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atheists in foxholes

2007-07-27 17:26:47.410323+00 by Dan Lyke 9 comments

So by now you've undoubtedly seen the news that all previous reports were apparently lies, Pat Tillman was killed by 3 M-16 bullets in the forehead at about 10 meters. Assorted sources say 3 bullets is a standard M-16 burst mode. Speculation runs rampant, at one end this is still a "friendly fire" incident, at the other the vast international conspiracy, but I did note something from the "atheists in foxholes" department:

The chaplain said that O'Neal told him he was hugging the ground at Tillman's side, "crying out to God, help us. And Tillman says to him, 'Would you shut your (expletive) mouth? God's not going to help you; you need to do something for yourself, you sniveling ..."

[ related topics: Religion Guns Conspiracy War ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: M-16 Burst made: 2007-07-27 18:06:52.125927+00 by: m

With an M-16 on automatic, a well trained shooter will fire two or three rounds in a burst. But, a well trained shooter would have also recognized Tillman as a friendly, at least by his uniform or silhouette at the 10 meters specified. That is, unless the shooter had other motives.

There remains conflicting information. Spc O'Neal was supposedly eating dirt and whining, which implies that they were under attack. But the investigatory report claimed there was no evidence that the unit had come under any enemy fire. This doesn't make sense. The story is still being obfuscated by the military.

This is typical military CYA, especially given that it gives all the appearance of a cover up of a murder. It also explains why the White House has claimed executive privilege in this case, in an attempt to keep information from Congress. It looks like a lot of people may be guilty of "aiding and abetting" after the fact. Since Tillman was reputed to have been really unhappy about the Iraq invasion, and was supposed to have been planning a "tell all", there may have been "before the fact" too.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-07-27 19:23:28.343547+00 by: whump

Huh, so the reason why there are no atheists in foxholes is that if you find one in the foxhole with you, you shoot them?

#Comment Re: Atheists in foxholes made: 2007-07-27 20:15:27.526169+00 by: m

"Huh, so the reason why there are no atheists in foxholes is that if you find one in the foxhole with you, you shoot them?"

Bush41 thought so. He claimed atheists couldn't be citizens. Undoubtedly worse than having to share a foxhole with a gay or lesbian. So, I suppose that it would be justifiable homicide to shoot an atheist in, or near, a foxhole.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-07-27 21:00:53.951913+00 by: whump

_So, I suppose that it would be justifiable homicide to shoot an atheist in, or near, a foxhole._

I hope not, wouldn't the worst thing that could happen be deportation?

Actually, non-citizens can serve in the military, and citizenship has been granted , occasionally posthumously, to veterans. So by Bush41's logic, Tillman was not a legitimate target.

Of course, his troops may have fragged him because, well, that sometimes happens when you have a problem with an officer and you're deep in the jungle/mountains/bush.

#Comment Re: Tillmon made: 2007-07-27 22:18:03.509617+00 by: m

Tillman apparently wasn't even a noncommissioned officer. Highest rank I saw on his arm was Specialist 4, which is a paygrade equivalent to corporal. I am not sure what the difference means in the combat arms these days. With that rating, he certainly didn't have rank over much of anyone, and was not in a command position beyond that of possibly a two man fire team.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-07-27 23:10:31.588661+00 by: Larry Burton

Poking around a bit I found that Tillman was a Specialist 4 at the time of his death but was promoted posthumously to Corporal. A three round burst to the forehead from 10 yards away means he was looking straight on at the person firing the shots.

#Comment made: 2007-07-28 16:59:42.51833+00 by: whump

Sorry about that, for some reason I had it in my head that Tillman had a commission.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-08-01 22:24:26.268389+00 by: Shawn

I can confirm that a 3-round burst is what you get from the semi-automatic setting on an M-16 and, unless things have changed since I was in basic training, that's what they train you to use. (They don't want panicky troops wasting all their bullets in one trigger pull.)

And in case anybody is curious, that would be a lateral promotion. Spec 4 and Corporal are the same grade (E-4). A Corporal leads other soldiers, a Spec 4 does not.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-08-01 23:45:55.935793+00 by: John Anderson

Vietnam vet says 3 shot group indicates "frag", not friendly fire: http://www.opednews.com/articl..._070730_was_pat_tillman_murd.htm