Saturday, June 12, 2010
At least 211 graves at Arlington National Cemetery have been mishandled, provoking scorn and promises of investigation by lawmakers in Congress. The discovery was made by the inspector general for the U.S. Army who found remains interred at the historic burial site had been misidentified or misplaced, along with other problems such as improperly marked graves and poor recordkeeping.
Representative Ike Skelton (D-Missouri), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said news of the Arlington fiasco was “disgraceful” and that the behavior of cemetery officials “cannot be tolerated.” Skelton promised his committee would investigate the matter.
Army Secretary John McHugh responded to the embarrassment by removing Arlington’s top two officials from their posts. The superintendent and his deputy were said to have “waged a private war against each other and often gave contradictory orders to subordinates,” wrote Government Executive.
Army Inspector General R. Steven Whitcomb said the cemetery could have more than 211 unmarked or wrongly identified graves. He did not say just how many more there might be.