Army secretary to respond to Salon's Arlington Cemetery investigation today

A year-long Salon probe documented serious problems at the graveyard


Mark Benjamin
June 10, 2010 6:11PM (UTC)

Secretary of the Army John McHugh is set to announce the results of a seven-month Army investigation into burial fiascos and management problems at Arlington National Cemetery exposed by Salon. McHugh will brief reporters at 2 p.m. Thursday at the Pentagon and discuss "actions he will undertake" as a result of the Army probe, according to a Defense Department statement.

The Army announced the inspector general review last November in the middle of a year-long Salon investigation into the cemetery's management. Those articles exposed a series of burial scandals, including a number of occasions in which workers came across unknown remains in graves that were supposed to be empty. Salon also documented a case in which workers unwittingly buried one service member on top of another, and another in which workers found an urn in a dirt landfill and quietly buried it as an “unknown” in a isolated corner of the cemetery. Another article showed possibly hundreds of missing headstones in one historic section.

Advertisement:

The Salon series also showed that these blunders continued as cemetery officials spent millions on dodgy contractors to computerize operations there to prevent the mistakes. The contractors, however, produced almost nothing, so all burial records continue to be kept on thousands of pieces of paper. The biggest questions for McHugh will be exactly how many service members might be buried in the wrong location or without a headstone and how the errors will be prevented in the future.


Mark Benjamin

Mark Benjamin is a national correspondent for Salon based in Washington, D.C. Read his other articles here.

MORE FROM Mark Benjamin

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Arlington National Cemetery Investigation

BROWSE SALON.COM
COMPLETELY AD FREE,
FOR THE NEXT HOUR

Read Now, Pay Later - no upfront
registration for 1-Hour Access

Click Here
7-Day Access and Monthly
Subscriptions also available
No tracking or personal data collection
beyond name and email address

•••





Fearless journalism
in your inbox every day

Sign up for our free newsletter

• • •