Tragic Hero

updated 12/27/2004 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/27/2004 01:00AM

Did the Pentagon lie about a soldier's death? In May—a month after Arizona Cardinals safety Pat Tillman, who left a $3.6 million NFL contract to fight in Afghanistan, was killed—the military revealed he was felled by "friendly fire." But this month The Washington Post uncovered documents that point to "botched communications" and chaotic combat conditions that may have contributed to his death. While seven soldiers have been disciplined, Special Operations Command has launched a new investigation to determine whether further discipline or more formal charges are warranted. Not in question is the bravery of Tillman, who was awarded a Silver Star posthumously.

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