KCUR News
9:54 am
Tue July 27, 2010

McCaskill Points to Human Error and Mismanagement for Misplaced Bodies

Columbia, MO – US Senator Claire McCaskill says the misplacement of hundreds, and possibly thousands of buried military personnel at Arlington National Cemetery. McCaskill says fixing the mismanagement that has caused the problem at Arlington National Cemetery will be easy. The challenge lies in the more emotional questions.

"How we deal with the heartbreak of trying to figure out who is where and trying to right that mistake for families of these heroes, that I think is going to be a much thornier question, and one that I think will have to be done in consultation with the families and with the leadership of the army," says McCaskill.

A report released last month indicates hundreds of remains have been misplaced due to human error and mismanagement. But McCaskill says the report only focused on one portion of the cemetery. In reality, thousands of remains have likely been misplaced.

McCaskill is the chair of the subcommittee on contracting oversight and says this could be a textbook example of bad government contracting.

Despite spending more than $5 million on multiple IT contracts over seven years, the cemetery's records remain in paper form. McCaskill says she'd like Arlington to adopt the veterans agency system of tracking remains.

McCaskill will hold a hearing about Arlington national cemetery in Washington on Thursday.