McCaskill wants Arlington update after new revelations of burial mistakes

Mar 31, 2011

A new report in TIME Magazine has spurred Sen. Claire McCaskill to demand an early accounting of the Army's efforts to clean up problems at Arlington National Cemetery.

According to TIME:

"...the new chief [of the Army National Cemeteries Program], Kathryn Condon, admits the service may never be able to identify all the missing remains on the immaculate 624-acre (250 hectare) site. The Army now plans to make only educated guesses about the identity of remains rather than digging in the dirt to be sure. That means that the true location of some remains may be a mystery forever.

McCaskill was a sponsor of legislation signed into law last year that requires the Army to report to Congress, among other things, an accounting of how many graves may be mislabeled and their plans to correct the problem. That report was due by September 2011, but the Missouri Democrat says the new revelations mean more monitoring is necessary.

"This is not something that we can sweep under the rug and say you know, we've done the best we can," McCaskill said during a floor speech on March 31. "I have veterans all over Missouri that walk up to me wherever I am and say, 'don't give up on fixing Arlington. It's too important to all of us.'"

In addition to the expanded Congressional oversight, the cemetery also faces a criminal probe into how right sets of human remains ended up in a single grave.