"Tillman’s mother, Mary Tillman, who has long suggested that her son was deliberately killed by his comrades, said she is still looking for answers and looks forward to the congressional hearings next week.
"Nothing is going to bring Pat back. It’s about justice for Pat and justice for other soldiers. The nation has been deceived," she said.
The documents show that a doctor who autopsied Tillman’s body was suspicious of the three gunshot wounds to the forehead. The doctor said he took the unusual step of calling the Army’s Human Resources Command and was rebuffed. He then asked an official at the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division if the CID would consider opening a criminal case.
"He said he talked to his higher headquarters and they had said no," the doctor testified.
Also according to the documents, investigators pressed officers and soldiers on a question Mrs. Tillman has been asking all along.
"Have you, at any time since this incident occurred back on April 22, 2004, have you ever received any information even rumor that Cpl. Tillman was killed by anybody within his own unit intentionally?" an investigator asked then-Capt. Richard Scott.
Scott, and others who were asked, said they were certain the shooting was accidental.
Investigators also asked soldiers and commanders whether Tillman was disliked, whether anyone was jealous of his celebrity, or if he was considered arrogant. They said Tillman was respected, admired and well-liked.
The documents also shed new light on Tillman’s last moments.
It has been widely reported by the AP and others that Spc. Bryan O’Neal, who was at Tillman’s side as he was killed, told investigators that Tillman was waving his arms shouting "Cease fire, friendlies, I am Pat (expletive) Tillman, damn it!" again and again.
But the latest documents give a different account from a chaplain who debriefed the entire unit days after Tillman was killed.
The chaplain said that O’Neal told him he was hugging the ground at Tillman’s side, "crying out to God, help us. And Tillman says to him, `Would you shut your (expletive) mouth? God’s not going to help you; you need to do something for yourself, you sniveling …" AP/Forbes
His mother thinks someone in his platoon shot him? The Left thinks the government had someone kill him because he was a "closet" anti-war activist? The officers who failed to report his death correctly are worse than child molesters? Maybe someone shot him because because he cussed at him while under fire? Three closely spaced bullet holes add up to aimed fire?
The unreality in all this is impressive:
– Mary Tillman evidently wants to believe that her son’s death has some esoteric meaning. Sorry, soldiers die on every battlefield without any import attaching to their deaths except the quality of their personal sacrifice. Unless there is some REAL EVIDENCE of deliberate violence directed at Tillman by a comrade, there is no reason to think she is right about this. It may be necessary to re-open the investigation just to put a stop to this foolishness.
– Anyone who thinks that the Army cares what a junior enlisted infantry soldier thinks about politics is just wrong. What they care about is whether or not the man is doing his duty, and he evidently was. His brother was in the same platoon (a bad idea). Does he say that there was hostility towards the two of them over their views on Bush Administration policy?
– His death was not reported correctly as directed by Army POLICY (not law). The officers who failed to do so probably failed in their duty because of a combination of fear of adverse career results from this celebrity’s death "on their watch" and a misguided desire to shield the family from the grim reality of the accidental quality of his end. They may have broken the law in that the UCMJ requires truthful answers in official statements. Nevertheless, one must ask, would Tillman be less dead if they had reported his death properly? The failure is a serious breach of discipline but not a moral lapse.
– Soldiers generally cuss. They cuss even more under combat conditions. The idea that someone would have shot him for yelling at them is so stupid that I can’t really deal with it.
– The three holes in his forehead? I am a good shot with a variety of weapons. I know a lot about guns and what happens when a lot of fire is buzzing around in a fire fight. Three 7.62mm or 5.56mm rounds from an automatic weapon fired at fairly close range in one burst are just as likely an explanation as aimed fire. The fact that these three rounds hit him in the forehead proves nothing. Three rounds out of how many in the same burst?
The idea that Tillman’s death was "arranged" is already taking hold as a new assassination myth. People spreading this idea should ask themselves why they are doing this? Is it really "the truth" that they want is or is it simple animosity towards the Army that motivates them?