The last soldier to see Army Ranger Pat Tillman alive, Spc. Bryan O'Neal, told lawmakers that he was warned by superiors not to divulge -- especially to the Tillman family -- that a fellow soldier killed Tillman.From the beginning, they were lying. And this from the Chicago Tribune (via the Seattle Times):
The brother of Pat Tillman bitterly accused the U.S. military Tuesday of deceiving the public and the family of the football-star-turned-Army-ranger to promote a story of heroism that suited its purposes.Why? Kevin Tillman has a few ideas:
"Revealing that Pat's death was a fratricide would have been yet another political disaster in a month of political disasters," said Kevin Tillman, who gave up a minor-league baseball career to enlist with his older brother in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. "So the truth needed to be suppressed."So what was happening in April, 2004? The First Battle of Fallujah. By the end of that month there'd been reports (initially denied, of course) of the troops using White Phosporus. By the following November, it was pretty much established that the troops had used WP. From the BBC
But when you're lobbing mortar shells of the stuff into a city. How can you tell what's an insurgent and what's an innocent? Know what it does?
"It was used as an incendiary weapon against enemy combatants," spokesman Lt Col Barry Venable told the BBC - though not against civilians, he said.
The US had earlier said the substance - which can cause burning of the flesh - had been used only for illumination.
White phosphorus is highly flammable and ignites on contact with oxygen. If the substance hits someone's body, it will burn until deprived of oxygen.
Globalsecurity.org, a defence website, says: "Phosphorus burns on the skin are deep and painful... These weapons are particularly nasty because white phosphorus continues to burn until it disappears... it could burn right down to the bone."
On the 11th of that month, the Iraq Governing Council had this to say about the battle:
"These operations were a mass punishment," Adnan Pachachi, of the Governing Council, told Al-Arabiya television. "It was not right to punish all the people of Fallujah, and we consider these operations by the Americans unacceptable and illegal."Bad news all around. That's what was happenning in April, 2004.
Now on to Jessica Lynch. First the setup:
Jessica Lynch, an Army private who was captured in Iraq soon after the 2003 invasion, also testified about the early accounts depicting her as a "girl Rambo from the hills of West Virginia" who had emptied her gun as enemy soldiers closed in. In fact, she was captured without firing a shot.And her response:
"The bottom line," Lynch said, "is the American people are capable of determining their own ideals of heroes and they don't need to be told elaborate lies."I think I'll let that be the final word.