60 Minutes: What Really Happened To Pat Tillman?

On Sunday's 60 Minutes, Katie Couric explored the unanswered questions that still surround Pat Tillman's death more than 4 years after he was killed

On Sunday's 60 Minutes, Katie Couric explored the unanswered questions that still surround Pat Tillman's death more than 4 years after he was killed in a friendly-fire incident in Afghanistan.

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One part that stands out is when Couric asks Pete Geren, the new Secretary of the Army, about eyewitness statements that had been altered to falsely show that Tillman had been engaged with the enemy at the time of his death. He replied, "Well, that's one of the questions that we will never completely answer." That's a telling statement because the Bush administration has exerted executive privilege over "certain papers relating to discussion of the friendly-fire shooting" because they claim they would "implicate Executive Branch confidentiality interests." Last August, when pressed directly about it, President Bush avoided making any promise to ever come clean about what really happened.

While Pat Tillman's mother Mary continues to press for the truth that remains hidden from her family and the public, which she has chronicled in her just-released book, Boots on the Ground by Dusk: My Tribute to Pat Tillman, his widow, Marie, would like people to focus more on Pat's life, not his death, and has worked behind the scenes helping to ensure that "Pat's legacy lives on through education and helping others effect social change" through The Pat Tillman Foundation and through the yearly Pat's Run, which continues to grow as it drew thousands over the past few weeks at the 4th annual event in Tempe and San Jose (video).

The Pat Tillman story is a complicated one that can waveringly or even simultaneously bring about the strongest feelings of pride in one's country and shame in its government. This much is true: No man ever sacrificed more for his country than Pat Tillman did, and no cover-up could ever cover that up.


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