New Details On Pat Tillman's Death Point To Murder

jpeyton

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By MARTHA MENDOZA

Army medical examiners were suspicious about the close proximity of the three bullet holes in Pat Tillman's forehead and tried without success to get authorities to investigate whether the former NFL player's death amounted to a crime, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

"The medical evidence did not match up with the, with the scenario as described," a doctor who examined Tillman's body after he was killed on the battlefield in Afghanistan in 2004 told investigators.

The doctors - whose names were blacked out - said that the bullet holes were so close together that it appeared the Army Ranger was cut down by an M-16 fired from a mere 10 yards or so away.

Ultimately, the Pentagon did conduct a criminal investigation, and asked Tillman's comrades whether he was disliked by his men and whether they had any reason to believe he was deliberately killed. The Pentagon eventually ruled that Tillman's death at the hands of his comrades was a friendly-fire accident.

The medical examiners' suspicions were outlined in 2,300 pages of testimony released to the AP this week by the Defense Department in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

Among other information contained in the documents:

_ In his last words moments before he was killed, Tillman snapped at a panicky comrade under fire to shut up and stop "sniveling."

_ Army attorneys sent each other congratulatory e-mails for keeping criminal investigators at bay as the Army conducted an internal friendly-fire investigation that resulted in administrative, or non-criminal, punishments.

_ The three-star general who kept the truth about Tillman's death from his family and the public told investigators some 70 times that he had a bad memory and couldn't recall details of his actions.

_ No evidence at all of enemy fire was found at the scene - no one was hit by enemy fire, nor was any government equipment struck.

The Pentagon and the Bush administration have been criticized in recent months for lying about the circumstances of Tillman's death. The military initially told the public and the Tillman family that he had been killed by enemy fire. Only weeks later did the Pentagon acknowledge he was gunned down by fellow Rangers.

With questions lingering about how high in the Bush administration the deception reached, Congress is preparing for yet another hearing next week.

The Pentagon is separately preparing a new round of punishments, including a stinging demotion of retired Lt. Gen. Philip R. Kensinger Jr., 60, according to military officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because the punishments under consideration have not been made public.

In more than four hours of questioning by the Pentagon inspector general's office in December 2006, Kensinger repeatedly contradicted other officers' testimony, and sometimes his own. He said on some 70 occasions that he did not recall something.

At one point, he said: "You've got me really scared about my brain right now. I'm really having a problem."

Tillman's mother, Mary Tillman, who has long suggested that her son was deliberately killed by his comrades, said she is still looking for answers and looks forward to the congressional hearings next week.

"Nothing is going to bring Pat back. It's about justice for Pat and justice for other soldiers. The nation has been deceived," she said.

The documents show that a doctor who autopsied Tillman's body was suspicious of the three gunshot wounds to the forehead. The doctor said he took the unusual step of calling the Army's Human Resources Command and was rebuffed. He then asked an official at the Army's Criminal Investigation Division if the CID would consider opening a criminal case.

"He said he talked to his higher headquarters and they had said no," the doctor testified.

Also according to the documents, investigators pressed officers and soldiers on a question Mrs. Tillman has been asking all along.

"Have you, at any time since this incident occurred back on April 22, 2004, have you ever received any information even rumor that Cpl. Tillman was killed by anybody within his own unit intentionally?" an investigator asked then-Capt. Richard Scott.

Scott, and others who were asked, said they were certain the shooting was accidental.

Investigators also asked soldiers and commanders whether Tillman was disliked, whether anyone was jealous of his celebrity, or if he was considered arrogant. They said Tillman was respected, admired and well-liked.

The documents also shed new light on Tillman's last moments.

It has been widely reported by the AP and others that Spc. Bryan O'Neal, who was at Tillman's side as he was killed, told investigators that Tillman was waving his arms shouting "Cease fire, friendlies, I am Pat (expletive) Tillman, damn it!" again and again.

But the latest documents give a different account from a chaplain who debriefed the entire unit days after Tillman was killed.

The chaplain said that O'Neal told him he was hugging the ground at Tillman's side, "crying out to God, help us. And Tillman says to him, `Would you shut your (expletive) mouth? God's not going to help you; you need to do something for yourself, you sniveling ..."

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Obviously, when this much contradiction is going on, people are having trouble keeping their fabricated stories straight. The crime itself was heinous; killing a fellow soldier in cold blood. But the cover-up just shows the lengths that the Bush administration will go to keep their war in the best light possible. What I don't understand is why? The war in Afghanistan was largely supported throughout the US and the world; it didn't need to be protected from bad PR, unlike Iraq.
 

Phokus

Lifer
Nov 20, 1999
22,995
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The first casualty of war is truth. Whoever was involved in the coverup should be jailed.
 

ProfJohn

Lifer
Jul 28, 2006
18,251
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Do we know where Dick Cheney was at the time of Tillman?s death?
Is it true that he was on a hunting trip in Afghanistan? :roll:
 

cliftonite

Diamond Member
Jul 15, 2001
6,898
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Originally posted by: ProfJohn
Do we know where Dick Cheney was at the time of Tillman?s death?
Is it true that he was on a hunting trip in Afghanistan? :roll:

wouldnt suprise me ;)
 

DangerAardvark

Diamond Member
Oct 22, 2004
7,581
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I haven't bothered with the details of this case before, but am I hallucinating or did I read he was shot in the FOREHEAD with a 3 ROUND BURST with such tight grouping that it was clearly done at no more than 30 FEET? Jesus Christ! How long has this information been out?
 

Phokus

Lifer
Nov 20, 1999
22,995
776
126
Originally posted by: DangerAardvark
I haven't bothered with the details of this case before, but am I hallucinating or did I read he was shot in the FOREHEAD with a 3 ROUND BURST with such tight grouping that it was clearly done at no more than 30 FEET? Jesus Christ! How long has this information been out?

Just recently. Unfortunately, the gov't had to rape the truth and squeeze every ounce of 'patriotism' and support for the war out of his death first.
 

ProfJohn

Lifer
Jul 28, 2006
18,251
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Originally posted by: Phokus
Originally posted by: Genx87
Somebody has some explaining to do.
*cough* Donald Rumsfeld and possibly George Bush *cough*
You guys are so off your rockers at times. Do you really think Bush and Rumsfeld have anything to do with this at all?
Those two probably knew NOTHING of the details of the Tillman case.
 

Phokus

Lifer
Nov 20, 1999
22,995
776
126

daveymark

Lifer
Sep 15, 2003
10,576
1
0
Originally posted by: ProfJohn
Originally posted by: Phokus
Originally posted by: Genx87
Somebody has some explaining to do.
*cough* Donald Rumsfeld and possibly George Bush *cough*
You guys are so off your rockers at times. Do you really think Bush and Rumsfeld have anything to do with this at all?
Those two probably knew NOTHING of the details of the Tillman case.

you should know by now; the dem response for anything that goes wrong is "Bush's Fault"
 

ProfJohn

Lifer
Jul 28, 2006
18,251
8
0
Originally posted by: Phokus
Originally posted by: ProfJohn
Originally posted by: Phokus
Originally posted by: Genx87
Somebody has some explaining to do.
*cough* Donald Rumsfeld and possibly George Bush *cough*
You guys are so off your rockers at times. Do you really think Bush and Rumsfeld have anything to do with this at all?
Those two probably knew NOTHING of the details of the Tillman case.

Hi.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories...Sattr=Politics_3057506
The story you are posting deals with how and when the Bush White House learned the details of Tillman?s death. It has NOTHING to do with the White House or Rumsfeld trying to cover up the details of his death.

What I am objecting too, and I think my post was rather clear on this, is the idea that Bush or Rumsfeld are some how involved in the ?cover up? surrounding the details of Tillman?s death.

Now I can?t explain why the White House is stonewalling on this. Either they feel they have a legitimate reason to withhold this information from the congress or they are just hiding more embarrassing details about what they knew and when.
 

bamacre

Lifer
Jul 1, 2004
21,030
2
61
Originally posted by: ProfJohn
Either they feel they have a legitimate reason to withhold this information from the congress or they are just hiding more embarrassing details about what they knew and when.

$100 on black, please.
 

Phokus

Lifer
Nov 20, 1999
22,995
776
126
Originally posted by: ProfJohn
Originally posted by: Phokus
Originally posted by: ProfJohn
Originally posted by: Phokus
Originally posted by: Genx87
Somebody has some explaining to do.
*cough* Donald Rumsfeld and possibly George Bush *cough*
You guys are so off your rockers at times. Do you really think Bush and Rumsfeld have anything to do with this at all?
Those two probably knew NOTHING of the details of the Tillman case.

Hi.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories...Sattr=Politics_3057506
The story you are posting deals with how and when the Bush White House learned the details of Tillman?s death. It has NOTHING to do with the White House or Rumsfeld trying to cover up the details of his death.

What I am objecting too, and I think my post was rather clear on this, is the idea that Bush or Rumsfeld are some how involved in the ?cover up? surrounding the details of Tillman?s death.

Now I can?t explain why the White House is stonewalling on this. Either they feel they have a legitimate reason to withhold this information from the congress or they are just hiding more embarrassing details about what they knew and when.


What. The. Hell. Are. You. Talking. About.


"Those two probably knew NOTHING of the details of the Tillman case."

My link was EXACTLY responding to that you compulsive liar.


You have an urgent PM regarding understanding the forum rules

Senior Anandtech Moderator
Common Courtesy

 

maluckey

Platinum Member
Jan 31, 2003
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So, I see nothing new in this thread.

First, what kind of weapon killed him? Were all three bullets from one rifle? If not, where's the issue. If so, who was the trigger puller? Any secret told to more than one person is no longer a secret.....especially true with the government.

If you don't have the answers to the above, then you have nothing ot go off of. All the above information is easy to come by with a bit of detective work.

Also, not everyone (esp. true with Rangers) use M4's. Therefore assuming a three-round burst may be premature.
 

kylebisme

Diamond Member
Mar 25, 2000
9,396
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0
Originally posted by: maluckey
So, I see nothing new in this thread.

First, what kind of weapon killed him?
The article says M-16 on the third line.

Originally posted by: maluckey
Were all three bullets from one rifle? If not, where's the issue.
Seems like you are tring not to see an issue, being shot square in the head by three seprate M-16 would be argably even worse.
 

kage69

Lifer
Jul 17, 2003
27,276
36,391
136
Aw man... this makes an already sad and stomach-turning story all the more worse.


"Nothing is going to bring Pat back. It's about justice for Pat and justice for other soldiers. The nation has been deceived," she said.


She's got that right. My heart goes out to the Tillman family.
rose.gif
:( The people involved in this cover-up should burn in hell. That this incident was rolled up into a patriotic stroke fest makes me want to puke.
 

1EZduzit

Lifer
Feb 4, 2002
11,834
1
0
Originally posted by: maluckey
So, I see nothing new in this thread.

First, what kind of weapon killed him? Were all three bullets from one rifle? If not, where's the issue. If so, who was the trigger puller? Any secret told to more than one person is no longer a secret.....especially true with the government.

If you don't have the answers to the above, then you have nothing ot go off of. All the above information is easy to come by with a bit of detective work.

Also, not everyone (esp. true with Rangers) use M4's. Therefore assuming a three-round burst may be premature.

Did anybody check into that or where they all too busy covering it up? Perhaps because they already knew the answer?
 

dmcowen674

No Lifer
Oct 13, 1999
54,894
47
91
www.alienbabeltech.com
Originally posted by: ProfJohn
Originally posted by: Phokus
Originally posted by: Genx87
Somebody has some explaining to do.
*cough* Donald Rumsfeld and possibly George Bush *cough*
You guys are so off your rockers at times. Do you really think Bush and Rumsfeld have anything to do with this at all?

Those two probably knew NOTHING of the details of the Tillman case.

It's sure looking like they were told.

I wouldn't be surprised.
 

dualsmp

Golden Member
Aug 16, 2003
1,626
44
91
If this story gains any traction it could bring some serious heat down on the current administration. Will the lap dog media do its job? Lets wait and see.

Also see Keith Olbermann's interview with Gen. Wesley Clark about the Pat Tillman case. Fast forward to 3:07.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...FNation%2F147532%2Easp

http://www.baltimoresun.com/ne...8jul28,0,6784846.story

Tillman case raised doubts

Suspicious about wounds, doctor asked for probe, was rebuffed

Associated Press
July 28, 2007

SAN FRANCISCO - Army medical examiners were suspicious about the proximity of the three bullet holes in Pat Tillman's forehead and tried without success to get authorities to investigate whether the former NFL player's death involved a crime, according to documents obtained by the Associated Press.

"The medical evidence did not match up with the scenario as described," a doctor who examined Tillman's body after he was killed on the battlefield in Afghanistan in 2004 told investigators.

The doctors - whose names were blacked out - said the bullet holes were so close together that it appeared the Army Ranger was cut down by an M-16 fired from about 10 yards away.

Ultimately, the Pentagon did conduct a criminal investigation and asked Tillman's comrades whether he was disliked by his men and whether they had any reason to believe that he had been deliberately killed. The Pentagon eventually ruled that Tillman's death at the hands of his comrades was an accident.

The medical examiners' suspicions were outlined in 2,300 pages of testimony released to the AP this week by the Defense Department in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

Among the information, the documents said that:

? In his last words moments before he was killed, Tillman snapped at a panicky comrade under fire to shut up and stop "sniveling."

? Army attorneys sent each other congratulatory e-mail for keeping criminal investigators at bay as the Army conducted an internal investigation that resulted in administrative, non-criminal punishments.

? The three-star general who withheld the truth about Tillman's death from his family and the public told investigators about 70 times that he had a bad memory and couldn't recall details of his actions.

? No evidence of enemy fire was found. No one was hit by enemy fire, nor was any government equipment struck.

The Pentagon and the Bush administration have been criticized in recent months for lying about the circumstances of Tillman's death. The military initially told the public and the Tillman family that he had been killed by enemy fire. Weeks later, the Pentagon acknowledged that he had been shot by fellow Rangers.

With questions lingering about how high in the Bush administration the deception reached, Congress is preparing for a hearing next week.

The Pentagon is preparing a new round of punishments, including a demotion of retired Lt. Gen. Philip R. Kensinger Jr., 60, according to military officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because the punishments under consideration have not been made public.

In more than four hours of questioning by the Pentagon inspector general's office in December 2006, Kensinger repeatedly contradicted other officers' testimony and his own. He said about 70 times that he did not recall something.

At one point, he said, "You've got me really scared about my brain right now. I'm really having a problem."

Tillman's mother, Mary Tillman, who has long suggested that her son was deliberately killed by his comrades, said she is looking for answers and looks forward to the congressional hearings next week.

"Nothing is going to bring Pat back. It's about justice for Pat and justice for other soldiers. The nation has been deceived," she said.

According to the documents, a doctor who autopsied Tillman's body was suspicious of the three gunshot wounds to the forehead. The doctor said he took the unusual step of calling the Army's Human Resources Command and was rebuffed. He then asked an official at the Army's Criminal Investigation Division whether it would consider opening a criminal case.

The CID official "said he talked to his higher headquarters and they had said no," the doctor testified.

Investigators asked soldiers, "Have you, at any time since this incident occurred back on April 22, 2004, have you ever received any information, even rumor, that Corporal Tillman was killed by anybody within his own unit intentionally?" an investigator asked Richard Scott, then a captain.

Scott and others who were asked that question said they were certain that the shooting was accidental.
 

Lemon law

Lifer
Nov 6, 2005
20,984
3
0
Hey---when it comes down to it, the purpose of a cover up is to cover it up. At a certain point in time, the more possible versions the better. But its still possible at this late date to find more of the truth, but the US military can't be trusted to do it. And in the grand scheme of things, most cover ups succeed. Its only rare things like watergate that keep any hope alive.
 

StageLeft

No Lifer
Sep 29, 2000
70,150
5
0
Over 3k US soldiers have died there. Is this guy getting more attention because he was an NFL guy who went off to die in Iraq or am I missing something? There are plenty of people with stories just as sucky.
 

BoberFett

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
37,563
9
81
Originally posted by: Skoorb
Over 3k US soldiers have died there. Is this guy getting more attention because he was an NFL guy who went off to die in Iraq or am I missing something? There are plenty of people with stories just as sucky.
Not true. Many soldiers of have died, but how many were killed by their fellow soldiers and had officials lie about the circumstances. If this is indeed a coverup of some kind (which by the stench it appears to be) then the why's need to be answered. One, why was he killed. Was it just some asshole that didn't like Tillman? And two, why was it covered up? If it was just some asshole, who had something to gain with all these false stories? Nothing adds up here.