Pat Tillman, a professional football player who made headlines by joining the Army Rangers after 9/11, was killed in Afghanistan by friendly fire in 2004. “They have a hard time letting it go,” the lead military investigator of his death said of the soldier’s family in 2005. “There’s not a whole lot of trust in the system.” With good reason, it turned out.
As detailed in the infuriating 2010 documentary The Tillman Story, now on DVD, Pentagon officials authorized a cover-up that falsely portrayed Tillman’s death as the result of a heroic engagement with the enemy. Tillman’s mother refused to be mollified by this fishy, politically convenient story, which turned her son, who was posthumously awarded a Silver Star, into a patriotic poster boy for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Preferring the messy truth to a flattering lie, she dug through a mountain of heavily redacted official documents, revealing the inconsistencies that forced the government to set the record straight.