1. #1
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    Default I Dont Really Know What To Make Of This

    I can name an incident to which, while I was not witness to it, I played a part - albeit from several miles away. I later saw and in some parts worked on (as the clerk/typist) the narratives, witness statements etc. What was originally witnessed/reported and what was finally sent to National Archives and National Defence Headquarters, and how the Commanders Commendation were written/presented was not quite how events really took place. I was also not the only clerk to work on that file. In any case it is now very old history or at least it seems a very long time ago.

    Ranger Told To Conceal Tillman Details
    House Panel Looks Into Tillman's Death, Lynch's Rescue

    POSTED: 8:17 am EDT April 24, 2007
    UPDATED: 2:58 pm EDT April 24, 2007

    WASHINGTON -- An Army Ranger who was with Pat Tillman when he died by friendly fire said Tuesday he was told by a higher-up to conceal that information from Tillman's family.

    "I was ordered not to tell them," U.S. Army Spc. Bryan O'Neal told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

    He said he was given the order by then-Lt. Col. Jeff Bailey, the battalion commander who oversaw Tillman's platoon.

    Pat Tillman's brother Kevin was in a convoy behind his brother when the incident happened, but didn't see it. O'Neal said Bailey told him specifically not to tell Kevin Tillman that the death was friendly fire rather than heroic engagement with the enemy.

    "He basically just said, 'Do not let Kevin know, he's probably in a bad place knowing that his brother's dead,"' O'Neal said. He added that Bailey made clear he would "get in trouble" if he told.

    Kevin Tillman was not in the hearing room when Bailey spoke.

    Kevin Tillman accused the military Tuesday of "intentional falsehoods" and "deliberate and careful misrepresentations" in portraying the football star's death in Afghanistan as the result of heroic engagement with the enemy instead of friendly fire.

    "We believe this narrative was intended to deceive the family but more importantly the American public," Kevin Tillman told a House Government Reform and Oversight Committee hearing. "Pat's death was clearly the result of fratricide," he said.

    "Revealing that Pat's death was a fratricide would have been yet another political disaster in a month of political disasters ... so the truth needed to be suppressed," said Tillman, who was in a convoy behind his brother when the incident happened three years ago but didn't see it.

    The committee's chairman, Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., accused the government of inventing "sensational details and stories" about Pat Tillman's death and the 2003 rescue of Jessica Lynch, perhaps the most famous victims of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

    Lynch, then an Army private, was badly injured when her convoy was ambushed in Iraq. She was subsequently rescued by American troops from an Iraqi hospital but the tale of her ambush was changed into a story of heroism on her part.

    Still hampered by her injuries, Lynch walked slowly to the witness table and took a seat alongside Tillman's family members.

    "The bottom line is the American people are capable of determining their own ideals of heroes and they don't need to be told elaborate tales," Lynch said.

    Kevin Tillman said his family has sought for years to get at the truth about Pat Tillman's death, and have now concluded that they were "being actively thwarted by powers that are more interested in protecting a narrative than getting at the truth and seeing justice is served."

    Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., questioned how high up the chain of command the information about Tillman's friendly fire death went, and whether anyone in the White House knew before Tillman's family.

    Pat Tillman's mother, Mary Tillman, said she believed former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld must have known. "The fact that he would have died by friendly fire and no one told Rumsfeld is ludicrous," she said.

    Tillman was killed on April 22, 2004, after his Army Ranger comrades were ambushed in eastern Afghanistan. Rangers in a convoy trailing Tillman's group had just emerged from a canyon where they had been fired upon. They saw Tillman and mistakenly fired on him.

    Though dozens of soldiers knew quickly that Tillman had been killed by his fellow troops, the Army said initially that he was killed by enemy gunfire when he led his team to help another group of ambushed soldiers. It was five weeks before his family was told the truth, a delay the Army has blamed on procedural mistakes.

    Pat Tillman's mother, Mary Tillman, told the committee family members were "absolutely appalled" upon realizing the extent to which they were misled.

    Last month the military concluded in a pair of reports that nine high-ranking Army officers, including four generals, made critical errors in reporting Tillman's death but that there was no criminal wrongdoing in his shooting.

    Tillman's death received worldwide attention because he had walked away from a huge contract with the NFL's Arizona Cardinals to enlist in the Army after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

    Mary Tillman said she found it "horrific" that investigators found no violations of rules of engagement.

    Waxman contended that the federal government invented "sensational details and stories" about the Tillman's death and Lynch's rescue.

    "The government violated its most basic responsibility," said Waxman.

    Lawmakers also planned to press the Pentagon with questions still hovering over Tillman's shooting, including whether a Predator drone was flying overhead when Tillman was killed and whether it videotaped the incident. The military says no such videotape exists.

    Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.


    I dont know.... I think I would rather that my family had a "happy" memory with a story of dying for King and Country, than to be told "Oooppss it was an accident." Loss of life is always a tragic event, but it can be tempered down by feeling that at least it wasn't all for nothing.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

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    I'm a little confused on what exactly happened (apparently I'm not the only one). I'm assuming that Tillman was killed by friendly fire while engaging the enemy. Under that assumption, being a hero and dieing from friendly fire are not mutually exclusive.

    Also, when did we start separating those who died from friendly fire and those who died from enemy fire? Did that happen in WWII, Vietnam??

    Friendly fire incidents need to be investigated so that they can be prevented in the future, but the fact that a soldier dies from friendly fire does not necessarily make him any less of a hero or mean that he (or she) does not deserve any medals they may have been awarded.

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    I had similar thoughts. I also talked with one of my co-workers who's hubby is a LCdr here in DC. I asked her the questions and her real answer was "Yes, if (she) felt there was something odd about the "official report" (she) would have it investigated further."

    Her reasoning was for closure, to remove the "what if" questions.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

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    Dunno who said it, but it is as true now as it was then.



    "The first casualty of war is the truth"

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2andfrom View Post
    Dunno who said it, but it is as true now as it was then.



    "The first casualty of war is the truth"
    Way too true all in the name of "National Security" or whatever the catch-phrase flavour of the week is.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

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    Thumbs down Not nice

    Just to make it more unpalatable-Google Lieutenant Colonel William Steele

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2andfrom View Post
    Just to make it more unpalatable-Google Lieutenant Colonel William Steele
    Wonder if he is any relation to Col Sam Steele, forefather of the Northwest Mounted Police (RCMP), and first Commanding Officer of Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians).
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

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    Default Dont really know what to make of this one...

    Different story, different topic, but .. well anyhow:

    Marines Drop High Schooler After Violent Essay
    Boy Charged After Teacher Read Essay

    POSTED: 9:00 am EDT April 28, 2007

    CHICAGO -- Allen Lee was on the verge of realizing a dream to become a Marine after signing enlistment papers this month. But one violent, profanity-laced English essay later, the 18-year-old's future with the Marine Corps appears to be over.

    Because of pending criminal charges stemming from his essay, Lee's recruiter told him Friday that the Marine Corps has discharged him from his contract, said Sgt. Luis R. Agostini, spokesman for the Marine Corps Recruiting Station Chicago.

    "Basically, he is no longer an applicant to become a Marine," Agostini said.

    The senior at suburban Cary-Grove High School was charged this week with two misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct after the principal turned his creative writing essay over to police.

    Lee initially faced just one charge, but an amended complaint filed Thursday cited a second passage.

    "In light of recent events (at Virginia Tech), that is part of the context of what happened that makes the reaction all the more reasonable," said Tom Carroll, first assistant state's attorney in McHenry County.

    Lee, who has a 4.2 grade-point average and never has been in trouble before, is being tutored at administrative offices while school officials decide his future, said his lawyer, Thomas Loizzo.

    The charges are a product of paranoia, born of the massacre of 32 students at Virginia Tech by a social outcast who then killed himself, Loizzo said.

    "Once the dust settles, once they look at this through clearer glasses, we think that the state will do the right thing and dismiss the charges," Loizzo said.

    The essay, written Monday, reads in part, "Blood, sex and booze. Drugs, drugs, drugs are fun. Stab, stab, stab, stab, stab, s...t...a...b...puke. So I had this dream last night where I went into a building, pulled out two P90s and started shooting everyone, then had sex with the dead bodies. Well, not really, but it would be funny if I did."

    The teacher told students: "'Be creative; there will be no judgment and no censorship,"' Thomas Loizzo said. "There was never any warning from the teacher that if she determined the paper to be offensive, she would then pass it along to the authorities."

    School district spokesman Jeff Puma declined to discuss the specifics of the essay or Lee's future, citing privacy concerns.

    "The essay was inappropriate in that it caused a question about safety," Puma said.

    The charges could result in a $1,500 fine and as many as 30 days in jail if Lee is convicted.

    Lee hopes to re-enlist if the charges are cleared and he's allowed to return to school, said his other attorney, Dane Loizzo.

    Lee wrote in a statement provided by his attorney that he has completed military entrance exams, including a psychiatric evaluation.

    "If I'm qualified to defend the country, I believe I'm qualified to attend school," he wrote.

    Previous Story:
    April 26, 2007: Student Arrested Over Violent Essay

    Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MalahatTwo7 View Post
    Because of pending criminal charges stemming from his essay,
    While I can understand some counseling, I don't see what laws have been broken. I could see charges being filed if the statements were made in public, but an essay in a creative writing class is not a public statement.

    Given recent events I think everyone needs to keep an eye open for warning signs of violent behavior. Certainly this kids essay could be one and initial intervention should be evaluated, but to me it seems as though Disorderly Conduct charges are overkill.
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    I understand the need to watch for signs of mental problems after Virginia Tech, but to arrest and charge somebody for an essay seems to violate his first ammendment rights. Arresting him is going a bit far.

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