By: E&P Staff
The long and wrenching saga of what happened to Pat Tillman will draw to climax on March 26, when the Pentagon releases a long-awaited report to the media, to Congress and to Tillman’s family.
The probe of the former footballer’s death by friendly fire (and possible coverup) lasted 18 months. Critics are already asking why the family — which has been critical of past military explanations — is not getting the report well ahead of time.
The investigation was conducted by the Office of the Inspector General at the Pentagon to determine whether criminal charges should be filed in Tillman’s April 22, 2004, death in Afghanistan — and whether high-ranking military officers attempted to cover up the fact that Tillman was killed by fellow Army Rangers.
Army Lt. Col. Brian Maka, a Pentagon spokesman, said the report would be released simultaneously to Congress, the Tillman family in San Jose and the media.
Rep. Mike Honda and Sen. Barbara Boxer wrote Thomas Gimble, acting inspector general of the department, urging him to provide the family with the findings of the investigation before they are made public.
“Obliging the Tillmans to face what will surely be substantial and immediate media attention without the benefit of reviewing the report’s results prior to its public release will place an undue additional burden on them,” Honda and Boxer wrote.