St. Louis Public Radio News
6:10 pm
Thu July 29, 2010

McCaskill searches for answers to Arlington mess

St. Louis, MO – Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill says as many as 6,600 graves at Arlington National Cemetery could be unmarked or mislabeled.

McCaskill is chairman of a Senate committee that held a hearing on the Arlington scandal Thursday. The committee tried to get answers from the former head of the cemetery about why the problems have occurred. But McCaskill was frustrated by John Metzler's excuses.

"This is not complicated. It's called keeping track of who you buried where. That is not a complicated task," McCaskill admonished Metzler. "And the notion that you would come in here and act like you didn't know about it until a month ago is offensive. You did know about it and you did nothing."

An Army inspector general's report confirmed the cemetery's mismanagement problems raised by several press reports and it led to Metzler's resignation this month.

Metzler says he accepts "full responsibility" for the mix-up. He told the Senate committee that it pains him that his team didn't do its job.