The Nation | In the Name of Pat Tillman: Good Riddance to Stanley McChrystal (June 25, 2010)

Pat Tillman

Pat Tillman, U.S. Army

In the Name of Pat Tillman: Good Riddance to Stanley McChrystal

When NFL player-turned-Army Ranger Pat Tillman died at the hands of US troops in a case of “friendly fire,” the spin machine at the Pentagon went into overdrive. Rumsfeld and company couldn’t have their most high-profile soldier dying in such an inelegant fashion, especially with the release of those pesky photos from Abu Ghraib hitting the airwaves. So an obscene lie was told to Tillman’s family, his friends and the American public. The chickenhawks in charge, whose only exposure to war was watching John Wayne movies, claimed that he died charging a hill and was cut down by the radical Islamic enemies of freedom. In the weeks preceding his death, Tillman was beginning to question what exactly he was fighting for, telling friends that he believed the war in Iraq was ” [expletive] illegal.” He may not have known what he was fighting for, but it’s now clear what he died for: public relations. Today, after five years, six investigations and two Congressional hearings, questions still linger about how Tillman died and why it was covered up.

Read more from The Nation here.

The US Air Force Academy Sexual Assault Scandal, Colorado (2003)

USAF Seal

On January 2, 2003, Jessica Brakey, a female cadet at the US Air Force Academy, contacted media and congressional representatives asking for help with sexual assault at the Academy. As a result of her coming forward, Senator Wayne Allard’s office was contacted by 38 former cadets, 23 current cadets, and one civilian, all of whom said they had been raped by Air Force Academy men. During the investigation into the scandal, the air force admitted that 16 graduates who were accused of sexual assaults were currently serving as officers in the military. Like every scandal before and since, the USAFA leaders at the time took the fall for the ‘scandal’ and the USAF promised they made sweeping changes in regards to how they will handle allegations of sexual abuse. They also claimed ‘the problem was isolated’ at the Academy in Colorado.

“It’s a terrible feeling when someone does this to you and gets away with it, and then you report it and the system punishes you. It’s almost worse than the actual act, that the system failed you.” ~Sharon Fullilove

Related Links:
2003 United States Air Force Academy sexual assault scandal
Air Force Academy Investigated 54 Sexual Assaults in 10 Years
Air Force Admits at Least 54 Cases of Rape and Sexual Assault at Air Force Academy–Scandal Called Bigger Than Tailhook: We’ll Talk to Two Survivors
The Air Force Academy Scandal
Survey: 20 percent of female cadets victims of sexual assault
Report finds sexual assault, drug use at Air Force Academy
Air Force Academy Sees New Assault, Drug Use Allegations
Air Force Rape Scandal Grows
Air Force Academy Ignores Rapes, Women Say
US Air Force Academy chiefs removed over rape scandal
Air Force leadership blamed for sex scandal
Pentagon blames Air Force Academy leaders for sexual misconduct scandal
Air Force: Sex assault scandal confined to the academy
Breaking Ranks
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Air Force Academy Whistleblower Alleges Dog Poisoned in Retaliation
No Simple Explanation In Air Force Academy Sex Crime Data
Honor and Deception: A secretive Air Force program recruits academy students to inform on fellow cadets and disavows them afterward
U.S. Air Force Academy — It Doesn’t Get Better

Department of Defense: Statement of Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Accident in Vietnam (April 7, 2001)

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Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld today released the following statement (April 7, 2001):

“Americans are saddened by today’s tragic loss of life of both U.S. and Vietnamese service personnel in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Those of us in the Department of Defense, and the families of our missing, are keenly aware of the dedication of both the American and Vietnamese team members who were, on this very day, searching for servicemen who have been missing in action since the end of the war.” 

Read more from the Department of Defense here.

7 Americans, 9 Vietnamese Die in Viet Helo Crash (April 10, 2001):

“The Americans killed in the crash were identified as Army Lt. Col. Rennie M. Cory Jr., commander, Detachment 2, Joint Task Force-Full Accounting; Army Lt. Col. George D. Martin III, incoming commander; Air Force Maj. Charles E. Lewis, deputy commander; Army Sgt. 1st Class Tommy J. Murphy, mortuary affairs team sergeant, Central Identification Laboratory-Hawaii; Navy Chief Petty Officer Pedro J. Gonzales, corpsman; and Air Force Master Sgt. Steven L. Moser and Tech. Sgt. Robert M. Flynn, linguists. U.S. Pacific Command officials in Hawaii released the names April 9 at 7 p.m. The Vietnamese dead include the three-member crew and four aircraft technicians. Also killed were two members of the Vietnamese agency that assists U.S. Pacific Command’s Joint Task Force-Full Accounting in its investigation and recovery efforts.”

Read more from the Department of Defense here.

“A Pacific Command investigation into an April 7 helicopter crash that killed seven U.S. servicemen in Vietnam found that deteriorating weather conditions, poor visibility and the Vietnamese pilot’s failure to “properly react” to those conditions were predominant factors in the accident.” –Honolulu Advertiser (October 17, 2001)

Related Links:
Statement of Secretary Rumsfeld on Accident in Vietnam (April 7, 2001)
7 Americans, 9 Vietnamese Die in Viet Helo Crash (April 10, 2001)
US officials mourn Vietnamese helicopter crash victims
U.S. Releases Names of Those Killed in Vietnam Crash
Army, Air Force identify dead in Vietnam crash
Hawaii residents among dead in Vietnam chopper crash
Bodies of 7 returned from Vietnam
Remains of 7 MIA Hunters Return to U.S.
Vietnam crash brings pain to the isle
Never Forgotten: Accounting for American MIAs
Fayetteville Soldier Killed In Helicopter Crash In Vietnam
Virtual Vietnam Veterans In Memory Honor Roll | Rennie Melville Cory Jr.
In Memory of Lt. Col. Rennie Cory Jr
The Bone Collectors | Newsweek
Honoring JTF-FA Heroes
Poor visibility, pilot blamed in Vietnam copter crash
Gone but Never Forgotten