“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem”

Guy Montag, feralfirefighter.blogspot.com April 24, 2011 [Ver. 2.4.6, last revised March 19, 2014]

“The most powerful form of lie is the omission, and it is the duty of the historian to make sure those lies do not creep into the history books.” -- George Orwell "It's [Into Thin Air] there in print forever. It's part of history. People should be above taking someone else down. And for what? For money and egos people are willing to destroy other people to further their careers." -- David Breashears, (Improper Bostonian, Sept 24, 1997) “…some may wonder why his dishonesty about [Pat] Tillman should matter. It matters because deceit by a military officer of [Gen. Stanley] McChrystal’s rank is a poisonous betrayal of trust that shouldn’t be countenanced.” -- Jon Krakauer, “Gen. McChrystal’s Credibility Problem” (Oct. 14, 2009) “Asked about Jon Krakauer's book about [Pat] Tillman, the soldier's youngest brother [Richard] told the screening audience [at the 2010 Sundance premiere of The Tillman Story] of the author that "that guy's a piece of …” -- Steven Zeitchik, (LA Times, January 24, 2010) “Krakauer’s presentation of the matter seems stubbornly defiant at best. If his reasoning is not obstinately perverse, his arguments are disingenuous. … grasping desperately for tenuous explanations to defend his fundamental belief in the Poison Plant Fable [to explain Christopher McCandless’s death in Into the Wild].” -- Samuel Thayer, (Nature’s Garden, 2010)” “As a journalist, I understand you were faced with a problem: … your opinion vs. my statement of fact.” -- Anatoli Boukreev, (personal letter to Jon Krakauer about Into Thin Air, August 6, 1996)

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page #:

 Foreword  Description of Updates  EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ...  “With Three Cups of Luck?” -- How Jon Krakauer’s Take-Down of Greg
Mortenson Launched Byliner.com 

4 6 8

14

“The Emperor’s General” -- The Bi-Partisan Whitewash of Gen.
McChrystal’s Role in the Pat Tillman Affair

29

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” -- Deceit in Jon Krakauer’s
“Where Men Win Glory” Book about Pat Tillman

33

“That Guy’s a Piece of …” – Jon Krakauer & the Pat Tillman Family

39 41 46

 “The Poison Plant Fable” – Jon Krakauer’s “Into the Wild”  “Erasing Heroism from the Himalaya” – Jon Krakauer’s Trashing
of Anatoli Boukreev in his “Into Thin Air”

...  Annotated Bibliography of Everest ‘96  “A Day to Die For” – An Untold True Story of Everest ‘96  “Remember the Iconoclast, Not the Icon”  “Do Not Forget the Mountaineers” ...  Analysis of the Preface to Jon Krakauer’s Revised Paperback Edition of “Where Men Win Glory – The Odyssey of Pat Tillman
1

50 55 57 60

62

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem

APPENDICES
Page #

A: Krakauer Interview Excerpts BEFORE September 17, 2009:
         Summary: Krakauer Interviews BEFORE Sept. 17, 2009 The Truth Behind the Death of Pat Tillman? Jon Krakauer’s Inside Story of Pat Tillman Krakauer's New Book Examines Pat Tillman's Death Pat Tillman, Anti-War Hero Krakauer Explores Pat Tillman's Death And Cover-Up Talk of Deceit Where Honor Is Taught Afterwords With Jon Krakauer NPR Diane Rhem Show – “Where Men Win Glory” (Sept. 11, 2009) (Sept. 11, 2009) (Sept. 17, 2009) (Sept. 13, 2009) (Sept. 14, 2009) (Sept. 14, 2009) (Sept. 16, 2009) (Sept. 16, 2009)

1
2 7 7 9 9 10 11 12 13

B: Krakauer Handed “Untold Story” at Sept. 17, 2009 Book Signing:
      “Did They Teach You How to Lie Yet” Binder “Lies … Borne Out by Facts, If Not the Truth” Binder September 12, 2009 Cover Letter to Jon Krakauer September 17, 2009 “Postscript” Letter to Jon Krakauer “Postscript”: Possible Corrections to Where Men Win Glory “Postscript”: Comments on Where Men Win Glory (May 27, 2009) (Sept. 11, 2009) (Sept. 12, 2009) (Sept. 17, 2009) (Sept. 17, 2009) (Sept. 17, 2009)

14
15 16 18 19 24 26

C: Krakauer Interview Excerpts AFTER September 17, 2009:
            Summary: Krakauer Interviews AFTER Sept. 17, 2009 The Fans Come Out for Jon Krakauer's Glory Jon Stewart Show Interview Tillman's Journals Revealed in Book [Sept. 15, 2009] Daily Beast: “Gen. McChrystal's Credibility Problem” Is Gen. McChrystal The Best Man For Afghanistan? Stanley McChrystal’s Long War Jon Krakauer Interviewed on “Meet the Press” Sound Off: Sunday Talking Heads Krakauer: McChrystal shouldn't be in charge in Afghan. “The Situation Room” Krakauer Interview (Sept. 25, 2009) (Sept. 30, 2009) (Oct. 3, 2009) (Oct. 14, 2009) (Oct. 17, 2009) (Oct. 18, 2009) (Nov. 1, 2009) (Nov. 1, 2009) (Nov. 6, 2009) (Nov. 7, 2009)

29
30 34 34 34 35 40 41 43 43 44 45 48

Sundance 2010: Michael Moore Loves the Pat Tillman … (Jan. 24, 2010)
2

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem Page #:

D: Oct. 14, 2009: JK Writes “Gen. McChrystal’s Credibility Problem”
   Unabridged GMCP With Page References New Material in GMCP (Not in First Edition) GMCP Material NOT in Either Edition of Book (Oct. 14, 2009) (Oct. 14, 2009) (Oct. 14, 2009)

49
50 57 62

E: Revisions Made to 2010 Paperback Edition of Where Men Win Glory:
         Preface to Anchor Edition New Citations in Notes & Bibliography From Guy Montag’s Corrections in 9-17-09 Letter From McChrystal’s Testimony in Guy Montag’s Binders From Guy Montag’s Binders Handed to JK From FOIA Interviews with Kirchmaier, Allen, Farrisee From FOIA Interviews with Bailey, Nixon, McChrystal Minor Revisions & Edits Miscellaneous Revisions & Edits (July 27, 2010) (July 27, 2010) (July 27, 2010) (July 27, 2010) (July 27, 2010) (July 27, 2010) (July 27, 2010) (July 27, 2010) (July 27, 2010)

64
65 66 68 71 76 89 92 96 103

F: Corrections & Omissions for Future Editions:
  Possible Corrections Omissions (April24, 2011) (April 24, 2011)

104
105 107

3

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem

FOREWORD
On July 27, 2010 Jon Krakauer’s updated paperback edition of his book Where Men Win Glory - The Odyssey of Pat Tillman was released. A couple of weeks later, as an aside in my post “The [Untold] Tillman Story,” I wrote my initial impressions of his revised edition: “… Krakauer still hasn’t told what I call the “untold story” of the bipartisan Congressional cover-up (although he did make some of the corrections I pointed out to him last year in my letters). … upon cursory review, it appears that Jon Krakauer took the credit for discovering ‘additional evidence.’ … Hell, much of his ‘discovery’ consisted in having my two binders laying it all out placed directly into his hands by my aunt on September 17th [2009] at a book signing in Boulder, CO!” ... However, I didn’t make the time to read the updated edition until January 2011, when I finally compared both editions line-by-line and documented each revision. Then, I got busy with other projects and never finished up what I had titled “Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem.” ... On April 17, 2011, I happened to read the CBS News expose on Greg Mortenson, which motivated me to finish up “Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem.” From my April 17th comment: “It seems there could be more worthy targets of "60 Minutes" investigative attention and wrath. Say, Gen. Stanley McChrystal who supervised the Army's cover-up of Pat Tillman's friendly-fire death 7 years ago on April 22, 2004. Wait, "60 Minutes" did do a puff-piece hagiography with McChrystal back in Sept '09!” “I don't know the truth about Mortenson. However, Jon Krakauer accusing others of being less than fully truthful is the ‘pot calling the kettle black.’ … “I'm glad JK used my material to update his paperback edition. I'm not really that pissed that he took credit (although it reflects some ego problems). I am pissed that he never used my material that showed how President Obama & the Democratic Congress continued the Bush administration's cover-up. … And President Obama's whitewash of Gen. McChrystal continues to this day.” -- Guy Montag, May 8, 2011

“Guy Montag” has been a firefighter the past twenty years. Previously, he was a yuppie with Andersen Consulting (Accenture) after earning an Engineering MSE. For eight years he was an Airborne Ranger with Co. “F” (LRSU) 425th Infantry. His Pat Tillman research files are posted at http://www.feralfirefighter.blogspot.com.
4

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem

3-24-13 UPDATE: On December 4, 2012 I handed a copy of my post “The [Missing} Pat Tillman Legacy” letter to Marie Tillman after a presentation in Chicago. After getting my book signed, I had a pleasant short conversation with Marie about my visit to the Bahai temple. But, I never received a response back from her. Here’s the link to the audio recording: Marie Tillman in Conversation with Jon Krakauer WBEZ91.5 http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/marie-tillman-conversation-jonkrakauer-104429 (My question for Krakaauer is at about 35:30) On the other hand, Krakuaer signed my book, but he tried aggressively tried to BS me about how I was wrong about “Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem.” His outrage appeared so sincere that he almost succeeded (in my rush to finish “The [Missing} Pat Tillman Legacy” I hadn’t prepared to confront him about it and didn’t have my hardcopy of this document JCKP with me). Maybe he believes his own BS. He almost convinced me, until I got home, double-checked my work, and hunted down the NPR Diane Rhem Show recording (September 16, 2009) from the day before my Aunt handed him my material (it was the same stuff he said before; he changed his tune after getting my material). Judging from my personal experience, he appears to be a shameless bullying, bullshit artist. Also, note that Christian Bale is supposed to star in a movie about the Everest 1996 disaster. I’ve never had the time to finish my comments in the section “Erasing Heroism from the Himalaya” (that would be another e-book in its’ own right). If I have the time, I’ll try to work on that in a year or two.

5

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem

DESCRIPTION OF UPDATES
Version 1.0 (April 24, 2011): Draft version of ‘Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem.” Version 2.0 (May 9, 2011): Added Foreword, Executive Summary, Introduction, “Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem,” and additional commentary to the Appendices. Version 2.1 (May 12, 2011): Added page citations to my Tillman binders in the Appendices. Version 2.2 (May 30, 2011): Revised Executive Summary; Added brief Boukreev comments to JKCP. Version 2.3 (July 12, 2011): Revised Title Page, Table of Contents, added “With Three Cups of Luck,” “Into Thin Air” outline, outline of annotated bibliography, added draft of “a Day to Die For,” “Remember the Iconoclast, Not the Icon,” and “Remember the Mountaineers.” Will finish up “later”; probably a winter project? Version 2.4 (Sept. 26, 2011): Revised TOC formatting; revised Executive Summary (added condensed version of “With Three Cups of Luck?”); slight revisions to “With Three Cups of Luck?” (added how JK recently prevaricated about the reason “60 Minutes” talked to him). ... On February 12, 2012, Alex Heard, Editor of “Outside” published an update of the Mortenson affair, The Trials of Greg Mortenson. However, he failed to mention my argument that JK used his Mortenson take-down to launch Byliner.com (unless he referred to it with: “… their arguments have often been based on past experiences with him. Sometimes they’re convincing; sometimes they’re less about Mortenson and more about ad hominem attacks against Krakauer.”). Why? Has he somehow never read my material? Hopefully, it’s not because he’s pulling punches because the Byliner Co-Founders were his “Outside” colleagues. ... Version 2.4.1 (Feb. 23, 2012): Updated “Three Cups of Luck?” with quotes from two articles: Alissa Quart’s “The Long Tale” (Columbia Journalism Review Sept/Oct. 2011 and John Tayman’s “It’s a Long Article. It’s a Short Book. No, It’s a Byliner e-Book” (Niemann Reports, Winter 2011). Extensively revised Executive Summary. ... Version 2.4.2 (March 31, 2013): Added 9-16-09 NPR Diane Rhem Show interview, note about meeting Krakauer in Chicago on 12-03-12, note about new “Into Thin Air” movie going into production with Christian Bale.

6

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem Version 2.4.3 (September 23, 2013): Added commentary on Jon Krakauer’s piece about his latest “poison plant fable.” Maybe he was kinda right for the wrong reasons. Version 2.4.4 (November 11, 2013): Added link/note about chemists weighing in on ITW ODAP issue; Added links to insurance company settlement over lawsuit costs. Version 2.4.5 (December 20, 2013): Added link to Appeals Court rejecting Mortenson lawsuit “marks end of two years of legal troubles.” ... Version 2.4.6 (February 23, 2014): Added links & notes: Mortenson’s first interview since April 2011 (of course, Krakauer still refuses to comment!); “Everest” movie scheduled for release February 2015; Version 2.4.6 (March 19, 2014): Jennifer Jordan’s forthcoming documentary “3000 Cups of Tea: The Mission and the Madness of Greg Mortenson” -- Did 60 Minutes and the Media Get It Wrong? (http://www.3000cupsoftea.org./)

7

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
"It's [Into Thin Air] there in print forever. It's part of history. People should be above taking someone else down. And for what? For money and egos people are willing to destroy other people to further their careers." -- David Breashears, (Improper Bostonian, Sept 24, 1997)

On April 17, 2011 CBS’s “60 Minutes” aired their expose of Greg Mortenson (best-selling author of “Three Cups of Tea”). Jon Krakauer (best-selling author of “Into Thin Air”) said that Mortenson tells a “beautiful story, and it’s a lie” and Mortenson “uses Central Asia Institute (CAI) as his private ATM machine.” In response, Daniel Glick wrote that he believes “in the importance of journalism to ferret out charlatans, expose financial fraud, and hold people and institutions accountable. That said, it’s hard to believe why “60 Minutes” decided that Greg Mortenson and the Central Asia Institute qualified on any of those fronts – much less why Jon Krakauer joined in this recent barrage.” But, Krakauer didn’t simply “join in” with an on-going “60 Minutes” investigation. Eleven months before the broadcast, Krakauer began his own investigation, spoon-fed his story “ to “60 Minutes,” and months later timed the publication of his e-book, “Three Cups of Deceit,” to “piggy-back” on the “60 Minutes” broadcast. Jon Krakauer was not just a “jilted crank” or “crusading do-gooder” outraged at Mortenson’s literary deceit and lax accounting practices. It appears that Krakauer was also motivated to write his “take down” of Mortenson as a publicity stunt to create the “buzz” to raise investment capital for the launch of Mark Bryant’s (an old friend) new e-publishing venture Byliner.com. ... Byliner.com is “a publishing company for compelling stories that fall between magazine article and full length books.” In April 2010, Byliner.com Co-Founder Mark Bryant described how he claims Krakauer got onto the Mortenson story: “around 2002 Krakauer started hearing rumblings about misuses of funds and possible fraud at the organization” … “Krakauer stopped donating [in 2004] to the charity … but he [Krakauer] continued to hear rumors and finally sat down to read Mortenson's book, “Three Cups of Tea,” around May 2010” … [He] brought his initial findings to”60 Minutes,” … the show did not initially jump on the story but … [eventually] a broadcast was ultimately scheduled. Krakauer … wanted to write something after the show aired which Bryant said would be more informal than a book. “When Bryant … started talking to the author about a new project he was working on … Krakauer offered up his piece on Mortenson” … “For Bryant, Krakauer's piece… seemed an ideal way to launch his new project, Byliner.”
8

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem But, Byliner wasn’t actually a “new” project. Although Bryant officially co-founded Byliner in May 2010, the other Co-Founder, John Tayman, wrote, “In January 2009 … I was chatting with some writers [perhaps Krakauer was among that number?] and editors about an idea for a company that would bring stories that fell into that dead zone [10,000 to 30,000 words] to life.” “In 2009, Bryant and his former colleague [John Tayman] … had started talking about ways “to help preserve long-form journalism” … they set the idea aside. Last summer [May 2010], with the iPad ascendant, they went back into planning mode.” Former NYT Magazine editor Gerry Marzorati “emphasized that the endeavor would need to rely on popular, big-name journalists to establish its cachet.” Krakauer certainly fits that bill. And, it’s worth noting that Byliner Co-Founders Mark Bryant & John Tayman were Krakauer’s former editors at “Outside” magazine (and Bryant is a long-time friend of Jon Krakauer). Mark Bryant’s story of how Krakauer got onto the Mortenson story appears disingenuous. First, I find it difficult to believe that, prior to May 2010, Bryant never discussed his “new” Byliner venture with his friend Krakauer even though it had been “in development” since 2009. Second, I doubt that Krakauer brought his story to Bryant after he fed the story to “60 Minutes” during the Summer of 2010. Instead, I would speculate that in Spring 2010 (or earlier) Bryant first told Krakauer of his need for a controversial story to create the “buzz” to launch Byliner, then Krakauer recalled his 2004 break with Mortenson and started digging into Mortenson’s books. I find it difficult to believe that Bryant just happened to launch Byliner.com at the exact same time (May 2010) that Krakauer just happened to have “finally sat down to read Mortenson’s book seven years after his break with Mortenson. (Later, based on a Bryant interview, Alisssa Quart wrote a similar account, but with Krakauer bringing his piece to Byrant). ... John Tayman wrote, “These swiftly conceived and completed [Byliner Original] books would be reported and written swiftly …Our strategy would liberate them from the pre-determined schedules of traditional book and magazine publishing.” But, despite their claims otherwise, Byliner’s theory of publishing e-books “reported and written swiftly” was not “tested” by their first “Byliner Original” (which took almost a year before its publication). Why? Mark Bryant claimed, “It was unlikely … even The New Yorker, would run a piece as long as this … even by a journalist as famous as Krakauer. … [He] had news to break, and sooner than traditional publishing would allow.” But was it really so unlikely that “The New Yorker” wouldn’t run Krakauer’s piece (or one edited down a bit?) And if he had “news to break” why did he sit on his piece almost a year? In contrast, Alissa Quart wrote that Byliner’s second ebook in May 2011 “was edited and formatted in ten days, not the year between editing and publication that tend to weigh down and periodize works produced by legacy publishers.”

9

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem Sometime during the Summer of 2010 “Krakauer … brought his initial findings to “60 Minutes,” … the show did not initially jump on the story but did, eventually [Fall 2010], start looking into Krakauer's claim and a broadcast was ultimately scheduled.” (In his own account, Krakauer failed to mention he approached “60 Minutes,” instead he disingenuously claimed that because “I had once been one of Mortenson’s most enthusiastic supporters … I was interviewed by correspondent Steve Kroft for the show.”) Krakauer and the Byliner co-Founders decided to hold off publishing “Three Cups of Deceit” for another six months or so, until after the “60 Minutes” broadcast. They timed the publication of their first “Byliner Original,” “Three Cups of Deceit,” for the day after the April 17th broadcast of the“60 Minutes” expose. And, as part of their PR strategy to create “buzz,” the Byliner cofounders had given several interviews several weeks previously that were also published within days of the broadcast. ... “Three Cups of Deceit,” was the first e-book published by Byliner. The “60 Minutes” broadcast generated a lot of free publicity for the launch of Byliner. Krakauer’s book shot to the top of the best-seller lists, and the co-founders used the “buzz” to raise the investment capital needed to finance their full launch of Byliner in June 2011. On the other hand, Krakauer’s “take down” of Greg Mortenson resulted in a dramatic drop in Mortenson’s book sales and donations to CAI. It’s rather ironic that in 2004 Krakauer wrote to the CAI board, “I still believe in CAIs mission … I don’t want to make any public statements that would have a negative impact on Greg’s work….” But, seven years later, Krakauer changed his mind. Why? What motivated Krakauer to write his e-book “Three Cups of Deceit”? And, why did he wait seven years to go public with his concerns? Well, Jon Krakauer claims he was outraged by Mortensons’ literary sins and “way of running things.” However, it appears that Krakauer was also motivated to “take down” Mortenson as a publicity stunt (timed with the “60 Minutes” broadcast based largely upon his spoon-fed research) to create the “buzz” to raise the investment capital needed to launch his old friend Mark Bryant’s start-up of Byliner.com (and to pump up sales of his new book). Perhaps, filmmaker David Breashears hit the mark with his 1997 comment about Krakauer’s book “Into Thin Air”: "It's there in print forever. It's part of history. People should be above taking someone else down. And for what? For money and egos people are willing to destroy other people to further their careers." While it certainly does appear that Greg Mortenson confabulated parts of his “inspirational story,” Jon Krakauer has also had “credibility problems” with his own books: His most recent book, Where Men Win Glory, omits President Obama & the Democratic Congress’s whitewash
10

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem of Gen. McChrystal’s central role in the cover-up of Pat Tillman’s friendly-fire death. In his book Into Thin Air, Krakauer painted an unjustly harsh portrayal of climber Anatoli Boukreev and he wrote a “poison plant fable” to explain Christopher McCandless’s death in Into the Wild. Finally, it appears both he and the Byliners Co-Founders have been disingenuous in describing how Krakauer got onto the Mortenson story. Krakauer displayed hypocrisy by “throwing stones” when his own hands are not clean of deceit. Overall, I believe Daniel Glick (at danielglick.net) has offered the most balanced commentary on this affair: “[‘60 Minutes’ and Jon Krakauer’s assault was overkill] lacking in basic elements of fairness, balance, perspective, insight and context. … Mortenson is neither a saint nor a charlatan; Krakauer is not either a jilted crank or a crusading do-gooder. There are nuances, debatable “facts” and conflicting motivations in almost every situation, messy and at times seemingly irreconcilable. This is no exception.” Once Mortenson comes out of seclusion, he certainly needs to answer questions about his literary and financial practices. However, I believe Jon Krakauer also needs to answer questions about he “got onto the Mortenson story,” his motivations for writing “Three Cups of Deceit,” and how much cash (if any) he has invested in Byliner.com (but, just like Mortenson, Krakauer isn’t talking to the press).1 ... Note: the eight-page unabridged version of the above discussion (with more complete quotes & references) is found in the following chapter, “With Three Cups of Luck?” And, it’s worth mentioning that CBS’s “60 Minutes,” in their September 2009 hagiographic profile of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, didn’t bother to press him about his central role in the Army’s cover-up of Pat Tillman’s 2004 friendly-fire death. I believe Gen. McChrystal would have been a more worthy target for "60 Minutes" investigative wrath than Greg Mortenson.

1

Update 2/24/14: JK still refuses to comment on the story, even after Mortenson finally came out of seclusion in his 1/20/14 NBC interview.

11

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem
“…some may wonder why his dishonesty about [Pat] Tillman should matter. It matters because deceit by a military officer of [Gen. Stanley] McChrystal’s rank is a poisonous betrayal of trust that shouldn’t be countenanced.” -- Jon Krakauer, “Gen. McChrystal’s Credibility Problem” (Oct. 14, 2009)

On April 17, 2011 CBS’s “60 Minutes” aired their expose of Greg Mortenson (best-selling author of “Three Cups of Tea”) accusing him of fabricating his “inspirational story.” Jon Krakauer (best-selling author of “Into Thin Air) said that Mortenson tells a “beautiful story, and it’s a lie.” It certainly appears Greg Mortenson confabulated parts of his ”inspirational story.” However, I haven’t researched [as of April 2010] the details enough to offer fully informed commentary on the extent of Mortensen’s deceit. However, I do have first-hand knowledge of Krakauer’s own deceit in his latest book “Where Men Win Glory – The Odyssey of Pat Tillman” (and in some of his previous books). Krakauer displayed hypocrisy by “throwing stones” at Mortenson when his own hands are not clean of literary deceit. Pat Tillman was the NFL football player who enlisted with the Army Rangers and was killed in 2004 by friendly-fire in Afghanistan. Although Gen. Stanley McChrystal learned the next day about Tillman’s friendly-fire death, he didn’t notify Tillman’s family, his legal officer withheld that information from the medical examiner, and he supervised the writing of a “misleading” Silver Star medal recommendation (with altered witness statements). In the first edition of “Where Men Win Glory,” McChrystal was barely a footnote. But just a month later, Krakauer published his “Daily Beast” piece, “Gen. McChrystal’s Credibility Problem,” and nine months later he further described McChrystal’s “central role in the scandal” in his updated paperback edition. In his Preface, it appears Krakauer prevaricated where he wrote, “Following publication of the first edition in September 2009, I discovered additional evidence of deceit by high-ranking Army officers.” “I discovered”? In reality, just two days after the release of the first edition, my Aunt Candy literally placed two binders of my research (about 200 pages) into Krakauer’s hands at his Boulder book signing. My analysis shows my material was the source of Krakauer’s “additional evidence of deceit.” I don’t care (much) about Krakauer stealing my credit. But, his greater act of deceit was one of omission. After reading his book, you’d believe the Democratic Congress was “stonewalled” by President Bush. But, even after being handed my “untold story,” Krakauer still failed to describe in his updated edition how President Obama and the Democratic Congress continued the Bush administration’s whitewash of McChrystal’s central role in the cover-up of Tillman’s friendlyfire death.
12

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem Jon Krakauer never discussed President Obama’s May 2009 promotion of Gen. McChrystal over the protests of the Tillman family (or Obama’s passage of a FOIA law to cover-up torture photos by JSOC forces under McChrystals’ command). Or how Senators John McCain, Carl Levin, and James Webb didn’t “probe deeply” into McChrystal’s role during the June 2009 Senate confirmation hearing. Nor did Krakauer discuss Senator Webb’s secret 2008 Senate review and the May 2008 Senate hearing during which McChrystal described his actions “in detail” behind closed doors. And, incredibly, Krakauer neglected to even mention the second Congressional Tillman hearing. At this August 2007 hearing, Congressman Henry Waxman allowed McChrystal to “decline” to testify, despite McChrystal’s key role in writing both the fraudulent Silver Star and the P4 memo that was the focus of much of that hearing. In reality, the Tillman cover-up was a thoroughly bipartisan affair, with President Obama continuing, to this day (see the following chapter “The Emperor’s General”), to shield General McChrystal. In the 2010 Foreword to her paperback edition (at blurb.com) of “Boots on the Ground by Dusk,” Mary Tillman wrote, “Over the last five years, the Pentagon and Congress have had numerous opportunities to hold accountable those responsible for the cover-up of Pat’s death. Each time they’ve failed. … “The Tillman Story” [2010 documentary] illustrates the corruption, deception, and indifference that is systemic in our government. … The cover-up of Pat’s death was orchestrated at the very highest levels of the Pentagon, and elsewhere in our government … the government didn’t just lie to us; it lied to a nation.” And, this story is not over yet; President Obama has continued to shield General McChrystal from accountability. Just last month [April 2011], Obama appointed McChrystal to head the “Joining Forces” program despite the protest of Mary Tillman. The White House said, “The circumstances … have been thoroughly investigated, and General McChrystal was found to have acted honorably…” and Michelle Obama said, “we’re proud to have him on board.” Perhaps Krakauer choose to omit this “untold story” from his updated edition because it didn’t fit into his simple black-and-white fable? Or out of Democratic bias? Or a lack of courage? Perhaps, his ego would be bruised to admit he (once again) had gotten his story wrong the first time around? Or maybe simply laziness? Regardless, Krakauer embellished his story of how he “discovered” Gen. McCrystal’s central role in the Tillman cover-up. But more important, his greater act of deceit was omitting the role of President Obama and the Democratic Congress in the whitewash of Gen. McChrystal. While it certainly appears Greg Mortenson confabulated parts of his ”inspirational story,” Jon Krakauer displayed hypocrisy by “throwing stones” at Mortenson when his own hands were not without literary sin. Krakauer certainly didn’t “win glory” with his deceit and his omission of the “untold” Tillman story.
13

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem

“WITH THREE CUPS OF LUCK?”
How Jon Krakauer’s “Take-Down” of Greg Mortenson Launched Byliner.com
"It's [“Into Thin Air”] there in print forever. It's part of history. People should be above taking someone else down. And for what? For money and egos people are willing to destroy other people to further their careers." -- David Breashears, (Improper Bostonian, Sept 24, 1997)

On April 17, 2011 CBS’s “60 Minutes” aired their expose of Greg Mortenson (best-selling author of “Three Cups of Tea” & “Stones Into Schools”) accusing him of fabricating his inspirational story and mismanaging the funds of his charitable organization Central Asia Institute (CAI). Jon Krakauer (best-selling author of “Into Thin Air & “Into the Wild”) said that Mortenson tells a “beautiful story, and it’s a lie” and “uses Central Asia Institute as his private ATM machine.” The following day, Krakauer published his e-book “Three Cups of Deceit.” Nick Summers commented in The Daily Beast: “The famous journalist's revelations about Greg Mortenson are the latest in his relentless quest to find the truth and expose fraud. … When Jon Krakauer writes, big things come under his withering gaze. … Because of this, his latest target … seems tiny in comparison … Used to elephant hunting, Krakauer brings the same gun to the smaller task, obliterating Mortenson in the process.” In contrast, Daniel Glick wrote in his blog, “I believe in the importance of journalism to ferret out charlatans, expose financial fraud, and hold people and institutions accountable. That said, it’s hard to believe why “60 Minutes” decided that Greg Mortenson and the Central Asia Institute qualified on any of those fronts – much less why Jon Krakauer joined in this recent barrage.” But, it’s important to note that Krakauer didn’t simply “join in” with an on-going “60 Minutes” investigation. In May 2010 (eleven months before the expose was broadcast), Krakauer began his own investigation & wrote a draft of his story, several months later he fed his story “ to “60 Minutes” (which based their broadcast largely on his research), and then he timed the publication of his e-book, “Three Cups of Deceit,” for publication just after “60 Minutes” aired their April 2011 expose. Jon Krakauer was not just a “jilted crank” or “crusading do-gooder” outraged at Mortenson’s literary deceit and lax accounting practices. It appears that Krakauer was, at least partly, motivated to write his “take down” of Mortenson as a publicity stunt to create the “buzz” to raise investment capital for the launch of Mark Bryant’s (an old friend) new e-publishing venture (Byliner.com) and to promote sales of his new book.
14

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem

The Genesis of Byliner.com:
In an interview, “SF-based Byliner Makes Waves with '3 Cups of Deceit',” with Reyhan Harmanci (“Bay Citizen” April 20, 2011), Byliner COO Ted Barnett said, “We are a publishing company, for compelling stories that fall between magazine article and full length books" and “aim to be a repository for previously published long form non-fiction as well, when they officially launch in May [launched June 21,2011].” In his “Niemann Reports” (Winter 2011) piece, “It’s a Long Article. It’s a Short Book. No, It’s a Byliner E-Book.”, John Tayman wrote: “… A story that needed 10,000, 20,000 or even 30,000 words to be properly told inevitably fell into publishing’s dead zone. … In January 2009 … I was chatting with some writers and editors about an idea for a company that would bring stories that fell into that dead zone to life. … These swiftly conceived and completed books would be reported and written swiftly, not unlike a magazine piece. … … We wanted to give writers the opportunity to … get it in front of potential readers while the event or action or news is relatively current. Our strategy would liberate them from the pre-determined schedules [months or up to a year delay] of traditional book and magazine publishing.” Lois Beckett, in “With Three Cups of Luck, Byliner Builds Pre-Launch Buzz for iIs LongformFocused Platform” (April 25, 2011), wrote: “When former NYT Magazine editor Gerry Marzorati spoke at Berkeley earlier this spring about saving long-form journalism, he tossed out an interesting idea: Someone should assemble a “hive” of long-form journalists and build a website to attract readers and showcase the writers’ work. … Across the Bay in San Francisco, it turns out, a plan [Byliner] very much like this one was already in the works.” But, Byliner needed to build “buzz” and establish its’ “cachet.” Lois Beckett continued: “…. Marzorati emphasized that the endeavor would need to rely on popular, big-name journalists to establish its cachet. “[Byliner is] an ambitious project, led in part by an editor [Mark Bryant] with deep connections to some of the country’s most established nonfiction writers [including Jon Krakauer]. So yes, they’ve got cachet.” “And as for the echoes between Marzorati’s “hive” proposal and Byliner? Not a coincidence. “I had spent three years consulting full-time from The New York Times and working directly with and for Gerry,” [Mark] Bryant said, “and I was fortunate to be able to hear a lot of his ideas.” It’s worth noting that Byliner Editorial Director and Co-Founder is Mark Bryant, an old friend of Krakauer, and that both Bryant and Byliner CEO and Co-Founder John Tayman were Krakauer’s former editors at Outside magazine where Krakauer published his big stories which became "Into Thin Air" and "Into the Wild."
15

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem

How Jon Krakauer Got Onto the Greg Mortenson Story:
Just after the “60 Minutes” expose aired, on April 20, 2011, “Publisher’s Weekly” published a piece based on an interview with Mark Bryant that described how Krakauer got onto the Mortenson story: “around 2002 Krakauer started hearing rumblings about misuses of funds and possible fraud at the organization. Krakauer stopped donating to the charity…” Jon Krakauer was an early supporter of Mortenson’s CAI. As Krakauer wrote in “Three Cups of Deceit” (p. 26, TCD): “[in September 2001] he [CAI Director Tom Hornbein] asked me to serve as Mortenson’s opening act. I’d met Greg four or five times by then, and I was enormously impressed by what he’d done in Pakistan. Over the previous three years [1999 to 2001] I’d donated more than $55,000 to CAI, and I’d committed to donating another $20,000 in 2002. I told Hornbein I would be honored to introduce Greg at the fundraiser.’” However, a year later in 2002, Hornbein and three other directors resigned from the CAI board. Two years later, in 2004, Krakauer decided to withdraw his support for CAI (p.33, TCD): “… but by 2004 I had begun to suspect that Mortenson was improperly using CAI funds. … I sent a fax [March 23, 2004] to Mortenson’s office: … ‘I lost confidence in Greg’s accountability. …. an organization run with so little oversight and such lax accounting practices. … Make no mistake: I still believe in CAIs mission, but I am made extremely uneasy by Greg’s way of running the show. Although I don’t want to make any public statements that would have a negative impact on Greg’s work, I no longer feel comfortable providing financial backing, or lending my name, to CAI.’” Krakauer had written that he didn’t want to “make any public statements that would have a negative impact on Greg’s work.” So, seven years later in 2011, what then motivated him to change his mind and decide to publicly excoriate Mortenson? And why did he wait seven years until going public with his concerns about Mortenson’s “way of running the show”? Unfortunately, Krakauer is not talking (like Mortenson, he is not granting interviews).2 However, in his April 2011 book, Krakauer claimed that (p. 33, TCD), “… until recently [a bit disingenuous, it was actually about a year before his book was published, in May 2010], I didn’t know that the most dramatic anecdotes in “Three Cups of Tea” were fabricated.” But, Mark Bryant, Krakauer’s old friend and former editor at Outside magazine, has talked about how Krakauer got onto the Mortenson story. Rachel Deahl’s interviewed Bryant for her piece, “How Krakauer Got Onto the Mortenson Story and the Launch of Byliner.com,” (April 20, 2011):
2

Update 2/24/14: Even after Mortenson finally came out of seclusion in his 1/20/14 NBC interview. JK still refuses to comment on the story.

16

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem “… Krakauer stopped donating to the charity but continued to hear rumors and, according to Bryant, finally sat down to read Mortenson's book, “Three Cups of Tea”, around May 2010. … Krakauer felt the tale "was less than plausible … [He] brought his initial findings to”60 Minutes,” … the show did not initially jump on the story but … [eventually] a broadcast was ultimately scheduled. … When Bryant … started talking to the author [Krakauer] about a new project he was working on that would feature long form journalism, Krakauer offered up his piece [at least draft written by May/June 2010] on Mortenson” …“For Bryant, Krakauer's piece, which he said grew out of a need to reveal the behind-the-scenes wrongdoings at Mortenson's charity [then why wait seven years?] more than a desire to shine a light on a literary fraud, seemed an ideal way to launch his new project, Byliner.” Apparently, Bryant thought Krakauer would be the “popular, big-name journalist” to establish Byliner’s “cachet” that Marzorati said was needed for the launch of an endeavor such as Byliner. In her Columbia Journalism Review (Sept/Oct 2011) piece, “The Long Tale,” Alisssa Quart wrote a similar version of how Krakauer got onto the Mortenson story (apparently also based on an interview with Mark Bryant): “When author Jon Krakauer started [May 2010] looking into the altruistic claims of … Greg Mortenson, he uncovered quite a story. … In [the Summer of] 2010, Krakauer went to “60 Minutes” with his findings. … the show was slow to get his story on the air … So Krakauer decided to write about Mortenson himself. He was advised to take it to The New Yorker. … It was unlikely that a magazine … would run a piece as long as this, at least promptly, even by a journalist as famous as Krakauer. … [if he] published it as a book, it would take months, perhaps a year, to hit bookstores. Krakauer had news to break, and sooner [B.S. he waited a year!] than traditional publishing would allow. He mentioned the story [contradicts above version that says Bryant mentioned it to JK] to his former editor at Outside magazine, Mark Bryant, who had been talking up a new e-book venture … According to Bryant, Krakauer quickly decided [actually one year previously, May 2010] to have the new web publisher put out his Mortenson takedown, “Three Cups of Deceit.” Krakauer’s e-book/essay wound up number one on Amazon’s nonfiction list in April.” If Krakauer “had news to break” than why did he sit on his story for a year? (I’m sure “The New Yorker” could have edited his piece a bit and published it sooner than a year). And it’s obvious he had written much of his piece before he fed his story to “60 Minutes.” And this version says Krakauer mentioned the story to Bryant, which contradicts the other account which had Bryant mentioning his project to Krakauer. ... And it’s worth noting that Byliner was not actually a “new” project in May 2010. In an interview with Reyhan Harmanci (“Bay Citizen April 20, 2011) “[Byliner COO Ted] Barnett said that “Byliner itself has been in development since 2009.”
17

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem And Lois Beckett, in “With Three Cups of Luck, Byliner Builds Pre-Launch Buzz for Its’ Longform-Focused Platform” (April 25, 2011), wrote: “In 2009, Bryant and his former colleague, … John Tayman … had started talking about ways “to help preserve long-form journalism” … they set the idea aside. Last summer [May 2010?], with the iPad ascendant, they went back into planning mode.” In his “Niemann Reports” (Winter 2011) piece, It’s a Long Article. It’s a Short Book. No, It’s a Byliner E-Book., John Tayman wrote: “In January 2009, a year before the iPad was launched and two years before Amazon introduced Kindle Singles, I was chatting with some writers [perhaps Jon Krakauer was among this number?] and editors about an idea for a company that would bring stories that fell into that dead zone to life” ... Mark Bryant has been Byliner Editorial Director & Co-Founder from “2010 – Present (1 year)”; he officially started in May or June 2010 (depending on when he wrote his curriculum vitae). It’s worth noting this is the same time, or shortly after, Krakauer started his investigation. Mark Bryant’s story about how Krakauer got onto the Mortenson story appears disingenuous. I find it difficult to believe that, prior to May 2010, Bryant never discussed his “new” Byliner venture to his friend Krakauer even though it had been “in development” since 2009. I would speculate that in May 2010 (or earlier) Bryant first mentioned his need to Krakauer for a controversial story to create the “buzz” to launch Byliner, then Krakauer recalled his seven yearold issues with Mortenson’s ‘way of running the show” as a possible subject, and started digging into Mortenson’s books in May 2010 (just after finishing his revisions to his previous book “Where Men Win Glory” in April 2010). I find it difficult to believe that Bryant’s need for a juicy story and Krakauer’s just happening to finally read Mortenson’s book was coincidental. Regardless of whether Bryant discussed Byliner with Krakauer before or just after he started to investigate Mortenson, it appears that they decided to hold off publication of his book so they could spoon-feed the “Three Cups of Deceit” story to “60 Minutes” to create a publicity stunt that would generate the “buzz” to launch Byliner.com (and raise investment capital).

18

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem

Spoon-Feeding “Three Cups of Deceit” to “60 Minutes:”
Sometime during the Summer of 2010 (before Fall 2010) Krakauer spoon-fed the results of his investigation to “60 Minutes” in the hopes of getting them to run a story on Greg Mortenson. From the April 17, 2011 “60 Minutes” transcript): “… last fall, we began investigating complaints from former donors [e.g. Krakauer], board members, staffers, and charity watchdogs about Mortenson and the way he is running his non-profit organization.” Continuing Bryant’s explanation of how Krakauer got onto the story, Racheal Deahl wrote, “Krakauer, Bryant explains, brought his initial findings to “60 Minutes,” … but continued his own research. … the show [“60 Minutes”] did not initially jump on the story but did, eventually [last fall] , start looking into Krakauer's claim and a broadcast was ultimately scheduled. … Krakauer, who had done his own research, wanted to write something after the show aired [a bit disingenuous, since his book was published the following day; even the mighty JK would need more than a day to write a book!] which Bryant said would be more informal than a book.” Krakauer disingenuously asserted in his August 10, 2011 Byliner.com update, “Greg Mortenson Truth Check,” that “60 Minutes” interviewed him because of his 2004 break with Mortenson (instead of because he had first spoon-fed the story to them): “On April 17, the CBS News program “60 Minutes” broadcast an exposé of Greg Mortenson, alleging that crucial parts of his bestselling book, Three Cups of Tea, were fabricated … Because I had once been one of Mortenson’s most enthusiastic supporters, and had given him more than $75,000 in the charity’s early years when it was teetering on the brink of insolvency, I was interviewed by correspondent Steve Kroft for the show.” Krakauer’s assertion contradicts Mark Bryant’s account; “Krakauer … brought his initial findings to “60 Minutes.” Besides, since Krakauer had never made “any public statements that would have a negative impact on Greg’s work.,” how would Kroft even know about Krakauer’s 2004 letter to the CAI board? In her Columbia Journalism Review (Sept/Oct 2011) piece, “The Long Tale,” Alisssa Quart also mentioned Krakauer going to “60 Minutes”: “When author Jon Krakauer started [May 2010] looking into the altruistic claims of … Greg Mortenson, he uncovered quite a story. … In [the Summer of] 2010, Krakauer went to “60 Minutes” with his findings. … the show was slow to get his story on the air … So Krakauer decided to write about Mortenson himself.”

19

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem

Timing “Three Cups of Deceit” to Create Buzz & Raise Cash for Byliner.com:
Alissa Quart, in her Columbia Journalism Review (Sept/Oct 2011) piece, “The Long Tale,” wrote (apparently based on an interview with Mark Bryant) about the supposed dilemma of pieces that fell into the “dead zone” of 10,000 to 30,000 words: “It was unlikely that a magazine, even The New Yorker, would run a piece as long as this, at least promptly, even by a journalist as famous as Krakauer. … even if Krakauer had published it as a book, it would take months, perhaps a year, to hit bookstores. Krakauer had news to break, and sooner [BS he sat on it a year!] than traditional publishing would allow.” But it really so unlikely that “The New Yorker” wouldn’t run Krakauer’s piece (or one edited down a bit?) And if he had “news to break” why did he wait almost a year to publish his piece? In his “Niemann Reports” (Winter 2011) piece, “It’s a Long Article. It’s a Short Book. No, It’s a Byliner E-Book.”, John Tayman wrote: “In January 2009 … I was chatting with some writers and editors about an idea for a company that would bring stories that fell into that dead zone [10,000 to 30,000 words] to life. … These swiftly conceived and completed books … would be reported and written swiftly, not unlike a magazine piece. … We wanted to give writers the opportunity to draw out the complexities of a story and get it in front of potential readers while the event or action or news is relatively current. Our strategy would liberate them from the predetermined schedules of traditional book [months, perhaps a year delay] and magazine publishing. … At least, this was our theory, tested with our first Byliner Original by Jon Krakauer. … He knew there was an important story to be told …. but the investigative piece he wrote was 20,000 words long. At that length, it didn’t work as either a conventional magazine piece or a book.” However, Byliner’s theory of publishing e-books that were “reported and written swiftly” was NOT “tested” by their first “Byliner Original” by Krakauer. He wrote his draft piece almost a year before the April 2010 publication of his book. In actuality, he didn’t really have “news to break”. Instead, he and the Byliner Founders decided to hold off on publication until “60 Minutes” broadcast the story, and use that exposure to generate “Buzz” (and raise money). It’s worth noting that, in contrast, Alisssa Quart wrote about Byliner’s first actual “test” of “basing its Singles on newsworthy topics” with William Vollman’s “Into the Forbidden Zone” (Byliner second e-book) in May 2011: “… in two weeks he turned around that story [Japan earthquake]. It was in front of readers within ten days of his plane landing back in the US.” In other words, the book was edited and formatted in ten days, not the year between editing and publication that tend to weigh down and periodize works produced by legacy publishers.”

20

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem On April 17th, “60 Minutes” broadcast their expose of Greg Mortenson. Reyhan Harmanci wrote how Krakauer timed the publication of his book to immediately follow the “60 Minutes” broadcast: “In the case of the Krakauer story, Byliner had to scramble a bit — the author wanted it timed to the 60 Minutes piece — and the TV show gave them a 48 hour head's up before it aired.” However, both Krakauer and Byliner actually had much more than 48 hours advance notice of the forthcoming broadcast. Krakauer mentions in his book (p. 69) he had sent an email on April 13, 2011 to Mortenson requesting an interview prior to going to press. And the founders of Byliner granted several interviews about their launch several weeks prior to the broadcast. The following day, on April 18th, Krakauer’s e-book “Three Cups of Deceit” was published by Byliner. The “60 Minutes” controversial broadcast generated a lot of free publicity for both Byliner.com, Krakauer’s book shot to the top of the best-seller lists. In his “Niemann Reports” (Winter 2011) piece, It’s a Long Article. It’s a Short Book. No, It’s a Byliner E-Book., John Tayman wrote: “There were timing challenges with publishing it, too: Krakauer wanted to release his story when a “60 Minutes” report on Mortenson would be aired in mid-April. Yet he wanted also to be able to keep reporting—adding details to his investigative essay, as he unearthed them—up until its release. … We released Krakauer’s e-book on our website immediately after “60 Minutes” aired its own exposé, in which Krakauer was featured. … it quickly became the top selling e-book; it has sold steadily ever since…” ... Byliner also used the “buzz” from the ’60 Minutes” broadcast to raise the investment capital needed to finance its’ launch: Sarah Lacy wrote, “Byliner Launches With A Splash, Aims To Disrupt Long-Form Journalism’ (April 19, 2011): “The media is buzzing with allegations that Nobel Peace Prize nominee Greg Mortenson fabricated his bestselling books and misused millions of dollars in donations. ... Amazingly, within days [in the works for almost a year] of 60 Minutes breaking the story, a new book [“Three Cups of Deceit] was already released about it. …. The company [Byliner] releasing the book-like-thing burst on the scene yesterday too. I first met with Byliner’s co-founder and CEO John Tayman a few weeks ago, at the request of a friend who was thinking about investing and wanted an author’s take.”

21

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem And Andrew Ross, in “Byliner, S.F. digital publisher, has instant hit,” (April 29, 2011) wrote: “Having your very first product [“Three Cups of Deceit”] become an instant best-seller is not a bad way to start. … It also was the basis for a "60 Minutes" segment two Sundays ago. The day after the program aired, 70,000 free PDF versions of "Three Cups of Deceit" were downloaded within 72 hours of its release …. it shot to the top of the Kindle Single list and has led Amazon's overall nonfiction sales ever since. ‘This is the first title we've released; we're incredibly pleased,’ said [Byliner's founder and CEO John Tayman].” “Tayman and two partners, Mark Bryant, Krakauer's former editor at Outside magazine, and Ted Barnett … drew on their own pockets to bootstrap the enterprise. Last week [by April 19th, just after the “60 Minutes” broadcast], the company received $935,000 in funding from Bay Area early-stage venture capital firms Freestyle Capital and SoftTech VC, and individual investors, including Russ Siegelman, a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.” ... Since April, Krakauer’s e-book has sold more than 100,000 copies. On June 21, 2011, Byliner launched in “beta mode”; Chris Lefkow wrote “… The site created a buzz earlier this year with a piece written by Krakauer … about Greg Mortenson…” On July 7th, Byliner rolled-out its fully functional website. Since August 2011, Jon Krakauer has issued periodic updates at his “Three Cups of Deceit” blog at byliner.com.

22

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem

Neither Charlatan Nor Crusading Do-Gooder:
“Three Cups of Deceit,” was the first e-book published by Byliner. The “60 Minutes” broadcast generated a lot of free publicity for the launch of Byliner.. Krakauer’s book shot to the top of the best-seller lists, and the co-founders used the “buzz” to raise the investment capital needed to finance their full launch of Byliner in June 2011. On the other hand, Krakauer’s “take down” of Greg Mortenson resulted in a dramatic drop in Mortenson’s book sales and donations to CAI.3 It’s rather ironic that in 2004 Krakauer wrote to the CAI board, “I still believe in CAIs mission … I don’t want to make any public statements that would have a negative impact on Greg’s work….” But, seven years later, Krakauer changed his mind. Why? What motivated Krakauer to write his e-book “Three Cups of Deceit”? And, why did he wait seven years to go public with his concerns? Well, Jon Krakauer claims he was outraged by Mortensons’ literary sins and “way of running things.” However, it appears that Krakauer was also motivated to “take down” Mortenson as a publicity stunt (timed with the “60 Minutes” broadcast based largely upon his research) to create the “buzz” to raise the investment capital needed to launch his old friend Mark Bryant’s start-up of Byliner.com (and to pump up sales of his new book). Perhaps, filmmaker David Breashears hit the mark with his 1997 comment about Krakauer’s book “Into Thin Air”: "It's there in print forever. It's part of history. People should be above taking someone else down. And for what? For money and egos people are willing to destroy other people to further their careers." ... While it does appear that Greg Mortenson confabulated some parts of his “inspirational story,” Jon Krakauer has also had “credibility problems” with his own books: His most recent book, Where Men Win Glory, omits President Obama & the Democratic Congress’s whitewash of Gen. McChrystal’s central role in the cover-up of Pat Tillman’s friendly-fire death.

3

In a 2013 financial report (the most recent one filed online),contributions went from $15.39 million in FY2011 to $4.79 million in FY2012

23

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem In his book Into Thin Air, Krakauer painted an unjustly harsh portrayal of climber Anatoli Boukreev and he wrote a “poison plant fable” to explain Christopher McCandless’s death in Into the Wild. Finally, it appears both he and the Byliners Co-Founders have been disingenuous in describing how Krakauer got onto the Mortenson story. Krakauer displayed hypocrisy by “throwing stones” when his own hands are not clean of deceit. ... Overall, I believe Daniel Glick (at danielglick.net) has offered the most balanced commentary on this affair: “[‘60 Minutes’ and Jon Krakauer’s assault was overkill] lacking in basic elements of fairness, balance, perspective, insight and context. … Mortenson is neither a saint nor a charlatan; Krakauer is not either a jilted crank or a crusading do-gooder. There are nuances, debatable “facts” and conflicting motivations in almost every situation, messy and at times seemingly irreconcilable. This is no exception.” Once Mortenson comes out of seclusion, he certainly needs to answer questions about his literary and financial practices. However, I believe Jon Krakauer also needs to answer questions about he “got onto the Mortenson story,” his motivations for writing “Three Cups of Deceit,” and how much cash (if any) he has invested in Byliner.com (but, just like Mortenson, Krakauer isn’t talking to the press).4 ... And, it’s worth mentioning that CBS’s “60 Minutes,” in their September 2009 hagiographic profile of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, didn’t bother to press him about his central role in the Army’s cover-up of Pat Tillman’s 2004 friendly-fire death. I believe Gen. McChrystal would have been a more worthy target for "60 Minutes" investigative wrath than Greg Mortenson. ...

Update October 10, 2013: From “Appeals court rejects fraud claim against ‘Three Cups of Tea’ author Mortenson”: A federal appeals court on Wednesday rejected claims that author and humanitarian Greg Mortenson committed fraud by lying in his best-selling book “Three Cups of Tea” to boost sales and donations to the charity he co-founded. A panel of 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judges upheld a Montana judge’s decision to dismiss a lawsuit brought by four readers of “Three Cups of Tea” and its sequel, “Stones Into Schools.”
4

Update 2/24/14: Even after Mortenson finally came out of seclusion in his 1/20/14 NBC interview. JK still refuses to comment on the story.

24

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem The memoirs recount how Mortenson started building schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan, with “Three Cups of Tea” selling about 4 million copies since being published in 2006. The lawsuit was filed in 2011 after “60 Minutes” and author Jon Krakauer reported that Mortenson fabricated passages in the books. U.S. District Judge Sam Haddon dismissed the lawsuit last year, calling the allegations “flimsy and speculative.” The plaintiffs appealed to the 9th Circuit, but the appellate panel said Haddon ruled properly. The readers’ claims contained “minimal factual allegations” and did not specify the defendants’ roles in the alleged racketeering scheme, the judges said in the order.

Update November 11, 2013: From Greg Mortenson Lawsuit: Insurer To Pay $1.2 Million To Settle 'Three Cups Of Tea' Charity (Matt Volz -- Huffington Post, November 11, 2013) An insurance company will pay $1.2 million to a charity co-founded by "Three Cups of Tea" author Greg Mortenson in a settlement over the legal costs of a lawsuit and an investigation into Mortenson and the Central Asia Institute, attorneys involved in the settlement said. The settlement, if approved, will mark an end to more than two years of legal troubles for Mortenson after "60 Minutes" and author Jon Krakauer published reports that alleged Mortenson fabricated parts of his best-selling books and mismanaged the Central Asia Institute.

Update December 20, 2013: From Lawsuit against 'Three Cups' insurer dismissed (Missoulian, December 19, 2013): A judge has dismissed a lawsuit by the charity co-founded by "Three Cups of Tea" author Greg Mortenson against an insurance company. U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen dismissed the lawsuit Thursday, more than a month after the Central Asia Institute and Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co. reached a settlement. … The case's dismissal marks an end to more than two years of legal troubles for Mortenson after "60 Minutes" and author Jon Krakauer published reports alleging Mortenson fabricated parts of his best-selling book and mismanaged the charity. Update February 23, 2014: In his first interview since 2011, Greg Mortenson told NBC’s Tom Brokow on January 21st, “I stand by the stories. The stories happened, but … not in the sequence or the timing” and said, “In maybe a strange way, I’d like to thank CBS and Jon Krakauer because, had they not brought these issues up, we could have gotten into more serious problems…” http://www.today.com/video/today/54132574#54132574 (with link to transcript of interview)
25

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem From my own transcription [At about 3:50]: “Any response from Jon Krakauer?” Brokow says, “No, I’ve been in touch with him, I did tell Steve Kroft he was going to be on (?), I haven’t heard back from Jon yet. He still has strong feelings about the operation, especially on the ground.” From NBC Transcript: >> and tom brokaw 's here with us in the studio. couple of things, tom, any response from john? >> no, i did say i hadn't heard back from john yet. [missing quote about supposed to be on] he still has strong feelings about the organization, especially on the ground over there and say they are doing an audit. when greg thanks them for their intervention, it had to do with his heart condition , he probably would've died if he kept his original schedule. Note: So, Jon still refuses to publically comment! >> you talk about the organization on the ground, money is crucial to keep it going. did the funds dry up after the scandal? and is the money returning in some way? >> no, their donations are off about 80%, that's to be expected. it played big across the country. and they still have some proving up to do so to speak. we knew him, i worked a lot in that part of the world, thought it was important. john gave $17,000, he was very upset with what was going on. something else here, viking, the publisher has not yet released their account of these described inaccuracies. Outside Magazine editor Alex Heard, in his January 20, 2014 piece “Greg Mortenson Steps (Back) Into the Spotlight,” wrote, ”It’s been a long time since Greg Mortenson was a public figure who was routinely seen or heard in public … Mortenson's re-emergence has not generated anything approaching the pre-game hype that accompanied Lance Armstrong when he submitted to a grilling by Oprah Winfrey …” But, Heard once again failed to mention how Krakauer’s book was used to launch former Outside Editor Mark Bryant’s (his predecessor) launch of Byliner. ... Update March 19, 2014: Got an email from Jennifer Jordan a few days ago. She’s an awardwinning journalist and filmmaker who launched a fundraising campaign under the nonprofit umbrella of the Utah Film Center to complete production of her documentary, 3000 Cups of Tea: The Mission and the Madness of Greg Mortenson: The film's trailer poses the questions: Did the media principally 60 Minutes, get it wrong in accusing Mortenson of fraud, mismanagement, and lying? If so, what are the consequences to the man, his mission, and the future of education for girls in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and what does it say about the state of American journalism? "When I watched the 60 Minutes broadcast, it didn't match my experience of the man or what I had witnessed on the ground, so Jeff and I decided to launch our own investigation to see what had happened. What we have found is that this is a story worth telling - one of the world's most successful education philanthropists is taken down in 20 minutes by one of the world's most
26

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem powerful news organizations. … Said Jordan, "Our initial findings are very different from 60 Minutes." (In recent months, the venerated CBS news program has come under attack for making serious errors in other broadcasts.) "I believe that our democracy depends on a free and viable Fourth Estate, keeping tabs on the first three. But that means journalists must be held to the highest standards of ethics and integrity. When we get it wrong, the consequences can be devastating. 3000 Cups of Tea: the Mission and the Madness of Greg Mortenson is the result of our investigation." In making public the documentary's trailer, Jordan is launching a fundraising effort to finish the film. Under the 501(c)3 nonprofit umbrella of the Utah Film Center, they are able to accept taxdeductible donations. To donate and to learn more, visit:www.3000cupsoftea.org I’ll have to reply to Jennifer Jordan’s email. Hopefully, she’ll did into how Krakauer used his book to launch Byliner.com.

27

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem

28

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem

“The Emperor’s General”
“I found myself awash with a sense of injustice that I could not define. Or perhaps it was merely that I was young. I had never seen with such clarity that … courage could destroy one man while flight could make another man king. … “I knew it was fruitless at this point but still I felt a call for justice, an anger that life does not always reward the right intentions…” -- Senator James Webb, The Emperor’s General (1999)

Pat Tillman was the NFL football player who (with his brother Kevin) enlisted with the Army Rangers in 2002, did a tour in Iraq, and was killed by friendly-fire in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004. Within just two days, the first investigating officer confirmed Tillman was killed by friendly-fire and passed that information up his chain of command (probably at least up to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Cheney). However, a decision was made and passed down to cover up Tillman’s friendly-fire death and award him a fraudulent Silver Star medal. Five weeks later, on Memorial Day weekend, the Army finally told the family his death was “probably” fratricide. During the following four years, the Army, Department of Defense Inspector General (DoD IG), and the Democratic Congress conducted several “investigations.” The DoD IG’s March 2007 report found that Gen. Stanley McChrystal was “accountable for the inaccurate [Silver Star] award recommendation.” IG Gimble testified before Congress that the Silver Star witness statements were altered “somewhere in the approval chain” (COL Nixon, LTC Kauzlarich, and/or LTG McChrystal were in that chain). The citation itself was carefully written to falsely imply that Tillman was killed by “devastating enemy fire.” However, on July 31, 2007, Gen. Wallace overruled the IG’s findings, and cleared McChrystal of all wrongdoing in the Tillman cover-up. The other officers involved were given slaps on the wrist and have since been promoted. Retired Gen. Kensinger was made the official scapegoat; he lost a star and a little pension money. In reality, McChrystal had played the central role in the Tillman cover-up; he supervised the writing of the fraudulent Silver Star recommendation and the Ranger Regiment commander’s actions to conceal the fratricide from the medical examiner. It’s worth noting that, in the summer of 2007, McChrystal was a rising star in the Army who led the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) forces to whom many attribute much of the success of the Iraq “Surge.” The following day, August 1, 2007, Congressman Henry Waxman’s House Oversight Committee held the second hearing of their Tillman “investigation.” However, Waxman allowed Gen. McChrystal to “decline” to appear (he was never later interviewed), and the Committee never tried to determine if he was responsible for the altered Silver Star witness statements.

29

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem A year later, the Committee’s July 2008 report blamed “stonewalling” by the Bush Administration for their failure to hold anyone accountable. In reality, the Democratic Congress (and later, President Obama) continued the Bush administration whitewash to protect Gen. McChrystal from punishment for his central role in the Tillman cover-up (see “The [Untold] Tillman Story” for more details). ... In May 2009, over the protests of the Tillman family, President Obama nominated Gen. McChrystal as the new Afghan war commander (shortly thereafter he pushed through a new FOIA law to block the court-ordered release of torture photographs, probably including some with personnel under McChrystal’s JSOC command; see “The Emperor’s General”). Conveniently, on May 25, 2009, The New York Times’ reporter Thom Shanker ”exonerated” McChrystal of all ‘wrongdoing” (see “Lies Borne Out by Facts, If Not the Truth”) just before his pro forma Senate confirmation hearing on June 2, 2009; the real hearing where McChrystal discussed his role “in detail” was held behind closed doors in May 2008 after a secret review by Senator James Webb (“Did They Teach You How to Lie Yet?’ & “The [Untold] Tillman Story”). ... Just a year later, on June 23, 2010, supposedly for inappropriate remarks by his staff to a Rolling Stone reporter (in reality, for failing to “show progress” in the Afghan War; see “Bob Woodward’s Whitewash of Gen. McChrystal”), Gen. McChrystal was fired by President Obama, and he put in his retirement papers a few months later. To learn more about the Tillman story, I’d suggest Mary Tillman’s book “Boots on the Ground by Dusk” (revised paperback edition with a new forward at www.blurb.com), Jon Krakauer’s paperback edition “Where Men Win Glory,” the fine documentary “The Tillman Story,” and my “The [Untold] Tillman Story” (and other posts) at http://www.feralfirefighter.blogspot.com ... However, the Tillman story is not quite over yet. A couple of weeks ago, on April 12, 2010, Pat Tillman’s mother, Mary Tillman, received yet another slap to her face. Despite his central role in the Tillman cover-up, President Obama appointed Gen. Stanley McChrystal to lead the advisory panel of the new “Joining Forces” program to support military troops and their families. Michelle Obama said “we’re proud to have him [McChrystal] on board” and the White House claimed, “The circumstances surrounding Pat Tillman's death have been thoroughly investigated, and General McChrystal was found to have acted honorably…” See http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2011/04/pat-tillmans-mom-says-she-wantsgeneral-stanley-mcchrystal-removed-in-abc-news-exclusive.html and
30

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/what_stanley_mcchrystal_did_to_pat_tillmans_family_201 10413/?ln And, on April 18th, Gen. McChrystal’s reputation was further “restored” by his being officially cleared by the Department of Defense of “all wrongdoing” in Le’Affair Rolling Stan (echoing the NYT reporter Thom Shanker who supposedly cleared McChrystal of “all wrong-doing” in the Tillman affair in 2009). Now, the newly rehabilitated McChrystal is out on the lecture circuit (e.g. “Get Motivated,” etc.), pulling down lucrative speaking fees, serving on the board of directors of several corporations, and writing his memoirs. ...
“A few months ago, I was asked to review Jon Krakauer's new book by the Washington Post ... the book was awful. … going after Stan McChrystal, who is probably the least culpable guy in Tillman's chain of command ... he has written a crappy book and now has to sell it.” -- Andrew Exum, (Abu Mugawama blog , Nov. 2, 2009)

As previously mentioned, Gen. McChrystal was appointed by President Obama to lead the advisory panel of the “Joining Forces” program which will be run out of the Washington think tank, Center for a New American Security (CNAS). CNAS has had close ties with both Gen. Petreaus and Gen. McChrystal and led the push for the Afghan war surge. And, CNAS’s Andrew Exum (a former Army Ranger officer) whitewashed McChrystal’s role in the Tillman cover-up with his horribly biased Washington Post book review and his blog posts at Abu Mugawama (discussed in detail in “He Who Shall Not Be Fact Checked”). Here's an excerpt from Andrew Exum’s June 2, 2009 post "Confirm Him": “The bottom line is, nothing is ever going to heal the wounds inflicted on the Tillman Family … And while I have nothing but respect for the Tillman Family…, their personal grief should not be a veto on the nomination of the man [Gen. Stanley McChrystal] … These are serious questions and are more important than either the death of Pat Tillman or the alleged abuse of detainees.” In other words, the Tillman family can go to hell. And CNAS guys like him are going to run this new program to "support" military families! Considering their past betrayal of the Tillman family, Gen. McChrystal and CNAS was a shameful choice by President Obama to run the “Joining Forces” program. Ironically, I agree with Andrew Exum that Jon Krakauer’s book was “crappy”; just not just for the same reasons. Whether out of willful ignorance or deceit, Exum claimed that McChrystal was one of the “least culpable” guys in the Tillman affair. But, a look at the evidence shows that McChrystal was actually the “hands-on” general who supervised the Tillman cover-up.
31

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem In his revised edition of Where Men Win Glory (using my material) Jon Krakauer did a decent job of describing the Army’s cover-up of Pat Tillman’s friendly-fire death. Using McChrystal’s Senate testimony and FOIA interviews, he added more detail about McChrystal’s central role, the role played by the Ranger Regiment commanders, and how the medical examiner was stonewalled by Army officers. However, despite being given my outline of the “untold story,” for some reason, Jon Krakauer still failed in his revised edition to describe (or even mention) how President Obama and the Democratic Congress continued the Bush administration whitewash of Gen. McChrystal (among others) involved in the Tillman cover-up. ... P.S. This Easter weekend is full of sharp irony for me. Good Friday was the 7th anniversary of Pat Tillman’s death. On Easter Sunday morning, the smiling faces of Michelle Obama & Jill Biden appeared on the cover of "Parade Magazine.” Inside was a puff piece interview with them speaking about the ‘Joining Forces” program (without, of course, any mention of Gen. McChrystal's controversial appointment or Mary Tillman’s objections). This Easter, a somewhat sacrilegious Eucharistic liturgy came to mind: Pat Tillman “has died.” General Stanley McChrystal “is risen” (from his Rolling Stone “crucifixion”) But, Pat Tillman . . . will not “come again.” As his brother Richard said at his 2004 memorial service, “Pat’s a fucking champion and always will be. Just make no mistake, he’d want me to say this, he’s not with God; he’s fucking dead. He’s not religious. So, thanks for your thoughts, but he’s fucking dead”). -- Guy Montag, April 24, 2010 ...

32

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem

“JON KRAKAUER’S CREDIBILITY PROBLEM”
“This substantially revised edition of Where Men Win Glory includes new material that … leaves little doubt who directed the cover-up of his fratricide. … Following publication of the first edition in September 2009, I discovered additional evidence of deceit by high-ranking Army officers.” -- Jon Krakauer (Preface to Where Men Win Glory, 2010)

The April 17, 2011 broadcast of “60 Minutes” questioned whether some of the most dramatic stories in Greg Mortenson’s books (Three Cups of Tea and Stones into Schools) were true and raised serious questions about how the money raised to build schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan was actually spent by Mortenson and his Central Asia Institute. On April 27, 2011 Allen Best wrote, “Leveling the accusations is another mountain climber, Jon Krakauer, with serious credibility of his own. Author of Into Thin Air and more recently Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman,” Krakauer told “60 Minutes” that Mortenson’s story is a ‘beautiful story, and it’s a lie.’” Shortly afterwards, Jon Krakauer published his e-book, Three Cups of Deceit, accusing Greg Mortenson of: “writing a work of fiction presented as fact. … And by no means was this an isolated act of deceit. … [his] books and public statements are permeated with falsehoods. The image of Mortenson that has been created for public consumption is an artifact born of fantasy, audacity, and an apparently insatiable hunger for esteem.” In his April 22, 2011 Daily Beast piece, Nick Summers praised “Jon Krakauer's Hunt for Truth”: “The famous journalist's revelations about Greg Mortenson are the latest in his relentless quest to find the truth and expose fraud. … When Jon Krakauer writes, big things come under his withering gaze… Whether he is investigating a single man or a high-ranking conspiracy over a soldier's death … Inevitably for a writer of such extremes, Krakauer has drawn his share of criticism, … Reaction to his Mortenson exposé, though, seems to be running nearly unanimously in his favor. And other masters of literary journalism say they recognize the single-minded pursuit of truth at its core.” I haven’t closely followed the story, so I can’t provide informed commentary about the extent of Mortensen’s deceit. However, I do have first-hand knowledge of Jon Krakauer’s own deceit in the Preface to his revised paperback edition of Where Men Win Glory – The Odyssey of Pat Tillman. Mortenson may be guilty of deceit, but Krakauer is a hypocrite to “throw stones” at Mortenson when his own hands are not clean and without sin. Jon Krakauer has credibility problems of his own, and failed to display “single-minded pursuit of truth” with his whitewash of the Democratic role in the Tillman story.
33

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem
“…some may wonder why his dishonesty about Tillman should matter. It matters because deceit by a military officer of McChrystal’s rank is a poisonous betrayal of trust that shouldn’t be countenanced.” -- Jon Krakauer, “Gen. McChrystal’s Credibility Problem” (Oct. 14, 2009)

On September 15, 2009, Jon Krakauer released the first edition of his book Where Men Win Glory – The Odyssey of Pat Tillman. In this hardcover edition, Gen. Stanley McChrystal was barely a footnote. He was mentioned only as being among the Army officers who “expedited” the Silver Star recommendation (despite knowing about Pat Tillman’s friendly-fire death), and who sent a P4 memo to “alert his superiors that someone needed to warn President Bush.” But just two weeks later, Krakuauer was on Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” saying that McChrystal was “probably the point man for this cover-up” and was “the guy they put in charge of making this happen [false Silver Star recommendation].” And, just a month later, Krakauer published “Gen. McChrystal’s Credibility Problem.” In this “Daily Beast” piece, he “expressed skepticism about McChrystal’s honesty.” He wrote that McChrystal “had dissembled to the Senate” … “he closely supervised the drafting of these [Silver Star] documents”… “administered a fraudulent medal recommendation … thereby concealing the cause of Tillman’s death.” But none of this new material appeared in Krakauer’s first edition. Why did he suddenly begin talking about McChrystal’s central role in the cover-up shortly after his book was released? ... On July 27, 2010, Kraukauer published the revised paperback edition of Where Men Win Glory. In this updated edition, Krakauer described McChrystal as playing a “central role in the scandal” and included more details of the Army’s cover-up by McChrystal and Army officers. About a month later, on August 26, 2010, in my post “The [Untold] Tillman Story”, I briefly described my initial impressions of Krakauer’s revised edition: “… Krakauer still hasn’t told what I call the “untold story” of the bipartisan Congressional cover-up (although he did make some of the corrections I pointed out to him last year in my letters). … I just bought his revised book a few days ago … However, upon cursory review, it appears that Jon Krakauer took the credit for discovering ‘additional evidence.’ … ‘Discovered’? Hell, much of his ‘discovery’ consisted in having my two binders laying it all out placed directly into his hands by my aunt on September 17th at a book signing in Boulder, CO!” It wasn’t until January 2011 that I found the time to compare both book editions line-by-line, to find and document each revision. The April 17, 2011 60 Minutes expose motivated me to finish documenting the revisions and to write the post “Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem.”

34

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem
This substantially revised edition of Where Men Win Glory includes new material that … leaves little doubt who directed the cover-up of his fratricide. … Following publication of the first edition in September 2009, I discovered additional evidence of deceit by high-ranking Army officers.” -- Jon Krakauer, from Preface to Where Men Win Glory (Anchor Books, 2010)

Jon Krakauer wrote a deceitful preface to his revised paperback edition of Where Men Win Glory (July 2010). Krakauer prevaricated, at best, when he wrote, “…too late to make changes, I learned important new information…” and following “publication of the first edition in September 2009, I discovered additional evidence of deceit by high-ranking Army officers.” In reality, just two days after his first edition was released about 200 pages of my material (two letters and two binders) were literally placed in Krakauer’s hands by my Aunt Candy at his Boulder CO book signing on September 17, 2009. This material described how Gen. Stanley McChrystal played a central role in the cover-up of Pat Tillman’s 2004 friendly-fire death in Afghanistan (paying particular attention to McChrystal’s own testimony at his June 2009 Senate confirmation hearing). I find it “preposterous” just “not believable” that Krakauer coincidentally just happened to “discover” this evidence during the two day window before his book signing! A comparison of the Where Men Win Glory book editions, his piece “McChrystal’s Credibility Problem,” and my material given to Krakauer shows that my documents were the source (directly or indirectly) for nearly all of his significant updates in the paperback edition: 1.) Krakauer made suggested corrections pointed out to him in my Sept. 17th letter. 2.) No updated material appeared in his interview remarks before the book signing. 3.) Most of the updated material is found in my “Did They Teach You How to Lie Yet?” binder (especially the discussion of McChrystal’s Senate testimony). 4.) In both binders I suggested obtaining FOIA interviews of McChrystal & other officers. (Krakauer later obtained these interviews and used them to make updates). I don’t care (much) about Krakauer stealing my credit for the “discovery” of the new evidence. But, he could have at least called or e-mailed to say “Thanks.” More importantly, if he had contacted me, I could have helped him with additional updates. Although, I’m glad he used my material to more fully describe Gen. McChrystal’s central role in the cover-up in his subsequent interviews, his Daily Beast piece, and in the revised book edition. Jon Krakauer has accused Greg Mortenson of deceit. However, Krakauer himself certainly displayed deceit by embellishing his story of how he “discovered” McCrystal’s central role. Was Krakauer embarrassed to admit that he had failed to uncover this new material by himself? And missed it the first time around? Like Greg Mortenson, it appears that Jon Krakauer embellished his story to boost his esteem and protect his ego.
35

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem
“Congressman Waxman stated in frustration, ‘What we have is a very clear, deliberate abuse intentionally done. Why is it so hard to find out who did it?’” -- Jon Krakauer, Where Men Win Glory (2009)

In his July 2010 Preface to the revised edition of Where Men Win Glory, Jon Krakauer wrote “one of the most culpable malfeasants turns out to be an exalted military leader [Gen. McChrystal] who’s been shielded from accountability or punishment for the past six years.” But who “shielded” McChrystal? Certainly, the Bush administration, the Army, and the Department of Defense protected McChrystal who was a rising star in the Army in 2007. Jon Krakauer noted, “The Army … took no action against McChrystal despite his central role in the scandal.” and “… the White House … used every means at its disposal to obstruct the congressional investigation into Tillman’s death and its aftermath…” However, my letter handed to Krakauer on September 17, 2009 argued that his account of the cover-up ended prematurely and let President Obama and the Democratic Congress off the hook: “Your book ends with Waxman’s House committee being unable to find out who was responsible for the cover-up, largely because of stonewalling by the Bush White House. Congressman Waxman stated in frustration, “What we have is a very clear, deliberate abuse intentionally done. Why is it so hard to find out who did it?” You properly cast blame on the top leadership of the Army and the White House that “… used every means at its disposal to obstruct the congressional investigation into Tillman’s death and its aftermath…” “But, I believe your account of the cover-up ends far too soon with Bush’s press conference on August 9, 2007. The cover-up continued up through the June 2, 2009 confirmation hearing of General McChrystal as the Commander of the Afghan War. Perhaps the end was the unanimous voice vote by the Senate begged for by Senate Majority Leader Reid on June 12th.” “Blaming Bush and the Army for the cover-up, with the Democratic Congress as the champions in pursuit of the truth is too simple. In reality, the cover-up has been a thoroughly bipartisan affair, with Congress and the Obama Presidency continuing to protect especially General McChrystal from punishment and to shield his actions from scrutiny. Just as with warrantless wiretapping and torture, those responsible have not been held accountable. “They’re moving forward, not looking back.” “It’s not surprising that after the initial fratricide cover-up fell apart, Army officers and the Bush administration lied to protect their careers. Reprehensible, but understandable. But the Democratic Congress, after they took control of both Houses in 2006, could have gone after those responsible. Or at least not promoted them! Their hands are dirty as well with the betrayal of Pat Tillman.”

36

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem In addition to my letters, Jon Krakauer was handed two binders: “Did They Teach You to Lie Yet?” – Senator James Webb, General Stanley McChrystal, and the Betrayal of Pat Tillman and “Lies … Borne Out by Facts, If Not the Truth” – Senator James Webb, Thom Shanker & The New York Times, and the Whitewash of General Stanley McChrystal.” These two binders described in detail how the Democratic Congress had actually shielded Gen. McChrystal while supposedly “investigating” the Tillman cover-up. So, it’s not for a lack of knowledge that Krakauer failed to describe this “untold story” in his 2010 revised paperback. (Note: Since 2009, I’ve documented my argument in greater detail, along with President Obama’s role, in my 2010 posts “The [Untold] Tillman Story” and “The Emperor’s General”). ... In his October 2009 Daily Beast piece, “Gen. McChrystal’s Credibility Problem,” Krakauer did briefly allude to the Senate’s pro forma hearing: “During the committee hearing [June 2, 2009 Senate confirmation] … none of McChrystal’s inquisitors probed deeply into either of these issues [Pat Tillman cover-up and torture by McChrystal’s JSOC forces at Camp Nama].“ ... However, in Krakauer’s updated 2010 paperback edition (despite haven been given my material), he continued to fail to describe how the Democratic Congress and President Obama continued the Bush administration’s whitewash of Gen. McChrystal. Krakauer never discussed President Obama’s May 2009 nomination of Gen. McChrystal or how Senators McCain, Levin, and Webb hadn’t “probed deeply into either of these issues” during McChrystal’s June 2009 confirmation hearing. Nor did he discuss Senator Webb’s secret 2008 Senate review and the closed 2008 Senate hearing during which McChrystal described his actions “in detail” behind closed doors. Instead, Krakauer made just a few passing references to President Obama’s nomination and the Senate hearing in connection with his discussion of McChrystal’s Silver Star recommendation testimony. And, incredibly, even in his revised edition, Krakauer still somehow neglected to even mention the second Congressional Tillman hearing held on August 1, 2007 (the hearing transcript is not even included in his References!). The documentary, The Tillman Story, shows Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and top generals at this hearing saying, “I don’t recall,” 82 times when questioned about the Tillman case. And this is the hearing which Congressman Waxman allowed McChrystal to “decline” to testify, despite McChrystal’s key role in writing both the Silver Star and the P4 memo which were at the center of the hearing.

37

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem
“The most powerful form of lie is the omission, and it is the duty of the historian to make sure those lies do not creep into the history books.” -- George Orwell

But more important than his stealing my credit for his “discovery,” Krakauer’s greater act of deceit was one of omission. In his revised edition, despite having been handed my detailed material, Krakauer still failed to describe how President Obama and the Democratic Congress continued the Bush administration’s whitewash of Gen. McChrystal. After reading Where Men Win Glory, you’d think the Democratic Congress tried to do the right thing, but their investigation was “stonewalled” by the Bush administration. What utter rubbish! So why did Krakauer choose to whitewash the role of President Obama and the Democratic Congress in continuing the Bush administration’s cover-up? I don’t know. Perhaps Krakauer had a partisan bias for the Democratic Party? Maybe he didn’t want to piss off a sitting President or his Hollywood buddies? Maybe he was simply was too lazy to have to revisit his story and do the work necessary to tell the full truth? Maybe “The [Untold] Tillman Story” simply didn’t fit with his simple black-and-white storyline of the “Good Democrats” stone-walled by the “Bad Bush administration”? (To echo Krakauer’s remark about Mortenson’s books, “It’s a beautiful story, but it’s a lie”). Perhaps, once again, it would have bruised Krakauer’s ego to admit he had failed to discover this “untold story” and had gotten the story wrong the first time around? ... Regardless of his motivations, Jon Krakauer stole credit for his “discovery of evidence of deceit” and failed in his “relentless quest to find the truth and expose fraud” in his revision of Where Men Win Glory. To his credit, Krakauer didn’t spare Gen. McChrystal and other Army officers from his “withering gaze.” However, to his shame, Krakauer did shield President Obama and the Democratic Congress from accountability for their whitewash of Gen. McChrystal’s central role in the cover-up. Krakauer certainly didn’t “win glory” with his telling of the Tillman story. Greg Mortenson appears guilty of much of the literary deceit (or embellishments) Jon Krakauer accuses him of in Three Cups of Deceit. But, Krakauer displayed hypocrisy by “throwing stones” at Mortenson when his own hands were not without sin. Just as Krakauer pointed out with regard to Gen. McChrystal, he displayed his own “credibility problem” by writing the deceitful Preface to his updated Where Men Win Glory. Krakauer embellished his story of how he “discovered” Gen. McCrystal’s central role in the Tillman cover-up. Like Mortenson, it appears that Krakauer “wrote a work of fiction” to boost his esteem and protect his ego. And, he couldn’t just steal my credit, he felt compelled to prevaricate about it as well. But more important, his greater act of deceit was one of omission. In Where Men Win Glory, Krakauer whitewashed President Obama and the Democratic Congress’s role in shielding Gen. McChrystal. Krakauer certainly didn’t “win glory” with his deceit and his omission of the “untold” Tillman story.
38

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem

“THAT GUY’S A PIECE OF …”
“Asked about Jon Krakauer's book about Tillman, the soldier's youngest brother [Richard] told the screening audience [at the Sundance premiere of The Tillman Story] of the author that "that guy's a piece of …” -- Steven Zeitchik, LA Times, January 24, 2010

Mary Tillman wrote in her book Boots on the Ground by Dusk, “In January [2006], author Jon Krakauer contacted Marie, Patrick, and me about writing a book about Pat. Over several months Jon has met the whole family, and we have come to consider him a good friend.” However, sometime between 2006 and 2008, Krakauer clearly lost the trust of Mary and most of the Tillman family. In his Acknowledgements to Where Men Win Glory, Jon Krakauer wrote that Marie Tillman’s (Pat Tillman’s widow) “contributions … were beyond measure.” However, he goes on to write that “other members of the Tillman family declined to be interviewed on the record for this book…” Jon Krakauer said in a 2009 CSPAN interview, “Actually, I talked to them [the Tillman family] quite a bit. But they decided they did not want to be quoted in the book. I showed them an early draft, a very rough draft, they just weren’t happy with that, they wanted Mary’s book [mother] to be their statement.” I don’t know why the Tillman’s weren’t happy with his draft. I don’t know why Richard Tillman said Krakauer “was a piece of …” However, I would speculate that part of their dissatisfaction stemmed from Krakauer’s apparent one-sided portrayal of the “Round Table brawl” (described in CH 5 & 6), where Krakauer only quoted interviews from Darin Rosas and his friends (differs significantly from Mary Tillman’s account). And I would speculate the Tillman family weren’t pleased with Krakauer publishing quotes from Pat Tillman’s journals (later, they refused to let the director of The Tillman Story, Amir Bar-Lev, even look at them during the making of his documentary). Although Krakauer’s book was supposed to be published in 2008, he delayed publication of his book over a year until September 2009. Krakauer said in a CSPAN interview [my notes from audio]: ‘Delayed book due about 2/2008; to pursue Jessica Lynch angle & friendly-fire of Marines that same day, spent 3 months investigating that, fried, took break for a couple of months, (about time Mary’s book came out), then took another year.’ But, I’d guess some of the delay in the book’s publication was also due to Krakauer’s loss of the trust of the Tillman family and the difficulties associated with writing a biography of Pat Tillman without having the insight and support of most of Pat Tillman’s family and friends.
39

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem
“… Pat died for this country, and he believed it was a great country that had a system that worked. … And we shouldn’t be allowed to have smokescreens thrown in our face. … it is a betrayal, but it is not just a betrayal to us, … and that is why we are in front of Congress because Congress is supposed to take care of their citizens.” -- Mary Tillman, Congressional testimony on April 24, 2007

Mary Tillman (Pat Tillman’s mother) alluded to the “untold story” of President Obama and the Democratic Congress’s whitewash of Gen. McChrystal (and others) in the Tillman affair: From her 2008 book “Boots on the Ground by Dusk”: “General Brown, retired generals Meyers and Abizaid, and Rumsfeld [during their Congressional testimony August 1, 2007] have great difficulty remembering what they knew and when they knew it”… “we were not happy with the hearing at all. We had spent weeks helping getting questions prepared and sending information. The Republicans on the committee were at best indifferent … Most of the Democrats disappointed us as well. They were not prepared and they didn’t think on their feet. We expected more from Congress.” … “I think of the Representative Henry Waxman’s words at the close of the [April 24, 2007] hearing: … ‘Why is it so hard to find out who’s responsible and hold them accountable?’ … it occurs to me that it’s so hard … because no one in a position of authority has the will or courage to do so.” From the Foreword to Mary Tillman’s August 2010 paperback edition of “Boots on the Ground by Dusk” (available with a preview at blurb.com): “McChrystal’s actions should have been grounds for firing. That is why it was so disturbing to us when President Obama instead promoted McChrystal to the position of top commander in Afghanistan last year. I had sent the President an email and a letter reminding him of McChrystal’s involvement in the cover-up of Pat’s death.” “I also contacted the staffs of Senator Patrick Leahy and Senator James Webb and expressed my concerns. I had several conversations with members of the staffs of both senators, but it was clear that neither senator wanted to get involved.” … [Senator] McCain was already publicly endorsing the McChrystal appointment before the hearing even began. … Sadly, McChrystal’s promotion had been sanctioned long before the hearing. None of the congressmen pressed McChrysal about Pat’s case … or detainee abuse and torture at Camp Nama …” “Over the last five years, the Pentagon and Congress have had numerous opportunities to hold accountable those responsible for the cover-up of Pat’s death. Each time they’ve failed. … The Tillman Story [documentary film released August 2010] illustrates the corruption, deception, and indifference that is systemic in our government. … The coverup of Pat’s death was orchestrated at the very highest levels of the Pentagon, and elsewhere in our government … the government didn’t just lie to us; it lied to a nation.”
40

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem

THE POISON PLANT FABLE
“Krakauer’s presentation of the matter seems stubbornly defiant at best. If his reasoning is not obstinately perverse, his arguments are disingenuous.” … “grasping desperately for tenuous explanations to defend his fundamental belief in the Poison Plant Fable.” -- Samuel Thayer, “Nature’s Garden”

I’m aware that there’s been controversy in the past over the accuracy of Jon Krakauer’s portrayal of events in his previous books, including the “poisoning” death of Christopher McCandless described in Into the Wild. I’m not able to offer informed commentary on this controversy. However, last year I happened to purchase Samuel Thayer’s 2010 book Nature’s Garden – A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Wild Plants. Thayer includes a detailed critique of Krauaker’s “poison plant fable” to explain the death of McCandless (pp. 43 – 55) and much of his commentary about Jon Kraukauer’s mindset appears relevant to my own experience with him (and to his credibility issues with his other books): “… many intelligent people, convinced by Krakauer’s skillful prose, would argue, “No, it’s really true!” … “I can sympathize with Krakauer’s desire to portray McCandless in a positive light, but there comes a time when you must let go of extravagant, unsupported guesses. There is simply no reason to believe that Chris McCandless was killed by a plant.” “It doesn’t bother me that Krakauer was wrong; it bothers me that he was wrong-headed. These explanations of Chris’ death should have been recognized as deficient, if not the moment they were conceived, then certainly after minimal investigation. Yet Krakauer has labored and belabored for fifteen years to perpetuate them. Rather than make a genuine effort to gather facts and draw sensible conclusions, he drew extravagant conclusions first; then facts were conjured, contorted, or ignored to support them.” “Journalism should be an exercise in finding and communicating the truth, not in obfuscating the obvious explanations in favor of sexier ones that find no factual support. Krakauer’s presentation of the matter seems stubbornly defiant at best. If his reasoning is not obstinately perverse, his arguments are disingenuous.” … “grasping desperately for tenuous explanations to defend his fundamental belief in the Poison Plant Fable.” “If this movie [Into the Wild] was made “in memory of Christopher Johnson McCandless,” as it claims, then why was a fraudulent, insulting scene fabricated for his death? Chris’s life story has been usurped by the very same propaganda machine that he so vehemently rejected, twisted into a fable for the purpose of casting fear and doubt into those who would seek what he sought. The greatest lessons that could be learned from his life are now buried under lies.” I would also recommend reading The Cult of Chris McCandless (“Men’s Journal” Sept. 2007).
41

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem Update 9-13-13: See Samuel Thayer’s post on the subject: http://foragersharvest.com/into-thewild-and-other-poisonous-plant-fables/ and http://www.tifilms.com/wild/call_debunked.htm and http://www.christophermccandless.info/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=5105 ... A couple days ago, Jon Krakauer wrote his latest theory of “How Chris McCandless Died” (The New Yorker -- Sept 12, 2013): “After subsisting for three months on a marginal diet of squirrels, porcupines, small birds, mushrooms, roots, and berries, he’d run up a huge caloric deficit and was teetering on the brink. By adding potato seeds to the menu, he apparently made the mistake that took him down.” It’s worth noting Krakauer didn’t make this discovery himself. He wrote that despite his “sifting through the scientific literature [for years], searching for information that would allow me to reconcile McCandless’s adamantly unambiguous statement with Clausen’s equally unambiguous test results. … [a few months ago] I stumbled upon Ronald Hamilton’s paper “The Silent Fire: ODAP and the Death of Christopher McCandless”: Hamilton wrote, “The one constant about ODAP poisoning, however, very simply put, is this: those who will be hit the hardest are always young men between the ages of 15 and 25 and who are essentially starving” … “ It might be said that Christopher McCandless did indeed starve to death in the Alaskan wild, but this only because he’d been poisoned, and the poison had rendered him too weak to move about, to hunt or forage, and, toward the end, “extremely weak,” “too weak to walk out,” and, having “much trouble just to stand up.” He wasn’t truly starving in the most technical sense of that condition. He’d simply become slowly paralyzed. And it wasn’t arrogance that had killed him, it was ignorance.” Krakauer concluded, “Had McCandless’s guidebook to edible plants warned that Hedysarum alpinum seeds contain a neurotoxin that can cause paralysis, he probably would have walked out of the wild in late August with no more difficulty than when he walked into the wild in April…” And, in his follow-up letter to the Alaska Dispatch, Krakauer wrote: “there is ample reason to believe that Chris McCandless was stricken with lathyrism from eating Hedysarum alpinum seeds, became too disabled to hunt effectively or walk out to the road, and died from starvation as a consequence.” Perhaps McCandless could have walked out if he hadn’t eaten the seeds (although he also said he was injured). It appears to me that Krakauer might have been (kinda) right, for the wrong reasons. Maybe the poisonous seeds did push Chris over the edge. But, regardless, he was on the edge because he had already been starving for months; “malnutrition” (i.e. starvation) might made him susceptible to rapid poisoning.
42

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem And, it’s not clear that McCandless was eating “pot seeds” in large enough quantities for a long enough time to become paralyzed. Ronald Hamilton’s wrote that it usually takes “several months” as a “principle food source”: “Typically, if Lathyrus sativus comprises about 30 percent of more of a person’s diet for several months, lathyrism is inevitable. But in some cases, much smaller amounts bring about the onset of paralysis in much shorter periods of time. Why this occurs remains unclear. … It takes five to six weeks as for the toxin to begin to exhibit its effect, and then only when the seeds have been the principle food source in an individual’s diet.” “those who will be hit the hardest are always young men between the ages of 15 and 25 and who are essentially starving or ingesting very limited calories, who have been engaged in heavy physical activity, who suffer trace-element shortages from meager, unvaried diets … within months, hundreds of the young male [who were on starvation rations] inmates of the [Vapniarca death] camp began limping.” Hamilton didn’t discuss in detail the cases mentioned above where “much smaller amounts bring about the onset of paralysis in much shorter periods of time” (was he referring to 5 to 6 weeks?). Krakauer wrote McCandless started eating the seeds on July 14th and “was extremely weak” on July 30th. It’s not clear that only two weeks had been sufficient time to poison him even IF the seeds were his “principle food source.” Update 10-24-13: In the piece, “When Edible Plants Turn Their Defenses On Us’ (October 23, 2013), the editor of HPPR (with input from Amy Stewart, author of Wicked Plants; "Wildman" Steve Brill, creator of the Wild Edibles app; and Dr. Ruth Lawrence of the University of Rochester Medical Center). Also commented on the question of ODAP?: “How much is too much? Generally, in order to develop lathyrism, someone would have to eat grass peas for two or three months, and the plant would have to compose at least a third of the total dietary intake. But there is wide variation in how much of the toxin one grass pea seed contains, and also in how people are affected.” ... I’m not alone in my skepticism. Craig Medred argued in his piece, “Krakauer Goes Further 'Into The Wild' Over Mccandless Starving To Death In Alaska” (Alaska Dispatch, September 13, 2013), that “Jon Krakauer has outdone himself in his latest gyrations trying to justify his madeup tale romanticizing the death of Chris McCandless…”: This is a classic Krakauerism and the fundamental problem with the book "Into the Wild." The author is prone to wild conjecture … The McCandless stories has been written in presumptions. It is so easy to read so much into so little. Krakauer is a master at it.

43

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem Clausen, the chemist who debunked Krakauer's earlier poisoning theories, says that he is equally skeptical of this one. … The Nazis, who were intentionally trying to poison Jews, found this poison disabled them "within months," and yet it felled McCandless in just 16 days? … Would it make more sense for someone to tie their illness to something they've been eating daily for more than two weeks, or to something new that had been eaten in the last 24 or 48 hours?

And, Dermot Cole wrote in his piece, “Krakauer's Wild Theory On Mccandless Gives Short Shrift To Science” (Alaska Dispatch, September 17, 2013), that “Jon Krakauer's latest theory on the death of Chris McCandless suffers from the same flaws as the first two -- a sweeping conclusion based on scanty evidence.”: “Krakauer should take the advice of Tom Clausen, the retired organic chemist from UAF who has spent much of his career studying plants in Alaska and their properties. Clausen said that absent peer-reviewed scientific research he would not make any conclusions about what amounts to a highly technical and complicated scientific question. … I don't make any claims that the report is wrong since I have no data to analyze, but I am skeptical and will remain so until I see a better forum for the results to be published in." \ In response, Krakauer replied to Clausen in the piece, “Jon Krakauer responds: What killed Chris McCandless?” (Alaska Dispatch -- September 19, 2013): “Dr. Clausen is wrong to assume that proper care wasn’t taken to ensure that the toxic beta-ODAP was the form actually tested. … Before my piece was posted on The New Yorker website, its accuracy was independently confirmed by that magazine’s famously meticulous fact-checkers, who consulted with organic chemists and lathyrism experts. .. the standard peer-review process, in and of itself, is no guarantee of credibility. … Their [Clausen & Treadwell’ 2008] paper’s conclusion — “no chemical basis for toxicity could be found” in either species of Hedysarum — therefore shouldn’t be trusted.” Clausen replied to Krakauer in the Comment section: “both isomers would give IDENTICAL mass spectral results and, in most cases, IDENTICAL HPLC results. So using the L isomer as a standard would have no implications for the type of isomer found in the plant. Again, the take home point is that results of this technical nature needs to be placed under a peer review process. To not do so only encourages overstatements such as the one made by you on this subject as well as your previous hypotheses regarding Chris' alleged poisoning. I am very willing to admit the possibility that I missed ODAP in my earlier analysis but I am not willing to admit it as a fact 'till I see the hard data. Isn't this reasonable? So, it looks like we’ll have to wait for more peer reviewed research to see if Krakauer’s ODAP “”explanation” is correct (I certainly don’t have the chemistry background to make an informed
44

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem judgement), or if his New Yorker piece is just Krakauer’s latest attempt “grasping desperately for tenuous explanations to defend his fundamental belief in the Poison Plant Fable.” Update 10-24-13: In the piece, “Chemists Dispute How “Into The Wild” Protagonist Chris McCandless Died” (***, October 22, 2013) some chemists weighed in on the ODAP issue: “… that data, from high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) separations of potato seed extracts, doesn’t show what Krakauer says it does, according to experts who reviewed it for C&EN. In fact, they say, the extract was barely separated at all, making it impossible to tell what the seeds contain. … ‘These experiments are not conclusive in any way’ … Krakauer tells C&EN that Avomeen is conducting another round of analysis, this time with MS [mass spectrometer]. Both Krakauer and Avomeen declined to comment for this story, pending the outcome of that test.

45

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem

“ERASING HEROISM FROM THE HIMALAYA”
“Anatoli Boukreev comes off [in Into Thin Air] as an intransigent Russian guide who doesn’t help clients … he never paints the big picture of one of the most amazing rescues in mountaineering history performed single-handedly a few hours after climbing Mt. Everest without oxygen…” -- Galen Rowell, (Wall Street Journal May 29, 1997) “Depending on your source, Boukreev was either the villain or the hero of the unfortunate events on Everest. … Writing about a person invariably honors them or devalues them. … Krakauer draws his reader toward tabloid-style assumptions that erase heroism from the Himalaya ….” -- Galen Rowell, “American Alpine Journal” (1998)

Over the past couple of years, I’ve read comments on the web referring to a controversy over Krakakuer’s harsh portrayal in his book Into Thin Air of Russian climber Anatoli Boukreev during the May 1996 Mount Everest disaster. However, although I read the book years ago, I didn’t know what the controversy was all about. However, since May 2011, I’ve tried my hand at digging into this controversy. Thus far, my look at the evidence has placed me into the Boukreev camp. Jon Krakauer’s explanations sounded somewhat plausible and reasonable enough on my first forays into this controversy. But, his arguments just don’t hold up well to detailed scrutiny (much along the lines of Samuel Thayer’s analysis of the “poison plant fable” presented in his other book Into the Wild). “It doesn’t bother me that Krakauer was wrong; it bothers me that he was wrong-headed. … Rather than make a genuine effort to gather facts and draw sensible conclusions, he drew extravagant conclusions first; then facts were conjured, contorted, or ignored to support them. … Journalism should be an exercise in finding and communicating the truth, not in obfuscating the obvious explanations in favor of sexier ones that find no factual support. Krakauer’s presentation of the matter seems stubbornly defiant at best. If his reasoning is not obstinately perverse, his arguments are disingenuous.” … ... Unfortunately, I’ve got too much on my plate to document my take on the controvers y. Maybe a nice winter project? Following, are some notes and a draft annotated Bibliography if you want to look into the matter for yourself.

46

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem

However, here’s a few quotes of Krakauer’s that are difficult to reconcile: From “Into Thin Air” (1999, trade paperback): From the “Outside” magazine article (and in the book, p. 10): “At the very end of the line was Scott Fischer … he pulled his mask aside to say hello. “Bruuuuuuce!” …With the Hillary Step finally clear, I clipped into the strand of orange rope, swung quickly around Fischer as he slumped over his ice ax, and rappelled over the edge.” (p.211): “After we exchanged pleasantries, he [Scott Fischer] spoke briefly with Martin Adams and Anatoli Boukreev … Then Fischer plodded slowly on toward the summit, while Harris, Boukreev, Adams, and I turned to rappel down the Step.” (p.313, Postscript): “My main reason for doubting the second conversation [between Scott and Anatoli about his rapid descent] however, comes from what I saw as I began heading down the Hillary Step: as I looked up one last time to check the rappel anchors before descending, I noted that Fischer had already moved well above the small staging area …” So which is it? Was JK’s last sight of Fischer slumped over resting on his ice ax, or plodding slowly on and moving well above the Step? It’s worth noting that Klev Schoening, the next climber to come down from the Summit (“The Climb” in the Mountain Madness Debriefing tapes p. 330) said that “I’m going to estimate that I saw Scott at approximately 2:30, just above the Hillary Step.” ... It appears to me that the controversy started with the Mountain Madness debriefing where Anatoli said he went down to “make tea” and then Lopsang said that Pemba had stayed down on the South col … to “make tea”. Apparently, Klev Schoening lived near Krakauer and passed on that information to Krakauer (at the time they didn’t know that Lopsang had told Pemba to stay in camp; Fischer had told all the sherpas that they could climb). This misunderstanding led to Breashers/Krakauer to say that Anatoli was “dissembling” when he said he went down to be ready to bring O’s back up. Therefore, Krakuaur never even mentioned in his article or book that Anatoli had said his reason for going down was because he had discussed it with Fischer and got his OK.

47

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem So, why else would Anatoli descend so fast? They assumed he was cold because he was climbing without O’s. I don’t buy that argument. It ignores the fact that Anatoli waited on the summit for an hour before heading down, hardly “tagging the summit” (as Krakauer did). Anataloi was in better shape and better acclimatized than anyone else.

See page ** and page ** for JK conflicting accounts; KS meeting SF just above. **** JK said “cut and ran” ** AB ordered down, My take on how it started with “making tea.” & KS & DB comments and Pemba down Asked Lopsang for AB come up. Jeanie comment. **** New to add? Crux that refuses to admit that conversation SF/AB. Based magazine without Martin interview Look at eyewitness. KS account. Construct timeline of where SF. *** trouble with run out o’s on descent *** EV not use O’s on Oyo Kyo **** Changed postscript? Add Beck’s ordeal (abandoned by guides, Dr wrote off, 2 climbers & Halls crew left in tent alone) Neal (too long on top, mistake to help Namba, didn’t see stars, abandoned her)

CONTINUE ACCOUNT LATER ... Update 3-31-13: Note that Christian Bale is supposed to star in a movie about the Everest 1996 disaster. I’ve never had the time to finish my comments in this section “Erasing Heroism from the Himalaya” (that would be another e-book in its own right). If I have the time, I’ll try to work on that in a year or two before the movie comes out.

48

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem Update February 23, 2014: “Everest” is scheduled to be in theaters on February 27, 2015. “Into Thin Air” by Jon Krakauer, will serve as partial inspiration. The script, from William Nicholson and Justin Isbell, however, will also be drawn from supplementary sources including other books and new interviews with the survivors.

49

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem

EVEREST ’96: ANNOTATED BIBILIOGRAPHY
I have neither the time nor energy to present a detailed analysis here (a project for another day). However, if you care to look into this matter for yourself, here’s a suggested outline for digging into this controversy for yourself. Note, a bit of a Draft, will need to flesh it out a bit later. Short on Time: 1.) For an introduction to the Everest ’96 story, I’d suggest reading Peter Wilkinson’s “The Death Zone” (“Men’s Journal” August 1996). I wasn’t able to find a copy on line, but the piece is included in the book “Wild Stories: The Best of Men’s Journal” (2002); you can read excerpts at the google books preview. 2.) For Krakauers’ take on the story, read his original ”Into Thin Air” magazine article (“Outside” August 1996), IF you can find it (“Outside” has removed it from its’ archives and it’s very difficult to find a link to it). 3.) Next, I’d suggest Boukreev’s succinct account of Everest ’96 from his point of view in the Everest chapter of his book, Above the Clouds (2001), a posthumous selection of his journal writings. 4.) The August 1996 mountainzone.com exchange of letters between Krakauer and Boukreev is illuminating. 5.) Anatoli’s “The Oxygen Illusion” (1998) for his perspective on oxygen use on Everest. ... Time to Read the Books: 1.) About a year after his magazine article was published, Krakauer’s book-length version of “Into Thin Air” was published. His absorbing book is well-written and presents a decent overview of the Everest ’96 story (I stayed up late finishing it when I first read it 15 years ago). Make sure you read his 1999 (or later) paperback edition with his Postscript. 2.) For DeWalt & Boukreev’s detailed take on Everest ‘96, read “The Climb” (1999 paperback or later edition). This edition also includes a review by Galen Rowell, a transcript of the Mountain Madness team’s debriefing tapes made just a few days after the disaster which gives a detailed, raw account of their point of view, and a Response to Krakauer’s book.

50

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem

The Salon.com Debate: 1.) "Why Books Err So Often” – Steve Weinberg, The Columbia Journal Review July/Aug 1998. Prompted Krakauer to finally publicly comment on the controversy for the first time. 2.) “Coming Down” -- Dwight Garner, Salon.com, August 3, 1998. A pretty balanced discussion of the controversy. This article resulted in the following salon.com debate:      Everest controversy continues -- Weston DeWalt, Salon.com, August 7, 1998 Rebuttal – Jon Krakauer, Salon.com, August 7, 1998 Everest Debate, Round Two: Weston DeWalt, Salon.com, August 14, 1998 Everest Debate, Round Two: Jon Krakauer, Salon.com, August 14, 1998 Weston DeWalt’s Latest Response, Salon.com, August 20, 1998

Dueling Postscripts: The 1998 illustrated edition of “Into Thin Air” includes a “Postscript” written in “August 1998” discussing the controversy. This postscript was written before the August 1998 salon.com debate; it was adapted as Krakauer’s August 7, 1998 Rebuttal. The 1999 edition of “The Climb” includes “Everest Update: A Response to Jon Krakauer” which responded to Krakauer’s 1998 “Postscript” (not JK’s later revised “Postscript” in the 1999 and later paperbacks). In August 1999, Krakauer revised this “Postscript” for his 1999 trade paperbacks and later editions and added new material not present in the original. Most of the new material was drawn from Krakauer’s salon.com “Round Two” of August 14, 1998 (See the salon.com debate for DeWalt’s response). However, Krakauer did add his “eyewitness” account on p. 313 of the 1999 edition (DeWalt never addressed this “last word” of Krakauer). There was no debate on Krakauer’s part! Even though DeWalt addressed many of Krakauer’s concerns, Krakauer never changed his postscript material afterwards to reflect DeWalt’s responses! Maybe he figures most people that read his book will never read “The Climb” or look at the salon.com material? ...

51

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem Books in the Krakauer Camp: 1.) “Everest: Mountain Without Mercy,” Broughton Coburn (1997). A National Geographic coffee table book. Describes the IMAX expedition and Everest ’96. Nice pictures. Drawn largely from Breashears and Viesturs accounts.

2.) “High Exposure,” David Breashears (1998) Breashear’s (a friend of Krakauer, he did the foreword) either echoed Krakauer’s take on Boukreev or was the source for his idea that Boukreev had to descend rapidly because he was cold since he was climbing without O’s. I just don’t understand why he dismisses Boukreev’s claim he descended to be ready to bring O’s back up to climbers who were running out. Breashear’s himself had problems with that situation in ’85 while guiding Dick Bass down.

3.) “No Shortcuts to the Top,” Ed Viesturs (2006) Ed (and/or his co-author) also echoed Krakauer’s arguments (also a friend of Krakauer). Ed had guided for Hall in ’94 and ’95. He criticized Anatoli for guiding without using O’s. He said (p.41): “I’ve made it an ironclad rule to climb the 8,000ers without bottled oxygen on my own expeditions, when I’ve guided I’ve always used oxygen.” However, he didn’t always use O’s while guiding (p. 179): “Since Cho Oyu is more than two thousand feet lower than Everest, I felt well within my limits guiding it without bottled oxygen.” Well, I’m sure that Boukreev felt that Everest was well within his limits (and he was a stronger climber than Ed). I don’t understand why Ed would say “it doesn’t make sense” to go down to bring O’s back up. He discussed (p. 169) how pushing on after 12 Noon “meant that one would inevitably run out of oxygen on the descent.” Just the previous year, it took him and three other climbers drag down a collapsed client off Everest. Ed does give a nice plug for Boukreev’s “Above the Clouds” (p. 161).

4.) “Left for Dead,” Beck Weathers (2000) Several noticeable inaccuracies. Echoes Krakauer’s remarks. Doesn’t add much info about Everest ’96. More of a personal biography before & after.

52

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem Books in the Boukreev Camp: 1.) “Climbing High,” Lene Gammelgaard (1996) Personal account from a Mountain Madness client. Edited excerpts from her journals. Friendly with Anatoli. Mention of socializing with Henry Todd’s group and a couple brief references to their group on the South Col. 2.) “A Day to Die For,” Graham Ratcliffe (2011) New book. See longer description in the next chapter. Climbed with Anatoli on Everest in ’95 on the Tibet side. On South Col on May 10th but didn’t know of trouble. Book is biographical and describes his tracking down the weather forecasts that IMAX (Breashers & Viesturs) had looking five days out that predicted a blizzard on May 11th Krakauer, Breashears etc. accounts of the whether appear disingenuous. Other Books on Everest ’96: 1.) “Sheer Will,” Micheal Groom (1996). Excerpted in “Epics On Everest, Clint Willis (2003) Chapter which adds a bit more detail from the perspective of one of Hall’s guides. 2.) “Mountain Madness” Robert Birkby (2008) One chapter on Everest ’96. A biography about Scott Fischer from the viewpoints of those who had adventures with him over 20 years.

3.) “The Other Side of Everest” Matt Dickinson (1997) Well-written book about documentary filmmaker climbing the Tibet side of Everest in ‘96 For documentaries and other sources of information about Everest ’96: 1.) IMAX “Everest” movie (1997) 3.) PBS Frontline, “Storm Over Everest” (2006). See website also. 2.) PBS Nova, Everest: The Death Zone (1997). Transcripts on website. 4.) “Into Thin Air” TV Movie (1997). Terribly inaccurate portrayal.
53

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem Other Everest ’96 References: 1.) “The Altitude Experience” Mike Farris (2008) 2.) “Climbing without O’s” John B. West (PBS Nova, Everest: The Death Zone) ... Update 3-31-13: This Bibliography is nowhere near complete. I wrote it in mid-July 2011, but I kept reading more until September 2011 (and still have one book left to read). Nothing I read contradicted my take on the affair. As I said before, I never finished writing up my research. “one book” by South Africans, mentioned weather forecasts in ’96! Reading latest by Ed Viestures 2011 Annapurna & 2013 Everest book.

54

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem

“A DAY TO DIE FOR”
1996: Everest’s Worst Disaster
The Untold True Story Graham Ratcliffe (2011)
“The most powerful form of lie is the omission, and it is the duty of the historian to make sure those lies do not creep into the history books.” -- George Orwell

This new book that just came out in the UK just a few months ago in March 2011. Ratcliffe has uncovered new information about Everest ’96 and raises questions about the honestly of several of those who recorded Everest history. Ratcliffe was on the South Col on the night of May 10, 1996 with four other members of Henry Todd’s team. However, he arrived just as the storm hit and he didn’t know people were missing in the storm. Communications was shitty. Their radio was off after their 7 PM radio check. He had climbed Everest the previous year with Anatoli and would have helped if he had known there was trouble. Anatoli, when he needed help in his rescues, didn’t know Todd’s team was just 50 feet away, with five fresh climbers. Ratcliffe’s team checked with Hall and Fischer’s teams early AM on May 11th and thought that everyone was OK. They didn’t realize that Hall and Fischer were still up the mountain or that Beck and Namba were still out on the Col. Todd told Ratcliffe to descend with a young climber early the next morning. Ratcliffe didn’t know there were climbers in trouble until he was descending down to camp three. Years later, Ratcliffe found out that David Breashear’s IMAX team, as well as Mal Duff’s team had been getting accurate 5-day forecasts of weather on Everest. They had been passing some of this information to Hall and Fischer. Breashears decided to come down on May 9th because of high winds and a forecast of increasing wind (impossible to shoot IMAX which required bare hands to change the film). The blizzard which hit the climbers was not a “rogue” storm. Breashears knew for sure it was coming; how much did he tell Hall & Fischer of the blizzard forecast for May 11th? Apparently, they thought they could get up and down just before it hit. Perhaps the forecast gave them too much of a sense of security. But it was crazy to ignore a 2PM turnaround time given knowledge of an approaching blizzard.

55

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem Krakauer never listed Ratcliffe in his first edition as being present on Everest in ‘96. Later, in his 1999 edition, he included all the members of Henry Todd’s team and included a brief mention that Anatoli never contacted them for help. But, Krakauer never interviewed any of the members of that team to get their accounts (Brigitte Muir wrote an account “The Wind in Her Hair” along with Ratcliffe). Krakauer never mentioned Breashears & Veisturs coming down from the South Col meeting with Hall & Fischer and their discussion of the weather. At least in retrospect, you would have thought he would have passed on a warning of an approaching blizzard to other teams (including on the other side of Everest) that were climbing that night. Krakauer refers to the blizzard as a “rogue” storm, just another afternoon squall. Krakauer never dug into this weather forecast issue, perhaps because of his friendship with Breashears? Incompetence or cover-up? And Breashears has been disingenuous in his varied accounts over the years. From reading him, you would believe he (and others) only started getting forecasts after the disaster. In the 2008 “Storm over Everest” PBS program, Breashears was asked about the weather forecast and said there wasn’t an accurate one then. This book is definitely worth reading if you want to know more about why the Everest disaster happened and to add more twists to the story.

56

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem

REMEMBER THE ICONOCLAST, NOT THE ICON

Patrick Tillman, Sr.-- Memorial Service (May 2004)

Richard Tillman -- Memorial Service (May 4, 2004)

“I didn’t write shit because I’m not a writer. … I’m not just going to sit here and break down on you. But thanks for coming. Pat’s a fucking champion and always will be. Just make no mistake, he’d want me to say this, He’s not with God; He’s fucking dead. He’s not religious. So, thanks for your thoughts, but he’s fucking dead.”

57

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem

REMEMBER THE ICONOCLAST, NOT THE ICON
[adapted from October 2005 “Letter to the Editor” (in ” A Sense of Honor,” Appendix “F”)]

Note: I handed this editorial to Stan Goff after one of his presentations in March 2006. Just a couple of weeks later Stan published his first Tillman article, “Telling Transformative Tales: The Strange Post Ranger Saga of Pat Tillman” on April 5th 2006. ... Six years ago, I believed Pat Tillman was a patriotic “dumb jock”. I refused to watch any of the flag waving coverage of his memorial service. It seemed like a sideshow distraction to the breaking Abu Gharib story. But the reality of Pat was much deeper than his iconic image. In October 2005, I read David Zirin’s article, “Our Hero.” I discovered a side of Pat Tillman not widely known –a fiercely independent thinker, avid reader (a favorite author was Noam Chomsky), and critic of the Bush administration and the Iraq war (“…this war is so fucking illegal”). Pat was a remarkable man who was driven by a core of honesty and integrity, led by personal example, and lived his life intensely. I’ve taken the cover-up of Pat Tillman’s death a bit personally. Like Stan Goff, I feel a sense of kinship with Pat Tillman. In 1983, when I was “young and dumb,” I enlisted with an Airborne Ranger Long-Range Recon Patrol (LRRP) company. I grew up in the Army, enjoyed the camaraderie and the challenges. But, the lies of the first Gulf War were the last straw. After eight years, I finally left the Army in March 1991, and have been a firefighter the past 19 years. I was angered that the truth about Pat’s life and death had been buried by the media and government. Tillman was enshrined as an icon while the man fell by the wayside, his parents used as props at his funeral. Pat’s family still don’t have the meager consolation of knowing the truth about his death. “The truth may be painful, but it’s the truth,” his mother said. “If you feel you’re being lied to, you can never put it to rest.” ... Let us honor Pat Tillman’s memory by honoring the man, not the myth. The iconoclast, not the icon. As his mother said, “Pat would have wanted to be remembered as an individual, not as a stock figure or political prop. Pat was a real hero, not what they used him as.” Pat Tillman, never at a loss for words himself, is now silent. Of the many tragic aspects surrounding his death, one is that he cannot define his own legacy. Now, it’s up to his family and friends to reclaim the truth and integrity of Pat’s life and death.

58

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem

PATRICK TILLMAN
November 6, 1976 – April 22, 2004 Pat lived in New Alamaden for most of his life. He came to love it for its’ history and community spirit. He roamed the hills with his brothers as a kid, then hiked and trained in them as an athlete and soldier. Pat was a loved son, brother, husband and faithful friend. He was a voracious reader, inquisitive scholar, civic volunteer, aggressive athlete and a patriotic and selfless soldier. New Alamaden and the nation lost Patrick Tillman in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004 in service to his country. -- New Alamaden Bulmore Park Memorial Plaque ... “I was stronger then, but I am fiercer now. I was so certain of life, and of my place in it. I was so sure of my love, and of my future. I now have none of those certainties, but at least I can comprehend pain. I was so ready, so eager to fight and now I pay, richly pay, for having fought.” … “I guess that’s what the world does to you. It makes you realize that honor and loyalty are traps with no reward.” -- Senator James Webb, “A Sense of Honor” (1981) “I found myself awash with a sense of injustice that I could not define. Or perhaps it was merely that I was young. I had never seen with such clarity that … courage could destroy one man while flight could make another man king.” “I knew it was fruitless at this point but still I felt a call for justice, an anger that life does not always reward the right intentions, that the cycles of days and years and seasons lull us into thinking that in all things there will be second chances, and even thirds, when in some things we have only one. And sometimes we never know we had that single chance until it disappears.” -- Senator James Webb, “The Emperor’s General” (1999) “If nothing ever works out all the way, and if all things change, what’s left? Y our family and your friends and your values, that’s what’s left. And your duty to them … They’re the only important things in life. … And that the rest of it might change a million times, be called wrong or right or anything else, but you must never violate your loyalty if you wished to survive the judgment of the ages. -- Senator James Webb, “A Country Such As This” (1981)
59

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem

“DO NOT FORGET THE MOUNTAINEERS”

"Mountains are not stadiums where I satisfy my ambition to achieve, they are the cathedrals where I practice my religion. I go to them as humans go to worship. From their lofty summits I view my past, dream of the future and, with an unusual acuity, am allowed to experience the present moment... my vision cleared, my strength renewed. In the mountains I celebrate creation. On each journey I am reborn." -- Anatoli Boukreev, “Above the Clouds” (2001) “On Christmas Day, 1997, Anatoli Boukreev died in an avalanche on the slopes of Annapurna in the Himalaya. … Anatoli was the true mountaineer. Straight and uncorrupted. He never pampered people, but he would risk his life once you were in real trouble. He came from a different culture and was sometimes misunderstood – as tough as the mountains he loved. Anatoli was also a tender man with a philosopher’s soul. For those of us who took the time to get to know him, we were rewarded by his fine qualities, which were abundant.” -- Lene Gammelgaard, “Climbing High” (1999) “Mountains have the power to call us into their realms and there, left forever, are our friends whose great souls were longing for the heights. Do not forget the mountaineers who have not returned from the summits.” -- Anatoli Boukreev, inscription written in “The Climb” for Ervand Ilinski
60

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem

“MOUNTAIN MADNESS”

Add MM quotes

AB: “sorry scott”

61

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem

ANALYSIS OF THE PREFACE TO JON KRAKAUER’S REVISED PAPERBACK EDITION OF WHERE MEN WIN GLORY – THE ODYSSEY OF PAT TILLMAN
Preface to the Anchor Edition [revised paperback edition, July 2010] (pp. xvii – xviii):
This substantially revised edition of Where Men Win Glory includes new material that casts the Pat Tillman tragedy in sharper relief, and leaves little doubt about who directed the cover-up of the fratricide. To put these revisions in perspective, some background might be helpful. I submitted the manuscript of the book’s first edition in February 2009, a few weeks after Barack Obama became president. Shortly before the book was sent to the printer, and too late to make changes, I learned important new information about the Army’s campaign to conceal the cause of Tillman’s death from his family and the American public. Following publication of the first edition in September [15,] 2009, I discovered additional evidence of deceit by high-ranking Army officers. Some of these previously undisclosed facts were unearthed through multiple Freedom of Information Act requests; other pieces of the puzzle were inadvertently divulged when General Stanley McChrystal was obligated to testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee in June 2009, following his nomination by President Obama to command NATO and American forces in Afghanistan. When considered as a whole, the wrongdoing described in the pages that follow is deeply disturbing, in no small part because one of the most culpable malfeasants turns out to be an exalted military leader [Gen. McChrystal] who’s been shielded from accountability or punishment for the past six years. Jon Krakauer, April 2010 ... 1.) “This substantially revised [paperback] edition [released July 27, 2010] of Where Men Win Glory includes new material that casts the Pat Tillman tragedy in sharper relief, and leaves little doubt about who directed the cover-up of the fratricide.” “Substantially revised …” might be a bit of a stretch. It appears that Jon Krakauer only added about 10 pages of totally new material to his revised paperback edition (many of his revisions involved edits of just a few words or phrases). The bulk of his new material is found in Chapters 32, 33, and 34 which describe the actions the Army took to cover-up Tillman’s

62

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem friendly-fire death. Much of Chapter 33 was adapted from his “Daily Beast” article, “Gen. McChrystal’s Credibility Problem,” published October 14, 2009. Krakauer’s new material does “leave little doubt about who directed the cover-up” of Pat Tillman’s friendly-fire death. Krakauer’s revisions cast the “tragedy in sharper relief” by describing in more detail the cover-up of Pat Tillman’s friendly-fire death by Army officers; particularly the Ranger RGT commanders [COL Nixon, LTC Kauzlarich, LTC Bailey] and Gen. Stanley McChrystal. And, he also describes in more detail how other Army officers deceived the medical examiner who refused to sign-off on the autopsy. In the hardcover edition, Gen. McChrystal was barely a footnote. He was only mentioned as learning of the fratricide the next day, “expediting” the Silver Star, and sending a P4 memo to “alert his superiors that someone needed to warn President Bush…” However, in the revised paperback edition, Krakauer describes McChrystal as playing a “central role in the scandal” and includes much more detail on McChrystal’s actions. Krakauer’s new material “leaves little doubt” that Gen. McChrystal was the general officer who “directed the cover-up” on the ground in Afghanistan.

2.) “To put these revisions in perspective, some background might be helpful. I submitted the manuscript of the book’s first edition in February 2009, a few weeks after Barack Obama became president. Shortly before the book was sent to the printer, and too late to make changes, I learned important new information about the Army’s campaign to conceal the cause of Tillman’s death from his family and the American public.” Here, Jon Krakauer provided “some background” to justify why he didn’t include this new material in the hardcover edition of his book. Krakauer claimed that he “learned important new information,” in the six-month period before the book was published in September 2009, but too late to include in the first edition. However, I believe Krakauer is disingenuous here, at best. My analysis of his revisions didn’t reveal any “important” new information that Krakauer discovered in this six month period prior to his book’s publication. And, Krakauer didn’t list any new sources of information in his References (besides the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) IG interviews and the transcript of McChrystal’s June 2, 2009 Senate confirmation hearing, both of which he says he obtained only after publication of his book). I carefully analyzed Krakauer’s revisions. I compared the text of the hardcover edition to that of the softcover edition, paragraph by paragraph (and in more detail where necessary) to document
63

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem his revisions. In “Appendix E: Revisions Made to Paperback Edition of Where Men Win Glory,” I’ve labeled each revised excerpt with the page number where it appears in each edition, and indicated the changes. I’ve organized the revisions primarily by the source of the new material (e.g. FOIA, transcript of Senate hearing, etc.) Perhaps I missed something. However, I suspect that Krakauer attempted to justify his failure to include the details of Gen. McChrystal’s central role in his first edition. Perhaps Krakauer was merely embarrassed to admit that he missed uncovering this material before the publication of his hardcover edition.

3.) “Following publication of the first [hardcover] edition in September [15,] 2009, I discovered additional evidence of deceit by high-ranking Army officers [Ranger RGT officers, Gen. McChrystal, etc.]” “I discovered…” Only if your definition of “discovered” includes having 250 pages of research material literally placed into your hands! Krakauer’s shows further deceit with his claim here. Where Men Win Glory was released on September 15, 2009. Just two days later, at his book signing in his hometown of Boulder CO on September 17, 2009, my Aunt Candy hand-delivered my package of Tillman material to Krakauer (and got an autograph). My material consisted of a cover letter (Sept. 12, 2009), a “postscript” letter (with corrections) reviewing his book (Sept. 17, 2009), and two large binders: “Did They Teach You to Lie Yet? – Senator James Webb, General Stanley McChrystal, and the Betrayal of Pat Tillman.” I argued that the top leadership of the Army, Waxman’s House Oversight Committee, and Senator Carl Levin’s Senate Armed Services Committee acted to shield McChrystal from scrutiny and protect him from punishment for his actions. “Lies … Borne Out by Facts, If Not the Truth” – Senator James Webb, Thom Shanker & The New York Times, and the Whitewash of General Stanley McChrystal.” This binder explored the role of NYT Washington Pentagon reporter Thom Shanker in “clearing” McChrystal of any wrongdoing. In addition, I described my interactions with Senator Webb’s office and speculated at President Obama’s role in the Tillman case. (See Appendix B for these letters and the Table of Contents of these binders. The full contents of the binders are posted at http://www.feralfirefighter.blogspot.com) Perhaps Krakauer somehow “discovered” his “new evidence” in the two days “following publication of the first edition in September 2009.” However, it’s much more likely my material was the ultimate source of the new material in his paperback edition.

64

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem Did Krakauer read my Tillman material? (Krakauer has never bothered to contact me). Well, my analysis showed he used some of my corrections, many of his revisions appear to echo words & phrases from my binders (or the information can be found in my binders), and his article “Gen. McChrystal’s Credibility Problem” focused on the same revelations of McChrystal’s Senate testimony that were also described in “Did They Teach You How to Lie Yet?” (See Appendix E). In addition, a look at Krakauer’s media interviews before and after Sept 17th is revealing. Before Sept 17th, Krakauer said: “… McChrystal, … is probably the best man for the job [command of Afghan War]. Nevertheless, he was as deeply involved in the cover-up as anyone. …“very deliberately expedit[ed] a recommendation for a Silver Star in which the witness statements had been falsified and the report states he was killed by enemy fire.” …“I don’t know if he [Gen. McChrystal] knew the [Silver Star recommendation] witness accounts had been falsified [when he forwarded them]. I do know, he was absolutely certain that Tillman was killed by friendly fire” … “He signed off on what he knew was a falsified recommendation for a Silver Star.” After Sept. 17th, Krakauer said: “They immediately decide to give him [Tillman] the Silver Star medal … and the guy they put in charge of making this happen is Gen. Stanley McChrystal.”… “There was no enemy fire, yet McChrystal authored, he closely supervised over a number of days this fraudulent medal recommendation that talked about devastating enemy fire.”… “You know, in the past, he's made it sound like, oh, yeah, I was sort of peripherally involved and I was handed these documents that I signed for the Silver Star, this is what he told the Senate.” … “Not only involved; he was at the center of it. He played a pivotal role.” …”was instrumental, probably the point man for this cover-up” … “He claims, I didn't read it carefully enough to notice that it didn't mention friendly-fire. Now, anyone who knows McChrystal knows that's preposterous.” … “He's lied to the Senate Armed Services Committee.” …”I don't think he should be in the job. I think he is the best man for the job.” … “…someone who has this blemish on his record should not be our commander in Afghanistan.” … “Seven investigations, two or three Congressional investigations, and every time they get stonewalled at the top, at the level of the administration and top generals. … McChrystal should come clean, and tell what really happened.” So, in less than two weeks, Krakauer’s opinion changed from McChrystal being “the best man” to “… someone who has this blemish on his record should not be our commander in Afghanistan.

65

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem 4.) “Some of these previously undisclosed facts were unearthed through multiple Freedom of Information Act [FOIA] requests;…” None of these “previously undisclosed facts” appeared in his “McChrystal’s Credibilty Problem” nor were they mentioned in his November 2009 interviews. Sometime after November 2009, Jon Krakauer used the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to obtain Inspector General (IG) interviews with the following officers: LTC Jeffrey Bailey, COL James Craig Nixon, LTG Stan McChrystal, Major Charles Kirchmaier, LTC Norman Allen, Commander Craig Mallak, and BG Gina Farrisee. The FOIA interviews provided more detail on the stonewalling of the Medical Examiner Mallak by Nixon & McChrystal’s JAG lawyers (Kirchmaier and Allen), and BG Farrisee (who Krakauer appears to credulously believe was not part of this deception). In addition, the FOIA interviews provided some more details of how Gen. McChrystal directed the Ranger RGT’s cover-up. ... But, ultimately, Krakauer is disingenuous to claim he “discovered “these “previously undisclosed facts” from the FOIA interviews. True, none of these facts appeared in the Tillman material I sent to him. However, his claim is deceitful since he apparently learned about the existence of these IG interviews from reading my binders: From “Did They Teach You to Lie Yet?”: “So, McChrystal, Nixon, and/or Abiziad lied about when they learned about “suspected” fratricide during their interviews with the DoD Inspector General and before Congress. A look at their IG interviews would be illuminating and resolve this question [Scott Laidlaw at AP got these interviews through FOIA, but I haven’t seen them].” From “Lies Borne Out by Facts, If Not the Truth”: “A couple of weeks ago, while reading your article, “Pat Tillman’s Mother Recalls Journey for Facts” (5-13-08), you mentioned AP had obtained new documents under FOIA … Do your FOIA documents also include testimony from GEN McChrystal …”

66

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem 5.) ”… other pieces of the puzzle were inadvertently divulged when General Stanley McChrystal was obligated to testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee in June 2009, following his nomination by President Obama to command NATO and American forces in Afghanistan.” In May 2009, over the objections of the Tillman family, President Obama nominated Gen. McChrystal to be his new Afghan commander. On June 2, 2009, McChrystal testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee during his confirmation hearing. This hearing was strictly pro-forma (the real hearing had been heard the previous year behind closed doors in executive session where McChrystal testified “in detail”). Notice that Jon Krakauer never explained why he “discovered” McChrystal’s Senate testimony only after his book release on September 15, 2009. Apparently Jon Krakauer hadn’t paid much attention to this hearing at the time (perhaps he only saw the news clips or read the newspaper. You would have thought he would have watched it on CSPAN or gotten the transcript). In his interviews prior to September 17th, Krakauer never mentioned McChrystal’s Senate testimony. Once again, it’s apparent that he “discovered” the existence of this testimony from my binders (unless he miraculously discovered it within two days of publication). The first time Krakauer mentions McChrystal’s Senate testimony was on Jon Stewart’s Daily Show on September 30, 2009 (just two weeks after getting my material). On October 14, 2009, Krakauer published the Daily Beast article “McChrystal’s Credibility Problem.” This article had new information not present in the hardcover edition: Gen. McChrystal’s Nomination by President Obama to Head Afghan War Confirmed After Pro Forma Senate Hearing, McChrystal Closely Supervised the Fraudulent Silver Star Recommendation, Gen. McChrystal Spun the P4 Memo As Proof He Didn’t Conceal Friendly Fire, and Although the Best Man for the Job, Gen. McChrystal’s Deceit Matters. Much of the new information appears to be drawn from (or inspired by the chapter, “Senate Armed Services Commttee’s Confirmation of General McChrystal,” found in the binder “Did They Teach You How to Lie Yet?” (See Appendix D & E) ... Once again, Krakauer was deceitful in claiming to have discovered “other pieces of the puzzle” in McChrystal’s testimony when this information was spoon-fed to him. Note: Despite writing in his Daily Beast piece that, “During the committee hearing … none of McChrystal’s inquisitors probed deeply into either of these issues [Tillman & torture at Camp Nama],“ Krakauer failed to discuss the Senate Confirmation hearing in his book.

67

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem 6.) “When considered as a whole, the wrongdoing described in the pages that follow is deeply disturbing, in no small part because one of the most culpable malfeasants turns out to be an exalted military leader [Gen. Stanley McChrystal] …” Yes, Krakauer is correct to state that Gen. McChrystal was “one of the most culpable malfeasants.” His own testimony and other evidence shows that he was the general officer with “boots on the ground” who supervised the Ranger RGT’s cover-up and falsified Silver Star. However, I’ve got some “sympathy for the Devil” here. Ultimately, McChrystal was a cog in the machine. The entire Army (and Department of Defense) chain of command to the very top was involved in this cover-up (Krakauer writes of McChrystal’s close ties with both Cheney and Rumsfeld, who “kept in close touch with him”). I’ve focused in my research on McChrystal not because he’s worse than the rest of the officers, but because he left a paper trail with the Silver Star and “inadvertently” admitted his culpability in his Senate testimony. I’ve reserved my greatest disdain for the Democratic Congress and President Obama who continued the Bush administration and Army cover-up to protect Gen. McChrystal and others from being held accountable for their actions.

7.) “…who’s been shielded from accountability or punishment for the past six years.” Jon Krakauer doesn’t say who “shielded” McChrystal “from accountability or punishment for the past six years.”? Certainly, the Army and Department of Defense protected McChrystal who was a rising star in the Army in 2007. As Krakauker noted, “The Army … took no action against McChrystal despite his central role in the scandal.” However, in his revised paperback edition, despite being given an outline of that argument in the binder “Did They Teach You How to Lie Yet?,” Jon Krakauer still failed to describe how the Democratic Congress “shielded’ McChrystal (Since 2009, I’ve described that argument in greater detail, along with President Obama’s role, in my “The [Untold] Tillman Story” and “The Emperor’s General”). In my September 17, 2009 letter to Krakauer (Appendix B) I wrote: “ Your book ends with Waxman’s House committee being unable to find out who was responsible for the cover-up, largely because of stonewalling by the Bush White House. Congressman Waxman stated in frustration, “What we have is a very clear, deliberate abuse intentionally done. Why is it so hard to find out who did it?” You properly cast blame on the top leadership of the Army and the White House that “… used every means at its disposal to obstruct the congressional investigation into Tillman’s death and its aftermath…”

68

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem “But, I believe your account of the cover-up ends far too soon with Bush’s press conference August 9, 2007. The cover-up continued up through the June 2, 2009 confirmation hearing of General McChrystal as the Commander of the Afghan War. Perhaps the end was the unanimous voice vote by the Senate begged for by Senate Majority Leader Reid on June 12th.” “Blaming Bush and the Army for the cover-up, with the Democratic Congress as the champions in pursuit of the truth is too simple. In reality, the cover-up has been a thoroughly bipartisan affair, with Congress and the Obama Presidency continuing to protect especially General McChrystal from punishment and to shield his actions from scrutiny. Just as with warrantless wiretapping and torture, those responsible have not been held accountable. “They’re moving forward, not looking back.” “It’s not surprising that after the initial fratricide cover-up fell apart, that Army officers and the Bush administration lied to protect their careers. Reprehensible, but understandable. But the Democratic Congress, after they took control of both Houses in 2006, could have gone after those responsible. Or at least not promoted them! Their hands are dirty as well with the betrayal of Pat Tillman.” So, it’s not for a lack of knowledge that Krakauer failed to describe this “untold story” in his revised paperback. Krakauer didn’t spare McChrystal in his book. But he has “shielded” the Democratic Congress and President Obama for their failure to hold McChrystal and other Army officers responsible for the cover-up of Pat Tillman’s friendly-fire death. Krakauer wrote in his Daily Beast piece that, “During the committee hearing … none of McChrystal’s inquisitors probed deeply into either of these issues [Tillman & torture at Camp Nama].“ However, in his revised book, Krakauer didn’t include any discussion of the June 2, 2009 Senate Confirmation hearing except in reference to McChrystal’s testimony. Incredibly, Krakauer never even mentions the second Congressional Tillman hearing held on August 1, 2007 in which Congressman Waxman allowed McChrystal to “decline” to testify (he only includes a passing reference to “a hearing last week on Capitol Hill … officials used some version of “I don’t recall” 82 times”). The transcript isn’t even listed in his Notes! So why did Krakauer choose to whitewash the role of President Obama and the Democratic Congress? Perhaps he has a partisan bias for the Democratic Party? Maybe he was too lazy to revise the end of his book? Maybe he wanted a simple storyline (with the Good Democrats “investigated” but were stone-walled by the Bad Bush administration)? Perhaps it would bruise his ego to admit he had failed to find out this part of the story by himself? It’s a mystery to me.

69

APPENDIX A:
Krakauer Interviews BEFORE September 17, 2009
Before Sept 17th, Krakauer said: “… McChrystal, … is probably the best man for the job [command of Afghan War]. Nevertheless, he was as deeply involved in the cover-up as anyone. …“very deliberately expedit[ed] a recommendation for a Silver Star in which the witness statements had been falsified and the report states he was killed by enemy fire.” …“I don’t know if he [Gen. McChrystal] knew the [Silver Star recommendation] witness accounts had been falsified [when he forwarded them]. I do know, he was absolutely certain that Tillman was killed by friendly fire” … “He signed off on what he knew was a falsified recommendation for a Silver Star.”

After Sept. 17th, Krakauer said: “They immediately decide to give him [Tillman] the Silver Star medal … and the guy they put in charge of making this happen is Gen. Stanley McChrystal.”… “There was no enemy fire, yet McChrystal authored, he closely supervised over a number of days this fraudulent medal recommendation that talked about devastating enemy fire.”… “You know, in the past, he's made it sound like, oh, yeah, I was sort of peripherally involved and I was handed these documents that I signed for the Silver Star, this is what he told the Senate.” … “Not only involved; he was at the center of it. He played a pivotal role.” …”was instrumental, probably the point man for this cover-up” … “He claims, I didn't read it carefully enough to notice that it didn't mention friendly-fire. Now, anyone who knows McChrystal knows that's preposterous.” … “He's lied to the Senate Armed Services Committee.” …”I don't think he should be in the job. I think he is the best man for the job.” … “…someone who has this blemish on his record should not be our commander in Afghanistan.” “Seven investigations, two or three Congressional investigations, and every time they get stonewalled at the top, at the level of the administration and top generals. … McChrystal should come clean, and tell what really happened.” ... So, in less than two weeks, Krakauer’s opinion changed from McChrystal being “the best man” to “… someone who has this blemish on his record should not be our commander in Afghanistan.
1

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem

Summary of Excerpts from Jon Krakauer Interviews BEFORE September 17, 2009 Book Signing In Boulder, CO
Note: All quotes are from Jon Krakauer unless indicated otherwise. Some quotes have been rearranged for clarity. See the Appendices for links to original interviews and longer excerpts.

“On Martial Virtue … and Selling Jon Krakauer’s Crappy New Book”
The book [Where Men Win Glory] has received mixed reviews so far. … In The Washington Post, Andrew Exum, a former Army officer in Afghanistan [and fellow at the Washington think tank CNAS], praised the early material but took issue with the book’s coverage of Afghan war. Note: Exum was later admonished by the Washington Post ombudsman for not revealing his close personal & professional ties with Gen. Stanley McChrystal. Exum angrily responded to Krakauer’s statement on Meet the Press, that McChrystal lied during testimony before the Senate, with his post “On Martial Virtue … and Selling Jon Krakauer’s Crappy New Book” on his blog “Abu Mugawama”. In writing the book, Krakauer denied having political motives or a dislike for the Bush administration. … However, he later said that, “… A lot of these soldiers don't share my [?Democratic Party?] political views.” What were the greatest lessons you learned from Pat Tillman’s life and the way he lived it? What did Mr. Tillman's sacrifice mean? “It didn't mean anything. It speaks to the mythology of war and how we glorify it for our national interests. There is nothing glamorous or romantic about war. It's mostly about random pointless death and misery. And that's what his death tells us. It reminds me that the good aren't rewarded, there's no such thing as karma. Maybe it says something about the dangers of any sort of idealism that isn't tempered by pragmatism or experience.” “There were a lot of them. That it’s not easy to be virtuous. That there is no guarantee that it will be rewarded. Also: Doing the right thing can be dangerous. And there’s probably no such thing as karma.” Note: “I guess that‘s what the world does to you. It makes you realize that honor and loyalty are traps with no reward” -- Senator James Webb, A Sense of Honor (1981)
2

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem Are you certain that the events surrounding Mr. Tillman's final hours unfolded exactly as you've described them? “Yes, I'm quite confident. It took a lot of time and effort. I've been working on this book for three-and-a-half to four years, and it's been a long, difficult haul. It's the most challenging book I've written. I tried very hard to get this right. I sent chapters in full to every soldier that I interviewed and quoted so that they could see their quotes. A lot of these soldiers don't share my political views. It was a risk, but it created real benefits in terms of accuracy. I also read 3,000 or 4,000 pages of testimony.” "I've been very conservative with my fact checking," he said. "The stuff in my book is true. Stuff that I believe to be true but I couldn't prove is not in the book." … ... “Actually, I talked to them [the Tillman family] quite a bit. But they decided they did not want to be quoted in the book. I showed them an early draft, a very rough draft, they just weren’t happy with that, they wanted Mary’s [Pat Tillman’s mother] book [Boots on the Ground by Dusk 5/2008] to be their statement.” Note: Krakauer delayed his book that was due to the publisher on 2/2008; he wanted to pursue the Jessica Lynch angle & the friendly fire of Marines that same day. He spent 3 months investigating that, fried, took break for a couple of months; took a year to finish up book.

The Bush Administration & Army’s Cover-Up of Pat Tillman’s Friendly-Fire Death:
“Where Men Win Glory is extremely critical of the military and its role in concealing that Tillman … was the victim of friendly fire. Mr. Krakauer documents a web of deceit and coverup that most likely extended all the way to the office of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and certainly involved a number of top generals, including Stanley A. McChrystal…” “The Bush administration placed more emphasis on spinning the war, on managing perceptions of the war, than on waging it well.” …”You don't normally see the feverish manipulation of information that you saw with Tillman.”… “This was an extraordinary case of manipulation of public perception, which is what the Bush administration specialized in.” "Within hours, certainly, and probably less, the Ranger regiment — officers, high-ranking officers back in the States [actually COL Nixon, LTC Kauzlarich, and LTC Bailey] were in Afghanistan] — were conspiring to cover this up," Krakauer says.”
3

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem

Ranger RGT Officers Had Pat Tillman’s Uniform, Body Armor, and Journal Burned & Lied to the Medical Examiners about the Cause of his Death:
“All the forensic evidence … were burned.” … "When they sent Pat's body back to the States for the autopsy they burned his uniform, they burned his body armor, they burned his journal.” “… and his weapon, helmet, even a part of his brain, which fell to the ground after the attack, disappeared.” “Army officials told the medical examiners that Tillman had been killed by the Taliban — and they stuck by this story when they reported the death to his family. "The Army intentionally lied [to the medical examiners]," Krakauer says. "They just broke regulation after regulation."

Ranger RGT Officers Wrote a Fraudulent Silver Star Recommendation with Falsified Witness Statements & Gen. McChrystal Expedited the Medal and Signed Off on It Although They Knew It Was a Friendly Fire Death:
“A recommendation to award Tillman with a Silver Star medal, one of the U.S. military's highest honors, immediately began moving through the Army ranks — something that is not done for deaths by friendly fire, Krakauer says.” … “Instantly, everyone knew it was friendly fire. But within hours, by sworn testimony, a move was made to give him a Silver Star. That's not typical in a friendly fire situation.” Krakauer points out that Gen. Stanley McChrystal, … signed off on the Silver Star recommendation, even though he knew that Tillman's death was a result of friendly fire. …“I don’t know if he [Gen. McChrystal] knew the [Silver Star recommendation] witness accounts had been falsified [when he forwarded them]. I do know, he was absolutely certain that Tillman was killed by friendly fire, 24 hours later he knew that.” “We’re talking about Gen. McChrystal, knowing without a doubt, that it was friendly-fire and very deliberately expediting a recommendation for a Silver Star in which the witness statements had been falsified and the report states he was killed by enemy fire. Now, that’s not ‘buffoonery’, [reference to Andrew Exum’s book review] that’s something else.” McChrystal signed it [the Silver Star recommendation] the day before he sent the urgent P4 memo [supposedly warning President Bush not to mention Tillman’s heroics in speeches to avoid possible embarassment] “It was not meant for the generals, they already knew that [it was friendly fire]. It was meant for the White House.”

4

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem "He has apologized to the family. It was one of these 'mistakes were made' kind of things, but he has not come clean. He has not told what really happened and he needs to," Krakauer said. … “He has not told what conversations he had with Rumsfeld or Cheney’s office.” If you were able to report this, why didn't government investigators dig more deeply? “They were able. They didn't want to. Their conclusions weren't based on a reading of the facts. They didn't want to find out the worst. It's the opposite of a criminal prosecution or a plane crash investigation. Military investigations are designed not to find anyone guilty. And you can't investigate up the chain of command, which is a huge impediment.” “Did you find any smoking gun?”: “There was a lot of circumstantial evidence”. … “At Congressional hearings, the generals said ‘I don’t recall 80 times.’ There’s been this stonewalling. …The Defense Dept. is not interested. Going through the motions.” Note: This 8-01-07 hearing alluded to with the “80 times” remark was never discussed in Krakauer’s book.

Gen. McChrystal is “Probably the Best Man for the Job” in Afghanistan:
A central figure in the book is Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the current commander in Afghanistan, who Krakauer says was "one of the main instigators." … “The story still hasn’t been fully told. The commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who I think is probably the best man for the job. Nevertheless, he was as deeply involved in the cover-up as anyone. He signed off on what he knew was a falsified recommendation for a Silver Star. He apologized for that, but he hasn’t come clean about much else. He hasn’t revealed his involvement, or who he spoke to, or when he knew, or when Rumsfeld knew. It’s not like we know everything. We still don’t.” … "McChrystal is extremely quiet. He covers his tracks, he avoids publicity." Krakauer said.

The Army “Still Hasn’t Come Clean” About Pat Tillman’s Death:
"That's a very conscious effort to cover things up, up and down the chain of command. And the Army still hasn't come clean," Krakauer said in the interview. "That bothers me. So I guess, when that kind of stuff happens, it's easy for me -- my outrage seeps in and I don't feel any qualms about naming names." … "You've got to explain what happened, and when you explain what happened, you've got to name names," Krakauer said in an interview in Boulder, where he lives. "It doesn't do any good to say, 'Mistakes were committed, mistakes were made,' in that passive voice that's so annoying."
5

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem “The Army still hasn’t come clean,” he said. Referring to an inscription on [the West Point Military Academy] campus he added: “Out there you have the Honor Code: ‘A cadet will not lie, cheat or steal, or tolerate those who do.’ What happened to lead those officers to do the wrong thing?” …“I was just at West Point two days ago” (9-14-09). Honor Code. What happened to those guys? They become corrupted. A lot of officers risk their lives for their country, very few their careers.” “In my mind, and in the book, I’m an advocate for the infantryman,” he said. “They’re the guys who always get exploited.” On the other hand, the officers, he said, were creatures of a culture in which certain commands were not always spelled out but nevertheless everyone knew what was expected. “There are a lot of officers who will risk their lives for their country, but damn few who will risk their careers,” he explained. “This isn’t little stuff to me. It’s not like you lied about your expense account. This kind of deceit is endemic in the military and goes to the highest levels of government.”

6

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem

Excerpts from Jon Krakauer Interviews BEFORE September 17, 2009 Book Signing In Boulder, CO
From The Truth Behind the Death of Pat Tillman?
Christine Romo and Stephanie Wash -- ABC News Nightline, Sept. 11, 2009 Krakauer said he believes the military and President George W. Bush's former administration will argue with his findings. But he is confident in his book. "I've been very conservative with my fact checking," he said. "The stuff in my book is true. Stuff that I believe to be true but I couldn't prove is not in the book." … The role of the current leading commander of the military operation in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, is discussed in the book. "McChrystal is extremely quiet. He covers his tracks, he avoids publicity." Krakauer said. McChrystal sent an e-mail to warn that the Tillman investigation might reveal he was killed by friendly fire. McChrystal refused to answer Woodruff's questions about Tillman during an interview in Afghanistan in July. Rumsfeld refused to be interviewed. In writing the book, Krakauer denied having political motives or a dislike for the Bush administration.

From “Jon Krakauer’s Inside Story of Pat Tillman
Jeffery A. Trachtenberg – Wall Street Journal, Sept. 11, 2009 WSJ: You note that the military has always had difficulty acknowledging casualties from friendly fire. How did this situation differ? Mr. Krakauer: The Bush administration placed more emphasis on spinning the war, on managing perceptions of the war, than on waging it well. …You don't normally see the feverish manipulation of information that you saw with Tillman. Instantly, everyone knew it was friendly fire. But within hours, by sworn testimony, a move was made to give him a Silver Star. That's not typical in a friendly fire situation. All the forensic evidence, including his uniform and journal, were burned. This was an extraordinary case of manipulation of public perception, which is what the Bush administration specialized in.
7

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem

WSJ: Are you certain that the events surrounding Mr. Tillman's final hours unfolded exactly as you've described them? Mr. Krakauer: Yes, I'm quite confident. It took a lot of time and effort. I've been working on this book for three-and-a-half to four years, and it's been a long, difficult haul. It's the most challenging book I've written. I tried very hard to get this right. I sent chapters in full to every soldier that I interviewed and quoted so that they could see their quotes. A lot of these soldiers don't share my political views. It was a risk, but it created real benefits in terms of accuracy. I also read 3,000 or 4,000 pages of testimony. WSJ: If you were able to report this, why didn't government investigators dig more deeply? Mr. Krakauer: They were able. They didn't want to. Their conclusions weren't based on a reading of the facts. They didn't want to find out the worst. It's the opposite of a criminal prosecution or a plane crash investigation. Military investigations are designed not to find anyone guilty. And you can't investigate up the chain of command, which is a huge impediment. WSJ: You end the book with a gloomy visit to Afghanistan in early 2007. What did Mr. Tillman's sacrifice mean? Mr. Krakauer: It didn't mean anything. It speaks to the mythology of war and how we glorify it for our national interests. There is nothing glamorous or romantic about war. It's mostly about random pointless death and misery. And that's what his death tells us. It reminds me that the good aren't rewarded, there's no such thing as karma. Maybe it says something about the dangers of any sort of idealism that isn't tempered by pragmatism or experience.

8

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem

From Krakauer's New Book Examines Pat Tillman's Death
Dan Elliott – Associated Press, September 13, 2009 But the sharpest rebukes are aimed at those Krakauer accuses of covering up the truth of Tillman's death, fabricating a more heroic story and then using it to distract the media and the public from bad news coming out of Iraq. "You've got to explain what happened, and when you explain what happened, you've got to name names," Krakauer said in an interview in Boulder, where he lives. "It doesn't do any good to say, 'Mistakes were committed, mistakes were made,' in that passive voice that's so annoying." "That's a very conscious effort to cover things up, up and down the chain of command. And the Army still hasn't come clean," Krakauer said in the interview. "That bothers me. So I guess, when that kind of stuff happens, it's easy for me -- my outrage seeps in and I don't feel any qualms about naming names."

Pat Tillman, Anti-War Hero
John Douglas Marshall – Daily Beast, September 13, 2009 What were the greatest lessons you learned from Pat Tillman’s life and the way he lived it? There were a lot of them. That it’s not easy to be virtuous. That there is no guarantee that it will be rewarded. Also: Doing the right thing can be dangerous. And there’s probably no such thing as karma. Note: “I guess that‘s what the world does to you. It makes you realize that honor and loyalty are traps with no reward” -- Senator James Webb, ”A Sense of Honor” (1981)

9

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem

Krakauer Explores Pat Tillman's Death And Cover-Up
Melissa Block -- NPR All Things Considered, September 14, 2009 . "Within hours, certainly, and probably less, the Ranger regiment — officers, high-ranking officers back in the States — were conspiring to cover this up," Krakauer says. A recommendation to award Tillman with a Silver Star medal, one of the U.S. military's highest honors, immediately began moving through the Army ranks — something that is not done for deaths by friendly fire, Krakauer says. …Tillman's uniform and body armor were burned, says Krakauer, and his weapon, helmet, even a part of his brain, which fell to the ground after the attack, disappeared. Army officials told the medical examiners that Tillman had been killed by the Taliban — and they stuck by this story when they reported the death to his family. "The Army intentionally lied [to the medical examiners]," Krakauer says. "They just broke regulation after regulation." Krakauer points out that Gen. Stanley McChrystal, now the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, signed off on the Silver Star recommendation, even though he knew that Tillman's death was a result of friendly fire. In confirmation hearings earlier this year, McChrystal acknowledged that the Army had failed the Tillman family, and he apologized for his part in that. But he maintained that he "didn't see any activities by anyone to deceive," and that he "absolutely" believed that Tillman earned the Silver Star. ... Notes from transcript of NPR Interview with Jon Krakauer: 4:59 The Army intentionally lied to the medical examiners … 6:33 “The story still hasn’t been fully told. The commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who I think is probably the best man for the job. Nevertheless, he was as deeply involved in the cover-up as anyone. He signed off on what he knew was a falsified recommendation for a Silver Star. He apologized for that, but he hasn’t come clean about much else. He hasn’t revealed his involvement, or who he spoke to, or when he knew, or when Rumsfeld knew. It’s not like we know everything. We still don’t.”

10

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem

Talk of Deceit Where Honor Is Taught
Charles Grath – The New York Times, September 17, 2009 [Interview 9-14-09] … he was a little apprehensive about venturing onto the campus of the United States Military Academy here on Monday [9/14] to sign copies of “Where Men Win Glory” and to answer questions about it. … That book, which came out Tuesday [9/15] from Doubleday, … The book has received mixed reviews so far. … In The Washington Post, Andrew Exum, a former Army officer in Afghanistan, praised the early material but took issue with the book’s coverage of the Afghan war. “Where Men Win Glory” is extremely critical of the military and its role in concealing that Tillman … was the victim of friendly fire. Mr. Krakauer documents a web of deceit and coverup that most likely extended all the way to the office of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and certainly involved a number of top generals, including Stanley A. McChrystal, currently the commander of American forces in Afghanistan. “In my mind, and in the book, I’m an advocate for the infantryman,” he said. “They’re the guys who always get exploited.” On the other hand, the officers, he said, were creatures of a culture in which certain commands were not always spelled out but nevertheless everyone knew what was expected. “There are a lot of officers who will risk their lives for their country, but damn few who will risk their careers,” he explained. “This isn’t little stuff to me. It’s not like you lied about your expense account. This kind of deceit is endemic in the military and goes to the highest levels of government.” Mr. Krakauer called the Army’s response “despicable.” “The Army still hasn’t come clean,” he said. Referring to an inscription on campus he added: “Out there you have the honor code: ‘A cadet will not lie, cheat or steal, or tolerate those who do.’ What happened to lead those officers to do the wrong thing?”

11

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem

Afterwords With Jon Krakauer
CSPAN – September 28, 2009 [9-16-09] Note: This interview was recorded on September 16, 2009 (“two days after West Point appearance). 2:12 “Actually, I talked to them [the Tillman family] quite a bit. But they decided they did not want to be quoted in the book. I showed them an early draft, a very rough draft, they just weren’t happy with that, they wanted Mary’s book [mother] to be their statement.” 5:22 Bush administration political agenda 6:14 “Buffoonery” [reference to Andrew Exum’s book review). “We’re talking about Gen. McChrystal, knowing without a doubt, that it was friendly-fire and very deliberately expediting a recommendation for a Silver Star in which the witness statements had been falsified and the report states he was killed by enemy fire. Now, that’s not buffoonery, that’s something else.” 6:40 “Did he know the witness statements had been falsified when he forwarded them?” “I don’t know if he knew the witness accounts had been falsified. I do know, he was absolutely certain that Tillman was killed by friendly fire, 24 hours later he knew that.” 7:45 McChrystal signed it day before he sent urgent P4 memo “Not meant for the generals, they already knew that. It was meant for the White House. McChrystal has apologized. But he has not come clean. He has not told what conversations he had with Rumsfeld or Cheney’s office.” 8:32 “I was just at West Point two days ago” (9-14-09). Honor Code. What happened to those guys. They become corrupted. A lot of officers risk their lives for their country, very few their careers.” 9:40 “Did you find any smoking gun?”: “A lot of circumstantial evidence”. … “At Congressional hearings, the generals said “Don’t recall 80 times”at hearing. There’s been this stonewalling. …The Defense Dept. is not interested. Go through the motions.” Note: This 8-01-07 hearing never discussed in his book. 23:50 Delayed book due about 2/2008; to pursue Jessica Lynch angle & FF of Marines same day, spent 3 months investigating that, fried, took break for a couple of months, then took another year, (about time Mary’s book came out). 41:21 “Kevin [Tillman] is a private guy.”

12

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem

Jon Krakauer: "Where Men Win Glory"
NPR Diane Rhem Show – September 16, 2009 25:45 Mentions Andrew Exum calling his book “buffoonery” 25:50 SM4 consciously submitted and signed SS knowing friendly fired, SS with false witness statements, expedited SS 35:00 SM4 “central role,” goes under radar, “apologized for mistakes” but not owned up, higher ups in hearing (8/07) 42:30 Held accountable? Gen. Kensinger top of chain of command (sic) retired, others promoted, SM4 2 to 4 star general. 43:50 JK at West Point two days ago (9-14-09) 49:25 ? in charge Afghan war

13

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem

APPENDIX B:
Krakauer Given “Untold Tillman Story” at Sept. 17, 2009 Booksigning Event in Boulder, CO
Where Men Win Glory was released on September 15, 2009. Just two days later, at his book signing in his hometown of Boulder CO on September 17, 2009, my Aunt Candy hand-delivered my package of Tillman material to Krakauer (and got an autograph). My material consisted of a cover letter (Sept. 12, 2009), a “postscript” letter (with corrections) reviewing his book (Sept. 17, 2009), and two large binders: “Did They Teach You to Lie Yet? – Senator James Webb, General Stanley McChrystal, and the Betrayal of Pat Tillman.” I argued that the top leadership of the Army, Waxman’s House Oversight Committee, and Senator Carl Levin’s Senate Armed Services Committee acted to shield McChrystal from scrutiny and protect him from punishment for his actions. “Lies … Borne Out by Facts, If Not the Truth” – Senator James Webb, Thom Shanker & The New York Times, and the Whitewash of General Stanley McChrystal.” This binder explored the role of NYT Washington Pentagon reporter Thom Shanker in “clearing” McChrystal of any wrongdoing. In addition, I described my interactions with Senator Webb’s office and speculated at President Obama’s role in the Tillman case. These binders (and others) are posted at http://www.feralfirefighter.blogspot.com ... Last August, in “The [Untold] Tillman Story,” I described my reaction to the paperback edition: “I just bought his revised book a few days ago (August 9th) I’ll post a review when I get the chance to read it; I’m far too busy finishing up “The [Untold] Tillman Story.” However, upon cursory review, it appears that Jon Krakauer took the credit for discovering “additional evidence.” … ‘I discovered’? Hell, my two binders pointing to this “evidence” were placed directly into his hands by my aunt on September 17th at his book signing in Boulder, CO! I don’t care (much) about the credit. But, it would have been nice to have at least received a call or email saying “Thanks”. More importantly, if Krakauer would have at least sent his contact info, I would have been able to pass on updates and had the chance to discuss my Tillman Files material with him. But I am glad that my material prompted him to more fully describe the Army’s cover-up.”
14

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem

“DID THEY TEACH YOU HOW TO LIE YET?”
Senator James Webb, General Stanley McChrystal, and the Betrayal of Pat Tillman

Marie Tillman (wife), Mary Tillman (mother), Rich Tillman (brother), Kevin Tillman( brother), Patrick Tillman, Sr. (father)

“… we have all been betrayed. It isn’t just our family. Every time they betray a soldier, they betray all of us.” … “We had officers that we trusted. We had high regard for them. … in your heart they are your kids and you turn them over, and we trusted. … we knew they [Pat & Kevin] could die or they could come back wounded … But we never thought that they would use him the way they did” … -- Mary Tillman, House Oversight & Reform Committee Hearing (4-24-07) “I found myself awash with a sense of injustice that I could not define. Or perhaps it was merely that I was young. I had never seen with such clarity that … courage could destroy one man while flight could make another man king.” -- James Webb, “The Emperor’s General’ (1999) “They ought to make a movie about this. Mr. Smith comes to Washington.” “Yeah, I called my pa last night and he says, Judd boy, you been up there with them muck-a-mucks two days, now. Did they teach you how to lie yet?” -- James Webb, “A Country Such As This”(1983)
15

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem DID THEY TEACH YOU HOW TO LIE YET?

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Memorial Day Letter to Senator James Webb (May 25 2009): Senate Armed Services Committee’s May 15th 2008 Confirmation Hearing:
th

Page #: 1 7

Senate Armed Services Committee’s June 2nd 2009 Confirmation Hearing [Postscript 9/09]: 15.1 General Wallace’s Review of Tillman Fratricide (2007): House Oversight & Reform Committee’s Tillman Fratricide Hearings (2007-2008): April 3rd 2008 Letter to Senator James Webb: Notes from James Webb’s Novels -- 1978 to 1991: 16 21 29 37

APPENDICES:
A: General McChrystal Responsible for Fratricide Investigation & Notification to Family: Operational & Administrative Chain of Command for Tillman’s Unit Appendix D: Casualty Reporting & Next of Kin Notification Process Appendix C: Fratricide Investigation Process [Postscript 8/09] B: General McChrystal’s Early Knowledge of Tillman Fratricide Confirmation : Appendix B: Chronology Timeline of Tillman Fratricide Notification & Notes IG Gimble Testimony Sworn Statement of General McChrystal General Abizaid Testimony Interview of LTC Bailey & CSM Birch C: General McChrystal “Declines” to Appear at Waxman Hearing: D: General McChrystal’s Misleading P4 Memorandum: P4 Concerning Information on CPL Tillman’s Death “Is Military Integrity a Contradiction in Terms?” E: General McChystal’s Fraudulent Silver Star Citation: Appendix E: Silver Star Award Process Appendix F: Silver Star Award Details Appendix G: Justification Submitted to Support Silver Star Valorous Award Witness Statement (PFC O’Neal) Discussion - Silver Star Award (p.53-59) DoD IG DoD IG DoD IG www.oversight.house.gov DoD IG 45 47 48 49 50 McChrystal www.johntreed .com 40 41 DoDIG D. Parish Waxman 4/07 Jones 15-6 Do DIG, Waxman 8/07 Jones 15-6 7 12 26 28 30 33 DoDIG DoDIG DoDIG 1 3 6.1

www.oversight.house.gov 38

F: General McChrystal’s Testimony at June 2 nd 2009 Confirmation Hearing [Postscript, 8-29-09]: 58 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ------------------------------------------------DoDIG: Review of Matters Related to the Death of Corporal Patrick Tillman, Inspector General Department of Defense, Report Number IPO2007E001, 3-26-07http://defencelink.mil/home/pdf/Tillman_Redacted_Web_0307.pdf Jones 15-6: CPL Tillman AR 15-6 Investigation, BG Gary M. Jones, 12-28-04 Waxman 4/24/07: Oversight Committee Holds Hearing on Tillman, Lynch Incidents (oversight.house.gov) Waxman 8/01/07: The Tillman Fratricide: What the Leadership of the Defense Department Knew (oversight.house.gov)

16

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem

“LIES … BORNE OUT BY FACTS, IF NOT THE TRUTH”
Senator James Webb, Thom Shanker & The New York Times and the Whitewash of General McChrystal’s Role in the Aftermath of Pat Tillman’s Death By GuyMontag425, feralfirefighter.blogspot.com September 11, 2009

“Allegations, lies, denials, dissembling, distortions … And all the while they secretly whispered to the media … And the media gave them their forum, always ascertaining beforehand that their allegations were borne out by facts, if not the truth.” --- James Webb, “Something to Die For” (1991)

17

Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem “LIES … BORNE OUT BY FACTS, IF NOT THE TRUTH”

TABLE OF CONTENTS
September 11 2009 Letter to New York Times Public Editor Clark Hoyt ... Thom Shanker & The New York Times, and the Whitewash of General McChrystal’s Role in the Aftermath of Pat Tillman’s Death Rebuttal of Thom Shanker’s Pre-Hearing NYT Article: “Nomination of U.S. Afghan Commander Revives Questions in Tillman Case” Rebuttal of Thom Shanker’s Post-Hearing NYT Articles: “Nominee to Command U.S. Afghanistan Forces Stresses Civilian Safety” & “U.S. Report Finds Errors in Afghan Airstrikes” ... Senator James Webb and the Whitewash of General Stanley McChrystal’s Role in the Aftermath of Pat Tillman’s Death May 25th 2008 Letter to Senator James Webb (from “Did They Teach You How to Lie Yet?) April 3rd 2008 Letter to Senator James Webb (from larger untitled document)
th

PDF Page #: 4 17

35

60

77

89 99

APPENDICES:
A: “Did They Teach You How to Lie Yet?” (refer to separate Volume II binder): Operational & Administrative Chain of Command Fratricide Investigation Flowchart Casualty Reporting and Next of Kin Notification Flowchart Timeline of Tillman Fratricide Notification (from IG Report) (Appendix C, IG Report) (Appendix D, IG Report) (GuyMOntag425 5-17-08)

Transcript of General McChrystal’s June 2nd 2009 Senate Testimony Senate ASC 6-02-09 Confirmation Hearing (from “Did They Teach You How to Lie Yet?) B: E-Mail Correspondence Between Guy Montag & The New York Times C: New York Times Articles about General Stanley McChrystal: (5-12-09) “Pentagon Ousts Top Commander in Afghan War” (5-13-09) “A General Steps from the Shadows” (5-14-09) “New Commander for Afghanistan” (NYT Editorial) (5-15-09) “Afghan Villagers Describe Chaos of U.S. Airstrikes” (5-26-09) “Nomination of U.S. Afghan Commander Revives Questions in Tillman Case” (6-01-09) “Questions for General McChrystal” (NYT Editorial) (6-02-09) “Nominee to Command U.S. Afghan Forces Stresses Civilian Safety” (6-02-09) “U.S. Report Finds Errors in Afghan Airstrikes” D: “5 Years Ago: When the Pentagon and Media Lied About Jessica Lynch Rescue”
18

101

September 12, 2009 Cover Letter to Jon Krakauer
Note: Hand-delivered to Jon Krakauer at 9-17-09 Boulder, CO book signing. Bold-faced added. Jon Krakauer, I’ve closely followed the Pat Tillman story over the past four years. Like Stan Goff, I’ve felt a certain kinship with Pat (I’ve also been an avid reader and independent thinker). In 1983, as a “young and dumb” seventeen year old, I enlisted into an Airborne Ranger LRRP Company in the MI Army Guard. But the lies of the first Gulf War were the last straw for me. In 1991, after reupping twice, I finally quit after eight years. Since then, I’ve been a firefighter for eighteen years. I’m looking forward to reading your new book “Where Men When Glory.” I’m especially interested in learning what you were able to uncover about General McChrystal. After McChrystal was nominated as the new Commander of the Afghan War, I took a closer look at his role in the Army’s cover-up of Pat’s fratricide. In your recent interviews, you’ve cast blame on the Bush administration for the cover -up (and they bear guilt!) However, I believe the on-going series of cover-up by “investigations” was a thoroughly bi-partisan affair involving the Democratic Congress (both House and Senate), and the Obama presidency. Accompanying this letter are two binders laying out my detailed arguments: At the end of May, I wrote the binder, “Did They Teach You to Lie Yet? – Senator James Webb, General Stanley McChrystal, and the Betrayal of Pat Tillman.” I argue that the top leadership of the Army, Waxman’s House Oversight Committee, and Senator Carl Levin’s Senate Armed Services Committee acted to shield McChrystal from scrutiny and protect him from punishment for his actions. I especially focus on Senator Webb’s role in a secret “review” prior to McChrystal’s 2008 confirmation (I’ve updated this binder to include the 2009 Senate confirmation hearing and three new revelations from McChrystal’s testimony). Today, I just finished the binder “Lies … Borne Out by Facts, If Not the Truth” – Senator James Webb, Thom Shanker & The New York Times, and the Whitewash of General Stanley McChrystal.” This binder explores the role of NYT Washington Pentagon reporter Thom Shanker in “clearing” McChrystal of any wrongdoing. In addition, I describe my interactions with Senator Webb’s office and speculate at President Obama’s role in the Tillman case. Thanks for spending your time and effort on writing your book. Please feel free to contact me for follow-up with any questions or comments on my work. P.S. If possible, could you send me your contact information? I’ve got some additional information that might be of interest to you (e.g. the parallels between Yoni Netanyahu and Pat Tillman).
1

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem”

September 17, 2009 “Postscript” to Jon Krakauer
4-22-11 Note: Hand-delivered to Jon Krakauer at 9-17-09 Boulder, CO book signing. Boldfaced added to text for emphasis . It appears that Krakauer incorporated three of my suggested corrections I pointed out to him, since they appear in his revised paperback edition. ...
“War is always about betrayal, betrayal of the young by the old, of idealists by cynics and of troops by politicians.” -- Chris Hendges

September 17, 2009 Jon Krakauer, This letter is a “postscript” to add to the binders my Aunt Candy will hand you at the book signing in Boulder tonight [9-17-09]. I haven’t yet had the time to finish reading “Where Men Win Glory.” After a quick skim, I’ve only read the last part of your book that describes Pat’s fratricide and the cover-up of his death. I’ve attached a few comments [and corrections] about specific items at the end of this letter. ... At his April 24, 2007 hearing, Congressman Henry Waxman observed, “… but our government failed them … The least we owe to courageous men and women who are fighting for our freedom is the truth.” Your book ends with Waxman’s House committee being unable to find out who was responsible for the cover-up, largely because of stonewalling by the Bush White House. Congressman Waxman stated in frustration, “What we have is a very clear, deliberate abuse intentionally done. Why is it so hard to find out who did it?” You properly cast blame on the top leadership of the Army and the White House that “… used every means at its disposal to obstruct the congressional investigation into Tillman’s death and its aftermath…” But, I believe your account of the cover-up ends far too soon with Bush’s press conference August 9, 2007. The cover-up continued up through the June 2, 2009 confirmation hearing of General McChrystal as the Commander of the Afghan War. Perhaps the end was the unanimous voice vote by the Senate begged for by Senate Majority Leader Reid on June 12th. Blaming Bush and the Army for the cover-up, with the Democratic Congress as the champions in pursuit of the truth is too simple. In reality, the cover-up has been a thoroughly bipartisan affair, with Congress and the Obama Presidency continuing to
20

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” protect especially General McChrystal from punishment and to shield his actions from scrutiny. Just as with warrantless wiretapping and torture, those responsible have not been held accountable. “They’re moving forward, not looking back.” Note: I am not a Republican. Nor a Democrat. I’m an independent, disgusted with the corruption of both parties. Hell, I even voted for Nader in 2008! Perhaps you were a bit credulous taking Waxman’s rhetoric at face value. Congressman Waxman’s so-called investigation (like the IG report) was not an honest attempt to get at the truth. Arguably, it may have started out that way with the April 2007 hearing. I’d suggest you review the Waxman documents again (Note: I was surprised to find that the August 1, 2007 hearing transcript is not listed in the bibliography or your chapter notes. It contains crucial testimony). When I did so in May 2009, it became clear that a principal role of Waxman’s investigation, as with the IG investigation and the Army investigation, was to protect those involved, particularly McChrystal from scrutiny and protect them from punishment (McChrystal is one of the few generals involved that is not yet retired). I believe that sometime after the April 2007 hearing, Waxman got the word the “fix” was in, to lay off McChrystal. Perhaps because of McChrystal’s important covert contribution to the “surge” in Iraq? Waxman dropped him from the list of witnesses for the August 1, 2007 hearing and the testimony during that hearing was a praise-fest for McChrystal. Despite the concerns raised by the Committee during the April 2007 hearing about the falsified Silver Star, P4 document, etc. they never looked at McChrystal, who was at the center of these actions. It’s not surprising that after the initial fratricide cover-up fell apart, that Army officers and the Bush administration lied to protect their careers. Reprehensible, but understandable. But the Democratic Congress, after they took control of both Houses in 2006, could have gone after those responsible. Or at least not promoted them! Their hands are dirty as well with the betrayal of Pat Tillman. ... I’ve enclosed, inside one of the binders, a copy of “The Nightingale’s Song” that provides a biography of James Webb (it’s a gripping account and well worth your time). Like Pat Ti llman, Webb’s been a maverick and a fascinating character. I’ve read his novels for thirty years. Senator James’s Webb betrayal of the Tillman family cuts me the deepest. I’ve trusted his sense of honor for thirty years. If anyone in Congress should have cared, it would have been him (see especially my 4-03-08 letter and notes from his novels). For example, Webb, as a young Marine veteran spent 8 years to clear the name of a dead Marine for his mother’s sake!

21

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” Yet, during the same time in April – May 2008, after he received my letter imploring him to help Mary Tillman, he was conducting the secret “review” of McChrystal’s actions in the Tillman cover-up. Shortly afterwards, while Mary Tillman was in DC on her book tour, the Senate Armed Services Committee (headed by Levin and McCain) held their secret “executive session” to hear McChrystal testify. Shortly thereafter, the Senate promoted him to Director of the Joint Staff. I’m hard on Webb not because I dislike the man, but that I’m disappointed by him. As an old man and politician, he’s turned into exactly what he once reviled as a young soldier! I find it tragic to see Webb compromising his sense of honor (perhaps even Pat Tillman would have done so as well, if he had lived long enough?). I even believe Webb’s doing it with the best of intentions, that he believes McChrystal is indispensable to the Afghan war. But I still don’t forgive him for it. Or like it. And I’m certainly not casting all the blame for the sins of Congress onto him. Henry Waxman, Chairman Carl Levin, Senator McCain, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid and others in Congress bear greater responsible than Webb. It just happens I know more about Webb and his role and have had personal interactions with his office. ... In the binder, “Lies’s … Borne Out by Lies If Not the Truth,” I discuss The New York Times role in whitewashing McChrystal’s role in the cover-up of the Tillman fratricide. I pretty much lay it all out in the binder, starting with an overview and going into more detail. I didn’t come away from my personal experience with Thom Shanker and “The Gray Lady” with any confidence in our “watchdog” media. I’d like to point out that Thom Shanker also participated in the Jessica Lynch story in 2003. I haven’t dug into that side of the story much, although I included an article in the binder by Gregg Mitchell about it. And, please note that I haven’t yet sent out my letter to Clark Hoyt at the NYT’s yet [I sent him the binder a couple of weeks later. No response]. I wanted to wait a bit, revise my introductory letter. It’ll be interesting to see what response I get from him. ... Inside one of the binder’s I’ve enclosed a document “Battle for the Truth.” Jonathan (Yoni) Netanayahu was another character cast from the same mold as Pat Tillman. When I first learned of Pat the iconoclast (vs the media icon), I was immediately reminded of Yoni. Although they were separated by 27 years, both were charismatic individuals driven who lived and died with intensity and integrity. Both Achilles-like and “slain in the high places.” The similarities, despite the obvious differences, between their stories is eerie. Ironically, Yoni truly
22

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” died heroically, killed while saving hostages at Entebbe. But it would have been embarrassing to mention that he died because the mission went FUBAR and that there were friendly fire deaths, so the IDF told the story he was shot in the back by a stray burst of fire. Afterwards, Max Hastings wrote a book “Yoni - Hero of Entebbe” similar to your “Where Men Win Glory” in that it provided a bibliography of Yoni, described the battle at Entebbe, and used interviews with family members and his own words from his letters. Later, Yoni’s brothers edited Yoni’s letters and published them as “Self Portrait of a Hero.” A powerful book. I believe that President Obama was certainly aware of General McChrystal’s involvement in the cover-up of Tillman’s fratricide. [Update 4-24-11: See my “The Emperor’s General” for a detailed discussion of his role] I cannot imagine that his staff did not thoroughly vet McChrystal before his nomination on May 12th. Yet Obama chose to give him a pass, and promote him to the Army’s highest rank and make him the new commander of the Afghan War. It’s ironic that the previous general was fired to make way for McChrystal. However, it’s even more ironic that the following day Obama gave a commencement address at Arizona State University inside Sun Devil Stadium without once mentioning Pat Tillman! I’m sure that he didn’t want to bring up Tillman’s name to avoid anyone pointing out the connection to McChrystal’s nomination. (Note: see “Text: Obama’s Commencement Address at Arizona State University” (May 13, 2009 NYT) and Bob Young’s “Obama’s Big-Time Fumble” (Arizona Republic 5-17-09) And, here’s a picture for good measure. Finally, I bear a bit of blame myself for not getting this information out sooner to you. After the craziness of May and early June I was burnt out. I spoke briefly with Mary Tillman and sent her a copy of “Did They Teach You How to Lie Yet?” then laid all this stuff aside, back into my Tillman box. I puttered a little on “Lies … Borne Out by Facts, If Not the Truth” a few days in July. Then August was crazy with no time for anything. So, I didn’t get to work seriously until the end of August. At the time, I thought your book was coming out October 3 so I figured I had plenty of time. Then, I discovered your book was coming out the 15th, the scope of my project expanded dramatically and I didn’t finish until Sept 12th. I now realize it’s perfectly obvious that I should have tried to get at least some of my material out to you months ago. Perhaps you could have made some changes to your book before it went to print. Or, you could have at least used this material during your media interviews. I did email Mary Tillman on the [May] 13th [2009] and asked her to forward this material to you. I hope that you can use my material to start your own investigation into this untold story. Perhaps this story can be told in the next edition of your book or in magazine publications or interviews.

23

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem”

Possible Corrections for “Where Men Win Glory”:
[4-22-11 Note: The three suggested corrections that are bold-faced below, were adopted by Krakauer in his paperback revision.]

I haven’t yet read through your entire book yet. I noted a few minor discrepancies that you may want to check for future editions of your book: p. 291:“The Rangers … arrived back at Salerno on the morning of April 25 …”: April 25th? The IG Report (Appendix B: Chronology) has “April 24, 2004: 2nd platoon (CPL Tillman’s Platoon) returns to the battalion Forward Operation Base [at Salerno]. Also, I believe that the 24th also matches testimony from the Jones 15-6 report and the findings of the IG and Waxman Reports. [4-22-11 Note: Correction made: PB 337] ... p.305:“Scott’s investigation, which confirmed the fratricide, was completed on May 8 and then expunged …” Confirmed? Perhaps written confirmation. However, I believe that LTC Bailey’s testimony (Jones 15-6, Section Z, p. 53) shows that Scott notified Bailey of verbal confirmation (‘I’m certain, I’m sure) on the 24th. “And then I called [Nixon?].” May 8th? The IG Report (Appendix B: Chronology) has “May 4, 2004: CPT [Scott] submits his AR 15-6 recommendations and findings to COL Nixon. ... p.303:“The day after the memorial service [May 4] CPT Scott delivered the final report of his 15-6 investigation … Scott’s report when up the chain of command … and then disappeared.” Although the official IG Chronology Appendix B states that Scott’s final report was delivered on May 4th, I believe it was probably first delivered on the 29th; sent back for revisions, then resubmitted on May 4th. However, my memorial is a bit hazy since it’s been a long time since I reviewed this series of events. The Waxman 7-17-07 report references: “Captain Richard M. Scott, Commander, Headquarters & Headquarter Company, 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, AR 15-6 Final Report [Incomplete Draft] (Apr. 29, 2004). Note that the 29th is the same date that McChrystal sent out his P4. Did Scott’s report motivate him to send the P4 to cover his ass?
24

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” ... p.231:Tillman’s Chain of Command, April 22, 2004: This graphic doesn’t show McChrystal as directly above Nixon. However, McChrystal was directly above Nixon in the operational chain of command. The Chain splits above Nixon into an operational and administrative chain. See Mary Tillman’s book graphic (just past p. 280) or the IG Report p. 12-13 discussion. [4-22-11 Note: Correction made: PB 268] ... 254:“… I realized we were getting hit by mortars”: I remember reading that Stan Goff (in one of his “The Fog of Fame” articles) wrote that reports of mortars impacting in the canyon walls were incorrect. Instead, he thought it was probably RPGs. p.289:‘So I [Bailey] called Major Hodne (Nixon?) and told him my gut feeling was that Tillman had been killed by friendly fire… there was no doubt about it.’ … “Hodne (Nixon?) recommended that Bailey select an officer … Scott was appointed to head the so -called 15-6 investigation.”: When I read the redacted Jone 15-6, I thought that Bailey called COL Nixon. However, I may well be mistaken. However, you may want to double-check (See IG Report p.13) and other reports. [4-22-11 Note: Correction made: PB 334]

25

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem”

Comments on “Where Men Win Glory”:
Predator Drone: 261:“The forward observer … heard an airplane flying overhead …’As I listened closer I knew it was a Predator drone.’ … equipped with cameras … headquarters later confirmed that a Predator was overhead during the firefight, and a civilian contractor at Bagram said that he remembered seeing the Predator’s video feed …the Army and the CIA nevertheless asserted that no such video existed.” (see also P.310 Mary Tillman book) Andrew Exum in his book review “He Didn’t Come Home” (9-13-09, Washington Post), wrote: [Update 4-24-11: see my “He Who Shall Not Be Fact Checked” for a discussion of CNAS’s Exum’s on-going role in the whitewash of McChrystal.] “depending on your point of view, [how fratricide was kept from family] was either a gross error of judgment or a conspiracy engineered by the U.S. military and the Bush administration. … he is more eager to launch an inquisition into the crimes of the Bush administration than to explore this single extraordinary life. However, Exum himself provides eyewitness testimony to your “conspiracy” theory! “On April 22, 2004, I was standing in an operations center in Bagram, Afghanistan, watching two firefights on the monitors and screens in front of me. A platoon of U.S. Army Rangers and a special operations reconnaissance force were both under fire and in possible need of assistance. As the leader of a 40-man quick-reaction force of Rangers, I asked my squad leaders to gather our men while I awaited orders.” I’m assuming he was watching the video feed from the overhead Predator drone!

Jessica Lynch & the New York Times: 179:“The definitive account of Lynch’s ordeal was published on the front page of the Washington Post on April 3.” I haven’t yet read the part of your book about the friendly fire on the Marine convo y and the spin put onto the Jessica Lynch story by the press. However, in my binder “Lies… Borne Out by Facts, If Not the Truth,” I discuss NYT Reporter Thom Shanker’s role in whitewashing McChrystal in the Tillman case both before and after the June 2nd 2009 Senate confirmation hearing. I noted that Thom Shanker played a role in the Jessica Lynch story as well!: On April 4th 2008, Greg Mitchell (Editor & Publisher) wrote “5 Years Ago: When the Pentagon and Media Lied About Jessica Lynch Rescue”:
26

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem”

Precisely five years ago the U.S. media were transfixed on the heroic rescue of a captured U.S. Army Pfc. named Jessica Lynch, A New York Times story on April 3, 2003, by Thom Shanker and John Broder followed the outline, with Lynch suffering gunshot wounds in a dangerous rescue: "It was an Iraqi who got word to the Americans, Bush administration officials said, launching a mission that included Marine Corps artillery to distract enemy soldiers and Army Rangers securing the hospital grounds while Navy Special Operations forces, called Seals, extracted Private Lynch while being fired upon going in and coming back out."

James Webb: 283: Part IV: “He who learns must suffer … comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God”: From James Webb “A Sense of Honor” (1983) “I was so certain of life, and of my place in it. I was so sure of my love, and of my future. I now have none of those certainties, but at least I can comprehend pain. I was so ready, so eager to fight and now I pay, richly pay, for having fought” p.344:“Because Tillman’s story conforms in some regards to the classic narrative of the tragic hero, and the protagonist of such a tale always possesses a tragic flaw, … the sad end he met in Afghanistan was more accurately a function of his stubborn idealism – his insistence on trying to do the right thing. In which case it wasn’t a tragic flaw that brought Tillman down, but a tragic virtue.”: ...

From James Webb “A Sense of Honor (1983): “I guess that’s what the world does to you. It makes you realize that honor and loyalty are traps with no reward.” xvii: “But the Rangers on the ground weren’t keen to take unnecessary risks simply to meet an arbitrary bureaucratic timeline set by “fobbits:” officers who seldom ventured beyond the security of the forward operating base … and therefore … had no clue what it was actually like to fight a war in this unforgiving country.” ...

27

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem”

From James Webb’s “Fields of Fire” (1978): “As long as he’s looking good to the Man, he couldn’t give a rat’s ass how many people are bleeding.” … He had met a dozen Kerseys in the Marine Corps already. They held all ranks, although to him they seemed to be mostly Majors.” “Just fuck ‘em. Fuck everybody who doesn’t come out here and do this. Let them go and check that treeline. What do they know?” “… he pounded the dust some more, making a vow of rage. He would not allow their blood to have soaked into that unproductive dust merely for some mad amorphous folly. … waiting to be killed so they can have more bodies on their tote boards when the react pulls us from where we never should have had to go. Those Bastards sit somewhere with air conditioners around them and Coca-Cola inside them while we drink this goddamn wormy water.”

28

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem”

APPENDIX C:
Krakauer Interviews AFTER September 17, 2009
Before Sept 17th, Krakauer said: “… McChrystal, … is probably the best man for the job [command of Afghan War]. Nevertheless, he was as deeply involved in the cover-up as anyone. …“very deliberately expedit[ed] a recommendation for a Silver Star in which the witness statements had been falsified and the report states he was killed by enemy fire.” …“I don’t know if he [Gen. McChrystal] knew the [Silver Star recommendation] witness accounts had been falsified [when he forwarded them]. I do know, he was absolutely certain that Tillman was killed by friendly fire” … “He signed off on what he knew was a falsified recommendation for a Silver Star.”

After Sept. 17th, Krakauer said: “They immediately decide to give him [Tillman] the Silver Star medal … and the guy they put in charge of making this happen is Gen. Stanley McChrystal.”… “There was no enemy fire, yet McChrystal authored, he closely supervised over a number of days this fraudulent medal recommendation that talked about devastating enemy fire.”… “You know, in the past, he's made it sound like, oh, yeah, I was sort of peripherally involved and I was handed these documents that I signed for the Silver Star, this is what he told the Senate.” … “Not only involved; he was at the center of it. He played a pivotal role.” …”was instrumental, probably the point man for this cover-up” … “He claims, I didn't read it carefully enough to notice that it didn't mention friendly-fire. Now, anyone who knows McChrystal knows that's preposterous.” … “He's lied to the Senate Armed Services Committee.” …”I don't think he should be in the job. I think he is the best man for the job.” … “…someone who has this blemish on his record should not be our commander in Afghanistan.” “Seven investigations, two or three Congressional investigations, and every time they get stonewalled at the top, at the level of the administration and top generals. … McChrystal should come clean, and tell what really happened.” ... So, in less than two weeks, Krakauer’s opinion changed from McChrystal being “the best man” to “… someone who has this blemish on his record should not be our commander in Afghanistan.
29

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem”

Summary of Excerpts from Jon Krakauer Interviews AFTER Sept. 17, 2009 Book Signing In Boulder, CO
Gen. McChrystal was at the Center of the Tillman Friendly-Fire Cover-Up:
“…You know, the friendly fire was a terrible accident. There were some screw-ups involved. But the real tragedy happened afterwards, and it happened about this cover-up from top to bottom in the Army, up and down the chain of command.” “[McChrystal was] Not only involved; he was at the center of it [the cover up of Pat Tillman’s friendly fire death]. He played a pivotal role.” …”… at the very center of that deception.”… … is highly regarded, but nevertheless, was instrumental, probably the point man for this cover-up” “And to this day, the Army claims unbelievably that it was just a series of innocent mistakes, that there was no intent to deceive. That's what McChrystal says [at his Senate hearing], ‘…‘I never saw any intent to deceive.’ That, on the face of it, is just unbelievable.”

McChrystal Closely Supervised the Fraudulent Silver Star Recommendation, Deliberately Lied by Signing that Silver Star Recommendation, and Lied to the Senate:
“…after Tillman died, the most important thing to know is that within--instantly, within 24 hours certainly, everybody on the ground, everyone intimately involved knew it was friendly fire. There's never any doubt it was friendly fire. McChrystal was told within 24 hours it was friendly fire.” “They immediately decide to give him [Tillman] the Silver Star medal … and the guy they put in charge of making this happen is Gen. Stanley McChrystal …” … “And the Silver Star ended up being at the center of the cover-up. So McChrystal--Tillman faced this devastating fire from his own guys, and he tried to protect a young private by exposing himself to this, this fire. That's why he was killed and the private wasn't. Without friendly fire there's no valor, there's no Silver Star. There was no enemy fire, yet McChrystal authored, he closely supervised over a number of days this fraudulent medal recommendation that talked about devastating enemy fire.”

30

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” “You know, in the past, he's made it sound like, oh, yeah, I was sort of peripherally involved and I was handed these documents that I signed for the Silver Star, this is what he told the Senate. He claims, I didn't read it carefully enough to notice that it didn't mention friendly-fire. Now, anyone who knows McChrystal knows that's preposterous. He is meticulous. He is known to be perfectionist. I asked a soldier who served under him, can you imagine that he - for a document this important and this high profile - he would not read it carefully enough to recognize that there is no mention of friendly-fire? And the soldier reluctantly said no.” “… he [McChrystal] just said [video from his Senate hearing testimony] now he didn't read this hugely important document [Silver Star recommendation] about the most famous soldier in the military. He didn't read it carefully enough to notice that it talked about enemy fire instead of friendly fire? That's preposterous. That, that's not believable.” “It's perjured. It's not believable. It's preposterous. He [McChrystal during Senate testimony] is saying that after spending a number of days on the ground in eastern Afghanistan with the commander, Tillman's commander [LTC Bailey] of the 2nd Ranger battalion, that he signed his name to this fraudulent document recommending a Silver Star. This document that he signed his name to, he was the author of record. He reviewed [it] carefully, … not only did it make no mention of friendly fire in reference to Tillman's death, it used a phrase, "He faced devastating enemy fire." [“You’re saying McChrystal deliberately lied in signing that Silver Star recommendation”] “Absolutely. There's no other way to interpret that. You don't have to take my word for it. There was a very thorough investigation by the inspector general of the Defense Department, and they found that McChrystal's -- the same explanation he gave to the Senate -- was not credible. They criticized him. They determined that he should be held accountable for the fraudulent Silver Star. They determined that the Army should take action against him. … a crony of McChrystal's, a four-star general named William Wallace), simply overruled the inspector general of the Pentagon and let McChrystal completely off the hook.” ... We [CNN] asked the Pentagon for reaction to Jon Krakauer's claims and got this statement from the Pentagon press secretary, Geoff Morrell: "General McChrystal acknowledges that in the aftermath of this confusing and emotionally-charged incident, he did not review the award citation carefully enough before forwarding it up the chain of command. But to this day, he steadfastly believes Corporal Tillman's actions before his death warrant the honor."

31

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem”

McChrystal Was Certain of Friendly-Fire, Yet Submitted the Silver Star Recommendation to the Secretary of the Army:
“At the time, McChrystal knew this was not true. McChrystal at the time was absolutely certain Tillman had been killed by friendly fire, yet he submitted this document [Silver Star recommendation] to the secretary of the Army. He implies in this testimony that, Oh, at the same time, we sent this [P4] e- mail, you know, warning people that, well, he was killed by friendly fire. He sent that e-mail 24 hours later. And he didn't send it to the secretary of the Army, the person who ultimately approved the Silver Star.” “He sent it [P4 memo] -- it was intended for President Bush's speech writers, warning them that if the information of fratricide leaked out -- not when, but if it leaked out, they had to be careful what they wrote for the president because if he quoted from this bogus Silver Star document, he would embarrass himself by appearing as a liar.” “Now, that's a very different thing than that testimony suggests. There's simply no way to get around the fact that McChrystal knowingly submitted this fraudulent document to the secretary of the Army. He never called the secretary of the Army back and said, Oh, I forgot, you know, I unintentionally -- you need to know this was friendly fire. Maybe we should put the Silver Star on hold until we sort this out.”

“I don't think he should be in the job. I think he is the best man for the job.”
[“You called General McChrystal "…the best man for the job in Afghanistan."] “I don't argue with people who say he is the most effective commander in the Army. … But … I have looked into this and there's no doubt in my mind that he has repeatedly lied to the American people, he's deceived the nation, and he has lied to the Senate. He's lied to the Senate Armed Services Committee.” …”I don't think he should be in the job. I think he is the best man for the job.” “…I think what he's done is tragic. It's not just tragic for him. It might be tragic for the country. Here you have who is perhaps the best man for job, who has disqualified himself by this act of deceit - a very serious one.” "If a lesser officer did what McChrystal did, he would be court marshaled according to Article 107 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, submitting a false official statement," Krakauer said. "It's a very serious offense for which you, if you're found guilty, you can be dishonorably discharged and you can be locked up for five years."

32

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” “Someone who is guilty of that kind of offense, and I believe McChr ystal is, should not be commander of the forces. It sends a terrible message. I mean, Afghanistan is fighting corruption. The nation is being asked to sign off on this long-term commitment that's very problematic and very risky for the nation, and here's a guy who five years ago lied to the Senate. He lied to Army investigators, and he submitted this fraudulent document. That's not something -- you know, if you just -- if you just walk away from that and ignore it, that's a terrible thing.”

It’s Time for the Army to Come Clean & Hold McChrystal Accountable:
“… But I think that General McChrystal for five years has been getting by. I mean, I'm not the first person to bring this up. The Tillman family's been bringing this up ever since Pat died, and they've just been brushed off. They've gotten- they've been stonewalled at the highest reaches. It's time for someone finally to hold General McChrystal accountable. “So it's time for, finally, you know, the Army to just come clean. And for everyone to say, ‘Well, gosh, you know, he's this very effective commander’ -- he's considered the most effective in the Army, and I don't dispute that. But someone who has this blemish on his record should not be our commander in Afghanistan.” “Seven investigations, two or three Congessional investigations, and every time they get stonewalled at the top, at the level of the administration and top generals. … McChrystal should come clean, and tell what really happened.”

33

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem”

Excerpts from Jon Krakauer Interviews AFTER September 17, 2009 Book Signing In Boulder, CO
From The Fans Come Out for Jon Krakauer's Glory
Rob Fisher -- Denver Westwood, September 25, 2009 The second-floor event hall at the Tattered Cover LoDo was packed last Monday as people anxiously awaited author Jon Krakauer, who was going to speak about his new book, Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman. … Following the twenty-minute reading, Krakauer took questions for more than thirty minutes on subjects ranging from his opinion on the current course of the war to the natives of Afghanistan. Note: nothing here indicates whether or not Krakauer added my new info to this appearance.

From Jon Stewart Show – Jon Krakauer Interview (Sept. 30, 2009)
Transcript (4:15): “They immediately decide to give him [Tillman] the Silver Star medal … and the guy they put in charge of making this happen is Gen. Stanley McChrystal … is highly regarded, but nevertheless, was instrumental, probably the point man for this cover-up” …” Seven investigations, two or three Congressional investigations, and every time they get stonewalled at the top, at the level of the administration and top generals. … McChrystal should come clean, and tell what really happened.”

From Tillman's Journals Revealed in Book
E.J. Montini -- The Arizona Republic, September 15, 2009 [October 3, 2009] … goes on sale today. … Krakauer will appear at a discussion and book signing on Oct. 3 at Dobson High School in Tempe. From “Gen. McChrystal's Credibility Problem” (Daily Beast, 10-14-09): “During a presentation on October 3 of this year in Mesa [Tempe], Arizona, to promote Where Men Win Glory, my book about Tillman, I described the [Senate] testimony cited above and expressed skepticism about McChrystal’s honesty. Afterward, while I was signing books, an Army veteran approached me and said that he had served under McChrystal, admired him immensely, and took issue with my accusation that his former commander had dissembled to the
34

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” Senate, or knowingly participated in any sort of coverup. He said that in his experience McChrystal was a man of unimpeachable integrity. I countered that McChrystal’s words were taken verbatim from a transcript of the Senate hearing, and then added, “Gen. McChrystal is known to be meticulous, a perfectionist. He doesn’t tolerate sloppiness or excuses. Do you really believe that he would sign his name to such an important, high-profile document without first reading it carefully enough to realize it was bogus?” The ex-soldier frowned thoughtfully before answering. “No,” he admitted. “For him to do something like that, he’d have to be under incredible pressure.

New Material from

Gen. McChrystal's Credibility Problem

Jon Krakauer – Daily Beast, October 14, 2009 Note: In July 2010 much of this article reappeared as revisions to Chapter 32 & 33 of Jon Krakauer’s revised softcover edition. The full article, with complete references to both the HB & PB editions appears in the “McChrystal’s Credibility Problem” Appendix. Below, the following excerpts include only “new” material; that is, information that was not in the first hardcover edition (HB) edition in the same or slightly edited form. I’ve indicated the page numbers where each excerpt appeared in the paperback edition (PB) or HB edition. I’ve underlined new material in passages that were otherwise unchanged. I’ve added italics unless otherwise noted. Excerpts without references never appeared in either edition. I’ve done this to highlight the developments Krakauer had supposedly “discovered” between the 3 weeks after receiving my material on 9-17-09 and the publication of this piece. Much of Jon Krakauer’s new material was taken from the transcript of McChrystal’s Senate testimony. It appears some new material came from the package of letters & binders he received at the Sept. 17, 2009 booksigning. There are no information presented here from the interviews he later obtained through FOIA. ... Shortly after President Obama nominated Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal to command U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, the general was summoned to the U.S. Senate to be grilled by the Armed Services Committee. Although McChrystal had enthusiastic admirers on both sides of the congressional aisle and was regarded as an innovative, uncommonly effective leader, he was expected to face difficult questions about two incidents that occurred during his tenure as leader of the Joint Special Operations Command (or JSOC): the torture of detainees in 2003 at the
35

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” secret facility in Iraq known as Camp Nama, and his role in the coverup of Pat Tillman’s fratricide in Afghanistan in 2004. During the committee hearing [June 2, 2009], though, none of McChrystal’s inquisitors probed deeply into either of these issues, and on June 10 the Senate unanimously confirmed his nomination. McChrystal has lately been the subject of numerous media profiles, most of them adulatory. Dexter Filkins has a long story in the upcoming New York Times Magazine. In an October 5 Newsweek article, Evan Thomas referred to the general as a “Zen warrior… with a disarming, low-key style, free of the bombast and sense of entitlement that can come with four stars…. He has great political skills; he couldn’t have risen to his current position without them. But he definitely does not see himself as the sort of military man who would compromise his principles to do the politically convenient thing.” In the week after Tillman was killed, however, this is precisely what McChrystal appears to have done when he administered a fraudulent medal recommendation and submitted it to secretary of the Army, thereby concealing the cause of Tillman’s death. *** Tillman was accidentally gunned down by members of his Ranger platoon on the evening of April 22, 2004. HC 289/PB 334: Lt. Col. Jeffrey Bailey, commander of the 2nd Ranger Battalion, visited the site of the calamity the following morning. A few hours later, he called his boss, Col. James Nixon, commander of the 75th Ranger Regiment, and said (according to Bailey’s sworn testimony [Jones 15-6]), “My gut feeling was that Tillman had been killed by friendly fire…. There was no doubt about it. It was a case where there were six or seven Rangers that saw the vehicle shooting at them.” HC 290/PB 336: Before the day was out, Nixon [McChrystal] notified three [two?] of his superiors [HC: just Kensinger & McChrystal; PB: Kensinger & Brown], including McChrystal, that Tillman’s death was a fratricide. PB336: According to Army regulations [see Teach Lie notification regs.], this information should have been immediately shared with the Tillman family, even if friendly fire was only a possibility. Instead, Army officers embarked on an elaborate campaign to suppress the truth and persuade both the family and the public that Tillman was killed by enemy fire. PB 342: According to McChrystal’s Senate testimony [6-02-09], he “sat down with the people who recommended [the Silver Star]… and we went over a whiteboard, and we looked at the
36

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” geometry of the battlefield, and I queried the people to satisfy myself that, in fact, that his actions warranted [the Silver Star], even though there was a potential that the actual circumstances of death had been friendly fire.” PB 342: The latter clause [potential friendly fire] is a lawyerly flourish on McChrystal’s part, intended to suggest that there was still doubt about the cause of death, when in fact he knew with near-absolute certainty that Tillman was the victim of fratricide. During the medal-recommendation process, McChrystal was shown the preliminary findings of a so-called Article 15-6 investigation that had been launched the day after Tillman died, which included detailed eyewitness testimony from more than a dozen soldiers in his platoon. Transcripts of these interviews described how Tillman, in order to protect a young private under his command, had exposed himself [by throwing grenade] to a ferocious squall of bullets— hundreds of rounds from three machine guns shooting at him from close range. PB 343: McChrystal ascertained, correctly, that the extraordinary valor of Tillman’s act was in no way diminished by the incontrovertible fact that the lethal fusillade had come from his American comrades. “So,” McChrystal testified, “I was comfortable recommending, once I believed that the people in the fight were convinced it warranted a Silver Star.” [HC297]/PB 343: The recommendation package [Teach to Lie] received by Brownlee consisted of four documents: a one-paragraph “award citation” that summarized Tillman’s courageous deed; a five-paragraph “award narrative” that offered a more nuanced account of his actions; and two brief statements from soldiers who witnessed those actions. Astoundingly, none of these documents mentioned, or even hinted, that Tillman was killed by friendly fire. The award citation alleged, “Corporal Tillman put himself in the line of devastating enemy fire,” even though there was never any enemy fire directed at Tillman’s position during the incident. HC297/DB/PB344: The witness statements (which also suggested he was killed by the enemy) were not signed, and the two soldiers whose names were attached to them later testified that both statements had been fabricated, apparently by one or more members of the Silver Star recommendation team [McChrystal, Nixon, Kauzlarich; Bailey was out of the picture by then]. PB 344: In June of this year, during McChrystal’s confirmation hearing, Sen. John McCain asked the general to explain why, five years earlier, he had submitted the perjured Silver Star recommendation “in the form that it was in.” McChrystal replied, “We sent a Silver Star that was not well written—and, although I went through the process, I will tell you now that I didn’t review the citation well enough
37

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” to capture—or, I didn’t catch that, if you read it, you can imply that it was not friendly fire.” McChrystal insisted that the package of four short documents bearing his signature wasn’t meant to deceive. Although he closely supervised the drafting of these documents, he simply failed to notice that all of them had been painstakingly written to omit any reference to friendly fire. During a presentation on October 3 of this year in Mesa[Tempe], Arizona, to promote Where Men Win Glory, my book about Tillman, I described the testimony cited above and expressed skepticism about McChrystal’s honesty. Afterward, while I was signing books, an Army veteran approached me and said that he had served under McChrystal, admired him immensely, and took issue with my accusation that his former commander had dissembled to the Senate, or knowingly participated in any sort of coverup. He said that in his experience McChrystal was a man of unimpeachable integrity. I countered that McChrystal’s words were taken verbatim from a transcript of the Senate hearing, and then added, “Gen. McChrystal is known to be meticulous, a perfectionist. He doesn’t tolerate sloppiness or excuses. Do you really believe that he would sign his name to such an important, high-profile document without first reading it carefully enough to realize it was bogus?” The ex-soldier frowned thoughtfully before answering. “No,” he admitted. “For him to do something like that, he’d have to be under incredible pressure.” *** [HC299]/PB346: Many months later, after the coverup unraveled and the Tillman family demanded the Army reveal who was responsible for the many lies they’d been told, McChrystal would spin the P4 memo as proof that he never meant to conceal the fratricide. But McChrystal took no action to halt the coverup and divulge the truth; his memo merely sounded the alarm that someone needed to warn speechwriters to be ambiguous about the cause of death when crafting statements about Tillman, in order to provide President Bush with deniability. PB 347: If McChrystal had a change of heart after submitting the falsified medal recommendation and wanted the truth to be revealed, all he needed to do was pick up the phone, inform the secretary of the Army that Tillman was killed by friendly fire, and ask him to put the Silver Star on hold until the paperwork could be corrected. That didn’t happen. *** PB 351: McChrystal, who was promoted from Brigadier General to Major General nine days after Tillman’s death [May 1, 2004], was, and remains, intensely ambitious.
38

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” Were he to be held accountable for the fraudulent Silver Star recommendation, his Army career would likely end in disgrace. Why, then, did he take such a risk? Last June, near the conclusion of McChrystal’s Senate confirmation hearing, it seemed as though an answer to this question might be at hand when Sen. Jim Webb told the general, “You have not, to my knowledge, been on record in terms of how you personally feel about this incident, and I would like to give you the opportunity to do that.” PB 347: Appearing genuinely contrite, McChrystal confessed, “We failed the family. And I was a part of that, and I apologize for it.” But then the tenor of his remarks abruptly shifted and he reiterated the same disingenuous claims made by virtually every officer who participated in the subterfuge: “It was not intentional…. I didn’t see any activities by anyone to deceive.” A moment later, nevertheless, McChrystal may have inadvertently revealed what motivated the entire coverup. “To provide context,” he explained to Webb, “we were still in combat when we were doing all of that…. We were in the first battle of Fallujah in Iraq at the same time, so we were making mistakes.” [HC294]/PB 348: One week before Tillman’s death, compounding the bleak news coming out of Fallujah, CBS News notified Rumsfeld and Gen. Richard Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that 60 Minutes II was about to broadcast a story about the torture and abuse of Iraqi captives by U.S. soldiers at a prison called Abu Ghraib. On April 28, the program aired, followed two days later by even more disturbing revelations about Abu Ghraib by Seymour Hersh in The New Yorker. PB 351: Had it been disclosed at the outset that Pat Tillman was killed by friendly fire, the press coverage would have been no less voluminous, but its effect on the nation’s mood would have been very different. Given the overwhelming challenges the United States faces in Afghanistan, and President Obama’s determination that Gen. McChrystal is the most qualified person to command our military campaign there, some may wonder why his dishonesty about Tillman should matter. It matters because deceit by a military officer of McChrystal’s rank is a poisonous betrayal of trust that shouldn’t be countenanced. The possibility that his subterfuge was intended to mislead the public during the run-up to a presidential election is especially troubling.

39

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” From

Is Gen. McChrystal The Best Man For Afghanistan?

Guy Raz -- NPR All Things Considered, October 17, 2009 Writer Jon Krakauer says McChrystal could have been, if not for his involvement in the controversy surrounding the friendly-fire death of Army Ranger Pat Tillman. Krakauer … talks about what he calls Gen. McChrystal's "credibility problem." RAZ: You say General McChrystal was involved in a cover-up. Mr. KRAKAUER: Not only involved; he was at the center of it. He played a pivotal role. You know, in the past, he's made it sound like, oh, yeah, I was sort of peripherally involved and I was handed these documents that I signed for the Silver Star, but I - he claims - this is what he told the Senate. He claims, I didn't read it carefully enough to notice that it didn't mention friendlyfire. Now, anyone who knows McChrystal knows that's preposterous. He is meticulous. He is known to be perfectionist. I asked a soldier who served under him, can you imagine that he - for a document this important and this high profile - he would not read it carefully enough to recognize that there is no mention of friendly-fire? And the soldier reluctantly said no. RAZ: Jon Krakauer, a month ago, you talked with [see 9-14-09, Krakauer Explores Pat Tillman's Death And Cover-Up] my colleague, Melissa Block, about your new book… You called General McChrystal quote, "probably the best man for the job in Afghanistan." Mr. KRAKAUER: I don't argue with people who say he is the most effective commander in the Army. He's done - he's come up with some really important ideas about what to do about cutting down on Afghan civilian deaths, for instance. But I, you know, I have looked into this and there's no doubt in my mind that he has repeatedly lied to the American people, he's deceived the nation, and he has lied to the Senate. He's lied to the Senate Armed Services Committee. RAZ: But if you're making those allegations and you're saying he's lied, then why does any of it matter if you think he is the right man for the job? Mr. KRAKAUER: I don't think he should be in the job. I think he is the best man for the job. RAZ: You don't think he should be in the job? Mr. KRAKAUER: No. I think what he's done is tragic. It's not just tragic for him. It might be tragic for the country. Here you have who is perhaps the best man for job, who has disqualified himself by this act of deceit - a very serious one. If it wasn't Stanley McChrystal, if it was some field grade officer who no one had heard of, who was found guilty of what McChrystal has done, he would be court marshaled.
40

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” From Stanley

McChrystal’s Long War

Dexter Filkins – The New York Times, October 18, 2009 “I took this job because I was asked to take it, and because it is very, very important,” McChrystal told me. “Admiral Mullen” — head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — “specifically said to me: ‘You go out, you decide what needs to be done, and you tell me whatever you need to do that. Don’t constrain yourself because of politics. You tell me what you need.’ ” And so if it was Petraeus who saved Iraq from cataclysm, it now falls to McChrystal to save Afghanistan. Petraeus and McChrystal are in fact close — their bond solidified in the crucible of Iraq. Petraeus, now head of the U.S. military’s Central Command, with overall responsibility for both Iraq and Afghanistan, pushed McChrystal for the job. “He was a key part of the team in Iraq,” Petraeus told me. Yet for all his asceticism, McChrystal displays a subtlety that suggests a wider view of the world. “If you were to go into his house, he has this unreal library,” Maj. Gen. Michael Flynn, McChrystal’s intelligence chief and longtime friend, told me this summer. “You can go over and touch a binding and ask him, ‘What’s that one about?’ And he’ll just start. His bad habit is wandering around old bookstores. He’s not one of these guys that just reads military books. He reads about weird things too. He’s reading a book about Shakespeare right now.” Breaking the cycle of attack and revenge was crucial to stopping the civil war, and it was here, McChrystal and his colleagues say, that JSOC played a critical role. In a series of operations that climaxed in 2006 and 2007, McChrystal’s commandos set out to destroy Al Qaeda of Mesopotamia. McChrystal’s tenure as JSOC’s commander was not flawless. JSOC never got its most wanted quarry, neither Osama bin Laden nor Ayman al-Zawahiri. One of JSOC’s units, Task Force 6-26, was cited for abusing detainees, many of them at a site known as Camp Nama, in Baghdad. McChrystal himself was not implicated, but at least 34 task-force members were disciplined. “There were cases where people made mistakes, and they were punished,” McChrystal told me. “What we did was establish a policy and atmosphere that said that is not what you do. That is not acceptable.” He also signed off [sic] on the Silver Star recommendation for Cpl. Pat Tillman, the N.F.L. star and Army Ranger killed in Afghanistan in April 2004. The medal recommendation erroneously suggested that Tillman was killed by enemy fire; in fact he was killed accidentally by his own men, which McChrystal suspected [sic] at the time. The medal was awarded at a memorial service for Tillman, in which he was lionized as a man killed by the enemy.

41

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” McChrystal said he did indeed sign off on the recommendation for Tillman, because he believed it was warranted. The award was for valor, and Tillman had been extraordinarily brave, regardless of who killed him. McChrystal said he never intended for Tillman’s death to be exploited politically or to convey an incorrect impression about his death. “I certainly regret the way this came out,” McChrystal told me. SHORTLY AFTER HIS ARRIVAL in Afghanistan in June 2009, …When the briefing was finished, McChrystal looked around the room. “Gentlemen, I am coming into this job with 12 months to show demonstrable progress here [he was fired in June 2010] — and 24 months to have a decisive impact,” he said. “That’s how long we have to convince the Taliban, the Afghan people and the American people that we’re going to be successful. In 24 months, it has to be obvious that we have the clear upper hand and that things are moving in the right direction. That’s not a choice. That’s a reality.” When you see a place like Mian Poshteh — wild, broken and isolated — it’s not difficult to see why McChrystal believes he doesn’t have enough troops to do what President Obama has asked him to. ... “Believe me,” he told Jan. “I work for a lot of impatient people, too.”

42

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” From Jon Krakauer Interviewed Meet the Press – November 1, 2009

on Meet the Press

GREGORY: … Because it does involve General Stanley McChrystal, who was obviously critical on the stage now and was critical in the Tillman story of well. … So Pat Tillman was killed in a friendly fire incident and ultimately won the Silver Star, and that's what you focus on in the book and in a subsequent piece that you wrote for The Daily Beast. …Briefly explain what happened. MR. KRAKAUER: The--after Tillman died, the most important thing to know is that within-instantly, within 24 hours certainly, everybody on the ground, everyone intimately involved knew it was friendly fire. There's never any doubt it was friendly fire. McChrystal was told within 24 hours it was friendly fire. Also, immediately they started this paperwork to give Tillman a Silver Star. And the Silver Star ended up being at the center of the cover-up. So McChrystal--Tillman faced this devastating fire from his own guys, and he tried to protect a young private by exposing himself to this, this fire. That's why he was killed and the private wasn't. Without friendly fire there's no valor, there's no Silver Star. There was no enemy fire, yet McChrystal authored, he closely supervised over a number of days this fraudulent medal recommendation that talked about devastating enemy fire. … GREGORY: Even those who were critical of him and the Army say they don't think he willfully deceived anyone. [clip of McChrystal speaking at Senate hearing] MR. KRAKAUER: That's correct. He, he just said now he didn't read this hugely important document about the most famous soldier in the military. He didn't read it carefully enough to notice that it talked about enemy fire instead of friendly fire? That's preposterous. That, that's not believable. GREGORY: All right, part of this debate. Thank you all very much. We'll continue our discussion with Jon Krakauer in our MEET THE PRESS Take Two Web Extra. Plus, read an excerpt from his book, "Where Men Win Glory." It's all on our Web site at mtp.msnbc.com. And we'll be right back. (Announcements) That's all for today. We'll be back next week. If it's Sunday, it's MEET THE PRESS. From SoundOff:

Sunday Talking Heads

Jason Linkins – Huffington Post, November 1, 2009 And like that, we have an abrupt end to MEET THE PRESS, because we wouldn't want anything provocative to happen!\

43

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” From Krakauer: McChrystal shouldn't Lauren Kornreich – CNN, November 6, 2009

be in charge in Afghanistan

Tillman was killed by friendly fire while serving in Afghanistan. Krakauer, author of "Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman," said that despite seeing reports describing the real cause of Tillman's death, McChrystal signed paperwork to award him a Silver Star, which is not normally given to victims of friendly fire. "I think he has a serious blemish on his record," Krakauer said. When asked by CNN's Wolf Blitzer if he thought McChrystal should be in charge of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan, Krakauer answered, "No." "If a lesser officer did what McChrystal did, he would be court marshaled according to Article 107 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, submitting a false official statement," Krakauer said. "It's a very serious offense for which you, if you're found guilty, you can be dishonorably discharged and you can be locked up for five years." McChrystal, now the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, told Congress during his confirmation hearing in June that he made a mistake and misread the report about Tillman's cause of death. But Krakauer said his explanation was "purged. It's not believable. It's preposterous." "Someone who is guilty of that kind of offense, and I believe McChrystal is, should not be commander of the forces," Krakauer said. "It sends a terrible message. I mean, Afghanistan is fighting corruption… And here's a guy, who five years [5 months before?] ago lied to the Senate. He lied to Army investigators. And he submitted this fraudulent document." But a Pentagon spokesman said McChrystal still believes that Tillman deserves the Silver Star medal. "General McChrystal acknowledges that in the aftermath of this confusing and emotionallycharged incident he did not review the award citation carefully enough before forwarding it up the chain of command, but to this day he steadfastly believes Corporal Tillman's actions before his death warrant the honor," Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said in a statement. Tune into The Situation Room on Saturday beginning at 6 p.m. ET for Wolf Blitzer's full interview with Krakauer.

44

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” From THE

SITUATION ROOM

Wolf Blitzer – CNN, November 7, 2009 BLITZER: I want to play a little clip from the testimony that General Stanley McChrystal gave during his confirmation hearings to become the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, about his role in deciding that Pat Tillman should be granted the Silver Star. Listen to how he defended himself. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GEN. STANLEY MCCHRYSTAL, U.S. ARMY: I arrived back into Afghanistan from a meeting in Qatar with General Abizaid on about the 23rd, and I was informed at that point that they suspected that friendly fire might have been the cause of death and they had initiated what we call a 15-6, or an investigation of that. At the same time, we looked at his potential award for valor. And any lost soldier, they immediately look and determine whether an award was appropriate. In the case of Corporal Tillman, a Silver Star was recommended. I sat down with the people who recommended it, but that was higher than some had been given, and we went over a white board and we looked at the geometry of the battlefield and I queried the people to satisfy myself that, in fact, that his actions warranted that, even though there was a potential that the actual circumstance of death had been friendly fire. So I was comfortable recommending, once I believed that the people in the fight were convinced it warranted a Silver Star, and I was, too, with forwarding that. I also sent a message informing my chain of command that we believed it was fratricide, and we did that when we were told there were going to be fairly high-profile memorial services. Now, what happens, in retrospect, is -- and I would do this differently if I had the chance again. In retrospect, they look contradictory because we sent a Silver Star that was not well written, and although I went through the process, I will tell you now I didn't review the citation well enough to capture, or I didn't catch that if you read it, you could imply that it was not friendly fire. So I say that in the two things which I believe were entirely well intentioned on my part, and in my view, everyone forward that I saw was trying to do the right thing, it still produced confusion at a tragic time. And I'm very sorry for that because I understand that the outcome produced a perception that I don't believe was at all involved, at least in the forces that were forward. SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: And you believe that Corporal Tillman earned the Silver
45

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” Star by his actions before he died. MCCHRYSTAL: Sir, I absolutely do. I did then. I do now. (END VIDEO CLIP) BLITZER: All right, Jon Krakauer, what, if anything, is wrong with his explanation? KRAKAUER: It's perjured. It's not believable. It's preposterous. He is saying that after spending a number of days on the ground in eastern Afghanistan with the commander, Tillman's commander of the 2nd Ranger battalion, that he signed his name to this fraudulent document recommending a Silver Star. This document that he signed his name to, he was the author of record. He reviewed carefully, made -- not only did it make no mention of friendly fire in reference to Tillman's death, it used a phrase, "He faced devastating enemy fire." At the time, McChrystal knew this was not true. McChrystal at the time was absolutely certain Tillman had been killed by friendly fire, yet he submitted this document to the secretary of the Army. He implies in this testimony that, Oh, at the same time, we sent this e- mail, you know, warning people that, well, he was killed by friendly fire. He sent that e-mail 24 hours later. And he didn't send it to the secretary of the Army, the person who ultimately approved the Silver Star. He sent it -- it was intended for President Bush's speech writers, warning them that if the information of fratricide leaked out -- not when, but if it leaked out, they had to be careful what they wrote for the president because if he quoted from this bogus Silver Star document, he would embarrass himself by appearing as a liar. Now, that's a very different thing than that testimony suggests. There's simply no way to get around the fact that McChrystal knowingly submitted this fraudulent document to the secretary of the Army. He never called the secretary of the Army back and said, Oh, I forgot, you know, I unintentionally -- you need to know this was friendly fire. Maybe we should put the Silver Star on hold until we sort this out. KRAKAUER: He didn't do that, so... BLITZER: You're saying, Jon -- let me just interrupt. You're saying that General McChrystal deliberately lied in signing that document. KRAKAUER: Absolutely. There's no other way to interpret that. You don't have to take my word for it. There was a very thorough investigation by the inspector general of the Defense Department, and they found that McChrystal's -- the same explanation he gave to the Senate -was not credible. They criticized him. They determined that he should be held accountable for the fraudulent Silver Star. They determined that the Army should take action against him. And
46

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” they would have accepted -- a crony of McChrystal's, a four-star general named William Wallace (ph), simply overruled the inspector general of the Pentagon and let McChrystal completely off the hook. ...

BLITZER: Should he be... the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan? KRAKAUER: No, he should not. … Someone who is guilty of that kind of offense, and I believe McChrystal is, should not be commander of the forces. It sends a terrible message. I mean, Afghanistan is fighting corruption. The nation is being asked to sign off on this long-term commitment that's very problematic and very risky for the nation, and here's a guy who five years ago [no, 5 months ago] lied to the Senate. He lied to Army investigators, and he submitted this fraudulent document. That's not something -- you know, if you just -- if you just walk away from that and ignore it, that's a terrible thing.

KRAKAUER: … But I think that General McChrystal for five years has been getting by. I mean, I'm not the first person to bring this up. The Tillman family's been bringing this up ever since Pat died, and they've just been brushed off. They've gotten- they've been stonewalled at the highest reaches. It's time for someone finally to hold General McChrystal accountable. …You know, the friendly fire was a terrible accident. There were some screw-ups involved. But the real tragedy happened afterwards, and it happened about this cover-up from top to bottom in the Army, up and down the chain of command. And to this day, the Army claims unbelievably that it was just a series of innocent mistakes, that there was no intent to deceive. That's what McChrystal says, There was -- I never saw any intent to deceive. That, on the face of it, is just unbelievable. So it's time for, finally, you know, the Army to just come clean. And McChrystal is at the very center of that deception. And for everyone to say, Well, gosh, you know, he's this very effective commander -- he's considered the most effective in the Army, and I don't dispute that. But someone who has this blemish on his record should not be our commander in Afghanistan. BLITZER: We asked the Pentagon for reaction to Jon Krakauer's claims and got this statement from the Pentagon press secretary, Geoff Morrell: "General McChrystal acknowledges that in the aftermath of this confusing and emotionally-charged incident, he did not review the award citation carefully enough before forwarding it up the chain of command. But to this day, he steadfastly believes Corporal Tillman's actions before his death warrant the honor."
47

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” From Sundance

2010: Michael Moore Loves the Pat Tillman Documentary, but Will Middle America?
Steven Zeitchik – LA Times, January 24, 2010 Bar-Lev directs "The Tillman Story" (formerly "I'm Pat ____Tillman," after what may have been the soldier's last words) with aplomb. … But for all the movie's creative virtues, (it's also a pretty compelling meditation on hero worship), there's a marketing snag to whatever distributor winds up buying it out of Park City. Tillman's fan base is comprised at least partly of the patriots and pro-militarists, the hawks and the Fox News watchers, who found inspiration in the story of a football player who decides to fight for the U.S. entirely of his own accord. Indeed, part of the appeal of the movie -- as A&E Indie FIlms, which made it, and CAA and Submarine Entertainment, which is selling it, have reminded -- is that the Tillman name recognition will help it play to a right-wing audience. In the film, Tillman's mother, Dannie, is especially impressive -- thoughtful, controlled and articulate -- and will no doubt be an asset when it comes to getting the word out. The family generally cuts a magnetic and candid figure. Asked about Jon Krakauer's book about Tillman, the soldier's youngest brother[Richard] told the screening audience of the author that "that guy's a piece of ..." Dannie then chimed in, with a shrug of her shoulders, "I can't muzzle him." The movie honestly vocalizes plenty of truths. But it could be a trick to get people to listen.

48

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem”

APPENDIX D:
Krakauer Writes “Gen. McChrystal’s Credibility Problem” (Daily Beast, October 14, 2009)
On September 15, 2009, Jon Krakauer released the first edition of his book Where Men Win Glory – The Odyssey of Pat Tillman. In this hardcover edition, Gen. Stanley McChrystal was barely a footnote. Just a month later, Krakauer published “Gen. McChrystal’s Credibility Problem.” In this “Daily Beast” piece, he “expressed skepticism about McChrystal’s honesty.” He wrote that McChrystal “had dissembled to the Senate” … “he closely supervised the drafting of these [Silver Star] documents”… “administered a fraudulent medal recommendation … thereby concealing the cause of Tillman’s death.” But none of this new material appeared in Krakauer’s first edition. Why did he suddenly begin talking about McChrystal’s central role in the cover-up shortly after his book was released? Well, just two days after his first edition was released about 200 pages of my material (two letters and two binders) were literally placed in Krakauer’s hands by my Aunt Candy at his Boulder CO book signing on September 17, 2009. This material described how Gen. Stanley McChrystal played a central role in the cover-up of Pat Tillman’s 2004 friendly-fire death in Afghanistan (paying particular attention to McChrystal’s own testimony at his June 2009 Senate confirmation hearing). A comparison of the Where Men Win Glory book editions, his piece “McChrystal’s Credibility Problem,” and my material given to Krakauer shows that my documents were the source (directly or indirectly) for nearly all of his significant updates in the paperback edition: In “Gen. McChrystal’s Credibility Problem,” Krakauer did briefly allude to the Senate’s pro forma hearing: “During the committee hearing [June 2, 2009 Senate confirmation] … none of McChrystal’s inquisitors probed deeply into either of these issues [Pat Tillman cover-up and torture by McChrystal’s JSOC forces at Camp Nama].“ However, in Krakauer’s updated 2010 paperback edition (despite haven been given my material), he continued to fail to describe how the Democratic Congress and President Obama continued the Bush administration’s whitewash of Gen. McChrystal.

49

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem”

Unabridged “General McChrystal’s Credibility Problem” With Page References to Where Men Win Glory
Jon Krakauer -- The Daily Beast -- October 14, 2009 | 11:10pm Note: Each paragraph has a reference to the page #’s of Jon Krakauer’s hardcover and/or paperback editions of his “Where Men Win Glory” However, the paragraph is often not identical in each edition; the most drastic differences are indicated by [ ]; see Appendices for Paperback Revisons for a more detailed comparison). All underlining was added for emphasis. Abbreviation Key: HC – Hard Cover, PB – Paper Back; No page number indicates the paragraph appeared only in this piece and was not included in either edition of the book. ... The man chosen by Barack Obama to lead the war in Afghanistan also helped cover up the friendly-fire death of NFL player turned soldier Pat Tillman, writes Jon Krakauer. He administered a fraudulent medal recommendation to keep the public in the dark. So why isn’t anybody talking about it? [italics added by Daily Beast editors] Shortly after President Obama nominated Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal to command U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, the general was summoned to the U.S. Senate to be grilled by the Armed Services Committee. Although McChrystal had enthusiastic admirers on both sides of the congressional aisle and was regarded as an innovative, uncommonly effective leader, he was expected to face difficult questions about two incidents that occurred during his tenure as leader of the Joint Special Operations Command (or JSOC): the torture of detainees in 2003 at the secret facility in Iraq known as Camp Nama, and his role in the coverup of Pat Tillman’s fratricide in Afghanistan in 2004. During the committee hearing [June 2, 2009], though, none of McChrystal’s inquisitors probed deeply into either of these issues, and on June 10 the Senate unanimously confirmed his nomination. McChrystal has lately been the subject of numerous media profiles, most of them adulatory. Dexter Filkins has a long story in the upcoming New York Times Magazine. In an October 5 Newsweek article, Evan Thomas referred to the general as a “Zen warrior… with a disarming, low-key style, free of the bombast and sense of entitlement that can come with four stars…. He has great political skills; he couldn’t have risen to his current position without them. But he definitely does not see himself as the sort of military man who would compromise his principles to do the politically convenient thing.” In the week after Tillman was killed, however, this is precisely what McChrystal appears to have done when he administered a fraudulent medal recommendation and submitted it to secretary of the Army, thereby concealing the cause of Tillman’s death.
50

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” *** Tillman was accidentally gunned down by members of his Ranger platoon on the evening of April 22, 2004. HC 289/PB 334: Lt. Col. Jeffrey Bailey, commander of the 2nd Ranger Battalion, visited the site of the calamity the following morning. A few hours later, he called his boss, Col. James Nixon, commander of the 75th Ranger Regiment, and said (according to Bailey’s sworn testimony [Jones 15-6]), “My gut feeling was that Tillman had been killed by friendly fire…. There was no doubt about it. It was a case where there were six or seven Rangers that saw the vehicle shooting at them.”

Chapter Thirty-Two:
HC 290/PB 336: Before the day was out, Nixon [McChrystal] notified three [two?] of his superiors [HC: just Kensinger & McChrystal; PB: Kensinger & Brown], including McChrystal, that Tillman’s death was a fratricide. PB336: According to Army regulations [see Teach Lie notification regs.], this information should have been immediately shared with the Tillman family, even if friendly fire was only a possibility. Instead, Army officers embarked on an elaborate campaign to suppress the truth and persuade both the family and the public that Tillman was killed by enemy fire. HC291/PB 337 [condensed account]: Soldiers [O’Neal] were ordered to lie. Tillman’s notebook, uniform, ammo vest, and body armor were burned, in clear violation of other important protocols. HC290/PB 335: At the time of Tillman’s fratricide, McChrystal was only a one-star [corrected from HC] general, but as commander of JSOC he ran the most covert branch of the U.S. armed forces. Shrewd, driven, and willing to bend rules to get results, 13 months earlier he’d commanded the Navy SEALs, Delta Force operators, and Army Rangers who’d rescued Jessica Lynch from her captors in Iraq. Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld held McChrystal in the highest esteem, and regularly bypassed the chain of command to communicate with him directly. He was trustworthy. He worked under the radar and got stuff done. He didn’t suffer from “the slows,” as Rumsfeld characterized the risk-averse nature of some of McChrystal’s superiors.

Chapter Thirty Three:
HC297/PB 342: Within two days of Tillman’s death, officers in the 2nd Ranger Battalion initiated paperwork to give Tillman the Silver Star, the military’s third highest decoration for valor.
51

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” HC298/PB 342: McChrystal was put in charge of writing and expediting the medal recommendation so that the award could be announced in advance of a nationally televised memorial service scheduled for May 3. PB 342: According to McChrystal’s Senate testimony [6-02-09], he “sat down with the people who recommended [the Silver Star]… and we went over a whiteboard, and we looked at the geometry of the battlefield, and I queried the people to satisfy myself that, in fact, that his actions warranted [the Silver Star], even though there was a potential that the actual circumstances of death had been friendly fire.” PB 342: The latter clause [potential friendly fire] is a lawyerly flourish on McChrystal’s part, intended to suggest that there was still doubt about the cause of death, when in fact he knew with near-absolute certainty that Tillman was the victim of fratricide. During the medalrecommendation process, McChrystal was shown the preliminary findings of a so-called Article 15-6 investigation that had been launched the day after Tillman died, which included detailed eyewitness testimony from more than a dozen soldiers in his platoon. Transcripts of these interviews described how Tillman, in order to protect a young private under his command, had exposed himself [by throwing grenade] to a ferocious squall of bullets—hundreds of rounds from three machine guns shooting at him from close range. PB 343: McChrystal ascertained, correctly[?], that the extraordinary valor of Tillman’s act was in no way diminished by the incontrovertible fact that the lethal fusillade had come from his American comrades. “So,” McChrystal testified, “I was comfortable recommending, once I believed that the people in the fight were convinced it warranted a Silver Star.” HC298/PB343: On April 28, 2004, six days after Tillman’s death, McChrystal reviewed a final draft of the medal recommendation, signed his name to it, and emailed it to the acting secretary of the Army, R.L. Brownlee. [HC297]/PB 343: The recommendation package [Teach to Lie] received by Brownlee consisted of four documents: a one-paragraph “award citation” that summarized Tillman’s courageous deed; a five-paragraph “award narrative” that offered a more nuanced account of his actions; and two brief statements from soldiers who witnessed those actions. Astoundingly, none of these documents mentioned, or even hinted, that Tillman was killed by friendly fire. The award citation alleged, “Corporal Tillman put himself in the line of devastating enemy fire,” even though there was never any enemy fire directed at Tillman’s position during the incident. HC297/PB343: The witness statements (which also suggested he was killed by the enemy) were not signed, and the two soldiers whose names were attached to them later testified that both statements had been fabricated, apparently by one or more members of the Silver Star recommendation team.

52

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” PB 344: In June of this year, during McChrystal’s confirmation hearing, Sen. John McCain asked the general to explain why, five years earlier, he had submitted the perjured Silver Star recommendation “in the form that it was in.” McChrystal replied, “We sent a Silver Star that was not well written—and, although I went through the process, I will tell you now that I didn’t review the citation well enough to capture—or, I didn’t catch that, if you read it, you can imply that it was not friendly fire.” McChrystal insisted that the package of four short documents bearing his signature wasn’t meant to deceive. Although he closely supervised the drafting of these documents, he simply failed to notice that all of them had been painstakingly written to omit any reference to friendly fire. During a presentation on October 3 of this year in Mesa, Arizona, to promote Where Men Win Glory, my book about Tillman, I described the testimony cited above and expressed skepticism about McChrystal’s honesty. Afterward, while I was signing books, an Army veteran approached me and said that he had served under McChrystal, admired him immensely, and took issue with my accusation that his former commander had dissembled to the Senate, or knowingly participated in any sort of coverup. He said that in his experience McChrystal was a man of unimpeachable integrity. I countered that McChrystal’s words were taken verbatim from a transcript of the Senate hearing, and then added, “Gen. McChrystal is known to be meticulous, a perfectionist. He doesn’t tolerate sloppiness or excuses. Do you really believe that he would sign his name to such an important, high-profile document without first reading it carefully enough to realize it was bogus?” The ex-soldier frowned thoughtfully before answering. “No,” he admitted. “For him to do something like that, he’d have to be under incredible pressure.” *** HC298/PB 345: On April 28, 2004, the same day McChrystal sent the Silver Star recommendation to the secretary of the Army, he received word from Rumsfeld’s office that the White House was working on a speech in which President Bush would eulogize Tillman at the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner. Because the true cause of Tillman’s death had been restricted to a tight cadre that did not include the president’s speechwriters, McChrystal fretted they might inadvertently script something that would make the president look like a liar should the truth about Tillman eventually be leaked. HC298/PB 346: To forestall such a gaffe, one day after submitting the falsified medal recommendation, McChrystal emailed a high-priority personal memo (known as a “Personal For” memo, or simply a “P4”) to Gen. John Abizaid, the commander of all troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and two other general officers [Brown, Kensinger]: “Sir, in the aftermath of Corporal Patrick Tillman’s untimely yet heroic death in Afghanistan on 22 April 04,” McChrystal wrote, “it is anticipated that a 15-6 investigation nearing completion will find that it is highly possible that Corporal Tillman was killed by friendly fire. This potential finding is exacerbated by the unconfirmed but
53

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” suspected reports that [the president of the United States] and the secretary of the Army might include comments about Corporal Tillman’s heroism and his approved Silver Star medal in speeches currently being prepared…. I felt that it was essential that you received this information as soon as we detected it in order to preclude any unknowing statements by our country’s leaders which might cause public embarrassment if the circumstances of Corporal Tillman’s death become public.” [HC299]/PB346: Many months later, after the coverup unraveled and the Tillman family demanded the Army reveal who was responsible for the many lies they’d been told, McChrystal would spin the P4 memo as proof that he never meant to conceal the fratricide. But McChrystal took no action to halt the coverup and divulge the truth; his memo merely sounded the alarm that someone needed to warn speechwriters to be ambiguous about the cause of death when crafting statements about Tillman, in order to provide President Bush with deniability. HC299/PB347: (In the speech Bush gave at the correspondents’ dinner two days after the P4 was sent, the president praised Tillman for his courage and sacrifice, but pointedly made no mention of how he died.) PB 347: If McChrystal had a change of heart after submitting the falsified medal recommendation and wanted the truth to be revealed, all he needed to do was pick up the phone, inform the secretary of the Army that Tillman was killed by friendly fire, and ask him to put the Silver Star on hold until the paperwork could be corrected. That didn’t happen. HC298/PB347: Instead, Secretary Brownlee approved the medal based on the spurious documents submitted by McChrystal, and on April 30 the Army issued a press release announcing that Tillman had been posthumously awarded the Silver Star. HC298/PB 347: Because it made no mention of friendly fire, none of the hundreds of news stories based on the press release reported anything about friendly fire, and the nation was kept in the dark about the fratricide. As Brigadier General Howard Yellen later testified, “For the civilian on the street, the interpretation would be that he was killed by enemy fire.” *** PB 351: McChrystal, who was promoted from Brigadier General to Major General nine days after Tillman’s death [May 1, 2004], was, and remains, intensely ambitious. Were he to be held accountable for the fraudulent Silver Star recommendation, his Army career would likely end in disgrace. Why, then, did he take such a risk? Last June, near the conclusion of McChrystal’s Senate confirmation hearing, it seemed as though an answer to this question might be at hand when Sen. Jim Webb told the general, “You have not, to my knowledge, been on record in terms of how you personally feel about this incident, and I would like to give you the opportunity to do that.”

54

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” PB 347: Appearing genuinely contrite, McChrystal confessed, “We failed the family. And I was a part of that, and I apologize for it.” But then the tenor of his remarks abruptly shifted and he reiterated the same disingenuous claims made by virtually every officer who participated in the subterfuge: “It was not intentional…. I didn’t see any activities by anyone to deceive.” A moment later, nevertheless, McChrystal may have inadvertently revealed what motivated the entire coverup. “To provide context,” he explained to Webb, “we were still in combat when we were doing all of that…. We were in the first battle of Fallujah in Iraq at the same time, so we were making mistakes.” HC 295/PB 348: Three weeks before Tillman was killed, horrific violence engulfed Fallujah. The bloodshed commenced when Iraqi insurgents killed four American contractors working for Blackwater USA, burned their bodies, dragged them through the streets, and then hung their charred remains from a bridge over the Euphrates River. In response, 2,000 U.S. Marines launched an assault on the city, initiating furious urban combat that continued until the Marines were pulled out of Fallujah on May 1, 2004, by which time 27 American troops were dead, and more than 90 had been wounded. [HC294]/PB 348: One week before Tillman’s death, compounding the bleak news coming out of Fallujah, CBS News notified Rumsfeld and Gen. Richard Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that 60 Minutes II was about to broadcast a story about the torture and abuse of Iraqi captives by U.S. soldiers at a prison called Abu Ghraib. On April 28, the program aired, followed two days later by even more disturbing revelations about Abu Ghraib by Seymour Hersh in The New Yorker. HC295/PB349: Public support for both the Bush administration and the war in Iraq was plummeting. The president was engaged in a bare-knuckled campaign to win a second term. The election was barely six months away. When Tillman was killed, White House perception managers saw an opportunity to divert the nation’s attention from the glut of bad news. HC295/PB 349: The administration had tried to make Tillman an inspirational emblem for the Global War on Terror when he was alive, but he had rebuffed these efforts by refusing to do any media interviews. HC295/PB349 [condensed version]: On April 23, the day after Tillman perished, approximately 200 emails about Tillman were transmitted or received by White House officials, including staffers from Bush’s reelection campaign, who suggested to the president that it would be advantageous for him to respond to Tillman’s death as quickly as possible. A press release about Tillman’s patriotic sacrifice was hastily written and disseminated to the media before noon that same day. Communications Director Dan Bartlett later explained that he rushed out the statement in order to accommodate overwhelming interest in Tillman from the media, noting that the story “made the American people feel good about our country… and our military.” HC297/PB 351: When he walked away from a $3.6 million National Football League contract to enlist in the Army with his brother Kevin in 2002, Pat Tillman became the object of tremendous public fascination, and White House officials calculated that celebrating him as a fallen hero would send the media into an orgy of reverential coverage. They were not
55

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” disappointed. Thousands of tributes to Tillman appeared in all manner of media over the weeks that followed. HC297/PB351: On April 25, 2004, just two days after the initial White House press release, a “Weekend Media Assessment” compiled by the Army chief of staff’s Office of Public Affairs reported that stories about Tillman had generated the greatest interest in the Army since the president’s “Mission Accomplished” speech the previous May, adding that the Tillman stories “had been extremely positive in all media.” HC297/PB351: The Army’s announcement on April 30 that Tillman had been awarded the Silver Star prompted another torrent of favorable press. PB 351: Had it been disclosed at the outset that Pat Tillman was killed by friendly fire, the press coverage would have been no less voluminous, but its effect on the nation’s mood would have been very different. HC319/PB375: This is the context in which the Tillman cover-up, and Gen. McChrystal’s central role in the deception, must be considered. As Kevin Tillman testified, “Revealing that Pat’s death was fratricide would have been yet another political disaster during a month already swollen with political disasters…. So the facts needed to be suppressed. An alternative narrative needed to be constructed.” McChrystal’s chicanery, Kevin [Mary?] explained, was “an insult to the Tillman family, but more importantly, its primary purpose was to deceive a nation…. We have been used as props in a public-relations exercise.” Given the overwhelming challenges the United States faces in Afghanistan, and President Obama’s determination that Gen. McChrystal is the most qualified person to command our military campaign there, some may wonder why his dishonesty about Tillman should matter. It matters because deceit by a military officer of McChrystal’s rank is a poisonous betrayal of trust that shouldn’t be countenanced. The possibility that his subterfuge was intended to mislead the public during the run-up to a presidential election is especially troubling. HC321/PB 377: “What we have here is a very clear, deliberate abuse intentionally done,” lamented Rep. Henry Waxman at the conclusion of a [April 24] 2007 hearing into the Tillman coverup by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. “Why is it so hard to find out who did it?”

.

56

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem”

Summary of New Material in Jon Krakauer’s “Gen. McChrystal’s Credibility Problem”
October 3, 2009: “Where Men Win Glory” Book Signing in Tempe, AZ
Note: the following excerpts are taken from Jon Krakauer’s October 14, 2009 Daily Beast piece, “Gen. McChrystal’s Credibility Problem.” ... “During a presentation on October 3 of this year in Mesa [Tempe], Arizona, to promote Where Men Win Glory, my book about Tillman, I described the [Senate] testimony … and expressed skepticism about McChrystal’s honesty.” “Afterward, while I was signing books, an Army veteran approached me and said that he had served under McChrystal, admired him immensely, and took issue with my accusation that his former commander had dissembled to the Senate, or knowingly participated in any sort of coverup. He said that in his experience McChrystal was a man of unimpeachable integrity.” “I countered that McChrystal’s words were taken verbatim from a transcript of the Senate hearing, and then added, “Gen. McChrystal is known to be meticulous, a perfectionist. He doesn’t tolerate sloppiness or excuses. Do you really believe that he would sign his name to such an important, high-profile document without first reading it carefully enough to realize it was bogus?” The ex-soldier frowned thoughtfully before answering. “No,” he admitted. “For him to do something like that, he’d have to be under incredible pressure.” ...

October 14, 2009: Krakauer Posts “McChrystal’s Credibility Problem”
Jon Krakauer published “Gen. McChrystal’s Credibility Problem” in The Daily Beast on October 14, 2009. In July 2010 much of his article reappeared in Chapter’s 32 & 33 of Jon Krakauer’s revised paperback edition of Where Men Win Glory. See my Appendices to read the complete article, with complete annotations to both the HB & PB editions. Below, the following excerpts include only “new” information; that is, information that was not in the first hardcover edition (HB) edition in the same or slightly edited form. I’ve indicated the page numbers of each excerpt in the paperback edition (PB) and/or HB edition. I’ve underlined
57

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” new information in passages that were otherwise unchanged. Italics are mine, usually indicating new information, unless otherwise noted. Excerpts without page references never appeared in either edition of his book. I’ve done this to highlight the material that Krakauer claims he “discovered” in the month after receiving my material on September 17, 2009 and the publication of this piece on October 14, 2009. ... Most of Jon Krakauer’s new material was taken from the transcript of McChrystal’s Senate testimony. Other information appears to have been obtained from information in my letters to him and the two binders handed to him at the Septemer 17, 2009 book signing. ...

Gen. McChrystal’s Nomination by President Obama to Head Afghan War Confirmed After Pro Forma Senate Hearing:
Shortly after President Obama nominated Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal to command U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, the general was summoned to the U.S. Senate to be grilled by the Armed Services Committee. Although McChrystal had enthusiastic admirers on both sides of the congressional aisle and was regarded as an innovative, uncommonly effective leader, he was expected to face difficult questions about two incidents that occurred during his tenure as leader of the Joint Special Operations Command (or JSOC): the torture of detainees in 2003 at the secret facility in Iraq known as Camp Nama, and his role in the coverup of Pat Tillman’s fratricide in Afghanistan in 2004. During the committee hearing [June 2, 2009], though, none of McChrystal’s inquisitors probed deeply into either of these issues, and on June 10 the Senate unanimously confirmed his nomination.

There was no Doubt About Friendly Fire and Ranger RGT Officers Began Cover Up:
HC 289/PB 334: Lt. Col. Jeffrey Bailey, commander of the 2nd Ranger Battalion, visited the site of the calamity the following morning. A few hours later, he called his boss, Col. James
58

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” Nixon [MAJ Hodne in HC], commander of the 75th Ranger Regiment, and said (according to Bailey’s sworn testimony [Jones 15-6]), “My gut feeling was that Tillman had been killed by friendly fire…. There was no doubt about it. It was a case where there were six or seven Rangers that saw the vehicle shooting at them.” PB336: According to Army regulations, this information should have been immediately shared with the Tillman family, even if friendly fire was only a possibility. Instead, Army officers embarked on an elaborate campaign to suppress the truth and persuade both the family and the public that Tillman was killed by enemy fire.

McChrystal Closely Supervised the Fraudulent Silver Star Recommendation & Submitted It Despite Knowing of Friendly Fire:
PB 344: In June of this year, during McChrystal’s confirmation hearing, Sen. John McCain asked the general to explain why, five years earlier, he had submitted the perjured Silver Star recommendation “in the form that it was in.” McChrystal replied, “We sent a Silver Star that was not well written—and, although I went through the process, I will tell you now that I didn’t review the citation well enough to capture—or, I didn’t catch that, if you read it, you can imply that it was not friendly fire.” McChrystal insisted that the package of four short documents bearing his signature wasn’t meant to deceive. Although he closely supervised the drafting of these documents, he simply failed to notice that all of them had been painstakingly written to omit any reference to friendly fire. PB 342: According to McChrystal’s Senate testimony [6-02-09], he “sat down with the people who recommended [the Silver Star]… and we went over a whiteboard, and we looked at the geometry of the battlefield, and I queried the people to satisfy myself that, in fact, that his actions warranted [the Silver Star], even though there was a potential that the actual circumstances of death had been friendly fire.” PB 342: The latter clause [potential friendly fire] is a lawyerly flourish on McChrystal’s part, intended to suggest that there was still doubt about the cause of death, when in fact he knew with near-absolute certainty that Tillman was the victim of fratricide. PB 342: During the medal-recommendation process, McChrystal was shown the preliminary findings of a so-called Article 15-6 investigation that had been launched the day after Tillman died, which included detailed eyewitness testimony from more than a dozen soldiers in his platoon. Transcripts of these interviews described how Tillman, in order to protect a young

59

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” private under his command, had exposed himself [by throwing grenade] to a ferocious squall of bullets—hundreds of rounds from three machine guns shooting at him from close range. PB 343: McChrystal ascertained, correctly, that the extraordinary valor of Tillman’s act was in no way diminished by the incontrovertible fact that the lethal fusillade had come from his American comrades. “So,” McChrystal testified, “I was comfortable recommending, once I believed that the people in the fight were convinced it warranted a Silver Star.” [HC297]/PB 343: The recommendation package received by Brownlee consisted of four documents: a one-paragraph “award citation” that summarized Tillman’s courageous deed; a five-paragraph “award narrative” that offered a more nuanced account of his actions; and two brief statements from soldiers who witnessed those actions. Astoundingly, none of these documents mentioned, or even hinted, that Tillman was killed by friendly fire. The award citation alleged, “Corporal Tillman put himself in the line of devastating enemy fire,” even though there was never any enemy fire directed at Tillman’s position during the incident. DB: The witness statements (which also suggested he was killed by the enemy) were not signed, and the two soldiers whose names were attached to them later testified that both statements had been fabricated, apparently by one or more members of the Silver Star recommendation team [McChrystal, Nixon, Kauzlarich; Bailey was out of the picture by then].

Gen. McChrystal Spun P4 Memo As Proof He Didn’t Conceal Friendly Fire:
[HC299]/PB346: Many months later, after the coverup unraveled and the Tillman family demanded the Army reveal who was responsible for the many lies they’d been told, McChrystal would spin the P4 memo as proof that he never meant to conceal the fratricide. But McChrystal took no action to halt the coverup and divulge the truth; his memo merely sounded the alarm that someone needed to warn speechwriters to be ambiguous about the cause of death when crafting statements about Tillman, in order to provide President Bush with deniability. PB 347: If McChrystal had a change of heart after submitting the falsified medal recommendation and wanted the truth to be revealed, all he needed to do was pick up the phone, inform the secretary of the Army that Tillman was killed by friendly fire, and ask him to put the Silver Star on hold until the paperwork could be corrected. That didn’t happen.

60

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem”

Gen. McChrystal Constructed a False Narrative to Avoid Another Public Relations Disaster:
PB 351: McChrystal, who was promoted from Brigadier General to Major General nine days after Tillman’s death [May 1, 2004], was, and remains, intensely ambitious. Were he to be held accountable for the fraudulent Silver Star recommendation, his Army career would likely end in disgrace. Why, then, did he take such a risk? Last June, near the conclusion of McChrystal’s Senate confirmation hearing, it seemed as though an answer to this question might be at hand when Sen. Jim Webb told the general, “You have not, to my knowledge, been on record in terms of how you personally feel about this incident, and I would like to give you the opportunity to do that.” PB 347: Appearing genuinely contrite, McChrystal confessed, “We failed the family. And I was a part of that, and I apologize for it.” But then the tenor of his remarks abruptly shifted and he reiterated the same disingenuous claims made by virtually every officer who participated in the subterfuge: “It was not intentional…. I didn’t see any activities by anyone to deceive.” A moment later, nevertheless, McChrystal may have inadvertently revealed what motivated the entire coverup. “To provide context,” he explained to Webb, “we were still in combat when we were doing all of that…. We were in the first battle of Fallujah in Iraq at the same time, so we were making mistakes.”

Although the Best Man for the Job, Gen. McChrystal’s Deceit Matters:
McChrystal has lately been the subject of numerous media profiles, most of them adulatory. … But he definitely does not see himself as the sort of military man who would compromise his principles to do the politically convenient thing. In the week after Tillman was killed, however, this is precisely what McChrystal appears to have done when he administered a fraudulent [Silver Star] medal recommendation and submitted it to secretary of the Army, thereby concealing the cause of Tillman’s death. Given the overwhelming challenges the United States faces in Afghanistan, and President Obama’s determination that Gen. McChrystal is the most qualified person to command our military campaign there, some may wonder why his dishonesty about Tillman should matter. It matters because deceit by a military officer of McChrystal’s rank is a poisonous betrayal of trust that shouldn’t be countenanced. The possibility that his subterfuge was intended to mislead the public during the run-up to a presidential election is especially troubling.
61

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem”

Excerpts From “General McChrystal’s Credibility Problem” That Do Not Appear in Either Edition of Jon Krakauer’s Book “Where Men Win Glory”
Note: I’ve only included the excerpts here that do not appear in the paperback edition of Jon Krakauer’s book “Where Men Win Glory.” Underlining has been added to the text for emphasis. I’ve rearranged the quotes for greater organization.

Tillman was accidentally gunned down by members of his Ranger platoon on the evening of April 22, 2004. ... McChrystal has lately been the subject of numerous media profiles, most of them adulatory. Dexter Filkins has a long story in the upcoming New York Times Magazine. In an October 5 Newsweek article, Evan Thomas referred to the general as a “Zen warrior… with a disarming, low-key style, free of the bombast and sense of entitlement that can come with four stars…. He has great political skills; he couldn’t have risen to his current position without them. But he definitely does not see himself as the sort of military man who would compromise his principles to do the politically convenient thing.” In the week after Tillman was killed, however, this is precisely what McChrystal appears to have done when he administered a fraudulent medal recommendation and submitted it to secretary of the Army, thereby concealing the cause of Tillman’s death. ... Shortly after President Obama nominated Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal to command U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, the general was summoned to the U.S. Senate to be grilled by the Armed Services Committee. Although McChrystal had enthusiastic admirers on both sides of the congressional aisle and was regarded as an innovative, uncommonly effective leader, he was expected to face difficult questions about two incidents that occurred during his tenure as leader of the Joint Special Operations Command (or JSOC): the torture of detainees in 2003 at the secret facility in Iraq known as Camp Nama, and his role in the coverup of Pat Tillman’s fratricide in Afghanistan in 2004.

62

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” During the committee hearing [June 2, 2009], though, none of McChrystal’s inquisitors probed deeply into either of these issues, and on June 10 the Senate unanimously confirmed his nomination. Given the overwhelming challenges the United States faces in Afghanistan, and President Obama’s determination that Gen. McChrystal is the most qualified person to command our military campaign there, some may wonder why his dishonesty about Tillman should matter. It matters because deceit by a military officer of McChrystal’s rank is a poisonous betrayal of trust that shouldn’t be countenanced. The possibility that his subterfuge was intended to mislead the public during the run-up to a presidential election is especially troubling. ... Were he to be held accountable for the fraudulent Silver Star recommendation, his Army career would likely end in disgrace. Why, then, did he take such a risk? Last June, near the conclusion of McChrystal’s [June 2, 2009] Senate confirmation hearing, it seemed as though an answer to this question might be at hand when Sen. Jim Webb told the general, “You have not, to my knowledge, been on record in terms of how you personally feel about this incident, and I would like to give you the opportunity to do that.” ... “So,” McChrystal testified, “I was comfortable recommending, once I believed that the people in the fight were convinced it warranted a Silver Star.” ... During a presentation on October 3 of this year in Mesa [ Tempe], Arizona, to promote Where Men Win Glory, my book about Tillman, I described the testimony cited above and expressed skepticism about McChrystal’s honesty. Afterward, while I was signing books, an Army veteran approached me and said that he had served under McChrystal, admired him immensely, and took issue with my accusation that his former commander had dissembled to the Senate, or knowingly participated in any sort of coverup. He said that in his experience McChrystal was a man of unimpeachable integrity. I countered that McChrystal’s words were taken verbatim from a transcript of the Senate hearing, and then added, “Gen. McChrystal is known to be meticulous, a perfectionist. He doesn’t tolerate sloppiness or excuses. Do you really believe that he would sign his name to such an important, high-profile document without first reading it carefully enough to realize it was bogus?” The ex-soldier frowned thoughtfully before answering. “No,” he admitted. “For him to do something like that, he’d have to be under incredible pressure. . . .”
63

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem”

APPENDIX E:
Revisions to Paperback Edition of Where Men Win Glory
It appears that Jon Krakauer only added about 10 pages of totally new material to his revised paperback edition (many of his revisions involved edits of just a few words or phrases). The bulk of his new material is found in Chapters 32, 33, and 34 which describe the actions the Army took to cover-up Tillman’s friendly-fire death. Much of Chapter 33 was adapted from his “Daily Beast” article, “Gen. McChrystal’s Credibility Problem,” published October 14, 2009. ... I compared the text of the hardcover edition to that of the softcover edition, paragraph by paragraph (and in more detail where necessary) to determine the revisions. I also indicated the probable source of the revision from my letters or binders handed to Krakauer. I’ve labeled each excerpt with the page number where it appears in each edition, and indicated the changes usually with italics (underlining is for my emphasis). Each group of a revision is separated by “. . .” I’ve organized the revisions into categories by the reference used to obtain the new material (e.g. FOIA, transcript of Senate hearing, etc.) Some have been placed in more than one category.

Glossary of Abbreviations Used:
HC – page # of Double-Day, Sept. 2009 hard-cover first edition PB – page # of Anchor Books, July 2010 paperback (with foreword & revisions) DB – Krakauer’s “Gen. McChrystal’s Credibility Problem ” (Daily Beast, 10-14-09) JK12 – Jon Krakauer Letter 9-12-09 JK17 – Jon Krakauer Letter 9-17-09 TL – “Did They Teach You How to Lie Yet?” Binder May 26, 2009 LT -- “Lies Borne Out by Facts, If Not the Truth” Binder September 11, 2009 DOD IG – Department of Defense Inspector General, FOIA Interview DA IG -- Department of the Army Inspector General JONES 15-6 – Gen. Jone’s 2004 15-6 Army Tillman Investigation OSCR – Waxman’s Congressional Oversight Committee Report 7-14-08
64

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem”

Preface to the Anchor Books Edition
Revised Paperback Edition, July 2010 (pp. xvii – xviii):

This substantially revised edition of Where Men Win Glory includes new material that casts the Pat Tillman tragedy in sharper relief, and leaves little doubt about who directed the cover-up of the fratricide. To put these revisions in perspective, some background might be helpful. I submitted the manuscript of the book’s first edition in February 2009, a few weeks after Barack Obama became president. Shortly before the book was sent to the printer, and too late to make changes, I learned important new information about the Army’s campaign to conceal the cause of Tillman’s death from his family and the American public. Following publication of the first edition in September [17?] 2009, I discovered additional evidence of deceit by high-ranking Army officers. Some of these previously undisclosed facts were unearthed through multiple Freedom of Information Act requests; other pieces of the puzzle were inadvertently divulged when General Stanley McChrystal was obligated to testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee in June 2009, following his nomination by President Obama to command NATO and American forces in Afghanistan. When considered as a whole, the wrongdoing described in the pages that follow is deeply disturbing, in no small part because one of the most culpable malfeasants turns out to be an exalted military leader [Gen. McChrystal] who’s been shielded from accountability or punishment for the past six years. Jon Krakauer, April 2010

65

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem”

NEW CITATIONS IN THE NOTES & BIBLIOGRAPHY OF THE REVISED PAPERBACK EDITION OF WHERE MEN WIN GLORY
From the paperback’s Preface: To put these revisions in perspective, some background might be helpful. I submitted the manuscript of the book’s first edition in February 2009, a few weeks after Barack Obama became president. Shortly before the book was sent to the printer, and too late to make changes, I learned important new information about the Army’s campaign to conceal the cause of Tillman’s death from his family and the American public. Here, Jon Krakauer provided “some background” to justify why he didn’t include this new material in the hardcover edition of his book. Krakauer claimed that he “learned important new information,” in the six-month period before the book was published in September 2009, but too late to include in the first edition. However, I believe Krakauer is disingenuous here, at best. My analysis of his revisions didn’t reveal any “important” new information that Krakauer discovered in this six month period prior to his book’s publication (at least not any that appeared in his updated edition). The only new citations listed in Krakauer’s Notes or Bibliography of the revised edition were the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) IG interviews and the transcript of McChrystal’s June 2, 2009 Senate confirmation hearing, both of which he says he obtained only after publication of his book. ... PB 420: “Hearing to Consider the Nominations of … LTG Stanley A. McChrystal” (Transcript, US Senate, Committee on Armed Services, 6-02-09) ... Sometime after November 2009, Jon Krakauer used the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to obtain Inspector General (IG) interviews with: LTC Jeffrey Bailey, COL James Craig Nixon, LTG Stan McChrystal, Major Charles Kirchmaier, LTC Norman Allen, Commander Craig Mallak, and BG Gina Farrisee. PB 408: … to Amy Fitzgibbons for assistance with Freedom of Information Act requests, …

66

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” The FOIA interviews provided more detail on the deception of the Medical Examiner Mallak by Nixon & McChrystal’s JAG lawyers (Kirchmaier and Allen), and BG Farrisee (who Krakauer credulously believes was not part of this deception). In addition, the FOIA interviews provided more detail of Gen. McChrystal & the Ranger RGT officers’ cover-up.

Here’s a list of the interviews Krakauer obtained through the FOIA requests:
PB 419 “Sworn testimony of LTC Jeffrey Bailey, 10-16-06” “Interview of COL James Craig Nixon, 10-28-06” “Classified Interview of LTG Stan McChrystal, 11-26-06” DoD IG DoD IG DoD IG

(Note: only interview classified. And tape recording of GEN Jones 15-6 interview with McChrystal is missing) “Sworn testimony of Major Charles Kirchmaier, 06-09-06” “Sworn testimony of LTC Norman Allen, 07-26-06” “Sworn testimony of Commander Craig Mallak, 08-29-05” DoD IG DoD IG DoD IG

(Note: typo? Should be 2006, not 2005? But DoD IG did start 8-05) PB 420: “Testimony of BG Gina Farrisee, 05-22-07” (Note: from Gen. Wallace review spring 2007) DA IG

...

67

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem”

JON KRAKAUER’S REVISIONS TO “WHERE MEN WIN GLORY” IN PAPERBACK EDITION: Revisions that Match Corrections from Guy Montag’s September 17, 2009 Letter to Jon Krakauer
Note: HC – page # of Double-Day, Sept. 2009 hard-cover first edition. PB – page # of Anchor Books, July 2010 paperback (with foreword & revisions). DB – refers to Krakauer’s 10-14-09 article “Gen. McChrystal’s Credibility Problem.” JK17 – Jon Krakauer Letter 9-17-09 The following corrections were pointed out to Krakauer in my 9-17-09 letter handed to him at a book signing on 9-17-09. These corrections were minor and I find it hard to believe that someone else happened to point them out to Krakauer in the two day period between the release of his book and when he received my letter. That Krakauer made these corrections certainly indicates that he actually read through my letters and materials.
...

Correction #1: Corrected Pat Tillman’s Chain of Command by placing BG McChrystal directly above COL Nixon (and moving Kensinger under Gen. Brown): HC 231: Pat Tillman’s Chain of Command, April 22, 2004 … Gen. Bryan Brown USSOC MG Stanley McChrystal JSOC [actually BG] LTG Philip Kensinger USASOC COL James Nixon, commander 75th Ranger Regiment … JK17: p.231: Tillman’s Chain of Command, April 22, 2004: This graphic doesn’t show McChrystal as directly above Nixon. However, McChrystal was directly above Nixon in the operational chain of command. The Chain splits above Nixon into an operational and administrative chain.

68

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” See Mary Tillman’s book graphic (just past p. 280) or the IG Report p. 12-13 discussion. PB 268: Pat Tillman’s Chain of Command, April 22, 2004 … Gen. Bryan Brown USSOC LTG Philip Kensinger USASOC BG Stanley McChrystal JSOC COL James Nixon, commander 75th Ranger Regiment …

Correction #2: LTC Bailey called COL Nixon, his boss, not MAJ Hodne. HC 289: [LTC Bailey] “’… We need to do an investigation.’ So I called Major Hodne [at Salerno] and told him my gut feeling was that Tillman had been killed by friendly fire …” JK 17: p.289: ‘So I [Bailey] called Major Hodne (Nixon?) and told him my gut feeling was that Tillman had been killed by friendly fire… there was no doubt about it.’ … “Hodne (Nixon?) recommended that Bailey select an officer … Scott was appointed to head the so-called 15-6 investigation.”: When I read the redacted Jone 15-6, I thought that Bailey called COL Nixon. However, I may well be mistaken. However, you may want to double-check (See IG Report p.13) and other reports. DB: Lt. Col. Jeffrey Bailey, commander of the 2nd Ranger Battalion, visited the site of the calamity the following morning. A few hours later, he called his boss, Col. James Nixon, commander of the 75th Ranger Regiment, and said (according to Bailey’s sworn testimony [Jones 15-6]), “My gut feeling was that Tillman had been killed by friendly fire … There was no doubt about it. It was a case where there were six or seven Rangers that saw the vehicle shooting at them.” PB 334: [LTC Bailey] “’… We need to do an investigation.’ So I called Colonel Nixon [commander of the 75th Ranger Regiment] and told him my gut feeling was that Tillman had been killed by friendly fire …” Bailey reiterated under oath in subsequent testimony that he told Nixon, “I’m sure it’s a fratricide, sir, but I think I owe you the details. Let me do this investigation and I’ll give it to you as quickly as I can. [FOIA DoD IG]
69

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem”

... HC 289: Hodne recommended that Bailey select an officer named CPT Richard Scott to conduct an investigation according to Article 15-6 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Bailey agreed, and Scott was appointed to head the so-called 15-6 investigation. JK 17: p.289: ‘So I [Bailey] called Major Hodne (Nixon?) and told him my gut feeling was that Tillman had been killed by friendly fire… there was no doubt about it.’ … “Hodne (Nixon?) recommended that Bailey select an officer … Scott was appointed to head the so-called 15-6 investigation.”: When I read the redacted Jone 15-6, I thought that Bailey called COL Nixon. However, I may well be mistaken. However, you may want to double-check (See IG Report p.13) and other reports. PB 334: When Bailey determined that an investigation was required in accordance with Article 15-6 of the Uniform Code of Military, Hodne recommended that an officer at FOB Salerno named CPT Richard Scott conduct it. Bailey and Nixon agreed, and Scott was appointed to head the so-called 15-6 investigation. ... Corrrection #3: Rangers arrived back on 24th; not 25th HC 291: The Rangers of Second Platoon arrived back at Salerno on the morning of April 25, still reeling from what had happened on the twenty-second. JK17: p. 291: “The Rangers … arrived back at Salerno on the morning of April 25 …”: April 25th? The IG Report (Appendix B: Chronology) has “April 24, 2004: 2nd platoon (CPL Tillman’s Platoon) returns to the battalion Forward Operation Base [at Salerno]. Also, I believe that the 24th also matches testimony from the Jones 15-6 report and the findings of the IG and Waxman Reports. PB 337: The Rangers of Second Platoon arrived back at Salerno on the morning of April 24, still reeling from what had happened on the twenty-second.

70

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem”

JON KRAKAUER’S REVISIONS TO “WHERE MEN WIN GLORY” IN PAPERBACK EDITION From McChrystal’s June 2, 2009 Senate Testimony Found in “Did They Teach You How to Lie Yet?”:
Note: HC – page # of Double-Day, Sept. 2009 hard-cover first edition; PB – page # of Anchor Books, July 2010 paperback DB – refers to Krakauer’s 10-14-09 Daily Beast article TL – From “Did They Teach You How to Lie Yet?” binder In May 2009, over the objections of the Tillman family, President Obama nominated Gen. McChrystal to be his new Afghan commander. On June 2, 2009, McChrystal testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee during his confirmation hearing. This hearing was strictly pro-forma (the real hearing had been heard the previous year behind closed doors in executive session where McChrystal testified “in detail”). Notice that Jon Krakauer never explained why he “discovered” McChrystal’s Senate testimony only after his book release on September 15, 2009. Apparently Jon Krakauer hadn’t paid much attention to this hearing at the time (perhaps he only saw the news clips or read the newspaper. You would have thought he would have watched it on CSPAN or gotten the transcript). In his interviews prior to September 17th, Krakauer never mentioned McChrystal’s Senate testimony. Once again, it’s apparent that he “discovered” the existence of this testimony from my binders (unless he miraculously discovered it within two days of publication). The first time Krakauer mentions McChrystal’s Senate testimony was on Jon Stewart’s Daily Show on September 30, 2009 (just two weeks after getting my material). On October 14, 2009, Krakauer published the Daily Beast article “McChrystal’s Credibility Problem.” This article had new information not present in the hardcover edition. Most of the new information can be found in, “Senate Armed Services Commttee’s Confirmation of General McChrystal,” and other parts of the binder “Did They Teach You How to Lie Yet?” (See Appendix D & E). Once again, Krakauer was deceitful in claiming to have discovered “other pieces of the puzzle” in McChrystal’s testimony when this information was spoon-fed to him. Note: Despite writing in his Daily Beast piece that, “During the committee hearing … none of McChrystal’s inquisitors probed deeply into either of these issues [Tillman & torture at Camp Nama],“ Krakauer failed to discuss the Senate Confirmation hearing in his book.

71

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” TL 26: General Wallace cleared McChrystal of wrongdoing because McChrystal only “signed off’ on the Silver Star and “had no reasonable basis to question the recommendation that came up endorsed by the commanders in the field who were there and had firsthand knowledge of the circumstances of his death and his heroic actions.”: But during Tuesday's hearing, McChrystal said he sat down with the officers (ie Nixon, Kauzerlich, Hodne, Bailey) and went over Tillman's actions on a whiteboard to satisfy himself that Tillman's actions merited a Silver Star!: “I sat down with the people [Ranger Regiment officers] who recommended it [Silver Star]. … and we went over a whiteboard, and we looked at the geometry of the battlefield, and I queried the people to satisfy myself that, in fact, that his actions warranted that, even though there was a potential that the actual circumstances of death had been friendly fire.” (p. 18 transcript) DB: According to McChrystal’s Senate testimony [6-02-09], he “sat down with the people who recommended [the Silver Star]… and we went over a whiteboard, and we looked at the geometry of the battlefield, and I queried the people to satisfy myself that, in fact, that his actions warranted [the Silver Star], even though there was a potential that the actual circumstances of death had been friendly fire.” PB 342: According to McChrystal’s [Senate] testimony, he flew from Bagram to Salerno and “sat down with the people who recommended [the Silver Star]… and we went over a whiteboard, and we looked at the geometry of the battlefield, and I queried the people to satisfy myself that, in fact, that his actions warranted [the Silver Star], even though there was a potential that the actual circumstances of death had been friendly fire.” ... TL: Appendix F: 6-02-09 Senate Transcript p. 18 DB: McChrystal ascertained, correctly[?], that the extraordinary valor of Tillman’s act was in no way diminished by the incontrovertible fact that the lethal fusillade had come from his American comrades. “So,” McChrystal testified, “I was comfortable recommending, once I believed that the people in the fight were convinced it warranted a Silver Star.” PB 343: McChrystal ascertained, correctly[?], that the valor of Tillman’s act was in no way diminished by the incontrovertible fact that the lethal fusillade had come from his American comrades. “So,” McChrystal explained, “I was comfortable recommending, once I believed that the people in the fight were convinced it warranted a Silver Star.”

...

72

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” TL 27: McChrystal said that the Silver Star citation wasn't well written and that he didn't read it close enough to catch that it could "imply" Tillman wasn't killed by friendly fire: “… my own mistakes in not reviewing the Silver Star citation well enough and making sure that I compared it to the message [P4 memo] that I sent were mistakes.” (p. 48 transcript). “… in retrospect, they [Silver Star and P4 memo] look contradictory, because we sent out a Silver Star that was not well written – and, although I went through the process, I will tell you now I didn’t review the citation well enough to capture – or, I didn’t catch that if you read it, you can imply that it was not friendly fire.” (p.18 transcript) Absolute bull. The IG report discussion section (Appendix E) on the Silver Star concluded that anyone reading the citation would assume Tillman was killed by enemy fire: “… we concluded that an uninformed reader could reasonably infer that CPL Tillman had been killed by enemy fire although a careful review of the narrative and citation show no direct assertion that he was killed by enemy fire. As a result, the narrative justification and citation were misleading.” (p.55 IG report) In fact, Maj. Hodne even said that he edited the narrative to ensure it didn't mention friendly fire!: “Maj.[Hodne] testified that he carefully prepared the narrative to avoid stating that the enemy had killed CPL Tillman and distinctly remembered removing a phrase asserting that CPL Tillman ‘died by enemy fire.” (p.51 IG report). And the witness statements were altered by "someone in the approval chain" (i.e. Nixon, McChrystal, and/or Kauzerlich). “PFC [O’Neal] stated that he did not sign the valorous award witness statement .. also pointed out parts he knows he did not write and parts that were not accurate.” … Sgt [Weeks?] also pointed out parts that were inaccurate, in that he was unable to see CPL Tillman’s actions from his location.” IG Gimble preferred not to “speculate” as to who was responsible while testifying before the House Oversight Committee in April 2007.! “… we were not able to identify the specific drafter.” (p.53 IG report). DB: In June of this year, during McChrystal’s confirmation hearing, Sen. John McCain asked the general to explain why, five years earlier, he had submitted the perjured Silver Star recommendation “in the form that it was in. McChrystal replied, “We sent a Silver Star that was not well written—and, although I went through the process, I will tell you now that I didn’t review the citation well enough to capture—or, I didn’t catch that, if you read it, you can imply that it was not friendly fire.” McChrystal insisted that the package of four short documents bearing his signature wasn’t meant to deceive. Although he closely supervised the drafting of these documents, he simply failed to notice that all of them had been painstakingly written to omit any reference to friendly fire. PB 344: On June 2, 2009, after President Obama nominated McChrystal to command US forces in Afghanistan, the matter of the misleading medal recommendation was raised during the general’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Sen. John McCain asked the general to explain why, five years earlier, he had submitted the perjured Silver Star
73

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” recommendation “in the form that it was in.” McChrystal replied, “We sent a Silver Star that was not well written—and, although I went through the process, I will tell you now that I didn’t review the citation well enough to capture—or, I didn’t catch that, if you read it, you can imply that it was not friendly fire.” McChrystal insisted that the package of four short documents bearing his signature wasn’t meant to deceive. Although he closely supervised the drafting of these documents, he simply failed to notice that all of them had been painstakingly written to omit any reference to friendly fire. ... TL 23: Sen. Jim Webb pressed McChrystal, prompting the general to agree that the Army had failed the Tillman family, "You failed to properly notify the family of the investigation and the inaccuracies," … "You have not been on the record, and I don't know how you feel about it." DB: Were he to be held accountable for the fraudulent Silver Star recommendation, his Army career would likely end in disgrace. Why, then, did he take such a risk? Last June, near the conclusion of McChrystal’s Senate confirmation hearing, it seemed as though an answer to this question might be at hand when Sen. Jim Webb told the general, “You have not, to my knowledge, been on record in terms of how you personally feel about this incident, and I would like to give you the opportunity to do that.” PB347: During McChrystal’s testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee in June 2009, Senator Jim Webb asked him to explain his role in the Tillman scandal. ... TL 23: General McChrystal denied the phony narrative of a raging firefight was anything more sinister than "mistakes" made to honor the famous GI. "They were well-intentioned" but created "doubt and the sense of mistrust.”. "I didn't see any activity by anyone to deceive," he said. McChrystal said the Army's handling of the case "produced confusion at a tragic time, and I'm very sorry for that." "I was a part of that, and I apologize for it.”. "I would do this differently if I had the chance again," "There is nothing we can do to automatically restore the trust which was the second casualty.” "We failed the family. And I was a part of that." He earlier expressed his "deepest condolences" to Tillman's family and fellow rangers. DB: Appearing genuinely contrite, McChrystal confessed, “We failed the family. And I was a part of that, and I apologize for it.” But then the tenor of his remarks abruptly shifted and he reiterated the same disingenuous claims made by virtually every officer who participated in the subterfuge: “It was not intentional…. I didn’t see any activities by anyone to deceive.” A moment later, nevertheless, McChrystal may have inadvertently revealed what motivated the entire coverup. “To provide context,” he explained to Webb, “we were still in combat when we
74

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” were doing all of that…. We were in the first battle of Fallujah in Iraq at the same time, so we were making mistakes.” PB 347: [Appearing genuinely contrite,] McChrystal confessed, “We failed the family. And I was a part of that, and I apologize for it.” But then he abruptly changed his tone and reiterated the same disingenuous claims made by virtually every officer who participated in the subterfuge: “It was not intentional…. I didn’t see any activities by anyone to deceive.” A moment later, however, McChrystal hinted at what might have motivated him to orchestrate what can only be described as a broad conspiracy to conceal Tillman’s fratricide from the secretary of the Army, the Armed Forces medical examiner, the Army Criminal Investigative Division, the Tillman family, the news media, and the citizens of the United States. “To provide context,” McChrystal testified to Webb, “as you remember, Senator, we were still in combat when we were doing all of that…. We were in the first battle of Fallujah in Iraq at the same time, so we were making mistakes.” ... TL: Appendix F: 6-02-09 Senate Transcript DB: During a presentation on October 3 of this year in Mesa [Tempe], Arizona, to promote Where Men Win Glory, my book about Tillman, I described the testimony cited above and expressed skepticism about McChrystal’s honesty. Afterward, while I was signing books, an Army veteran approached me and said that he had served under McChrystal, admired him immensely, and took issue with my accusation that his former commander had dissembled to the Senate, or knowingly participated in any sort of coverup. He said that in his experience McChrystal was a man of unimpeachable integrity. I countered that McChrystal’s words were taken verbatim from a transcript of the Senate hearing, and then added, “Gen. McChrystal is known to be meticulous, a perfectionist. He doesn’t tolerate sloppiness or excuses. Do you really believe that he would sign his name to such an important, high-profile document without first reading it carefully enough to realize it was bogus?” The ex soldier frowned thoughtfully before answering. “No,” he admitted. “For him to do something like that, he’d have to be under incredible pressure.”

75

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem”

JON KRAKAUER’S REVISIONS TO “WHERE MEN WIN GLORY” IN PAPERBACK EDITION Revisions Found in “Did They Teach You to Lie Yet?” Or “Lies Borne Out by Facts, If Not the Truth” Binders
“Following publication of the first [hardcover] edition in September [15,] 2009, I discovered additional evidence of deceit by high-ranking Army officers [Ranger RGT officers, Gen. McChrystal, etc.]” “I discovered…” Only if your definition of “discovered” includes having 250 pages of research material literally placed into your hands! Krakauer’s shows further deceit with his claim here. Where Men Win Glory was released on September 15, 2009. Just two days later, at his book signing in his hometown of Boulder CO on September 17, 2009, my Aunt Candy hand-delivered my package of Tillman material to Krakauer (and got an autograph). My material consisted of a cover letter (Sept. 12, 2009), a “postscript” letter (with corrections) reviewing his book (Sept. 17, 2009), and two large binders: “Did They Teach You to Lie Yet? – Senator James Webb, General Stanley McChrystal, and the Betrayal of Pat Tillman.” I argued that the top leadership of the Army, Waxman’s House Oversight Committee, and Senator Carl Levin’s Senate Armed Services Committee acted to shield McChrystal from scrutiny and protect him from punishment for his actions. “Lies … Borne Out by Facts, If Not the Truth” – Senator James Webb, Thom Shanker & The New York Times, and the Whitewash of General Stanley McChrystal.” This binder explored the role of NYT Washington Pentagon reporter Thom Shanker in “clearing” McChrystal of any wrongdoing. In addition, I described my interactions with Senator Webb’s office and speculated at President Obama’s role in the Tillman case. (See Appendix B for these letters and the Table of Contents of these binders. The full contents of the binders are posted at http://www.feralfirefighter.blogspot.com) Perhaps Krakauer somehow “discovered” his “new evidence” in the two days “following publication of the first edition in September 2009.” However, it’s much more likely my material was the source (direct or indirectly through references) of the new material in his paperback edition. Well, my analysis below shows many of his revisions appear to echo words & phrases from my binders. At a minimum, this information could be found by reading my binders.

76

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” ... LT 82: On May 12th 2009, President Obama nominated General Stanley McChrystal for promotion to four-star general and commander of the Afghanistan War. PB 335: … In 2009 McChrystal would be thrust into the limelight as the four-star [still 3-star] general chosen by President Barack Obama [May 11, 2009] to command all US forces in Afghanistan. ... TL 32: 2.) When asked why McChrystal couldn’t have just called Tillman’s family about potential fratricide, General Cody replied that “in the casualty reporting business … we do not encumber the JSOC commander with all of that … that’s done by the regiment and done by the Army through SOCOM.” Secretary Geren added, “So it was General Kensinger’s responsibility.” Response: However, if you look at Appendix D: “Casualty Reporting & Next of Kin Notification Process” (p.80, DoD IG report), you’ll see that McChrystal’s Chief of Staff was responsible for sending a supplemental casualty report to USAOC after learning of friendly fire. It’s also noted on the flowchart that both McChrystal and his Chief of Staff knew about the fratricide by the 25th and yet did not send the required report as required by regulations (this finding is not included in the IG Report conclusions). Furthermore, McChrystal himself told General Jones that “there was a conscious decision on who we told about that potential [fratricide] because we did not know all the facts. … I believe that we did not tell the family of the possibility because we did not want to give them some halfbaked finding.” Shortly afterwards, he contradicted himself, saying “I did not know there was a decision not to tell the family. They had another [son] in the firefight TL Appendix A, from p. 3 of DoD IG Report Summary: … despite Army regulations that require next of kin be advised of additional information concerning a Service member’s death as that information becomes available. DB: According to Army regulations, this information should have been immediately shared with the Tillman family, even if friendly fire was only a possibility. Instead, Army officers embarked on an elaborate campaign to suppress the truth and persuade both the family and the public that Tillman was killed by enemy fire.
77

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” PB336: Over in Afghanistan, McChrystal directed Nixon to keep the facts of Tillman’s death under tight wraps within the Ranger Regiment, as well. “The guidance I put out,” Nixon testified, “was that until the investigation was complete, until we knew what happened, I did not want communication of the ongoing investigation outside the unit.” According to a federal statute and several Army regulations, Marie Tillman, as next of kin, was supposed to be notified that an investigation was under way, even if friendly fire was only suspected, and “be kept informed as additional information about the cause of death becomes known.” Instead, McChrystal, Nixon, and the soldiers under their command went to extraordinary lengths to prevent the Tillman family from learning the truth about how Pat died. ... HC297: The 2nd Ranger Battalion initiated work on the medals within hours of Tillman’s death, when LTC Bailey directed Major Hodne to recommend Tillman for a Silver Star, the third highest military decoration for valor that can be awarded to a member of the US Armed Forces. “I am the person who actually wrote the recommendation for the Silver Star Award for Specialist Tillman after his death, “ Hodne testified. “We began preparing that award either the night of the incident in which he was killed, or the following day.” TL 27: General McChrystal was in Afghanistan with the Ranger officers discussing what happened! McChrystal lead the Silver Star approval process! McChrystal wasn’t removed from the process. He didn’t just sign off on a piece of paper that just dropped onto his desk! He was intimately involved with the process. DB: Within two days of Tillman’s death, officers in the 2nd Ranger Battalion initiated paperwork to give Tillman the Silver Star, the military’s third highest decoration for valor. McChrystal was put in charge of writing and expediting the medal recommendation so that the award could be announced in advance of a nationally televised memorial service scheduled for May 3. PB 342: : Within hours of Tillman’s death, Rangers at FOB Salerno started filling out the paperwork to give Tillman the Silver Star, the military’s third highest decoration for valor. BG McChrystal administered the medal recommendation process, which was expedited so the award could be announced in advance of a nationally televised memorial service scheduled for May 3. ...

78

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” TL 26: General Wallace cleared McChrystal of wrongdoing because McChrystal only “si gned off’ on the Silver Star and “had no reasonable basis to question the recommendation that came up endorsed by the commanders in the field who were there and had firsthand knowledge of the circumstances of his death and his heroic actions.”: But during Tuesday's hearing, McChrystal said he sat down with the officers (ie Nixon, Kauzerlich, Hodne, Bailey) and went over Tillman's actions on a whiteboard to satisfy himself that Tillman's actions merited a Silver Star!: DB: According to McChrystal’s Senate testimony [6-02-09], he “sat down with the people who recommended [the Silver Star]… and we went over a whiteboard, and we looked at the geometry of the battlefield, and I queried the people to satisfy myself that, in fact, that his actions warranted [the Silver Star], even though there was a potential that the actual circumstances of death had been friendly fire.” PB 342: According to McChrystal’s [Senate] testimony, he flew from Bagram to Salerno and “sat down with the people who recommended [the Silver Star]… and we went over a whiteboard, and we looked at the geometry of the battlefield, and I queried the people to satisfy myself that, in fact, that his actions warranted [the Silver Star], even though there was a potential that the actual circumstances of death had been friendly fire.” ... TL 25: There was never anything speculative or “potential” or "suspected" about Tillman’s friendly fire death. The Rangers on the ground being shot at knew immediately what had happened. On the 23rd word was passed up “70% sure” by the CSM to LTC Bailey and on to COL Nixon. And on the 24th, the initial investigating officer CPT Scott passed on verbal confirmation (“I’m certain, I’m sure”) to LTC Bailey, who then called COL Nixon (McChrystal was next in the chain of command). McChrystal knew of confirmed FF just two days after Tillman’s death! (If this isn’t “some level of proof”, what is?) Or, are we to believe Nixon never told McChrystal of confirmation during the following days they were working together on the Silver Star package? DB: The latter clause [potential friendly fire] is a lawyerly flourish on McChrystal’s part, intended to suggest that there was still doubt about the cause of death, when in fact he knew with near-absolute certainty that Tillman was the victim of fratricide. During the medalrecommendation process, McChrystal was shown the preliminary findings of a so-called Article 15-6 investigation that had been launched the day after Tillman died, which included detailed eyewitness testimony from more than a dozen soldiers in his platoon. Transcripts of these interviews described how Tillman, in order to protect a young private under his command, had
79

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” exposed himself to a ferocious squall of bullets—hundreds of rounds from three machine guns shooting at him from close range. PB 342: The latter clause [potential friendly fire] is a lawyerly flourish on McChrystal’s part, intended to suggest that there was still doubt about the cause of death, when actually he knew with near[-absolute] certainty that it was fratricide. During the medal-recommendation process, McChrystal was shown the preliminary findings of [CPT Scott’s] Article 15-6 investigation, which included sworn testimony from more than a dozen soldiers in Tillman’s platoon. Included in this testimony were eye-witness accounts describing how Tillman had exposed himself to hundreds of machine-gun rounds in order to protect Private Bryan O’Neal. ... HC297: On April 27, Hodne e-mailed a draft of his Silver Star citation, along with a narrative of Tillman’s actions and two witness statements justifying the award, up the chain of command so that it could be announced at the memorial ceremony in San Jose on May 3. TL 27: Absolute bull. The IG report discussion section (Appendix E) on the Silver Star concluded that anyone reading the citation would assume Tillman was killed by enemy fire: “… we concluded that an uninformed reader could reasonably infer that CPL Tillman had been killed by enemy fire although a careful review of the narrative and citation show no direct assertion that he was killed by enemy fire. As a result, the narrative justification and citation were misleading.” (p.55 IG report) In fact, Maj. Hodne even said that he edited the narrative to ensure it didn't mention friendly fire!: “Maj.[Hodne] testified that he carefully prepared the narrative to avoid stating that the enemy had killed CPL Tillman and distinctly remembered removing a phrase asserting that CPL Tillman ‘died by enemy fire.” (p.51 IG report). DB: The recommendation package received by Brownlee consisted of four documents: a oneparagraph “award citation” that summarized Tillman’s courageous deed; a five-paragraph “award narrative” that offered a more nuanced account of his actions; and two brief statements from soldiers who witnessed those actions. Astoundingly, none of these documents mentioned, or even hinted, that Tillman was killed by friendly fire. The award citation alleged, “Corporal Tillman put himself in the line of devastating enemy fire,” even though there was never any enemy fire directed at Tillman’s position during the incident. PB 343: The material received by Brownlee consisted of five [four?] documents: a oneparagraph “award citation” that summarized Tillman’s courageous deed; a five-paragraph “award narrative” that offered a more nuanced account of his actions; and two brief statements from soldiers who witnessed those actions. Astoundingly, none of these documents mentioned,
80

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” or even hinted, that Tillman was killed by friendly fire. The award citation alleged, “Corporal Tillman put himself in the line of devastating enemy fire,” even though there was never any enemy fire directed at Tillman’s position during the incident. ... HC 297: The two witness statements were attributed to Private O’Neal and Sergeant Mel Ward. O’Neal testified … after he wrote it, his words were embellished so egregiously he never signed it. In Ward’s case, he didn’t even remember writing such a statement. … Despite these falsified, unsigned statements, the recommendation was expedited by MG McChrystal, COL Nixon, and LTC Bailey. [ Kauzlarich was part of process] TL 15: Both of the Silver Star witness statements were altered to remove any mention of friendly fire and contained inaccurate statements. Inspector General Gimble said this was done “somewhere in the approval chain” but refused to “speculate” who was responsible. It appears that COL Nixon, Nixon’s XO, and/or General McChrystal were involved. TL 16: The Silver Star narrative justification and citation bore little resemblance to reality and were carefully and misleading edited to imply Tillman died by enemy fire without actually coming out and saying it.

TL 27: Absolute bull. The IG report discussion section (Appendix E) on the Silver Star concluded that anyone reading the citation would assume Tillman was killed by enemy fire: “… we concluded that an uninformed reader could reasonably infer that CPL Tillman had been killed by enemy fire although a careful review of the narrative and citation show no direct assertion that he was killed by enemy fire. As a result, the narrative justification and citation were misleading.” (p.55 IG report). In fact, Maj. Hodne even said that he edited the narrative to ensure it didn't mention friendly fire!: “Maj.[Hodne] testified that he carefully prepared the narrative to avoid stating that the enemy had killed CPL Tillman and distinctly remembered removing a phrase asserting that CPL Tillman ‘died by enemy fire.” (p.51 IG report). And the witness statements were altered by "someone in the approval chain" (i.e. Nixon, McChrystal, and/or Kauzerlich). “PFC [O’Neal] stated that he did not sign the valorous award witness statement .. also pointed out parts he knows he did not write and parts that were not accurate.” … Sgt [Weeks?] also pointed out parts that were inaccurate, in that he was unable to see CPL Tillman’s actions from his location.” IG Gimble preferred not to “speculate” as to who was responsible while testifying before the House Oversight Committee in April 2007.! “… we were not able to identify the specific drafter.” (p.53 IG report).
81

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” DB: The witness statements (which also suggested he was killed by the enemy) were not signed, and the two soldiers whose names were attached to them later testified that both statements had been fabricated, apparently by one or more members of the Silver Star recommendation team [McChrystal, Nixon, Kauzlarich; Bailey was out of the picture by then]. PB 344: The two witness statements were attributed to Private O’Neal and Sergeant Mel Ward. O’Neal testified … after he wrote it, his words were embellished so egregiously he never signed it. In Ward’s case, he didn’t even remember writing such a statement. … All the recommendation material that McChrystal approved and submitted to Secretary Brownless was painstakingly written to create the impression that Tillman was killed by enemy fire. By any objective measure, the recommendation was fraudulent. ... TL 15: But wouldn’t General McChrystal have a “reasonable basis” to question a Silver Star package which contains no mention of friendly fire since he had been informed of confirmed fratricide? TL 27: General McChrystal was in Afghanistan with the Ranger officers discussing what happened! McChrystal lead the Silver Star approval process! McChrystal wasn’t removed from the process. He didn’t just sign off on a piece of paper that just dropped onto his desk! He was intimately involved with the process. TL 27: In fact, Maj. Hodne even said that he edited the narrative to ensure it didn't mention friendly fire!: “Maj.[Hodne] testified that he carefully prepared the narrative to avoid stating that the enemy had killed CPL Tillman and distinctly remembered removing a phrase asserting that CPL Tillman ‘died by enemy fire.” (p.51 IG report). DB: In June of this year, during McChrystal’s confirmation hearing, Sen. John McCain asked the general to explain why, five years earlier, he had submitted the perjured Silver Star recommendation “in the form that it was in. McChrystal replied, “We sent a Silver Star that was not well written—and, although I went through the process, I will tell you now that I didn’t review the citation well enough to capture—or, I didn’t catch that, if you read it, you can imply that it was not friendly fire.” McChrystal insisted that the package of four short documents bearing his signature wasn’t meant to deceive. Although he closely supervised the drafting of these documents, he simply failed to notice that all of them had been painstakingly written to omit any reference to friendly fire. PB 344: On June 2, 2009, after President Obama nominated McChrystal to command US forces in Afghanistan, the matter of the misleading medal recommendation was raised during the
82

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” general’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Sen. John McCain asked the general to explain why, five years earlier, he had submitted the perjured Silver Star recommendation “in the form that it was in.” McChrystal replied, “We sent a Silver Star that was not well written—and, although I went through the process, I will tell you now that I didn’t review the citation well enough to capture—or, I didn’t catch that, if you read it, you can imply that it was not friendly fire.” McChrystal insisted that the package of four short documents bearing his signature wasn’t meant to deceive. Although he closely supervised the drafting of these documents, he simply failed to notice that all of them had been painstakingly written to omit any reference to friendly fire. ... HC299: As it turns out, Kensinger had learned on April 23 that fratricide was definitely the cause of death, and it’s likely that Abizaid and Brown already knew as well. The real intent of McChrystal’s P4 was to alert his superiors that someone needed to warn President Bush and Secretary Brownlee that the 15-6 would confirm Tillman’s death by friendly fire, which increased the likelihood that the truth might eventually be exposed one day. The president and the secretary therefore needed to be especially mindful of what they said about Tillman when making public statements. TL 26: Further, McChrystal wasn’t concerned with correcting the Silver Citation he had just forwarded to the Secretary of the Army the previous day and that had already been approved. TL 39: "That memo is damming as hell. And yet, nothing happens to [McChrystal]. He is writing fraudulent language in that memo. He is giving examples of how they can script the Silver Star award, even though Pat was killed by fratricide. And he is saying we need to keep our leadership abreast of things so they don't embarrass themselves, IF the circumstances of Pat's death should become public … He should be saying 'We're going to have to put a hold to the silver star and we're going to have to notify the family [of suspected friendly fire].' That is what he would say if he was innocent, but he is not. He is trying to find a way that they can continue this false, elaborate story of theirs. And the fact that he is off the hook is atrocious." TL 40: Note the “if”. Not when! And McChrystal’s concern is for embarrassment of his bosses, not to ensure his family knows or that the Secretary of the Army knows before approving the Silver Star! DB: Many months later, after the coverup unraveled and the Tillman family demanded the Army reveal who was responsible for the many lies they’d been told, McChrystal would spin the P4 memo as proof that he never meant to conceal the fratricide. But McChrystal took no action to halt the coverup and divulge the truth; his memo merely sounded the alarm that someone

83

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” needed to warn speechwriters to be ambiguous about the cause of death when crafting statements about Tillman, in order to provide President Bush with deniability. PB346: Many months later, after the cover-up unraveled and the Tillman family pressured government officials and the Army to reveal who was responsible for the [many] lies they’d been told, McChrystal would spin the P4 memo as proof that he never meant to conceal the fratricide. But his secret back-channel memo didn’t urge anyone to divulge the truth and end the cover-up; it merely sounded the alarm that someone needed to warn speechwriters to be ambiguous about the cause of death when crafting statements about Tillman, in order to provide President Bush with deniability. ... TL 31: A P4 is not the most “timely” or “secure” fashion to send a message. How about simply picking up the telephone? DB: If McChrystal had a change of heart after submitting the falsified medal recommendation and wanted the truth to be revealed, all he needed to do was pick up the phone, inform the secretary of the Army that Tillman was killed by friendly fire, and ask him to put the Silver Star on hold until the paperwork could be corrected. That didn’t happen. PB 347: If McChrystal had a change of heart after submitting the falsified medal recommendation and really wanted the truth to be known, all he needed to do was pick up the phone, inform the secretary of the Army that Tillman was killed by friendly fire, and ask him to put the Silver Star on hold until the paperwork could be corrected. That didn’t happen. ... HC297: As with the frenzy that followed the Jessica Lynch rescue, neither the White House nor military perception managers had to do much to sustain the media’s focus on Tillman’s death; indeed, they did little more than monitor the coverage and make copies of all the published articles for their files – although that didn’t deter the Army from deciding to ratchet up the media hysteria to an even higher level by awarding Tillman a couple of posthumous medals. TL 5: However, Pat Tillman’s parents believe McChrystal played a central role in the cover-up of their son’s fratricide. TL 17: I’ve argued that Congress and the senior leadership of the Army acted to shield General McChrystal from close scrutiny and protect him from punishment for his central role in orchestrating the cover-up of Pat Tillman’s fratricide.
84

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” DB: Had it been disclosed at the outset that Pat Tillman was killed by friendly fire, the press coverage would have been no less voluminous, but its effect on the nation’s mood would have been very different. This is the context in which the Tillman coverup, and Gen. McChrystal’s central role in the deception, must be considered. PB351: Had it been disclosed at the outset that Tillman was killed by friendly fire, the press coverage would have been no less voluminous, but its effect on the nation’s mood would have been very different. The Army’s announcement on April 30 that Tillman had been awarded the Silver Star prompted another torrent of favorable press. ... TL Appendix E: from DoD IG Report Appendix G p. 50 -59 Silver Star Discussion PB372: In striking contrast to all three of the Army’s 15-6 investigations, Gimble’s investigating officers (who were civilians not beholden to anyone in the Army chain of command) looked closely [!?] at McChrystal’s role in the mishandling of the Tillman fratricide, in particular his responsibility for the fraudulent Silver Star recommendation. Note: “not beholden” yeah, how about Sec Def Rumsfeld? Looked closely; no (except SS), covered as well. … He nevertheless failed to offer a plausible explanation for the glaring contradiction, as the findings of Gimble’s official report to Secretary of the Army Pete Geren made clear: “LTC Bailey, COL Nixon, and MG McChrystal are accountable for the inaccurate and misleading assertions contained in the award recommendation package … We also find MG McChrystal accountable for not notifying the award processing channels that friendly fire was suspected to ensure that the recommendation was considered based on accurate information.” [IG Report] ...

85

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” HC 321: On July 31, 2007, Secretary of the Army Pete Geren held a press conference at the Pentagon to answer this and other questions about the alleged cover-up. Brushing aside overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Geren simply asserted there was no cover-up. … *Geren nevertheless announced the punishment of one officer: LG Kensinger, who had retired from the Army eighteen months previously, was censured for lying under oath to investigators. This prompted a reporter to ask Geren, “You’ve described a litany of errors and mistakes going more than three years involving a lot of people, yet all the blame falls on Gen. Kensinger. … he happens to be retired. Is there a coincidence there?” To which Geren replied, “I believe the buck stops with Gen. Kensinger.” TL 30: General McChrystal received no reprimand for his role in the handling of the Tillman fratricide. However, General Wallace disregarded the findings of the Department of Defense Inspector General (DoD IG) review which found General McChrystal “accountable for inaccurate and misleading assertions contained in the award recommendation package” and “accountable for not notifying the award processing channels [Secretary of the Army] that friendly fire was suspected to ensure that the recommendation was considered based on accurate information.” TL 17: I’ve argued that Congress and the senior leadership of the Army acted to shield General McChrystal from close scrutiny and protect him from punishment for his central role in orchestrating the cover-up of Pat Tillman’s fratricide.

PB 379: On July 31, 2007, Secretary of the Army Pete Geren held a press conference at the Pentagon to answer this and other questions about the alleged cover-up, and to announce that the Army had taken action against six of the officers found accountable by IG Thomas Gimble’s investigation four months earlier. Such action could have included demotions, courts-martial, dishonorable discharges, incarceration, and/or letters of reprimand. But LTC Bailey and COL Nixon received nothing more than a mild “memoranda of concern,” and Nixon’s memorandum of concern wasn’t even placed in his military record. The Army, moreover, took no action against McChrystal, despite his central role in the scandal. The only officer who received anything resembling punishment was LG Philip Kensinger Jr., who had retired from the Army eighteen months previously, and was censured for lying under oath to investigators. The Army’s leniency was stunning. It prompted a reporter to ask Geren, “You’ve described a litany of errors and mistakes going more than three years involving a lot of people, yet all the blame falls on Gen. Kensinger. … he happens to be retired. Is there a coincidence there?” Secretary Geren asserted “I believe the buck stops with Gen. Kensinger.” Brushing aside overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Geren was adamant that nobody, including Kensinger, had engaged in a cover-up. [from 8-01-07 Geren Press Briefing]

86

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” ... LT 82: On May 12th 2009, President Obama nominated General Stanley McChrystal for promotion to four-star general and commander of the Afghanistan War. LT 87: As David Corn commented on PBS’s News Hour: “… a lot of what happened today made it clear to me that Democrats and Republicans had both decided, "He's our guy in Afghanistan” LT 84: On May 14th, The New York Times published their editorial, “New Commander for Afghanistan”: “Less impressively, some of his commando units were implicated in abusive interrogations of Iraqi prisoners. And it was General McChrystal who approved the falsified report that covered up the 2004 friendly-fire death of Cpl. Pat Tillman in Afghanistan….” TL 22: The senators didn't press McChrystal aggressively during the nearly three-hour hearing, LT 5: On June 2nd, The Senate Armed Services held a “pro forma confirmation” and the Senators did not “rigorously question“ McChrystal during the hearing.

DB: Shortly after President Obama nominated Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal to command U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, the general was summoned to the U.S. Senate to be grilled by the Armed Services Committee. Although McChrystal had enthusiastic admirers on both sides of the congressional aisle and was regarded as an innovative, uncommonly effective leader, he was expected to face difficult questions about two incidents that occurred during his tenure as leader of the Joint Special Operations Command (or JSOC): the torture of detainees in 2003 at the secret facility in Iraq known as Camp Nama, and his role in the coverup of Pat Tillman’s fratricide in Afghanistan in 2004. During the committee hearing, though, none of McChrystal’s inquisitors probed deeply into either of these issues, and on June 10 the Senate unanimously confirmed his nomination. ... TL 39: "That memo is damming as hell. And yet, nothing happens to [McChrystal]. He is writing fraudulent language in that memo. He is giving examples of how they can script the Silver Star award,…” TL 27: General McChrystal was in Afghanistan with the Ranger officers discussing what happened! McChrystal lead the Silver Star approval process! McChrystal wasn’t removed from the process. He didn’t just sign off on a piece of paper that just dropped onto his desk! He was intimately involved with the process.
87

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” DB: McChrystal has lately been the subject of numerous media profiles, most of them adulatory. Dexter Filkins has a long story in the upcoming New York Times Magazine. In an October 5 Newsweek article, Evan Thomas referred to the general as a “Zen warrior… with a disarming, low-key style, free of the bombast and sense of entitlement that can come with four stars…. He has great political skills; he couldn’t have risen to his current position without them. But he definitely does not see himself as the sort of military man who would compromise his principles to do the politically convenient thing.” In the week after Tillman was killed, however, this is precisely what McChrystal appears to have done when he administered a fraudulent medal recommendation and submitted it to secretary of the Army, thereby concealing the cause of Tillman’s death.

88

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem”

JON KRAKAUER’S REVISIONS TO “WHERE MEN WIN GLORY” IN PAPERBACK EDITION: From FOIA Interviews with MAJ Charles Kirchmaier, LTC Norman Allen, BG Gina Farrisee
Sometime after November 2009, Jon Krakauer used the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to obtain Inspector General (IG) interviews with Major Charles Kirchmaier, LTC Norman Allen, Commander Craig Mallak, and BG Gina Farrisee. These FOIA interviews provided more detail on the stonewalling of the Medical Examiner Mallak by Nixon & McChrystal’s JAG lawyers (Kirchmaier and Allen), and BG Farrisee (who Krakauer appears to credulously believe was not part of this deception). In addition, the FOIA interviews provided some more details of how Gen. McChrystal directed the Ranger RGT’s cover-up. None of these “previously undisclosed facts” appeared in his “McChrystal’s Credibility Problem” nor were they mentioned in his November 2009 interviews. ... Krakauer is disingenuous to claim he “discovered” … “these “previously undisclosed facts” from the FOIA interviews. True, none of these facts appeared in the Tillman material I sent to him. However, his claim is deceitful since he apparently “discovered” the existence of these IG interviews from reading my binders (otherwise, why didn’t Krakauer use FOIA in 2008?): From p. 25, “Did They Teach You to Lie Yet?”: “So, McChrystal, Nixon, and/or Abiziad lied about when they learned about “suspected” fratricide during their interviews with the DoD Inspector General and before Congress. A look at their IG interviews would be illuminating and resolve this question [Scott Laidlaw at AP got these interviews through FOIA, but I haven’t seen them].” From p. 79, “Lies Borne Out by Facts, If Not the Truth”: “A couple of weeks ago, while reading your article, “Pat Tillman’s Mother Recalls Journey for Facts” (5-13-08), you mentioned AP had obtained new documents under FOIA … Do your FOIA documents also include testimony from GEN McChrystal …”

89

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” ... HC 293: He [Mallak] was sufficiently disturbed by this discrepancy [medical evidence did not match up with the scenario as described] that he asked the Army Criminal Investigation Division to look into it, but the CID refused. Perturbed, Mallak and Caruso declined to sign their names to the autopsy examination when it was completed. PB 340: Mallak was sufficiently disturbed by this discrepancy that he and Caruso declined to sign their names to the autopsy examination report when it was completed, and Mallak asked the Army Criminal Investigation Division to look into the matter. Note: Did Mallak call CID after no love from Farrisee? The CID is responsible for investigating serious crimes … Army regulations obligated McChrystal, Nixon, and Bailey to notify the CID if fratricide was even suspected … But McChrystal and Nixon were obsessed with keeping knowledge of the fratricide “as compartmented as possible” … So when CID sent a special agent to inquire about the suspicious nature of Tillman’s wounds, Nixon’s legal advisor, Major Charles Kirchmaier, was dispatched to throw the CID off the scent. Kirchmaier … was intimately involved in CPT Scott’s 15-6 investigation and knew that Tillman was killed by friendly fire. … Kirchmaier nevertheless instructed CPT Scott not to disclose anything to the CID or Dr. Mallak, and when questioned by the CID agent himself, Kirchmaier prevaricated. … As a direct result, the CID concluded there was no reason to delve further … Shortly thereafter, Kirchmaier received an e-mail from McChrystal’s legal advisor, LTC Norman Allen, in which Allen congratulated Kirchmaier for “keeping the CID at bay.” *When asked in 2006, under oath, … McChrystal and Kirchmaier repeatedly invoked such phrases as, “not that I recall,” …
...

PB345: …on April 29, 2004, Secretary Brownlee formally certified the Silver Star award without knowing that Tillman was a victim of fratricide, or that his death was even under investigation. Meanwhile, Dr. Mallak, the military pathologist who had performed Tillman’s autopsy, was still trying to find out why the official cause of death provided by the Ranger Regiment didn’t match the medical evidence. In the hope of obtaining Tillman’s helmet, uniform, and body armor for forensic analysis, he contacted BG Gina Farrisee, director of Military Personnel Management for the Army’s deputy chief of staff, who happened to be processing Tillman’s Silver Star recommendation when
90

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” Mallak called [April 27/28/29?]. Unaware [really? See Mary Tillman’s book] that the recommendation documents were fraudulent, Farrisee passed them along to Mallak in the hope that they might shed some light on the cause of death and clear up some of the confusion. When Mallak read the medal recommendation, however, his consternation only grew. He told Farrisee, “This story stinks.” Crucial details of the firefight as described in the Silver Star documents appeared to be contradicted by Mallak’s autopsy findings. “You have a problem,” he warned. “This isn’t right. You need to stop the Silver Star.” “If we thought that anything in that award narrative at the time was untrue,” Farrisee conceded, “we probably would have held up the award.” But by the time Mallak had sounded the alarm it was too late. The medal was already a done deal. [really? See MT and IG PB 377 one of six] ... Note: I doubt BG Farrisee was unaware of the friendly-fire death when Mallak called. Mary Tillman wrote about this in her book. She was even chastised by Gen Wallace. There was mention of her role in the Oversight Committee’s 2008 report as well as a brief mention in the DoD IG report.

91

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem”

JON KRAKAUER’S REVISIONS TO “WHERE MEN WIN GLORY” IN PAPERBACK EDITION: From FOIA Interviews with McChrystal, Nixon, Bailey
Sometime after November 2009, Jon Krakauer used the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to obtain Inspector General (IG) interviews with LTC Jeffrey Bailey, COL James Craig Nixon, and LTG Stan McChrystal. These FOIA interviews provided more details of the actions of Gen. McChrystal & the Ranger RGT officers during their cover-up. None of these “previously undisclosed facts” appeared in his “McChrystal’s Credibility Problem” nor were they mentioned in his November 2009 interviews. ... As mentioned previously, Krakauer is disingenuous to claim he “discovered” … “these “previously undisclosed facts” from the FOIA interviews. True, none of these facts appeared in the Tillman material I sent to him. However, his claim is deceitful since he apparently “discovered” the existence of these IG interviews from reading my binders (otherwise, why didn’t Krakauer use FOIA in 2008?): From p. 25, “Did They Teach You to Lie Yet?”: “So, McChrystal, Nixon, and/or Abiziad lied about when they learned about “suspected” fratricide during their interviews with the DoD Inspector General and before Congress. A look at their IG interviews would be illuminating and resolve this question [Scott Laidlaw at AP got these interviews through FOIA, but I haven’t seen them].” From p. 79, “Lies Borne Out by Facts, If Not the Truth”: “A couple of weeks ago, while reading your article, “Pat Tillman’s Mother Recalls Journey for Facts” (5-13-08), you mentioned AP had obtained new documents under FOIA … Do your FOIA documents also include testimony from GEN McChrystal …”

92

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” ... HC 290: Bailey alerted his boss – COL James Nixon … that Tillman was the victim of fratricide. Nixon then told his boss, LTG Philip Kensinger … (USASOC), as well as a two-star general named Stanley McChrystal who ran the most covert branch of the US Armed Forces, … (JSOC). DB: Before the day was out, Nixon notified three [two?Yellen?] of his superiors [HC: Nixon called Kensinger & McChrystal; PB: McChrystal called Kensinger & Brown], including McChrystal, that Tillman’s death was a fratricide. PB 335: It was early in the afternoon of April 23 when Bailey phoned COL Nixon in the Joint Operations Center at Bagram to alert him that friendly fire was the cause of Tillman’s death. Almost immediately, Nixon delivered this shocking news in person to his boss, BG Stanley McChrystal PB 336: Shortly after McChrystal was appraised by Nixon that Tillman had been killed by friendly fire, he [McChrystal] shared this information with LTG Philip Kensinger, commander … (USASOC), and Gen. Bryan Brown, commander … (USSOC). ... HC 290: An hour or two after Kensinger and McChrystal were informed [by Nixon] that Tillman was killed by friendly fire, word of the fratricide was sent via back channels to the highest levels of the Pentagon and the White House. The facts of Tillman’s fratricide were restricted to a tight cadre. That afternoon – April 23 – Pat’s coffin was loaded onto a helicopter and Kevin accompanied the body from Salerno to Bagram. PB 336: Shortly after McChrystal was appraised by Nixon that Tillman had been killed by friendly fire, he [McChrystal] shared this information with LTG Philip Kensinger, commander …(USASOC), and Gen. Bryan Brown, commander … (USSOC). Word of the fratricide was also sent via secret back channels to the highest levels of the Pentagon and the White House, information that restricted to an elect cadre in Washington. Over in Afghanistan, McChrystal directed Nixon to keep the facts of Tillman’s death under tight wraps within the Ranger Regiment, as well. “The guidance I put out, Nixon testified, “was that until the investigation was complete, until we knew what had happened, I did not want communications ouside of the unit.” According to a federal statute and several Army regulations, Marie Tillman, as next of kin, was supposed to be notified that an investigation was

93

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” under way. Instead, McChrystal, Nixon, and the soldiers under their command went to extraordinary lengths to prevent the Tillman family from learning the truth about how Pat died. That same afternoon that McChrystal was informed of the fratricide – April 23 – Pat’s coffin was loaded onto a helicopter, and Kevin accompanied the body from Salerno to Bagram. ... DB: According to Army regulations, this information should have been immediately shared with the Tillman family, even if friendly fire was only a possibility. Instead, Army officers embarked on an elaborate campaign to suppress the truth and persuade both the family and the public that Tillman was killed by enemy fire. PB336: Over in Afghanistan, McChrystal directed Nixon to keep the facts of Tillman’s death under tight wraps within the Ranger Regiment, as well. “The guidance I put out,” Nixon testified, “was that until the investigation was complete, until we knew what happened, I did not want communication of the ongoing investigation outside the unit.” According to a federal statute and several Army regulations, Marie Tillman, as next of kin, was supposed to be notified that an investigation was under way, even if friendly fire was only suspected, and “be kept informed as additional information about the cause of death becomes known.” Instead, McChrystal, Nixon, and the soldiers under their command went to extraordinary lengths to prevent the Tillman family from learning the truth about how Pat died. ... HC 293: The Army withheld from Mallak [coroner] its knowledge that Pat had been killed by friendly fire, another serious breach of protocol. PB 339: Taking their cues from McChrystal and Nixon, officers in the Ranger Regiment deliberately withheld from Mallak that Pat had been killed by friendly fire, another egregious breach of protocol. ... PB372: In striking contrast to all three of the Army’s 15-6 investigations, Gimble’s investigating officers (who were civilians not beholden to anyone in the Army chain of command) looked closely [!?] at McChrystal’s role in the mishandling of the Tillman fratricide, in particular his responsibility for the fraudulent Silver Star recommendation.
94

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem”

Note: “not beholden” yeah, how about Sec Def Rumsfeld? Looked closely; no (except SS), covered as well. While interviewing McChrystal on November 26, 2006, a special agent from the Office of the Inspector General demanded of him, “Why did you recommend the Silver Star one day and the next day send a secret back-channel message [the P4 memo] warning the country’s leaders about using information from the Silver Star in public speeches because they might be embarrassed if they do?” Note: “back-channel” also used to describe going to WH on 4/23. McChrystal became angry, complained the agent’s questions were demeaning, and insisted there was nothing duplicitious about his P4 memo. He nevertheless failed to offer a plausible explanation for the glaring contradiction, as the findings of Gimble’s official report to Secretary of the Army Pete Geren made clear: “LTC Bailey, COL Nixon, and MG McChrystal are accountable for the inaccurate and misleading assertions contained in the award recommendation package … We also find MG McChrystal accountable for not notifying the award processing channels that friendly fire was suspected to ensure that the recommendation was considered based on accurate information.” [IG Report] ... DB: According to McChrystal’s Senate testimony [6-02-09], he “sat down with the people who recommended [the Silver Star]… and we went over a whiteboard, and we looked at the geometry of the battlefield, and I queried the people to satisfy myself that, in fact, that his actions warranted [the Silver Star], even though there was a potential that the actual circumstances of death had been friendly fire.” PB 342: According to McChrystal’s [Senate] testimony, he flew from Bagram to Salerno and “sat down with the people who recommended [the Silver Star]… and we went over a whiteboard, and we looked at the geometry of the battlefield, and I queried the people to satisfy myself that, in fact, that his actions warranted [the Silver Star], even though there was a potential that the actual circumstances of death had been friendly fire.” ...

95

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem”

JON KRAKAUER’S REVISIONS TO “WHERE MEN WIN GLORY” IN PAPERBACK EDITION: Minor Revisions & Edits
HC 289: The next morning at dawn, …. First SGT Tommy Fuller walked up to the rocks where Pat had been shot. He had arrived shortly after the firefight the previous evening with the Alpha Company Commander CPT William Saunders, and Third Platoon, who had rushed to the canyon from Salerno to support the stunned soldiers of Second Platoon. PB 333: The next morning at dawn, …. First SGT Tommy Fuller walked up to the rocks where Pat had been shot. He had arrived the previous evening with the Rangers of Alpha Company’s Third Platoon, who had rushed to the canyon to support the stunned soldiers of Second Platoon shortly after the firefight. ... HC 290: … He [McChrystal] was politically shrewd. He worked under the radar. Vice President Cheney and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld kept in close touch with him and trusted him absolutely. DB: At the time of Tillman’s fratricide, McChrystal was only a one-star [corrected from HC] general, but as commander of JSOC he ran the most covert branch of the U.S. armed forces. Shrewd, driven, and willing to bend rules to get results, 13 months earlier he’d commanded the Navy SEALs, Delta Force operators, and Army Rangers who’d rescued Jessica Lynch from her captors in Iraq. Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld held McChrystal in the highest esteem, and regularly bypassed the chain of command to communicate with him directly. He was trustworthy. He worked under the radar and got stuff done. He didn’t suffer from “the slows,” as Rumsfeld characterized the risk-averse nature of some of McChrystal’s superiors.

PB 335: … In 2009 McChrystal would be thrust into the limelight as the four-star [still 3-star] general chosen by President Barack Obama [May 11, 2009] to command all US forces in Afghanistan. PB 335: … McChrystal inspired extraordinary devotion from his subordinates, who referred to him as The Pope. A great many of the men who worked for him would do anything he asked
96

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” without reservation, and would rather die than let him down. Shrewd, exceedingly ambitious, and willing to bend rules to get results, McChrystal was widely regarded as the most effective commander in the entire Army. Vice President Cheney and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld held him in the highest esteem, considered him absolutely trustworthy, and regularly bypassed the chain of command to communicate with him directly. He worked under the radar and got stuff done. He didn’t suffer from “the slows,” as Rumsfeld characterized the risk-averse nature of some of McChrystal’s superiors. ... HC298: … the recommendation was expedited by MG McChrystal, COL Nixon, and LTC Bailey, and on April 29, Tillman’s Silver Star commendation was signed by Les Brownlee, acting secretary of the Army. DB: On April 28, 2004, six days after Tillman’s death, McChrystal reviewed a final draft of the medal recommendation, signed his name to it, and emailed it to the acting secretary of the Army, R.L. Brownlee. PB343: On April 28, 2004, six days after Tillman’s death, McChrystal reviewed the medal recommendation documents assembled by Major Hodne and LTC Bailey, endorsed the entire package, and emailed it up the chain of command to the acting secretary of the Army, R.L. Brownlee. ... HC305: Each of the aforementioned officers testified under oath that there was never any doubt whatsoever that Tillman had been killed by friendly fire. PB358: By the morning of April 23, there was never any genuine doubt that Tillman had been killed by friendly fire. ... HC 318: But Gimble was much too credulous in accepting testimony from high-ranking Army officers that the chain of command had acted in good faith. PB 373: Despite the occasionally, censorious tone of Gimble’s report, however, in many regards his investigation was as flawed as those that preceded it. He was much too credulous, for example, in accepting testimony from McChrystal, Nixon, Bailey, and other [Army] officers that they had acted in good faith.

97

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” ... HC298: … the recommendation was expedited by MG McChrystal, COL Nixon, and LTC Bailey, and on April 29, Tillman’s Silver Star commendation was signed by Les Brownlee, acting secretary of the Army. DB: On April 28, 2004, six days after Tillman’s death, McChrystal reviewed a final draft of the medal recommendation, signed his name to it, and emailed it to the acting secretary of the Army, R.L. Brownlee. PB343: On April 28, 2004, six days after Tillman’s death, McChrystal reviewed the medal recommendation documents assembled by Major Hodne and LTC Bailey, endorsed the entire package, and emailed it up the chain of command to the acting secretary of the Army, R.L. Brownlee. ... HC298: Because only a handful of people in Washington were informed that Tillman had actually been killed by friendly fire, in the first days following the tragedy Gen. McChrystal had begun to worry that speechwriters at the WH and the Pentagon might inadvertently script something … DB/PB 345: On April 28, 2004, the same day McChrystal sent the Silver Star recommendation to the secretary of the Army, he received word from Rumsfeld’s office that the White House was working on a speech in which President Bush would eulogize Tillman at the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner. Because the true cause of Tillman’s death had been restricted to a tight cadre that did not include the president’s speechwriters, McChrystal fretted they might inadvertently script something that would make the president look like a liar should the truth about Tillman eventually be leaked. ... HC298: To forestall any potential gaffes, on April 29 McChrystal emailed a high-priority personal memo (known as a “Personal For” memo, or simply a “P4”) to Gen. John Abizaid, the commander of all troops in Iraq and Afghanistan; Gen. Bryan Brown, commander of US Special Operations Command; and LTG Kensinger, commander of the US Army Special Operations Command. DB: To forestall such a gaffe, one day after submitting the falsified medal recommendation, McChrystal emailed a high-priority personal memo (known as a “Personal For” memo, or simply

98

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” a “P4”) to Gen. John Abizaid, the commander of all troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and two other general officers [Brown, Kensinger]: PB 346: To forestall such a gaffe, on April 29 McChrystal emailed a high-priority personal memo (known as a “Personal For” memo, or simply a “P4”) to Gen. John Abizaid, the commander of all troops in Iraq and Afghanistan; Gen. Bryan Brown, commander of US Special Operations Command; and LTG Kensinger, commander of the US Army Special Operations Command. ... HC299: In the speech Bush gave at the correspondents’ dinner two days after the P4 was sent, the president lauded Tillman for his courage and sacrifice, but pointedly made no mention of how he died, indicating that McChrystal’s memo had been read and heeded by the president and/or his advisors. Later, Abizaid, Kensinger, and the White House would all deny receiving McChrystal’s memo or knowing at the time that Tillman’s death was a fratricide. DB/PB347: (In the speech Bush gave at the correspondents’ dinner two days after the P4 was sent, the president praised Tillman for his courage and sacrifice, but pointedly made no mention of how he died.) ... HC298: Despite these falsified, unsigned statements, the recommendation was expedited by MG McChrystal, COL Nixon, and LTC Bailey. [Kauzlarich was also part of process] and on April 29, Tillman’s Silver Star commendation was signed by Les Brownlee, acting secretary of the Army. [O] n April 30 the Army issued a press release announcing that the Silver Star would be awarded to Tillman “for his selfless actions after his Ranger element was ambushed by anti-coalition insurgents.” Yet again, nothing was said about fratricide being the cause of Tillman’s death. As Brigadier General Howard Yellen later testified, “For the civilian on the street, the interpretation would be that he was killed by enemy fire.” DB/PB347: Instead, Secretary Brownlee approved the medal based on the spurious documents submitted by McChrystal, and on April 30 the Army issued a press release announcing that Tillman had been posthumously awarded the Silver Star. Because it made no mention of friendly fire, none of the hundreds of news stories based on the press release reported anything about friendly fire, and the nation was kept in the dark about the fratricide. As Brigadier General Howard Yellen later testified, “For the civilian on the street, the interpretation would be that he was killed by enemy fire.” ...
99

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem”

DB: McChrystal, who was promoted from Brigadier General to Major General nine days after Tillman’s death [May 1, 2004], was, and remains, intensely ambitious. PB 351: One day later, on May 1, McChrystal, was promoted from Brigadier General to Major General. ... HC 295: The violence in Fallujah had been precipitated on Mary 31, when Iraqi insurgents ambushed a convoy being guarded by four paramilitary contractors working for Blackwater USA. After they had been killed in a grenade attack, the bodies of the four Americans were set on fire, burned their bodies, dragged them through the streets, and then hung from a bridge over the Euphrates River. In response, 2,000 American troops launched a massive assault on the city on April 4, initiating furious urban combat that continued for the next twenty-seven days. By the time US forces pulled out of Fallujah on May 1, 27 American troops were dead, and more than 90 had been wounded. DB/PB348: Three weeks before Tillman was killed, horrific violence engulfed Fallujah. The bloodshed commenced when Iraqi insurgents killed four American contractors working for Blackwater USA, burned their bodies, dragged them through the streets, and then hung their charred remains from a bridge over the Euphrates River. In response, 2,000 U.S. Marines launched an [massive] assault on the city [on April 4], initiating furious urban combat that continued until the Marines were pulled out of Fallujah on May 1, 2004, by which time 27 American troops were dead, and more than 90 had been wounded. ... HC295: The president was facing an increasingly tough campaign to win a second term in the White House, the election was barely six months away, and his approval ratings were plummeting. When Tillman was killed, White House perception managers saw an opportunity not unlike the one provided by the Jessica Lynch debacle thirteen months earlier. DB: Public support for both the Bush administration and the war in Iraq was plummeting. The president was engaged in a bare-knuckled campaign to win a second term. The election was barely six months away. When Tillman was killed, White House perception managers saw an opportunity to divert the nation’s attention from the glut of bad news. PB349: The president was engaged in a bare-knuckle campaign to win a second term in the White House, the election was barely six months away, and his approval ratings were

100

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” plummeting. When Tillman was killed, White House perception managers saw an opportunity not unlike the one provided by the Jessica Lynch debacle thirteen months earlier. ... HC297: As with the frenzy that followed the Jessica Lynch rescue, neither the White House nor military perception managers had to do much to sustain the media’s focus on Tillman’s death; indeed, they did little more than monitor the coverage and make copies of all the published articles for their files – although that didn’t deter the Army from deciding to ratchet up the media hysteria to an even higher level by awarding Tillman a couple of posthumous medals. DB: Had it been disclosed at the outset that Pat Tillman was killed by friendly fire, the press coverage would have been no less voluminous, but its effect on the nation’s mood would have been very different. This is the context in which the Tillman coverup, and Gen. McChrystal’s central role in the deception, must be considered. PB351: Had it been disclosed at the outset that Tillman was killed by friendly fire, the press coverage would have been no less voluminous, but its effect on the nation’s mood would have been very different. The Army’s announcement on April 30 that Tillman had been awarded the Silver Star prompted another torrent of favorable press. ... PB 373: In the concluding paragraph of his [IG Report] report, Gimble urged Secretary Geren “to consider appropriate corrective action.” The charges specified by the inspector general were serious. According to Punitive Article 107 of the UCMJ, “Any person … who, with intent to deceive, signs any false record, return, regulation, order, or other official document, knowing it to be false, or makes any other false official statement knowing it to be false, shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.” If found guilty of making a false official statement, Bailey, Nixon, and McChrystal could be dishonorably discharged and imprisioned for up to five years. Note: JK used this quote in some of his November 2009 interviews. ... HC319/PB375: When it was Kevin Tillman’s turn to testify, he spoke about his older brother at length, and with electrifying conviction: “Revealing that Pat’s death was fratricide would have been yet another political disaster during a month already swollen with political disasters…. So the facts needed to be suppressed. An alternative narrative needed to be constructed.”

101

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” DB: As Kevin Tillman testified, “Revealing that Pat’s death was fratricide would have been yet another political disaster during a month already swollen with political disasters…. So the facts needed to be suppressed. An alternative narrative needed to be constructed.” McChrystal’s chicanery, Kevin [Mary 4-24-07?] explained, was “an insult to the Tillman family, but more importantly, its primary purpose was to deceive a nation…. We have been used as props in a public-relations exercise.” ... HC321/DB/PB 377: “What we have here is a very clear, deliberate abuse intentionally done,” lamented Rep. Henry Waxman at the conclusion of a 2007 hearing into the Tillman coverup by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. “Why is it so hard to find out who did it? ... DB: Given the overwhelming challenges the United States faces in Afghanistan, and President Obama’s determination that Gen. McChrystal is the most qualified person to command our military campaign there, some may wonder why his dishonesty about Tillman should matter. It matters because deceit by a military officer of McChrystal’s rank is a poisonous betrayal of trust that shouldn’t be countenanced. The possibility that his subterfuge was intended to mislead the public during the run-up to a presidential election is especially troubling.

102

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem”

REVISIONS TO “WHERE MEN WIN GLORY”: Miscellaneous Corrections
HC 59: When Pat’s attorney had plea-bargained his original felony-charge down to a misdemeanor, … PB 68: When the judge had reduced Pat’s original felony charge to a misdemeanor, … ... HC 336: As these words are being written in early 2009, Spera is classified as “denied territory” by the US Army …. PB 396: As these words are being written in early 2010, Spera is classified as “denied territory” by the US Army …. ... PB 400: The embassy bombing in Kabul [July 7, 2008] was just one of many recent assaults occasioned by the pact between the Haqqanis and the ISI. … TO … The Pakistani ISI continues to assist Haqqani and other Islamist insurgents … ... HC 343: If the United States’ involvement in future was is inevitable, so, too is it inevitable that American soldiers will fall victim to friendly fire in those conflicts, for the simple reason that fratricide is part and parcel of every war. According to the most comprehensive survey … thus far in the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, casualty rates are 41 percent and 13 percent … The possibility of falling victim to friendly fire seems to deter few men and woman from enlisting in the Armed Forces, in any case. SB 405: If the United States’ involvement in future was is inevitable, so, too is it inevitable that American soldiers will fall victim to friendly fire in those conflicts, for the simple reason that fratricide is part and parcel of every war. While acknowledging that the “statistical dimensions of the friendly fire problem have yet to be define; reliable data are simply not available in most cases ….” … between 2 percent and 25 percent of the casualties in America’s wars are attributable to friendly fire. Whatever the statistical likelihood of being killed or wounded by friendly fire, it seems to deter few men and woman from enlisting in the Armed Forces, in any case. PB 422: The Oxford Companion to American Military History, edited by John Whiteclay Chambers II
103

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem”

APPENDIX F:
CORRECTIONS & OMISSONS FOR FUTURE EDITIONS

104

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem”

POSSIBLE CORRECTIONS FOR FUTURE EDITIONS OF WHERE MEN WIN GLORY
Note: Very rough draft 1.) Timeline of Uthlaut & Lane wounded doesn’t match text: PB 288 & HC 250: Firefight in Tillman Pass (diagram) … 6:45 p.m. Uthlaut wounded besides building 6:45 p.m. Johnson shoots 40-mm grenade that wounds Uthlaut 6:47 p.m. Lane wounded beside building 6:47 p.m. Elliot shoots Lane in knee from moving GMV PB 288 & HC 258: Firefight in Tillman Pass, West End of Canyon (diagram) … 6:45 p.m. Uthlaut wounded besides building 6:45 p.m. Johnson shoots 40-mm grenade that wounds Uthlaut 6:47 p.m. Lane wounded beside building 6:47 p.m. Elliot shoots Lane in knee from moving GMV PB 311 & HC 269: “… Suddenly there was an explosion that blew me to the ground. It fucked up the PL’s face really bad.” [Lane]… Ten or fifteen seconds later a bullet demolished Lane’s left knee. … the bullets that hit Lane had been fired by a machine gunner on Greg Baker’s Humvee … PB 312 & HC 270: “Once they came around the corner…I couldn’t, like, recognize Elliot’s face, but I knew that whoever was on the 240 was shooting at our position.” PB 314 & HC 272: As Baker’s Humvee drove past the two-story building where Uthlaut and Lane were positioned, Elliot continued to target it with his 240 Bravo machine gun …

2.) Goff said RPG, not mortars 3.) Was it SGT Weeks or SGT Ward with altered SS witness statement? (MT says Weeks) What does 4-24-07 transcript say?

105

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem” 4.) Credulous to believe BG Gina Farrisee innocent (see Mary Tillman book). Didn’t Wallace admonish her? 5.) Deserved SS?!! I think that’s a stretch. He didn’t die because he threw the smoke, he died when they thought it was all clear and stood up. 6.) See 9-17-09 letter for more corrections and ref. to them. 7.) McChrystal not in charge of JSOC during Lynch rescue (he was spokesman saying that Iraq War over! (what on tape about Jessica Lynch as spokesman?) 8.) PB 335 MC still 3-star when nominated by Obama; got fourth star with promotion 9.) Despite these falsified, unsigned statements, the recommendation was expedited by MG McChrystal, COL Nixon, and LTC Bailey. [?Bailey was out by then; Kauzlarich was also part of process] PB343: On April 28, 2004, six days after Tillman’s death, McChrystal reviewed the medal recommendation documents assembled by Major Hodne and LTC Bailey, endorsed the entire package, and emailed it up the chain of command to the acting secretary of the Army, R.L. Brownlee. [revised by LTC Kauzlarich]

106

“Jon Krakauer’s Credibility Problem”

POSSIBLE OMISSIONS FROM WHERE MEN WIN GLORY
Note: Very rough draft 1.) PB 302 Donald Lee and predator drone Andrew Exum and Predator drone Mary Tillman 2.) HC 261 3.) See 9-17-09 ommisions 4.) Minimal coverage of all hearings; emphasis on 7-31-07; McChrystal overlooked. 5.) No 6-02-09 hearing coverage or Obama nomination & cover-up of Nama photos i.e. didn’t cover material in “The [Untold] Tillman Story” Whitewash of Obama & Democrats 6.) FOIA interviews for Abizaid, Kauzlarich? 7.) No 8-01-07 hearing transcript or coverage! . .. What I liked: Odyssey theme Nice selection of quotes & epigrams to begin chapters Put together FF incident itself from interviews and transcripts pretty well

107

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful