Saturday, March 31, 2007

A Damning Memo

[Updated below]

I became aware of the memo in which one General stepped forward and tried to warn against using the image of Pat Tillman as a tragic, fallen hero last night.

I held off on the venting of the spleen because I wanted to review what surrounded that tragedy and be certain that any stones I cast were properly thrown. In other words, I gave the benefit of the doubt to the people in the Pentagon who not so very long ago controlled my fate and that of my entire family.

After the mendacity and lies of Vietnam, and the hard work that went into rebuilding the military into the professional volunteer force it is was until about five years ago, I wanted to believe that we had moved beyond that sort of thing. Restoration of the Honor Code is, after all, what drove men like my husband to careers in service in the late seventies and throughout the eighties.

Besides all that, the brass who are telling the lies today were the junior officers who were being lied to back then. I foolishly believed that they would carry the memory of that betrayal and not do the same god-damned thing when they grew up. It's cute how stupid I can be sometimes, isn't it?

But the evidence is obvious to any who care to look.
It was bullshit, and they damn well knew it. But the spin machine was overheating before his body was cold.

One General was able to locate a fragment of what once was his moral core and speak up - but even he spoke up for the wrong god-damned reasons.

He didn't speak up because what was transpiring was wrong.

He spoke up because he was afraid the fallout would be embarrassing if the truth was revealed.
In a memo sent to a four-star general a week after Tillman's April 22, 2004, death, then-Maj. Gen. Stanley McChrystal warned that it was "highly possible" the Army Ranger was killed by friendly fire. McChrystal made it clear his warning should be conveyed to the president.

"I felt that it was essential that you received this information as soon as we detected it in order to preclude any unknowing statements by our country's leaders which might cause public embarrassment if the circumstances of Cpl. Tillman's death become public," McChrystal wrote on April 29, 2004, to Gen. John Abizaid, head of Central Command.

Before I vented, I employed "Teh Google" and looked back at the articles surrounding his death, and in spite of the warnings they forged on through the PR thickets to spin a tragic tale of sacrifice for God and Country.
Updated: 1:01 a.m. CT May 29, 2004

WASHINGTON - Former Arizona Cardinals safety Pat Tillman was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for leading his Army Rangers unit to the rescue of comrades caught in an ambush.

Tillman was shot and killed in Afghanistan while fighting “without regard for his personal safety,” the Army said Friday in announcing the award.

Given what we know about the willingness of this administration to lie and deceive, what possible reason do I have to believe that General McChrystal's warning never reached the administration? (Note I didn't say it reached the president inside his bubble - but I would bet a couple pints of blood that it reached someone with access to the inside of that bubble. *cough* Rovesputin *cough*)

Every day it seems a new scandal surfaces, and a new raft of lies is revealed. I'm a political animal and I practically need a program to keep up.

Can we just stop dithering and get our fucking impeachment on already?

UPDATE: Mary Tillman, Pat's mother, broke her silence today, after refraining from comment yesterday .

Tillman's mother, Mary, said Saturday the newly disclosed document demonstrates Bush was complicit in deceiving her family.

"He knew it was friendly fire in the very beginning, and he never intervened to help, and he essentially has covered up a crime in order to promote the war," Mary Tillman said in a telephone interview. "All of this was done for PR purposes."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is just my conclusions about the military which might not be all that accurate.

Obedience and loyalty at all costs to "the cause" or their goal is started when recruits first step through the gates. If what I've been told is correct, its part of the process. After all, they have to get their troops into the mindset where, rather than save themselves and lose the mission, they are willing to die if necessary to achieve the overall victory. That type of training is hard to undo later. And as much as I hate to say it, there appears to be a monetary and a power factor operating.

Just my opinion, but I think when looking at what the military has done, you need to ask "What can they gain/lose from this?" In Tillman's case obviously bad press and probable loss of potential recruits or manpower.