Patterico's Pontifications


Down the Memory Hole: L.A. Times Does Stealth Correction of Allegation That Pat Tillman Was “Murdered” By Guys on His Own Team

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 11:46 pm

The U.S. Government’s handling of Pat Tillman’s death was a disgrace. Tillman was killed by friendly fire, and the U.S. tried to cover it up. You can read all about it in an excellent book by Jon Krakauer called Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman. I read it several weeks ago and I recommend it to anyone.

Tillman’s memory was manipulated by the Bush administration for cynical political reasons.

But he wasn’t “murdered.”

His death was the result of an accidental incident — as the L.A. Times has previously acknowledged in a 2009 review of Krakauer’s book.

Ironically, when an L.A. Times writer recently claimed otherwise — as part of a complaint about the U.S. Government’s cover-up — the newspaper tried to cover up the mistake.

As I prove in this post, a writer claimed that Tillman had been “murdered” by his own comrades. Then, after at least one person wrote an angry letter, they simply did a stealth correction — changing the word “murdered” to “killed” — without any mention of what they were doing.

You see the irony, right? I don’t have to spell it out, do I? A cover-up of an error in a column about a cover-up . . . I mean, you get it, don’t you?

I guess they noticed that I was busy and thought they could slip this past me.

What they forgot is, I have readers.

Here is what happened. On April 24, sportswriter Bill Dwyre published a piece in the L.A. Times that opened as follows:

I have never quite gotten the Pat Tillman story out of my system. Only now am I understanding why.

It has been six years and two days since he died, his head blown off amid a pile of rocks on the side of a hill in Afghanistan, murdered by guys on his own team, other U.S. soldiers. After lying about it, the military eventually called it friendly fire and treated it as a mistake. Horrible, yes, they said. But a mistake.

On that same day, alert reader Phillip C. wrote me to complain about the column in question. Phillip C. said:

I’m no expert in law or journalism, but I was surprised to see Dwyre describe Tillman as having been “murdered by guys on his own team.” Is the definition of murder not a deliberate attempt to kill somebody with the intention of malice?

I told Phillip that I appreciated his e-mail, and that while I am extremely busy with work, perhaps I could write about this, and incorporate my thoughts about Krakauer’s book in the process.

Then, today, alert reader Robert C.J. Parry wrote me to complain about the same piece. He said:

Bill Dwyer of the Times wrote an article about Pat Tillman over the weekend. In it he said Tillman was “murdered” by his fellow Rangers.

[I] wrote a scathing [letter to the editor] regarding this statement when I had a moment. Then, just to be sure, I went back and checked. Sure enough, murdered was changed to killed.

Is there a place where it might still exist in its original form? Do you happen to have a print copy lying around?

You read that right. They didn’t issue a correction. They just changed the word and hoped you wouldn’t see they had done it.

Sure enough, when you click on the link to the article, the offending sentence now reads as follows:

It has been six years and two days since he died, his head blown off amid a pile of rocks on the side of a hill in Afghanistan, killed by guys on his own team, other U.S. soldiers.

LAT Now Claims Tillman Killed

Robert, you ask if I have a print edition lying around. You should know better! I cancelled this rag long ago.

But I can do better, Robert. I have access to a thing called Google.

For instance, I have Google cache, which gives us this link, from which I took this screenshot:

LAT Claims Tillman Murdered 1

I also have Google itself, which has 14 results for the version using “murdered” in the text.

These buzzards decided not to print Robert’s letter and simply own up to their mistake. Instead, they surreptitiously changed a word and slunk off into the shadows, hoping nobody would notice.

Well, we noticed, L.A. Times editors.

So what are you going to do now?

UPDATE: The paper has issued a correction. Also, I was wrong to say Mr. Parry e-mailed the paper before the change was made. More here.

79 Responses to “Down the Memory Hole: L.A. Times Does Stealth Correction of Allegation That Pat Tillman Was “Murdered” By Guys on His Own Team”

  1. And where was the editor to catch that glaring error in the first place? Bad enough that a left-leaning sensibility may have led to the word “murder” being used in the first place; but they don’t even have the stones to be upfront about the correction.

    Pathetic, and — unfortunately — predictable.

    Icy Texan (0cfaa3)

  2. I wondered what it would be like to try to tell a Ranger he’s supposed to kill another Ranger in his platoon.
    In fact, I’d like to see a journo or other lying lefty try to tell a Ranger that other Rangers murdered Tillman.
    If you want to see justifiable homicide, that is….

    Richard Aubrey (c0196b)

  3. This wasn’t an error, and a correction should have been issued. I don’t always agree your criticism of the Times, but I’ve been in the journalism biz long enough to know that a key word in a sentence like this would not have been just overlooked. The use of the word “murdered” was intentional on the part of the writer and editor, who of course know the difference between killing and murder.

    Some people have in their gut someone may have had it in for Tillman, but there is thus far no credible evidence to suggest he was murdered. In fact, accounts say Tillman was well-liked in his unit.

    If you read Dwyre’s piece, which I thought overall was good, it’s a mea culpa for not covering the story like he should have. Perhaps “murdered” got put in there so he could make it seem like that an even bigger story had been missed by the media. That’s just a theory.

    Myron (a79d53)

  4. They just need to get a bigger memory hole

    Amphipolis (b120ce)

  5. Well the L.A. Times can either print a correction owning up to the mistake and salvage something of their reputation or they can ignore it and you with the hope that you’ll go away.

    Given that they have already tried the low road I suspect that journalistic integrity is a foreign concept to them. That somewhere in the dim corridors of the L.A. Times cost/benefit is determining their next course of action, that journalism is not/no longer part of their business model.

    After all isn’t propaganda more profitable?

    Barry (505db4)

  6. There’s a significant difference between lying and making an error (and a correction). It’s unfortunate that media outlets are not held accountable (other than through loss of customers) for such actions. But, being a believer in the free market, I’m hoping the LA Times continues to fail; and goes under soon.

    Corwin (ea9428)

  7. I’m hoping the LA Times continues to fail; and goes under soon.

    Corwin: I wouldn’t go that far. But of course I’m in the same business, so I’m not an objective party. 🙂

    But traditional newspapers have resources far beyond what other outlets have and they do work that’s invaluable for the public good. For instance, the Times’ original reporting on the problems with Toyota’s cars led indirectly to the massive recall that doubtlessly saved lives.

    But inasmuch as they don’t live up to basic standards of journalism — such as issuing a correction in this case — they hurt their credibility and lead to reactions such as yours. It’s interesting that the sportswriters’ whole point in his article was how they didn’t do “real journalism” in the Tillman case, and then he does the very non-journalistic thing of putting out a wild conjecture that’s not proven.

    Myron (a79d53)

  8. ‘Hurt their credibility,’ do they have any left, you’ve seen Patrick’s year end wrap up, it’s the Southern Cal branch of Minitrue, But everywhere they seem to want to mimic scripts from L& O

    ian cormac (d56635)

  9. I haven’t read the book, but I’ll mention two things which I think stand on their own, FWIW.

    First, while I think it is wrong and stupid for military PR people to spin things, all of the outcry is from people who do likewise all of the time, amd I’m sure they eagerly pushed the Tillman story when he enlisted as well. But hypocrisy from the left and the MSM is the standard MO as we all know.

    The second was a blip I found on the internet after his death. There was a brief account/statement by the fellow who was pinned down under fire with Tillman. His account was not very flattering of Tillman and made me consider how much of the army story was to protect Tillman’s reputation as well. The fellow stated that when they came under fire, he dove behind a rock for what little cover he could find and “prayed”. Tillman reportedly sat and asked what he was doing and laughed, saying praying wouldn’t help, and continued to yell out, “Hey, it’s me, Tillman!!”, or something to that effect. The post sounded genuine enough, very apologetic as if he wasn’t interested in going public with it, but felt he needed to after the conspiracy theories started coming out, etc.

    Don’t know if that is in the book, or if anyone else came across it, or if it was a fabrication that someone has evidence to prove wrong.

    MD in Philly (0f793a)

  10. They seem to have a fundamental problem with approaching corrections in an honest and forthright manner.

    Anyone surprised that Myron is in JournoListism?

    JD (d55760)

  11. MD in Philly:

    I’m not sure what’s unflattering about that account in regard to Tillman’s actions. Having been stuck behind a rock as rounds ricocheted around – rounds much smaller than the .50-cals Tillman faced — I’m not sure what else there was to do except pray and shout. It’s not like he could shoot back at his own guys, who were better armed.

    Robert C. J. Parry (9b5012)

  12. If Tillman’s honesty was so admirable to Dwyre, he could have issued an honest correction.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (9eb641)

  13. LA Observed has observed this post.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (9eb641)

  14. Comment by Robert C. J. Parry –

    When I wrote, “he dove behind a rock for what little cover he could find and ‘prayed'”, that was not Tillman, but the guy with him who survived.

    The part that seems unflattering was that Tillman didn’t take cover, but thought all he had to do was to yell, “It’s me, Tillman” and all would be fine, and that he scoffed at the guy praying.

    It’s fine not to believe in prayer and it’s a judgement call whether to dive for limited cover or use your energy screaming, but being dismissive of the guy behind the rock who was praying, suggesting he is taking the wrong action, and maybe the cowardly action, sounds like more than a mistake in judgement, but a pretty arrogant and foolish thing to do. I would think the instinctive thing would be to dive for cover, hoping to stay alive long enough for them to hear my yells.

    Now, I’m not saying I would have done anything smarter, maybe the story isn’t true at all, maybe the guy who survived already was behind the largest rock available. It’s still a tragedy and was still mishandled. I’m just saying it could be looked at as, “The idiot was taking friendly fire and didn’t have the good sense to duck.” That’s what I would see as unflattering.

    MD in Philly (0f793a)

  15. They don’t have a reputation to protect. Well, they do have a reputation, but even they don’t want to protect it.

    htom (412a17)

  16. No surprise in what the LAT has done here. Unfortunately, Tillman’s service and death were exploited by the right and the left.

    I may pick up a copy of this book. Jon K.’s “Into Thin Air” was superb, couldn’t put it down. On the other hand, I thought the book “Under The Banner of Heaven” was a nasty piece of work, approaching “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” in style and tone.

    GeneralMalaise (0a752b)

  17. but I’ve been in the journalism biz long enough to know

    Pretty much says it all, does it not?

    and they do work that’s invaluable for the public good.

    No doubt exposing CIA operatives in order to score cheap political points is part of that invaluable “public good” which you so earnestly speak of. Even better were all those massive layers of fact – checking that went on during the fraudulent “Ellie Light” Letters to the Editor astroturfing scheme that was mostly undetected last year. Not to mention the unquestioning regurgitation of MSM memes such as racist Teabaggers, Fat Bore’s genius at predicting climatology, and so yawn.

    Please let us know when you decide to stop being a bootlicking hack for your profession, then we’ll consider paying attention to your expectorate.

    Dmac (21311c)

  18. Dmac,
    That claim by Myron piqued my interest, too. What branch of journalism is he in?

    I also found the construction of this sentence interesting: “Perhaps ‘murdered’ got put in there so he could make it seem like that an even bigger story had been missed by the media.”

    “Got put in there”?!

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (9eb641)

  19. “Got put in there”?!

    Like referenceing the bottom of my shoe while walking around a dog park. Oh, that was poo, nevermind.

    Corwin (ea9428)

  20. Their stretching of rhetoric galls me especially when they say someone “died” in the 9/11 attacks. They didn’t die, they were killed! Murdered, actually.

    Patricia (5f1523)

  21. Indeed, Patricia… indeed.

    General(Malaise)Garbage (0a752b)

  22. They use active voice to insinuate a lie, they use passive to cover up the truth

    ian cormac (d56635)

  23. Patterico wrote that “Tillman’s memory was manipulated by the Bush administration for cynical political reasons.”

    That’s true as far as it goes, but didn’t the cynical manipulation begin on the battlefield, under military authority, and later continue under the auspices of Army HQ?

    The Bush administration is responsible for their share of blame, but did the impetus for the cover-up originate in the White House? Does anyone claim the Bush administration orchestrated the cover story from the outset, or did they climb aboard an already existing cover-up and try to use it to their advantage?

    ropelight (a47510)

  24. There were claims that Tillman was working with domestic enemies like Noam Chomsky to undermine our efforts in the war. I thought maybe one of his parents confirmed that claim at some point, but I don’t remember exactly what the story was.

    If the troops did get wind that Tillman was in cahoots with pro-terrorist types like Chomsky, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was intentionally killed.

    j curtis (138cbe)

  25. “There were claims that Tillman was working with domestic enemies like Noam Chomsky to undermine our efforts in the war.”

    Please post a reference. That will enable us to “consider the source”. All I’ve read about Tillman was that he was an exemplary man, by all accounts.

    General(Malaise)Garbage (0a752b)

  26. I said let’s put it behind us, GM. Let’s put it behind us, please.

    nk (db4a41)

  27. There are claims that jcurtis’ mother has sex, daily, with female goats, but I can’t find any credible sources.

    I wonder if jcurtis has any more valid sources for these claims about Tillman and his unit….?

    Frankly, I would be surprised if Tillman was killed intentionally, even under those circumstances. Unlike jcurtis I have a better opinion of the eithics of the US’s military professionals on the whole, and Rangers (being a still more elite, selected force) in particular.

    The William Calley incident is far more notable for its being fairly unusual than for being SOP.

    IgotBupkis (79d71d)

  28. Igot – That is pretty standard fare from j curtis.

    JD (d55760)

  29. My reading of the account MD cites is that Tillman was trying to say, “Hey, look, hiding behind a rock and praying isn’t going to get these guys to stop shooting. We need to let them know we’re friendlies.”
    Likewise, yelling “It’s me, Tillman.” sounds to me like an attempt to let the shooters know, “Hey, you’re shooting at friendlies here!”
    Could either or both have been better phrased? I’ve never been under fire, and I’m not going to slag someone else’s phrasing while they were under fire.

    Of course, that’s just my opinion; I could be wrong.

    Dwight Brown (33e0a0)

  30. #4 @ Amphipolis-

    To match the size of the one in their ass?

    The LA Times is a disgusting POS.

    Tex Lovera (456ded)

  31. 3/31/10, Circulation figures for Los Angeles Times 616,606 -14.74% I’m remembering not so long ago when daily circulation was 1,100,000. Some things change, some don’t.

    I rarely read the LAT Sports, but saw the article on Tillman; the use of the word “murdered” stuck with me, and I thought there must be something in the book and documentary that Bill Dwyre saw that was new information.

    Glad to see that my impression was based on a journalistic error, but wish those FOUR LAYERS OF LA TIMES EDITORIAL control would be less passive.

    TimesDisliker (edbdc2)

  32. The death of a reasonably famous person in battle will cause both the military and the civilian leadership to speak before all the facts are in.

    That is as old as Homer and the battle of Troy. For well-intentioned reasons, initial stories emphasize the positive aspects of the incident.

    See Roland and Charlemagne or Crispus Attuks and the “Boston Massacre.”

    Then, especialy if the civilian leadership is not liked by the media, the media treats the initial reaction as a cynical cover-up or distortion of the truth rather than an honest error.

    In the heat and confusion of battle, there is often more mis-information than information. Check out S.L. A. Marshall’s story on the “Perfect Patrol.” It is only after all the surviving participants are thouroughly debriefed in an After Action Review, that the truth wil emerge. This takes time and the reporters wanted news now.

    I blame the media as much as the military and civilian spokespersons who, in all innocence, gave out incorrect information.

    Longwalker (798ff9)

  33. I still don’t get it. Why were the bullet holes in Tillman’s skull so closely spaced, indicating he was shot at very close range (by an M-16)?
    Is that addressed in the book or anywhere?

    Benjamin Cole (dc759f)

  34. Closely spaced bullet holes indicate being shot at very close range?!

    JD (d55760)

  35. CPL Tillman was killed by a .50 cal machine gun round to the head at realtively short distance.

    Without being unnecessarily graphic, anyone who suffered such a wound would have died instantly and there would be no need to check vital signs or perform any first aid. The mortal nature of such an injury is obvious to any observer.

    Robert C. J. Parry (6fe4b2)

  36. In the diagram I’ve seen of the incident, weren’t
    the shooters on a ridge, overlooking Tillman’s position

    ian cormac (d56635)

  37. 33. The reason closely-spaced holes indicate a close-range shooting is that the muzzle jumps when you fire and when you fire full auto–the current M16 doesn’t fire full auto, but does fire a three-round burst as if on full auto–the paths of the bullets diverge. The further they go, the greater the divergence. The closer the hit to the muzzle, the less divergence and thus the closer spacing.
    35. I’ve heard the reports that Tillman was hit with three 5.56mm. Where’s the report that he was hit with a fifty?

    In either case, the other case would be unnecessary. If he’s hit with a fifty, the three 5.56mm hits would probably be indistinguishable if they came first.

    Richard Aubrey (a9ba34)

  38. A well-maintained M4 is capable of sub-MOA at a hundred yards.

    nk (db4a41)

  39. Comment by Dwight Brown

    I think I tried to say that I wouldn’t have necessarily done anything better, but perhaps Mr. Parry can address it. If I’m being shot at, I think taking cover is priority #1, otherwise I’ll be shot before the sound waves from my mouth hit their ears.

    My basic point to toss into the air is that perhaps on some level the motive of the army on site to protect Tillman. Again, one guy took cover and lived, and Tillman didn’t and didn’t, per that story.

    Again, the story and my point could be totally wrong, and I’d be happy to see anything that discredited or supported the item that I had seen.

    As far as details of bullet wounds, etc., I remember at the time there was quite a bit of detailed information, including pictures and diagrams showing bullet trajectories, including on some of the milblogs. I wouldn’t for a second believe for sure a third party account (like mine) as the definitive word on anything.

    MD in Philly (0f793a)

  40. This was a Ranger outfit and they had top of the line equipment and shooting skill. Putting three shots within a three inch group was a no-brainer. Whoever put them into Tillman, he was a no-brainer too.

    nk (db4a41)

  41. The 3-round Burst-Fire feature of the M-16/M-4 is designed to utilyze the high cyclic rate-of-fire of the weapon by cutting off the cycling after three rounds since the third round will exit the barrel ATBE before the barrel has started to react to the exit of the first round.

    As to close-range with a .50; that would be anything within 250-yards (or more).

    “Hey, it’s me, Tillman!”
    What, neither one of them had radios?

    Cpl.Tillman’s death, like all deaths in combat, was a tragedy, a tragedy seen all too often in too many conflicts throughout history that we continually attempt to minimize in numbers by the application of better technology. Sometimes it works, sometimes nothing works.

    AD - RtR/OS! (ecaeda)

  42. Among the laws of combat:
    Incoming fire has the right of way.

    Friendly fire isn’t.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  43. “Whoever put them into Tillman, he was a no-brainer too.”

    nk, I think that’s a little unjustified.

    Friendly fire often is caused by idiots and sloppiness, but often it’s caused by a very difficult war where you have to react to limited information. The incident is too politicized to rely on most of the accounts detailing it. I think it’s just a tragedy. Tillman may have goofed, and the shooter may have goofed, or maybe not.

    3 rounds in a 3 inch group at 100 yards with an M4 is, frankly, not a no-brainer for Rangers. It’s certainly possible, and I think far more likely than some murder or conspiracy scenario. But it’s not something I’d say is a no-brainer.

    I’ve lost some friends to friendly fire, and spent years angry at the AF about it. At the end of the day, we’re putting people in a situation where they are going to react badly sometimes and that’s going to lead to tragedies.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  44. I’ve seen many cases where a publication is asked by the offended party to simply correct something like this without running a notice of correction. The reason is that running the notice of correction requires re-stating the offending sentence one more time.

    The big screw up is allowing the word “Murder” in the first place.

    Andrew (daa4f9)

  45. The Los Angeles Times trying to cover up something that would make them look bad? Nonsense!

    Anita Busch (a025dd)

  46. I guess I should add that I want people to find the Tillman death to be intolerable. Even if they are being unfair, there’s no other productive way to view friendly fire.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  47. “The big screw up is allowing the word “Murder” in the first place.

    Comment by Andrew ”

    A lot of people ask for things that are violations of journalistic ethics. Pretending you didn’t make a murder accusation is a violation of ethics, though I would not be surprised if the LA Times once again rolled out the tiresome “mysterious people asked us to behave in the way that only makes us look like a shill… trust us!”

    I would think an interview with the person who wrote that, and why they did so, would be more newsworthy than 99% of the crap in that crappy paper.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  48. Friendly fire–blue on blue–has been around since the invention of the thrown rock.
    Gen. Jackson was killed by his own people. He was out with some of his staff, got in front of Reb lines, was coming back. The rebs in the area had heard there was Yankee cavalry in the area. It was dusk.
    Almost without exception it is a matter of somebody not knowing where somebody else is. Or not knowing where you are, with the result that other muddy blurs at a distance aren’t at a direction from you that your friends should be.
    My father’s regimental medical section was destroyed by US bombers in Belgium and he was later almost killed by a P47 while BEHIND US lines.
    I can see a three-round group from a M16–which I think I did forty years ago–if the target is still and you’re firing semi. If you hit a guy in the head the first time…. And I didn’t find the first three rounds of full auto–didn’t have burst at the time–were a tight group at any range.
    Things change, I guess.
    But where did we find he was hit by a 50? Sniper or M2?

    Richard Aubrey (a9ba34)

  49. Having read several accounts of Tillman’s death, I doubt a weapon smaller than a .50 would have caused the type of wound he suffered. Marksmanship had nothing to do with his death, it was just lousy luck and poor target identification.

    Some thoughts from my letter to Mr. Dwyer…

    …But your work is disgraceful for the use of one word: “Murdered.” With that word, you hang intent, elements of bad character and evil on the names of young kids who were scared utterly shitless, and acted the same. You pound ache into the broken hearts of men who go to bed every night knowing they killed a man who went up that ridgeline because he was willing to die for them — as they were for him. Do you think they don’t regret every single day of their lives that they killed a comrade, never mind his fame? How do you think they feel when people say “oh, you were a Ranger, did you know Pat Tillman?” (“uh, yeah, I’m the dumb fuck who killed him”).

    Pat Tillman was not murdered. He was killed because bad stuff happens in our business, and that’s the price of going to war, a price I have paid in my heart some 18 times.

    Say what you want that the facts uphold: Call them reckless – they may well have been. Call them negligent, that’s probably the case. But don’t you dare tell the world that a kid who volunteers for that sort of duty is the moral equivalent of a thug who stabs a store clerk for a $20 crack hit just because in the worst moment of his life in the most god foresaken place on the planet he got carried away with saving himself and his brothers and killed one of them. You have not been here, nor have you done what we do.

    You do not know the first thing about our business.

    You wouldn’t call a first baseman incompetent without having seen him handle a few grounders. Where do you get off calling a kid of immense courage and character a “murderer” when you haven’t the first clue what was in his head?

    I note that in re-visiting the story, the word “murdered” has been changed to “killed.” That’s not good enough. You said what you said, and you can’t just wash it down the memory hole. Pat Tillman would have more integrity than that.

    Your column needs a retraction permanently affixed to it, and a front-page correction. Even the kid that killed Pat Tillman deserves the honor of integrity. Your original column is devoid of both.

    Robert C. J. Parry (6fe4b2)

  50. Well said, RCJP!

    AD - RtR/OS! (ecaeda)

  51. I’m curious to know if the reader contacted Dwyre directly asking for a correction. I had occasion to criticize one of his writers for her lousy coverage of an Olympic ice skating event and I copied him. I received a reply first thing the next morning expressing regret that his sports section had blown it and that the reporter heard about it from him.

    Reputationally, he has always been known as a straight shooter and a man who largely lives the ideals of his beloved alma mater, Notre Dame.

    He engaged in excess/hyperbole when he used “murder.” But I believe he did it to further castigate himself for not having followed through in his duty as a journalist.

    There is no excusing his layers of editors for allowing this to make print, though. Does anyone know who actually initiated the correction within the LAT? I would not be surprised to learn that it was Dwyre himself.

    I’d sincerely appreciate any answers to my questions.

    Ed from SFV (f0e1cb)

  52. Step through the looking glass and the reaction in the offices of the Los Angeles Times must surely be glee– “Some people [including several posting here] out there are still reading us and are exposed to our advertising! Quick, let the sales department know!!” This bankrupt (on so many levels) dinosaur died years ago. A kind soul should contact their obituaries and let them know that for all intents and purposes, at least to the public they pretend to serve in greater LA, they’ve gone the way of the Los Angeles Herald Examiner.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  53. That claim by Myron piqued my interest, too. What branch of journalism is he in?

    He’s never responded to my prior requests to identify just what kind of “journalistic” job he allegedly performs, Bradley. Which begs the question if he’s just another Troll posing as someone else in order to bolster his pathetic claims of moral superiority and knowledge.

    “Got put in there”?!

    Yeah, I also noticed that apt description from an alleged professional journalist – WTF? I think he works for a coupon clipping service.

    Dmac (21311c)

  54. (@51 Ed from SFV) Reputationally, he [Dwyre] has always been known as a straight shooter and a man who largely lives the ideals of his beloved alma mater, Notre Dame.

    That reputation died the moment he accused American Soldiers of murder without any evidence whatsoever. He has disgraced Notre Dame and its ideals of integrity and honor.

    He engaged in excess/hyperbole when he used “murder.”

    He engaged in a lie, as proven when he was caught. He offered no apology to the Rangers he accused, nor did he give any acknowledgement of a mistake. These are the actions of a shameful man.

    But I believe he did it to further castigate himself for not having followed through in his duty as a journalist.

    He lied in performing his duties as a “journalist” making his justifications and your apologist-explanation meaningless.

    There is no excusing his layers of editors for allowing this to make print, though.

    There is no excusing them or Dwyre — they have all shamed themselves.

    Does anyone know who actually initiated the correction within the LAT? I would not be surprised to learn that it was Dwyre himself.

    There has been no correction made, only a cowardly attempt to cover-up a lie — and yeah, that is well within the character of Dwyre and the entire staff that was involved with this shameful matter.

    Dwyre does not fight for our country but he is quick to slur those that do, hiding behind their blood and sacrifice, safe to cast his Lie and stain those better than himself. Rather than thank and support those that serve, he smears them with his cowardly, untruthful words. Upon exposure of his Lie, he tries to cover it up.

    Dwyre, his editors, and his apologists are repugnant.

    Pons Asinorum (770c6d)

  55. He delivers the paper to DuckCrap.

    AD - RtR/OS! (ecaeda)

  56. 27

    My mother and goats has nothing to with the fact that claims were made, and confirmed by Tillman’s mother, that Tillman was going to meet with Chomsky. You could do a google news archive search using words “tillman” and “chomsky” and see this for yourself.

    It is strange that they would have an Afghani soldier serving alongside Tillman. Tillman would have been a high value target for propaganda purposes, and they put an armed Afghani next to him? If the Afghani soldier had fired on Tillman, they never would have reported it because it would have turned everyone against that war. Did the media ever report what became of that Afghani soldier?

    I don’t know who killed Tillman, but I don’t by the story that it was an “accident” that the most famous soldier over there died with all these circumstances.

    j curtis (138cbe)

  57. Tillman & Chomsky….
    Perhaps Pat was going to do a little tackling practice?

    AD - RtR/OS! (ecaeda)

  58. I’m sorry, guys. By “no-brainer” I meant that I could shoot a three-inch group and neither my training nor my equipment are as good as the Rangers’. And, yes, there was a slur against Tillman’s comrades in my second use of the phrase. I take it back and apologize for it.

    nk (db4a41)

  59. You guys still seem to be missing the point. This is from Fox News, not a leftie site:

    SAN FRANCISCO — Army medical examiners were suspicious about the close proximity of the three bullet holes in Pat Tillman’s forehead and tried without success to get authorities to investigate whether the former NFL player’s death amounted to a crime, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

    “The medical evidence did not match up with the, with the scenario as described,” a doctor who examined Tillman’s body after he was killed on the battlefield in Afghanistan in 2004 told investigators.

    The doctors — whose names were blacked out — said that the bullet holes were so close together that it appeared the Army Ranger was cut down by an M-16 fired from a mere 10 yards or so away.”

    This indicates Tillman was killed by friendly fire, and that fire was from within his own unit.
    The same unit that then burned his body armor and even his notebook.

    This aspect of Tillman’s death has always puzzled me. It, may, of course, still be accidental. Tillman put his head up, for exaple, just as someone else innocently squeezed off a round.

    But it appears the Tillman injuries did not come from a distant friendly unit.

    Benjamin Cole (dc759f)

  60. In a firefight in the movies (or TV) you always know when some character has reached his end in the script…
    he gets out from behind cover and starts going “cowboy”, and … blammo!

    AD - RtR/OS! (ecaeda)

  61. I have not paid as much attention to CPL Tillman’s autopsy results as I could have, I admit. Is it possible that he was in a not-yet-dead but unsaveable, going-to-be-so state, and the burst (were all the rounds from the same firearm?) a coup de grâce? I suppose that thought is to hard for many….

    htom (412a17)

  62. “The doctors — whose names were blacked out — said that the bullet holes were so close together that it appeared the Army Ranger was cut down by an M-16 fired from a mere 10 yards or so away.”

    This is wrong. I may have to do a separate post to show how Krakauer’s book dispels misconceptions like this one — but for now, take my word for it that this story is mistaken. It is based on poor assumptions and inadequate evidence.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  63. I don’t have any facts about the Tillman death, but I do know about friendly fire and the sorts of white lies that Commanders have told families since writting letters to next of kin became common. The two largest are:

    – he died heroicly, protecting his squadies
    – he died instantly, there was no pain.

    my point is that not telling the family that there was a screw up and your son was likely shot by a buddy, was not a lie designed to save somebodies ass, but rather, to ease the pain of a family.

    The Drill SGT (fe15c4)

  64. “I take it back and apologize for it.

    Comment by nk ”

    That’s not the first time you’ve acted like a man. I appreciate that, even though it’s a little thing.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  65. In his book, “Where Men Win Glory,” Jon Krakauer blamed only the Army and the Bush administration for the cover-up of Pat Tillman’s friendly-fire death. In contrast, the film’s director (Amir Bar-Lev) emailed he was pretty hard on the Democratic Congress in his film. I certainly hope so.

    Just before the 2006 mid-term elections, Kevin Tillman published his eloquent letter, “After Pat’s Birthday” ( Kevin hoped a Democratic Congress would bring accountability back to our country. But, just as with warrantless wiretapping and torture, those responsible for the cover-up of his brother’s friendly-fire death have never been held accountable for their actions.

    The cover-up was actually a thoroughly bi-partisan affair. The Democratic Congress and the Obama Presidency protected General Stanley McChrystal from punishment for his central role in the cover-up.

    It’s not surprising that after the initial cover-up fell apart, Army officers and the Bush administration lied to protect their careers. But after they took control of both Houses in 2006, the Democratic Congress could have gone after those responsible. Or at least not promoted them!

    The documents posted at describe how General McChrystal has been protected by Congressman Henry Waxman, Senator James Webb (along with Senators Carl Levin and John McCain), the New York Times Reporter Thom Shanker, the Center for a New American Security’s (CNAS)Andrew Exum,and President Obama.

    Five years ago, Pat Tillman’s family were handed a tarnished Silver Star. It was a travesty of justice that General McChrystal was promoted to the Army’s highest rank, and handed his fourth star.

    Guy Montag (9d8052)

  66. All of this ^^^ conspiracy theory crap isn’t proving a single thing.

    Icy Texan (d7204c)

  67. There’s cover-up and there’s screw up.
    I notified the family of a gunship pilot killed in Laos in Feb 1971.
    They wondered why he’d been listed originally as MIA. They had been informed he’d died on the operating table. Long flight from Lam Son 719 to any MASH.
    A couple of years ago, I got hold of some of his buddies in his AHC. They told me he’d gotten a .51 in the head. No dieing on the operating table that way.
    Another family I notified wanted to know, almost the first question, was whether it was quick.
    What does somebody say?
    And we all talked about IT. “If I’m all fucked up, you’ll take care of me, right? I’d do it for you?”
    And there were always stories about it having happened here, there, somewhere.
    You think you know something?
    Forget it.

    Richard Aubrey (5bca29)

  68. I did read Where Men Win Glory. I thought the book was crap, but then, Krakauer is always about promoting Krakauer.

    It’s rather strange that the hundreds of Army special ops guys whacked in this war, the only one the general public cares about is the one who was a football player.

    Friendly fire happens. Part of everyday Afghanistan in those days was being shot at by jumpy (and usually inaccurate) non-hostiles.

    Indeed, range accidents happen. Happened to guy on my team, point-blank through the helmet and skull (he lived and recovered, mostly). Happened to Stan McChrystal.

    I love people who have never been in the service — especially, for some reason, gun culture folks who customarily fire up targets at fifty yards on a nice flat range — pontificating about how troops act and feel in combat.

    It never occurs to people that combat is highly intense and you never have enough information. It certainly didn’t occur to Krakauer, tapping bravely on his keyboard.

    As far as the misinformation about Tillman’s death: families always say they want to know, and they are usually damaged by knowing. That’s why the guy’s buddies and immediate leaders often attempt to sugar-coat the story. Where it passed out of the realm of protecting the innocent from the grue of war, and passed into the realm of misconduct, was when they organized the bogus award to him. They started down that slippery slope of deception, I suspect, with golden intentions, but the nature of slippery slopes is what it is.

    Kevin R.C. O'Brien (01669e)

  69. Patterico: I may have to do a separate post to show how Krakauer’s book dispels misconceptions like this one

    Yeah, actually. Do that if you can (by all means concentrate on the day job of changing skells’ zip codes… even if a bankrupt California is just gonna turn ’em loose again). I was pretty hard on Jon in my last post, because he doesn’t really stick to what the evidence shows him (when he understands it) and keeps crying for heads to roll. But he really did attempt to speak to just about everybody there, and he went to (or near, anyway) the site, and he made an effort to understand things.
    some of the folks he didn’tspeak to got savaged in the book — and you can bet that did not change their opinion of the wisdom of speaking to him, or any other reporter for that matter. The Taliban just want to cut your head off, the reporters want to libel you.

    Kevin R.C. O'Brien (01669e)

  70. Christ, conspiracy moonbats like j curtis make me wish that IQ tests were required before someone was allowed to vote…or breed. Pat Tillman was a brave Soldier who fought honorably and was killed accidentally by his fellow troops. My gawd, if anyone really belives that his unit intentionally murdered him, they’ve got a shit factory for a brain.

    [note: released from moderation. –Stashiu]

    SFC MAC (fc267c)

  71. “The doctors — whose names were blacked out — said that the bullet holes were so close together that it appeared the Army Ranger was cut down by an M-16 fired from a mere 10 yards or so away.”

    This is wrong. I may have to do a separate post to show how Krakauer’s book dispels misconceptions like this one — but for now, take my word for it that this story is mistaken. It is based on poor assumptions and inadequate evidence.

    Comment by Patterico — 4/28/2010 @ 5:25 pm

    I do accept your word, but it is not even necessary because to believe in the murder chargers requires a certain level of credulity.

    Let’s see… on one hand we have anonymous sources with a story (absent any sort of verification or physical evidence), versus the likelihood that US Rangers murdered a fellow Ranger…hmmm…

    We also have a sports reporter…who feels qualified enough about combat to make an absolute conclusion about what occurred on a battlefield where he was not present, but safe at home drinking a beer and watching a game…hmmm…

    And then we have a convergence of beliefs between conspiracy theorists and leftists…complete with stereotypes of Soldiers, ignorance of combat, and a lack of common sense…hmmm..

    Not even a close call.

    Pons Asinorum (770c6d)

  72. Pons, there you go being rational again!

    MD in Philly (0f793a)

  73. The mistaken assumption of the medical examiner was that the 3 5.56 rounds were fired from an M4. In fact they were fired from an M249 squad automatic weapon, which has a rate of fire in the neighborhood of 800 rounds per minute. Aside from the aim point at some point crossing center mass of Tillman’s head, there was nothing particularly spectacular about the marksmanship. As a career Marine, I continue to hold Pat Tillman in high regard, not for the sacrifice he tragically made, but for his willingness to place himself at risk of making it.

    As for Krakauer’s book, it is a very well-researched look at the incident, but one that reflects Krakauer’s political leanings to the story’s detriment. I would have much preferred a Mark Bowden book on the subject. I almost quit reading when I reached the interveaving of Bush v. Gore into the story.

    Thebruce (5c072e)

  74. Comment by Thebruce

    Thank you for the comments, and for your service in addition to that of other posters here who’ve commented who have the first hand military experience. As one who has commented without such experience, my aim was not to second guess or malign Tillman or anyone else, but simply raised a point which reportedly came from the battlefield.

    FWIW, the main idea I was trying to convey in #9 and elsewhere was far better communicated by The Drill SGT, Robert C. J. Parry, Kevin R.C. O’Brien, and Richard Aubrey, that lack of correct details did not necessarily mean a cover-up to protect others, but could have been a “version” for the benefit of the family.

    MD in Philly (0f793a)

  75. #72 MD in Philly:

    Pons, there you go being rational again!

    He does it so damn well, too.

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  76. Comment by MD in Philly — 4/29/2010 @ 2:19 pm

    Heh — thanks MD. It is interesting to note that this thread has more expertise (combat, medical, journalistic, critical thinking) than the article published by the LA Times sports reporter — and yet they chose to smear US soldiers in the field of battle without a second thought. Evidently, the LA Times must feel real comfortable slurring American Soldiers, especially those that fight and die for our country.

    This LA Times-published Lie has so many problems on so many levels, that it is being picked apart by combat veterans and lay people alike. Even the Times tried (but failed) to cover it up — a tacit admission in itself.

    Also it is interesting to note that there are those who are still supporting or apologizing for the unfounded (and now withdrawn) LA Times conclusion of murder.

    Pons Asinorum (770c6d)

  77. Comment by EW1(SG) — 4/29/2010 @ 6:33 pm

    Thanks EW1. Coming from you and MD, I really appreciate it.

    Pons Asinorum (770c6d)

  78. I really do not like conspiracy theorists. And I really like how Pons kindly vivisected that drivel.

    JD (c1a2b8)

  79. Team effort JD, thanks.

    Pons Asinorum (770c6d)

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