Sunday, November 18, 2012

U.S. House sets hearing on missing war records

U.S. House sets hearing on missing war records
Subcommittee hearing follows a ProPublica-Seattle Times investigation revealing dozens of military units deployed in the war on terror have destroyed or failed to keep field reports of their activities.
By Peter Sleeth
Special to ProPublica
November 17, 2012

Missing military records from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — detailed in a ProPublica-Seattle Times investigation over Veterans Day — will be the subject of a congressional hearing next month, the spokeswoman for a House Veterans Affairs subcommittee said Friday.

Separately, Rep. Michael Michaud, D-Maine, called on Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to respond to findings of the investigation, which detailed how dozens of Army units and U.S. Central Command destroyed or failed to keep field reports.

Michaud sits on the House Veterans Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs, which added the topic to a Dec. 4 session about the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) effort to move its claims and benefit record-keeping systems into the digital era.

ProPublica and The Times found that some veterans were denied disability benefits or faced delays in some cases because field records were unavailable to prove that injuries were combat related. The stories focused on missing Army and Centcom field reports rather than those created and kept by the VA.
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