The Iraq war parade of lies continues. This time Pat Tillman, Jessica Lynch and we, the people are the victims.
Spc. Bryan O’Neal testified Tuesday that the he was asked by his then battalion commander, Lt. Col. Jeff Bailey, to cover up the cause of Tillman’s death:
“He basically just said … ‘Do not let Kevin [Tillman] know, that he’s probably in a bad place knowing his brother’s dead,’ ” O’Neal told House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman. “And he made it known I would get in trouble, sir, if I spoke with Kevin on it being fratricide.”
Instead of the truth, Tillman’s family and the nation were told a “war story” about the former NFL star and Army Ranger leading a counterattack against Taliban forces in Afghanistan. Kevin Tillman said the military saw Tillman’s death as an opportunity to fabricate “utter fiction” and shift focus away from the Abu Graib prison scandal.
“Revealing that Pat’s death was a fratricide would have been yet another political disaster during a month already swollen with disasters,” Kevin Tillman said. “The facts needed to be suppressed. An alternative narrative had to be constructed, crucial evidence destroyed.”
Tillman bristled at the military claim that the initial report was merely misleading.
Clearly resentful, he told the panel that writing a field report stating that his brother had been “transferred to an intensive care unit for continued CPR after most of his head had been taken off by multiple 5.56 rounds is not misleading.”
“These are deliberate and calculated lies,” he said.
Be sure to watch the testimony from O’Neal, Kevin Tillman and Jessica Lynch.
Have we sunk so low that we exploit our soldiers, including fabricating stories of how they fought and died, to sway public opinion?