Week of 11.17.06
This Week on NOW: "Fog of War"
This Week: About the Show | Web-Extended Interview: Peggy Buryj | Excerpt: On the Brink | Question of the Week | TranscriptAlso: Tyler Drumheller on Compromised American Intelligence
In the most high-profile case, the army is finishing its fourth investigation into the death of former pro football player Pat Tillman in Afghanistan two years ago. This time, they are investigating to see if facts were intentionally covered up. But Tillman is not the only disturbing case.
This week, NOW talks to Peggy Buryj, whose son was killed in Iraq in May 2004. She was first told that her son, Army Pfc. Jesse Buryj, died when a truck hit his vehicle. Later she was told that he was killed by "friendly fire" from Polish troops. Then, a soldier from her son's troop visited her home and told her yet another version of events, which sparked a second investigation into her son's death.
On Friday afternoon, November 17, army officials came to Peggy's home to give her a final report explaining how her son died in Iraq. They met with her for about 3 1/2 hours and left a 300-page report. But the bottom-line information they shared was simple: they can not tell her with complete confidence who shot her son.
They told her they have no ballistic proof to definitively tell from whose weapon the shot came. They said the bullet had been thrown away. However, they still believe that the shot that killed Jesse most likely came from the Polish sector. The army representatives explained that problems with the investigation stemmed from the fact that they initially did not know Jesse had been shot at all.
Peggy told NOW she's not surprised that the army can't tell her who killed her son; she is also still trying to process what they told her. She said the army officials were very respectful and apologized repeatedly for not being able to tell her anything more. She added, "The lesson here for the army is don't make families go through this again."
» NOW: Sunshine Week
Learn more about government secrecy in this and other instances
Associated Press: Startling findings in Tillman probe
Spc. Jesse Ryan Buryj Memorial Site
Interview: Tyler Drumheller on Compromised American Intelligence
» Video available above
Also this week, David Brancaccio talks to Tyler Drumheller, a 25-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency, about past intelligence blunders and what anti-terrorism tactics we can expect from the CIA moving forward.
In his new book, "On the Brink: An Insider's Account of How the White House Compromised American Intelligence," Drumheller explores the gradual erosion of the agency's independence over the past 30 years, through his own experiences.
Drumheller worked for several administrations, from Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush, rising through the ranks to become head of the agency's European division. From his position as an insider, he offers a first-hand view of the agency's relationship with the Bush Administration, how America became engaged in the Iraqi war, and how it has affected America's ability to defend itself.
» Read an excerpt from On the Brink