Pat Tillman was a tough-tough defender in the National Football League. He feared no man. When he enlisted to become a Ranger in Afghanistan, it surprised many. He was making multi-millions of dollars as a pro football player. No one can question Pat Tillman's courage and service to his country.
From his earliest deployment in Afghanistan, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and George W. Bush wanted to use his story to cover their mistakes in Iraq. However that didn't happen for at least two reasons. First, Tillman made it very clear that he did not want them to "parade me through the streets." His motives for joining the military had nothing to do with being seen as a hero. Nevertheless the Bush crowd waited until they might utilize him some way. Second, Tillman called our war in Iraq "illegal as hell," and thought it was carried out on an "imperial whim."
When Tillman was killed by fire from one of his own Ranger buddies on April 22, 2004, the propaganda machine in that Pentagon and that White House sprang into action. E-mails streamed through staff offices discussing how they could take advantage of this tragic death of a fallen hero, supposedly killed by enemy fire. On April 23rd, the White House released a fictional tribute to a fallen hero.
The 2nd Ranger Battalion was helping with the paper work to award Tillman a Silver Star. They used false witnesses to support their sham. It should be pointed out that everyone from top to bottom in the chain of command knew it was all a lie. The story was concocted that Tillman was killed by the enemy while charging up a hill.
Because the American public was beginning to see through the mistake of Iraq, the Bush gang saw the Tillman incident as an opportunity to gain public support. Sadly, the lies and deception were all too common in the Bush administration. Abu Ghraib torture was revealed at about the same time. We began to see clearly that there were no "weapons of mass destruction" in Iraq. All lies and distortions. Not only was American public opinion wavering, the entire world's opinion of the Bush administration sunk to levels not seen before. The U.S. was seen as a violent and dishonest state.
In my mind, no president in recent history was left with a worse mess than was Barack Obama. George W. Bush was one of the worst presidents in U.S. history. In my mind, not many men who have occupied the White House could have dealt with the disgraceful garbage left by Goerge W. Bush than Obama. And now, the right-wingers and wimpy Democrats are concocting stories to try and defeat reforms that may hurt the immoral profits in the health care industry and the miliary-industrial complex.
The Pat Tillman story is a clear example of the danger we faced as a nation with the types of people, and the groups that supported them, during the Bush years. You and I have been lied to over and over. To ignore that is done at our own peril. A new administration is now in Washington and we should do everything we can to support it. The dark days of 2000-2008 are past --or at least let us hope so.
Read: WHERE MEN WIN GLORY: THE ODYSSEY OF PAT TILLMAN by John Krakauer. Doubleday.