A U.S. House committee has announced it will hold
hearings to investigate misleading military statements
that followed the friendly fire death of Pat Tillman in
Afghanistan and the rescue of Pfc. Jessica Lynch in
As reported by the
Associated Press, the House Committee on Oversight
and Government Reform said an April 24 hearing will be
part of its investigation into whether there was a
strategy to mislead the public.
It will "examine why inaccurate accounts
of these two incidents were disseminated, the sources
and motivations for the accounts, and whether the
appropriate administration officials have been held
accountable,'' the panel said on its Web site.
The House Armed Services Committee also
is considering Tillman hearings, a spokeswoman for that
panel said Monday.
The Tillman and Lynch cases are two
clear and blatant examples of how the government has
consistently lied to the public about events during both
the wars in Afghanistan and in Iraq, often spinning
situations and distorting reality in order to put the US
military occupations in a better light.
We have covered both cases extensively
and exposed the propaganda and the cover ups that have
followed, now it seems, rather encouragingly, that some
within the House are taking an interest in uncovering
the truth and exposing the lies perpetrated by the
Neocon White House war machine.
The Lynch case is well documented. In
2003 facing flack and extreme criticism the Bush
administration orchestrated a clear piece of war
propaganda in an effort to rally the people behind the
troops and the Invasion of Iraq.
In April 2003 the US Army's 507th
Ordnance Maintenance Company took a wrong turning near
Nassiriya and was ambushed by Iraqi soldiers. Nine of
Lynch's US comrades were killed. The Iraqis took Lynch
to the local hospital, where she was kept for eight
The Iraqi soldiers fled the hospital
days before Lynch's rescuers stormed it. The doctors
there, having already tried and failed to return Lynch
to the Americans after they fired upon an ambulance
which she was being transported in,
described the "rescue" as a Hollywood show, as
special forces stormed in with cameras rolling.
"It was like a Hollywood film. They
cried, 'Go, go, go', with guns and blanks and the sound
of explosions. They made a show - an action movie like
Sylvester Stallone or Jackie Chan, with jumping and
shouting, breaking down doors." one doctor later
First, a U.S. military spokesman in Iraq
was ordered by CENTCOM to tell journalists that soldiers
exchanged fire during the Rambo like rescue, without
adding that Iraqi soldiers had already abandoned the
hospital, then the military released a green-tinted
night-vision film of the mission, adding to the drama.
Releasing its five-minute film to the
networks, the Pentagon then claimed that Lynch had stab
and bullet wounds, and that she had been slapped about
on her hospital bed, interrogated and possibly even
Then news organizations began repeating reports that Lynch had
heroically resisted capture, emptying her gun as she
fired at her attackers.
But subsequent disclosures have proved all those
details to be complete fabrications. Lynch was badly
injured by the crash of her vehicle, her weapon jammed
before she could fire, the Iraqi doctors made friends
with her and treated her kindly, and the hospital was
in friendly hands when her rescuers arrived.
Asked by the
ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer after the event if the
military's portrayal of the rescue bothered her, Lynch
said: "Yeah, it does. It does that they used me as a way
to symbolize all this stuff. Yeah, it's wrong,".
Lynch went on the record quickly and has
since gone on to denounce the whole debacle as outright
propaganda. This was perhaps wise given that four of
Lynch's rescuers and colleagues have coincidentally died
Petty Officer First Class David M. Tapper died of
wounds received in Afghanistan. He took part in the
Lance Cpl. Sok Khak Ung was killed in a drive-by
shooting. He was also part of the rescue team.
Spc Josh Daniel Speer died when his car crashed into
some trees for no apparent reason. He was part of the
Kyle Edward Williams, who worked in the same company
as Lynch, died of "suicide".
Will the House committee be
investigating these deaths as part of the hearings?
previously reported on how Pat Tillman's tragic
death was also seized upon and used as a cheap
propaganda tool by the government for the war on terror
and the invasion of Iraq. His death may have even been a
criminal plot manufactured to this end, a suspicion that
both military investigators and Tillman's family have
After his death it was announced that Tillman, the
All American poster boy, the former sporting hero who
had traded in his football boots for army boots after
witnessing the 9/11 attacks, had been tragically gunned
down by evil Taliban terrorists whilst he was charging
up a hill side to attack, bellowing orders to fellow
A nationally televised memorial service and a Silver
Star commendation cemented Tillman's place as the
nation's first war hero since the story of Jessica
Lynch's capture and phony details of her rescue were
foisted on the public in 2003.
The truth was that Tillman's death was being
exploited for public relations purposes by the U.S.
military and the administration.
Weeks later, the Army acknowledged that Tillman had
been a victim of friendly fire whilst on a routine
Tillman's platoon of the Second Battalion, 75th
Ranger Regiment, began the day that he died dealing with
a minor annoyance in the southeastern part of
Afghanistan where the soldiers were conducting sweeps,
the Army records show, one of their vehicles would not
Against their own policy and after the overruling of
some objections, the platoon split into two parts so
that half the team, including Tillman, could go on to
the next town for sweeps while the second half could tow
the disabled vehicle to a drop-off spot.
But both groups ended up in the same twisting canyon,
along the same road, without radio communication. And
after the sounds of an enemy ambush, three Rangers in
the second group wound up firing at members of the first
group — at an Afghan soldier who was fighting alongside
Tillman, and then at Tillman himself.
The Afghan was killed. According to testimony,
Tillman, who along with others on the hill waved his
arms and yelled “cease fire,” set off a smoke grenade to
identify his group as fellow soldiers. There was a
momentary lull in the firing, and he and the soldier
next to him, thinking themselves safe, relaxed, stood up
and started talking. But the shooting resumed. Tillman
was hit in the wrist with shrapnel and in his body armor
with numerous bullets.
The soldier next to him testified: “I could hear the pain in his
voice as he called out, ‘Cease fire, friendlies, I am
Pat f—ing Tillman, dammit.” He said this over and over
until he stopped,” having been hit by three bullets in
the forehead, killing him.
It was also admitted that soldiers destroyed evidence
— Tillman's uniform and flak vest — after the shooting,
claiming that they were a "biohazard". However another
soldier involved offered a contradictory take, saying
"the uniform and equipment had blood on them and it
would stir emotion" that needed to be suppressed until
the Rangers finished their work overseas.
An initial investigation by then-Capt. Richard Scott,
interviewed all four shooters, their driver, and many
others who were there. He concluded within a week that
while some of the gunmen demonstrated "gross negligence"
others demonstrated "criminal intent" and recommended
further investigation to push for the harshest possible
But Scott's report disappeared after circulating
briefly among a small corps of high-ranking officers.
Some of Tillman's relatives think the Army buried the
report because its findings indicated foul play. Army
officials refused to provide a copy to the media, saying
no materials related to the investigation could be
released. A second investigation was then commenced by a
higher ranking officer which called for less severe
Richard Scott later gave testimony alleging that Army
officials allowed witnesses to change key details in
their sworn statements so his findings could be
Scott stated “watching some of these guys getting
off, what I thought … was a lesser of a punishment than
what they should’ve received. And I will tell you, over
a period of time … the stories have changed. They have
changed to, I think, help some individuals.”
The document containing Scott's testimony was
reviewed by the
San Francisco Chronicle. In a published story in
September 2005 the Chronicle highlighted the following
passage from Scott:
“They had the entire chain of command (inaudible)
that were involved, the [deleted], all sticking up for
[deleted] … And the reason the [deleted] called me in …
because the [deleted] … changed their story in how
things occurred and the timing and the distance in an
attempt to stick up for their counterpart, implied,
insinuated that the report wasn’t as accurate as I
submitted it …”
In another section of his testimony, he said
witnesses changed details regarding “the distance, the
time, the location, the lighting conditions and the
positioning” in Tillman’s killing.
There are many other examples of conflicting
testimony in the Tillman case including the fact that he
may not have been killed immediately and was certainly
given CPR hours after being shot in the head three
At least one Army officer, the records show, changed
his sworn statements about which supervisor had actually
ordered the split of the platoon and what conversations
had occurred before the order was given.
A further review of the case by the Pentagon's
inspector general,Gen. Gary M. Jones found that Army
officers told soldiers to remain quiet about the
circumstances of Tillman's death for fear of negative
One or more members of the Tillman family will
testify in the new hearings, in addition to Jessica
The Tillman family have been very
reluctantly outspoken since the tragic Death of Pat
Tillman, "All I asked for is what happened to my son,
and it has been lie after lie after lie," Tillman's
father told the
New York Times, explaining that he believed the
matter should remain "between me and the military" but
that he had grown too troubled to keep silent.
Mr Tillman has stated “The administration clearly
was using this case for its own political reasons...
This cover-up started within minutes of Pat’s death, and
it started at high levels. This is not something that
(lower-ranking) people in the field do,” he said.
"After it happened, all the people in
positions of authority went out of their way to script
this," Mr Tillman has said. "They purposely interfered
with the investigation …. I think they thought they
could control it, and they realized that their
recruiting efforts were going to go to hell in a
handbasket if the truth about his death got out."
Mr Tillman is certain that a cover up
has been perpetrated and believes his son's death may
not even have been an accident.
"There is so much nonstandard conduct,
both before and after Pat was killed, that you have to
start to wonder," Mr. Tillman said. "How much effort
would you put into hiding an accident? Why do you need
to hide an accident?"
Kevin Tillman, Pat's brother (pictured
above) has also been very outspoken and recently slammed
the Bush administration and the war in Iraq in a
lengthy article. Kevin Tillman wrote: