Patrick K. Tillman stood outside his law office here, staring intently at a yellow house across the street, just over 70 yards away. That, he recalled, is how far away his eldest son, Pat, who gave up a successful N.F.L. career to become an Army Ranger, was standing from his fellow Rangers when they shot him dead in Afghanistan almost two years ago.
"I could hit that house with a rock," Mr. Tillman said. "You can see every last detail on that place, everything, and you're telling me they couldn't see Pat?"
Mr. Tillman, 51, is a grieving father who has refused to give up on his son. While fiercely shunning the public spotlight that has followed Cpl. Pat Tillman's death, Mr. Tillman has spent untold hours considering the Army's measurements, like the 70 yards.
He has drafted long, sometimes raw, letters to military leaders, demanding answers about the shooting. And he has studied -- and challenged -- Army PowerPoint presentations meant to explain how his son, who had called out his own name and waved his arms, wound up dead anyway, shot three times in the head by his own unit, which said it had mistaken him for the enemy.
"All I asked for is what happened to my son, and it has been lie after lie after lie," said Mr. Tillman, explaining that he believed the matter should remain "between me and the military" but that he had grown too troubled to keep silent.
The above is from Monica Davey and Eric Schmitt's "2 Years After Soldier's Death, Family's Battle Is With Army" in this morning's New York Times. The story details the shifting nature of eye witness accounts and the destruction of evidence. And that's it for Afghanistan in the paper. Iraq? The day after the third year anniversary?
Well if you want to read fluff about "terror insurance," the paper of record is the paper for you.
Martha notes Ellen Knickmeyer and Hassan Shammari's "Attack Kills 17 Policemen In Town North of Baghdad" (Washington Post):
Armed men overran a police station, a courthouse and the house of a provincial official in this town north of Baghdad just before dawn Tuesday, killing or wounding all the policemen inside the station, burning buildings and freeing jail inmates, local authorities said.
The raid killed 17 policeman and wounded seven, said Ali Khayam, a spokesman with a U.S.-Iraqi operations center in the province, Diyala. A bomb killed two more policemen as they rushed to the scene from the nearby city of Baqubah, the Reuters news agency reported.
And Martha notes Vanessa Arrington's "Insurgents Storm Iraqi Jail, 28 Killed" (Associated Press):
Tuesday's assaults came a day after 39 people were reported killed by insurgents and shadowy sectarian gangs in Iraq, continuing the wave of violence that has left more than 1,000 Iraqis dead since the bombing last month of a Shiite Muslim shrine.
Police found the bodies of at least 15 more people -- including that of a 13-year-old girl -- dumped in and near Baghdad. The discoveries marked the latest in a string of execution-style killings that have become an almost daily occurrence as Sunni and Shiite extremists settle scores.
As night fell on Monday, a bomb struck a coffee shop in northern Baghdad, killing at least three civilians and injuring 23 others. The bomb was left in a plastic bag inside the shop in a market area of the Azamiyah neighborhood, police Maj. Falah al-Mohammadewi said.
As the fourth year of the illegal war begins, the New York Timid wants to fluff about terror insurance -- a "isn't that cute" human interest story. 200 people have purchased it -- 200 out of millions -- so obviously, in the Timid's mind, it's a "trend" story. Too bad they have time for "trends" but not reality.
Rod passes on the scheduled topic for today's Democracy Now!:
* Former top Republican strategist Kevin Phillips on his new book "American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century."
the new york times
the washington post