#1 Posted on 4.5.05 0427.07 Reposted on: 4.5.12 0427.08
OK, even as a Nat'l Guard vet, this p*sses me off to no end.
The skinny: troops on the scene of the 22 Apr 04 firefight in Afghanistan were sure Tillman died due to friendly fire. The article says an Army report called his death "gross negligence"...and Army officials knew about it 4 days before Tillman's memorial service. Even worse...the Washington Post claims it's got documents showing officers destroyed critical evidence.
Godd*mmit, a hero like Tillman deserved better than a lying Army bureaucracy trying to cover its own ass. (image removed)
EDIT: I see your point, AWARulz, and it's a good one. However, the cynic in me (and granted, he's grown in stature in the years I've been out of the military) says the Army knew it'd be a PR mess for 'em, with Tillman being (against his wishes) a rather high-profile soldier. Sure, FF happens all the time (24% of our casualties in Gulf War I, it sez here), but for it to happen to a former NFL superstar serving his country is an absolute PR disaster for the Army. And THAT'S the real reason, I figure, they covered it up initially.
#2 Posted on 4.5.05 0841.15 Reposted on: 4.5.12 0841.16
I guess I am conflicted. I was an Army guy, Airborne (I didn't qualify for Rangers) back a few years ago.
So a guy gets fragged - accident. I can see his buddies covering it up so that the family thinks he died in combat, so that the guys who fragged him won't get in trouble, so the unit doesn't get broke up. I see that all the way.
I can see that all through the chain of command. But I am surprised that, if it got to the SecArmy that it wasn't communicated early.
I can tell you this: in combat, guys get killed by FF all the time. Guys with guns and guys with canons and rockets and tanks and so on accidently kill guys, especially when those guys are brave enough, or foolish enough, to be really close to the enemy. I suspect that many, many guys who "died in combat" in WW2, when it was very remote, died because of FF.
So don't pull out the haterade too much. The guys were just trying to present the death of a guy, whose parents and other relatives had to deal with, in the best light. Mom, Dad - he died a hero, fighting the enemies of peace. What guys in combat sometimes lose sight of, and so do we a long way away from the combat, is that combat is a crazy, mixed up, insane time and it's hard to keep track of.
Like I said, the guys were just trying to ease the family as much as possible. I doubt there was some grand conspiracy to "protect the rangers" - at least at that low level. Maybe at a higher level.
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