Friendly fire is different than the question of if he suffered simply because the truth is going to eventually come out, and then the family is not only devestated by the truth but they feel betrayed by having been misled. Then they might start questioning if the friendly fire was actually accidental.
I agree that it isn't a black and white issue. However, in instances of friendly fire, especially when a considerable number of people are aware of the truth, telling the family the truth is the only real option. Telling the white lie just delays telling the truth, and causes distrust.
I also feel that Tillman being killed by friendly fire makes him no less of a hero. Tillman's heroism should be honored. Instead his death is being twisted for political means.
God rest Tillmans soul and may his family find some peace.
I will say, that in this instance, with family on the scene itself, it would appear that the truth of the matter would have been better settled early. However, in many instances, it is not uncommon for combat brothers to agree to hold back on the details of someone’s demise. It is usually done in the spirit of a gift to the family. When done for other reasons, it is heinous.