The White House Exploited Lynch and Tillman to Market Their Wars

A U.S. House of Representatives committee has released a report investigating the White House's media management efforts over the death from friendly fire of Army Ranger Pat Tillman and the rescue from an Iraqi hospital of Private Jessica Lynch. The report noted that Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan had e-mailed the White House’s Director of Strategic Initiatives, Peter Wehner, recommending that he "find out what faith Tillman practiced and have the president go by that church and light a candle or say a prayer." In response to an email from Associated Press (AP) reporter Ron Fournier, Karl Rove asked "How does our country continue to produce men and women like this". Fournier replied "the Lord creates men and women like this all over the world. But only the great and free countries allow them to flourish. Keep up the fight.'" Fournier told AP that he regretted the "breezy nature of the correspondence." Former White House spokesman Taylor Gross delivered the first official White House comment on Tillman's death on April 26, 2004. Gross went on to do PR for the pro-war lobby group Vets for Freedom.