The Army's public affairs office has finally released a crafted reply to Pat Tillman's parents.
"The Army did not 'cover up' any facts," the PAO says. "While procedural misjudgments and mistakes contributed to an air of suspicion, no one intended to deceive the Tillman family or the public as to the cause of his death."
Just what did they intend?
According to Army officials, the service's own investigation of the incident states that the Army knew "almost immediately" that Tillman had been inadvertently killed by fellow soldiers, and that U.S. personnel "destroyed evidence" when they burned Tillman's bloody body armor and uniform the day after his death.
Based on a quick look at my Webster's New Universal Unabridged Dictionary, that sounds like deception to me. Maybe the Army spin-doctors don't think "deceive" carries the exact correct shade of meaning. Maybe they prefer "cozen," "dupe," "fool," "gull," "hoodwink," "trick," "defraud," "outwit," "betray," "bamboozle," or "cheat."
Or maybe the PAO means the deception wasn't "intentional," that it just happened by accident.
And yeah, strictly speaking, the Army didn't "cover up" the facts. It burned them.
This, of course, is only the latest effort by government propagandists to parse the truth. They probably think they can get away with it forever.
But eventually, they'll come face to face with the reality that calling bull crap chocolate ice cream doesn't make it cold--or make it smell any better either.