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What if Pat Tillman's Death Wasn't Friendly Fire?

05.29.2006 15:52 | DISPATCHES

To its credit CNN has been all over the Pat Tillman case.

"[Investigating Army Captain Richard] Scott noted that the Rangers in the lead vehicle firing on Tillman were not under fire at the time, and 'there were numerous attempts to signal to that lead vehicle that the friendlies were upon that ridge line.'

"The documents show the numerous attempts to signal the lead vehicle included soldiers yelling into radios to cease fire, Tillman's smoke grenade, the driver of the vehicle yelling to cease fire, and finally Tillman and the soldier next to him waving their arms frantically over their heads. 'But the firing continued, with no attempt to properly identify the targets, Scott asserted.'"

-- "Investigation reveals new Tillman questions,", May 28.

If the Rangers in the lead vehicle weren't under fire at the time, why did the figures on the ridge have to be "greased" right that minute? Maybe it's time to consider the F-word -- fragging.

Where do I get off making such an accusation? Especially since, in light of the apparent Marine massacre at Haditha massacre, it smacks of piling on the military. It's just that a soldier who was a member of the Rangers (the Army's elite infantry unit) at the same time Corporal Tillman served mentioned in casual conversation with me that Tillman was unpopular with other Rangers.

The prevailing opinion was that, in its rush to make him a poster boy for the administration's ill-conceived Iraq adventure, the Army had fast-tracked him through the Ironman-intensity training program all other Rangers have to endure. Of course, once he died the Rangers no doubt closed ranks around his memory.

Doesn't sound like much of a motive, does it? But, if true, it was as unlikely to have been premeditated as most fragging. I'm afraid I can't elaborate right now. This is but a preview for an article I'm writing.


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