Mother of slain Army Ranger calls for removal of General McChrystal from committee

Saturday, April 16, 2011

File photograph of Patrick Tillman
Image: United States Department of Defense.)

Mary Tillman, mother of Pat Tillman, the former professional football player and U.S. Army Ranger who was killed by friendly fire on April 22nd, 2004 outside of the village of Sperah in Afghanistan, has objected to President Barack Obama's recent appointment of General Stanley McChrystal to chair a commission on military families.

Immediately after Tillman's death, the Army announced that his death was a result of enemy fire. General Stanley McChrystal authorized the Silver Star to be awarded to Tillman posthumously with the citation supporting the claim.

Reports indicate that McChrystal wrote a memo to President George W. Bush stating "if this becomes public this could be an embarrassment to the administration," referring the the actual details of Tillman's death. Mary Tillman believes there was an effort to cover up the true details of her son's death.

Mary Tillman believes McChrystal's handling of the circumstances surrounding the death of her son, makes him unfit to chair a commission that is intended to handle issues regarding military families.

President Obama meets with General McChrystal in 2009
Image: Pete Souza.

The commission is a low-level White House advisory panel, created by first lady Michelle Obama and second lady Jill Biden. General McChrystal's appointment to lead the commission comes less than a year after President Obama fired the former special operations commander from his position as the top commander for all forces in Afghanistan. General McChrystal was fired at that time for making comments to reporters critical of the President and civilian leadership.

General McChrystal could not be reached for comment.

In a recent press briefing, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was asked what the White House's response was to critics who say General McChrystal should not be on any sort of advisory committee having to do with military families. Carney responded by saying, "[T]he president feels strongly that General McChrystal is the right person to help lead this advisory committee on this vital issue."