The Army found no evidence of criminal negligence. Pat Tillman's family is, to say the least, suspicious of both the Army's findings and its motivations. They met with Army officials the same moment the results of the investigation were being made public. Mary Tillman told reporters afterward:
Mary Tillman said she was not excluding the possibility that her son was shot intentionally.
"Pat was used," she said. "Once he was killed, I think they saw this as an opportunity." She noted that April 2004 was the worst month up to that time in the year-old Iraq war, and the shooting occurred right after the Abu Ghraib scandal broke.
Indeed. Here's what the family's statement said:
The meeting was a travesty, I mean we were lied to. They told us we were abusive, and I responded back that, you know, lying is a form of abuse, and we've been lied to for three years.
But what they did is make up a story. That's not a misstep, and that's not an error. They made up a story, it was presented on national television, and we believe they did that to promote the war.
“No one who knew Pat doubted his physical or moral courage,” the statement said. "But the award of the Silver Star appears more than anything to be part of a cynical design to conceal the real events from the family — but most especially from the public — while exploiting the death of our beloved Pat as a recruitment poster.”Wow. Pat Tillman came from a family of heroes.