Mistakes, Not Criminal Wrongdoing, in Pat Tillman's Death in Afghanistan


The military's verdict on its role in the friendly fire death of the Afghan/Iraq War's most famous casualty:

Four generals and five other officers in Cpl. Pat Tillman's chain of command were responsible for "a series of mistakes" in reporting his friendly fire death, and their actions will be reviewed by a top Army officer, officials announced Monday.

However, an investigation by Army Criminal Investigation Command found that Tillman's death was an accident, and there was no evidence of negligent homicide or aggravated assault.

"We as an Army failed in our duty to the Tillman family," Acting Army Secretary Pete Geren said. "I apologize to the Tillman family, but words are not sufficient."

Tillman, 27, an Army Ranger, was killed April 22, 2004, in Afghanistan. An Afghan soldier fighting alongside Tillman also was killed, and two U.S. soldiers were wounded in the incident.

More here.

The Tillman story is an amazing, haunting one, partly because the former football standout at its center defied virtually every stereotype ascribed to him, perhaps especially the notion he was some sort of on-a-mission-from-God war hawk.

One of the very best magazines stories of last year (IMO) ran in Sports Illustrated and focused on Tillman's death and the effect it had on one of his Ranger comrades. Take an hour today to read it.