Oversight Committee calls up Rumsfeld for hearing on Tillman death
The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform announced Monday morning that it has invited former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other ex-Bush military officials to testify on the friendly fire death of former professional football player and Army Corporal Pat Tillman.
"On Wednesday, August 1, 2007...the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will hold a hearing entitled 'The Tillman Fratricide: What the Leadership of the Defense Department Knew,'" stated a press release from the Committee of Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA). "The hearing will examine what senior Defense Department officials knew about U.S. Army Corporal Patrick Tillman's death by fratricide."
In addition to Rumsfeld, the Committee has invited General Richard Myers (Ret.), former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, former Central Command head Gen. John Abizaid (Ret.), and three officers from the US Special Operations Command.
Last Friday, Waxman announced that the White House was asserting executive privilege on its internal communications over Tillman's death.
In their letter last week, Rep. Waxman with Tom Davis (R-VA), the Ranking Republican on Committee, chided Secretary of Defense Robert Gates for not turning over documents indicating how Rumsfeld and other Pentagon staff were informed of Corporal Tillman's death.
"There are no documents showing how the Secretary was informed that Corporal Tillman was killed by his own unit, and there are no documents
indicating when this information was provided to him, whether on May 20,2004, or any other date," they wrote.
It was not clear whether the White House's assertion of executive privilege relating to Waxman and Davis's request would also apply to internal Department of Defense communications pertaining to the circumstances of Tillman's death.