Right now the House is pursuing the actions taken surrounding the death of Pat Tillman:
House lawmakers accused the Pentagon Tuesday of deliberately covering up the friendly-fire death of former NFL star and Army Ranger Pat Tillman and pledged to pursue their own investigation, which could include calling former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to testify.
Did Commissioned Officers initially lie to the Tillman family? Yes
Did Commissioned Officers lie to the Tillman family in order to “protect” themselves or politicians in Washington? Friendly fire is a fact of combat, there was nothing to “protect.” Secondly, when it comes to matters of our own, most commissioned officers and non-commissioned officers do not give the proverbial “rats ass” in order to protect any politician in Washington. Most would happily let a politician sink to save even their most junior private. As politicians are mostly lawyers, we have equal use for them. There is no cover up to protect politicians.
So why did this original “lie” even happen? Some Officers tried to do the “right” thing for the family and it was actually the “wrong” thing to do. Once you have been in combat for the first time, the only thing you want for your family to know the second time you go into combat, is for them to know the unvarnished truth if something happens to you.
There is a valuable lesson here and I think the entire Army has learned that lesson. “Swede” in the comments reminds myself of that lesson, “Bad news does not get better with time.”
Pretty much that is the case. The Army bungled this, and the comments made by the Lt. Colonel using terms like “worm dirt” and linking the Tillman’s families’ sadness being linked to their atheism are beyond the pale, and made this worse. The Pentagon needs to apologize, some heads maybe should roll, and then while one must have empathy for this family plight, friendly fire casualties happen in war. I know, a good friend of mine, my former vehicle driver, died from it in the Gulf War.