One day after the Office of Special Counsel’s report on the “gross mismanagement” of human remains by the Dover Air Force Base mortuary, the Air Force, which heretofore insisted there was no evidence any rule had been broken, is suddenly coming out with all sorts of new information.
The verdict is even more grim than we thought. Lt. Gen. Darrell Jones, the deputy chief of personnel, confirmed that the Air Force had been cremating remains and dumping them in a nearby landfill. Lt. Gen. Jones insists its not that big of a deal though.
“That was the common practice at the time and since then our practices have improved,” Jones said, adding that they only did this in cases when bodies (or parts) were “unidentified” or when the families of the slain told the military to dispose of them.
The previous report confirmed that the Air Force had lost and mixed body parts sometimes, and that in one case they sawed off a slain Marine’s arm so he’d fit in the casket better. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta praised the Air Force for its “thoroughness” in the investigation.