Pat Tillman's Mom Accuses McChrystal of Cover-up

Family's anger burns six years after ex-football star's death

By Greg Wilson
|  Monday, Aug 16, 2010  |  Updated 4:12 PM PDT
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This damning film, which The Playlist called, U.S. government lied about the circumstances surrounding the death of NFL star turned enlisted man Pat Tillman." />

This damning film, which The Playlist called, "a thriller disguised as a documentary," tells the story of how the U.S. government lied about the circumstances surrounding the death of NFL star turned enlisted man Pat Tillman.

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A documentary about Pat Tillman is due out Friday and his mom is not mincing words about the scandal that followed the NFL star turned Army Ranger's death in Afghanistan.

In an interview on CBS' "Early Show," Mary Tillman accuses Gen. Stanley McChrystal of peddling the story of Tillman's heroic death when he knew the soldier had been killed by friendly fire.

"I wrote the book, came out in 2008, and I indicate that McChrystal was involved in orchestrating the cover-up," Mary Tillman said. "He falsified the Silver Star. He was very aware that Pat was killed by friendlies."

She went on to say that when she learned McChrystal was set to be promoted to head of the U.S. command in Afghanistan, she wrote President Obama and others to dissuade them from making the appointment. Tillman, whose newly released paperback version of her book, "Boots On the Ground By Dusk: Searching For Answers In the Death of Pat Tillman," has new allegations, said she hopes it and the documentary set the record straight.

"The documentary in part is to try to present Pat as a human being and not this caricature that was created," told CBS. "But the biggest reason for this documentary is to point out the horrible way that he was used. His death was lied about by the military, by the government. But he's not an isolated incident. This happens on a regular basis. It's a systemic problem. It's not isolated to the Bush Administration. It's happened for years. And it's tolerated.

"Troops (are) being killed and the military lies to the family about what really happened."

Pat Tillman was an all-pro safety for the Phoenix Cardinals when he left his career to become an Army Ranger following the 9/11 attacks. He was killed in April 2004 at age 28.

In the documentary, Russell Baer, an Army Ranger Specialist who served alongside Tillman and his brother Kevin in Afghanistan says his army commanders told him to lie to Tillman's family about his death, propping up the myth that Tillman was killed during a Taliban ambush.

McChrystal was fired last month by President Obama after saying unflattering things about the administration in an interview with Rolling Stone.

Selected Reading: NBC Sports, Huffington Post, Rolling Stone.

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