Arlington officials can't get their stories straight

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arlingtonsquad_150The superintendent says he may have been absent when remains were moved, but an employee’s log says otherwise

By Mark Benjamin Salon

The top official at Arlington National Cemetery claims he was unaware of the most recently reported burial error at the cemetery, possibly, he says, because he was away at the time it occurred. Cemetery employee records, however, show Superintendent John Metzler present and working at Arlington when the cemetery discovered this most recently disclosed burial foul-up, which resulted in digging up and moving the remains of one service member the cemetery had accidentally buried on top of another.

     

Arlington officials also continue to struggle to locate key paperwork that must be completed when remains are moved. The paperwork would confirm that Grabe’s remains were moved and explain the circumstances surrounding that decision. The Army, which oversees Arlington, has been unable to locate any such documents.

The still-missing burial paperwork adds to the mounting evidence suggesting that top Arlington officials may have disregarded cemetery rules in this case. The explanation from Metzler, meanwhile, raises serious questions about the conduct of top cemetery officials with respect to repeated burial mix-ups at Arlington. Cemetery officials have already established a pattern of incomplete, inconsistent or contradictory responses when asked by Salon to account for misplaced or misidentified remains at the cemetery.

Read more at Salon

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