Pentagon Uses ‘Phony’ Ceremonies for MIAs, with Planes that Can’t Fly

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Petty Officer 1st Class Barry Hirayama / U.S. Navy A joint service honor guard escorts a transfer case during an "arrival ceremony" at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Honolulu on April 27, 2012. The Defense Department has acknowledged that human remains were not in fact arriving on that day. The ceremonies are held by the Pentagon's Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command.

Government ‘Big Lie’ Plays Horrific Joke on U.S. Veterans and Their Families

 

By Bill Dedman, Investigative Reporter, NBCnews.com

 

HONOLULU — A unit of the U.S. Department of Defense has been holding so-called “arrival ceremonies” for seven years, with an honor guard carrying flag-draped coffins off of a cargo plane as though they held the remains of missing American service men and women returning that day from old battlefields.

After NBC News raised questions about the arrival ceremonies, the Pentagon acknowledged Wednesday that no honored dead were in fact arriving, and that the planes used in the ceremonies often couldn’t even fly but were towed into position.

The solemn ceremonies at a military base in Hawaii are a sign of the nation’s commitment to returning and identifying its fallen warriors. The ceremonies have been attended by veterans and families of MIAs, led to believe that they were witnessing the return of Americans killed in World War II, Vietnam and Korea.

Petty Officer 1st Class Barry Hirayama / U.S. Navy A joint service honor guard escorts a transfer case during an "arrival ceremony" at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Honolulu on April 27, 2012. The Defense Department has acknowledged that human remains were not in fact arriving on that day. The ceremonies are held by the Pentagon's Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command.
Petty Officer 1st Class Barry Hirayama / U.S. Navy
A joint service honor guard escorts a transfer case during an “arrival ceremony” at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Honolulu on April 27, 2012. The Defense Department has acknowledged that human remains were not in fact arriving on that day. The ceremonies are held by the Pentagon’s Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command.

The ceremonies also have been known, at least among some of the military and civilian staff here, as The Big Lie.

Photos behind the scenes show that the flag-draped boxes had not just arrived on military planes, but ended their day where they begin it: at the same lab where the human remains have been waiting for analysis.

The Pentagon insisted that the flag-draped cases do contain human remains recently recovered, just not ones that arrived that day. It said its staff “treat the remains with the utmost of care, attention, integrity, and above all, honor.” The Pentagon statement did not explain why the rituals were called “arrival ceremonies” if no one was arriving, or why the public had been told that remains removed that morning from the lab were about to go to the lab to “begin the identification process.” (Read the full Pentagon statement.)

From now on, the Pentagon said, the ceremonies will be re-branded as “honors ceremonies,” expressly described as symbolic honors for bodies previously recovered.

“The name changed because they’ve already arrived, technically,” said Army Staff Sgt. Andrew Smith, public affairs officer for the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), whose mission is to return and identify the 83,000 missing service men and women from World War II, Korea and Vietnam. The agency is identifying the dead at a rate of fewer than 80 per year, at a cost of more than $1 million per identification. Bodies now wait in the JPAC lab an average of 11 years before being identified, according to an internal report released this year.

What the audience sees
Here’s what the public has seen at the ceremonies, usually held about four times a year.

A C-17 military transport aircraft was parked, its ramp down, outside hangar 35 at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. At precisely 9 a.m., after generals and other dignitaries were introduced, a military chaplain offered a prayer, the audience sang “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and a Marine bugler played “Taps.” Then a military honor guard in dress uniforms carried flag-draped transfer cases, which look like coffins, down the ramp and across in front of the audience. The cases were placed in the back of blue buses and driven away.

The emcee, reading from an official script, thanked the audience for “welcoming them home.” The script continued, “After removal from the aircraft, the remains will be taken to the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command’s Central Identification Laboratory. There, JPAC scientists will begin the identification process.”

The Defense Department has used the arrival ceremonies as publicity tools, posting videos of the “arrival” on its website, on YouTube and on Facebook. A video of one of the ceremonies is shown below, and others are online here and here. The videos sometimes say explicitly that “the remains returned to U.S. soil on the C-17,” and other videos leave the viewer to draw that conclusion.

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A video posted online by the Department of Defense shows the JPAC “arrival ceremony” of Vietnam and World War II vets at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii on December 9, 2011. Similar videos have been posted throughout the past seven years. The Pentagon has acknowledged that no one was actually arriving at any of the ceremonies, and that the planes they were carried from often could not fly. The Pentagon said its script for the ceremonies had been “misinterpreted.”

A peek backstage
Here’s what actually happened, according to eyewitness accounts and photographs taken behind the scenes at one of the ceremonies.

Before 6 a.m., the members of the honor guard assembled at the loading dock behind the JPAC headquarters on the base. They loaded the transfer cases, which had been stacked outside the door to the lab, and the buses drove to the hangar.

The C-17 had been towed into position outside hangar 35. The honor guard loaded the transfer cases into the belly of the plane, then practiced walking them through the empty hangar. Then the honor guard returned to the plane, and waited.
At nearly 9 a.m., the public was allowed in: invited politicians, media, families of the missing and veterans. Employees from JPAC were bused over to fill out the crowd.

Then the show began, with tears and salutes as the remains were marched to the buses, then driven off to the lab to “begin the identification process.”

‘A very pissed-off citizen’
Jesse Baker, an 81-year-old Air Force veteran of World War II and Korea living in Honolulu, said he has been to more than 50 of these ceremonies. He told NBC News that he’s always been under the impression that the plane had just arrived carrying recovered remains.

“If I have been fooled, I am going to be a very pissed-off citizen, because I’ve been going for years,” Baker said. “And I know a lot of guys who are going to be pissed off. … They’re out there honoring warriors.”

Baker tried to make sense of why America’s Department of Defense would work so hard to trick him and other veterans. “That’s disturbing. I don’t know when they stopped being honest and switched over to this Mickey Mouse, but whoever did it, I hope they find him a new job somewhere.”

One leading figure in the MIA/POW field said she has known for years about the charade. The head of the largest group of families of missing service men and women, Ann Mills-Griffiths, is a staunch defender of JPAC, but she told NBC that she has warned Pentagon officials and JPAC repeatedly that they should stop holding “those phony arrival ceremonies.”

But Mills-Griffiths, the chairman of the National League of POW/MIA Families, said she had never told any family members that the ceremonies were phony, because she supported JPAC’s mission, if not the way it was carrying it out.

‘Static aircraft’
On Wednesday, after NBC submitted questions, the Pentagon acknowledged that the airplanes were often towed out of maintenance hangars for the ceremonies and could not have just flown in. “Many times, static aircraft are used for the ceremonies, as operational requirements dictate flight schedules and aircraft availability,” said a Department of Defense spokesperson, Navy Cmdr. Amy Derrick-Frost.

The Pentagon said its own words, used since 2006, had led to the ceremonies being “misinterpreted” as arrivals.

“Based on how media announcements and ceremony remarks are currently written, it is understandable how these ‘arrival’ ceremonies might be misinterpreted, leading one to believe the ceremonies are ‘dignified transfer ceremonies,’ which they are not.” She said the Pentagon is reviewing its procedures and is committed to conducting all recovery operations honorably.

NBC asked about another discrepancy: Current and former JPAC employees said that the emcee often announces that the remains were from specific countries where JPAC staff had not recently recovered remains. The Pentagon statement said that the correct country is always announced, but that it may have been a few months since the remains were recovered. And occasionally, it said, there has been no JPAC mission to a country, but the remains have been turned over by those countries and are still deserving of a “symbolic tribute.”

An emotional ceremony
Other veterans, a former POW’s wife, even the bagpiper at the ceremonies — all told NBC they had assumed the arrival ceremony meant that soldiers’ remains were actually arriving. They said they found the ceremony to be moving.

“It was a very humbling experience for me,” said bagpiper Alan Miyamura. “The thing that I remember most vividly is the silence. … It meant respect and a feeling that these soldiers are welcomed home.”

The ceremony “makes me very proud that our country does such a thing,” said Carole Hickerson, whose first husband was a POW in the Vietnam War. She helped design the black POW/MIA flag. “You don’t know how important a funeral is until you don’t have one.”

‘Acutely dysfunctional’
After NBC News requested permission to attend an arrival ceremony in July, JPAC canceled the ceremony. It hasn’t held any ceremonies since April, scheduling and canceling them repeatedly.

The Pentagon spokesperson said the commander of JPAC, Army Maj. Gen. Kelly K. McKeague, authorized in April the renaming of the ceremonies “to more accurately reflect the purpose of these events.” However, public affairs staff at JPAC, which organized the events, continued to call them “arrival ceremonies” on into the summer, and until Wednesday they were still identified that way on the agency’s website. (That page of the JPAC website was renamed to “honors ceremonies” on Wednesday.) The Pentagon would not answer when asked when Gen. McKeague and other military officers became aware that the public was being misled.

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12 COMMENTS

  1. My wife and I have been watching, (and laughing our butts off at), “The walking dead”. We get a kick out of the ridiculous, pointless “drama” the writers throw out there for the public to digest. Sometimes we laugh so hard, we have to stop watching for a bit to gather our thoughts. This country has become like that. Total pointless “drama” thrown out there by those in control, the cops that fight against their fellow countrymen to do the bidding of those with the most power, the voters who chirp about how they’ll vote this one out, (not likely and hasn’t been likely at LEAST since crooked electronic ballot machines), and “show them” what’s for. How much shit has to be shoved into a comatose citizenry before they wipe their faces off, shake their heads and say, “wow, they been feeding us shit!”. It ain’t gonna get any better….. No amount of “voting”, no amount of “watchdog” committees are going to fix what is broken. We’re all being played like a cheap violin. Our very own government has sold us out the rest of the way to their AIPAC masters and Wall Street. What happens, what do they do when the FEMA camps are all filled? Will they re-open the gulags left by the Bolshevik Jews in Siberia? Do any of you really think this will turn out any better than what they orchestrated in Russia? Ukraine? Danzig, Germany? Good luck, I hope you enjoy your short stay in Bizarro World.

  2. What makes me proud to be an American is that fact that so many Americans are waking up to the truth right now about the Evil American Empire. I don’t say that lightly because acknowledging this reality based on the facts that the establishment hides form us is heartbreaking. It destroys everything you believe in about your country and reality. But if we are truly be a united people, prosperous and peaceful ideals for our children and humanity we must stand up to the fascist abomination that American has been hijacked and turned in to over decades. The American Empire derives it’s power from subversion and the manipulation of it’s people first and foremost. Second your tax dollars fuel the military industrial complex that preserves and spreads the American Empire. Third the Federal Reserve is the fascist tool used to enslave humanity to meaningless paper with the concept of interest through debt that can never be paid back. It’s diabolical but if you can’t accept this as truth then ask yourself why are you never taught this in school? Why do politicians never talk about this? Why is this information hidden and taboo? If you want to know who/what controls you then ask yourself who you can’t criticize.

  3. Brilliant post by John Edward Kendrick. He’s telling you the flat out truth of this manufactured reality that you are born in to. Your reality is created by the establishment and you are molded and conditioned in to it according to their agenda. We are Rome and Nazi Germany. False flags, mind control, and divide and conquer are ancient concepts and techniques used by ever Empire in human history. Every Empire in human history has sought power and control through spreading their Empire. Every Empire in human history has also fallen. The most important thing to remember is that no Empire in human history has been compatible with freedom, democracy, and peace.

  4. I thought I heard where they used bodies of the fallen as ‘cases’ to put their opium and other drug transfers in. Talk about disrespect to our fallen.

    This message blog should be packed full of comments of rage what has been going on with our Soldiers.

    Reading some of Kissinger’s memoirs I was liv-ed of what he said about what our soldiers were good fore. I do not repeat the exact words out of RESPECT for my Soldiers who went to defend this nation called the USA. If our soldiers would read that book, they would have been hunting him down and dragging his arse to the battlefield and given a Gun to do what they had our men doing, taking lives that were set up and lied about. Yep.

    This article makes me sick reading the lies these mothers and fathers were given of the fallen. Thinking these ceremonies were being given as their loved ones remains were being respectfully carried to their final destination and resting place. Oh how betrayed I feel for these fallen soldiers families too.

    Many of our soldiers even after they came home were on a call if you need me for a mission. The stories I hear are what you would call unbelievable. One soldier called 7 years ago, he went and the job was “To unload a shipment of such pure Cocaine on one of our own ships, transferred in the waters to another ship. Special breathing apparatuses had to be wore because it would have killed them, if any got on their face it would be numb ‘for-a very long time. Con’td.

    • Cont’d: The same soldier was called roughly 8 or so months ago (it was on this Syrian staged theater so there would be a reason, a justification for going to war with Syria) He is awakening to the truth and refused to go. Another soldier friend I keep tabs on, knew about the Syrian planned War 10 years ago. So these oaths that these soldiers took, they now know that the Human Race must start hearing the truth. Like J.F.K. said, ‘The secrets must go so the veil of secracy can be lifted of our amnesia-ed forgetting what magnificent beings we truly are…’ ” Time for a Revolution and IT WILL NOT BE TELEVISED.” NOPE.:-)

      Soldiers WE ARE HERE TO BACK YOU ALL THE WAY, Name the time and place.:-))

  5. A sad and disgusting story of compete disrespect for American soldiers killed for nothing in useless Banksters wars. As I said before all secrets are now coming out one at a time. All brass who ordered this must be immediately court martial-ed and have all benefits removed forever. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Everything about the USG, Intel and Military is a big lie. This story is just another example. If folks were fully informed about what military service was really like and how they would be innoculated with poisons and maltreated and used up fighting other people’s Bankster wars and the actual reasons for them, NONE would enlist. What has been done to debase, degrade and make the US fighting man sick, disabled and suicidal is no coincidence. It was all planned long ago to use, abuse and debase the young American soldiers to fight the zio Banksters wars and then poison them with vaccines and high tech bio thus weakening and destroying the young who would be able to defend America from foreign hijacking and invasion, which has now happened with the second British invasion (1812 was the first, this is a replay that started in 1913 with the Federal Reserve private bank, a franchise of the Rothschild Central Bankster system of the City of London Financial District). Stay tuned because there will be a lot more of these dirty secrets disclosed in coming months. When American vets finally figure this all out, they will organize and there will be hell to pay.

    • Preston, you have it exactly right. These wars serve two purposes–the violent takeover of foreign nations followed by looting and control; then making sure the experienced and savvy fighters are killed, maimed, or otherwise rendered harmless. The perps know very well they would never last a day against these guys. That’s why they have to use the pretext of security and democracy to lure them in and cull them.

      This is really dangerous. Servicemen do not grow on trees, and we lose more of them every day to psychopathic pyromaniacs moving everyone around like chess pieces. As planned. This way we are undefended if and when the perps go for a big, sudden power grab. Those who would quickly and reliably defend us will be unable to do so or simply will not be there.

    • I so agree Preston. The mothers were used to encourage their sons to go protect us from the wolf coming into the back door of our County. We went to the factories, used in this diabolical plan of the Bank-sters to break up the family unit. Oh so clever these controllers were.

      Yes all the maltreatment of our soldiers used for experiments of many different means one of course being vaccinations galore loaded with toxins. The powers that be, bank-sters could not allowed these trained-assassins to go home after they found out what was really going on, sworn to secret oaths if they opened their mouths to the truths they and/or their families would end up Dead. Instead these toxins would work in their bodies and the plan being ‘the soldier will be dead within 10 years or so ill they could not hold a Revolution and take the power back to the people.’

      I am in contact with many local Veteran’s they know I am on the band wagon and will band the people together when ever they are ready for that pay-back these soldiers owe these Bank-sters and their minions.

      The London International Bank of settlements controls our Federal Reserve banking system also for the USA. Whoopie. It is neither Federal or any Reserve $. A committee Court hearing held questioning the Head of Federal Reserve. “Did the Federal Reserve have any Gold?” The head of the Fed.Reserve said in that Hearing: “No, the Federal Reserve Never had any Gold…” Oh those hearings are so much fun listening to, the joke is on us people.

  6. This is so utterly pathetic.
    Mind you, LC may have hit the nail on the head with his comment.
    Good point LC. Kudos to you.

    • I think of the lies that our soldiers are told when then enlist. My 17 year old son asked me to please sign for him to go into the service. Oh I did not want to, I made sure I sat him down and made him KNOW what he was signing up for. Not the handsome uniform he would be in that the girls went gaga at as the recruiters came into the school. This is what he heard and of course the great education (IF YOU LIVED) I put the truth into his face, after boot camp he could be shipped out and come back home to mom in a body bag….. TRUTH. I refused to let him think of this as an EGO BOOST for lots of girls running up to them with open arms.

      I made him think on Why he was enlisting. He chose to still enlist. So I (allowing my child their free will) signed on that dotted line. Months later when I found out truth that was going on, the guilt trip I wore I cannot explain. I was proud of my Country but when I heard of the lies we were being told on the TV. Scripted–CMMM (Controlled major mass media) the greatest achievement of the CIA, where we were being manipulated, set public opinions, making justifications why we the people should go to way lying about so called terrorist groups who are just labels given to use in this terror campaign being used to hoodwink us poor dumbed down American’s.

      This article shows how true this information I was receiving was. Divide + conquer, make the economy go south, time to begin campaign for another WAR. So clever, repeat repeat repeat.

Comments are closed.