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Answers Coming, But Not Til After the Vote

Yesterday afternoon, The Kid started sniffling, and by evening it had grown into a steady nasal drip. Last night, we finished off the last of the bottle of his cherry-flavored medicine, and so this morning we opened a new bottle. "What flavor is it, Daddy?" he asked. "Grape," I told him, to which he replied, "But what kind of grape?"

When you live next to a winery, that's the kind of questions your kid will ask you. At least he didn't swirl the medicine in the cup, take a sniff and a sip, slosh it around in his mouth, and spit it out. Still, he's got a wine vocabulary that I did not have until much later. 

More proof, I suppose, that everything is local.

Which brings me to Pat Tillman. He's local news out here, because of the family's Bay Area roots. Today's SF Chronicle carries this news on page A-8:

The Pentagon has completed an 18-month investigation into the friendly fire death of former pro football star Pat Tillman in Afghanistan and has scheduled an unusual series of simultaneous briefings later this month to reveal the findings.

The long-awaited report will be released March 26, the Defense Department said Tuesday, with congressional and media briefings in Washington at the same time as the Tillman family receives the report in San Jose.


Release of the Pentagon report is scheduled just days after an expected House vote on Iraq war funding. Findings of a cover-up in the Tillman case could further embarrass an already embattled Bush administration.

Could further embarrass? I'd say it's a sure thing myself. We're talking about avoiding embarrassment by covering up a report on a coverup to avoid embarrassment. Yeah, that'll work.

Jane waxed eloquent on Tillman a year ago, raising a bunch of questions (reformatted here) that perhaps — perhaps — will get answered on the 26th:

The crassness of this just goes beyond my ability to express anger. . . . Of course there needs to be a thorough investigation into Pat Tillman’s death. We owe that to his family, and if gross negligence was involved, those responsible need to be held to account. That goes without saying. But those responsible for spinning out the lies to a grieving family — lies that they also fed to the public and the press in a close campaign season — need some exploration as well.

  • Who gave the orders to silence the Rangers on the ground?
  • Who gave the orders to burn Tillman’s gear?
  • Who gave the orders to falsify information contained on Tillman’s Silver Star citation — because it now appears that some of the information in the chain of events does not match up with later stories?
  • Who fed Tori Clark the information she spewed from the press podium at the DoD?
  • Who fed it to Donald Rumsfeld?
  • Did Rumsfeld order this to be propgandized — or did that come from the President’s campaign staff, including from Karl Rove?
  • Who gave the orders to start all of this ass covering — up the line to the President of the United States?
  • And who made the decision for the President to use Pat Tillman as a campaign prop in Arizona — when the taped message the President gave was a lie?
  • And did the President know at the time that his lovely public words about a fallen American hero were nothing but lies — and gave the taped message anyway?
  • If not, has anyone been held to account for feeding the President false information that he publicly stated about the Tillman matter — and if so, who has been held to account and by what means?

This feels just like the manufactured story they used for Jessica Lynch, a story which she lived to correct, much to her credit. But Pat Tillman is not here to speak for himself today — he was killed in the line of duty, in our nation’s uniform, and then had his government lie outright to his family — repeatedly through four separate botched investigations into his death.

Everything is local — even governmental coverups aimed at spinning the media.

And the timing? The military "has completed" the report, but it won't be delivered until the 26th? Maybe Nancy Pelosi ought to delay that vote on Iraq war funding until AFTER the Tillman family gets the report. If they could wait for years to get their report, the DOD can wait another couple of days to get their money.

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I'm an ordained Lutheran pastor with a passion for language, progressive politics, and the intersection of people's inner sets of ideals and beliefs (aka "faith" to many) and their political actions. I mostly comment around here, but offer a weekly post or two as well. With the role that conservative Christianity plays in the current Republican politics, I believe that progressives ignore the dynamics of religion, religious language, and religiously-inspired actions at our own peril. I am also incensed at what the TheoCons have done to the public impression of Christianity, and don't want their twisted version of it to go unchallenged in the wider world. I'm a midwesterner, now living in the Kansas City area, but also spent ten years living in the SF Bay area. I'm married to a wonderful microbiologist (she's wonderful all the way around, not just at science) and have a great little Kid, for whom I am the primary caretaker these days. I love the discussions around here, especially the combination of humor and seriousness that lets us take on incredibly tough stuff while keeping it all in perspective and treating one another with respect.

And Preview is my friend.