Sunday, July 30, 2006

Tillman friendly fire

American football star Pat Tillman volunteered for the Army Rangers to fight in Afghanistan. While he was there, he was killed by friendly fire from his own platoon under suspicious circumstances, a fact the Army tried to hide for five weeks, even after it was common knowledge in the ranks within days. Now, two years later, there are still serious unanswered questions and signs that the Army is hiding the truth about Tillman's death.

I sense a future movie coming out of this, in the same vein as Meg Ryan's Courage Under Fire.

One thing which I predict will never make it into a movie, though, is that Tillman was an atheist -- a fact which gives ammunition to the officer in charge of the first enquiry into Tillman's death. Lt. Col. Ralph Kauzlarich, as well as leading the first enquiry, also just happened to be responsible for many of the tactical decisions which lead directly to Tillman's death.

Hey, coincidences happen. Besides, the Army is pretty busy, occupying two countries. He was probably the only guy available.

Kauzlarich knows why his enquiry's findings weren't accepted:

"I don't know, these people have a hard time letting it go. It may be because of their religious beliefs."
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."
"Well, this guy makes disparaging remarks about the fact that we're not Christians, and the reason that we can't put Pat to rest is because we're not Christians," Mary Tillman, Pat's mother, said in an interview with Mary Tillman casts the family as spiritual, though she said it does not believe in many of the fundamental aspects of organized religion.

"Oh, it has nothing to do with the fact that this whole thing is shady," she said sarcastically, "But it is because we are not Christians."

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