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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Tillman Turnabout

It's sad and pathetic.

When pro-football player Pat Tillman left a lucrative sports career to serve his country fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, he was a darling of the right wing.  When he lost his life, he was praised and lauded by the right as a hero, giving his life to protect our freedoms blah blah blah

But when the word slowly leaked out that Tillman was killed by friendly fire, the rightwing pundits fell silent.  When it was revealed that the Army tried to cover up the circumstances of Tillman's death, and that the family was being misled by our government, they fell more silent.

Now that the Tillmans are testifying before Congress, and that it has been revealed that Tillman was -- oh my god -- an atheist, the war supporters are being just plain ugly.  One general, we now learn, has described Tillman as "worm dirt":

In a transcript of his interview with Brig. Gen. Gary Jones during a November 2004 investigation, Kauzlarich said he'd learned Kevin Tillman, Pat's brother and fellow Army Ranger who was a part of the battle the night Pat Tillman died, objected to the presence of a chaplain and the saying of prayers during a repatriation ceremony in Germany before his brother's body was returned to the United States.

Kauzlarich, now a battalion commanding officer at Fort Riley in Kansas, further suggested the Tillman family's unhappiness with the findings of past investigations might be because of the absence of a Christian faith in their lives.

In an interview with, Kauzlarich said: "When you die, I mean, there is supposedly a better life, right? Well, if you are an atheist and you don't believe in anything, if you die, what is there to go to? Nothing. You are worm dirt. So for their son to die for nothing, and now he is no more — that is pretty hard to get your head around that. So I don't know how an atheist thinks. I can only imagine that that would be pretty tough."

Asked by whether the Tillmans' religious beliefs are a factor in the ongoing investigation, Kauzlarich said, "I think so. There is not a whole lot of trust in the system or faith in the system [by the Tillmans]. So that is my personal opinion, knowing what I know."


Greenwald chronicales the vile turn-around on Tillman from the right:

And finally, we have the hordes of cowardly warmongers -- beginning with the President and Vice President -- who constantly hide behind the troops and crassly exploit them as props in service of their political agenda, even though their "concern" for the troops could not be any more exploitative and insincere.

Just look at this repulsive post by Powerline's John Hinderaker yesterday as he tries (needless to say) to defend the Government's conduct in the Tillman case by telling his readers they need not listen to Kevin Tillman's accusations because he is "an antiwar activist who has posted on far-left web sites."

What does Hinderaker omit from that description? That Kevin Tillman was in Afghanistan along with his brother, having volunteered to risk his life to fight for the U.S. Army in the wake of 9/11. But because he came to conclude that the invasion of Iraq was wrong -- and because he has persistently demanded that the truth about the Bush administration's conduct in his brother's case be exposed -- he is subjected to discrediting smears from smarmy little chest-beating play-acting warriors like John Hinderaker.

The "troops" are nothing but cheap and empty props to them. Before it was revealed that Pat Tillman was both an atheist and against the war in Iraq, he was paraded around after his death as though he, standing alone, was the Symbol and Justification for the warmongering Bush movement. Ann Coulter said that "Tillman was an American original: virtuous, pure and masculine like only an American male can be." Sean Hannity constantly invoked his name with antiwar guests.

Yet once it was revealed what Tillman's actual political views were, they both simply declared that they "do not believe" it. What mattered to them was not who he really was -- they could not care less about that -- but his use to them in service of their twisted political propaganda.

Vile.  Ugly.


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Long time no see Ken, hope you are well. Great post. And congrats on getting linked to by A. Sullivan! :)

thanks for pointing this out to John Q Public. As a former Army Ranger all I can tell you that while America's best may physically brave almost the whole lot of them are Moral Cowards and wish the whole thing regarding one of our own would just go away. Pat and his brother Kevin were old school Rangers... Independant and Free Thinking and fiercely devoted to the defense of the Constitution. Sadly most of the the Ranger bloggers revel in being brown nosing ultra right wing syncophants in lockstep with the fantasies of a few Boykin bobbleheads whose sick fantasy is that we are on a Christian Crusade to rid the world of "Un-Americans", and have no problem betraying the very same ideals they swore an oath to defend.

How the mighty have fallen.

William Hazen

Nice to see you again, Lizard Queen. You still writing? Can I put you on my blogroll?

The whole Tillman episode was sad and pathetic. How can a govt we trust to always tell us the truth do this? How many more lies are out there?

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