Saturday, January 06, 2007

Send in the dead

And now for the computer error that says it all - they're sending the dead to fight in Iraq! No, this isn't the roaring finale to The Lord of the Rings, it's today's news.

Here is a simple human error, compounded and multiplied by the computer. Heart-wrenching for those who received such letters, yet on another level, sometimes an error unwittingly points to the truth. Why is the military stretched so thin? Why so many tours of duty? Why these letters right after Christmas?

I first spotted this article in the wee hours on the AP site, then on CNN. Strangely, a short while later, both items had disappeared. Now you can find it on, or with careful googling, the original Reuters story will come up. Perhaps, like the Watergate break-in, the story behind the story is one that is growing by the minute.

- Gail

January 6th, 2007 2:26 pmArmy mistakenly asks deceased to re-enlist
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Army said on Friday that it will apologize to the families of deceased and wounded officers that it mistakenly encouraged to re-enlist via letters sent out in late December.
About 75 families of deceased officers and 200 families of wounded officers received such letters sent to more than 5,100 officers between December 26 and 28, the Army said in a statement.
"Unfortunately, the database used to address those letters contained names of officers who were killed in action or wounded," the Army said. "Army personnel officials are contacting those officers' families now to personally apologize for erroneously sending the letters."
The names of these soldiers had been removed from the database, but an earlier version of the list was mistakenly used, the Army said.
The Army said it is taking steps to ensure this mistake does not happen again.
On Thursday, a U.S. soldier was killed in western Baghdad, bringing the total to 3,006 the number of U.S. soldiers killed so far since the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003.
The United States has 132,000 troops in Iraq and President George W. Bush plans to unveil a new Iraq strategy as early as next Wednesday that could include a short-term increase of up to 20,000 U.S. troops in the country.