Friday, March 23, 2007

CBS News Exclusive: New Finding in Pat Tillman's Death

WASHINGTON (KCBS) -- CBS News has learned that an investigation by the Pentagon inspector-general into the "friendly fire" death of San Jose's own football-star-turned-soldier, Pat Tillman, will blame nine officers, including four generals, for failing to follow regulations and using poor judgement in a series of missteps that kept the truth of how he died from his family for more than a month.

From her home in San Jose, Tillman's mother, Mary, told KCBS that the Pentagon has not contacted her, and that the investigation's conclusions were "absolute news to me." She declined further comment.

The official version of his death was that the former NFL player had died in a firefight with the enemy and it was only after a national televised memorial service was held that Tillman's wife and parents were told he had been mistakenly shot by one of his own men.

Until now only the soldiers who were part of Tillman's unit of Army Rangers have been disciplined for the events which resulted in his death. It will be up to the Army to decide what if any disciplinary action will be taken against the nine officers.

In May of 2002, Tillman turned down a $3.6-million contract with the NFL Arizona Cardinals to enlist in the Army. He fought in Iraq, then Afghanistan, where he died in April of 2004.

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