October 6, 2009

We've posted a ton of information about the Pat Tillman saga on C&L as heartbreaking as it is and I wanted to remind everyone that the man who is going public with his views on how to handle Afghanistan was deeply involved with torture and Pat Tillman's cover up.

The parents of slain Army Ranger and NFL star Pat Tillman voiced concerns Tuesday that the general who played a role in mischaracterizing his death could be put in charge of military operations in Afghanistan. In a brief interview with The Associated Press, Pat Tillman Sr. accused Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal of covering up the circumstances of the 2004 slaying. "I do believe that guy participated in a falsified homicide investigation," Pat Tillman Sr. said.

He later apologized for his role in the cover up.

The Daily News:

The general taking over the Afghan war said Tuesday he was sorry for the coverup of ex-NFL star Pat Tillman's friendly fire death.

"I was a part of that, and I apologize for it," Army Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal told a Senate hearing.

Tillman was killed by fellow GIs in 2004 as his Ranger unit operated in eastern Afghanistan on the Pakistan border.

McChrystal signed off on a posthumous Silver Star medal for Tillman - who gave up a fortune as a pro football player to join the Army after 9/11 - though he knew it might be fratricide and not a firefight.

It took six probes before his family learned the truth: other troops mistook him for the enemy and shot him as he screamed, "I'm Pat F---ing Tillman!"

"There is nothing we can do to automatically restore the trust which was the second casualty," McChrystal said.

But the general, who commanded the supersecret Joint Special Operations Command then, denied the phony narrative of a raging firefight was anything more sinister than "mistakes" made to honor the famous GI.

And then there is his role in our torture policies.

The Nation:

When an anonymous Army interrogator "at great personal risk" blew the whistle to Esquire in August 2006 on an extensive torture enterprise at Camp Nama, he described the then unknown McChrystal as being an overseer who knew the ugly truth. Torture at Camp Nama included using ice water to induce hypothermia. It was not a rogue operation unless we consider Generals like McChrystal "rogues." As Esquire reported:

Once, somebody brought it up with the colonel. "Will [the Red Cross] ever be allowed in here?" And he said absolutely not. He had this directly from General McChrystal and the Pentagon that there's no way that the Red Cross could get in--they won't have access and they never will. This facility was completely closed off to anybody investigating, even Army investigators.

Later in the piece, when asked where the colonel was getting his orders from the interrogator said, "I believe it was a two-star general. I believe his name was General McChrystal. I saw him there a couple of times."

I was watching MSNBC and on Andrea Mitchell's show, pundits wondered if McChrystal would quit if he didn't get the troops he requested. You know, I always thought that soldiers were supposed to follow orders. The president is in charge of the military and serve him. What would happen to a soldier in Iraq or Afghanistan who refused a direct order? I understand that he's past that pay grade, but he's way out of line. Hey, I don't mind leaks to the media, that's going to happen, but he's not acting like a high ranking General should, but with his past, are you surprised?


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