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Nathaniel Heidenheimer
09-27-2009, 12:19 PM
I find it interesting that I know so little about the Pat Tillman death. What I mean is it was a big story, but the stories were segmented far apart, and very non-blanket covered. There would be elements here then nothing for months then elements there.

Why does it matter? Was Tillman killed because he was really beginning to become a threat to go public with his opposition to the war? To what extent was he really going public over policy?

Some will think this is about media celebrity. To my thinking it is and it isn't. Somebody like Tillman would have been able to generate media access precisely because of who he was. Hence if he was murdered because of this threat of media access with dissent, it could be epistomologically significant and worth my time at least.

Do you think that Tillman was really becoming a threat to go public in opposition to the policies? Also how about the way this story was fragmentation-"covered"?

Charles Drago
09-27-2009, 12:42 PM
Every intelligence operation has at least two objectives.

1. Silence a voice of truth with access to damning inside information -- a devastatingly persuasive voice of opposition to the war criminals that could not have been ignored.

Were PT's wounds clustered at center mass or elsewhere -- that is, in any way indicative of targeting by a trained sniper who could not have acquired his/her target without clearly identifying it? Was the body disposed of hastily, before a full and impartial p.m. could be conducted?

2. Create a Horst Wessel for the Holy Cause -- a natural follow-up to the 9-11 Reichstag fire.

Same family, different crew -- with apologies to LCN.

Keith Millea
09-27-2009, 05:07 PM
Nathaniel,
I don't think enough real information is out there to help answer your questions.I'm sure that Tillmans family knows more about this than anyone else.The fact that his brother was also on the same mission(although not with him at the time of the killing).The probability that he was much liked by the other soldiers with him.I am inclined to think that it was just a friendly fire accident,and the soldiers "freaked" when they realized what happened.Then,they tried to cover things up.I don't know,just my sorta educated guess.Friendly fire accidents happen all to often.I've seen it happen myself in Vietnam.Shit,I even took a stray.22 caliber round in my side while just sitting on a rock fishing in California!Strange things happen when lead is flying about.Can you post some information that will shed some light on the situation?

Keith Millea
09-27-2009, 09:26 PM
2. Create a Horst Wessel for the Holy Cause -- a natural follow-up to the 9-11 Reichstag fire.


Yes,this is what the Pentagon did with Pat Tillmans death.When you also add the fact that the Army brass would tell the Tillmans one thing,and then they would find out later that it wasn't true,and this happened several times.I think this could explain the fragmentation in the media coverage.The story kept changing.

I still don't believe that it was murder,or an intelligence operation.

Myra Bronstein
09-27-2009, 10:09 PM
Kevin Tillman, Pat's brother, wrote this essay Pat's birthday. It's powerful.

After Pat’s Birthday

Posted on Oct 19, 2006

http://www.truthdig.com/images/eartothegrounduploads/kevin_pat_350.jpg

Courtesy of the Tillman Family
Pat Tillman (left) and his brother Kevin stand in front of a Chinook helicopter in Saudi Arabia before their tour of duty as Army Rangers in Iraq in 2003.

By Kevin Tillman (http://www.truthdig.com/about/staff/86)

Editor’s note: Kevin Tillman joined the Army with his brother Pat in 2002, and they served together in Iraq and Afghanistan. Pat was killed in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004. Kevin, who was discharged in 2005, has written a powerful, must-read document.

It is Pat’s birthday on November 6, and elections are the day after. It gets me thinking about a conversation I had with Pat before we joined the military. He spoke about the risks with signing the papers. How once we committed, we were at the mercy of the American leadership and the American people. How we could be thrown in a direction not of our volition. How fighting as a soldier would leave us without a voice… until we got out.

Much has happened since we handed over our voice:

Somehow we were sent to invade a nation because it was a direct threat to the American people, or to the world, or harbored terrorists, or was involved in the September 11 attacks, or received weapons-grade uranium from Niger, or had mobile weapons labs, or WMD, or had a need to be liberated, or we needed to establish a democracy, or stop an insurgency, or stop a civil war we created that can’t be called a civil war even though it is. Something like that.

Somehow our elected leaders were subverting international law and humanity by setting up secret prisons around the world, secretly kidnapping people, secretly holding them indefinitely, secretly not charging them with anything, secretly torturing them. Somehow that overt policy of torture became the fault of a few “bad apples” in the military.
Somehow back at home, support for the soldiers meant having a five-year-old kindergartener scribble a picture with crayons and send it overseas, or slapping stickers on cars, or lobbying Congress for an extra pad in a helmet. It’s interesting that a soldier on his third or fourth tour should care about a drawing from a five-year-old; or a faded sticker on a car as his friends die around him; or an extra pad in a helmet, as if it will protect him when an IED throws his vehicle 50 feet into the air as his body comes apart and his skin melts to the seat.
Somehow the more soldiers that die, the more legitimate the illegal invasion becomes.
Somehow American leadership, whose only credit is lying to its people and illegally invading a nation, has been allowed to steal the courage, virtue and honor of its soldiers on the ground.
Somehow those afraid to fight an illegal invasion decades ago are allowed to send soldiers to die for an illegal invasion they started.
Somehow faking character, virtue and strength is tolerated.
Somehow profiting from tragedy and horror is tolerated.
Somehow the death of tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people is tolerated.
Somehow subversion of the Bill of Rights and The Constitution is tolerated.
Somehow suspension of Habeas Corpus is supposed to keep this country safe.
Somehow torture is tolerated.
Somehow lying is tolerated.
Somehow reason is being discarded for faith, dogma, and nonsense.
Somehow American leadership managed to create a more dangerous world.
Somehow a narrative is more important than reality.
Somehow America has become a country that projects everything that it is not and condemns everything that it is.
Somehow the most reasonable, trusted and respected country in the world has become one of the most irrational, belligerent, feared, and distrusted countries in the world.
Somehow being politically informed, diligent, and skeptical has been replaced by apathy through active ignorance.
Somehow the same incompetent, narcissistic, virtueless, vacuous, malicious criminals are still in charge of this country.
Somehow this is tolerated.
Somehow nobody is accountable for this.
In a democracy, the policy of the leaders is the policy of the people. So don’t be shocked when our grandkids bury much of this generation as traitors to the nation, to the world and to humanity. Most likely, they will come to know that “somehow” was nurtured by fear, insecurity and indifference, leaving the country vulnerable to unchecked, unchallenged parasites.
Luckily this country is still a democracy. People still have a voice. People still can take action. It can start after Pat’s birthday.


Brother and Friend of Pat Tillman,
Kevin Tillman

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/200601019_after_pats_birthday/

Charles Drago
09-27-2009, 10:45 PM
I still don't believe that it was murder,or an intelligence operation.

Nor do I.

But I suspect that it was murder dictated by the objectives of an intel op, and I'm joining with others in searching for the truth no matter what it may be. If I'm wrong, so be it.

I'd note this for the record: One valid method of investigation is to formulate a hypothesis and seek evidence for and against it.

My hypothesis in re the Tilman shooting is succinctly stated above. Let the truth be known.

Keith Millea
09-28-2009, 02:14 AM
Myra,
Thanks for that.Powerful statement,that was!Kevin is the person who I would trust more than anyone to know the most of what happened.That was a full attack against the Bush Regime,but I would love to hear what he has to say about what he thinks happened to Pat.

Keith Millea
09-28-2009, 02:49 AM
Charles,
I have done some checking,and have found where there could be some evidence of conspiracy.With Cheney anything is possible........


As Tillman's brother Kevin testified (http://oversight.house.gov/documents/20071114152054.pdf),

April 2004 was turning into the deadliest month to date in the war in Iraq. The dual rebellions in Najaf and Fallujah handed the U.S. forces their first tactical defeat as American commanders essentially surrendered Fallujah to members of Iraq resistance, and the administration was forced to accede to Ayatollah Sistani’s demand for January elections in exchange for assistance in extricating U.S. forces from its battle with the Mahdi Militia. A call-up of 20,000 additional troops was ordered, and another 20,000 troops had their tours of duty extended.
In the midst of this, the White House learned that Christian Parenti, Seymour Hersh and other journalists were about to reveal a shocking scandal involving mass and systemic detainee abuse at the facility known as Abu Ghraib.
Then on April 22, 2004, my brother, Pat, was killed in a firefight in eastern Afghanistan. Immediately after Pat’s death, our family was told that he was shot in the head by the enemy in a fierce firefight outside a narrow canyon.
In the days leading up to Pat’s memorial service, media accounts based on information provided by the Army and the White House were wreathed in a patriotic glow and became more dramatic in tone. A terrible tragedy that might have further undermined support for the war in Iraq was transformed into an inspirational message that served instead to support the Nation’s foreign policy wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I'd like to know what Kevin thinks happened in the firefight.I think that other Rangers that were there would tell him the truth.

Nathaniel Heidenheimer
09-28-2009, 03:44 AM
I saw something on this as recently as two months ago. It was Tillman's parents commenting on how they completely mistrusted McChristal?sp Obamas new boss in Quagmiristan. He was the dude put in charge of the coverup if im not mistaken. The nature of that letter suggests Pat was quite a ways on in his political critique of the US goal. That kind of attitude-- if it was typical of Pats point of view at the time and not generated more because of the later cover up-- would certainly be a huge concern for the military and CIA, given Tillmans ability to get on camera. Thanks for that article Myra. Just posted it on high traffic sites.

Charles Drago
09-28-2009, 08:56 AM
Keith, et al,

What makes this matter deeply troubling to the ruling class is most powerfully summarized by Kevin Tillman here:

Somehow American leadership, whose only credit is lying to its people and illegally invading a nation, has been allowed to steal the courage, virtue and honor of its soldiers on the ground.

Somehow those afraid to fight an illegal invasion decades ago are allowed to send soldiers to die for an illegal invasion they started.

Or, if you prefer: What if they had a war and nobody came?

The Tillmans pose a great threat to the war criminals: If the Tillman's brothers- and sisters-in-arms get the message, they just might stay away in droves.

Imagine ... tens of thousands of active duty personnel and veterans marching through the streets of America, laying down their arms, telling the truth, vowing that they are done with the racket known as war ...

Charles

Keith Millea
09-28-2009, 04:41 PM
Imagine ... tens of thousands of active duty personnel and veterans marching through the streets of America, laying down their arms, telling the truth, vowing that they are done with the racket known as war ...


Yeah,but right NOW I can only imagine tens of thousands of troops in the streets with fixed bayonets and gas masks.:secruity:

Jan Klimkowski
09-28-2009, 05:56 PM
I saw something on this as recently as two months ago. It was Tillman's parents commenting on how they completely mistrusted McChristal?sp Obamas new boss in Quagmiristan. He was the dude put in charge of the coverup if im not mistaken.

That would be interesting if verified.

The 31-year-old Major Colin Powell famously was the lead officer in the cover up of My Lai, and rapid promotion through the ranks followed.

"Expert on insurgency" is frequently a synonym for black ops participant.

In Powell's case, he was an operational player in the Phoenix Program.

Magda Hassan
09-29-2009, 03:17 AM
This might be what you read Nate.



McChrystal's Pat Tillman Connection

By Dave Zirin (http://www.thenation.com/directory/bios/dave_zirin)


May 13, 2009

When NFL player-turned-Army Ranger Pat Tillman died at the hands of US troops in a case of "friendly fire (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A444-2004May29.html)," the spin machine at the Pentagon went into overdrive. Rumsfeld and company couldn't have their most high-profile soldier dying in such an inelegant fashion, especially with the release of those pesky photos from Abu Ghraib hitting the airwaves. So an obscene lie was told to Tillman's family, his friends and the American public. The chickenhawks in charge, whose only exposure to war was watching John Wayne movies, claimed that he died charging a hill (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4815441/) and was cut down by the radical Islamic enemies of freedom. In the weeks preceding his death, Tillman was beginning to question what exactly he was fighting for, telling friends that he believed the war in Iraq was " [expletive] illegal (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2005/09/25/MNGD7ETMNM1.DTL)." He may not have known what he was fighting for, but it's now clear what he died for: public relations. Today, after five years, six investigations and two Congressional hearings (http://www.democracynow.org/2008/5/22/%20mary_tillman_mother_of_slain_nfl), questions still linger about how Tillman died and why it was covered up.




Now the man who greased the chain of command that orchestrated this great deception is prepared to assume total control (http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1897542,00.html) of US operations in Afghanistan: Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal. It was McChrystal who approved Tillman's posthumous Silver Star, a medal given explicitly for combat, even though he later testified that he "suspected" friendly fire. Yet despite this, both Democrats and Republicans are rushing to heap praise on McChrystal, including Sen. John McCain. It was McCain who rushed to speak at Tillman's funeral and then, when the cover-up became known, pledged to help the Tillman family expose the truth. McCain later turned his back on the Tillmans when they raised the volume and demanded answers. As Pat's mother, Mary Tillman, said (http://www.thenation.com/doc/20080609/zirin2) last year, "He definitely eased out of the situation. He didn't blatantly say he wouldn't help us, it's just that it became clear that he kind of drifted away."
And now the Tillman family, amidst bipartisan praise for Obama's new general, must once again raise the inconvenient truth.
Pat's father, Pat Tillman Sr., told the Associated Press, "I do believe that guy participated in a falsified homicide investigation."
Mary Tillman, who excoriated McChrystal in her book, Boots on the Ground by Dusk: My Tribute to Pat Tillman (http://www.amazon.com/Boots-Ground-Dusk-Tribute-Tillman/dp/1594868808), said, "It is imperative that Lt. Gen. McChrystal be scrutinized carefully during the Senate hearings."
Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said in response (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090512/ap_on_go_ot/us_afghanistan_general):


We feel terrible for what the Tillman family went through, but this matter has been investigated thoroughly by the Pentagon, by the Congress, by outside experts, and all of them have come to the same conclusion: that there was no wrongdoing by Gen. McChrystal. Morrell's statement has more spin than a washing machine powered by a V-8 engine. McChrystal has never explained why the early reports of Tillman's death were covered up, why his clothes and field journal were burned and destroyed on the scene or why Pat's brother Kevin, serving alongside him in the Rangers, was lied to on the spot. Even the cover-up was covered up. This should be a cause for dismissal--or indictment--not promotion.
What particularly rankles about Obama's choice of McChrystal, whose background is in the nefarious and shadowy world of "black ops," is that his actions in the Tillman cover-up feel emblematic instead of exceptional.
When an anonymous Army interrogator "at great personal risk" blew the whistle (http://www.esquire.com/features/ESQ0806TERROR_102?click=main_sr) to Esquire in August 2006 on an extensive torture enterprise at Camp Nama, he described the then unknown McChrystal as being an overseer who knew the ugly truth. Torture at Camp Nama included using ice water to induce hypothermia. It was not a rogue operation unless we consider Generals like McChrystal "rogues." As Esquire reported:


Once, somebody brought it up with the colonel. "Will [the Red Cross] ever be allowed in here?" And he said absolutely not. He had this directly from General McChrystal and the Pentagon that there's no way that the Red Cross could get in--they won't have access and they never will. This facility was completely closed off to anybody investigating, even Army investigators. Later in the piece, when asked where the colonel was getting his orders from the interrogator said, "I believe it was a two-star general. I believe his name was General McChrystal. I saw him there a couple of times."
Clearly President Obama is trying to "own" the war in Afghanistan: upping the troop levels, making it his "central front" in the battle against terrorism and now placing his own general in charge. But the president is also disappointing a generation of antiwar activists who voted for him expecting an end to imperial adventures and torture sanctioned by the executive branch. Now a man who should perhaps be on trial at the Hague is in charge of Afghanistan. Obama needs to know it's not just the Tillmans who are enraged by this terrible choice.

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20090525/zirin2

Jan Klimkowski
09-29-2009, 05:23 PM
Magda - good work. :top:

I've fixed my quote:


"Expert on insurgency" is, in McChrystal's case, a synonym for black ops participant.

Following in Colin Powell's footsteps....

Keith Millea
09-30-2009, 02:59 AM
What this all tells me,is that Obama is NOT in control of his Military.In earlier days,Gen.McChrystal would have been reprimanded harshly.This reprimand would be lodged in his file to make certain that he would never be promoted to higher rank.His Military career would have been finished,and retirement the best option.But alas,we live in the alternate world now,where up is down,in is out,etc.Obama should have studied the real history behind his choice for Sec.Defense,"Robert Gates".I remember when Obama was taking on Hillary in the primaries.The long time civil rights activist Andrew Young said Obama was too young(inexperienced) to run for President.I thought "shut up",you just want Hillary to win.I'm now thinking that Andrew Young knows a hellava lot more about politics than I.

Keith Millea
09-30-2009, 05:54 PM
Gore Vidal sort of makes my point.



“I was hopeful,” he said of Mr Obama. “He was the most intelligent person we’ve had in that position for a long time. But he’s inexperienced. He has a total inability to understand military matters. He’s acting as if Afghanistan is the magic talisman: solve that and you solve terrorism.”


As for his wider vision: "Maybe he doesn't have one, not to imply he is a fraud. He loves quoting Lincoln and there's a great Lincoln quote from a letter he wrote to one of his generals in the South after the Civil War. ‘I am President of the United States. I have full overall power and never forget it, because I will exercise it'. That's what Obama needs - a bit of Lincoln's chill."

:wavey:

Helen Reyes
10-01-2009, 03:43 PM
On the Tillman death, yes, the coverage was so spotty as to be incoherent. I listen to KGO talkradio in San Francisco a bit. Tillman was a 49er I guess. KGO used to be the "Home of the 49ers" I believe. Anyway, what I've heard over the years is that the clothes he was wearing showed he was shot at point-blank range. Not sure how or why, but that's the story. The other thing is the letters home (presumably censored or at least read by the military) expressed dissatisfaction wit the moral position of the US in Afghanistan and allegedly contained a vow to spill the beans when he got back home. The general drift is he was fragged by fellow soldiers or special ops acting under orders.

Remember US pilots killed a whole mess of Canadians in Afghanistan. The excuse ended up being they were all high on GI issued amphetamines. Sounds better than twinkies I suppose.

Right now there is this song and dance going on in Washington between Obama and the Pentagon over troop numbers for Afghanistan. Bush set the precedent of abandoning his post as commander-in-chief in the name of allowing the "generals in the field" to tell him what they needed by way of troops. Right now McCrystal, if that IS his real name, is demanding too many and Obama is giving too few, the story goes. According to some US insurgency document, the number should be around 500,000 for a successful counter-insurgency. Either way, Obama is committed to the illegal occupation of Afghanistan, so the whole debate on numbers seems designed for public consumption, so Obama can say "Look, I'm trying, but I'm being opposed by the Hawks." It allows his administration to maintain some kind of credibility with the Left they betrayed, along with the rumor he will be assassinated if he doesn't go along with the military-industrial complex's interests.

Keith Millea
10-01-2009, 04:32 PM
Helen,
Pat Tillman was with the Arizona Cardinals,not the 49ers.He was from the Santa Clara area I think,so he has a Bay Area connection.Tillman was shot 3 times in the forehead,probably blowing off most of his head.So,I can't see where burning his clothes/flak jacket would make any sense.:dontknow:


Since I don't watch television anymore,I've been listening to the radio lately.I just discovered that I can get KGO,but only at night.It was real interesting to hear "old voices" again.Dr.Ben Wattenberg still there,who would have guessed after so many years.I wonder if Ray Taglifaro still does the late nighter.He was great.

Helen Reyes
10-02-2009, 09:51 AM
Helen,
Pat Tillman was with the Arizona Cardinals,not the 49ers.He was from the Santa Clara area I think,so he has a Bay Area connection.Tillman was shot 3 times in the forehead,probably blowing off most of his head.So,I can't see where burning his clothes/flak jacket would make any sense.:dontknow:


Since I don't watch television anymore,I've been listening to the radio lately.I just discovered that I can get KGO,but only at night.It was real interesting to hear "old voices" again.Dr.Ben Wattenberg still there,who would have guessed after so many years.I wonder if Ray Taglifaro still does the late nighter.He was great.

Oops. I don't really follow sports at all. KGO has a monster signal at night, but you can listen on the internet stream all the time, www.kgoam810.com

A few of the old people are gone, one died recently, and there was this guy who said he was going to kick Palin's ass or something and got fired. Ray is still fighting for Obama, but has started to criticize the lack of an end to wars. Ray and Bernie Ward were early and strong voices against both wars. Bernie got sent to federal prison where he sits now.

This station ha s had a lot about Tillman over the years, but like I said, it's too sparse for me to make a lot of sense out of it. No idea where he was shot or why they burned his clothes and diary, but you could always just call Ray and ask, these people make a living out of keeping these things straight. 415 808-0810 one to 5 AM PST Monday-Friday :)

Keith Millea
10-02-2009, 05:04 PM
Yeah,I heard about Bernies troubles.I didn't know that he was in the PEN.Good luck Bernie(don't bend over to pick up the soap in the shower).:s:

Magda Hassan
03-10-2011, 01:23 PM
Second Soldier Alleges Former Tillman Commander Ordered "360 Rotational Fire" in Iraq

Sunday 12 September 2010
by: Ralph Lopez, t r u t h o u t | Report
(http://www.truth-out.org/second-soldier-alleges-former-tillman-commander-ordered-360-rotational-fire-iraq63153) http://www.truth-out.org/files/images/091210lopez.jpg
(Photo: Staff Sgt. Liesl Marelli / DVIDSHUB (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dvids/4029547368/); Edited: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t (http://www.flickr.com/photos/truthout))
Another former soldier of Bravo Company 2-16 (2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment) has said in a radio interview that a controversial battalion commander ordered soldiers to open fire on civilians in an indiscriminate pattern of "360 rotational fire," upon being hit by an improvised explosive device (IED). The interview took place last month with Scott Horton of AntiWar.com Radio (http://antiwar.com/radio/2010/08/17/josh-stieber-2/). The commander in question is the same commander (http://www.capitolhillblue.com/node/2348) who led the first of many investigations into the death of NFL football star Pat Tillman in Afghanistan, in 2004, and was one of Tillman's commanding officers. A documentary on what the Pentagon has said was a "friendly fire" incident has just been released, "The Tillman Story (http://www.startribune.com/nation/101271884.html)." In the interview with Horton, Spc. Josh Stieber said that he witnessed the street massacres, which resulted when the order was carried out "maybe five to ten times."
The first soldier to reveal the order, Spc. Ethan McCord, told World Socialist Website News reporter Bill Van Auken (http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/apr2010/emcc-a28.shtml) last April that the commander, Lt. Col. Ralph Kauzlarich, told his men in different settings and at various times that they were to have a new "S.O.P." (standard operating procedure) whenever an IED went off. At that time, in early 2007, the Bush "surge" was just getting underway, and IED attacks and troop deaths had risen sharply. McCord told Van Auken: "He [Kauzlarich] goes, 'If someone in your line gets hit with an IED, 360 rotational fire (http://www.consortiumnews.com/2010/061910b.html). You kill every motherf*cker on the street.'" McCord said that he had also witnessed the order carried out, saying: "I've seen it many times, where people are just walking down the street and an IED goes off and the troops open fire and kill them."
High-level orders to kill civilians in the context of retaliation for attacks on forces have already been successfully prosecuted as a war crime. In 1944, German SS ObersturmbannfĂĽhrer Herbert Kappler (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbert_Kappler) ordered the execution of civilians in the ratio of ten to one for every German soldier killed in a March 1944 attack by Italian partisans. Kappler was sentenced to life in prison. The executions took place in the Caves of Ardeatine in Italy, and were made into the subject of a movie starring Richard Burton. None of the lower-ranking soldiers who actually carried the order out were prosecuted.
Kauzlarich is the focus of a book by Pulitzer Prize winner David Finkel, "The Good Soldiers (http://www.amazon.com/Good-Soldiers-David-Finkel/dp/0374165734)." The journal follows the 2-16, a famed regiment in Army lore, into action in the heart of New Baghdad, an eastern zone close to Muqtada Al-Sadr's enclave, which saw a high level of insurgent activity during the 2007 surge. Stieber, McCord's friend and former unit mate in the 2-16, told Horton:

"In a lot of our opinions the stuff we were doing was creating more hatred against us, and yeah, picking fights, and finding more enemies, and actually the only thing that seemed to change that, and the only thing that seemed to prove worthwhile, was actually sitting down and negotiating with and talking with people we knew had at one time or another attacked us."
Both McCord and Stieber say they saw their mission as a plan to "out-terrorize the terrorists," in order to make the general populace more afraid of the Americans than they were of insurgent groups.
In the interview with Horton, Horton pressed Stieber:

"... a fellow veteran of yours from the same battalion has said that you guys had a standard operating procedure, SOP, that said - and I guess this is a reaction to some EFP attacks on y'all's Humvees and stuff that killed some guys - that from now on if a roadside bomb goes off, IED goes off, everyone who survives the attack get out and fire in all directions at anybody who happens to be nearby ... that this was actually an order from above. Is that correct? Can you, you know, verify that?
Stieber answered:

"Yeah, it was an order that came from Kauzlarich himself, and it had the philosophy that, you know, as Finkel does describe in the book, that we were under pretty constant threat, and what he leaves out is the response to that threat. But the philosophy was that if each time one of these roadside bombs went off where you don't know who set it ... the way we were told to respond was to open fire on anyone in the area, with the philosophy that that would intimidate them, to be proactive in stopping people from making these bombs ..."
The attack which spurred the World War II German commander's retaliatory executions, intended as collective punishment for not informing on partisans, was an IED planted in a garbage container. Kappler's rank was the equivalent of a lieutenant colonel.
Lt. Col. Kauzlarich was Tillman's executive officer at the time Tillman was killed in Afghanistan. Tillman was a popular NFL star, who was held up as an example of patriotism by the Bush administration when he enlisted in the Army after the attacks of 911, foregoing a $3.6 million football contract in order to serve instead. Kauzlarich's investigation was widely criticized (http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2007-07-26-tillman_N.htm), and was followed by a number of others, including a Congressional probe, after which it was determined that the Army had engaged in a cover-up of the true circumstances surrounding Tillman's death. According to author and former West Point instructor Stan Goff, it was Kauzlarich who gave the order (http://www.truth-out.org/article/stan-goff-playing-atheism-card-against-pat-tillmans-family), hotly contested by a platoon leader on the ground, to split Tillman's unit into two elements. The decision ultimately led to the confusion which led to the official cause of Tillman's death by "friendly fire."
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Both Stieber and McCord have said that a number of soldiers in Bravo Company refused to carry out Kauzlarich's order to kill civilians, and agreed among themselves that they would fire into the rooftops of buildings instead. McCord told Van Auken in his April, "you couldn't just disobey orders to shoot, because they could just make your life hell in Iraq." In describing reaction among soldiers to hearing the order, McCord has said, "a lot of soldiers wouldn't do that."
McCord suddenly found himself in the national spotlight (http://www.examiner.com/us-headlines-in-national/wikileaks-posts-video-of-soldier-ethan-mccord-s-eyewitness-account-of-collateral-murder-video) last spring as the soldier who could be seen on grainy video rescuing two wounded children after a 2007 Apache helicopter attack in Baghdad, which the Pentagon has determined broke no "rules of engagement." McCord has called rules of engagement at that time in Baghdad "a joke." The attack was captured through the Apache's gun camera and leaked to the government watchdog organization WikiLeaks. The soldier who leaked the film, Pfc. Bradley Manning (http://www.bradleymanning.org/), is now in military prison facing charges of disseminating classified information.
Both Stieber and McCord have become outspoken opponents of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In their talks and interviews, both frequently place the largest share of the blame for atrocities and egregious behavior by American troops on the systematic training which teaches soldiers to "dehumanize" an occupied population. McCord often says of the attacks seen in the 2007 WikiLeaks attack video:

"Instead of people being upset at a few soldiers in a video who were doing what they were trained to do, I think people need to be more upset at the system that trained these soldiers. They are doing exactly what the Army wants them to do."
Stieber says:

"I was in middle school when I saw 9/11 on the news. I saw the hole in the Pentagon firsthand ... I understood that there were people out there who wanted to destroy my country and hated my religion ... Well, the war was still going on and I was somewhat glad that I hadn't missed out on the action. I left for basic training in July of 06 and was deployed to Baghdad by Feb of 07 ... I learned that the military trains people to hate and dehumanize entire people groups, not showing sadness for the difficult task of "removing evil" ... And sadly, the military tries to rob you of what's inside and the result is people treating killing like a joke and showing little care for human life."
The death of NFL star Tillman became a major fiasco for the Bush administration after it was revealed that the administration knew that Tillman's death was not the result of engagement with the enemy, but portrayed it as such and used it as a patriotic rallying point. Bush went so far as to address Tillman's mourning fans in Cardinals Stadium over the stadium's Jumbotron. Bush said Tillman was "an inspiration on and off the football field, as with all who made the ultimate sacrifice in the war on terror." Wary early on of being used for propaganda purposes, Tillman once told an Army friend (http://articles.latimes.com/2009/sep/11/entertainment/et-book11) that in the event he were killed, "I don't want them to parade me through the streets."
What was less well-known was that Tillman staunchly opposed the invasion of Iraq, and the Bush administration in general, by the time of his death. Tillman was an avid reader and excellent student at Arizona State, and read the Bible, the Koran, the Book of Mormon, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau. Another of his favorite authors was anti-war professor Dr. Noam Chomsky.
Tillman's friend and fellow soldier in Iraq, Spc. Russell Baer, told the San Francisco Chronicle in 2005:

"I can see it like a movie screen. We were outside of [an Iraqi city] watching as bombs were dropping on the town.... We were talking. And Pat said, 'You know, this war is so f*cking illegal.' And we all said, 'Yeah.' That's who he was. He totally was against Bush."
Tillman's mother, Mary Tillman, confirms that he had an appointment with Dr. Chomsky (http://www.thenation.com/article/pat-tillman-our-hero), which Chomsky also confirms, upon his return to the states. Some speculate that Tillman may have been considering going public against the Iraq war, at a time when it was going badly and calls were growing for the impeachment of George Bush. These eventually grew to the point where Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi felt compelled to announce, as a first order of business upon the electoral victories of the Democrats in 2006, that "impeachment is off the table."
Kevin Tillman, Pat's brother, who had also enlisted after 911 and was with him in Afghanistan, recounted in a 2006 open letter (http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20091106_happy_birthday_pat_tillman/) on the anniversary of Tillman's death, "How fighting as a soldier would leave us without a voice ... until we got out." Having been touted as a "hero" by the Bush administration upon his enlistment, attention Tillman repeatedly said he did not want, his coming out against the Iraq war (where he also served) would have posed a particularly ticklish problem for the administration. It would be difficult to engage in typical smear tactics against an icon it had created. In addition, the clean-cut, granite-jawed Tillman may have appealed to a particularly critical demographic for the Bush administration, that of young, white, conservative males.
Lt. Col. Kauzlarich, a born-again Christian, came under fire (http://www.opinion-columns.com/praguewriter/2007/07/bringing-the-tr.html) after he likened Tillman's alleged atheist beliefs as akin to being "worm dirt" when you are dead. In an interview with ESPN (http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/eticket/story?page=tillmanpart1), as an explanation for why the Tillman family continued to pursue the case, Kauzlarich, dubbed "Col. K" by his men, offered that it was because they did not believe in an afterlife. He said: "When you die, I mean, there is supposedly a better life, right? Well, if you are an atheist and you don't believe in anything, if you die, what is there to go to? Nothing. You are worm dirt."
Some of Kauzlarich's former soldiers have said that only certain members of the unit were given permission to talk to embedded author Finkel during his work for "Good Soldiers," resulting in incidents such as the order for 360 rotational fire never coming to light in the book. McCord has stated that, in general, whenever any reporters were along on a mission, behavior would change for the better.
The 2nd Battalion of the 16th Infantry Regiment, dubbed "The Rangers (http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/army/2-16in.htm)," is an historic one in the US Army. During the invasion of Normandy in World War II, it earned the nickname when it fought alongside a regular Ranger unit at Point du Hoc under murderous German fire.
Stieber and McCord are the authors of the widely-circulated "Open Letter of Reconciliation and Responsibility to the Iraqi People (http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5966/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=2724)," co-signed by other soldiers as well as civilians, which states in part:

"We did unto you what we would not want done to us. More and more Americans are taking responsibility for what was done in our name. Though we have acted with cold hearts far too many times, we have not forgotten our actions towards you. Our heavy hearts still hold hope that we can restore inside our country the acknowledgment of your humanity, that we were taught to deny...."
Both Tillman's mother (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/26/AR2007072602025.html?sub=AR) and Gen. Wesley Clark (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecTUO3IKebY&feature=player_embedded) have opened the door to speculation that Tillman may have been murdered, rather than a victim of a purely accidental friendly fire incident. In a 2007 interview with Keith Olbermann on "MSNBC," Clark called Mrs. Tillman's suspicions "very possible."
Some facts which remain unanswered to this day about Tillman's death are:



The military doctor who ascertained Tillman's death wounds as three, closely-spaced shots to the forehead, at a range of about ten yards, or closer, immediately suspected foul play and asked his command to open a criminal investigation. It was denied.
Tillman's body armor and uniform were burned (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/03/AR2005050301502.html), completely contrary to regulations, and his diary never recovered.
It was revealed in 2007 (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-473037/Was-pin-boy-Bushs-War-Terror-assassinated.html) that there were Special Operations Forces snipers in the area, possibly private contractors (http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/mercenaries-cia-expanded-role-contractors-legitimate/story?id=9302651) in uniform, though no one really knows why.
No evidence at all of enemy fire (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/26/AR2007072602025.html?sub=AR) was found at the scene. No one was hit by enemy fire, nor was any government equipment struck.

A letter has just been released by the Tillman family in which Tillman's father tells one of the generals (http://outofbounds.nbcsports.com/2010/08/pat-tillmans-father-to-army-investigator-f----you.html.php) in charge of one of the investigations "f- you."
http://www.truth-out.org/second-soldier-alleges-former-tillman-commander-ordered-360-rotational-fire-iraq63153

Jan Klimkowski
03-12-2011, 07:44 PM
So, the order was to kill indiscriminately:


McCord told Van Auken: "He [Kauzlarich] goes, 'If someone in your line gets hit with an IED, 360 rotational fire. You kill every motherf*cker on the street.'" McCord said that he had also witnessed the order carried out, saying: "I've seen it many times, where people are just walking down the street and an IED goes off and the troops open fire and kill them."
High-level orders to kill civilians in the context of retaliation for attacks on forces have already been successfully prosecuted as a war crime. In 1944, German SS ObersturmbannfĂĽhrer Herbert Kappler ordered the execution of civilians in the ratio of ten to one for every German soldier killed in a March 1944 attack by Italian partisans. Kappler was sentenced to life in prison. The executions took place in the Caves of Ardeatine in Italy, and were made into the subject of a movie starring Richard Burton. None of the lower-ranking soldiers who actually carried the order out were prosecuted.

(snip)

Both McCord and Stieber say they saw their mission as a plan to "out-terrorize the terrorists," in order to make the general populace more afraid of the Americans than they were of insurgent groups.

In the interview with Horton, Horton pressed Stieber:
"... a fellow veteran of yours from the same battalion has said that you guys had a standard operating procedure, SOP, that said - and I guess this is a reaction to some EFP attacks on y'all's Humvees and stuff that killed some guys - that from now on if a roadside bomb goes off, IED goes off, everyone who survives the attack get out and fire in all directions at anybody who happens to be nearby ... that this was actually an order from above. Is that correct? Can you, you know, verify that?

Stieber answered:
"Yeah, it was an order that came from Kauzlarich himself, and it had the philosophy that, you know, as Finkel does describe in the book, that we were under pretty constant threat, and what he leaves out is the response to that threat. But the philosophy was that if each time one of these roadside bombs went off where you don't know who set it ... the way we were told to respond was to open fire on anyone in the area, with the philosophy that that would intimidate them, to be proactive in stopping people from making these bombs ..."

The attack which spurred the World War II German commander's retaliatory executions, intended as collective punishment for not informing on partisans, was an IED planted in a garbage container. Kappler's rank was the equivalent of a lieutenant colonel.
Lt. Col. Kauzlarich was Tillman's executive officer at the time Tillman was killed in Afghanistan.



Pat Tillman didn't buy into it:


Tillman's friend and fellow soldier in Iraq, Spc. Russell Baer, told the San Francisco Chronicle in 2005:
"I can see it like a movie screen. We were outside of [an Iraqi city] watching as bombs were dropping on the town.... We were talking. And Pat said, 'You know, this war is so f*cking illegal.' And we all said, 'Yeah.' That's who he was. He totally was against Bush."

Tillman's mother, Mary Tillman, confirms that he had an appointment with Dr. Chomsky, which Chomsky also confirms, upon his return to the states. Some speculate that Tillman may have been considering going public against the Iraq war, at a time when it was going badly and calls were growing for the impeachment of George Bush.

Pat Tillman was killed by close range "friendly" fire.

His Commanding Officer considered Tillman "worm dirt":


Lt. Col. Kauzlarich, a born-again Christian, came under fire after he likened Tillman's alleged atheist beliefs as akin to being "worm dirt" when you are dead. In an interview with ESPN, as an explanation for why the Tillman family continued to pursue the case, Kauzlarich, dubbed "Col. K" by his men, offered that it was because they did not believe in an afterlife. He said: "When you die, I mean, there is supposedly a better life, right? Well, if you are an atheist and you don't believe in anything, if you die, what is there to go to? Nothing. You are worm dirt."

Another disgrace.

Another human tragedy.