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Movie Review: The Tillman Story

November 12, 2010

Like a good American I did what we all do on holidays, I went to the movies. However, instead of going to be entertained I went to be challenge by a powerfully produced documentary that exposes yet another lie by the US government.

Last night I saw the recently release documentary film, The Tillman Story. The Tillman Story is about Pat Tillman, an professional football player who left the game to join the military after 9/11. Tillman was the consummate all American hero, who not only was killed by his fellow soldiers, but was used by the government to sell the War on Terror.

The documentary tracks both the life of Pat Tillman and the military cover up that began immediately after his death. Tillman was first deployed in Iraq in 2003 and was involved in the bogus rescue of Private Jessica Lynch. Tillman’s brother, who joined the military with his brother said that after being in Iraq for just a few weeks, Pat told him while they watch US planes bomb residential areas of Baghdad, “this war is fucking illegal.”

Disillusioned with what he saw in Iraq, Tillman was then deployed to Afghanistan to conduct search missions on the Taliban. Tillman and his squad were sent to a village and along the way were separated from half of that squad. Tillman and other soldiers heard gunfire and set out on foot over a mountain ridge to see what was happening. When Tillman came over the ridge his fellow squad members opened fire and viciously killed him.

The documentary takes you down the difficult road that his family would have to travel to get the truth about what happened. Initially, Tillman’s family and wife were told he died fighting the enemy, but once questions were asked the story began to unravel.

This is an incredible story of government and military cover up that after two years was first investigated because Tillman’s father sent a letter to government officials accusing them of lying. The government then wanted to put the blame at the feet of a lower level officer, until an AP reporter was given a military memo that demonstrated that high-ranking officials knew that Tillman was killed by his fellow troops.

The documentary ends with a powerful narrative and scenes from a Congressional hearing where several US Generals, including Stanley McCrystal and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld boldly lied to members of Congress about what they knew and when they knew it.

This is a must see film for anyone who thinks the war in Afghanistan is for a noble cause and it is an important film for those already opposed since it provides another powerful resource to build greater opposition.


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