Pat Tillman's birthday is Nov. 6, and we wish to commemorate his life by republishing Truthdig's most popular piece, "After Pat's Birthday," written by Pat's brother, Kevin Tillman.On Pat Tillman's birthday, we wish to commemorate his life by republishing Truthdig's most popular piece, written by Pat's brother, Kevin Tillman.
Nearly three and a half years after Pat Tillman's death, the Army has issued a formal mea culpa to his family, admitting through Secretary of the Army Pete Geren on Tuesday that his family's grief "was compounded by the failing of his Army" with respect to its duty to inform families quickly and thoroughly about their losses.
The Army is punishing seven officers for mishandling the Pat Tillman case, according to ABC News. The harshest punishment reportedly is being meted out to Lt. Gen. Philip Kensinger, who allegedly deceived investigators about when he knew the facts about Tillman's death.
The House Oversight Committee has sent requests to the White House and Pentagon asking for all documents related to the death of Pat Tillman. The committee is investigating why the Army misrepresented the circumstances of the Ranger's death. Key to that effort is a letter sent by a top general urging Gen. John Abizaid to warn the White House.
"I was ordered not to tell them," testified U.S. Army Spc. Bryan O'Neal on Tuesday. According to the AP, the Army Ranger was instructed by a superior to conceal information about the friendly-fire incident from Pat's brother and fellow Army Ranger Kevin Tillman on threat of punishment.
Testifying before the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform, Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman's brother and mother criticized the Pentagon and the government, which they said manipulated the truth for the sake of political gain.
From documents already released, it has become clear that the Army acted inappropriately following the death of Pat Tillman, destroying evidence, instituting an "information lockdown" and possibly even discussing a PR strategy. Congress will now investigate the matter, with the aid of uncensored documents and testimony from the Tillman family.