Monday, September 03, 2007

The So Silent it is The Mute Service? - Part 3

Here is the final clue:
What participating Nato countries with operational submarines, about which we rarely get any news, are missing from this listing (including its Europe submenu)?

And, as promised, here is the point of the riddle:
Classified knowledge is compartmentalized when there is need and time enough to do so. Nowhere has the role of safeguarding national interests been performed with more diligence and finesse than in the silent service.

Still don't understand? A civilian version of what military submarining has been about might help:
Suppose you are a subway passenger who for two to three months at a time travels the underground tube system without lighted station stops and without telephone contacts to the sunlit, comfort above. During this travel, you perform a full-time job in close concert with a highly skilled team. Upon returning home, you must: (1) discover what happened in the topside world since your travel began; and (2) never explain (if you even know)where you had actually been, whom you had met, or what, if anything, your travel had accomplished. Of course, most civilians would never volunteer for such zany travel, while submariners do missions routinely in a demonstrably harsher environment.

Such sacrifices add up over the years. Enough so that when people like Ariel Weinmann or John Anthony Walker betray (or attempt to) their country's classified secrets, or others want to advise the world of national secrets held dear by patriots, we seethe with knowing intolerance.

If you succeed in finding a final answer to the country riddle (which answer will never be posted, confirmed nor unambiguously developed by this blog) please keep it to yourself. Only future events (if and when published) will ever disclose or confirm the accuracy of your answer. That, my friends, it how it feels to be a submariner. I had to omit a lot of interesting details in writing this, but you may still get the flavor.

If you are a submariner, unless you find the answer to the riddle, this exercise was no real eyeopener for you. If you have never been a submariner, however, you have just received a slight taste of what the silent in silent service means to its dedicated volunteers. Compartmentalization of classified knowledge is just as important to safeguarding national security as structural compartmentalization is to watertight integrity. Both are too desirable and expensive in terms of tax dollars and personal sacrifices to be wantonly compromised by arrogant traitors or flippant politicians. - Molten Eagle

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2 Comments:

At 07 September, 2007 20:45, Blogger Sturgeon said...

But! There is a problem with the concept of total secrecy and we are seeing that in Canada right now. Due to the total lack of any news until just recently, the average Canadian would cheerfully suggest we scrap our boats and make do without.
This is the quandry in a democracy. I recall going to airshows in the US and being amused at the prices listed on almost everything as though they were for sale. My all time favorite was many years ago at Loring AFB in northern Maine where a captain while explaining the capabilities of the SRAM insisted that I touch the missile and feel the rubberized coating which I have to confess at this time, I do not recall the reason for (couldn't have been stealth - not hanging from an underwing B-52 rack).
So a certain amount of information must be released now and then so that the taxpayers can be shown some value. A good note was an article in the Halifax, Nova Scotia newspapers when one of our Oberons surfaced next to a Spanish trawler fishing illegaly in Canadian waters. Useful? Probably not - Impressive? Oh yes!

 
At 07 September, 2007 22:03, Blogger Vigilis said...

Sturgeon, your conclusion regarding absolute secrecy vs. taxpayer value is absolutely correct.

Can this be why Tom Clancy and others have been able to make their millions? I think the public gets the idea as well from fiction as they could from redacted fact.

"Oberons surfaced next to a Spanish trawler fishing illegaly in Canadian waters. Useful? - Impressive?"
Ans.: I would have to say both. The Spaniards had to be impressed, but for folks who don't read much you might hit them over the head all day with facts and never get them to see value in anything they can't eat for their next meal. No imagination, you see.

 

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