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What's old is new again: Fragging redivivus

By Michael J. Smith on Saturday July 28, 2007 05:47 PM

I've never felt much love for football players, so the ox-like Pat Tillman's sad story has drawn few tears -- well, none, really -- from my jaundiced eye. Now, however, it begins to appear that the narrative may be a little richer than we knew. Here's the professional paranoid's take :

New Evidence Clearly Indicates Pat Tillman Was Executed

Army medical examiners concluded Tillman was shot three times in the head from just 10 yards away, no evidence of "friendly fire" damage at scene, Army attorneys congratulated each other on cover-up, Wesley Clark concludes "orders came from the very top" to murder pro-football star because he was about to become an anti-war political icon....

To Clark's credit, or discredit, that's not what he said -- he was talking about the cover-up, not the killing itself. Unusually, however, the bald facts of the case, as reported by AP, are much more interesting than the paranoid fantasies:
New Documents Shed Light On Tillman's Death

(AP) SAN FRANCISCO U.S. Army medical examiners were suspicious about the close proximity of the three bullet holes in Pat Tillman's forehead and tried without success to get authorities to investigate whether the former professional football player's death amounted to a crime, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

"The medical evidence did not match up with the scenario as described," a doctor who examined Tillman's body after he was killed on the battlefield in Afghanistan in 2004 told investigators.

The doctors — whose names were blacked out — said the bullet holes were so close together that it appeared the Army Ranger was cut down by an M-16 fired from a mere 10 yards or so away.

.... The military initially told the public and the Tillman family that he had been killed by enemy fire. Only weeks later did the Pentagon acknowledge he was gunned down by fellow Rangers.

Ultimately, the Defense Department did conduct a criminal investigation, and asked Tillman's comrades whether he was disliked by his men and whether they had any reason to believe he was deliberately killed....

In his last words moments before he was killed, Tillman snapped at a panicky comrade under fire to shut up and stop "sniveling."....

It has been widely reported by the AP and others that Spc. Bryan O'Neal, who was at Tillman's side as he was killed, told investigators that Tillman was waving his arms shouting "Cease fire, friendlies, I am Pat (expletive) Tillman, damn it!" again and again.

But the latest documents give a different account from a chaplain who debriefed the entire unit days after Tillman was killed.

The chaplain said O'Neal told him he was hugging the ground at Tillman's side, "crying out to God, 'Help us.' And Tillman says to him, 'Would you shut your (expletive) mouth? God's not going to help you; you need to do something for yourself, you sniveling ...'"

The only improbable element in this version of the story is the idea that Tillman would have used, or even known, the word 'sniveling'.

All in all, sounds like a fragging to me. I don't know why we haven't had more of that. Lord knows we need it.

Comments (8)

Ahh, hah; so you've been reading the collected ravings of Paul Joseph Watson also, eh?

At the DC Indymedia Center -- as at many IMCs -- we have a "9/11" category on the newswire ostensibly for reports on the real issues of 9/11 -- environmental impact in NYC, treatment of police/fire/rescue first responders since 9/11, treatment of/issues regarding surviving familiies, etc. -- but all it's done is attract these goddamn' conspiracy k00ks -- especially Watson, who's pummelled our newswire so badly that we've shit-cannned his site's entire IP range. I often find myself wishing the IMC's Editorial Admin interface had global content filtering, so I could immediately, with a single keystroke, shit-can any stories containing the words/phrases "false flag", "Israeli art students", "inside job", or "pancake"...or, for that matter, auto-shit-can any story posted under the "9/11" category.

I just wish we had the balls to deal with that crap the way the NYC IMC does -- massive shit-canning with extreme prejudice; their attitude is "Fuck you, we live here, we lived through this shit." And while our scene wasn't as spectacular as the WTC, I think the DC IMC has every right to handle the "9/11 Tr00th" crap the same way.

Thanks for catching us up, though, on that whole load of Big-Time Pro Footballer About To Become Anti-War Dissident Icon rumours that have been rattling around forever.

The first fragging incident happened in Kuwait in 2003. 101st Airborne, if memory serves.


Tillman appears to be much more than a lunkhead who got murdered for being a lunkhead. Hasn't anyone read the stuff that got the wingnuts so upset about him and brought out all that selective hagiography from the Dems? He wanted to talk to Chomsky, which Chomsky confirmed.

"Sniveling" is something you'll hear frequently from more macho dudes and rough necks. Low end bars have plaques advising people not to snivel.


ya scruugs is on ticket
i got thrown
out of 'the half a crown ' tavern

for violating
three snivels and your out rule

as to r.i.p. pat

the original jaw bone of an ass warrior

i suspect
the usual suspects are suspicious
and the fragle rockers
are brillig

Actually, you're likely right on about the sniveling...

I don't know about real actual guys in the field, but I'm sure there's a fair number of your better war films in which grizzled infantry sergeants and officers are seen bitch-slapping shell-shocked privates and harshly admonishing them with admonishments containing the word "sniveling" somewhere in them...and Tillman was probably the kind of guy who regularly appreciated your better war films.

And, while I certainly can't argue with Chomsky's own confirmation...why the hell would a guy who's gotten enough on the ball to figure out the score and ask to see Chomsky -- and know how to use the word "sniveling" -- be the kind of guy to get himself fragged? Perhaps while not a lunkhead in principle, he was still a lunkhead in command...?


Mike, call me paranoid, but I think he was shot for starting to be unpleasant with too much pointed questioning of the Great and Noble Truth. Being a big, tough guy and all, he's not likely to have had many people wanting to settle his nascent heresy with fists. Apostates always get far worse treatment than people who never belonged. Apostates who can wallop their inquisitors get treated even worse.

FWIW, I encountered a lot of anti-snivelers in the south west and on the west coast, where Tillman spent time. It's one of those onomatopoeic words with a lot of shock value. It's in keeping for a jock to try to sharply snap someone out of hysteria. They don't cope well with displays of fear at the best of times and under stress are likely to be harsh.


He told him to shut the hell up and concentrate on the real, material world not some mother----ing abstraction. I don't see anything wrong or "macho" in that. As an atheist under fire, I don't think he wanted to die hearing some dickhead mumble about god into his ear in his last moments, but unfortunately that's exactly what happened.

Daniel Gilbert Smith:

This is almost 3 years after people wrote the stuff they did but I don't care I need to tell you all how big of piles of crap you are and I hope hell has a place for you all to lick each other's holes. Amherst College that's right a legit college and I'm coming at you for being horrible people. Pat Tillman died, he gave up millions of dollars and whether his last words were I'm Pat Tillman or God can't help you it does not matter. He gave everything up for what he loved. Why can't people respect that. It does not matter if he was killed by friendly fire. The war is happening get over it and give soldiers their credit. You people make me sick, thinking poorly of him because GOD gave him the talent to become a great football player. Making fun of him for being a jock. He was a human, a patriot, a soldier. Take your head out of your ass. I wish you weren't americans.

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