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December 21, 2014

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Tillman’s Mother Speaks About Son’s Death, Rumsfeld & Military Via ESPN Radio

Mary Tillman, the mother of former Arizona Cardinals safety Pat Tillman who was killed in Afghanistan during a friendly fire episode near the Pakistan border in April 2004, was interviewed on ESPN Radio’s “Dan Patrick Show” Tuesday.

Less than a year after the September 11 terrorist attacks, Tillman turned down a $3.6 million contract offer from the Cardinals to become a US Army ranger.

On Patrick’s show yesterday, Mrs. Tillman said that regarding the circumstances of her son’s death, “It become very obvious early on that they (the Defense Department) were lying to us. It was quite clear they were only telling one side of the story and they weren't addressing the other side."

She continued, "The soldier that actually shot Pat three times in the head was asked, ‘Did you positively identify your target?' And this soldier said, ‘No, I wanted to be in a fire fight.’”

Mary Tillman's said she and her family want congressional hearings on her son's death. She told Patrick, "I want a congressional hearing because I want to find out what actually happened. I would like to have it all aired out in a congressional hearing."

The military concluded Monday that critical errors in reporting Tillman's death were made, but there was no criminal wrongdoing in the shooting of the former football player.

Tillman said she became very upset when it was portrayed at her son's memorial service that Pat Tillman was killed by enemy fire, when the military knew he was killed by friendly fire. She said, "This was an attempt to dupe the public and promote this war and get recruitments up, and that is immoral and it's a travesty." Tillman added, "It seems to me that (former Defense Secretary Donald) Rumsfeld would have to be aware of it.”

Tillman said she thinks her son would have been outraged at how he was used by the military after his death and that they used her son's death as a PR vehicle to deflect attention from the Abu Ghraib prison scandal in Iraq.

She said, "I definitely think Pat was used. When he was killed I think they saw this as an opportunity."


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