The US Defense Department on Tuesday admitted that it dumped some of the cremated remains of 9/11 victims in a landfill following the worst terrorist attack in US history.
The disclosure occurred in two paragraphs of an 86-page report that was put together by an independent task force that was reviewing operations at the military’s mortuary at Dover, Del.
When asked about that particular part of the report retired Army Gen. John Abizaid was forceful in his response:
“We did not spend a great deal of time and effort and energy” on the matter, while added “It’s my report, but it’s not the focus of the report.”
The task force was commissioned with examining how remained were disposed of after an Air Force investigation which runs the Dover facility was founded to not have handled 9/11 victim remains “in accordance with procedures.”
The Air Force had already admitted to disposing of 274 service members in the landfill dating back to 2003 however the independent panel found that those remains were actually disposed of since 2001.
According to the report remains from the Pentagon and at Shanksville, Pa., also ended up in a landfill:
Prior to 2008, portions of remains that could neither be tested nor identified, and portions of remains later identified that the [family or other representative] requested not to be notified of (requesting that they be appropriately disposed of) were cremated under contract at a civilian crematory and returned to [Dover]. This policy began shortly after September 11, 2001, when several portions of remains from the Pentagon attack and the Shanksville, Pennsylvania, crash site could not be tested or identified.
These cremated portions were then placed in sealed containers that were provided to a biomedical waste disposal contractor. Per the biomedical waste contract at that time, the contractor then transported these containers and incinerated them. The assumption on the part of [Dover] was that after final incineration nothing remained. A [Dover] management query found that there was some residual material following incineration and that the contractor was disposing of it in a landfill. The landfill disposition was not disclosed in the contractual disposal agreement.
Do you think the armed services erred in how they chose to dispose of 9/11 victims remains?