[House Report 110-858]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]



                                                 Union Calendar No. 555
110th Congress}                                                { Report
   2d Session }         HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES               {110-858
                                                                _______________________________________________________________________

 
  MISLEADING INFORMATION FROM THE BATTLEFIELD: THE TILLMAN AND LYNCH 
                                EPISODES 

                               __________

                              FIRST REPORT

                                 by the

              COMMITTEE ON OVERSIGHT AND GOVERNMENT REFORM

                             together with

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

                                     
[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]

                                     

  Available via the World Wide Web: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/congress/
                               index.html
                      http://www.house.gov/reform

 September 16, 2008.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                               -----
                     U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 

69-006 PDF                      WASHINGTON : 2008 





































              COMMITTEE ON OVERSIGHT AND GOVERNMENT REFORM

                 HENRY A. WAXMAN, California, Chairman
EDOLPHUS TOWNS, New York             TOM DAVIS, Virginia
PAUL E. KANJORSKI, Pennsylvania      DAN BURTON, Indiana
CAROLYN B. MALONEY, New York         CHRISTOPHER SHAYS, Connecticut
ELIJAH E. CUMMINGS, Maryland         JOHN M. McHUGH, New York
DENNIS J. KUCINICH, Ohio             JOHN L. MICA, Florida
DANNY K. DAVIS, Illinois             MARK E. SOUDER, Indiana
JOHN F. TIERNEY, Massachusetts       TODD RUSSELL PLATTS, Pennsylvania
WM. LACY CLAY, Missouri              CHRIS CANNON, Utah
DIANE E. WATSON, California          JOHN J. DUNCAN, Jr., Tennessee
STEPHEN F. LYNCH, Massachusetts      MICHAEL R. TURNER, Ohio
BRIAN HIGGINS, New York              DARRELL E. ISSA, California
JOHN A. YARMUTH, Kentucky            KENNY MARCHANT, Texas
BRUCE L. BRALEY, Iowa                LYNN A. WESTMORELAND, Georgia
ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON, District of   PATRICK T. McHENRY, North Carolina
    Columbia                         VIRGINIA FOXX, North Carolina
BETTY McCOLLUM, Minnesota            BRIAN P. BILBRAY, California
JIM COOPER, Tennessee                BILL SALI, Idaho
CHRIS VAN HOLLEN, Maryland           JIM JORDAN, Ohio
PAUL W. HODES, New Hampshire
CHRISTOPHER S. MURPHY, Connecticut
JOHN P. SARBANES, Maryland
PETER WELCH, Vermont
JACKIE SPEIER, California

                      Phil Barnett, Staff Director
                       Earley Green, Chief Clerk
               Lawrence Halloran, Minority Staff Director


                         LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL

                              ----------                              

                                  House of Representatives,
                                Washington, DC, September 16, 2008.
Hon. Nancy Pelosi,
Speaker of the House of Representatives,
Washington, DC.
    Dear Ms. Speaker: By direction of the Committee on 
Oversight and Government Reform, I submit herewith the 
committee's first report to the 110th Congress.
                                           Henry A. Waxman,
                                                          Chairman.

                                 (iii)

                                     









































                              C O N T E N T S

_______________________________________________________________________
                                                                   Page
Executive Summary................................................     1
  I. Investigations into Corporal Tillman's Death.....................6
        A. Investigations by the Department of Defense...........     6
        B. The Committee's Investigation.........................     9
 II. Chronology of Events Related to Corporal Tillman................11
        A. The Military Service of Corporal Patrick Tillman......    11
        B. Initial Pentagon Reactions............................    11
        C. Early Reports of Friendly Fire........................    13
        D. The Silver Star Award and Corporal Tillman's Memorial     15
            Service.
        E. The Announcement of the Fratricide....................    16
III. The White House Response........................................20
        A. News Breaks at White House............................    20
        B. Statement Issued Prematurely..........................    22
        C. Discussion of Corporal Tillman in Presidential Speech.    24
        D. Knowledge of Fratricide...............................    27
 IV. Secretary Rumsfeld's Response...................................29
  V. General Myers's Response........................................32
 VI. General Abizaid's Response......................................35
VII. The Response of Other Senior Military Leaders...................36
        A. General Bryan Brown...................................    36
        B. Lieutenant General Philip Kensinger...................    37
VIII.
     The Response to the Capture and Rescue of Private Jessica Lynch.41
        A. Private Lynch's Capture and Rescue....................    41
        B. The Dissemination of Inaccurate Information...........    41
        C. The Response of Public Affairs Officials..............    45
 IX. Other Cases Brought to the Committee's Attention................46
  X. Conclusion......................................................47

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

Additional Views of Hon. Tom Davis...............................    50

                                  (v)

  
                                                 Union Calendar No. 555
110th Congress                                                   Report
   2d Session                                                   110-858
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

======================================================================


  MISLEADING INFORMATION FROM THE BATTLEFIELD: THE TILLMAN AND LYNCH 
                                EPISODES

                                _______
                                

 September 16, 2008.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Henry A. Waxman, from the Committee on Oversight and Government 
                    Reform, submitted the following

                              FIRST REPORT

                             together with


                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

    On July 17, 2008, the Committee on Oversight and Government 
Reform approved and adopted a report entitled ``Misleading 
Information from the Battlefield: The Tillman and Lynch 
Episodes.'' The chairman was directed to transmit a copy to the 
Speaker of the House.

                           EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

    This report summarizes what the Oversight Committee has 
learned about (1) the misleading information given to the 
Tillman family and the public following the death of Corporal 
Patrick Tillman on April 22, 2004, and (2) the misleading 
information released about the capture and rescue of Private 
Jessica Lynch in Iraq in March and April, 2003.
    Corporal Tillman and Private Lynch are the two most famous 
soldiers in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The misinformation 
in both their cases is an unconscionable distraction from their 
actual service and heroism. Their dedication to country and 
willingness to voluntarily put themselves at great risk are 
extraordinary examples of patriotism and bravery.
    The military has conducted seven separate investigations 
into Corporal Tillman's death by friendly fire in the mountains 
of Afghanistan. Two early Army investigations focused on 
reconstructing the events that resulted in the shooting. The 
scope of later investigations was broadened to include 
evaluations of whether military officials complied with the 
Army's casualty notification regulations, whether military 
personnel involved in Corporal Tillman's death committed 
criminal acts, and whether the previous investigations had been 
properly conducted.
    These investigations have looked down the chain of command, 
resulting in punishment or reprimands for enlisted personnel 
and officers who acted improperly before and after Corporal 
Tillman's death. To date, the highest ranking officer to 
receive a punishment related to Corporal Tillman's death is a 
three-star general.
    In contrast, the Committee's investigation into Corporal 
Tillman's fratricide has looked up the chain of command. The 
purpose of the investigation has been to determine what the top 
officials at the White House and the Defense Department knew 
about Corporal Tillman's fratricide, when they knew this, and 
what they did with their knowledge.
    The Committee's investigation adds many new details to the 
Tillman story. But on the key issue of what senior officials 
knew, the investigation was frustrated by a near universal lack 
of recall. The Committee interviewed several senior officials 
at the White House, including Communications Director Dan 
Bartlett, Press Secretary Scott McClellan, and chief 
speechwriter Michael Gerson. Not a single one could recall when 
he learned about the fratricide or what he did in response.
    Similarly, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld told the 
Committee: ``I don't recall when I was told and I don't recall 
who told me.''
    The highest-ranking official who could recall being 
informed about Corporal Tillman's fratricide was former 
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Richard Myers, 
who said, ``I knew right at the end of April, that there was a 
possibility of fratricide in the Corporal Tillman death.'' 
General Myers testified that it would have been ``logical'' for 
him to pass this information to Secretary Rumsfeld, but said 
``I just don't recall whether I did it or not.'' He also said 
he could not recall ``ever having a discussion with anybody in 
the White House about the Tillman case, one way or another.''
    The Committee's investigation into the inaccurate accounts 
of Private Lynch's capture and rescue also encountered a 
consistent lack of recollection. Witnesses who should have 
possessed relevant information were interviewed by the 
Committee. They said they had no knowledge of how the report 
that Private Lynch fired her weapon and was wounded during her 
capture was spread to the media and the public. Nor could they 
explain why it took so long for the military to correct the 
inaccurate story of the ``little girl Rambo from the hills of 
West Virginia'' that was widely reported during the opening 
days of the Iraq war.

          The White House Response to Corporal Tillman's Death

    The death of Corporal Tillman on April 22, 2004, generated 
a flurry of attention and action inside the White House. On the 
day following his death, April 23, White House officials sent 
or received nearly 200 e-mails concerning Corporal Tillman. 
Several e-mails came from staff members on President Bush's 
reelection campaign, who urged the President to respond 
publicly to Corporal Tillman's death. The White House did 
respond, rushing out a statement notwithstanding a Department 
of Defense policy intended to provide a 24-hour period for 
private grieving before officials publicly discuss a casualty.
    In comparison to the extensive White House activity that 
followed Corporal Tillman's death, the complete absence of any 
communications about his fratricide is hard to understand. The 
Committee requested all White House documents related to 
Corporal Tillman. The White House provided what it described as 
a complete response, giving the Committee access to 
approximately 1,500 pages of e-mails and other documents and 
withholding only drafts of a speech in which the President 
discussed Corporal Tillman. Yet there is not a single 
discussion of the fratricide in any of these communications.
    On April 29, 2004, Major General Stanley McChrystal sent a 
``personal for'' or ``P4'' memorandum up his chain of command. 
This memo warned that the President might be preparing a speech 
about Corporal Tillman without knowing that he was killed by 
friendly fire, and it urged the generals receiving the memo to 
prevent any ``unknowing statements by our country's leaders 
which might cause public embarrassment if the circumstances of 
Corporal Tillman's death become public.'' When the President 
spoke about Corporal Tillman's death in a speech at the White 
House Correspondents' Dinner two days later, the President 
commented on Corporal Tillman's character and his sacrifice in 
enlisting, but did not address the circumstances of Corporal 
Tillman's death.
    The Committee interviewed seven officials in the White 
House about the response to Corporal Tillman's death. 
Universally, these officials said they could not recall when 
they learned about the fratricide or when the President 
learned. Former presidential speechwriter Michael Gerson, who 
worked on the President's May 1 speech at the Correspondents' 
Dinner, said that he could not remember when he learned about 
the friendly fire, whether he knew about it while preparing the 
Correspondents' Dinner speech, or whether he ever discussed the 
fratricide with the President.
    Former Communications Director Dan Bartlett said he did not 
have a ``specific recollection'' of when he learned of the 
friendly fire. Asked whether he informed the President of the 
fratricide, he stated, ``I don't remember a particular 
conversation, but I can't rule out that I talked to him about 
it.'' Former Press Secretary Scott McClellan said he also could 
not remember when he or the President learned about the 
fratricide.

       Secretary Rumsfeld's Response to Corporal Tillman's Death

    Secretary Rumsfeld took a personal interest in Pat 
Tillman's enlistment in the U.S. Army Rangers in 2002. Just 
after Corporal Tillman enlisted, Secretary Rumsfeld sent him a 
personal note commending him for his ``proud and patriotic'' 
decision. Around the same time, Secretary Rumsfeld wrote a 
``snowflake'' memorandum to the Secretary of the Army, noting 
that Corporal Tillman ``sound[s] like he is world-class'' and 
saying, ``We might want to keep our eye on him.''
    Testifying before the Committee, Secretary Rumsfeld said he 
had no recollection of when he learned about the fratricide or 
what he did in response. He testified, ``I don't recall when I 
was told and I don't recall who told me. But my recollection is 
that it was at a stage when there were investigations under 
way.''

          General Myers's Response to Corporal Tillman's Death

    The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Richard 
Myers, learned of Corporal Tillman's death soon after it 
occurred. One day after Corporal Tillman's death, General Myers 
called the commissioner of the National Football League to 
inform him of the incident.
    General Myers also learned quickly about the possible 
fratricide. He told the Committee that he knew by the end of 
April, but could not recall whether he informed Secretary 
Rumsfeld or President Bush. General Myers did recall discussing 
the fratricide with his public affairs advisor, telling him, 
``We need to keep this in mind in case we go before the press. 
We've just got to calibrate ourselves. With this investigation 
ongoing, we want to be careful how we portray the situation.'' 
General Myers told the Committee that he had no responsibility 
to share the information about the possible fratricide with the 
Tillman family or the public.

         General Abizaid's Response to Corporal Tillman's Death

    General John Abizaid, commanding general at CENTCOM and the 
main addressee on General McChrystal's P4 message, testified 
that due to a delay at his headquarters, he did not receive the 
P4 message until approximately May 6, 2004, a week after it was 
sent. When he finally received the message, he immediately 
called the Joint Chiefs chairman, General Myers, and discovered 
that General Myers was already aware of the potential 
fratricide.
    General Abizaid also testified that after returning from 
theater to Washington, DC, he informed Secretary Rumsfeld 
sometime between May 18 and May 20, 2004, that ``there was an 
investigation that was ongoing, and it looked like it was 
friendly fire.''

  The Response of Other Senior Military Leaders to Corporal Tillman's 
                                 Death

    The Committee investigated the response of other top 
military leaders in Corporal Tillman's chain of command, 
including General Bryan Brown of U.S. Special Operations 
Command (SOCOM) and Lieutenant General Philip Kensinger of U.S. 
Army Special Operations Command (USASOC). General Brown 
testified to the Committee that he received General 
McChrystal's P4 message in late April, but made no effort to 
notify his superiors or the Tillman family about the potential 
fratricide. He said he made the ``bad assumption'' that these 
tasks would be handled by the ``normal chain of command.''
    General Kensinger declined to testify before the Committee 
in August 2007, but later agreed to be interviewed by Committee 
staff. He acknowledged that he did not inform the Tillman 
family as soon as he found out about the potential fratricide, 
but claimed that he only learned about the fratricide after 
attending the May 3, 2004, memorial for Corporal Tillman. This 
version of events was contradicted by General Kensinger's 
deputy, Brigadier General Howard Yellen, who told Committee 
staff that he spoke with General Kensinger about the fratricide 
within two or three days after it occurred. It was also 
contradicted by Lieutenant Colonel David Duffy, who testified 
that he personally delivered the P4 message to General 
Kensinger three days before the memorial service, and by 
Colonel Clarence Chinn, deputy commander of the 75th Ranger 
Regiment, who testified that General Kensinger informed him 
that Corporal Tillman's death was a possible fratricide.

    The Response to the Capture and Rescue of Private Jessica Lynch

    In the opening days of the Iraq war, a false account of the 
capture and rescue of Private Jessica Lynch became a front-page 
story across the country. Defense Department officials have 
openly acknowledged that the account of Private Jessica Lynch's 
capture and rescue in the opening days of the Iraq war was an 
``awesome story,'' but they could not explain to the Committee 
how and why the embellished account became so widely 
disseminated. Key public affairs officials told the Committee 
they could not recall any details of the Jessica Lynch 
incident.

            I. INVESTIGATIONS INTO CORPORAL TILLMAN'S DEATH

             A. INVESTIGATIONS BY THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

    There have been seven investigations conducted by the 
Department of Defense into the death of Corporal Tillman in 
Afghanistan on April 22, 2004, and the Department's response. 
Each investigation has had serious flaws or limitations on its 
scope.
    In the days following Corporal Tillman's death, the 2nd 
Battalion of the 75th Ranger Regiment conducted an Army 
Regulation 15-6 investigation (commonly referred to as a ``15-
6'' investigation) into the circumstances surrounding the 
casualty.\1\ This investigation reportedly concluded that 
Corporal Tillman's death was a likely fratricide.\2\ In a 
subsequent review of this investigation, the Defense Department 
Inspector General concluded that it was ``tainted by the 
failure to preserve evidence, a lack of thoroughness, and the 
failure to pursue investigative leads.'' \3\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\ Captain Richard M. Scott, Commander, Headquarters & Headquarter 
Company, 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, AR 15-6 Final Report 
[Incomplete Draft] (Apr. 29, 2004).
    \2\ Id. Although a complete draft of Captain Scott's report has not 
been located, the Department of Defense Inspector General collected 
available drafts and exhibits and identified Captain Scott's major 
findings. Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, Review of 
Matters Related to the Death of Corporal Patrick Tillman, U.S. Army, at 
7 (Mar. 26, 2007) (IPO2007E001).
    \3\ Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, Review of 
Matters Related to the Death of Corporal Patrick Tillman, U.S. Army, at 
2 (Mar. 26, 2007) (IPO2007E001).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    In early May, the commander of the 75th Regiment decided 
not to approve the battalion-level investigation because ``he 
did not find the work thorough or complete and concluded 
further investigation by someone more senior from the 
regimental level was required.'' \4\ He instead authorized a 
new regimental-level 15-6 investigation, which was approved by 
U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) on May 28, 2004.\5\ This 
investigation concluded that ``CPL Tillman's death was the 
result of fratricide during an extremely chaotic enemy 
ambush.'' \6\ The Inspector General found this second 15-6 
investigation also ``lacked credibility,'' in part because the 
investigator ``failed to visit the scene,'' ``failed to 
identify and interview relevant witnesses,'' and drew 
conclusions that ``were not based on evidence included in the 
report.'' \7\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\ Id. at 20.
    \5\ U.S. Central Command, Report of Fratricide Investigation (May 
28, 2004) (containing May 8, 2004, AR 15-6 report by Lieutenant Colonel 
Ralph L. Kauzlarich, Executive Officer, 75th Ranger Regiment).
    \6\ Id. at 1.
    \7\ Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, Review of 
Matters Related to the Death of Corporal Patrick Tillman, U.S. Army, at 
2, 31-32 (Mar. 26, 2007) (IPO2007E001).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    In August 2004, after an inquiry from the Tillman family, 
Army officials discovered that another investigation required 
by Army regulations, a ``safety investigation,'' had not been 
initiated.\8\ Three months later, in October 2004, the friendly 
fire incident was belatedly reported to the Army's Safety 
Center, which produced a report in December of that year.\9\ 
The safety report concluded that a ``high volume of fire'' from 
several Rangers ``struck one of the Rangers in the fighting 
position, fatally wounding him.'' \10\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \8\ Id. Army rules require both a 15-6 ``legal'' investigation and 
a prompt safety investigation in cases of fratricide. Army Regulation 
385-40 (1994); DOD Instruction 6055.7 (2000).
    \9\ Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, Review of 
Matters Related to the Death of Corporal Patrick Tillman, U.S. Army 
(Mar. 26, 2007) (IPO2007E001).
    \10\ U.S. Army Safety Center, U.S. Army Accident Report, Date of 
Accident 040422 (undated).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    In response to further inquiries from the Tillman family, 
the Army's Special Operations Command (USASOC) authorized in 
November 2004 another 15-6 investigation into the events 
surrounding Corporal Tillman's death. This investigation was 
completed in January 2005.\11\ The scope of this investigation 
included not only the circumstances of Corporal Tillman's 
death, but also subsequent communications within Corporal 
Tillman's chain of command.\12\ One of this investigation's 
conclusions was that the Army's failure to immediately tell the 
Tillman family about the fratricide suspicions was ``due to a 
desire to complete the investigation and gather all available 
facts, so as not to give the family an inaccurate or incomplete 
picture of what happened.'' \13\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \11\ Brigadier General Gary M. Jones, U.S. Army Special Operations 
Command, Army Regulation (AR) 15-6 Investigation--CPL Patrick Tillman 
(Jan. 7, 2005).
    \12\ Id.
    \13\ Id. at 10.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Reviewing this third 15-6 investigation, the Defense 
Department Inspector General concluded that the report ``did 
not address accountability for failures by the chain of 
command--to comply with Army policy for reporting and 
investigating friendly fire incidents, to coordinate with other 
investigative authorities, to provide timely information 
concerning suspected friendly fire to CPL Tillman's next of 
kin, and to ensure accuracy in documentation submitted in 
support of the Silver Star'' posthumously awarded to Corporal 
Tillman.\14\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \14\ Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, Review of 
Matters Related to the Death of Corporal Patrick Tillman, U.S. Army, at 
3 (Mar. 26, 2007) (IPO2007E001).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    After Corporal Tillman's family and others questioned the 
thoroughness and objectivity of this fourth Army investigation, 
the Department of Defense Inspector General and the Army 
Criminal Investigation Command (CID) undertook concurrent 
investigations into Corporal Tillman's death. The results of 
these two investigations were provided to the Acting Secretary 
of the Army, Pete Geren, on March 26, 2007.\15\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \15\ Id.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    The IG investigation found that ``Corporal Tillman's chain 
of command made critical errors in reporting Corporal Tillman's 
death and in assigning investigative jurisdiction in the days 
following his death.'' \16\ The IG also determined that a 
Silver Star posthumously awarded to Corporal Tillman was based 
on documents with ``materially inaccurate statements'' that 
``erroneously implied that CPL Tillman died by enemy fire.'' 
\17\ An official from the Inspector General's office testified 
before the Committee that the IG concluded that two statements 
written in support of the Silver Star award had been altered 
``somewhere in the approval chain.'' \18\ But he stated that 
his office did not attempt to determine which computers were 
used to alter the statements or who had access to the 
statements when they were altered.\19\ Nevertheless, the IG 
concluded that Corporal Tillman's ``immediate superiors 
believed his actions merited the award'' notwithstanding the 
friendly fire.\20\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \16\ Id. at 2.
    \17\ Id. at 54.
    \18\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Testimony 
of Thomas Gimble, Acting Defense Department Inspector General, Hearing 
on Misleading Information from the Battlefield, 110th Cong., at 99 
(Apr. 24, 2007) (Serial No. 110-54).
    \19\ Id.
    \20\ Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, Review of 
Matters Related to the Death of Corporal Patrick Tillman, U.S. Army, at 
54 (Mar. 26, 2007) (IPO2007E001).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    The CID investigation concluded that the soldiers who fired 
at Corporal Tillman ``believed they were under enemy fire and 
were returning fire at enemy combatants.'' \21\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \21\ U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, Report of 
Investigation into Death of Corporal Tillman and AMF Soldier Thani, at 
2 (Mar. 19, 2007).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Neither the IG nor the CID investigation examined the 
actions of top military leaders including the Secretary of 
Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. For 
example, neither report determined whether these leaders were 
forwarded General McChrystal's P4 message.
    On the same day the IG and CID reports were completed, 
March 26, 2007, Acting Secretary Geren directed the commander 
of the Army Training and Doctrine Command, General William 
Wallace, to independently review the findings of the earlier 
investigations into Corporal Tillman's death.\22\ As a four-
star general and one of the highest-ranking officers in the 
Army, General Wallace had the authority to independently 
investigate the matter and discipline officers below his rank.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \22\ Executive Summary, Army Action--Department of Defense 
Inspector General (DoDIG) Report Related to the Death of Corporal (CPL) 
Patrick D. Tillman (undated).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    On July 31, 2007, the Army wrote Chairman Waxman and 
Ranking Member Tom Davis that General Wallace had completed his 
review and generally supported the findings of the IG and CID 
investigations.\23\ This letter also informed the Committee 
that General Wallace had sanctioned seven officers for their 
actions in the aftermath of Corporal Tillman's death.\24\ The 
officers sanctioned included four general officers and three 
field-grade officers. The highest-ranking officer to be 
sanctioned was now-retired Lieutenant General Philip Kensinger, 
the former commander of the Army's Special Operations Command 
(USASOC).\25\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \23\ Letter from Major General Galen B. Jackman, Chief of 
Legislative Liaison, U.S. Army, to Henry A. Waxman, Chairman, House 
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (July 31, 2007); Letter 
from Major General Galen B. Jackman, Chief of Legislative Liaison, U.S. 
Army, to Tom Davis, Ranking Member, House Committee on Oversight and 
Government Reform (July 31, 2007).
    \24\ Id.; see also Executive Summary, Army Action--Department of 
Defense Inspector General (DoDIG) Report Related to the Death of 
Corporal (CPL) Patrick D. Tillman (undated).
    \25\ Id.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Also on July 31, 2007, Army Secretary Pete Geren publicly 
announced General Wallace's findings. Although he denied that 
there was a ``conspiracy . . . to deceive the public,'' he 
stated:

        [T]here was a perfect storm of mistakes, misjudgments, 
        and a failure of leadership that brought us where we 
        are today, with the Army's credibility in question 
        about a matter that strikes at the very heart of Army 
        core values--our commitment to our fallen soldiers and 
        their grieving families; soldiers' loyalty to fallen 
        soldiers.\26\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \26\ Defense Department Briefing with Secretary of the Army Pete 
Geren and Vice Chief of Staff of the Army General Richard Cody (July 
31, 2007).

    CENTCOM Commander General John Abizaid, in testimony before 
this Committee, assessed the military's response to Corporal 
Tillman's death more bluntly, saying, ``It's very difficult to 
come to grips with how we screwed this thing up. But we screwed 
this thing up.'' \27\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \27\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Testimony 
of General John Abizaid, Hearing on the Tillman Fratricide: What the 
Leadership of the Defense Department Knew, 110th Cong., at 217 (Aug. 1, 
2007) (Serial No. 110-49).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

                    B. THE COMMITTEE'S INVESTIGATION

    The Committee began its investigation into Corporal 
Tillman's death in April 2007. On April 24, 2007, the Committee 
held a hearing during which it received testimony from two 
members of Corporal Tillman's family, an Army Ranger who was an 
eyewitness to Corporal Tillman's death, the acting Department 
of Defense Inspector General, and the commander of the Army 
Criminal Investigation Command.\28\ The Committee also took 
testimony from former Private First Class Jessica Lynch, who 
described the misinformation surrounding her capture and rescue 
in Iraq in 2003.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \28\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Hearing on 
Misleading Information from the Battlefield, 110th Cong. (Apr. 24, 
2007) (Serial No. 110-54).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Members of Corporal Tillman's family and Private Lynch 
testified that government officials spread inaccurate accounts 
of what happened to Corporal Tillman and Private Lynch on the 
battlefield. They stated that these misleading narratives 
provided inspiring stories of heroism for the American public, 
but they fundamentally mischaracterized the two soldiers' 
actual conduct and sacrifice.
    Corporal Tillman's brother Kevin Tillman, a former Army 
Ranger who served together with his brother in Afghanistan, 
testified that the story of Corporal Tillman's death by enemy 
fire that spread in the weeks after his death was ``utter 
fiction,'' and said he believed it was intended to distract the 
public from the unsuccessful siege of Fallujah, the emerging 
story of detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib, and other bad news about 
the war.\29\ He stated:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \29\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Testimony 
of Kevin Tillman, Hearing on Misleading Information from the 
Battlefield, 110th Cong., at 17 (Apr. 24, 2007) (Serial No. 110-54).

        In the days leading up to Pat's memorial service, media 
        accounts, based on information provided by the Army and 
        the White House, were wreathed in a patriotic glow and 
        became more dramatic in tone. A terrible tragedy that 
        might have further undermined support for the war in 
        Iraq was transformed into an inspirational message that 
        served instead to support the nation's foreign policy 
        wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.\30\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \30\ Id.

    Following the April 24, 2007, hearing, Chairman Waxman and 
Ranking Member Davis decided that the Committee's investigation 
into Corporal Tillman's fratricide would focus on the actions 
of officials at the top of the chain of command. Specifically, 
the Committee sought to determine when the President, senior 
White House officials, the Secretary of Defense, and other top 
military leaders learned that Corporal Tillman had been killed 
as a result of friendly fire and what they did upon learning 
this information. The Committee also posed questions regarding 
the dissemination of misleading information pertaining to the 
capture and rescue of Private Lynch.
    The Committee held a second hearing on August 1, 2007, 
during which it received testimony from former Secretary of 
Defense Donald Rumsfeld; former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of 
Staff, General Richard Myers; former commander of U.S. Central 
Command, General John Abizaid; and former commander of U.S. 
Special Operations Command (SOCOM), General Bryan Brown, about 
their knowledge of the circumstances of Corporal Tillman's 
death.\31\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \31\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Hearing on 
the Tillman Fratricide: What the Leadership of the Defense Department 
Knew, 110th Cong. (Aug. 1, 2007) (Serial No. 110-49).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    In the course of the Committee's investigation, the 
Committee requested that the White House produce all documents 
received or generated by any official in the Executive Office 
of the President from April 22 until July 1, 2004, that related 
to Corporal Tillman.\32\ The Committee reviewed approximately 
1,500 pages produced in response to this request. The documents 
produced to the Committee included e-mail communications 
between senior White House officials holding the title of 
``Assistant to the President.'' According to the White House, 
the White House withheld from the Committee only preliminary 
drafts of the speech President Bush delivered at the White 
House Correspondents' Dinner on May 1, 2004.\33\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \32\ Letter from Henry A. Waxman, Chairman, House Committee on 
Oversight and Government Reform, to Fred F. Fielding, Counsel to the 
President (April 27, 2007).
    \33\ Letter from Fred F. Fielding, Counsel to the President, to 
Henry A. Waxman, Chairman, and Tom Davis, Ranking Minority Member, 
House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (Aug. 10, 2007).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Committee also conducted nontranscribed interviews of 
three former assistants to the President: former Director of 
Communications Dan Bartlett, former Press Secretary Scott 
McClellan, and former Chief Speechwriter Michael Gerson. 
Because these officials indicated they had only a limited 
recall of the events in question, they were not called back for 
a transcribed interview or deposition. Transcribed interviews 
were conducted with four other former White House officials: 
former Spokesman Taylor Gross, former Director of Fact-checking 
John Currin, former National Security Council (NSC) Director of 
Communications Jim Wilkinson, and former NSC Press Secretary 
Sean McCormack.\34\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \34\ No contemporaneous transcript was produced from the interview 
with Mr. McCormack, but an unofficial transcript was created from an 
audio recording of the interview.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Committee reviewed over 31,000 documents produced by 
the Department of Defense. The Committee conducted transcribed 
interviews of six current or former general officers: General 
Bantz Craddock, former senior military assistant to Secretary 
Rumsfeld; Admiral Eric Olson, former deputy commander of U.S. 
Special Operations Command; Lieutenant General John Sattler, 
former director of operations at U.S. Central Command; 
Lieutenant General James Lovelace, former Director of the Army 
Staff; Lieutenant General (Retired) Philip Kensinger, former 
commander of U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC); and 
Brigadier General (Retired) Howard Yellen, former deputy 
commander at USASOC. In addition, the Committee interviewed 
seven other officers and civilian officials from Secretary 
Rumsfeld's office, the office of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs 
of Staff, and USASOC.

          II. CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS RELATED TO CORPORAL TILLMAN

          A. THE MILITARY SERVICE OF CORPORAL PATRICK TILLMAN

    Patrick Tillman, a defensive back for the Arizona 
Cardinals, and his brother Kevin Tillman, a former professional 
baseball player, enlisted in the United States Army in May 
2002. Although the Tillman brothers refused to talk publicly 
about why they were joining the Army, their enlistment was 
widely reported in the media. Their father, Patrick Tillman, 
Sr., explained to one newspaper that his sons did not want 
recognition ``separate from their peers'' because they felt all 
the soldiers with whom they served deserved equal 
recognition.\35\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \35\ Ex-Player Tillman Likely in Danger Zone as an Army Ranger, 
Washington Times (Mar. 21, 2003).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Both Pat and Kevin Tillman trained as elite Army Rangers 
and were assigned to the A Company, 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger 
Regiment, based in Fort Lewis, Washington. Their battalion did 
a tour of duty in Iraq in 2003 and began a tour in Afghanistan 
in 2004. At the beginning of this tour, both Pat and Kevin 
Tillman held the rank of Specialist (E4).
    On April 22, 2004, during operations in a rugged region of 
eastern Afghanistan, the Tillmans' platoon was divided into two 
parts (``serials''). Specialist Pat Tillman was a part of 
Serial 1, which proceeded towards the village of Manah, 
Afghanistan, through a narrow canyon. Specialist Kevin Tillman 
was a part of Serial 2, which was supposed to take a different 
route, but ultimately changed plans and followed Serial 1 along 
the same canyon road.\36\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \36\ Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, Review of 
Matters Related to the Death of Corporal Patrick Tillman, U.S. Army 
(Mar. 26, 2007) (IPO2007E001).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    During its passage through the canyon, Serial 2 came under 
attack. When the Rangers in Serial 1 heard the sounds of the 
ambush, they dismounted from their vehicles and took positions 
to assist Serial 2. As Serial 2 emerged from the canyon, 
several Rangers riding in the lead vehicle opened fire on a 
nearby ridge, killing Specialist Pat Tillman and an Afghan 
soldier who had been conducting operations with the platoon, 
and injuring two other Rangers, including the platoon leader. 
The Army posthumously awarded Tillman the Silver Star and 
promoted him to the rank of Corporal.\37\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \37\ Id.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    As he testified at the Committee's hearing on April 24, 
2007, Specialist Kevin Tillman did not witness the firefight 
that took his brother's life. He also testified that he was 
quickly flown back to Bagram Air Base and later accompanied his 
brother's remains back to the United States.\38\ He told the 
Committee that during these events, he was under the impression 
that his brother had been killed by the enemy.\39\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \38\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Testimony 
of Kevin Tillman, Hearing on Misleading Information from the 
Battlefield, 110th Cong., at 18 (Apr. 24, 2007) (Serial No. 110-54).
    \39\ Id. at 30.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

                     B. INITIAL PENTAGON REACTIONS

    On the morning of April 23, 2004, news of Corporal 
Tillman's death broke in the United States. Initial reports 
from a Defense Department spokesman in Afghanistan indicated 
that a U.S. soldier, identified later that day as Corporal 
Tillman, had ``died after a firefight with anti-coalition 
militia forces about 25 miles southwest of a U.S. base at 
Khost, which has been the scene of frequent attacks.'' \40\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \40\ Former NFL Player Killed in Afghanistan, Associated Press 
(Apr. 23, 2004); U.S. Military Says NFL Player Killed in Afghanistan 
Exemplified All Soldiers' Patriotism, Associated Press (Apr. 24, 2004).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    On April 23, 2004, and in the following days, thousands of 
stories, commentaries, and tributes to Corporal Tillman 
appeared in newspapers, television, and the Internet. An 
internal ``Weekend Media Assessment'' produced by the Army 
Chief of Staff's Office of Public Affairs on Monday April 25, 
2004, reported that the story of Corporal Tillman's death had 
helped generate the most media interest in the U.S. Army 
``since the end of active combat last year.'' \41\ The report 
also noted that ``The Ranger Tillman story had been extremely 
positive in all media.'' \42\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \41\ E-mail from David Compton, Office of the Army Chief Public 
Affairs, to numerous addressees (Apr. 25, 2004).
    \42\ Id.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    E-mails reviewed by the Committee also show that the news 
of Corporal Tillman's death was discussed by public affairs 
officials in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint 
Chiefs of Staff, and the Army on April 23, 2004, potentially 
including a ``front office'' morning meeting led by Secretary 
Rumsfeld's public affairs chief, Mr. Larry Di Rita.\43\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \43\ E-mail from Lieutenant Commander Jane Campbell, Office of the 
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, to Major Kristen 
Carle, Office of the Army Chief for Public Affairs (Apr. 23, 2004). 
(Reporting that Corporal Tillman's death ``was a topic of the 
discussion at the front office this morning and CJCS PA [Chairman of 
the Joint Chiefs of Staff Public Affairs] is also involved.'').
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Although Mr. Di Rita told Committee staff he could not 
recall any particular discussions he had about Corporal 
Tillman's death on April 23, 2004, documents produced by the 
Department of Defense show that Mr. Di Rita sent two e-mails 
that day related to Corporal Tillman. In the first of these e-
mails, Mr. Di Rita responded to a request from the White House 
Media Affairs Director, who was seeking information about 
Corporal Tillman for a Sports Illustrated reporter.\44\ Mr. Di 
Rita responded that he would ``see what we can do. details are 
sketchy just now.'' \45\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \44\ E-mail from Lawrence Di Rita, Office of the Secretary of 
Defense, to Jeanie Mamo, Director of White House Media Affairs (Apr. 
23, 2004).
    \45\ Id.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    In the second e-mail, Mr. Di Rita responded to a Department 
of Defense aide who had drafted a statement for the Department 
of Defense to use to respond to press inquiries.\46\ Mr. Di 
Rita edited the proposed statement and sent it back to the 
aide. His revised version stated, ``[o]ur thoughts and prayers 
go out to the family of Army Sgt Pat Tillman,'' and noted, 
``[w]e mourn the death of every servicemember who makes the 
ultimate sacrifice in the Global War on Terror.'' \47\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \46\ E-mail from Lawrence Di Rita, Office of the Secretary of 
Defense, to Bryan Whitman, Office of the Secretary of Defense (Apr. 23, 
2004).
    \47\ Id.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    The same day, April 23, a memo was prepared by the Army 
Human Resources Command for the Army Deputy Chief of Staff G-1, 
Lieutenant General Franklin Hagenbeck. This executive summary 
(``EXSUM'') document explained that Corporal Tillman's casualty 
``was a high-profile death because SPC Tillman was a member of 
the Arizona Cardinals and SPC Kevin Tillman was a former minor 
league baseball prospect in the Cleveland Indians organization 
when they enlisted together for three years.'' \48\ The summary 
said that in accordance with the Army's policy of holding 
casualty information for 24 hours after the soldier's family 
has been notified, the Army would not officially announce 
Corporal Tillman's death until 11 p.m. that night.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \48\ Shari Lawrence, Army Human Resources Command, ``EXSUM'' 
Document (Apr. 23, 2004).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

                   C. EARLY REPORTS OF FRIENDLY FIRE

    As the Tillman family and the American public absorbed the 
news that Corporal Tillman had been killed in Afghanistan, 
apparently by enemy forces, suspicions that he had actually 
been killed by friendly fire quickly traveled through the 
Department of Defense. But while military officials at the 
highest levels knew within a matter of days that Corporal 
Tillman's death was a likely fratricide, they did not share 
this information with the Tillman family or the public for 
another month.
    Members of Corporal Tillman's platoon knew almost 
immediately he had been killed by his fellow Rangers.\49\ 
Moreover, within 24 hours, the top officers in Corporal 
Tillman's battalion and regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey 
Bailey and Colonel Craig Nixon, also knew about the suspicions 
of friendly fire and had authorized the first Army Regulation 
15-6 investigation into the circumstances of his death.\50\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \49\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Testimony 
of U.S. Army Specialist Bryan O'Neal, Hearing on Misleading Information 
from the Battlefield, 110th Cong., at 94 (Apr. 24, 2007) (Serial No. 
110-54); Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, Review of 
Matters Related to the Death of Corporal Patrick Tillman, U.S. Army, at 
13 (Mar. 26, 2007) (IPO2007E001).
    \50\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Testimony 
of Thomas Gimble, Acting Defense Department Inspector General, Hearing 
on Misleading Information from the Battlefield, 110th Cong. (Apr. 24, 
2007) (Serial No. 110-54).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Within several days, Colonel Nixon, the commander of the 
75th Ranger Regiment, transmitted the information that Corporal 
Tillman may have been killed as a result of fratricide to Major 
General Stanley McChrystal, the commander of the joint task 
force in Afghanistan under which Corporal Tillman's battalion 
was operating.\51\ General McChrystal subsequently called 
General Bryan Brown, the top officer at the U.S. Special 
Operations Command, the combatant command under which Corporal 
Tillman's battalion operated in Afghanistan.\52\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \51\ Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, Interview 
of Lieutenant General Stanley McChrystal, at 3 (Nov. 26, 2006).
    \52\ Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, Interview 
of General Bryan Brown, at 5 (Nov. 17, 2006).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Colonel Nixon also informed Brigadier General Howard 
Yellen, the deputy commander of the Army Special Operations 
Command, the Army administrative command responsible for the 
75th Ranger Regiment. According to General Yellen, on April 24 
or April 25, 2004, he informed his commander, Lieutenant 
General Philip Kensinger, of the potential fratricide.\53\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \53\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Interview 
of Brigadier General Howard Yellen (Retired), at 39 (July 25, 2007).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    A few days later, on April 29, 2004, General McChrystal 
sent a message to the top generals in Corporal Tillman's chain 
of command alerting them that the first 15-6 investigation was 
nearing completion and would find that ``it is highly possible 
that Corporal Tillman was killed by friendly fire.'' \54\ 
According to General McChrystal, Colonel Nixon assisted him in 
preparing the message.\55\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \54\ ``Personal For'' message from Major General Stanley McChrystal 
to General John Abizaid, General Bryan Brown, Lieutenant General Philip 
Kensinger (Apr. 29, 2004).
    \55\ Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, Interview 
of Lieutenant General Stanley McChrystal (Nov. 26, 2006).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    The principal addressee of this communication was General 
John Abizaid, commander of CENTCOM, the geographic combatant 
command that includes Iraq and Afghanistan. The message was 
also sent to two recipients for ``information'' purposes. These 
recipients were General Brown, the SOCOM commander, and General 
Kensinger, the commander of USASOC.\56\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \56\ ``Personal For'' message from Major General Stanley McChrystal 
to General John Abizaid, General Bryan Brown, Lieutenant General Philip 
Kensinger (Apr. 29, 2004).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    General McChrystal sent this communication as a ``personal 
for'' or P4 message, a format flag rank officers reserve for 
sensitive, ``for-your-eyes-only'' information. Such a 
communication, according to General Abizaid, is ``designed to 
pass information that's considered very, very important.'' \57\ 
According to General Myers, information in a P4 is ``supposed 
to be pretty close hold.'' \58\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \57\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Testimony 
of General John Abizaid, Hearing on the Tillman Fratricide: What the 
Leadership of the Defense Department Knew, 110th Cong., at 190 (Aug. 1, 
2007) (Serial No. 110-49).
    \58\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Testimony 
of General Richard Myers, Hearing on the Tillman Fratricide: What the 
Leadership of the Defense Department Knew, 110th Cong., at 190 (Aug. 1, 
2007) (Serial No. 110-49).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    General McChrystal's P4 message stated:

        Sir, in the aftermath of Corporal Patrick Tillman's 
        untimely yet heroic death in Afghanistan on 22 April 
        04, it is anticipated that a 15-6 investigation nearing 
        completion will find that it is highly possible that 
        Corporal Tillman was killed by friendly fire. This 
        potential is exacerbated by the unconfirmed but 
        suspected reports that POTUS [President of the United 
        States] and the Secretary of the Army might include 
        comments about Corporal Tillman's heroism and his 
        approved Silver Star medal in speeeches [sic] currently 
        being prepared, not knowing the specifics surrounding 
        his death. . . .

        I felt that it was essential that you received this 
        information as soon as we detected it in order to 
        preclude any unknowing statements by our country's 
        leaders which might cause public embarrassment if the 
        circumstances of Corporal Tillman's death become 
        public.\59\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \59\ ``Personal For'' message from Major General Stanley McChrystal 
to General John Abizaid, General Bryan Brown, Lieutenant General Philip 
Kensinger (Apr. 29, 2004).

    The day before General McChrystal sent this P4 message, 
speechwriting staff from both the Department of Defense and the 
White House had contacted a public affairs official at USASOC, 
Carol Darby, seeking information about Corporal Tillman's 
enlistment, rank, previous duty assignments, and reason for 
enlisting.\60\ White House staffer John Currin informed the 
USASOC official he was seeking this information for a speech 
President Bush would deliver at the May 1, 2004, White House 
Correspondents' Dinner.\61\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \60\ E-mail from Carol Darby, Media and Community Relations 
Division Chief, U.S. Army Special Operations Command, to Lieutenant 
Colonel Hans Bush, Chief of Public Affairs, U.S. Army Special 
Operations Command (Apr. 28, 2004).
    \61\ Id.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Admiral Eric T. Olson, the deputy commander of SOCOM in 
April 2004, told the Committee that the point at which General 
McChrystal sent the P4 would have been the appropriate time to 
tell the Tillman family about the possibility of fratricide. 
According to Admiral Olson, ``as soon as there is solid 
indication of the cause of death, that should be communicated 
to the family.'' \62\ Admiral Olson said he did not see the P4 
when it was sent in April 2004, but he told the Committee that 
the information in the P4 was sufficiently certain to share 
with the family before the memorial service. His ``after-the-
fact'' reflection was:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \62\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Interview 
of Admiral Eric T. Olson, at 60 (July 27, 2007).

        But now having seen the contents of that P4, during 
        which General McChrystal said it's highly probably 
        there was fratricide, and that P4 was released before 
        the memorial service, it would have been reasonable to 
        expect that the family was informed of the possibility 
        of fratricide.\63\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \63\ Id. at 61.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

    D. THE SILVER STAR AWARD AND CORPORAL TILLMAN'S MEMORIAL SERVICE

    On April 29, 2004, the same day General McChrystal sent his 
P4 message, the Army posthumously awarded Corporal Tillman the 
Silver Star, an honor reserved for Army soldiers who have 
demonstrated ``gallantry in action against an enemy of the 
United States.'' \64\ Prior to the award's approval by the 
acting Army Secretary on April 29, 2004, several officers in 
Corporal Tillman's regiment who were aware of the possibility 
of friendly fire, including the regimental commander, Colonel 
Nixon, reviewed and edited the Silver Star award.\65\ Yet the 
final Silver Star citation asserted that Corporal Tillman ``put 
himself in the line of devastating enemy fire.'' \66\ Both of 
the eyewitness statements submitted with the Silver Star 
paperwork were altered by somebody within the 75th Regiment's 
chain of command.\67\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \64\ Army Regulation 600-8-22 Sec. 3-10(b) (2006).
    \65\ Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, Review of 
Matters Related to the Death of Corporal Patrick Tillman, U.S. Army, at 
53 (Mar. 2007) (IPO2007E001).
    \66\ Silver Star Award Citation for Corporal Patrick D. Tillman, 
United States Army (undated).
    \67\ Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, Review of 
Matters Related to the Death of Corporal Patrick Tillman, U.S. Army, at 
55 (Mar. 2007) (IPO2007E001).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    On April 30, 2004, the same day General McChrystal's P4 
message reached USASOC headquarters, USASOC issued a press 
release announcing the Silver Star award. The release stated 
that Corporal Tillman was being awarded the Silver Star ``for 
his selfless actions after his Ranger element was ambushed by 
anti-coalition insurgents during a ground assault convoy 
through southeastern Afghanistan.'' \68\ The release also 
referred to ``hostile fires directed at the Rangers'' and 
stated that Corporal Tillman ``was shot and killed while 
focusing his efforts on the elimination of the enemy forces and 
the protection of his team members.'' \69\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \68\ U.S. Army Special Operations Command, Army Awards Silver Star 
to Fallen Ranger (Apr. 30, 2004).
    \69\ Id.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    According to Brigadier General Howard Yellen, USASOC's 
deputy commander in April 2004, the release did not explicitly 
say how Corporal Tillman was killed, but ``for the civilian on 
the street, the interpretation would be that he was killed by 
enemy fire.'' \70\ When interviewed by the Committee, General 
Kensinger said he did not recall reviewing the release, but 
``possibly could have.'' \71\ He agreed that ``a member of the 
public reading this probably would have concluded or assumed 
that Corporal Tillman had been killed by the enemy.'' \72\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \70\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Interview 
of Brigadier General Howard Yellen, at 69 (July 25, 2007).
    \71\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Interview 
of Lieutenant General Philip Kensinger, Jr. (Retired), at 54 (Feb. 29, 
2008).
    \72\ Id.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Three days after this Army press release, on May 3, 2004, a 
memorial service was held for Corporal Tillman in San Jose, 
California. During the ceremony, Senior Chief Petty Officer 
Steven White, a personal friend of Corporal Tillman and a Navy 
SEAL, gave a eulogy in which he described the circumstances of 
Corporal Tillman's death using language that suggested he was 
killed by enemy forces.\73\ According to Senior Chief White, a 
member of the 75th Regiment had read him portions of the Silver 
Star citation that morning, and he based his speech on this 
information. Testifying before the Committee in April 2007, 
Senior Chief White said he felt ``let down'' by the military 
because he was given inaccurate information to present 
publicly. He told the Committee: ``I'm the guy that told 
America how he died, basically, at that memorial, and it was 
incorrect. That does not sit well with me.'' \74\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \73\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Hearing on 
Misleading Information from the Battlefield, 110th Cong., at 110 (Apr. 
24, 2007) (Serial No. 110-54).
    \74\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Testimony 
of Senior Chief Petty Officer Stephen White, Hearing on Misleading 
Information from the Battlefield, 110th Cong., at 111 (Apr. 24, 2007) 
(Serial No. 110-54).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

                 E. THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE FRATRICIDE

    The information that Corporal Tillman had likely been 
killed by friendly fire was not shared with the American public 
until the morning of May 29, 2004. On that day, the Saturday of 
the Memorial Day weekend, Lieutenant General Philip Kensinger 
appeared at a press availability at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, 
the headquarters of the Army's Special Operations Command, and 
announced that an Army investigation had concluded that 
``Corporal Tillman probably died as a result of friendly fire 
while his unit was engaged in combat with enemy forces.'' \75\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \75\ U.S. Army Special Operations Command, Press Statement: USASOC 
Announces Tillman Investigation Results (May 29, 2004) (online at 
news.soc.mil/advisories/Press-Media%20Releases/2004/040529-01.htm).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    General Kensinger's statement was the only public statement 
issued by any Department of Defense or White House official 
acknowledging that Corporal Tillman had not been killed by the 
enemy, as the American public had believed for more than a 
month. When he was asked why the White House played no role in 
the public fratricide announcement, former White House Press 
Secretary Scott McClellan told Committee staff, ``We would 
leave that to the proper department, and that would be DOD.'' 
\76\ White House Communications Director Dan Bartlett, asked 
why the White House issued a statement after Corporal Tillman 
died but not after the fratricide was announced, explained 
these events ``were fundamentally different things.'' \77\ 
According to Mr. Bartlett, media interest in a presidential 
statement about the fratricide ``was not there.'' \78\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \76\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Interview 
of Scott McClellan (Sept. 10, 2007).
    \77\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Interview 
of Daniel Bartlett (Sept. 12, 2007).
    \78\ Id.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Evidence reviewed by the Committee suggests that one reason 
the Department of Defense publicly released this information on 
May 29, 2004, was because the Tillman family had already begun 
learning about the friendly fire and because the media was 
about to report it.\79\ In the days before this announcement, 
the Department of Defense scrambled to release the information 
in a way that would cause the least amount of public relations 
damage to the Department.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \79\ See, e.g., E-mail from Colonel George Rhynedance, Office of 
the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, to Bryan 
Whitman, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public 
Affairs (May 29, 2004) (``No one will ever tell you, but nice job on 
this one. May have minimized . . . damage by pushing the panic button 
early.'').
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    The second Army 15-6 investigation into Corporal Tillman's 
death was substantially completed by May 16, 2004.\80\ The 
conclusion of this investigation, authored by Lieutenant 
Colonel Ralph Kauzlarich, was that ``Corporal Tillman's death 
was the result of fratricide during an extremely chaotic enemy 
ambush.'' \81\ Over the next two weeks, the report moved upward 
through the regiment's chain of command. On Friday, May 28, 
2004, CENTCOM's director of operations, Lieutenant General John 
F. Sattler, signed off on the report on behalf of General 
Abizaid, the CENTCOM commander.\82\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \80\ Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, Review of 
Matters Related to the Death of Corporal Patrick Tillman, U.S. Army, at 
29 (Mar. 2007) (IPO2007E001).
    \81\ U.S. Central Command, Report of Fratricide Investigation, at 
11 (May 28, 2004).
    \82\ Id.; House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, 
Interview of General John F. Sattler, at 50 (July 24, 2007).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    General Sattler told the Committee that during this period, 
General Abizaid called him at CENTCOM headquarters in Qatar and 
asked him to review Colonel Kauzlarich's investigation. General 
Sattler recalled that General Abizaid told him reviewing the 
report was a top priority, ``so whatever I thought was my 
number one priority no longer was.'' \83\ General Sattler 
concurred with its findings.\84\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \83\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Interview 
of General John F. Sattler, at 46 (July 24, 2007).
    \84\ Id.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Although officials told the Committee that the military was 
waiting for the investigation to be signed before notifying the 
family, the record shows that two Tillman family members were 
actually informed of the friendly fire before May 28, 2004. 
Earlier in the week, the 2nd Battalion of the 75th Ranger 
Regiment had returned to its headquarters in Fort Lewis, 
Washington, where Specialist Kevin Tillman encountered the 
members of his platoon for the first time since his brother's 
death. Fearing that Kevin Tillman would hear about the friendly 
fire from his fellow soldiers, the 2nd Battalion's commander, 
Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bailey, was authorized to disclose 
the information to Kevin Tillman and Corporal Tillman's wife, 
Marie Tillman.\85\ According to Colonel Nixon, the commander of 
the 75th Ranger regiment, Colonel Bailey asked for this 
authorization after he determined that ``Kevin was getting some 
sense of what was going on.'' \86\ The Department of Defense 
Inspector General concluded that Kevin and Marie Tillman were 
informed of the friendly fire on May 26 and May 27, 2004, 
respectively.\87\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \85\ Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, Interview 
of Colonel James Craig Nixon, at 121 (Oct. 28, 2006).
    \86\ Id.
    \87\ Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, Review of 
Matters Related to the Death of Corporal Patrick Tillman, U.S. Army, at 
44 (Mar. 2007) (IPO2007E001).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    At the same time General Sattler was reviewing the report, 
other high-level Pentagon officials began preparing for public 
release of the finding of fratricide. On May 28, Larry Di Rita, 
the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, and 
General Brown, the SOCOM commander, coordinated a video 
teleconference to plan the public announcement of the 
fratricide.\88\ According to various interviews conducted by 
the Committee, the video teleconference included Mr. Di Rita, 
General Brown, Admiral Olson, General Kensinger, CENTCOM chief 
of staff Major General Steve Whitcomb, various public affairs 
officials, and at least one lawyer.\89\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \88\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Interview 
of Colonel Hans Bush (Sept. 19, 2007).
    \89\ Id.; House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, 
Interview of Admiral Eric T. Olson (July 27, 2007).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Mr. Di Rita told Committee staff that he recognized at the 
time that this was a ``very important public event'' \90\ He 
recalled that that he was ``brought in to it, on the basis of 
my professional responsibilities, which was to help with the 
public affairs posture on this incident.'' \91\ While military 
public affairs officers were planning to release the fratricide 
information in a ``passive'' posture, in which the Department 
would only respond to press queries, Mr. Di Rita decided to 
adopt an ``active approach'' and hold a press conference to 
release the information. Describing the teleconference, Mr. Di 
Rita explained:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \90\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Interview 
of Lawrence Di Rita, at 69 (Sept. 24, 2007).
    \91\ Id. at 63.

        I spent time working with the responsible offices . . . 
        deciding that it was something that probably required 
        some public interaction, as distinct from an 
        announcement. I seem to recall that we discussed the 
        importance of this, the fact that it was fairly large 
        news, that what everybody believed to be true was no 
        longer the case, no longer true, and that it required 
        more of a public presentation than a simple 
        announcement, particularly inasmuch as this thing had 
        been concluded late in the week, or at least they were 
        prepared to announce it late in a week, and I thought 
        it was important.\92\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \92\ Id.

    According to Admiral Olson and General Brown, during the 
teleconference, General Brown suggested that Mr. Di Rita make 
the announcement since it was such a high-profile matter.\93\ 
Mr. Di Rita apparently decided that his ``responsibilities'' 
for managing the announcement did not extend to actually making 
the announcement. He told the Committee, ``a public affairs 
officer, to me, was not the answer.'' \94\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \93\ General Bryan Brown, Response to Questions from BG Jones (Dec. 
9, 2004) (``[W]e initially told Mr. DiRita that OSD PA should make the 
announcement. They determined it should be a uniformed member of the 
chain of command. The logical choice was LTG Kensinger. I agreed.'').
    \94\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Interview 
of Lawrence Di Rita, at 67 (Sept. 24, 2007).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Admiral Olson described the following discussion:

        As I recall, General Brown suggested that the Public 
        Affairs Office for the Secretary of Defense be the one 
        to make the announcement as a defense matter. Larry Di 
        Rita thought it was more appropriate for a uniformed 
        officer to make the announcement. Then the question was 
        who is the appropriate uniformed officer. It is not a 
        SOCOM responsibility, it was an Army responsibility. 
        Because General Kensinger had an Army chain of command 
        outside of SOCOM, the discussion just sort of circled 
        in on General Kensinger as the appropriate officer.\95\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \95\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Interview 
of Admiral Eric T. Olson, at 40 (July 27, 2007).

    Another teleconference participant also recalled that Mr. 
Di Rita recommended that General Kensinger make the public 
announcement. Colonel Hans Bush, who was the head of USASOC's 
public affairs office at the time, recalled, ``General Brown 
acknowledged the recommendation and then said, General 
Kensinger, you meet the criteria. Congratulations, you're the 
guy.'' \96\ When Committee staff asked General Kensinger if he 
considered this a direct order by General Brown to make the 
announcement, he responded, ``Not in so many words. . . . You 
can be directed to do it, or you can be highly encouraged to 
think that is the right decision.'' \97\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \96\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Interview 
of Colonel Hans Bush, at 57 (Sept. 19, 2007).
    \97\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Interview 
of Lieutenant General Philip Kensinger, Jr. (Retired), at 63 (Feb. 29, 
2008).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    General Kensinger explained that because he was unfamiliar 
with the details of the investigation, he did not believe he 
was the appropriate person to deliver the news. Colonel Bush, 
the USASOC public affairs chief, described General Kensinger's 
reaction: ``It was a little odd to be presenting someone else's 
findings, and I think he felt that way.'' \98\ Because the 
friendly fire investigation had been conducted and approved by 
CENTCOM, General Kensinger told the Committee he thought ``it 
would have been CENTCOM or somebody else would have made it, 
above CENTCOM.'' \99\ He stated that he acquiesced to the 
assignment only after he was told he would not have to answer 
any questions from the media.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \98\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Interview 
of Colonel Hans Bush, at 57 (Sept. 19, 2007).
    \99\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Interview 
of Lieutenant General Philip Kensinger, Jr. (Retired), at 64 (Feb. 29, 
2008).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    At the press conference at Fort Bragg on May 29, 2004, 
General Kensinger read a prepared statement approved by CENTCOM 
and the Secretary of Defense's public affairs office.\100\ The 
statement asserted that ``investigation results indicate that 
Corporal Tillman probably died as the result of friendly 
fire.'' \101\ According to Colonel Bush, ``It was specifically 
requested by CENTCOM that we include `probably' in that 
sentence.'' \102\ However, this language differed from the 
investigative report itself, which stated, ``My findings lead 
me to believe that CPL Tillman's death was the result of 
fratricide.'' \103\ The report was not made public at that 
time.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \100\ E-mail from Bryan Whitman, Office of the Assistant Secretary 
of Defense for Public Affairs, to Colonel Joseph Curtin, Office of the 
Chief Public Affairs (May 28, 2004).
    \101\ U.S. Army Special Operations Command, Press Statement: USASOC 
Announces Tillman Investigation Results (May 29, 2004) (online at 
news.soc.mil/advisories/Press-Media%20Releases/2004/040529-01.htm).
    \102\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Interview 
of Colonel Hans Bush, at 57 (Sept. 19, 2007).
    \103\ U.S. Central Command, Report of Fratricide Investigation (May 
28, 2004).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    After the press conference, Pentagon public affairs 
officials congratulated each other for limiting the impact of 
the disclosure. Colonel George Rhynedance, an assistant to Mr. 
Di Rita in the Secretary of Defense's public affairs office, 
wrote to Bryan Whitman, another employee in the same office: 
``No one will ever tell you, but nice job on this one. May have 
minimized . . . damage by pushing the panic button early.'' 
\104\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \104\ E-mail from Colonel George Rhynedance, Office of the 
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, to Bryan Whitman, 
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs (May 
29, 2004).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    In another e-mail on the day of the announcement, Colonel 
Joseph Curtin, an Army public affairs officials, wrote, ``Story 
will run hot today and diminish over the weekend.'' He also 
noted, ``Senior leaders want to make sure the public affairs 
community vigorously respond to any media query that 
potentially questions the Silver Star award.'' \105\ In 
response, Lieutenant Colonel John Robinson, a CENTCOM public 
affairs official, wrote ``the WWII Memorial and attack in Saudi 
Arabia have helped dilute the story somewhat.'' \106\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \105\ E-mail from Colonel Joseph Curtin, Office of the Chief Public 
Affairs to multiple recipients (May 29, 2004).
    \106\ E-mail from Lieutenant Colonel John Robinson to multiple 
recipients (May 29, 2004).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

                     III. THE WHITE HOUSE RESPONSE

    Testimony and e-mails obtained by the Committee show that 
White House officials were intensely interested in the news of 
Pat Tillman's death. On April 23, the White House rushed out a 
press statement acknowledging Corporal Tillman's death twelve 
hours before the Department of Defense publicly confirmed the 
casualty. This early statement was issued notwithstanding a 
military rule intended to protect military families from media 
attention during the first 24 hours after learning about a 
casualty. A week later, on May 1, 2004, President Bush gave a 
speech discussing Corporal Tillman's military service. Yet when 
the Committee inquired into how and when White House officials 
learned Corporal's death was a fratricide, the White House 
provided no responsive e-mails, and each of the former 
officials interviewed by Committee staff professed to have no 
recollection.

                     A. NEWS BREAKS AT WHITE HOUSE

    There was intense interest in the news of Corporal 
Tillman's death at the White House as the story broke in the 
press on the morning of April 23, 2004. Documents and 
interviews with White House officials show that as White House 
staff members learned the news from cable television and other 
media sources, they quickly shared and discussed it with their 
colleagues and friends. According to former White House 
Communications Director Dan Bartlett, he discussed Corporal 
Tillman's death directly with President Bush. Mr. Bartlett told 
Committee staff that he ``had conversations with the President 
about this news event.'' \107\ Although Mr. Bartlett claimed he 
could not recall what was said, he told Committee staff that he 
``likely'' discussed with the President the ``appropriate 
response'' for the White House to take.\108\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \107\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Interview 
of Daniel Bartlett (Sept. 12, 2007).
    \108\ Id.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Barry Jackson, a deputy to President Bush's political 
adviser Karl Rove, sent Mr. Rove language for a potential 
presidential tribute to Pat Tillman.\109\ Speechwriter Matthew 
Scully wrote an e-mail to fellow speechwriter Michael Gerson 
highlighting Corporal Tillman's death as a ``big story.'' \110\ 
Condoleezza Rice, then National Security Advisor, was informed 
of Corporal Tillman's death by her executive assistant, Army 
Major Jennie Koch Easterly.\111\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \109\ E-mail from Barry Jackson, Deputy to the President's Senior 
Advisor, to Karl Rove, Senior Advisor to the President (Apr. 23, 2004).
    \110\ E-mail from Matthew Scully, Deputy Director of Presidential 
Speechwriting, to Michael Gerson, Assistant to the President for 
Speechwriting (Apr. 23, 2004).
    \111\ E-mail from Jennie M. Koch, Executive Assistant to the 
National Security Advisor, to Gregory Schulte, Executive Secretary, 
National Security Council (Apr. 23, 2004).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Several high-level staff members of President Bush's 
reelection campaign contacted White House officials to suggest 
public responses to Corporal Tillman's death. Matthew Dowd, the 
campaign's chief strategist, sent an e-mail to Mr. Bartlett, 
writing, ``You hear about pat tilman? Potus should call his 
family or go to Arizona or his hometown.'' \112\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \112\ E-mail from Matthew Dowd, Chief Strategist, 2004 George W. 
Bush presidential campaign, to Daniel Bartlett, Assistant to the 
President for Communications (Apr. 23, 2004).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Mark McKinnon, the campaign's media advisor, also e-mailed 
Mr. Bartlett, saying: ``Realize President really shouldn't do 
anything that he hasn't done for any other soldier killed in 
the military, but certainly think he could say something about 
he exemplifies the ultimate in humility, heroism and 
sacrifice.'' \113\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \113\ E-mail from Mark McKinnon, Chief Media Advisor, 2004 George 
W. Bush presidential campaign to Daniel Bartlett, Assistant to the 
President for Communications (Apr. 23, 2004).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Commentators and reporters contacted the White House to 
offer advice. For example, Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy 
Noonan e-mailed the White House's Director of Strategic 
Initiatives, Peter Wehner, recommending that he ``find out what 
faith Tillman practiced and have the president go by that 
church and light a candle or say a prayer.'' \114\ Karl Rove 
exchanged e-mails about Pat Tillman with Associated Press 
reporter Ron Fournier, under the subject line ``H-E-R-O.'' In 
response to Mr. Fournier's e-mail, Mr. Rove asked, ``How does 
our country continue to produce men and women like this,'' to 
which Mr. Fournier replied, ``The Lord creates men and women 
like this all over the world. But only the great and free 
countries allow them to flourish. Keep up the fight.'' \115\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \114\ E-mail from Peggy Noonan to Peter Wehner, White House 
Director of Strategic Initiatives (Apr. 23, 2004).
    \115\ E-mail from Ron Fournier to Karl Rove, Senior Advisor to the 
President (Apr. 23, 2004).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    In total, the White House staff sent or received nearly 200 
e-mails relating to Corporal Tillman's death on April 23, 2004.

                    B. STATEMENT ISSUED PREMATURELY

    At approximately noon on April 23, 2004, the White House 
issued a statement of condolence from the President. Before 
releasing this statement, White House officials failed to 
confirm with the Defense Department that Corporal Tillman had 
actually died. They also failed to determine whether 
information about the casualty, which occurred during a special 
operations mission, was classified. Moreover, the White House 
rushed to release its statement notwithstanding a military 
requirement intended to protect military families from media 
attention during the first 24 hours after a casualty.
    Taylor Gross, the White House spokesman responsible for 
media outlets in the South and Southwestern United States, told 
Committee staff that he drafted a White House statement on the 
morning of April 23 after receiving several calls from Arizona 
media outlets.\116\ He sent the draft to Communications 
Director Dan Bartlett and Press Secretary Scott McClellan for 
approval at 11:40 a.m. The statement read:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \116\ Although various e-mails reviewed by the Committee referred 
to this as a ``statement'' or a ``comment,'' Mr. Gross explained that 
he had technically written a ``response to an inquiry,'' rather than a 
``presidential statement'' because it was released only in reply to 
particular queries. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, 
Interview of Taylor Gross, at 61 (Sept. 5, 2007). Other White House 
officials also told the Committee that they saw a distinction between 
Mr. Gross's ``response to questions'' and a more formal, proactive 
``presidential statement.'' White House officials were unhappy with 
news coverage of Mr. Gross's April 23 comment, possibly because the 
press referred to it is as a ``statement'' from the White House. See E-
mail from Scott McClellan, White House Press Secretary, to Suzy 
DeFrancis, Deputy Assistant to the President for Communications (Apr. 
23, 2004).

        Pat Tillman was an inspiration on the football field 
        and in his private life. As with all who made the 
        ultimate sacrifice in the war on terror, his family are 
        in the thoughts and prayers of President and Mrs. 
        Bush.\117\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \117\ E-mail from Taylor Gross, White House spokesman, to Daniel 
Bartlett, Assistant to the President for Communications (Apr. 23, 
2004).

    Minutes later, both Mr. Bartlett and Mr. McClellan approved 
the message on behalf of the President. Mr. Bartlett noted that 
the statement might ``set a precedent,'' but wrote ``I'm fine 
with it.'' \118\ He later clarified: ``good to go.'' \119\ 
Speaking to Committee staff, Mr. Bartlett explained that he 
made this decision due to the high level of media interest in 
the story. According to Mr. Bartlett, the story of Pat Tillman 
``made the American people feel good about our country . . . 
and our military.'' \120\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \118\ E-mail from Daniel Bartlett, Assistant to the President for 
Communications, to Scott McClellan, White House Press Secretary (Apr. 
23, 2004).
    \119\ E-mail from Daniel Bartlett, Assistant to the President for 
Communications, to Taylor Gross, White House spokesman (Apr. 23, 2004).
    \120\ Id.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Mr. Bartlett's response to Matthew Dowd's April 23, 2004, 
e-mail, which suggested that the President visit Corporal 
Tillman's family, offers additional insight into the White 
House's approach to the reports. He wrote:

        I agree he is a hero. But there will be a lot of 
        pressure not to single out one guy just because he was 
        a football player. We are providing a statement to AZ 
        press, but we will need to discuss anything 
        further.\121\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \121\ E-mail from Daniel Bartlett, Assistant to the President for 
Communications, to Matthew Dowd, Chief Strategist, 2004 George W. Bush 
presidential campaign (Apr. 23, 2004).

    When Committee staff asked Mr. Bartlett whether there were 
further discussions within the White House about responding to 
Corporal Tillman's death, Mr. Bartlett said he thought it was 
likely there were discussions, but he did not have any specific 
recollection of them.\122\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \122\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Interview 
of Daniel Bartlett (Sept. 12, 2007).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Although Mr. Gross's statement was approved by President 
Bush's top communications advisors, it appears that no one in 
the White House confirmed with the military whether Corporal 
Tillman had actually died. The White House also did not confirm 
with the military that it could talk publicly about Corporal 
Tillman, whose regiment regularly participated in sensitive 
missions. According to Mr. Gross, ``by and large things are 
confirmed by the White House before they're stated,'' whether 
in ``a reactive statement or a proactive statement.'' \123\ But 
Mr. Gross told Committee staff that he drafted this statement 
quickly (``about a two-hour turnaround time''), without 
consulting the Defense Department.\124\ Mr. Gross stated:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \123\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Interview 
of Taylor Gross, at 67 (Sept. 5, 2007).
    \124\ Id. at 42.

        I personally did not verify with DOD, but I got my 
        statement approved via my normal chain of commend. . . 
        . You know, again, frankly, confirming--confirming that 
        was--you know, that's above my pay grade. That was for 
        a superior.\125\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \125\ Id. at 52.

    Mr. Gross's superiors did not verify the statement either. 
Mr. McClellan told Committee staff that ``the way it usually 
was done was, you know, you confirm he was killed.'' \126\ But 
Mr. McClellan asserted that confirmation of these facts was not 
his job, and that he did not attempt to verify the statement 
before approving it for release. He also did not check whether 
information relating to Corporal Tillman's death was 
classified, explaining, ``It was obvious. It was in the news.'' 
\127\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \126\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Interview 
of Scott McClellan (Sept. 10, 2007).
    \127\ Id.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Likewise, Mr. Bartlett said, ``I did not take any formal 
steps'' to confirm the information.\128\ Nevertheless, he 
``personally was under the impression that this was true'' 
based on the ``totality of information coming from the media.'' 
\129\ Mr. Bartlett also denied that confirming the accuracy of 
a presidential statement was his job. He explained: ``Generally 
my conversations with DOD were at a much higher level.'' \130\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \128\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Interview 
of Daniel Bartlett (Sept. 12, 2007).
    \129\ Id.
    \130\ Id.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    If White House officials had checked with the Department of 
Defense, they would have learned that the Department had not 
yet publicly announced Corporal Tillman's death. In accordance 
with a policy intended to give the families of war casualties a 
24-hour private grieving period, the Defense Department did not 
announce the casualty until late that evening.\131\ This 24-
hour policy was mandated by an act of Congress, the Military 
Family Peace of Mind Act, which President Bush signed into law 
in November 2003 as part of the Fiscal Year 2004 National 
Defense Authorization Act.\132\ The act sought to ``provide 
service members' next-of-kin with a period of privacy before 
the public is made aware of service members' death.'' \133\ In 
the case of Corporal Tillman, the family was not notified until 
approximately 10:00 p.m. on April 22.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \131\ Department of Defense, Instruction Number 1300.18 (2008).
    \132\ Pub. L. 108-136.
    \133\ U.S. House of Representatives, Conference Report to Accompany 
H.R. 1588 (Report 108-354), at 695 (Nov. 7, 2003). Representative 
Walter B. Jones, the original sponsor of the act, explained that some 
military families ``had little time to grieve'' because they were 
forced to ``fend off aggressive press inquiries'' in the hours after a 
loved one's death. A 24-hour delay on publicity, he said, ``would not 
unreasonably impair the public's access to information about military 
activities, but could provide an immeasurable amount of relief to those 
who have endured the loss.'' Statement of Representative Walter B. 
Jones, Congressional Record, E889 (May 7, 2003).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    An hour after the White House released its statement, 
deputy press secretary Claire Buchan learned that DOD was not 
yet confirming Corporal Tillman's death. She sent an e-mail to 
Scott McClellan and Trent Duffy, another deputy press 
secretary, with the subject line ``alert--do not use tillman 
statement.'' \134\ The e-mail stated, ``dod is not confirming 
that he is dead--next of kin still being notified. 
unfortunately taylor's statement is on the wire.'' \135\ Later 
in the afternoon, Ms. Buchan e-mailed National Security Council 
spokesman Sean McCormack and asked him to ``bug your friend at 
DOD'' about the Tillman casualty announcement. Mr. McCormack 
quickly wrote back that DOD was ``not confirming yet. this will 
soon become a problem.'' \136\ Later that night, Scott 
McClellan concurred, writing, ``Media affairs commented when 
asked for reaction from arizona press. They did not check to 
verify if it had been confirmed.'' \137\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \134\ E-mail from Claire Buchan, Deputy White House Press 
Secretary, to Trent Duffy, Deputy White House Press Secretary, and 
Scott McClellan, White House Press Secretary (Apr. 23, 2004).
    \135\ Id.
    \136\ E-mail from Claire Buchan, Deputy White House Press 
Secretary, to Sean McCormack, NSC Press Secretary (Apr. 23, 2004). Mr. 
McCormack told the Committee he had no recollection of the events 
described in this e-mail.
    \137\ E-mail from Scott McClellan, White House Press Secretary, to Suzy DeFrancis, Deputy Assistant to the President for Communications 
(Apr. 23, 2004).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Noam Neusner, a speechwriter for President Bush, criticized 
the hastily issued comment as it was reported in the press, 
noting that it inappropriately equated Corporal Tillman's 
football career with his military service. In an e-mail 
obtained by the Committee, he wrote:

        That statement, as quoted, was ridiculous. Pat Tillman 
        wasn't a hero on the football field. He played 
        football. But he died for his country. We shouldn't try 
        to tie the two things together--he didn't.\138\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \138\ E-mail from Noam Neusner, Special Assistant to the President 
for Economic Speech Writing, to Erin Healy, Assistant White House Press 
Secretary (Apr. 23, 2004).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

        C. DISCUSSION OF CORPORAL TILLMAN IN PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH

    On May 1, 2004, President Bush delivered a speech during 
the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner. The President 
devoted a significant portion of the speech to a discussion of 
Corporal Tillman. According to Dan Bartlett, ``We made a 
strategic decision to pay tribute to the troops'' during the 
2004 speech because the White House ``got singed pretty bad'' 
for a previous speech in which the President's jokes were 
considered inappropriate during wartime.\139\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \139\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Interview 
of Daniel Bartlett (Sept. 12, 2007).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Documents reviewed by the Committee show that White House 
officials had decided to include Corporal Tillman in the 
Correspondents' Dinner speech by April 27, 2004. On that day, 
White House Research Assistant Lee Bockhorn e-mailed White 
House speechwriter, Michael Gerson, a number of press clippings 
in response to Mr. Gerson's request for the ``'most moving'' 
stuff on Tillman, particularly anything he said.'' \140\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \140\ E-mail from Lee Bockhorn, White House Research Assistant, to 
Michael Gerson, Assistant to the President for Speechwriting (Apr. 27, 
2004).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    In his speech, the President spoke about the sacrifices of 
military personnel, singling out Corporal Tillman's service. He 
said:

        The loss of Army Corporal Pat Tillman last week in 
        Afghanistan brought home the sorrow that comes with 
        every loss and reminds us of the character of the men 
        and women who serve on our behalf. Friends say that 
        this young man saw the images of September the 11th, 
        and seeing that evil, he felt called to defend America. 
        He set aside a career in athletics and many things the 
        world counts important, wealth and security and the 
        acclaim of the crowds. He chose, instead, the rigors of 
        Ranger training and the fellowship of soldiers and the 
        hard duty in Afghanistan and Iraq.

        Corporal Tillman asked for no special attention. He was 
        modest because he knew there were many like him, making 
        their own sacrifices. They fill the ranks of the Armed 
        Forces. Every day, somewhere, they do brave and good 
        things without notice. Their courage is usually seen 
        only by their comrades, by those who long to be free, 
        and by the enemy. They're willing to give up their 
        lives, and when one is lost, a whole world of hopes and 
        possibilities is lost with them.\141\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \141\ President George W. Bush, Remarks at White House 
Correspondents' Dinner (May 1, 2004).

    One sentence in this passage--``Friends say that this young 
man saw the images of September the 11th, and seeing that evil, 
he felt called to defend America''--was the subject of 
extensive discussions during the speechwriting process. 
Although the White House did not give Committee staff access to 
the earlier drafts of the President's speech, it appears from 
e-mails that in at least one of the earlier drafts, this 
sentence read, ``Pat Tillman saw the burning towers on 
television and felt called to fight the evil behind it.'' \142\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \142\ E-mail from John Currin, White House Director of Fact-
Checking, to Michael Gerson, Matthew Scully, and John McConnell, White 
House Speechwriters (Apr. 28, 2004).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    White House e-mails reviewed by the Committee show that 
John Currin, the White House Director of Fact-Checking, quickly 
discovered that he could not find any substantiation for the 
statement that Corporal Tillman had enlisted after he ``saw the 
burning towers on television.'' When Mr. Currin asked White 
House speechwriter Matthew Scully about the source of this 
statement, Mr. Scully responded: ``Should be in news 
accounts.'' \143\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \143\ E-mail from Matthew Scully, deputy director of Presidential 
Speechwriting, to John Currin, White House Director of Fact-Checking 
(Apr. 28, 2004).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    In an effort to confirm this statement, Mr. Currin 
contacted Carol Darby, a public affairs officer at U.S. Army 
Special Operations Command, to ask whether she could confirm 
why Pat and Kevin Tillman had joined the Army. According to Ms. 
Darby, she told him:

        No, that I could not, that I had never talked to either 
        of the brothers and I had never seen anything in print 
        of any sort that stated why they joined the Army. But I 
        had seen press reports where Pat's coach had spoke of 
        something along those lines, but it really didn't give 
        exactly why Pat joined the Army. And he asked if I 
        could send him some of those press reports and I did 
        have those.\144\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \144\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Interview 
of Carol Darby, at 39 (Sept. 18, 2007).

    After speaking with Ms. Darby and receiving her faxed 
articles discussing Corporal Tillman's enlistment, Mr. Currin 
urged the speechwriting team to change or remove text claiming 
that Corporal Tillman joined the Army as a result of the 
attacks of September 11. On April 28, 2004, he wrote to 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
speechwriter Matthew Scully:

        My DoD contact, who checked with the Rangers, confirm 
        that he never gave any media interview or discussed the 
        reason why he left the NFL to join the Rangers. . . . 
        [G]iven that he never spoke to the press about his 
        reasons for joining the Rangers, we simply do not have 
        support for the statement that he decided to join the 
        Rangers after seeing the burning towers on 
        television.\145\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \145\ E-mail from John Currin, White House Director of Fact-
Checking, to Matthew Scully, deputy director of Presidential 
Speechwriting (Apr. 28, 2004).

    Two hours later, Mr. Currin e-mailed Michael Gerson, the 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
chief White House speechwriter:

        There is no direct support for the statement that Pat 
        Tillman saw the burning towers on television and felt 
        called to fight the evil behind it. Tillman and his 
        brother never discussed their reasons with the press, 
        nor have their parents. Tillman kept his reasons to 
        himself. The people at Fort Lewis, the base for 
        Tillman's unit, could not confirm that September 11 was 
        the reason why Tillman joined the Army. All that I and 
        Carol Darby at USASOC (Ft. Lewis) could find is mention 
        in a news article from March 2003 that says that 
        ``friends say the brothers were deeply affected by the 
        September 11 terrorist attacks and felt compelled to 
        enlist.'' We do not know if these friends were 
        speculating about Tillman's reasons or if they had 
        direct knowledge of Tillman's reasons. The bottom line 
        is that Tillman never stated publicly his reasons for 
        joining the Rangers, and it is speculation that he did 
        so because of September 11.\146\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \146\ E-mail from John Currin, White House Director of Fact-
Checking, to Michael Gerson, Matthew Scully, and John McConnell, White 
House Speechwriters (Apr. 28, 2004).

    Mr. Currin thought the issue was important enough that he 
sent a third message to the speechwriters on the following day, 
April 29. In this e-mail, he wrote that Ms. Darby of USASOC had 
offered to call the Tillman family on his behalf, but Mr. 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Currin advised against it. He wrote:

        As I mentioned yesterday, Pat Tillman and his family 
        never spoke about the reasons why he chose to leave the 
        NFL and join the Army, and the statement in the remarks 
        for the correspondence dinner attributing his 
        motivation to seeing the burning towers on 9/11 is 
        speculation. I spoke yesterday with Carol Darby at Ft. 
        Lewis (the base for the Rangers) to check on Tillman's 
        correct rank and see if she could verify Tillman's 
        reasons for joining the Rangers. Carol phoned me just 
        now to ask if we wanted to go through the CACO 
        [casualty assistance officer] assigned to the Tillman 
        family and see if they would want to talk to us about 
        Corporal Tillman's reasons for joining the Army. I am 
        not certain if we would want to approach the family in 
        their time of grief (they will receive Corporal 
        Tillman's remains today), or if you can work around the 
        problem of not knowing as fact the reasons that 
        motivated Tillman to join the Army. Let me know if you 
        want me to go through the Tillman family CACO to see if 
        the family will let us know his reasons. My sense, 
        however, is that because Tillman wanted to keep his 
        reasons private, and because his family continues to 
        respect his wish to this day, we should as well, and 
        work as best we can around the speculation.\147\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \147\ E-mail from John Currin, White House Director of Fact-
Checking, to Michael Gerson, Matthew Scully, and John McConnell, White 
House Speechwriters (Apr. 29, 2004).

    Yet the final draft, approved and read by the President, 
retained the admittedly ``speculative'' statement about 
Corporal Tillman's motivation for enlisting. Rather than remove 
the passage, the speechwriters attributed it to unknown 
``friends.''

                       D. KNOWLEDGE OF FRATRICIDE

    The record before the Committee does not explain when and 
how White House officials learned that Corporal Tillman's death 
was due to fratricide. Although the Committee requested from 
the White House all documents related to Corporal Tillman, none 
of the documents produced discussed the fratricide. Moreover, 
none of the White House officials interviewed by Committee 
staff had any recollection of how they learned of the 
fratricide or what they did in response.
    As discussed in part II, on April 29, 2004, General 
McChrystal sent a P4 message to the commanding general at 
CENTCOM, and sent information copies to the commanders of SOCOM 
and USASOC, urging that they inform the President of the likely 
fratricide. The P4 cited ``unconfirmed but suspected reports 
that POTUS [the President of the United States] and the 
Secretary of the Army might include comments about Corporal 
Tillman's heroism and his approved Silver Star medal in 
speeeches [sic] currently being prepared'' and stressed that it 
was ``essential'' that the P4 recipients were immediately 
informed about the fratricide ``to preclude any unknowing 
statements by our country's leaders which might cause public 
embarrassment if the circumstances of Corporal Tillman's death 
become public.'' \148\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \148\ ``Personal For'' message from Major General Stanley 
McChrystal to General John Abizaid, General Bryan Brown, and Lieutenant 
General Philip Kensinger (Apr. 29, 2004).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Two days after the P4 memo was sent, President Bush gave 
his speech at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. As the P4 
advised, the President did not discuss how Corporal Tillman 
died. None of the documents provided to the Committee indicate 
whether the P4 or the information in the P4 reached the White 
House.\149\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \149\ Although the acting Defense Department Inspector General, 
Thomas Gimble, testified that his office ``think[s] the P4 memo stopped 
with the three generals that were on it,'' the IG did not interview 
Secretary Rumsfeld, General Myers, or any White House officials during 
its investigation. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, 
Testimony of Thomas Gimble, Acting Defense Department Inspector 
General, Hearing on Misleading Information from the Battlefield, 110th 
Cong. (Apr. 24, 2007) (Serial No. 110-54).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    General Richard Myers, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of 
Staff, was by statute the ``principal military advisor to the 
President.'' \150\ Although he knew at the end of April that 
Corporal Tillman was likely killed by friendly fire, he told 
the Committee that he could not remember ``ever having a 
discussion with anybody in the White House about the Tillman 
case, one way or another.'' \151\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \150\ 10 U.S.C. 151(b).
    \151\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Testimony 
of General Richard Myers, Hearing on the Tillman Fratricide: What the 
Leadership of the Defense Department Knew, 110th Cong., at 34 (Aug. 1, 
2007) (Serial No. 110-49).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    The former White House officials interviewed by the 
Committee also provided no details about how they, or the 
President, learned of the fratricide. Committee staff 
interviewed seven White House employees, including the 
President's communications director, press secretary, chief 
speechwriter, and top NSC communications officials. None could 
recall when they learned the death of Corporal Tillman was 
under investigation as a possible fratricide, or what they did 
in response.
    Dan Bartlett, White House communications director in 2004, 
told the Committee he did not have a ``specific recollection'' 
as to when he learned of the friendly fire. Asked whether he 
informed the President of the fratricide, he stated, ``I don't 
remember a particular conversation, but I can't rule out that I 
talked to him about it.'' \152\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \152\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Interview 
of Daniel Bartlett (Sept. 12, 2007).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Scott McClellan, the White House Press Secretary in 2004, 
said he did not remember when he or the President learned about 
the fratricide, but stated that he ``maybe'' could have heard 
about the fratricide just before the public release on May 29, 
2004.\153\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \153\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Interview 
of Scott McClellan (Sept. 10, 2007).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Michael Gerson, former chief White House speechwriter, did 
not recall when he learned about the friendly fire, whether he 
knew about the fratricide while preparing the President's 
Correspondents' Dinner speech, or whether he ever discussed the 
fratricide with the President.\154\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \154\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Interview 
of Michael Gerson (Sept. 11, 2007).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Taylor Gross, former White House spokesman, told Committee 
staff, ``after the 23rd of April, I did not have any official 
conversation with anyone that I can recall regarding this 
matter on an official or informal basis.'' He said, ``after 
that date, my only information that I recall having about Pat 
Tillman's death or anything to do with Pat Tillman's death, 
friendly fire or otherwise, was reading in the news reports.'' 
\155\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \155\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Interview 
of Taylor Gross, at 102 (Sept. 5, 2007).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    President Bush was asked directly by a reporter in August 
2007 when he learned that Corporal Tillman was killed by 
friendly fire. He said he did not remember. He explained: ``I 
can't give you the precise moment. But obviously the minute I 
heard that the facts that people believed were true were not 
true, that I expect there to be a full investigation and get to 
the bottom of it.'' \156\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \156\ White House, President Bush Discusses American 
Competitiveness Initiative During Press Conference (Aug. 9, 2007).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

                   IV. SECRETARY RUMSFELD'S RESPONSE

    Evidence obtained by the Committee shows that Secretary of 
Defense Donald Rumsfeld took a personal interest in Pat 
Tillman's enlistment in the Army Rangers. Evidence also 
establishes that after Corporal Tillman was killed, senior 
military officials who reported directly to Secretary Rumsfeld, 
including the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and several 
combatant commanders, became aware of the fratricide. Yet when 
Secretary Rumsfeld testified before the Committee in August 
2007, he stated he had no recollection of how or when he 
learned of the fratricide and no recollection of what he did in 
response.
    On June 25, 2002, about a month after Pat Tillman enlisted 
in the Army, Secretary Rumsfeld wrote a so-called ``snowflake 
memo'' to the Secretary of the Army with the subject line, 
``Pat Tillman.'' The memo attached a Chicago Tribune newspaper 
account about Mr. Tillman's enlistment and read, ``Here is an 
article on a fellow who is apparently joining the Rangers. He 
sound[s] like he is world-class. We might want to keep our eye 
on him.'' \157\ Documents produced to the Committee show that a 
friend living in the Chicago area had initially brought the 
Tribune article to Secretary Rumsfeld's attention.\158\ Three 
days later, on June 28, 2002, Secretary Rumsfeld sent Mr. 
Tillman a personal letter applauding him for his decision to 
enlist. He wrote, ``I heard that you were leaving the National 
Football League to become an Army Ranger. It is a proud and 
patriotic thing you are doing.'' \159\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \157\ Memorandum from Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense, to Tom 
White, Secretary of the Army (June 25, 2002).
    \158\ Letter from Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense, to William 
H. Layer (June 26, 2002).
    \159\ Letter from Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense, to Mr. Pat 
Tillman (June 28, 2002).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    When he was asked about the June 25 snowflake memo to 
Secretary White, Secretary Rumsfeld told the Committee he did 
not intend to ``single out'' Corporal Tillman for progress 
reports or other special treatment. He said the purpose of his 
memo was to communicate that, ``here is an individual who is 
serving his country and is prominent and gave up a good deal to 
do that; and that we, as people in the Department, ought to 
acknowledge that and be grateful for his service, as I was.'' 
\160\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \160\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Testimony 
of Donald Rumsfeld, Hearing on the Tillman Fratricide: What the 
Leadership of the Defense Department Knew, 110th Cong., at 203 (Aug. 1, 
2007) (Serial No. 110-49).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Colonel Steven Bucci, Secretary Rumsfeld's military 
assistant at the time, recalled that Mr. Tillman's enlistment 
was a major event that caught the attention of Secretary 
Rumsfeld. He told the Committee, ``it was all over the 
newspapers. It was sort of a big event for everybody.'' \161\ 
Both Colonel Bucci and Lieutenant General Bantz J. Craddock, 
former senior military assistant to Secretary Rumsfeld, told 
the Committee this was the only time they could recall 
Secretary Rumsfeld writing personal notes praising the 
enlistment of an individual soldier.\162\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \161\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Interview 
of Dr. Steven Bucci, at 26 (Sept. 20, 2007).
    \162\ Id.; House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, 
Interview of General Bantz J. Craddock, at 18 (July 27, 2007).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Larry Di Rita, who was serving as Special Assistant to the 
Secretary in June 2002, had a similar recollection of why 
Secretary Rumsfeld took a personal interest in Pat Tillman's 
enlistment. Mr. Di Rita told Committee staff that he did not 
remember being involved in the drafting of Secretary Rumsfeld's 
June 25 snowflake memo or June 28 letter, but he generally 
remembered the attention Corporal Tillman's enlistment received 
within the Secretary's office. He told the Committee:

        This was a noteworthy event in the country. It had to 
        do with the Department for which he [Secretary 
        Rumsfeld] had oversight responsibility and control. . . 
        . [T]his was less than a year after 9/11. So there was 
        still a great deal of interest in what was happening 
        with respect to the Armed Forces. . . . [I]t was a very 
        unusual circumstance, a football player leaving the NFL 
        to join the Army. I don't recall that it had happened 
        to anybody else while we were serving. So the nature of 
        that kind of event is not surprising to me that the 
        Secretary would have chosen to single it out.\163\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \163\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Interview 
of Lawrence Di Rita, at 41 (Sept. 24, 2007).

    In his testimony before the Committee, Secretary Rumsfeld 
said he could not recall when he learned about the fratricide 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
or who told him. He told the Committee:

        I don't recall when I was told and I don't recall who 
        told me. But my recollection is that it was at a stage 
        when there were investigations under way, in which case 
        I would not have told anybody to go do something with 
        respect to it. . . . And it was not something that I 
        would inject myself into the normal course of my role 
        as secretary of defense.\164\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \164\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Testimony 
of Donald Rumsfeld, Hearing on the Tillman Fratricide: What the 
Leadership of the Defense Department Knew, 110th Cong., at 35 (Aug. 1, 
2007) (Serial No. 110-49).

    When he was asked how he could not have known that Corporal 
Tillman's death was being investigated as a fratricide, 
Secretary Rumsfeld responded: ``You're talking about an 
institution of something like 3 million people: active duty, 
Reserve, Guard, civilians, contractors. . . . It's not possible 
for someone to know all the things that are going on.'' \165\ 
Furthermore, Secretary Rumsfeld told the Committee, ``I know 
that I would not engage in a cover-up. I know that no one in 
the White House suggested such a thing to me.'' \166\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \165\ Id. at 177.
    \166\ Id. at 178.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Committee received conflicting evidence about when 
Secretary Rumsfeld learned about the fratricide. General 
Abizaid, the CENTCOM commander, recalled informing Secretary 
Rumsfeld ``that there was an investigation that was ongoing and 
it looked like it was friendly fire'' between May 18 and May 
20, 2004, more than a week prior to the public 
announcement.\167\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \167\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Testimony 
of General John Abizaid, Hearing on the Tillman Fratricide: What the 
Leadership of the Defense Department Knew, 110th Cong., at 32 (Aug. 1, 
2007) (Serial No. 110-49).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    But Secretary Rumsfeld informed the Committee that his 
military assistant, Colonel Steven Bucci, recalled that 
Secretary Rumsfeld did not learn about the fratricide until 
after May 20. In a letter to the Committee, Secretary Rumsfeld 
wrote:

        I am told that I received word of this development 
        sometime after May 20, 2004, but my recollection 
        reflects the fact that it occurred well over two years 
        ago. As a result, I do not recall when I first learned 
        about the possibility that Corporal Tillman's death 
        might have resulted from fratricide. I am confident 
        that I did not discuss this matter with anyone outside 
        the Department of Defense.\168\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \168\ Letter from Donald Rumsfeld to Henry A. Waxman, Chairman, and 
Tom Davis, Ranking Minority Member, House Committee on Oversight and 
Government Reform (July 26, 2007).

    The Committee interviewed Colonel Bucci, who returned to 
the Secretary's personal office on Monday, May 24, 2004, after 
a six-month temporary assignment to the Coalition Provisional 
Authority in Iraq. Sometime during that week, he said he 
received a call from the Army Chief of Staff's executive 
assistant or the Secretary of the Army's military assistant. 
His colleague told him, ``We're pretty sure that this may have 
actually been a fratricide event, and you need to let the 
Secretary know.'' \169\ Colonel Bucci's colleague also told him 
officials were ``trying to ascertain exactly which caliber 
weapon had killed him [Corporal Tillman] and trying to check 
that against the weapon that his brother was carrying,'' in 
order to eliminate any possibility that Corporal Tillman had 
been killed by his brother, Specialist Kevin Tillman.\170\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \169\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Interview 
of Dr. Steven Bucci, at 26 (Sept. 20, 2007).
    \170\ Id. at 32.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Colonel Bucci stated that he shared this information with 
Secretary Rumsfeld within fifteen minutes, at one of the 
Secretary's daily ``stand up'' staff meetings. He told the 
Committee:

        I said, ``Sir, you know, I have bad news. The Army 
        thinks and they are pretty sure that this was actually 
        a fratricide.'' And he said, ``Oh, gosh, that's a 
        shame. Well, they need to settle it and get the word 
        out as quickly as possible.'' And it was clear to me 
        from his reaction and the reaction of General Craddock 
        and the others that that was the first time anyone had 
        heard anything about it being a fratricide.\171\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \171\ Id.

    When asked to further explain his observation that the 
people in the meeting appeared to be hearing the fratricide 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
news for the first time, Colonel Bucci explained:

        We tend in the military to not be particularly happy 
        when there's fratricide of any sort. You know, it's 
        enough of a tragedy when you lose soldiers to the 
        enemy. When you lose them because your own guys did 
        something, you know, made a mistake, it's particularly 
        tragic. So, yeah, everybody's response to me said this 
        was the first time they were hearing about that aspect 
        of it.\172\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \172\ Id. at 34.

    When the Committee interviewed Secretary Rumsfeld's senior 
military assistant, General Bantz J. Craddock, he did not 
recall this conversation. Instead, he recalled that he first 
heard about the suspected fratricide ``over the fence at my 
quarters one weekend'' from his colleague and neighbor at Fort 
Myer, Lieutenant General James Lovelace, who at that time was 
Director of the Army Staff.\173\ General Craddock told the 
Committee:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \173\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Interview 
of General Bantz J. Craddock, at 19 (July 27, 2007).

        As I said, I recall at sometime--and it would have been 
        on a weekend. I don't recall when. My neighbor, Jim 
        Lovelace, indicated it was a possibility, that it was a 
        concern that it might have been a fratricide and it 
        was, like I was, ``you're kidding.'' \174\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \174\ Id. at 27.

    General Craddock told the Committee that he could not 
recall ever talking to Secretary Rumsfeld about Corporal 
Tillman.\175\ He stated that he was ``surprised and taken 
aback'' to hear the news of the fratricide, but he never raised 
the issue with Secretary Rumsfeld, General Myers, or the Vice 
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.\176\ General Lovelace 
told the Committee that he did not recall the ``over the 
fence'' conversation with General Craddock. He also told the 
Committee that, based on a review of his e-mails, he believed 
he learned about Corporal Tillman's fratricide on May 27, 2007, 
two days before the public announcement.\177\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \175\ Id. at 17.
    \176\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Interview 
of General Bantz J. Craddock, at 28 (July 27, 2007).
    \177\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Interview 
of Lieutenant General James Lovelace, at 20 (July 31, 2007).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

                      V. GENERAL MYERS'S RESPONSE

    General Richard Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of 
Staff in 2004, testified before the Committee on August 1, 
2007. As Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Myers was the 
highest-ranking officer in the military and the ``principal 
military adviser to the President, the National Security 
Council, and the Secretary of Defense.'' \178\ In that role, he 
communicated many times a day with Secretary Rumsfeld, 
including attending a daily ``roundtable'' meeting in Secretary 
Rumsfeld's office.\179\ Moreover, according to Secretary 
Rumsfeld, he and General Myers also ``met with the White House 
frequently.'' \180\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \178\ 10 U.S.C. 151(b); although the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs 
of Staff is not in the chain of command between combatant commanders 
and the Secretary of Defense, the Goldwater-Nickles Act allows the 
Chairman to act as a conduit for communications between the combatant 
commanders and the Secretary, 10 U.S.C. 163(a).
    \179\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Interview 
of General Bantz J. Craddock, at 34 (July 27, 2007).
    \180\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Testimony 
of Donald Rumsfeld, Hearing on the Tillman Fratricide: What the 
Leadership of the Defense Department Knew, 110th Cong., at 34 (Aug. 1, 
2007) (Serial No. 110-49).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    When General Myers testified before the Committee on August 
1, 2007, he confirmed that he learned about the friendly fire 
suspicions only days after Corporal Tillman died. He testified: 
``I knew right at the end of April, that there was a 
possibility of fratricide in the Corporal Tillman death, and 
that General McChrystal had started an investigation.'' \181\ 
General Myers did not recall how he learned of the 
investigation, but thought he might have heard it from the 
operations office within the Joint Chiefs of Staff.\182\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \181\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Testimony 
of General Richard Myers, Hearing on the Tillman Fratricide: What the 
Leadership of the Defense Department Knew, 110th Cong., at 32 (Aug. 1, 
2007) (Serial No. 110-49).
    \182\ Id.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    General Myers's early knowledge of the fratricide was 
confirmed by General Abizaid, commander of CENTCOM. General 
Abizaid testified that he called General Myers after receiving 
the P4 message on or after May 6, 2004, but found that General 
Myers was already aware of the situation:

        I called the chairman, I told the chairman about having 
        received General McChrystal's message that friendly 
        fire was involved. . . . And it was my impression from 
        having talked to the chairman at the time that he knew 
        about it.\183\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \183\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Testimony 
of General John Abizaid, Hearing on the Tillman Fratricide: What the 
Leadership of the Defense Department Knew, 110th Cong., at 31 (Aug. 1, 
2007) (Serial No. 110-49).

    According to Lieutenant General Sattler, General Abizaid's 
top operations officer at CENTCOM, General Abizaid likely 
called General Myers with the understanding that the Chairman 
would pass the information in the P4 message on to Secretary 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Rumsfeld. General Sattler stated:

        I'm sure that General Abizaid's goal would have been to 
        let the Secretary know immediately as in his chain of 
        command. And there's obviously two different ways. One 
        is point to point; the other one is through his 
        confidant and advisor, the Chairman. So, yes, I would 
        be very surprised if General Abizaid did not know, one 
        way or the other, the Secretary was going to be 
        informed immediately.\184\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \184\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Interview 
of General John F. Sattler, at 41 (July 24, 2007).

    General Myers could not recall whether he informed the 
Secretary of Defense or the President about the fratricide. 
General Myers acknowledged in his testimony that it would have 
been ``logical'' for him to share the news with the Secretary 
of Defense, but said ``I just don't recall whether I did it or 
not'' and ``I don't have any documentation that says I did.'' 
\185\ General Myers also testified that he could not recall 
``ever having a discussion with anybody in the White House 
about the Tillman case, one way or another.'' \186\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \185\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Testimony 
of General Richard Myers, Hearing on the Tillman Fratricide: What the 
Leadership of the Defense Department Knew, 110th Cong., at 223 (Aug. 1, 
2007) (Serial No. 110-49).
    \186\ Id.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Shortly after learning of the possibility of a fratricide, 
General Myers had a conversation with his top public affairs 
official, then-Captain Frank Thorp, about how to discuss the 
circumstances of Corporal Tillman's death. He told the 
Committee:

        [I]n working with my former public affairs adviser, I 
        said, you know, ``We need to keep this in mind in case 
        we go before the press. We've just got to calibrate 
        ourselves. With this investigation ongoing, we want to 
        be careful how we portray the situation.'' . . . I do 
        remember talking to him about the potential of 
        fratricide and just say we've got to be cautious here, 
        . . . if we make any comments.\187\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \187\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Testimony 
of General Richard Myers, Hearing on the Tillman Fratricide: What the 
Leadership of the Defense Department Knew, 110th Cong., at 33 (Aug. 1, 
2007) (Serial No. 110-49).

    When the Committee interviewed now-Admiral Thorp, he had a 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
similar recollection of the encounter:

        He pulled me aside, as I recall, pulled me in his 
        office and gave me a heads--I don't remember his exact 
        words, but I do remember him saying, giving me a heads 
        up that he has heard it is possible fratricide and 
        advising me to make sure that I kept him honest and 
        correct in his public remarks.\188\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \188\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Interview 
of Rear Admiral Frank Thorp, IV, at 26 (Sept. 19, 2007).

    General Myers told the Committee he was ``cautious'' when 
discussing Corporal Tillman's death to avoid exerting ``command 
influence'' over those investigating the fratricide, even 
though General Myers, as Joint Chiefs Chairman, was not 
technically in the chain of command. He denied engaging in a 
cover-up of the friendly fire.\189\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \189\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Testimony 
of General Richard Myers, Hearing on the Tillman Fratricide: What the 
Leadership of the Defense Department Knew, 110th Cong., at 197 (Aug. 1, 
2007) (Serial No. 110-49).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    General Myers told the Committee that he took no steps to 
notify the Tillman family or speak in public about the 
possibility of friendly fire. He told the Committee that 
notifying the family ``wouldn't be our responsibility'' at the 
Joint Chiefs because it is done in ``Army channels.'' He said 
it would have been ``absolutely irresponsible of me to 
interfere with Army procedures, frankly.'' \190\ He further 
explained:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \190\ Id. at 219.

        I mean, it sounds harsh, and it is harsh, but the 
        reality is there is a lot of things going on, and 
        this--Corporal Tillman's death was significant, but it 
        wasn't the kind of issue that occupied a whole lot of 
        time. . . . We were working on the battle of Fallujah. 
        We had a myriad of issues. Abu Ghraib had just broke; 
        we spent a lot of time in the media with Abu Ghraib. 
        There were a lot of issues taking our attention. I 
        think it would have been irresponsible for the chairman 
        to get involved in what are Army matters.\191\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \191\ Id.

    Although General Myers did not notify the Tillman family of 
the possible friendly fire, he did notify the National Football 
League on April 23 that Corporal Tillman had been killed.\192\ 
Greg Aiello, Vice President for Public Relations for the NFL, 
told Army representatives that General Myers called NFL 
Commissioner Paul Tagliabue on April 23, 2004, to notify him of 
the casualty.\193\ Mr. Tagliabue confirmed to Committee staff 
that he received this call.\194\ At the time General Myers made 
this call, Defense Department policy required that the 
Department refrain from public comment on the death of a 
soldier until 24 hours after family notification.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \192\ Shari Lawrence, Army Human Resources Command, ``EXSUM'' 
Document (Apr. 23, 2004).
    \193\ Id.
    \194\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Interview 
of Paul Tagliabue (May 27, 2008).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

                     VI. GENERAL ABIZAID'S RESPONSE

    General John Abizaid, commanding general of CENTCOM, was 
the military officer at the top of Corporal Tillman's 
operational chain of command and the main addressee on General 
McChrystal's P4 memo. General Abizaid testified before the 
Committee that he was traveling in Iraq and Afghanistan when 
the P4 memo was sent and that CENTCOM headquarters in Tampa, 
Florida failed to forward him the message in a timely way. As a 
result, General Abizaid testified, he received the P4 message a 
week or more after it was sent, probably around May 6, 
2004.\195\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \195\ General Abizaid blamed the delay in his receipt of the P4 on 
``a problem within my own headquarters.'' According to CENTCOM's 
Director of Operations at the time, Lieutenant General John Sattler, 
``we had problems with our P4 system'' while deployed outside of the 
continental United States that might have caused such a delay. House 
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Interview of General John 
F. Sattler, at 33 (July 24, 2007).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    General Abizaid told the Committee that immediately after 
receiving the P4, he contacted General Myers, the Joint Chiefs 
Chairman, to notify him that Corporal Tillman's death was a 
suspected friendly fire. He stated, ``[a]s soon as I saw the 
message . . . I called the chairman; I told the chairman about 
it.'' \196\ General Abizaid testified that when he called 
General Myers, ``it was my impression from having talked to the 
chairman at the time he knew about it.'' \197\ General Abizaid 
also testified that in their conversation, he told General 
Myers he thought the ``leadership'' should know about the 
suspected fratricide, by which he meant ``the secretary and the 
president.'' \198\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \196\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Testimony 
of General John Abizaid, Hearing on the Tillman Fratricide: What the 
Leadership of the Defense Department Knew, 110th Cong., at 31 (Aug. 1, 
2007) (Serial No. 110-49).
    \197\ Id.
    \198\ Id. at 233.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    During his visit to Afghanistan in late April, General 
Abizaid spoke with Corporal Tillman's platoon leader, 1st 
Lieutenant David Uthlaut, who had been injured in the same 
firefight in which Corporal Tillman was killed. In his April 
30, 2004, press availability in Qatar, General Abizaid made the 
following comment:

        I'd also like to say that while I was in Afghanistan 
        yesterday I had the opportunity to talk to 1st 
        Lieutenant Dave Hutman [sic] of the 1st Ranger 
        Battalion, of the Ranger battalion--maybe I've got the 
        wrong Ranger battalion that he was with. He was the 
        platoon leader of Pat Tillman. I asked him yesterday 
        how operations were going. I asked him about Pat 
        Tillman. He said, ``Pat Tillman was a great Ranger and 
        a great soldier, and what more can I say about him?'' 
        And I'd say that about every one of those young men and 
        women that are fighting, not only in Afghanistan but in 
        Iraq. I also probably bear some understanding that--
        that lieutenant I was talking to happened to be a 
        former first captain of corps of cadets at West Point, 
        and when he was talking to me, he was still nursing a 
        large number of wounds that he sustained in that 
        firefight where Pat Tillman lost his life.\199\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \199\ Department of Defense, Gen. Abizaid Central Command 
Operations Update Briefing (Apr. 30, 2004) (online at 
www.defenselink.mil/transcripts/transcript.aspx?transcriptid=2557).

    General Abizaid testified that Lieutenant Uthlaut ``gave no 
indication that there was a friendly fire issue'' during their 
conversation.\200\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \200\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Testimony 
of General John Abizaid, Hearing on the Tillman Fratricide: What the 
Leadership of the Defense Department Knew, 110th Cong., at 31 (Aug. 1, 
2007) (Serial No. 110-49). Then-Captain Uthlaut told the DOD IG that he 
was unaware of the friendly fire for approximately 10 days while 
recuperating after the firefight. Department of Defense Office of 
Inspector General, Interview of Captain David Uthlaut, at 5 (July 29, 
2006).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    In a written response to the Committee, General Abizaid 
said he was not informed about the friendly fire suspicions 
before or during this trip to Afghanistan. He also reiterated 
his testimony that he did not know about the friendly fire 
before he reviewed General McChrystal's P4 message on about May 
6, 2004.\201\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \201\ Letter from General John Abizaid (Retired) to Chairman Henry 
Waxman and Ranking Member Tom Davis, House Committee on Oversight and 
Government Reform (Jan. 15, 2008).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    General Abizaid told the Committee that when he traveled to 
Washington, DC, between May 18 and May 20, 2004, he informed 
Secretary Rumsfeld ``that there was an investigation that was 
ongoing and it looked like it was friendly fire.'' \202\ Yet 
when asked by the Defense Department Inspector General whether 
he spoke with the Secretary upon learning of the fratricide, 
General Abizaid stated, ``No. I didn't talk to the Secretary of 
Defense about it.'' \203\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \202\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Hearing 
on the Tillman Fratricide: What the Leadership of the Defense 
Department Knew, 110th Cong., at 32 (Aug. 1, 2007) (Serial No. 110-49).
    \203\ Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, Interview 
of General John Abizaid, at 9 (Dec. 13, 2006).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

           VII. THE RESPONSE OF OTHER SENIOR MILITARY LEADERS

                         A. GENERAL BRYAN BROWN

    General Bryan Brown, the SOCOM commander, told the 
Committee he received General McChrystal's April 29, 2004, P4 
memo, but failed to inform his superiors or the Tillman family 
of the fratricide. According to General Brown:

        When I got the P4, I made the assumption and probably 
        the bad assumption since I was an info addressee and 
        not the ``to'' that that information would flow through 
        the normal chain of command. It would have been very 
        simple for me to pick up the phone and call the 
        chairman, I didn't. I did respond to the P4 back to 
        General McChrystal but quite frankly, I just made the 
        assumption, a bad assumption now--I know that normal P4 
        traffic moves pretty fast--that that would go to the 
        chairman immediately. So it's unfortunate it was poorly 
        handled and unfortunately it's the Tillman family that 
        had to pay the price for it.\204\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \204\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Testimony 
of General Bryan Brown, Hearing on the Tillman Fratricide: What the 
Leadership of the Defense Department Knew, 110th Cong., at 218 (Aug. 1, 
2007) (Serial No. 110-49).

    General Brown told the Defense Department Inspector General 
that he knew about the friendly fire suspicions even before 
receiving the memo because he received a phone call from 
General McChrystal a few days earlier notifying him that the 
shooting was a possible friendly fire and that an Army 15-6 
investigation was under way. He also said that he believed the 
Department of Defense should have notified the Tillman family 
of the investigation as soon as it became aware of the 
information.\205\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \205\ Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, Interview 
of General Bryan Brown, at 16 (Nov. 17, 2006).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    According to General Brown, notifying the family was not 
his responsibility because he was a combatant commander.\206\ 
Nevertheless, General Brown told the Committee that when he 
learned the notification had not taken place, more than a month 
after the shooting, he initiated an effort to notify the 
Tillman family before the public announcement on May 29, 
2004.\207\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \206\ Id.
    \207\ Id. at 39.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

                 B. LIEUTENANT GENERAL PHILIP KENSINGER

    Precisely how and when General Kensinger, the commanding 
general of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC), 
learned of the fratricide remains a subject of dispute. When 
the Committee interviewed General Kensinger, he stated that he 
was unaware of any suspicions of friendly fire when he attended 
Corporal Tillman's memorial service in San Jose, California, on 
May 3, 2004. But his account is contradicted by the testimony 
of several other officers, as well as by General Kensinger's 
own prior statements, all of which suggest he learned about the 
possibility of friendly fire prior to the May 3 memorial 
service. All the witnesses agree, however, that General 
Kensinger made no effort to inform the Tillman family of the 
fratricide until the end of May 2004.
    When the Committee interviewed General Kensinger on 
February 29, 2008, he was asked when he first learned that 
Corporal Tillman's death may have been caused by friendly 
fire.\208\ General Kensinger responded, ``to the best that I 
remember, it was after the memorial service when I got the 
P4.'' \209\ General Kensinger said he did not learn about 
suspicions of friendly fire until Colonel Clarence K.K. Chinn, 
the deputy commander of the 75th Ranger Regiment, told him 
about them after the memorial service. He also stated that he 
did not see General McChrystal's P4 memo until after he 
returned to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, after the service. He 
told the Committee this recollection was based in part on his 
feeling that he would have been uncomfortable attending the 
memorial service knowing about the friendly fire suspicions. He 
stated:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \208\ General Kensinger had been invited to attend the August 1, 
2007, Committee hearing, but refused, citing a ``previously scheduled 
business matter.'' E-mail from Charles Gittins, Attorney for General 
Kensinger, to Majority Staff, House Oversight and Government Reform 
Committee (July 22, 2007). A subpoena was issued to compel his 
appearance, but U.S. Marshals could not locate General Kensinger prior 
to the hearing. Subpoena from Henry A. Waxman, Chairman, House 
Oversight and Government Reform Committee, to Lieutenant General Philip 
Kensinger (July 31, 2007).
    \209\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Interview 
of Lieutenant General Philip Kensinger, Jr. (Retired), at 24 (Feb. 29, 
2008).

        I mean I just have a hard time going back and trying to 
        rectify the dates. And that is why I said that it was 
        after the memorial service. Because I would have had a 
        different feel--I just know myself. I would have had a 
        different feeling at the memorial service if I had 
        known about this before going to the memorial 
        service.\210\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \210\ Id. at 30.

    General Kensinger's statements are contradicted by the 
testimony of Brigadier General Howard Yellen, the deputy 
commander of USASOC in April 2004. He told the Defense 
Department Inspector General that on April 24, the commander of 
the 75th Ranger Regiment, Colonel Nixon, called and told him 
``I think we have a possible fratricide.'' \211\ General Yellen 
told Committee staff he shared this information with General 
Kensinger on the same day. He stated: ``I either went by and 
went into his office and told him, or brought it up at a daily 
update.'' \212\ When asked about this conversation, General 
Kensinger told the Committee, ``I don't remember that.'' \213\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \211\ Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, Interview 
of Brigadier General Howard Yellen, at 8 (Dec. 1, 2006).
    \212\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Interview 
of Brigadier General Howard Yellen (Retired), at 40 (July 25, 2007).
    \213\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Interview 
of Lieutenant General Philip Kensinger, Jr. (Retired), at 25 (Feb. 29, 
2008).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    General Yellen also told the Committee that General 
Kensinger ``[a]bsolutely'' knew about the suspected fratricide 
prior to the memorial service on May 3.\214\ According to 
General Yellen, he had a discussion with General Kensinger 
prior to the memorial about the need to disclose to the Tillman 
family the possibility of fratricide. General Yellen told the 
Committee:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \214\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Interview 
of Brigadier General Howard Yellen (Retired), at 39 (July 25, 2007).

        I remember indicating that not saying anything might 
        not be to our best--bad news doesn't get better with 
        time. And I remember General Kensinger saying the 
        investigation is not yet complete. . . . My 
        recommendation was just to explain to the family that 
        we have a suspicion that this may have been friendly 
        fire. We have a thorough investigation currently 
        ongoing and we are going to brief you just as soon as 
        that investigation is complete. We are going to come 
        out there and we're going to lay all the facts on the 
        table for you and explain this, as we do for all of our 
        15-6 collateral investigations. . . . I mean, this was 
        not unusual in going out and briefing a family. In 
        fact, General Shinseki, when he was Chief of Staff, 
        instituted that policy.\215\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \215\ Id. at 62.

    According to General Yellen, General Kensinger did not 
support sharing the information with the Tillman family before 
the investigation was complete. General Yellen summed up their 
disagreement in the following way: ``He wanted to have a 
complete report. And I, my approach is you don't need the 
completed report.'' \216\ Although he did not recall specific 
conversations with General Yellen about notifying the family of 
the fratricide investigation, General Kensinger told the 
Committee he recalled believing ``that until the investigation 
was completed you didn't notify the family.'' \217\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \216\ Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, Interview 
of Brigadier General Howard Yellen, at 74 (Dec. 1, 2006).
    \217\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Interview 
of Lieutenant General Philip Kensinger (Retired), at 59 (Feb. 29, 
2008).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    General Kensinger's assertion to the Committee that he 
learned about friendly fire suspicions after the May 3 memorial 
is also contradicted by another former member of General 
Kensinger's staff, Lieutenant Colonel David Duffy. Colonel 
Duffy told the Department of Defense Inspector General that he 
personally delivered General McChrystal's P4 message to General 
Kensinger on the morning of April 30, 2004, three days before 
the memorial service. Colonel Duffy stated:

        Once I got it I hand carried it immediately up to GEN 
        Kensinger, the commander at the time. . . . I mean, I 
        sat down. He sat in on chair, I sat in the other and I 
        handed it to him.\218\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \218\ Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, Interview 
of Lieutenant Colonel David Duffy, at 7 (Nov. 30, 2006).

    Colonel Duffy recalled that General Kensinger was concerned 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
about the P4 message, and warned him to avoid discussing it:

        [H]e read it and, you know, was dismayed by the 
        contents obviously. And then basically looked me in the 
        eye and said if it leaked anywhere that, you know, it 
        was on me. . . . I do know that he said words to the 
        effect of ``Damn, I wish they hadn't have told me.'' 
        \219\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \219\ Id. at 8.

    Colonel Duffy noted that General Kensinger's warning not to 
disclose the information in the P4 was not a routine 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
occurrence:

        That's unusual. That the only time it ever happened. 
        The only time. . . . And I had a good relationship with 
        GEN Kensinger. But it was like, you know, ``Hey if 
        leaks out, Duffy, you know, you're dead,'' or 
        something.\220\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \220\ Id. at 16.

    Although General Kensinger told Committee staff that he 
only received P4s ``very infrequently'' and agreed that they 
tended to be urgent messages, he said that he had no 
recollection that Colonel Duffy, or anyone else, delivered the 
message from General McChrystal.\221\ He had no explanation for 
the delay he says he experienced in receiving the P4, stating: 
``I can't tell you why I didn't get it in a timely manner. I 
don't know.'' \222\ According to his deputy, General Yellen, 
P4s were generally delivered promptly at USASOC because 
``personnel understood the sensitivity and the expediency of 
those messages.'' \223\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \221\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Interview 
of Lieutenant General Philip Kensinger (Retired), at 28 (Feb. 29, 
2008).
    \222\ Id.
    \223\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Interview 
of Brigadier General Howard Yellen, at 47 (July 25, 2007).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    General Kensinger's account was also contradicted by a 
third officer, Colonel Clarence Chinn, the deputy commander of 
the 75th Ranger Regiment in 2004. In an interview with the 
Defense Department Inspector General, Colonel Chinn disputed 
the idea that he had informed General Kensinger of the ongoing 
fratricide investigation. He told investigators that sometime 
after the memorial service, General Kensinger informed him that 
Corporal Tillman's death was a possible fratricide. Colonel 
Chinn stated that he was certain of his recollection:

        Oh, I am very clear. I, I am absolutely, one hundred 
        percent positive he told me. . . . And the reason I am 
        very aware of that because I was not very happy about 
        not knowing and going to a memorial service for a 
        soldier unaware that that is what happened.\224\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \224\ Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, Interview 
of Colonel Clarence Chinn, at 26 (Nov. 7, 2006).

    Finally, General Kensinger's statements to the Committee 
are contradicted by his own previous testimony to Army 
investigators that he learned the information shortly before 
the May 3 memorial service. On two separate occasions, he 
testified that he was told about the friendly fire 
investigation by Lt. Colonel Chinn, who picked him up at the 
airport before the memorial.\225\ When Army investigators then 
asked him if there was ``a conscious decision made not to tell 
the family of that possibility,'' General Kensinger responded:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \225\ Brigadier General Mike Jones, Interview of Lieutenant General 
Philip Kensinger, Jr. (Nov. 29, 2004); Department of Defense Office of 
Inspector General, Interview of Lieutenant General Philip Kensinger, 
Jr., at 6 (Dec. 8, 2006).

        On that particular day, considering what I was told, 
        the answer is: Yes. You know, the decision was made not 
        to--first of all, we didn't have enough information to 
        say that it was. And I think what we wanted to do is 
        make sure that we told them the right information. 
        Again, that was a memorial service. I didn't think it 
        was my responsibility to go up to them and say, ``Hey, 
        you know, this is a possible friendly fire.'' Again, I 
        think that would just not be the right thing to do 
        personally. Again, I didn't have any information. Mine 
        was all hearsay.\226\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \226\ Brigadier General Mike Jones, Interview of Lieutenant General 
Philip Kensinger, Jr., at 3 (Nov. 29, 2004).

    Despite the conflicts in testimony relating to when General 
Kensinger found out about the ongoing fratricide investigation, 
all the witnesses agree that when he did find out, General 
Kensinger chose not to tell the Tillman family. Instead, he 
waited until the investigation had been completed at the end of 
May 2004. This delay was not consistent with Army regulations, 
which required the Army to notify the Tillman family that it 
was investigating Corporal Tillman's death as a possible 
fratricide.\227\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \227\ Army Regulation 600-34 Sec. 3-7 (2003) (``[W]ithin a 
reasonable period of time after family members are notified of the 
death of a soldier, but not more than 30 days after the date of 
notification, the CAO [casualty assistance officer] . . . will ensure 
that the PNOK [primary next of kin] and other family members . . . 
[a]re informed of the investigations, the names of the agencies 
conducting the investigations, and the existence of any reports by such 
agencies that have or will be issued as a result of the 
investigations''); Army Regulation 600-8-1 Sec. 4-13(b) (1994) 
(providing a script for notifying family members in cases of friendly 
fire, including, ``His/her death is the result of suspected friendly 
fire. An investigation is being conducted.'').
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

 VIII. THE RESPONSE TO THE CAPTURE AND RESCUE OF PRIVATE JESSICA LYNCH

                 A. PRIVATE LYNCH'S CAPTURE AND RESCUE

    Private First Class Jessica Lynch was a member of the 
Army's 507th Maintenance Company, a logistics team assigned to 
support a Patriot missile battery during the initial invasion 
of Iraq. While the company was heading towards Baghdad as part 
of a convoy on March 23, 2003, several vehicles experienced 
mechanical problems, and the company fell hours behind. As a 
result, the company missed a turn and headed into territory 
controlled by Iraqi forces.\228\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \228\ U.S. Army, Attack on the 507th Maintenance Company, 23 March 
2003, An Nasiriyah, Iraq (undated) (online at www.army.mil/features/
507thMaintCmpy/AttackOnThe507MaintCmpy.pdf).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Iraqi forces attacked the company as it traveled through 
the city of An Nasiriyah. Private Lynch was severely injured 
when the Humvee she was riding in crashed into another convoy 
vehicle. Iraqi forces captured Private Lynch and transported 
her to a military hospital and later to the Saddam Hussein 
General Hospital in An Nasiriyah.\229\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \229\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Testimony 
of Jessica Lynch, Hearing on Misleading Information from the 
Battlefield, 110th Cong., at 22 (Apr. 24, 2007) (Serial No. 110-54).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    For the next seven days, Iraqi hospital staff treated 
Private Lynch's life-threatening wounds, which included 
numerous shattered bones. During that time, Marines conducting 
operations in the area learned that Private Lynch was being 
held at the hospital and that Iraqi forces were using the 
hospital as an operations center.\230\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \230\ U.S. Central Command Operational Update Briefing with Major 
General Victor Renuart, CENTCOM Director of Operations (Apr. 5, 2003).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Late on the night of April 1, 2003, a U.S. special forces 
unit rescued Private Lynch and recovered the remains of nine 
U.S. soldiers who had been killed during the earlier battle. 
Private Lynch was transported to the Landstuhl Regional Medical 
Center in Germany for further treatment.\231\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \231\ Id.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

             B. THE DISSEMINATION OF INACCURATE INFORMATION

    On April 1, 2003, immediately after the rescue of Private 
Lynch, military officials at U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) 
headquarters in Doha, Qatar, called in members of the media to 
announce the success of the mission. CENTCOM's chief spokesman 
Jim Wilkinson stated: ``America doesn't leave its heroes 
behind. . . . Never has. Never will.'' \232\ He also stated, 
``We also have other POWs we are just as worried about. This is 
good news today but we need a lot more good news.'' \233\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \232\ American Troops Rescue Iraq POW Lynch, Associated Press (Apr. 
1, 2003).
    \233\ Id.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    The next morning, Brigadier General Vincent Brooks, another 
CENTCOM spokesman, gave his daily press briefing. During this 
briefing, he showed a four-minute video of the rescue operation 
and gave the following narration:

        [C]oalition Special Operations forces did stage an 
        operation last night into the town of An Nasiriya. It 
        was in the Saddam Hospital in An Nasiriya, a facility 
        that had been used by the regime as a military post.

        We were successful in that operation last night and did 
        retrieve Pfc. Jessica Lynch, bringing her away from 
        that location of danger, clearing the building of some 
        of the military activity that was in there. There was 
        not a fire-fight inside the building I will tell you, 
        but there were fire-fights outside of the building 
        getting in and getting out.

        There were no coalition casualties as a result of this 
        and in the destruction that occurred inside of the 
        building, particularly in the basement area where the 
        operations centers had been, we found ammunition, 
        mortars, maps, a terrain model, and other things that 
        make it very clear that it was being used as a military 
        command post.

        The nature of the operation was a coalition special 
        operation that involved Army Rangers, Air Force pilots 
        and combat controllers, U.S. Marines and Navy Seals. It 
        was a classical joint operation done by some of our 
        nation's finest warriors, who are dedicated to never 
        leaving a comrade behind.\234\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \234\ U.S. Central Command Operational Update Briefing with 
Brigadier General Vincent Brooks, CENTCOM Deputy Director of Operations 
(Apr. 2, 2003).

    On the same day, April 2, 2003, the Washington Post printed 
its first report (``Missing Soldier Rescued; U.S. Forces Remove 
POW From Hospital'') on the Lynch rescue. The front page story 
was written by Vernon Loeb and Dana Priest, and it provided a 
factually accurate account of the rescue. The story's opening 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
paragraph began:

        Jessica Lynch, a 19-year-old private first class 
        missing since the ambush of an Army maintenance company 
        10 days ago in southern Iraq, has been rescued by 
        Special Operations forces, defense officials said 
        yesterday. CIA operatives in Iraq located Lynch in a 
        hospital near Nasiriyah, where she was being held 
        because of multiple wounds, officials said, and a 
        helicopter-borne team of Navy SEALS and Army rangers 
        rescued her about midnight local time.\235\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \235\ Missing Soldier Rescued; U.S. Forces Remove POW From 
Hospital, Washington Post (Apr. 2, 2003).

    The story quoted Mr. Wilkinson, who said of Private Lynch, 
``[s]he's safe in coalition hands and happier than where she 
was.'' \236\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \236\ Id.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    The April 2 story did not include any details about heroic 
actions by Private Lynch. But just one day later the Washington 
Post reported sensational new details. The April 3 front page 
story (``She Was Fighting to the Death''), written by Susan 
Schmidt and Vernon Loeb, began with a vivid battlefield 
account:

        Pfc. Jessica Lynch, rescued Tuesday from an Iraqi 
        hospital, fought fiercely and shot several enemy 
        soldiers after Iraqi forces ambushed the Army's 507th 
        Ordnance Maintenance Company, firing her weapon until 
        she ran out of ammunition, U.S. officials said 
        yesterday. Lynch, a 19-year-old supply clerk, continued 
        firing at the Iraqis even after she sustained multiple 
        gunshot wounds and watched several other soldiers in 
        her unit die around her in the fighting March 23, one 
        official said.\237\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \237\ `She Was Fighting to the Death'; Details Emerging of W. Va. 
Soldier's Capture and Rescue, Washington Post (Apr. 3, 2003).

    The article quoted ``one official'' as saying that at the 
time of her capture, Private Lynch ``was fighting to the death. 
She did not want to be taken alive.'' \238\ The authors stated 
that according to this anonymous official, Private Lynch ``was 
also stabbed when Iraqi forces closed in on her position,'' 
though there was no ``indication'' that Lynch's wounds were 
``life-threatening.'' \239\ The article also stated:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \238\ Id.
    \239\ Id.

        Several officials cautioned that the precise sequence 
        of events is still being determined, and that further 
        information will emerge as Lynch is debriefed. Reports 
        are thus far based on battlefield intelligence, they 
        said, which comes from monitored communications from 
        Iraqi sources in Nasiriyah whose reliability has yet to 
        be assessed. Pentagon officials said they heard 
        ``rumors' of Lynch's heroics but had no 
        confirmation.\240\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \240\ Id.

    On the same day, April 3, 2003, the Military Times ran a 
similar account with confirmation from Navy Captain Frank 
Thorp.\241\ At the time, Captain Thorp was a CENTCOM public 
affairs officer stationed at the command's Qatar headquarters. 
He subsequently became the top public affairs official for 
General Myers and was promoted to Rear Admiral. According to 
this report:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \241\ Remains Found at Iraqi Hospital to be Flown to U.S., Military 
Times (Apr. 3, 2003).

        Thorp said Lynch ``waged quite a battle prior to her 
        capture. We do have very strong indications that 
        Jessica Lynch was not captured very easily,'' he said. 
        ``Reports are that she fired her (M-16 rifle) until she 
        had no more ammunition.'' \242\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \242\ Id.

    The dramatic story and video of Private Lynch's rescue 
dominated the media for the next few days. In the words of one 
CENTCOM public affairs official, Lieutenant Colonel John 
Robinson, ``It was an awesome story.'' \243\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \243\ A Broken Body, a Broken Story, Pieced Together; Investigation 
Reveals Lynch--Still in Hospital After 67 Days--Suffered Bone-crushing 
Injuries in Crash During Ambush, Washington Post (June 17, 2003).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    The story of Private Lynch's rescue unfolded during a 
difficult time for the White House. An April 3, 2003, 
Washington Post story detailed the difficulties the Bush 
Administration was having at the time with communications about 
the war. The Post reported that the Administration's plan ``did 
not allow for strong Iraqi resistance and overestimated the 
welcome allied troops would receive.'' \244\ The story also 
noted:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \244\ White House is Revising its War Message; Setbacks Providing 
Lessons, Washington Post (Apr. 3, 2003).

        After nearly two weeks of discouraging news from Iraq, 
        the White House viewed yesterday as an excellent 
        message day. There were new details on the rescue of 
        prisoner of war Jessica Lynch by U.S. Special 
        Operations forces.\245\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \245\ Id.

    Those new details, however, included an entirely fictional 
account of her capture. It is not uncommon for initial 
battlefield reports to have factual inaccuracies, since they 
are often written in difficult circumstances and under intense 
time pressures. Subsequent reports then correct the record. The 
opposite was true, though, in Private Lynch's case. The initial 
reporting was accurate. It was the subsequent stories that 
invented new facts. This unusual situation raised concerns that 
the misinformation might be part of a deliberate propaganda 
strategy. As New York Times columnist Frank Rich wrote, 
``[w]hen American forces were bogged down in the war's early 
days, she was the happy harbinger of an imminent military 
turnaround: a 19-year-old female Rambo who tried to blast her 
way out of the enemy's clutches, taking out any man who got in 
her way.'' \246\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \246\ Pfc. Jessica Lynch Isn't Rambo Anymore, New York Times (Nov. 
9, 2003).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    In a June 17, 2003, story, the Washington Post disclosed 
that Private Lynch did not engage the enemy, was not wounded by 
gunshots, and was rescued without significant resistance. 
According to the Post, the source of the inaccurate account was 
a top-secret battlefield intelligence report that military 
officials had quickly leaked to the press without 
verifying.\247\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \247\ A Broken Body, a Broken Story, Pieced Together; Investigation 
Reveals Lynch--Still in Hospital After 67 Days--Suffered Bone-crushing 
Injuries in Crash During Ambush, Washington Post (June 17, 2003). The 
military conducted at least two investigations into Private Lynch's 
capture and rescue, one by the Army and one by the Defense Department 
Inspector General, but neither specifically addressed the dissemination 
of false information. Defense Department Office of Inspector General, 
Executive Summary: Alleged Premeditated Fabrication and Inappropriate 
Conduct of U.S. Military Personnel Involved in the Rescue of Private 
First Class Jessica Lynch, U.S. Army (undated); U.S. Army, Attack on 
the 507th Maintenance Company, 23 March 2003, An Nasiriyah, Iraq 
(undated) (online at www.army.mil/features/507thMaintCmpy/
AttackOnThe507MaintCmpy.pdf).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    In late 2003, Vernon Loeb, one of the authors of the 
erroneous April 3 Post story, stated: ``I don't think we were 
spun at all. . . . I don't think the Pentagon ever set out to 
make Jessica Lynch a poster child for battlefield heroism.'' 
\248\ According to an article in the American Journalism 
Review, Mr. Loeb and one of his editors at the Post ``say they 
have no reason to doubt that their April 3 story accurately 
reflected the information contained in those [intelligence] 
reports--even if the reports had inaccuracies. `We had multiple 
sources because multiple people were reading the same 
intelligence reports.' '' \249\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \248\ Steve Ritea, Jessica Lynch's Story: A Little Too Perfect? 
American Journalism Review (Aug./Sept. 2003).
    \249\ Id.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    In May 2004, the Washington Post reported that another U.S. 
soldier had been captured and then executed in the same ambush 
during which Private Lynch was taken captive. The article noted 
that this soldier's mother ``believed the Army had not given 
her son credit for actions first attributed to Lynch.'' The 
article further explained that the soldier's ``family and 
others have said that early reports depicting a blond soldier 
bravely fighting off Iraqis may have been mistakenly attributed 
to Lynch, possibly because of an erroneous translation of Iraqi 
radio transmissions.'' \250\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \250\ Family Learns Iraqis Executed Soldier Captured at Same Time 
as Lynch, Washington Post (May 29, 2004).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

              C. THE RESPONSE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICIALS

    The Committee exchanged e-mails and interviewed now-Admiral 
Thorp about his knowledge of the capture and rescue of Private 
Lynch. In an April 2007 e-mail to Committee majority staff, 
Admiral Thorp described his statements to the Military Times 
reporter about Private Lynch. He wrote:

        As I recall, this was a short interview and media 
        desperately wanted me to confirm the story that was 
        running in the States. . . . I never said that I had 
        seen any intel or even intimated the same. . . . I may 
        have said I am familiar with ``the reports'' meaning 
        the press reports, but as you can see I did not confirm 
        them. . . . We did have reports of a battle and that a 
        firefight had occurred. . . . That is what I stated . . 
        .\251\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \251\ E-mail from Rear Admiral Frank Thorp, Deputy Assistant 
Secretary of Defense for Joint Communication, to Majority Staff, House 
Oversight and Government Reform Committee (Apr. 19, 2007) (ellipses in 
original).

    Five months later, during a transcribed Committee 
interview, Admiral Thorp was asked about the same conversation 
with the Military Times reporter. At this time, he denied 
having any memory of the interaction, stating, ``I do not 
recall specifically talking to this reporter about this.'' 
\252\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \252\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Interview 
of Rear Admiral Frank Thorp, IV, at 69 (Sept. 19, 2007).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    During the interview, Admiral Thorp was asked what his 
source was for his statements that Private Lynch ``waged quite 
a battle'' and that he had ``strong indications'' that she 
``was not captured very easily'' and fired her rifle ``until 
she had no more ammunition.'' Admiral Thorp responded that he 
could not recall making these statements, but stated that if he 
had, he would have gathered the information from ``various 
sources.'' \253\ He also said that his statements could have 
been ``based on things that I had heard,'' including other 
press reports.\254\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \253\ Id. at 73.
    \254\ Id.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Admiral Thorp explained that in the opening days of 
Operation Iraqi Freedom, he regularly confirmed press reports 
by citing other press reports. He explained how this process 
worked at CENTCOM headquarters in Qatar:

        I could give you one anecdote to tell you, to give a 
        perspective as to what was going on, which was on 
        numerous occasions I would be standing there watching a 
        television monitor on CNN reporting from a unit in Iraq 
        in which a journalist next to me would ask me to 
        confirm that what we were watching together on TV was 
        happening, which obviously he had the same knowledge I 
        did of that live situation on the ground. It would not 
        be odd for me to then tell another journalist later 
        that I saw something on CNN. . . . So there were times 
        where I would say I just saw on CNN a report that boom, 
        boom, boom. Whether somebody attributed that to me, 
        that a Navy spokesman said there are reports, that I 
        have no way of knowing because it was happening so fast 
        and so furious. But I absolutely felt that in my realm 
        of responsibility, to share other reports that were 
        already out, that reporters had made to make sure that 
        everyone knew.\255\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \255\ Id. at 71.

    Admiral Thorp told the Committee that he did not recall 
seeing classified battlefield intelligence reports about 
Private Lynch, and he said he did not remember if his remarks 
were based on such reports.\256\ When asked whether he knew at 
the time he spoke to reporters that Private Lynch had not 
actually fired any shots, Admiral Thorp replied: ``I would 
absolutely never, ever, ever, ever say anything that I knew to 
not be true.'' \257\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \256\ Id. at 75.
    \257\ Id. at 76.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    According to Admiral Thorp, the public affairs official who 
attended CENTCOM operational briefings was Jim Wilkinson, the 
Director of Strategic Communications for CENTCOM commander, 
General Tommy Franks.\258\ When the Committee interviewed Mr. 
Wilkinson, he said he was not a source for the story and that 
he was never familiar with the operational details of Private 
Lynch's capture and rescue. He told the Committee: ``I still, 
to this day, don't know if those details are right or wrong. I 
just don't know. I don't remember seeing any operational 
report.'' \259\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \258\ Id. at 73.
    \259\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Interview 
of James R. Wilkinson, at 58 (Mar. 14, 2008).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Neither Mr. Wilkinson nor Admiral Thorp said they knew the 
identity of the ``U.S. officials'' cited in the April 3, 2003, 
Washington Post story. Neither could explain why initial news 
reports about Private Lynch's capture and rescue were accurate, 
and subsequent stories contained significant errors.

          IX. OTHER CASES BROUGHT TO THE COMMITTEE'S ATTENTION

    The Committee's investigation has focused on the 
information the Defense Department provided about the two most 
famous U.S. soldiers in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars: Corporal 
Tillman and Private Lynch. During the course of the 
investigation, however, families and friends of soldiers killed 
or injured in the wars contacted the Committee's majority staff 
to recount similar experiences in which the Pentagon provided 
misleading information about a battlefield casualty.
    For example, the family of Specialist Jesse Buryj of 
Canton, Ohio, who died in Iraq on May 5, 2004, experienced many 
of the same frustrations as the Tillman family. The Army 
initially claimed that Specialist Buryj had been killed by the 
enemy and posthumously awarded him a Bronze Star for his valor 
while guarding a highway checkpoint.\260\ Nine months later, 
after several investigations, the family learned his death was 
actually a fratricide.\261\ In July 2004, Specialist Buryj's 
parents accepted an invitation to meet President Bush at a 
campaign rally. They asked him to help them learn the truth 
about how their son died. According to the family, the 
President agreed to assist.\262\ Specialist Buryj's mother 
recalled that after the meeting, her case received more 
attention, but the military still did not provide a 
satisfactory account of what happened to her son.\263\ A few 
months later, a Bush-Cheney campaign official contacted the 
family. Rather than offer assistance, the official asked 
Specialist Buryj's mother to appear in a campaign commercial 
for the President. Mrs. Buryj refused.\264\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \260\ An Army Death, and a Family Left in the Dark, Washington Post 
(Jan. 17, 2006).
    \261\ Id.
    \262\ Id.; House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, 
Majority Staff, Telephone Interview of Peggy Buryj (June 2, 2008).
    \263\ NOW, PBS (Nov. 17, 2006) (online at www.pbs.org/now/
transcript/246.html).
    \264\ An Army Death, and a Family Left in the Dark, Washington Post 
(Jan. 17, 2006).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Committee's majority staff was also contacted by the 
family and friends of Private First Class LaVena Johnson, a 
weapons supply manager from Florissant, Missouri, who died, 
family members say, in a suspicious non-combat incident near 
Balad, Iraq, on July 19, 2005. According to news reports, the 
Army ruled the death a suicide, and a medical examiner 
concurred with this finding.\265\ But Private Johnson's family 
believes Army investigators ignored physical evidence 
inconsistent with a finding of suicide. They also believe that 
the Army has additional information about the circumstances of 
Private Johnson's death that it has not shared with the family.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \265\ Father Wants Soldier's Death Reinvestigated, Associated Press 
(June 4, 2008).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    While the names of these soldiers are not as well-known as 
Pat Tillman and Jessica Lynch, their sacrifices were just as 
great and their families are just as deserving of the truth.

                             X. CONCLUSION

    The men and women who serve in the military act selflessly 
and courageously in defending our country and fighting for 
freedom. They are willing to risk serious injury and even death 
in fulfilling their responsibilities. And too often their 
willingness to sacrifice becomes an actual and irreplaceable 
loss for their families and for our country.
    Our nation cannot adequately recognize that service, but we 
can honor their sacrifice by keeping faith with their trust and 
dedication.
    That starts by making sure our troops never go to battle 
unless it is absolutely necessary. It also means making sure 
they have the benefit of the best equipment and intelligence 
and the best medical care if they are injured.
    Our nation also has an inviolate obligation to share 
truthful information with a soldier's family and the American 
people should injury or death occur. As Corporal Tillman's 
brother, Kevin, told the Committee:

        Pat and these other soldiers volunteered to put their 
        lives on the line for this country. Anything less than 
        the truth is a betrayal of those values that all 
        soldiers who have fought for this nation have sought to 
        uphold.\266\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \266\ House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Testimony 
of Kevin Tillman, Hearing on Misleading Information from the 
Battlefield, 110th Cong., at 21 (Apr. 24, 2007) (Serial No. 110-54).

    That standard was not met in either Corporal Tillman's or 
Private Lynch's cases.
    Neither case involved an act of omission. The 
misinformation was not caused by overlooking or 
misunderstanding relevant facts. Instead, in both cases 
affirmative acts created new facts that were significantly 
different than what the soldiers in the field knew to be true. 
And in both cases the fictional accounts proved to be 
compelling public narratives at difficult times in the war.
    The fictional version of Private Lynch's circumstances came 
when many Americans were first beginning to worry about the 
direction of the Iraq war. The heroic efforts of Private Lynch 
became, in the words of one CENTCOM officer, ``an awesome 
story.''
    Specialist Kevin Tillman told the Committee that he 
believed the combination of a difficult battle in Fallujah, bad 
news about the state of the war, and emerging reports about Abu 
Ghraib prison created a motive to fictionalize the details 
about his brother's death. Whether he is correct or not, the 
public affairs staff of the Army recounted that the death of 
Corporal Tillman generated the most media coverage of the Army 
``since the end of active combat'' and was ``extremely positive 
in all media.''
    As the Committee investigated the Tillman and Lynch cases, 
it encountered a striking lack of recollection. In Private 
Lynch's case, Jim Wilkinson, who was the Director for Strategic 
Communications for the CENTCOM Commander and attended CENTCOM 
operational briefings, told the Committee he did not know where 
the false information originated or who disseminated it.
    In Corporal Tillman's case, even after seven Defense 
Department investigations, no one has been able to identify the 
person who created the false information about enemy fire. At 
the top of the chain of command, where the Committee focused 
its attention, pertinent questions also remain unanswered. The 
White House was intensely interested in the first reports of 
Corporal Tillman's death. On April 23, White House officials 
sent or received nearly 200 e-mails concerning Corporal 
Tillman. In contrast, the White House could not produce a 
single e-mail or document relating to any discussion about 
Corporal Tillman's death by friendly fire. Not a single written 
communication about the personal reactions or the substantive, 
political, and public relations implications of the new 
information was provided to the Committee.
    Despite receiving information from all the top military 
leaders in Corporal Tillman chain of command--including 
Secretary Rumsfeld, General Myers, and General Abizaid--the 
Committee could not determine if any of the officials had 
communicated with President Bush or White House officials about 
fratricide in Corporal Tillman's case. The lack of recollection 
also prevented the Committee from understanding how information 
about Corporal Tillman was handled within the Defense 
Department and how the Defense Department and the White House 
shared information on this matter.
    If the testimony the Committee received is accurate and if 
the documents submitted are complete, then the intense interest 
that initially characterized the White House's and Defense 
Department's reaction to Corporal Tillman's death was followed 
by a stunning lack of curiosity about emerging reports of 
fratricide and an incomprehensible carelessness and 
incompetence in handling this sensitive information.
    The pervasive lack of recollection and absence of specific 
information makes it impossible for the Committee to assign 
responsibility for the misinformation in Corporal Tillman's and 
Private Lynch's cases. It is clear, however, that the Defense 
Department did not meet its most basic obligations in sharing 
accurate information with the families and with the American 
public.

                   ADDITIONAL VIEWS OF HON. TOM DAVIS

    The tragic loss of Army Corporal Pat Tillman in Afghanistan 
in April 2004 painfully reminds all Americans of the costs of 
war. He was a true hero, a role model whose personal sense of 
duty drew him from the ranks of elite professional sports to 
perilous military service in the barren hills of Afghanistan. 
Nothing we say can improve or diminish his shining legacy of 
patriotism and self-sacrifice.
    What is said about the death of a hero should be said 
thoughtfully, carefully, and reverently. Events surrounding the 
timeless end of a heroic life should never be shaped or shaded 
by either side to fuel the political disputes of the day. This 
bipartisan investigation asked whether Pentagon or White House 
officials broke that rule by manipulating information to build 
public support for an unpopular war. The record before us 
contains substantial evidence of inadvertence, misjudgment, 
ineptitude, error--and even negligence. But, as the Committee's 
report acknowledges, the investigative record is incomplete, 
and therefore inconclusive, on the question whether government 
officials purposefully delayed or distorted information about 
battlefield events. The same rule against political 
misinformation argues strongly against the Committee filling 
those evidentiary gaps with unsupported inferences and negative 
characterizations. However inconvenient or frustrating, the 
absence of evidence cannot be used to prove a conclusion the 
actual evidence does not sustain.
    As much out of disappointment as disagreement, we submit 
these Additional Views to supplement and clarify the factual 
findings of the Committee Report. This has been a bipartisan 
investigation from the outset, and we appreciate the majority 
sharing early drafts with us and incorporating our suggestions 
into the final report. Nevertheless, we believe it necessary to 
state certain matters for the public record separately because 
we find the report not always complete and balanced in its 
discussion of key questions. What should be a factual summary 
gets weighed down by conclusions, inferences and 
characterizations not reasonably supported by the investigative 
record. The facts deserve an unfettered opportunity to speak 
for themselves.
    The Committee Report concludes the White House and DoD 
displayed ``carelessness and incompetence'' in handling 
information about the death and friendly-fire incident. We 
agree. Rules and procedures put in place precisely for the 
purpose of providing timely and accurate information about 
combat deaths were ignored. Those errors, omissions and delays 
understandably fueled suspicions senior government officials 
knew the actual circumstances of Corporal Tillman's death, but 
manipulated the information to avoid bad news. After several 
investigations, it now seems clear those officials could have 
known friendly fire was suspected. It was a disservice to the 
memory of Corporal Tillman, to his family, his unit and this 
nation to let the happy myth outrun the unpleasant facts, even 
for a day.
    But even serial incompetence at the highest levels does not 
constitute proof of a conspiracy--intentional distortion of 
public statements about both Patrick Tillman and Jessica Lynch. 
So the Committee attempts to build a bridge of circumstance--
faded memories and a lack of e-mail traffic--to link the hard 
facts of ineptitude to soft speculation that only conscious 
manipulation explains otherwise ``incomprehensible'' actions 
and a ``stunning lack of curiosity'' about conflicting 
battlefield reports.
    An objective presentation of the facts makes such 
speculation and characterizations unnecessary, even 
counterproductive to an accurate historical record. It seems 
perfectly comprehensible, even inevitable, that years later 
people might not recall the exact moment they obtained specific 
information about these events. The Committee concludes 
witnesses should have detailed recollection about fleeting 
conversations and transactions that stand out from the torrent 
of daily activities only in magnified hindsight. We need not 
reach conclusions about what government officials should have 
known to summarize the factual findings of an extensive 
investigation.
    It's said the first casualty of war is the truth. We now 
know in the fog of war the truth comes under friendly fire as 
well. Whether exaggerated accounts of heroism, delayed 
acknowledgement of fratricide, or widely published--but utterly 
fictional--blogs describing alleged cruelty by U.S. troops, 
misinformation from the battlefield corrodes the bond of trust 
that defines us as a nation of free men and women.
    Corporal Patrick Tillman, like thousands of other brave 
Americans, gave his life in service to this nation. His death 
was made even more heartbreaking by the fact it was found to 
have been caused by fratricide. The U.S. Army's egregious 
mishandling of the process meant to ensure complete and timely 
notification to families turned this ``friendly fire'' incident 
into a prolonged, decidedly unfriendly spectacle of official 
malfeasance and miscommunication. As then-Acting Secretary of 
the Army Pete Geren conceded, ``We as an Army failed in our 
duty to the Tillman family, the duty we owe to all the families 
of our fallen soldiers: Give them the truth, the best we know 
it, as fast as we can.''
    That is our charge as well.

                          I. THE INVESTIGATION

    The Committee's inquiry into the circumstances in which 
senior White House and Pentagon officials became aware that 
Army Corporal Pat Tillman was a victim of fratricide took more 
than fourteen months. In this period, the Committee held two 
hearings in which it heard from ten witnesses, including former 
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and retired Generals 
Richard Myers, John Abizaid, and Bryan Brown. Committee staff 
received 50,000 pages of documents from the Pentagon, the White 
House, and the Defense Department Inspector General and 
reviewed additional documents ``in camera.'' In addition, staff 
interviewed 19 witnesses, totaling nearly 29 hours and 
producing more than 1,200 pages of transcription.\1\ The 
Committee also received supplementary information from three 
individuals.\2\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\ See Interview by House Committee on Oversight and Government 
Reform [hereinafter House Oversight Committee or the Committee] staff 
of General John F. Sattler, U.S. Marines, in Washington, D.C. (Jul. 24, 
2007) [hereinafter Sattler Transcript]; Interview by House Oversight 
Committee staff of Brigadier General Howard W. Yellen, U.S. Army 
(Retired), in Washington, D.C. (Jul. 25, 2007) [hereinafter Yellen 
Transcript]; Interview by House Oversight Committee staff of General 
Bantz Johnson Craddock, U.S. Army, in Washington, D.C. (Jul. 27, 2007) 
[hereinafter Craddock Transcript]; Interview by House Oversight 
Committee staff of Admiral Eric T. Olson, U.S. Navy, in Washington, 
D.C. (Jul. 24, 2007) [hereinafter Olson Transcript]; Interview by House 
Oversight Committee staff of Lieutenant General James Lovelace, U.S. 
Army, by telephone (Jul. 31, 2007) [hereinafter Lovelace Transcript]; 
Interview by House Oversight Committee staff of Taylor Gross, former 
White House Communications official, in Washington, D.C. (Sep. 5, 2007) 
[hereinafter Gross Transcript]; Interview by House Oversight Committee 
staff of Carol Darby, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Army, in Washington, 
D.C. (Sep. 19, 2007) [hereinafter Darby Transcript]; Interview by House 
Oversight Committee staff of Colonel Hans Bush, U.S. Army, in 
Washington, D.C. (Sep. 19, 2007) [hereinafter Bush Transcript]; 
Interview by House Oversight Committee staff of Rear Admiral Frank 
Thorp IV, U.S. Navy, in Washington, D.C. (Sep. 19, 2007) [hereinafter 
Thorp Transcript]; Interview by House Oversight Committee staff of 
Colonel Steven P. Bucci, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for 
Homeland Defense, U.S. Department of Defense, in Washington, D.C. (Sep. 
20, 2007) [hereinafter Bucci Transcript]; Interview by House Oversight 
Committee staff of John Currin, former Director of Fact-Checking, 
Office of Presidential Speechwriting, White House, in Washington, D.C. 
(Sep. 21, 2007) [hereinafter Currin Transcript]; Interview by House 
Oversight Committee staff of Lawrence Di Rita, former director, Office 
of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, U.S. 
Department of Defense, in Washington, D.C. (Sep. 24, 2007) [hereinafter 
Di Rita Transcript]; Interview by House Oversight Committee staff of 
George Rhynedane, IV, former Senior Military Assistant to the Assistant 
Secretary for Public Affairs, U.S. Department of Defense, in 
Washington, D.C. (Sep. 27, 2007) [hereinafter Rhynedance Transcript]; 
Interview by House Oversight Committee staff of Hedy Henderson, Office 
of the Secretary of Defense, U.S. Department of Defense, in Washington, 
D.C. (Sep. 28, 2007) [hereinafter Henderson Transcript]; Interview of 
Sean McCormack, Spokesman, National Security Council, by House 
Oversight Committee Staff, in Washington, D.C. (Feb. 20, 2008) 
[hereinafter McCormack Transcript] [Note, no contemporaneous transcript 
was produced for this interview, however, an unofficial transcript was 
created from an audio recording of the interview]; Interview by House 
Oversight Committee staff of Lieutenant General Philip Kensinger, Jr., 
U.S. Army, in Washington, D.C. (Feb. 29, 2008) [hereinafter Kensinger 
Transcript]; Interview of James Wilkinson, Strategic Communications, 
U.S. Central Command, by House Oversight Committee Staff, in 
Washington, D.C. (Mar. 14, 2008) [hereinafter Wilkinson Transcript].
    \2\ Untranscribed interview of Scott McClellan, White House Press 
Secretary, by House Oversight Committee Staff, in Washington, D.C. 
(Sep. 9, 2007) (Committee staff notes on file) [hereinafter McClellan 
Interview]; Untranscribed interview of Michael Gerson, Chief 
Speechwriter, White House, by House Oversight Committee Staff, in 
Washington, D.C. (Sep. 11, 2007) (Committee staff notes on file) 
[hereinafter Gerson Interview]; Untranscribed interview of Dan 
Bartlett, Director, White House Communications, by House Oversight 
Committee Staff, in Washington, D.C. (Sep. 12, 2007) (Committee staff 
notes on file) [hereinafter Bartlett Interview].
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    In an effort to determine the origins of the Washington 
Post story about Jessica Lynch's purported behavior at the time 
of her capture, the Committee took testimony from Ms. Lynch and 
one of her physicians at a hearing which also examined the 
Tillman situation. Staff posed questions to two other persons 
in three interviews. In addition, staff evaluated twenty-nine 
U.S. Army documents made available to a media outlet pursuant 
to a Freedom of Information Act request in an effort to learn 
more about the procedural problems which apparently allowed an 
Army soldier to report inaccurate details from the battlefield 
for The New Republic.

    II. SECRETARY RUMSFELD, SENIOR DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE LEADERSHIP

A. EXTENT OF SECRETARY RUMSFELD'S INTEREST IN PAT TILLMAN'S ENLISTMENT 
                          AND MILITARY SERVICE

    Written material produced by Secretary Rumsfeld between the 
time of Corporal Tillman's enlistment and his death provides an 
understanding of Secretary Rumsfeld's interest in Corporal 
Tillman and his enlistment. Shortly after Corporal Tillman 
enlisted, Secretary Rumsfeld distributed a memorandum (known 
colloquially as a ``snowflake'') regarding Corporal Tillman to 
U.S. Army Secretary, Tom White.\3\ Secretary Rumsfeld also sent 
Corporal Tillman a personal note.\4\ After Corporal Tillman's 
death, Secretary Rumsfeld signed a condolence letter to 
Corporal Tillman's widow.\5\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\ Memorandum from Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary, U.S. Department of 
Defense, to Thomas White, Secretary, U.S. Army (Jun. 25, 2002; 14:39 
EDT) [hereinafter Rumsfeld/White Snowflake] (Committee staff notes on 
file).
    \4\ Memorandum from Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary, U.S. Department of 
Defense, to Corporal Patrick Tillman (Jun. 28, 2002) [hereinafter 
Rumsfeld/Tillman Letter] (Committee staff notes on file).
    \5\ Letter from Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary, U.S. Department of 
Defense, to Mrs. Patrick Tillman (May 3, 2004) [hereinafter Rumsfeld/
Condolence Letter] (Committee staff notes on file).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    The enlistment of Corporal Tillman and his brother, Kevin 
Tillman, in May 2002 was the subject of numerous news reports. 
Thereafter, an individual who appears to be a personal 
acquaintance of Secretary Rumsfeld sent Secretary Rumsfeld a 
note about Corporal Tillman's enlistment, enclosing a related 
June 2, 2002 newspaper column.
    On June 25, 2002, Secretary Rumsfeld forwarded the June 2, 
2002 article to Secretary White with a note that stated (in 
full):

        Here is an article on a fellow who is apparently 
        joining the Rangers. He sound [sic] like he is world-
        class. We might want to keep our eye on him.\6\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \6\ Rumsfeld/White Snowflake.

The following day, Secretary Rumsfeld responded to his 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
acquaintance (addressing him by nickname) writing (in full):

        Thanks so much for sending along the article from the 
        Tribune. I had not seen it. You are quite right--this 
        fellow, Pat Tillman, sounds like a world-class 
        American.\7\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \7\ Letter from Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary, U.S. Department of 
Defense, to [Acquaintance] [name withheld by Committee staff] (Jan. 26, 
2002) (emphasis in the original). Note Secretary Rumsfeld's statement 
that ``[he] had not seen [the article regarding Tillman].'' Id.

On June 28, 2002, Secretary Rumsfeld wrote to Corporal Tillman, 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
saying:

        I heard you were leaving the National Football League 
        to become an Army Ranger. It is a proud and patriotic 
        thing you are doing.\8\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \8\ Rumsfeld/Tillman Letter.

    The phraseology and timing of this exchange strongly 
implies that Secretary Rumsfeld learned from his acquaintance 
and not the Army or Defense Department bureaucracy that a 
professional football player, of whom he appears not to have 
been previously aware, had enlisted. It also suggests that 
Secretary Rumsfeld believed his memorandum to Secretary White 
would be the first time the Army's top civilian leader learned 
about Corporal Tillman and his service commitment.
    Secretary Rumsfeld testified under oath that he did not 
intend the comment ``[w]e might want to keep our eye on him'' 
as a literal instruction.\9\ Rather, it appears that this was 
intended as a rhetorical statement. Testimony and other 
evidence support this interpretation. For example, the 
apparently standard clause ``please respond by'' at the bottom 
of Secretary Rumsfeld's memorandum was crossed out, as if to 
suggest no reply was expected.\10\ Also, the Committee received 
no documents or testimony that indicated that Corporal 
Tillman's activities were, in fact, monitored in any way by 
Secretary Rumsfeld or other Department of Defense or White 
House officials. In fact, the Committee received testimony that 
indicated the opposite: Secretary Rumsfeld was not keeping 
track of Corporal Tillman.\11\ Finally, there is no indication 
that Secretary Rumsfeld ever noted or was concerned by the fact 
that no follow-up information was ever conveyed to him, lending 
strong credence to the suggestions that Secretary Rumsfeld did 
not expect any.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \9\ The Tillman Fratricide: What the Leadership of the Defense 
Department Knew before the House Oversight Committee, 110th Cong. (Aug. 
2, 2007) [hereinafter Tillman Hearing II], at Tr. 107-08 (referring to 
Rumsfeld/White Snowflake).
    \10\ Rumsfeld/White Snowflake.
    \11\ See, e.g., Craddock Transcript at Tr. 47-48 (Q: ``Do you have 
any knowledge of the fact that the Secretary--either Secretary of the 
Army or Secretary of the Defense kept an eye on [Corporal Tillman] 
after his enlistment?'' A: ``Not that I'm aware of. Again, if that 
happened, it happened before I got there. Nothing was left to me by my 
predecessor, stay on top of this, watch this or be aware of this.); 
Lovelace Transcript at Tr. 49-50 (Q: ``When you arrived in your 
position as Army Staff Director, did you get the impression at any time 
that, in fact, Army leadership was, quote, keeping an eye on Tillman?'' 
A: ``No.'' Q: ``You didn't get correspondence about him, memos about 
him, phone calls about him?'' A: ``No.''); Di Rita Transcript at Tr. 39 
(Q: ``Okay. Based on your close working relationship with Secretary 
Rumsfeld, what did he mean when he said, We might want to keep our eye 
on him?'' A: ``I think he was making a point that this is somebody who 
has done something of a very high-profile nature, and that is 
impressive, and we ought to recognize that somewhere along the way, we 
appreciate this kind of commitment to public service. I would imagine 
that is the extent of his intent there.'' Q: ``Were there times later 
in Corporal Tillman's service where he turned to you and said, How is 
this Tillman guy doing?'' A: `` I don't remember him ever doing that.'' 
Q: ``Check up on Tillman?'' A: ``Yeah, it would have been unlike him, 
but that is not to say it wouldn't have happened. I just don't remember 
that.'' Q: ``How common was it for Secretary Rumsfeld to single out a 
soldier like this on a snowflake or in a communication with the 
Secretary?'' A: ``Let me just step back on that. It was very common of 
Secretary Rumsfeld to see something in the paper and comment on it by 
saying --by shooting a note to somebody and saying, This is 
interesting. Could I get more information? Or did you see this? I find 
this something worth following up on. Or something like that. So that 
was not uncommon. So he was -- he didn't read the papers cover to cover 
every day, but he was generally aware of what was happening in areas 
involving the Department of Defense. So as much attention as this would 
almost certainly have gotten when Pat Tillman joined, it is not 
surprising that he would have seen it and said, Wow, that's 
interesting.''); Di Rita Transcript at Tr. 76-78 (A: ``And in this 
case, this was primarily an outgoing -- it is a bit of the way Rumsfeld 
operated: ``Hey, let's just keep an eye on that fellow; that's 
interesting.'' But it wasn't like he was asking for a report back or 
anticipating something.'' Q: ``You don't think he was -'' A: ``I would 
tend to doubt it. I'm looking at that the way -- the person who 
transcribed the Dictaphone kind of drew the same conclusion. I mean, 
she just decided not to put a date [by which a response was required] 
on there, because it's not the kind of thing where a deadline really 
applies.'' Q: ``Am I correct that you said in your testimony that you 
don't recall seeing a report come back?'' A: ``I don't recall anything 
coming back. From Secretary White?'' Q: ``Correct.'' A: ``Yeah, no, I 
don't recall anything.'' Q: ``How about from anyone else?'' A: ``I 
don't recall. I don't recall.'').
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Indeed, in testimony received by the Committee, no one 
(including his closest assistants) recalled Secretary Rumsfeld 
referring to Corporal Tillman between his June 28, 2002 letter 
to Corporal Tillman and the time of Corporal Tillman's death in 
2004.\12\ Secretary Rumsfeld's senior military assistant told 
the Committee that, in light of the press of business in 
Secretary Rumsfeld's office, he did not ever discuss Corporal 
Tillman with Secretary Rumsfeld even upon Corporal Tillman's 
death.\13\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \12\ See, e.g., Bucci Transcript at Tr. 29; Craddock Transcript at 
Tr. 17.
    \13\ Craddock Transcript at Tr. 24, 28-29 (Q: ``Wasn't [the news of 
Corporal Tillman's death] a hot one on April 23rd, you know, when every 
newspaper and television station in America was, you know, talking 
about it?'' A: ``[] I can't tell you that it was a hot one and 
everything came to a stop and we focused on Pat Tillman. I apologize 
for that. It is bad, but that's not the way I recall it. [] But, I've 
got to tell you, I don't recall that everything came to a screeching 
halt to deal with this.''). Craddock believed he learned of Corporal 
Tillman's death ``on the news.'' Craddock Transcript at Tr. 19-21.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    On April 29, 2004, one week after Corporal Tillman's death, 
an executive secretary in Secretary Rumsfeld's office drafted a 
condolence letter for Corporal Tillman's widow. The executive 
secretary apparently used a brief Pentagon statement issued on 
the day after Corporal Tillman was killed to prepare this 
condolence letter.\14\ Secretary Rumsfeld signed the condolence 
letter dated May 3, 2004. There seems to be nothing 
extraordinary about the way it was drafted and promulgated; the 
Committee received testimony that Secretary Rumsfeld signed 
similar communications to families of all those killed in 
action.\15\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \14\ E-mail from Monica Generous, Office of the Secretary of 
Defense, Executive Services, U.S. Department of Defense, to various 
(Apr. 29, 2004; 15:34 EDT) (bates no. 1871).
    \15\ See Craddock Transcript at Tr. 48-49; Di Rita Transcript at 
Tr. 58-59, 85, 89-90.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

B. SECRETARY RUMSFELD'S KNOWLEDGE OF FRATRICIDE AS A CAUSE OF CORPORAL 
                            TILLMAN'S DEATH

    Secretary Rumsfeld also testified under oath before the 
Committee that he never instructed anyone to withhold 
information about the finding that Corporal Tillman's death 
resulted from fratricide and that he was not aware of (nor was 
he a party to) any related ``cover-up.'' \16\ He testified that 
he had neither foreknowledge of the Correspondents Dinner 
speech in which the President referenced Corporal Tillman nor 
any discussions with the White House about the circumstances of 
Corporal Tillman's death prior to such details becoming 
public.\17\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \16\ Tillman Hearing II at Tr. 55, 72, 152, 100.
    \17\ Id. at Tr. 30-31, 64, 98. See also Letter from Donald 
Rumsfeld, Secretary, U.S. Department of Defense, to Henry A. Waxman, 
Chairman, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Tom 
Davis, Ranking Member, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, 
(Jul. 26, 2007) [hereinafter Rumsfeld/Committee Letter].
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Secretary Rumsfeld testified before the Committee that he 
did not remember when or how he learned that fratricide was the 
suspected cause of Corporal Tillman's death.\18\ From the 
testimony and evidence provided to the Committee, it is 
possible to identify a period in which these details were 
probably conveyed to him.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \18\ Tillman Hearing II at Tr. 30, 157. Secretary Rumsfeld also 
told the Committee that he was not disturbed by the timing or method of 
his notification. Id. at Tr. 104.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    In testimony before this Committee, Secretary Rumsfeld 
repeated the statement he had made previously in letters to 
Chairman Waxman, Ranking Member Davis, and to the DoD Inspector 
General (DoD IG), namely: ``I am told I received word of this 
development [i.e., the suspicion of fratricide] after May 20, 
2004.'' \19\ According to Secretary Rumsfeld, he was able to 
proffer a date because, in responding to questions from the DoD 
IG on this matter on December 15, 2006,\20\ an aide consulted 
others to determine if they remembered circumstances Secretary 
Rumsfeld did not.\21\ One aide, Colonel Steven Bucci, 
apparently recalled details of Secretary Rumsfeld's 
notification and was able to determine the period in which this 
occurred.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \19\ Id. at Tr. 15-16.
    \20\ Letter from Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary, U.S. Department of 
Defense, to Thomas Gimble, Acting Inspector General, U.S. Department of 
Defense (Dec. 15, 2006).
    \21\ Tillman Hearing II at Tr. 32-34, 125-7. See also Bucci 
Transcript at Tr. 40-41; Craddock Transcript at Tr. 38-39.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Committee took sworn testimony from Colonel Bucci. 
Colonel Bucci testified that, in the course of his normal 
duties in Secretary Rumsfeld's office between May 24 and May 
28, 2004, he received a phone call from one of the military 
assistants in the Army.\22\ From this call, Colonel Bucci 
learned that an investigation into Corporal Tillman's death had 
been undertaken and that this inquiry had determined that 
fratricide was the likely cause of death.\23\ Colonel Bucci 
further testified the caller suggested that this information be 
conveyed to Secretary Rumsfeld, which Colonel Bucci did ``about 
15 minutes'' later at a regularly-scheduled morning 
meeting.\24\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \22\ Bucci Transcript at Tr. 31 (``[] I got a phone call in the 
morning there at the office from one of the military assistants in the 
Army. And I can't remember whether it was the Chief of Staff's 
executive assistant or Secretary of Army's military assistant who 
called me.'').
    \23\ Id. at Tr. 31-32.
    \24\ Id. (``[] I got a phone call in the morning there at the 
office from one of the military assistants in the Army. And I can't 
remember whether it was the Chief of Staff's executive assistant or 
Secretary of Army's military assistant who called me. And they said, 
hey, you need to let the Secretary know. We're pretty sure that this 
may have actually been a fratricide event, and you need to let the 
Secretary know.'').
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Colonel Bucci testified he believed this was the first 
Secretary Rumsfeld learned that friendly fire was being 
considered as a cause of Corporal Tillman's death.\25\ Colonel 
Bucci testified that Secretary Rumsfeld responded to the news 
by saying [something to the effect of] ``Oh, gosh, that's a 
shame. Well, they need to settle it and get the word out as 
quickly as possible.'' \26\ Colonel Bucci testified that he was 
able to determine the date range in which these events 
transpired because he returned from six months of duty in Iraq 
on May 20, 2004, but did not report to work in Secretary 
Rumsfeld's office until May 24, 2004. Assuming this information 
is correct, Colonel Bucci received the call from the military 
assistant before a daily morning briefing sometime in that 
five-day period between May 24 and May 28, 2004.\27\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \25\ Id. at Tr. 32.
    \26\ Id. at Tr. 31-32. For a description of the timing and 
attendance at morning ``stand up[]'' meetings, see Bucci Transcript at 
Tr. 11.
    \27\ Id. at Tr. 39, 33.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Additional details add further credence to the timing and 
substance of Colonel Bucci's account. According to the DoD IG, 
on May 25, 2004, Army Maj. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the 
commander of the Joint Task Force to which Corporal Tillman was 
assigned, approved the investigative report of Corporal 
Tillman's death and conveyed it to U.S. Central Command 
(CENTCOM).\28\ The director of the Army staff, Lt. Gen. James 
J. Lovelace, testified before the Committee that he was 
informed of the investigation and its findings (namely, that 
``[Corporal] Tillman's death was the result of fratricide'') by 
both Lt. Gen. Philip Kensinger and the Army Operations Center 
``on or about'' May 27, 2004.\29\ Inasmuch as this is two days 
after Gen. McChrystal's approval and in the period CENTCOM was 
considering the report, it is logical for Lt. Gen. Lovelace to 
have been notified at this time.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \28\ Review of Matters Related to the Death of Corporal Patrick 
Tillman, U.S. Army, Thomas F. Gimble, Acting Inspector General, U.S. 
Department of Defense (Mar. 26, 2007) [hereinafter DoD IG Report] 
(unnumbered appendix). On May 28, 2004, Marine Maj. Gen. John Sattler, 
the CENTCOM director of operations, approved the AR 15-6 report, in the 
absence of Gen. John Abizaid, the CENTCOM Commander. See DoD IG Report 
(unnumbered appendix). See also Sattler Transcript at Tr. 42-43, 46-51, 
54-56.
    \29\ Lovelace Transcript at Tr. 20, 21, 35-36, 57. For findings, 
see DoD IG Report at 29.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Lt. Gen. Lovelace said that it was also on May 27, 2004, 
that he called Lawrence Di Rita, at that time the director of 
the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public 
Affairs, with this news and took steps to have Gen. Bantz 
Craddock (Colonel Bucci's supervisor), and assistants to the 
Army Secretary and to the Army Chief and Vice Chief of Staff 
receive this information by e-mail.\30\ Thus, it seems possible 
that it was Lt. Gen. Lovelace's communications which resulted 
in the call Colonel Bucci remembers receiving.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \30\ Lovelace Transcript at Tr. 23-27, 55-56, 58. Lt. Gen. Lovelace 
was interviewed telephonically by Committee staff. During the call, Lt. 
Gen. Lovelace had in his possession an e-mail showing when and how he 
notified the others. This e-mail informed his recollection of the 
matter. See Lovelace Transcript at Tr. 22-23. Additionally, with one 
exception, Lt. Gen. Lovelace stated he believed the principals to each 
aide learned about the fratricide investigation as a result of his e-
mail. Lt. Gen. Lovelace appears to have agreed with the question posed 
by Committee staff that ``[Y] ou have no knowledge of when the 
Secretary himself might have [learned].'' Id. at Tr. 27. However, this 
is confused somewhat by a mischaracterization by Majority interviewers 
of ``May 20 [2004]'' as a date certain that ``[Secretary Rumsfeld] 
learned that Corporal Tillman's death was a suspected fratricide.'' Id. 
Secretary Rumsfeld stipulated that he had been told he was informed 
``after May 20, [2004].'' Rumsfeld/Committee Letter (emphasis added). 
See also Di Rita Trancript at Tr. 44 for his recollection that he 
recalled learning of the fratricide ``shortly before it was publicly 
announced, I would imagine, because I remember being involved in some 
of the discussions about how it would be announced. But I don't 
remember when that was.''
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Gen. Craddock, Secretary Rumsfeld's senior military aide, 
testified he learned about the possibility of fratricide from 
Lt. Gen. Lovelace in person. Gen. Craddock recalls seeing Lt. 
Gen. Lovelace in the yard separating their homes \31\ and 
remarking that ``[Corporal] Tillman may have been killed by 
friendly fire.'' \32\ Gen. Craddock said he was ``surprised and 
taken aback'' by this information.\33\ Although Lt. Gen. 
Lovelace testified he did not recall this conversation, because 
he claims to have found out about the friendly fire ``on or 
about May 27'' and the backyard exchange had to have occurred 
before Lt. Gen. Lovelace had an e-mail sent on this topic on 
May 27, the two generals probably encountered each other on or 
just before May 26.\34\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \31\ Both generals at the time lived in military housing, and their 
yards shared a fence. See Craddock Transcript at Tr. 19.
    \32\ Id. at Tr. 19.
    \33\ Id. at Tr. 27, 29. Gen. Craddock also testified that, after 
learning of the fratricide from Lt. Gen. Lovelace, he never raised the 
issue with Secretary Rumsfeld, Gen. Myers, or Gen. Peter Pace, the Vice 
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
    \34\ Lovelace Transcript at Tr. 20-21, 23-25, 55-56.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Furthermore, when Gen. Craddock was asked by Committee 
staff: ``[D]id you ever get a report or ever hear that an 
investigation was going on into [Corporal Tillman's death],'' 
Gen. Craddock replied, ``I do recall [that it was] being 
investigated'' \35\ and said he ``probably'' learned of this 
from the Chairman or Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff 
or the Department's General Counsel in the course of the 
notification being provided to Secretary Rumsfeld.\36\ Gen. 
Craddock's encounter with Lt. Gen. Lovelace likely preceded 
Gen. Craddock's learning about the investigation, otherwise 
Gen. Craddock would not have been ``surprised'' upon hearing of 
the possibility of fratricide in the death of Corporal Tillman. 
Assuming the recollections of Gen. Craddock and Lt. Gen. 
Lovelace are correct, Gen. Craddock likely learned of the 
investigation May 27 or May 28.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \35\ Craddock Transcript at Tr. 32-33.
    \36\ Id. at Tr. 32-34.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    The recollections of Gen. Craddock and others are 
consistent with Colonel Bucci's description and add further 
credence to the timing and substance of Colonel Bucci's 
account. However, these specifics do not prove whether Colonel 
Bucci's report to Secretary Rumsfeld was, in fact, the first 
Secretary Rumsfeld learned of the possibility of fratricide as 
the cause of Corporal Tillman's death.
    CENTCOM commander, U.S. Army Gen. John P. Abizaid, 
testified before the Committee about his interaction with 
Secretary Rumsfeld in May 2004. Gen. Abizaid said, ``I was in 
Washington from the 18th to the 20th [of May 2004] and I talked 
with [Secretary Rumsfeld] during that period, and I believe 
during that period I discussed with him the fratricide 
investigation.'' \37\ In a December 2006 colloquy with the DoD 
IG, however, about ``what if any action you took after 
receiving the information that friendly fire was suspected,'' 
Gen. Abizaid was asked, ``[d]id you have any discussions with 
[] the Secretary of Defense,'' to which Gen. Abizaid answered, 
``No. I didn't talk to the Secretary of defense about it.'' 
\38\ The Committee is unable to reconcile these statements.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \37\ Tillman Hearing II at Tr. 76. See also id. at Tr. 26.
    \38\ Interview by DOD IG staff of Gen. John P. Abizaid, then-U.S. 
CENTCOM Commander (Dec. 13, 2006) [hereinafter Abizaid IG Transcript], 
at Tr. 7, 9. There is further uncertainty about this matter. According 
to Gen. Abizaid, his only knowledge of the possibility of fratricide as 
the cause of Corporal Tillman's death derived from an Army 
communication known as a P4 (discussed further in text below). See 
Letter from Gen. (Ret.) John P. Abizaid, former U.S. CENTCOM Commander, 
to Henry A. Waxman, Chairman, House Oversight and Government Refrom 
Committee, and Tom Davis, Ranking Member, House Oversight and 
Government Reform Committee (Jan. 15, 2008) [hereinafter Abizaid/
Committee Letter]. However, the IG determined Gen. Abizaid received 
this P4 sometime between May 6 and May 20, 2004 (See DoD IG Report 
(unnumbered appendix)). Assuming the accuracy of Gen. Abizaid's 
recollection that he received the P4 before meeting with Secretary 
Rumsfeld, it appears either Gen. Abizaid misremembers the date of his 
meeting (and it actually occurred later than he remembers), or the DoD 
IG erred in concluding Gen. Abizaid could have received the P4 as late 
as May 18, 2004 or thereafter. It is not possible to reconcile both 
possibilities.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    No individual who gave testimony to the Committee provided 
support to Gen. Abizaid's recollection of talking with 
Secretary Rumsfeld between May 18 and May 20, 2004, about the 
possibility of Corporal Tillman's death being a fratricide. No 
one recalled this exchange nor said that Secretary Rumsfeld 
commented upon it. In addition, if Secretary Rumsfeld had been 
informed during this period, there is no evidence that he 
ordered any action to be taken as a result.
    The Committee received testimony and documents that public 
affairs officials at the U.S. Army Special Operations Command 
(USASOC) were among those individuals informed on May 27, 2004, 
that an investigation into Corporal Tillman's death was about 
to be approved by CENTCOM. Consequently, these officials, 
working with Di Rita, began preparations for notifying Congress 
and the media.\39\ Gen. Abizaid's possible notification of 
Secretary Rumsfeld would have come just as the friendly fire 
investigation was about to formally conclude and preparations 
for announcing the findings were about to begin. It is not 
clear what instructions Secretary Rumsfeld could have issued at 
that time even if he had wanted to do so.\40\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \39\ Bush Transcript at Tr. 53-54, 81-84. See also E-mail from Lt. 
Col. Hans Bush, U.S. Army, to various (Jun. 2, 2004; 10:17 EDT) (bates 
nos. 2250-2905 to 2250-2906). For description of the routine 
circumstances of this e-mail, see, e.g., Bush Transcript at Tr. 66-67, 
79-81, 90. For Di Rita's description of his involvement, see Di Rita 
Transcript at Tr. 63-76.
    \40\ See, e.g., Tillman Hearing II at Tr. 33.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Based upon documentary evidence provided to the Committee, 
as well as interviews and testimony, the most senior officials 
at the Pentagon seem not to have been preoccupied by the news 
of Corporal Tillman's death, aware of the breadth of related 
media coverage, inquisitive about the ensuing investigation, or 
cognizant of the existence or application of Army next-of-kin 
regulations.\41\ In addition, to the extent senior officers at 
the Pentagon and others were aware of impressions held by the 
public relating to the circumstances of Corporal Tillman's 
death, it is not at all apparent they understood that such 
impressions were being derived from actions (or inaction) 
ascribed to the DoD, and hence ostensibly subject to corrective 
action by DoD. This situation is further complicated by DoD's 
persistent deference to the military's hierarchical environment 
and delineated lines of authority in which responsibility for 
handling Army battle deaths rested only with certain 
individuals and institutions.\42\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \41\ Id. at Tr. 47-48 (statement by Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary, 
U.S. Department of Defense). See also Craddock Transcript at Tr. 37-38.
    \42\ See, e.g., Tillman Hearing II at Tr. 70-72, 113-114, 147-149.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    In addition, as outlined above, it seems Pentagon officials 
initiated arrangements to announce the friendly fire findings 
as soon as they received word that the investigation was 
concluding. The DoD IG concluded that Kevin Tillman, Corporal 
Tillman's brother, was informed of the fratricide finding on 
May 26, 2004.\43\ The IG concluded that Corporal Tillman's 
wife, Marie Tillman, was notified the next day.\44\ The 
Committee took testimony from several witnesses who suggested 
the timeline for Marie Tillman's notification was spurred by 
the fact that media inquires were being made about the friendly 
fire results even before Lt. Gen. Philip Kensinger's public 
announcement.\45\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \43\ See DoD IG Report (unnumbered appendix).
    \44\ Id. at 44.
    \45\ See, e.g., Bush Transcript at Tr. 58.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

                          III. THE WHITE HOUSE

                    A. INITIAL ANNOUNCEMENT OF DEATH

    The Army Special Operations Command communicated word of 
Corporal Tillman's death to the Army Human Resources Command in 
Alexandria, Virginia at 4:28 p.m. on April 22, 2004.\46\ As 
outlined in the DoD IG's report, because of erroneous details 
provided by the Army medical facility which received Corporal 
Tillman's body, the form which transmitted the details of death 
indicated ``hostile'' fire from ``enemy forces'' as the cause 
of death.\47\ There is no evidence that senior Defense or White 
House officials were aware of this report.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \46\ E-mail from SFC Darien Swilley, USA SOC, to various (Apr. 22, 
2004; 16:28 EDT).
    \47\ DOD IG Report at 42-43.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Evidence gathered by the Committee, including e-mails and 
interviews conducted by Committee staff demonstrate that White 
House staffers learned about Corporal Tillman's death from 
television news reports or from individuals who had received 
information from these sources.\48\ As a result of news 
coverage, a number of White House employees, friends, family 
members, and colleagues sent e-mail to advise of the tragedy 
and to express their own personal shock and remorse.\49\ That 
day and later, some individuals provided unsolicited 
suggestions for White House action or sought more information 
from their contacts there.\50\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \48\ See, e.g., Currin Transcript at Tr. 17; Gross Transcript at 
Tr. 8, 39-40. Further, McClellan stated that he learned from Gross. 
McClellan Interview.
    \49\ See, e.g., E-mail from Ron Fournier, Reporter, Associated 
Press, to Karl Rove, Political Advisor, White House (Apr. 23, 2004; 
11:45 EDT) (bates no. HOGR004-00684); E-mail from Peter H. Wehner, 
Director, Strategic Initiatives, White House, to various (White House 
official appears to have been blind carbon copied) (Apr. 23, 2004; 
11:44 EDT) (bates no. HOGR004-01040).
    \50\ See, e.g., E-mail from Steve Cardona to Michael Gerson, Chief 
Speechwriter, White House (Apr. 25, 2004; 16:35 EDT) (bates HOGR004-
00976 to -0977); E-mail from Barry S. Jackson, Deputy Political 
Advisor, White House, to Karl Rove, Political Advisor, White House 
(Apr. 23, 2004; 17:05 EDT) (bates HOGR004-01120); E-mail from Peggy 
Noonan to Peter H. Wehner (Apr. 23, 2004; 12:47 EDT) (bates no. 
HOGR004-00560).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    The White House produced nearly 200 pages of e-mails 
referencing Corporal Tillman in response to the Committee's 
subpoena. It is difficult to argue, however, that the large 
number of e-mails somehow reflects a particular interest on the 
part of White House staffers in the matter of Corporal 
Tillman's death. In fact, a large percentage of this computer 
traffic consists of messages to and from White House employees 
(many very junior) and friends or family in which the parties 
mention Corporal Tillman's death and express sympathy. In some 
instances, the chains continue at great length and diverge into 
a myriad of unrelated private topics. Because the Committee's 
subpoena required the entirety of such exchanges be produced, 
this had the affect of inflating the volume of material 
provided to the Committee and providing a distorted impression 
of official White House interest beyond that reported herein.
    Taylor Gross, a spokesman in the White House Media Affairs 
office, who was responsible for media outlets and issues in the 
South and Southwestern U.S., told the Committee that he learned 
from a cable television news broadcast at approximately 10:00 
am on April 23, 2004 that Corporal Tillman had been killed.\51\ 
Shortly thereafter, Gross had started to receive a number of 
inquiries from Arizona journalists about ``what the President 
thinks about Pat Tillman's death.'' \52\ The interest of 
Arizona media stemmed from the fact that Corporal Tillman had 
played college and professional football in Arizona. At 11:40 
am, Gross, on his own initiative, drafted remarks which he 
proposed to distribute to reporters in response to such 
queries, and then sought approval from his supervisors, 
including White House Communications Director Dan Bartlett and 
White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, for the comments 
he had prepared.\53\ Specifically, Gross proposed replying to 
these media inquiries by saying:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \51\ Gross Transcript at Tr. 8, 39-40.
    \52\ Id. at Tr. 41.
    \53\ Gross Transcript at Tr. 49-50.

        Pat Tillman was an inspiration on the football field 
        and in his private life. As with all who made the 
        ultimate sacrifice in the war on terror, his family are 
        in the thoughts and prayers of President and Mrs. 
        Bush.\54\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \54\ E-mail from Daniel J. Bartlett, White House Communications 
Director, to Taylor Gross, Spokesman, White House Media Affairs, and 
Scott McClellan, White House Press Secretary (among others) (Apr. 23, 
2004; 11:55 EDT) (bates HOGR004-01083) (responding to E-mail from 
Taylor Gross, Spokesman, White House Media Affairs, to Daniel Bartlett, 
White House Communications Director, and Scott McClellan, White House 
Press Secretary, (among others) (Apr. 23, 2004; 11:55 EDT)).

Five minutes later, Bartlett wrote McClellan, ``does this set a 
precedent? i'm fine with it.'' \55\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \55\ E-mail from Daniel J. Bartlett, White House Communications 
Director, to Scott McClellan, White House Press Secretary (Apr. 23, 
2004; 11:45 EDT) (bates no. HOGR004-01084).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    In this period, Bartlett also received an e-mail from 
Matthew Dowd, a Bush campaign official who suggested (using an 
abbreviation for the President of the United States,) that

        Potus should call his family or go to Arizona [. . . .] 
        True hero.\56\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \56\ E-mail from Daniel J. Bartlett, White House Communications 
Director, to Matthew Dowd, Bush Campaign Official (Apr. 23, 2004; 11:53 
EDT) (bates no. HOGR004-01704) (responding to E-mail from Matthew Dowd, 
Bush Campaign Official, to Daniel J. Bartlett, White House 
Communications Director (Apr. 23, 2004; 11:50 EDT)).

Bartlett responded at 11:53 am and, in doing so, conveyed the 
concerns he was apparently contemplating in considering Gross' 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
proposal. ``. . . I agree he is a hero,'' Bartlett wrote,

        But there will be a lot of pressure not to single out 
        one guy just because he was a football player. We are 
        providing a statement to the AZ press, but we will have 
        to discuss anything broader.\57\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \57\ Id.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
McClellan responded to Gross' suggestion similarly:

        [I t]hink it is fine to respond if asked, as long as we 
        always keep in context of president mourns loss of all 
        those who have sacrificed to make America safer.\58\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \58\ E-mail from Scott McClellan, White House Press Secretary, to 
Daniel J. Bartlett, White House Communications Director (Apr. 23, 2004; 
11:54 EDT) (bates no. HOGR004-01091); see also McClellan Interview. 
Senior advisors on the Presidential campaign agreed. Mark McKinnon, 
Media Advisor, Bush Campaign, wrote to Bartlett: ``[I r]ealize 
President really shouldn't do anything that he hasn't done for any 
other solider killed in the military, but certainly think he could say 
something about he exemplified the ultimate in humility, heroism, and 
sacrifice.'' E-mail from Mark McKinnon, Media Advisor, Bush Campaign, 
to Daniel J. Bartlett, White House Communications Director (Apr. 23, 
2004; 13:01 EDT) (bates no. HOGR004-01099).

With agreement apparently at hand, Bartlett e-mailed Gross: 
``good to go.'' \59\ With this approval, Gross replied to press 
queries from his region with the two-sentence script.\60\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \59\ E-mail from Daniel J. Bartlett, White House Communications 
Director, to Taylor Gross, Spokesman, White House Media Affairs, and 
Scott McClellan, White House Press Secretary (among others) (Apr. 23, 
2004; 11:55 EDT) (bates no. HOGR004-01083) (responding to E-mail from 
Taylor Gross, Spokesman, White House Media Affairs, to Daniel Bartlett, 
White House Communications Director, and Scott McClellan, White House 
Press Secretary (among others) (Apr. 23, 2004; 11:55 EDT)).
    \60\ Gross Transcript at Tr. 79.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Based on staff interviews and e-mails, it seems White House 
officials specifically rejected other options when deciding to 
proceed in this manner. One alternative was to offer comments 
on the matter without waiting to receive press inquiries. 
Another possibility was to issue a Presidential ``statement'' 
remarks intended to be directly attributed to the chief 
executive. While these alternatives may seem to differ little 
from the chosen course of action, the distinctions were 
significant to the White House press office as it wrestled with 
the issue. The press officials sought to acknowledge the 
tragedy of Corporal Tillman's death, but in a manner which did 
not slight others. White House staffers believed their approach 
(a relatively junior employee responding only when asked) 
properly balanced these competing demands.\61\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \61\ Id. at Tr. 60-62, 86-87. See also Bartlett Interview; 
McClellan Interview.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Indeed, it was not possible to determine how and when the 
President learned that Corporal Tillman had been killed.\62\ 
However, the President was out of Washington on April 23, 2004; 
the deputy press secretary traveling with him forwarded 
inquiries about Corporal Tillman to colleagues in the White 
House.\63\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \62\ Gross told the Committee he never talked to the President 
about Corporal Tillman on the day the soldier was killed or otherwise. 
Gross Transcript at Tr. 113. In responding to an e-mail about Corporal 
Tillman's death from a friend, Gross wrote ``[d]on't know if you saw my 
quote about this in the AZ Republic web site, but obviously the 
President was notified and the White House mourns his loss.'' E-mail 
from Taylor Gross, Spokesman, White House Media Affairs, to [name 
withheld by Committee staff] (Apr. 23, 2004; 19:07 EDT) (bates no. 
HOGR004-00234 to 00236). Gross also told Committee staff that he 
actually had no knowledge of the President's notification. Gross 
Transcript at Tr. 111-113. It is possible Gross meant to imply 
otherwise in order to impress a friend.
    \63\ E-mail from Trent Duffy, Deputy White House Press Secretary, 
to Claire Buchan, Deputy White House Press Secretary (Apr. 23, 2004; 
15:15 EDT) (bates no. HOGR004-01080). See also McClellan Interview.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    In Washington, however, soon after Gross acted upon 
Bartlett's instructions, two problems became apparent. First, 
once Gross provided his remarks to the Arizona media, some 
outlets elsewhere repeated his comments, but inaccurately 
described them as a ``statement'' from the President.\64\ 
Because officials had specifically sought to avoid this 
situation, this mischaracterization caused confusion and angst 
in the White House. ``[Dan Bartlett] approved a comment from 
taylor gross for the Arizona papers,'' one staffer explained 
with apparent exasperation, yet ``our wires are asking what the 
white house statement was.'' \65\ ``[W]e are not putting out a 
statement, we are responding if asked,'' explained 
McClellan.\66\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \64\ See, e.g., E-mail from Trent Duffy, Deputy White House Press 
Secretary, to Claire Buchan, Deputy White House Press Secretary (Apr. 
23, 2004; 15:15 EDT) (bates no. HOGR004-01080); E-mail from Claire 
Buchan, Deputy White House Press Secretary, to Sean McCormack, 
Spokesman, National Security Council (Apr. 23, 2004; 16:07 EDT) (bates 
no. HOGR004-01107); E-mail from Suzy DeFrancis, Deputy Assistant, White 
House Communications, to Scott McClellan, White House Press Secretary 
(Apr. 23, 2004 16:31) (bates no. HOGR004-01110).
    \65\ E-mail from Claire Buchan, Deputy White House Press Secretary, 
to Scott McClellan, White House Press Secretary (among others) (Apr. 
23, 2004; 12:40 EDT) (bates no. HOGR004-01109) (emphasis in original).
    \66\ E-mail from Scott McClellan, White House Press Secretary, to 
Claire Buchan, Deputy White House Press Secretary, Trent Duffy, Deputy 
White House Press Secretary, and Sean McCormack, Spokesman, National 
Security Council (Apr. 23, 2004; 13:37 EDT) (Committee staff notes from 
in camera review).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Media reports of the White House reaction confused even 
those who worked there. A White House speechwriter, employed in 
the office charged with authoring Presidential statements, was 
perplexed by the coverage.\67\ ``Did we issue a `statement of 
sympathy' on Tillman's death?'' he asked a colleague, ``So says 
MSNBC.'' \68\ Another befuddled staffer queried McClellan that 
afternoon, ``Did we put out a statement as MSNBC said[?]'' \69\ 
``No-ap reported it that way,'' McClellan responded. He added, 
``[w]e should correct msnbc too.'' \70\ Later that evening, 
McClellan instructed Gross and the individual in charge of 
Media Affairs, ``let's make sure we correct if people r [sic] 
saying we put out a statement.'' \71\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \67\ Gross Transcript at Tr. 84-86; Currin Transcript at Tr. 8, 14-
15.
    \68\ E-mail from Noam Neusner, White House, Speechwriter, to Erin 
Healy, White House staff (Apr. 23, 2004; 16:50) (Committee staff notes 
from in camera review).
    \69\ E-mail from Suzy DeFrancis, Deputy Assistant, White House 
Communications, to Scott McClellan, White House Press Secretary (Apr. 
23, 2004 16:31) (bates no. HOGR004-01110).
    \70\ E-mail from Scott McClellan, White House Press Secretary, to 
Suzy DeFrancis, Deputy Assistant, White House Communications (Apr. 23, 
2004; 19:10 EDT) (bates no. HOGR004-01122).
    \71\ E-mail from Scott McClellan, White House Press Secretary, to 
Jeanie Mamo, Director, Media Affairs, White House, and Taylor Gross, 
Spokesman, White House Media Affairs (Apr. 23, 2004; 19:21 EDT) (bates 
no. HOGR004-01124).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    The second problem became apparent when the White House 
press office learned that the Defense Department had not yet 
officially confirmed the fact that Corporal Tillman had been 
killed. This meant that the White House was in the awkward 
position of commenting upon a wartime death before the Pentagon 
had announced it. The 2004 National Defense Authorization Act, 
which became law in November 2003, contained a provision 
prohibiting DoD from releasing the names of casualties until 
twenty-four hours after next-of-kin had been notified. The 
legislation was meant to prevent the possibility of family 
members learning of a death from news accounts. By ensuring 
that relatives will not be contacted by the media immediately 
upon notification, the provision also ensures that survivors 
have time to consider how to respond.
    Unfortunately, because the media were running stories about 
Corporal Tillman's death even in the absence of official 
confirmation, the law's goals were stymied even before the 
White House elected to respond to inquiries on the matter. 
Significantly, however, White House officials denied knowing of 
the legislation.\72\ This may be because in the seven months 
between its enactment and Corporal Tillman's death, the White 
House had not been queried about a specific wartime death, and 
thus, there had been little cause for White House employees to 
know of a prohibition on Pentagon actions. There is no evidence 
the White House intentionally acted in contravention of this 
provision.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \72\ See, e.g., Gross Transcript at Tr. 68-70; McClellan Interview; 
Bartlett Interview.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    It seems that White House and DoD officials did not 
communicate about the Corporal Tillman case until after Gross 
began to reply to inquires.\73\ As a result, Claire Buchan, one 
of two White House deputy press secretaries, somehow learned 
that the Pentagon had not yet announced Corporal Tillman's 
death. At 12:54 pm (fifty-nine minutes after approval had been 
given to Gross), Buchan sent an e-mail to McClellan. The e-mail 
was captioned ``alert--do not use tillman statement,'' the text 
said, in part, ``dod is not confirming that he is dead,'' but 
conceded, ``unfortunately, taylor's statement is on the wire.'' 
\74\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \73\ Gross had no knowledge whatsoever of any communications 
between DoD and the White House. Gross Transcript at Tr. 45.
    \74\ E-mail from Claire Buchan, Deputy White House Press Secretary, 
to Trent Duffy, Deputy White House Press Secretary, and Scott 
McClellan, White House Press Secretary (Apr. 23, 2004; 12:54 EDT) 
(bates no. HOGR004-01108). This e-mail also reports ``next of kin still 
being notified.'' Id. (NB: This was erroneous; by this time Corporal 
Tillman's parents and widow had been informed.)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Apparently seeking details of what she thought was an 
imminently forthcoming Defense Department release, Buchan then 
inquired of Sean McCormack, the National Security Council's 
spokesman, ``can you bug your friend at dod[?]'' \75\ 
Presumably speaking of Pentagon officials, McCormack replied, 
``not confirming yet;'' \76\ and he added, ``this will soon 
become a problem.'' \77\ Buchan responded
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \75\ E-mail from Claire Buchan, Deputy White House Press Secretary, 
to Sean McCormack, Spokesman, National Security Council (Apr. 23, 2004; 
16:07 EDT) (bates no. HOGR0004-01107) (including E-mail from Claire 
Buchan, Deputy White House Press Secretary, to Sean McCormack, 
Spokesman, National Security Council (Apr. 23, 2004; 16:00 EDT)).
    \76\ Id. (including E-mail from Sean McCormack, Spokesman, National 
Security Council, to Claire Buchan, Deputy White House Press Secretary 
(Apr. 23, 2004; 16:06 EDT)).
    \77\ Id.

        trust me. it is already. i have everyone and their 
        brother bugging me for `the statement.' can they give 
        you any sense of timing? \78\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \78\ Id. Buchan continued, ``are you anticipating a bigger problem 
than just managing this?'' Id.

In fact, the Pentagon release was not issued until 11:15 pm; 
about ten hours later. As required, this was twenty-four hours 
after Corporal Tillman's family was informed of his death.\79\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \79\ E-mail from Shari Lawrence, Deputy Public Affairs Officer, 
U.S. Army Human Resources Command, to various (Apr. 23, 2004; 15:59 
EDT) (bates no. 200-205) (forwarding death notice data sheet of 
Corporal Tillman). For instructions on release date and time as well as 
death notice data sheet, see id. Note that the release indicates the 
statement ``[t]he incident is under investigation.'' Id. This 
apparently was standard phraseology used on all announcements of 
theater deaths at the time. See, e.g., Bush Transcript at Tr. 23-24; 
Henderson Transcript at Tr. 24.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Four hours before the DoD release, in the course of 
instructing subordinates to ensure media outlets corrected any 
mischaracterization of Gross' remarks, McClellan outlined his 
understanding of what had transpired that day:

        Media affairs commented when asked for reaction from 
        Arizona press. They did not check to verify if it had 
        been confirmed.\80\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \80\ E-mail from Scott McClellan, White House Press Secretary, to 
Suzy DeFrancis, Deputy Assistant, White House Communications (Apr. 23, 
2004; 19:10 EDT) (bates no. HOGR004-01122).

In an interview with the Committee, Gross acknowledged that he 
did not confirm news accounts of Corporal Tillman's death 
before drafting the proposed response. He explained that he 
assumed, if confirmation was to be secured, it was the 
responsibility of others.\81\ Bartlett, in his interview with 
the Committee, said he assumed someone had done so.\82\ 
Although the Committee did not receive any White House 
documents which reflect this, Gross also recalled ``verbal 
conversations'' with staffers (although he could not remember 
which) about the veracity of the broadcast reports, whether or 
not Corporal Tillman's family had been informed, and the 
desirability of a response from the Pentagon or White 
House.\83\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \81\ Gross Transcript at Tr. 52-3, 64-67, 70, 93-96.
    \82\ Bartlett Interview. In addition, McClellan said this was 
something Gross' office ``could have done.'' McClellan Interview 
(Committee staff notes).
    \83\ Gross Transcript at Tr. 41-42, 44, 46-47.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    McClellan told the Committee that although Corporal 
Tillman's death was certainly newsworthy, it did not 
``dominate'' press office duties that day.\84\ Gross recalls no 
after-action follow-up on the matter.\85\ Indeed, Gross told 
the Committee that ``my knowledge of Pat Tillman's death, and 
any information about Pat Tillman's death stopped'' on April 
23.\86\ He declared ``I never once, to my recollection, again 
took up the subject'' aside from ``maybe a friend or two e-
mailing me or contacting me over the phone. . . .'' \87\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \84\ McClellan Interview.
    \85\ Gross Transcript at Tr. 75.
    \86\ Id. at Tr. 98.
    \87\ Id.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Staffers also apparently did not attempt to discern the 
basis of the mix-up surrounding Gross' remarks. This may be 
because it was a Friday when the White House reacted to news of 
Corporal Tillman's death. By the next business day (Monday, 
April 26), concern about White House actions appear to have 
dissipated and other events had come to preoccupy staffers.
    It seems Buchan did not take note of the official Pentagon 
release until returning to work after being off for the 
weekend. On April 26 at 11:36 am she e-mailed McCormack, ``i 
see the army is finally confirming it.'' \88\ Although she had 
known since the afternoon of April 23 that the White House 
response had preceded the Defense Department's announcement, 
she seems not to have monitored the situation later that day in 
order to determine how long in advance Gross' remarks had 
circulated.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \88\ E-mail from Claire Buchan, Deputy White House Press Secretary, 
to Sean I. McCormack, Spokesman, National Security Council (Apr 26, 
2004; 11:36 EDT) (bates no. HOGR004-01105).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

                    B. CORRESPONDENTS DINNER SPEECH

    On May 1, eight days after the announcement that Corporal 
Tillman had been killed, the President gave remarks at the 
annual White House Correspondents Dinner. In this short speech, 
the President spoke of wartime journalists (including those 
killed in action) and World War II veterans. He also said:

        The loss of Army Corporal Pat Tillman last week in 
        Afghanistan brought home the sorrow that comes with 
        every loss, and reminds us of the character of the men 
        and women who serve on our behalf. Friends say that 
        this young man saw the images of September the 11th, 
        and seeing that evil, he felt called to defend America. 
        He set aside a career in athletics and many things the 
        world counts important: wealth and security and the 
        acclaim of the crowds. He chose, instead, the rigors of 
        Ranger training and the fellowship of soldiers and the 
        hard duty in Afghanistan and Iraq. Corporal Tillman 
        asked for no special attention. He was modest because 
        he knew there were many like him, making their own 
        sacrifices.\89\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \89\ E-mail from Robert Pratt, White House staff, to various (May 
3, 2004; 13:01 EDT) (bates no. HOGR004-00613) (forwarding E-mail from 
Margaret Suntum, White House staff, to various (May 3, 2004; 12:54 
EDT), including Official Remarks by the President at the White House 
Correspondents Dinner, May 1, 2004).

    In an April 27, 2004 e-mail to Gerson from research 
assistant, Lee Bockhorn, Bockhorn conveyed three news clippings 
about Corporal Tillman to the speechwriter, with the note, 
``[y]ou asked for the `most moving' stuff on Corporal Tillman, 
particularly anything he said. . . .'' \90\ Bockhorn noted 
``pretty remarkable'' comments by Corporal Tillman on September 
12, 2001, about the affect of the previous day's terrorist 
attacks on his professional aspirations.\91\ ``At times like 
this,'' one clip quoted Corporal Tillman as saying, compared to 
other relatives who had served in the military, he believed he 
hadn't ``done a damn thing as far as laying myself on the line 
like that.'' \92\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \90\ E-mail from Lee Bockhorn, Research Assistant, White House, to 
Michael J. Gerson, Chief Speechwriter, White House (Apr. 27, 2004; 
13:49 EDT (bates no. HOGR004-01137).
    \91\ Id.
    \92\ Id. (citing, Richard Lacayo, One For The Team, Time Mag. (May 
3, 2004) (quoting Corporal Pat Tillman)). See also, Currin Transcript 
at Tr. 9, 47-48.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    As the speech was being finalized, a draft was provided to 
John Currin, the White House speechwriting ``fact-checker'' for 
review.\93\ On the morning of April 28, Currin e-mailed Hedy 
Henderson, a counterpart at the Defense Department.\94\ He 
wrote
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \93\ For description of fact checker responsibilities and process, 
see Currin Transcript at Tr. 6-7, 12.
    \94\ For Henderson's role, see Currin Transcript at Tr. 15, 23; 
Henderson Transcript at Tr. 22-23, 31. For understanding of the routine 
nature of contact, see Henderson Transcript at Tr. 29, 46-49.

        I hope you can help us confirm some information. We are 
        putting in the President's remarks at the 
        correspondent's [sic] dinner a few lines about Pat 
        Tillman. We need to get confirmed his rank and that he 
        did tours of duty in both Afghanistan and Iraq.\95\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \95\ E-mail from John Currin, White House speechwriting 
factchecker, to Hedy Henderson, Office of the Secretary of Defense, 
U.S. Department of Defense (Apr. 29, 2004; 13:50 EDT) (bates no. 14005) 
(forwarding E-mail from John Currin, White House speechwriting 
factchecker, to Hedy Henderson, Office of the Secretary of Defense, 
U.S. Department of Defense (Apr. 28, 204; 11:45 EDT).

Henderson responded by forwarding the April 23, 2004 Defense 
Department press release announcing the death and commented 
``I'm still checking the Afghanistan/Iraq part.'' \96\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------    \96\ Id. (forwarding E-mail from Hedy Henderson, Office of the 
Secretary of Defense, U.S. Department of Defense, to John Currin, White 
House speechwriting factchecker (Apr. 28, 2004; 11:59 EDT). Henderson 
told Committee staff that she recalled these were the only points 
Currin raised with her during this call, not Corporal Tillman's 
enlistment motivations. Henderson said she had ``vague'' recollections 
that it was ``very possible'' this topic came up. Henderson Transcript 
at Tr. 27-28, 34-40, 44-45. Currin had the same recollection. Currin 
Transcript at Tr. 75-76.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Between 12:40 pm and 2:03 pm on April 27, 2004, Currin and 
Henderson then exchanged five e-mails about the nations in 
which Corporal Tillman served and the proper way to refer to 
his rank. When Currin was told that Corporal Tillman was a 
Specialist, he replied (referencing those who crafted the 
speech), ``The writers pulled from a news article that put his 
rank as sergeant;'' as if by explanation, Henderson responded 
only with the Internet link to an Army Special Operations 
Command statement about Corporal Tillman's death (which noted 
he ``received a posthumous lateral appointment April 26 from 
the rank of specialist to corporal'') and the name and 
telephone number of Carol Darby, the Special Operations 
Command's civilian public affairs officer at Fort Lewis, 
Washington.\97\ Currin apparently then called Darby to discuss 
these matters further.\98\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \97\ E-mail from Hedy Henderson, Office of the Secretary of 
Defense, U.S. Department of Defense, to John Currin, White House 
speechwriting factchecker (Apr. 28, 2004; 14:03 EDT) (citing U.S. Army 
Special Operations Command News Service, Press Release 040423-01: Army 
Ranger killed in Afghanistan, Apr. 23, 2004) (forwarding E-mail from 
John Currin, White House speechwriting factchecker to Hedy Henderson, 
Office of the Secretary of Defense, U.S. Department of Defense (Apr. 
28, 2004; 13:46 EDT). See also Henderson Transcript at Tr. 28, 38, 42-
43. For the routine origins of the release, see Darby Transcript at Tr. 
28-31. Henderson also apparently talked with Darby before referring 
Currin to her. Id.
    \98\ Currin Transcript at Tr. 29-31.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Henderson told the Committee ``probably sometime in late 
May'' 2004 she learned ``[f]rom the news'' that Corporal 
Tillman was possibly a victim of fratricide.\99\ Before then 
she did not know an investigation was underway nor had she 
heard any suggestion that speeches with which she was involved 
``should avoid going into detail about how Corporal Tillman 
died.'' \100\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \99\ Henderson Transcript at Tr. 21.
    \100\ Id. at Tr. 21-22, 29.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Darby similarly testified that she had no knowledge of 
fratricide or an investigation until weeks after her 
communication with Currin; this was consistent with an 
affidavit she had executed in February 2005.\101\ Lastly, 
Currin told the committee that neither Henderson nor Darby 
apprised him that friendly fire was suspected in Corporal 
Tillman's death or an inquiry was ongoing, and no speech draft 
he saw referenced in any way the circumstances in which the 
soldier died.\102\ Indeed, he did not learn of the fratricide 
finding until after the Army released the information publicly 
on May 29.\103\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \101\ Sworn Statement by Carol Darby, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. 
Army (Feb. 22, 2005) (available in DoD IG Report (unnumbered 
appendix)).
    \102\ Currin Transcript at Tr. 35, 71.
    \103\ Id. at Tr. 72.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    In describing her contact with the fact-checker, Darby told 
the Committee Currin also asked ``if I could tell him why Pat 
Tillman joined the Army. . . .'' \104\ She recounted her 
response:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \104\ Darby Transcript at Tr. 39.

        I told him no, that I could not, that I had never 
        talked to either of the [Tillman] brothers and I had 
        never seen anything in print of any sort that stated 
        why they joined the Army. But I had seen press reports 
        where Pat's coach had spoke [sic] of something along 
        those lines, but [the reports] didn't really give 
        exactly why Pat joined the Army.\105\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \105\ Id.

In response to a request from Currin, Darby faxed him copies of 
the articles she had at hand.\106\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \106\ Id.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Currin apparently reviewed this material, and then queried 
Matthew Scully, one of Gerson's deputies:

        What is your source for the statement that Corporal 
        Tillman seeing on September 11 the burning towers on 
        television, felt called to fight that evil. Going back 
        to press accounts at the time, Corporal Tillman refused 
        to give his reasons, and kept it to himself.\107\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \107\ E-mail from John Currin, White House speechwriting fact 
checker, to Matthew Scully, Deputy Speechwriter, White House (Apr. 28, 
2004; 14:09 EDT) (bates no. HOGR004-01093). Throughout the time the 
Tillman brothers were stationed at Fort Lewis, Darby was responsible 
for conveying various media requests to them. She told the Committee 
she thought they declined interview requests because ``they wanted to 
do what they had joined to do without the interruptions of media query 
and media involvement;'' in describing to the Committee her encounter 
with Currin, Darby denied the suggestion that she knew Tillman refused 
to reveal the reason he joined the Army. Rather, she stated she did not 
know his motivation. Darby Transcript at Tr. 22, 41-42.

Scully replied (possibly referencing the packet of news clips 
that had been provided by Bockhorn) ``[s]hould be in news 
accounts.'' \108\ Currin told the Committee he never saw the e-
mail from Bockhorn or its attachments.\109\ This may be why, in 
reply to Gerson, Currin (while also noting Corporal Tillman 
``ha[d] been posthumously promoted to Corporal'') responded:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \108\ E-mail from John Currin, White House speechwriting fact 
checker, to Matthew Scully, Deputy Speechwriter, White House (Apr. 28, 
2004; 14:25 EDT) (bates no. HOGR004-010904) (forwarding E-mail from 
Matthew Scully Deputy Speechwriter, White House, to John Currin, White 
House speechwriting fact checker (Apr. 28, 14:11 EDT).
    \109\ Currin Transcript at Tr. 51, 53.

        My DoD contact, who checked with the Rangers, confirm 
        [sic] that he never gave any media interview [sic] or 
        discussed the reasons why he left the NFL to join the 
        Rangers. [. . .] But given that he never spoke to the 
        press about his reasons for joining the Rangers, we 
        simply do not have support for the statement that he 
        decided to join the Rangers after seeing the burning 
        towers on television.\110\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \110\ E-mail from John Currin, White House speechwriting fact 
checker, to Matthew Scully, Deputy Speechwriter, White House (Apr. 28, 
2004; 14:25 EDT) (bates no. HOGR004-010904).

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
About one and a half hours later, Currin wrote again:

        There is no direct support for the statement that Pat 
        Tillman saw the burning towers on television and felt 
        called to fight the evil behind it. Tillman and his 
        brother never discussed their reasons with the press, 
        nor have their parents. Tillman kept his reasons to 
        himself. The people at Fort Lewis, the base for 
        Tillman's unit, could not confirm that September 11 was 
        the reason why Tillman joined the Army. All that I and 
        Carol Darby at USASOC (Ft. Lewis) could find is mention 
        in a news article from March 2003 that says that 
        ``friends say the brothers were deeply affected by the 
        September 11 terrorist attacks and felt compelled to 
        enlist.'' We do not know if these friends were 
        speculating about Tillman's reasons or if they had 
        direct knowledge of Tillman's reasons. The bottom line 
        is that Tillman never stated publicly his reasons for 
        joining the Rangers, and it is speculation that he did 
        so because of September 11.\111\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \111\ E-mail from John Currin, White House speechwriting fact 
checker, to Matthew Scully, Deputy Speechwriter, White House, Michael 
Gerson, Chief Speechwriter, White House, and others (Apr. 28, 2004; 
15:53 EDT) (bates no. HOGR004-01095).

The next afternoon, it seems that Darby called Currin to 
discuss the matter further. The fact-checker summarized this 
conversation in an e-mail to Gerson, Scully, and a third 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
speechwriter:

        As I mentioned yesterday, Pat Tillman and his family 
        never spoke about the reasons why he chose to leave the 
        NFL and join the Army, and the statement in the remarks 
        for the correspondence dinner attributing his 
        motivation to seeing the burning towers on 9/11 is 
        speculation. I spoke yesterday with Carol Darby at Ft. 
        Lewis (the base for the Rangers) to check on Tillman's 
        correct rank and see if she could verify Tillman's 
        reasons for joining the Rangers. Carol phoned me just 
        now to ask if we wanted to go through the CACO assigned 
        to the Tillman family and see if they would want to 
        talk to us about Corporal Tillman's reasons for joining 
        the Army. I am not certain if we would want to approach 
        the family in their time of grief (they will receive 
        Corporal Tillman's remains today), or if you can work 
        around the problem of not knowing as fact the reasons 
        that motivated Tillman to join the Army. Let me know if 
        you want me to go through the Tillman family CACO to 
        see if the family will let us know his reasons. My 
        sense, however, is that because Tillman wanted to keep 
        his reasons private, and because his family continues 
        to respect his wish to this day, we should as well, and 
        work as best we can around the speculation.\112\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \112\ E-mail from John Currin, White House speechwriting fact 
checker, to Matthew Scully, Deputy Speechwriter, White House, Michael 
Gerson, Chief Speechwriter, White House, and others (Apr. 29, 2004, 
13:47 EDT) (bates no. HOGR004-01096) (``CACO'' which is mentioned in 
this e-mail is an abbreviation for Casualty Assistant Calls Officer, an 
individual assigned by the Army to provide advice and counseling to 
next of kin on the military's procedures and protocols in the case of 
active duty deaths.). Currin told Committee staff that he routinely 
submitted written remarks and sometimes other back-up material to the 
White House staff secretary about the items he fact-checked. Thus, it 
is possible that at least one other White House official (other than 
those known to be the e-mail recipients) were apprised of the substance 
of Currin's conversations with Darby. Currin Transcript at Tr. 12-14, 
42-44, 64-65, 74-75.

In a subsequent exchange of e-mails, Gerson referred Currin to 
a ``new draft'' of the speech which the writer believed 
addressed the fact-checker's concerns. Currin responded by 
saying, ``I gather you have worked around the issue?'' \113\ to 
which Gerson responded: ``I think so.'' \114\ Currin seemed to 
concur. When he reviewed the later version, he did not object 
to any discussion of Corporal Tillman's enlistment, but rather 
to the fact that the soldier's rank was incorrectly noted as 
``corporal.'' In the next nine minutes, he sent or received 
five e-mails on the subject, to ensure that this detail was 
properly revised.\115\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \113\ E-mail from John Currin, White House speechwriting fact 
checker, to Michael J. Gerson, Chief Speechwriter, White House (Apr. 
29, 2004; 14:01 EDT) (bates HOGR004-01086).
    \114\ E-mail from Michael J. Gerson, Chief Speechwriter, White 
House, to John Currin, White House speechwriting fact checker (Apr. 29, 
2004; 14:02 EDT) (Committee staff notes from in camera review).
    \115\ See E-mails to/from John Currin, White House speechwriting 
fact checker (Committee staff notes from in camera review). See also 
Currin Transcript at Tr. 55-56.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Currin agreed when the Committee asked him if his 
preoccupation with Corporal Tillman's rank indicated 
``satisfaction'' with the way the speech draft addressed 
enlistment motivations. However, he also said it was ``perhaps 
not 100 percent'' in compliance with his suggestions.\116\ In 
addition, when asked if it was accurate to say that in his 
``research and fact-checking'' he learned that the Tillman 
brothers considered their ``reasons for joining the military as 
something they didn't want to talk about in public,'' he 
replied ``that is probably fair.'' \117\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \116\ Id. at Tr. 35-37, 55, 63, 67-68.
    \117\ Currin Transcript at Tr. 57, 70.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Contemporary media accounts of Corporal Tillman's time in 
the Army are replete with reports of acquaintances commenting 
upon the circumstances of the Ranger's enlistment. In addition 
to the two cited by Bockhorn, one 2002 article said, ``[s]ome 
close to him suspect that the Sept. 11 attacks had an influence 
on his decision.'' \118\ A month earlier, a Kansas newspaper 
reported, ``[a]lthough Tillman had been considering joining the 
military before Sept. 11, friends say the terrorist attacks 
stoked his patriotic embers.'' \119\ Another story explained, 
``Several of Tillman's confidants say the Sept 11 terrorist 
attacks influenced'' him.\120\ In July 2002, the Des Moines 
Register described Corporal Tillman's reason for joining the 
military: ``It's a personal decision, he told friends, who 
think it has something to do with what happened to this country 
last Sept. 11.'' \121\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \118\ Nick Wishart, Tillman Declines to Discuss his Enlistment in 
Army, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Jul. 14, 2002, D5 (noting ``[Tillman] is 
not talking to the media . . . He wants to be left alone to pursue his 
most recent goal, leaving the rest of us to speculate on his 
motivations.'')
    \119\ Mark Emmons, Tillman Takes His Won Path from NFL to Army; 
Friends and Family of Arizona's Pat Tillman Aren't Surprised He's 
Giving Up NFL Lifestyle to Become an Army Ranger, Wichita Eagle, Jun. 
4, 2002, 1D.
    \120\ Troy Johnson, NFL No Match for Tillman's New Challenge; 
Former Cardinal Defensive Back to Begin Army's Ranger Training, 
Charleston Gazette, Jul. 12, 2002, 5B.
    \121\ Carlson John, Decision to Serve, Rather than Be Served, 
Admirable, Des Moines Register, Jul. 10, 2002, 1B.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    The exchange between Currin and Darby on April 27 and April 
28 likely spurred Army Maj. Gen. Stanley McChrystal to send his 
Personal For (or ``P4'') message to Gen. Abizaid on April 29, 
although this connection cannot be precisely established. The 
DoD IG testified before the Committee that the P4 ``stopped 
with the three generals that were on it.'' \122\ The 
Committee's inquiry supports this conclusion. No other 
individual, including Secretary Rumsfeld, Gen. Myers, Lt. Gen. 
Lovelace and DiRita, testified to having had knowledge of the 
P4 or its contents.\123\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \122\ Hearing on Misleading Information from the Battlefield before 
the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, 110th Cong. (Apr. 
24, 2007) [hereinafter Tillman Hearing I] (prepared statement by Thomas 
Gimble, Acting Inspector General, U.S. Department of Defense).
    \123\ See Tillman Hearing II at Tr. 28, 63, 93 (statements by Gen. 
Richard Myers); Id. at Tr. 16 (statements by Donald Rumsfeld); Id. at 
Tr. 75 (statement by Donald Rumsfeld, regarding having never received 
any P4 message); Lovelace Transcript at Tr. 28-29; Di Rita Transcript 
at Tr. 55.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

                          C. OTHER ACTIVITIES

    The White House intergovernmental affairs office apparently 
responded to a request from the San Jose Mayor to assist in 
arranging for Corporal Tillman's widow to fly to California 
with her late husband's remains.\124\ On the other hand, it is 
difficult to determine if the White House contemplated 
involvement in Corporal Tillman's memorial service. On May 6, 
Brook Holladay, an apparently junior-level employee reported to 
another staffer about receiving a telephone call from ``Stu 
Hadley'' who was involved with planning a memorial service for 
Corporal Tillman at the University of Arizona. Holladay said 
Hadley reported ``someone from the White House called and 
offered a message for the event to be read;'' Holladay lamented 
that Hanley did not ``have the name of the person who called.'' 
\125\ After an exchange of e-mails, Holladay reported on what 
appears to be a second call with Hadley, stating he ``COULD NOT 
HAVE BEEN MORE UNDERSTANDING OR NICER about this whole 
situation! All's good.'' \126\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \124\ E-mail from Jim Cunneen, President and CEO, San Jose Silicon 
Valley Chamber of Commerce, to Ruben Barrales, Intergovernment Affairs 
Office, White House (Apr. 30, 2004; 11:37 EDT) (bates nos. HOGR004-
00379-00381) (forwarding E-mail from Jim Cunneen, President and CEO, 
San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce, to Ruben Barrales, 
Intergovernment Affairs Office, White House (Apr. 29, 2004; 02:00 EDT); 
E-mail from Jeananne Fair, White House staff, to Ruben Barrales, 
Intergovernment Affairs Office, White House (Apr. 27, 2004; 17:34 EDT) 
(bates no., HOGR004-01111); E-mail from Pat Dando, Mayor, City of San 
Jose, to Ruben Barrales, Intergovernment Affairs Office, White House 
(Apr. 28, 2004; 17:26 EDT) (bates no. HOGR004-00135).
    \125\ E-mail from Brook Holladay, White House staff, to Brooke 
Chambers, White House staff (May 7, 2004; 14:15 EDT) (bates no. 
HOGR004-01113-01114) (forwarding E-mail from Brook Holladay, White 
House staff, to Brooke Chambers, White House staff (May 6, 2004; 15:08 
EDT)).
    \126\ Id. (Emphasis in original.)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Although the situation appeared to be satisfactorily 
resolved, the e-mail exchange continued between eleven more 
staffers. One volunteered ``this issue probably rises to a 
Karl-level,'' presumably a reference to Presidential aide Karl 
Rove.\127\ This brought the reply, ``[t]hey are checking with 
them.'' \128\ This suggests that either a White House staffer 
or the Arizona contact was getting in touch with ``Karl.'' The 
Committee found no further evidence that the White House 
contemplated or actually sent a message about Corporal Tillman 
to the University of Arizona or that Rove was involved. Of 
course, even if it was determined that Rove contemplated 
proffering some sort of official statement to be read at a 
University of Arizona event, this does not indicate that he was 
aware of the likelihood that Corporal Tillman had been killed 
by friendly fire.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \127\ E-mail from Brooke Manning, White House staff, to David Holt, 
White House staff (May 6, 2004; 15:51 EDT) (bates no. HOGR004-01117-
01119) (forwarding E-mail from Brooke Holt, White House staff, to David 
Holt, White House staff (May 6, 2004; 15:39 EDT)).
    \128\ Id.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

                       D. KNOWLEDGE OF FRATRICIDE

    No White House staffer interviewed by the Committee said 
they knew that fratricide was suspected until the Army's 
announcement on the subject.\129\ The Committee did not obtain 
any information to the contrary. It also found no evidence 
which suggested that other White House staffers or the 
President had foreknowledge of the friendly fire suspicions.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \129\ See Gross Transcript at Tr. 101-2; Currin Transcript at Tr. 
72; Bartlett Interview; McClellan Interview; Gerson Interview.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    When the Pentagon released the fratricide findings, White 
House press and speechwriting officials considered it a Defense 
Department matter about which a comment or explanation from the 
Presidential staff was unnecessary.\130\ The media apparently 
shared this view. There is no record of any question about 
Corporal Tillman being posed in a White House press conference 
immediately after the release by the Army of the findings of 
the friendly fire investigation; this was confirmed by White 
House officials.\131\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \130\ McClellan Interview.
    \131\ See Gross Transcript at Tr. 107-108, 117-118; Bartlett 
Interview; McClellan Interview. In addition, Committee staff performed 
an article search and a search of White House press gaggles and did not 
find any instance of White House officials being quoted or asked, 
respectively, about Corporal Tillman immediately after to the 
announcement of the finding of friendly fire.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

                            IV. OTHER CASES

                            A. JESSICA LYNCH

    The April 3, 2003, front page Washington Post article which 
attributed special heroism to Private Jessica Lynch was based 
on information provided by unnamed ``U.S. officials.'' \132\ 
The Washington Post article was widely circulated and formed 
the basis of additional stories in other publications in the 
following days. Many other media outlets apparently sought to 
substantiate claims about Private Lynch's actions at the time 
she was captured. As then-U.S. Navy Captain Frank Thorp, a 
CENTCOM public affairs official, recounted to Committee staff, 
``I remember specifically everyone and their brother and sister 
trying to chase that story and being unable to.'' \133\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \132\ Susan Schmidt and Vernon Loeb, `She Was Fighting to the 
Death,' Details Emerging of W.Va. Soldier's Capture and Rescue, Wash. 
Post, Apr. 3. 2003, p. A1.
    \133\ Thorp Transcript at Tr. 79.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Some charge that now-Rear Admiral Thorp or other 
administration or Pentagon officials intentionally misinformed 
the Washington Post as part of an effort to make Private Lynch 
appear to be particularly heroic and thus buttress support for 
the Iraq War. It is also possible the flawed Washington Post 
article resulted from prosaic circumstances. The story may have 
been based upon innocent confusion about details conveyed 
amidst the war. Alternatively, some have argued that the 
problematic Washington Post article may have been advanced by 
proponents of an expanded role for women in the military 
namely, by demonstrating that Private Lynch had behaved 
valiantly in combat, efforts to allow other females into front-
line units would have presumably been aided. A cursory 
examination of some of the articles subsequently written based 
upon the initial Washington Post article lends support to this 
suggestion.\134\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \134\ In the week following the Post story, editorials and articles 
appeared, relating Lynch's heroics to the prospect of women being given 
combat roles. See Joan Lowy, Heroics of female POW raise combat debate, 
Scripps Howard News Service, Apr. 3, 2003; Pfc. Jessica Lynch shows 
again that women can handle combat; she kept firing at attackers until 
ammunition ran out, official says, Detroit News, Apr. 4, 2003, p. 8A; 
Women are proving they're just as tough as the men; The arguments for 
keeping women out of combat are quickly losing credibility, Portland 
(ME) Press Herald, Apr. 5, 2003, 9A; Lynch quells gender debate, Boston 
Herald, Apr. 6, 2003, 26; Jessica's Lesson, Rochester Democrat and 
Chronicle, Apr. 7, 2003, 8A; Frank Ritter, Lynch settles the question 
of women in combat, Tennessean, Apr. 9, 2003, 13A; Martha Ackmann, A 
woman's place is on the battlefield, too, Record (Bergen County, NJ), 
Apr. 10, 2003, L11.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Committee's investigation of the identity and 
motivation of the Washington Post's source for the article was 
limited to posing a handful of questions to two witnesses: Rear 
Admiral Thorp and Jim Wilkinson, a CENTCOM official charged 
with strategic communications during the April 2003 time 
period. Neither stated any knowledge of the background of the 
leak.\135\ The Committee obtained no further information on 
this topic.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \135\ Thorp Transcript at Tr. 68-79; Wilkinson Transcript at Tr. 
43-76.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Significantly, the Post journalists and their editors, 
according to a 2003 account in the American Journalism Review, 
reject the suggestion they were intentionally mislead by 
Pentagon officals; \136\ they instead trace the difficulties to 
flawed data from the battlefield. This possibility seemed 
buttressed in 2004 when it was suggested that erroneous 
translations of Iraqi radio transmissions about the convoy 
ambush may have led some to believe Private Lynch undertook 
actions actually performed by another soldier.\137\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \136\ Steve Ritea, Jessica Lynch's Story: A Little Too Perfect?, 
American Journalism Review (Aug./Sep. 2003).
    \137\ Andrew Kramer, Family Learns Iraqis Executed Soldier Captured 
at Same Time as Lynch, Wash. Post, May 29, 2004, A15.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    After Private Lynch's rescue, an Army 15-6 investigation 
was conducted to learn more about the actions of her unit on 
the day it was attacked.\138\ In the month after the Washington 
Post article, another news account reported that ``two Pentagon 
officials in interviews cast doubt on the Washington Post's 
report. The officials said all evidence suggests that [Private] 
Lynch's truck crashed in the chaos of the ambush . . ..'' \139\ 
The article attributed to these same ``officials'' the view 
that Private Lynch ``suffered several bone fractures and was in 
no position to put up a fight.'' \140\ Indeed, an Army 
spokesman, who described the inquiry as ``extremely complex,'' 
stipulated it would answer the query ``[w]hen the ambush hit, 
did the vehicle wreck or did she fight?'' \141\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \138\ Rowan Scarborough, Army to probe Lynch Capture, Wash. Times, 
May 23, 2003, A01.
    \139\ Id.
    \140\ Id.
    \141\ Id.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    On June 17, 2003, the Washington Post reported that Private 
Lynch did not engage the enemy, was not wounded by gunshots, 
and was rescued without significant resistance.\142\ According 
to press reports, the 15-6 investigation results, officially 
released the following month, said much the same.\143\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \142\ Dana Priest, William Booth and Susan Schmidt, A Broken Body, 
a Broken Story, Pieced Together; Investigation Reveals Lynch--Still in 
Hospital After 67 Days--Suffered Bone-crushing Injuries in Crash During 
Ambush, Wash. Post, June 17, 2003, A01 [hereinafter Jun. 17, 2003 Post 
Follow-up].
    \143\ Dana Priest, M-16s Jammed During Ambush in Iraq, Wash. Post, 
Jul. 10, 2003, A14.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    On April 5, 2003, three days after Private Lynch's rescue, 
Air Force Maj. Gen. Victor Renuart, in the course of a CENTCOM 
briefing, told assembled reporters he would ``spend a minute or 
two talking about the rescue of Private Lynch,'' and declared 
``you'll forgive me for referring to notes a little bit more, 
but the facts of this are important . . .'' \144\ 
Significantly, when describing the operation, Gen. Renuart made 
no assertions about Private Lynch's response when her unit was 
attacked.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \144\ Transcript of CENTCOM Operational Update Briefing by Maj. 
Gen. Victor Renuart, Federal News Service, Apr. 5, 2003.

        [A]s you know, on or about 23rd of March [Private 
        Lynch's] 507th maintenance company was ambushed in the 
        vicinity of An Nasiriyah. A number of members of that 
        maintenance company were killed, a number captured and 
        a number were unaccounted for, [Private Lynch] being 
        one of them.\145\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \145\ Id.

    Gen. Renuart explained further that the military's special 
forces subsequently ``got an indication'' that an injured 
American POW was being ``held in . . . the Saddam Hospital, in 
An Nasiriyah.'' \146\ As a result, he said, highly trained 
elite Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine units were ordered to 
``very rapidly get into the area of the hospital to determine 
the location of Private Lynch and then to bring her out, and at 
the same time, exploit some areas of the hospital where we had 
reports of enemy headquarters, command and control facilities 
and the like.'' \147\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \146\ Id.
    \147\ Id.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    In the assault, one group of Marines was charged with 
creating a diversionary attack to allow a main rescue group to 
approach the hospital unimpeded. Gen. Renuart explained that 
this second element ``persuaded a local physician to lead them 
to Private Lynch's location.'' \148\ The General also said some 
military personnel on the rescue team discovered a ``weapons 
cache'' in the hospital and a three-dimensional map of the 
town. Gen. Renuart said this ``terrain model'' included red and 
blue markers which ``depicted with relative accuracy the 
general position of U.S. forces and also enemy forces in the 
town.'' \149\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \148\ Id.
    \149\ Id.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Lynch's rescue was, as later recounted by CENTCOM public 
affairs official, Lt. Colonel John Robinson, ``an awesome 
story.'' \150\ However, notwithstanding Robinson's declaration 
and Gen. Renuart's explanation, some questioned the conduct of 
the rescue operation. Six weeks after Private Lynch's rescue, 
the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) aired a documentary 
segment entitled ``War Spin'' on its Correspondent television 
program. About the rescue, the documentary concluded: ``her 
story is one of the most stunning pieces of news management 
ever conceived.'' \151\ The program asserted ``the US military 
knew there were no Iraqi forces guarding the hospital, and 
quoted a local doctor saying the troops used blank rounds to 
`make a show' of the operation.'' \152\ ``War Spin'' also 
questioned whether Private Lynch ``had been slapped about on 
her hospital bed and interrogated'' before troops came to her 
aid.\153\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \150\ Jun. 17, 2003 Post Follow-up.
    \151\ John Kampfner, Saving Private Lynch Story `Flawed', BBC News 
(online), May 15, 2003, available at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/
programmes/correspondent/3028585.stm [last visited Jul. 14, 2008].
    \152\ Id.
    \153\ Id.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    A Pentagon spokesman termed these assessments ``void of all 
facts and absolutely ridiculous.'' \154\ However, three Members 
of Congress asked the Defense Department Inspector General to 
undertake an inquiry to determine the veracity of the BBC's 
assertions. Writing about the charges in ``War Spin,'' one 
wrote, ``[I]f these allegations prove true the US military put 
Private Lynch's life in greater risk in order to produce a 
made-for-TV event to boost public support for this war,'' and 
noted, ``if true, this is hardly a fitting way to treat Private 
Lynch in light of her bravery and courage.'' \155\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \154\ Id.
    \155\ Letter from Pete Stark, Member of Congress, to Joseph E. 
Schmitz, Inspector General, U.S. Department of Defense (Jun. 2, 2003) 
(on file with Committee staff).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    None of the accusations made by the BBC, however, appears 
to be accurate. A DoD IG inquiry was undertaken in response to 
the request from the Members. In September 2003, the DoD IG 
reported that, under its oversight, the CENTCOM Inspector 
General had completed an investigation which included 
``extensive evidence not available to the media.'' \156\ 
Investigators ``concluded that the allegations were not 
substantiated'' and ``no further investigation was warranted.'' 
\157\ The operation to locate and repatriate Private Lynch 
``constituted a valid mission to recover a U.S. POW under 
combat conditions,'' the IG found.\158\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \156\ Letter from Joseph E. Schmitz, Inspector General, U.S. 
Department of Defense, to Rahm Emmanuel, Member of Congress (Sep. 2, 
2003) (see Attachment: Executive Summary) (on file with Committee 
Staff).
    \157\ Id.
    \158\ Id.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    In addition, the inquiry found ``[t]he level of force used 
by [the U.S. Special Operations Forces (USSOF)] to perform the 
mission was consistent with the anticipated resistance and 
established doctrine.'' \159\ The video tape collected during 
the mission (and shown later to reporters) ``was filmed by a 
combat cameraman and a member of USSOF in accordance with 
standard procedures'' and the IG determined ``no public affairs 
personnel were involved in the planning or filming of the 
operation.''
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \159\ Id.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    In sum, the IG reported:

        USSOF conducted a personnel recovery mission, during 
        wartime, in a nonpermissive environment, to rescue a 
        U.S. POW from a hostile enemy location. During the 
        mission USSOF received enemy fire from the hospital 
        building, the surrounding complex, and nearby areas. 
        They successfully engaged the enemy forces they 
        encountered, neutralizing them without sustaining any 
        casualties of their own.\160\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \160\ Id.

The IG also conveyed an assessment of the possibility mission 
participants were ``acting for the camera;'' there was no 
evidence of this, investigators reported.\161\ Indeed, ``all 
USSOF members,'' the IG stated, ``were offended by such an 
accusation.'' \162\ These results were conveyed to the 
Committee by the DoD IG at the Committee's first hearing into 
this matter.\163\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \161\ Id.
    \162\ Id.
    \163\ Tillman Hearing I (prepared statement by Thomas Gimble, 
Acting Inspector General, U.S. Department of Defense).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

                       B. SCOTT THOMAS BEAUCHAMP

    While an Army private stationed in Iraq in 2007, Scott 
Thomas Beauchamp ``blogged'' for The New Republic under a 
pseudonym. His postings recounted acts he had allegedly 
witnessed or participated in during his time in theater. These 
included U.S. soldiers mocking a disfigured woman, making 
playthings of the bones of dead children, and intentionally 
running over stray dogs. To some, these episodes illustrated 
the morally debasing effects of the Iraqi conflict on U.S. 
service personnel. When others disagreed and expressed doubt 
about the events reported, Beauchamp responded ``[m]y pieces 
were always intended to provide my discrete view of the war; 
they were never intended as a reflection of the entire U.S. 
Military.'' \164\ He also revealed his actual identity. ``I was 
initially reluctant to take the time out of my already insane 
schedule fighting an actual war in order to play some role in 
an ideological battle that I never wanted to join,'' and ``That 
being said, my character, my experiences, and those of my 
comrades in arms have been called into question, and I believe 
it is important to stand by my writing under my real name.'' 
\165\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \164\ Scott Thomas Beauchamp, Blog: The Plank, New Republic 
(online), Jul. 26, 2007.
    \165\ Id.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    On August 2, 2007, however, The New Republic editors 
disclosed that their initial inquiry into Beauchamp's veracity 
had found a ``significant'' discrepancy in one story: some 
witnesses recalled seeing a mutilated woman fitting the 
description provided by Beauchamp in Kuwait, not Iraq.\166\ 
This is important because if Beauchamp and others had 
encountered her and behaved inappropriately towards her there, 
it could not been because of the rigors of combat. This is 
because Beauchamp's unit was in Kuwait before it entered the 
fight. But, only five days later, the Army announced the 
results of an inquiry into the claims in Beauchamp's blog: not 
only was the boorish behavior towards the injured disproved, 
but all ``the allegations made by PVT Beauchamp were found to 
be false,'' according to Multilateral Division-Baghdad 
spokesman Major Steven F. Lamb.\167\ Major Lamb explained that 
Beauchamp's ``platoon and company were interviewed and no one 
could substantiate his claims.'' \168\ In December 2007, in 
light of inconsistencies coming to light, The New Republic's 
editor published an explanation of their position declaring, 
``[W]e cannot stand by these stories.'' \169\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \166\ Editors, A statement on Scott Thomas Beauchamp, New Republic 
(online), Aug. 2, 2007.
    \167\ Marcus Baram, Pentagon: Baghdad Diarist Writes Fiction, ABC 
News, Aug. 7, 2007. See also Howard Kurt, Army Concludes Baghdad 
Diarist Accounts Untrue, Wash. Post, Aug. 8, 2007.
    \168\ Id.
    \169\ Franklin Foer, Fog of War: The story of our Baghdad Diarist, 
New Republic (online), Dec. 10, 2007.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    The next month, twenty-seven sworn statements from soldiers 
were provided to a New York media outlet as a result of a 
Freedom of Information Act request.\170\ These sworn statements 
buttress the reported conclusions of the Army's investigation: 
no interviewee admitted to having any information which 
supported any of Beauchamp's alleged observations. In addition, 
in one sworn statement by Beauchamp's squad leader indicates 
that Beauchamp did not consult with him before making blog 
posts in violation of ``operational security'' regulations 
governing soldiers on the battlefield.\171\
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    \170\ The New Republic's Soldier's Tale, RADAR [magazine] (online), 
available at http://www.radaronline.com/exclusives/2008/01/scott-
beauchamp-new-republic-documents-foia.php [last visited Jul 14, 2008] 
[hereinafter RADAR article].
    \171\ Sworn affidavit by E-6/Squad Leader [name withheld by 
Committee staff] (Jul. 28, 2007; 18:21) (reported in RADAR article).
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
    It is not clear how an Army private was able to repeatedly 
and intentionally disseminate misinformation from the 
battlefield to a major publication, especially when doing so 
violated security provisions and slandered his fellow troops.