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Grave Error

This just hit the wire:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Estimates of the number of graves that might be affected by mix-ups at Arlington National Cemetery grew from hundreds to as many as 6,600 on Thursday, as the cemetery’s former superintendent blamed his staff and a lack of resources for the scandal that forced his ouster.

John Metzler, who ran the historic military burial ground for 19 years, said he accepts “full responsibility” for the problems.

But he also denied some of the findings by Army investigators and suggested cemetery employees and poor technology were to blame for remains that may have been misidentified or misplaced. He said the system used to track grave sites relied mostly on a complicated paper trail vulnerable to error.

“Personally it is very painful for me that our team at Arlington did not perform all aspects of its mission to the high standard required,” he told a Senate panel. He was subpoenaed to testify.

Metzler and his deputy, Thurman Higginbotham, were forced to retire after Army investigators found that as many as 211 graves were unmarked or misidentified. The report by the Army Inspector General’s office accused Metzler of repeatedly failing to ensure burials were being done properly and of failing to respond after unmarked graves were discovered.

Yet another problem when the feedback loops are missing. But I am sure this is just one small administrative mix up in one small isolated example. We couldn’t possibly be making any other errors interpreting 75,000 pages of the federal register, or relying on 20 million government employees, or by administering a budget of $4 trillion. With all of that money, they must surely “have enough” to get it right.

2 Responses to “Grave Error”

  1. Harry says:

    Yeh. Wintercow.

    I was taught that when one walks into any operation, it is screwed up. There is at least twenty percent, maybe forty or fifty percent on the table, and that’s just for private organizations spending their own money. It is everywhere, raw meat for the picking, and I will speculate that it is there even in the efficiently-run University of Rochester.

    One can only imagine the possibility of cutting any workforce, especially twenty million government employees, by thirty percent. I bet it could be by eighty percent, simply by asking the first question, “Why does this department exist?”

    I will not even touch the subject of why the economics department exists at the U of R, but rather direct your attention to your beloved Senator Chuck Schumer, who has never had a single thought about anything regarding how the world works.

  2. Speedmaster says:

    An interesting side discussion might be how Arlington cemetery came to be, who owned the property first, what was done to it, and how it changed possession.

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