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Sunday, October 02, 2005

Played for Chumps: Pat Tillman and Lynndie England

There was a time in the United States when there wasn't consensus in the scientific community that smoking causes cancer. Those who began to smoke before the truth became known have my sympathies. To a lesser degree, I sympathize with those who fall prey to slick advertising,peer pressure, etc. If you start smoking in 2005, you're a chump. If you get a big old nasty tumour,(and I hope you don't), you can't say everyone from the American Lung Association to Frank Zappa didn't warn you.

A few years ago, Ted Rall became America's most hated columnist/cartoonist by referring to the then recently-deceased Pat Tillman as a chump. As you may recall, Tillman was a linebacker for the Arizona Cardinals who forsook his lucrative career in order to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan.

At the time, I felt Rall's words were incredibly insensitive, inappropriate, and probably hurtful to Tillman's family. I still do.

Now, three years later, we find that Tillman wasn't the man the Pentagon made him out to be. In fact, he was a better man--more brain than brainstem. In their attempt to make him a posterboy for their cause, the Pentagon dishonored his memory.

I have to wonder what would upset Pat Tillman more: being called a chump by a provocateur columnist, or being played for a chump by the very government he vowed to serve?

Editor and Publisher
has the goods:

The Chronicle also revealed that interviews “show a side of Pat Tillman not widely known -- a fiercely independent thinker who enlisted, fought, and died in service to his country yet was critical of President Bush and opposed the war in Iraq, where he served a tour of duty. He was an avid reader whose interests ranged from history books on World War II and Winston Churchill to works of leftist Noam Chomsky, a favorite author...

Read It:

Over the weekend, Lynndie England was sentenced to three years for her role in the Abu Ghraib scandal. The same Pentagon that created the gung-ho Audie Murphy Pat Tillman Bush Cheerleader Doll created the product known as the "Rogue Soldier"--the official scapegoat for torture directives that came from higher up.

Once again, I have to ask, what do you think is more objectionable to the soldier involved? Being called a chump by a provocateur columnist, or being played for a chump by the government you've vowed to serve?

The message I get from what happened to Tillman and England is this: If you want to be played for a chump, join the military.

Read Here:

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