Sie sind auf Seite 1von 163

“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

Guy Montag, feralfirefighter.blogspot.com August 14, 2010 ―War is always about betrayal, betrayal of the young by
Guy Montag, feralfirefighter.blogspot.com August 14, 2010 ―War is always about betrayal, betrayal of the young by

―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

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

.

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

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

Page #:

4

9

15

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

―Something to Die For‖ -- Letter to Mary Tillman

(February 4 th 2008) 16

A Sense of Honor‖ -- Letter to Senator James Webb

(April 3 rd 2008)

21

―Did They Teach You How to Lie Yet?‖ – Letter to Senator Webb (May 26 th 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‖ General Wallace‘s Review of Tillman Fratricide Investigations Hearing: ―Misleading In formation Hearing: ―What the Leadership of the Dept. of Defense Knew ‖ Report: Hearing: ―What the Leadership of the Dept. of Defense Knew‖ Report: ―Misleading Information from the Battlefield‖

(April 24, 2007) 45

(July 31, 2007) 56

(August 1, 2007) 66

(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 ―The Emperor‘s General‖ – President Obama‘s Whitewash of Gen. McChrystal ―Lies Borne Out by Facts, If Not the Truth‖ – NYT‘s Thom Shanker‘s Whitewash

―Did They Teach You How to Lie Yet?‖ – Congress‘s Gen. McChrystal Whitewash 102

(June 2009) 112

123

85

87

94

Senate Confirmation Hearing for Gen. McChrystal‘s Promotion Senate Armed Services Committee‘s Secret McChrystal Hearing

(May 2008)

Conclusion: Maybe It Had Been Trash from the Get-Go, Myths to Feed the Public

Had Been Trash from the Get-Go, Myths to Feed the Public ” ―A Country Such As

―A Country Such As This‖ ―Remember the Iconoclast, Not the Icon‖ ―My King a Lost King, and Lost Soldiers My Men‖

129

129

135

137

Postscript: “This Story is Not Over Yet

129 135 137 Postscri pt: “ This Story is Not Over Yet ” ―He Who Shall

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

.

139

144

153

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

2

160

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

APPENDICES

A1 -- Dept. of Defense Inspector General‘s Tillman Investigation

(March 26, 2007)

B1 -- House Oversight Committee‘s 1 st 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 2 nd Tillman Hearing

(August 1, 2007)

D3 Gen. McChrystal Did Not Testify at 2 nd 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)

3

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

Iddo Netanyahu, Kevin Tillman and the Cover-up of their Brother‟s Death

February 4, 2008 Guy Montag, feralfirefighter.blogspot.com

February 4, 2008 Guy Montag, feralfirefighter.blogspot.com Benjamin, Yoni (Jonathan), and Iddo Netanyahu (1966)

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

Benjamin, Yoni (Jonathan), and Iddo Netanyahu (1966) Richard, Pat, and Kevin Tillman (2002) ―And of him

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)

4

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

BATTLE FOR THE TRUTH

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.the life and death of Pat Tillman and Yoni Netanyahu: Both were the oldest of three

Both were the oldest of three brothers and the ―stars‖ of their family.died July 4, 1976 at Entebbe, Pat was born November 1976. Both served in the Army

Both served in the Army in ―special forces ―and in combat with a younger brother. Both became national icons after their deaths. Both became national icons after their deaths.

5

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

Both died from negligent mistakes made by a fellow soldier.THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY The truth about their deaths was covered up by their governments, and

The truth about their deaths was covered up by their governments, and their deaths were more ―heroic‖ than the official story. more ―heroic‖ than the official story.

Friendly-fire deaths during battle were covered-up by their governments.deaths were more ―heroic‖ than the official story. Both Pat and Yoni‘s families have fought what

Both Pat and Yoni‘s families have fought what Yoni‘s younger brother Iddo called a ―battle for the truth‖ about their deaths.deaths during battle were covered-up by their governments. Perhaps you recall the Rescue at Entebbe. Thirty

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

6

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

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.

.

7

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

―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)

8

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

“NOBODY HAS EVER REALLY PAID A PRICE FOR WHAT WAS DONE TO THE TILLMANS

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

Letter to “The Tillman Story” Director Amir Bar -Lev ―… we have all been betrayed. It

―… 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 20 th 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 24 th 2010)

9

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

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

[edited from July 26, 2010 letter]

On January 29 th , 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

Why is it so hard to find out who

did it?‖

recollectionthat made it impossible to assign responsibility.

we have is a very clear, deliberate abuse intentionally done.

His House Oversight Committee‘s July 2008 final report blamed a ―pervasive lack of

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 fumblingin their questioning and ineptly allowing themselves to be stonewalled by a long series of ―I don‘t recall‖ by Rumsfeld and top Army generals.

10

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

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 surely knowing of his key role in the cover-up. Then 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 never appeared. Waxman never explained his absence. [I recently found a CNN quote that appears to show the Committee held a secret, closed hearing with McChrystal].

During Spring 2008, after receiving my April 3 rd 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 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!

11

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

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 handpicked McChrystal to be his new commander of the Afghan War despite surely knowing of McChrystal‘s key role in the Tillman cover-up.

On May 13 th , 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 20 th , 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 2 nd 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 10 th , 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.‖

.

―The Tillman Story‖ will be released on August 20 th . 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.

12

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

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 Birthdayat 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, 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

13

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

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 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.

14

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

DID THEY TEACH YOU HOW TO LIE YET?

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

Senator James Webb‟s Betrayal of Pat Tillman‟s Family ―Across the room [in my Senate office] …
Senator James Webb‟s Betrayal of Pat Tillman‟s Family ―Across the room [in my Senate office] …

―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)

15

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

“SOMETHING TO DIE FOR”

February 4th 2008 Letter to Mary Tillman

Guy Montag, feralfirefighter.blogspot.com

to Mary Tillman Guy Montag, feralfirefighter.blogspot.com ―I was stronger then, but I am fiercer now. I

―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)

16

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

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) 425 th 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. look bad.‖

And they didn‘t want the president to

―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.‖

.

17

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

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

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!‖

MacArthur‘s

―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.‖ …

18

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

―Despite a scathing dissent … the Court declined to intervene in the

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.‖

.

since the war would

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‖]:

19

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

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 1 st Gulf War. Perhaps your son Kevin feels the same way?

20

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

“A SENSE OF HONOR”

April 3rd 2008 Letter to Senator James Webb

OF HONOR” April 3rd 2008 Letter to Senator James Webb Marine & LT James Webb –

Marine & LT James Webb Vietnam, 1968

James Webb Marine & LT James Webb – Vietnam, 1968 Pat and Kevin Tillman – Saudi

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)

21

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

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 29 th .

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

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.‖

So

―… 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.‘‖

22

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

―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

23

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

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) 425 th 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:

24

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

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. bad.‖

And they didn‘t want the president to look

―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 (1 st 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.

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,

His platoon had been held up by a broken humvee.

25

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

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

26

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

can call it a trial this illegal, judgeless commission is going to look like? It‘s going to be

nothing but a public circus! this man?‖

why are we wasting our credibility as the United States on

.

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.‖

27

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

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?

28

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

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

McChrystal, and Congress‟s Betrayal of Pat Tillman Marie Tillman (wife), Mary Tillman (mother), Richard 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)

29

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

Memorial Day 2009 Letter to Senator James Webb

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.‖

30

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 27 th 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).

.

31

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

On July 31 st 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 invitedto testify, he never appeared. [Note: I‘ve recently uncovered a CNN transcript which appears to show that McChrystal testified during a secret ―closed‖ 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 2 nd 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.‖

32

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

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.‖

33

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.‖

34

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?‖

35

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

“THE TILLMAN STORY” SCRIPT:

Congress‟s Oversight Committee Fumbled the Ball

SCRIPT: Congress‟s Oversight Committee Fumbled the Ball ―… there‘s been no culpability on the second half

―… 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

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

36

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

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

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.‖

So the facts needed to be suppressed. … An alternative

―… 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.‖

37

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

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 31 st 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 mistakesonto 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:

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? …

really being singled out with the harshest punishment.

You've described a litany of errors and mistakes going more than three

Lots of people did lots of things wrong it seems, but he's the only one who's

38

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

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 1 st WH Correspondents‘ Dinner]

Oversight Committee Stone-Walled by Rumsfeld & Generals

NARRATOR: ―On August 1 st 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

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. …‖

Rumsfeld

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

39

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]

40

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

“THE [UNTOLD] TILLMAN STORY” Congress Didn‟t Fumble, They Threw the Game

STORY” Congress Didn‟t Fumble, They Threw the Game House Oversight Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (August 1,

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

Oversight Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (August 1, 2007) Army Secretary Geren & Gen. Cody (July 31,
Oversight Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (August 1, 2007) Army Secretary Geren & Gen. Cody (July 31,

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)

41

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 upthe chain of command to determine what the top officials at the White House and the Defense Department knew about Tillman‘s fratricide.

.

On July 31 st 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:

Leadership of the Defense Department Knew.‖ Chairman Waxman focused on a ―Personal For‖ [P4] message that MG McChrystal sent on April 29 th 2004 and sought to find out how and when

What the

42

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 invitedto testify at the hearing, he never appeared.

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.

The

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 14 th 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.

43

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

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.‖

44

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

“MISLEADING INFORMATION FROM THE BATTLEFIELD”

House Oversight Committee Hearing, April 24th 2007

House Oversight Committee Hearing, April 24th 2007 Ranger Bryan O‘Neal testifying before Congress (April

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

Bryan O‘Neal testifying before Congress (April 24, 2007) Patrick Tillman, Sr. & Kevin Tillman (April 24,

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

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

45

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

“Misleading Information from the Battlefield”

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 1 st

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 23 rd . 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 29 th 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

might include comments about Corporal Tillman‘s heroism and his approved Silver

President

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.

46

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

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!

47

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

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

Chairman Waxman concluded his April 24 th 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 23 rd , McChrystal supposedly waited six days, until the 29 th 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 24 th when he received verbal confirmation from the initial 15-6 investigating officer).

48

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

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

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.‖

So the facts needed to be suppressed. … An alternative

―… 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]

49

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)

50

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

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 23 rd .

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:

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, according to your report, on April 23rd, Sergeant

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 Hearingsfor 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?‘ …

51

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:

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 23 rd . 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 23 rd . 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 23 rd , 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 23 rd and confirmation on the 24 th to Abizaid. Either Abizaid or McChrystal lied in Congressional testimony about when they learned about the fratricide.

52

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

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.

reporting this incident up the chain of command, you were also involved in writing a

statement that was used to award Corpora Tillman the Silver Star …‖

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

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.‖

53

(p.95, HOC 4-24-07)

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

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.

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

―Did you ever determine in the course of your investigation who, out of

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 chainwho 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‖?

54

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

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

On April 27 th 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.

the chain of command‖ at the Ranger RGT officers involved in the cover-up?

Why didn‘t Congressman Waxman also look ―down‖

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 13 th 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 1 st 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 31 st 2007, the day before the Committee‘s 2 nd 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.

55

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

GENERAL WALLACE‟S REVIEW OF ARMY & IG TILLMAN FRATRICIDE INVESTIGATIONS

Press Briefing July 31 st 2007

INVESTIGATIONS Press Briefing July 31 s t 2007 Secretary of the Army Pete Geren & Gen.
INVESTIGATIONS Press Briefing July 31 s t 2007 Secretary of the Army Pete Geren & Gen.

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 todayFor 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)

56

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

General Wallace‟s Review of the Army & IG Investigations of the Tillman Fratricide

Note:

July 31 st , 2007

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.

57

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

Gen. Kensinger Scapegoated for Gen. McChrystal‟s Sins

NARRATOR: On July 31 st 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 mistakesonto 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:

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? …

really being singled out with the harshest punishment.

You've described a litany of errors and mistakes going more than three

Lots of people did lots of things wrong it seems, but he's the only one who's

.

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!"

.

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?‖

REPORTER:

58

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

Gen. McChrystal Failed to “Timely” Notify His Superiors

SEC. GEREN: ―… General McChrystal, when notified of the friendly fire incident, he alerted

So he did notify his

chain of command …‖

through his P-4, General Abizaid, General Brown and General Kensinger.

NARRATOR: On April 29 th , 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:

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.‖

And so, we initially were waiting for the outcome of that initial

(p.17, SASC 6-02-09)

GEN MCCHRYSTAL:

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)

I also sent a [P4] message informing my chain of command

GEN ABIZAID:

message in a timely fashion through the most secure channels.‖ (HOC 8-01-07, p.223)

‗… General McChrystal did exactly the right thing. He sent a timely

NARRATOR:

implies that McChrystal learned about potential fratricide on the 29 th , then sent the P4 to alert his

superiors.

But, Secretary Geren

McChrystal said he learned of friendly-fire on April 23 rd .

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 24 th , the investigating officer CPT Scott passed confirmation of fratricide up the chain of command.

59

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

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 156, or an investigation of that. (p.17, SASC 6-02-09)

NARRATOR: 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.

[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 24 th .

[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!

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

1. Headquarters, Operations Team

2. Headquarters, 75 th Ranger Regiment

3. Headquarters, Joint Task Force

4. CENTCOM

[LTC Bailey or MAJ Hodne] [COL Nixon] [GEN McChrystal] [GEN Abizaid] GEN Meyers Sec of Defense Rumsfeld President Bush

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

60

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

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]‖.

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 25 th [actually on the 23 rd ] 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.

.

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.‖

possible? Since, Nixon told Gen. McChrystal, logically the IG should have held McChrystal

responsible as well for his failure to tell the family.

But how is that

61

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

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.‖

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 writtenand, 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]

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.‖

62

[p.95, HOC 4-24-07 ]

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

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 chainwho could have made the alterations to the Silver Star recommendation to remove all references to friendly fire: LTC Kauzerlich, 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.‖

GEN MCCHRYSTAL: In the case of Corporal Tillman, a Silver Star was

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.‖

I sat down with the people [Ranger Regiment officers] who recommended

[p. 18, SASC 6-02-09]

63

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.

64

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.‖

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.‖

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 1 st WH Correspondents‘ Dinner]

65

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

“THE TILLMAN FRATRICIDE: WHAT THE LEADERSHIP OF THE DEPT. OF DEFENSE KNEW”

House Oversight Committee Hearing, August 1st 2007

KNEW” House Oversight Committee Hearing, August 1st 2007 House Oversight Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (August 1,

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

Oversight Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (August 1, 2007) Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Gen. Meyers, Gen. Abizaid, Gen.

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)

66

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

“The Tillman Fratricide: What the Leadership of the Defense Department Knew.”

Note:

Tillman Hearing (August 1, 2007).

the following summary is based upon Appendix D2 -- House Oversight Committee‘s 2nd

Go there for full quotes and commentary.

Chairman Henry Waxman presided over the House Oversight Committee‘s August 1 st 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.‖

67

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

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 P4, 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 P4 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 assumptionand 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 2 nd 2009 confirmation hearing, McChrystal testified that he was told of fratricide on the 23 rd .

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 23 rd ] and that on May 28th, we conclusively stated it was fratricide.‖

68

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

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.‖

69

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

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 13 th 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).

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 ―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.‖

70

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

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. Butnone 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 24 th 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. …‖ had a change of heart since the first hearing. Why the backpedaling?

Waxman

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.

the ―continued investigation‖ to which Waxman referred? The Wallace Review was the end, except that Geren slapped some officers on the wrist.

And what was

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 23 rd 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 23 rd , yet Abizaid said on the 23 rd McChrystal told him only that Tillman was killed in action. Someone didn‘t testify truthfully before Congress.

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

71

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

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 29 th 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 23 rd 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!

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.

General Brown himself said, ―It would have been simple for

8.)

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.

I don‘t understand how Tillman being killed by friendly fire in no way detractsfrom his

72

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

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 13 th 2007, the Oversight Committee ―invited‖ Gen. McChrystal to testify at their

August hearing. However, like Gen. Kensinger, McChrystal did not testify.

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 ?)

Chairman Waxman

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.

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 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.

As previously discussed, by defining the scope of the

73

THE [UNTOLD TILLMAN STORY

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 P4, 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 P4 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‖: