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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old Nov 9th, 2006, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
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Yet another reason to pull the hell out of Iraq!!

If the fact that there were no WMDs isn't reason enough, then wait until you read this article...

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15635557/
Pat Tillman investigations spur questions
Probes highlight chaos surrounding former football player's combat death


Former NFL player Pat Tillman poses in military gear in Afghanistan.


Updated: 8:00 a.m. PT Nov 9, 2006

In a remote and dangerous corner of Afghanistan, under the protective roar of Apache attack helicopters and B-52 bombers, special agents and investigators did their work.

They walked the landscape with surviving witnesses. They found a rock stained with the blood of the victim. They re-enacted the killings — here the U.S. Army Rangers swept through the canyon in their Humvee, blasting away; here the doomed man waved his arms, pleading for recognition as a friend, not an enemy.

“Cease fire, friendlies, I am Pat (expletive) Tillman, damn it!” he shouted, again and again.

The latest inquiry into Tillman’s death by friendly fire should end next month; authorities have said they intend to release to the public only a synopsis of their report. But The Associated Press has combed through the results of 2¼ years of investigations and uncovered some startling findings.

One of the four shooters, Staff Sgt. Trevor Alders, had recently had PRK laser eye surgery. Although he could see two sets of hands “straight up,” his vision was “hazy,” he said. In the absence of “friendly identifying signals,” he assumed Tillman and an allied Afghan who also was killed were enemy.

Another, Spc. Steve Elliott, said he was “excited” by the sight of rifles, muzzle flashes and “shapes.” A third, Spc. Stephen Ashpole, said he saw two figures, and just aimed where everyone else was shooting.

Squad leader Sgt. Greg Baker had 20-20 eyesight, but claimed he had “tunnel vision.” Amid the chaos and pumping adrenaline, Baker said he hammered what he thought was the enemy but was actually the allied Afghan fighter next to Tillman who was trying to give the Americans cover: “I zoned in on him because I could see the AK-47. I focused only on him.”

All four failed to identify their targets before firing, a direct violation of the fire discipline techniques drilled into every soldier.

Shortage of supplies
There’s more:

• Tillman’s platoon had nearly run out of vital supplies, according to one of the shooters. They were down to the water in their Camelbak drinking pouches, and were forced to buy a goat from a local vendor. Delayed supply flights contributed to the hunger, fatigue and possibly misjudgments by platoon members.
• A key commander in the events that led to Tillman’s death both was reprimanded for his role and meted out punishments to those who fired, raising questions of conflict of interest.
• A field hospital report says someone tried to jump-start Tillman’s heart with CPR hours after his head had been partly blown off and his corpse wrapped in a poncho; key evidence including Tillman’s body armor and uniform was burned.
• Investigators have been stymied because some of those involved now have lawyers and refused to cooperate, and other soldiers who were at the scene couldn’t be located.
• Three of the four shooters are now out of the Army, and essentially beyond the reach of military justice.
Taken together, these findings raise more questions than they answer, in a case that already had veered from suggestions that it all was a result of the “fog of war” to insinuations that criminal acts were to blame.

The Pentagon’s failure to reveal for more than a month that Tillman was killed by friendly fire have raised suspicions of a coverup. To Tillman’s family, there is little doubt that his death was more than an innocent mistake.

One investigator told the Tillmans that it hadn’t been ruled out that Tillman was shot by an American sniper or deliberately murdered by his own men — though he also gave no indication the evidence pointed that way.

“I will not assume his death was accidental or ’fog of war,”’ said his father, Pat Tillman Sr. “I want to know what happened, and they’ve clouded that so badly we may never know.”

Almost two years after three bullets through the forehead killed the star defensive back — a man who President Bush would call “an inspiration on and off the football field” — the fourth investigation began.

This time, the investigators are supposed to think like prosecutors:

Who fired the shots that killed Pat Tillman, and why?

Who insisted Tillman’s platoon split and travel through dangerous territory in daylight, against its own policy? Who let the command slip away and chaos engulf the unit?

And perhaps most of all: Was a crime committed?

From football to Rangers
The long and complicated story of Pat Tillman’s death and the investigations it spawned began five years ago, in the smoking ruins of the World Trade Center.

“It is a proud and patriotic thing you are doing,” Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld wrote to Tillman in 2002, after Tillman — shocked and outraged by the Sept. 11 attacks — turned down a multimillion-dollar contract with the Arizona Cardinals to join the elite Army Rangers.

The San Jose, Calif. native enlisted with his brother Kevin, who gave up his own chance to play professional baseball. The Tillmans were deployed to Iraq in 2003, then sent to Afghanistan.

The mission of their “Black Sheep” platoon in April 2004 sounded straightforward: Divide a region along the Pakistan border into zones, then check each grid for insurgents and weapons. They were to clear two zones and then move deeper into Afghanistan.

A broken-down Humvee known as a Ground Mobility Vehicle, or GMV, stalled the unit on an isolated road. A mechanic couldn’t fix it, and a fuel pump flown in on a helicopter didn’t help.

Hours passed. Enemy fighters watched invisibly, plotting their ambush.

Tillman’s platoon must have presented an inviting target. There were 39 men and about a dozen vehicles.

Impatience was rising at the tactical operations center at Forward Operating Base Salerno, near Khowst, Afghanistan, where officers coordinated the movements of several platoons. Led by then-Maj. David Hodne, the so-called Cross-Functional Team worked at a U-shaped table inside a 20-by-30-foot tent with a projection screen and a satellite radio.

(Hodne, now a lieutenant colonel and executive officer for the 75th Ranger Regiment, declined to be interviewed on the record by the AP — as did nearly every person involved in the incident.)

When the Humvee broke down, the Black Sheep were nearing the end of their assignment; all that was left was to “turn one last stone and then get out,” Hodne would testify. The unit was then to head for Manah, a small village where it would spend the night.

The commanders had already given the Black Sheep an extra day to get into its grid zones. High-ranking commanders were “pushing us pretty hard to keep moving,” said Hodne.

“We had better not have any more delays due to this vehicle,” he told his subordinates.

CONTINUED: 'I felt like the village idiot'

Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery. - Malcolm X
A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything. - Malcolm X
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. - Confucius
The greatest scholars are not usually the wisest people. - Geoffrey Chaucer
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old Nov 9th, 2006, 08:16 PM
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Re: Yet another reason to pull the hell out of Iraq!!

Umm. . .that's messed up. DaYUM! That's messed up.

-one of those "bad" Williams fans that everyone keeps talking about


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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old Nov 9th, 2006, 08:21 PM
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Re: Yet another reason to pull the hell out of Iraq!!

Uh, the NY Times last week - nukes in Iraq, Saddam wanted more
nukes, 1991 and at 2001.......of course, they framed it as to why
the Bush team didn't hide the documents uncovered after the
invasion from the internet....which the Dems demanded they
put on the internet...but, no bother.


You do realize that the U.S. military averages near 1,000 each
year in military accidents in training, boot camps, travel, etc.


Should we just shut down all the military?





This is yet another reason to give our men and women in
the military more high tech equipment to work with, see through
haze and war, and training.

It was an accident that shouldn't have happened.



I'm sorry he died.
I'm sorry his family has to go through this.

But, he volunteered. As did his brother.

They're not playing games out there, anything
can happen.

These men messed up, badly. For reasons I don't quite
understand after reading all I have on it. They did though.
The haze, the confusion, etc. OK, but why keep shooting.


Someone will end up in jail or sued or both.


If friendly fire accidents and young military guys making a bad
mistake worse had never happened before in the history of
the military, of any nation, I'd agree w/you.


But, it happens.

Every conflict has it happen.

He was famous, so we know about it.


The info is coming out.

The so called iron clad tight military is investigating it, it's been
in the papers, it's out there.



Didn't we have a movie with Meg Ryan playing a military officer
in Desert Storm, first Gulf War...and she's killed by her own men,
and they try to cover it up. Sadly, it happens. Most of the time
not w/a famous man as the victim though.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old Nov 9th, 2006, 08:47 PM
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Re: Yet another reason to pull the hell out of Iraq!!

Of course, in the first Gulf War one in four allied deaths were a result of Americans shooting the wrong people...thankfully the figure is somewhat lower this time.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old Nov 9th, 2006, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Yet another reason to pull the hell out of Iraq!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by samsung101 View Post
Uh, the NY Times last week - nukes in Iraq, Saddam wanted more
nukes, 1991 and at 2001.......of course, they framed it as to why
the Bush team didn't hide the documents uncovered after the
invasion from the internet....which the Dems demanded they
put on the internet...but, no bother.


You do realize that the U.S. military averages near 1,000 each
year in military accidents in training, boot camps, travel, etc.


Should we just shut down all the military?





This is yet another reason to give our men and women in
the military more high tech equipment to work with, see through
haze and war, and training.

It was an accident that shouldn't have happened.



I'm sorry he died.
I'm sorry his family has to go through this.

But, he volunteered. As did his brother.

They're not playing games out there, anything
can happen.

These men messed up, badly. For reasons I don't quite
understand after reading all I have on it. They did though.
The haze, the confusion, etc. OK, but why keep shooting.


Someone will end up in jail or sued or both.


If friendly fire accidents and young military guys making a bad
mistake worse had never happened before in the history of
the military, of any nation, I'd agree w/you.


But, it happens.

Every conflict has it happen.

He was famous, so we know about it.


The info is coming out.

The so called iron clad tight military is investigating it, it's been
in the papers, it's out there.



Didn't we have a movie with Meg Ryan playing a military officer
in Desert Storm, first Gulf War...and she's killed by her own men,
and they try to cover it up. Sadly, it happens. Most of the time
not w/a famous man as the victim though.
I think you're missing the point Samsung.

Maybe it would be easier to read the bulleted info, and respond to that.

Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery. - Malcolm X
A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything. - Malcolm X
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. - Confucius
The greatest scholars are not usually the wisest people. - Geoffrey Chaucer
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