Tillman brother blasts military
WASHINGTON (AP) — Pat Tillman’s brother accused the military Tuesday of “intentional falsehoods” and “deliberate and careful misrepresentations” in portraying the football star’s death in Afghanistan as the result of heroic engagement with the enemy instead of friendly fire.
“We believe this narrative was intended to deceive the family but more importantly the American public,” Kevin Tillman told a hearing of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee. “Pat’s death was clearly the result of fratricide,” he said.
“Revealing that Pat’s death was a fratricide would have been yet another political disaster in a month of political disasters … so the truth needed to be suppressed,” said Tillman, who was in a convoy behind his brother when the incident happened three years ago but didn’t see it.
He said the Tillman family has sought for years to get at the truth about Pat Tillman’s death.
“We have now concluded that our efforts are being actively thwarted by powers that are more interested in protecting a narrative than getting at the truth and seeing justice is served,” he said.
Tillman was killed on April 22, 2004, after his Army Ranger comrades were ambushed in eastern Afghanistan. Rangers in a convoy trailing Tillman’s group had just emerged from a canyon where they had been fired upon. They saw Tillman and mistakenly fired on him.
Committee chairman Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., contended that the federal government invented “sensational details and stories” about the death of Pat Tillman and the rescue of Jessica Lynch from Iraq.
“The government violated its most basic responsibility,” said Waxman.