Photo: John Moore (Getty)

After last summer’s white supremacist riot in Charlottesville, VA, the federal government has quietly been spending millions in taxpayers dollars to protect the rotting corpses of dead traitors in at least eight confederate cemeteries around the country.

According to documents obtained by the Associated Press, the Department of Veterans Affairs has spent nearly $3 million on private security firms hired to protect Confederate graveyards from the spate of anti-Confederate monument vandalism that followed the deadly August 2017 event. The AP also reported on Monday that the VA has budgeted an additional $1.6 million to cover security at all confederate monuments in the coming year.

As the AP notes, the majority of the eight cemeteries named in the VA documents are in Northern cities and are largely filled with prisoners of war—many of whom died of disease, rather than in battle trying to preserve their right to own human beings as property—that had been held nearby.

In a statement to the AP, Veterans Affairs spokesperson Jessica Schiefer explained that the additional security was “to ensure the safety of staff, property and visitors paying respect to those interred,” and that the VA “has a responsibility to protect the federal property it administers and will continue to monitor and assess the need for enhanced security going forward.”

This is not the first time the government has proven paradoxically obstinate in its insistence on spending time and money to preserve the memories of literal traitors. Last year the Army pointedly refused to rename streets commemorating Confederate generals Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee in New York’s Fort Hamilton. To do so, the Army explained in a letter to Rep. Yvette Clarke, would be “controversial and divisive.” (More controversial and divisive than rebelling against the United States itself? Hmmmm.)

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I have reached out to the VA for comment on the report that they are spending millions to protect the decaying bodies of people who literally died fighting the very government now paying to protect their tombs, as well as to determine how the eight sites named in the AP’s story were selected. I will update this post if they respond.