Rall on Tillman, a Year Later

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By: E&P Staff

Just over a year ago, Ted Rall was deluged with e-mails criticizing his editorial cartoon about football player Pat Tillman’s decision to join the military. The cartoon questioned the wisdom of Tillman fighting in what Rall considered problematic wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Now, with Tillman’s family blasting the U.S. Army investigation and coverup of Tillman’s friendly-fire death, Rall today commented on the situation in his blog (at www.rall.com). He wrote: “While my first (egotistical) response was to say ‘I told you so’ — after all, right-wing blowhards spent much of 2004 insulting me as treasonous and anti-American for pointing out that Tillman made one hell of a stupid decision by enlisting in Bush’s oil-company security service after 9/11– even the death threats I’ve received pale next to the devastating loss suffered by Tillman’s parents.”

Rall added in his Monday blog entry: “Tillman was used. He enlisted based on the false premise that the U.S. military was fighting the terrorists who hit us. … He fought under the false premise that the U.S. military takes every step to keep their personnel safe. Even the circumstances of his death were covered up so that his story could be used as a ‘poster boy’ for recruitment. Tillman’s story, once told as the ultimate example of why and how young men and women should join Bush’s anti-Muslim oil crusade, has become exactly the opposite: a cautionary tale of a promising life squandered by misplaced hopes and beliefs.”

The majority of initial e-mails Rall received opposed his Tillman cartoon. But the Universal Syndicate creator told E&P last fall that about 60% of the nearly 9,000 messages that eventually arrived supported the cartoon.

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