2011年12月15日木曜日

米空軍 遺体をゴミ扱い

米空軍は、遺体をゴミとして処分したようだ。
 アフガニスタンとイラクで戦死した米兵274人以上の遺灰が、2004~08年
にかけてワシントン近郊のごみ捨て場に投棄されていたと報じた。米空軍は
事実関係を認めた。

米空軍
・遺族が引き取りを求めなかったり、身元が判明しなかった米兵の遺体の
 断片を火葬後、医療廃棄物として民間の廃棄物処理業者に引き渡した。
・業者は遺灰をバージニア州のごみ捨て場に処分した。
・空軍は04年から遺灰処理の記録を残す。
・2008年5月から海に散骨。
・2004年2月から2008年5月までに、274人の遺体の一部976片と身元不明の
 1762片がゴミ処分。
・遺族とは、遺体の断片を「威厳と敬意のある方法」で処理すると説明し、
 同意させた。
・ゴミ処分は説明しなかった。
・当時は一般的な方法。現在の処理方法はより望ましい。

国防総省
・手続きを許可していない。

2001年以降、ドーバー空軍基地から出兵した兵士6300人
身元がわかった遺体274人
DNA検査ができない遺体1762片
焼却された遺体2700片以上

基地の霊安室で、担当者らが、遺体を棺に入れる際、制服を着せるために、
別の遺体からのこぎりで腕を切り落とし、つけたこともあるとのこと。

内部告発により、明らかになった。
国防総省は、遺体の焼却を禁止していたが、オバマになってから、海へ
散骨としたようだ。

DNA検査ができない遺体断片とのことだが、最近の日本では、焼却した
遺骨からDNAを抽出し、故人を特定している。
多数の断片に多くの時間や経費をかけたくないように思う。
国のために命をかけてコマになっても、死んだらゴミ扱いか。

アフガン撤退開始へ


Fox News - 274 American Soldiers Body Parts Dumped In Virginia Landfill


Air Force chief questioned over war dead's remains


---行方不明の米兵遺灰 ごみ捨て場に投棄 アフガン、イラクで戦死270人以上---
2011年12月9日 夕刊
http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/world/news/CK2011120902000191.html

 【ワシントン=竹内洋一】米紙ワシントン・ポストは八日、アフガニスタンとイラクで戦死した米兵二百七十四人以上の遺灰が、二〇〇四~〇八年にかけてワシントン近郊のごみ捨て場に投棄されていたと報じた。米空軍は事実関係を認めた。
 同紙によると、米空軍は、遺族が引き取りを求めなかったり、身元が判明しなかった米兵の遺体の断片を火葬した上で、医療廃棄物として民間の廃棄物処理業者に引き渡していた。業者は遺灰をバージニア州のごみ捨て場に処分していた。
 空軍は〇四年から遺灰処理の記録を残しており、海に散骨する方法に改められる〇八年五月までに、二百七十四人の遺体の一部九百七十六片と身元不明の千七百六十二片がこの方法で処分された。遺族は、遺体の断片を「威厳と敬意のある方法」で処理することに同意していたが、処理方法までは知らされていなかった。
 米空軍のジョーンズ中将は八日、国防総省で記者会見し、遺灰投棄について「当時は一般的な方法だった。現在の処理方法はより望ましい」と釈明した。


---Air Force dumped ashes of more troops’ remains in Va. landfill than acknowledged---
By Craig Whitlock and Mary Pat Flaherty, Published: December 8
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/air-force-dumped-ashes-of-more-troops-in-va-landfill-than-acknowledged/2011/12/07/gIQAT8ybdO_story.html

The Air Force dumped the incinerated partial remains of at least 274 American troops in a Virginia landfill, far more than the military had acknowledged, before halting the secretive practice three years ago, records show.

The landfill dumping was concealed from families who had authorized the military to dispose of the remains in a dignified and respectful manner, Air Force officials said. There are no plans, they said, to alert those families now.

The Air Force had maintained that it could not estimate how many troops might have had their remains sent to a landfill. The practice was revealed last month by The Washington Post, which was able to document a single case of a soldier whose partial remains were sent to the King George County landfill in Virginia. The new data, for the first time, show the scope of what has become an embarrassing episode for vaunted Dover Air Base, the main port of entry for America’s war dead.

The landfill disposals were never formally authorized under military policies or regulations. They also were not disclosed to senior Pentagon officials who conducted a high-level review of cremation policies at the Dover mortuary in 2008, records show.

Air Force and Pentagon officials said last month that determining how many remains went to the landfill would require searching through the records of more than 6,300 troops whose remains have passed through the mortuary since 2001.

“It would require a massive effort and time to recall records and research individually,” Jo Ann Rooney, the Pentagon’s acting undersecretary for personnel, wrote in a Nov. 22 letter to Rep. Rush D. Holt (D-N.J.).

Holt, who has pressed the Pentagon for answers on behalf of a constituent whose husband was killed in Iraq, accused the Air Force and Defense Department of hiding the truth.

“What the hell?” Holt said in a phone interview. “We spent millions, tens of millions, to find any trace of soldiers killed, and they’re concerned about a ‘massive’ effort to go back and pull out the files and find out how many soldiers were disrespected this way?” He added: “They just don’t want to ask questions or look very hard.”

Senior Air Force leaders said there was no intent to deceive. “Absolutely not,” said Lt. Gen. Darrell D. Jones, the Air Force’s deputy chief of staff for personnel.

This week, after The Post pressed for information contained in the Dover mortuary’s electronic database, the Air Force produced a tally based on those records. It showed that 976 fragments from 274 military personnel were cremated, incinerated and taken to the landfill between 2004 and 2008.

An additional group of 1,762 unidentified remains were collected from the battlefield and disposed of in the same manner, the Air Force said. Those fragments could not undergo DNA testing because they had been badly burned or damaged in explosions. The total number of incinerated fragments dumped in the landfill exceeded 2,700.

A separate federal investigation of the mortuary last month, prompted by whistleblower complaints, uncovered “gross mismanagement” and documented how body parts recovered from bomb blasts stacked up in the morgue’s coolers for months or years before they were identified and disposed of.

The problems also transpired at a time when the mortuary was shielded from public scrutiny. News coverage of the return of fallen troops to Dover was banned by President George H.W. Bush in 1991 before the first Persian Gulf War. The ban remained until April 2009, when the Obama administration lifted it.

The Air Force said it first cremated the remains and then included those ashes in larger loads of mortuary medical waste that were burned in an incinerator and taken to a landfill. Incinerating medical waste is a common disposal practice but including cremated human ashes is not, according to funeral home directors, regulators and waste haulers.

Air Force officials said they do not know when the landfill disposals began. They said their first record of it is Feb. 23, 2004. The mortuary database became operational in late 2003.

The Air Force said mortuary leaders decided to end the practice in May 2008 because “there was a better way to do it,” Jones said. The military now cremates unclaimed and unidentified body parts and buries the ashes at sea.

Jones said the Air Force did not need to inform relatives of troops whose remains ended up in the landfill because they had signed forms stipulating that they did not wish to be notified if additional remains were identified. The forms authorized the military to make “appropriate disposition” of those subsequent remains.

Asked if the landfill was a dignified final resting place, Jones said: “The way we’re doing it today is much better.”

Gari-Lynn Smith, the widow of an Army sergeant killed in Iraq, said she received an e-mail in July from Trevor Dean, the mortuary director, saying that incinerated remains had been taken to landfills at least since he began working at Dover in 1996. Dean is one of the officials facing discipline for his role in the reported mismanagement at the mortuary.

Smith’s husband, Sgt. 1st Class Scott R. Smith, a member of a bomb-disposal unit, was killed on July 17, 2006. In 2007, she began asking the military what happened to some of his remains that were identified after his funeral.

After four years of letters, phone calls and records requests, she received a letter from the mortuary in April stating that the military cremated and incinerated those partial remains and disposed of them in the King George landfill.

“I hope this information brings some comfort to you during your time of loss,” read the letter, signed by Dean.

Smith was infuriated. “They have known that they were doing something disgusting, and they were doing everything they could to keep it from us,” she said in a phone interview.

In May 2008, then-Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates ordered a detailed review of policies at Dover after an Army officer complained that the mortuary had cremated a fallen comrade at a nearby funeral home that also cremated pets in a separate chamber.

The review team ordered changes, emphasizing the need to ensure the highest levels of dignity and honor.

The Pentagon would not release the report, which was overseen by David Chu, who was undersecretary of defense for personnel. A copy obtained by The Post, however, shows that the landfill disposal practice was never reviewed or mentioned. Chu, now president of the Institute for Defense Analyses in Alexandria, declined to comment.

Private contractors hired by the Air Force to handle the remains’ incineration and disposal of the residue said they were unaware that they were transporting the ashes of dead troops. Records show that the Air Force hired the contractors to dispose of medical waste and did not specify that cremated body parts were included.

MedTrace Inc. of North East, Md., had Air Force disposal contracts between 2004 and 2007, records show. Don Holland, a manager for the company, said his employees picked up boxes of sealed containers from the Dover mortuary.

“They were certified as medical waste that had been properly treated - that’s it,” Holland said. “We don’t go looking at what’s in there. It’s sealed.”

MedTrace took the items to an incinerator in Baltimore, according to state records in Delaware, where the mortuary is located. Holland declined to discuss the incineration and which landfill his company used.

Lisa Kardell, a spokeswoman for Waste Management, which operates the King George landfill, said the firm has no record of a contract with MedTrace for the years 2003 through 2008.

She said that Air Force officials have not returned calls over the past two weeks from her company’s attorneys, asking which haulers would have been handling the Dover materials and the disposition of the ashes.

“Obviously, we would be opposed to taking cremated remains of our servicemen and servicewomen and putting them in our landfill,” Kardell said. “But it sounds like a lot of us were pulled in unknowingly to this unfortunate situation with the Air Force,” she added.

“It’s a moral thing,” said Jeff Jenkins, the manager of the King George landfill. “Someone killed overseas fighting for our country, I wouldn’t want them buried - any part of them - in the landfill.”


---Dover Air Base dumped 274 US troop remains at landfill---
8 December 2011 Last updated at 15:32 GMT
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-16081240

Incinerated partial remains of at least 274 troops were reportedly dumped at landfill between 2004-08 by the largest military mortuary in the US.

The Washington Post report was based on data from Dover Air Force Base, the main entry port for US war dead.

The newspaper first broke the story last month, but it was not known how many remains were dumped at landfill.

Families, who had agreed for the remains to be disposed of respectfully, were unaware of the practice.

Pentagon officials did not authorise the procedure, which was reported by whistleblowers.

Air Force officials, who have denied a cover-up, said last month they could not estimate the precise number of casualties' remains sent to the Virginia landfill.
'Disgusting'

They said a precise count would require trawling the records of 6,300 troops whose remains had passed through Dover since 2001.

But the Washington Post reported on Thursday that Air Force data between 2004-08 showed 976 fragments from 274 military personnel had been taken to the dump after being cremated.

Another 1,762 remains - which did not undergo DNA testing because they were too badly damaged - were disposed of in the same manner, according to the newspaper.

Gari-Lynn Smith, the widow of an Army bomb-disposal expert killed in Iraq, began asking the military in 2007 what happened to some of his remains that were identified after his funeral the previous year.

After four years of letters and phone calls she received a letter from the mortuary in April informing her that her husband's partial remains had been disposed of in the King George County landfill, reports the Post.

"I hope this information brings some comfort to you during your time of loss," read the letter.

Ms Smith told the Post that what the mortuary had done was "disgusting".

Since the landfill dumping ended three years ago, such cremated partial remains are now buried at sea.

After the Post reported the practice in early November, federal investigators released a report lambasting "gross mismanagement" at the air base mortuary.

It emerged that a dead soldier's ankle had been lost and a damaged arm bone was sawed off a dead Marine before burial so he could fit in his uniform and coffin.

The commander at the morgue, a colonel and two civilian officials were disciplined.

The three whistleblowers, James Parsons, Mary Ellen Spera and William Zwicharowski, told the Associated Press they had faced retaliation for reporting the incidents.

Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has ordered a special review of the base's operations.

The procedures took place at a time when the mortuary was shielded from public scrutiny because media coverage of fallen troops' return to the air base was banned between 1991-2009.

0 コメント: