Once again (in what we are learning is a story which seems to get worse every time we get closer to the truth,) we've learned some disturbing new details regarding the death of Pat Tillman.
Tillman, you may recall, was the NFL star who left a career worth millions of dollars per year to join the elite U.S. Army Rangers (along with his brother Kevin) after 9/11 so he could fight in Afghanistan against the people who had actually attacked us. After a stint in Iraq, where he told comrades that he opposed the Iraq war and believed that it served no purpose in the war against bin Laden and al-Qaeda, he was redeployed to Afghanistan where he died on April 22, 2004. Within hours, a heroic story about his death was put out, and he was even awarded a silver star. A nice touch, it turned out to what was even then known to be a big lie.
But in today's story, we learn much more. Much more disturbing.
SAN FRANCISCO - Army medical examiners were suspicious about the close proximity of the three bullet holes in Pat Tillman's forehead and tried without success to get authorities to investigate whether the former NFL player's death amounted to a crime, according to documents obtained by the Associated Press.
"The medical evidence did not match up with the scenario as described," a doctor who examined Tillman's body after he was killed on the battlefield in Afghanistan in 2004 told investigators.
The doctors, whose names were blacked out, said that the bullet holes were so close together that it appeared the Army Ranger was cut down by an M-16 fired from a mere 10 yards or so away....
The documents show that a doctor who autopsied Tillman's body was suspicious of the three gunshot wounds to the forehead. The doctor said he took the unusual step of calling the Army's Human Resources Command and was rebuffed. He then asked an official at the Army's Criminal Investigation Division if it would consider opening a criminal case.
"He said he talked to his higher headquarters, and they had said no," the doctor testified.
We also learned this:
• 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.
After their first set of lies was exposed, the Pentagon and the White House are still sticking stubbornly to their second story, that it was a friendly fire 'accident,' even now offering up the heads of several generals on a platter.
But the evidence is still there, that this was no accident. And the motivation is clear: Pat Tillman was well known to personally oppose the Iraq war, which was not the war he signed up to fight. And after his commitment was over, he'd have been a devastatingly effective opponent of that war. Even Ann Coulter would have had a tough time attacking Tillman after he got home from both Afghanistan and Iraq, and began speaking out against the Iraq war. April 2004 was the month that Iraq boiled over and it was clear that the U.S. would be there longer than Tillman's commitment. So suddenly he died, conveniently in the war he had volunteered for, and within hours the heroism story was out, carefully scripted and made to order, complete with silver star.
Mary Tillman is right, this doesn't pass the sniff test. There is more here that needs to be investigated. Let's hope that Congress demands to know the names of the doctors involved and determines why their suspicions that it was murder weren't acted on. It is true that the army did eventually conduct an inquiry in which they asked if any of the men in his unit disliked Tillman. But maybe that isn't the inquiry that needs to be asked in regard to what appears to be a cold blooded case of murder. Maybe the question needs to be asked, who was afraid of Pat Tillman, and how far would they go in order to prevent him from saying what he was going to say after he left the army?