“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)

“LIES … BORNE OUT BY FACTS, IF NOT THE TRUTH”

TABLE OF CONTENTS
PDF Page #: September 11th 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) 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) (5-13-09) (5-14-09) (5-15-09) (5-26-09) (6-01-09) (6-02-09) (6-02-09) “Pentagon Ousts Top Commander in Afghan War” “A General Steps from the Shadows” “New Commander for Afghanistan” (NYT Editorial) “Afghan Villagers Describe Chaos of U.S. Airstrikes” “Nomination of U.S. Afghan Commander Revives Questions in Tillman Case” “Questions for General McChrystal” (NYT Editorial) “Nominee to Command U.S. Afghan Forces Stresses Civilian Safety” “U.S. Report Finds Errors in Afghan Airstrikes”

D: “5 Years Ago: When the Pentagon and Media Lied About Jessica Lynch Rescue”

LIES BORNE OUT BY FACTS, IF NOT THE TRUTH

APPENDIX A:
From Appendices of “Did They Teach You How to Lie Yet?” (refer to separate 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):

(GuyMontag, 5-17-08):

Timeline of Tillman Fratricide Notification Notes

(Guy Montag, 5-17-08):

Transcript of General McChrystal’s June 2nd 2009 Senate Testimony: http://armed-services.senate.gov/Transcripts/2009/06%20June/09-36%20-%206-2-09.pdf

Senate ASC 6-02-09 Confirmation Hearing (from “Did They Teach You How to Lie Yet?)

5-20-08; Revised 7-17-08

TIMELINE OF TILLMAN FRATRICIDE NOTIFICATION
IG Report, Appendix B Chronology (pp.70- 76): April 22: Tillman killed in action in Afghanistan. PFC O’Neal tells 1SG of possibility of friendly fire April 23: CSM Birch informs LTC Bailey of suspected fratricide, recommends an investigation. LTC Bailey verbally assigns CPT Scott to conduct 15-6 LTC Bailey tells COL Nixon suspects fratricide and investigation initiated. . COL Nixon calls GEN McChrystal to inform him of Tillman’s death. Bailey tells Nixon “I was certain we had killed him … we need to do the 15-6, So from that time forward I never doubted whether or not we had killed Pat Tillman” McChrystal: “about a day or two after the incident … [Nixon] told me he suspected fratricide … and was investigating it.” (no later than 25th) CSM Birch: “I would say I was probably. 70% sure it was fratricide”. (Jones, CS) Col [?] (McChrystal’s Chief of Staff) approves causalty report KIA. From Testimony & IG Report:

OR

Note: Wouldn’t Nixon tell McChrystal of suspected fratricide & investigation the same day Nixon was told? Wouldn’t Chief of Staff have already told him of KIA? Or seen it on CNN? GEN McChrystal while meeting with GEN Abizaid tells him that Tillman had been killed in action.

Note: Wouldn’t McChrystal tell Abizaid of suspected fratricide and investigation the same day he learned of it? (not “death” or “KIA”) Abiziad says “no details” but later “heroic” death?

McChrystal tells Abizaid while in Qatar for a meeting “that Tillman had been killed in combat, and that the circumstances surrounding his death were heroic.” (Abizaid, Waxman 8/07) OR McChrystal informs GEN Abizaid “of Tillman’s death while they were in Qatar for a meeting at the time of Tillman’s death… but he received no details and did not know that friendly fire was suspected” (Abizaid, IG 3/07) Abizaid “called the Chairman and discussed that with the Chairman.” (Waxman, 8/07)

IG Report, Appendix B Chronology (pp.70- 76): April 23 (continued):

From Testimony & IG Report: Nixon said he told Kensinger “almost immediately” of the possibility of friendly fire and beginning investigation. Yellen testified that he told Kensinger of the possibility of friendly fire the day after Tillman’s death [23rd]. OR Yellen testified that told of death by Nixon on 23rd and friendly fire investigation on the 24th. McChrystal calls Brown “shortly after – perhaps a few days after the death - to say it was a possibility that this was friendly fire and that he was investigating”

April 24: 2nd Platoon returns to battalion FOB. CPT Scott takes statements and begins interviews. Bailey: “After the first day [of interviews] … there was no doubt about it.” … I confirmed it.” “So, after [Scott] did the first five interviews, he came back to me and said “Sir, I’m certain. I’m sure. And then I called [Nixon]” Nixon: “… I believed it was my responsibility to tell the family once I had the facts involved with that. … it took a considerable time [2 days!] to get truth or the best level of truth that we could get out of the investigation.” Nixon told Yellen that possible fratricide. April 25: No later than April 25th, COL Nixon informs MG McChrystal and BG Yellen of suspected fratricide and that investigation was initiated. Platoon AAR conducted GEN Yellen: “… just a few days after the incident Nixon called me … doing the investigation … may be friendly fire.” GEN Brown: “[McChrystal] called shortly after – perhaps a few days after death … possibility friendly fire … investigating” McChrystal and COL [?] (Joint Task Force Chief of Staff) “were aware of friendly fire as early as [NLT?] 25th.”

Note: CPT Scott and LTC Bailey confirmed fratricide and told Nixon on the 24th! Nixon never passed this information up his chain of command?!

Note: It was COL [?]’s responsibility as Joint Task Force Chief of Staff to transmit supplemental casualty report after learning of friendly fire. (see IG p. 80)

IG Report, Appendix B Chronology (pp.70 – 76): April 27: Autopsy conducted by AFME. COL Nixon approves Silver Star April 28: MG McChrystal approves Silver Star.

From Testimony & IG Report:

Abizaid in Afghanisatan. Claims no one told him of fratricide. Visits LT Uthalut in hospital on the 29th.

April 29: Written appointment of CPT Scott’s 15-6 by COL Nixon MG McChrystal sends P4 to Abizaid, Brown, and Kensinger that friendly fire likely outcome of pending investigation. However, the fratricide should not take away from the valorous Silver Star award. Silver Star approved by Acting Secretary of the Army. Note: Recipients of P4 already knew about fratricide and investigation. The only news was that the Silver Star was going through. It appears to me that the P4’s purpose was just to cover McChrystal’s butt by providing a paper trail that even knowing about the fratricide he still felt the Silver Star was deserved. April 30: PA press release announcing Silver Star award Premature release of Silver Star draft Regimental JAG does not disclose fratricide to CID acting on request by medical examiner. May 3: Tillman memorial service Scott’s “AR 15-6 Final Report 4-29-04” submitted to Nixon? P4 drafted by Nixon.

IG Report, Appendix B, Chronology (p 70 – 76): May 4: CPT Scott submits his AR15-6 recommendations

From Testimony & IG Report:

GEN Kensinger says [Nixon] informed him of possible fratricide and they were going to do investigation. (Jones; AN)

May 6:

GEN Abizaid “probably” received P4 message. Called Chairman Myers and told Note: Are we to believe that McChrystal never him that “possibility of fratricide” and picked up the phone to tell Abizaid about the “McChrystal has appointed people to fratricide and investigation when he learned about investigate…” Said that important that the it on the 23rd? leadership know, i.e. Rumsfeld and President. Note: Possible fratricide & investigation begun information not in P4 memo! (see Brown Meyers can’t recall specifically how told. Notification) about potential fratricide & investigation. Meyers cannot recall if he informed Secretary Rumsfeld. May 8: COL Nixon appoints LTC Kauzerich to conduct 2nd 15-6 investigation May 16: LTC Kauzerich completes 15-6 investigation. Sometime between May 16 and 20, GEN Abizaid Receives P4 message sent by GEN McChrystal on April 29th. May 18: Note: Abizaid told IG that he never told Rumsfeld about possible fratricide. May 20: May 26: LTC Bailey informs Kevin Tillman of fratricide. May 28: GEN Abizaid approves 15-6 investigation. GEN Abizaid approves report as being “definite proof” of friendly fire. Doesn’t recall mentioning it to the President until after he signed off on report. . COL Bucci tells Rumsfeld of fratricide sometime between 5/24 and 5/29. Rumsfeld says he assumes he was told on May 20th. Doesn’t recall when told or who told him. Around the 18th to 20th Abizaid informed Rumseld about investigation and looked like friendly fire (Waxman 8/07).

5-17-08; Revised 7-18-08

COLONEL NIXON’ S FRATRICIDE NOTIFICATION
From the IG Report, Appendix B “Chronology” (pp. 70 -76): April 23, 2004: LTC [Bailey] … and CSM [Birch] … tell COL [Nixon] … that he suspects fratricide and that an investigation was initiated. COL Nixon calls GEN McChrystal to inform him of Tillman’s death. MG McChrystal … while meeting with GEN Abizaid … tells him that Tillman was killed in action. April 25, 2004: No later than April 25th, Nixon tells McChrystal that fratricide is suspected and an investigation initiated. NOTE: How is it that Nixon is notified of possible fratricide and investigation, yet did not pass that information up to McChrystal that same day? Or if he learned later that day, why didn’t Nixon pick up the phone and give McChrystal an update? ... Sworn Statement of CSM Birch (Jones, CS): “… by 1000 on the morning of the 23rd, I spoke with [Bailey] face-to-face and said, “This looks like it might be fratricide. You need to do an investigation and get to the bottom of it and find out the facts, sir.” (p. 2) “… probably when I left that canyon to link up with [1SG?] in my mind, I would say I was probably 70 percent sure it was fratricide, sir.” (p. 8) Sworn statement of LTC Bailey (Jones, Z): “So you talked to [Nixon] on the 23rd and told him that it was your initial indication that he had been killed by fratricide? -- “Yes, sir.” (p.18) “Sir, there’s no doubt about it [fratricide]. It can’t be anything but that. … I think that after the first day [of interviews, 24th] after [Scott] talked to … the main kind of players out there … there was no doubt about it. It was a case where there were 6 or 7 Rangers that saw this vehicle shooting at them.” (p. 21) “Sir, within 3 or 4 hours of being out here on the ground by the incident [23rd], I went back and told [Nixon] that I was certain that we had killed him. I mean, there’s some doubt and we need to do the 15-6. So, from that time forward, I never doubted whether or not we had killed Pat Tillman. In fact, I think just about everybody around knew that.” (p. 52) “And certainly, by the next day [24th] when we did the investigations, I confirmed it. Because I called him [Nixon] back within a day or two and said, “Sir, I want you to know now, after getting the first five interviews” in fact, that was, I guess, the next day.” … “So, after [Scott] did his first five interviews, he came back to me and said, “Sir, I’m certain. I’m sure.” And then I called [Nixon]. … I think it was the 24th. (p. 53)

, 5-17-08

COLONEL NIXON’ S FRATRICIDE NOTIFICATION (continued)
Sworn statement of COL Nixon (Jones, AM): “…I believed it was my responsibility to tell the family once I had the facts involved with that. …And it took a considerable time to get truth or the best level of truth that we could get out of that investigation.” (p. 9 -10) NOTE: “Considerable time” being two days! Scott “was certain. I’m sure” on the 24th! This fratricide confirmation was passed up to Nixon, and presumably up the chain of command! “The night after or probably the day after the actual incident [I learned of possibility of fratricide]. … I think on the day of the 23rd I got some indication that there might have been some fratricide.” (p. 2) “Sir, I believe it was on the [23rd?] 24th [that I directed Bailey to conduct an initial 15-6]” (p. 3) NIXON’S NOTIFICATION TO CENTCOM From IG, p. 12: “The operational chain of command for CPL Tillman’s unit … was: 1. Headquarters, Operations Team [LTC Bailey?] 2. Headquarters, 75th Ranger Regiment [COL Nixon] 3. Headquarters, Joint Task Force [GEN McChrystal] 4. CENTCOM [GEN Abizaid] From IG, p. 59: “COL Nixon failed to initiate, through the chain of command, timely notification to … CENTCOM of suspected friendly fire in CPL Tillman’s death.” From IG, p.26: “… without timely notification that friendly fire was suspected, GEN Abiziad and his staff at CENTCOM could not convene a legal investigation as required ….” From IG, p. 43: “COL Nixon ‘compartmented’ the information flow to prevent outside communication … “this meant that the people that needed to know … in … 2nd Ranger Battalion, the Ranger Regiment, or the Joint Task Force [McChrystal] were the people [who] continue[d] to be informed throughout.” NOTE: How could Nixon have “failed” to notify CENTCOM when McChrystal, the link between Nixon and Abizaid, was “informed throughout” and notified of fratricide on the 23rd or no later than the 25th?! Are we to believe McChrystal never told Abizaid?

, 5-17-08

COLONEL NIXON’ S FRATRICIDE NOTIFICATION (continued
From GEN McChrystal sworn statements (Jones 15-6, AP): NOTE: Testimony was taped, but “defective and unintelligible”. How curious this was the only Jone’s interview that was “lost.” “[Nixon] called me and told me he was going to conduct an investigation into this incident. I told him I agreed an investigation needed to be done and I was comfortable with his decision to do an investigation” “I was in Qatar when I was told [that possibly fratricide], about a day or two after the incident. [23rd or 24th] No more than three days later [25th]. [Nixon] told me that they suspected fratricide at that time – no later than 25 April. He gave me a brief overview of the situation and told me that based on what he had heard, he believed there was a potential for fratricide and was investigating it. I told him that I concurred with him that an initial 15-6 investigation was appropriate.” “No one has ever shied away from saying this was a fratricide, but we did want to make sure we were correct before we said it. I did send a P4 message to GEN Brown, GEN Abizaid, and LTG Kensinger about this, telling them we suspected fratricide, which I can provide to you” NOTIFICATION TO OTHER GENERALS IN THE CHAIN OF COMMAND AP Lindlaw, 5-13-08: “Col. James Nixon … said he recalled telling Kensinger almost immediately [23rd?] of the possibility of friendly fire. ‘I thought I did notify LTG Kensinger that there was a potential for fratricide and that we were beginning an investigation but can not recall the specific conversation.” . . . “Nixon also recalled telling Kensinger’s deputy, BFG Howard Yellen. Yellen has testified previously that he told Kensinger of the possibility of friendly fire the day after Tillman’s death [23th].”

, 5-17-08

MG MCCHRYSTAL’S FRATRICIDE NOTIFICATION
From the IG Report, Appendix B “Chronology” (pp. 70 -76): April 22nd: The Joint Task Force Chief of Staff COL [?] approved transmission of the casualty report of CPL Tillman’s death. April 23rd: LTC [Bailey] … and CSM [Birch] … tell COL [Nixon] … that he suspects fratricide and that an investigation was initiated. COL Nixon calls MG McChrystal to inform him of Tillman’s death. MG McChrystal meeting with GEN Abizaid, tells him Tillman was killed in action. April 25th: No later than April 25, 2004, COL Nixon … informs MG McChrystal … and BG Yellen … that fratricide is suspected and that an investigation was initiated. MG McChrystal concurs with this decision. April 29th: MG McChrystal … sends a “Personal For” message to GEN Abizaid, … GEN Brown …, and GEN Kensinger … telling them friendly fire would be the likely outcome of the pending investigation, however, the fratricide should not take away from the valorous Silver Star award. NOTE: How is it that Nixon knew of probable fratricide on the 23rd , yet did not tell McChrystal? Or if McChrystal was told later on the 23rd, why didn’t he update Abiziad? They were both in Qatar for a meeting! Or he could have picked up the phone. How is it possible McChrystal waited six days to send his P4 if he wanted to “timely” inform his chain of command? ... From IG Report (p.43): “The Joint Task Force Chief of Staff COL [?] approved transmission of the casualty report of CPL Tillman’s death at about 10:30 PM local time, April 22, 2004.” NOTE: There was no need for Nixon to inform McChrystal of Tillman’s death on the 23rd. McChrystal’s Chief of Staff would have told him on the 22nd. Or he would have seen in on CNN! From IG Report (p. 47): “COL Nixon failed to comply with the requirements of AR 600-8-1 in not ensuring that a supplemental casualty report was filed as soon as he suspected friendly fire.” NOTE: If you examine the “Casualty Reporting and Next of Kin Notification Proccess” timeline (IG, p. 80), the Joint Task Force Chief of Staff COL [?] was responsible for submitting a supplemental casualty report and never did. It’s also noted that both McChrystal and COL [?] “were aware of friendly fire as early as [NLT] 25 April 2004.” (Wallace report claims supplemental casualty report was Kensinger’s responsibility).

, 5-17-08

MG MCCHRYSTAL’S FRATRICIDE NOTIFICATION (continued)
From GEN McChrystal sworn statements (Jones 15-6, AP): NOTE: testimony was taped, but “defective and unintelligible”; i.e. no transcript! “[Nixon] called me and told me he was going to conduct an investigation into this incident. I told him I agreed an investigation needed to be done and I was comfortable with his decision to do an investigation” “I was in Qatar when I was told [that possibly fratricide], about a day or two after the incident. [23rd or 24th] No more than three days later [25th]. [Nixon?] told me that they suspected fratricide at that time – no later than 25 April. He gave me a brief overview of the situation and told me that based on what he had heard, he believed there was a potential for fratricide and was investigating it. I told him that I concurred with him that an initial 15-6 investigation was appropriate.” From IG Report (p. 24): “On interview with us, GEN Abizaid testified that MG McChrystal informed him of CPL Tillman’s death while they were in Qatar for a meeting at the time CPL Tillman was killed. GEN Abizaid said that the action resulted in other casualties, but he received no details and did not know friendly fire was suspected.” “GEN Abizaid told us there was a delay of 10-20 days in his receipt of the (P4) message because he was in Iraq.” From Waxman transcript of August 1, 2007: GEN Abizaid: “I believe about the 23rd, GEN McChrystal called me and told me that Corporal Tillman had been killed in combat, and that the circumstances surrounding his death were heroic. I called the Chairman and discussed that with the Chairman.” (p. 23) NOTE: How is it that Nixon knew of probable fratricide on the 23rd , yet did not tell McChrystal? Or if McChrystal was told later on the 23rd, why didn’t he update Abiziad? They were both in Qatar for a meeting! Or he could have picked up the phone. How is it possible McChrystal waited six days to send his P4 if he wanted to “timely” inform his chain of command?

MG MCCHRYSTAL’S FRATRICIDE NOTIFICATION (continued)
... From GEN Brown’s testimony (Jones 15-6, AQ): “[McChrystal?] called shortly after – perhaps a few days after the death – to say that it was a possibility that this was a friendly fire incident and that he was investigating.” From Waxman transcript of August 1, 2007 hearing: Question: “But the actual investigation … was begun promptly … is that correct?” GEN Brown: “That is my understanding from Gen. McChrystal. He called me the day [23rd?] that he was going to initiate the 15-6.” (p.122) ... From GEN McChrystal sworn statements (Jones 15-6, AP): “No one has ever shied away from saying this was a fratricide, but we did want to make sure we were correct before we said it. I did send a P4 message to GEN Brown, GEN Abizaid, and LTG Kensinger about this, telling them we suspected fratricide, which I can provide to you” From Waxman transcript of August 1, 2007 hearing: GEN Abizaid: “Clearly, Gen. McChrystal knew by the 28th that there was a high probability … that there was friendly fire. … When I discovered the problem, I relayed it to the Chairman [Meyers] in as timely a manner as I could, given the circumstances. … Gene. McChrystal reported the incident in a forthright and timely fashion.” (p. 142 -143) “… so again Gen McChrystal did exactly the right thing. He sent a timely message in a timely fashion through the most secure channels.” (p. 155) NOTE: McChrystal knew on the 23rd (NLT 25th) of fratricide yet it was “timely” to wait 6 days to send a P4 instead of merely picking up a phone to call Abizaid? Recipients of P4 already knew about fratricide and investigation. (McChrystal had already called Brown a week earlier). The only news was that the Silver Star was going through. It appears to me that the P4’s purpose was just to cover McChrystal’s butt by providing a paper trail that even knowing about the fratricide he still felt the Silver Star was deserved. If pressed, he could show that he had informed his superiors.

, 5-17-08

GENERAL ABIZAID’ S FRATRICIDE NOTIFICATION
From IG, Appendix B, Chronology (pp. 70 – 76): April 23rd: LTC [Bailey] … and CSM [Birch] … tell COL [Nixon] … that he suspects fratricide and that an investigation was initiated. COL Nixon calls MG McChrystal to inform him of Tillman’s death. MG McChrystal meeting with GEN Abizaid, tells him Tillman was killed in action. April 29th: MG McChrystal … sends a “Personal For” message to GEN Abizaid, … GEN Brown …, and GEN Kensinger … telling them friendly fire would be the likely outcome of the pending investigation, however, the fratricide should not take away from the valorous Silver Star award. May 16th: Some time between May 16 and 20, Abizaid … receives the P4 message transmitted by MG McChrystal on April 29, 2004.

NOTE: How is it that Nixon knew of probable fratricide on the 23rd , yet did not tell McChrystal? Or if McChrystal was told later on the 23rd, why didn’t he update Abiziad? They were both in Qatar for a meeting! ... From IG Report (p. 24): “On interview with us, GEN Abizaid testified that MG McChrystal informed him of CPL Tillman’s death while they were in Qatar for a meeting at the time CPL Tillman was killed. GEN Abizaid said that the action resulted in other casualties, but he received no details and did not know friendly fire was suspected.” “GEN Abizaid told us there was a delay of 10-20 days in his receipt of the (P4) message because he was in Iraq.” From Waxman transcript of August 1, 2007: GEN Abizaid: “I believe about the 23rd, GEN McChrystal called me and told me that Corporal Tillman had been killed in combat, and that the circumstances surrounding his death were heroic. I called the Chairman and discussed that with the Chairman.” (p. 23) From 1/15/07 Written Response to Waxman Committee: When General McChrystal called on or about 23 April he did not mention any possibility of friendly fire. He told me that Corporal Tillman had been killed in a fire fight in Afghanistan. From Waxman transcript of August 1, 2007: “The incident took place on the 22nd. The chain of command [Meyers/Rumsfeld/President?], through me [Abizaid], was notified of CPL Tillman’s death.” (p. 154)

, 5-17-08

GENERAL ABIZAID’ S FRATRICIDE NOTIFICATION (continued)
From GEN McChrystal sworn statements (Jones 15-6, AP): Note: testimony taped, but “defective and unintelligible” (only interview “lost”!) GEN McChrystal: “I was in Qatar when I was told [that possibly fratricide], about a day or two after the incident [23rd or 24th]. No more than three days later. [Nixon] told me that they suspected fratricide at that time – no later than 25 April. He gave me a brief overview of the situation and told me that based on what he had heard, he believed there was a potential for fratricide and was investigating it. I told him that I concurred with him that an initial 15-6 investigation was appropriate.” NOTE: Did Abizaid meet with McChrystal in Qatar or talk on the telephone? How does Abizaid go from received “no details” to “heroic” death? How is it possible that McChrystal did not tell Abizaid of possible fratricide and investigation on the 23rd after he was told by Nixon? Both in Qatar! From 1/15/07 Written Response to Waxman Committee: While in Afghanistan, did anyone inform you that Corporal Tillman’s death was a possible fratricide? Answer: NO Did anyone inform you that Corporal Tillman’s death was a possible fratricide at any time prior to your receipt of the P4 memo? Answer: NO Did you inform anyone else that Corporal Tillman’s death was a possible fratricide prior to your receipt of the P4 memo? Answer: NO ... “… probably the sixth [of May, Abizaid received the P4] … (p. 24) “… the sixth is the logical day. It is not “the day”; the day is somewhere between 10 and 20 days [5/2 to 5/12] after the event.” (p. 157) “… probably the sixth [of May after reading the P4] … I [Abizaid] called the Chairman [Meyers]. I told the Chairman about having received McChrystal’s message that friendly fire was involved.” (p. 24) “I [Abizaid] contacted General Myers. And my responsibility is to report to the Secretary [Rumsfeld] through the Chairman. … I said it is clear there is a possibility of fratricide involving the Tillman case; that Gen. McChrystal has appointed the necessary people to investigate to determine precisely what happened; and that while it is likely that there is fratricide, we will know for sure after the report is finalized …” (p.24)

, 5-17-08

GENERAL ABIZAID’ S FRATRICIDE NOTIFICATION (continued)
NOTE: “McChrystal has appointed the necessary people to investigate” and “possibility of fratricide” is not in the P4 memo! The P4 refers to “a 15-6 investigation nearing completion …” Instead, Abizaid’s response sounds like the 4/24 phone call from GEN McChrystal to GEN Brown: “possibility that this was a friendly fire” … “he [McChrystal] was investigating. “… I [Abizaid] said [to Meyers after receiving P4] that it was important that the leadership know. And between the Chairman [Meyers] and me – I mean, it’s clear that the leadership up above us is the Secretary and the President.” (p. 155) ... “On the 28th [of May] I approved the report that came from Gen. McChrystal’s command as being definite proof of friendly fire.” (p135) “I don’t recall mentioning it to the President except perhaps after the period where I signed off on the report that said it was absolutely friendly fire. Once we confirmed the friendly fire, which was on the 28th.” (p. 76)

, 5-17-08

GENERAL MEYER’S FRATRICIDE NOTIFICATION
From IG, Appendix B, Chronology (pp. 70 -76): April 23rd: LTC [Bailey] … and CSM [Birch] … tell COL [Nixon] … that he suspects fratricide and that an investigation was initiated. COL Nixon calls MG McChrystal to inform him of Tillman’s death. MG McChrystal meeting with GEN Abizaid, tells him Tillman was killed in action. April 29th: MG McChrystal … sends a “Personal For” message to GEN Abizaid, … GEN Brown …, and GEN Kensinger … telling them friendly fire would be the likely outcome of the pending investigation, however, the fratricide should not take away from the valorous Silver Star award. ... May 16th: Some time between May 16 and 20, Abizaid … receives the P4 message transmitted by MG McChrystal on April 29, 2004. ... From Waxman transcript of August 1, 2007 hearing: “I [Abizaid] believe about the 23rd, GEN McChrystal called me and told me that Corporal Tillman had been killed in combat, and that the circumstances surrounding his death were heroic. I called the Chairman [Meyers] and discussed that with the Chairman.” (p. 23) ... “… probably the sixth [of May after reading the P4] … I [Abizaid] called the Chairman [Meyers]. I told the Chairman about having received McChrystal’s message that friendly fire was involved.” (p. 24) “I [Abizaid] contacted General Myers [about sixth]. And my responsibility is to report to the Secretary [Rumsfeld] through the Chairman. … I said it is clear there is a possibility of fratricide involving the Tillman case; that Gen. McChrystal has appointed the necessary people to investigate to determine precisely what happened; and that while it is likely that there is fratricide, we will know for sure after the report is finalized …” (p.24) ... GEN Meyers: “I can’t recall specifically, but it is entirely likely that it is exactly as he [Abizaid] recalls it.” GEN Meyers: “What I would normally do, if I thought the Secretary [Rumsfeld] did not know that, I would so inform the Secretary. I cannot recall whether or not I did that.” (p. 29)

, 5-17-08

SECRETARY RUMSFELD FRATRICIDE NOTIFICATION
From IG, Appendix B, Chronology (pp. 70 -76): April 23rd: LTC [Bailey] … and CSM [Birch] … tell COL [Nixon] … that he suspects fratricide and that an investigation was initiated. COL Nixon calls MG McChrystal to inform him of Tillman’s death. MG McChrystal meeting with GEN Abizaid, tells him Tillman was killed in action. April 29th: MG McChrystal … sends a “Personal For” message to GEN Abizaid, … GEN Brown …, and GEN Kensinger … telling them friendly fire would be the likely outcome of the pending investigation, however, the fratricide should not take away from the valorous Silver Star award. May 16th: Some time between May 16 and 20, GEN Abizaid … receives the P4 message transmitted by MG McChrystal on April 29, 2004. ... GEN Abizaid’s testimony from Waxman transcript of August 1, 2007 hearing: “I believe about the 23rd, GEN McChrystal called me and told me that Corporal Tillman had been killed in combat, and that the circumstances surrounding his death were heroic. I called the Chairman [Meyers] and discussed that with the Chairman.” (p. 23) ... “The incident took place on the 22nd. The chain of command [Meyers/Rumsfeld/President?], through me, was notified of CPL Tillman’s death.” (p. 154) ... “… probably the sixth [of May after reading the P4] … I called the Chairman [Meyers]. I told the Chairman about having received McChrystal’s message that friendly fire was involved.” (p. 24) “I contacted General Myers. And my responsibility is to report to the Secretary [Rumsfeld] through the Chairman. … I said it is clear there is a possibility of fratricide involving the Tillman case; that Gen. McChrystal has appointed the necessary people to investigate …” (p.24) “… I said [to Meyers after receiving P4] that it was important that the leadership know. And between the Chairman [Meyers] and me – I mean, it’s clear that the leadership up above us is the Secretary and the President.” (p. 155) ...

, 5-17-08

SECRETARY RUMSFELD FRATRICIDE NOTIFICATION (continued)
Testimony from transcript of Waxman August 1, 2007 hearing: GEN Meyers: “What I would normally do, if I thought the Secretary [Rumsfeld] did not know that, I would so inform the Secretary. I cannot recall whether or not I did that.” (p. 29) “I [Abizaid] did not talk to the Secretary [Rumsfeld] that I can recall directly about it until I was back in D.C. Around the time period of the 18th to the 20th. And at the time I informed him that there was an investigation that was ongoing, and it looked like it was friendly fire.” (p. 26) From Waxman Report 7-14-08: Yet when asked by the Defense Department IG whether he spoke with the Secretary upon learning of the fratricide, General Abizaid stated, “No. I didn’t speak to the Secretary of Defense about it.” NOTE: Abizaid told Waxman’s committee that he told Rumsfeld between May 18th and 20th. Yet he previously testified that he never spoke to Rumsfeld about it! ... Testimony from transcript of Waxman August 1, 2007 hearing: Davis: “Do you remember when you learned that this was a possible fratricide?” Rumsfeld: “Well, I don’t remember.” … he assumes I was told on or after May 20th. Whether I was told before that, I just don’t have any recollection. … I don’t recall when I was told, and I don’t recall who told me …” (p.32-33) “I [Rumsfeld] simply do not know when I first learned of the possibility of fratricide” (p157) “I [Rumsfeld] don’t remember precisely how I learned that he was killed. It could have been internally, or it could have been through the press.” (p. 30) From Rumsfeld Letter to Waxman 7-26-07: “I am told I received word of this development sometime after May 20, 2004, but my recollection reflects the fact that it occurred well over two years ago. As a result, I do not recall when I first learned about the possibility that Corporal Tillman’s death might have resulted from fratricide.”

, 5-17-08

SECRETARY RUMSFELD FRATRICIDE NOTIFICATION (continued)
From Waxman Interview Col Bucci 9-20-07: … Col Bucci, who returned to the Secretary’s personal office on Monday, May 24, 2004 … Sometime during that week [5/24 – 5/29], he said he received a call … you need to let the Secretary know. … he shared this information with Secretary Rumsfeld within 15 minutes …. “And it was clear to me from his reaction … that this was the first time anyone had heard anything about it being a fratricide.” NOTE: Did Rumsfeld learn about the fratricide by Abizaid between the 18th and 20th (or not at all from Abizaid) or from Bucci between the 24th and 29th? I’d assume he actually was told much sooner, a month before!

, 5-17-08

GENERAL KENSINGER’ S FRATRICIDE NOTIFICATION
From IG, Appendix B, Chronology (pp. 70 -76): April 23rd: LTC [Bailey] … and CSM [Birch] … tell COL [Nixon] … that he suspects fratricide and that an investigation was initiated. COL Nixon calls MG McChrystal to inform him of Tillman’s death. April 25th: No later than April 25, 2004, COL Nixon … informs MG McChrystal … and BG Yellen … that fratricide is suspected and than an investigation was initiated. MG McChrystal concurs with this decision. April 29th: MG McChrystal … sends a “Personal For” message to GEN Abizaid, … GEN Brown …, and GEN Kensinger … telling them friendly fire would be the likely outcome of the pending investigation, however, the fratricide should not take away from the valorous Silver Star award. ... AP Laidlaw, 5-13-08: “Col. James Nixon … said he recalled telling Kensinger almost immediately [23rd?] of the possibility of friendly fire. ‘I thought I did notify LTG Kensinger that there was a potential for fratricide and that we were beginning an investigation but can not recall the specific conversation.” . . . “Nixon also recalled telling Kensinger’s deputy, BFG Howard Yellen. Yellen has testified previously that he told Kensinger of the possibility of friendly fire the day after Tillman’s death [23th].” From IG, p 39: BG Yellen … testified that COL Nixon advised him of CPL Tillman’s death on April 23, 2004, and the initiation of an investigation into friendly fire about 24 hours later [24th]. BG Yellen stated that he informed LTG Kensinger about the initiation of an investigation that same day that he learned of it from COL Nixon.” From IG, p. 44: “LTG Kensinger’s Deputy Commander [Yellen] informed him [Kensinger] on approximately April 25, 2004, that friendly fire was suspected, after receiving notice from COL Nixon.” From IG, p.25: “Evidence established that no later than April 25, 2004, COL Nixon notified BG Howard Yellen … who in turn notified LTG Kensinger of suspected fratricide. ... From GEN Kensinger’s testimony (Jones 15-6, AN): “It was mentioned this was a possible fratricide on 4 May, … and that they were going to do an investigation.”

, 5-17-08

GENERAL YELLEN’S FRATRICIDE NOTIFICATION
From IG, Appendix B, Chronology (pp. 70 -76): April 23rd: LTC [Bailey] … and CSM [Birch] … tell COL [Nixon] … that he suspects fratricide and that an investigation was initiated. COL Nixon calls MG McChrystal to inform him of Tillman’s death. April 25th: No later than April 25, 2004, COL Nixon … informs MG McChrystal … and BG Yellen … that fratricide is suspected and than an investigation was initiated. MG McChrystal concurs with this decision. ... AP Laidlaw, 5-13-08: “Col. James Nixon … said he recalled telling Kensinger almost immediately [23rd?] of the possibility of friendly fire. ‘I thought I did notify LTG Kensinger that there was a potential for fratricide and that we were beginning an investigation but can not recall the specific conversation.” From IG, p 39: “BG Yellen … testified that COL Nixon advised him of CPL Tillman’s death on April 23, 2004, and the initiation of an investigation into friendly fire about 24 hours later [ 24th]. BG Yellen stated that he informed LTG Kensinger about the initiation of an investigation that same day that he learned of it from COL Nixon.” From IG, p. 44: “LTG Kensinger’s Deputy Commander [Yellen] informed him [Kensinger] on approximately April 25, 2004, that friendly fire was suspected, after receiving notice from COL Nixon. … Nixon also recalled telling Kensinger’s deputy, BG Howard Yellen. Yellen has testified previously that he told Kensinger of the possibility of friendly fire the day after [23rd] Tillman’s death. From IG, p.25: “Evidence established that no later than April 25, 2004, COL Nixon notified BG Howard Yellen … who in turn notified LTG Kensinger of suspected fratricide. ... From GEN Yellen’s testimony (Jones 15-6, AO): “It was just a few days after the incident. I mean, [Nixon] called me and said … “Well, we’re doing the investigation. We think it may be friendly fire, was his theory. And he said he’d get back to me and he told me he had put [Scott] as the investigating officer” (p.1)

, 5-17-08

GENERAL BROWNS’ S FRATRICIDE NOTIFICATION
From IG, Appendix B, Chronology (pp. 70 -76): April 23rd: LTC [Bailey] … and CSM [Birch] … tell COL [Nixon] … that he suspects fratricide and that an investigation was initiated. COL Nixon calls MG McChrystal to inform him of Tillman’s death. April 25th: No later than April 25, 2004, COL Nixon … informs MG McChrystal … and BG Yellen … that fratricide is suspected and than an investigation was initiated. MG McChrystal concurs with this decision. April 29th: MG McChrystal … sends a “Personal For” message to GEN Abizaid, … GEN Brown …, and GEN Kensinger … telling them friendly fire would be the likely outcome of the pending investigation, however, the fratricide should not take away from the valorous Silver Star award. ... From GEN Brown’s testimony (Jones 15-6, AQ): “[McChrystal] called shortly after – perhaps a few days after the death – to say that it was a possibility that this was a friendly fire incident and that he was investigating.” From Waxman transcript of August 1, 2007 hearing: Question: “But the actual investigation … was begun promptly … is that correct?” Brown: “That is my understanding from Gen. McChrystal. He called me the day [April 23rd?] that he was going to initiate the 15-6.” (p. 122)

QUESTIONS ABOUT TILLMAN FRATRICIDE NOTIFICATION
There was no need for Nixon to inform McChrystal of Tillman’s death on the 23rd. McChrystal’s own Chief of Staff approved the KIA report and would have told him on the 22nd. Or he would have seen in on CNN! Who said Nixon told McChrystal of KIA on 23rd? Nixon? McChrystal? Both? (Need to compare IG interviews!) How is Nixon notified of possible fratricide and investigation on the 23rd (or NLT 25th), yet did not pass that information up to McChrystal? Or that McChrystal knew and did not pass it on to Abizaid on the 23rd when they were both in a meeting at Qatar? Who is lying here? (Need to compare the IG transcripts!) McChrystal’s testimony to Jones was taped, but “defective and unintelligible”. How curious this was the only Jone’s interview that was “lost.” Did Abizaid meet with McChrystal in Qatar or talk on the telephone? How does Abizaid go from received “no details” to “heroic” death? Why does Yellen say notified of KIA on 23rd and investigation on 24th? Were there two notifications passed up the chain of command? Even so, Scott had already confirmed fratricide on the 24th! It took Nixon a “considerable time to get truth”; all of two days! Scott “was certain. I’m sure” on the 24th! This fratricide confirmation was passed up by Bailey to Nixon on the 24th, and presumably up the chain of command to McChrystal, Abizaid, etc.! The IG said Nixon “failed” to notify CENTCOM of fratricide. Yet, Nixon said McChrystal, the link between Nixon and Abizaid, was “informed throughout” and notified of fratricide on the 23rd (or no later than the 25th?!) Are we to believe McChrystal never told Abizaid? That he merely sent the P4 a week later that was “misplaced”! Secretary of the Army Geren claimed that it was Kensinger’s responsibility for submitting the supplemental causalty report for possible fratricide. Yet, if you examine the “Casualty Reporting and Next of Kin Notification Proccess” timeline (IG, p. 80), the Joint Task Force [McChrystal’s command] Chief of Staff COL [?] was responsible for submitting a supplemental casualty report and never did. It’s also noted on that timeline that both McChrystal and COL [?] “were aware of friendly fire as early as [NLT] 25 April 2004.” Abizaid said that “McChrystal has appointed the necessary people to investigate” and “possibility of fratricide”. Yet, this information is not in the P4 memo! The P4 refers to “a 15-6 investigation nearing completion …” Instead, Abizaid echos the 4/24 phone call from GEN McChrystal to GEN Brown: “possibility that this was a friendly fire” … “he [McChrystal] was investigating. Recipients of P4 already knew about fratricide and investigation. (McChrystal had already called Brown a week earlier). The only news was that the Silver Star was going through. It appears to me that the P4’s purpose was just to cover McChrystal’s butt by providing a paper trail that even knowing about the fratricide he still felt the Silver Star was deserved. If pressed, he could show that he had informed his superiors. Abizaid told Waxman’s committee that he told Rumsfeld between May 18th and 20th. Yet he previously testified that he never spoke to Rumsfeld about it! Did Rumsfeld learn about the fratricide by Abizaid between the 18th and 20th (or not at all from Abizaid) or from Bucci between the 24th and 29th? I’d assume he actually was told much sooner, a month before!

Transcript of General McChrystal’s June 2nd 2009 Senate Confirmation Hearing Testimony:
armed-services.se http://nate.gov/Transcripts/2009/06%20June/09-36%20-%206-2-09.pdf

SENATE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE’S CONFIRMATION OF GENERAL MCCHRYSTAL (JUNE 2nd 2009)

Summary of Newspaper Coverage of Senate Hearing: Note: This section is largely edited & rearranged quotes from various newspapers articles, with no specific annotation provided. My following response was written hastily after the hearing. [Postscript 9-01-09: My response has been updated using the transcript of the Senate Hearing now available from the Armed Services Committee website.] ... Unless new information on General McChrystal’s role in the Tillman episode emerges between now [5-26-09] and his confirmation hearing, the question is not expected to figure heavily in the Senate debate, Congressional officials said. Congressional officials said senators would have to explain why they confirmed him then [May 2008] but were challenging his qualifications now to receive a fourth star and take over the Afghan mission absent new disclosures. In his first public testimony before a congressional committee, McChrystal testified about his handling of the aftermath of Tillman’s death. Yesterday's hearing was the first to address such concerns, because the Senate held a closed executive [secret] session last spring [5-15-08] to confirm McChrystal in his current position as director of the Pentagon's Joint Staff Note: It’s curious that both Chairmen Levin and McChrystal both mentioned this secret hearing at the beginning of their remarks: From Chairman Senator Levin’s opening remarks (p. 3 transcript) “You [McChrystal] may want to address … the Tillman matter in your opening statement. Both subjects were discussed in executive session of the Armed Services Committee last year in connection with your nomination to your current position as director of the Joint Staff. From General McChrystal’s opening remarks (p. 10 transcript): “You gave me the opportunity to discuss in detail one of those failures, Corporal Pat Tillman, in closed session with this committee a year ago, in advance of my confirmation as Director of the Joint Staff, which I appreciated. I stand ready to answer any additional questions you may have.” Perhaps Levin and McChrystal mentioned the closed hearing to avoid the allegation they were keeping the existence of the hearing secret? The night before the 6-02-09 hearing, I spoke briefly with Gary Leeling (legal counsel for Levin). He implicitly confirmed the existence of the

hearing, but would say nothing further in response to my questions except “it was in executive session.” The senators didn't press McChrystal aggressively during the nearly three-hour hearing, and the Senate is expected to confirm him as early as Thursday. Mary Tillman said, "I think more effort should have been made on the part of the committee to find out more about his true nature, his true character and his true actions in terms of the detainee abuse and Pat's situation.” On PBS’s NewsHour, David Corn commented: “And so the Pat Tillman questioning, the questioning about detainee abuse, I thought seemed very orchestrated and didn't give a full airing to these very, I think, hot-button issues”. … “You know, he came up with what sounded to be a plausible explanation, but, again, a lot of what happened today made it clear to me that Democrats and Republicans had both decided, "He's our guy in Afghanistan” ... Mary Tillman criticized Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the ranking Republican on the committee, who questioned McChrystal on Tuesday, for "playing dumb" by not following up on McChrystal's explanations. She also says she declined a personal invitation from McCain to submit questions to him to ask at Tuesday's confirmation hearing. Mary Tillman says she was put off by McCain's public endorsement of McChrystal and did not want her questions used as part of the confirmation process. "If the Army chain of command didn't know what happened to Pat, why did it present us with a false story" at the memorial service? Tillman asked. "That is not an error; that is not a misstep; that is deliberate deception. "What's very disturbing is that Senator McCain himself was present at Pat's memorial and I would think he would be outraged that he was not told ahead of time or that he was lied to like everyone else.” Did he know all along?" ... Sen. Jim Webb said he had been contacted by members of the Tillman family when McChrystal's nomination Afghanistan was announced. Sen. James Webb, a Virginia Democrat who has championed the Tillman’s family case, returned to the topic late in the hearing during a heartfelt exchange in which the Senator chastised the Army for its initial incorrect reports that Corporal Tillman was killed in an insurgent ambush, and not by fire from his own Ranger unit. Note: Senator Webb has never spoken with Mary Tillman. Mary has spoken only with Gordon Peterson (Webb’s Military Affairs staff assistant). I mentioned in the previous chapter how Peterson stone-walled my attempts to learn more about the 2008 Hearing. As a “gate keeper,” he probably never passed on my letters to Senator Webb.

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." ... 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. ... McChrystal said there was speculation early on that Tillman was killed by friendly fire, but that he and others were waiting for the outcome of an "initial review" [Scott’s 4/29/04 15-6?] before coming forward with that information [sending P4?]. "It was a well-intended intent to get some level of proof before we went out," he said. Within days of the incident, McChrystal approved a Silver Star for Tillman, signing off on a citation praising his valor "in the line of devastating enemy fire. Asked whether he believed that Tillman earned the Silver Star before his death, “Sir, I absolutely do. I did then; I do now … I don't believe that the circumstance of death detracts from the courage and commitment of his contribution.” “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. They were well intentioned, but they created, they added to the doubt and the sense of mistrust. And we didn't get it right.” McChrystal said the Silver Star citation was "not well written" and could have left the impression that Tillman was not killed by fratricide. “What we have learned since is, it is better to take your time, make sure you get everything right with the award, and not rush it. 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.”

... Mary Tillman says she neither accepts nor believes McChrystal's apology

"McChrystal was lying," she said of his comments Tuesday. "He said he didn't know for certain Pat was killed by fratricide. That isn't true in and of itself, but the fact is, it doesn't matter whether he knew it for certain." Army protocol at the time required families to be told of possible fratricide, whether or not it had been confirmed, she said. "The whole point was to lie to the public," Tillman's mother Mary told ESPN. ...

My Response to General McChrystal’s Testimony :
1. McChrystal said that he first learned of suspected fratricide and the 15-6 investigation after returning back to Afghanistan from a meeting in Qatar with General Abizaid on about April 23rd: “Corporal Tillman was killed on the 22nd of April … 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 that they had initiated what we call a 15-6, or an investigation of that.” (p.18 transcript) But during the Jones 15-6 McChrystal said that he "was in Qatar when I was told, about a day or two after the incident NLT the 25th...". [OK, that matches the 23rd, but was he in Qatar or Afghanistan?]. During his DoD IG interview General Abizaid said "Gen McChrystal informed him of CPL Tillman's death while they were in Qatar in a meeting .... he received no details and did not know friendly fire was suspected." [So we're supposed to believe McChrystal didn't tell Abizaid about fratricide while they were together in Qatar on the same day! Or, Abizaid lied about not being told about fratricide.] And during his Congressional testimony on 8-01-07, General Abizaid said "on about the 23rd, Gen McChrystal called me and told me that CPL Tillman had been killed in combat and that the circumstances his death were heroic." [So was he told “no details” or “heroic”?] But the DoD IG Chronology (Appendix B) states that after COL Nixon was told of possible fratricide and the 15-6 on the 23rd, Nixon only told McChrystal of the "death" of Tillman and then McChrystal told Abizaid only about Tillman's "death". [But McChrystal said on Tuesday hearing he was told of fratricide on the 23rd! McChrystal either failed to tell Abizaid about fratricide, or Abizaid lied about not being informed about it. And Nixon lied about telling McChyrstal about Tillman’s “death” and/or McChrystal lied about Nixon telling him only of “death”.] 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].

2.) McChrystal said there was speculation early on that Tillman was killed by friendly fire, but that he and others were waiting for the outcome of an "initial review" [Scott’s 4/29 15-6] before coming forward with that information [sending P4]: “And so, we initially were waiting for the outcome of that initial review [CPT Scotts 15-6] before we went forward with any conclusions. So, it was a well-intended intent to get some level of truth before we went up.” (p. 18 transcript) 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? McChrystal’s “outcome of an initial review” refers to CPT Scott’s “15-6 Final Report” dated April 29th. Isn’t it curious the 29th’s the same date as McChrystal’s P4? And further, that Nixon only officially appointed Scott on the 29th as well? Why? Perhaps, McChrystal could say he just got some “emerging evidence” and started the investigation after he approved the Silver Star on the 29th? And then CPT Scott’s April 29th 15-6 report literally disappeared! McChrystal said that he sent his P4 message to inform his chain of command that he believed friendly fire was a possibility before the memorial service “which in retrospect looks contradictory.” (After the Wallace report came out, McChrystal was praised by the Secretary of the Army for acting "reasonably and quickly" by sending his “timely” P4 memo to alert his superiors on the 29th):
3.)

“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.” And “… when I sent the message, the intent entirely was to inform everyone up my chain of command so that nobody would be surprised.’ (p. 18 transcript). During the hearing McChrystal said he was told of suspected fratricide and the 15-6 investigation on the 23rd . Yet he didn’t send out his P4 until the 29th? How is waiting six

days considered “timely”? [and as I pointed out, he actually had verbal confirmation of fratricide on the 24th!] Of course, in reality McChrystal told Abizaid on the 23rd, and then it was passed onward to the Secretary of Defense and White House. And notice that McChrystal wasn’t concerned about Tillman’s family being surprised. He wrote in his P4, “I felt 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.” (P4 Memo) Note the “if” not “when” it becomes public. And how is sending the P4 on the 29th “as soon as we detected it” when McChrystal said he was told on the 23rd? 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. 4.) 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) 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. “Potential… friendly fire.” As previously mentioned, all the Ranger officers and McChrystal had been told of confirmed friendly fire on the 24th! 5.) 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). General McChrystal should not be confirmed as a four star general. First, he's got to learn how to prevaricate better (or follow General Meyers or Secretary Rumsfeld’s example from the April 2007 House hearing of simply saying, “I don’t recall”). Or, he should’ve just stuck to his story. Don't change it, keep it simple. McChrystal's testimony yesterday at the Senate hearing shows that he and/or General Abiziad lied during their testimony before Congress. Yesterday's Senate hearing was just the final layer of fertilizer upon the high mound of Army and Congressional "investigations" of Tillman's death. The hypocrisy of the Senators is disgusting. It's a travesty of justice that Pat Tillman's family were handed a tarnished Silver Star, while General McChrystal will be confirmed, promoted to the highest rank in the Army, and handed his fourth star. And it’s a further travesty that Thom Shanker, Washington Pentagon Reporter for The New York Times, had the initial version of this book the week before the hearing and did nothing with it, especially since he had just written a May 26th article “clearing General McChrystal of any wrongdoing in the handling of the Tillman case! [For more information on the hearing, see my 9-11-09 binder sent to the NYT Public Editor Clark Hoyt, “Lies, Denials, Dissembling, Distortions … Borne Out by Facts If Not the Truth”]

LIES BORNE OUT BY FACTS IF NOT THE TRUTH

APPENDIX B:
EMAIL EXCHANGES BETWEEN THOM SHANKER (NYT PENTAGON REPORTER) & GUY MONTAG

WEDNESDAY 5/27/09 about 9PM: Thom Shanker, I just read your May 26th article, “Nomination of U.S. Afghan Commander Revives Questions in Tillman’s Case.” This past week I’ve been working on a long letter to Senator James Webb. I write that Congress and the senior leadership of the Army have shielded General McChrystal from close scrutiny and protected him from punishment. I review and critique Senator Webb’s Armed Services Committee review, General Wallace’s review, and Congressman Waxman’s House Oversight & Reform Committee investigation. I’d like to send you a copy of my letter. My letter discusses in some detail every point raised in your article. In addition, I’ve uncovered new information about the Tillman case not mentioned at all in your article. Here’s a preview of some of the information (without details or documentation): 1. Senator Webb did a “thorough review” last year of the aftermath of the Tillman fratricide at the request of Chairman Carl Levin for the Senate Armed Service Committee. (In retrospect, I realize this was part of the vetting process for McChrystal’s confirmation last year as Director of the Joint Staff). Webb mentioned this review May 27th 2008 on the Diane Rhem NPR radio show (about 40 minutes into show). When I tried to follow up, Webb’s Military Affairs aide, Gordon Peterson, stonewalled me and referred me to Gary Leeling 202-224-9339 (legal counsel for Senator Levin) 2.) Congressman Waxman “invited” McChrystal to testify on August 1st 2007. The Committee permited McChrystal to “decline” to appear at the hearing despite his key role in notifying senior

leadership, writing the misleading P4 memo, and approving the fraudulent Silver Star. And the Committee never interviewed McChrystal during the next year until their report was issued. . 3.) General Kensinger was blamed for failing to notify the family because he supposedly had the “administrative” responsibility to do so. Yet, if you look at “Appendix D: Casualty Reporting & Next of Kin Notification Process” in the IG report, the flowchart clearly shows that McChrystal had that responsibility (and it’s noted both he and his Chief of Staff failed to make that notification despite knowing about fratricide NLT April 25th. 4). There was nothing “potential” about Tillman’s friendly fire death. Most of the troops on the ground knew immediately what had happened. On the 23rd word was passed up “70% sure” to Nixon. But, if you look at the IG report’s “Appendix B: Chronology,” its noted that LTC Bailey tells COL Nixon of potential fratricide on the 23rd yet Nixon supposedly only tells McChrystal of Tillman’s “death” (no mention of fratricide). How is that possible? And then supposedly McChrystal tells General Abizaid only of Tillman’s death. It looks as though Abizaid wasn’t being truthful when he testified before Congress about when he learned about fratricide. 5.) And on the 24th, the initial investigating officer CPT Scott passed on confirmation (“I’m certain, I’m sure”) to LTC Bailey, who then called COL Nixon (McChrystal was next in the chain of command). The Army knew of confirmed FF two days after Tillman’s death! 6.) McChrystal is praised for his “timely” P4 memo to alert his superiors on the 29th. There was nothing timely about it. Even if you accept his own testimony at face value, he knew about friendly fire on the 23rd, 24th, or 25th. Yet he didn’t send out his P4 until the 29th? How is waiting four to six days “timely”? 7.) No one seems to have carefully read McChrystal’s P4 memo. The contents are damning. For example, He says “IF the circumstances of CPL Tillman’s death become public.” Not when, IF. Anyhow, I believe you will find it worth your time to read through my letter. Could send me your e-mail address? Then, I could simply send my documents as “attachments” to an email. Could you also give me a mailing address? (I’ll Fed Ex a hardcopy of letter tomorrow). If you have any further questions, I can be reached at my email: dparish@grcity.us. I can also be contacted at my home phone, 616-866-0314. (Unfortunately, I’m a dinosaur who still doesn’t have a cell phone, so that option is out!) I’ll be home tomorrow in the afternoon and evening. Sincerely, ...

WEDNESDAY 5/27/09 10:39 PM: Please feel free to send me your material, as I would be eager to review it. Above is my direct email address. Thanks for writing. Regards, Thom THURSDAY 5/28/09 7:27 AM: Thom, Thanks for sending your direct contact info. I’ve just finished up things (a bit of a all-nighter!) Could you also send me the best “snail mail” address to send you a package tomorrow? I would like to send you my material in a binder by Fed Ex, hopefully get to you by Friday. And a hard copy form would be easier for you to read thru. But, I’ll send you my Word documents in the morning. THURSDAY 5/28/09 8:07 AM: Thom, Here is a download of the Appendices material that I wrote included in “Did They Teach You to Lie Yet?” I’ll send the rest in a hardcopy form. I tried to condense a lot of my information into the “Timeline of Tillman Fratricide Notification.”

FRIDAY 7:25 AM: Thom Shanker, I sent my document “Did They Teach You to Lie Yet?” by Fed Ex yesterday afternoon. It’s supposed to get to your office around 10:30 Friday morning. This is a hard-copy of what I emailed yesterday, with a numbered Table of Contents and the full set of appendices. ….

FRIDAY 5/29/09 8:14 AM: I very much look forward to reviewing you documentary file this weekend, and I thank you for sending it. Regards, Thom

FRIDAY 5/29/09 2:42 PM: Thom, I just checked Fed Express. My package was delivered this morning at 9:38 AM. Just thought I'd pass this information on in case the package hasn't yet made it to your desk.

FRIDAY 5/29/09 3:59 PM: Yes, it arrived. I will review your documents this weekend. Thanks.

SATURDAY 5/30/09 6:59 AM: Thom Shanker, I overlooked your graphic showing a timeline of McChrystal's role in the aftermath of Tillman's death. If you look in my Appendices, I've included a "Timeline of Tillman Notification" which compares the IG timeline to my own (my Fratricide Notes has supporting details). I just wanted to point out a couple corrections: 1.) April 23rd, Nixon is told Tillman "may have" been killed by own troops. He informs McChrystal: "may have": CSM Birch was "70% sure", LTC Bailey was "certain". "informs McChrystal": According to the IG chronology, Nixon tells McChrystal only of "death". I overlooked this at first, but according to the IG timeline, Nixon didn't mention potential fratricide to McChrystal, and then McChrystal told Abizaid only of "death"! Not likely.

And if McChrystal did learn of fratricide on the 23rd and told Abizaid, then Abiziad lied in testimony before the IG and Congress. (A look at the IG interviews of Nixon, McChrystal, and Abizaid might be illuminating). 2.) May 16th, "investigation concludes Tillman killed by friendly fire: This is the 2nd 15-6 investigation by LTC Hodne. The first 15-6 was done by CPT Scott who verbally passed confirmation of FF to LTC Bailey on the 24th who passed it onto COL Nixon. CPT Scott submitted his "15-6 Final Report" on April 29th concluding friendly fire. Nixon said this report was only a "draft:. (Scott's 15-6 disappeared, there is no copy! Although the IG said they managed to reconstruct it somehow.) You noted that the "Source" for the graphic is the DoD IG and the report of General Wallace. Do you have a copy of the Wallace Report. I wasn't able to find it. I'd appreciate you sending me a copy if possible. Thanks,

MONDAY 6/1/09 06:33 AM: Thom Shanker, I just read today's NYT editorial "Questions for General McChrystal." Why isn't there any mention of McChrystal's role in the handling of the Tillman case? There wasn't one, except perhaps an obscure reference in the last line "The overall performance of the Special Operations Command under General McChrystal's leadership -- both acts of heroism and acts of abuse -- ...". Will the NYT be publishing a follow up to your May 26th article before the confirmation hearing? Sincerely, MONDAY 6/1/09 6:56 AM: As such a careful reader of the paper, you are no doubt aware of the strict and important institutional divide between the newsroom and those who write editorials. Thus, any question about an editorial should be directed to The Times editorial board, and not to a newsroom reporter. Do you have any sense at all that Senators will be pressing on the Tillman case?

Again, thanks for the very detailed and voluminous file you sent. It was very well researched and quite thorough. Regards, Thom MONDAY 6/1/09 11:08 AM: Thom, Thanks for pointing out the separation of newsroom and editorial board. Obvious, in retrospect. Do I have any sense that the Senators will be pressing on the Tillman case? I don't see why they would bring up the subject. They'll probably just ask a few questions about "enhanced interrogation" at Camp Nama (sp?) in Iraq which will go nowhere. If Tillman is mentioned, they'll probably say he's gotten cleared by Wallace etc (without mentioning Senator Webb's review last year). Could you please answer my question? Are you going to publish a follow-up to your May 26th piece based on my document or any other information you've received? If not, why not? Why did you even bother to raise questions about McChrystal and Tillman in your May 26th article? Sincerely, MONDAY 6/1/09 11:10 AM: David, At this point there will not be a follow-on story on the Tillman investigation prior to the hearing, although we will see what the hearing brings up tomorrow. Regards, Thom

MONDAY 6-01-09 2:00 PM (sent many several NYT email addresses): June 1st 2009 New York Times Editorial Board, I was surprised that your editorial today, “Questions for General McChrystal,” did not mention General McChrystal’s role in the aftermath of Pat Tillman’s fratricide.

I’ve been corresponding with Thom Shanker, your NYT Pentagon correspondent, since last Wednesday in reference to his May 26th article “Nomination of US Afghan Commander Revives Questions in Tillman’s Case.” Last Thursday, I FedExed my 100 page document to him detailing new disclosures of General McChrystal’s central role in the whitewash of Tillman’s death. However, it doesn’t appear that Thom Shanker is following up with another article. I think the NYT editorial board would find it useful to speak with him and get a copy of this document before tomorrow’s June 2nd confirmation hearing of General McChrystal before the Senate Armed Services Committee (or read my letters below and attachments). Below, you can read my May 27th letter to Thom Shanker and my letter to Senator Webb. If you would like more information, I’ve also “attached” many of the documents in the package I sent to Thom Shanker. Feel free to contact me with any questions. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to respond to emails until after 9 PM since my home computer is out (until my wife gets home with her laptop). But, I’ll be home most of the day if you wish to call my home phone. Sincerely, ... No emails sent or received between Tuesday 6-02-09 and 6-05-09

... FRIDAY 6-05-09 9:11 PM: Thom Shanker, First, I thought I’d pass on my comments about General McChrystal’s testimony at his confirmation hearing. For what it matters, General McChrystal just dug himself a deeper hole with his own words on Tuesday: 1. McChrystal said that he first learned of suspected fratricide and 15-6 investigation after returning back to Afghanistan from a meeting in Qatar with General Abizaid on about April 23rd: During the Jones 15-6 McChrystal said that he "was in Qatar when I was told, about a day or two after the incident ...". [OK, that matches the 23rd, but was he in Qatar or Afghanistan?].

During his DoD IG interview General Abizaid said "Gen McChrystal informed him of CPL Tillman's death while they were in Qatar in a meeting .... he received no details and did not know friendly fire was suspected." [So we're supposed to believe McChrystal didn't tell Abizaid about fratricide while they were together in Qatar on the same day! Or Abizaid lied about not being told about fratricide.] During his Congressional testimony on 8-01-07, General Abizaid said "on about the 23rd, Gen McChrystal called me and told me that CPL Tillman had been killed in combat and that the circumstances his death were heroic." [So was he told “no details” or “heroic”?] And, the DoD IG Chronology (Appendix B) states that after COL Nixon was told of possible fratricide and the 15-6 on the 23rd, Nixon only told McChrystal of the "death" of Tillman and then McChrystal told Abizaid only about Tillman's "death". [But McChrystal said on Tuesday he was told of fratricide on the 23rd! McChrystal failed to tell Abizaid about fratricide, or Abizaid lied about not being informed about it. And Nixon or McChrystal lied about only telling about “death”] So, McChrystal, Nixon, and/or Abiziad lied about when they learned about “suspected” fratricide during their interviews with the DoD Inspector General. A quick check of their IG interviews would be illuminating. 2.) McChrystal testified that he waited for the outcome of the investigation before making conclusions, he "wanted some level of truth" before he sent the information on a week later with his P4: As I wrote to you before, there was never anything “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 onto 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 two days after Tillman’s death! Or, are we to believe Nixon never told McChrystal of confirmation during the following days they were working together on the Silver Sta r package? Perhaps McChrystal’s “level of truth” refers to CPT Scott’s “15-6 Final Report” dated April 29th. Isn’t it curious the 29th’s the same date as the P4? And further that Nixon only officially appointed Scott on the 29th as well? So McChrystal could say he just got some “emerging evidence” and started the investigation after he approved the Silver Star on the 29th? And then CPT Scott’s 15-6 disappeared!

3.) General Wallace cleared McChrystal of wrongdoing because McChrystal only signed off on the Silver Star and had no reasonable basis to question a recommendation by commanders in the field with firsthand knowledge: But during Tuesday's hearing, McChrystal said he sat down with the Ranger officers (Nixon, Kauzerlich, Hodne, Bailey) and went over Tillman's actions on a whiteboard to satisfy himself that Tillman's actions merited a Silver Star! McChrystal wasn't just signing a piece of paper that dropped on his desk! He was in the field with the commanders and discussing their firsthand knowledge! 4.) 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: Absolute bull. The IG concluded that anyone reading the citation would assume Tillman was killed by enemey fire. In fact, Maj Hodne even said that he edited the narrrative to ensure it didn't mention friendly fire! And the witness statements were altered by "someone in the approval chain" (i.e. Nixon, McChrystal, and/or Kauzerlich) to remove references to friendly fire. IG Gimble preferred not to “speculate” as to who was responsible! Finally, I still don’t understand why you didn't write a follow-up to your article last week “Nomination of U.S. Afghan Commander Revives Questions in Tillman Case.” You wrote that “Unless new information on General McChrystal’s role in the episode emerges between now and his confirmation hearing, set for June 2nd, the question is not expected to figure heavily in the Senate debate." Yet, last week I provided you with a copy of my document “Did They Teach You To Lie Yet?” (with 50 pages of text and 50 pages of Appendices) describing “new disclosures” about McChrystal’s role in the Tillman case. Could you please explain to me why my document wasn’t sufficient to prompt you to write a follow-up article? Or at least include some of my information in your June 2nd article about the hearing? I would welcome any criticism from you of my arguments or facts contained in my document. Sincerely,

SATURDAY 6-06-09 9:58 AM:

Thank you for your note. Your research is exhaustive and impressive. My question back to you would be: Why are even senators who were most outspoken in criticism of the handling of the Tillman case -- in particular Senator Webb, who has figured extensively in your research and in comments by the Tillman family -- now expressing satisfaction with the public resolution of the inquiries and now, apparently, ready to confirm General McChrystal next week? Remember, as I know you do, that the legislative branch is a key check and balance not only of the executive, but of the military. It controls funding and confirmation to senior general officer jobs. Again, thanks for sharing your impressive work with me. Regards, Thom SUNDAY 6-07-09 9:30 AM: Thom, You asked why even Senator Webb has expressed satisfaction with the public resolution of the inquiries into the Tillman case and is now ready to confirm General McChrystal? I would stress "public" inquiries. General McChrystal appeared in "executive session" (i.e. closed, secret) during the Senate Armed Services Committee on May 15, 2008 for his confirmation to Director of the Joint Staff. I would assume he was a bit more frank with the senators during that discussion. I talked to Gerald Leeling on June 1st about that meeting. He would say nothing in response to my questions except "it was in executive session" and "we did as thorough a review given the information available to us at the time." I would assume Senator Webb knows McChrystal and the Army have been lying about their handling of the Tillman case. But, I would guess that Webb, and the other senators, think McChrystal is the best man to lead the Afghan escalation and are willing to forgive his central role in the cover-up of Tillman's fratricide. And they all know that McChrystal was just obeying orders from Rumsfeld and the White House to get out good PR at a bad time (Abu Gharib, etc.). Besides, now the senators are stuck with the "hot potato." They're the last link in the chain of "investigations" into the handling of the Tillman case. They've got to cover their own ass now. Bu my question for you still remains unanswered: Despite your praise for my document as "exhaustive", "impressive", and "well researched" none of my findings appeared in your following articles concerning the Tillman case. Wouldn't my

100 page document qualify as "new information"? (or are only official government leaks considered authoritative enough to appear in print?) Could you please explain to me why my document wasn’t sufficient to prompt you to write a follow-up to your May 26th article? Or at least include some of my findings in your June 2nd article about the hearing as a counterpoint to the official government position? Thanks, ... No further response from Shanker as of Tuesday 6-09-09

LIES BORNE OUT BY FACTS IF NOT THE TRUTH

APPENDIX C:
NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLES ABOUT GENERAL STANLEY MCCHRYSTAL

Pentagon Ousts Top Commander In Afghan War
By ELISABETH BUMILLER AND THOM SHANKER; ERIC SCHMITT AND JEFF ZELENY CONTRIBUTED REPORTING. Published: New York Times May 12, 2009

The top American commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David D. McKiernan, was forced out Monday in an abrupt shake-up intended to bring a more aggressive and innovative approach to a worsening seven-year war. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates announced the decision in terse comments at the Pentagon, saying that ''fresh eyes were needed'' and that ''a new approach was probably in our best interest.'' When asked if the dismissal ended the general's military career, Mr. Gates replied, ''Probably.'' The move reflects a belief that the war in Afghanistan, waged against an increasingly strong Taliban and its supporters across a rugged, sprawling country, is growing ever more complex. Defense Department officials said General McKiernan, a respected career armor officer, had been removed primarily because he had brought too conventional an approach to the challenge. He is to be replaced by Lt. Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, a former commander of the Joint Special Operations Command. He served in Afghanistan as chief of staff of military operations in 2001 and 2002 and recently ran all commando operations in Iraq. Forces under General McChrystal's command were credited with finding and capturing Saddam Hussein and with tracking and killing Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia. His success in using intelligence and firepower to track and kill insurgents, and his training in unconventional warfare that emphasizes the need to protect the population, made him the best choice for the command in Afghanistan, Defense Department officials said. At the same time, he will be confronted with deep tensions over the conduct of Special Operations forces in Afghanistan, whose aggressive tactics are seen by Afghan officials as responsible for many of the American mistakes that have resulted in the deaths of civilians. Pentagon officials have begun to describe Afghanistan as the military's top priority, even more important than the war in Iraq. President Obama announced a major overhaul of American strategy in Afghanistan in March. Planned troop levels are expected to reach more than 60,000 Americans.

Pentagon officials said it appeared that General McKiernan was the first general to be dismissed from command of a theater of combat since Douglas MacArthur during the Korean War. At a Pentagon news conference on Monday, Mr. Gates praised General McKiernan for what he called his ''long and distinguished'' service, but said of Afghanistan, ''Our mission there requires new thinking and new approaches by our military leaders.'' General McKiernan served in his current command for only 11 months, about half the length of such tours. Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, joined Mr. Gates in making the announcement. The change also reflects the influence of Gen. David H. Petraeus, who took over last fall as the top American commander for Iraq and Afghanistan. General Petraeus served under General McKiernan in Iraq only to surpass him quickly in his rise through the ranks. The defense officials said the two men did not develop a bond after General Petraeus inherited General McKiernan as his Afghanistan commander. While his unblemished record included service in the former Yugoslavia, General McKiernan found himself unable to win support from the two most recent defense secretaries. As the commander of allied ground forces during the invasion of Iraq, General McKiernan differed with the Pentagon leadership and with his commander, Gen. Tommy R. Franks, when he joined a circle of Army officers who advocated many more troops than were ordered to the region. Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, said Mr. Obama agreed with the recommendation from Mr. Gates and Admiral Mullen that ''the implementation of a new strategy in Afghanistan called for new military leadership.'' The president praised General McKiernan's leadership, but said it was time for a ''change of direction in Afghanistan.'' The president met with Mr. Gates in the Oval Office on Monday, but aides declined to provide details of their discussions. A senior administration official said that last week, Mr. Gates asked the president for his approval to remove General McKiernan and the president agreed. Mr. Gates then officially delivered the news of his final decision over dinner last Wednesday night with General McKiernan at Camp Eggers, the American military headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Mr. Gates said General McChrystal would be assisted by a deputy commander, Lt. Gen. David M. Rodriguez, who is to serve in a new position with responsibility for the day-to-day management of the war. General Rodriguez had a previous tour in eastern Afghanistan as commander of the 82nd Airborne. A West Point graduate from the class of 1976, General McChrystal is himself a Green Beret and a Ranger, as well as a veteran Special Operations commander. One spot on General McChrystal's generally sterling military record came in 2007, when a Pentagon investigation into the accidental shooting death in 2004 of Cpl. Pat Tillman by fellow Army Rangers in Afghanistan held General McChrystal accountable for inaccurate information provided by Corporal Tillman's unit in recommending him for a Silver Star. The information wrongly suggested that Corporal Tillman, a professional football player whose decision to enlist in the Army after the Sept. 11 attacks drew national attention, had been killed by enemy fire. In recent work as director of the Joint Staff, General McChrystal has developed a plan to select a group of some 400 troops and officers to go back and forth from assignments in the region and the United States. While at home, the troops and officers would continue in their military jobs and work on some aspect of Afghan strategy, training or operations. The troops would remain in the cadre for three to five years, depending on the job. The approach is similar to the way General McChrystal ran Special Operations forces. Most troops now deploy to Afghanistan for about a year or less without any formal training in the region before they go. They often move on to unrelated jobs when their Afghan tours end. ''The idea is to develop a group of people who give you continuity, expertise and relationships. They know each other plus the people they're going to work with,'' said a senior military official who has worked closely on the plan. ''As they build relationships among themselves, relationships with Afghan partners and relationships with Afghan units, their relative effectiveness is just going to go up.'' The official said that the program, which Admiral Mullen has approved, should be up and running within 60 days after details are worked out, and its effects would be noticeable in Afghanistan within six months.

May 13, 2009 The New York Times

MAN IN THE NEWS: General Steps From Shadow
By ELISABETH BUMILLER AND MARK MAZZETTI

Lt. Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the ascetic who is set to become the new top American commander in Afghanistan, usually eats just one meal a day, in the evening, to avoid sluggishness. He is known for operating on a few hours' sleep and for running to and from work while listening to audio books on an iPod. In Iraq, where he oversaw secret commando operations for five years, former intelligence officials say that he had an encyclopedic, even obsessive, knowledge about the lives of terrorists, and that he pushed his ranks aggressively to kill as many of them as possible. But General McChrystal has also moved easily from the dark world to the light. Fellow officers on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, where he is director, and former colleagues at the Council on Foreign Relations describe him as a warrior-scholar, comfortable with diplomats, politicians and the military man who would help promote him to his new job. ''He's lanky, smart, tough, a sneaky stealth soldier,'' said Maj. Gen. William Nash, a retired officer. ''He's got all the Special Ops attributes, plus an intellect.'' If General McChrystal is confirmed by the Senate, as expected, he will take over the post held by Gen. David D. McKiernan, who was forced out on Monday. Obama administration officials have described the shakeup as a way to bring a bolder and more creative approach to the faltering war in Afghanistan. Most of what General McChrystal has done over a 33-year career remains classified, including service between 2003 and 2008 as commander of the Joint Special Operations Command, an elite unit so clandestine that the Pentagon for years refused to acknowledge its existence. But former C.I.A. officials say that General McChrystal was among those who, with the C.I.A., pushed hard for a secret joint operation in the tribal region of Pakistan in 2005 aimed at capturing or killing Ayman al-Zawahri, Osama bin Laden's deputy. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld canceled the operation at the last minute, saying it was too risky and was based on what he considered questionable intelligence, a move that former intelligence officials say General McChrystal found maddening. When General McChrystal took over the Joint Special Operations Command in 2003, he inherited an insular, shadowy commando force with a reputation for spurning partnerships with other military and intelligence organizations. But over the next five years he worked hard, his colleagues say, to build close relationships with the C.I.A. and the F.B.I. He won praise from

C.I.A. officers, many of whom had stormy relationships with commanders running the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. ''He knows intelligence, he knows covert action and he knows the value of partnerships,'' said Henry Crumpton, who ran the C.I.A.'s covert war in Afghanistan after the Sept. 11 attacks. As head of the command, which oversees the elite Delta Force and units of the Navy Seals, General McChrystal was based at Fort Bragg, N.C. But he spent much of his time in Iraq commanding secret missions. Most of his operations were conducted at night, but General McChrystal, described nearly universally as a driven workaholic, was up for most of the day as well. His wife and grown son remained back in the United States. General McChrystal was born Aug. 14, 1954, into a military family. His father, Maj. Gen. Herbert J. McChrystal Jr., served in Germany during the American occupation after World War II and later at the Pentagon. General Stanley McChrystal was the fourth child in a family of five boys and one girl; all of them grew up to serve in the military or marry into it. ''They're all pretty intense,'' said Judy McChrystal, one of General McChrystal's sisters-in-law, who is married to the eldest child, Herbert J. McChrystal III, a former chaplain at the United States Military Academy at West Point. General McChrystal graduated from West Point in 1976 and spent the next three decades ascending through conventional and Special Operations command positions as well as taking postings at Harvard and the Council on Foreign Relations. He was a commander of a Green Beret team in 1979 and 1980, and he did several tours in the Army Rangers as a staff officer and a battalion commander, including service in the Persian Gulf war of 1991. One blot on his otherwise impressive military record occurred in 2007, when a Pentagon investigation into the accidental shooting death in 2004 of Cpl. Pat Tillman by fellow Army Rangers in Afghanistan held General McChrystal accountable for inaccurate information provided by Corporal Tillman's unit in recommending him for a Silver Star. The information wrongly suggested that Corporal Tillman had been killed by enemy fire. At the Joint Staff at the Pentagon, where General McChrystal directs the 1,200-member group, he has instituted a daily 6:30 a.m. classified meeting among 25 top officers and, by video, military commanders around the world. In half an hour, the group races through military developments and problems over the past 24 hours. Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, brought General McChrystal back to Washington to be his director last August, and the physical proximity served General McChrystal well, Defense officials said. In recent weeks, Admiral Mullen recommended General McChrystal to Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates as a replacement for General McKiernan.

One other thing to know about General McChrystal: when he was a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in 2000, he ran a dozen miles each morning to the council's offices from his quarters at Fort Hamilton on the southwestern tip of Brooklyn. ''If you asked me the first thing that comes to mind about General McChrystal,'' said Leslie H. Gelb, the president emeritus of the council, ''I think of no body fat.''

The New York Times May 14, 2009

EDITORIAL

New Commander for Afghanistan
The war in Afghanistan is not going well. And President Obama has the right to choose his own top commander. We hope that his decision this week to fire Gen. David McKiernan and replace him with Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal means that the president and his team have come up with a strategy that will combine aggressive counterinsurgency tactics with economic development. That is the only chance for turning around a must-win war that America isn’t winning. We also hope that General McChrystal, who is an expert in special operations, will do a better job at limiting the number of civilian casualties that are helping to drive more Afghans into the Taliban camp. Continued Taliban gains would bring even greater suffering to the Afghan people. It would also mean wider sanctuaries for terrorists plotting attacks against the United States and Europe and even greater instability in Pakistan. General McChrystal, a hard-driving and talented officer, impressed his superiors during his five years running Special Operations commando missions in Afghanistan and Iraq. That’s a strong résumé. But other qualities are needed as well. Success in Afghanistan will also require effective training for the Afghan Army and police forces so they can stand on their own, strengthened local institutions and an effort to rein in the officially condoned corruption and drug trafficking that have turned so many Afghans against their own national and local governments. And it will require skillful diplomacy with other NATO generals to ensure the best use of tens of thousands of allied troops in Afghanistan and with Pakistani military leaders who must do a lot more to deny cross-border sanctuaries and infiltration routes to Taliban fighters. General McKiernan does not deserve the blame for the dismal military situation in Afghanistan. The Taliban had been gaining ground long before he took charge, in large measure because the Bush administration — focused on its misguided war in Iraq — failed for so many years to invest adequate troops, resources or attention to the Afghan fight. General McKiernan publicly argued that many more American troops were needed. He was right, and more are on the way. But that apparently wasn’t enough for either Defense Secretary Robert Gates or for the top American regional commander, Gen. David Petraeus. The challenges now fall to General McChrystal, whose impressive military reputation rests in part on such stunning exploits as the capture of Saddam Hussein and the location and killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia. Both were carried out by special forces under his command. 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. These issues came at the time of his confirmation last year for his present job as director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Before confirming him in his new command, senators must assure themselves that he has learned the hard lessons from these mistakes and will insist on lawful treatment of detainees and candid military reporting.

THE NEW YORK TIMES May 15, 2009

Afghan Villagers Describe Chaos of U.S. Strikes
By CARLOTTA GALL and TAIMOOR SHAH

FARAH, Afghanistan — The number of civilians killed by the American airstrikes in Farah Province last week may never be fully known. But villagers, including two girls recovering from burn wounds, described devastation that officials and human rights workers are calling the worst episode of civilian casualties in eight years of war in Afghanistan. “We were very nervous and afraid and my mother said, ‘Come quickly, we will go somewhere and we will be safe,’ ” said Tillah, 12, recounting from a hospital bed how women and children fled the bombing by taking refuge in a large compound, which was then hit. The bombs were so powerful that people were ripped to shreds. Survivors said they collected only pieces of bodies. Several villagers said that they could not distinguish all of the dead and that they never found some of their relatives. Government officials have accepted handwritten lists compiled by the villagers of 147 dead civilians. An independent Afghan human rights group said it had accounts from interviews of 117 dead. American officials say that even 100 is an exaggeration but have yet to issue their own count. The calamity in the village of Granai, some 18 miles from here, illustrates in the grimmest terms the test for the Obama administration as it deploys more than 20,000 additional troops here and appoints a new commander, Lt. Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, in search of a fresh approach to combat the tenacious Taliban insurgency. It is bombings like this one that have turned many Afghans against the American-backed government and the foreign military presence. The events in Granai have raised sharp questions once again about the appropriateness and effectiveness of aerial bombardment in a guerrilla war in which the insurgents deliberately blend into the civilian population to fight and flee. Taliban insurgents are well aware of the weakness and are making the most of it, American and Afghan officials say. Farah, a vast province in the west, contains only a smattering of foreign special forces and trainers who work among Afghan police and army units. Exploiting the thin

spread of forces, the insurgents sought to seize control of Granai and provoke a fierce battle over the heads of the civilian population, Afghan and American officials say. After hours of fighting and taking a number of casualties, the American forces called in their heaviest weapon, airstrikes, on at least three targets in the village. The rapid mass burial of the victims and the continuing presence of insurgents in the area have hampered investigations. Journalists were advised against visiting Granai. Villagers were interviewed here in Farah, the provincial capital, where they came to collect compensation payments, and in the neighboring province of Herat, where some were taken for treatment. Much of the villagers’ descriptions matched accounts given by the United States military spokesman, Col. Greg Julian, and the provincial police chief, Col. Abdul Ghafar Watandar. But they differed on one important point: whether the Taliban had already left Granai before the bombing began. There was particular anger among the villagers that the bombing came after, they say, the Taliban had already left at dusk, and the fighting had subsided, so much so that men had gone to evening prayers at 7 p.m. and returned and were sitting down with their families for dinner. The police chief said that sporadic fighting continued into the night and that the Taliban were probably in the village until 1 a.m. Whatever the case, American planes bombed after 8 p.m. in several waves when most of the villagers thought the fighting was over; and whatever the actual number of casualties, it is clear from the villagers’ accounts that dozens of women and children were killed after taking cover. One group went to a spacious compound owned by a man named Said Naeem, on the north side of the village, where the two girls were wounded. Only one woman and six children in the compound survived, one of their fathers said. Another group gathered in the house of the village imam, or religious leader, Mullah Manan. That, too, was bombed, causing an equally large number of casualties, villagers said. Colonel Julian, the American military spokesman, said that the airstrikes hit houses from which the Taliban were firing. The enormous explosions left such devastation that villagers struggled to describe it. “There was someone’s legs, someone’s shoulders, someone’s hands,” said Said

Jamal, an old white-bearded man with rheumy eyes, who lost two sons and a daughter. “The dead were so many.” A joint government and United States military delegation visited Granai last week but came back sharply divided in their conclusions. The Afghan government said that 140 civilians were killed and 25 wounded, and that 12 houses were destroyed. The United States military said the Afghan numbers were far too high. This week, a senior military investigator, Brig. Gen. Raymond A. Thomas III of the United States Army, arrived to conduct an in-depth inquiry for the region’s overall military commander, Gen. David H. Petraeus. An independent Afghan organization, Afghanistan Rights Monitor, said Wednesday that at least 117 civilians were killed — including 26 women and 61 children — drawing on interviews with 21 villagers and relatives of the dead. The group criticized both the Taliban for fighting among civilians, and the United States military for using excessive force. The police chief, Colonel Watandar, confirmed much of the villagers’ accounts of the fighting. A large group of Taliban fighters, numbering about 400, they estimated, entered the village and took up positions at dawn on May 4. By midmorning, the Taliban began attacks on police posts on the main road, just yards from the village, they said. The fighting raged all day. The police called in more police officers, Afghan Army units and an American quick reaction force from the town of Farah as reinforcements. By midafternoon, the exchanges escalated sharply and moved deeper into the village. Taliban fighters were firing from the houses, and at one point a Marine unit called in airstrikes to allow Marines to go forward and rescue a wounded Afghan soldier, said Colonel Julian, the United States military spokesman. After that, Taliban fire dropped significantly, he said. A villager named Multan said that one house along the southern edge of the village was hit by a bomb and that one Taliban fighter was killed there. But villagers did not report any civilian casualties until the American planes bombed that night. Tillah, the 12-year-old girl, whose face bears the scars of a scorching blast, still twisted in pain from the burning in her leg at the provincial hospital in Herat, where she and other survivors were taken to a special burn unit. Her two sisters, Freshta, 5, and Nuria, 7, were barely visible

May 26, 2009

Nomination of U.S. Afghan Commander Revives Questions in Tillman Case
By THOM SHANKER New York Times

Note: See my following rebuttal of Thom Shanker’s assertions that General McChrystal was “cleared of wrongdoing” in the handling of the Tillman fratricide. I dispute the truth of every substantive assertion Thom Shanker made in his article. Each assertion discussed in my rebuttal has been high-lighted and numbered for easy reference (Italics within bold-face are mine).

... WASHINGTON — One was a football hero who roused the nation when he quit a high-paying job as star safety for the Arizona Cardinals to join the Army and become a Ranger after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The other is a three-star Special Operations general who has spent most of his career in the shadows, commanding secret counterterrorism missions carried out by the military’s most elite capture-or-kill units. But the lives of Cpl. Pat Tillman and Lt. Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal became entwined in a most public way after Corporal Tillman died in Afghanistan in 2004. [2] General McChrystal, commander of a Special Operations task force in Afghanistan at the time, was among 10 officers singled out for scrutiny after details belatedly emerged that Corporal Tillman was killed not by an insurgent ambush, as the Army originally asserted, but by fire from his own team of Rangers. The four-star general who was the final judge of the case ordered punitive action against seven officers, including four generals. General McChrystal was among the three cleared of wrongdoing. [3] But questions have surfaced again after General McChrystal’s nomination to be the top American commander in Afghanistan, the latest step in an urgent

effort by the Obama administration to put together a new strategy and salvage the faltering mission. [1] The death of Corporal Tillman, the handling of his Silver Star commendation and the initial, false information released to the family and the public were the subjects of multiple investigations. Among them were inquiries by the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command, the Defense Department’s inspector general and a Congressional committee, as well as the final four-star review by Gen. William S. Wallace, then in charge of the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command. [11] Initially, the Pentagon inspector general’s inquiry criticized General McChrystal for signing a Silver Star commendation that “erroneously implied that Corporal Tillman died by enemy fire.” [12] But the final judgment by General Wallace concluded that General McChrystal “had no reasonable basis to call into 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.” [7] General Wallace also said that General McChrystal responded “reasonably and quickly” — being the first to alert the three generals who were his superior officers at Central Command, Special Operations Command and Army Special Operations Command that there was emerging evidence that Corporal Tillman had been killed by fellow Rangers. [6] General McChrystal’s memorandum, sent a week after the episode, warned that “it is highly possible that Corporal Tillman was killed by friendly fire,” according to the Pentagon inspector general’s report. [9] In his message from the field, General McChrystal also asked his three superiors to warn President George W. Bush and the acting Army secretary “about comments they might make in speeches to preclude embarrassment if the public found out friendly fire was involved.” [10] General McChrystal’s message was sent not through standard reporting channels, but through a “Personal For” message system. Investigators ruled that

while it was an unusual choice for communications, the general could reasonably have assumed that this specialized report would be acted upon urgently. [8] “General McChrystal did exactly the right thing: he sent a timely message in a timely fashion through the most secure channels,” said Gen. John P. Abizaid, then the top officer of Central Command, overseeing forces in the Middle East. He spoke during 2007 testimony to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Even so, Corporal Tillman’s family was not informed of the true cause of death until 35 days after he was killed, and some family members voiced doubts that the full truth had emerged about who in the Pentagon knew what, and when. The puzzle was compounded by the fact that it took three years and three months for the Army and the Defense Department to finish the array of investigations and mete out punishment for the events, which took place outside Manah, Afghanistan, on April 22, 2004. Even the Army’s top civilian conceded at the conclusion of the investigations in July 2007 that damage had been done to the service’s reputation. Pete Geren, the Army secretary, voiced regret for the “errors and failures of leadership that confused and misinformed the American people and compounded the grief suffered by the Tillman family.” [5] A review of the voluminous documents, transcripts and findings made public after the inquiries showed that General McChrystal was cleared in part because he was not serving in the chain of command for personnel issues or administration, the part of the Army responsible for investigating Corporal Tillman’s death and notifying the family and the public of details. [4] Officers in administrative headquarters of the Army were most severely criticized and punished for the confusion and incorrect information released to the family and the public. [5] In contrast, General McChrystal was part of the separate, war-fighting Army in the field, with responsibilities for commanding Corporal Tillman’s Ranger

unit and other Special Operations forces in combat — but not for the administrative actions faulted by investigators. A detailed forensics inquiry by the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command found that Corporal Tillman’s death came after a day of heavy combat in eastern Afghanistan. Hobbled by a broken-down vehicle and faulty radios, the Rangers had split into two groups, and in the chaos of combat one team of Rangers fired on the other, killing Corporal Tillman and an Afghan soldier. [14] Unless new information on General McChrystal’s role in the episode emerges between now and his confirmation hearing, set for June 2, the question is not expected to figure heavily in the Senate debate, Congressional officials said. [13] The Senate last year confirmed General McChrystal to a three-star job in a vote taken long after the inquiries were complete. In explaining why the Tillman case was not expected to affect the general’s new confirmation, Congressional officials said senators would have to explain why they confirmed him then but were challenging his qualifications now to receive a fourth star and take over the Afghan mission absent new disclosures.

*** Add link to timeline 34

The New York Times June 1, 2009 EDITORIAL

Questions for General McChrystal
The Senate owes the American people more than a pro forma confirmation of Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, President Obama’s choice to be the next United States military commander in Afghanistan. General McChrystal, who goes before the Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, built an impressive reputation as commander of the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations teams in Afghanistan and Iraq from 2003 to 2008. Highly trained and motivated task forces under his command captured Saddam Hussein and called in the air strikes that killed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, leader of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia. Successes like these could help turn the tide in Afghanistan. But there are other, more disturbing aspects of that record that the Senate also must consider. Special Operations task forces operated in secret, outside the normal military chain of command and with minimal legal accountability, especially during the years Donald Rumsfeld ran the Pentagon. General McChrystal’s command substantially overlaps this troubled period. In 2004, for example, a Special Operations unit converted one of Saddam Hussein’s former torture centers near Baghdad into its own secret interrogation cell, where detainees were subjected to a range of physical and psychological abuses. This was not an isolated incident. In 2006, The Times reported on field outposts set up by Special Operations units in Baghdad, Falluja, Balad, Ramadi and Kirkuk where detainees were stripped naked and subjected to simulated drowning. At least 34 Special Operations soldiers were eventually disciplined by the Pentagon for these abusive interrogations. Many more cases had to be dropped because the specific interrogator could not be conclusively identified or because crucial computer records were lost. While there is no suggestion that General McChrystal was personally involved in any misconduct, he has a clear responsibility to illuminate what went wrong, what if anything was done to stop these horrors, and what he intends to do to ensure that they are not repeated under his command in Afghanistan. The overall performance of the Special Operations Command under General McChrystal’s leadership — both acts of heroism and acts of abuse — is an essential part of measuring General McChrystal’s fitness for his new assignment. He needs to be rigorously questioned.

“Nominee To Command U.S. Afghanistan Forces Stresses Civilian Safety “
New York Times June 2nd 2009, Thom Shanker and Eric Schmitt 2009-06-02 16:02:50 (18 hours ago) Posted By: Intellpuke (Read 59 times || 0 comments) [Note: This article was changed before the evening of June 2nd to the version that appears on June 3rd, “ U.S. Report finds Errors in Afghan Airstrikes”. This is a cached copy from a website.]
Submit to Digg

The Special Operations general nominated to be commander of American and allied troops in Afghanistan testified on Tuesday that coalition forces must reduce civilian casualties, a step that is “essential to our credibility.” The commander, Lt. Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, said that “how we conduct operations is vital to success,” and warned that any victory would be “hollow and unsustainable” if allied operations created popular resentment among Afghanistan’s citizens. In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, General McChrystal said the measure of American and allied effectiveness would be “the number of Afghans shielded from violence,” not the number of enemies killed. Even so, strikes by warplanes and Special Operations ground units would remain an essential part of combat in Afghanistan, said General McChrystal. He pledged to make sure these attacks would be ordered only based on solid intelligence, and would be as “precise” as possible. General McChrystal formerly served as commander of the Joint Special Operations Command, whose hunter-killer units scored significant successes in Iraq and Afghanistan, and he was questioned about reports of abuse of detainees held by his commandos. When he took command of these units in 2003, the general said, the Special Operations detention facilities in Afghanistan were limited and disorganized, and the forces involved in the detention mission lacked experience. Under questioning by Senator Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat who is the committee chairman, General McChrystal said that he “was uncomfortable” with some of the harsh techniques that were officially approved for interrogations. At the time, the approved techniques included placing detainees in stress positions, sleep deprivation and use of attack dogs. He said that while he was in command, all reports of abuse were investigated, and all substantiated cases resulted in disciplinary action. He pledged to “strictly enforce” American and

international standards for treatment of battlefield detainees if he is confirmed to the post in Afghanistan. “I do not and never have condoned mistreatment of detainees, and never will,” said General McChrystal. “Unfortunately, criminal acts take place on the battlefield, just like they do in normal society,” General McChrystal said in separate, prepared answers to questions submitted by the committee. “Fortunately, through improved training and education, substantiated allegations of abuse have decreased over time.” If confirmed, General McChrystal said, he would take a number of steps to improve detention operations. Among them, he said, would be efforts to “separate and segregate the extremists,” and to “impart basic education and vocational skills” to detainees. Troops would be ordered to “develop a moderate understanding of Islam,” the general said, and he would continue the use of extended family members and tribal groups “to aid in a released detainee’s abstention from violence.” Under questioning from Sen. John McCain, of Arizona, the committee’s ranking Republican, General McChrystal discussed his actions following the friendly-fire death of Cpl. Pat Tillman, the professional football star who enlisted in the Army after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. General McChrystal expressed his “deepest condolences” to the Tillman family and to Corporal Tillman’s fellow Rangers, and acknowledged that he would do things differently if presented again with such a tragedy. [1] A four-star Army review cleared General McChrystal of any wrongdoing, but it punished a number of senior officers who were responsible for administrative mistakes in the days following the death of Corporal Tillman. [2] General McChrystal explained that he signed a Silver Star recommendation, even though he already suspected death by friendly fire, because Corporal Tillman’s valor in the field earned him the honor regardless of the manner of his death. However, the general acknowledged that the recommendation produced confusion. [3] At the time, Army policy was to rush those medals of valor so they could be received by the family at the time of the honored soldier’s funeral; that policy has been changed to allow more thorough evaluations. [4] General McChrystal said that within a week of Corporal Tillman’s death, he sent an urgent message to his three senior commanders specifically to inform them of mounting evidence of death by friendly fire, and to push the Army to quickly halt any misinformation

regarding Corporal Tillman’s death. [5] Sen. James Webb, a Virginia Democrat who has championed the Tillman’s family case, returned to the topic late in the hearing during a heartfelt exchange in which the Senator chastised the Army for its initial incorrect reports that Corporal Tillman was killed in an insurgent ambush, and not by fire from his own Ranger unit. “The Army failed the family,” said Senator Webb. [6] “We failed the family,” General McChrystal agreed. “I was a part of that, and I apologize,” but the general repeatedly stated that any errors committed by soldiers and officers in the field of combat in Afghanistan “were not intentional,” and he added, “I didn’t see any activities by anyone to deceive.” Senator Levin called for strong cooperation between General McChrystal and Adm. James G. Stavridis, who also testified Tuesday; the admiral has been nominated to become NATO's supreme allied commander and commander of American forces in Europe. If confirmed, Admiral Stavridis would be the first Navy officer to hold that position. NATO supplies the majority of the nearly 35,000 non-American troops in Afghanistan, but Senator Levin said that “only a portion are in the fight where the fight mainly is - in the south and east of Afghanistan.” The NATO contribution to the Afghan mission “remains inadequate,” Senator Levin said. He urged Admiral Stavridis to do all he could to press “NATO and other allies in Europe to do their share for the Afghanistan mission.” Under President Obama's new Afghan strategy, the number of American troops in the country will double to about 68,000 this year. Intellpuke: You can read this article by New York Times staff writers Thom Shanker and Eric Schmitt, reporting from Washington, D.C., in context here: www.nytimes.com/2009/06/03/world/asia/03military.html?_r=1&hp

U.S. Report Finds Errors in Afghan Airstrikes
By ERIC SCHMITT and THOM SHANKER NOTE: Version 2, version 1 drastically modified with more about Tillman WASHINGTON — June 3, 2009 A military investigation has concluded that American personnel made significant errors in carrying out some of the airstrikes in western Afghanistan on May 4 that killed dozens of Afghan civilians, according to a senior American military official. The official said the civilian death toll would probably have been reduced if American air crews and forces on the ground had followed strict rules devised to prevent civilian casualties. Had the rules been followed, at least some of the strikes by American warplanes against half a dozen targets over seven hours would have been aborted. The report represents the clearest American acknowledgment of fault in connection with the attacks. It will give new ammunition to critics, including many Afghans, who complain that American forces too often act indiscriminately in calling in airstrikes, jeopardizing the United States mission by turning the civilian population against American forces and their ally, the Afghan government. Since the raid, American military commanders have promised to address the problem. On Tuesday, Lt. Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, nominated to be the American commander in Afghanistan, vowed that reducing civilian casualties was “essential to our credibility.” Any American victory would be “hollow and unsustainable” if it led to popular resentment among Afghanistan’s citizens, General McChrystal told the Senate Armed Services Committee during a confirmation hearing. According to the senior military official, the report on the May 4 raids found that one plane was cleared to attack Taliban fighters, but then had to circle back and did not reconfirm the target before dropping bombs, leaving open the possibility that the militants had fled the site or that civilians had entered the target area in the intervening few minutes. In another case, a compound of buildings where militants were massing for a possible counterattack against American and Afghan troops was struck in violation of rules that required a more imminent threat to justify putting high-density village dwellings at risk, the official said.

“In several instances where there was a legitimate threat, the choice of how to deal with that threat did not comply with the standing rules of engagement,” said the military official, who provided a broad summary of the report’s initial findings on the condition of anonymity because the inquiry was not yet complete. Before being chosen as the new commander in Afghanistan, General McChrystal spent five years as commander of the Joint Special Operations Command, overseeing commandos in Iraq and Afghanistan. Special Operations forces have been sharply criticized by Afghans for aggressive tactics that have contributed to civilian casualties. During his testimony, General McChrystal said that strikes by warplanes and Special Operations ground units would remain an essential part of combat in Afghanistan. But he promised to make sure that these attacks were based on solid intelligence and that they were as precise as possible. American success in Afghanistan should be measured by “the number of Afghans shielded from violence,” not the number of enemy fighters killed, he said. The inquiry into the May 4 strikes in the western province of Farah illustrated the difficult, splitsecond decisions facing young officers in the heat of combat as they balance using lethal force to protect their troops under fire with detailed rules restricting the use of firepower to prevent civilian deaths. In the report, the investigating officer, Brig. Gen. Raymond A. Thomas III, analyzed each of the airstrikes carried out by three aircraft-carrier-based Navy F/A-18 strike aircraft and an Air Force B-1 bomber against targets in the village of Granai, in a battle that lasted more than seven hours. In each case, the senior military official said, General Thomas determined that the targets that had been struck posed legitimate threats to Afghan or American forces, which included one group of Marines assigned to train the Afghans and another assigned to a Special Operations task force. But in “several cases,” the official said, General Thomas determined either that the airstrikes had not been the appropriate response to the threat because of the potential risk to civilians, or that American forces had failed to follow their own tactical rules in conducting the bombing runs. The Afghan government concluded that about 140 civilians had been killed in the attacks. An earlier American military inquiry said last month that 20 to 30 civilians had been killed. That inquiry also concluded that 60 to 65 Taliban militants had been killed in the fight. American

military officials say their two investigations show that Taliban fighters had deliberately fired on American forces and aircraft from compounds and other places where they knew Afghan civilians had sought shelter, in order to draw an American response that would kill civilians, including women and children. The firefight began, the military said, when Afghan soldiers and police officers went to several villages in response to reports that three Afghan government officials had been killed by the Taliban. The police were quickly overwhelmed and asked for backup from American forces. American officials have said that a review of videos from aircraft weapon sights and exchanges between air crew members and a ground commander established that Taliban fighters had taken refuge in “buildings which were then targeted in the final strikes of the fight,” which went well into the night. American troop levels in Afghanistan are expected to double, to about 68,000, under President Obama’s new Afghan strategy. In his previous job as commander of the Joint Special Operations Command, General McChrystal oversaw units assigned to capture or kill senior militants. In his appearance before Congress on Tuesday, he was questioned on reports of abuses of detainees held by his commandos. Under questioning by Senator Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat who is the committee chairman, General McChrystal said he was uncomfortable with some of the harsh techniques that were officially approved for interrogation. At the time, such approved techniques included stress positions, sleep deprivation and the use of attack dogs for intimidation. He said that all reports of abuse during his command were investigated, and that all substantiated cases of abuse resulted in disciplinary action. And he pledged to “strictly enforce” American and international standards for the treatment of battlefield detainees if confirmed to the post in Afghanistan. Under questioning, General McChrystal also acknowledged that the Army had “failed the family” in its mishandling of the friendly-fire death of Cpl. Pat Tillman, the professional football star who enlisted in the Army after the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

A final review by a four-star Army general cleared General McChrystal of any wrongdoing, but punished a number of senior officers who were responsible for administrative mistakes in the days after Corporal Tillman’s death. Initially, Army officials said the corporal had been killed by an insurgent ambush, when in fact he had been shot by members of his own Ranger team.

LIES BORNE OUT BY FACTS, IF NOT THE TRUTH

APPENDIX D: 5 Years Ago: When the Pentagon and Media Lied About Jessica Lynch Rescue
Greg Mitchell 4-4-08 (editor, Editor & Publisher) Precisely five years ago the U.S. media were transfixed on the heroic rescue of a captured U.S. Army Pfc. named Jessica Lynch, who supposedly had emerged from her hellhole in Iraq, guns blazing, in a daring operation to save her. The invasion of Iraq had just started to run into some difficulties -- amid signs that Americans might not be greeted with flowers after all -- and the Lynch rescue helped rally the country and had significant propaganda value. And propaganda, as it turned out, was at the heart of it. News would shortly emerge -- after the fall of Baghdad -- that the Lynch rescue was almost nothing like it was pictured in the press, most notably in a Washington Post account which was headlined "She Was Fighting to the Death." In fact, Lynch never fired her weapon. Two months later, on June 17, 2003, the Post ran a 5,000-word front-page piece that admitted errors in the original account -- but also defended much of it. Twelve days after that, Michael Getler, then the paper's ombudsman, observed: "This was the single most memorable story of the war, and it had huge propaganda value. It was false, but it didn't get knocked down until it didn't matter quite so much." Two weeks ago, around the 5th anniversary of the war, Lynch told U.S. News and World Report: "I'm still confused as to why they chose to lie and try to make me a legend...They wanted to make people think that maybe this war was a good thing," she said. "Instead, people were getting killed, and it was going downhill fast. They wanted a hero." Lynch had indeed been severely injured as her Humvee crashed during an ambush outside Nasiriyah and was taken by captors to a hospital. When she was rescued on April 1 the Post and other media claimed she had reportedly killed several Iraqis in a gun battle and sustained many gunshot wounds herself. The Pentagon helpfully described the rescue as a brave Special Operations raid, featuring battles with Iraqis and Black Hawk helicopters firing away.

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." Another April 3 story in the Times covered Lynch's hometown in West Virginia celebrating he release. It carried the bylines of Douglas Jehl and -- Jayson Blair. The "Jessica Lynch" scandal later got mixed up in the "Jayson Blair" scandal when it turned out he had lied about certain aspects of his "coverage" of that episode. But much of the media went wild over the story (as noted in my new book on Iraq and the media), even as Lynch's father revealed that he had been told that no gunshot wounds had been discovered. It wasn't until early May that the story really fell apart, thanks largely to a Toronto Star reporter named Mitch Potter, whose sources told him that actually Lynch had been well cared for at the hospital, that her captors had left up to two days before the raid and that actually fire from U.S. forces had prevented hospital staffers from loading her in an ambulance. The BBC soon confirmed much of this scenario. The Post corrective appeared a few weeks later. On June 20, Nicholas Kristof in his New York Times column wrote: "Pfc. Jessica Lynch did not mow down Iraqis until her ammo ran out, was not shot and apparently was not plucked from behind enemy lines by U.S. commandos braving a firefight. It looks as if the first accounts of the rescue were embellished, like the imminent threat from W.M.D., and like wartime pronouncements about an uprising in Basra and imminent defections of generals. There's a pattern: we were misled... "Ms. Lynch is still a hero in my book, and it was unnecessary for officials to try to turn her into a Hollywood caricature. As a citizen, I deeply resent my government trying to spin me like a PingPong ball.... "The Iraqis misused our prisoners for their propaganda purposes, and it hurts to find out that some American officials were misusing Private Lynch the same way." And the media went along for the ride. Lynch got hate mail for years from people accusing her of making of the story - when it was really the Pentagon and the press. She told Diane Sawyer in a TV interview: "They used me to symbolize all this stuff. It's wrong." She told Congress in testimony last year: "They should have found out the facts before they spread the word like wildfire." Greg Mitchell writes about the Lynch case and much more in his new book, So Wrong for So Long: How the Press, the Pundits -- and the President -- Failed on Iraq. It includes a preface by Bruce Springsteen and foreword by Joseph L. Galloway and has been hailed by our own Arianna, Bill Moyers, Glenn Greenwald and others. He is editor of Editor & Publisher.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful