Pat Tillman's mom unhappy with McChrystal

June 2, 2009 6:42:49 PM PDT
The friendly fire death in Afghanistan of former NFL star Pat Tillman was once again part of congressional hearings on Capitol Hill Tuesday.

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Lieutenant General Stanley McChrystal is President Barack Obama's nominee to reshape the military conflict in Afghanistan. He was in command of special operation forces in Afghanistan in 2004.

That is when Tillman, an Army Ranger, was killed and awarded the Silver Star for valor. But it was only after a very public memorial service that the military revealed Tillman was killed by friendly fire.

"In retrospect, they look contradictory because we sent a Silver Star that was not well written," McChrystal said.

Mary Tillman is not satisfied with McChrystal's answers, or for that matter, with the questions from the Senate Armed Services Committee.

"What's very disturbing is that Senator McCain himself was present at Pat's memorial and I would think he would be outraged that he was not told ahead of time or that he was lied to like everyone else," Mary Tillman said.

McChrystal admitted Tuesday he rushed the Silver Star award to honor Tillman even though he suspected the Army Rangers' own men fired the fatal shots.

"It still produced confusion at a tragic time and I'm very sorry for that," McChrystal said.

Mary Tillman says she neither accepts nor believes McChrystal's apology. She also says she declined a personal invitation from McCain to submit questions to him to ask at Tuesday's confirmation hearing.

Mary Tillman says she was put off by McCain's public endorsement of McCrystal and did not want her questions used as part of the confirmation process. Mary Tillman is also disappointed with the Obama administration for nominating a man who admitted he took part in interrogation techniques now considered torture.

"I think more effort should have been made on the part of the committee to find out more about his true nature, his true character and his true actions in terms of the detainee abuse and Pat's situation," Mary Tillman said.

McChrystal told the committee Tuesday that regardless of how Pat Tillman died, he earned the Silver Star by his actions.

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