A memo addressed to Gen. John Abizaid revealed that Pat Tillman’s death probably involved “friendly fire” and warned that the president could embarrass himself by claiming other circumstances. The document, dated seven days after Tillman was killed in Afghanistan, implicates higher-ranking officers than those cited by a military investigation into a possible coverup.
AP via SFGate:
Just seven days after Pat Tillman’s death, a top general warned there were strong indications that it was friendly fire and President Bush might embarrass himself if he said the NFL star-turned-soldier died in an ambush, according to a memo obtained by The Associated Press.
It was not until a month afterward that the Pentagon told the public and grieving family members the truth—that Tillman was mistakenly killed in Afghanistan by his comrades.
The memo reinforces suspicions that the Pentagon was more concerned with sparing officials from embarrassment than with leveling with Tillman’s family.
In a memo sent to a four-star general a week after Tillman’s April 22, 2004, death, then-Maj. Gen. Stanley McChrystal warned that it was “highly possible” the Army Ranger was killed by friendly fire.
“I felt that 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 public embarrassment if the circumstances of Cpl. Tillman’s death become public,” McChrystal wrote.