A new documentary set to hit the big screen this summer lifts the lid on the cover-up behind the death of Pat Tillman, the pro-football star who gave up a lucrative career to fight in Afghanistan and Iraq before preparing to return to the U.S. as an anti-war icon, at which point he was killed in a so-called friendly fire incident that more closely resembled a deliberate assassination.
Whether or not the documentary delves into the question of whether Tillman’s death was a targeted act of murder remains to be seen, but the evidence strongly indicates that Tillman was deliberately assassinated in order to prevent him from becoming an anti-war icon and derailing public support in the United States for the ongoing occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Tillman sacrificed the good life and a multi-million dollar football career in the belief that he was defending his country from outside enemies, and soon after 9/11 turned down a contract offer of $3.6 million over three years from the Cardinals to enlist in the U.S. Army.
It was during Tillman’s second deployment to Afghanistan, after previously serving in Iraq, that he was killed by what the U.S. military initially claimed was a Taliban ambush. It later emerged that the ambush story had been concocted by the Pentagon in an attempt to exploit Tillman’s death for pro-war propaganda. Subsequent investigations claimed that Tillman was killed as a result of a friendly fire accident.
However, in July 2007, the results of an Army medical report found that Tillman had been shot three times in the head with an M16 from a mere 10 yards away, clearly suggesting that the incident was a targeted assassination.
“Army medical examiners were suspicious about the close proximity of the three bullet holes in Pat Tillman’s forehead and tried without success to get authorities to investigate whether the former NFL player’s death amounted to a crime,” reported the Associated Press.
“The medical evidence did not match up with the, with the scenario as described,” a doctor who examined Tillman’s body after he was killed on the battlefield in Afghanistan in 2004 told investigators. “The doctors – whose names were blacked out – said that the bullet holes were so close together that it appeared the Army Ranger was cut down by an M-16 fired from a mere 10 yards or so away.”
The report also states that “No evidence at all of enemy fire was found at the scene – no one was hit by enemy fire, nor was any government equipment struck.”
The article also reveals that “Army attorneys sent each other congratulatory e-mails for keeping criminal investigators at bay as the Army conducted an internal friendly-fire investigation that resulted in administrative, or non-criminal, punishments.”
The doctor who autopsied Tillman’s body tried to pursue an investigation into the question of whether Tillman was murdered but was prevented from doing so by higher-ups at the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division.
The motive for the murder would undoubtedly have been Tillman’s plans to return to the U.S. and a vocal critic of the Afghanistan and Iraq invasions.
The evidence points directly to it and the motivation is clear – Tillman abandoned a lucrative career in pro-football immediately after 9/11 because he felt a rampaging patriotic urge to defend his country, and became a poster child for the war on terror as a result. But when he discovered that the invasion of Iraq was based on a mountain of lies and deceit and had nothing to do with defending America, he became infuriated and was ready to return home to become an anti-war hero.
In September 2005, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that a friend of Tillman had set up a meeting with author and prominent war critic Noam Chomsky, which was scheduled to take place after Tillman’s return from Afghanistan. Chomsky confirmed that the meeting was arranged.
As far back as March 2003, immediately after the invasion of Iraq, Tillman famously told his comrade Spc. Russell Baer, “You know, this war is so fucking illegal,” and urged his entire platoon to vote against Bush in the 2004 election.
During a July 2007 appearance on Keith Olbermann’s MSNBC show, four star General Wesley Clark stated that “the orders came from the very top” to cover-up the nature of Tillman’s death as he was a political symbol and his opposition to the war in Iraq would have rallied the population around supporting immediate withdrawal.
Watch the trailer for The Tillman Story, which is due for cinema release in August