Abizaid Panel: 9/11 Victims’ Cremated Remains Went in Landfill

Unidentifiable portions of remains from some 9/11 victims at the Pentagon and at Shanksville, Pa., were cremated and subsequently placed in a Virginia landfill, according to the report from the independent panel that examined Air Force mortuary operations at Dover AFB, Del. However, it was unclear as of late Tuesday, whether those remains had actually passed through Dover, since the Air Force leadership could not immediately confirm this finding. “This is new information to me,” said Air Force Secretary Michael Donley during a Pentagon press briefing on Tuesday to discuss the panel’s recommendation to improve the Dover mortuary operations (see entry below). He added, “We haven’t had a chance to review all of the records of the panel and understand completely where the information came from.” This topic came to light earlier on Tuesday when the panel’s chairman, retired Army Gen. John Abizaid, stepped before Pentagon reporters to discuss the group’s findings. Reporters questioned him on the 9/11 victims’ remains after finding references to them in the panel’s report. Abizaid said the references were meant to provide historical context and came mostly from “anecdotal evidence” from persons the panel interviewed. Panel members did not think this method of disposal was appropriate, noted Abizaid. (Abizaid transcript) (Donley-Schwartz transcript) (See also Stars and Stripes report.)