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New Jon Krakauer Book: Pat Tillman & Cover-Up Of His Death (Tillman on Lynch: 'A Big PR Stunt')

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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 05:54 AM
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New Jon Krakauer Book: Pat Tillman & Cover-Up Of His Death (Tillman on Lynch: 'A Big PR Stunt')
http://www.alternet.org/world/142692/inside_pat_tillman...

Inside Pat Tillman's Life, and the Bush Administration's Cover-Up of His Death
By Sarah Seltzer, AlterNet. Posted September 17, 2009.

Journalist Jon Krakauer's striking new book on the story of the events surrounding Pat Tillman's death in Afghanistan covers the emotional depths of war and government cover-up.

- snip -

Ultimately, Where 'Men Win Glory' leaves you, as does 'Into the Wild,' with a sense of futility and anger over the death of a young man that you knew was coming all along. While Krakauer levels his most scathing insults at the Bush administration and portrays the army chain of command as a bureaucratic, cover-your-ass nightmare, in this book the fog of war is the real culprit. As Krakauer told the Wall Street Journal, "There is nothing glamorous or romantic about war. It's mostly about random pointless death and misery. And that's what (Tillman's) death tells us. It reminds me that the good aren't rewarded, there's no such thing as karma." War, Krakauer writes, creates a climate that leads panicked men to gun down their brothers in cold blood at a staggeringly high rate in all recorded conflicts, and a climate that obscures mistakes and misdeeds (as is the case not just with friendly fire, but with crimes like sexual assault and the death of LaVena Johnson. It's a climate that leads commanders to make decisions from behind desks (as happened on the day Tillman died) that those on the ground deem unsafe but are powerless to disobey.

- snip -

Perhaps the most incredible aspect of the book is its extensive excerpting from Tillman's diaries, granted to Krakauer by his widow Marie, and stories about his time deployed overseas, where he read The Odyssey and "Self-Reliance," and was shocked by the youth and immaturity of his co-enlistees. Tillman expresses his doubt about the Iraq War from its onset: "It may be very soon that Nub & I will be called upon to take part in something I see no clear purpose for... I believe we have little or no justification other than our imperial whim," he wrote. On another occasion, he calls Bush a "cowboy."

His other entries are eerily wise: Of Jessica Lynch, whose staged rescue he and his brother provided support for on their first tour of duty, he wrote, "As awful as I feel for the fear she must face, and admire the courage I'm sure she is showing, I do believe this to be a big Public Relations stunt..." He had faced an essential truth about the Lynch incident that it would take months for the American media to sort out. Of his brother Kevin in Iraq, he said "If anything happens to Kevin, and my fears of our intent in this country prove true, I will never forgive the world." Of course, the inverse ended up being true, with Kevin the surviving, disillusioned sibling. On his own account, Tillman confided in a friend his fear that if he were killed the army would parade him in the streets.

This ended up being the most prescient of all. After being sent to Afghanistan, Tillman was shot in the head by a machine-gunner from his own unit, which had been split up to make time. His shooter thought he was the enemy and his unit sprayed bullets wildly across the slope where Tillman was perched (one of his comrades recalls him yelling I'm "Pat fucking Tillman!" shortly before his death). His uniform and most tragically his notebook, where Krakauer tells us he'd scribbled thoughts on gender in Afghanistan, were put into a trash bag and burned, a blatant violation of protocol. And that was only the beginning of the secrecy. Even the book's less enthusiastic critics agree that with the evidence Krakauer's amassed and compiled, there's no way to deny the most horrible aspects of the cover-up, including orders to Tillman's comrades telling them to lie to his family at the funeral and another official cruelly explaining away the family's pursuit of the truth as a folly attributable to their atheism. Krakauer demonstrates that the willful deception went all the way up to the White House...

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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 06:58 AM
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1. The willful deception went all the way up to the White House..
This hurts my soul in a very profound way.

Pat Tillman was a highly unusual man and his death was a loss for our country.
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ixion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:01 AM
Response to Original message
2. I disagree with the author about Karma
Edited on Thu Sep-17-09 07:49 AM by ixion
there is Karma out there.

Tillman went to Afghanistan to kill and was killed. That's Karma in action. Granted, he had misgivings, but they weren't strong enough for him to take a stand.

It's sad, of course. Among soldiers (and humans), Tillman sounds like a cut above. It's tragic that he's now just one of many Ghosts in the Machine. :(
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SpiralHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:33 AM
Response to Original message
3. "Move along. Nothing to see here. Smirk." - xCommander AWOL (R)
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SpiralHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:36 AM
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4. "Tillman was just a useful PR opportunity. Sneer." - xVP Dick 'Five-Military-Deferments' Cheney (R)
Edited on Thu Sep-17-09 07:36 AM by SpiralHawk
"As everyone knows, we Republicon 'leaders' and our overpaid media propagandists don't do Military Service, we just use the canon fodder of your sons and daughters for public relation spin to promote our Republicon Oil Profits Crusade. Sneer."

- xVP Dick 'Five-Military-Deferments' Cheney (R)
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Joe Chi Minh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:54 AM
Response to Reply #4
8. Until he became its antithesis.
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Jennicut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:47 AM
Response to Original message
5. Burning his notebook and uniform? For what reason?
These bastards make me sick.
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Ezlivin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:48 AM
Response to Original message
6. "All men are enamored of decorations...they positively hunger for them."
Napolean once said this.

So, by developing the Napoleonic systemthe medal businessthe government learned it could get soldiers for less money, because the boys like to be decorated. Until the Civil War there were no medals. Then the Congressional Medal of Honor was handed out. It made enlistments easier. After the Civil War no new medals were issued until the Spanish-American War.

In the World War, we used propaganda to make the boys accept conscription. They were made to feel ashamed if they didn't join the army.

So vicious was this war propaganda that even God was brought into it. With few exceptions our clergymen joined in the clamor to kill, kill, kill. To kill the Germans. God is on our side...it is His will that the Germans be killed. ("War is a Racket", General Butler)


And so it goes...
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peekaloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:52 AM
Response to Original message
7. I scanned the article to see if the coroner's report was mentioned
and maybe overlooked it. Was it discredited because those findings seemed a tad more sinister than a "friendly fire" incident?
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TorchTheWitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:57 AM
Response to Original message
9. I love Krakauer's work
I think I've read Into Thin Air about 50 times. This new one definitely goes on the "Must Read" list.

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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 11:01 PM
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10. k&r n/t
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