Widespread — and, we suspect, self-induced — amnesia among high officials of the Bush administration and its Defense Department has made it impossible for House investigators to determine whether top officials helped spread two bogus stories of heroism used to bolster support for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It now looks as if we may never know who kept stoking the impression that Cpl. Pat Tillman, an Army Ranger who became an icon of the administration’s war on terror, had been killed by the enemy in Afghanistan (in a battle that won him a questionable Silver Star) long after the military knew he had been killed accidentally by fire from American forces.
Nor are we apt to find out who promoted the false story that Pfc. Jessica Lynch had been captured in Iraq after a Rambo-like performance in which she emptied her weapon and was wounded in battle. In fact, she had been badly hurt in a vehicle accident during an ambush and was being well cared for by the Iraqis.