Pat Tillman and My Lai

Okay, maybe I’m a bit dense for not noticing this before but isn’t the Pat Tillman situation something that could become a defining moment in the anti-war movement that is currently happening? Might it not eventually go into the history books alongside My Lai or Dresden as one of the most deeply embarrassing moments in US military history?

1 You have an NFL player, the most significant sporting event for American males, leaving an all Pro career. In his prime no less. At a time of exploding wealth for football players. People who know about military protocols knew about Tillman before he enlisted. He was already in their heads.

2 He gives all that up and enlists as a Ranger, a particularly dangerous assignment, and requests to be sent to Afghanistan with his brother. While on a patrol he is repeatedly shot and killed. By Americans in his unit.

3 Then given a Silver Star for bravery (great way to keep people quiet by the way, I mean, who would risk their son no longer being valorized as a war hero in the traditional sense) and the military instantly creates a story they design to be the standard hero narrative allowing Tillman to be the poster boy for the war.

4 It takes his divorced parents years to begin uncovering the truth about their son’s death. Other Rangers are embarrassed about their roles in Tillman’s death and the military changes its story multiple times in a deliberate attempt to quiet the parents and quash the story.

Simply amazing. Definitely My Lai potential.


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