Sunday, July 15, 2007

Using Dead Soldiers For Fun and Political Gain

As I have stated in the past I usually don't give a whole lot of my time to watching the news over here. I discovered the last time I was in this monkey house (and I mean that in the nicest possible way) that what is presented on the news is not an entirely accurate picture of events on the battlefield and it remains true today...from what little I am exposed to while trying to eat in the DFAC. So I missed Sunday's Meet the Press, where SENs Lindsey Graham and Jim Webb had an exchange about the war.


Tempers flare on Iraq

By CALVIN WOODWARD, Associated Press Writer
Sun Jul 15, 5:10 PM ET



WASHINGTON - When senators from opposing parties call each other "friend" and pat each other as they talk, there's a fighting chance they're angling to wring each other's neck.

So it appeared on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday when Democrat Jim Webb of Virginia and Republican Lindsey Graham of South Carolina testily exchanged views on President Bush's Iraq policy and troop welfare. An impromptu troop surge debate turned into a temper surge.

"Just wash your hands of Iraq," an animated Graham said to the war critics, including the Democrat seated to his immediate right. "History will judge us, my friend."

"It's been a hard month, Lindsey," Webb commiserated, wearing a tight smile. "You need to calm down, my friend."

"Lindsey's had a hard month," Webb repeated.

"It ain't about Lindsey having a hard month," Graham snapped...


Yeah, whatever SEN Webb, at least have the decency to bring your butt over here and see it for yourself before you make up your mind. But being objective means that you might have to change your pre-conceived notions and go against your party...your allies in the war against the most hated enemy the Republicans and especially President Bush. It's a really sad day to see the number of people who will put party and self before the well being of their country. To hold up soldiers as props, as too stupid, poor or whatever excuse you have today, that we stay in and serve this nation and fight this war. Because to say you are wrong about the war means you might be wrong about President Bush and that might mean you wouldn't be re-elected and after all that's what it's all about isn't it? It's beyond pathetic.

You know in the end "The Surge" may very well be a failure...but some people haven't event given it a chance. They are in a headlong rush to declare defeat, bring the troops home and there's election to win, by God! Would I like to be home tomorrow? You're damn right I would but that doesn't mean it's the right thing to do. What ever happend to the hard right over the easy wrong? Oh yeah, that's only for us stupid, poor saps in the military. If you're a politician, duty, honor, country need not apply.

SPEAKING OF WHICH...

I also missed until today this story about how House Oversight Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and Tom Davis, R-Va were trying to get Pentagon and White House records concerning the death of Pat Tillman...


Panel Demands Tillman's Death Records
Associated Press July 14, 2007
SAN FRANCISCO - Two influential lawmakers investigating how and when the Bush administration learned the circumstances of Pat Tillman's friendly-fire death and how those details were disclosed accused the White House and Pentagon on Friday of withholding key documents and renewed their demand for the material.

The White House and Defense Department have turned over nearly 10,000 pages of papers - mostly press clippings - but the White House cited "executive branch confidentiality interests" in refusing to provide other documents.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and Tom Davis, R-Va., the committee's top-ranking Republican, said Friday the documents were inadequate. They insisted that the Defense Department turn over the additional material by July 25 and asked that the White House do likewise.

Tillman, a San Jose native, turned down a lucrative contract with the NFL's Arizona Cardinals to join the Army following the Sept. 11 attacks. He was killed April 22, 2004, by friendly fire in Afghanistan.

Although Pentagon investigators determined quickly that he was killed by his own troops, five weeks passed before the circumstances of his death were made public. During that time, the Army claimed he was killed by enemy fire.

Tillman's family and others have said they believe the erroneous information peddled by the Pentagon was part of a deliberate cover-up that may have reached all the way to President Bush and then-Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld. The committee said Friday it had scheduled a second hearing on Tillman's death for Aug. 1, this time to probe what senior Pentagon officials knew and when...


Anyone who has been in the Army more than five minutes knows how this one went down. First of all, first reports are usually wrong. Whomever took that first report from the battlefield before the in initial 15-6 investigation was done and ran with it...is a moron.

I have no particular knowledge of this event other than my Army experience and what I've read in the papers/INTERNET. That being said, here's what I think MAY have happened...a variation on this theme is more than likely closer to the truth than any grand conspiracy scheme someone in Washington or Hollywood could devise.

After the events on the battlefield cost Pat Tillman his life there were the initial reports back to Ranger BN headquarters and somewhere in that immediate chain of command a decision was made to try and pretty up an ugly event, to either help the family (which is ridiculous seeing as though his brother was in the same unit, like he wouldn't find out or talk), or save the reputation of a glorious unit (more than likely a combination of both). News of the now "heroic" event swept through the chain of command and Washington, desperate for heroes and knowing that THIS was going to be news tried to get ahead of the story, got up and told everyone how Pat Tillman went down fighting the talliban, a regular Audie Murphy. In the mean time the truth was discovered and instead of getting right back out there and correcting themselves, the hero story remained. Bad news doesn't get better with time, and someone out there forgot that. It could have been the Ranger BN or the White House...I don't know and I don't care. Pat Tillman is dead and who said what to whom and when they said is only being discussed right now for some selfish bastard's political gain.

This is a perfect example of how junior leaders decisions turn into strategic events. While in the grand scheme of things this event has little if anything to do with the war itself, it has everything to do with it to those that oppose the war and want to bring down the POTUS and gain power for themselves. This whole dog and pony show is not going to accomplish one thing other than prop up Pat Tillman's corpse as a celebrity spokesperson and open raw wounds of a grieving family just so someone can try and gain political advantage over another. It's sick and they should be ashamed of themselves...but they won't be because after all they are politicians.

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