Ms. S.H. found this one, and I have to file it under the ""call it conspiracy" and "you tell me" categories because, quite frankly, I simply don't know what to make of it. We've all heard the stories of how various departments of the federal goobernment cannot find trillions of dollars which have "gone missing." Recall only former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's press conference on Sept 10, 2001, one day prior to 9-11, where he stated that some $2,000,000,000,000 + was unaccounted for. That story was quickly lost, of course, in the aftermath of the events of the next day, but it's a story that won't go away, as more and more reports from this agency or that department uncover funds that they cannot account for. Most recently, for example, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Dr. Ben Carson also admitted that his department had "misplaced some money."
As regular readers of this site are aware, my opinion on the matter is that much of this money is going into the black budget for covert research programs as well as for covert operations. I don't believe, for a minute, that the money is really missing; someone, somewhere, knows where it went, but it's not the people supposedly "running" the government. To them, it really is missing, and a moment's time recalling the attempts of former Congressmen Grayson or McKinney to get to the bottom of it will attest to that. The accounting hall of mirrors is just that: a system designed to obfuscate and cloak, and most decidedly not be transparent.
So when Ms. S.H. shared this article, as one might imagine, my first reaction was "You've got to be kidding." Here's the story:
Granted, "unknown" military personnel is a far cry from missing personnel, or personnel "they can't account for," but the title of the article is itself perhaps a "tad bit" misleading, for the body of the article suggests a disturbing parallel with all that "missing money":
The U. S. military has more than 44,000 troops across the globe that the Pentagon claims it cannot track, according to a recent report.
“We are not at a point where we can give numbers other than those officially stated,” said Army Col. Rob Manning, a Pentagon spokesman.
The report — compiled by the Defense Manpower Data Center under the Office of the Secretary of Defense — shows more than 44,000 personnel in a category labeled “Unknown.”
Now, in case you think my mention of former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney was stretching a point, recall only that in her attempts to get to the bottom of the financial problem in the Department of Defense, she was confronted with a Secretary of Defense (Rumsfeld) and his advisor, who couldn't answer her questions because they we're too clear on who was ultimately responsible for managing the department databases. "We'll have to get back with you on that." Uh huh. I don't recall that they ever did, at least, not with any clear picture.
With that in mind, it appears the "unknown" or "unaccounted for" soldiers problem is of a piece with the missing money problem:
The data center is charged with accounting for troops and civilian personnel that fall under the Defense Department. The numbers are updated quarterly on the center’s website, www.DMDC.osd.mil.
“Our commitment is to be as transparent as we can, within the constraints of operation security,” Manning said. The Pentagon acknowledged in a statement that it has no good way to track how many servicemembers are stationed overseas, where they are and when they were there.
“There is no one personnel system in the [Defense Department] that tracks the daily location of all DoD personnel. There is no easy way to track all deployments, training exercises, TDY (being attached to another unit for training or specific missions, typically for less than six months) or temporary assignments,” according to the statement. “If you take the total numbers assigned in the United States and assigned overseas, and add the ‘Unknown,’ you get the total force numbers for each service.”
However, another Pentagon spokesman questions the value of the data center numbers.
“Those numbers are not meant to represent an accurate accounting of troops currently deployed to any location,” said Eric Pahon. “They should not be relied upon for a current picture for what is going on.”
Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis ordered a review of how personnel are counted in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
“There’s a very strange accounting procedure I inherited ... What I’m probably going to end up doing is out putting everyone into one thing and saying, ‘Here’s how many are really there now,’ ’’ Mattis said during a news conference in August.
Pentagon officials say “accounting procedures” make knowing actual end strength difficult to determine.
So there you have it: there is "no one personnel system" that "tracks...all (Department of Defense) personnel" and on top of that "accounting procedures" make knowing actual personnel strength "difficult" to determine, in this case, to the tune of 44,000 people, or to put it into operational terms that might be a bit closer to home: that's rather like misplacing two or three entire divisions, or an entire corps. Imagine trying to plan military operations, and you don't know where an entire corps is, and you get the idea. It's definitely not the sort of staff work that would impress Von Schlieffen or Marshal Zhukov. What's intriguing here is the almost exact parallel of what's being admitted here regarding personnel, and the "missing money"; the same causes (or excuses, or security measures) are being cited as the root of the problem: there's "no singular system", and hence, personnel get "lost" in "accounting procedures".
And as you can imagine, that has my mind working in overdrive of high octane speculations, for what if the two phenomena are related: the missing money (and the deeper hidden system of finance), and all the missing personnel. This would, if one thinks about it, be a perfect way not only to finance a "secret space program" or a "breakaway civilization," but to staff it as well. In other words, did we just get a bit of a backhanded admission of the extent of that "breakaway group"?
Gary McKinnon, anyone?
See you on the flip side...