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On the September 27 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, co-host Sean Hannity and right-wing pundit Ann Coulter told co-host Alan Colmes that they "don't believe" a report that Army Ranger Pat Tillman was a fan of leftist author Noam Chomsky, opposed the Iraq war, and planned to vote for Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) in the 2004 presidential election. But according to a September 25 San Francisco Chronicle report that Colmes cited, Tillman's mother said that he had planned to meet privately with Chomsky and that "Pat was very critical of the whole Iraq war." Tillman, a former pro football star, served in Iraq before being killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan in April 2004.
Responding to Colmes's statement that Tillman "was a Noam Chomsky fan, was going to vote for John Kerry, was against the war in Iraq," Coulter insisted, "I don't believe it." Hannity concurred, saying, "I don't believe it either." After Colmes explained that Tillman reportedly supported the war in Afghanistan but opposed the war in Iraq, Coulter responded, "I think you got that from one of those documents Mary Mapes handed to Dan Rather" -- an apparent reference to CBS' controversial report on President Bush's National Guard service, which was produced by Mapes and relied in part on unauthenticated memos. However, the Chronicle article, which focused on the military's alleged efforts to conceal facts about Tillman's death, quoted Tillman's mother, Mary Tillman, directly:
Mary Tillman said a friend of Pat's even arranged a private meeting with Chomsky, the anti-war author, to take place after his return from Afghanistan -- a meeting prevented by his death. She said that although he supported the Afghan war, believing it justified by the Sept. 11 attacks, "Pat was very critical of the whole Iraq war."
The Chronicle also quoted Spc. Russell Baer, who recalled a conversation he had with Tillman during the March 2003 invasion of Iraq. Baer told the Chronicle, "We were talking. And Pat said, 'You know, this war is so f
illegal.' And we all said, 'Yeah.' That's who he was. He totally was against Bush." Additionally, the Chronicle quoted Senior Chief Petty Officer Stephen White, who "said Pat 'wasn't very fired up about being in Iraq' and instead wanted to go fight al Qaeda in Afghanistan."
In addition, the Chronicle cited an anonymous soldier who said Tillman had urged him to vote for Kerry in the 2004 presidential election.
From the September 27 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes:
COLMES: Now you say, for example, in "Rules to Talk to a Liberal" --
COULTER: Yes. Do you have -- is this from the new paperback [edition of How to Talk To a Liberal (If You Must): The World According to Ann Coulter]?
COLMES: Yes. "Never compliment a Democrat."
COULTER: Yes. That's an important one.
COLMES: "Never show graciousness toward a Democrat."
COLMES: "Never flatter a Democrat."
COULTER: Yes. I know they sound similar, but they're actually -- there are distinctions.
COLMES: Now you're also quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle yesterday --
COLMES: -- in an article about Pat Tillman, who it is now said it was a Noam Chomsky fan, was going to vote for John Kerry, was against the war in Iraq. And you referred to him as "virtuous, pure, masculine like only an American male can be." I wonder if you still would say those things, knowing now what we have learned about Pat Tillman. He was a John Kerry supporter.
COULTER: Did you get that from a document from CBS News?
COLMES: No, but that's what you said, so I wondered if you would retract that, given what you say about liberals and Democrats.
COULTER: No. But I don't believe it.
HANNITY: I don't believe it either.
COLMES: He was going to meet Noam Chomsky when he -- had he come back.
HANNITY: He signed up because of a desire to fight.
COLMES: Against Afghanistan, not Iraq. He was against Iraq.
COULTER: I really don't believe that, and I think you got it from one of those documents Mary Mapes handed to Dan Rather.
COLMES: No, that's not true.