Monday, July 16, 2007

White House Continues With Corporal Tillman Cover-Up

"Because it might show we lied to Americans" is not a valid reason to decline a Congressional subpoena. But it appears that the Bush Administration is doing exactly that.

The backgrounds story is now well known. Pat Tillman, a safety for the Arizona Cardinals, gave up his professional football career and enlisted in the United States Army. In doing so, he became a role model for us all. He did what should be done. I want my kids to grow up by his example. When your country needs you, you serve.

Tragically, Corporal Tillman was killed in Afghanistan. It is clear that he was killed by friendly fire when his troops, in the heat of battle, fired on their own.

There is no shame in death by friendly fire. In war, it happens no matter how well troops are trained. Corporal Tillman died an honorable death. He and his troops served their country well.

It appears, however, that the Bush Administration did not share this view of Corporal Tillman's service. Instead, for reasons that appear to be purely political, they covered it up and claimed that the death was due to enemy fire. The reasoning is shameful. The Bush Administration appeared to claim that the death was somehow less honorable, and nothing could be further from the truth.

Rather than admitted its mistake, the Bush Administration is continuing with the shameful cover up. The Washington Post is reporting that White House counsel Fred Fielding has denied the demand for documents, claiming they "implicate Executive Branch confidentiality interests."

It is not clear what interests may exist. At this point, we would hope that the actual facts of the incident have been made public. The only thing not made public is why the Bush Administration made the decision to lie about the events to the American people. "Hiding our lies" does not appear to be a legitimate Executive Branch interest.

Finally, it is important to note that the request for documents was not partisan. The request was made jointly by a House Republican and a House Democrat. This is simply a case where the House wants to know about the cover up, and the White House has refused to comply.

Pat Tillman is model for all Americans. Fred Fielding and his clients in the White House are models of a different sort.

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