Chairman Waxman‘s Opening
Chairman Henry Waxman presided over the
House Oversight Committee‘s August 1
examine what senior Defense Department officials knew about U.S. Army Corporal
Patrick Tillman‘s death by fratricide.‖
Chairman Waxman said, ―Our focus has b
een to look
the chain of command, … We have tried to find out what the White House knew about CorporalTillman‘s death. … Today we will be examining the actions of the senior leadership at theDepartment of Defense. … ―what
did the senior military leadership know about Corporal
Tillman‘s death, when did they know it, and what did they do after they learned it?‖
Chairman Waxman commended
Army Secretary Geren for ―the forthright approach he is takingits [Army‘s] continued investigation‖ … ―Progress has been made, but we still don‘t know who
was responsible for the false information.
Waxman referenced Army Secretary Pete
briefing on Gen. Wallace‘s Review, ―As the Army noted yesterday, in seven
gations into this tragedy, not one has found evidence of a conspiracy‖Chairman Waxman said, ―One possible explanation is that a series of counterintuitive, illogical blunders unfolded, accidentally and haphazardly.‖… ―The other possible explanation is
someone or some group of officials acted deliberately and repeatedly to conceal the truth.‖ …―Well, that was the view of Kevin Tillman.‖ Waxman said the Committee was ―looking for
answers to simple questions. Who knew about the friendly fire attack
? Why wasn‘t the family
told? Why did it take over a month for the leadership of the Defense Department to tell the
public the truth?‖
By choosing only to focus looking ―up‖ the chain of command, the Committee failed to provideoversight over the Army‘s so
approach to investigating theTillman fratricide
was hardly ―forthright.‖
For example, just the previous day, Geren ignored theDoD
IG‘s findings that McChrystal was accountable for ―inaccurate information‖ that included
falsified Silver Star witness statements.W
hat ―continued investigation‖?
The Wallace Review was the end, except that Geren slappedsome officers on the wrist. Only Gen. Kensinger,
the Army‘s scapegoat,
lost a star.
Waxman‘s tepid remarks, ―Well, that
was the view of Kevin Tillman
, theDefense Department and the Wh
ite House had in the deceptions‖
were in marked contrast to hisscathing April 24
―It wasn‘t misleading information. We
… These aren‘t things that are
done by mistake.‖ … ―
What we have is a very clear,deliberate abuse intentionally done.
Why the backpedaling?