Vital Field Records Missing From Iraq, Afghan Wars
ProPublica: It slows down vets' claims, worries historians
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 10, 2012 9:40 AM CST
In this Dec. 17, 2011, photo, US Army soldiers from the 25th Infantry Division board a plane at Camp Adder moments before the unit leaves Iraq.   (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

(Newser) – Historians might have a hard time piecing together the battles of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars because huge swaths of military field records are missing, reports ProPublica. What's worse, those lost records make it harder for vets to claim medical benefits. The Army is the worst offender, but the US Central Command in Iraq also lost files, and part of the problem, amazingly, stems from confusion between Army and Centcom commanders about who should have been keeping them.

"I can't even start to describe the dimensions of the problem," says Conrad C. Crane, director of the Army's Military History Institute. "I fear we're never really going to know clearly what happened in Iraq and Afghanistan because we don't have the records." Other factors: the transition from paper records to computer records was rocky, and some units erased hard drives before returning to the US because of confusion about transporting classified files. ProPublica has much more on the scope of the problem here.

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Showing 3 of 16 comments
Nov 11, 2012 6:40 PM CST
How convenient. The government pleading for the "Miranda Rights" "We have the right to remain silent". Confucious said: Hear no evil, see no evil, do no evil. Perhaps we are coming around to Chinese thinking. Comeon! surely there are some hard drives somewhere. But if they lost them.......maybe General Petraeus and Paula know where they might be. Maybe, just maybe, the General is now a civilian with no accountability.
Nov 11, 2012 9:36 AM CST
That's the best way to cover up war crimes!
Nov 11, 2012 8:58 AM CST
and soon the gov will say war what war! fubo!