A friend of mine sent me an email, in which he synthesized the current Republican drumbeat against Attorney General Eric Holder and President Obama's claim of Executive Privilege. Their argument seems to boil down to one major issue: the family of the slain officer deserves to know how their son died, and if there was a cover-up following his death.
You know, I kind of agree. Follow me below the fold for the shocking details of who knew what, who lied to the slain officer's mother, and who lied to Congress in the "investigation." Follow me below the fold to see who in Congress was "shocked" at this outrage, and who did what to dig out the truth.
This is the email I received:
"On July 13, less than a week after claiming executive privilege for Miers and Taylor, President Bush's Counsel Fielding effectively claimed the privilege once again, this time in relation to documents related to the 2004 death of Army Ranger Pat Tillman. In a letter to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Fielding claimed certain papers relating to discussion of the friendly-fire shooting “implicate Executive Branch confidentiality interests” and would therefore not be turned over to the committee."
You notice the talking points being used today:
1. The family of the Border Patrolman deserve to know what happened. (The Tillman family still do not know what happened. In fact, Army General officers deliberately lied to the Mother of Pat Tillman about the circumstances of his death and the following cover-up.)
2. The President is hiding something. (The Tillman family had pretty good evidence that President Bush, himself, was directly informed of the initial lies about Tillman's death, and the subsequent cover-up. Remember, Tillman was immediately recommended for the Silver Star, and Bush was cautioned, at the last minute, to not mention it in a speech he made following Tillman's death. (That's the famous P-For message) Don't you think Bush would have said, "Wait. He is recommended for the Silver Star. Why can't I mention it? Why was my speech changed at the last minute after I've already practiced reading it off my teleprompter?")
3. If you have nothing to hide, why won't you just release all the documents? (Exactly.)
4. The second tier major players (Rumsfeld, Gen Meyer, Gen Abizaid) finally, after much stonewalling, all testified before Congress. Their testimony was exactly the same: "I don't remember." Some even claimed they never received the P-For message. Riiight. (Ask any military commo officer if a P-For message is ever "not delivered.") No one asked, "If you did not receive the P-For message about the cover-up, why did you rush to insure the President's speech was changed at the last minute? They developed a cover-up for the death of arguably the most famous soldier on active duty at the time, and they didn't remember? They went right to the President with it, and they don't remember? They blatantly lied to Pat Tillman's mother about the circumstances of his death, approved a Silver Star based on a narrative they KNEW was a lie, and they didn't remember?
5. President Bush NEVER released the documents, nor discussed what he knew, and when. The Tillman family NEVER found out who orchestrated the lie about Pat Tillman's death. There was never an investigation into the question of whether Tillman was deliberately murdered, and why the cover-up at the highest levels began immediately following his death.
I have looked for the comments of Speaker Boehner and Rep Daryl Issa concerning the unfairness of the stonewalling of the Tillman Family and the abuse of executive privilege in the Pat Tillman case. I have not found them yet, but I know they must have been outraged. I know they must have called for hearings. I know they must have held the Bush administration in contempt of Congress.
I will continue to search. I invite you to make the connection in every blog, in every comment about Attorney General Holder and Fast and Furious, and in your letters to Congress.