By Will Dunham
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Rejecting criticism by Army Ranger Pat Tillman's parents, the U.S. Army on Thursday denied covering up facts in the former professional football player's 2004 friendly fire death in Afghanistan, but admitted to "procedural misjudgments and mistakes."
His father, Pat Tillman Sr., have assailed as "shams" and a cover-up the Army's investigations into his son's death on April 22, 2004. His mother, Mary Tillman, said it was "disgusting" the Army lied about it. They expressed their views in comments and a letter to The Washington Post last month.
"The Army did not 'cover up' any facts," according to a statement released by the Army's public affairs office, arguing that Tillman died "in a very confusing battle."
"While procedural misjudgments and mistakes contributed to an air of suspicion, no one intended to deceive the Tillman family or the public as to the cause of his death," the Army added.
The Army determined almost immediately after Tillman's death that he had been killed inadvertently by fellow Rangers in a wild spree of gunfire in a remote canyon near the Pakistani border, according to the latest Army investigation, described by officials last month. It found that the Army kept the fact secret from his family and the public for weeks and even destroyed evidence, the officials said.
I think the Army is lying. They (the army) have alot to gain if Tillman died a hero. Which he is!