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Family of Former Football Player Lashes Out at Pentagon

The family of former U.S. professional football player Pat Tillman has lashed out at the Pentagon, accusing the military of criminal wrongdoing following Tillman's friendly fire death in Afghanistan.

In a statement, the family alleged Pentagon officials tampered with evidence and deliberately deceived them on how Tillman died.

The Army knew almost immediately that Tillman had been killed by his own unit in April 2004, but for several weeks did not dispute initial military reports that he was killed by enemy fire.

The family charges the military awarded Tillman the Silver Star under false pretenses to conceal the events of his death, while exploiting Tillman's death as a "recruitment poster."

Pentagon investigators have found no criminal negligence in the events following the death of Tillman, but they say "critical errors" were made in reporting his death and failing to provide accurate details to his family.

Investigators have recommended that nine officers, including four generals, be held accountable for the missteps.

Tillman turned down a multi-million-dollar contract with the National Football League in order to join the elite Army Rangers after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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