Talk Radio News: Ex-Arlington National Cemetery Head Leaves Senate Panel Scratching Heads

Senate Homeland Security member Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) had harsh words for former Arlington National Cemetery Superintendent John Metzler on Thursday, asking him if family members will be sure that they are “standing at the real grave site of [their] loved one.”

Metzler ran the historic military burial ground for almost two decades. A recent investigation by the Army revealed that as many as 6,600 graves had been mismarked.

McCaskill, chair of a committee oversight panel, asked Metzler about the first date he felt something was wrong, and pressed former deputy superintendent Thurman Higginbothom about his reportedly strained relationship with Metzler. Higginbothom subsequently invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to make self-incriminating testimony.

Metzler said the situation “pained him personally,” and expressed his “deep regret” towards families that the mistakes may have affected. Metzler cautioned the committee not to rush to judgment on an issue of great “complexity and breadth.”

That didn’t go over too well with more than a few members. Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) expressed his frustration and contempt for the mismanagement, telling Metzler that he was “interested to hear what the excuses are, because I can’t think of any in my head.”

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