In the latest investigation report released this week, that there's some evidence suggesting that Tillman's death in Afghanistan may not have even been accidental. Army medical examiners said the three bullet holes in his forehead appear to have been fired from an M-16 about 10 feet away. At that distance, it would be nearly impossible to mistake Tillman for anything other than a fellow officer. His fellow soldier, Spc. Bryan O'Neal, is reported to have testified that he heard Tillman say, "Cease fire, friendlies, I am Pat fucking Tillman, damn it!" many times during the conflict.
O'Neal recently filed his report of what happened on the ground, but said in a later interview that he didn't recognize several passages upon re-reading it. Someone changed it after he filed the report, he said. Who made the changes, though, has yet to be determined.
And an even bigger question looms: if Pat Tillman's death wasn't in fact accidental, why would anyone want him dead? A San Francisco Chronicle investigation found that "Interviews ... show a side of Pat Tillman not widely known -- a fiercely independent thinker who enlisted, fought, and died in service to his country, yet was critical of President Bush and opposed the war in Iraq, where he served a tour of duty." Josh Swiller, in an article for the Huffington Post, wrote that "Tillman was, contrary to the Republican portrayal of him as a reflexive patriot, deeply troubled by the war." Swiller and others suspect that Tillman's not-quite pro-war stance is what lead to his death.
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