Skip to main content

Maybe it's just me, but a man who was at the center of the fiasco involving the death of a truly American Hero a man making multi-millions of year playing pro football who walked away from it to join the Army in the days following 9-11, to do his duty to the nation he loved, should not be forgiven and promoted to a 4 star General.

He died an unfortunate death and a death by mistake, he was killed by friendly fire, but the Department of Defense and the Bush Administration used his death as a propaganda tool, an attempt to revitalize enlistments. To make a "hero" out of a national icon, who did not need to be made a "hero" he was just because of his own actions, giving up millions of dollars to become an Army Ranger. Despite knowing his death was by friendly fire, the Army still awarded him the Silver Star, and wrote a bogus citation justifying it. LTG McChrystal was the Commander of the Special Operations Command that controlled the Ranger battalion in Afghanistan.

In this article it shows the men at the heart of the mess

The four generals cited as providing misleading or inaccurate information regarding Tillman’s death are Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, commander of Joint Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, N.C.; Brig. Gen. James Nixon, director of operations for U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.; retired Lt. Gen. Phillip Kensinger Jr., former commanding general of Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg; and retired Brig. Gen. Gary Jones, former chief of staff for USASOC.

This article gives the complete timeline of the Pat Tillman debacle Blow-by-blow :The Pat Tillman congressional hearing

Lawmakers will have some hard questions ready for uniformed and civilian Pentagon leaders today as they try to get to the bottom of the friendly-fire death of football star and San Jose native Pat Tillman.

We'll be weighing in on the action, starting at 7 a.m. PDT Tuesday.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, headed by Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles, has scheduled the hearing, suggestively titled "Misleading Information from the Battlefield," which will probe the April 22, 2004 killing of Tillman in Afghanistan -- as well as the March 23, 2003 capture and subsequent release of Pvt. Jessica Lynch in Iraq.

The public hearing will be live-cast on the committee's website.

Waxman, as chairperson of the committee, is bedeviling the Bush administration over several other high-profile issues in which the White House is accused of covering up misdeeds -- the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame, the White House use of private email accounts to evade public scrutiny of its political maneuverings, and alleged overcharging by Halliburton and other military contractors in Iraq.

On the Tillman and Lynch cases, Waxman and other committee members such as Rep. Tom Lantos, D-San Mateo, and Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, are expected to be loaded for bear. The more dramatic emotional moments are likely to come when Tillman's mother, Mary, and brother, Kevin, testify.

The recent Pentagon Inspector General's report on Tillman's death, which appears to have added fuel to the fire, is here.  

Today Secretary of Defense  Gates and Admiral Mullen basically fired General McKiernan of the Afghanistan forces and replaced him with General McChrystal (I wonder if he has to be submitted to Congress and confirmed for his 4th star?)

In todays WAPO article on the change

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates today asked for the resignation of the top American commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David McKiernan, saying the U.S. military "must do better" in executing the administration's new strategy there.

Gates recommended that President Obama nominate veteran Special Operations commander Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal to replace McKiernan, who would depart as soon as a successor is confirmed. Gates also recommended that Lt. Gen. David Rodriguez, the former head of U.S. forces in eastern Afghanistan who is currently serving as Gates's military assistant, be nominated to serve in a new position as McChrystal's deputy.

The leadership shift comes as the Obama administration has voiced increasingly urgent concern about the surge in violence in Afghanistan as well as unrest in neighboring Pakistan.

Later in the article Sec Gates was asked if this would end General McKienarns military career, his simple answer was "probably" being asked to resign your command, is not a good career move. but to be replaced by LTG McChrystal is a double whammy in my opinion, I can only imagine how the Tillman family feels today, "sucker punched" is my guess.

Off subject  I have page on DFA for a Netroots Scholarship as Mike Bailey  please consider recommending me for one of the ten slots, I would appreciate it.

Originally posted to testvet6778 on Mon May 11, 2009 at 03:44 PM PDT.

Poll

Should McChrystal get promoted?

76%80 votes
9%10 votes
14%15 votes

| 105 votes | Vote | Results

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Good catch! The Gates curse rises again (14+ / 0-)

    to haunt us.  You have to wonder if the White House missed this aspect of it, or if they figured no one would care -- that the Tillman scandal was old news, etc. (and, of course, sadly, they might be right if so).  That whole affair was never properly investigated, and you're absolutely right that it's a travesty one of the kiss-asss central figures is now being promoted.  

    Once again, we need a full accounting on the Bush era!

    "I once asked a literary agent what writing paid the best, and he said, 'Ransom notes.' " - Gene Hackman as Harry Zimm in Get Shorty

    by Vtdblue on Mon May 11, 2009 at 03:48:23 PM PDT

  •  one civilian massacre too many (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Oke, testvet6778, twinpeaks, BYw

    for old McKiernan. I guess they are figuring the Special Forces Command is the only aspect of the Afghan war effort that's still not fucked up beyond belief and somebody is needed to run the special ops infiltration of Pakistan.

    Law is a light which in different countries attracts to it different species of blind insects. Nietzsche

    by Marcion on Mon May 11, 2009 at 03:54:04 PM PDT

    •  Exactly on the Civilian Deaths (0+ / 0-)

      The Administration has its prying point to lever him out and replace him with someone who understands their short and long term goals for Afghanistan, and that any hope for stabilizing that country is tied to stabilizing Pakistan.

      For the Next 18 Months

        *  Prevent Afghanistan from being used as a safe haven for terrorist and extremist groups with a global reach to attack the United States, its allies, and its interests
         * Prevent a security vacuum in Afghanistan from destabilizing Pakistan and the region
         * Couple efforts to stabilize Afghanistan with a parallel, integrated strategy for Pakistan, with a particular focus on helping Pakistanis build a stable civilian government committed to working toward the elimination of terrorist safe havens within its territory  Center for American Progress

      "Give me but one firm spot to stand, and I will move the earth." -- Archimedes

      by Limelite on Mon May 11, 2009 at 04:37:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You're WAAY oversimplifying it (6+ / 0-)

    While you're correct we should be cautious, General McChrystal was skeptical of the entire Tillman situation.  He told the generals not to say he was killed by enemy fire.  

    Further, the whole reason, in my view what McChrystal was picked because he is an unconventional warfighting general.  McKiernan, on the other hand was very much into standard or conventional warfighting.  Tank warfare in otherwords.  McChrystal is more focused on the counter-insurgency element of fighting.  I think that is what is needed right now at this point.  That said, I am very curious as to why this was sudden with McKiernan.  

    •  I think this has been in the works for a while... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      testvet6778

      A combination of both the Administration and Petreus wanting their own guy in there. And a differnt approach that will see less air to ground interdiction.

      Artillery these days has the potential to be much more precise and containable. I think air support will only be used in large scale situations of TIC's as opposssed to being a first option for all situations.

      it tastes like burning...

      by eastvan on Mon May 11, 2009 at 04:21:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  wasn't McKiernan just given the job a few months (0+ / 0-)

        ago, he was the "new leader"

        •  June 2008 less than a year ago (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BYw

          McKiernan was named the top commander in Afghanistan in June 2008. Prior to that he led all U.S. and coalition forces in the ground war in Iraq in March 2003. Afterward he became commander of all U.S. forces in Europe.

          "Let none of this detract from, nor cause us ever to forget General McKiernan's long and distinguished career of military service. For decades, in peace and war, Dave McKiernan has led hundreds of thousands of men and women in uniform with conviction, integrity and courage," Gates said.

          •  Remember that was under Bush (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            eastvan, testvet6778, BYw

            Who was operating under a different strategy, mainly consisting of maintaining the status quo.  As we've noticed, that's basically failed.  So the new Administration wants someone who's going to implement their policy and they felt that McKiernan was too much of a conventional warfare guy.  Here's something else to note:  He stated we may need more troops in Afghanistan on top of the 21k already sent.  I don't think Obama likes that and I don't think Gates/Petraeus likes that either.  They want this plan to work, before any discussions of what more they need to do come into focus.  

    •  simplifying things is a way of life for me I was (0+ / 0-)

      an simple Staff Sergeant infantry in the Army I was not a rocket scientist

  •  If the generals responsible for this kind of (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mattman, testvet6778, nokkonwud

    bullshit get called out for it over and over again, then maybe generals fighting wars in the future will change how they do things.

    Same goes for torture. The "get over it and move on" meme is how bad things keep being allowed to happen.

    The GOP...Holding 22, "Hit me again!"

    by voracious on Mon May 11, 2009 at 03:55:48 PM PDT

  •  Based on your link, this diary overreaches (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sberel, sc kitty, Snud, testvet6778, BYw, calchala

    McChrystal was in the middle of a shit sandwich between Bush-Cheney and the subordinates who made up the lies that were told to the press.

    Coming under the heaviest criticism was Lt. Gen. Philip Kensinger, the now-retired three-star general who was in charge of Army special operations.

    "We found compelling evidence that (Lt. Gen.) Kensinger learned of suspected fratricide well before the memorial service and provided misleading testimony" on that issue, the report said. That misrepresentation, the report said, could be a violation of the Military Code of Justice.

    The Army was still saying Tillman had been killed in a conventional ambush at a nationally televised memorial service for him 11 days after his death.

    The report also noted that Kensinger later misled investigators when asked when he first learned Tillman's death was from friendly fire.

    The highest current ranking officer blamed in the incident is Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, commander of the Joint Special Operations Command. Investigators said he was "accountable for the inaccurate and misleading assertions" contained in papers recommending that Tillman get a Silver Star award.

    "It's the planet, stupid."

    by FishOutofWater on Mon May 11, 2009 at 04:03:39 PM PDT

    •  the last paragrapgh states my case he should (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mattman, greenskeeper, sc kitty, Snud

      have STOPPED the award of the Silver Star  that was his call that buck stopped on his desk

      •  I agree he should have (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sc kitty, testvet6778

        but the politics of the situation was really, really crappy under Bush and Cheney. I blame Bush for creating the environment that led to the bogus Tillman story. He was the liar in chief.

        I appreciate and respect your opinion.

        Who would you suggest would be a better choice for the job?

        "It's the planet, stupid."

        by FishOutofWater on Mon May 11, 2009 at 04:18:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I think Tillmans Siver Star is a sidetrack issue. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BYw

        He probably could have been awarded one for things done prior anyhow. And regardless of the circumstance it is a good symbol of his service.

        I do find it distasteful that certain ticketpunchers thought the awarding of it could make the whole thing go away. Bad judgement that should not be rewarded with further career advancement. I'm not sure that McChrystal is the one to blame. Politicians both in, and out of, uniform are probably more responsible.

        it tastes like burning...

        by eastvan on Mon May 11, 2009 at 04:28:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  why? (0+ / 0-)

        He said he felt that Tillman still deserved the silver star even if it was friendly fire, and I'm not sure the type of fire would have much bearing on that so can't disagree.

        He also sent a memo warning his highers that they shouldnt say it was enemy fire and was ignored.

        He was also cleared by the Army, or at least the recommendation to censure him was not approved probably because, again, his sole role in "covering things up" was to not change the citation on his award apparently.

        The fact that he raised the issue to his superiors significantly ameliorates his mistakes in this issue.

  •  More To This Story (4+ / 0-)

    Pat's death is very suspicious. Even the AP reported that the bullet hole pattern raises a lot of questions. I will leave it to the reader to look up the references. Until this matter is cleared up completely, I have to think this is some "move on" behavior from the Administration. I am disappointed.

    Stop rewarding bad behavior.

    by FLDemJax on Mon May 11, 2009 at 04:10:33 PM PDT

  •  keep it up, testvet.. we need your voice! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jimstaro, testvet6778
  •  I'm convinced... (0+ / 0-)

    Pat Tillman was assassinated for his anti-war and anti-Bush views.  Heavenly days, someone like  that is worse than a gay in the military!  You should all look at the book "The Ghost War" by Alex Berenson to see how much Gates screwed up in Afghanistan from 1989 onward.

  •  Here's why McChrystal was picked (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    testvet6778, Marcion, DrFitz

    Taken from his Wiki page:

    "According to Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward, beginning in late spring 2007 JSOC and U.S. intelligence agencies launched a new series of highly effective covert operations that coincided with the Iraq War troop surge of 2007. Woodward reported that McChrystal employed "collaborative warfare" to integrate a range of tools from signal intercepts to human intelligence to find, target, and kill insurgents. Woodward's sources claimed that it was JSOC, not the much-touted surge, that was responsible for the drop in violence in 2007–2008. Asked for comment, President Bush said simply, "JSOC is awesome."

  •  All Officers are appointed By Congress, By law. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    testvet6778

    Some with a blink and a nod, ie Lt. though Major at
    the services request. Once You get to the O-6 level,
    Thing change. Policics play a very real role in advancement, it might not be R vs D, but it is still
    what side of the coin you see as the upside.

    I hope that Comander Huber stops by as I may be wrong.

    To Pat Tillmans family, "Rangers Lead The Way".
    My prayers are with You all.

    "IS THIS THE FUTURE, OR THE PAST THAT IS CALLING." JB

    by vzfk3s on Mon May 11, 2009 at 05:30:15 PM PDT

  •  I hope Kevin and Richard Tillman (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    testvet6778

    go on a media tour protesting this selection.  Their mother and Pat's wife each seem too overspent and emotionally drained on this subject, which I cannot blame them at all.  

    "Words are my weapon. Violence I am not good at."- John Lydon

    by Cait Strummer on Mon May 11, 2009 at 05:30:38 PM PDT

  •  He may also be linked to torture in Iraq (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BOHICA, testvet6778

    Esquire did a story in July, 2006 called "Acts of Conscience" and McChrystal's name comes up. It's a lengthy article that goes into the torture that occurred.

    Here, at great personal risk, an elite Army interrogator comes forward to reveal his experience at a secret prison camp in Iraq. And more like him will follow. The story of Human Rights Watch and the search for the truth about the United States military and torture.

    Here's the location:

    This was Camp Nama, the home of Task Force 121, the Special Ops team that chased Osama bin Laden and caught Saddam Hussein and would ultimately locate and kill Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the self-described leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq. It was Rumsfeld's baby, the Platonic ideal of his fast and mobile army. From its size to its mission, everything about it was and remains an official secret. Except for the concertina wire, Camp Nama was a nondescript cluster of buildings.

    Here's where McChrystal's name first comes in:

    It was a point of pride that the Red Cross would never be allowed in the door, Jeff says. This is important because it defied the Geneva Conventions, which require that the Red Cross have access to military prisons. "Once, somebody brought it up with the colonel. 'Will they ever be allowed in here?' And he said absolutely not. He had this directly from General McChrystal and the Pentagon that there's no way that the Red Cross could get in--they won't have access and they never will. This facility was completely closed off to anybody investigating, even Army investigators."

    And further reference to McChrystal:

    "What was the level of occurrence of these harsh techniques? Was it weekly?"

    "Sometimes it was every day if it was a multi-interrogation plan on one individual. Sometimes we didn't have anybody to talk to for maybe a day or two."

    "Was the colonel ever actually there to observe this?"

    "Oh, yeah. He worked there. He had his desk there. They were working in a big room where the analysts, the report writers, the sergeant major, the colonel, some technical guys--they're all in that room."

    To Garlasco, this is significant. This means that a full-bird colonel and all his support staff knew exactly what was going on at Camp Nama. "Do you know where the colonel was getting his orders from?" he asks.

    Jeff answers quickly, perhaps a little defiantly. "I believe it was a two-star general. I believe his name was General McChrystal. I saw him there a couple of times."

    Back when he was an intelligence analyst, Garlasco had briefed Stanley McChrystal once. He remembers him as a tall Irishman with a gentle manner. He was head of the Joint Special Operations Command, the logical person to oversee Task Force 121, and vice-director for operations for the Joint Chiefs. That put responsibility right in the heart of the Pentagon.

    Within the unit, the interrogators got the feeling they were reporting to the highest levels. The colonel would tell an interrogator that his report "is on Rumsfeld's desk this morning" or that it was "read by SecDef."

  •  Is Google (0+ / 0-)

    A restricted website for all government agencies? You would think so.

    My first wish is to see War, this plague to mankind, banished from off this earth. George Washington, 1796 farewell address

    by BOHICA on Mon May 11, 2009 at 06:09:51 PM PDT

  •  I will by no means excuse the failings of Officer (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    testvet6778

    Who tries to excuse his mistakes by lying. A flag Officer who makes a mistake, but learns to make things better, that is what we need.

    Testvet, thanks for the FYI.

    (essayon), Combat Engineer's Rule.

    "IS THIS THE FUTURE, OR THE PAST THAT IS CALLING." JB

    by vzfk3s on Mon May 11, 2009 at 06:15:46 PM PDT

  •  I call bullshit on you (0+ / 0-)

    From your cited article -
    "He cites as his main evidence an urgent message sent April 29, 2004 (one week after Pat Tillman's death) by Gen. Stanley McChrystal, chief of the military's special operations, to Gen. John Abizaid, chief of Central Command. The message urged Abizaid to warn the White House that Pat likely died by friendly fire and to remove any reference to the manner of death from an expected speech by President Bush on May 1."

    •  call BS on me all you want Gen McCrhystal is the (0+ / 0-)

      one who approved the Silver Star  not I  disagree with my opinion but you can't change the facts

    •  from MSNBC article on the switch (0+ / 0-)

      He drew criticism for his role in the military's handling of the friendly fire shooting of Army Ranger Pat Tillman — a former NFL star — in Afghanistan. An investigation at the time found that McChrystal was "accountable for the inaccurate and misleading assertions" contained in papers recommending that Tillman get a Silver Star award.

      McChrystal acknowledged he had suspected several days before approving the Silver Star citation that Tillman might have died by fratricide, rather than enemy fire. He sent a memo to military leaders warning them of that, even as they were approving Tillman's Silver Star. Still, he told investigators he believed Tillman deserved the award.

      http://www.msnbc.msn.com/...

      or are you calling Bull shit on this too

      Silver Stars are for conduct involving attacks with the enemy  not friendly fire

  •  There's something even worse on Daily Dish (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    testvet6778

    Andrew cites a post by Fred Kaplan that says there are possible involvement with Abu Graib-like torture in Iraq to produce intel going straight to Rummy.  

    He had this directly from General McChrystal and the  Pentagon that there's no way that the Red Cross could get in: "they won't have access and they never will. This facility was completely closed off to anybody investigating, even Army investigators." .

    Kaplan is I think in turn citing an article from Esquire. Link

    the man Garlasco [from Human Rights Watch] is coming to meet has a story about abuses at a secret camp used by Task Force 121, the ultimate Special Ops team, the elite titanium tip of Donald Rumsfeld's spear. Their names are state secrets. Their work is closely monitored and highly systematized. And they acted under the supervision of ranking officers...He tells Garlasco to call him Jeff, which is not his real name.

    at the very same time the Army was cleaning up Abu Ghraib under scrutiny, 'Jeff' arrived at an elite secret interrogation facility near Baghdad where nudity and hooding and stress positions were still routine, where ranking officers knew exactly what was going on and promised to protect the interrogators at all costs.

    This was Camp Nama, the home of Task Force 121, the Special Ops team that chased Osama bin Laden and caught Saddam Hussein and would ultimately locate and kill Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the self-described leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq. It was Rumsfeld's baby, the Platonic ideal of his fast and mobile army.

  •  Commandos kill each other occasionally. (0+ / 0-)

    It comes with the territory. He wasn't one of them, and he was going to tell. They couldn't have that. The big fat secret is that US commandos are crazy ass Republicans. A Democrat can't be a commando, reveal themselves as a Democrat, and live. They just aren't trusted. Commandos that don't whore aren't trusted. If one is not doing it, he has leverage on the others, and could tell. Commandos kill each other for that. They are trained killers. Trained to kill hand to hand, up close and personal. It shouldn't come as a surprise they use their skills to solve problems.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site