Friday, July 27, 2007
Gen. Wesley Clark joined Olbermann on MSNBC's Countdown show last night to discuss the shocking new details concerning the death of Pat Tillman.
Olbermann and Clark speculate that the suppressed Army medical report that stated Tillman was shot three times in the head from just 10 yards indicates that a greater cover-up than "friendly fire" has been at work, that it came from the very top, and that Tillman was likely murdered.
Transcript appears below the video - after covering another topic the conversation shifts to Tillman.
Keith Olbermann: General Clark, let me turn from this story. We expected to spend all of our time with you tonight talking about this, but there have been two developments in the Pat Tillman story - a fiasco,here's not other word for it now - and this awful report tonight. Parsing through these documents obtained by the Associated Press that indicate that Army investigators were denied permission to see whether or not Pat Tillman's death in Afghanistan as an Army Ranger was a deliberate fragging, was a case of murder, even though the shots were seemingly so close together in his head that they, they looked to the doctors on the scene that they might've been fired from only ten yards away. Not only was there access denied here, but the Army lawyers were congratulating themselves in e-mail traffic from keeping this from becoming a criminal investigation. Do you think this case is still wide open?
GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Absolutely, and it should be. The, the evidence of some problems is very, very clear. Mary Tillman and the Tillman family have been incredibly courageous in pursuing the truth in this, and the truth is not yet out. If there's even a hint that there was something like a homicide or a murder in this case, it should've been fully investigated and proved or disproved, and we don't really know how far up- Was it the Secretary of Defense's office? Was it the White House? Where did the idea that you shouldn't give any indication of what happened to Tillman. 'Just go ahead and go through with the burial ceremony. Give him the Silver Star.' Where did that- where was that idea blessed? You can be sure that that idea did not originate or stop at the Two- or Three-Star level. That was- someone approved that all the way to the top, because Pat Tillman was a political symbol used by the administration when it suited their purposes.
Keith Olbermann: Well, we have assumed from the beginning that that was exactly the scenario that this possibility that his, his death from friendly fire would, would somehow effect, in some way that neither of us able- ever been able to understand, somehow effect people's appreciation for his patriotism and sacrifice. Does it not begin to look more and more like that, that we were going the wrong direction in this, that they were not trying to protect something, something slightly negative from coming out, but in fact coming- protecting the accusation that his mother has made and has not gotten a lot of attention to that, that perhaps he was indeed murdered? Were we, were, were we actually underestimating what was being covered up here?
GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: It's very possible. We, we just don't know, Keith. I think the responsible thing for the Pentagon to do and for the Congress to do is to demand that the investigation be reopened and people all the way up the chain of command to the very top discuss what happened, when, why, we get to the facts about why the, the murder charge wasn't fully investigated. I looked at some of the investigations. I looked at the tape. I looked at the rerun of the scene. I've met with the Tillman family. And honestly, the distance, even in- the investigators said that the shots were fired at less than a hundred meters, and okay the light was failing, but he had a clearly recognizable silhouette. His weapon was clearly visible - the type of weapon. It, it ,it's, it's really hard for people to understand this. The investigation needs to be reopened and followed through to its conclusion.
Keith Olbermann: As opposed to the ruling today that a Three-Star General is likely to be demoted, and other officers will be admonished. And that's it so far.
GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Yeah.
Keith Olbermann: General Wesley Clark, former Supreme, Supreme Allied Commander of NATO in Europe, our great thanks as always for being with us, Sir.GENERAL WESLEY CLARK: Thank you, Keith.