Pentagon Report on Tillman Fratricide Leaves Many Questions Unanswered
The Tillman family and members of Congress expressed disappointment at the story presented by the Pentagon on Monday during a briefing regarding the investigations into the death of Pat Tillman and the subsequent military cover-up.
Tillmans assail Pentagon report
Family sees whitewash in death of soldier
By Robert Collier, Edward Epstein, Chronicle Staff Writers
The family of former NFL football star and Army Ranger Pat Tillman denounced the results of a Pentagon investigation released Monday that found neither criminal wrongdoing in his death by friendly fire nor an orchestrated effort to cover up details of the incident.
A report by the inspector general, the military’s investigative branch, found that nine Army officers, including four generals, were aware that Tillman’s death in Afghanistan was caused by the bullets of fellow soldiers, not by Taliban guerrillas as the Pentagon insisted for five weeks after the April 22, 2004, shooting.
Investigators recommended that the officers be held accountable for making misleading statements about Tillman’s death, but the 18-month investigation found no plot to conceal the friendly fire incident.
In a statement Monday night, Tillman’s family said testimony released with the Pentagon’s report revealed “an overpowering suggestion of violations of law, regulation and policy that reaches from the vehicle that fired on Pat and took his life to the Office of the Secretary of Defense.”
The statement, co-signed by half a dozen of his close relatives, added: “In our opinion, this attempt to impose closure by slapping the wrists of a few officers and enlisted men is yet another bureaucratic entrenchment.”