A Son Lost in Iraq, But Where is the Casualty Report?

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  1. I don’t know about this case, but in some cases the lack of information may be because there’s a difference between the deceased official legend and what the deceased was actually doing in country. There are intelligence operatives under regular uniform covers just as there are under diplomatic covers. (They’re almost always fake officers instead of fake enlisted men, though – fewer questions asked, the tradition of officers and spies as “gentlemen,” etc.) What the family back home knows about their son’s unit, rank, and duties may be quite different from the reality of the situation. What really happened may be classified information for a variety of reasons, no necessarily good reasons, of course.

    That being said, whenever military bureaucracy is involved, incompetence or inertia is a much more likely explanation than any sort of cover-up. One overworked or about-to-retire pencil pusher at any point in the flow of information is all it takes to lose a file.

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