In a rare rebuke of military investigators, the Defense Department inspector general has told the Army to open a criminal inquiry into the shooting death of Cpl. Pat Tillman, the former professional football player whose enlistment in the Army drew national attention, Pentagon officials said Saturday.
The new inquiry into the killing of Corporal Tillman, a member of the elite Rangers, will be conducted by the Army Criminal Investigation Command. The Army initially had said he died as a hero in a blaze of enemy fire in Afghanistan in 2004 before attributing his death to an accidental shooting by fellow Rangers.
The above is from Monica Davey and Eric Schmitt's "Army Ordered to Look Again at Battle Death" on the front page of this morning's New York Times. A lot of e-mails asking, "Is this the big story the paper thought they had?" I hope not. This is really lazy reporting.
Marcus e-mailed wondering why, online, they have a link in the story to "Afghanistan" but not to "Pat Tillman"? I think that goes to why this story is so badly written. From the article:
Corporal Tillman's death first drew national notice because of who he was: a successful young N.F.L. safety who had walked away from a $3.6 million contract with the Arizona Cardinals to enlist, then qualified for the elite Rangers, with his brother after the terrorist attacks of 2001.
That's not really the whole story and the Times knows it. Better not to offer links to Pat Tillman that might embarrass the Bully Boy.
From Dave Zirin's "Why Pat Tillman's Parents Are No Longer Silent" (CounterPunch):
When former Arizona Cardinals football player turned Army Ranger Pat Tillman died in Afghanistan, sonorous bugles moaned from coast to coast. We were told he died a "warrior's death" charging up a hill, urging on his fellow rangers. His funeral was a nationally televised political extravaganza with Senator John McCain among others delivering eulogies over his open grave. His Commander in Chief George W. Bush took time during last fall's Presidential campaign to address Cardinals fans on the Jumbotron at Sun Devil Stadium. Republican Rep. J.D. Hayworth was one of many singing Tillman's praises. "He chose action rather than words. He lived the American dream, and he fought to preserve the American dream and our way of life."
[. . .]
Patrick and Mary now know that Pat did not die at the hands of the Taliban while charging up a hill, but was shot by his own troops in an instance of what they call "fratricide." Patrick and Mary now know that Tillman's men realized they had gunned him down "within moments." They know that the soldiers in an effort to cover up the killing of the All American "poster boy" - burned Tillman's uniform and body armor.
They know that over the next 10 days, top-ranking Army officials, including the all too appropriately titled "theater commander," Army Gen. John P. Abizaid, hid the truth of Tillman's death, while Pentagon script writers conjured a Hollywood ending. They know that the army waited until weeks after the nationally televised memorial service to even clue them in about "irregularities" surrounding their son's death. They know that the concurrent eruption of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal may have played a role in the cover-up, as the army attempted to avoid a double public relations disaster.
"After it happened, all the people in positions of authority went out of their way to script this," Patrick Tillman said earlier this week to the Washington Post. "They purposely interfered with the investigation, they covered it up. [T]hey realized that their recruiting efforts were going to go to hell in a handbasket if the truth about his death got out. They blew up their poster boy."
The Times doesn't want to touch that. That's a little too close to the Bully Boy for them. Tillman's death was distorted to further the administration's aims. The Times isn't going to tell you that. Or provide a link where you can easily access their past coverage of Tillman.
It's not a good morning to be Monica Davey. Whether she wrote it that [way] or it was altered by others, her name's on two stories. The one above and "Chicago Divided Over Proposal to Honor a Slain Black Panther" which also fails to grasp basic facts.
Davey (or "Davey") writes:
Much of what happened before dawn on Dec. 4, 1969, when police officers raided the apartment building at 2337 W. Monroe Street, is still fiercely debated here.
Davey's apparently unaware of the findings of the Congressional committees in the seventies because she fails to bring up the FBI. She also fails to note that Hampton was asleep (possibly drugged) when he was killed. The FBI's informer who provided the sketch of where Hampton would be sleeping is also curiously absent from Davey's synopsis.
It's interesting what bits and pieces of the public record the paper includes and omits. Public record, down the memory hole.
Kara notes Scott Shane and David Johnston's "Pro-Israel Lobbying Group Roiled by Prosecution of Two Ex-Officials:"
The highly unusual indictment of the former officials, Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman, accuses them of receiving classified information about terrorism and Middle East strategy from a Defense Department analyst, Lawrence A. Franklin, and passing it on to a journalist and an Israeli diplomat. Mr. Franklin pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 12½ years in prison, though his sentence could be reduced based on his cooperation in the case.
The prosecution has roiled the powerful organization, known as Aipac, which at first vigorously defended Mr. Rosen and Mr. Weissman and then fired them last March. And it has generated considerable anger among American Jews who question why the group's representatives were singled out in the first place.
Aipac would appear to be an unlikely target for the Bush administration; it is a political powerhouse that generally shares the administration's hawkish views on the potential nuclear threat from Iran and the danger of Palestinian militancy. But the case does fit with the administration's determination to stop leaks of classified information.
Some legal experts say the prosecution threatens political and press freedom, making a felony of the commerce in information and ideas that is Washington's lifeblood. Federal prosecutors are using the Espionage Act for the first time against Americans who are not government officials, do not have a security clearance and, by all indications, are not a part of a foreign spy operation.
By the way, the organization is what we've referred to as "AIPAC." If it's a typo ("Aipac") sorry for drawing attention to it. (Lord knows I rarely got an entry without several.) However, if it appears in print as the writers' intended, I'm confused because their website lists their name as AIPAC. (You can find that via a search. Long term members would bombard me with e-mails for linking to AIPAC. And they'd have a point.)
Martha notes Josh White and Julie Tate's "In Guantanamo Bay Documents, Prisoners Plead for Release" (Washington Post):
Many of them say they are farmers or shopkeepers or herdsmen. Others say they were charitable people who traveled to Afghanistan to help those oppressed by the Taliban government. Still others admit they were training with weapons to fight alongside the Taliban but insist they never thought ill of the United States and certainly would not have attacked U.S. soldiers.
They appear alternately confused and indignant, exasperated and thankful, worried and hopeful. And in pages upon pages of their statements and questions and letters to the Americans who appear to control their fate, the detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, largely argue that they did nothing wrong.
The Times has nothing more on Guantanamo (not even an Associated Press article, like the one they ran yesterday). Ruth's report? Kat and Dallas were hunting down links that weren't links. That's Ruth's typed shorthand. It will take no more than 15 minutes for me to decipher Ruth's shorthand remarks. They misunderstood and thought she was suggesting links. But I have limited time this morning and it's Ruth or Isaiah. Sundays are his normal day, so he'll go up now. Hopefully, I'll be able to get Ruth's latest up at some point today (maybe really, really late tonight) but if not, by Monday morning.
It's Sunday, so new edition of The Third Estate Sunday Review is up:
A note ot our readers
Editorial: Bully Boy plays his only card
TV Review: American Dad giving the nation and fatherhood a bad name
Bully Boy and the "I" nations (no, not Iraq)
Quick Bully Boy thought for Sunday
The envelope please ... And the Punk Ass Award goes to ...
Confirmed: America's Funniest Videos disguises foreign videos to its audience
Bully Boy and the nukes
Thoughts on Air America
And don't forget that today on RadioNation with Laura Flanders guests include Medea Benjamin and Walter Mosley.
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