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NFL player killed in Aghan was killed by US fire

#1
The NFL player that gave up a lucrative job to serve his country and was then killed in Afghanistan, was in fact killed by freindly fire when his squad came under fire from a Taliban ambush.

Very sad.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A new Army report on the death of former NFL player Pat Tillman in Afghanistan last year concluded that his uniform and body armor were burned a day after he was killed -- and before investigators had determined he was shot by his fellow soldiers.

The yet-to-be-released investigation results, first reported by the Washington Post, concludes that the burning of the clothes and armor amounted to destruction of evidence.

Initial reports of Tillman's death on April 22, 2004, said he was shot by Taliban forces during an ambush. An investigation would later reveal that fellow soldiers shot Tillman, thinking he was part of an enemy force firing at them.

The Washington Post reported Wednesday that top U.S. commanders, including Gen. John P. Abizaid of U.S. Central Command, were told that Tillman's death occurred by fratricide days before a nationally televised memorial service was held for him.

Nonetheless, Tillman's family was not notified of that until May 29, 2004, when the first investigation was completed. That was nearly four weeks after the service.

The new report, by Brig. Gen. Gary Jones, was done at the behest of Tillman's family members, who wanted to know why his uniform was burned, and why they were not immediately told he might have been killed by fellow soldiers.

At the time, Tillman's blood-covered uniform and armor were said to have been destroyed because they were considered a biohazard.

Yet the Jones report contains sworn statements from soldiers involved in the incident who said they burned the items because they had taken pictures of the scene, walked around, and knew how Tillman had been killed.

In the new report, soldiers reasoned "they knew in their heart of hearts what had happened, and we were not going to lie about it. So we weren't thinking about proof or anything."

Army investigators now say his clothes should have been preserved as evidence.

Army officials said the Jones report concludes that the Tillman family should have been told at once that "friendly fire" was suspected. The report, however, found no official intent by military commanders to hide the truth.

Tillman gave up a $3.6 million contract with the Arizona Cardinals to become an Army Ranger after the attacks of September 11, 2001. He was posthumously awarded a Silver Star.
CNN
 
#4
So the cat is finally out of the bag. This has been covered up for the last year, as Tillman was the U.S poster boy for the war on terror, and the unfortunate circumstances of his death would have been a major shot in the foot for morale.

Its a sad story, he was a brave man who made a great example to his countrymen. All politics aside, he believed in what he was doing, and nailed his colours to the mast.

I salute you sir.
RIP
 
#5
Anyone know of the official outcome of the Royal Marine, Christopher Maddison, said to have been killed by friendly fire? It was on thre BBC documentry 'Fighting the War'
 
#6
Filbert Fox said:
WASHINGTON (CNN). He was posthumously awarded a Silver Star.
For being shot by his own side?
It was initially reported that he was killed by enemy fire. The evidence was destroyed before they could mount an investigation. Once complete, the investigation came to the conclusion that he was killed by his own side, who fired on him thinking he was part of the taliban ambush party.

Bit of an own goal. :?
 
#8
FNUSNU said:
Anyone know of the official outcome of the Royal Marine, Christopher Maddison, said to have been killed by friendly fire? It was on thre BBC documentry 'Fighting the War'
The report says he was lost by 'friendly fire'. Probably from injuries suffered when his wheelhouse was hit by Milan fired by an Xing Point protection party.
 
#9
gosh how unusual for Yanks to kill Yanks, don't they learn any lessons ? the do it every time there's a fracas. Everyone knows that Yanks kill thier own and their allies.
 
#12
The sad fact is that throughout the history of conflict, "blue on blues" have always happened, and statistically happened a heck of a lot more in previous conflicts than Afghanistan/Iraq - it is just that we hear about them a lot more now due to media access.

War is hell...

RIP
 
#13
FWIW, I'm closer to the Tillman incident than any of those folks in the media. Couple of salient points:

1. There was no coverup. Period.

2. The incident was investigated over five times. Same conclusions each time. The lessons learned were distributed to the concerned parties.

3. Everything in the latest frenzy was open source not less than two months after the incident. The destruction of a blood-soaked uniform and kit is SOP, not a conspiracy. I was a lead investigator on a blue-blue incident in 1992 and the uniform & kit were incinerated due to biohazard issues. It didn't interfere with my investigation at all.

4. "Blue on Blue" will happen to every single fighting force sooner or later. It happened in the Falklands with UK SF units 23 years ago.

5. Hattie_Jacques is spot on with his assessment.

It was always known that the Tillman incident was a friendly fire scenario. The really big issue is the lessons learned for the concerned parties.

OK, break's over. Please resume the normal Yank/Septic/Barbarian bashing... :)
 
#14
Good points Tracy. Of course, we septics can't do anything right. Funny how we are the worlds super power and funny how, when ever anything goes wrong in the world, the world turns to us for guidance, money, and everything else. However, we can't do jack right...

Mistakes? Yeah, the US Military makes mistakes. Happens all the time. However, so does the UK Military. If any person on this forum can say the Brits have never had a blue on blue shooting, I'll buy em dinner. The only reason this issue has gotten so much press, is the fact the dead guy gave up a career in the NFL (millions of dollars for you Brits) to fight the war on terror and become a Ranger. If he was Joe Schome, it would be a non issue.

I can't speak for Tracy, however, I can speak for me. As a US Marine, I never went on a live fire training mission, where someone wasn't killed. I'm not saying that is good, etc. I'm saying it happens and it happens all the time. That is a reality of life: Unfortunately.

As a police officer, dozens of cops are killed every year, in training missions. Shit happens...Right, wrong, or indifferent. It just does.

Mr Tillman's death is unfortunate. However, no one is to blame and no one is at fault. It is just a bad situation all the way around.
 
#15
Phil306 said:
Good points Tracy. Of course, we septics can't do anything right. Funny how we are the worlds super power and funny how, when ever anything goes wrong in the world, the world turns to us for guidance, money, and everything else. However, we can't do jack right...
Being the hegemon is Hell, right... :lol: You're just unlucky that you've been 'it' since technology made broadcasting mistakes so much easier. :wink:
 
#16
DozyBint said:
Being the hegemon is Hell, right... :lol: You're just unlucky that you've been 'it' since technology made broadcasting mistakes so much easier. :wink:
Truer words were never spoken, LMAO....

I forgot who it was who wrote "I'd rather rule in Hell than serve in Heaven." Hell being the country of choice for Michael Jackson, Paris Hilton and the inventor of the Internet: Al Gore.
 
#18
T_P, in regards to the burning of blood soaked combats/body armour, how much of a biohazard does that present? Could they not be stored in sealed containers until the investigators arrived? It's just that surely it's more important to find out how or why the guy died than to get rid of blood stained clothing asap.

Just my view, not a bash at the heretics across the pond :wink:
 
#19
Phil306 said:
Mistakes? Yeah, the US Military makes mistakes. Happens all the time. However, so does the UK Military. If any person on this forum can say the Brits have never had a blue on blue shooting, I'll buy em dinner.

I can't speak for Tracy, however, I can speak for me. As a US Marine, I never went on a live fire training mission, where someone wasn't killed. I'm not saying that is good, etc. I'm saying it happens and it happens all the time. That is a reality of life: Unfortunately.

As a police officer, dozens of cops are killed every year, in training missions. s*** happens...Right, wrong, or indifferent. It just does.
All valid points Phil. Indeed it is true that the RM engaged their own while stuck in the weeds in the South on a couple of occasions, including the death of one lad who had the misfortune to be on a hovercraft that in all probability got hit by a Milan.

But what has everyone in HM armed forces truly concerned is the alarming frequency with which this sort of thing seems to happen with you boys. The fact that you would have at least one fatality per live fire ex didn't give you blokes cause for concern? Did it not occur to you to pause and think "hang on, maybe there's something that we can be doing better"? Rather than saying "Shit happens" start asking yourself "Did this shit have to happen?" Do you get debriefed after exercises and ops etc.?

Just because you are willing to accept poor performace, it doesn't make it right. If the aviation community took this view, squadrons would still be losing 2-3 a/c a month in training accidents like they did in the '50s.

Of course a $50million aircraft costs the govt a lot more money than a war widow's pension for an infantryman so maybe there's more political pressure on flyboys not to fcuk up so often, but then again that didn't stop Patriot crews adding a Tornado and an F-18 to their tally in 2003 (almost bagged an F-16 too) did it?
 
#20
Tracy-Paul said:
4. "Blue on Blue" will happen to every single fighting force sooner or later. It happened in the Falklands with UK SF units 23 years ago.
Although Im sure we didnt kill each other, a very good friend of mine (who was the youngest para in the conflict) was involved in the blue on blue on Mount Longdon, it was rectified by one of them simply putting his cherry beret on his rifle and waving it above the rocks.
 

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