Army Misplaces Bodies at Arlington

Flickr/ <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/imageme/448127629//">Matt</a> (Creative Commons)

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


In recent years, the military has been criticized for not equipping downrange troops with enough armor and not providing disabled veterans with proper medical and mental health care. Now, the military is under fire for disrespecting its fallen at Arlington National Cemetery. Workers there misidentified or misplaced a whopping 211 bodies, Pentagon officials announced Thursday. “That all ends today,” Army Secretary John McHugh said, adding, “The majority of the findings in this report are deeply troubling and simply unacceptable.” McHugh also told reporters that the service has forced out the cemetery’s two civilian leaders and appointed a new chief.

The announcement follows a year-long investigation by Salon‘s Mark Benjamin into careless management at the cemetery, known as America’s “sacred ground.” In one instance, cemetery officials reburied the cremated remains of an unknown soldier whose urn was recovered in a dirt landfill. They also found unidentified remains in supposedly empty graves, misplaced headstones in a historic section of the cemetery, and buried one service member on top of another soldier in the same grave. Benjamin’s work, which began last summer, led to the Army investigation whose results were announced today.

“I’ve been extremely frustrated that the national media hasn’t seemed to want to touch this story with a 10-foot-pole,” Benjamin told Politics Daily today. As for the Army, he said, “Though they claim they’re trying to act in a spirit of transparency and with speed on this matter, these problems have been going on for years.”

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate