FanDuel - WFBC

July 20, 2006

An American Tragedy: Pat Tillman's Uncertain Death.: ESPN today published an exhaustive investigative report into the death of America's most celebrated volunteer -- former Arizona Cardinals safety Pat Tillman. In Part One, ESPN asks: "Was the Army and/or the White House so desperate for a positive spin that they morphed Pat Tillman into a male version of Jessica Lynch? ... Tillman's Silver Star suggests the possibility of spin."

posted by the red terror to culture at 05:20 PM - 116 comments

This happened like five years ago. Can we please move on to something that is actually current?Sure its tragedy but who needs to hear about it all the time?

posted by Young Mikey at 06:22 PM on July 20

Yeah, can we just go back to talking about the wounded horse please?

posted by Mr Bismarck at 06:46 PM on July 20

I read just the headlines about him deserving the Silver Star? He deserved the Silver Star for leaving millions of dollars to die for his country. Regardless of his cause of death. LET IT GO ESPN...please

posted by sgtcookzane at 06:51 PM on July 20

Yeah, it's got nothing to do with how a government used false information for the purposes of going to war, and then all other types of PR spin in maintaining the war effort. Because that's not happening now, is it?

posted by owlhouse at 06:59 PM on July 20

This happened like two years ago, not five (first sentence in the story), and this piece, containing a more comprehensive aggregation of what happened and when thwan I've seen before, just came out. This place isn't exactly clogged with Pat Tillman posts, and while the more overtly political part of this discussion might not really have a place on Sportsfilter, this is a relevant and compelling article. I look forward to the rest of it.

posted by chicobangs at 07:05 PM on July 20

This happened like five years ago. Can we please move on to something that is actually current? If that doesn't sum up the heart and soul of this country, I don't know what does. Sorry, I'll stop now.

posted by psmealey at 07:06 PM on July 20

An American just put in one of the most courageous, gut-wrenching performances in the history of the Tour de France, and ESPN has Pat Tillman and Barry Bonds leading their home page. If that doesn't sum up the sorry state of sports reporting in this country, I don't know what does.

posted by dusted at 07:13 PM on July 20

You know friendly fire happens in every war I don't know why it happens our side shouldn't be fired upon by our side but I can understand why these soldiers are so gung-ho they get trained and all they want to do is kill bad way to say it but it's true anyhow pat tillman was a very honorable man to go and fight for America after 9/11 and the army should not have tried to hide his death their was definetely a spin involved for pr reasons but I don't know if either side will ever admit it god rest his soul

posted by luther70 at 07:13 PM on July 20

I'm all in favor of friendly fire, as long as it smites those who napped their way through grade school and never learned any punctuation.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:16 PM on July 20

Yeah, it's got nothing to do with how a government used false information for the purposes of going to war, and then all other types of PR spin in maintaining the war effort. Because that's not happening now, is it? Bravo! I'll 2nd that.

posted by commander cody at 07:32 PM on July 20

Yeah, it's got nothing to do with how a government used false information for the purposes of going to war, and then all other types of PR spin in maintaining the war effort. "This is going to get worse before it gets better."

posted by grum@work at 08:07 PM on July 20

LET IT GO ESPN...please Agreed. Whatever the merits of the article, I feel like ESPN is exploiting Tillman as much as the current administration did. He was a guy who followed his beliefs. It didn't end well, but there's no shame in that. I'm stuck for what good can come out of digging him up. We all already have our opinions on the war, we already have our opinions on Pat Tillman. Trey Wingo and Stu Scott aren't going to change any of it.

posted by yerfatma at 08:34 PM on July 20

Rule # 1 in war! is people get killed. Rule # 2 is you can't change rule # 1.

posted by scotsman at 08:35 PM on July 20

Actually, I thought Rule No. 1 was something about truth being the first casualty.

posted by owlhouse at 08:37 PM on July 20

Actually, I thought Rule No. 1 was something about truth being the first casualty. No, under the current administration we just assume that they're lying every time they say anything, so we dumped the truth as rule one because it was being violated so often people ignored it..

posted by commander cody at 08:58 PM on July 20

"This happened like five years ago." At least you can count. All the way up to two. 1+1=5. "Can we please move on to something that is actually current?" The article was published today. "Sure its tragedy but who needs to hear about it all the time?" All the time? I bet you knew all the facts five years ago, right? I guess that's why you felt you didn't have to read the article. Thanks for the valuable comment.

posted by the red terror at 12:32 AM on July 21

"I read just the headlines about him deserving the Silver Star? He deserved the Silver Star for leaving millions of dollars to die for his country." So, what you're telling me is it's all about the money, and not about the life lost. Thanks, that changes everything. "Regardless of his cause of death. LET IT GO ESPN...please." Why? Because it pains you? ESPN did the most thorough investigation and reporting on the Tillman scandal I have yet seen or heard, and that was only Part 1. The facts indicate the Pentagon glorified Tillman's service and exploited it to recruit new enlistees. And it wasn't just Tillman they exploited, but NFL fans too. When he paid the ULTIMATE SACRIFICE, the signs indicate politics took over. There was a cover-up, the truth was hidden from his FAMILY and his service was sold as a FICTION. That is everything Pat Tillman stood against. It seems to me that some sports fans actually expect and enjoy being played for gullible fools. The Silver Star was awarded to Tillman for one reason and one reason only: he was a celebrity athlete whose name recognition, service and death was exploited as a propaganda tool. Pat Tillman deserves better than that. His memory deserves the truth. Every American deserves the truth, especially since they are bankrolling it with their income tax.

posted by the red terror at 12:48 AM on July 21

"An American just put in one of the most courageous, gut-wrenching performances in the history of the Tour de France... (moan, gnash, whinge...)" I suppose volunteering for service and taking three bullets to the head lacks sufficient courage and wrenching of guts compared to a bicycle race. Glad to see you have your priorities in order. Here's a clue: if you don't like a headline, feel free to pass over the story and read something else. Nobody is holding a gun to your head. IMO the Tour de France will receive widespread coverage from AP and Reuters and more all over the globe today, tomorrow and this weekend. And I suspect most articles will all read exactly the same. ESPN's investigative report is an important piece of journalism, even if it does make some of us sleep a little less comfortably at night. If it distresses you, feel free to ask a loved one to tuck you in to bed, and know that as long as you're not sitting in a filthy trench with a helmet strapped tightly to your head, you'll wake up tomorrow morning no worse for wear.

posted by the red terror at 12:58 AM on July 21

"Whatever the merits of the article, I feel like ESPN is exploiting Tillman as much as the current administration did." O-kay, let's assume for purposes of your point that ESPN is indeed exploiting Tillman's memory. Does that mean we're supposed to accept this as a moral equivalence? Or might we be dispassionate and reasonable enough to discern one party exploiting Tillman's life and death with fake phony revisionist lies that would make Stalin proud, and the other exploiting Tillman's life by trying to get at the truth? Is one exploitation exactly the same as the other? Or might there be a wee small sliver of difference? Not trying to pick a fight here, I'm just asking. Maybe it's just me, but being a sports fan has never meant leaving my brain at the door and letting others take advantage of my fandom and intelligence. Even professional wrestling fans know a "mark" when they see one.

posted by the red terror at 01:13 AM on July 21

The last comment I will make about the matter for readers disturbed that ESPN did this investigative report and angry that people like me think it important, is to point you in the direction of the "About" link at the top of the SportsFilter page. It reads in part: "SportsFilter is a weblog where anyone can contribute a sports-related link and participate in discussions. The range of topics includes anything in the world of sports, from football, baseball, horse racing, and the Olympics to sports personalities, culture and the impact of sports on society." Far as I'm concerned, the topic qualifies. If I can add a disclaimer, the thread was posted in the category of "Culture," not "Football." Peace.

posted by the red terror at 01:26 AM on July 21

But it's not like you're managing the thread or anything.

posted by yerfatma at 06:19 AM on July 21

Take a breath-redterror

posted by oh2rooper at 07:07 AM on July 21

Sometimes our government misleads us for good reason. Like it or not, there is some information that simply cannot be public knowledge. I don't have a problem with that. I do, however, have a problem if they lie to us out of convenience rather than neccessity. I have great respect for the choices Pat Tillman made. I know that fratricide has been a problem for as long as there's been armed combat. The numbers are said to be much lower today than they used to be, but it still happens. It pisses me off that they lied to us about this case because it involved a high profile death and it was an embarrassment for them. I understand the desire to paint any situation in the best possible light, especially when its effect on morale can be extremely important, but that doesn't justify making things up out of whole cloth. The facts are that Cpl. Tillman was involved in a firefight with the enemy, that he chose to leave good cover to aid a fellow soldier, and that he paid the ultimate price for it. Does it make his actions any less heroic because his fellow soldiers mistook him for the enemy? He died trying to help another member of his unit. Where the fire was coming from has no bearing on the heroism of his act. The friendly fire angle of this would have given the war effort a bit of a black eye, but a truthful telling of Tillman's actions could have blunted that quite a bit. On the other hand, this cover up attempt is going to be a bigger, and longer lasting black eye, and blunting the effects is no more than a pipe dream.

posted by ctal1999 at 08:51 AM on July 21

Sometimes our government misleads us for good reason. That may be the most frightening statement in this discussion.

posted by grum@work at 09:21 AM on July 21

Kauzlarich sounds like a gem. He completely botches the investigation -- intentionally, then cannot even comprehend why the Tillman family would be unhappy about it. He makes it even worse by blaming their reluctance to just be happy with the silver star and keep their mouths shut with them being atheists, which they aren't. Kauzlarich: [T]hese people have a hard time letting it go. It may be because of their religious beliefs." Tillman's Mom: "Oh, it has nothing to do with the fact that this whole thing is shady," she said sarcastically, "But it is because we are not Christians."

posted by bperk at 10:00 AM on July 21

Young Mikey... get your facts straight.

posted by tim at 10:38 AM on July 21

Red Terror is speaking the truth... why are the rest of you criticising Pat Tillman for what he did and ESPN for getting the facts. Tillman is the greatest hero that could ever be associated with sports. You people are Lowlifes.

posted by tim at 10:41 AM on July 21

Sometimes our government misleads us for good reason. Da, Comrade. I think that was article 27 of the Constitution.

posted by LostInDaJungle at 10:53 AM on July 21

Knew this was going to be redterror before I even opened it. Dude loves Pat Tillman.

posted by DudeDykstra at 11:52 AM on July 21

Tillman is the greatest hero that could ever be associated with sports. Seriously? Like everyone should pack up and go home? Someone dig up Jackie Robinson. We'll burn his bones in Bristol, Connecticut at the Funeral of Sports Discussion. [THIS SITE CLOSED TO NEW COMMENTS]

posted by yerfatma at 11:53 AM on July 21

I'd like to add that many athletes besides have served their countries as well. The fact that they didn't die doing so doesn't make them any less heroic.

posted by bperk at 12:20 PM on July 21

(Yawn) Is that a train I hear coming? It seems to be carrying a dead horse.

posted by commander cody at 12:23 PM on July 21

Dude loves Pat Tillman. posted by DudeDykstra at 11:52 AM CDT on July 21 Is that like "Sloth love Chunk"?

posted by SummersEve at 12:23 PM on July 21

Chico thinks highly of him too, but Chico's had too many unnecessarily charged political discussions in every other arena in Chico's life to want to partake in this one. But Chico understand that ultimately, Chico merely pawn in game of life.

posted by chicobangs at 01:12 PM on July 21

Pat Tillman's story is one of bravery and patriotism. By all accounts, he was gifted in many ways, and marched to a different drummer than certainly most of America does, however, what he did was not unprecedented. Pat was intelligent enough to know the inherent risks of his decision to join, not just the Army, but one of their most elite fighting units, The Rangers. And, the last decision he made was to try to help a fellow soldier, in a firefight. To me, that is worthy of The Silver Star. (sgtcookzane, get a clue, please.) Every war this country has ever fought has been foisted upon those who would not fight by those who would, by means of "false information", or, propoganda, if you will. Every administration tells lies, this is not something the Bush Administation invented, commander cody, or shall we hearken back to the good ol' days of William Jefferson Clinton? For those of you who think that the Iraq war has not served a purpose, I ask, when was the last terrorist attack that occurred on American soil? I certainly haven't seen any more fuckin' jets flying into buildings lately. Pat Tillman realized that Freedom is not free, many Americans would do well to realize the same.

posted by mjkredliner at 01:59 PM on July 21

Chico wise

posted by garfield at 01:59 PM on July 21

Chico like candy?

posted by cobra! at 02:04 PM on July 21

jg missed a party, jg guesses.

posted by jerseygirl at 02:08 PM on July 21

somtimes our government misleads us for good reason I would like to know when this administration has not misled the American people. This is just one more case of the PR machine trying to sell patriotism like a personal hygene product. I think what ESPN is doing is very nobel. It would be much easier for them to stick to the sports. I don't see anyone else who wants to do this story However, before we make to big a hero out of Pat Tillman, lets remember he is only one of more than five thousand who have died in this bullshit war. They were just as important to the people who loved them as Pat Tillman was to the people who loved him.

posted by CB900 at 02:16 PM on July 21

I think what ESPN is doing is very nobel. It would be much easier for them to stick to the sports. I don't see anyone else who wants to do this story I think you see the best in people. I think you may often be disappointed. ESPN's part of a public company.

posted by yerfatma at 02:27 PM on July 21

mjk, let me get this straight, if you're rich and risk your life, it's braver than if you're poor? When rich and or famous people die in battle, they automatically deserve consideration for the Silver Star? I suppose you also believe that you should get an olympic gold medal if you try really hard... I served, and I don't mean to denigrate Tillman's death, but saying that he was deserving of a Silver Star for his actions devalues every other Star out there. But the act of heroism that got Kerry his Bronze Star was saving an Army soldier from certain death, putting his own life on the line. The soldier he saved, Jim Rassmann, is a registered Republican. But he supports John Kerry. He says "Next thing I knew, John came out in the middle of all this," Rassmann says. "I couldn't believe it. He was going to get killed. He ran to the edge, reached over with his good arm and pulled me over the lip." Rassman says he recommended Kerry for the Silver Star and was disappointed when he only received a Bronze Star with a "V" for valor, the Detroit News reports. Not to be political about it, but showing that similar acts even by the well to-do have only rated a Bronze Star.

posted by LostInDaJungle at 02:40 PM on July 21

LostInDaJungle, I refer you to this page. I know that the requirements for "gallantry in action" can be widely interpreted to mean any number of things, and, I do not proclaim to be an expert in this matter. However, one difference between John Kerry, and Pat Tillman, is that Mr. Kerry lived to receive his medal.

posted by mjkredliner at 02:54 PM on July 21

I think you see the best in people. I think you may often be disappointed. ESPN's part of a public company. Actually I am a world class cynic. Yes ESPN is a public company, but what is the real upside of doing this story. As you can see from some of the posts, some people feel ESPN should shut up and stick to the scores. Others are saying that ESPN is the only one reporting on this. That means someone does not want this story told. Im sure that reporting the facts of this lie and cover up will not win Mr. Fish any friends in the West Wing. What I think is sad is that it has become so rare for the rich and famous to do their part in war, that some think they should get a medal just for showing up.

posted by CB900 at 03:25 PM on July 21

Well I can tell you that some of the best, most well researched articles I've read about the war have come from an unlikely source: Rolling Stone. So if ESPN is doing a decent job, I see no reason to deride them for going outside their comfort zone.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 03:30 PM on July 21

these soldiers are so gung-ho they get trained and all they want to do is kill That's not a soldier, or an airman, or a sailor, or a marine. That's a psychopath, and we do our best to keep them out of the service. But thanks for posting something so fucking stupid that I'll never have to worry about taking anything you say seriously again.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 03:46 PM on July 21

Tillman is the greatest hero that could ever be associated with sports. Ted Williams' service for his country in two wars makes Pat Tillman look like a draft dodger in comparison.

posted by grum@work at 03:51 PM on July 21

For those of you who think that the Iraq war has not served a purpose, I ask, when was the last terrorist attack that occurred on American soil? Can you please tell me when we had a terrorist attack on American soil that was orchestrated by Iraq? Otherwise, I'm pretty sure the two points are not related in any way.

posted by grum@work at 04:00 PM on July 21

For those of you who think that the Iraq war has not served a purpose, I ask, when was the last terrorist attack that occurred on American soil? I'm doing my part as well. I switched to Pepsi from Coke after 9/11 and we haven't been attacked since.

posted by psmealey at 04:10 PM on July 21

For those of you who think that the Iraq war has not served a purpose, I ask, when was the last terrorist attack that occurred on American soil? I thought the kool-aid was wearing off. Guess not.

posted by garfield at 04:13 PM on July 21

That's just utterly moronic. That's like saying we were completely safe from terrorism between the WTC attack in January 1993 and September 10, 2001. /OT

posted by psmealey at 04:15 PM on July 21

I know, especially when you consider that the Boy Band invasion was in the late 90s. If that's not terrorism, I don't know what is. Nobody saved us from Backstreet Boys!

posted by jerseygirl at 04:28 PM on July 21

garfield, listen to the Sean Hannity Show one of these days...the Kool-Aid mustache was apparently drawn on with permanent marker. And, I must agree with others...calling Pat Tillman "the greatest hero that could ever be associated with sports" just shows that you don't know what the hell you're talking about. This is hardly the first war where sports stars served, some with distinction. Just because you didn't see it happen, doesn't mean it didn't happen.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 04:35 PM on July 21

For those of you who think that the Iraq war has not served a purpose, I ask, when was the last terrorist attack that occurred on American soil. You need to stop watching FOX News and start thinking for yourself. As grum said, Iraq had nothing to do with the attack. Whats being done with the Tillmam story is just more of the same bullshit that has fed the the American people for the past five years. Put down the sports page, turn off the tv and do a little reading about the history of the region over the past twenty six years.

posted by CB900 at 04:43 PM on July 21

I would remind you that the "Iraq War" has two fronts, one being in AFGHANISTAN, where, it is rumored that the Taliban conducts most of it's affairs, and, where Pat Tillman died. In the words of Earle Pitts, "wake up, America!"

posted by mjkredliner at 04:53 PM on July 21

I would remind you that the "Iraq War" has two fronts, one being in AFGHANISTAN, No it doesn't. I bet you listened to Newt Gingrich's rant about World War III today, didn't you? Mumbai! London! Iraq! Afghanistan! Nairobi! WTC! Oklahoma City...er, no, wait, forget that one. It's all connected!

posted by lil_brown_bat at 05:02 PM on July 21

I would remind you that the "Iraq War" has two fronts, one being in AFGHANISTAN, where, it is rumored that the Taliban conducts most of it's affairs, and, where Pat Tillman died. In the words of Earle Pitts, "wake up, America!" And I would remind you that this is "SportsFilter" and this isn't an appropriate argument to wage here unless the war was also rumored to be fought with Nerf Crotchbats. And even then! I would care to discuss whether Nerf Crotchbatting is a sport or not a sport. Sport.

posted by jerseygirl at 05:07 PM on July 21

I vote not...unless you're hitting republicans.

posted by commander cody at 05:18 PM on July 21

Yeah. And what the fuck does Brad Pitt know anyways?

posted by Desert Dog at 05:20 PM on July 21

Every administration tells lies, this is not something the Bush Administation invented, commander cody, or shall we hearken back to the good ol' days of William Jefferson Clinton? He lied about getting a bj from a young women not his wife. Hell I would too (glad my wife doesn't read this) and besides not only is it no one else business if he cheated on his wife but no one died because of his lie. Bushy can't say that.

posted by commander cody at 05:22 PM on July 21

I bet you listened to Newt Gingrich's rant about World War III today, didn't you? Mumbai! London! Iraq! Afghanistan! Nairobi! WTC! Oklahoma City...er, no, wait, forget that one. It's all connected! I was waiting for the Howard Dean scream!

posted by commander cody at 05:26 PM on July 21

Ted Williams' service for his country in two wars makes Pat Tillman look like a draft dodger in comparison. Except that Tillman volunteered to go, while Ted Williams had no choice in the matter. Williams certainly did try to get out of his second tour of duty. This reminds me of all those claims that ballplayers aren't as loyal to their teams anymore. Staying with your team when you have no choice is not loyalty.

posted by spira at 06:30 PM on July 21

CB900, you haven't a clue what I read or watch, and, much more than the past 26 years of history in the region is relevant, jerk. lil_brown_bat, I suppose our boys in Afghanistan are just there for R&R? And no, I didn't listen to Newt's rant today, but apparently, you did. Are you a closet Republican? Commander Cody, Clinton lied about how he avoided military service, lied about drug usage,lied about his extra-marital affair with a former state government employee, lied about his role in Arkansas real estate transactions, lied about Whitewater, lied about Castle Grande, lied about the firing of White House travel personnel, his staffs mishandling of FBI files, the circumstances surrounding the suicide of Vince Foster, about a White House effort to hush up former assistant attorney general (and convicted felon) Webster Hubbell. He lied about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky, he lied about his efforts to cover up that relationship, he lied to his wife, his daughter, his staff, his Cabinet, and his constituents, and authorized a public relations campaign to slander duly appointed officers of The US Department of Justice charged with investigating the lies listed above. He lied in a federal civil suit, and he lied to the federal judge who presided over that case. He lied, repeatedly, and under oath, to a grand jury in a federal criminal investigation. And, along the way, he engaged his minions to lie about Kathleen Willey and Paula Jones, who accused him of sexual harrassment, and about Juanita Broadrick, who accused him of rape. And, the "Howard Dean scream" is strictly the kind of thing only a Democrat would wait for, thank goodness. I'm sure you are glad your wife doesn't read this.

posted by mjkredliner at 06:33 PM on July 21

f ESPN is doing a decent job, I see no reason to deride them for going outside their comfort zone. Weedy and CB900, fair enough. I'm just so done with ESPN and their approach in the last few years (TO and Bonds all the time and bs entertainment shows; we'll tell you what you want to watch) that I'm blinded to it.

posted by yerfatma at 06:41 PM on July 21

Yeah but The Splendid Splinter killed dudes with his BARE HANDS. FACT.

posted by lilnemo at 07:06 PM on July 21

Fantastic: "your wife" comments now along with claims that the Taliban is doing business Iraq (fully one large country and two major moutain ranges away)? This thread turned out great, don't you think? I deserve some of the blame here, but maybe we should all agree never to bring politics into another SpoFi thread. What's the point? Clearly some of us here belong on MeFi, and others of us belong on LGF, and never the twain shall meet. Let's just agree (again) to keep this bullcrap out here. I don't go to MeFi to read about sports (unless Matteo is posting about the Azzuri), and I don't think anyone comes here to read about international relations and geopolitics.

posted by psmealey at 08:08 PM on July 21

mjkredliner. That was one of the funniest screeds I've ever read! Brilliant! Not even a hint of truth outside of Ken Starr's fantasy world, but simply beautiful! You've managed to include just about every made-up phony rumor about the evil Clinton except for him being responisbile for the Kennedy shooting! And including the "hint" that he somehow killed off Vince Foster was pure genius! LOL!!!! Hey I heard he shot the Easter Bunny too! I got's ta print this one and show it to the little woman. Whew, gonna take me a while to stop chucking from that one! Wooooowe! Gotta go walk the dogs and tell the neighbor. He'll get a chuckle out of it to. Thank mj!

posted by commander cody at 08:26 PM on July 21

I would remind you that the "Iraq War" has two fronts, one being in AFGHANISTAN I respect anyone's right to a neocon viewpoint - but this statement is just idiotic.

posted by Venicemenace at 08:31 PM on July 21

God bless America. Freedom of speech. Make love not war. Big Brother is watching you.
(ZZZZIP) You really need to get that dress dry cleaned, Monica. This is all one big conspiracy... Did I cover everything in this thread? Oh yeah, rest in peace, Pat. Whatever really did happen over there, you're still a hero in my book. I'm a veteran of the First Gulf War and Somalia, but I try not to force my beliefs and opinions on to the masses. All it does is bring out the best and worst in all of us. I do want to thank the red terror for posting this, though. At least the Tillman probe isn't getting swept under the rug. That's all that counts.

posted by wingnut4life at 08:34 PM on July 21

How Republican of you mjk, go right to name calling. I will not lower myself to that. First off Bill Clinton has been out of office for five and a half years. The war in Iraq is all the doing of George Bush. Even if the whole list you named had been proven, it did not result in the death of more than five thousand Americans and God knows how many Iraqis. The reason I said to look at the last twenty six years is because its the events from the first Gulf war on that led to the attackes of 9/11. However that is not what this is about. This is about the shameful way the name and memory of Pat Tillman is being used. Whats worse is that his family is being lied to to make the story fit. If Pat Tillman is half the man people say he was, Im sure he would not want a medal he did not earn. It would seem to me that Pat Tillman did what he did because he felt a deep duty to his country. Not because he thought of himself as a hero. Sad that his memory and name have just become more grist for the George Bush bullshit machine.

posted by CB900 at 09:14 PM on July 21

Well said wingnut and with that I (a Viet-nam vet) withdraw and leave the field to the younger troops. Besides it's almost beddy bye time for an old man like me and this IS a blog about sports.

posted by commander cody at 09:14 PM on July 21

Oh...and what CB900 just said......

posted by commander cody at 09:15 PM on July 21

My father has a Bronze Star from Vietnam. When I asked him about it as a kid, he said they handed them out like candy and his didn't count because it didn't have any stars on it, and held his cheap compared to those he saw with bravery stars. (As best I understand it) Guys who fight do so for each other and not for the abstract concepts people like to argue about or vote for. Young kids die and the rest of us argue. Every single kid who shows up to be counted is equally valorious or guilty. I don't care which, but can we stop using dead Pat Tillman as a synchedoche for whatever we happen to believe in? Say what you mean and mean what you say, but don't use the corpse of a brave kid as a point.

posted by yerfatma at 09:52 PM on July 21

I served my country willingly and with pride. It's an ugly business, war. Take Pat Tillman, the ex-Arizona Cardinal football player who volunteered for Ranger service and was killed in Afghanistan. His burial ceremony became a national TV spectacle extolling patriotic sacrifice (for others, of course) and a subtle defense of the Iraq war. President Bush even paid a political visit to Sun Devil Stadium, the Cardinalsí home field, during the 2004 election campaign, ostensibly to honor Tillman. The trouble, as everyone now knows, is that Pat Tillman was killed by "friendly fire." The Pentagon finally confessed (remember the fiction they concocted about that female soldier from rural West Virginia and her "heroism"?) Its flacks had staged it all. As Dave Zirin (www. edgeofsports.com), one of the countries finest sportswriters, wrote at the time: Tillman, a sincere patriot, "had joined the Rangers for ideals like freedom and justice, but fought in a war for oil and empire." He added, "the final injustice was that in death, even more than in life, he was a pawn in their game." Daily, American and Iraqis are killed and wounded in a war that most Americans (or so report all polls) no longer support or even understand, yet where they (and most mass media) blink at our governmentís fabrications. Most Americans prefer, in Neil Postmanís wonderfully descriptive phrase, to amuse themselves to death and thus ignore the daily tragedies occurring in a faraway place to someone elseís child or spouse. Thank Goodness most Americans can distinguish between Real Love of Country vs the Jingoistic nonsense that Empowered Politicians and Government Hacks call "Patriotism". This thread is so full of nonsensical logic as to border on hilarity.

posted by skydivedad at 09:52 PM on July 21

Amen to yerfatma and skydivedad. None of the guys I served with joined to be heros. We all had our reasons, but I like to think that for most of us it was a sense of obligation. I joined because I was raised that I owed this country a debt for being lucky enough to have been born here and this debt had to be paid one way or another. The sad part about the government making stories up about Tilman is that there are dozens and dozens of heros in the service, so they don't have to demean the man or the military by phonying something up. Sad, sick and wrong.

posted by commander cody at 09:59 PM on July 21

Grum, all I meant was that there are certain things that shouldn't be public knowledge. For example, if a reporter had gotten wind of the D-Day invasion and started asking questions of high ranking government officials, I'd sure as hell hope they'd have lied through their teeth. Once in awhile, stuff like that happens, and you're darned right that they should lie to the general public when it does because, especially in the era of 24 hour cable news, you know that there are people tuned in who we don't want to have that kind of info. That doesn't mean that they don't take the secrecy and cover ups WAY too far, just that sometimes it's necessary.

posted by ctal1999 at 10:10 PM on July 21

ctal, to try to help you off the hook via derail: one of my favorite dubya dubya dos stories is that the Allies took the body of an already deceased fellow, dressed him in officer's clothes annd dumped him in the Channel (I think) with phony invasion plans (dated a few days later) in the outfit and floated him across to the Germans.

posted by yerfatma at 10:21 PM on July 21

The Brits made a great movie about that after the war. Can't remember the title right off the top of my head, but very well done and true.

posted by commander cody at 10:29 PM on July 21

Thanks yerfatma. Seems like I remember hearing that at one time, but I never would have dredged it up out of the old gray matter without your help.

posted by ctal1999 at 10:37 PM on July 21

Found it. The film was "The man who never was" and was about Operation Mincemeat. The plan to convince the Germans that the invasion would be in Greece.

posted by commander cody at 10:38 PM on July 21

For example, if a reporter had gotten wind of the D-Day invasion and started asking questions of high ranking government officials, I'd sure as hell hope they'd have lied through their teeth. There is a big difference between withholding information about a future battle plan so that it doesn't pass into enemy hands, and lying after the fact about a battle and how American service men/women were killed by friendly fire. Oh, and commander cody/yerfatma: The Man Who Never Was is the movie you are looking for. It wasn't the D-Day landings they did it for, but the Sicily/Italy campaign the year before. On preview: cc found it.

posted by grum@work at 10:42 PM on July 21

Excellent film!

posted by commander cody at 10:43 PM on July 21

Added to Netflix queue. Estimated watch date: June 15, 2010.

posted by yerfatma at 10:51 PM on July 21

There is a big difference between withholding information about a future battle plan so that it doesn't pass into enemy hands, and lying after the fact about a battle and how American service men/women were killed by friendly fire. Also a big difference between withholding secret plans and cherry-picking intel to make a phony case for a war in Iraq, spying on Americans and trying to demonize anyone who objects to these tactics. Bush has demeaned himself and almost destroyed our nations reputation. The things he has done are unforgivable.

posted by commander cody at 11:03 PM on July 21

More War Baloney...... War Heroics as A Shaggy Dog Story

posted by skydivedad at 11:05 PM on July 21

Yea commandercody, but isn't it nice he has restored diginity to the White House?

posted by CB900 at 11:33 PM on July 21

LOL!

posted by commander cody at 11:40 PM on July 21

Actually CB900 I think he's just more discreet. After all he always takes Condi Rice everywhere he goes and rumors have been going on about those two for several years now. Though I would hope she had better taste!

posted by commander cody at 11:43 PM on July 21

The republicans spent sixty five million to prove that Bill Cliton got a blow job. I wish Bush would get one so he would stop trying to fuck the whole country. Sixty five million for a bj. Im as heterosexual as a man can be, but for sixty five million???

posted by CB900 at 11:50 PM on July 21

I wonder if my wife would spend that much if she thought she could prove I got one somewhere else? Hmmm...actually she'd just dump me and use the money to move to Tahiti.

posted by commander cody at 11:53 PM on July 21

LOL

posted by CB900 at 12:11 AM on July 22

Grum, did you read my original comment in full? I pointed out that sometimes it's necessary for the government to mislead the general public. You took issue with the statement even though I said later in the comment that they often go way overboard with it and that spin like we got out of the Tillman incident really pisses me off. I figured that you misunderstood, so I gave an example of when the government should lie to the public in my next comment, and I followed it up by saying that they take secrecy and cover ups way too far. Where in that sequence do you come up with the idea that I don't think there's a big difference between divulging a battle plan and lying about a friendly fire incident? That was my whole point. There ARE things they should lie about. The question is where you draw the line, and I'm not very damned happy when they pull shit like they did with the Tillman story. Sorry if I wasn't clear before, but I think we're actually on the same page.

posted by ctal1999 at 12:57 AM on July 22

There ARE things they should lie about. Keeping hidden battle plans a secret is not "lying". The government isn't "lying" if they simply don't tell you something. Reporter: "When are you going to invade Europe?" Government: "Making that information public would be detrimental to our war effort." However, if they tell you something that is a falsehood, or attempt to cover up the truth with false stories, then that's a "lie." Reporter: "How did that famous soldier die?" Government: "Well, let me tell you a story..." Where in that sequence do you come up with the idea that I don't think there's a big difference between divulging a battle plan and lying about a friendly fire incident? First of all, you said "Sometimes our government misleads us for good reason. Like it or not, there is some information that simply cannot be public knowledge." and then proceeded to talk about the Tillman incident, including "I understand the desire to paint any situation in the best possible light". This led me to believe you somewhat condone the government's "reworking" of the truth. I followed up with "That may be the most frightening statement in this discussion." You then defended your statement with "Grum, all I meant was that there are certain things that shouldn't be public knowledge. For example, if a reporter had gotten wind of the D-Day invasion and started asking questions of high ranking government officials, I'd sure as hell hope they'd have lied through their teeth." That's a defence of your original statement (about the government misleading the people) in the discussion of Tillman. So now you've linked (with the phrase "for example") the Tillman coverup (or government lying) with the D-Day invasion scenario. I followed up with my statement "There is a big difference between withholding information about a future battle plan so that it doesn't pass into enemy hands, and lying after the fact about a battle and how American service men/women were killed by friendly fire.". This was my attempt to separate the comparison you made (with the "for example") between the Tillman scenario and the D-Day scenario. That's where I "came up with the idea." And for the record, I do recognize the fact that you disagree with the government's actions during the Tillman story. I just took umbrage with your statement about it being okay for the government to lie to its people.

posted by grum@work at 02:16 AM on July 22

This administration has taken the practice of witholding information and lying and turned it into an art form. Whats worse is that the repugnant little shit bag has classified all information for national security reasons, for seventy five years. Who in the fuck does this man think he is to say for our own good we can't know what he has been doing.

posted by CB900 at 10:58 AM on July 22

Thank Goodness most Americans can distinguish between Real Love of Country vs the Jingoistic nonsense that Empowered Politicians and Government Hacks call "Patriotism". While I hope you're right, in my heart of hearts, I believe you're not.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 11:13 AM on July 22

Red Terror is speaking the truth... why are the rest of you criticising Pat Tillman for what he did and ESPN for getting the facts. Tillman is the greatest hero that could ever be associated with sports. You people are Lowlifes. I give you Bob Kalsu, that was the first man to come to mind for me. However, take a history lesson or two, many Canadian and American, British, and i'm sure dozens of other countries have had atheletes fight and die in a war. Don't get me wrong, I have the utmost admiration and respect for what Mr. Tillman did and sacrificies he and his family made, but what makes HIS death any more important or HEROIC than the death of approximately THREE THOUSAND other allied personnel in this war?

posted by tommytrump at 12:41 PM on July 22

Well, grum, we're not that far off, but there are a few circumstances where I'd prefer that they be sneaky if it throws off our adversaries, rather than just go with a "no comment" or refusal to answer. The D-Day reference still applies. If a group of reporters were trying to get answers out of an administration big wig back then, and one asked if it was true that we planned to invade Normandy in the next couple of days, as his sources had suggested, my preferred response would be something like, "While we recognize the fact that an invasion will be necessary at some point, we want to be certain that we're ready before we kick something like that off. That, combined with the terrible weather that's been prevalent in the eastern Atlantic of late, would truly imperil any such action at this time. It's my sincere hope that we're able to move without any excessive delay, but in a matter of such great importance, we simply cannot afford to get it wrong. We wil not move before our planners believe that we have our best chance of success". That wouldn't even have been a lie (although a well crafted lie here might be even more appropriate), but it certainly would have led away from an imminent invasion. It also would have avoided the implied "you caught me on something I don't want to discuss" aspect of a simple "no comment", which just feeds a reporter's curiosity more often than not. I guess I gave you the impression that I was trying to equate D-Day and the Tillman incident, but the opposite is true. I was juxtaposing them to display the glaring difference. To me, one is perfectly reasonable, while the other is fucking shameful. Sorry if I didn't get that across very well.

posted by ctal1999 at 12:56 PM on July 22

Here's the funny (sad) thing about how things work in the US. Tillman gets killed, and the offical story turns out to be essentially fabricated, and some people suggest that maybe we should look into it. It gets looked into, but - because the wheels of justice are slow - it takes a long time. So, once the truth is finally out, those who totally exploited this guys death can say "why are we still talking about this? It was years ago."

posted by Adept at 01:45 PM on July 22

Here's the funny (sad) thing about how things work in the US. Tillman gets killed, and the offical story turns out to be essentially fabricated, and some people suggest that maybe we should look into it. It gets looked into, but - because the wheels of justice are slow - it takes a long time. So, once the truth is finally out, those who totally exploited this guys death can say "why are we still talking about this? It was years ago." They do that with other shit too. They screwed with the intel to lie us into this stupid goddamn war and now when anyone tries to investigate the first thing they say is something like "Well no matter if you agree or disagree with the war, we're there so we have to finish it" or "Americans don't care anymore about that, so let's move on." As if some of us will forget! Hah! Even if it takes until after he's out of office I want to see Bush stand trial for murder and crimes against humanity. It won't happen, but a man can dream.

posted by commander cody at 02:26 PM on July 22

tommytrump, one request: when you quote people (which I think you were doing with the bold text), can you put a line break between the quotation and you or some quotation marks around the quote? It's just hard to parse. Thanks.

posted by yerfatma at 02:53 PM on July 22

What yerfatma said. I had trouble trying to sort that one out too.

posted by commander cody at 03:40 PM on July 22

Yerfatma, yes, I will try to do that. I'm fairly geeky with the 'puter, but will do my best. Thanks for the advice. Sorry Commander.

posted by tommytrump at 04:18 PM on July 22

no prob tommy

posted by commander cody at 04:27 PM on July 22

I find it funny. Bush and his asshole side kick run around to baseball games and football games and NASCAR races and talk about how these people are their base. Somehow I just don't feel the love here boys and girls. Back in 2000 I said that if the only two names on the ballot were George Bush and Satan I would have to think long and hard about who to vote for. Turns out they are one in the same. Remember this is an election year. We can castrate the little shit bag by taking away congress. I know I digress from the Pat Tillman story. But I am thinking about all of the young people who have and will die in this God forsaken act of vanity and greed. I am so sick of hearing people say if you don't support the war you don't support our troops. How better to support the troops then to bring them home where they are safe.

posted by CB900 at 05:24 PM on July 22

You can support them this way...

posted by wingnut4life at 05:36 PM on July 22

Thanks wingnut. As one of the many who support the troops, but not the mission, it's nice to see where I can show it.

posted by commander cody at 09:58 PM on July 22

Hey guys? Despite the fact that it's a popular flavor, maybe it would make more sense to try and redirect the thread from pure Bush-bashing and into something more relevant to the Tillman story, if you want to continue this thread. Personally, despite the fact that the ESPN article just came out, I'm not so sure there's actually anything new to be said there. The revelations are not new ones, and you won't see the Bush administration issuing a lot of "Our Hero Pat Tillman" marcomm in the future.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:13 AM on July 23

wingnut4life Oh yeah, rest in peace, Pat. Whatever really did happen over there, you're still a hero in my book. & At least, the Tillamn probe isn't gettting swept under the rug Those two statements pretty well sum up my feelings as well. CB900 How Republican of you mjk, go right to name calling, I will not lower myself to that. And how Democratic of you,CB, to infer that I let FOX News and mass media do my thinking for me, and to continue name calling, ie: 'repugnant little shit bag' 'asshole little sidekick' etc., etc. CB900 Remember this is an election year, we can castrate the little shit bag by taking away Congress. By that, I assume you mean by voting Democratic nominees into Republican held Congressional seats. That is certainly the best way to counter any unhappiness you and others may have with the current Administration. Good luck this fall, may the best men win. commander cody I want to see Bush stand trial for murder and crimes against humanity. It won't happen, but a man can dream. Just go right on dreaming, commander, but, as near as I can tell, the only 'leader' that will be facing those charges in an International Court are Saddam Hussein, for crimes against HIS OWN PEOPLE, and, whom, I suggest is a much closer candidate to be compared to being as "one in the same as Satan", CB900. Current DOD figures for the number of troops in Afghanistan: >18,000 . Details of our last agreement with Afghanistan can be found here, A fairly liberal viewpoint, I might add. DOD says on their website that our troops in Afghanistan are also " hunting remnants of The Taliban who are waging an insurgency against Afghan and foreign troops." psmealy Fantastic. "Your wife" comments along with claims that the Taliban is doing business in Iraq. I only agreed with commander cody's statement that he was glad his wife didn't read this, because of his assertion that he would "lie about getting a bj from a young woman not his wife". psmealy, I say, if you do enough research, that you will find that there is plenty of credible information suggesting that Iraq and The Taliban had safe haven and non-reciprocal aggression agreements, and that, without an American attack on Iraq, Baghdads links to terror would only have increased. Thank you all, have a nice day, and yes, God Bless America.

posted by mjkredliner at 12:10 PM on July 24

I apologize for the bad link, and the misspelling of Tillman. The page I intended to link to is here.

posted by mjkredliner at 12:31 PM on July 24

I'll cede you the "your wife" comment. I went back later and read the original comment in the thread, so it wasn't out of left field. if you do enough research, that you will find that there is plenty of credible information suggesting that Iraq and The Taliban had safe haven and non-reciprocal aggression agreements And I'm supposed to take your word for it that this information exists, merely because you say so? If you are going to make that kind of claim (sketchy at best, that religious absolutists like the Taliban would climb into bed with secular thug like Saddam, one of Osama Bin Laden's sworn enemies), then please furnish at least one (but hopefully several) citiations so that we may all be enlightened.

posted by psmealey at 12:34 PM on July 24

Mjk, yes I admit to useing all of those names and more about the holders of the West Wing. I am sick to death of the lies being told to the American about a war that did not have to be. Here are some of the facts that seem to be forgotten. 1. The chemical weapons Saddam Hussein used on his own people were sold to him by one George H.W.Bush. The weapons were used on his people ten years or more before George W. Bush took office. I don't see how being retroactively angry is justification for invading a country that never attacked us. 2. It was a group of freedom fighters from Afghanistan, armed by the U.S., that ran the Soviets out of that country. The name of said freedom fighters was the Taliban. 3. When Iraq invaded Kuwait, the Taliban, led by Osama Bin Laden, felt it was their divine duty to liberate Kuwait. 4. When the U.S. military involved itself by putting troops on what the Taliban considered sacred land, they felt we had desecrated this land. This made not only Iraq but the U.S. the sworn enemy of the Taliban. I noticed in all of your above rant you did not mention Osama Bin Ladin. By doing so the whole reason for going to war in Iraq goes away. Yes I call George Bush a repugnant little shit bag for the following reasons. 1. He lied to the American people over the reasons for going to war. 2. He has used this war to put massive amounts of money into the pockets of his and his fathers friends. Otherwise why would Halliburton keep getting all of the no bid contracts. 3. He thinks the American people are to stupid to see through any of this. I am sorry you were offended by the FOX News comment. But I am going to guess you have listened to Rush one or two times.

posted by CB900 at 02:53 PM on July 24

MJ, beyond saying this I'm not going to bother to respond to your allegations. You've obviously drank the koolaid of the rightwing to the dregs. Nothing I or any other rational person could say will cure you, so why bother.

posted by commander cody at 03:45 PM on July 24

What you said commandercody.

posted by CB900 at 07:02 PM on July 24

And, you, commander, have drunk from the well of stupidity 'till it runneth dry. I would like to note that the personal affronts in this discussion were not started by myself, not that they bother me, but just as a point. What allegations are you referring to, Commander? The facts in the report of the Independent Counsel as presented to The House and The Senate, triggering the first formal impeachment hearings since Watergate? CB900, I will respond to your facts in the same numerical order as you presented them: 1. Not true. 2. Kinda sorta true. However, they were defending their homeland from communist aggression, they are not the only people in a like position that we as a country gave aid to. 3. Then why did they not do it? 4. We were there for for reasons that only a fool would not deem correct. When operatives of The Taliban hijacked jet airplanes and used them as WMD on Sacred American Soil, killing innocent civilians, they, and anyone who remotely conspired with them, made themselves the sworn enemy of myself and millions of other Americans. Why does not mentioning Osama Bin Laden render the whole reason for going to war meaningless? Osama will be caught, but until such time as we may find the snake in the grass, DOD and the Bush Administration have found it quite useful to carry on surveillance and interdiction efforts against other terrorist threats and operatives in the region. Only a fool would say that Bush knowingly told lies about 'going to war'. You don't think they could forsee what the left and the media has turned this into? That no one at The White House would have been able to figure this out? This is aside from all the evidence and claims that Iraq's WMD were moved to Syria. Do you know of some grand, opulent lifestyle that George Sr. is living? Or what ever else he and W. may be doing with all these funds that you think they are salting away? Halliburton does not have ALL the no bid contracts. And, Halliburton is not the first company to hire former high-ranking military officers (read Cheny) in an effort to gain a larger number of federal contracts, this is done quite extensively, by Democrats and Republicans alike. I don't think George W. Bush thinks the US public is stupid, no one in their right mind would think so. War is a terrible thing, I hope we can all agree on that. I should not have entered into what was already a political discussion, and I plead mea maxima culpa for my part in making this thread political. But, given the topic, it was almost inevitable that this would occur. We can find enough to disagree about in the world of sports, and we may even occaisonally agree on some things! So, my sincere apologies to those that I have offended, and, I look forward to your next posts, Commander, CB, and psmealy.

posted by mjkredliner at 12:03 PM on July 25

I should not have entered into what was already a political discussion, and I plead mea maxima culpa for my part in making this thread political. But, given the topic, it was almost inevitable that this would occur. Well, you recognize your own culpability regarding the continuing political nature of the discussion, but then you claim it was 'inevitable.' I must respectfully disagree: nobody made you respond, you choose to do it on your own. Therefore, your claim of inevitability is incorrect, and, indeed, fraudulent. The fact is, when somebody pokes at your sacred cow, you rise like a brook trout, despite your attempts to appear above the fray.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 04:40 AM on July 26

No, my claim was that it was inevitable that the discussion would turn political regarding the nature of the thread, ie: Pat Tillman's death. And, it had, well before I entered the fray. So, throw out your fraudulent claim, pal. My sacred cow is named Bessie, and although she has refused to give milk in quite a while, we still treat 'er like family. I make no attempts to appear above the fray, but rather, I jump right in the middle of ennething I figger ain't quite to mah likin' reeegardin' the Bush presidency, so , yeah, ah reckon I is jes' lahk one of them there brook trouts, and if ya keep on throwin' trash in the pond, I'll keep on arisin'.

posted by mjkredliner at 05:58 AM on July 26

Heh. That's pretty funny; could be one of my cousins. Scott, is that you?

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 08:50 AM on July 26

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