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By Gary G. Kohls, MD
Duty to Warn - According to the most comprehensive survey of American war casualties (both fatal and nonfatal), 21 % of the casualties in World War II, 39 % of the casualties in Vietnam and 52 % of the casualties in the first Gulf War were “friendly fire” casualties.
Nine years ago this month, Pat Tillman walked away from a multimillion dollar NFL contract with the Arizona Cardinals. During his college and professional football career, he was known as an undersized but over achieving strong safety, and in 2002 he quit football to join the US Army, eventually becoming an Army Ranger. His life ended on April 22, 2004 in the desolate mountains of Afghanistan, another victim, but one of the more celebrated victims, of “friendly fire” fratricide, that happens all too commonly in every war.
Pat Tillman was killed by a member of his own platoon and the event was massively lied about by the Pentagon, the press and the Cheney/Bush White House. The killing was covered up as vigorously as was the celebration of Tillman’s “patriotism” for joining up to “serve his country” after 9/11/01. Unfortunately for Tillman, he had not understood the later-to-be-revealed truths about 9/11 nor was he aware of what were the meanings of the military acronyms “FUBAR*” and “SNAFU*” and how fatal those realities were destined to be for him.
(* FUBAR and SNAFU are unflattering military slang terms describing the messed-up realities of military operations - and military life in general - meaning “F….. Up Beyond All Recognition” and “Situation Normal, All F….. Up.”)
“In war, truth is the first casualty”
Tillman, a philosophy major in college, was also an atheist who considered himself a freethinking individual, and yet he somehow had not doubted, prior to his enlistment, the provably false White House conspiracy theory that an alleged group of 19 Saudi Arabian amateur pilots-in-training (6 of whom were later proven by the BBC to be alive and well in the Middle East) could hijack four passenger jets, evade the best air defense system in the history of the world (NORAD) and then fly two of the planes, at 500 miles per hour, into two non-flammable steel-reinforced, concrete skyscrapers (World Trade Center towers 1 & 2) and pulverize them into fine dust because of low-temperature fires which had burned out within minutes of the crashes. Some have described the events of 9/11as a Keystone Cops-type operation because of all of the snafus and the multiple pieces of evidence left behind proving that the operation was orchestrated, and then covered-up, by people and agencies that had access to towers 1, 2 # 7 for weeks before the demolitions.
Tillman could be forgiven for believing the official conspiracy theory because he had probably only watched the White House-written and White House-approved stories that had been fed to the mainstream media, whose eyewitnesses in the press corps had momentarily – and independently - told the truth about what they saw.
A few if the unwelcome truths about what really happened on 9/11/01were told only ONCE, and that was during in the initial hours of the unedited live broadcasts during the first day of media coverage. Fortunately, much of this truthful journalism still survives, much of it on YouTube and now on many of the 9/11 Truth movement archives that are widely ignored.
The spinning of 9/11 started on 9/12/01
Starting on 9/12/01, the approved cover-up story of the events surrounding 9/11, including videos of the collapses of WTC towers 1, 2 & 7 was orchestrated, and it was sanitized sufficiently to suit the warmakers in the White House. Tellingly, the Day 2 coverage had totally eliminated all the live comments made by journalists who had noticed how much the collapses resembled controlled demolitions by pre-planted explosives that could instantly cut through scores of 4-inch thick steel beams. And, also tellingly, the collapse of WTC #7 at 5:20 pm on 9/11 was not broadcast at all. The cover-up of the “officially inexplicable” collapse of WTC # 7 was so well done that even today, a majority of Americans, even 9/11 Truth debunkers are unaware that it happened at all.
Tillman’s patriotic act can also be forgiven because he didn’t have a chance to hear the testimony of innumerable witnesses about the multiple explosions (which refute the official conspiracy theory) they had heard before and during the collapse of the towers - in some cases, bomb blasts in the sub-basements that occurred even before the planes hit.
Tillman, like most of us in the excitement of the moment, wasn’t sufficiently suspicious about the fact that within minutes of the collapses, the now famous photos of the alleged 19 hijackers, none of whose names were on any of the passenger lists of the four allegedly hijacked planes, shown on television. He also may not have been suspicious enough of the fact that, also within minutes, Osama bin Laden was being fingered as the mastermind behind the “plot”. And Tillman, like the rest of us, hadn’t been allowed to hear bin Laden’s three taped denials of responsibility, although he probably had seen, over and over again, the obviously photo-shopped “confession tape” of someone resembling bin Laden, but who was clearly not bin Laden.
So the patriotic Pat Tillman, like most of the people watching the White House-approved story, didn’t doubt that that the White House conspiracy theory represented the truth that led rapidly to war. Tillman, like most of us who watched the 9/11 story evolve into not just one, but two illegal wars that were eventually to be fatal for him and hundreds of thousands of other humans. He hadn’t stopped to consider the possibility that the events of 9/11/01 were a false flag operation (a conspiracy) trumped up by the shadowy group of NeoConservatives operatives who were intimately connected to the Bush White House and who called themselves the Project for a New American Century (PNAC). (All of the above information is readily available at any number of websites dedicated to the search for the truth about 9/11 [google “9/11 Truth”].)
Where Men Find Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman
Jon Krakauer, in the Prologue to his book about Pat Tillman (entitled “Where Men Find Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman”) writes:
“Warring societies portray their campaigns as virtuous struggles, and present their fallen warriors as heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice for a noble cause. But death by so-called friendly fire, which is an inescapable aspect of armed conflict in the modern era, doesn’t conform to this mythic narrative. It strips away war’s heroic veneer to reveal what lies beneath. It’s an unsettling reminder that barbarism, senseless violence, and random death are commonplace even in the most ”just” and “honorable” of wars.
“Consequently, and unsurprisingly, when soldiers accidentally kill one of their own, there is tremendous reluctance to confront the truth within the ranks of the military. There is an overwhelming inclination to keep the unsavory particulars hidden from public view, to pretend the calamity never occurred. Thus it has always been and probably always will be. As Aeschylus, the exalted Greek tragedian, noted in the fifth century BC, “In war, truth is the first casualty.”
Friendly Fire/Fratricide (the killing of one’s own brother)
In the book’s Postscript, Krakauer goes on to say,
“Patriotic zeal runs strong in the United States, and young Americans are no less susceptible to the allure of martial adventure than young males from other cultures, including fanatical tribal cultures. Decades from now, when the president of the United States declares yet another war on some national adversary, a great many men will doubtless stream forth to enlist, just as eager to join the fight as the Americans who flocked to recruiting offices during previous armed conflicts – regardless of whether the war in question is a reckless blunder or vital to the survival of the Republic.
“If the United States’ involvement in future wars is inevitable, so, too, is it inevitable that American soldiers will fall victim to friendly fire in those conflicts, for the simple reason that fratricide is part and parcel of every war.
“According to the most comprehensive survey of American war casualties (both fatal and nonfatal), 21 % of the casualties in World War II were attributable to friendly fire, 39 % of the casualties in Vietnam, and 52 % of the casualties in the first Gulf War.
“Thus far in the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, (friendly fire) casualty rates are 41 % and 13 %, respectively. All these figures are conservative estimates, moreover; due to endemic underreporting of fratricide b the military, the actual percentages are unquestionably higher.”
Pat Tillman’s Mother, a Real Mama Grizzly
Pat Tillman’s mother Dannie wrote a book about her courageous and unrelenting experience uncovering the Pentagon’s feeble attempts to cover-up her son’s death by fratricide. Talk about your mama grizzly bear! The Pentagon, with all its cunning and power, couldn’t handle Mrs. Tillman’s courage and persistence at getting to the truth. Her tireless efforts shamed both the White House and the Pentagon into finally admitting their criminality in the cover-up. However, what was a rare victory over the war-making establishment was only partial because of the military’s rapid destruction of the crime scene evidence (Pat Tillman’s recent diaries, his uniform and other items) illegal acts that will forever cloud the truth of what really happened on 4/22/04.
The Navy pathologist who performed Tillman’s autopsy testified that Tillman “had been shot three times in the head from a distance of 35 feet or less” and that the three bullet holes were in a two inch diameter cluster, a virtual impossibility if the testimony of the “boots on the ground” that the killing was accidental is to be trusted. This fact legitimately raises questions about the possibility of an assassination, given Tillman’s outspoken criticisms of the war he was forced to be in. The silence about these issues is deafening.
Dannie Tillman was a history major in college and her son Pat was familiar with the words of Hermann Goering, Hitler’s Reichmarschall, who in 1946, shortly before he was sentenced to death for crimes against humanity, observed:
"Why, of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don't want war, neither in Russia, nor England, nor for that matter, Germany. That is understood, but after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simpler matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."
Sadly, he did not apply the wisdom expressed in those words when he volunteered to go to war. Tillman may not have been aware of the bits of uncensored truths coming from the lips of another of the long line of infamous warmakers of past history, Adolf Hitler, who said:
“What good fortune for those in power that the people do not think.”
"Through clever and constant application of propaganda people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way around, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise."
“It also gives us a very special, secret pleasure to see how unaware the people around us are of what is really happening to the
And Pat Tillman would probably still be alive if he had paid close attention to these words about truth being a casualty of war:
“Pay attention to war-makers when they try to defend their current war; if they’re moving their lips they're lying.” -- Catholic peace activist Phil Berrigan
Until April 5, 2013 the 1984 American science fiction-horror film, directed by John Carpenter could be streamed or downloaded from a number of websites. They Live (Full movie) was in the playlist below created by Buddy Huggins.
These days you can’t swing a cat or open your mailbox without being hit by a flood of emails about the memorials, tributes, condolences, and donation sites for the victims of these tragedies that the conspiracy theorists say were created -- not right after the event, but right before the event.
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