The Accounting Program: Locate, Recover, Identify, and Return
This chapter, which establishes the foundation for the accounting program’s four inter-connected elements (locate, recover, identify, and return), provides the sociopolitical context, terminology, statistics, jargon, acronyms, as well as an overview of the organizations in and out of government that shape the accounting program.
In this chapter, Dr. Cole covers the issues of unrecovered remains, unidentified remains buried as unknowns in America’s national cemeteries, as well as recovered remains that cannot be identified using current scientific techniques.
Relying on primary source documentation including reports produced within the accounting community, Dr. Cole reveals the fact that the accounting program’s efforts to locate the remains of missing American service members have been a comprehensive failure for decades. Were it not for discoveries made by accident by third parties unrelated to any programmed acvitity, the ability to analyze small amounts of bone using DNA technology, and disinterments for the purpose of identification, the accounting program would have ground to a halt long ago.