Nightly News | February 28, 2012
>>> gop. a sickening story came out of the pentagon today, revelation that some of the human remains of 9/11 victims from the pentagon and shanksville, pennsylvania, ended up in a land fill . of course, this follows the revelation the same thing happened to some of our recent war dead. there are a lot of questions at the pentagon tonight. our pentagon correspondent jim miklaszewski is there.
>> reporter: the scandal first erupted at dover after partial remains of american troops killed in iraq and afghanistan were buried in this virginia land fill . but an investigation released today revealed a chilling discovery. the investigation found that human remains from the 9/11 attack on the pentagon and the downing of flight 93 in shanksville, pennsylvania, have also been buried in that same land fill . the unidentified remains of the 9/11 victims were first sent to the air force mortuary at dover . nearly a year later, the remains were incinerated and finally buried. army sergeant first class scott smith was killed in iraq, his partial remains also dumped in the land fill . his widow is outraged that victims from 9/11 shared the same fate.
>> it's heart breaking, pathetic and sad and there are a lot of people at dover who if they had any integrity at all would step down from their positions effective immediately.
>> reporter: this retired general led the investigation which found the chain of command at dover was broken or practically nonexistent.
>> whenever you put things in staff kmanls as opposed to command channels, you're asking for trouble. and there was plenty of trouble. besides improper handling of war dead, in 2006 , the partial remains of four navy screwmen, killed when their plane crashed into this georgia mountain were co-mingled and dumped in the land fill . and just last october, the body of an army master sergeant was improperly cremated in a cardboard box . the airman chief of staff took responsibility.
>> you're looking at him. me. i'm responsible.
>> reporter: on capitol hill , that's not quite good enough.
>> they have to take some steps, some solemn public steps to try to restore the honor that's been lost.
>> reporter: the air force has planned to improve command and increase oversight at dover so this kind of thing doesn't happen again, but it's not over yet. there's one more investigation into attempts to fire the whistleblowers who first reported the mishandling of the dead at dover . brian?
>> jim miklaszewski at the pentagon tonight. thanks for that.