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Pat Tillman case: Lack of Integrity runs deep

Discussion in 'Military Medicine' started by USAFdoc, Mar 24, 2007.

  1. USAFdoc

    USAFdoc exUSAFdoc
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    :thumbdown: the same lack of Core Values that plague Milmed are found elsewhere. Tragic case of friendly fire. Military Officers need to be better than this.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070324/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/tillman_friendly_fire

    By LOLITA C. BALDOR and SCOTT LINDLAW, Associated Press Writers
    1 hour, 38 minutes ago



    WASHINGTON - Nine officers, including up to four generals, should be held accountable for missteps in the aftermath of the friendly fire death of Army Ranger Pat Tillman in Afghanistan, a Pentagon investigation will recommend.

    Senior defense officials said Friday the Defense Department inspector general will cite a range of errors and inappropriate conduct as the military probed the former football star's death on the battlefront in 2004, said one defense official.

    The official, who like the others requested anonymity because the Army has not publicly released the information, said it appears senior military leaders may not have had all the facts or worked hard enough to get the facts of what happened on April 22, 2004, when Tillman was killed by members of his own platoon.

    Dozens of soldiers — those immediately around Tillman at the scene of the shooting, his immediate superiors and high-ranking officers at a command post nearby — knew within minutes or hours that his death was fratricide.

    Even so, the Army persisted in telling Tillman's family he was killed in a conventional ambush, including at his nationally televised memorial service 11 days later. It was five weeks before his family was told the truth, a delay the Army has blamed on procedural mistakes.

    The latest investigation has focused on how high up the chain of command it was known that Tillman's death was caused by his own comrades. Officers from the rank of colonel and up will be blamed in the report, according to one officer who has been informed of the findings.

    According to the officials, the report will not make charges or suggest punishments, but it will recommend the Army look at holding the nine officers accountable.

    One defense official said it appears the inspector general will not conclude there was an orchestrated cover-up in the investigation.

    Tillman's father, Pat, said Friday he had no intention of commenting on the inspector general's report until he had heard an Army briefing on Monday. That day, the Army plans to release the report and a second related to the killing.

    The other report is by the Army Criminal Investigation Command, which will focus on whether a crime, such as negligent homicide, was committed when Tillman's own men shot him. One defense official said it appears the investigation did not find any criminal intent in the shooting.

    Tillman's case drew worldwide attention in part because he had turned down a multimillion-dollar contract to play defensive back for the Arizona Cardinals in order to join the Army Rangers after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

    The report's release comes with the Bush administration under fire from the public and Congress for the war in Iraq. Though the Afghanistan conflict has not drawn nearly so much criticism, the report could add to the drumbeat of negative stories the administration has had to endure over the treatment of wounded soldiers and the long deployments of U.S. troops.

    To date, the Army has punished seven people for the Tillman killing, but no one was court-martialed. Four soldiers received relatively minor punishments under military law, ranging from written reprimands to expulsion from the Rangers. One had his pay reduced and was effectively forced out of the Army.

    The Army, which requested the inspector general review last year, said in a statement released Friday that it "plans to take appropriate actions after receiving the inspector general's report."

    The officials declined to name any of the officers the report will implicate. The commander of Tillman's 75th Ranger Regiment was Col. James C. Nixon. Last year he was named director of operations at the Center for Special Operations at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.

    Nixon knew within about two days that Tillman's death was fratricide, another officer involved in the investigations told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

    Previous investigations of the case have focused on the facts of the incident and sought to answer questions of whether it was a fratricide.

    The report's findings were first reported on Friday by CBS News.

    Tillman died in Afghanistan's Paktia province, along the Pakistan border, after his platoon was ordered to split into two groups and one of the units began firing. Tillman and an Afghan with him were killed. A specialist at the time of his death, he was posthumously promoted to corporal.

    Since the incident, the Army has moved to improve the notification procedures and now requires an officer to review initial casualty information and verify that the families have been told the best, accurate information.

    ___

    Associated Press writer Scott Lindlaw reported from San Francisco.
     
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  3. tscottturner

    tscottturner Member
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    Very true - unfortunately no system is 100%. No matter what type of training you put people through, you will always have those that slip through the cracks.
     
  4. USAFdoc

    USAFdoc exUSAFdoc
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    yea, but why did so many of them end of makin' General?:idea: :thumbdown:
     
  5. tscottturner

    tscottturner Member
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    Because becoming General is more about mastering bureaucracy and military politics than actual military leadership skills.
     
  6. USAFdoc

    USAFdoc exUSAFdoc
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    the below highlights what is all too prevalent in our military leaders; they care more about appearances than integrity. How does a milmed healthcare system get run into the ground while for years our Surgeon General stands before congress and tells how milmed is the best healthcare in the world?
    Sad, really sad. If thats what it takes to be a General.........:thumbdown:


    SAN JOSE, Calif. - For weeks after his death, the Pentagon maintained that Pat Tillman was killed in an enemy ambush, even after a top general tried to warn President Bush that the NFL star-turned-soldier likely died by friendly fire, according to a memo obtained by The Associated Press.

    In the memo sent to a superior officer seven days after Tillman's death, Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal warned that the evidence strongly pointed to friendly fire and the nation's leaders risked embarrassing themselves if they publicly said otherwise.
    "I felt that it was essential that you received this information as soon as we detected it in order to preclude any unknowing statements by our country's leaders which might cause public embarrassment if the circumstances of Cpl. Tillman's death become public," McChrystal wrote.

    The April 29, 2004, memo, was addressed to Gen. John Abizaid, head of Central Command, and was intended as a warning to Bush and acting Army Secretary Les Brownlee.

    It is not clear whether Bush or Brownlee received the warning, but it raises new questions on how high up the chain of command the misinformation campaign extended. In speeches following the memo, Bush avoided any reference to the circumstances of Tillman's death.

    The family was not told until May 29, 2004, what really happened. In the intervening weeks, the military continued to say Tillman died under enemy fire, and even awarded him the Silver Star, which is given for heroic battlefield action.

    White House spokesman Blain Rethmeier said Friday that a review of records turned up no indication that the president had received McChrystal's warning. Rethmeier emphasized that the president often pays tribute to fallen soldiers without mentioning the exact circumstances of their deaths.

    The Tillman family has charged that the military and the Bush administration deliberately deceived his relatives and the nation to avoid turning public opinion against the war.

    Tillman's mother, Mary, had no immediate comment Friday on the newly disclosed memo.

    The memo was provided to the AP by a government official who requested anonymity because the document was not released as part of the Pentagon's official report into the way the Army brass withheld the truth. McChrystal was the highest-ranking officer accused of wrongdoing in the report, issued earlier this week.

    In his memo, McChrystal said he had heard Bush and Brownlee "might include comments about Cpl. Tillman's heroism and his approved Silver Star medal in speeches currently being prepared, not knowing the specifics surrounding his death."

    McChrystal said he expected an investigation under way "will find that it is highly possible Cpl. Tillman was killed by friendly fire."

    At the same time, McChrystal said: "The potential that he might have been killed by friendly fire in no way detracts from his witnessed heroism or the recommended personal decoration for valor in the face of the enemy."

    A former spokesman for Abizaid did not immediately return phone and e-mail messages.

    As for Brownlee, he told investigators he did not recall learning Tillman was killed by his fellow Rangers until several weeks after the fact. He did not discuss the matter with the White House, he told investigators.

    A spokesman for McChrystal said he had no comment.

    McChrystal was, and still is, commander of the Joint Special Operations Command, head of "black ops" forces. He has since been promoted to lieutenant general. Abizaid was in charge of American forces in the Middle East and Central Asia.

    On Monday, the Pentagon released the findings of an investigation into the circumstances of Tillman's death, and into whether the military covered them up.

    The investigators recommended that nine Army officers, including McChrystal, be held accountable for errors in reporting the friendly fire death to their superiors and to Tillman's family. McChrystal was found "accountable for the inaccurate and misleading assertions" contained in papers recommending Tillman get the Silver Star.

    Some of the officers involved said they wanted to wait until the investigations were complete before informing the Tillman family.

    Tillman was killed after his Army Ranger comrades were ambushed in eastern Afghanistan. Rangers in a convoy trailing Tillman's group had just emerged from a canyon where they had been fired upon. They saw Tillman and mistakenly fired on him.
     
  7. alpha62

    alpha62 Membership Revoked
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    Intentional fratricide isn't off the table yet. Was never in Ranger Bn, can only hope they attracted a better class of people to work with than some of the thugs and slimeballs I've been forced to share a tent with over the years in the regular army.
     
  8. corpsmanUP

    corpsmanUP Senior Member
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    Friendly fire accidents occur way more frequently than you will ever know. But no matter how you cut them up, they are almost always accidental and the result of no true error that could have been prevented. How would it have changed anything if it had been admitted immediately that Tillman died by friendly fire. The main problem with this incident is that Pat Tillman was a distraction to the investigation because of his hero status. No one in the unit wanted Pat Tillman to die...fact. The shooters felt horrible about the incident...fact. Another fact was that they had been engaging enemy forces shortly before this incident. The unit was probably terribly scared to admit that they had killed the famous Pat Tillman. They all feared what would come from it. But nonetheless, they could not change what happened. No one wants to be the person who killed the hero Pat Tillman, and thus I find it reasonable to give Tillman the credit of dying by enemy fire if it was at all conceivable that he did. He was a hero, and the people that served with him were heros as well. If this had been any other soldier, there would not have been such pressure to keep the accident a secret. But I assure you, soldier die all the time due to accidents and due to friendly fire and get credited with dying in battle by wounds inflicted by the enemy. He deserved his silver star, and the team deserves to be exonerated for this tragedy. Get over it, because nothing changes the accident and nothing brings him back. Lying to the public is nothing new. You will rarely ever see a SPECwar soldier/marine/sailor with a purple heart, though many have been injured. Some just don't want the award, and sometimes awarding it would jeapordize mission security for the future. I have a friend who is an 18D who has never received a PH,but has been wounded several times in various parts of the world during peacetime.
     
  9. Galo

    Galo Senior Member
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    So just like I learned in military medicine, its OK to ignore integrity, (is it not one of the core values?) as long as in the end somebody in power did not have to be accountable for the lie.

    As a medical officer your acceptance of this is putting you dangerously close to accepting alot of the same for you patients. You may need to rethink your statement, or change careers, or better yet, ascend in rank, and continue perpetuating the death of critical moral values.

    This was a lie plain and simple, and someone in charge who knew about it needs to be held accountable. That is the right thing.
     
  10. USAFdoc

    USAFdoc exUSAFdoc
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    No it's not. So how about doing something that is new. A General showing the world and his troops that CORE VALUES do mean something and that the USAF and the military is more "military service" than just a "lip service".
     
  11. corpsmanUP

    corpsmanUP Senior Member
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    I am not a medical officer. I am a civilian and allowed gto express my opinion just as you. I care deeply about my patients. I suggest some of you need to see combat up close and personal to realize that it is chaotic. Bad things happen. The truth in Tillman's case probably was concealed at the squad level first, and slowly some poor bastard who couldn't take it any longer decided he would reveal the secret to higher ups. Mission details are often kept at the squad level and even the platoon leader may never know about them. It is not always beneficial to pass all info up the chain of command. The problem here is that if this had been any other soldier, the squad members would not have felt pressured to conceal any of the details because there would not have been an uneducated public reigning down criticism about this incident. But because Pat Tillman brought with him such a unique following of fans/followers, these poor guys knew that someone would be hung out to dry for the accident. And that just isn't right. This was an unfortunate accident that could not have been prevented or predicted. Things happen. The behavior of the troops after the fact was wrong, but it is somewhat understandible. You don't have any idea the kind of pressure these guys must have been under. More important issues remain in this war than this. Pat Tillman is a hero, and he is dead. He would not have wanted his friends to be treated this way about his accidental death.
     
  12. Galo

    Galo Senior Member
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    I just don't think you get it. OK, you're not in the military now, I am assuming you were. But you are a PHYSICIAN, and IT IS NOT OK TO LIE ABOUT IMPORTANT ISSUES. Also, the minute the higher ups learned about it, they should have done the right thing and told. See, this is exactly what's happening in military medicine. To the higher ups, its not a secret that physician morale is in the toilet, retention is near zero, GME is destroyed, etc etc. They know this first hand because many of us tell them. The problem lies in the fact they often do NOTHING about it, keep it to themselves in some fantasy land that everything is OK, till they move on to the next assignment and not make any waves.

    Also, I do not need to experience combat to know its chaotic. Have you ever been in an OR trying to save a patients life, and the instrumentation or support personel you need is not there? Do you need to experience that first hand to understand its chaotic?

    The bottom line here is that there is a large number of military officers, (enlisted as well), who preach the core values at every chance they get, but they themselves do not practice them. Especially INTEGRITY. They use it when it suits their needs, and constantly breaching this value has the effects that we now see. Death of military medicine, a war in Iraq based on LIES, and so on, and so on. It is NOT ok to lie!!!
     
  13. militarymd

    militarymd SDN Angel
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    I was told an officer shall not lie, cheat, steal or tolerate those who do....

    What I experienced during my 11 years of active service is this...

    High ranking officers of ALL types....will LIE, will CHEAT, and will STEAL at every opportunity, but WILL NEVER tolerate it from his subordinates...

    Sure ..there're exceptions, but it shouldn't BE about the exceptions.
     
  14. g293

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    http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2007/03/airforce_blackwater_officerscleared_070331/

    Not only will they lie to cover their butts, some will lie to burn yours:

    Air Force officials have cleared two lieutenant colonels accused of assaulting a contractor last year in Afghanistan, and an investigation has commenced into allegations the evidence used to charge them was manipulated, the service reported March 31.

    Charges against Lt. Col. Gary W. Brown and Lt. Col. Christopher R. Hall were dropped “after careful consideration of all the evidence in the case, to include the Article 32 report,” according to a statement. The officers, who faced lengthy jail terms and abrupt ends to their military careers, were accused of assaulting Blackwater USA contractor Jimmy Bergeron on Sept. 19 during an altercation outside the Afghan Defense Ministry in Kabul.

    Read the investigating officer’s report on Brown in which she recommends dismissal of all charges against both officers.

    The scuffle occurred after a vehicle driven by Bergeron and one carrying Brown and Hall collided on the road from Kabul Area International Airport to Camp Eggers. Prosecutors said the officers initiated contact between the vehicles, escalated the incident when the two vehicles met again outside the Defense Ministry, then shoved and hit Bergeron before Hall finally removed the safety from his M4 and pointed the gun at him.

    An investigating officer concluded in March that the charges against Brown and Hall should be dropped.

    “Given the security situation in Kabul at the time, and the facts and circumstances of their encounter with Mr. Bergeron on the road, and then at the gate, I believe that they truly felt threatened and reacted exactly as they were trained to do,” she wrote.

    Moreover, her report to the convening authority, Lt. Gen. Gary North, head of Central Command Air Forces and 9th Air Force, included allegations of witness tampering, attempted bribery, falsified evidence and doctored charging documents.

    “In this case, the Article 32 investigation uncovered information that someone may have attempted to influence the testimonies of several local national witnesses,” the Air Force statement released Saturday reads. “The possibility of witness tampering raised questions about the integrity of critical evidence in the case. An investigation into this allegation is under way.”
     
  15. USAFdoc

    USAFdoc exUSAFdoc
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    newest info on the Pat Tillman case. More evidence that High ranking officers do exactly the opposite of "Core Values".

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/bloomberg/20070424/pl_bloomberg/aumyoee7yilo_1

    WASHINGTON - An Army Ranger who was with Pat Tillman when the former football star was cut down by friendly fire in Afghanistan said Tuesday a commanding officer had ordered him to keep quiet about what happened.

    ADVERTISEMENT

    The military at first portrayed Tillman's death as the result of heroic combat with the enemy. Army Spc. Bryan O'Neal told a congressional hearing that when he got the chance to talk to Tillman's brother, who had been in a nearby convoy on the fateful day, "I was ordered not to tell him what happened."

    "You were ordered not to tell him?" repeated Rep. Henry Waxman (news, bio, voting record), D-Calif., chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

    "Roger that, Sir," replied O'Neal, dressed in his Army uniform.

    The revelation came as committee members questioned whether, and when, top Defense officials and the White House knew that Tillman's death in eastern Afghanistan three years ago was actually a result of gunfire from fellow U.S. soldiers.



    April 24 (Bloomberg) -- The brother of Army Ranger and professional football player Pat Tillman accused the U.S. government of ``deliberate and calculated lies'' in wrongly reporting that he died in a fight with the enemy instead of from friendly fire.

    ADVERTISEMENT

    Tillman's death, during an April 22, 2004, night patrol in Afghanistan, occurred in the wake of reports about the torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and was ``yet another political disaster,'' Kevin Tillman said. ``So the truth had to be suppressed.''

    The government's account ``inspired countless Americans as intended,'' Tillman told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. ``There was one small problem with this narrative, however: It was utter fiction.''

    The committee is investigating how ``accurate information from the battlefield was delayed, distorted or suppressed'' to serve public relations goals, said Representative Tom Davis of Virginia, the top Republican on the panel.

    Tillman, 27 when he died, left the Arizona Cardinals to join the U.S. Army Rangers after the Sept. 11 attacks, leaving behind a new bride and a $3.6 million National Football League contract.

    Ordered Not to Tell

    Specialist Bryan O'Neil, who was with Tillman when he died, said he was ordered not to tell Tillman's brother that the death was the result of friendly fire.

    ``I wanted right off the bat to let the family know what had happened,'' O'Neil said. ``I was quite appalled that when I was actually able to speak to Kevin, I was ordered not to tell him what happened.''

    Defense Department Inspector General Thomas Gimble said in a March 26 report that Army commanders recommended Corporal Tillman for the Silver Star for gallantry in action, while withholding evidence of friendly fire from his family for five weeks.

    Gimble recommended that the Army examine for possible punishment nine senior officers involved in three ``deficient'' probes of the 2004 incident in Afghanistan and in a false citation for the Silver Star Tillman was awarded. The failure to follow Army regulations in those investigations contributed to ``perceptions of concealment,'' Gimble said at a press conference.

    A Series of Mistakes

    Gimble said he found a series of mistakes rather than any attempt to cover up the truth of Tillman's death.

    The hearing also examined the rescue of Private Jessica Lynch in Iraq. Early news of Lynch's capture included misleading reports that she was shot and stabbed after fighting off attackers until she ran out of ammunition. Lynch was injured when her Humvee was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade, and she later said she never fired her weapon because it jammed.

    ``I am still confused as to why they chose to lie and tried to make me a legend when the real heroics of my fellow soldiers that day were, in fact, legendary,'' Lynch said ``The bottom line is the American people are capable of determining their own ideals for heroes and they don't need to be told elaborate tales.''
     
  16. alpha62

    alpha62 Membership Revoked
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    I don't think there is one person on this board that hasn't been ordered to lie about something at one time or the other during their military duty
     
  17. g293

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    Ordered to lie??? Absolutely not.
     
  18. West Side

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    What the corpsman above doesn't seem to understand is that the issue isn't that information was not forthcoming, it's that it seems to have been intentionally covered up for political expediency.

    If you go back to that period, both Pat Tillman and Jessica Lynch's stories were used to paint a certain impression of our activities and successes abroad. If told the truth, the American people might have formulated different opinions on the executive branch's actions.

    Americans understand that it's difficult to admit to killing a guy that gave up an NFL career. Suggesting that because it's difficult, the American government should take the path of least resistance is morally bankrupt, and very troubling from a medical professional. A mistake's been made during surgery: should a patient's family be lied to, then told to "get over it"?
     
  19. Mirror Form

    Mirror Form Thyroid Storm
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    Personally, I don't see anything that horrible about trying to make a hero out of jessica lynch. Dishonest yes, but not all that bad.

    Why don't the history books harshly condemn the guys who built paul revere up so much? And the list goes on and on.
     
  20. chopper

    chopper Senior Member
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    It was soooooooo ironic to hear her testimony the other day. She said something to the effect of "I wasn't the hero. My fellow soldiers who stood with me that day and gave their lives are the real heroes". Uh, yeah.
     
  21. Croatalus_atrox

    Croatalus_atrox Philosopher of Doom
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    Why is that ironic? Jessica Lynch maintained from the beginning that the initial reports of her heroism were fabricated. What has she done to earn the ire of so many people besides having the temerity to tell the truth about what happened to her and contradicting the military propaganda machine?

    Please don't tell me that of all the potential bad guys in this story you decided to settle on the 20 year old girl who was severely injured, taken prisoner in a combat zone and callously used and thrown away by some of the most powerful men and organizations on the planet, solely because she's living proof of their heavy-handed efforts to manipulate public opinion.
     
  22. tscottturner

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    Lying was never ordered - but I know many many commanders (from company on up) that were asked to 'overlook' certain maintenance issues so that their monthly stats looked better than they actually were.
     
  23. Mirror Form

    Mirror Form Thyroid Storm
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    I bet that got someone promoted (seriously).
     
  24. tscottturner

    tscottturner Member
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    Of course it helped others. And it also helped me....decide to perform a midlife career change into medicine. Now I can sleep at night :sleep:
     
  25. deuist

    deuist Stealthfully Sarcastic
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    The bad news continues for the military:

    U.S. commander under investigation for allegedly aiding the enemy
    By Edmund Sanders, LA Times Staff Writer
    10:25 AM PDT, April 26, 2007


    BAGHDAD -- A U.S. military commander who helped oversee the prison camp that once held Saddam Hussein is under investigation for allegedly aiding the enemy, mishandling classified information and engaging in "inappropriate" relationships, U.S. officials said today.

    Lt. Col. William H. Steele was arrested last month and charged with nine violations of U.S. military code, including keeping classified information in his living space, failing to monitor funds, disobeying an order and possessing pornographic videos, the military said.

    The most serious accusation of aiding the enemy arose from allegations that Steele, whose age was not released, provided an unmonitored cellphone to detainees between October 2005 and October 2006.

    He also was accused of "wrongfully [fraternizing] with the daughter of a detainee" and giving "special privileges" to an interpreter with whom he maintained an "inappropriate relationship."

    Steele is being held at a detention facility in Kuwait pending the outcome of an Article 32 military hearing, which is roughly equivalent to a grand jury inquiry.

    "The results of the Article 32 hearing will determine whether it goes to court-martial," said Lt. Col. Jocelyn Aberle, a military spokeswoman in Iraq.

    Steele was a senior commander at Camp Cropper, a large U.S. detention facility located near Baghdad International Airport. The camp was originally best known for holding high-value detainees, including Hussein before he was executed late last year, and other former Baath Party officials.

    Now the camp holds several thousand detainees, including many transferred from Abu Ghraib prison.

    U.S. supervision of Abu Ghraib, which had long been one of Iraq's most notorious prisons, was phased out after a 2004 scandal in which U.S. soldiers abused and humiliated Iraqi detainees. Photographs depicting naked prisoners in embarrassing poses sparked outrage and anti-American sentiments throughout the Middle East.

    Steele was the commander of the 451st Military Police Detachment. In that role, he was one of a handful of senior military officers who reported to the commander of Camp Cropper, Aberle said.

    Military officials did not say when or where the hearing will take place.

    Meanwhile, two suicide bombers today targeted the headquarters of the Kurdish Democratic Party in Zummar, about 40 miles west of Mosul in northern Iraq.

    Three people were killed and 13 injured, police said. Kurdish party officials blamed a recent rise in violence against them on the U.S.-Iraqi security crackdown in the capital.

    "Due to the failure of the security plan, we see an escalation [of violence] in Iraq overall and also against headquarters of Kurdish parties in Mosul," said Abdulghani Yahya, spokesman for the party.

    In Diyala province, one of Iraq's most volatile regions in recent weeks, a suicide bomber rammed an Iraqi army checkpoint in Khalis, about 40 miles north of Baghdad, killing nine soldiers and injuring 15.

    Earlier this week, nine U.S. soldiers were killed in a double suicide car bombing against a patrol base. U.S. and Iraqi officials say Al Qaeda-linked militants who were pushed out of the capital after the launch of the Feb. 13 security campaign are believed to be regrouping in Diyala area.

    As part of the ongoing campaign, U.S. military officials in Baghdad said they killed seven militants in two overnight skirmishes. In one fight in the Taji suburb of northern Baghdad, two women and two children were killed during the fighting, officials said.

    Elsewhere in Baghdad today, four separate bombings, most believed to involve parked cars, killed 11 people and injured 27.

    "This is the second time this year that a car bomb went off right across the street from me," said Ali Hussein, 34, who runs a street kiosk near one of the blasts. "I guess I'm going to get it sooner or later."
     
  26. Scooby007

    2+ Year Member

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    While I agree that we are supposed to 'live to a higher standard', there will always be bad eggs and corruption in every group. And we act surprised at this?! Please...

    Maybe all of the attention these negative actions are getting will leave a 'mark' on the chain of command and reduce its frequency. Possibly even inspire the next generation and current military docs to truly hold themselves to a higher standard since their actions could one day come into the limelight...one can hope...
     
  27. chopper

    chopper Senior Member
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    Actually, I 'decided' to settle on an ironic snippet I heard during her testimony. It isn't the conclusion of a thesis I'm writing on the subject.

    The point is that people at all levels throw around the 'hero' thing all the time when it isn't deserved. Her buddies were no more 'heroes' than she was. The IRONY is that if she had been killed and one of them taken prisoner, they would have been hailed as heroes and she forgotten. And then one of them would have been up in front of congress yesterday saying how Jessica is the true hero and not them.
     
  28. Croatalus_atrox

    Croatalus_atrox Philosopher of Doom
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    I think my post came off more harsh and confrontational than I meant it to. I guess I've just read too many people bagging on Jessica Lynch as though she was responsible for all the media attention that surrounded her. There were other survivors of the ambush at Nasiriyah, including another soldier, Patrick Miller, who was awarded the Silver Star for his actions during the incident. But the military decided to focus its media efforts on the pretty white girl, going so far as to fabricate an entire story and stage an unnecessarily dramatic rescue conveniently filmed for release to the public.

    While I agree with the sentiment that the term "hero" is bandied about way too much these days, I'm inclined to cut her some slack considering the circumstances that ultimately led to her testifying in front of members of Congress in the first place. I don't think that her lauding her fallen comrades as heroes was motivated by the same cynical attempt to manipulate the public as the military's efforts to create the illusion of heroism when there was none.
     
  29. USAFdoc

    USAFdoc exUSAFdoc
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    [
    [/QUOTE]


    http://sports.yahoo.com/top/news;_ylt=Ape0smTzeOdED0s.sMXOSxE5nYcB?slug=ap-tillman-punishment&prov=ap&type=lgns

    Military officials: 3-star Army general faces demotion in the death of Pat Tillman

    By LOLITA C. BALDOR, Associated Press Writer
    July 26, 2007

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- Army Secretary Peter Geren is expected to recommend that a retired three-star general be demoted for his role in providing misleading information about the death of Army Ranger Pat Tillman, military officials say, in what would be a stinging and rare rebuke.

    Lt. Gen. Philip Kensinger, who headed Army special operations, is one of six high-ranking Army officers expected to get official reprimands for making critical errors in reporting the circumstances of Tillman's friendly-fire shooting in Afghanistan in April 2004.

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    The officials requested anonymity because the punishments under consideration by Geren have not been made public. The Army said that no final decisions have been made, and that once they are and the Tillman family and Congress have been notified, there will be an announcement sometime next week.

    Geren also is considering issuing a letter of censure to Kensinger, who is receiving the harshest punishment of those involved in what has become a three-year controversy that triggered more than half a dozen investigations. Five other officers, including three generals, are expected to be issued less severe letters criticizing their actions.

    Army officials opted not to impose harsher punishments, which could have included additional demotions, dishonorable discharges or even jail time. One senior officer, Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, commander of the Joint Special Operations Command, escaped punishment.

    Tillman's death received worldwide attention because he had walked away from a huge contract with the National Football League's Arizona Cardinals to enlist in the Army after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

    Tillman's mother, Mary, said the impending punishments were inadequate.

    "I'm not satisfied with any of it," she said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.

    She rejected the Pentagon's characterization of the officers' offenses as "errors" in reporting Tillman's death, when several officers have said they had made conscious decisions not to tell Tillman's family that friendly fire was suspected.

    Geren's pending decisions come four months after two investigative reports found that Army officers provided misleading and inaccurate information about Tillman's death. A central issue in the case has been why the Army waited about five weeks after it suspected the former NFL star's death was caused by friendly fire before telling his family.

    The probes found that nine officers -- including four generals -- were at fault in providing the bad information and should be held accountable. But the reports determined that there was no criminal wrongdoing in the actual shooting, and that there was no deliberate cover-up.

    Geren then tapped Gen. William Wallace to review the probes and recommend disciplinary actions. Wallace disagreed with initial findings against McChrystal, according to the military officials.

    But Wallace also surprised Army officials by singling out a 10th officer for rebuke -- one who had not been blamed in the earlier reports.

    Brig. Gen. Gina Farrisee, who is director of military personnel management at the Pentagon, is expected to receive a letter of punishment for her involvement in the oversight of the awarding of Tillman's Silver Star.

    Two others who were blamed in earlier reports are also expected to receive letters of admonishment: Brig. Gen. Gary Jones, who led one of the early Army investigations into the matter, and now-Brig. Gen. James C. Nixon, who was Tillman's regimental commander.

    Jones, now retired from the Army, was faulted for failing to address several issues in his probe, leading to speculation that Army officials were concealing information about Tillman's death.

    Nixon was criticized for failing to ensure that Tillman's family was told.

    It is no surprise that Kensinger, 60, is targeted for the most severe punishment. An investigation by the Defense Department's inspector general found "compelling evidence that Kensinger learned of suspected fratricide well before the memorial service and provided misleading testimony" on that issue. That misrepresentation, the report said, could constitute a "false official statement," a violation of the Military Code of Justice.

    Farrisee's rebuke is tied to the Army recommendations that Tillman receive the Silver Star. The investigations found that Army officials were aware that Tillman was likely killed by friendly fire even as they were moving ahead with the medal that was awarded for heroism in the face of the enemy.

    If Geren does recommend to Defense Secretary Robert Gates that Kensinger lose a star and be demoted to major general, that would trigger a decrease in his retirement pension and benefits.

    The letters of rebuke for the others could also be crippling blows. They can include letters of concern, reprimand or censure, with escalating degrees of gravity.

    "For officers generally, a reprimand is a devastating career injury," said Eugene Fidell, a lawyer who specializes in military cases and teaches at American University's Washington College of Law. "It can trigger an effort to throw the person out of the military, it can trigger a reduction in pay grade when the time comes to retire, it can prevent a future promotion, and it can gum up a promotion that has already been decided."

    For a one-star general, Fidell said, it could mean they are likely to never get a second star. And, he said, a lower level officer, such as a captain, "would have to dig out of a deep hole to continue his or her career. Letters of reprimand are truly bad news."
     
  30. Tooth

    Tooth Orthodontist
    Dentist 10+ Year Member

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    http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2007/07/26/ap3958728.html

    http://video.msn.com/v/us/v.htm?g=7ad8e938-7043-49d8-851a-5851af5e6a0e&t=m18&f=06/64&p=Source_NightlyNews&fg=&gt1=10150

    Apparently, two Army docs had enough integrity to bring forth incriminating information to their superiors. Army docs concluded that there were three bullet wholes within two inches on Pat Tillmans forehead and further argued that the shots must have occured within 10 yards of the victim. Of course, this information was covered up and not released until a freedom of information act suit by the associated press uncovered these facts. I was proud to see that these military docs had enough integrity to present the truth without twisting it. Too bad it got covered up.
     

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