we just received was shamefully unacceptable.
is therefore compelled to continue our pursuit of the full truth
about the circumstances of Pat Tillman's death and the so-called
"missteps" and "deficiencies" of Pat's unit, the Army, the Department
of Defense, and this administration.
of criminal negligence, professional misconduct, battlefield incompetence,
concealment and destruction of evidence, deliberate deception,
and conspiracy to deceive, are not "missteps."
to impose closure by slapping the wrists of a few officers and
enlisted men is yet another bureaucratic entrenchment. The Army
continues to deny the family, and the public that pays for the
Army with its taxes, access to the original investigation and
the sworn statements from that investigation.
contained the unaltered statements, taken when memories were still
fresh, by witnesses to the events surrounding Pat's death. We
know from subsequent sworn statements that more than one of the
original statements was altered, after Captain Scott's investigation
This is not
a misstep. It is evidence tampering.
has yet to provide the family with a copy of the original narrative
required by Army Regulation to support the award of the Silver
admitted today that there were improprieties in the submission
of the award, they appear to have intentionally stopped short
in every single "misstep" of actual criminal actions.
fraudulent awards is a crime.
one person participating in the construction of a fraudulent award
is evidence of a systematic cover-up. Investigators from the Army
claim that Secretary Rumsfeld was not even aware that Pat's death
was friendly fire for almost a month.
with former Secretary Rumsfeld's reputation as an unforgiving
micromanager must find this claim to be extremely disingenuous.
Regulation on the award of the Silver Star requires a detailed
summary, confirmed by witness statements, of the exact circumstances
of the event, which precipitates the award. The award was directed
before the unit had even returned from the field for debriefing.
draft of the award falsely claimed that Pat was killed by enemy
fire, when Pat was not subjected to enemy fire throughout the
from sworn statements, that the draft was changed to exclude explicit
reference to enemy fire - probably as a precautionary legal measure
- while maintaining the impression that Pat was killed in an intense
firefight with the enemy which he was not.
can still not cite a single instance of any Silver Star, before
Pat, that was awarded in the case of fratricide, when the subject
of the award was never fired upon by the enemy.
No one who
knew Pat ever doubted his physical or moral courage.
But the award
of the Silver Star appears more than anything to be part of a
cynical design to conceal the real events from the family - but
most especially, from the public - while exploiting the death
of our beloved Pat as a recruitment poster.
Army Regulation on the award
of the Silver Star requires a
detailed summary, confirmed by
witness statements, of the exact
circumstances of the event,
which precipitates the award.
The award was directed
before the unit had even returned
from the field for debriefing.
of this fraudulent award as a list of "deficiencies" has the powerful
odor of intentional minimization to a level just below criminal,
in a case for which the accumulation of errors and missteps has
long past the laws of probability for coincidence.
in the conduct of investigations refer to a "Silver Star Game
Plan." This certainly at least suggests conspiracy.
military, we believe, compelled by the Secretary of Defense's
office, was seeking to accentuate the positive and eliminate the
negative, as it was embroiled in a huge tactical setback in Iraq
in April 2004, and as the Pentagon was preparing to deal with
the public affairs crisis engendered by the about-to-be-revealed
horror stories from Abu Ghraib.
draws conclusions, conclusions that are meant to be implanted
in the minds of the American public, that say the wrongdoing flowed
from bottom to top.
We base our
beliefs on the relentless pattern of the administration of deception,
evasion, and spin in the conduct of the entire dual-occupation
of Iraq and Afghanistan.
convinced that the priority of the Pentagon was to prevent the
public knowing that Pat was killed by the military's highest priority
shock infantry unit; and that he was killed by a combination of
shoddy leadership and clear violations of the Rules of Engagement,
as well as violations of the Law of Land Warfare.
only two major themes in a much larger story. These themes exemplify
the way this case has been handled, and the way it continues to
be handled. These examples show that we are not dealing with "missteps"
an overpowering suggestion of violations of law, regulation, and
policy that reaches from the vehicle that fired on Pat and took
his life to the highest levels of the Pentagon, who - with his
reputation as a world-class micromanager - was certainly aware
of every move made in this case.
years of struggling with the Pentagon's public affairs apparatus,
we have never been dealt with honestly. We will now shift our
efforts into Congress, to which we appeal for investigation. Perhaps
subpoenas are necessary to elicit candor and accuracy from the
We do not
think that Pat's notoriety - about which Pat himself was self-effacing
- gives him a special qualification for Congressional attention.
But if that notoriety can serve as a catalyst to open dozens of
cases - many of the families known to us - of troops who were
killed in Iraq and Afghanistan by fratricide, and whose families,
like us, were deceived about the circumstances of these deaths.
The fact is, the malfeasance with regard to this case only happened
because of Pat's notoriety.
graphics shown to the press and the public were designed to emphasize
enough exculpatory evidence to lower the level of actions during
and after Pat's death below the bar of criminality.
will further establish a pattern - now well-known by the American
public - of spin and deception by the Pentagon and the administration
has worked hard to stay out of the spotlight. We have continued
to be optimistic that we might receive satisfactory answers from
the Pentagon and the Executive Branch. Now we ask the assistance
continue to be sacrificed on the altar of a dual foreign military
occupation. Thousands of Americans and Afghans, hundreds of US
allies, and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis lives have been lost
surrounding this case was an insult to the family; but more importantly,
its primary purpose was to deceive a whole nation. We say these
things with disappointment and sadness for our country.
we will continue our search for the truth. The truth is not what
we received today. Once again, we have been used as props in a
Pentagon public relations exercise.
Pat Tillman's Brother Breaks His Silence
Why Did Pat Tillman Die?
Why Pat Tillman's Parents Are No Longer Silent