Oversight Committee Hearing on Tillman, Lynch Incidents

April 24, 2007
The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is currently holding a hearing entitled "Misleading Information from the Battlefield." The hearing will focus on the death of Army Ranger Specialist Patrick Tillman in Afghanistan and the capture and rescue of Army Private Jessica Lynch in Iraq. The Committee will examine why inaccurate accounts of these two incidents were disseminated, the sources and motivations for the accounts, and whether the appropriate Administration officials have been held accountable.

Specialist Tillman was killed near Manah, Afghanistan on April 22, 2004. Although the Defense Department reported that he had been killed by enemy combatants, it was later disclosed that Tillman's death was the result of friendly fire. Private Lynch was captured when her convoy became lost in An Nasariyah, Iraq, on March 23, 2003. Following her release, the Defense Department disseminated an account of her capture and rescue that turned out to be inaccurate and misleading.

Watch the hearing live >>

Chairman Henry Waxman:

"The bare minimum we owe our soldiers and their families is the truth. That didn't happen for the two most famous soldiers in the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. For Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman, the government violated its most basic responsibility. Sensational details and stories were invented in both cases. Sometimes, because of the fog of war, the first reports from the battlefield are inaccurate. But that doesn't seem to explain what happened here."

[Full transcript >>]

Specialist Patrick Tillman's brother, Kevin Tillman:

"My name is Kevin Tillman. Two days ago marked the third anniversary of the death of my older brother Patrick Tillman in Afghanistan. To our family and friends it was a devastating loss. To the nation t was a moment of disorientation. To the military, it was a nightmare. But to others within the government, it appears to have been an opportunity."

Army Private Jessica Lynch:

"I had the good fortune and the opportunity to come home and tell the truth. Many soldiers like Pat Tillman did not have that opportunity. The truth of war is not always easy. The truth is always more heroic than the hype."

Rep. Cummings (MD-07):

"This P4 memo was sent by General McChrystal, who was your brother's regiment commander in Afghanistan to three high-ranking generals including General Kensinger, the head of special operations, and General Abizaid, the head of Central Command. The P4 memo warns, and I quote, "It is highly possible that Corporal Tillman was killed by friendly fire." End of quote. And it seems to be responding to inquiries from the White House..."

[AP: Gen. Tried to Warn Bush on Tillman]

UPDATE: Further coverage on our main page >>