In a hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Wednesday, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld testified he had not known the real circumstances of Pat Tillman’s death in April 2004 and that he would not characterize the Army’s handling of the friendly-fire case as a “cover-up.”

AP via

Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., charged that unanswered questions surrounding Tillman’s death reach into the highest ranks of the Pentagon and beyond.

“The concealment of Cpl. Tillman’s fratricide caused millions of Americans to question the integrity of our government, yet no one will tell us when and how the White House learned the truth,” said Waxman.

But Rumsfeld said he’d always impressed upon Pentagon underlings the importance of telling the truth.

“Early in my tenure as secretary of defense, I wrote a memo for the men and women of the Department of Defense,” Rumsfeld said. “You will note that principle number one — the very first — was: ‘Do nothing that could raise questions about the credibility of DOD.’ ”

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