Stop Calling Them Heroes | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


Stop Calling Them Heroes

Consider a strange aspect of our wars since October 2001: they have yet to establish a bona fide American hero, a national household name. Two were actually "nominated" early by the Bush administration — Jessica Lynch, a 19-year-old private and clerk captured by the Iraqis in the early days of the American invasion and later "rescued" by Army Rangers and Navy Seals, and Pat Tillman, the former NFL safety who volunteered for service in the Army Rangers eight months after 9/11 and died under "enemy" gunfire in Afghanistan.

Both stories were later revealed to be put-up jobs, pure Bush-era propaganda and deceit. In Lynch’s case, almost every element in the instant patriotic myth about her rescue proved either phony or highly exaggerated; in Tillman’s, it turned out that he had been killed by friendly fire, but — thanks to a military cover-up (that involved General Stanley McChrystal, later to become Afghan war commander) — was still given a Silver Star and a posthumous promotion.

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