Friday, July 27, 2007

Pat Tillman

The Who, When, What, How and Why?

The Who:
  • Started his football career as a linebacker for Arizona State University in 1994, and excelled as a linebacker at Arizona State, despite being relatively small for the position.
  • As a senior, he was voted the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year. Tillman majored in marketing and graduated in 3 1/2 years with a 3.84 GPA.
  • In the 1998 NFL Draft, Tillman was selected as the 227th pick by the Arizona Cardinals. Tillman moved over to play the safety position in the NFL and started ten of sixteen games in his rookie season.
  • Tillman turned down a five-year, $9 million contract offer from the St. Louis Rams out of loyalty to the Cardinals.
  • In May 2002, eight months after the September 11, 2001 attacks and after completing the fifteen remaining games of the 2001 season which followed the attacks (at a salary of $512,000 per year),Tillman turned down a contract offer of $3.6 million over three years from the Cardinals to enlist in the U.S. Army.
The When:
  • April 22, 2004: Pat Tillman is shot and killed by a hail of bullets on a road near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Members of Tillman's unit burned his body armor and uniform in an apparent attempt to hide the fact that he was killed by friendly fire.
  • April 30, 2004: U.S. Army Special Operations Command releases a stirring account of how Tillman was cut down by enemy fire while shouting out orders to his men. Tillman is posthumously awarded a Silver Star for combat valor.
  • May 3, 2004: The Pentagon propaganda machine orchestrates an exquisitely produced nationally televised memorial for Pat Tillman.
  • May 29, 2004: True details of Tillman’s death - from freindly fire - are finally revealed, to Tillman’s family and to the public.
  • June 9, 2005: After Tillman’s parents harshly criticize the delay in informing them of the true circumstances of their son’s death, the Army apologizes.
  • August 23, 2005: The Pentagon announces that the Department of Defense Inspector General’s Office is launching a review of the previous flawed investigation into the death of Pat Tillman.
  • March 4, 2006: The US army announces that as a result of the Inspector General’s review, it will now launch a criminal investigation into the death of Pat Tillman.
  • July 13, 2007: White House and the Pentagon cite executive privilege to hold up documents on Tillman's friendly fire Death.
  • July 27, 2007:The Associated Press publishes a report based upon 2,300 pages of testimony obtained from the Defense Department in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. This report contains conclusions of medical examiners that, based on the three bullet holes in Tillman's head, he was killed at a range of ten yards.
The What:
Executive privilege: the power claimed by the President of the United States and other members of the executive branch to resist certain search warrants and other interventions by the legislative and judicial branches of government. Executive privilege is not mentioned in the United States Constitution. However, the Supreme Court has considered it to be an element of the separation of powers doctrine, and derived from the supremacy of the executive branch in its own area of Constitutional activity. In U.S. vs. Nixon, the SCOTUS affirmed "the valid need for protection of communications between high Government officials and those who advise and assist them in the performance of their manifold duties..."

Fragging: In a military context, the assault, wounding, or assassination of an unpopular member of one's own fighting unit, originally using small weapons or explosives.
The How: See Fragging.

The Why: See Executive Privilege.

If they have nothing to hide, why do they hide everything?

G.O.P. Friday! (#1)

The first in a series of efforts to bring us all together for a bi-partisan weekend!

I have always tried to clarify the view point of The Vigil as a non-partisan critic of foreign and domestic policy. I am a small-d democrat and a small-r republican. When it comes to restoring our once-great nation to its previously peerlessly healthy, honorable and esteemed status, I will listen to any one. I never agree with anyone 100% and I can take at least one day out of the week to listen to someone who agrees with (maybe) 50% of my agenda. So, in this spirit of a re-united Americana, I offer . . . .
Congressman Ron Paul (Republican - Texas):

...And Michael Scheuer!