Sunday, July 29, 2007

Was Pat Tillman “Fair Game” just like Valerie Plame?

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It’s been a while since I got to speculate about a really juicy new conspiracy theory, but as I read the recent stories about how Pat Tillman may have been murdered, my mind keeps going back to Karl Rove’s statement that Valerie Plame was “fair game.”

We all know that this Administration is always quick to attack anyone who publicly challenges them. Often the attacks simply take the form of discrediting the person raising questions about their policies – using an army of conservative pundits to sling mud and confuse public opinion.

Occasionally, the attack must be more direct and harsh, such as when the person challenging their policies has enough experience and credibility to stand out from the flying mud. Such was the case of Ambassador Joe Wilson, as he spoke out against the reasons the Administration gave for going to war in Iraq, and we saw what happened as the OVP directed efforts, at the highest level of the Administration, to destroy his wife’s career.

So what do they do when their poster boy for recruitment into the armed forces becomes a vocal critic? And what do they do when the public, including a large chunk of their “support the war at all costs” base, overwhelmingly sees that critic as a patriotic hero? And when that critic is a “tough as nails” former NFL football player, who is used to facing off against the meanest, most aggressive, opponents in the world?

I once wrote about my own personal experience with the level of passion and loyalty to the Bush agenda that were inspired by Pat Tillman. This was right about the time of the initial invasion of Iraq. The experience was quite compelling, even for an anti-war progressive like myself.

But clearly that passion and loyalty would have fallen apart if Tillman had decided to begin speaking out against moving the war from Afghanistan to Iraq. It would have been a blow to the Bush Administrations’ plans that would greatly exceed that of Joe Wilson’s decision to speak out, because it would appeal not just to political junkies but to “Joe Six-Pack” as well! By its own pattern of responding to critics, Tillman’s criticism may even justify an attack more direct and harsh than efforts to punish his family!

I’ve heard several military experts suggest that the decision to cover up the investigation of Pat Tillman’s death could not have come from the level of command at which the current reprimands are being given. It would, they say, come from “the highest levels of the Pentagon.” The White House is refusing to release documents related to the incident, and is there any doubt that those documents include information related to the actual efforts to spin Tillman into a patriotic martyr after his death, in order to ensure that he continued to be a poster boy for military recruitment and loyalty to the Bush agenda?

I’m not saying that the President, or the Vice President, or Karl Rove, authorized the murder of Pat Tillman. But given the Bush Administrations’ willingness to allow torture, and the killing of innocent civilians in an immoral war, somehow using backchannels to get an overzealous soldier to off Pat Tillman in order to silence a critic isn’t that much of a stretch from what was done to the Wilsons!

Note: I understand most people seem to think that even if killing Tillman was a deliberate act, it was spontaneous rather than planned. All I’m saying is that with everything we’ve seen from this Administration, the pattern (which this post is primarily about) suggests the possibility!

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