NFL

The Pat Tillman Story

A sobering new documentary raises more questions than it answers.

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The opening scene of the documentary The Tillman Story shows Pat Tillman taping a promotional video while still a college football player at Arizona State University. After saying his name, Tillman keeps looking at the camera while awaiting further instruction from unseen crew members. He seems good-natured about the process, but also eager to be done with it and maybe even a little disdainful, as if he can't quite believe all the effort that is going into crafting empty pageantry designed to iconize himself and his fellow athletes.

A few years later, of course, a similar dynamic would play out on a larger scale. Tillman was far from a household name when he put aside his NFL career to enlist in the U.S. Army eight months after the 9/11 attacks. But at a time when there was a lot of high-minded talk about the price of freedom, Tillman quickly captured the nation's attention as the most vivid example of all those who were actually willing to walk the walk. Just married to his high-school sweetheart, forsaking a $3.6 million contract extension offer from the Arizona Cardinals, Tillman was giving up an extremely enviable life to serve his country. That he understood his decision to do so made him no nobler than anyone else who'd done the same—and therefore refused to speak publicly about his enlistment—only added to his appeal.

In his long-haired days, Tillman looked like a cross between GI Joe and Kurt Cobain. With his military buzzcut, he looked like a cross between GI Joe and Sgt. Rock. His jaw was as fortified as a concrete bunker. His fierce glower packed so much firepower you could almost imagine him staring Osama bin Laden to death. In reality, Tillman was a complicated individual—an atheist who probably read more religious texts than all but the most devout, a patriot who felt morally obligated to defend his country but also admired Noam Chomsky. On a superficial level, though, he seemed tailor-made for propaganda and he knew it. He signed a form instructing that he did not want a military funeral should he die in combat. He once told a fellow soldier that he worried he'd be paraded through the streets if killed in action.

Ultimately, the story referenced in the title of The Tillman Story is not so much Tillman's own biography as it is the tale his commanding officers concocted in the wake of his death. On April 22, 2004, less than two weeks after Tillman and his younger brother Kevin had deployed to Afghanistan—he'd done his initial tour of duty in Iraq—Tillman was shot three times in the head by one of his fellow Rangers.

The firefight had taken place at dusk, in disorienting terrain, but according to Bryan O'Neal, the Ranger who was kneeling alongside Tillman, it was immediately clear that Tillman had been killed by their fellow soldiers—that those soldiers had in fact been firing at them repeatedly even as they shouted and waved their arms to indicate their status as "friendlies." Instead of conveying this inconvenient truth, however, the Army announced that Tillman had been killed by enemy fire during a chaotic exchange that had involved as many as a dozen enemy combatants.

The first person the Army told this lie to was Tillman's brother Kevin, who'd been been traveling with the platoon but was too far back to witness his brother's death. Then, the Army repeated this lie to the rest of Tillman's family and eventually to the public at large.

Five weeks later, the Army changed its tune, announcing in a press conference that Tillman had "probably" died from friendly fire. At that point, Tillman's family, especially his mother Mary "Dannie" Tillman, began pressing for more information. Who actually killed him? Who decided to say he'd been killed by the enemy rather than his fellow Rangers? Why had the Army burned his uniform, his body armor, and even his journal days after he'd been killed?

The Tillman Story does a good job of raising these questions, and it also captures the fierce love Tillman's family have for him and his memory, and their anger and bitterness at the way they were lied to in the wake of his death. To a certain degree, though, director Amir Bar-Lev seems more interested in implications than answers, and The Tillman Story leaves all the major ones thoroughly veiled in the fog of agitprop documentaries. The movie shows Donald Rumsfeld and a succession of high-ranking Army officials in a congressional hearing all vigorously not recalling when they learned that Tillman had been killed by friendly fire, but it never offers a concise, convincing explanation for who specifically decided to modify the details of Tillman's death. By not narrowing down the possibilities, The Tillman Story is free to keep the indictments it makes against the Army, the Bush Administration, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as broad as possible.

In his 2009 account of Tillman's story, Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman, Jon Krakauer takes a less sweeping but ultimately more damning approach. He doesn't answer every long-lingering question about the incident and its aftermath either, but he does name the specific soldier who most likely shot Tillman and meticulously reconstructs how it happened. He identifies Gen. Stanley McChrystal, then the head of the Army's Joint Special Operations Command, as the person who decided to officially contain the true facts of Tillman's death from Tillman's family, the public, and even the Army's Criminal Investigation Division. Krakauer also reports that Gen. McChrystal was the person who initiated and expedited the Silver Star application so that it could be awarded before Tillman's memorial service, even though he knew Tillman was not technically eligible for the medal. (Silver Stars are awarded only for gallantry against an enemy of the United States, and there were no enemies present when Tillman was killed.) He reports on the various ways the Army breached protocols when communicating information about Tillman's death to his family, and ultimately, by taking this matter-of-fact approach, Krakauer sidesteps a trap The Tillman Story partially falls into: He keeps Tillman from devolving into a tragi-poetic metaphor for all that is wrong with our recent wars, and instead presents him as a real, specific person, against whom real, specific injustices were committed.

Contributing Editor Greg Beato is a writer living in San Francisco. Read his Reason archive here.

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187 responses to “The Pat Tillman Story

  1. He was murdered by McCrystals death squad because
    pat was going to come home and tour with Noam Chomsky against the Iraq war.

    Cant have that.3 shots to the head.Thats no “accident” thats a sharpshooter.

    1. He was a Clear and Present Danger, and so they played their Patriot Games, with Executive Orders to kill The Sum of all Fears, they paid a Debt of Honor and shot him Without Remorse.

      1. +10 for clancy references

      2. Nicely done!!

    2. I think you’re right.

  2. He was the victim of an terrible accident. People fucked up and rained .50 shells on the wrong people. One of those shells hit Tillman in the head. Sad. But things like that happen.

    And yes the Army lied about it because they wanted to make him more than what he was. Again unfortunate, but nothing new. Watch Flags of Our Fathers’ sometime. I don’t quite understand the obsession with this case in ant-war circles.

    1. Because a patriotic football player (read, dumb jock) got his comeuppance in McChimpy’s war against innocent brown people holocaust.

    2. Thats a lie.

      On July 26, 2007, Chris Matthews reported on Hardball that Tillman’s death may have been a case of fragging – specifically that the bullet holes were tight and neat, suggesting a shot at close range. Matthews based his speculation on a report from the doctors who examined Tillman’s body. The following day the Associated Press reported that a doctor who examined Tillman’s body after his death wrote, “The medical evidence did not match up with the scenario as described,”[32] also noting that the wound entrances appeared as though he had been shot with an M16 rifle from fewer than 10 yards (9 m) away. A possible motive, however, has never been identified. According to one of his fellow soldiers, Tillman “was popular among his fellow soldiers and had no enemies.”[33]

      In addition:[32]

      There has never been evidence of enemy fire found on the scene, and no members of Tillman’s group had been hit by enemy fire.
      The three-star general, who withheld details of Tillman’s death from his parents for a number of months, told investigators that he (the general) had a bad memory, and could not recall details of his actions on more than 70 occasions.
      Army attorneys congratulated each other in emails for impeding criminal investigation as they concluded Tillman’s death was the result of friendly fire, and that only administrative, or non-criminal, punishment was indicated.
      Army doctors told the investigators that these wounds suggested murder and urged them to launch a criminal investigation.[34]
      It has been revealed that there were never-before-mentioned US snipers in the second group that had encountered Tillman’s squad.[34]
      Despite his fame, Tillman did not want to be used for propaganda purposes. He spoke to friends about his opposition to President Bush and the Iraq war, and he had made an appointment with notable government critic Noam Chomsky after his return from the military. The destruction of evidence linked to Tillman’s death, including his personal journal, led his mother to speculate that he was assassinated. General Wesley Clark agreed that it was “very possible

      1. You left out the part about chemtrails.

        1. Exactly, it sounds like a conspiracy theory, which always fail the Occam’s Razor test–first, “frog in a pot” is assuming the government is competent enough to assassinate people to make its war more popular, and second, that his death would hurt, not help, the anti-war movement.

          1. And they have this ability but only used it once to kill Tillman.

            1. Most of what General McChrystal has done over a 33-year career remains classified, including service between 2003 and 2008 as commander of the Joint Special Operations Command, an elite unit so clandestine that the Pentagon for years refused to acknowledge its existence.

              1. I should roundhouse kick you for divulging this information.

                1. LOL!
                  Gotta find me first bigboy.

              2. So secret a movie was made about a certain JSOC component in 1986 . Don’t forget the highly classified wikipedia page. Somebody tell the secret squirrels they’re slipping.

                1. Who killed Bhutto?

                  Who controls the ISI?
                  Who started it?
                  Funds it?
                  The taliban?

                  Why are you prople so fucking retarded?

            2. “…they have this ability but only used it once to kill Tillman…”

              That you know of.

          2. It kept him from touring with Chomsky when he got back didnt it.

            1. I agree. The evidence is clear and all around us. All Americans who have ever tried to tour with Noam Chomsky have died mysterious deaths. Coincidence? Government conspiracy? Or something I just made up?

              1. Hey man, have you ever met anyone who toured with Noam Chomsky?

          3. Well, I do not believe the killing was a conspiracy, I believe it was likely a lone crazy, but I could be wrong. The government revealing such action would be damning. I don’t think it is too unlikely, while most of our troops are heroes, some of the are fucked up bastards.

        2. The drugs in the chemtrails make you disbelieve there are drugs in the chemtrails.

    3. first, there is no obsession, that’s a strawman. There is a moderate amount of interest.

      Two, it shows that the government in general, but specifically the military, can’t be trusted on anything, which has broader significance.

      Take Al-Awlaki, for example (the american citizen being targeted for murder by the C.I.A.). People assumehe is a dastardly terrorist because the feds say he is. Just like they said Tillman was a hero killed by terrorists. And WMD’s. And Bill didn’t have sex with that woman. And the people at Waco shot first.

      Pat is just part of a larger pattern.

    4. He wasn’t killed by .50 cal “rained” from long range, he was shot by 5.56 (and not .223). So even if the army didn’t have any other details whatsoever, they would immediately know that he was killed by friendly fire at small-arms range.
      3 shots to the head in the dark implies VERY close range, indeed.

      That’s why they had to burn all the evidence–which they did in the first 24 hrs.

      1. How can anyone tell it was 5.56 and not .223 just from the bullet holes? I expect there were lots of 5.56 casings around anyways, so that won’t help. I assume the difference is important because taliban sometimes use .233?

        1. Exit wounds would be different with the different rounds. It really wouldn’t be that hard to tell.

    5. Bullshit. 1 50 cal bullet will explode your head like a melon – the other two would not even have a chance to hit. It says he was shot 3 times in the head – even with a 5.56 i am suprised there was anything left.

  3. Facts which remain unanswered to this very day about Tillman’s death:

    — The military doctor who ascertain Tillman’s death wounds as 3 closely-spaced shots to the forehead, at a range of about 10 yards, or closer, immediately suspected foul play and asked his command to open a criminal investigation. It was denied.

    — Tillman’s body armor and uniform were burned, completely contrary to regulations, and his diary never recovered.

    — It was revealed in 2007 that there were Special Operations Forces snipers in the area, possibly private contractors in uniform, though no one really knows why.

    — No evidence at all of enemy fire was found at the scene _ no one was hit by enemy fire, nor was any government equipment struck.

    1. Three shots to the head and 5.56 rounds sounds like an M4 on burst. A decent infantryman (Ranger) can hit a head with an M4 from a couple hundred yards without a scope. If he saw killed by a sniper it would of been with a higher caliber round weapons that use 5.56 aren’t used by snipers.

      That takes care of your first and third points. The forth is known and doesn’t need an explanation.

      As for your third point it is pretty darned weird that his stuff was burned and I don’t have an explanation for it.

      1. And he was the ONLY ONE HIT????
        Come on its not rocket science here.

        1. Many Iraq and Afghanistan vets have embarrassed the military far more than Tillman’s planned meeting with Noam Chomsky. Why haven’t they been shot?

          1. Because they haven’t planned to meet with Noam Chomsky.

        2. He wasn’t the only one hit. An Afghan soldier on patrol with Tillman’s unit was also killed.

  4. Wes Clark: “Very Possible” Tillman Was Murdered
    from http://www.dailykos.com/storyo…..s-Murdered

    The Tillman family has not ruled anything out, and in fact, according to the Washington Post in 2007], Tillman’s mother, Mary Tillman,
    “has long suggested that her son was deliberately killed by his comrades, said she is still looking for answers and looks forward to the congressional hearings next week. “Nothing is going to bring Pat back. It’s about justice for Pat and justice for other soldiers. The nation has been deceived.””

    1. It is also possible that steel can’t melt when subjected to heat from the fire of aviation fuel to.

      Are you fucking kidding me? You honestly think that the government is competent enough to kill one of their own and get away with it? And no one rat it out?

      Let’s see which is more likely? That a infantry soldier in a combat zone was killed by friendly fire or that he was the victim of a murder plot coming from the White House? I am going with Mr Occam and taking the former.

      You are nut. Go back to the 1960s and look for the second gunman in Dallas.

      1. If Im a nut then Im in good company.GENERAL Wesley Clark suspects as much too.
        And Mcrystal was Cheny’s private assasin with his own team.They worked with the CIA and Blackwater.Most of what General McChrystal has done over a 33-year career remains classified, including service between 2003 and 2008 as commander of the Joint Special Operations Command, an elite unit so clandestine that the Pentagon for years refused to acknowledge its existence.

        1. Tell me, are there black helicopters that circle your house at night?

          1. What is the JSOC you fucking retard and I bet you dont believe we tortured people either right?

            To hide prisoners or facilities from the ICRC or to deny access to them is a serious war crime. But many US prisons in Iraq have held “ghost” prisoners whose imprisonment has not been reported to the ICRC, and these “ghosts” have usually been precisely the ones subjected to the worst torture. Camp Nama, run by McChrystal’s JSOC, was an entire “ghost” facility.

          2. If there were, Astrid, you wouldn’t see them because your head is jammed to far up your own ass.

      2. 3 shots.
        To the forehead.
        In the dark.
        Killer was allowed to approach to within 10 yards from the front.

        By all means, John, Occam’s Razor that.

        P.S. When one person does one thing and another helps them do it, that is a conspiracy. It’s not a dirty word, it’s a legal one.
        The commanding officer who immediately ordered all evidence burnt [and admits doing so IIRC] would be part of that conspiracy along with the shooter.

        1. They think because they learned the term Occam’s Razor it makes them smart.Its just a feeling.

      3. “Are you fucking kidding me? You honestly think that the government is competent enough to kill one of their own and get away with it? And no one rat it out?”

        Okay John, lets get this out of the way right quick; Conspiracies are not some miraculous occurrence of God, only being possible when all the planets are aligned perfectly on a night that the moon is purple. Governments, businesses, and regular people perpetrate them ALL the fucking time.
        Sure government is incompetent, especially so whjen it come to centrally managing the unknowable intricacies of a modern society, or keeping its spending reasonable in the face of bureaucracies burning through money they don?t need to work for to earn. However, none of these are to say that it somehow can?t manage a minor conspiracy involving the (possible) murder of one soldier in the back ends of assfuckistan. I mean, sure they’re incomptent, but the people that run the state also aren?t literal retards. And if they can run a massive federal bureaucracy, organize multi trillion dollar overseas military campaigns, and build the worlds largest highway network, amongst other things; then I?m pretty sure that conspiracies aren?t “utterly” out of their reach.
        Ever hear of the Manhattan Project? How about Operation Overlord? Or hell, why not the entire allied codebreaking effort of the second world war? These were all CONSPIRACIES >(by general defintion) and damn well maintained ones.

    2. You link to the daily kos to support your tin-hat theory?

      Nice.

      1. Or to put it more clearly, Mr. Hot Sauce, Mr. butthole. Mr. Butthole, Mr. Hot Sauce.

      2. Well if Clark talked to the Daily Kos then thats the link right genius?

        1. Right over his head.

  5. Pat Tillman’s Father To Army Investigator: ‘F— You…

    “You are a General,” Tillman’s father writes Jones after being presented with a briefing book of his findings.

    “There is no way a man like you, with your intelligence, education, military, experience, responsibilities (primarily for difficult situations), and rank… believes the conclusions reached in the March 31, 2005 Briefing Book. But your signature is on it. I assume, therefore, that you are part of this shameless bullshit. I embarrassed myself by treating you with respect [on] March 31, 2005. I thought your rank deserved it and anticipated something different from the new and improved investigation. I won’t act so hypocritically if we meet again.”

    “In sum: Fuck you… and yours.”

    1. Good for him.

  6. Dear Mr. Frog: I’m not sure what psychological benefit you get from making Tillman’s unfortunate death in an unfortunate war into a conspiracy, but good luck with that.

    1. I think he’s trying to get SS Disability payments.

    2. It was murder.The next day, Tillman’s Ranger body armor was burned because it was covered in blood and was considered a “biohazard.” His uniform was also burned. Jones noted that this amounted to the destruction of evidence. . . .
      They burned his diary too.

      1. In your theory, tillman was shot by a special forces sniper who also happens to be a private contractor and therefore not special forces.

        Also, they burned his uniform and body armor to cover up the crime. What possible evidentiary value is there in someone’s bloody clothes when they were shot in the head? Isn’t hte evidence all in the skull? what would the clothes tell you? that once you’re shot in the head, you bleed a lot?

        anyway, it’s useless to refute a conspiracy theorist because no amount of evidence or logic will ever convince. them.

    3. Um there’s already a conspiracy that’s been uncovered. They tried to cover up the friendly fire explanation.

      They also lied us into a pointless war. It’s not beyond the realm of possibility that there’s more to the Tillman story.

      1. Yes and McCrystal cover it up.Why wasnt he demoted too.

        1. simple, you get demoted for showing opposition to war…not loyalty to the war.

      2. So you dont think the kind of people who would lie us into war could kill some hero who was going to come home bite them in the ass?

        Are you fucking kidding me?THATS where these criminals would draw the line?

    4. Bingo: What psychological benefit do you get from refusing to believe a conspiracy might exist?
      What compels you to support murdering women and babies abroad?

  7. What was less well-known was that Tillman staunchly opposed the invasion of Iraq, and the Bush administration in general, by the time of his death.

    Tillman was an avid reader and excellent student at Arizona State, and read the Bible, the Koran, the Book of Mormon, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau.

    Another of his favorite authors was anti-war professor Dr. Noam Chomsky.
    Tillman’s friend and fellow soldier in Iraq, Spc. Russell Baer, told the San Francisco Chronicle in 2005:
    “I can see it like a movie screen. We were outside of [an Iraqi city] watching as bombs were dropping on the town…. We were talking. And Pat said, ‘You know, this war is so f*cking illegal.’ And we all said, ‘Yeah.’ That’s who he was. He totally was against Bush.”

    Tillman’s mother, Mary Tillman, confirms that he had an appointment with Dr. Chomsky, which Chomsky also confirms, upon his return to the states.

    Some speculate that Tillman may have been considering going public against the Iraq war, at a time when it was going badly and calls were growing for the impeachment of George Bush.

    1. “I can see it like a movie screen. We were outside of [an Iraqi city] watching as bombs were dropping on the town…. We were talking. And Pat said, ‘You know, this war is so f*cking illegal.’ And we all said, ‘Yeah.’ That’s who he was. He totally was against Bush.”

      To my knowledge, Tillman was never in Iraq, just A-stan.

      1. To my knowledge, Tillman was never in Iraq, just A-stan.

        To be fair, all those brown people are pretty much the same to frog.

        1. RETARD!!

          Military career

          He enlisted in June 2002, along with his brother Kevin, who gave up the chance of a career in professional baseball. In September 2002, they completed basic training.[7] The two brothers completed the Ranger Indoctrination Program in late 2002 and were assigned to the second battalion 75th Ranger Regiment in Fort Lewis, Washington. Tillman resided in University Place with his wife before being deployed to Iraq. After participating in the initial invasion of Operation Iraqi Freedom, in September 2003, he entered Ranger School at Fort Benning, Georgia, and graduated on November 28, 2003

          Where do they find you people?

      2. RETARD!!

        Military career

        He enlisted in June 2002, along with his brother Kevin, who gave up the chance of a career in professional baseball. In September 2002, they completed basic training.[7] The two brothers completed the Ranger Indoctrination Program in late 2002 and were assigned to the second battalion 75th Ranger Regiment in Fort Lewis, Washington. Tillman resided in University Place with his wife before being deployed to Iraq. After participating in the initial invasion of Operation Iraqi Freedom, in September 2003, he entered Ranger School at Fort Benning, Georgia, and graduated on November 28, 2003

      3. Well, if he never went to Iraq to YOUR knowledge, it must have never happened.

    2. Some speculate that Tillman may have been considering going public against the Iraq war…

      And for that, he was murdered? An E4 can’t be allowed some bitterness after serving in a war-zone? Granted, Tillman was a celebrity E4, but an E4 none the less. If McChrystal came out against the war, well then you would have something, but corporals don’t garner much attention.

      1. E-3 his was promoted after his death.

        1. What do you mean E-3 and promoted after death?

          1. He means that Tillman was posthumously promoted.

      2. Tillman would have.He was a hero.AND he would have been touring with Noam Chomsky,not well known in the US but a very well respected intellectual in the rest of the world.

        1. Respected by idiots, you mean.

          1. Yeah because an MIT professor is so stupid.Look in the mirror if you want to see stupid.

            MIT Faculty website
            5.^ Clark, Neil (2003-07-14). “Great thinkers of our time ? Noam Chomsky”. New Statesman. http://www.newstatesman.com/200307140016. Retrieved 2008-08-02. “Regarded as the father of modern linguistics, founder of the field of transformational-generative grammar, which relies heavily on logic and philosophy.”
            6.^ Fox, Margalit (1998-12-05). “A Changed Noam Chomsky Simplifies”. New York Times. http://select.nytimes.com/gst/…..ence/Times Topics/People/C/Chomsky, Noam. Retrieved 2008-08-02. “? Noam Chomsky, father of modern linguistics and the field’s most influential practitioner; ?”

  8. Most Americans still are unaware that experts such as Alan Sabrosky (Former U.S. Army War College & highly respected at the Pentagon) as well as FBI sources & German Intel., all say that MOSSAD,(Israel’s CIA) masterminded the 9/11 attacks to get the U.S. to go to war in the Middle East.

    Who ran airport securty at all three ports of alleged hijackings?

    That would be ICTS International / Huntsleigh USA (wholly owned subsidiary)

    Owned by Ezra Harel and Menachem Atzmon. Both Israelis.It was staffed by “experts” in the security and intelligence field.

    How convenient, a copy of the Koran sitting in a white van!! If that isn’t the most obvious planed political theater, I don’t know what is.

    First of all, a decorated Israeli soldier from the Yom Kippur War heard men speaking Hebrew planning the Attacks months beforehand.

    Second, multiple witnesses observed a group of men with what appeared to be radio-controlled detonators videoing and celebrating the 9/11 Attacks. These men were apprehended and held for several months, then released. They were Israelis, not Muslims. Some of these men later appeared on Israeli talk shows, denying that they celebrated but admitting that “they were sent over to document the Event.”
    This is an explicit admission that Israeli Intelligence had advance knowledge.
    These men were caught with some suspicious paraphernalia, cash, etc. When questioned they told the police, “We are your friends, we are not your problem, the Palestinians are your problem.”

    Third, F.B.I. lists Bin Laden on its wanted poster for the 1996 Attacks only, not the 9/11 Attacks, because they say they have insufficient evidence linking him to 9/11. They do admit that there is evidence connecting Israelis with the 9/11 Attacks, but say that the information is “classified.”

    Three, A group of MOSSAD Agents was shadowing the 9/11 hijackers in Miami; they rented the apartment next door. Also, seven supposed hijackers are still alive, having been victims of identity theft.

    Four, an additional witness who was the lone American employee of URBAN MOVING SYSYTEMS, a moving company in adjacent New Jersey (All the rest were Israelis) reported that they were also celebrating the 9/11 Attacks. After 9/11 they left the country so quickly, that other moving companies had to come in and finish their deliveries.

    Five. – Right during and after the 9/11 Attacks, the NYC 911 emergency dispatcher received an anonymous phone call saying that “a group of Palestinians in a White Van” were observed. The caller stressed that they “were dressed like Arabs” and used the word Palestinians. Evidently MOSSAD tried to create a link between the 9/11 Attacks and Palestinians

    Six – After the 9/11 Attacks, a group of IDF (Israeli) soldiers over in Palestine baited a group of Palestinians with sweets and jokes, and got them laughing. Then they videoed this behavior, sent it to the U.S. News Media, and stated that the Palestinians were “celebrating the fall of the Twin Towers.” The fraudent nature of this footage was not revealed in the main stream media.

    Seven ? The personality profile of the hijackers does not match the media images of devout jihandists leaving a Koran on the front seat of their van. They appeared to be party-going, hard-drinking, sexually active “guns for hire” types.

    Eight – In Oct. 2001, two men were caught with C-4 explosives, hand grenades and a high powered gun, trying to enter the Mexican Parliament Building. The story was headline news in Mexico, and the incident also appeared on the official site of the Mexican Justice Dept. CNN briefly mentioned a “breaking story” about a “foiled terrorist attack in Mexico” promising further news, but never mentioned the story again!! Astounding!!

    That doesn’t take away from the sentiments of Mr. Tillman, but they were misplaced, to say the least.

    1. [citation needed, motherfucker]

    2. Mossad is running the Taliban?
      A newspaper in Pakistan, quoting a website in the US says so.
      Intriquing?
      Tricky Joose.

      1. It’s so crazy it must be true!

      2. No WE ARE!!

  9. I know that I am probably wasting my time with this given that you can’t reason a man out of a position that he hasn’t reasoned himself into, but wasn’t Tillman’s brother on that same patrol?

    In fact Kevin Tillman says, “Pat’s death was clearly the result of fratricide,” (http://legacy.signonsandiego.com/news/military/20070424-0905-tillman-friendlyfire.html)

    Has he ever claimed his brother was intentionally killed? Given that, you know, he was there and it was only his brother and all.

    Hell, they were lost when the shooting occurred. Are we expected to believe that government killers are so good that they can set up an ambush on a convoy at a place where they aren’t supposed to be, but so incompetent that they can’t sufficiently cover it up?

    1. Pats brother wasnt there with him you fucking retard.Where do they find you people.How about doing the most minimal research before you post.

      1. I said he was in the convoy-and he was.

        http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITI…..index.html

        Seems like someone who was there might be able to tell whether or not it was fratricide. Unless you don’t think he cares about how his brother died.

        1. No you said he was THERE implying he was there when it happened and saw it.HE DID NOT.He pulled up LATER and wasnt informed of his brothers death till he asked where Pat was.

          1. Here’s my very first paragraph again for the comprehension impaired: “I know that I am probably wasting my time with this given that you can’t reason a man out of a position that he hasn’t reasoned himself into, but wasn’t Tillman’s brother on that same patrol?”

            You want to make implications from that, that’s on you.

            If Kevin TIllman really believed that some GI murdered his brother he out to have a good idea who it was and I don’t see why he wouldn’t call them out.

            He hasn’t.

            I understand that this family is hurting and that they are lashing out a little in their pain, but a simple autopsy could tell us what what wounds killed Pat Tillman and such an autopsy is entirely within the purview of the family to order. Again, they haven’t. I feel bad for them, but I’m not willing to make some GI out a murderer for an accident that I have no doubts he regrets every day.

            1. Yes well the family isnt dropping it are they.So what does THAT tell you genius.They think he was murdered.

    2. Kevin also told Congress his brother was murdered…”He said something along the line of : “They knew they were firing on friendly’s, then moved closer and kept firing!”

      1. The question is: “has Kevin Tillman ever claimed that his brother was intentionally killed?”

        He was justifiably angry that the government lied to cover up what happened about Pat’s death. If he suspected that the government intentionally killed his brother he would have been even angrier and would have said so.

        He hasn’t.

        1. His parents have.

    3. “Are we expected to believe that government killers are so good that they can set up an ambush on a convoy at a place where they aren’t supposed to be, but so incompetent that they can’t sufficiently cover it up?”

      Always ONE of the great flaws in conspiracy theories: brilliant operatives who carry out unbelievable acts but then leave clues strewn all over the place.

      1. much like the whole “lied us into the war thang”

        the same people who would knowingly lie about the causus belli (not merely be mistaken) would be unwilling to plant a few WMD’s?

        especially because IF they were lying, they knew there were no WMD’s and thus would have wanted to have some ready to plant.

        it’s a lot easier to plant some WMD’s in iraq than a lot of stuff conspiracy theorists accuse them of

        1. its not quite so simple as that though, if you?re going to plant finished WMD?s then you?d better present all kinds of evidence of an infrastructure to build them. Since, you know, Iraq would actually have to had made them somewhere.

          1. they wouldn’t even have to have done that. the point is that they found … essentially … nothing.

            IF they lied, iow weren’t merely mistaken, which is a huge lie, why not plant at least SOME stuff? if you are corrupt enough to do the lie, why not do the plant?

            it just doesn’t pass the smell test for me, and that’s primarily why.

            it wouldn’t take a grand conspiracy to plant them. it would actually be a “doable’ conspiracy, unlike … for example… planting all those alleged explosives in the WTC etc.

            remember when we found those war planes submerged under the sand? imagine if we had found some WMD’s.

            1. I forget who said this, but a comment on conspiracy theories in general goes something like “Never blame on conspiracy what can be attributed to incompetence or stupidity.”

              1. From wikipedia
                Hanlon’s Razor reads:

                Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

    4. To be a bit pedantic, if his BROTHER says it was FRATRICIDE, that’s not an accusation, it’s a CONFESSION.

      1. Right, because no one has ever heard of the phrase “Brothers in Arms” right? That would just be us making stuff up right?

        And I don’t know why everyone seems to be getting hung up on high level assassins or something. I doubt anyone high level had anything to do with it before the fact. Rather the people most likely to know were the people close to him, in his unit (that he was becoming disgruntled and planned to do something about it when he returned to the states). So someone in his unit felt betrayed, and decided to do something about it when the opportunity presented itself. When it became clear what happened it was decided the best thing to do is cover this up to avoid a shitstorm, and the whole medal thing was just a guilty conscience.

  10. [citation needed]

    1. In reply to Brian Westermen. Ack, squirrels!

    2. Yes, all over this motherfucker.

  11. solider accidentally killed in combat

    that’s it

  12. OK, lets pretend for a minute that the government decided Pat Tillman needed to be assassinated.

    It sounds like the assassination theorists posit two completely different theories. First, that some kind of sniper assassination squad took him out, and second, that he was shot in the head from close range by an M-16.

    You kind of need to settle on one of those, because they are completely inconsistent with one another.

    If he was shot from short range by an M-16, then I find it absolutely incredible that not one member of his squad wasn’t in on it. They must all be in on it, because none of them have come forward to corroborate the theory, right?

    If he was shot by a sniper assassin, then why the consistent claim that there was no hostile fire? Wouldn’t that be hostile fire? And, wouldn’t your sniper team use weapons known to be used by AQ? If he was killed by a sniper, the whole thing would have gone down as a routine combat death, wouldn’t it?

    1. We will never know because they destroyed all the evidence didnt they.Including his diary.

      1. Because his diary would have had the killer’s notarized confession in it.

        Those tricky bastards!

  13. If Pat Tillman wasn’t murdered, then why won’t “President” Obama release his long-form birth certificate?

    1. I’m just asking questions here.

      Can’t I just ask these questions?

      1. LOL!!
        Because hes a secret Kenyan muslim and he was created by the CIA to take over the government.They are all in on it…

        1. The Mombasa Candidate?

        2. Don’t forget that the Jews are actually running the whole thing. They planned it years ago.

          1. Well that goes without saying..Wink wink.Knudge knudge.

            But no really its the Zionists.They give jews a bad name.

          2. Actually, it’s the Zionist, Marxist Freemasons in collusion with the Bilderbergers. Oh, & probably the Trilateral Commission.

          3. They also attacked Pearl Harbor.

  14. Conspiracies involving a large number of people are nearly impossible to keep quiet. “Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead” and all that. Pat was killed by friendly fire in what MAY have been an intentional killing. If it was intentional, it was more likely an individual or small group of fellow soldiers. Even this seems unlikely. We’ll probably never know, because the army conspired to make it look like enemy fire for propaganda reasons. And utterly failed at it.

    1. This poem sucks, my ears hurt. I think that I’d almost prefer reading British poetry…sad, sad, sad!

      1. Oh freddled gruntbuggly
        thy micturations are to me
        as plurdled gabbleblotchits
        on a lurgid bee.

        1. But the ending is the best part!

          Groop I implore thee, my foonting turlingdromes. And hooptiously drangle me with crinkly bindlewurdles,
          Or I will rend thee in the gobberwarts with my blurglecruncheon, see if I don’t!

  15. Kevin Tillmans testimony before congress

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-EwReGl88o

    The family knows there is more here than meets the eye thats why they arent letting it go.Its not over yet.

    1. Do you think our crypto-muslim “president” is going to allow this patriot’s family any justice?

      1. Never.

        Its all over for us now.Get a koran and prayer rug.And burkas are kinda sexy in that come hither dont look at me way.

        1. Its all over for us now.Get a koran and prayer rug.And burkas are kinda sexy in that come hither dont look at me way.

          Especially the kind that hug the body just so. 🙂 (Of course it depends on the body.)

          1. You dont know till you know right?

      2. Never.

        Its all over for us now.Get a koran and prayer rug.And burkas are kinda sexy in that come hither dont look at me way.

        1. One day, Froggy, you’ll look back on this little exchange and realize the absurdity of what has just transpired.

          You’re not there yet, obviously.

          1. Its all absurd really.The game is over and we lost.

  16. Pats not the only one murdered either

    Ciara M. Durkin, Corporal, United States Army
    Oct 1, 2007 … The frustrated family of Quincy soldier Ciara Durkin, … She told her family to investigate if anything happened to her. …. Durkin of Quincy is being investigated as if she was murdered, a military spokesman said. … A portion of her ashes were interred at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia …
    http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/cmdurkin.htm – Cached – Similar

    Family of soldier killed in Afghanistan say she raised concerns …
    Oct 3, 2007 … “She told us if anything happened to her, that we were to investigate it. … thoroughly investigate the death of Durkin, a Quincy resident. …
    http://www.boston.com ? News ? Local ? Mass. – Similarr.

    1. Dang man, you’re the Energizer? Conspiracy Theory Bunny?, you just keep going, and going…

      1. Hey it was big news here in Mass.You know where they can read?

        She called her dad to say watch out if anything happens to her…

        You dont even want to know what I know about blackwater..XE..

        1. Where can they read? Can they read at home? On a log? With a frog?

          P.S. Saying yall in Mass can read would be more effective if you understood how to use punctuation and capitalization.

    2. Whew, glad I am not a Corporal anymore. Seems like the shadow government has it in for E-4s.

      1. I’m glad that I got a chance to finally use the unicode lightning bolt.

      2. Just corporals.

        See what happens when E-4’s forsake the protection of the Sham Shield for a lateral? No one messes with the Specialist Mafia.

  17. Just for shits and giggle, I’m dying to know what “frog in a pot” thinks about 9/11.

    Was it da Joooooos?

    The Bilderbergs?

    The illuminati?

    The Chinese?

    (puts popcorn in microwave…)

    1. Jeeezus man! Don’t you know anything?

      The first three are all the same group, and the fourth are their henchmen/patsies.

      It’s like explaining things to a child, these are the basics man.

    2. Who owned the lease for the world trade center………explains alot.

    3. Who owned the lease for the world trade center………explains alot.

      1. Wow so you really are one of those people. Retard.

  18. I’ve read Noam Chomsky too, I hope I’m not next!

    1. I’ve read Noam Chomsky too, I hope I’m not next!

      Indecipherable scribblings on the bathroom wall don’t count.

      1. Chomsky, Chomsky, who can I turn to?

        No, serious. I’ll prove it. Here’s a synopsis of every one of Chomsky’s political tracts:

        Look at all the bad things your government has done and is doing around the world.*

        That’s why we should ban guns and give the government more power.

        Believe me, I’m a really good linguist or some shit.

        -yours truly,
        Noam Chomsky

        *[fact citations will all be from the book I wrote before this one, where I cite yet an earlier work of mine.]

        Once the government finds out. I’m a dead man.

        1. Funny Chomsky is well respected all around the world but not here with our corporate media..gee.

          1. Yes Chomsky is respected all around the world where people accept authoritarianism.

          2. My opinions have been formed by buying and reading his books (from completely non-corporate publishers and booksellers I’m sure), of which i own 3 or 4.

            I used to respect him, until I got old enough to realize how backwards his conclusions were and how poor a lot of his sourcing is.

            Of course he’s respected in Europe. He criticizes the U.S., this doesn’t lend him legitimacy. It just makes Europe that much more stupid.

            1. Europe should respect James Bovard.

          3. Which only proves that the rest of the world is afflicted with an epidemic of trisomy 21.

  19. How about some “sympathy for the devil’? Gen. McChrystal wasn’t the ultimate fall guy. He got his marching orders from Cheney & Rumsfeld; he was their personal “Go to” general.

    And the Democratic Congress (and later President Obama) continued the whitewash of McChrystal’s role. I’ve been a bit perplexed that no one has pursued this story. I gave Krakauer much of this information last year. Although he used my material to update his “Where Men Win Glory” (revised paperback came out in July) with much more on McChrystal’s role, he never pursued the angle of the bipartisan cover-up. Perhaps too hot of a potato for “progressive” reporters to cover?

    It seems everyone just wants to “look backward” and blame Bush (Not that I’m a fan of Bush, or Obama; I must confess to being one of those Nader voters).

    1. Gen. McChrystal wasn’t the ultimate fall guy. He got his marching orders from Cheney & Rumsfeld;

      Who got their orders from the Illuminati. We already know all this.

      1. I think that if we find the shipping orders for large maps of the world and chairs especially designed to be placed in poorly lit rooms, we can unmask the vast conspiracy.

      2. But what about the Greys?

    2. “I gave Krakauer much of this information last year.”

      Chomsky confers with ME before deciding whether his pants go on before or after his shoes

    3. McChrystal wasn’t a fall guy; he never fell(at least not from this). The fall guy was Kensinger, who was conveniently retired at the time of the investigation.

  20. In his “The Fog of War” interview with Jason Guerrasio, Amir Bar-Lev, the director of “The Tillman Story,” said: “? there’s been no culpability on the second half of this tragedy, which is the higher ups trying to cover it up. ? to borrow a football metaphor, they [the Tillman family] ran the ball 99 yards over four years time, they handed it off at the one-yard line to Congress and they fumbled it….”

    Shortly after Sundance, Bar-Lev emailed me that “he was pretty hard on the Democratic Congress in his film.” True, his film does portray Congressman Waxman’s Oversight Committee as ineptly failing to get answers from the top military leadership during their hearing.

    However, Bar-Lev’s film missed the “untold story” that both the Democratic Congress and the Obama Presidency shielded General Stanley McChrystal from scrutiny and punishment for his central role in the cover-up of Pat Tillman’s friendly-fire death. This cover-up was a thoroughly bi-partisan affair. It wasn’t just a case of the Bush administration and the Army stonewalling the Democratic Congress. Congress didn’t just “fumble” the ball, they threw the game.

    It’s not surprising that after their initial cover-up of Pat Tillman’s friendly-fire death fell apart, Army officers and the Bush administration lied to protect their careers. But after they took control of both Houses of Congress in 2006, the Democrats (including Congressman Waxman, Senator Levin, Senator Webb) and Senator McCain could have gone after those responsible. Or at least not promoted them twice!

    Just before the 2006 mid-term elections, Kevin Tillman published his eloquent letter, “After Pat’s Birthday”. Kevin had hoped a Democratic Congress would bring accountability back to our country. But, just as with warrantless wiretapping and torture, those responsible for the cover-up of his brother’s friendly-fire death have never been held accountable for their actions.

    Last month I posted “The [Untold] Tillman Story” ? President Obama and the Bi-Partisan Congressional Whitewash of General Stanley McChrystal’s Cover-up of Pat Tillman’s Friendly-Fire Death, at http://www.feralfirefighter.blogspot.com

    1. Hey we are still free to torture and none of these libertariand cretins give a rats ass.All they care about is how much of daddies money will the government take.I could be spending that on porn!

      1. conspiracy nutjob, meet factual evidence. factual evidence, meet conspiracy nutjob:

        Reason on torture

        1. Thats why you vote republican right?Too late now though huh?Its not just our legacy its our future now too.No prosecutuions no end in sight.

          Thanks for that.

  21. If the Tillman fiasco gives pause to just one impressionable young mind before he signs up to murder women and babies in a foreign land, then it’ll be worth it.
    Pat Tillman sounds like a life badly wasted. I hope his family gets the answers they seek.

    1. Because…you might get killed in the army?

    2. Yes, because the majority of enlistees in our armed service signed up to “kill women and babies”. Why, that’s an Army Recruitment SOP, isn’t it? Fucking idiot.

    3. They actually though they were fighting to protect their country.
      Little did they know their fellow countrymen didnt give a rats ass about them or their country and let bush lie us into a war for profit too.

  22. lesson to be learned here, when you join the armed forces you give up EVERYTHING. there is no justice or rule of law to protect you.

  23. you know people are making up shit with this guy when you read he supposedly liked Chomsky.

    Ain’t nobody who voluntarily joined the military when he hardly needed to, and was a special forces guy, likes Chomsky. Ain’t nobody like that exists – those two things do not go together

    1. Tillman did seem to lack the appropriate levels of homo-communism to enjoy Chomsky. But the world is a complicated place and people are not piano keys.

    2. Edwin, you have watched too many movies.

  24. I am anti-documentary… Thank Michael Moore and Supersize Me for that.

    1. Waco Rules of Engagement is genuinely good.

    2. You never saw Super High Me, did you?

      heinous anus

    3. best documentary i have seen in a longtime is dogtown and z-boys

      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0275309/

      GREAT movie. you don’t have to be a skateboarding fan to love it, but it helps.

      even though it is narrated by douche of douches sean penn, it is still excellent.

      i also recommend smashing machine

      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0320512/

      about old skool mma guy mark kerr.

      neither doc is in any way, shape or form, political, which may be why they don’t suck

    4. My favorite doumentary is Sorority Sluts 9, which gives and in-depth look at the behind the scenes world of young women in college.

      It’s best in fifteen minute intervals.

  25. Lotsa people here are dismissing/disrespecting this dudes legacy. Dumb jock? Really? The guy denied millions to serve.

    And the reason this story is big with the anti-war crowd is that the way it was handled opens a window into the rulll fucked up way the military deals with accidents.

    1. That’s because it’s assumed that if you join the military, it’s either because your moral compass is fucked up or you are a dumb jock that likes to murder people. Unfortunately, these sad, derranged fucks wouldn’t understand that sometimes, there really are scary people in the world that would like to hurt you and your loved ones, and thoughts of the scary people propel some to risk their fucking lives to defend the people they love, including the anti-military, anti-servicemember wingnuts.

    2. has the thought ever crossed your mind that perhaps he joined not because of some post 9/11 patriotic duty but rather a personal journey/challenge? As a human he was a top specimen and he knew that he could go right to the top and be the elite so possibly he wanted to experience something for himself.

      Am I wrong?

      1. After having watched The Tillman Story, I’d say you got it pretty much right.

  26. Look I found frog in a pot, aka David Thompson, on youtube.

    Look I found frog in a pot, aka David Thompson, on youtube.

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  28. Too many people– and many of those in the media — are unaware of how common friendly fire occurs and how easy it is to happen. Christ, it happens frequently during deer-hunting season.

    However, you’d think that the military higher-ups would be more competent in explaining it and NOT even thinking of any sort of cover-ups.

  29. “According to one of his fellow soldiers, Tillman “was popular among his fellow soldiers and had no enemies.”

    Oh … that’s what it’s like for atheists in the military these days?

  30. BS, Who Cares. He got killed by friendly fire. BFD It happens. Get over this foolishness.

    1. That’s what his superiors shoulda said.

  31. It never ceases to amaze me how shocked people are at the callousness of military personnel. No s***. How could they be in the business of sacrificing lives for national security if they cried and held a vigil for every death, or even more absurd, just the deaths of attractive jocks with nice personalities.

    1. He wasn’t blonde. There’s a checklist before you get a vigil.

  32. If there was a conspiracy to murder, it would be more likely to be successful during a firefight with real enemy soldiers.

  33. He was a hero. The details of his death are sombering but he should make us as proud as the other soldiers that have lost their lives or have battled.

  34. Interesting article in the Saturday Telegraph this week: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/cul…..-hero.html

  35. Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced Wednesday, November 10, 2010, that President Obama has nominated Colonel Jeffrey L. Bailey for his first star.

    Bailey commanded Pat Tillman’s unit, the 2nd Ranger Battalion, during his friendly fire death. A memorandum of concern was placed in the file of then-Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bailey, the officer who explicitly threatened the local Rangers who knew what happened in the incident if they told anyone, specifically including Kevin Tillman, Pat’s brother who was in the same unit.

    Bailey visited the site of the calamity the following morning and, a few hours later, he called his boss and said (according to Bailey’s sworn testimony), “My gut feeling was that Tillman had been killed by friendly fire?. There was no doubt about it. It was a case where there were six or seven Rangers that saw the vehicle shooting at them.” According to Army regulations, this information should have been immediately shared with the Tillman family, even if friendly fire was only a possibility. Instead, Bailey and others embarked on an elaborate campaign to suppress the truth and persuade both the family and the public that Tillman was killed by enemy fire. Tillman’s notebook, uniform, ammo vest, and body armor were burned, in clear violation of other important protocols. Within two days of Tillman’s death, Bailey initiated paperwork to give Tillman the Silver Star, the military’s third highest decoration for valor.

    Bailey is currently serving as deputy commander (operations), 4th Infantry Division (Mechanized)/U.S. Division-North, Operation New Dawn, Iraq.

    The appointment is subject to confirmation by the Senate.

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