Reps. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and Tom Davis R-Va., the leading members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, objected to the refusal Friday in letters to the White House and the Defense Department.What are they hiding?
White House and Pentagon officials have turned over about 10,000 pages of material, but Waxman and Davis said those papers lack critical documents that would show communications between senior administration officials and top military officers shortly after Tillman was killed in Afghanistan in 2004.
Tillman's celebrity, as one who gave up a professional football contract to join the Army after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, made his death major news. The military at first concocted a heroic story about how Tillman, a specialist posthumously promoted to corporal, had been killed in a fierce firefight with the enemy, despite obvious evidence that he had been shot by his own men at close range. More than a month later, a military investigation reported publicly that the death was not linked to enemy fire.
"The main focus of the committee's investigation is to examine what the White House and the leadership of the Department of Defense knew about Corporal Tillman's death and when they knew it," Waxman and Davis wrote in a letter to Fielding. "Unfortunately, the document production from the White House sheds virtually no light on these matters."
After an oversight hearing in April — during which Tillman's family members testified — the committee sought the documents to learn about the alleged coverup and high-level discussions about how to spin the case. Waxman and Davis plan another hearing on Aug. 1.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Just days after former White House counsel Harriet Miers was ordered by President Bush to not even show up to Congress (for which Miers may be held in contempt of Congress soon), the White House continues to abuse executive privilege at a historic rate by refusing to give a Congressional committee certain documents about the friendly-fire death of former NFL player Pat Tillman in the Afghanistan war: