should be very clear to everyone, General
McChrystal is the head of covert special forces. The so-called dark or black forces. The
ones who stay undercover. General McChrystal also was somewhat implicated in the case
for knowing some of the details. But he was cleared of any wrongdoing in that
investigation [Gen. Wallace] that was made public yesterday [7-31-07]. Because of his
extraordinarily sensitive position with covert special forces, he is not appearing in public.
And so he will not be questioned further by the committee in an open hearing.‖
(CNN Newsroom, 8-01-07)

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Note: I could not locate the original transcript for this quote at the CNN website [quote taken
from ―Stan McChrystal: The New U.S. Commander in Afghanistan‖ (Time, 5-12-09)].

12-28-10 UPDATE: See Appendix D3 for full transcript. With the full text, it appears less likely
a closed hearing was held.

NARRATOR: ―Questioned further‖? ―… in an open hearing‖? It appears that the Committee


had already questioned McChrystal in a closed hearing prior to the public August 1st hearing!
[the following year, the Senate Armed Services committee held just such a secret hearing for
McChrystal‘s promotion to Director of the Joint Staff].

It‘s puzzling the Committee never questioned McChrystal. McChrystal was the author of the P4
message and would have been the logical person to question about the altered the Silver Star
witness statements. It appears the Committee was shielding McChrystal from public scrutiny of
his central role in the Tillman cover-up. Was the Committee‘s ―investigation‖ just another
smokescreen thrown in the face of the Tillman family.

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Rumsfeld & Generals Repeatedly Say, “I Don‟t Recall”

NARRATOR: The House Oversight Committee‘s second hearing on the Tillman fratricide ended
inconclusively. The committee ineptly questioned former Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and
retired Army generals Meyers, Abizaid, and Brown about when they received the P4 memo and
what action they took after reading it.

Chairman WAXMAN. ―… I want to begin the questioning by framing the issue for us.
The basic point that we want to learn is what did the senior military leadership know
about Corporal Tillman‘s death, when did they know it, and what did they do after they
learned it?‖ (HOC 8-01-07, p.29)

[Generals and Rumsfeld using some variation of ―I don‘t recall‖ about eighty times.]
...

NARRATOR: The witnesses before the Oversight Committee couldn‘t ―recall‖ when they
learned of Tillman‘s fratricide, but they were certain that McChrystal did the right thing.

GEN MYERS: ―…When I learned that General McChrystal had initiated an


investigation, that was—that was good for me. I know he had worked for me before. I
knew his integrity. I said, this is good, and they are going to do an investigation. We will
learn the truth.‖ (HOC 8-01-07, p.33)

GEN ABIZAID: ―Again, no excuses can be offered, but I can tell you a couple of
facts. General McChrystal reported the incident in a forthright and in a timely fashion.
(HOC 8-01-07, p.218)
...

Chairman WAXMAN. ―OK. Well, let me conclude the hearing by indicating the facts that
General Myers and General Brown knew about the friendly fire issue at the end of April.
General Abizaid learned on May 6th. Secretary Rumsfeld learned on May 20th. All of
these are the senior leaders that knew before the public and the family——

Mr. RUMSFELD. ―Could I correct that? … I want to make sure this is precisely accurate.
I do not believe I testified that I learned on May 20th, … My testimony is that I do not
recall; … —I just simply do not know when I first learned of the possibility of fratricide.‖

General ABIZAID. And, sir, if I may, I also wanted to make sure that the 6th is a logical
day. It is not ‗‗the‘‘ day; the day is somewhere between 10 and 20 days after the event. It‘s
the best that my staff and I could come to a conclusion on at this point.

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Chairman WAXMAN. You were all very busy. There is no question about it.

General BROWN. Sir, one other thing, if I could interrupt also to correct. Your statement
was that I knew about the friendly fire, I knew that there was an investigation ongoing, the
potential for friendly fire.

General MYERS. That goes for me, too.


General ABIZAID. And for me, as well.

...

Chairman WAXMAN. Well, you all knew or didn‘t know within that timeframe. …
―And you have all admitted that the system failed. So I just think that the public should
have known, the family should have known earlier who was responsible. But—none of you
feel that you personally are responsible, but the system itself didn‘t work.‖ … We are
obviously trying to find out what went on and who had responsibility, who dropped the
ball. … The system didn‘t work. Errors were made. That‘s too passive. Somebody should
be responsible …‖

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“Misleading Information from the Battlefield”


Oversight Committee Report, July 17, 2008

Note: the following summary is based upon Appendix F1 -- House Oversight Committee‘s
Report (July 17, 2007). Go there for full quotes and commentary.

Following the August 2007 hearing, the Committee conducted non-transcribed interviews in
closed session several senior officials at the White House, including Communications Director
Dan Bartlett, Press Secretary Scott McClellan, and chief speechwriter Michael Gerson. Not a
single one could recall when he learned about the fratricide or what he did in response.

The Committee reviewed over 31,000 documents produced by the Department of Defense and
interviewed six additional general officers, including General Kensinger who, after avoiding a
subpoena for the August 1st 2007 hearing, was finally interviewed by Committee staff on
February 29, 2008.

But, it‘s puzzling the Committee never questioned General McChrystal or General Nixon despite
their central role in writing both the fraudulent Silver Star recommendation and the misleading P4
memo (both issues that were central to the Committee‘s investigation).

...

Almost a year after their last Tillman hearing, on July 14th 2008, Congressman Henry Waxman‘s
House Oversight & Reform Committee finally issued their report ―Misleading Information from
the Battlefield: The Tillman and Lynch Episodes.‖

The Committee said they had sought to ―determine what the top officials at the White House and
the Defense Department knew about Corporal Tillman‘s fratricide, when they knew this, and what
they did with their knowledge.‖

But the Committee‘s ―investigation‖ ended inconclusively. The Committee blamed White House
and Dept. of Defense stonewalling for their inability to determine accountability for the
misinformation in the Tilllman case:

In Corporal Tillman‘s case, even after seven Defense Department investigations, no one
has been able to identify the person who created the false information about enemy fire.

At the top of the chain of command, where the Committee focused its attention, pertinent
questions also remain unanswered. … the White House could not produce a single e-mail

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or document relating to any discussion about Corporal Tillman‘s death by friendly fire.
… Despite receiving information from all the top military leaders in Corporal Tillman
chain of command — including Secretary Rumsfeld, General Myers, and General Abizaid
— the Committee could not determine if any of the officials had communicated with
President Bush or White House officials about fratricide in Corporal Tillman‘s case.

… The pervasive lack of recollection and absence of specific information makes it


impossible for the Committee to assign responsibility for the misinformation in Corporal
Tillman‘s and Private Lynch‘s cases.

After reviewing the report, I realized the Committee‘s perfunctory investigation had served to
protect General McChrystal from close scrutiny and was just another layer upon the previous
investigative cover-ups of the Tillman fratricide (see my previous discussion of the Committee‘s
4-24-07 and 8-01-07 hearings].

For example, why the hell didn‘t the Committee try to identify those involved in the
―misinformation‖ of the false Silver Star since they were not satisfied by the seven investigations?
They could have questioned those apparently involved (i.e. COL Nixon, LTC Kauzlarich, LG
McChrystal). Why did the Committee focus their attention ―up the chain of command‖ instead of
exercising oversight over the Army!
...
th
On July 26 2008, I sent an email to Mike Fish (investigative reporter who did the great ESPN E-
Ticket series ―An Un American Tragedy‖ on Pat in 2006):

―After reading your article, ―House Calls Out Government in Tillman Friendly Fire
Death‖ (ESPN 7-14-08), I wasn‘t particularly surprised at the White House‘s ―lack of
recall‖ about Pat Tillman‘s fratricide (although I did find myself wishing that Scott
McClellan had been put on the spot during his book tour circuit!).

However, after reading Waxman‘s House Oversight Committee‘s report, I was surprised
to learn the Committee never interviewed General McChrystal! McChrystal was the key
link in the chain of command between Col. Nixon (Ranger Regiment) and Abizaid
(CENTCOM), he wrote the P4 memo, and he approved the false narrative of the Silver
Star citation. Initially, McChrystal was scheduled to appear before the Committee, but he
―declined‖ to appear at their August 2007 hearing. Why didn‘t the Committee follow up?
Were they (and the Army) protecting McChrystal? Was the Waxman report just the final
layer upon the cover-up of the Tillman fratricide?

―Last August, General Kensinger was singled out as the primary reason many people
believe the Army covered up Tillman‘s fratricide … However, I believe General
Kensinger was merely the scapegoat for the sins of the Army and Bush administration. I
would argue that General McChrystal, COL Nixon, and GEN Abiziad were just as guilty
of the same charges for which Kensinger was singled out.‖
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Tillman Family Expected “Oversight” from Oversight Committee

Chairman WAXMAN: ―Well, you all knew or didn‘t know within that timeframe. …
So I just think … the family should have known earlier who was responsible. But—none of
you feel that you personally are responsible, but the system itself didn‘t work.‖ … We are
obviously trying to find out what went on and who had responsibility, who dropped the
ball. … The system didn‘t work. Errors were made. That‘s too passive. Somebody should
be responsible …‖

MARY TILLMAN: ―Yes, … someone should be responsible. … We have been let down.
… the Republicans on the committee were at best indifferent … most of the Democrats
disappointed us as well. Their performance is not what it was in April. They were not
prepared and they are unable to think on their feet. We expected more from Congress.‖

PATRICK TILLMAN: ―I expected some ―oversight‖ from the Oversight Committee.‖

...

NARRATOR: The Tillman family did everything they could do to learn the truth about Pat
Tillman‘s death. But no one has ever paid a price for using Pat Tillman‘s death as a propaganda
tool to support the war effort.

MARY TILLMAN: ―After more than three years of … persistent pushing to get answers,
our family has twice been heard before a congressional committee. … We‘ve done all we
can do …‖

...

[Rumsfeld leaves the hearing, gets in his limo, and drives away]
[Shot of the Capitol building at night.]

...

NARRATOR: Congressman Waxman‘s House Oversight Committee didn‘t fumble at the one-
yard line, they threw the game. Waxman gave General McChrystal a pass on his central role in
the cover-up of Pat Tillman fratricide. His ―investigation‖ was just another ―smokescreen‖
thrown into the face of the Tillman family.

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“THE [UNTOLD] TILLMAN STORY” SCRIPT


President Obama‟s Big-Time Fumble

President Obama salutes ROTC graduates at Arizona State University (May 13, 2009)

President Obama nominates Gen. McChrystal (May 11, 2009) Senator James Webb (Senate Armed Service Committee, June 2009)

―Obama had a wide-open opportunity to remind us that Tillman could be the best example in our
lifetimes of someone who eschewed popularity and personal advancement to devote himself to a
bigger purpose. For some reason, the president passed.‖

-- Bob Young, ―Obama‘s Big-Time Fumble at ASU‖ (Arizona Republic, May 17, 2009)

―This is an unsolved mystery; nobody has ever really paid a price for what was done to the
Tillmans. No one has taken accountability or made an admission for a deliberate attempt to
conceal the truth. This story is not over yet.‖
-- Amir Bar-Lev (―The Fog of War,‖ July 20, 2009)

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“Barely a Footnote”
Superbowl XLIII and the NFL‟s Betrayal of Pat Tillman
Guy Montag (feralfirefighter.blogspot.com)
June 20, 2010

Unveiling of Pat Tillman statue at Univesity of Phoenix Stadium General Petraeus performs coin toss at Super Bowl XLIII

―Pat Tillman played for the Arizona Cardinals from 1998 through 2001, yet, as you watch the Cardinals
play the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, you might never know it. …The NFL loves to wrap itself in the
flag, yet the league has no plans to remember him. The Cardinals have a statue and reflecting pool
dedicated to Tillman outside their stadium, but nothing on their jerseys.‖

-- Bill Plaschke, LA Times (1-25-09)

―You couldn't help but notice in the days before tonight's Super Bowl that the memory of Pat Tillman
feels like barely a footnote. In fact, the NFL sent out a news release a couple of days ago, with the
trumpeting headline: "NFL salutes service, courage and bravery in Super Bowl XLIII." But it had
nothing to do with Tillman. … the NFL picked a beautiful theme for the Super Bowl … It's difficult to
think of better words to describe the most important Cardinal any of us will ever know.‖

-- Rick Maese, Baltimore Sun (2-01-09)

―I think they [NFL] haven't gone out of their way to help; they've exploited Pat, just like the military. …
they have a beautiful statue to him at Cardinal Stadium. I don't know if that's more for us or him; I feel
like it's more for them. … They haven't really helped to try to find out what happened to Pat. …It's like,
"Okay, we had the jersey dedication, we did this, let's move on." …
-- Mary Tilllman, (6-02-08)

… He [Pat Tillman] might have been the most celebrated story of this year's Super Bowl between his
old Arizona team and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Instead, he's the saddest. And also the most awkward …
… what should have been the dream story that cemented the marriage between the NFL and the US
Army, turned into a terrible tragedy and a mortifying embarrassment. … when the Stealth Bomber roars
overhead before the game on Sunday … maybe people will remember that American sport's connection
with its armed forces is not all about glory. It's about secrets, lies and death, too.
-- Oliver Holt, The Mirror (1-28-09)

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Superbowl XLIII: Pat Tillman was “Barely a Footnote”

[Replay ―The Tillman Story‖ footage showing Pat Tillman‘s #40 jersey retirement at 2004
Cardinals game. Bush on jumbotron. Fighter jet fly-over stadium. ―we will never forget you‖]

...

[Tillman statue at University of Phoenix Stadium]

MARY TILLMAN: ―I think they [NFL] haven't gone out of their way to help; they've
exploited Pat, just like the military. … they have a beautiful statue to him at Cardinal
Stadium. I don't know if that's more for us or him; I feel like it's more for them. … They
haven't really helped to try to find out what happened to Pat. …It's like, "Okay, we had
the jersey dedication, we did this, let's move on." … (Dave Zirin interview, 6-02-08)

...

NARRATOR: During 2009‘s Superbowl XLIII, only five years later, Pat Tillman was barely a
footnote. ―The NFL sent out a news release with the trumpeting headline: ‗NFL salutes service,
courage and bravery in Super Bowl XLIII.‘ ―It's difficult to think of better words to describe the
most important Cardinal any of us will ever know. But it had nothing to do with Pat Tillman.‖
(Rick Maese)

[Footage from 2009 Superbowl XLIII: (I remember watching pregame footage that showed
Congressman Raul Grijalva -AZ giving President Obama a Tillman #40 jersey at White House
superbowl party.) Gen Petreaus doing the coin toss. Faith Hill sings national anthem.
Army SOCOM honor guard. B1 bomber fly-over].

Note: To my knowledge, this ESPN clip was the extent of the Superbowl Tillman ―tribute‖.

...

NARRATOR: ―Pat Tillman might have been the most celebrated story of this year's Super Bowl
between his old Arizona team and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Instead, he's the saddest. And also
the most awkward. … what should have been the dream story that cemented the marriage
between the NFL and the US Army, turned into a terrible tragedy and a mortifying
embarrassment. … American sport‘s connection with its armed forces is not all about glory. It's
about secrets, lies and death, too.‖ (Oliver Holt)

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“THE EMPEROR‟S GENERAL”


President Barack Obama and the Whitewash of General Stanley McChrystal‟s
Role in the Cover-Up of Pat Tillman‟s Friendly-Fire Death
Guy Montag (feralfirefighter.blogspot.com)
June 22, 2010

Patrick Tillman, Sr. at Pat Tillman‘s Memorial Service, May 2004

President Obama at Arizona State University, May 13th 2009 President Obama meets with Gen. McChrystal, May 2009.

―… nothing is ever going to heal the wounds inflicted on the Tillman Family … while I have nothing but respect for
the Tillman Family… their personal grief should not be a veto on the nomination of the man [General McChrystal]
the president, the Secretary of Defense, and General Petraeus all feel gives the United States … the best chance of
victory in Afghanistan … These are serious questions and are more important than either the death of Pat Tillman or
the alleged abuse of detainees.‖
-- CNAS Fellow Andrew Exum, (Abu Muqawama, June 2, 2009)

―I found myself awash with a sense of injustice that I could not define. Or perhaps it was merely that I was young. I
had never seen with such clarity that … courage could destroy one man while flight could make another man king.‖

-- Senator James Webb, ―The Emperor‘s General‖ (1999)

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“THE EMPEROR‟S GENERAL”


President Obama‟s Whitewash of General McChrystal
[Adapted from ―The Emperor‘s General‖]

On Wednesday, May 13th 2009, President Obama delivered his commencement speech to
Arizona State University's graduating class inside Sun Devil Stadium. But, in his speech that
focused heavily on serving a larger good and ―placing character over celebrity and substance
over appearance,‖ Obama did not mention Pat Tillman. Why not? As Bob Young speculated in
his May 17th column, ―Obama‘s Big-time Fumble‖:

―Maybe it simply was an oversight that Obama forgot Tillman, although we were told
Sunday that Obama was staged inside the Arizona State football locker room before his
speech - where there is a photo of Tillman. And he walked right up and out of Tillman
Tunnel to reach the stage. … Perhaps Obama was sensitive to the fact that the speech
came shortly after the announcement that Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal would become the
top American commander in Afghanistan. McChrystal was deemed by a Pentagon
investigation to be responsible for inaccurate information from the Army about Tillman's
death, and the Tillman family has been critical of what it believes was his role in a cover-
up of the real events that took place.‖
...
th
On Monday May 11 2009, President Obama had fired Gen. McKiernan and nominated Gen.
McChrystal to replace him as the new Afghanistan war commander.

In response, Mary Tillman wrote the President to express her concerns about his nomination. In
the foreword to the paperback edition of her book, ―Boots on the Ground by Dusk,‖ she wrote,
―McChrystal‘s actions should have been grounds for firing. That is why it was so disturbing to
us when President Obama instead promoted McChrystal to the position of top commander in
Afghanistan last year. [On May 12th,] I had sent the President an email and a letter reminding
him of McChrystal‘s involvement in the cover-up of Pat‘s death.‖

...
Esquire Magazine asked, ―Who the hell is General McChrystal?‖

During the Bush administration, General Stanley McChrystal was a rising star in the Army.
Because he had become a close friend of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, General
McChrystal spent an unusual five years from 2003 to 2008 as commander of Joint Special
Operations Command (JSOC). During the Bush era, JSOC turned into a virtual stand-alone
operation that acted outside the military chain of command ―doing things the executive branch --

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read: Cheney and Rumsfeld -- wanted it to do.‖ From his new command in Afghanistan, General
McChrystal reports directly to his longtime colleague and friend General David Petraeus.

As commander of JSOC Gen. McChrystal commanded special forces that targeted and killed
insurgents around the world. Andrew Exum wrote, ―Many policy-makers and journalists think
that McChrystal's work … [at JSOC] was the untold success story of the Surge and the greater
war on terror campaigns."

However, a 2006 report, "No Blood, No Foul," revealed that McChrystal‘s elite forces
conducting interrogations at Camp Nama committed systematic abuse of prisoners leading to at
least three deaths (an Army interrogator said he was getting his orders from McChrystal whom
he saw there ―a couple of times.‖) McChrystal‘s 2008 nomination to become Director of the
Joint Staff was held up while the Senate Armed Services Committee investigated abuse of
detainees by military personnel under McChrystal‘s command. However, McChrystal was never
held accountable for abuse of detainees.

In 2007, a Pentagon investigation into the friendly-fire death in 2004 of Pat Tillman held General
McChrystal accountable for ‖inaccurate information‖ recommending Tillman for a Silver Star.
The Tillman family believes McChrystal played a central role in the Army‘s cover-up of
Tillman‘s friendly-fire death.
...
rd
On April 23 2009, the Obama administration announced that the Pentagon would turn over to
the ACLU photographs showing detainee abuse of prisoners in Afghanistan and Iraq. The court
announced its mandate that the photos be released by May 28th.

However, just a few weeks later, President Obama decided to block the court-ordered release of
photos. President Obama said the abrupt reversal of his April 23rd decision, came out of concern
that the pictures would ―endanger U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.‖ The President
announced on May 13th that release of the photos ―would pose an unacceptable risk of danger to
U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq ―after meeting with Gen Petreaus and other military leaders
on May 12th. Obama said the ―photos had already served their purpose in investigations of ―a
small number of individuals‖ and ―the individuals who were involved have been identified, and
appropriate actions have been taken.‖

President Obama‘s effort to keep the photos from becoming public represented a sharp reversal
from his repeated pledges for open government, and in particular from his promise to be
forthcoming with information that courts have ruled should be publicly available. In light of
Gen. McChrystal‘s ties to torture, it is worth noting the dates of McChrystal's nomination and
President Obama's decision not to release more photos of prisoner abuse in Iraq: May 11th and
12th, respectively. Perhaps Gen. Petraeus‘s ―deep concern about fresh damage the photos might

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do‖ actually also referred to the nomination of his friend Gen. McChrystal? (or possibly
Petraeus‘s own involvement with torture while he was a commander in Iraq?).
...

On May 13th, obviously anticipating that the Government was likely to lose its court appeal,
Obama asked Congress to change FOIA by retroactively narrowing its disclosure requirements to
prevent a legal ruling by the courts. Senator Graham said the White House ―helped them draft
the bill.‖

On May 20th, U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham, Joe Lieberman, and Senator John McCain
introduced the ―Detainee Photographic Records Protection Act‖ to block the release of the
detainee photos. The very next day, on May 21st, the act was offered as an amendment to the
Supplemental Appropriations bill and the U.S. Senate unanimously passed it.

On June 1st 2009, Glenn Greenwald posted his entry, Obama's support for the new Graham-
Lieberman secrecy law, at salon.com where he wrote:

―To argue that the photos will harm how we are perceived is, necessarily, to acknowledge
that they reveal new information that is not already widely known [McChrystal‘s role in
torture at Camp Nama?]. Apparently, the proper reaction to heinous acts by our political
leaders is not to hold them accountable but, instead, to hide evidence of what they did.
What makes all of this even worse is that it is part of a broader trend whereby
the Government simply retroactively changes the law whenever it decides it does not
want to abide by it.‖
...

The act was stripped out of the supplemental appropriations bill. However, it was later added as
an amendment to a Homeland Security Appropriations Bill HR 2892. On October 20, 2009,
Senator McCain praised the passage of the bill,

―I am also pleased this conference report does contain a provision that will allow the
Secretary of Defense to prohibit the disclosure of detainee photographs under the
Freedom of Information Act if he certifies that release of the photos would endanger U.S.
citizens, members of the Armed Forces, or U.S. Government employees deployed outside
the United States.‖

...

On October 28, 2009, President Obama finally signed the bill into law.

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President Obama‟s “Big-Time Fumble” at Sun Devil Stadium


NARRATOR: On Wednesday May 13th 2009, President Obama delivered his commencement
speech to Arizona State University's graduating class inside Sun Devil Stadium. His speech
focused heavily on ―placing character over celebrity and substance over appearance.‖

[Footage of President Obama delivering speech]

PRESIDENT OBAMA: ―You're taught to chase after all the usual brass rings … you
chase after the big money… you worry about whether you have a fancy enough title or a
fancy enough car. … that's how you will measure success. … the elevation of appearance
over substance, of celebrity over character, of short-term gain over lasting achievement
is precisely what your generation needs to help end … We need your daring, we need
your enthusiasm and your energy, we need your imagination. … I'm talking about an
approach to life -- a quality of mind and quality of heart; a willingness to follow your
passions, regardless of whether they lead to fortune and fame; a willingness to question
conventional wisdom and rethink old dogmas; a lack of regard for all the traditional
markers of status and prestige -- and a commitment instead to doing what's meaningful to
you, what helps others, what makes a difference in this world. … That's the great
American story: young people just like you, following their passions, determined to meet
the times on their own terms. They weren't doing it for the money. … No one thought a
former football player stocking shelves at the local supermarket would return to the game
he loved, become a Super Bowl MVP, and then come here to Arizona and lead your
Cardinals to their first Super Bowl. … Your body of work is never done.‖ (NYT 5-14-09)

NARRATOR: Although the President gave a nod to Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt
Warner, he never mentioned Pat Tillman, ―who exemplified character over celebrity and
substance over appearance, the guy who made his name in the very stadium where Obama stood.
Maybe it simply was an oversight that Obama forgot Tillman, although … Obama was staged
inside the Arizona State football locker room before his speech - where there is a photo of
Tillman. And he walked right up and out of Tillman Tunnel to reach the stage.‖ (―Obama's Big-
Time Fumble at ASU‖)

[Walk thru Sun Devil Stadium: photo in locker room, Tillman Tunnel, etc.]
...

NARRATOR: So just why did President Obama pass on his ―wide-open opportunity to remind
us that Tillman could be the best example in our lifetimes of someone who eschewed popularity
and personal advancement to devote himself to a bigger purpose?‖ Why did Obama make his
―big-time‖ fumble at Sun Devil Stadium?

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“The Emperor‟s General”


NARRATOR: On May 11th2009, just two days before his ASU commencement speech,
President Obama fired the Afghan war commander, Gen. David McKiernan, and nominated Lt.
Gen. Stanley McChrystal as his replacement. The president praised General McKiernan's
leadership, but said it was time for a ''change of direction in Afghanistan.‖

[President & General McChrystal]

NARRATOR: From 2003 to 2008, General McChrystal was the commander of the Joint Special
Operations Command (JSOC). During the Bush era, JSOC acted outside the military chain of
command ―doing things the executive branch -- read: Cheney and Rumsfeld -- wanted it to do.‖
Gen. McChrystal commanded the special forces that targeted and killed insurgent leaders.
Andrew Exum wrote, ―Many policy-makers and journalists think that McChrystal's work … [at
JSOC] was the untold success story of the Surge and the greater war on terror campaigns."

A 2006 report, "No Blood, No Foul," revealed that McChrystal‘s elite forces conducting
interrogations at Camp Nama committed systematic abuse of prisoners leading to the death of at
least three prisoners. However, McChrystal was never held accountable.

The Pentagon investigation into the Army‘s handling of Tillman‘s death did hold General
McChrystal accountable for ‖inaccurate information‖ (e.g. altered witness statements) in his
Silver Star recommendation. However, General Wallace disregarded those findings and declared
McChrystal cleared of all wrong-doing.

However, Gen. McChrystal actually played a central role in the White House‘s cover-up of
Tillman‘s friendly-fire death.

MR. SCAHILL: I've also heard from people that Cheney helped coordinate the
testimony of General McChrystal about the death of Pat Tillman in Afghanistan, which
was determined to be a friendly-fire incident, and that Cheney actually colluded with
General McChrystal to attempt to cover up that death.‖ (NPR 12-16-09)

...

NARRATOR: So, why did President Obama make his ―big-time fumble‖ at Sun Devil stadium?
Why didn‘t he mention Pat Tillman during his commencement speech? Perhaps he was sensitive
to the fact that his speech came just two days after his nomination of Gen. McChrystal?
Mentioning Tillman would risk opening the door to questions about McChrystal‘s central role in
the Tillman cover-up and involvement with torture in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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„The McChrystal Protection Act of 2009”


NARRATOR: On May 13th 2009, the same day as his ASU commencement speech, President
Obama announced the reversal of his April 23rd decision not to appeal the court-ordered release
of photos showing detainee abuse. On May 20th, U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham, Joe Lieberman
and Senator John McCain introduced the ―Detainee Photographic Records Protection Act.‖

LIEBERMAN: ―As you know, President Obama overturned a decision of some of the
attorneys in the Justice Department not to appeal from a lower court decision in an
ACLU lawsuit that would have compelled the release of these photos. President Obama
did the right thing. He did the right thing because he knows that the release of these
photos will achieve no good and will do great harm. That's why Senator Graham and I
introduced the Detainee Photographic Records Protection Act, to back up President
Obama's commander in chief decision not to release these photos.‖

SENATOR GRAHAM: ―And our goal is to make sure that Congress speaks in a way
that these photos never see the light of day. I think everyone agrees the most effective
way to stop the photos from being released is congressional enactment of a law telling
the courts we do not want these photos released.‖

GRAHAM: ―… Initially, the administration was not going to appeal the 2nd Circuit's
court decision to require release of the photos. We wrote a letter to the president asking
him to reconsider. But, more importantly, our commanders called the president -- they
didn't call him, he called the commanders. He sat down with Secretary Gates. He
listened to General Odierno. …‖

LIEBERMAN: ―… we certainly drafted the amendment together with people in the


White House. … because the president does not want these photos to see the light of
day.‖

GRAHAM: ―We've been pretty low key about this. We passed this thing without a voice
vote. The administration helped write the bill. We compromised in the Senate. And we've
been very quiet, thinking this thing was put to bed. The last thing I wanted to do is make a
big issue about this. I didn't ask for a recorded vote, and we could have.‖
(Weekly Standard, 6-09-09)

NARRATOR: It‘s worth noting the dates of McChrystal's nomination and President Obama's
decision not to release photos of prisoner abuse in Iraq; May 11th and 12th, respectively.
Presumably, some of the photos showed abuse by JSOC forces under under McChrystal‘s
command? The photo release could have led to media controversy and led to difficulties with
McChrystal‘s Senate confirmation.

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THOM SHANKER, THE NEW YORK TIMES, AND THE


WHITEWASH OF GENERAL MCCHRYSTAL‟S ROLE IN
THE AFTERMATH OF PAT TILLMAN‟S DEATH

Thom Shanker, New York Times Pentagon Reporter

Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, unknown, NYT‘s Thom Shanker

―Ron Holcomb [Secretary of Defense] never told a lie, at least not in the way he could be caught
in it. …As a consequence, his remarks were a mix of bald truth, diplomatic half-truths, and what
Holcomb had privately called ‗necessary, unconfirmable distortions.‘ Nonetheless, they would
become the government‘s official pronouncement on the day‘s action.‖

―Allegations, lies, denials, dissembling, distortions … And all the while they secretly whispered
to the media … And the media gave them their forum, always ascertaining beforehand that their
allegations were borne out by facts if not the truth.‖

--- Senator James Webb, ―Something to Die For‖ (1991)

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The New York Times “Exonerates” General McChrystal


[Adapted from September 11, 2009 Letter to NYT Public Editor Clark Hoyt]

I‘m writing to express my concerns about The New York Times coverage of General Stanley
McChrystal‘s role in the aftermath of Pat Tillman‘s death.

In my letter (and attached supporting documents) I argue that Washington Pentagon Reporter
Thom Shanker, and his New York Times editors, whitewashed General McChrystal‘s central
role in orchestrating the cover-up of Pat Tillman‘s 2004 friendly fire death.

Thom Shanker wrote his May 26th 2009 article, ―Nomination of U.S. Afghan Commander
Revives Questions in Tillman Case,‖ ―exonerating‖ General McChrystal of wrongdoing in the
Army‘s handling of Tillman‘s fratricide. However, although Shanker‘s article was full of
official government ―facts,‖ my own review showed that his none of his substantive assertions
were truthful.

Thom Shanker failed to further investigate the Tillman case or write a follow-up article
correcting his mistakes, even after he (and the NYT editors) received my 100 page document
(that Shanker said was ―impressive,‖ ―exhaustive‖ and ―well-researched‖). Thom Shanker‘s
articles covering the confirmation hearing did not incorporate my new disclosures, but merely
recycled his ―facts‖ clearing McChrystal of wrongdoing.

I believe you should question Thom Shanker and his NYT editors about their coverage of
General McChrystal‘s Senate confirmation hearing and his handling of the Pat Tillman fratricide.
They should be held accountable for their actions in whitewashing General McChrystal‘s role in
the cover-up of Pat Tillman‘s friendly fire death.

...

On May 12th 2009, President Obama nominated General Stanley McChrystal for promotion to
four-star general and to become his new Commander of the Afghanistan War.

On May 14th, The New York Times expressed their concerns about McChrystal‘s nomination in
their editorial, ―New Commander for Afghanistan‖:

―And it was General McChrystal who approved the falsified report that covered up the
2004 friendly-fire death of Cpl. Pat Tillman in Afghanistan. … Before confirming him in
his new command, senators must assure themselves that he …will insist on lawful
treatment of detainees and candid military reporting.‖
Five years prior to McChrystal‘s nomination, Pat Tillman‘s family were handed a tarnished
Silver Star. I felt it would be a travesty of justice if McChrystal was confirmed by the Senate,
promoted to the Army‘s highest rank, and handed his fourth star. So, I once again took out my

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box of Tillman documents, and closely reviewed General McChrystal‘s actions in the aftermath
of Tillman‘s death.
...
Senator James Webb had been a hero of mine for three decades. I hadn‘t always agreed with his
positions, but I had never before doubted his integrity or his sense of honor. I‘d read his novels
that dealt with themes of honor, loyalty, integrity, and betrayal for thirty 30 years; long before he
became a U.S. Senator from Virginia in 2006. With Webb‘s background as a decorated Vietnam
Marine, I believed he would feel a sense of kinship with Pat Tillman and his family.

On May 27th, I was finishing my letter to Senator Webb that asked him to place a ―hold‖ on
McChrystal‘s confirmation. In my 100 page document, ―Did They Teach You How to Lie Yet?
– Senator James Webb, General Stanley McChrystal, and the Betrayal of Pat Tillman,‖ I argued
Congress and the senior leadership of the Army had acted with a long series of ―investigations‖
to shield General McChrystal‘s actions from close scrutiny and to protect him from punishment
for his central role in orchestrating the cover-up of Pat Tillman‘s fratricide.

That evening, I read the NYT article, ―Nomination of U.S. Afghan Commander Revives
Questions in Tillman Case.‖ (5-26-09), written by Thom Shanker (NYT Washington Pentagon
Reporter).

Thom Shanker wrote that General McChrystal had been cleared of wrongdoing in the Army‘s
handling of Pat Tillman‘s fratricide: McChrystal was not responsible for investigating the
fratricide and notifying the family, had sent a ―timely‖ P4 memo to warn his superiors, and had
merely signed off on Tillman‘s misleading Silver Star citation without firsthand knowledge.

However, my analysis (of the same investigative reports Thom Shanker reviewed) found
General McChrystal had played a central role in the Army‘s cover up of Tillman‘s friendly fire
death; none of Thom Shanker‘s assertions clearing McChrystal of wrongdoing held up under
scrutiny!: McChrystal received confirmation of Tillman‘s fratricide within two days yet didn‘t
send his ―timely‖ P4 memo until a week later, had the responsibility to notify the family and
chose not to (the family wasn‘t told until 35 days later), and personally led the packaging of the
Silver Star recommendation (with a false narrative and fabricated witness statements).

Note: For a very detailed, point-by-point refutation of Shanker‘s assertions, see


―Rebuttal of Thom Shanker‘s Pre-Hearing Article: ―Nomination of U.S. Afghan
Commander Revives Questions in Tillman Case‖

I e-mailed Thom Shanker that evening. I wrote that my document discussed in detail every point
raised in his article and I described the highlights of my new information about the Tillman case
not addressed in his article. Shortly afterwards, Thom Shanker replied: ―Please feel free to send
me your material, as I would be eager to review it.‖

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The following morning, on the 28th, I sent Shanker an email containing the Word documents
from ―Did They Teach You How to Lie Yet‖ and an email with much of the Appendices
material. That afternoon, I sent a hard-copy of my document by Federal Express to both Thom
Shanker and Senator James Webb. Thom Shanker received my document on Friday the 29 th at
9:38 AM. That afternoon, he replied to my follow-up email: ―Yes, it arrived. I will review your
documents this weekend. Thanks.‖ But, I was concerned that Shanker hadn‘t contacted me with
questions about my document. And why was he waiting so long to review my materials? Was
he sitting on the story?
...

On Monday June 1st, I awoke to read the NYT Editorial ―Questions for General McChrystal.‖
The editors wrote that General McChrystal ―needs to be rigorously questioned‖ and ―The Senate
owes the American people more than a pro forma confirmation of Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal.‖

But, why didn‘t the editors mention General McChrystal‘s actions in the aftermath of Pat
Tillman‘s death? (In their May 14th editorial, they had raised concerns about McChrystal‘s
―falsified report‖ and his less-than ―candid military reporting‖). Was this omission due to Thom
Shanker‘s May 26th review that had ―cleared‖ General McChrystal of any wrongdoing?

I immediately emailed Thom Shanker, ―Why isn't there any mention of McChrystal's role in the
handling of the Tillman case? … Will the NYT be publishing a follow up to your May 26th
article before the confirmation hearing?‖

Shanker replied: ―… any question about an editorial should be directed to The Times editorial
board, and not to a newsroom reporter.‖ … ―Do you have any sense at all that Senators will be
pressing on the Tillman case?‖ … Again, thanks for the very detailed and voluminous file you
sent. It was very well researched and quite thorough.‖

Well, it‘s always nice to receive praise, but why wasn‘t Thom Shanker ―pressing‖ the Senators
on the Tillman case? Why wasn‘t Shanker questioning his Congressional sources? Why wasn‘t
he doing anything to follow up on the revelations in my document?

Later that morning, I tried again: ―Could you please answer my question? Are you going to
publish a follow-up to your May 26th piece based on my document or any other information
you've received? If not, why not? Why did you even bother to raise questions about McChrystal
and Tillman in your May 26th article?‖

Thom Shanker replied: ―At this point there will not be a follow-on story on the Tillman
investigation prior to the hearing, although we will see what the hearing brings up tomorrow.‖

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―See what the hearing brings up‖? Couldn‘t Shanker play a more active role? He was very
familiar with the Tillman case after writing his May 26th article (which I had discredited). Why
wasn‘t he doing further investigation?
...

I decided to take Thom Shanker‘s advice that ―any question about an editorial should be directed
to The Times editorial board, and not to a newsroom reporter.‖ On Monday afternoon, June 1st,
I sent the following email to the NYT editors (Letters to the Editor, Editorial Page Editor, News
Dept., the Executive Editor, the Managing Editor, News-Tips, National Newsroom, and the
Washington Newsroom. Unfortunately I neglected to email the Public Editor):

I was surprised that your editorial today, ―Questions for General McChrystal,‖ did not
mention General McChrystal‘s role in the aftermath of Pat Tillman‘s fratricide.
I‘ve been corresponding with Thom Shanker, your NYT Pentagon correspondent, since
last Wednesday in reference to his May 26th article ―Nomination of US Afghan
Commander Revives Questions in Tillman‘s Case.‖ Last Thursday, I FedExed my 100
page document to him detailing new disclosures of General McChrystal‘s central role in
the whitewash of Tillman‘s death.
However, it doesn‘t appear that Thom Shanker is following up with another article. I
think the NYT editorial board would find it useful to speak with him and get a copy of
this document before tomorrow‘s June 2nd confirmation hearing of General McChrystal
before the Senate Armed Services Committee (or read my letters below and attachments).
Below, you can read my May 27th letter to Thom Shanker and my letter to Senator Webb.
If you would like more information, I‘ve also ―attached‖ many of the documents in the
package I sent to Thom Shanker.
I never received a response to my email from any of the editors at The New York Times (At the
time, I hoped that an editor might prod Shanker into a follow-up story on the Tillman case).

...

On June 2nd 2009, the Senate Armed Services Committee held General McChrystal‘s
confirmation hearing. However, the hearing was just a ―pro forma confirmation‖ and the
Senators did not ―rigorously question― McChrystal. David Corn commented on PBS‘s News
Hour: ―And so the Pat Tillman questioning … I thought, seemed very orchestrated and didn't
give a full airing … a lot of what happened today made it clear to me that Democrats and
Republicans had both decided, "He's our guy in Afghanistan‖

Shortly after the hearing ended, Thom Shanker‘s article covering the hearing, ―Nominee to
Command Afghanistan Stresses Civilian Safety,‖ [see p. 61] appeared on the NYT‘s website.
However, Shanker failed to incorporate any of my new information about General McChrystal‘s

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central role in the Army‘s cover-up of Tillman‘s fratricide into his article. Instead, Shanker
merely recycled his same rebutted assertions (from his 5-26-09 article) that McChrystal was
―cleared of any wrongdoing.‖

In addition, Thom Shanker failed to note three new revelations from McChrystal‘s testimony:

1. McChrystal‘s new account of when and where he first learned of Tillman‘s fratricide
contradicted his previous testimony and the testimony of General Abizaid and COL
Nixon. Their accounts over the course of several investigations simply didn‘t match up.
McChrystal, Abizaid, and/or Nixon gave false testimony before the investigators and/or
Congress.

2. General Wallace cleared McChrystal since he only ―signed off‖ on the Silver Star
recommendation and ―had no reasonable basis to question the recommendation.‖ But,
McChrystal testified he was in Afghanistan and led the Ranger officers during the Silver
Star recommendation process! He didn‘t just sign off on a piece of paper that just
dropped onto his desk!

3. General McChrystal publicly confirmed the existence of last year‘s secret review prior
to his 2008 confirmation hearing: ―You gave me the opportunity to discuss in detail one
of those failures, Corporal Pat Tillman, in closed session with this committee a year ago,
in advance of my confirmation as Director of the Joint Staff …‖

Obviously, the real confirmation hearing took place last year behind closed doors. Why didn‘t
Thom Shanker (or any other reporter) follow-up and ask the Senators what the Senators learned
during last year‘s ―executive session‖ when McChrystal‘s actions were ―discussed in detail‖?

...

But later that evening, I was unable to find Thom Shanker‘s article. It had disappeared from the
NYT website sometime after 4 PM! (Luckily, I was able to find a copy of the original version
that had fortuitously been posted onto the Internet).

―Nominee to Command Afghanistan Stresses Civilian Safety‖ that provided coverage of the
hearing had been replaced by a drastically different article, ―U.S. Report Finds Errors in Afghan
Airstrikes.‖ This article focused on mistaken U.S. airstrikes in Afghanistan and included
literally only a couple of token lines about McChrystal‘s hearing at the very end of the article:

Why did Thom Shanker‘s original article disappear? Perhaps one of my emails sent to the NYT
editors had been read by someone in the editorial food chain who made the decision to
―disappear‖ Thom Shanker‘s article?

...

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After cooling off for a few days, on June 5th, I emailed Thom Shanker and asked why he never
did a follow up on the Tillman case using my new information:

… I still don‘t understand why you didn't write a follow-up to your article last week
―Nomination of U.S. Afghan Commander Revives Questions in Tillman Case.‖ You
wrote that ―Unless new information on General McChrystal‘s role in the episode emerges
between now and his confirmation hearing, set for June 2nd, the question is not expected
to figure heavily in the Senate debate." …

Could you please explain to me why my document wasn‘t sufficient to prompt you to
write a follow-up article? Or at least include some of my information in your June 2nd
article about the hearing? I would welcome any criticism from you of my arguments or
facts contained in my document.

Thom Shanker replied:

Thank you for your note. Your research is exhaustive and impressive. My question back
to you would be:

Why are even senators who were most outspoken in criticism of the handling of the
Tillman case -- in particular Senator Webb, who has figured extensively in your research
and in comments by the Tillman family -- now expressing satisfaction with the public
resolution of the inquiries and now, apparently, ready to confirm General McChrystal
next week? Remember, as I know you do, that the legislative branch is a key check and
balance not only of the executive, but of the military. It controls funding and
confirmation to senior general officer jobs.

Again, thanks for sharing your impressive work with me.

On June 6th, I once again tried to get an answer from Thom Shanker as to why he didn‘t follow-
up on my disclosures:

… I would guess that Webb, and the other senators, think McChrystal is the best man to
lead the Afghan escalation and are willing to forgive his central role in the cover-up of
Tillman's fratricide. And they all know that McChrystal was just obeying orders from
Rumsfeld and the White House to get out good PR at a bad time (Abu Gharib, etc.).
Besides, now the senators are stuck with the "hot potato." They're the last link in the
chain of "investigations" into the handling of the Tillman case. They've got to cover their
own ass now.

But my question for you still remains unanswered. Despite your praise for my document
as "exhaustive", "impressive", and "well researched" none of my findings appeared in
your following articles concerning the Tillman case. Wouldn't my 100 page document
qualify as "new information"? (or are only official government leaks considered
authoritative enough to appear in print?) Could you please explain to me why my

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document wasn‘t sufficient to prompt you to write a follow-up to your May 26th article?
Or at least include some of my findings in your June 2nd article about the hearing as a
counterpoint to the official government position?

I never received a response from Thom Shanker. Perhaps I shouldn‘t have needled him a little
with my with my ―government leaks‖ remark (referring to Thom Shanker‘s NYT coverage of the
Jessica Lynch coverage in 2004).
...

Despite Thom Shanker‘s praise for my document, ―Did They Teach You How to Lie Yet?‖ as
"exhaustive", "impressive", and "well researched", he never used it‘s revelations to follow-up on
his deeply flawed May 26th review ―Nomination of U.S. Afghan Commander Revives Questions
in Tillman Case‖ that supposedly ―cleared‖ General McChrystal of any wrongdoing. Why not?
I‘m still puzzled as to who was responsible for posing the ―questions [that] have surfaced again
after General McChrystal‘s nomination to be the top American commander in Afghanistan.‖?
Who at the NYT prompted Thom Shanker to write his May 26th article? Who decided to
―disappear‖ Shanker‘s June 2nd article about the hearing?

[Note: Mary Tillman sent an email and letter to President Obama on May 12th criticizing
McChrystal‘s nomination. Did the NYT editorial ―questions have surfaced again‖ refer to her
letter? I now believe that Thom Shanker wrote his May 26th specifically to ―exonerate‖
McChrystal of all wrong-doing for the Obama administration. Afterwards, the politicians could
all point to his article as proof that McChrystal had been cleared of all wrong-doing by the Gray
Lady, the ―paper of record.‖]

I think Shanker‘s post-hearing article was ―disappeared‖ after some NYT editor got my letter and
got a bit nervous that someone might cast a critical eye at Shanker‘s hearing coverage given my
revelations. ‗Better safe, than sorry; pull the piece‘.
...

In the Tillman case, Thom Shanker and The New York Times bear the dishonor of playing the
final role in the Tillman cover-up story. The New York Times laid the topmost layer upon the
tall stack of Army and Congressional cover-ups (‗investigations‖) of the Tillman fratricide.

Once again, as in the Jessica Lynch case, The New York Times has provided coverage (or lack
thereof) that brings into question the integrity of its journalism and its ability to use what Kevin
Tillman called a ―mountain of evidence to arrive at an honest or even sensible conclusion‖.

Instead of an objective search for the truth of General McChrystal actions in the aftermath of Pat
Tillman‘s death, The New York Times has displayed its stenographical abilities to parrot the
official government position ―borne out by facts, if not the truth‖.

Note: I never received a response from the NYT Public Editor Clark Hoyt.

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“DID THEY TEACH YOU HOW TO LIE YET?”


Senator James Webb, General Stanley McChrystal,
and Congress‟s Betrayal of Pat Tillman

Marie Tillman (wife), Mary Tillman (mother), Richard Tillman (brother),


Kevin Tillman (brother), Patrick Tillman, Sr. (father) – May 4, 2004 Memorial Service

―… we have all been betrayed. It isn‘t just our family. Every time they betray a soldier, they
betray all of us.‖ … ―We had officers that we trusted. We had high regard for them. … in your
heart they are your kids and you turn them over, and we trusted. … we knew they [Pat & Kevin]
could die or they could come back wounded … But we never thought that they would use him
the way they did‖
-- Mary Tillman, Congressional testimony (April 24, 2007)

―They ought to make a movie about this. Mr. Smith comes to Washington.‖ ―Yeah, I called my
pa last night and he says, Judd boy, you been up there with them muck-a-mucks two days, now.
Did they teach you how to lie yet?‖
-- Senator James Webb, ―A Country Such As This‖ (1983)

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SENATOR JAMES WEBB AND THE WHITEWASH OF


GENERAL STANLEY MCCHRYSTAL‟S ROLE IN THE
AFTERMATH OF PAT TILLMAN‟S DEATH
[Adapted from “Lies Borne Out by Facts, If Not the Truth”]

April 3rd 2008 Letter to Senator James Webb


Military service was prevalent and respected in the Tillman family. Mary Tillman‘s uncles were
at Pearl Harbor, her brother was a Marine, and her father was a Marine during the Korean War.
As Mary Tillman wrote in her book ―Boots on the Ground by Dusk: The Life & Death of Pat
Tillman‖:

―From the time I was very little, I was aware of my father‘s pride in being a Marine.
When I was three years old … I would stand between my parents, feet digging into the
soft leather of the big front seat, and sing the entire Marine Corps Hymn at the top of my
lungs.‖

I‘ve read the novels of James Webb over the past thirty 30 years, long before he became a U.S.
Senator from Virginia in 2006. His novels have dealt with themes of honor, integrity, loyalty
and betrayal. With Senator Webb‘s background as a decorated Vietnam Marine, I believed he
would feel a sense of kinship with Pat Tillman and his family.

On April 3rd 2008, I sent a letter to Senator Webb asking him to become a Senate advocate for
Mary Tillman‘s struggle to learn the truth about her son‘s death. I asked Webb to meet Mary
during the Washington stop of her May book tour.

On April 29th 2008, Senator Webb‘s Military Legislative Affairs Assistant Gordon Peterson
replied to my follow-up email: ―I have alerted the senator‘s scheduling director to the
information on the Washington leg of her tour and provided her with your letter to the senator.‖ I
figured I was getting blown off by Peterson.

Senator Webb didn‘t meet Mary Tillman when she was in Washington on May 12th at Olsson's -
Penn Quarter bookstore.

Timeline of Pat Tillman Fratricide Notification Up the Chain of Command


On May 8th 2008, after speaking with Mary Tillman during her book signing in Detroit, I decided
to take a more detailed look through the voluminous Tillman investigative documents. On May

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20th 2008, I finished my review and constructed a detailed timeline showing when the Army
chain of command learned about Tillman‘s fratricide. On May 25th 2008, I sent a copy of my
findings to Scott Laidlaw at The Associated Press:

―A couple of weeks ago, while reading your article, ―Pat Tillman‘s Mother Recalls
Journey for Facts‖ (5-13-08), you mentioned AP had obtained new documents under
FOIA … Do your FOIA documents also include testimony from GEN McChrystal and
General Abizaid? Why? Well, I plowed through the GEN Jones 15-6 report, the DoD
IG Report, and transcripts from the Waxman hearings to put together a ―Timeline of
Tillman Fratricide Notification‖. I spotted testimony that suggest Gen. Abizaid gave
false testimony to the IG and Congress, that Tillman‘s fratricide was confirmed only two
days after his death (not five weeks), and that Gen. McChrystal‘s P4 message wasn‘t very
―timely.‖ … Perhaps you could resolve (or confirm) these apparent contradictions using
the documents you obtained under FOIA? ―

I received no response from Scott Laidlaw.

Senator Webb Mentions Senate Tillman “Review” on the Diane Rhem Show
Just a couple of days later, on May 27th 2008, I spoke briefly with Senator Webb on NPR radio
during the call-in portion of ―The Diane Rhem Show‖ (40:56). During his response, Webb
mentioned a recent Senate review of the Tillman fratricide:

―I just went through a fairly thorough review of that process at the request of the
Chairman of the [Senate] Armed Services Committee [Senator Levin] … What we do
know … is that the Army knew that this was a friendly fire incident fairly quickly, they
did not tell the family, they allowed a ceremony to go forward which implied otherwise
… I‘m not sure where responsibility for that decision really lies, in terms of the chain of
command, how it was handled publicly, but it was really wrong. … You cannot help but
still feel angry about how his death was used.‖

I‘d followed the Tillman case very closely during the past four years. Although I was familiar
with Congressman Henry Waxman‘s House Oversight & Reform Committee‘s Tillman
investigation, I was surprised to hear about Senator Webb‘s ―review‖. I hadn‘t read anything at
all in the news about a Senate investigation.

And I shared Senator Webb‘s anger about how Pat Tillman‘s death was used. But I didn‘t
understand why Webb was ―not sure where responsibility for that decision really lies‖! I doubted
that Senator Webb actually conducted a ―fairly thorough review‖ of how the Army handled
Tillman‘s fratricide. My own review of the investigative documents, completed just before I
spoke with Senator Webb, revealed that General McChrystal had played a key role in the Army‘s

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cover-up of Tillman‘s friendly fire death: McChrystal received confirmation of Tillman‘s


fratricide within two days from the investigating officer (―I‘m certain, I‘m sure), had the
responsibility to tell Tillman‘s family about the fratricide but made the decision not to tell the
family, and he personally led the Ranger officers as they assembled a ―misleading‖ Silver Star
package (with a false citation and tampered witness statements), and then he waited a week
before sending his ―timely‖ P4 memo to supposedly warn his superiors of ―potential fratricide‖!

On May 30th 2008, I emailed Gordon Peterson to try to learn more about Webb‘s Senate review:

―As Senator Webb‘s Military Affairs Legislative Assistant, I assume you took the lead in
in conducting that review process. What is the status of that process? What were your
findings? Could send me a copy of your findings?‖ …―… I believe that responsibility
ultimately lies at the top of the chain of command, with Rumsfeld and/or the White
House (It would be interesting to hear Scott McClellan‘s take on his role in the Tillman
case). But, I haven‘t seen a paper trail to directly support my belief.

However, there is a paper trail that indicates false testimony by either COL Nixon, GEN
McChrystal, or GEN. Abizaid … I‘ve appended my supporting timeline and notes at the
end of this letter. Hopefully, this information may be useful for you during your review
of how the Tillman fratricide was handled by the Bush administration.‖

However, Gordon Peterson stone-walled my attempts to learn more about the Senate review.
Later that day, he replied:

―Regarding your questions about the radio interview, I‘m not in a position to elaborate. I
did not participate in the review that Senator Webb mentioned and have no information to
provide to you. The senator‘s involvement occurred in his capacity as a member of the
Senate Committee on Armed Services. I checked with Senator Webb, and he has nothing
more to add to what he said last week. If you have any additional questions you should
contact a representative for the Committee -- Gary Leeling [Lead Counsel for the
Personnel Subcommittee of the Senate Armed Services Committee], 202 224-9339. He
is out of the office until next week.‖

I didn‘t immediately follow up with Gary Leeling (Legal Counsel for Senator Carl Levin). I was
very busy with life (and had just spent far too much time on the Tillman case) and figured I was
just getting blown off again by Gordon Peterson (I didn‘t call Leeling until the following year,
just before the June 2nd confirmation hearing).

Note: Although Senator Webb has spoken with Pat Tillman, Sr., he has never spoken with Mary
Tillman. Mary Tillman wasn‘t able to get past Gordon Peterson to speak directly with the
Senator.

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House Oversight Committee Shielded Gen. McChrystal from Public Scrutiny

On July 14th 2008, Congressman Henry Waxman‘s House Oversight & Reform Committee
finally issued their report ―Misleading Information from the Battlefield: The Tillman and Lynch
Episodes.‖ The Committee concluded:

―the pervasive lack of recollection and absence of specific information makes it


impossible for the Committee to assign responsibility for the misinformation in Corporal
Tillman‘s and Private Lynch‘s cases…‖

But after reviewing the Committee‘s report, I realized their perfunctory investigation had served
to protect General McChrystal from close scrutiny and was just another layer upon the previous
investigative cover-ups of the Tillman fratricide. On July 26th 2008, I sent an email to Mike Fish
(investigative reporter for ESPN):

―After reading your article, ―House Calls Out Government in Tillman Friendly Fire
Death‖ (ESPN 7-14-08), I wasn‘t particularly surprised at the White House‘s ―lack of
recall‖ about Pat Tillman‘s fratricide (although I did find myself wishing that Scott
McClellan had been put on the spot during his book tour circuit!).

However, after reading Waxman‘s House Oversight Committee‘s report, I was surprised
to learn the Committee never interviewed General McChrystal! McChrystal was the key
link in the chain of command between Col. Nixon (Ranger Regiment) and Abizaid
(CENTCOM), he wrote the P4 memo, and he approved the false narrative of the Silver
Star citation. Initially, McChrystal was scheduled to appear before the Committee, but he
―declined‖ to appear at their August 2007 hearing. Why didn‘t the Committee follow up?
Were they (and the Army) protecting McChrystal? Was the Waxman report just the final
layer upon the cover-up of the Tillman fratricide?

―Last August, General Kensinger was singled out as the primary reason many people
believe the Army covered up Tillman‘s fratricide … However, I believe General
Kensinger was merely the scapegoat for the sins of the Army and Bush administration. I
would argue that General McChrystal, COL Nixon, and GEN Abiziad were just as guilty
of the same charges for which Kensinger was singled out.‖

...

After the House Oversight Committee issued their report, the Tillman story was pretty much laid
to rest. Tillman‘s name was rarely mentioned, even when Tillman‘s NFL football team, the
Arizona Cardinals, played at the Superbowl.

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Obama Nominates General McChrystal to Become Afghan Commander

On May 12th 2009, President Obama nominated General Stanley McChrystal for promotion to
four-star general and commander of the Afghanistan War.

The following day, on May 13th, President Obama gave the commencement address for Arizona
State University inside Sun Devil Stadium without once mentioning Pat Tillman‘s name! (in the
very stadium in which he played college football!) Why the omission?

In his May 17th column, ―Obama‘s Big-Time Fumble,‖ Bob Young (The Arizona Republic)
speculated that Obama was sensitive to the fact that his speech was the day after his nomination
of General McChrystal.

―Maybe it simply was an oversight that Obama forgot Tillman, although we were told
Sunday that Obama was staged inside the Arizona State football locker room before his
speech - where there is a photo of Tillman. And he walked right up and out of Tillman
Tunnel to reach the stage. … Perhaps Obama was sensitive to the fact that the speech
came shortly after the announcement that Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal would become the
top American commander in Afghanistan. McChrystal was deemed by a Pentagon
investigation to be responsible for inaccurate information from the Army about Tillman's
death, and the Tillman family has been critical of what it believes was his role in a cover-
up of the real events that took place. … Obama had a wide-open opportunity to remind
us that Tillman could be the best example in our lifetimes of someone who eschewed
popularity and personal advancement to devote himself to a bigger purpose. For some
reason, the president passed.‖

I think Bob Young hit the nail on the head. President Obama didn‘t want to risk once again
raising the issue of McChrystal‘s handling of Pat Tillman‘s fratricide by even mentioning
Tillman‘s name!

...

Five years prior to McChrystal‘s nomination, Pat Tillman‘s family were handed a tarnished
Silver Star. I felt it would be a travesty of justice if McChrystal was confirmed by the Senate,
promoted to the Army‘s highest rank, and handed his fourth star. So, I once again took out my
box of Tillman documents, and closely reviewed General McChrystal‘s actions in the aftermath
of Tillman‘s death.

On May 15th 2009, I managed to (once again) call into the NPR Diane Rhem radio show during
her Friday News Round-up program. General McChrystal‘s recent nomination was a topic of
conversation for her guest panelists.

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“Has Congress Been Protecting General McChrystal?”

On May 15th 2009, I managed to (once again) call into the NPR Diane Rhem radio show during
her Friday News Round-up program. General McChrystal‘s recent nomination was a topic of
conversation for her guest panelists:

―Good morning Diane, I‘d like to raise the following question for your guests: has
Congress been protecting General McChrystal from hard scrutiny into his central role in
the Army‘s cover up of Pat Tillman‘s friendly fire death?
Senators Levin and McCain don‘t foresee any problem with General McChrystal‘s
confirmation as the new commander of the Afghanistan War. But, in her book, Mary
Tillman strongly criticized McChrystal: ―Not only is he lying about the circumstances
surrounding Pat‘s death, … he is proposing false language for the Silver Star narrative.
… His statement indicates that no one had any intention of telling us, or the public, that
Pat was killed by fratricide unless forced to do so.‖
Last May, McChrystal‘s role in the handling of Tillman‘s fratricide was reviewed by the
Senate Armed Services Committee. Shortly afterward, about a year ago, I spoke to
Senator Jim Webb here on The Diane Rhem Show: Webb said, ―… the Army knew that
this was a friendly fire incident fairly quickly, [but] they did not tell the family, … I‘m
not sure where responsibility for that decision really lies, in terms of the chain of
command … You cannot help but still feel angry about how his death was used.
‖I share Senator Webb‘s anger. But, I don‘t understand why Webb was unable to
determine ―where responsibility … really lies.‖ [Diane Rhem Show, 5-15-097]:
Note: unfortunately, Diane Rhem cut Guy Montag off; the following was not read on the air

―General McChrystal was the central figure in the Tillman cover up and made the
decision to withhold knowledge of Tillman‘s fratricide from his family. And I don‘t
understand why Congressman Henry Waxman allowed McChrystal to refuse to testify at
the House Oversight Committee‘s 2007 Tillman Fratricide Hearing.
Five years ago, Pat Tillman was awarded a tarnished Silver Star. I believe it will be a
travesty if McChrystal is confirmed by the Senate, awarded his fourth star, and promoted
to the Army‘s highest-rank.‖

NARRATOR: Diane Rhem‘s guests didn‘t respond to the caller‘s question if Congress had been
protecting McChrystal. Barbara Slavis said the Silver Star narrative and P4 memo was
―troubling.‖ Diane Rhem said we need to ―clear up‖ when the Silver Star is awarded. At the
end of the program, Diane Rhem said they had received a lot of emails on the fact that the
―Silver Star is an award for valor, but it does not require that the recipient be receiving enemy
fire.‖

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NYT Editorial Reveals Secret 2008 Confirmation Hearing

On May 14th, The New York Times published their editorial, ―New Commander for
Afghanistan‖:

―Less impressively, some of his commando units were implicated in abusive


interrogations of Iraqi prisoners. And it was General McChrystal who approved the
falsified report that covered up the 2004 friendly-fire death of Cpl. Pat Tillman in
Afghanistan. These issues came at the time of his confirmation last year for his present
job as director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Before confirming him in his new command,
senators must assure themselves that he has learned the hard lessons from these mistakes
and will insist on lawful treatment of detainees and candid military reporting.‖
―These issues came at the time of his confirmation last year‖! After reading this editorial on
about May 16th, I finally realized the ―review‖ Senator Webb‘s mentioned last year on the Diane
Rhem Show was part of General McChrystal‘s previous Senate confirmation process.

Sure enough, when I checked the Senate Armed Services Committee‘s website, I found the full
committee had met on May 15th 2008 to consider ―pending military nominations‖ in ―executive
session‖ (―executive session‖: secret, closed hearing with no transcript). The following week,
on May 22nd, General McChrystal was unanimously confirmed by the Committee. Shortly
thereafter, General McChrystal was promoted by the full Senate to Director of the Joint Staff.

[Note: My speculation was confirmed by McChrystal‘s June 2nd 2009 testimony: ‖You gave me
the opportunity to discuss in detail, one of those failures, Corporal Pat Tillman, in closed session
with this committee a year ago, in advance of my confirmation as Director of the Joint Staff …‖]

So, shortly after I asked Senator Webb in April 2008 to become Mary Tillman‘s Senate
advocate, and while Mary Tillman was in Washington DC on May 12th on her book tour, Senator
Webb participated in a secret Senate review that shielded General McChrystal‘s role in the
cover-up of Tillman‘s fratricide from public scrutiny! And instead of punishing McChrystal for
his actions, the Senate promoted him!

So, I got motivated to take out my box of Tillman documents, and take a closer look at General
McChrystal‘s actions in the aftermath of Tillman‘s death. I reviewed General Jones‘s 2004 15-6
report, the 2007 Dept. of Defense Inspector General report (IG report), transcripts from the two
2007 House Oversight & Reform Committee‘s Tillman hearings, the 2008 House Oversight
Committee‘s final report, the 2007 General Wallace report press conference transcript, and other
newspaper accounts about the Tillman case.

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May 25th 2009 Letter to Senator James Webb

After completing my review, I concluded that Congress, the Dept. of Defense Inspector General,
and the top leadership of the Army had acted to shield General McChrystal from close scrutiny
and to protect him from punishment for his central role in orchestrating the cover-up of Pat
Tillman‘s fratricide.

During the final two weeks of May, I wrote another long letter to Senator Webb. I asked the
Senator to place a ―hold‖ on General McChrystal‘s confirmation and to take a closer look at
McChrystal‘s role in the aftermath of the Tillman fratricide.

James Webb had been a hero to me for three decades. I hadn‘t always agreed with his positions,
but I had never before doubted his integrity or his sense of honor. At the time, I thought perhaps
Senator Webb was unaware of McChrystal‘s actions (perhaps he had been given incomplete
information from Congressional staffers such as Gerald Leeling and Gordon Peterson?) Or,
perhaps I thought I could shame him into finally doing the right thing for the Tillman family:
―I‘d like to think that after three years in Congress you haven‘t yet learned the lesson your great
aunt Lena asked of you after graduating from law school in 1976, ‗Did they teach you how to lie
yet?‖‘‖

My letter to Senator Webb became the introduction to my document, ―Did They Teach You How
to Lie Yet?‖ – Senator James Webb, General Stanley McChrystal, and the Betrayal of Pat
Tillman‖ (with fifty pages of text and 50 pages of supporting investigative documents).

―Did They Teach You How to Lie Yet?‖ laid out my argument that Congress and the senior
leadership of the Army had acted to shield General McChrystal‘s actions from close scrutiny and
protect him from punishment for his central role in orchestrating the cover-up of Pat Tillman‘s
fratricide.

On May 27th, I sent Senator Webb a copy of ―Did They Teach You How to Lie Yet?‖ His office
didn‘t receive this document until probably couple of weeks later (I was sleep deprived and had
forgotten about security delays in mail delivery to the Senate. I should have just faxed it!)
However, I did send his office an email version of the introductory letter on May 28th.

...

On June 1st, just prior to McChrystal‘s confirmation hearing, I called Senator Webb‘s
Washington office to follow-up and told the phone staffer it was important for Webb to read my
email prior to the next day‘s confirmation hearing. Another staffer found my email and said he
would print it and give it to Senator Webb.

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Note: In the foreword to her paperback edition of ―Boots on the Ground by Dusk,‖ Mary
Tillman wrote, ―I also contacted the staffs of Senator Patrick Leahy and Senator James Webb
and expressed my concerns. I had several conversations with members of the staffs [including
Gordon Peterson] of both senators, but it was clear that neither senator wanted to get involved.‖

...

On June 1st, I finally called Gerald Leeling (legal counsel for Chairman Senator Carl Levin) to
whom Gordon Peterson (Senator Webb‘s Military Legislative Affairs Assistant) had referred me
to a year previously. I had a brief discussion with Gary Leeling. Although he confirmed the
existence of the hearing, in response to my questions, he only said ―it was in executive session‖
and the Tillman case had ―been thoroughly reviewed with the information available to us at the
time.‖

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GEN. MCCHRYSTAL CONFIRMATION HEARING


Senate Armed Services Committee, June 2nd 2009

Gen. McChrystal testifying before Senate (June 2, 2009)

Chairman Senator Carl Levin Senator James Webb Ranking Member Senator John McCain

―Okay. General, you and I talked about another issue, … I assume you would agree … that the
definition of ‗‗leadership‘‘ goes well beyond battlefield competence, it goes to stewardship
toward the people who have served under us. … there was a period where I believe the Army
failed the [Tillman] family, when the knowledge was going up through the chain of command
that this was a friendly-fire incident. And I‘ve been contacted by their family again … You have
not, to my knowledge, been on record in terms of how you personally feel about this incident,
and I would like to give you the opportunity to do that.‖
-- Senator James Webb (June 2, 2009)

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General McChrystal‟s June 2nd 2009 Senate Confirmation Hearing


On June 2nd 2009, The Senate Armed Services Committee held General McChrystal‘s
confirmation hearing for his promotion to four-star general and commander of the Afghanistan
War. However, the hearing was strictly pro forma and the Senators didn't press McChrystal
aggressively during the nearly three-hour hearing.

As David Corn commented on PBS‘s News Hour: ―And so the Pat Tillman questioning, the
questioning about detainee abuse, I thought, seemed very orchestrated and didn't give a full
airing to these very, I think, hot-button issues‖. … ―You know, he came up with what sounded to
be a plausible explanation, but, again, a lot of what happened today made it clear to me that
Democrats and Republicans had both decided, "He's our guy in Afghanistan‖

Only Senator McCain and Senator Webb asked General McChrystal a couple of softball
questions on his handling of the Tillman fratricide. Senator McCain asked McChrystal ―why he
[McChrystal] forwarded the Silver Star recommendation in the form that it was in.‖ Senator
Webb said ―You have not … been on the record in terms of how you personally feel about this
incident, and I would like to give you the opportunity to do that.‖ Neither Senator asked
McChrystal any follow-up questions.

General McChrystal denied the phony narrative of a raging firefight was anything more sinister
than "mistakes" made to honor Tillman. "I didn't see any activity by anyone to deceive," he said.
"We failed the family. And I was a part of that." He earlier expressed his "deepest condolences"
to Tillman's family and fellow rangers. Mary Tillman said she neither accepts nor believes
McChrystal's apology. "McChrystal was lying," she said.

Mary Tillman said, "I think more effort should have been made on the part of the committee to
find out more about his true nature, his true character and his true actions in terms of the detainee
abuse and Pat's situation.‖ She criticized Sen. John McCain for "playing dumb" by not following
up on McChrystal's explanations.

...

During the June 2nd Senate Armed Services Committee‘s confirmation hearing, I found it curious
that both Chairmen Senator Levin and General McChrystal, at the beginning of their opening
remarks, specifically mentioned the previously secret 2008 confirmation hearing.

Why did they both mention the 2008 hearing? Well, the night before the June 2nd hearing, I
spoke briefly with Gary Leeling (legal counsel for Levin). Leeling confirmed the existence of
the hearing, but would say nothing further in response to my questions except ―it was in
executive session‖ and the Tillman case had ―been thoroughly reviewed with the information
available to us at the time.‖ Perhaps Levin and McChrystal mentioned the closed hearing to
avoid the possible allegation they had kept the existence of the 2008 hearing a secret?

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General McChrystal‟s Pro-Forma Senate Confirmation Hearing

NARRATOR: On June 2nd 2009, the Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing for
General McChrystal‘s confirmation of his promotion to four-star general and commander of the
Afghanistan War. But the Senators didn't press McChrystal aggressively during the nearly three-
hour hearing with only Senator Levin, Senator McCain and Senator Webb tossing McChrystal a
few soft-ball questions about detainee torture and his handling of Tillman‘s fratricide.

MARGARET WARNER: ―… there was a lot of anticipation about the questioning


today, and that had to do with the Pat Tillman incident. Now, you heard him apologize,
say they mishandled it. Has that been put to rest?‖

DAVID CORN: ―You know, he came up with what sounded to be a plausible


explanation, but, again, a lot of what happened today made it clear to me that Democrats
and Republicans had both decided, "He's our guy in Afghanistan," maybe because
General David Petraeus highly recommended him and, if he wants him, they think it's a
good idea.

And so the Pat Tillman questioning, the questioning about detainee abuse, I thought
seemed very orchestrated and didn't give a full airing to these very, I think, hot-button
issues.‖ (PBS Newshour, 6-02-09)

NARRATOR: Mary Tillman said, "I think more effort should have been made on the part of the
committee to find out more about his true nature, his true character and his true actions in terms
of the detainee abuse and Pat's situation‖
...

Note: Shortly before the hearing, Guy Montag sent a letter ―Did They Teach You How to Lie
Yet?‖ to Senator Webb asking him to put a hold on McChrystal‘s nomination.

In the foreword to the paperback edition of her book, ―Boots on the Ground by Dusk,‖ Mary
Tillman wrote, ―I had sent the President an email and a letter reminding him of McChrystal‘s
involvement in the cover-up of Pat‘s death. In the letter, I suggested McChrystal should be
―scrutinized very carefully‖ by the Senate Armed Services Committee. I also contacted the
staffs of Senator Patrick Leahy and Senator James Webb and expressed my concerns. I had
several conversations with members of the staffs of both senators, but it was clear that neither
senator wanted to get involved. … I had always believed Pat‘s case was politically awkward for
him [Senator McCain] and so he‘d chosen to distance himself from the entire affair. … I was
willing to do that [give him questions for McChrystal] until I learned that McCain was already
publicly endorsing the McChrystal appointment before the hearing even began. … Sadly,
McChrystal‘s promotion had been sanctioned long before the hearing.‖

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McChrystal Says Treatment of Detainees “Acceptable and Legal”

SENATOR LEVIN: ―General McChrystal, I also invite you this morning to clarify your
understanding of U.S. standards for the treatment of detainees and to comment on allegations of
detainee mistreatment by units under your command during your tenure as commander of the
Joint Special Operations Command from 2003 to 2008.‖ (p.3, SASC 6-02-09)

Chairman LEVIN: ―All right. Now, what was your understanding, your awareness of the
treatment of detainees when you were the overall commander? … And, in terms of the treatment
of detainees—when you got there, tell us what you were aware of, what you did, relative to that
subject.‖ (p.14, SASC 6-02-09)

General MCCHRYSTAL: ―As this committee knows, since 9/11 our forces have
learned valuable lessons regarding the treatment of detainees, and made mistakes along
the way. When I took command in 2003, I found our treatment of detainees followed
existing guidance but needed improvement. Our facilities were limited, our expertise in
specialties like interrogation was insignificant—or, insufficient—and we lacked
organizational experience at every level. In the months and years that followed, we
invested considerable energy, developed expertise and experience, and improved
continuously. If confirmed, I will strictly enforce the highest standards of detainee
treatment consistent with international and U.S. law.‖ (p.12, SASC 6-02-09)

...

Chairman LEVIN: ―Now, relative to the events that occurred, I want to just clarify your
understanding and your awareness and knowledge of what occurred when you were the
commander of special operations. How many special-mission unit task forces were there when
you were the commander?‖

General MCCHRYSTAL. ―Sir, they were multiple. We had a task force at Afghanistan,
which then had subordinate task forces, and sometimes it was as few as two, sometimes it
was as many as four. In Iraq, similarly, we had a major task force, then later went to two
major task forces, and each of those had subordinate task forces. … —at times it was as
many as eight to ten task forces, all under my command.‖

Chairman LEVIN: ―But, in terms of those special-mission unit task forces, you were not
the commander of those task forces.‖

General MCCHRYSTAL: ― Sir, they were—those task forces made up my joint task
force——―
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Chairman LEVIN: ―Did each of those task forces, those special-mission unit task forces,
have a commander?‖

General MCCHRYSTAL: ―Yes, sir.‖ (p.14, SASC 6-02-09)


...

Chairman LEVIN: ―All right. Now, what was your understanding, your awareness of the
treatment of detainees when you were the overall commander? … a memorandum of the
Secretary of Defense … authorized the use of things like stress positions, sleep deprivation, and
the use of dogs. … And, in terms of the treatment of detainees—when you got there, tell us what
you were aware of, what you did, relative to that subject.‖ (p.15, SASC 6-02-09)

General MCCHRYSTAL: ―Yes, Mr. Chairman. I took over in October 2003, … I do not,
and never have, condoned mistreatment of detainees, and never will. When we found
cases where we thought there was an allegation of mistreatment, we investigated every
one, and we punished, if, in fact, it was substantiated. And that was from the beginning.
That said, when I took command, I found the detainee facilities really insufficient for
need. They were physically not prepared for that. We didn‘t have the right number of
interrogators. We didn‘t have the right experience in the force, either. None of us had
ever done this with the level of precision that we needed to, so we learned.‖

―We stayed within all of the established and authorized guidelines. … it also was
something that I believe continuously improved. … One, our experience got better. Two,
the procedures got, just, constantly looked at and so that they were improved. So, I think
the constant improvement is the thing that took us from what I think was acceptable and
legal to something that I became much more proud of over time, in terms of the quality of
the operation.‖ (p.15, SASC 6-02-09)

Chairman LEVIN: ―When you say ‗‗acceptable and legal,‘‘ you mean that they were within the
guidelines established by the Secretary of Defense.‖

General MCCHRYSTAL: ―Sir, they were within legally prescribed guidelines, that‘s
right, the policy we were given. … Some of them were used when I took over, sir, and
then, as—we immediately began to reduce that.‖

Chairman LEVIN: ―All right. Now, were you uncomfortable with some of the techniques
that you saw there?‖

General MCCHRYSTAL: ―When I took over, I was, Mr. Chairman.‖

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Chairman LEVIN: ―All right. And the direction of reduction of the use of those
techniques, even though they had been authorized by the Secretary, nonetheless was
something that you felt was appropriate and necessary.‖

General MCCHRYSTAL: ―That‘s correct, Mr. Chairman.‖

Chairman LEVIN: ―All right. Thank you.‖ (p.16, SASC 6-02-09)

...

12-28-10 UPDATE: Just over a week after the hearing, Senator Feingold expressed his
concerns over the truthfulness of McChrystal‘s testimony concerning the use of ‗interrogation
techniques‖ used by JSOC forces under his command:

SENATOR FEINGOLD: ―At his public confirmation hearing [6-02-09], General


McChrystal responded to a question from Chairman LEVIN regarding interrogation
policies … by stating that ‗[s]ome of them were in use when I took over, sir, and then, as
we immediately began to reduce that.‘ When asked whether he was ‗uncomfortable with
some of the techniques‘ in use, he replied ‗[w]hen I took over, I was.‘

―Asked to square his public testimony with this record, General McChrystal responded
that, when he took command in 2003, he reviewed the interrogation program and, in
March 2004, ‗reduc[ed] the frequency of use of several of the techniques‘ by requiring
high-level approval. … General McChrystal then acknowledged that he personally
requested approval from General Abizaid [3 weeks after their suspension] to continue
using several of the techniques that had just been suspended [on May 6, 2004], including
‗control positions.‘ …‖

―… I am thus dismayed by General McChrystal‘s personal support for the use of some of
these techniques, particularly the so-called control positions, and by his efforts to
continue the techniques after they had been suspended. … I am troubled by his failure to
express any regret for his previous positions.‖

―Finally, I am concerned about General McChrystal‘s public testimony, which sought to


convey that he was ‗‗uncomfortable‘‘ with various interrogation techniques and sought to
‗‗reduce‘‘ their use. Given the full history of his approach to interrogations, this
testimony appears to be incomplete, at best.‖
Congressional Record, 6-11-09 (S6537 – S6538)

In other words, Feingold said that McChrystal was lying, or at least prevaricating, in his public
testimony before the Senate on 6-02-09.

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...

Senator MCCAIN: ―Given your experience in Afghanistan, do you believe that the interrogation
techniques that are provided in the Army Field Manual are sufficient to get the information to
fight the battle that you need?‖

General MCCHRYSTAL: ―Yes, sir, I do.‖


Senator MCCAIN: ―Do you believe any additional techniques are necessary?‖
General MCCHRYSTAL: ―No, sir.‖ (p.18, SASC 6-02-09)
...

NARRATOR: In 2006, Human Rights Watch released a major report based on dozens of
interviews with soldiers who had witnessed the interrogation of prisoners in Iraq. "No Blood, No
Foul" revealed that the elite forces conducting the interrogations at Camp Nama and two other
locations, known (among other names) as Task Force 121, committed systematic abuse of
prisoners at other facilities across Iraq, leading to at least three deaths. Whether or not he was
present during the actual abuse — as commander of JSOC, Stanley McChrystal oversaw them.
In his article, ―Acts of Conscience‖ (August 2006 Esquire), John Richardson wrote about
McChrystal‘s role as commander of Task Force 121 at Camp Nama:

―… Garlasco had briefed Stanley McChrystal once. He remembers him as a tall Irishman
with a gentle manner. He was head of the Joint Special Operations Command, the logical
person to oversee Task Force 121 … Within the unit, the interrogators got the feeling
they were reporting to the highest levels. The colonel would tell an interrogator that his
report "is on Rumsfeld's desk this morning" or that it was "read by SecDef. …‘ ‗Do you
know where the colonel was getting his orders from?‘ he asks. Jeff answers quickly,
perhaps a little defiantly. ‗I believe it was a two-star general. I believe his name was
General McChrystal. I saw him there a couple of times‘. … It was a point of pride that
the Red Cross would never be allowed in the door … 'Will they ever be allowed in here?'
And he said absolutely not. He had this directly from General McChrystal …This facility
was completely closed off to anybody investigating, even Army investigators."

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Gen. McChrystal “Sent a Silver Star that Was Not Well Written”

SENATOR MCCAIN: ―Can you describe what happened in April with respect to the
information about the circumstances of Corporal Tillman‘s death, and why you forwarded the
Silver Star recommendation in the form that it was in?‖ (p.17, SASC 6-02-09)

GEN MCCHRYSTAL: ―Corporal Tillman was killed on the 22nd of April … I arrived
back into Afghanistan from a meeting in Qatar with General Abizaid on about the 23rd,
and I was informed, at that point, that they suspected that friendly fire might have been
the cause of death, and they had initiated what we call a 15–6, or an investigation of that.
And so, we initially were waiting for the outcome of that initial review before we went
forward with any conclusions. So, it was a well-intended intent to get some level of truth
before we went up.

NARRATOR: It appears that Gen Abizaid and/or Gen McChrystal lied when they testified
before Congress about when they first heard of Tillman‘s fratricide. McChrystal says he learned
of fratricide on the 23rd, yet Abizaid said McChrystal told him only that Tillman was killed in
action.

Note: see ―General McChrystal & General Abizaid Gave Contradictory Testimony at
Congressional Hearings‖ for more detailed evidence that McChrystal and/or Abizaid perjured
themselves during Congressional testimony. Also see DoD IG Timeline and Fraticide
Notification notes.
...

GEN MCCHRYSTAL: … ―I also sent a [P4] message informing my chain of command


that we believed it was fratricide, and we did that when we were told there were going to
be fairly high-profile memorial services. … when I sent the message, the intent entirely
was to inform everybody up my chain of command so that nobody would be surprised.‖
(p.18, SASC 6-02-09)

NARRATOR: On April 29th, one day after sending up his Silver Star recommendation, Gen.
McChrystal sent a high-priority P4 memo to top generals supposedly ―warning‖ them of the
―potential‖ friendly fire death of Pat Tillman. McChrystal said he learned of friendly-fire on
April 23rd. Then why did he wait six days until he sent his ―timely‖ P4 message? McChrystal
said he waited for ―some level of truth‖? But just two days after Pat‘s death, on April 24 th, the
investigating officer CPT Scott passed confirmation of fratricide up the chain of command.

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[Narrator reads from LTC Bailey‘s testimony from the Jones 15-6 report (section Z,
p.53), view Mary Tillman‘s copy with names hand-written above redactions]

LTC BAILEY: ―Sir, within three or four hours of being out here on the ground by the
incident, I went back and I told [COL Nixon] that I was certain that we had killed him. …
In fact, I think just about everybody around knew that. And certainly, by the next day
when we did the investigations, I confirmed it. … So, after [CPT Scott] did his first five
interviews, he came back to me and said, ―Sir, I‘m certain. I‘m sure.‖ And then I called
[COL Nixon]. … I think it was the 24th [of April]. [Jones 15-6, Section Z, p 52-53)

NARRATOR: Just above COL Nixon in the chain of command was Gen. McChrystal, followed
by Gen. Abizaid, Gen. Meyers, and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. Within just two days of
Tillman‘s death, confirmation of Tillman‘s fratricide moved up the chain of command. … But,
the Army maintains it took five weeks to confirm fratricide.

[Chain of command chart]


...

GEN MCCHRYSTAL: ―… in retrospect, they [P4 & Silver Star] look contradictory,
because we sent a Silver Star that was not well written— and, although I went through
the process, I will tell you now I didn‘t review the citation well enough to capture—or, I
didn‘t catch that, if you read it, you can imply that it was not friendly fire.

… my own mistakes in not reviewing the Silver Star citation well enough and making
sure that I compared it to the message that I sent …‖ [p.18, SASC 6-02-09]

―…What we have learned since is, it is better to take your time, make sure you get
everything right with the award, and not rush it. So, I say that, in the two things which I
believe were entirely well intentioned on my part and, in my view, everyone forward that
I saw was trying to do the right thing. It still produced confusion at a tragic time. And I‘m
very sorry for that …‖ (p.17, SASC 6-02-09)

NARRATOR: "If you read it, you could imply it was not friendly fire"? Anyone reading the
citation would think Tillman was KIA. The citation reads, ―for gallantry in action …. against an
armed enemy … enemy fire … Cpl. Tillman put himself in the line of devastating enemy fire …
known enemy positions … enemy's withdrawal and his platoon's safe passage from the ambush
kill zone.‖ Only, there was no enemy fire, no enemy withdrawal and no ambush kill zone!

[Tillman Silver Star Citation]

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NARRATOR: McChrystal said the Silver Star ―was not well written.‖ He (and the Army) never
explained just how the two Silver Star witness statement were somehow altered by mistake? to
remove all mention of friendly fire. Since COL Nixon testified he put a ―close hold‖ on the
fratricide information, there appear to be only three people in the ―approval chain‖ who could
have made the alterations to the Silver Star recommendation to remove all references to friendly
fire: LTC Kauzlarich, Col Nixon, and Gen. McChrystal.

Mr. BRALEY: ―Did you ever determine in the course of your investigation who, out of
people who had contact with that statement, would have been the most likely person to
have made alterations to the statement originally prepared by Specialist O‘Neal?‖
[p.98, HOC 4-24-07]

Mr. GIMBLE: ―Actually, no, we could not determine that. I could speculate, but I just
prefer not to. It is somewhere in the approval chain that it got edited. …‖
[p.98, HOC 4-24-07]

[DoD IG Report: Appendix E: Silver Star Award Process Flowchart showing only three officers
in that approval chain: LTC Kauzerlich, Col Nixon, and Gen McChrystal]
...

GEN MCCHRYSTAL: ―In the case of Corporal Tillman, a Silver Star was
recommended. I sat down with the people [Ranger Regiment officers] who
recommended it [Silver Star]. … and we went over a whiteboard, and we looked at the
geometry of the battlefield, and I queried the people to satisfy myself that, in fact, that his
actions warranted that, even though there was a potential that the actual circumstances
of death had been friendly fire.‖ [p. 18, SASC 6-02-09]

NARRATOR: Gen. McChrystal didn‘t just sign off on a piece of paper that landed on his desk.
He personally led the writing of the Silver Star recommendation package on the ground in
Afghanistan working with the Ranger Regimental leaders Col Nixon and LTC Kauzlarich.
...

Senator MCCAIN: ―And you believe that Corporal Tillman earned the Silver Star by his actions
before he died.‖ (p.18, SASC 6-02-09)

General MCCHRYSTAL: ―Sir, I absolutely do. I did then, I do now.‖

NARRATOR: But exactly how did Tillman ―earn‖ the Silver Star ―by his actions before he
died‖? Waving his arms for cease fire, hiding from devastating friendly fire behind a boulder,
popping a smoke grenade, and/or shouting ―Cease fire, I‘m Pat fucking Tillman‖?

124
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Gen. McChrystal Says “We Didn‟t Get It Right, We Failed the


Family and I Apologize, But the Mistakes Were Well-Intentioned”

SENATOR WEBB: ―Okay. General, you and I talked about another issue [May 15, 2008?],
and I want to address it here. It relates to Corporal Tillman‘s situation, and his family‘s situation.
I assume you would agree—I know you would agree, with your background, that the definition
of ‗‗leadership‘‘ goes well beyond battlefield competence, it goes to stewardship toward the
people who have served under us. You would agree with that, would you not?‖

General MCCHRYSTAL. ―Absolutely, sir.‖

Senator WEBB. ―And to their families.‖

General MCCHRYSTAL. ―Absolutely.‖

SENATOR WEBB. ―We have a situation here that I think is highly, highly unusual in our
history. … this is a situation where a very special American, with a unique intellectual and
athletic background, forewent millions of dollars in order to serve his country, and there was a
period where I believe the Army failed the family, when the knowledge was going up through
the chain of command that this was a friendly-fire incident. And I‘ve been contacted by their
family again, once your name was forwarded.

I‘m going to read from … a 2005 letter from Pat Tillman‘s father, who is an attorney. He is very
learned in these matters. He had been briefed by the Army in ‘05. He said,

‗No investigator worth a damn would have made the presentation I sat through unless
they had an agenda different from the truth. The initial investigation was changed.
Conflicting testimony was disregarded. Key evidence was destroyed and/or omitted.
Witnesses, probably with supervision of superiors, changed their testimony. No one has
been confronted with their conduct. The issue of importance is the integrity of the
military‘‘—this is from Pat Tillman‘s father, not from me, although I would agree—
‘‘from the lieutenant colonel on the ground all the way up and past General Jones.‘

His brother [Kevin Tillman], who, as you know, also served our country with great sacrifice,
testified, after this finding, saying that, ‘The deception surrounding this case was an insult to the
family, but, more importantly, its primary purpose was to deceive a nation. We say these things
with disappointment and sadness. We have been used as props in a public-relations exercise.‘

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THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

Secretary Geren [Secretary of the Army] apologized. He said, ‗‗We, as an Army, failed in our
duty to the Tillman family and the duty we owe to all families of our fallen soldiers.‘‘
(p.47, SASC 6-02-09)

SENATOR WEBB: ―You have not, to my knowledge, been on record in terms of how you
personally feel about this incident, and I would like to give you the opportunity to do that.‖
(p.47, SASC 6-02-09)

GENERAL MCCHRYSTAL: ―I would say up front, I agree with Secretary Geren, we


failed the family. And I was a part of that, and I apologize for it. And I would say that
there is nothing we can do to automatically restore the trust, which was the second
casualty of 22nd April.

The first was the loss of a great American, the second was the lost of trust with a family,
and, wider than that, with some additional people. I will say that it was not intentional,
with the people that I saw. I didn‘t see any activities by anyone to deceive.

That said, I do believe that the confluence of mistakes, either because they didn‘t know
the policy or people just didn‘t line things up right—my own mistakes in not reviewing
the Silver Star citation well enough and making sure that I compared it to the message
that I sent—were mistakes. They were well intentioned, but they created—they added to
the doubt and the sense of mistrust, and we didn‘t get it right.‖ (p.47, SASC 6-02-09)

Senator WEBB: ―Well, … I regretfully say I think that the Army really failed the Tillman family.
And I appreciate your speaking about this today.‖ (p.47, SASC 6-02-09)

...

NARRATOR: Mary Tillman said she neither accepts nor believes McChrystal's apology.
"McChrystal was lying," she said of his comments Tuesday. "He said he didn't know for certain
Pat was killed by fratricide. That isn't true in and of itself, but the fact is, it doesn't matter
whether he knew it for certain." Army protocol at the time required families to be told of
possible fratricide, whether or not it had been confirmed, she said.

And I don‘t understand how ―well-intentioned mistakes‖ can explain the fabrication of two
Silver Star witness statements, etc.

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SECRET 2008 CONFIRMATION HEARING


Senate Armed Services Committee, May 15th 2008
________________________________________________
There will be a meeting of the Committee on
ARMED SERVICES

Thursday, May 15, 2008


2:30 PM
SR-222 Russell Senate Office Building
EXECUTIVE*

To consider pending military nominations.

*Staff attendance will be restricted.


________________________________________________

Chairman Senator Carl Levin Senator James Webb Ranking Member Senator John McCain

When I asked Gerald Leeling [legal counsel for Chairman Carl Levin] questions about the
Committee‘s May 15th hearing, he only repeatedly replied, ―It was in executive session‖ and the
Tillman case had ―been thoroughly reviewed with the information available to us at the time.‖

-- Guy Montag (June 1, 2009)

―You gave me the opportunity to discuss in detail one of those fallen, Corporal Pat Tillman, in
closed session with this committee a year ago [2008], in advance of my confirmation as Director
of the Joint Staff, which I appreciated. I stand ready to answer any additional questions you may
have.‖
-- Gen. Stanley McChrystal (June 2, 2009)

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Armed Services Committee Holds Secret Gen. McChrystal Hearing

NARRATOR: Interestingly, both Chairman Levin and General McChrystal both began their
June 2nd opening statements by referring to an ―executive session‖ held by the Committee the
previous year:

SENATOR LEVIN: ―General McChrystal… Both subjects [Camp Nama torture &
Tillman matter] were discussed in executive session of the Armed Services Committee
last year [2008] in connection with your nomination to your current position as director
of the Joint Staff‖. (p. 3, SASC 6-02-09)

General MCCHRYSTAL: …―You gave me the opportunity to discuss in detail one of


those fallen, Corporal Pat Tillman, in closed session with this committee a year ago
[2008], in advance of my confirmation as Director of the Joint Staff, which I appreciated.
I stand ready to answer any additional questions you may have.‖ (p. 9, SASC 6-02-09)

[Screen print 5-15-08 ―executive session‖]

Note: from Wikipedia: The term "executive session" is employed by the Senate to refer to
closed-door committee meetings. More generally, an executive session is a term for any block
within an otherwise public meeting in which minutes are not taken, outsiders are not present, and
the contents of the discussion are treated as confidential.

Senator Levin and General McChrystal‘s remarks were probably prompted by a phone call the
previous evening by Guy Montag to Gerald Leeling (legal counsel for Senator Levin). Although
Leeling confirmed the existence of the hearing, in response to his questions, Leeling would only
say ―it was in executive session‖ and that the Tillman case had ―been thoroughly reviewed with
the information available to us at the time.‖
...

NARRATOR: Senator Levin and General McChrystal‘s June 2, 2009 remarks were the first
public acknowledgement of the Committee‘s secret 2008 confirmation hearing. However, the
previous year, on May 27th 2008, Senator Webb had inadvertently let slip a mention of the secret
hearing during the NPR Diane Rhem radio show.

SENATOR WEBB: ―I think what happened in the aftermath of Pat Tillman‘s death was
really tragic. I just went through a fairly thorough review of that process at the request
of the Chairman of the [Senate] Armed Services Committee [Senator Levin] ... I talked to
his father years ago when my book ‗Born-Fighting‘ came out.‖

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THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

―What we do know, this is what I think is so disturbing, is that the Army knew that this
was a friendly fire incident fairly quickly, they did not tell the family, they allowed a
ceremony to go forward which implied otherwise, and his own brother, which had served
with him, it was kept from him until the ceremony took place.‖

―I‘m not sure where responsibility for that decision really lies, in terms of the chain of
command, how it was handled publicly, but it was really wrong. Someone like me has to
have a tremendous amount of respect for what Pat Tillman did in terms of stepping
forward among other things. You cannot help but still feel angry about how his death
was used.‖ [5-27-08 NPR ―Diane Rhem Show‖

NARRATOR: During the closed executive session McChrystal‘s actions were ―discussed in
detail‖ (nothing is publicly available about the meeting, not even who was present). It‘s
difficult to believe that Senator Webb couldn‘t figure out that General McChrystal ―knew that
this was a friendly fire incident fairly quickly‖ and that he bore ―responsibility for that decision‖
not to notify the Tillman family. McChrystal played the key role in the Army‘s cover-up,
between the Ranger RGT officers and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld.
...

NARRATOR: Ironically, on May 12th, just a few days before the senators met behind closed
doors with General McChrystal, Mary Tillman was in Washington DC at Olsson's bookstore to
discuss her book ―Boots on the Ground by Dusk‖. Despite Senator Webb having received an
April 3rd letter from Guy Montag urging him to meet with Mary Tillman and help in her battle
for the truth, Senator Webb never met or spoke with Mary in DC (or at any other time).

[Mary Tillman at book signing]

Note: With Senator Webb‘s background as a decorated Vietnam Marine, Guy Montag felt
Webb would feel a sense of kinship with Pat Tillman and his family. On April 3rd 2008, I sent a
letter to Senator Webb asking him to become a Senate advocate for Mary Tillman‘s struggle to
learn the truth about her son‘s death. I asked Webb to meet Mary during the Washington stop of
her May book tour.

On April 29th 2008, Senator Webb‘s Military Legislative Affairs Assistant Gordon Peterson
replied to my follow-up email: ―I have alerted the senator‘s scheduling director to the
information on the Washington leg of her tour and provided her with your letter to the senator.‖
However, Senator Webb didn‘t meet Mary Tillman when she was in Washington on May 12 th at
Olsson's - Penn Quarter bookstore (or any other time).

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Armed Services Committee Confirms McChrystal‟s 2008 Promotion

NARRATOR: One week later after McChrystal‘s secret hearing, on May 22nd 2008, the Senate
Armed Services Committee held a confirmation hearing for General Petreaus. During the
hearing, Chairman Levin recessed briefly to hold a voice vote to confirm 144 military
nominations, including that of General McChrystal‘s promotion to Director of the Joint Staff.

[Screen print 5-22-08 Petreaus & Ordierno confirmation hearing.]

Chairman LEVIN: Excuse this slight delay here. We‘re trying to schedule a vote of the
committee on nominations. And if we can get a quorum, we will interrupt our questions in
order to act on those nominations this morning. … (p.11, SASC 5-22-08)

Senator WARNER: Mr. Chairman, if I could just say, we‘ve discussed— those are the
nominations of General McChrystal and Admiral McRaven to—

Chairman LEVIN. There‘s a number of other nominations. The— they‘re included with
that this—

Chairman LEVIN: If you‘ll—excuse me for interrupting you, General. We have a


quorum here, and we‘ve got to take advantage of it, as I indicated. [Recessed.]
(p.20, SASC 5-22-08)

NARRATOR: ―Chairman Levin … paused the hearing momentarily for a voice vote approving
144 pending military nominations, including those of Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal as director of
operations for the Joint Staff, and of Rear Adm. William McRaven to take McChrystal‘s place at
the head of the Joint Special Operations Command.‖ (Army Times 5-22-08)
...

NARRATOR: The Senate Armed Services Committee June 2nd confirmation hearing was
strictly ―pro forma‖. Obviously, the real Senate confirmation hearing took place during the
secret 2008 ―executive session‖ behind closed doors. It appears the Senators were protecting
McChrystal from public scrutiny of his role in the Tillman cover-up.

And how was Senator Webb ―not sure where responsibility for that decision really lies, in terms
of the chain of command‖ for the Tillman cover-up? Did the Senators not bother to ask
McChrystal that question in closed session where he ―discussed in detail‖ his actions in the
aftermath of pat Tillman‘s death?

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Senate Unanimously Approves Gen. McChrystal‟s 2009 Promotion


[Adapted from ―The Emperor‘s General‖]

Army General David McKiernan was dismissed by President Obama in May 2009 as the
commander in Afghanistan and McChrystal was picked to replace him. On Wednesday June 10th
2009, Gen. McChrystal was confirmed by the Senate as an Army four-star general and the new
Afghan war commander.

General McChrystal‘s confirmation came only after the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of
Nevada, went to the floor to make an impassioned plea for Republicans to allow the action to
proceed. Reid complained McChrystal was among 20 nominees who had been stalled by
Republicans, one dating back to mid-March. Speaking on the Senate floor, Reid said he had
received a telephone call from Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,
asking for prompt action on McChrystal, who was approved by the Senate Armed Services
committee on June 2nd 2009.

The Senate approved President Barack Obama's nomination of McChrystal on a voice vote by
unanimous consent. From his new command in Afghanistan, General McChrystal reported
directly to another longtime colleague, General Petraeus.
...

John T. Reed‘s has offered wonderful commentary about the Tillman case over the past few years.
Here‘s his take on McChrystal‘s promotion, ―The General Who Lied About Pat Tillman Gets
Promoted to the Highest Rank and Made Head of Afghanistan‖ (June 2009):

―Commander in Chief Barack Obama. This piece of ―change we can believe in‖ is to see the
Bush Administration‘s cover-up and raise them one. ‗Hell, George! You merely refused to
punish McChrystal. Wuss! Namby pamby! We‘re promoting the son of a bitch to four stars and
head of Afghanistan—where Tillman was killed no less! That was always your problem, George.
You never had the guts to spit in the faces of the gold star mothers.‘‖

―As far as the wonderfulness of the military and congressional investigations, Senator John
McCain said, [the Army‘s actions were] ‗inexcusable and unconscionable.‘ Nevertheless,
McCain supports the promotion of McChrystal. McCain was career military. He knows that
lying by officers is standard procedure in the U.S. military. That‘s why he has no problem with
McChrystal‘s lying in the Tillman case.‖

―McChrystal‘s promotion turns out to be an integrity litmus test. Those opposed to the promotion
(the Tillman family) have integrity; those in favor of promoting McChrystal (Petraeus, the U.S.
Army, Secretary of Defense, Senator McCain, and Obama), do not.‖

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Senate Promotes Gen. McChrystal to Army‟s Highest Rank

NARRATOR: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid went to the floor on June 10 th 2009 to make
an impassioned plea for Republicans to allow a vote to confirm General McChrystal‘s 2009
promotion to the Army‘s highest rank and as commander of the Afghan war:

SENATOR REID: ―… In the few short months since President Obama took office,
Republicans held up many of his nominees for crucial positions … They are holding up
LTG Stanley McChrystal, an eminently qualified soldier, whom President Obama and
Secretary Gates chose to be our new commander in Afghanistan. I met him in my office
the other day.‖ (S6423) …

―Mr. President, in my office a few minutes ago, I received a call from Admiral Mullen,
the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. I wrote down what he asked and what he said.
He said: ‗Senator, there is a sense of urgency that General McChrystal be able to go to
Afghanistan tonight. There is no commander in Afghanistan. Admiral Mullen said—and I
wrote it down: Admiral McChrystal is literally waiting by an airplane.‘ It is 2 o‘clock in
the morning Thursday in Afghanistan. Dawn will soon be breaking and our troops will
not have a commander there. Is this what the minority wants? Why can‘t they come and
approve this man to go defend us in Afghanistan? I am without words to try to explain my
consternation at the fact that General McChrystal, one of our most eminent, prominent,
outstanding, qualified soldiers, a man whose father won five Silver Stars, a man whose
record is one of being the leading person in our military to do counterinsurgency—that is
what he is an expert in doing. Let‘s get the man approved tonight so he can leave in an
airplane and get over there and take care of his men and women.‖ (S6430)

NARRATOR: Shortly afterward, the Senate approved President Obama‘s nomination of


General McChrystal by unanimous consent:

Mr. MCCONNELL: ―Mr. President, I understand the majority leader was asking about
clearing some military promotions earlier today. I wanted to indicate … we are clear
with those and never had an issue with these particular promotions. … Unless there is
an objection from the other side, and having notified the other side, I ask unanimous
consent that the Senate proceed to executive session to consider the following military
promotions …‖ (S6432)

PRESIDING OFFICER. ―Is there objection? Without objection, it is so ordered. The


nominations considered and confirmed are as follows:… The following named officer for
appointment in the United States Army to the grade indicated while assigned to a position
of importance and responsibility under title 10, U.S.C., section 601: To be general Lt.
Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal‖ (Congressional Record, S6432, 6-10-09)

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...

NARRATOR: On June 11th, the day following Gen. McChrystal‘s confirmation by the full
Senate by unanimous consent, Senator Feingold said he ―opposed‖ McChrystal‘s nomination.

SENATOR FEINGOLD: ―Mr. President, I oppose the nomination of LTG Stanley


McChrystal to command U.S. forces in Afghanistan for two reasons. The first relates to a
classified matter about which I have serious concerns. I have conveyed those concerns
in a letter to the President.‖

―The second issue is interrogation. … I am concerned about General McChrystal‘s


public testimony, which sought to convey that he was ‗‗uncomfortable‘‘ with various
interrogation techniques and sought to ‗‗reduce‘‘ their use. Given the full history of his
approach to interrogations, this testimony appears to be incomplete, at best.

Congressional Record, 6-11-09 (S6537 – S6538)

NARRATOR: But, where was Feingold‘s opposition when it would have mattered? Why did
he not raise his objection the previous day when the confirmation came to a vote? If Feingold,
truly opposed McChrystal‘s nomination, he merely to place a ―hold‖ as other Senators had
previously done to stop his confirmation!

What was the ―classified matter about which I have serious concerns.‖? It‘s possible Feingold
was referring to the Tillman cover-up, although it‘s more probable it was something to do with
JSOC‘s covert operations (perhaps assassination programs?).

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“A COUNTRY SUCH AS THIS”


“Maybe It Had Been Trash from the Get-Go, Myths to Feed the Public”

Guy Montag, and his children in front of the Capitol Building (Washington DC, August 2007)

―At the corner of south Capitol Street and Independence Avenue … [Senator Judd Smith] found his favorite tree …
and sat down, leaning against the tree trunk as though it was a lounging chair. … His public cloister allowed
contemplation … Congress was a dog and pony show. He was doing vital things, at least part of the time, but it
would end someday… And the gnarled base of his favorite old tree was itself a throne, from which he could peer
out on the Capitol, a few hundred feet away, … The Capitol building was a wonderfully dramatic background.‖

-- Senator James Webb, ―A Country Such As This,‖ (1981)

―… Pat died for this country, and he believed it was a great country that had a system that worked. … And we
shouldn‘t be allowed to have smokescreens thrown in our face. … it is a betrayal, but it is not just a betrayal to us,
… and that is why we are in front of Congress because Congress is supposed to take care of their citizens.‖

-- Mary Tillman, (August 24, 2007)

―How lofty it must have been to have burnt with the purity of the Revolution! Before the days of multi-million
dollar election campaigns that brought politicians to their knees before the monied temple of the contributors.
Before the time of computerized politics that cause them to await the wisdom of those oracles known as pollsters
before they spoke. Or maybe it had been trash from the get-go, myths to feed the public.‖

-- Senator James Webb, ―Something to Die For‖ (1991)

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“No One Has Paid a Price for What Was Done”

Jon Krakauer‘s book, ―Where Men Win Glory,‖ ends with Congressman Henry Waxman unable
to determine who was responsible for the cover-up of Pat Tillman‘s friendly-fire death.
Congressman Waxman states in frustration, ―What we have is a very clear, deliberate abuse
intentionally done. Why is it so hard to find out who did it?‖ Both Waxman and Krakauer
blamed obstruction and stonewalling by the Army and Bush White House.

Mary Tillman, wrote in her book ―Boots on the Ground by Dusk,‖ ―I think of Representative
Waxman‘s words at the close of the hearing … it occurs to me that it‘s hard to find out …
because no one in a position of authority has the will or courage to do so.‖

Stan Goff, in his ―Fog of Fame,‖ wrote, ―The House Oversight and Government Reform
Committee ought to be renamed: The House Groveling and Gratitude Committee. ... Congress
doesn't want to ask the questions. … There is a one-word method for stating the obvious in these
cases: bullshit. But Congress is so busy spreading the same substance that its members are
generally loathe to call anyone out on it.‖

In his interview with Jason Guerrasio, Amir Bar-Lev said, ―… there‘s been no culpability on the
second half of this tragedy, which is the higher ups trying to cover it up. … to borrow a football
metaphor, they [the Tillman family] ran the ball 99 yards over four years‘ time, they handed it
off at the one-yard line to Congress and they fumbled it...."

...

Shortly after the Sundance premiere of his documentary, ―The Tillman Story,‖ Amir Bar-Lev
replied to my email, ―Have you seen the film? I'm pretty hard on the Democratic Congress!‖
True, his film does portray Congressman Waxman‘s Oversight Committee as ―fumbling‖ and
ineptly failing to get answers from the top military leadership.

However, General McChrystal, who played the key role in the cover-up, was barely a footnote in
his film. And, Amir (and everyone else) missed the ‖untold story‖ that both the Democratic
Congress and the Obama Presidency have intentionally protected General Stanley McChrystal
from punishment for his key role in the cover-up of Pat Tillman‘s friendly-fire death

Blaming the Bush administration and the Army for the cover-up is too simple. In reality, the
cover-up has been a thoroughly bipartisan affair, with the Democratic Congress and the Obama
Presidency continuing to protect General McChrystal. It wasn‘t just a case of the White House
stonewalling the Congress. It wasn‘t a lack of courage or will. It wasn‘t a loathing to call them
out on their bullshit. In actuality, Congress didn‘t just ―fumble‖ the ball, they threw the game.
...

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Amir Bar-Lev‘s account of the Tillman cover-up ended far too soon, with Congressman
Waxman‘s August 2007 hearing. The Congressional cover-up actually continued to the June 2,
2009 confirmation hearing of General McChrystal as the Commander of the Afghan War (and
continues to this day):

At the end of his April 2007 hearing, Congressman Waxman stated in frustration, ―What we
have is a very clear, deliberate abuse intentionally done. Why is it so hard to find out who did
it?‖ Well, it looks like Waxman himself was part of the cover-up to protect those ―who did it.‖

Congressman Waxman‘s so-called ―investigation‖ was not an honest attempt to get at the truth.
The Committee blamed its‘ failure to uncover those responsible on stone-walling by the Bush
Administration. However, it‘s investigation‖ was perfunctory and failed to question Gen.
McChrystal about his key role in writing the fraudulent Silver Star, altered witness statements,
early knowledge of fratricide, failure to inform the family, and his deceptive P4 memo.
Waxman has never explained why McChrystal was dropped from the hearing witness list (and I
just discovered that McChrystal probably testified during a secret closed hearing before the
Committee).

During Spring 2008, Senator James Webb conducted a secret ―review‖ of McChrystal‘s role.
Senator James‘s Webb betrayal of the Tillman family cuts me the deepest. I‘ve trusted his sense
of honor for thirty years. If anyone in Congress should have cared, it would have been him.
Webb, as a young Marine veteran, spent 8 years to clear the name of a dead Marine for his
mother‘s sake! I‘m hard on Webb not because I dislike the man, but that I‘m disappointed in
him. As an old man and politician, he‘s turned into exactly what he once reviled as a young
veteran!

On May 15th 2008, the Senate Armed Services Committee (headed by Senator Levin and
McCain) held a secret ―executive session‖ where McChrystal testified behind closed doors about
his actions after Tillman‘s fratricide ―in detail.‖ Shortly afterwards, the Senate promoted him to
Director of the Joint Staff.

The following year, on May 11th 2009, President Obama nominated McChrystal to be his new
commander of the Afghan War despite McChrystal‘s key role in the Tillman cover-up. Two
days later, Obama gave the ASU commencement address at Sun Devil Stadium without once
mentioning Pat Tillman to avoid embarrassing questions.

On May 20th, Senators Lieberman, Graham, and McCain (working with the White House)
introduced a bill to change the FOIA law to block the release of photos showing detainee abuse
by JSOC forces under McChrystal‘s command. The Senate unanimously passed it the next day.

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On June 2nd 2009, The Senate Armed Services Committee held General McChrystal‘s
confirmation hearing for his promotion to four-star general and Afghan war commander. The
hearing was strictly ―pro-forma.‖ Senators Levin, McCain, and Webb didn't press McChrystal
aggressively. The real hearing had been conducted the previous year, behind closed doors.
General McChrystal‘s confirmation came only after the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
made an impassioned plea on the Senate floor. Shortly afterward, the Senate approved President
Barack Obama's nomination of McChrystal by unanimous consent.
...

It‘s not surprising that after the initial fratricide cover-up fell apart, Army officers and the Bush
administration lied to protect their careers. But the Democratic Congress, after they took control
of both Houses in 2006, could have gone after those responsible. Or at least not promoted them!

Just before the 2006 mid-term elections, Kevin Tillman published his eloquent letter, ―After
Pat‘s Birthday‖:

―Somehow our elected leaders were subverting international law and humanity by setting up
secret prisons around the world, secretly kidnapping people, secretly holding them
indefinitely, secretly not charging them with anything, secretly torturing them. Somehow
that overt policy of torture became the fault of a few ―bad apples‖ in the military.‖

―Somehow torture is tolerated. … Somehow lying is tolerated. … Somehow faking


character, virtue and strength is tolerated. … Somehow a narrative is more important than
reality.‖

―Somehow American leadership, whose only credit is lying to its people and illegally
invading a nation, has been allowed to steal the courage, virtue and honor of its soldiers on
the ground. … Somehow the same incompetent, narcissistic, virtueless, vacuous, malicious
criminals are still in charge of this country. Somehow this is tolerated. Somehow nobody is
accountable for this.‖

Kevin had hoped a Democratic Congress would bring accountability back to our country. But,
just as with warrantless wiretapping and torture, those responsible for the cover-up of his
brother‘s friendly-fire death have never been held accountable for their actions. As the Obama
administration is fond of saying, ―They‘re moving forward, not looking backward.‖

President Obama and the Democratically controlled Congress are responsible for continuing the
Bush administration‘s Pat Tillman cover-up. Those most culpable (including Congressman
Waxman, Senator Webb, Senator McCain, Senator Levin, Senator Reid, and President Obama)
have not yet paid any political price. They‘ve all been given ―pass‖ on their betrayal of the
Tillman family.

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“Maybe It Had Been Trash from the Get-Go,


Myths to Feed the Public”

During the House Oversight Committee‘s April 24th 2007 hearing, Mary Tillman told Congress:

―Pat died for this country, and he believed it was a great country … It is not perfect. No
one has ever said that. But there is a system in place to allow for it to work, and your job
is to find out what happened to Pat. … And we shouldn‘t be allowed to have
smokescreens thrown in our face. … it is a betrayal, but it is not just a betrayal to us, and
that is why we are in front of Congress because Congress is supposed to take care of their
citizens.‖

During General McChrystal‘s June 2009 Senate confirmation hearing, Senator James Webb read
from a 2005 letter from Patrick Tillman, Sr:

―No investigator worth a damn would have made the presentation I sat through unless
they had an agenda different from the truth. … No one has been confronted with their
conduct. The issue of importance is the integrity of the military from the lieutenant
colonel on the ground all the way up and past General Jones [3rd investigator].‖

General McChrystal said during his June 2nd 2009 confirmation hearing,

―I would say up front, I agree with Secretary Geren, we failed the family. And I was a
part of that, and I apologize for it. And I would say that there is nothing we can do to
automatically restore the trust, which was the second casualty of 22nd April. The first
was the loss of a great American, the second was the lost of trust with a family…‖

―I will say that it was not intentional … I didn‘t see any activities by anyone to deceive.
… the confluence of mistakes, … my own mistakes in not reviewing the Silver Star
citation well enough… were mistakes. They were well intentioned, but they … added to
the doubt and the sense of mistrust, and we didn‘t get it right.‖

Senator James Webb wrote in his 1983 novel, ―A Country Such As This, ―And no, the military
isn‘t just fine. The point is, it isn‘t corrupt. It‘s a system with human failures.‖

...

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But when ―human failures‖ systematically extend up every single link in the chain-of-command
(to include the Chair of the Joint Chiefs, Army Chief of Staff, and the Secretary of Defense) up
to and including the White House, how is this not a corrupt country? Every single institution in
this country has failed the Tillman‘s, including the Army, Congress, White House, and Media.

Perhaps Senator Rowland, in Senator James Webb's 1991 novel, ―Something to Die For,‖ hit the
nail on the head [Silver Star on cover of novel]:

―How lofty it must have been to have burnt with the purity of the Revolution! Before the
days of multi-million dollar election campaigns that brought politicians to their knees
before the monied temple of the contributors. Before the time of computerized politics
that cause them to await the wisdom of those oracles known as pollsters before they
spoke. Or maybe it had been trash from the get-go, myths to feed the public.‖
...

I left the Army in 1991, after eight years, partly because of all the bullshit around the first Gulf
War. I didn‘t feel like being a slave in uniform being told who to kill for cheap oil. In Jon
Krakauer‘s ―Where Men Win Glory,‖ SGT Mel Ward described why he was ―done‖:

―From the moment you first join the Ranger Battalion, it‘s ingrained in you that you will
always do the right thing. … Then you see something like what they‘re doing to Pat –
what officers in the Ranger Regiment are doing – and you stop being so naïve. The only
two times where I personally was in a position to see where the Army had the choice to
do the right thing or the wrong thing, both times they chose to do the wrong thing. One
of those times was what they did to Pat. It made me realize that the Army does what suits
the Army. That‘s why I won‘t put that uniform back on. I‘m done.‖

And John T. Reed, in ―The General Who Lied About Pat Tillman Gets Promoted to the Highest
Rank and Made Head of Afghanistan,‖ points out that ―McChrystal‘s promotion turns out to be
an integrity litmus test. Those opposed to the promotion (the Tillman family) have integrity;
those in favor of promoting McChrystal (Petraeus, the U.S. Army, Secretary of Defense, Senator
McCain, and Obama), do not‖ [I would more names to his list: Senator Webb, Senator Levin,
Representative Waxman, Senator Reid, New York Time‘s Thom Shanker, and CNAS‘s Andrew
Exum]. But none of them have ever paid a price for what they‘ve done to the Tillman family.

Six years ago, Pat Tillman‘s family was handed a tarnished Silver Star. It was a travesty of
justice that President Obama and Congress shielded Gen. McChrystal from public scrutiny of his
key role in the cover-up of Tillman‘s friendly fire death and then promoted him to the Army‘s
highest rank, and handed him his fourth star.

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REMEMBER THE ICONOCLAST, NOT THE ICON


Pat Tillman 1976 – 2004

Patrick Tillman, Sr.-- Memorial Service (May 2004)

Richard Tillman -- Memorial Service (May 4, 2004)

―I didn‘t write shit because I‘m not a writer. … I‘m not just going to sit here and break down on you. But thanks for
coming. Pat‘s a fucking champion and always will be. Just make no mistake, he‘d want me to say this, He‘s not
with God; He‘s fucking dead. He‘s not religious. So, thanks for your thoughts, but he‘s fucking dead.‖

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REMEMBER THE ICONOCLAST, NOT THE ICON


[adapted from October 2005 ―Letter to the Editor‖ (in ‖A Sense of Honor,‖ Appendix ―F‖)]

Note: I handed this editorial to Stan Goff after one of his presentations in March 2006. Just a
couple of weeks later Stan published his first Tillman article, ―Telling Transformative Tales: The
Strange Post Ranger Saga of Pat Tillman‖ on April 5th 2006.

Six years ago, I believed Pat Tillman was a patriotic ―dumb jock‖. I refused to watch any of the
flag waving coverage of his memorial service. It seemed like a sideshow distraction to the
breaking Abu Gharib story.
...

But the reality of Pat was much deeper than his iconic image. In October 2005, I read David
Zirin‘s article, ―Our Hero.‖ I discovered a side of Pat Tillman not widely known –a fiercely
independent thinker, avid reader (a favorite author was Noam Chomsky), and critic of the Bush
administration and the Iraq war (―…this war is so fucking illegal‖). Pat was a remarkable man
who was driven by a core of honesty and integrity, led by personal example, and lived his life
intensely.

I‘ve taken the cover-up of Pat Tillman‘s death a bit personally. Like Stan Goff, I feel a sense of
kinship with Pat Tillman. In 1983, when I was ―young and dumb,‖ I enlisted with an Airborne
Ranger Long-Range Recon Patrol (LRRP) company. I grew up in the Army, enjoyed the
camaraderie and the challenges. But, the lies of the first Gulf War were the last straw. After
eight years, I finally left the Army in March 1991, and have been a firefighter the past 19 years.

I was angered that the truth about Pat‘s life and death had been buried by the media and
government. Tillman was enshrined as an icon while the man fell by the wayside, his parents
used as props at his funeral. Pat‘s family still don‘t have the meager consolation of knowing the
truth about his death. ―The truth may be painful, but it‘s the truth,‖ his mother said. ―If you feel
you‘re being lied to, you can never put it to rest.‖
...

Let us honor Pat Tillman‘s memory by honoring the man, not the myth. The iconoclast, not the
icon. As his mother said, ―Pat would have wanted to be remembered as an individual, not as a
stock figure or political prop. Pat was a real hero, not what they used him as.‖

Pat Tillman, never at a loss for words himself, is now silent. Of the many tragic aspects
surrounding his death, one is that he cannot define his own legacy. Now, it‘s up to his family
and friends to reclaim the truth and integrity of Pat‘s life and death.

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“MY KING A LOST KING AND LOST


SOLDIERS MY MEN”

PATRICK TILLMAN
November 6, 1976 – April 22, 2004

Pat lived in New Alamaden for most of his life. He came to love it for it‘s history and
community spirit. He roamed the hills with his brothers as a kid,
then hiked and trained in them as an athlete and soldier.

Pat was a loved son, brother, husband and faithful friend. He was a voracious reader, inquisitive
scholar, civic volunteer, aggressive athlete and a patriotic and selfless soldier.

New Alamaden and the nation lost Patrick Tillman in Afghanistan


on April 22, 2004 in service to his country.

-- New Alamaden Bulmore Park Memorial Plaque

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What Was Lost


I sing what was lost and dread what was won,
I walk in a battle fought over again,
My king a lost king, and lost soldiers my men;
Feet to the Rising and Setting may run,
They always beat on the same small stone.

-- William Butler Yeats

...

―I was stronger then, but I am fiercer now. I was so certain of life, and of my place in it. I was
so sure of my love, and of my future. I now have none of those certainties, but at least I can
comprehend pain. I was so ready, so eager to fight and now I pay, richly pay, for having fought.

―I guess that‘s what the world does to you. It makes you realize that honor and loyalty are traps
with no reward.‖
-- Senator James Webb, ―A Sense of Honor‖ (1981)

...

―I found myself awash with a sense of injustice that I could not define. Or perhaps it was
merely that I was young. I had never seen with such clarity that … courage could destroy one
man while flight could make another man king.‖

―I knew it was fruitless at this point but still I felt a call for justice, an anger that life does not
always reward the right intentions, that the cycles of days and years and seasons lull us into
thinking that in all things there will be second chances, and even thirds, when in some things we
have only one. And sometimes we never know we had that single chance until it disappears.‖

―‘Waray, waray.‘ You remember, even after all these years! Yes, that is the way of our people.
To the last drop of blood. To the last breath of air. To the last beating of the heart. That is how
we fight. That is how we pray. That is how we love.‖

-- Senator James Webb ―The Emperor‘s General‖ (1999)


...

―If nothing ever works out all the way, and if all things change, what‘s left? Your family and
your friends and your values, that‘s what‘s left. And your duty to them … They‘re the only
important things in life. … And that the rest of it might change a million times, be called wrong
or right or anything else, but you must never violate your loyalty if you wished to survive the
judgment of the ages.
-- Senator James Webb ―A Country Such As This‖ (1981)

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POSTSCRIPT:
“This Story is Not Over Yet”

Andrew Exum, Center for a New American Security Jon Krakauer, author of ―Where Men Win Glory‖

―The bottom line is, nothing is ever going to heal the wounds inflicted on the Tillman Family …
And while I have nothing but respect for the Tillman Family…, their personal grief should not be
a veto on the nomination of the man [General McChrystal] the president, the Secretary of
Defense, and General Petraeus all feel gives the United States and its allies the best chance of
victory in Afghanistan … These are serious questions and are more important than either the
death of Pat Tillman or the alleged abuse of detainees.‖
-- Andrew Exum, ―Confirm Him‖ (June 2, 2009)

―A few months ago, I was asked to review Jon Krakauer's new book by the Washington Post ...
the book was awful. Krakauer wrote a crappy book, and now he has to market it. And how is he
doing that? By going after Stan McChrystal, who is probably the least culpable guy in Tillman's
chain of command ... Stan McChrystal is one of the finest men I have ever known, and I hope I
have sons who serve under men like him. Jon Krakauer is going after him now because he has
written a crappy book and now has to sell it. ―
-- Andrew Exum, ―On Martial Virtue …‖ (November 2, 2009)

―This is an unsolved mystery; nobody has ever really paid a price for what was done to the
Tillmans. No one has taken accountability or made an admission for a deliberate attempt to
conceal the truth. This story is not over yet.‖
-- Amir Bar-Lev (―The Fog of War,‖ July 20, 2010)

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Postscript: “This Story is Not Over Yet”

September 13th 2009: CNAS‘s Andrew Exum reviewed Jon Krakauer‘s book ―Where Men Win
Glory – The Odyssey of Pat Tillman.‖ Exum portrayed Krakauer as a nut-job conspiracy theorist
and criticized Krakauer‘s ―visceral hatred of the Bush administration.‖ But, Exum neglected to
disclose his close personal and professional ties with General McChrystal and the Ranger RGT
officers involved in the cover-up (Exum was a Ranger officer in 2002 and 2004). Exum's
failure to disclose his relationship with General McChrystal appeared to be a calculated effort on
Exum's part to undermine Krakauer's credibility and undermine his valid criticisms of
McChrystal. Exum wasn't merely "an unpaid adviser to McChrystal" -- Exum was one of
McChrystal's biggest cheerleaders.
...

October 20th 2009: The Detainee Photographic Records Protection Act (i.e. ―The McChrystal
Protection Act‖) was added to a Homeland Security Appropriations Bill. On October 28th,
President Obama finally signed the bill into law blocking the court-ordered release of photos that
(presumably) showed detainee abuse by JSOC forces under General McChrystal‘s command.

Mr. McCAIN; … ―I am also pleased this conference report does contain a provision
that will allow the Secretary of Defense to prohibit the disclosure of detainee
photographs under the Freedom of Information Act if he certifies that release of the
photos would endanger U.S. citizens, members of the Armed Forces, or U.S. Government
employees deployed outside the United States.‖
[Congressional Record: October 20, 2009 (Senate), p. S10544-S10559]
...

November 1st 2009: On Meet the Press (11-01-09), Jon Krakauer accused General McChrystal
of lying about his role in the cover-up of the Tillman fratricide.

KRAKAUER: ―… after Tillman died, the most important thing to know is that …within
24 hours certainly, everybody on the ground, everyone intimately involved knew it was
friendly fire. There's never any doubt it was friendly fire. McChrystal was told within 24
hours it was friendly fire.

Also, immediately they started this paperwork to give Tillman a Silver Star. And the
Silver Star ended up being at the center of the cover-up. … Tillman faced this devastating
fire from his own guys, and he tried to protect a young private by exposing himself to
this, this fire. That's why he was killed and the private wasn't. Without friendly fire there's
no valor, there's no Silver Star. There was no enemy fire, yet McChrystal authored, he

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closely supervised over a number of days this fraudulent medal recommendation that
talked about devastating enemy fire.‖

MR. GREGORY: ―Even those who were critical of him and the Army say they don't
think he willfully deceived anyone.‖

[video clip of General McChrystal testifying at June 2nd 2009 Senate hearing]

MR. KRAKAUER: ―That's correct. He, he just said now he didn't read this hugely
important document about the most famous soldier in the military. He didn't read it
carefully enough to notice that it talked about enemy fire instead of friendly fire? That's
preposterous. That, that's not believable.‖

MR. GREGORY: ―All right, part of this debate. Thank you all very much.‖

Note: Jon Krakauer based his Daily Beast article and his Meet the Press remarks on Guy
Montag‘s binders ―Lies … Borne Out by Facts, If Not the Truth‖ and ―Did They Teach You
How to Lie Yet?‖ that were given to Krakauer at a September 17, 2009 book signing (Guy
Montag fed-exed them to his Estes Park Aunt who hand-delivered the binders. Thanks again,
Aunt Candy!)
...

November 2nd 2009: The following day, Andrew Exum posted an entry at his CNAS‘s Abu
Muqawama blog blasting Krakauer, ―On Martial Virtue … and Selling Jon Krakauer‘s Crappy
New Book‖:

―A few months ago, I was asked to review Jon Krakauer's new book by the Washington
Post ... the book was awful. I mean, it was really bad. ... Krakauer wrote a crappy book,
and now he has to market it. And how is he doing that? By going after Stan McChrystal,
who is probably the least culpable guy in Tillman's chain of command ... who sent a
memorandum up through the chain of command at the time of Tillman‘s death warning
his commanders … Stan McChrystal stands out as one of the guys who made mistakes
but ultimately did the right thing. ... Stan McChrystal is one of the finest men I have
ever known, and I hope I have sons who serve under men like him. Jon Krakauer is going
after him now because he has written a crappy book and now has to sell it. ―

Well, as one blogger wrote, ―Phew, talk about a man crush. … the normally witty and sarcastic
Abu Muqawama has turned into a walking billboard for Gen. McChrystal …‖

...

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November 2009: Thom Shanker, NYT‘s Pentagon reporter, became a ―writer-in-residence‖ at


CNAS to “work on his book entitled "Counterstrike” and “working closely with CNAS scholars
and leadership, Writers in Residence can take advantage of the full spectrum of the Center’s
resources and expertise.” CNAS has a close relationship with both General Petreaus and
General McChrystal (Isn’t this incestuous relationship between the media, think-tanks, and
military rather cozy!?) Thom Shanker wrote the May 26th 2009 NYT article that ―exonerated‘
General McChrystal of all wrong-doing in the Tillman case. Since then, Thom, and other NYT
reporters, have enjoyed favorable access to McChrystal (so much for the NYT‘s coverage
―without fear or favor‖!)

...

November 15th 2009: The Washington Post‘s Ombudsman Andrew Alexander wrote about
Andrew Exum‘s failure to disclose his close personal and professional ties with McChrystal (e.g.
Exum spent a month working closely with McChrystal in Afghanistan after being asked by
McChrystal to join his Afghan war assessment team) prior to writing his book review of
Krakauer‘s book: ―Krakauer is angry. He told me that because Exum is ‗enthralled‘ with
McChrystal, he wrote a "willfully deceptive" review that protected him. … I also think Exum
deserves blame. The contract language is explicit. Despite media coverage of his role in
Afghanistan, the contract puts the onus on the reviewer to notify The Post if there is an
"appearance of a conflict of interest." (―Blame to Spare on a Book Review‖ (11-15-09).

...

June 23rd 2010: General McChrystal was fired by President Obama. Not for his central role in
the cover-up of Pat Tillman‘s death or his complicity in torture at Camp Nama, but for an
embarrassing Rolling Stone profile, ―The Runaway General‖. Apparently, McChrystal‘s role in
torture at Camp Nama and his key role in the Tillman cover-up was OK, but embarrassing
President Obama was an unforgiveable sin.

It‘s troubling that Obama shows no loyalty (e.g. Rev. Wright or Shirley Sherrod) to anyone who
causes him any political pain whatsoever: "Well, Shirley, they want you to pull over to the side
of the road and do it because you're going to be on Glenn Beck tonight" (CNN Newsroom). A
telling remark from Obama on Good Morning America, ―…we‘re focusing on doing the right
thing instead of what looks to be politically necessary at the moment.‖

...

July 23rd 2009: General McChrystal retires from the Army, with all four of his stars, and is
awarded the Distinguished Service Medal.

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...

July 27th 2010: Jon Krakauer releases revised paperback edition of his book, ―Where Men Win
Glory‖. He has added more material describing Gen. McChrystal‘s culpability in the cover-up.
However, for some reason, Krakauer still hasn‘t described the ―untold story‖ (outlined in my 9-
17-09 letter to Krakauer) of the role of President Obama and the Democratically-controlled
Congress in the cover-up.

Note: I just bought Krakauer‘s book today (8-09-10). I‘ll post a review when I get the chance to
read it. It appears Jon Krakauer took the credit for my work. In the Preface of his paperback
edition of ―Where Men Win Glory,‖ he wrote, ―Following publication of the first edition in
September 2009, I discovered additional evidence of deceit by high-ranking Army officers.‖
―Discovered‖? Hell, much of his ―discovery‖ consisted in having my two binders laying it all
out placed directly into his hands by my aunt on September 17th at a book signing in Boulder,
CO! I don‘t care (much) about the credit. But, it would have been nice to have at least received
a call or email saying ―Thanks‖. More importantly, I would have liked the chance to discuss my
Tillman Files material with him and be able to pass on updates.

And it‘s not just me. When Richard Tillman was asked about Krakauer‘s book at the Sundance
premiere of ―The Tillman Story‖ he replied, ―that guy‘s a piece of ----!‖ And, this past June
Calabashe wrote a comment on my blog, ―I was interviewed in a 20 min phone call about 2
weeks before Krakauer pulled the original book. Don't know if there was cause and effect.
Found Krakauer easy enough to talk to, at least until he got what he wanted. There was also an
air of arrogance just below the surface. I asked Krakauer to let me see a couple of journal
entries that I know concerned me. Gave him specific dates but never heard from him again…”

Still, to Krakauer’s credit, from what I’ve read so far, he’s done a decent job in his revised edition
of describing the Army’s cover-up and McChrystal’s role.
...

July 31st 2010: Mary Tillman releases paperback edition of her book ―Boots on the Ground by
Dusk‖ with a new foreword (available at blurb.com).
...

August 20th 2010: Theatrical release of Amir Bar-Lev‘s ―The Tillman Story‖
...

AMIR BAR-LEV: ―This is an unsolved mystery; nobody has ever really paid a price for what
was done to the Tillmans. No one has taken accountability or made an admission for a
deliberate attempt to conceal the truth. This story is not over yet.‖ (―The Fog of War,‖ 7-20-10)

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“HE WHO SHALL NOT BE FACT CHECKED”


Andrew Exum, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) and the Whitewash of
Gen. McChrystal‟s Role in the Cover-Up of Pat Tillman‟s Friendly-Fire Death

October 31st 2009 [Revised 1-27-10]

By GuyMontag, feralfirefighter.blogspot.com

Nathaniel Fick, CEO CNAS General Stanley McChrystal Andrew Exum, CNAS Fellow

―The bottom line is, nothing is ever going to heal the wounds inflicted on the Tillman Family … And while I have
nothing but respect for the Tillman Family…, their personal grief should not be a veto on the nomination of the man
[General McChrystal] the president, the Secretary of Defense, and General Petraeus all feel gives the United States
and its allies the best chance of victory in Afghanistan … These are serious questions and are more important than
either the death of Pat Tillman or the alleged abuse of detainees.‖
- - Andrew Exum, ―Confirm Him‖ (6-02-09)

―When reporting as a ―journalist‘ for the army, you quickly learn there is no news but good news. … I put my Ivy
League English degree to use writing shallow propaganda. … I made it a game to see just how falsely positive I
could be. … the Dept of Public Affairs in Washington DC named me one of the army‘s ―Outstanding Journalists.‖
… I had earned my first medal from the army for writing in a newspaper.‖

-- Andrew Exum, ―This Man‘s Army‖ (2004)

―They ought to make a movie about this. Mr. Smith comes to Washington.‖ ―Yeah, I called my pa last night and he
says, ―Judd boy, you been up there with them muck-a-mucks two days, now. Did they teach you how to lie yet?‖

-- Senator James Webb, ―A Country Such As This‖ (1983)

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“HE WHO SHALL NOT BE FACT CHECKED”


[Adapted from ―He Who Shall Not Be Fact Checked‖]

―From the time I was very little, I was aware of my father‘s pride in being a Marine. When I was three years old …
I would stand between my parents, feet digging into the soft leather of the big front seat, and sing the entire Marine
Corps Hymn at the top of my lungs.‖
-- Mary Tillman, ―Boots on the Ground by Dusk‖ (2008)

Nathaniel Fick,

Andrew Exum is a Fellow at your Washington think-tank Center for a New American Security
(CNAS) which has been called "Washington's go-to think tank on military affairs." CNAS has
spearheaded the advocacy of the Afghan war "surge" and has close ties with both General
McChrystal and his mentor General Petraeus. During your GQ interview, you said: ―We've sent
one of our fellows, Andrew Exum, to serve on General McChrystal's assessment team, and we
meet with General McChrystal via videoconference once a week to talk about strategy there.‖

In 2002, Andrew Exum served as an infantry LT in Afghanistan (described in his book ―This
Man‘s Army‖) and again with the Ranger RGT in 2004. Last year, you were ―named one of
GQ's 50 most powerful people in Washington.‖ During 2003, you led a Marine Recon platoon
during the invasion of Iraq (as described in your fine book ―One Bullet Away,‖ in Evan Wright‘s
―Generation Kill, ‖ and HBO‘s excellent ―Generation Kill‖ mini-series). You both appeared to
be excellent LTs ―back in the day.‖

In his September 13th 2009 Washington Post review of Jon Krakauer‘s book, ―Where Men Win
Glory – The Odyssey of Pat Tillman,‖ Andrew Exum dismissed the notion of a ―conspiracy‖ to
cover-up Pat Tillman‘s friendly fire death and excused the actions by his fellow Ranger officers
as a ―gross error of judgment‖ (General McChrystal was not mentioned at all). However, Exum
failed to disclose his close personal and professional ties with McChrystal which created a
serious conflict of interest.

On November 1st 2009 "Meet the Press,‖ (and his October 14th 2009 ―Daily Beast‖ article) Jon
Krakauer accused General McChrystal of lying about his central role in the Army‘s cover-up of
Pat Tillman‘s friendly-fire death. In response, Andrew Exum posted, ―On Martial Virtue … and
Selling Jon Krakauer‘s Crappy New Book,‖ writing, ―Stan McChrystal stands out as … probably
the least culpable guy in Tillman‘s chain of command … Stan McChrystal is one of the finest
men I have ever known, and I hope I have sons who serve under men like him.‖

I had believed that Andrew Exum and CNAS were part of the bipartisan ―conspiracy‖ that has
protected General McChrystal and that Exum wrote his book review to whitewash General
McChrystal‘s role. Now, I believe Andrew Exum is either awfully good at feigning self-

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righteous outrage or is woefully (and willfully) ignorant of the most basic facts of the Tillman
case. It‘s possible Exum believes his own bullshit about General McChrystal. As the saying
goes, "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not
understanding it."

Regardless, both Exum and CNAS obviously had personal and professional conflicts of interests
with Exum writing a book review favorable to the Army and General McChrystal. Clearly,
despite (or because of) his background as an Army Ranger officer in Afghanistan, he was a poor
choice to review Jon Krakauer‘s book. Apparently Exum hasn‘t forgotten lessons learned from
his stint as an Army journalist. In ―This Man‘s Army‖ he wrote,

―When reporting as a ―journalist‘ for the army, you quickly learn there is no news but
good news. … I put my Ivy League English degree to use writing shallow propaganda.
… I made it a game to see just how falsely positive I could be. … At the end of the
summer, the Dept of Public Affairs in Washington DC named me one of the army‘s
―Outstanding Journalists.‖ … I had earned my first medal from the army for writing in a
newspaper.‖

I‘m disappointed by the lack of integrity displayed by Exum‘s involvement in the Tillman cover-
up. Perhaps that‘s to be expected once you leave your uniform behind, become a ―suit‖ and
become part of the politics of Washington. As Exum wrote in his book, ―… officers are often
looking out for their own futures rather than for the safety and good of their men.‖

So much for your Marines Corp‘s motto of ―semper fidelis‖ and Exum‘s Ranger Creed, ―Never
shall I fail my comrades‖! Neither you nor Exum have had the back of the Tillman family.
...
The New York Times also played a role in whitewashing McChrystal. Last May, their Pentagon
Reporter Thom Shanker wrote a May 26th 2009 NYT article that ―exonerated‖ McChrystal of all
wrongdoing in the Tillman case despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Just before
McChrystal's Senate confirmation hearing, I corresponded with Shanker and pointed out how his
article was full of "lies ... borne out by facts, if not the truth‖ (Thom Shanker also participated in
the 2003 Jessica Lynch misinformation).

Thom Shanker (and the NYTs) appear to have enjoyed exceptionally good access to McChyrstal
and other top military leaders. Ironically, this past November, Thom Shanker became a "writer
in residence" at your own CNAS to “work on his book entitled "Counterstrike” and by “working
closely with CNAS scholars and leadership, Writers in Residence can take advantage of the full
spectrum of the Center’s resources and expertise.” Isn't the Washington establishment so
cozy? What's the difference between the media, the government, and the "independent" think-
tanks such as your CNAS? They appear to be all part of one big incestous establishment blob!

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Andrew Exum‟s Book Review of “Where Men Win Glory”

Last September, Andrew Exum reviewed Jon Krakauer‘s book, ―Where Men Win Glory – The
Odyssey of Pat Tillman,‖ for the Washington Post. Exum brushed aside the abundance of
damning evidence Krakauer presented about the Army's cover-up (and never mentioned
McChrystal‘s role). Exum tried to portray Krakauer as a nut-job conspiracy theorist with a
―visceral hatred of the Bush administration.‖ However, Exum failed to disclose to the paper the
conflict of interest that his close personal and professional ties with Gen. Chrystal created.
...

Instead of addressing Krakauer‘s evidence that pointed to a conspiracy by the Army to cover-up
the Pat Tillman fratricide (and McChrystal's central role in the cover-up), Andrew Exum asserted
that Krakauer, since he is not a combat veteran, cannot have the perspective to make any valid
commentary on the actions of men in combat and that ―in the eyes of Krakauer … soldiers are
either victims of circumstance or war criminals in waiting.‖:

―Krakauer does not appear to understand light infantry combat as well as he does
mountaineering … there is nothing in Krakauer's life or experience that inspires similar
confidence in his criticism of experienced combat officers ....‖

―Whenever one seeks to understand an epic failure of our nation's military, one must first
draw a line on a sheet of paper and write "conspiracy" at one end and "buffoonery" on the
other. Those who have spent time in the military and have seen it struggle not just with
war but with everyday barracks life tend to err on the side of incompetence, while those
who never have -- such as Krakauer -- tend to suspect conspiracy.‖

Apparently, Andrew Exum was unaware that Jon Krakauer spent seven months embedded in
Afghanistan in 2006 and 2007, ―I accompanied troops from the U.S. Army‘s Tenth Mountain
Division, Eighty-second Airborne Division, and Special Forces Operational Detachment – Alpha
773 … on numerous combat missions along the Pakistan border.‖ Perhaps Krakauer even spent
more time than Exum during his tours with the Tenth and his Ranger Battalion in 2002 and
2004? Surely Krakauer‘s experience would give him some standing?

Exum‘s bashing Krakauer for his lack of respect for the military is an absurd personal attack:
Krakauer donated proceeds from his book tour to veteran organizations and dedicated his book to
a soldier he spent time with in Afghanistan, SFC Jared Monti who died winning the Medal of
Honor.

...

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In his book review, Andrew Exum ignored the abundance of damning evidence Krakauer
presented in his book about the Army's cover-up of the Tillman fratricide. Instead, Exum tried to
portray Krakauer as a nut-job conspiracy theorist:

―By now, the story of Pat Tillman is widely known … and how the cause of his death --
friendly fire -- was kept from his family and the public for weeks in what, depending on
your point of view, was either a gross error of judgment or a conspiracy engineered by
the U.S. military and the Bush administration. … ―

However, the opening lines of Exum‘s book review actually provide eyewitness testimony to
support just such a ―conspiracy‖ theory! Exum began with his personal account of the night Pat
Tillman was killed:

―On April 22, 2004, I was standing in an operations center in Bagram, Afghanistan,
watching two firefights on the monitors and screens in front of me. A platoon of U.S.
Army Rangers and a special operations reconnaissance force were both under fire and in
possible need of assistance. As the leader of a 40-man quick-reaction force of Rangers, I
asked my squad leaders to gather our men while I awaited orders. My platoon was
dropped onto a 12,000-foot mountain at night to reinforce the small reconnaissance team
that had been battling men they believed to be al-Qaeda fighters, killing two combatants.
On the way south from Bagram, I listened on the radio to the U.S. casualty report from
the other firefight: One killed in action, two wounded. After a truly miserable night spent
at high altitude near the Pakistan border, I arrived back in Bagram to learn the name of
that Ranger killed in action: Spec. Patrick Daniel Tillman.‖

Andrew Exum had watched the video feed from a Predator drone of the Tillman firefight. Yet,
the Army denies the existence of the video that Exum saw with his own eyes. Krakauer wrote,

The forward observer assigned to Serial One, Specialist Donald Lee … heard an airplane
flying overhead … ―As I listened closer I knew it was a Predator drone‖ … Several other
Rangers also said they heard the drone. … headquarters later confirmed that a Predator
was overhead during the firefight, and a civilian contractor at Bagram said he
remembered seeing the Predator‘s video feed. During the numerous investigations that
would be undertaken over the next three years, the Army and the CIA nevertheless
asserted that no such video existed.‖

So … Andrew Exum must have been hallucinating when he says he was watching Predator
footage of the Tillman firefight, since the Army says no such video exists. I guess that footage
just happened to―disappear,‖ just like all copies of the CPT Scott‘s first 15-6 report just
happened to vanish! It must have just been another one of the Army‘s ―blunders.‖

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...

Andrew Exum ridiculed Krakauer‘s assertion that the order to get ―boots on the ground by dusk‖
was driven by ―Rumsfeld‘s insistence on strict timelines.‖

"Incredibly, [Krakauer] tries to claim that [the cascade of blunders that culminated in
Tillman's death] was driven not by poor and independent decision-making by field-grade
officers but rather by Donald Rumsfeld's insistence on strict timelines. '[The] sense of
urgency attached to the mission,' Krakauer writes, 'came from little more than a
bureaucratic fixation on meeting arbitrary deadlines so missions could be checked off a
list and tallied as 'accomplished.' Ranger units are not ordered to meet deadlines
arbitrarily. They meet deadlines because the missions they execute--like airfield seizures
or hostage rescues--are extraordinarily complex operations."

Contrary to Exum's assertion above, however, the mission on which Tillman was killed wasn't an
airfield seizure or a hostage rescue, and Exum's review conveniently omits most of what
Krakauer actually wrote in the passage excerpted above:

―After making his case that the mission could be accomplished just as effectively and just
as quickly without splitting the platoon, Uthlaut was baffled by headquarters‘ stubborn
insistence on dividing it. He [Lt Uthlaut] asked Dennis [EO Alpha CO], ―So the only
reason that you want me to split my platoon is to have boots on the ground in the sector
before dark?‖ ‗Yes‘, Dennis replied. …‖

"During an investigation of Tillman‘s death seven months later, Brigadier General Gary
Jones asked Alpha Company first sergeant Thomas Fuller, 'I mean, what necessitated in
this mission right here that they had to get down there so quickly?' ―I don‘t think there
was anything,‖ Fuller testified under oath. ―I think that a lot of times at higher
[headquarters] – maybe even, you know, higher than battalion [headquarters] – they may
make a timeline, and then we just feel like we have to stick to that timeline. There‘s no –
there‘s no ‗intel‘ driving it. There‘s no – you know, there‘s no events driving it. It‘s just
a timeline, and we fell like we have to stick with it; and that‘s what drives that kind of
stuff.‖

―In other words, the sense of urgency attached to the mission came from little more than
a bureaucratic fixation on meeting arbitrary deadlines so missions could be checked off a
list and tallied as 'accomplished.' This emphasis on quantification has always been a
hallmark of the military, but it was carried to new heights of fatuity during Donald
Rumsfeld‘s tenure at the Pentagon."
...

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Andrew Exum failed to disclose to the Washington Post the conflict of interest that his close
personal and professional ties with Gen. Chrystal created for his book review. At the end of his
review is a brief biographical blurb stating, ―Andrew Exum is a fellow at the Center for a New
American Security and served in Afghanistan as an Army officer in 2002 and 2004 and as a
civilian adviser in 2009‖

Although Exum did disclose one conflict of interest, ―As a former officer in the 75th Ranger
Regiment -- an elite unit whose leadership Krakauer skewers -- I might be expected to rise to the
defense of the officers ….with respect to the Tillman Affair (full disclosure: I was in
Afghanistan, with the Rangers, at the time, so I am hardly objective here)‖

[Note: So if Exum is ―hardly objective‖ why is he writing the review?]

However, Andrew Exum neglected to explain his conflicts of interest with General McChrystal.
As a ―civilian advisor‖, Exum worked closely with General McChrystal as a member of his 60-
day Afghan war assessment team. In a blog post, Exum wrote, ‗This [Afghan War Assessment]
was written with about a dozen talented and good-natured co-authors (and the world's most
intense lead author [General McChrystal]) who put up with my smart-assery -- often in enclosed
spaces -- for a whole month‘.‖

Andrew Exum is a self-professed ―fan‖ of McChrystal who has lavished praise on General
McChrystal during media appearances, ―… you really need a silver bullet …You have one
chance to get this right, and you'd better get your A-team on the field." … ―I do know that Stan
McChrystal is an automatic starter in anyone's line-up‖. And Exum said that ―many policy-
makers and journalists think that McChrystal's work as the head of the super-secret Joint Special
Operations Command was the untold success story of the Surge and the greater war on terror
campaigns."

And on the eve of McChrystal‘s June 2nd 2009 Senate confirmation hearing, Exum wrote
―Confirm Him‖ voicing his support for McChrystal‘s confirmation and dismissing the Tillman
family‘s ―personal grief‖:

―… with respect to the Tillman Affair (full disclosure: I was in Afghanistan, with the
Rangers, at the time, so I am hardly objective here), McChrystal was by all accounts not
one of the officers in the chain of command who made really egregious errors or
misjudgments -- he even warned off his high command from turning Ranger Tillman into
some great hero before all the facts were in. Those who did make mistakes have by now
been properly censured.‖

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―The bottom line is, nothing is ever going to heal the wounds inflicted on the Tillman
Family … And while I have nothing but respect for the Tillman Family…, their personal
grief should not be a veto on the nomination of the man the president, the Secretary of
Defense, and General Petraeus all feel gives the United States and its allies the best
chance of victory in Afghanistan‖ … These are serious questions and are more important
than either the death of Pat Tillman or the alleged abuse of detainees.‖

Exum‘s claimed that McChrystal ―was by all accounts not one of the officers in the chain of
command who made really egregious errors or misjudgments -- he even warned off his high
command from turning Ranger Tillman into some great hero before all the facts were in.‖
However, the evidence is overwhelming that McChrystal played a key role in the cover-up of
Tillman‘s fratricide. And McChrystal led the writing of the false Silver Star that turned Tillman
into a ―great hero.‖
...

On November 15th 2009, the Washington Post published a brief correction alluding to Exum‘s
conflict of interest with Gen. McChrystal. The Washington Post‘s Ombudsman Andrew
Alexander wrote in his column ―Blame to Spare on a Book Review‖ :

―Krakauer is angry. He told me that because Exum is ‗enthralled‘ with McChrystal, he


wrote a "willfully deceptive" review that protected him. … I also think Exum deserves
blame. The contract language is explicit. Despite media coverage of his role in
Afghanistan, the contract puts the onus on the reviewer to notify The Post if there is an
"appearance of a conflict of interest."

But, as I pointed out in my lengthy comments to Exum's November 2nd post, ―On Martial
Virtue ... and Selling Jon Krakauer's Crappy New Book‖ (and his November 9th Post, ―He Who
Shall Not Be Fact Checked‖) Exum has more than merely the ―appearance of a conflict of
interest‖ when it comes to General McChrystal.

Exum's failure to disclose his conflict of interest was a serious breach of ethics, not so much
because it may have hurt Krakauer's book sales, but because it appears to be a calculated effort
on Exum's part to undermine Krakauer's credibility and undermine his valid criticisms of
McChrystal. Exum wasn't merely "an unpaid adviser to McChrystal" -- Exum was one of
McChrystal's biggest cheerleaders.

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THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

"On Martial Virtue ... and Selling Jon Krakauer's Crappy New Book"

Jon Krakauer published an article in The Daily Beast in October 2009, titled "Gen. McChrystal's
Credibility Problem".

On November 1st 2009 Meet the Press, Jon Krakauer accused General McChrystal of lying about
his role in the cover-up of the Tillman fratricide. In response, Andrew Exum posted an entry on
his CNAS ―Abu Muqawama‖ blog blasting Krakauer, ―On Martial Virtue … and Selling Jon
Krakauer‘s Crappy New Book‖:

―A few months ago, I was asked to review Jon Krakauer's new book by the
Washington Post ... the book was awful. I mean, it was really bad. ... Krakauer wrote
a crappy book, and now he has to market it. And how is he doing that? By going
after Stan McChrystal, who is probably the least culpable guy in Tillman's chain of
command ... who sent a memorandum up through the chain of command at the time
of Tillman‘s death warning his commanders … Stan McChrystal stands out as one of
the guys who made mistakes but ultimately did the right thing. ... Stan McChrystal is
one of the finest men I have ever known, and I hope I have sons who serve under men
like him. Jon Krakauer is going after him now because he has written a crappy book
and now has to sell it. ―

Well, as one blogger wrote, ―Phew, talk about a man crush. … the normally witty and sarcastic
Abu Muqawama has turned into a walking billboard for Gen. McChrystal …‖

Despite Exum‘s assertion that McChrystal was ―probably the least culpable guy in Tillman's
chain of command‖ the evidence is overwhelming that McChrystal played a key role in the
cover-up of Tillman‘s fratricide. Unlike Exum, I know what I‘m talking about. I‘ve closely
followed the Tillman case the past four years and have examined the reports from the various
Army, IG and Congressional ―investigations.‖ The evidence shows that McChrystal was
probably the most culpable General officer involved in the Tillman case.

I believe Andrew Exum is either awfully good at feigning self-righteous outrage or is woefully
(and willfully) ignorant of the most basic facts of the Tillman case. Quite possibly, Exum
believes his own bullshit about General McChrystal. As the saying goes, "It is difficult to get a
man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it."

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“WHERE MEN WIN GLORY”
Guy Montag‟s Letters to Jon Krakauer

Guy Montag, MFLF Local #451 Jon Krakauer, author of ―Where Men Win Glory‖

―This substantially revised edition of Where Men Win Glory included new material that …
leaves little doubt who directed the cover-up of his fratricide. …Following publication of the
first edition in September 2009, I discovered additional evidence of deceit by high-ranking Army
officers. Some of these previously undisclosed facts were unearthed through multiple Freedom
of Information Act requests; other pieces of the puzzle were inadvertently divulged when
General Stanley McChrystal was obligated to testify before the Senate Armed Services
Committee in June 2009, following his nomination by President Obama ….‖
-- Jon Krakauer, preface to paperback edition ―Where Men Win Glory‖ (2010)

―I was interviewed in a 20 min phone call about 2 weeks before Krakauer pulled the original
book. Don't know if there was cause and effect. Found Krakauer easy enough to talk to, at least
until he got what he wanted. There was also an air of arrogance just below the surface. I asked
Krakauer to let me see a couple of journal entries that I know concerned me. Gave him specific
dates but never heard from him again …‖
-- Calabashe (June 2009)

―That guy‘s a piece of ----!‖

-- Richard Tillman, Sundance premiere of ―The Tillman Story‖ (January 2009)


THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

September 12, 2009 Letter to Jon Krakauer


[Adapted for publication here]

I‘ve closely followed the Pat Tillman story over the past four years. Like Stan Goff, I‘ve felt a
certain kinship with Pat (I‘ve also been an avid reader and independent thinker). In 1983, as a
―young and dumb‖ seventeen year old, I enlisted into an Airborne Ranger LRRP Company in the
MI Army Guard. But the lies of the first Gulf War were the last straw for me. In 1991, I finally
quit after eight years. Since then, I‘ve been a firefighter for eighteen years.

I‘m looking forward to reading your new book ―Where Men When Glory.‖ I‘m especially
interested in learning what you were able to uncover about General McChrystal. After
McChrystal was nominated as the new Commander of the Afghan War, I took a closer look at
his role in the Army‘s cover-up of Pat‘s fratricide.

In your recent interviews, you‘ve cast blame on the Bush administration for the cover-up (and
they bear guilt!) However, I believe the on-going series of cover-up by ―investigations‖ was a
thoroughly bi-partisan affair involving the Democratic Congress (both House and Senate), and
the Obama presidency.

Accompanying this letter are two binders laying out my detailed arguments:

At the end of May, I wrote the binder, ―Did They Teach You to Lie Yet? – Senator James Webb,
General Stanley McChrystal, and the Betrayal of Pat Tillman.‖ I argue that the top leadership of
the Army, Waxman‘s House Oversight Committee, and Senator Carl Levin‘s Senate Armed
Services Committee acted to shield McChrystal from scrutiny and protect him from punishment
for his actions. I especially focus on Senator Webb‘s role in a secret ―review‖ prior to
McChrystal‘s 2008 confirmation (I‘ve updated this binder to include the 2009 Senate
confirmation hearing and three new revelations from McChrystal‘s testimony).

Today, I just finished the binder ―Lies … Borne Out by Facts, If Not the Truth‖ – Senator James
Webb, Thom Shanker & The New York Times, and the Whitewash of General Stanley
McChrystal.‖ This binder explores the role of NYT Washington Pentagon reporter Thom
Shanker in ―clearing‖ McChrystal of any wrongdoing. In addition, I describe my interactions
with Senator Webb‘s office and speculate at President Obama‘s role in the Tillman case.

Thanks for spending your time and effort on writing your book. Please feel free to contact me
for follow-up with any questions or comments on my work.

P.S. If possible, could you send me your contact information? I‘ve got some additional
information that might be of interest to you (e.g. the parallels between Yoni Netanyahu and Pat
Tillman).

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September 17, 2009 Letter to Jon Krakauer


[Adapted for publication here]

This letter is a ―postscript‖ to be added to the binders my Aunt Candy will hand you at the book
signing in Boulder tonight.

I haven‘t yet had the time to finish reading ―Where Men Win Glory.‖ After a quick skim, I‘ve
only read the last part of your book that describes Pat‘s fratricide and the cover-up of his death.
I‘ve attached a few comments about specific items at the end of this letter.
...

At his April 24, 2007 hearing, Congressman Henry Waxman observed, ―… but our government
failed them … The least we owe to courageous men and women who are fighting for our
freedom is the truth.‖

Your book ends with Waxman‘s House committee being unable to find out who was responsible
for the cover-up, largely because of stonewalling by the Bush White House. Congressman
Waxman stated in frustration, ―What we have is a very clear, deliberate abuse intentionally done.
Why is it so hard to find out who did it?‖ You properly cast blame on the top leadership of the
Army and the White House that ―… used every means at its disposal to obstruct the
congressional investigation into Tillman‘s death and its aftermath…‖

But, I believe your account of the cover-up ends far too soon with Bush‘s press conference
August 9, 2007. The cover-up continued up through the June 2, 2009 confirmation hearing of
General McChrystal as the Commander of the Afghan War. Perhaps the end was the unanimous
voice vote by the Senate begged for by Senate Majority Leader Reid on June 10th 2009.

Blaming Bush and the Army for the cover-up, with the Democratic Congress as the champions in
pursuit of the truth is too simple. In reality, the cover-up has been a thoroughly bipartisan affair,
with Congress and the Obama Presidency continuing to protect especially General McChrystal
from punishment and to shield his actions from scrutiny. Just as with warrantless wiretapping
and torture, those responsible have not been held accountable. ―They‘re moving forward, not
looking back.‖

Note: I am not a Republican. Nor a Democrat. I‘m an independent, disgusted with the
corruption of both parties. Hell, I even voted for Nader in 2008!

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Perhaps you were a bit credulous taking Waxman‘s rhetoric at face value. Congressman
Waxman‘s so-called investigation (like the IG report) was not an honest attempt to get at the
truth. Arguably, it may have started out that way with the April 2007 hearing. I‘d suggest you
review the Waxman documents again (Note: I was surprised to find that the August 1, 2007
hearing transcript is not listed in the bibliography or your chapter notes. It contains crucial
testimony). When I did so in May 2009, it became clear that a principal role of Waxman‘s
investigation, as with the IG investigation and the Army investigation, was to protect those
involved, particularly McChrystal from scrutiny and protect them from punishment (McChrystal
is one of the few generals involved that is not yet retired).

I believe that sometime after the April 2007 hearing, Waxman got the word the ―fix‖ was in, to
lay off McChrystal. Perhaps because of McChrystal‘s important covert contribution to the
―surge‖ in Iraq? Waxman dropped him from the list of witnesses for the August 1, 2007 hearing
and the testimony during that hearing was a praise-fest for McChrystal. Despite the concerns
raised by the Committee during the April 2007 hearing about the falsified Silver Star, P4
document, etc. they never looked at McChrystal, who was at the center of these actions.

It‘s not surprising that after the initial fratricide cover-up fell apart, that Army officers and the
Bush administration lied to protect their careers. Reprehensible, but understandable. But the
Democratic Congress, after they took control of both Houses in 2006, could have gone after
those responsible. Or at least not promoted them! Their hands are dirty as well with the betrayal
of Pat Tillman.
...

I‘ve enclosed, inside one of the binders, a copy of ―The Nightingale‘s Song‖ that provides a
biography of James Webb (it‘s a gripping account and well worth your time). Like Pat Tillman,
Webb‘s been a maverick and a fascinating character. I‘ve read his novels for thirty years.

Senator James‘s Webb betrayal of the Tillman family cuts me the deepest. I‘ve trusted his sense
of honor for thirty years. If anyone in Congress should have cared, it would have been him (see
especially my 4-03-08 letter and notes from his novels). For example, Webb, as a young Marine
veteran spent 8 years to clear the name of a dead Marine for his mother‘s sake!

Yet, during the same time in April – May 2008, after he received my letter imploring him to help
Mary Tillman, he was conducting the secret ―review‖ of McChrystal‘s actions in the Tillman
cover-up. Shortly afterwards, while Mary Tillman was in DC on her book tour, the Senate
Armed Services Committee (headed by Levin and McCain) held their secret ―executive session‖
to hear McChrystal testify. Shortly thereafter, the Senate promoted him to Director of the Joint
Staff.

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THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

I‘m hard on Webb not because I dislike the man, but that I‘m disappointed by him. As an old
man and politician, he‘s turned into exactly what he once reviled as a young soldier! I find it
tragic to see Webb compromising his sense of honor (perhaps even Pat Tillman would have done
so as well, if he had lived long enough?). I even believe Webb‘s doing it with the best of
intentions, that he believes McChrystal is indispensable to the Afghan war. But I still don‘t
forgive him for it. Or like it.

And I‘m certainly not casting all the blame for the sins of Congress onto him. Henry Waxman,
Chairman Carl Levin, Senator McCain, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid and others in Congress
bear greater responsible than Webb. It just happens I know more about Webb and his role and
have had personal interactions with his office.
...

In the binder, ―Lies‘s … Borne Out by Lies If Not the Truth,‖ I discuss The New York Times
role in whitewashing McChrystal‘s role in the cover-up of the Tillman fratricide. I pretty much
lay it all out in the binder, starting with an overview and going into more detail. I didn‘t come
away from my personal experience with Thom Shanker and ―The Gray Lady‖ with any
confidence in our ―watchdog‖ media.

I‘d like to point out that Thom Shanker also participated in the Jessica Lynch story in 2003. I
haven‘t dug into that side of the story much, although I included an article in the binder by Gregg
Mitchell about it.

And, please note that I haven‘t yet sent out my letter to Clark Hoyt at the NYT‘s yet. I wanted to
wait a bit, revise my introductory letter. It‘ll be interesting to see what response I get from him.

...

Inside one of the binder‘s I‘ve enclosed a document ―Battle for the Truth.‖ Jonathan (Yoni)
Netanayahu was another character cast from the same mold as Pat Tillman. When I first learned
of Pat the iconoclast (vs the media icon), I was immediately reminded of Yoni. Although they
were separated by 27 years, both were charismatic individuals driven who lived and died with
intensity and integrity. Both Achilles-like and ―slain in the high places.‖ The similarities,
despite the obvious differences, between their stories is eerie. Ironically, Yoni truly died
heroically, killed while saving hostages at Entebbe. But it would have been embarrassing to
mention that he died because the mission went FUBAR and that there were friendly fire deaths,
so the IDF told the story he was shot in the back by a stray burst of fire.

Afterwards, Max Hastings wrote a book ―Yoni - Hero of Entebbe‖ similar to your ―Where Men
Win Glory‖ in that it provided a bibliography of Yoni, described the battle at Entebbe, and used

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THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

interviews with family members and his own words from his letters. Later, Yoni‘s brothers
edited Yoni‘s letters and published them as ―Self Portrait of a Hero.‖ A powerful book.

...

I believe that President Obama was certainly aware of General McChrystal‘s involvement in the
cover-up of Tillman‘s fratricide. I cannot imagine that his staff did not thoroughly vet
McChrystal before his nomination on May 12th. Yet Obama chose to give him a pass, and
promote him to the Army‘s highest rank and make him the new commander of the Afghan War.
It‘s ironic that the previous general was fired to make way for McChrystal.

However, it‘s even more ironic that the following day Obama gave a commencement address at
Arizona State University inside Sun Devil Stadium without once mentioning Pat Tillman! I‘m
sure that he didn‘t want to bring up Tillman‘s name to avoid anyone pointing out the connection
to McChrystal‘s nomination. (Note: see ―Text: Obama‘s Commencement Address at Arizona
State University‖ (May 13, 2009 NYT) and Bob Young‘s ―Obama‘s Big-Time Fumble‖
(Arizona Republic 5-17-09).
...

Finally, I bear a bit of blame myself for not getting this information out sooner to you. After the
craziness of May and early June I was burnt out. I spoke briefly with Mary Tillman and sent her
a copy of ―Did They Teach You How to Lie Yet?‖ then laid all this stuff aside, back into my
Tillman box. I now realize it‘s perfectly obvious that I should have tried to get at least some of
my material out to you months ago. Perhaps you could have made some changes to your book
before it went to print. Or, you could have at least used this material during your media
interviews. I did email Mary Tillman on June 13th and asked her to forward this material to you.

I hope that you can use my material to start your own investigation into this untold story.
Perhaps this story can be told in the next edition of your book or in magazine publications or
interviews.

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THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

Release of Paperback Edition of “Where Men Win Glory”

Jon Krakauer just released his revised paperback edition of his book, ―Where Men Win Glory‖
on July 27th 2010. He has added about 50 pages to the book, more fully describing the Army‘s
cover-up and Gen. McChrystal‘s culpability in the cover-up. However, Krakauer still hasn‘t told
what I call the ―untold story‖ of the bipartisan Congressional cover-up (although he did make
some of the corrections I pointed out to him last year in my letters).

I just bought his revised book a few days ago (August 9th) I‘ll post a review when I get the
chance to read it; I‘m far too busy finishing up ―The [Untold] Tillman Story.‖ However, upon
cursory review, it appears that Jon Krakauer took the credit for discovering ―additional
evidence.‖ In the Preface of his paperback edition of ―Where Men Win Glory,‖ he wrote,

―This substantially revised edition of Where Men Win Glory included new material that
… leaves little doubt who directed the cover-up of his fratricide. …Following
publication of the first edition in September 2009, I discovered additional evidence of
deceit by high-ranking Army officers. Some of these previously undisclosed facts were
unearthed through multiple Freedom of Information Act requests; other pieces of the
puzzle were inadvertently divulged when General Stanley McChrystal was obligated to
testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee in June 2009, following his
nomination by President Obama ….‖ [italics added]

―I discovered‖? Hell, my two binders pointing to this ―evidence‖ were placed directly into his
hands by my aunt on September 17th at his book signing in Boulder, CO! I don‘t care (much)
about the credit. But, it would have been nice to have at least received a call or email saying
―Thanks‖. More importantly, if Krakauer would have at least sent his contact info, I would have
been able to pass on updates and had the chance to discuss my Tillman Files material with him.
But I am glad that my material prompted him to more fully describe the Army‘s cover-up.

And it‘s not just me. This past June, Calabashe wrote a comment on my blog,

―I was interviewed in a 20 min phone call about 2 weeks before Krakauer pulled the
original book. Don't know if there was cause and effect. Found Krakauer easy enough
to talk to, at least until he got what he wanted. There was also an air of arrogance just
below the surface. I asked Krakauer to let me see a couple of journal entries that I know
concerned me. Gave him specific dates but never heard from him again…”

When Richard Tillman was asked about Krakauer‘s book at the Sundance premiere of ―The
Tillman Story‖ he replied, ―that guy‘s a piece of ----!‖

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THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

“That‟s My Hero”
Pat Tillman, Rachel Corrie and Yoni Netanyahu
Guy Montag, feralfirefighter.blogspot.com
June 21, 2010

―Everywhere I look in this house, I‘m staggered by memories. … I stay in the house to look at
Pat‘s books on the shelves and appreciate his special keepsakes displayed in the dining room
hutch. As I‘m looking at the mementos, I find a small newspaper clipping I‘ve seen before. The
article is about Rachel Corrie, the 23-year-old peace activist from Olympia, Washington, who
was crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer on March 16, 2003, trying to protect the home of a
Palestinian doctor and his family. I remember picking up the article from the same spot more
than a year ago [2003] and asking Pat, ―Who‘s this?‖ ―That‘s my hero,‖ Pat said. ―She was a
stud; she had a lot of guts.‖ I read the article with tears in my eyes then; now, I quietly cry.‖

- - Mary Tillman, ―Boots on the Ground by Dusk‖ (2008)


...

"… there is an inherent incompatibility in the joining together, in one evening, of a play [―To
Pay the Price‖] based on my brother [Jonathan ―Yoni‖ Netanyahu, killed during the 1976 Raid
on Entebbe] Yoni's letters with the play 'My Name Is Rachel Corrie.‖

-- Iddo Netanyahu (May 2007)

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THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

“That‟s My Hero”
[edited from January 30, 2009 letter to Joe Bageant]

In your [Joe Bageant] November 20, 2008 essay, ―The Sucker Bait Called Hope,‖ you wrote that
the US media all but ignored the death of Rachel Corrie under an Israel bulldozer and that the
few who knew of her death largely deemed it a bizarre and senseless act; ―Moral conviction
scares the hell out of us. Hope is effortless.‖

Rachel Corrie lived her life with integrity. As you wrote in your essay, she had ―… Conviction.
The real stuff. … Accepting the truth and acting on it. … ‗taking personal responsibility‘, but
doing it for real. …‖

Last year, Rachel‘s family edited her journal entries and letters in the book, ―Let Me Stand
Alone.‖ From her journal: ―My values. … Responsibility for myself – accountability …
Independence /Autonomy. … Honesty. Humor. Integrity. Courage. Loyalty. Critical thinking.
Curiosity. … Family.‖

I think you might be interested to learn that Rachel Corrie was Pat Tillman‘s hero. Pat shared
many of Rachel‘s values. He was driven by a core of honesty and integrity, led by personal
example, and lived his life intensely.

In her book, ―Boots on the Ground by Dusk,‖ [paperback edition with new foreword just
published 7-31-10 at blurb.com] his mother Mary Tillman wrote about Pat‘s admiration for
Rachel:

―I feel dread mount in my stomach as we turn the corner to the charming house [near
Tacoma, WA] where Pat lived with Marie [wife] and Kevin [brother]. Pat had loved that
house, situated on a hill overlooking the Tacoma Narrows, with a majestic view of the
Olympic Mountains. I immediately glance at the spot where I last saw Pat standing, less than
three months.‖

―Everywhere I look in this house, I‘m staggered by memories. I see Pat in every corner and
doorway. … I stay in the house to look at Pat‘s books on the shelves and appreciate his
special keepsakes displayed in the dining room hutch.‖

―As I‘m looking at the mementos, I find a small newspaper clipping I‘ve seen before. The
article is about Rachel Corrie, the 23-year-old peace activist from Olympia, Washington,

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THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

who was crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer on March 16, 2003, trying to protect the
home of a Palestinian doctor and his family.‖

―I remember picking up the article from the same spot more than a year ago [in 2003] and
asking Pat, ―Who‘s this?‖ ―That‘s my hero,‖ Pat said. ―She was a stud; she had a lot of
guts.‖ I read the article with tears in my eyes then; now, I quietly cry.‖

...

Finally, I‘d like to point out a connection between Rachel Corrie, Pat Tillman, and Jonathan
―Yoni‖ Netanyahu [his ―younger‖ brother is Benjamin Netanyahu, head of the Likud party and
former Prime Minister of Israel]. This seems timely coming on the tail of the invasion of the
Gaza Ghetto this past month.

Yoni has been a hero of mine for decades (Yoni was shot and killed while leading the rescue of
Israeli hostages at the Entebbe airport in 1976.). After his death, his family published a book of
his letters ―Self-Portrait of a Hero‖ (comparable to ―Let Me Stand Alone: The Journals of
Rachel Corrie‖). I bought the book a quarter century ago when I was a ―young and dumb‖
paratrooper.

But, like Pat Tillman‘s friendly-fire death, the nature of Yoni‘s death has been covered up the
IDF for the past four decades [―Battle for the Truth‖].

Yoni and Pat Tillman were eerily similar characters, both driven by a sense of integrity, honesty
and conviction. As was Rachel Corrie. The following passage from ―Self Portrait of a Hero‖
could be said about all three of them:

―Of all the aspects of his character one predominates – integrity. By this we do not mean
only honesty toward one‘s fellow man, but, above all, honesty toward oneself. An inner
wholeness marked Yoni‘s entire behavior, inspired his way of life and determined his
objectives. That wholeness resulted from a great need for absolute harmony between his
thoughts and deeds.‖

―For Yoni, unlike many of us, could not hold beliefs without living them to the full. Once
convinced of the rightness of an idea, whether in the personal or national sphere, he had to do
what he could to actualize it, regardless of the hardships or risks involved. Again and again
he asked himself whether he was working toward the realization of his life‘s aims.‖

...

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THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

The play "My Name Is Rachel Corrie" is based on her e-mails, letters, and journals.

Another play, "To Pay the Price," draws on letters and interviews with family and friends of
Jonathan ―Yoni‖ Netanyahu.

Two years ago, the Netanyahu family forced the Watertown‘s Repertory theatre to cancel a
planned run of ―To Pay the Price‖ because it was to have been paired with ―My Name is Rachel
Corrie.‖ Iddo Netanyahu, Yoni‘s youngest brother, said that he feels, "that there is an inherent
incompatibility in the joining together, in one evening, of a play based on my brother Yoni's
letters with the play 'My Name Is Rachel Corrie.‖

...

It‘s ironic (and a bit sad to me) that while Rachel was a hero to Pat Tillman, she is viewed with
contempt by Yoni‘s family. I consider all three (Rachel, Pat, and Yoni) to be ―heroes.‖

...

Postscript:

The ship MV ―Rachel Corrie‖ was seized by Israel on June 5th 2010 as it tried to sail to Gaza.

The Corrie family‘s civil lawsuit against the IDF for Rachel‘s death is currently proceeding in
Israel But, I‘m not holding my breath to see justice served there.

...

As with Pat Tillman, and Yoni Netanayahu, the cover-up of Rachel Corrie‘s death continues…

168

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