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Pat and Mary Tillman Are Saluted in N.Y. Times

Posted on May 8, 2008
Pat Tillman

From football field to battlefield: After 9/11, Pat Tillman chose to put aside his NFL career to fight in Afghanistan, where he was killed in 2004.

Four years after Pat Tillman’s death by friendly fire in Afghanistan, his mother, Mary Tillman, is still asking questions—primarily about the U.S. government’s initial cover-up of the details of Pat’s death and about how far up the chain of command the deception extended.  Here, New York Times sports writer George Vecsey praises Mary Tillman and her new memoir, “Boots on the Ground by Dusk: My Tribute to Pat Tillman.”

Click here to read “After Pat’s Birthday,” the moving essay by Kevin Tillman, Pat’s brother, which was first published on Truthdig in 2006.

The New York Times:

Some of the details in Tillman’s book ought to make us sick. In one case, a superior officer, a professed Christian, learns that the Tillmans prefer not to have a chaplain preside over the services and he makes disparaging remarks about the family.

[...] In another case, an investigating officer is giving testimony about the forensic conditions of Tillman’s death but is taken out of the room, only to soften his remarks. When he expresses his lingering concerns, a superior officer says, “I appreciate your candor,” which in military-corporate speak means, “I’ll get you later.”

Mary Tillman believes officers lied to please, or to obey, the White House and the Pentagon, but she acknowledges there is “no paper trail.”

In the grand tradition of patriots who put down their plows or their tools in order to serve, her son put down his football helmet. In the grand tradition of mothers, and the way military leaders ought to be, Mary Tillman stands guard for her son.

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Editor’s note: Truthdig Editor Robert Scheer’s wife, Narda Zacchino, collaborated with Mary Tillman in writing the book, and Truthdig Literary Editor Steve Wasserman is the authors’ agent.

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By Douglas Chalmers, May 10, 2008 at 6:21 pm Link to this comment

Then there is this…....

WASHINGTON - The Pentagon on Friday announced changes to procedures for the cremation of slain US troops after concerns emerged about the military’s use of a crematorium that burns both human and animal remains….

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By Douglas Chalmers, May 9, 2008 at 8:31 pm Link to this comment

Quote Kevin Tillman: “Somehow the more soldiers that die, the more legitimate the illegal invasion becomes…..  Somehow American leadership, whose only credit is lying to its people and illegally invading a nation, has been allowed to steal…”

I was watching an old doco recently on the first world war (WW1) and how the battles in the trenches in France began. One of the German commanders proudly described it as intentionally setting up a “mincing machine” in which some 8 or 9 million young mens’ lives were ultimately wantonly squandered as well as the lives and futures of countless civilians.

But the whole imperative behind it all was not fear or anger or aggression or nationalism or pride. It was the obscene profits like never before made by the war mongers on both sides with their shareholdings in the gigantic munitions factories, the armaments factories and the iron ore and coal mines that supported them and the shipment of materals and their evil products.

But what has changed today is that the military-industrial complex which energizes and demands war and bodies to feed on and payment in blood for oil is totally one-sided. These are no longer wars of nation pitted against nation but invasions of weaker, much smaller nations by the one main global hegemonic power desperate to retain its dominance over ALL other nations.

That is NOT freedom and it is NOT democracy and it is NOT bringing peace! In military dictatorships of the recent past such as Maoist China or the Suharto/Sukarno Indonesia, individual citizens had about the same freedoms as any democracy as long as they didn’t challenge their powers-that-be. Americans only really live in a delusion of a democracy.

As Nigerian singer Fela Kuti once called it in one of his songs, “Mock-racy” or “Demo-crazy”. That is all you really have now in America. All of your thinking is being done for you as you are fed a steady stream of gratuitous lies about yourselves and malicious distortions about the rest of the world.

The simplistic half-drivel in the NYTimes article by a confused sports writer out of his depth in world affairs or the social realm is little different. It is not at all about the false ”...grand tradition of patriots who put down their plows or their tools in order to serve…” which has been the deceptive justification for American self-genocide since the US civil war of the 1800’s.

Such terminology belies the REAL service and self-sacrifice in ”...the grand tradition of ALL MOTHERS…” who have given birth and LIFE to ALL OF US and Mary Tillman should NOT have to stand guard for her son because of the self-serving Machiavellian imperatives of the pigs on Wall Street.

Sad also that the same writer recently took exception to “Beijing’s poor record in human rights” over the Olympics and Tibet despite the fact that China hasn’t invaded any country for centuries. And that is despite the fact that it has 14 nations on its immediate borders and a couple more offshore.

Considering that parts of China are still struggling as the USA was in the 1930’s-40’s, it is presumptious of any American to tell anyone anywhere in Asia (between Turkey and Taiwan, that is) why it is so appropriate for the USA to recently turn once-progressive Iraq into another great depression of the 1920’s and far worse merely over the question of what currency its oil should be traded in.

On this coming MOTHERS DAY in May 2008, Americans still have a lot to learn…....

To paraphrase Kevin Tillman: People still have a voice.  People still can take action.  Pity that it couldn’t have started after Pat Tillman’s birthday commemoration in November, 2006.

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By 7man, May 9, 2008 at 12:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I applaud the work that Mary Tillman has done to get out the truth about her son’s death (by our own forces). I’m also encouraged by the NYTs recognition of her efforts. Perhaps now, the NYTs can applaud the efforts of the 9/11 Truth Movement, for its similar quest for the raw truth behind the 3000+ deaths on 9/11. Where has the press been hiding all of this time?

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