when he answered to Olbermann's review of the questions posed by Mary Tillman: "It's very possible." One point on which Clark left no room for doubt: whatever happened, the idea for a cover-up was initiated at "the highest level," meaning the Bush White House, as Pat Tillman was a "political figure." He may also have been a political time bomb waiting to go off.
What is little reported (I don't know how the movie treats it) is that Tillman was in truth, anything but the one-dimensional super-hero Bush painted him to be, having given up a $3.6 million NFL contract to enlist in the Army after 911. What is reported even less is that by the time of his death, Tillman had become completely disillusioned with the Bush administration which had used him as a poster boy, and was unalterably opposed to the invasion of Iraq.
According to a 2004 in-depth piece in the San Francisco Chronicle, as well as many accounts from his friends and family, Tillman was a complex man who had read the Bible, the Koran, the Book of Mormon, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry David Thoreau. Another of his favorite writers was anti-war professor Dr. Noam Chomsky.
The Chronicle piece recounts Tillman's friend and fellow soldier in Iraq, Spc. Russell Baer, saying:
"I can see it like a movie screen. We were outside of [an Iraqi city] watching as bombs were dropping on the town.... We were talking. And Pat said, 'You know, this war is so f**king illegal.' And we all said, 'Yeah.' That's who he was. He totally was against Bush."
But after his death, which the Bush administration lied was a result of a heroic engagement with the enemy, rather than "friendly fire," draft-dodger Bush went so far as to address Tillman's mourning fans on the Cardinals Stadium Jumbotron praising him for making "the ultimate sacrifice" in the "war on terror."
It is confirmed by both Mary Tillman and Noam Chomsky that Tillman had an appointment with Chomsky upon his return, and it is speculated that he was considering taking a public position against one or both wars, now that he had deployed to both and seen them first hand. This was at a time when things were not going well for Bush.
Had the clean-cut, granite-jawed deep thinker and man's man somehow managed to turn the tide, how many mother's sons might still be alive, how many Iraqis. As much as I love them, here was no Dixie Chicks.
Facts which remain unanswered to this very day about Tillman's death:
-- The military doctor who ascertain Tillman's death wounds as 3 closely-spaced shots to the forehead, at a range of about 10 yards, or closer, immediately suspected foul play and asked his command to open a criminal investigation. It was denied.
-- Tillman's body armor and uniform were burned, completely contrary to regulations, and his diary never recovered.
-- It was revealed in 2007 that there were Special Operations Forces snipers in the area, possibly private contractors in uniform, though no one really knows why.
-- No evidence at all of enemy fire was found at the scene _ no one was hit by enemy fire, nor was any government equipment struck.
The Tillman investigations have been one long dance of stonewalling and obfuscation to the Tillman family. A letter has just been released in which Tillman's father tells one of the generals in charge of one of the investigations "f- you."
Tillman underlined his philosophy books and made notes in the margins, and sent his friends articles with highlighted passages scribbled with "let's discuss." He was an atheist, perhaps believing that if we all did what we were supposed to do in this world, it would be heaven on Earth and we would need no God. Why do I feel like I miss this man? I didn't even know him.
CONTACT CONGRESS, RE-OPEN TILLMAN INVESTIGATION
1-202-224-3121 (Capitol switchboard 24/7 voice mails)
BOO THE POLITICIANS OUT OF THE STADIUM FOR PAT, IF YOU SEE THEM AT A FOOTBALL GAME. "RE-OPEN TILLMAN INVESTIGATION"
Wes Clark on Olbermann, 2007
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