There is news out of Bamberg, Germany this morning according to the Stars and Stripes Newspaper that is ruffling a few soldier’s feathers. The Tillman Story, a documentary exploring the U.S. government’s cover-up after the death of former NFL football player Pat Tillman will not be shown at Reel Time Theaters, the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) officials said Tuesday. The Tillman Story is a movie that chronicles the events and cover-up of the death of a soldier by friendly fire.
Background: Pro football star, Pat Tillman, left behind his family, friends and a multimillion dollar NFL contract to join the Army Rangers shortly after September 11, 2001. On April 22, 2004 while Tillman was serving on one of his numerous overseas combat tours, he was shot and killed. The United States government initially reported that Tillman was killed by enemy fire however it later was revealed that he was shot by friendly fire.
AAFES is stating that it is not shying away from the film because it paints the U.S. government and the Defense Department in a bad light. According to the Stars and Stripes, an AAFES spokeswoman, Judd Anstey said, “We’re not showing the film because exchange officials feel it would not appeal to a large audience of viewers.” She went on to add that “The Expendables” was shown in over 3,200 theaters while “The Tillman Story” was shown in only 4 theaters in the continental U.S. “Based on this fact, AAFES decides which movies are to be played based on which movies will appeal to the largest audience possible.”
More interesting were the comments left on the Stars and Stripes web article concerning the censorship of the Tillman movie. The soldier comments ran the gamut of asking whether or not we are now a part of the “Peoples Republic of America” to still other soldier comments who were wondering why Tillman should be any more important than “the other Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen that lost their lives. I’m not saying there wasn’t a cover up, I just saying what makes him more important than everyone else?”
I tend to agree with one soldier, who put it this way,
“I don’t believe this is “official” government censorship, it is simply uneducated AAFES employees making a decision.”
What do you think?