Friday, March 30, 2007

AP: Gen. tried to warn Bush on Tillman

By SCOTT LINDLAW,
Associated Press Writer


SAN JOSE, Calif. - Just seven days after Pat Tillman's death, a top general warned there were strong indications that it was friendly fire and President Bush might embarrass himself if he said the NFL star-turned-soldier died in an ambush, according to a memo obtained by The Associated Press.

It was not until a month afterward that the Pentagon told the public and grieving family members the truth — that Tillman was mistakenly killed in Afghanistan by his comrades.

The memo reinforces suspicions that the Pentagon was more concerned with sparing officials from embarrassment than with leveling with Tillman's family.

In a memo sent to a four-star general a week after Tillman's April 22, 2004, death, then-Maj. Gen. Stanley McChrystal warned that it was "highly possible" the Army Ranger was killed by friendly fire. McChrystal made it clear his warning should be conveyed to the president.

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