Nine Officers Blamed in Tillman Cover-Up
The findings of an investigation into the cover-up of the circumstances of Pat Tillman’s death won’t be officially released until Monday, but details are leaking out. According to Defense Department officials, the report will recommend holding nine officers, including up to four generals, accountable.
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WASHINGTON (AP) — A Pentagon investigation will recommend that nine officers, including up to four generals, be held accountable for missteps in the aftermath of the friendly fire death of Army Ranger Pat Tillman in Afghanistan, senior defense officials said Friday.
The Defense Department inspector general will cite a range of errors and inappropriate conduct as the military probed the former football star’s death on the battlefront in 2004, said one defense official.
The official, who like the others requested anonymity because the Army has not publicly released the information, said it appears senior military leaders may not have had all the facts or worked hard enough to get the facts of what happened on April 22, 2004, when Tillman was killed by members of his own platoon.
Dozens of soldiers – those immediately around Tillman at the scene of the shooting, his immediate superiors and high-ranking officers at a command post nearby – knew within minutes or hours that his death was fratricide.
Even so, the Army persisted in telling Tillman’s family he was killed in a conventional ambush, including at his nationally televised memorial service 11 days later. It was five weeks before his family was told the truth, a delay the Army has blamed on procedural mistakes.
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