INVESTIGATION: Sept 11th - Unanswered Questions
SCOOP EDITORS NOTE: The following detailed analysis of the events of September 11th was submitted to Scoop by its author with a request that it be republished. It also appears at http://www.communitycurrency.org/MainIndexMX.html where the embedded references are formatted as hyperlinks. While this analysis follows closely in the footsteps of analysis from The Emperor’s New Clothes (tenc.net) it is considerably more complete and thorough in its scope. Like the TENC.NET analysis of 911 previously published by Scoop (see also...part 2 and part 3) and that of Michael Rowbotham, its implications are deeply disturbing.
Sept 11th - Unanswered Questions
George W. Bush
Air Force One
Summation of Civilian Air
Defense, Sept 11
Who is to Blame?
The FBI Investigation
"We didn’t know"
"Official" Explanations: explained
A Few Choice Articles
Senate Confirmation Hearings: General Myers
Ignorance and Responsibility
Science of Spin
bin Laden and the CIA
Blaming Bin Laden
Sept 11th - Unanswered Questions (Part 1A)
Within a few months, the events of Sept. 11th, 2001 became but an echo of the events that followed.
War in Afghanistan, anthrax, unprecedented powers of detention: the public mind moves from one shock to another, appearing to accept the government’s lead.
Now after five months, a new world beacons; or perhaps, the old world, from a different vantage point.
For those of us determined to think for ourselves, (to question government assumptions) the leap to blame Bin Laden, (with little substantial evidence) and the pretext for bombing yet another poor country, was unsatisfactory -right from the start.
Yet this has become a "new reality" which we now have to deal with, taking us further from the events of Sept. 11th with each passing day.
The curtain seems to be descending on the big, unanswered questions that was on virtually everyone’s mind during, (and for weeks after) the attack:
How could Sept. 11th have happened?
How could four planes be hijacked over U.S. skies, within the space of an hour?
How was it that three of them were able to plow into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, killing thousands of people, in the heart of the most powerful nation on earth -with no planes in the skies to defend them?
Were these just evil geniuses?
Or did these attacks occur alongside the most colossal collapse of airspace security in U.S. history?
In the wake of the
devastation, the answer to this last question is: obviously,
Somehow, the terrorists got through.
Even politicians in Washington, (normally staunch defenders of the status quo) were initially compelled to express this:
"The government failed the American people." (Rep. Curt Weldon, on CNN, 12:40, Sept. 11th).
A "stunning failure… of U.S. intelligence." "There must be a thorough inquiry."
Sen. Robert Torricelli, speaking on the Senate floor. (1)
An obvious thing.
This didn’t happen in a vacuum.
"They" got through the protective shield we call government, the military.
To touch on but one example:
two of the four planes commandeered on Sept 11th were in the air, (hijack-confirmed) for almost an hour after the first hijacked plane attack on the World Trade Center had been confirmed -with no jet fighter in sight, as routine procedure demands.
The hijacked planes should not have been able to reach their targets.
There were safeguards in place, and they were not implemented.
As this report will show, a glaring lapse in routine procedure was repeated at virtually every level of civilian air defense, in relation to all four planes.
Alongside the acts of terror, there existed an unprecedented negligence –on the part of those entrusted with the protection of American skies.
Without such an lapse, the attacks of Sept 11th simply would not have been successful.
Whether this negligence was intentional, or coincidental, the sheer scope of it, (as we shall see) cries out for a full public inquiry; yet the government has strictly avoided opening itself to public scrutiny; instead, it has used the tragedy to wrap the protective ring of secrecy around itself, even tighter.
The congressional committee of review,
not in any way lay blame to the dedicated men and women of
the U.S. intelligence community." "The point is not to point
blame or point fingers. The point is to see where the
weaknesses are in our system."
Members of committee, NY Times, Oct 3, 2001(2)
The focus of this committee is to "increase the roughly $30 billion intelligence budget," "rescind the 1995 restrictions on the C.I.A.'s use of unsavory covert agents" and so on. (ibid)
In other words, the assumption is,
‘the government and defense apparatus did everything it could.’ ‘We were caught off-guard by fiendishly clever, ruthless, and fanatical foes.’ ‘We simply need more resources to make sure it never happens again.’
As this report will clearly show, (fully-referenced to official documents, statements, and mainstream media reports) this assumption is utterly wrong.
More resources were not required.
What was needed on Sept 11th was for procedures that were already in place to be implemented.
A most profound abandonment of routine air-defense procedures accompanied these attacks.
The attackers, (in this sense) did not act alone.
That this basic reality has been effectively ignored, (in the rush to identify the attackers) is all the more reason that an open, public investigation be initiated.
In our brief moment of grief following this horrific crime, we found it virtually impossible to discuss the scope of internal incompetence which must have accompanied these acts of terror; and our government, media, (and other centers of influence) seem to have found it more convenient to inflame our anger –and thus, divert our attention from the outstanding, obvious questions:
How did this happen?
Who within the state apparatus was asleep at the switch?
How do we ensure that this never happens again?
How do we know that some of those involved in the internal "investigation" of the state won’t simply cover over what they don’t want us to see?
In the immediate aftermath of the terror, the
government/media made it seem as if anyone who criticized
the government was "for" the "other side."
The sacred role of the citizenry, as the watchdogs of government, was temporarily put on hold.
It’s now clear that our governments want no part of a public investigation.
There will be no blame found, no calling to accounts –simply an increased budget for police surveillance, covert operations, and state power.
It appears that we, the public, must examine the evidence for ourselves; and yet, the passing of time in the weeks and months following, may have made such an inquiry seem impossible to us, passe, perhaps even irrelevant.
So I ask you, dear reader, for but five minutes of your time: to briefly take a step back with me, to a morning and a day when the world seemed to change forever.
I ask you to re-examine, one more time, the events and information which have passed across our view screens so quickly.
Allow me to lay before you the result of five months intense research: carefully referenced, summarized, that the essential points may be grasped with a clarity and ease hitherto elusive.
Consider this contention:
the attacks on Sept. 11 may yet
one of the most important events in the last fifty years,
(perhaps all human history, for those who choose to examine it):
a turning point, in our understanding of the most-fundamental relationship between appearance and reality.
Once you’ve taken a few minutes to review this body of evidence, I’m sure you’ll be moved to agree: what a vast scope of discovery may lie within.
Recall then, the morning of Sept 11, 2001
According to The New York Times, (Sept 15)
"controllers in New England knew about 8:20 a.m. that American Airlines Flight 11, bound from Boston to Los Angeles, had probably been hijacked. When the first news report was made at 8:48 a.m. that a plane might have hit the World Trade Center, they knew it was Flight 11. And within a few minutes more, controllers would have known that both United 175 (the second plane to hit the World Trade Center) and American 77 (which hit the Pentagon) had probably been hijacked." (3)
[Note: all the hijacked planes had their tracking beacons turned off at various times, but they were still visible on various radar screens].
Within ten minutes of the first plane crash into the World Trade Center, President George W. Bush was aware of it.
"He got out of his hotel suite this morning, [on his way to a school] was about to leave, reporters saw the White House chief of staff, Andy Card, whisper into his ear. The reporter said to the president, 'Do you know what's going on in New York?' He said he did, and he said he will have something about it later." (ABC's John Cochran, Peter Jennings)http://emperor.vwh.net/9-11backups/abc911.htm#mybust
Then, (according to CNN) he was informed of the situation at 9am, by National Security Advisor Condaleeza Rice, (telephone) as he was arriving at the school, (CNN, "Breaking News" White House correspondent, Major Garrett, 9:31, Sept.11).
Then the President was updated a third time.
According to Associated Press, he was
"In Sarasota, Florida.... reading to children in a classroom at 9:05 a.m. when his chief of staff, Andrew Card, whispered into his ear." ['AP' 12 September 2001, This also appeared on TV] (4)
And what did George W. Bush do when he received the update from Andrew Card, some five minutes later?
"The president briefly turned somber before he resumed reading. He addressed the tragedy about a half-hour later." ['AP' 12 September, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 12 September 2001 Pg. A 20]. (5)
Further, according to CNN’s Garrett, (on the scene)
"the spectacular, horrific pictures began appearing on television sets here at the elementary school... Shortly before [his] statement [addressing the tragedy] he was actually sitting down with some children here at the elementary school reading them a book.... Reporters asked him if he was aware of the situation in New York. He nodded a bit gravely, and said he would have something to say about that shortly.http://www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0109/11/bn.01.html ("Breaking News" 9:25)
To the suggestion, (made by CNN anchor Daryn Kagan) that this "exchange of questions with the president came at... a sensitive time... sitting in front of a bunch of schoolchildren... not wanting to scare [them]," Garrett replies:
"Well, precisely. And the president has a way of letting reporters know that it's either an appropriate... or inappropriate time to take questions. He does that in many different environments, many different situations. Clearly this morning, with a crowd of children, he wanted to keep an even keel, keep the situation under control as best as possible. He just nodded and said -- we'll talk about this later."
Just after 9:30, the President excused himself from the classroom to make a statement that a "terrorist attack on America has occurred." (CNN, "Breaking News, 9:31)
So, for almost thirty minutes after President Bush was officially updated about this for the the third time, he remained sitting in a classroom of children, (apparently, reading a book about goats).
Does this not seem rather negligent?
As we shall soon see, officials would repeatedly claim that the President was the only one who could order a domestic airliner to be shot down.
Why did he remain sitting in the classroom? Why did he even GO into the classroom in the first place? -if he had already been informed, not once but twice?
Was he not told the whole story?
Three months later, on nationwide TV, President Bush tells a captive audience,
"I was in a classroom talking about a reading program that works. And I was sitting outside the classroom waiting to go in, and I saw an airplane hit the tower -- the TV was obviously on, and I use to fly myself, and I said, "There's one terrible pilot."
This is a very interesting statement for Bush to make, seeing as the first plane, (at that time) was not actually caught on network TV -striking the tower. Only the second one was.
Clearly, the President is giving the impression that he was not then aware that this plane crash was a terrorist attack; but is this, in fact what we would expect from the commander-in-chief?
As supreme commander, the President is tied into civilian air defense through the secret service.
There is time-honored, standard procedure -whereby, the command-center in the Pentagon, radar defense, the National Security Council, and the President are quickly informed of any national emergencies, including hijackings.
As Vice-President Dick Cheney says on the Sept. 16th edition of "Meet The Press,"
"The secret service has an arrangement with the FAA. They had open lines after the World Trade Center was...."
Cheney neglects to finish his sentance, but the implications are clear.
The FAA suspected that Flight 11 was hijacked at 8:20, and confirmed it with NORAD at 8:38, well before the plane struck the tower at 8:46; thus, the Pentagon, and the secret service also knew. (See Unanaswered Questions, Part 1B, for full documentation).
By the time that George W. Bush first admits knowing about the crash, (ten minutes later, about 8:55) he has already been briefed, for he shows no emotional response to either his chief of staff, or the reporters question.
Not only the crash of a single, hijacked plane, but two other planes in close proximity are hijack-suspected/confirmed.
A national emergency is in progress.
All this would have been known by the secret service -and hence, the President.
After his first public admission of being informed, George W. Bush is updated five minutes later, (at 9:00) then five minutes later again, (presumably, about the second plane which crashed into the World Trade Center, at 9:02).
Yet he continues sitting in the classroom with the children; and when reporters dare to ask whether he’s going to do something about it, he appears to suggest that (presumably by some kind of stern expression) ‘now is not an "appropriate" time to talk about it’?
We common folk might be forgiven if we think it only natural that a person might need a few minutes to collect their thoughts; but the commander-in-chief is no ordinary person. In the case of a national emergency, seconds of indecision on his part could cost thousands of lives; and it's precisely for this reason that he has a whole network of adjuncts and advisors to insure that he is among the first to be informed, not the last.
Only at 9:30 did the President finally confirm what the FAA, the military, and the secret service had already known fifty minutes before -and what the entire television-watching world had known for forty.
Either the President was criminally mis-informed by his own secret service/staff; or he was deliberately mis-representing the extent to which he knew that a national emergency was underway.
His inaction is most unsettling, in the light of the following events.
By 9:05, flight number 77 from Washington, (the "third plane") had been severely off-course some twenty minutes before, (beginning at approx. 8:46). It had made a huge northward /westward/southward loop, before resuming its proper course again. (7)
This fact, (based on the actual radar reports from government and private industry) was likely the source of the above statement, that,
"within a few minutes more... [8:50] controllers would have known that... Flight 77 had probably been hijacked." (NY Times, Sept 15)
At the same time,
"controllers at Washington Air Route Traffic Control Center—who handled American Airlines Flight 77, which hit the Pentagon—knew about the hijacking of American Flight 11 even before it crashed [at 8:46] CNN, Sept 16, ibid."
Village Voice, Sept 13 (8)
Thus, when Flight 77 started to go off-course, the Air Traffic Control officials, (ATC) who were watching the plane, were also aware that another plane on the east coast had been hijacked-confirmed.
Around this time, they would also have been informed that Flight 175 had been declared "hijacked," (at 8:43, CNN, Sept 16, ibid, earlier than the NY Times article suggests. This CNN document is based on official government timeline: NORAD).
Thus, two other planes were officially confirmed as hijacked, by the time that Flight 77 had begun to go dramatically off-course.
Within minutes, these officials would be informed that Flight 11 had crashed into the World Trade Center.
They should have been extremely concerned.
Flight 77 managed to return to it's proper westward course, after flying about twenty miles north, then west, then south; yet officials should have still been on a high state of alert.
[NOTE: we don't know what kind of radio communications existed between ATC officials and Flight 77; because, for some reason, the FBI has not publicly released the tapes; so it's possible that, with radio contact, (and a clear sign of "ok" from the pilot) officials were convinced that things were under control, once the plane was back on its original course].
Yet the fact remains that the plane these officials were monitoring had been well off-course around the same time that two other planes in the area had been hijacked; and now, by 9:05 (at the same time that President Bush was updated) a second crash into the World Trade Center had occurred, in what was now confirmed to be two, intentional terrorist attacks.
At the very least, the officials must have had suspicians, (as the NY Times article, cited above clearly suggests).
Then, at approx. 9:00am, Flight 77 ceases its transponder signal.
For a very short period of time, (as they frantically try to regain radar contact through other facilities) ATC officials would have been unaware that Flight 77 had made a 180 degree turn near the Ohio state border, and was heading straight back for Washington.
(NOTE: according to Newsday, (Sept 23rd) this occurred at 8:55,
calculations based on the above radar map, take-off time, crash time, etc. suggests it was likely about five minutes after that. See note 7).
At any rate, according to the above source,
"9:06, Washington notifies all air traffic facilities nationwide of the suspected hijacking of Flight 11."
This was as clear an expression of a national emergency as these officials had ever known; and yet, although "military officials in a command center on the east side of the [Pentagon] were urgently talking to law enforcement officials about what to do," (N.Y. Times, Sept. 15, ibid) air traffic control continued to watch Flight 77 on the radar screen without any fighters scrambled to intercept it.
Then, at 9:25, the F.A.A. (the Federal Aviation Authority, oversight body of all ATC centers) notifies NORAD (military air-radar defense) that Flight 77 may have been hijacked. CNN, Sept 16, ibid (9)
Forty-plus minutes after two other planes had been hijack-confirmed: (Flight 11 at 8:38, Flight 175 at 8:43, CNN Sept 16, ibid.)
Approximately forty minutes after Flight 77 had begun to go dramatically off-course, (radar map, USA Today, ibid)
Almost forty minutes after ATC officials would have known that Flight 11 had struck the World Trade Center; (CNN, ibid)
Thirty-five minutes after ATC officials "would have known that... American 77 had probably been hijacked" (NY Times, ibid)
About twenty-five minutes after Flight 77 had ceased its transponder signal, and made a 180 degree turn over West Virginia, (when it was now just thirteen minutes from the Pentagon,Newsday, ibid);
Over twenty minutes after a second plane had struck the World Trade Centre, (9:02, CNN, Sept 16, ibid)
Nineteen minutes after every other air traffic facility in the country knew that Flight 77 was likely hijacked,(Newsday, ibid) the FAA notifies NORAD that Flight 77 may have been hijacked?
May have been hijacked?!?
This is an unbelievable lapse of the most elementary, routine procedures of ATC and the FAA, (as we shall now see); yet this appears to be exactly what happened, for it’s only at,
9:27 a.m.: (approximate time) NORAD orders jets scrambled from Langley Air Force Base in Virginia to intercept United Airlines flight 77. (CNN, Sept 16, ibid )
Now, let’s be absolutely clear about this.
It is the sworn duty of the FAA to follow certain
safety procedures; such as,
"Consider that an aircraft emergency exists ... when: ...There is unexpected loss of radar contact and radio communications with any ...aircraft." --FAA Order 7110.65M 10-2-5
"If ... you are in doubt that a situation constitutes an emergency or potential emergency, handle it as though it were an emergency."
--FAA Order 7110.65M 10-1-1-c (ibid)
The reason for this is simple: in busy airspace, an airliner without radio and transponder contact is a collision waiting to happen.
When an airliner goes off course, it is equally, (if not more) dangerous.
Every commercial jet is required to follow IFR, or Instrument Flight Rules. IFR requires pilots to file a flight plan with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) before takeoff.]
(FAA Order 7400.2E 14-1-2) (ibid)
"Pilots are supposed to hit each fix with pinpoint accuracy. If a plane deviates by 15 degrees, or two miles from that course, the flight controllers will hit the panic button. They’ll call the plane, saying "American 11, you’re deviating from course." It’s considered a real emergency, like a police car screeching down a highway at 100 miles an hour. When golfer Payne Stewart’s incapacitated Learjet missed a turn at a fix, heading north instead of west to Texas, F-16 interceptors were quickly dispatched." (MSNBC, Sept 12)
To give an idea of acceptable, routine response times:
"... from the
official National Transportation Safety Board crash report:
9:19 a.m. [of Payne Stewart's plane]:
The flight departs. 9:24: The Learjet's pilot responds to an instruction from air traffic control. 9:33:
The controller radios another instruction. No response from the pilot.
For 4 ½ minutes the controller tries to establish contact. 9:38:
Having failed, the controller calls in the military.
The standing rule of NORAD officals, (at the central U.S. radar facility, Cheyenne Mountain) is to give unknown airplanes which are approaching U.S. airspace, (off any of the coasts of North America) two minutes to make a satisfactory identification.
After two minutes, fighter-intercepts are ordered to scramble, without exception.
On the other side of the world, the head of the (rather antiquated) Russian Air Force, Anatoli Kornukov, has this to say, (of the Sept 11 attacks)
"such a scenario is impossible. "We had such facts [i.e., events or incidents in Russia] too.... as soon as something like that happens here, I am reported about that right away and in a minute we are all up."http://emperors-clothes.com/news/airf.htm)
Let’s also be absolutely clear about what is meant by "interception."
"[Marine Corps Major Mike] Snyder, the NORAD spokesman, said its fighters routinely intercept aircraft.
"When planes are intercepted, they typically are handled with a graduated response. The approaching fighter may rock its wingtips to attract the pilot's attention, or make a pass in front of the aircraft. Eventually, it can fire tracer rounds in the airplane's path, or, under certain circumstances, down it with a missile."
--'Boston Globe,' 15 September 2001
"Signals initiated by intercepting aircraft and responses by intercepted aircraft."
"...Rocking wings from a position slightly above and ahead of, and normally to the left of, the intercepted aircraft..."
This conveys the message, "You have been intercepted." The commercial jet should respond by rocking its wings, indicating it will comply.
The escort then makes a "slow level turn, normally to the left, on to the desired heading [direction]."
The commercial jet is supposed to respond by following the escort.
(FAA 'AIM' 5-6-4) (ibid)
So, it is a matter of routine procedure for fighter-jets to "intercept" commercial airliners, in order to regain contact with the pilot.
"Intercept" and "shoot-down" are two entirely different commands.
The question of whether an airliner may have to be shot down, (and who might give the order) is completely irrelevant to the fact that fighter-intercepts should have been ordered into the air, at the first sign of the emergency.
Let's now review the course of events in the light of the above regulations:
Flight 77 was wildly off-course at about 8:46.
The standard procedure, in this case, would be to request a fighter-intercept within a few minutes.
According to our above radar map,
Flight 77 went about fifteen miles off-course, and was off-course for approximately ten minutes.
This would normally have compelled ATC/FAA to at least notify NORAD and/or an appropriate Air National Guard (ANG) base.
The fact that Flight 77 went so far off-course after Flights 11 and 175 had been hijack-confirmed, should have doubly motivated ATC/FAA officials to inform NORAD.
Then, when the ATC officials (watching Flight 77) were informed, (likely by 8:48) that Flight 11 had struck the World trade Center, (8:46) surely NORAD should have been informed that this other plane had been, (or was) off-course/in trouble.
Still nothing was done when transponder contact with Flight 77 was lost, even after Flight 175 had hit the World Trade Center at 9:02.
Flight 77 was visible on various radar screens, heading back towards Washington -for another 23 minutes, before the FAA informed NORAD that the plane may have been hijacked.
Shocking, unbelievable: is it not?
What were these officials doing?
According to the above-mentioned Newsday article,
"After losing [i.e.
transponder] track of Flight 77 for about 10 minutes, the
FAA rediscovered the plane heading east over West Virginia,
then took about 19 more minutes to alert the military."
The most sophisticated air-traffic communications system in the world: regional radar systems, national satellite radar, command centers in the Pentagon: essentially, not responding.
Flight 77 continued to fly towards Washington, unopposed.
When the FAA finally informs NORAD, the plane is little more than thirty miles outside the Capital. (10)
According to CBS News, (transportation correspondent Bob Orr)
"the plane flew several miles south of the restricted airspace around the White House. At 9:33, [it] crossed the Capital Beltway... flying at more than 400mph, [which] was too fast and high when it neared the Pentagon at 9:35. The hijacker pilots were then forced to execute a difficult high-speed descending turn."
"Radar shows Flight 77 did a downward spiral, turning almost a complete circle and dropping the last 7,000 feet in two-and-a-half minutes."
"The steep turn was so smooth, the sources say, it’s clear there was no fight for control going on. And the complex maneuver suggests the hijacker had better flying skills than many investigators first believed."
"The jetliner disappeared from radar at 9:37 and less than a minute later it clipped the tops of street lights and ploughed into the Pentagon at 480mph." (10)
The N.Y. Times, (Sept. 15) adds,
"the fighter planes that scrambled into protective orbits around Washington did not arrive until 15 minutes after Flight 77 hit the Pentagon."
So the question remains:
why weren’t intercept aircraft scrambled in time to intercept Flight 77?
Why did it take the FAA thirty-five minutes after the first hijacked plane struck the World Trade Center –to inform NORAD? –when Flight 77 was already clearly in trouble, (likely hijacked) and another plane (175) had also been hijack-confirmed?
Is this not an incredibly lax response?
But there’s more.
When officials at NORAD issued the order to scramble jets, (at 9:27) they chose Langley Air Force Base, which is one-hundred and thirty miles outside of Washington, (where Flight 77 was at the time). (CNN, Sept 16, ibid)
Given the time to scramble, (seven minutes) and the fourteen minutes it takes the planes to fly to Washington, ("at 720 knots, breaking the sound barrier," CNN, ibid) the planes could not possibly have gotten there in time to prevent a direct attack on the Pentagon, the White House, or any of the major buildings in the Capital.
And yet, Andrews Air Force base is located right on the outskirts of Washington, (ten miles away) and is home to two 'combat-ready' squadrons:
121st Fighter Squadron (FS-121) of the 113th Fighter Wing
(FW-113), equipped with F-16 fighters;
the 321st Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA-321) of the 49th Marine Air Group, Detachment A (MAG-49 Det-A), equipped F/A-18 fighters. (10)
The mission of 121 Fighter-Wing reads, in part,
"provide capable and ready response forces for the District of Columbia in the event of a natural disaster or civil emergency." (10)
F-16 Fighters from Andrews Air
Force Base were actually put into the air over Washington on
Sept 11th, but only after the attack on the Pentagon was
completed, (after planes from Langley were on their way).
" Within minutes of the attack ... F-16s from Andrews Air Force Base were in the air over Washington DC."
--'Sunday Telegraph,' (London), 14 September 2001
" an audible gasp went up from the rear of the audience as a large black plume of smoke arose from the Pentagon... Overhead, fighter jets scrambled from Andrews Air Force Base and other installations and cross-crossed the skies…
--'Denver Post,' 11 September 2001
"It was after the attack on the Pentagon that the Air Force then decided to scramble F-16s out of the DC National Guard Andrews Air Force Base to fly cover, a--a protective cover over Washington, DC."
--NBC Nightly News, (6:30 PM ET) 11 September 11 2001
"Air defense around Washington is provided mainly by fighter planes from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland near the District of Columbia border. The D.C. Air National Guard is also based there and equipped with F-16 fighter planes, a National Guard spokesman said. ‘But the fighters took to the skies over Washington only after the devastating attack on the Pentagon’..."
--'San Diego Union-Tribune' 12 September 2001. (ibid)
Is this not astounding?
A few days later, however, another version began to appear in the mainstream press:
"Andrews Air Force Base, home to Air Force One, is only 15 miles [sic!] away from the Pentagon, but it had no fighters assigned to it. Defense officials won't say whether that has changed."
"The District of Columbia National Guard maintained fighter planes at Andrews Air Force Base, only about 15 miles [sic!] from the Pentagon, but those planes were not on alert and not deployed." (USA Today, Sept 17, ibid))
Also curious, what appears to be the reputable, well-documented website of the American Federation of Scientists lists the top speed of the F-16 fighters as 1500mph; which means that, according to NORAD and CNN, the fighters from Langley flew at well below their top speed.
The Pentagon also has surface-to-air missiles surrounding it. Why weren’t they used?
Neither was the Pentagon evacuated, until the plane had struck its target, (CNN, Sept 16, ibid).
Does all this not sound as if nobody was minding the store in regards to Flight 77?
Would the terrorists on Flight 77 have been able to get to Washington, (and the Pentagon) if the air defense had functioned properly?
Do we not deserve some answers?
Clearly, without gross incompetence on the part of ATC, FAA, and/or NORAD officials, Flight 77 would have not got near Washington -without being "intercepted."
Whether or not a pilot would have been authorized to shoot down the airliner is absolutely irrelevant to the fact that no planes were in the air in time –as routine procedure clearly demanded.
Now, at this point, we don’t know exactly where the breakdown in communication occurred.
By the above information, it would appear that ATC and the FAA were more at fault than NORAD, (though not appreciably); and yet, these communication timelines come to us largely from NORAD.
We don’t know, for example, whether or not ATC and the FAA notified NORAD early on, and whether NORAD simply lied about it -and that the military end was largely or solely responsible for the breakdown in communication.
What we do know, however, is that by official NORAD statements, there was at least a thirty-five minute delay between the time when planes should have been ordered to scramble, and when they actually were.
If routine procedures had been followed, Flight 77 would not have made it to Washington.
The fourth hijacked plane, meanwhile, "was being tracked by the Pentagon," (according to Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz) "and could have been shot down." (NY Times, Sept 15, ibid)
That plane, (Flight 93) crashed into rural Pennsylvania at about 10:10.
Wolfowitz says that "any military intervention would have ultimately been the decision of President George W. Bush." (ibid)
If this is true, and George Bush didn’t immediately excuse himself from the classroom, (at 9:00 am, or 9:05 at the latest) -to assume his role as commander in chief- then we must include his actions in with the above list of organizations: guilty of criminal incompetence.
The fact that his negligence would have made no difference, (i.e. no planes in the air, even if the President was on duty) matters not.
Moral authority begins with admitting one’s own mistakes: only then can one be forgiven them.
Air Force One
Not only did President Bush do nothing for thirty minutes, (during an absolutely critical period of time): but further, when he did try to leave for Washington aboard Airforce One, (as many readers may still recall) his plane was re-routed to Louisiana, then Nebraska, and he didn’t return to Washington until 7pm –ten hours after the first attack!!
According to White House spokespersons, this was because,
"There was real and credible information that the White House and Air Force One were targets"
Records show this appearing in Reuters, Associated Press, and on CNN, (3:10) the next day. (11)
So, while civilian air defense refused to get planes up in the air in time to intercept Flight 77, secret service agents were telling the President that it was "not safe" for the President to fly back to Washington.
Is this because the secret service knew there were insufficient planes in the air to defend Air Force One? (for, routine procedure would normally ensure that there were).
Also appearing on the 12th and 13th, were columns in the N.Y. Times by William Saffire, wherein "a White House source," (later confirmed by Bush’s Political Strategist, Karl Rove) informed him that the secret service believed,
'Air Force One may be next,' and 'they may have broken the secret codes [showing a knowledge of Presidential procedures].'
Saffire thereby raised the question of a possible "mole" in the CIA, FBI, etc.
Over the next week, reporters were busy looking for answers to this shocking possibility.
The White House initially said nothing more on the subject. Within two weeks it was back-peddling on whether this "threat" had ever even existed.
"I'm not going to comment on any particular threats coming toward the White House. . . it is not an uncommon occurrence for people to threaten the government of the United States, regardless of whether it's President Bush or any of his predecessors. And that's why there are security precautions taken at the White House as a matter of routine."
(Ari Fleischer, White House Press Sec. Wash. Post, Sept 27. (12)
No, it’s not an uncommon occurrence for the U.S. or the president to be threatened. It’s extremely uncommon for such a "threat" to be taken so seriously that a U.S. President is barred from Washington for nine and one-half hours during a national emergency.
"But that's not what this is about," Fleischer continued. "This has nothing to do with anything . . . that may or may not have been directed at President Bush. This is about an attack that took place on our country." (ibid)
Translation: ['this is something we want to pretend never happened.']
The Washington Post placed this vacuous absence of a response on page eight.
Does it not sound as if we deserve some answers about,
who gave that warning?
why was it heeded?
why were the skies over Washington not considered safe for the president’s return, for eight hours?
Does it not sound as if civilian defense was on holiday? –or out to lunch?
How can we be so certain of the attack’s perpetrators -when the officials blaming them don’t want to admit that somebody on our own end screwed up so badly, as to allow an attack to occur?
Is an examination of one’s own mistakes (first) -not the foundation of moral leadership?
To sum up thus far,
we have a president who is informed by about 8:55, (as he leaves his hotel) that a hijacked plane has crashed into the World Trade Center, (about ten minutes before) in a terrorist attack, and that a second plane has been hijacked, (confirmed since 8:43); then he's updated again at 9:00; then again at 9:05, (likely to tell him of the second attack at 9:02) and he does absolutely nothing about it for almost thirty minutes.
We have the third plane, Flight 77, which goes off-course at or around the time that two other planes are hijack-confirmed, (8:43) and yet the FAA does not request NORAD to regain contact with the plane, (by fighter intercept) until 9:25 -even after Flights 11 and 175 had struck the towers at 8:46 and 9:02.
NORAD, in turn, orders jets to scramble from a base which is ten times the distance from Washington than the closest active one is.
That same day, (we’re later told) Air Force One and the White House are "threatened"... from the ‘inside.’ Then these claims are later dismissed and ignored by the White House officials who originally made them –even though this "false report" caused the absence of the President from Washington for nine hours.
Fundamental questions, left unanswered.
The government, (and the mainstream media) do not want to discuss a glaring, criminal negligence which occurred under its watch.
When we look at the other hijacked flights, however, (11, 175, and 93) our concern must deepen considerably; for here, we see the same pattern of neglect and incompetence repeated.
For details, see Unanswered Questions, Part 1B.
Then, when we examine the nature of the FBI investigation, Part 1D, the official explanations, the media coverage, we see the same pattern repeated, yet again: critical questions left unanswered, dubious filler material put in place.
There's no need for wacky conspiracy-theories here, or wild assumptions.
We are talking about a system-wide, repeat pattern of negligence and cover-up, operating at a very high level of government: fully documented, from government and mainstream media sources.
This needs to be addressed.
As our governments and media have proved themselves all too willing to gloss over the uncomfortable questions, I sincerely hope that you will take it upon yourself, dear reader, to become fully informed about what may be the most telling event of our time.
Tell others what you know.
1. CNN, "Breaking News"
Sept 11, 12:40 am. See
2. While I can attest to having found these two quotes on a www.defense-link website, in my haste to gather information and references, I must confess I neglected to record the specific address. The direct link to the NY Times article is no longer available to non-subscribers, (like myself). Serious researchers who are willing to pay for access to the NY Times archive, should have no trouble verifying the quote. In the meantime, I shall endeavor to track the web-page reference down again.
is an excellent article and site for information on
American/NATO foreign policy.
Sept. 16th. This is a very useful article. In comparison to
earlier media reports, it appears to be quite accurate.
Compare it, for example, with this earlier summary from the
Washington Post of Sept
The CNN report also follows the "official" NORAD timeline of events –as per the communications between the FAA, NORAD, and Air Defense. http://www.spacecom.af.mil/norad/presrelNORADTimelines.htm
Whether or not NORAD’s version of when the FAA informed NORAD is true or not is still very much open to question; but at least we have the "official" version to work from.
This is a graphic "flash" map which shows the flight-paths of the four planes on Sept 11, and when they deviated from those paths. It appears to be based on direct radar, taken from a reputable source,http://www.flightexplorer.com Another such graphic map, created on a different web site, appears to be from the same source.
Because the FBI has revealed almost nothing to the public
about the specific timelines, (and the ATC conversations) we
can only estimate on the exact time when Flight 77 went
off-course, for how long, and when it reversed course near
Ohio, (for its assault on Washington).
The plane took off at 8:20, and crashed at 9:38: a 1 hour/eighteen minutes journey, or seventy-eight minutes. This is now universally confirmed in all media reports
At first glance, we would probably look on the map, and see that the distances the plane took to get from Washington to the Ohio border –and back again- are roughly equal. We would thus assume that it took Flight 77 half of the seventy-eight minutes, (39) to reach Ohio, (8:59). This roughly corroborates with the Newsday article of Sept 23rd, (cited above) which says that the plane turned around at 8:55; yet we must also take into account the flight deviation on the path away from Washington, (add ten minutes?); and we also remember that when Flight 77 was nearing Washington, it was flying at over four-hundred miles an hour, (see note 10, below) well over the legal speed limit for airliners, (250 mph? –not sure the exact number).
By the time the plane struck the Pentagon, it was flying at 480mph. We can thus assume that Flight 77 took less time to fly back to Washington than it did to fly towards, (subtract ten minutes?).
By this estimate, we could assume that Flight 77 turned around at the Ohio border at approximately 9:09, and took twenty-six minutes to reach Washington. However, this differs markedly with the Newsday article, by fourteen minutes.
In terms of getting at the truth of the matter, (calculating the amount of time it took civilian air defence to respond, and so on) this is an important fourteen minutes.
In many early reports, the estimated time of events were sometimes wildly inaccurrate; so we may initially be skeptical of the Newsday claim. Yet this report is from the 23rd. of Sept., a full ten days after the tragedy, (when most of the "official" timelines had been established). Furthermore, this article does appear to rely heavily on "official" NORAD, military acounts.
At the same time, this doesn't necessarily make the "official" claim accurate; and our calculations based the radar documentation, (our only other credible source on when Flight 77 turned around) cannot be discounted.
It does not make logical sense to say that Flight 77 went well off-course on the path away from Washington, (for what appears to be at least twenty miles in three different directions =60 miles, which would add about fifteen minutes on, at 250mph) and ended up taking less time to reach the Ohio border, than it did to return, (especially with the documented speed-increase upon its return).
It's possible that Flight 77 slowed down considerably after turning around, before picking up speed. We don't know.
For the moment, we have little recourse but to estimate the time that Flight 77 turned around as being halfway between these two credible, yet differing accounts; that is, (add or subtract seven minutes) at 9:02, just after 9am.
By this account, it took Flight 77 about forty-two minutes to reach its furthest westward point. If we look on the radar map, we can see that it is at the approximate halfway-point on this course, that the plane initially goes off-course; thus, half of 42 minutes, (21) plus take-off time, (8:20) = 8:41 is the approximate time we assume that Flight 77 first went off-course.
Until more-specific data is made available, the above estimates will serve as our timeline.
here may be reasonably aghast at the amount of information
and numbers bandied about, in the interest of verifying a
few event-times; yet in a situation where very little
information is being disclosed, we may sometimes have to
rely on complex, logical discourse, before we can be
confident -as to our ability to "fill in the gaps."
This cannot be helped: goes with the territory; the real, shocking truth is sometimes only arrived at by those willing and able to ride the rollercoaster of painstaking, meticulous research.
8. Village Voice http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0137/ridgeway6.php
9. (CNN, Sept 16, ibid) At the same time, 9:25 the FAA, in consultation with the Pentagon, had banned all takeoffs around the country.
10. CBS News, Transportation Correspondent Bob Orr; an excellent article, based on the real radar reports which showed that Flight 77 did not go near the White House as many officials (and then media) first claimed. http://www.cbsnews.com/now/story/0,1597,310721-412,00.shtml
The Reuters report is available in the archives,
http://wire.ap.org/ although the original one may have been
tampered with, according to Gary North -who offers what he
claims is the original version, here:
NOTE: these last two links have gone dead. Researchers may yet be able to locate the original articles by visiting "freeworldalliance," or by doing a "google" search on "Gary North."
Sept 11th - Unanswered
Questions (Part 1B):
Flights 11, 175,
[Note to Readers: By your intent to read Part 1B, we assume that you have already read Part 1A, (concerning Flight 77); as such, you are to be commended for your willingness to take the time that is necessary to inform yourself, (no small matter). Many are those who have become so burdened with the weight of words, as to give up the search at the first sign of fatigue. This burden is found in the ground of social, economic, and spiritual oppression, where few of us have the time or energy to devote to a serious study of a serious situation. Thus, one of our most powerful means of achieving freedom -the interior light of the mind- is often left to the darkness of easy explanations echoing off a sea of silenced souls. You who choose to persevere shall not long know the light in isolation. Let the wind of change fill your sails, for the faith you feel, in the strength of all.]
Flight 11 took off from Boston’s Logan Airport at 7:59 am.
Approximately twenty minutes into the flight, (8:20) Flight 11 stops transmitting its’ IFF (transponder) beacon. (CNN, Sept 16th, ibid)
The Village Voice of Sept 13th adds,
When the flight was 15 to 20 minutes out, the controller gave the pilot the OK to ascend from 29,000 to 31,000 feet. Nothing happened. The controller repeated his permission to go up. Still nothing. He tried to contact the pilot on the emergency frequency. No answer. Then the controllers noticed the plane's transponders, which tells them the aircraft's altitude, had stopped working, no longer sending a radar pulse."
We should remember here that, although Flight 11 was no longer sending a specific transponder signal, it was still giving off a generalized radar; thus,
"an Air Force facility in Rome, N.Y., tracks planes based solely on the radar reflection off the skin of the aircraft. That alone would allow the Air Force to track the flight." (MSNBC, Sept 12)
The Village Voice article continues,
"At 8:28 the radar showed the jet veer south."
Our graphic radar map,
shows Flight 11 way off course, (thirty miles or more) by the time that it veered south –and that it must have begun to go off-course at around the time that transponder /cockpit contact was first lost.
To review thus far:
at 8:20, Boston ATC loses radio and transponder contact with Flight 11. The plane starts to go dramatically off course, (to the North West) then veers sharply south at 8:28.
The FAA’s Boston Center knew... that Flight 11 had made a dramatic, roughly 100-degree left-hand turn to the south. (MSNBC, ibid)
We can assume that Boston ATC may have had a little difficulty getting an accurate fix of Flight 11’s position for the first few minutes after contact was lost, but that they made, (if necessary) frantic calls to other radar facilities to remedy that, and were quickly able to establish that Flight 11 was well off-course.
Either way, it seemed to be a serious emergency; and so what was standard procedure for a situation like this?
Let’s briefly recall our documentation from Part 1A:
Re: transponder/radio contact
"Consider that an aircraft emergency exists ... when: ...There is unexpected loss of radar contact and radio communications with any ...aircraft."
--FAA Order 7110.65M 10-2-5
Re: flight path
"Pilots are supposed to hit each fix with pinpoint accuracy. If a plane deviates by 15 degrees, or two miles from that course, the flight controllers will hit the panic button.... When golfer Payne Stewart’s incapacitated Learjet missed a turn at a fix, F-16 interceptors were quickly dispatched." (MSNBC, Sept 12, ibid)
And what do the fighter planes typically do?
"[Marine Corps Major Mike] Snyder, the NORAD spokesman, said its fighters routinely intercept aircraft.
"When planes are intercepted... typically handled with a graduated response. The approaching fighter may rock its wingtips to attract the pilot's attention, or make a pass in front... can fire tracer rounds in the airplane's path, or... down it with a missile."
--'Boston Globe,' 15 September 2001 www.tenc.net (ibid)
So what did Boston ATC do, at 8:20, when transponder/cockpit contact with Flight 11 was lost?
It appears they did essentially nothing until 8:38.
Boston ATC notifies NORAD that Flight 11 has been hijacked at 8:38 (CNN, Sept 16, ibid)
eighteen minutes after the transponder signal first went silent!!
Is this not incredible?
Standard FAA procedure, when radar and cockpit contact is lost, (or when the plane goes off-course) is to get a plane up in the air to regain contact with the pilot.
Recalling our record of Payne Stewart's flight, (from Part 1A)
"departs. 9:24... pilot responds to an instruction from air traffic control. 9:33... The controller radios another instruction. No response from the pilot... For 4 ½ minutes the controller tries to establish contact. 9:38.... the controller calls in the military.
Eighteen minutes vs. 4 &1/2.
The official NORAD timeline shows that Boston ATC took four times longer to respond to this emergency, than did the officials monitoring a flight on another day.
Again, since the the FBI has released none of the recorded conversations between ATC officials and the pilots, we don't know to what extent contact still existed -and whether this may have marginally eased their concerns; but the fact is that the plane was way off-course within minutes of the initial difficulty, and it continued to fly northwest towards Canada for eight minutes.
Whether or not partial contact is regained, whether or not those intercepts actually get in the air, (or whether they're called-off) the ATC/FAA should have notified civilian air defence immediately... as if
"an aircraft emergency exists."
It is not necessary for ATC to wait until a hijacking is confirmed, in order to contact NORAD or an ANG base
Whether ATC tried to contact local ANG bases, (Air National Guard) or not, we do not know; whether NORAD was contacted earlier and simply did not respond, is still a possibility; but the critical evidence is in the fact that no jets were ordered to scramble until it came through NORAD, eighteen minutes after the emergency existed.
This obvious negligence is exacerbated by the fact that, once NORAD was (apparently) contacted, it took them another six minutes to contact an air base.
--8:44 a.m.: Otis Air National Guard Base in Mass. orders fighters to scramble. (CNN, Sept 16, ibid)
and this, one minute after
--8:43 a.m.: FAA notifies NORAD that United Airlines flight 175 has been hijacked.
Why would it take six minutes for NORAD to get the hijack-confirmation, choose an appropriate air base, make a phone call -and for that to be translated into an order to scramble?
One, two, three minutes, maybe; but six?
Now we’re up to twenty-four minutes -between the time when officials first lost contact with Flight 11, and when the order to get jets in the air was given.
This is absurd.
Flight 11 was off-course, out of contact for eight minutes, then it turns sharply south at 8:28 (cited above) and NORAD is not notified for another ten minutes?
Who was responsible for that plane?
By 8:28, according to The Christian Science Monitor, (quoted in both the MSNBC and Village Voice articles, cited above,
"The plane turned [south toward New York], and then they heard the transmission with the terrorist in the background....The voice upset [the controller] because he knew right then that he was working a hijack. Several other people heard the voice, and they could tell by the sound of it, intuitively, that this was a bad situation..... the Nashua [New Hampshire] controllers didn't know when the military was contacted, but said it was routine to do so immediately when a hijacking is under way.
‘They’ were not contacted, (according to NORAD) for approximately ten more minutes.
This is criminal negligence, pure and simple; and, as we have documented this same degree of negligence in the case of Flight 77, we can thus see that this was no "fluke," no "isolated accident," no infrequent "bad day at the office."
We don’t yet know where the exact disconnect point is, (ATC? FAA? NORAD?) but we can clearly see a huge gap in credible response time.
By 8:38 Flight 11 was already nearing the outskirts of New York City, eight minutes away from its target.
Now notice what Air Base NORAD chooses to scramble fighters from: Otis Air Force Base, on the eastern-most tip of Massachusetts, (Cape Cod, on the Atlantic coast).
This is about two-hundred miles away from where Flight 11 was.
Wouldn’t it have made sense to order jets to scramble from a closer base?
As it was, it was already too late for Flight 11.
It struck the WTC at 8:46am, (CNN, April 16, ibid). The intercept planes would not be in the air for another six minutes.
--8:52 a.m.: Two F-15 Eagles take off from Otis ANG Base in effort to intercept hijacked plane(s) after first plane has struck the World Trade Center. (CNN, Sept 16, ibid)
It had taken civilain air defense thirty-two minutes to get fighter-intercepts into the air, from the first time of lost transponder/radio contact.
It would take those jets another seventeen minutes to get to New York City.
Why wouldn’t NORAD order other planes from other bases to scramble, as well? –far closer to the hijacked plane(s)?
The significance of this non-order becomes huge, when we consider that it came one minute after NORAD was informed that Flight 175 had been hijacked, (8:43/44). (CNN, Sept 16, ibid)
In the space of five minutes, officials at NORAD were made aware that two planes had been hijacked, and were presently within about fifty miles from one another, (just outside New York).
We are not told how or why ATC/FAA officials knew that Flight 175 was hijacked; but based on the record of Flights 77 and 11, it may be safe for us to assume that there was another glaring delay -between the time when trouble was first observed, and when NORAD was first notified.
Now, NORAD would also be among the first to know that Flight 11 had struck a building, (at 8:46, ibid).
Was this not an extreme emergency?
By this time, Flight 175 was thirty-one minutes into its doomed forty-eight minute flight-path. This would place it approximately half-way between Albany and New York City, (50 miles north of NYC) two-hundred miles from Otis Air Force Base, and heading in the opposite direction, (towards Baltimore).
It would have only made the most elementary sense for NORAD, (or ATC) to order other jets scrambled, from other bases closer to the plane -and in a position to intercept it.
Outside Philadelphia, for example, at Willow Grove Air Reserve Station, is 111 Fighter wing, whose "Mission Statement" is,
"To maintain highly trained, well-equipped, and motivated military forces in order to provide combat-ready A-10 aircraft for wartime requirements. To provide trained personnel to support state and local authorities in time of natural disaster or civil strife at the command of the Governor." 111th FW Home Page
"the 111th Fighter Wing has a state mission to protect the safety and security of the citizens and property of the state of Pennsylvania."
A "battle-ready" squadron of F-16’s were also stationed with the 177 Fighter Wing out of Atlantic City, less than half the distance from New York City, compared to Otis AFB.
Such bases, of course, are not only restricted to defending the air-space within their own state line.
no. 108101. Military Support to Civil
Emergencies or disasters will often transcend jurisdictional boundaries or a state’s capability to respond…. An Interstate Compact constitutes the legal basis for mutual assistance among member jurisdictions.
Now, it is true that escorts are usually scrambled from NORAD bases, such as the Otis Air Force Base near Cape Cod, Massachusetts, or the air base at Langley, Virginia; but this not always the case:
"Normally, NORAD escort aircraft will take the required action. However, for the purpose of these procedures, the term "escort aircraft" applies to any military aircraft assigned to the escort mission. When the military can provide escort aircraft, the NMCC [National Military Command Center, in the Pentagon] will advise the FAA hijack coordinator the identification and location of the squadron tasked to provide escort aircraft. NMCC will then authorize direct coordination between FAA and the designated military unit."
--FAA Order 7610.4J 7-1-2
Thus, when Payne Stewart's Lear jet went off course:
"First, a fighter jet from Tyndall, Fla., was diverted from a routine training flight to check out the Learjet. Two F-16s from another Florida base then picked up the chase, later handing it over to two Air National Guard F-16s from Oklahoma, which handed it over to two F-16s from Fargo, North Dakota."
'ABC News,' 25 October 1999 (www.tenc.net ibid)
We are told by military officials that,
"The pilots flew 'like a scalded ape,' topping 500 mph but were unable to catch up to the airliner.."
If we take this "official" speed, (just under 10 miles/minute) and calculate the distance, (approx. 190 miles) it would have taken the planes from Otis about twenty minutes to reach Flight 175’s last known position; and judging from Flight 175’s last known speed and direction, (precise speed unknown, let's say 300 mph) in twenty minutes the airliner would still be another one hundred miles away.
So we can see that it would take about thirty minutes for the Otis fighters to reach Flight 175.
If, on the other hand, NORAD ordered jets to scramble from outside Philadelphia, (at say, 8:50, and even allowing for the eight minutes it took the Otis fighters to get into the air) those jets could be expected to make visual contact with Flight 175 in approximately thirteen minutes.
If Atlantic City had been chosen, two planes could have scrambled and flown the less than one-hundred miles (to intercept) in less than twenty minutes.
Neither of these bases received an order to scramble.
Again, we see the same pattern as in the case of Flight 77; in both cases: incredible FAA delays in notifying NORAD, and NORAD choosing bases which are far away.
This picture is further complicated by the fact that, according to the Federation of American Scientists,
the top speed of the F-15 is over 1800 mph.
This top speed is rarely achieved, given the weight of weapons and extra fuel; but given the extreme nature of the emergency, would it not be reasonable to assume that the F-15's should have achieved a speed of at least 1,000 or 1,200 mph? about 20 miles/minute?
Apparently, that's not what happened.
According to the NORAD timeline, (CNN, Sept. 16, ibid) the two F-15's left Otis AFB at 8:52. When Flight 175 strikes the World Trade Center at 9:02, (ten minutes later) the
"F-15 fighter jets from Otis ANG Base are still 70 miles away."
If we calculate the distance between OTIS and NYC, (about 190 miles, see note 13) and the time it took the planes to get there, they flew about twelve miles per minute, or 720 mph. -hardly what we'd expect.
In total then, it took civilain air defence, (on Sept. 11, 2001) fifty minutes to get two fighters to the interception point, (NY City) after the initial airline emergency had commenced.
Compare this with the "Payne Stewart" incident,
9:33: The controller radios another instruction. No response from the pilot. For 4 ½ minutes the controller tries to establish contact. 9:38: Having failed, the controller calls in the military... 9:54 - 16 minutes later -- the F-16 reaches the Learjet at 46,000 feet and conducts a visual inspection. Total elapsed time: 21 minutes.
Even given the discrpencies over the "official" flight speed, we should also remember that, if ATC or NORAD had responded to Flight 11 in a reasonable amount of time, numerous other bases in the area could have been called upon to put jets in the air, such as,
The 104 Fighter Wing, (ANG) out of Westfield, Massachusetts, (center/west part of the state)
The 174 Fighter Wing, (ANG) out of Syracuse, New York, (which was directly in Flight 11’s flight-path, until it turned south)
Or the 103, or 118 Fighter Wings, (ANG) twenty miles north of Hartford, Connecticut, (100 miles N/E of NYC).
The "state" mission of 174 Fighter Wing, for example, is as follows:
"protection of life and property, and preserves peace, order and public safety. State missions, which are funded by the state, include disaster relief in times of earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and forest fires; search and rescue; protection of vital public services; and support to civil defense."
As most American citizens know very well, the primary, stated purpose of the Air National Guard is civil defence.
For some reason, even though this was the most extreme of civil emergencies, no other jets were scrambled on Sept 11 -besides those under the direct control of NORAD, (Otis and Langley, as we shall see).
All the other National Guard bases were left un-activated.
Even given the outrageous twenty-four minute delay in responding to Flight 11, (which irrevocably doomed it to its’ fate) jets still should have been scrambled from Westfield, MA., Hartford CT., Philadelphia, or Atlantic City; and they would have then been in the air in time to intercept Flight 175.
As it was, Flight 175 made a sharp turn south, (towards Atlantic City) which would have brought it into closer range with both 111, and 177 Fighter Wings.
--8:50 a.m.: United Airlines flight 175 deviates from its assigned flight path. (CNN, Sept 16, ibid)
IF NORAD had acted decisively –even after the first confirmed attack on the World Trade Centre- there still would have been a chance to avert the second attack, but the needed order to scramble additional jets never came.
--9:02 a.m.: United Airlines flight 175 strikes the World Trade Center's south tower (F-15 fighter jets from Otis ANG Base are still 70 miles away.) (CNN, Sept 16, ibid)
Thus it was unprecedented incompetence and negligence which allowed two hijacked planes to crash into the World trade Center towers -just as had been the case for Flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon, (see Part 1A).
Thousands of American citizens would not have lost their lives if ATC, FAA, NORAD, and/or Pentagon officials had done their jobs, (though again, we don’t yet know exactly whom, and to what degree).
The same pattern of incompetence remains:
For Flight 11, no effective actions were taken to regain visual contact, (via an escort) once cockpit/transponder contact was lost.
A response only occurred twenty-four minutes after the plane had been off course, was obviously hijacked, and then confirmed.
In the case of both Flight 11 and 175, the base chosen to scramble jets from was a great distance away –relative to numerous other bases- and ultimately proved incapable of defending the citizens and property of New York City.
Was Boston ATC in charge of both flights?
Who was responsible for the ensuing decisions made at NORAD?
By the close proximity of attack-times between the two planes, and the outrageously long response-time/ineptitude of ATC/FAA and/or NORAD, two cargoes of innocents were condemned to an infamous fate.
In this, let us be perfectly clear: the source of our outrage is not for vengeance against those who may have unconciously donned the uniform of criminal negligence on Sept 11; for, even when thousands of lives are lost, the heart of a nation can be very large. We may yet choose to understand that, in the midst of a crisis, some people in positions of high authority may have "lost their heads," "missed their cue" -when their skills and training were most needed.
What we cannot countenance, however, is being lied to; and so long as the government utterly refuses to acknowledge the criminal negligence that the available documentation clearly implies, then the possiblity that there are very good and reasonable explanations for the security failure on Sept 11th remains on very thin ground.
The general timeline for the final voyage of Flight 93 is as follows:
United Airlines flight 93 takes off from
International Airport, bound for San Francisco.
--9:16 a.m.: FAA informs NORAD that United
Airlines flight 93 may have
Transponder signal from United flight 93 ceases and
contact is lost.
--10:02 a.m.: After a review of
radar tapes, a radar signal is detected
near Shanksville, Pennsylvania
CNN, Sept 16. ibid http://www.cnn.com/2001/US/09/16/inv.hijack.warning/
By numerous accounts, Flight 93 is believed to have crashed at 10:06 EST, or a few minutes after. (12)
Many of us will remember, during the first few hours after the crash, hearing reports that Flight 93 was shot down by a military plane.
This was flatly denied by the White House and military officials, and the mention of it was soon dropped in the media coverage.
There is much evidence to suggest that Flight 93 was shot down, (which we shall discuss in a subsequent report); but for the moment, this question is largely irrelevant.
If a military plane had shot down the airliner, (after three other planes had devastated three highly populated buildings) few people would have found fault with the military for carrying out the gruesome task.
In fact, it is far more damning of the U.S. Air Force, and civilian defense, that officials are claiming there were not any fighters in the immediate vicinity.
Let’s take a closer look at the timeline.
According to the above CNN report, (based on NORAD’s own statement) the FAA informed NORAD that Flight 93 had been hijacked at 9:16.
The plane crashed at 10:06.
That means it was in the air, hijack-confirmed for almost an hour, (fifty minutes) with no jets intercepting it –after two planes had struck the World Trade Center.
Is this not incredible?
We are told that the FAA informed NORAD that Flight 77, (the third plane) "may have been hijacked" at 9:25; and only then, at 9:27, did NORAD order jets to be scrambled from Langley.
But why, (for God’s sake) did NORAD not order jets to be scrambled from Langley at 9:16, when first informed that Flight 93 had been hijacked?
If they had immediately ordered jets airborne at 9:16, the F-16’s from Langley would have actually made it to Washington before Flight 77 struck the Pentagon, (9:38).
If NORAD had responded as it is mandated to do, the F-16’s from Langley would have caught up to Flight 93 soon after it altered its course near Cleveland.
Nor would fighters from Langley have been the most logical squadrons to call upon.
Andrews Air Force base would have been closer.
Near Toledo, Ohio, less than 100 miles west of Cleveland, is 180 Fighter Wing, and about thirty miles west of Columbus Ohio, is 178 Fighter wing.
Also, recall from the earlier reports, (cited above) that F-16/15 Fighters were scrambled from both, Langley AFB and Andrews AFB, for protection over Washington, D.C.
From those reports, which said the Andrew’s planes were in the air "within minutes" of the Flight 77 crash into the Pentagon, (at 8:38) (Sunday Telegraph) –and the Langley planes which arrived at about 9:49, (CNN. Sept 16, ibid) eleven minutes after the crash- we can reasonably assume there was extra fighter-power over Washington by 9:50.
Furthermore, Flight 93 was widely believed to be headed toward Washington. It had made a 180-degree turn over Cleveland, and was heading in the direction of the capital.
Recall the radar map, previously cited,
"As we walked, a voice over a fire truck loud speaker told everyone to move as far away from the Pentagon as possible due to a second plane coming toward the Pentagon. Evidently, this plane was American Flight #93 that crashed east of Pittsburgh."
Lt. Col. Alan Maitland, Pentagon employee
At 9:30 a.m., six minutes after receiving their orders from the defense sector, code-named Huntress, three F-16's were airborne, according to the Norad timeline. Then the pilots received the most surreal order of the awful morning.
"A person came on the radio," General Haugen said, "and identified themselves as being with the Secret Service and he said, `I want you to protect the White House at all costs.' "
Tuesday October 16 'We Have Some Planes,' Hijacker Told Controller
By MATTHEW L. WALD with KEVIN SACK, The New York Times
When Flight 93 crashed east of Pittsburgh, it was approximately 150 miles away from Washington, (approximately twenty minutes away, by airliner, at 400 mph, or fourteen minutes away, by super-sonic jet).
The FAA had ordered all commercial planes to be grounded at 9:25.
There were very few planes left in the sky. There would have been virtually no other planes on radar that could have threatened Washington, D.C., (even without the extra fighters in the air) –that is, besides the hijacked plane which had reversed course and was barreling towards Washington at a ferocious speed.
If the main priority of those jets was to protect Washington, why were some of them not sent to intercept flight 93? even at 9:50? -well before the crash, some sixteen minutes later?
If there were no fighters in the vicinity of Flight 93 when it crashed, there bloody-well should have been.
Apparently some of these planes were eventually ordered to intercept; but we have not been told when, and how close they were; and again, they appeared to arrive upon the scene about ten minutes after the plane had crashed –in a now familiar pattern.
13)The distance between Otis AFB and New York City is about 188 miles,
[NOTE: According to the following site,
the air mile distance between Boston and New York City is 188 miles. A look on a map located through yahoo.com shows that Otis AFB is on the outer edge of Cape Cod, (on the shores of the Atlantic). Thus, it appears as if Otis is as far, (if not further) from New York City as Boston. I include this rather lengthy explanation here, due to the fact that numerous other sources have repeatedly under-estimated the distance by a wide margin.]
If we subtract the 70 miles from the 188, that leaves about 118 miles that the F-15's travelled in ten minutes. That's about twelve miles per minute, or 720 mph.
14)10:06, Pittsburg Post-Gazette, Sept 13,
10:10, Washington Post, Sept
15)10: 06 NY Times online,
Note: the reference to this NY Times article is from the site of Holocaust denier David Irving. This simply shows that relevant information can sometimes be gained from sources that are otherwise suppliers of consistent dis-information.
Sept 11th -
Unanswered Questions (Part 1C):
Summation of Civilian Air
Defense, Sept 11, 2001
WHO IS TO BLAME?
[Dear reader: We now enter into a serious investigation. Thus far, we have only laid down the groundwork for why an investigation is warranted. You are now entering into a much wider, more-complex landscape of facts, times, dates, possibilities, conclusions. I want to encourage you, in the strongest way possible, to trust your own instincts. When you feel that you're being asked to cram too much information into your brain, too quickly; please, turn to something else. Put the page down, close the computer screen, or just take a deep breath. By all means, use this work to feed your own expression: write, sing, paint, draw your journey. My highest hope is that, through these words, you may feel empowered to listen more-deeply, to that voice within you, your unique gift to all; and great would be my sadness, if you found in this mad mound of information, an oppressive weight which you did not cast off, at the first opportunity].
In our review of the events of Sept 11th, (thus far) we have found a consistent pattern, whereby, Air Traffic Control, the FAA, and NORAD consistently failed to do their jobs -in anything approaching a reasonable frame of time.
In the case of Flight 11, Boston ATC took eighteen minutes to notify NORAD, after the plane had ceased its transponder signal, after radio contact with the pilot had been lost, and after the plane had begun going dramatically off-course.
When NORAD was notified, it took six minutes for the call for jets to scramble to go through; and the order was sent to a base which was two hundred miles away, when numerous other "battle-ready" fighter squadrons in Philadelphia, Atlantic City, and Hartford were far closer. (The question of whether any of those planes were on "strip alert" or not we shall look at shortly).
This galling, unprecedented delay, coupled with NORAD’s inept judgement, also doomed Flight 175 to its ignoble destruction, sixteen minutes later.
Flight 77 was clearly in trouble before Flight 11 hit the World Trade Center at 8:46. ATC officials watching Flight 77 were aware that Flight 11 had been hijacked before it crashed; yet it took the FAA until 9:25, over thirty-five minutes later, to inform NORAD that Flight 77 may have been hijacked.
NORAD again responded by ordering planes to scramble from a base (Langley) which was 130 miles away from where Flight 77 was, (just outside Washington) when active fighters were stationed at Andrews AFB, just ten to fifteen miles away.
Flight 93 was hijack-confirmed at 9:16, fifty minutes before it crashed in rural Pennsylvania –with not a single fighter being close to intercepting it.
When the President of the United States, George W. Bush, was first informed that a hijacked plane had crashed into the World trade center, (and another plane hijacked) at about 8:55, he made no change in his plans. After being updated at 9:00 am, then 9:05 (presumably about the second attack) he did nothing for another twenty-five minutes, even though he was supposedly the only one authorized to shoot the planes down.
When the president tried to leave Florida for Washington, his plane, (Air Force One) was re-routed to Louisiana, and then Nebraska, before he limped home –nine hours after the attacks- because of "credible evidence of a threat to Air Force One and the White House" which were later denied and dismissed by the very officials who first mouthed them.
It is now exceedingly clear that, alongside a terrorist attack on Sept 11th, there existed a campaign of gross negligence at practically all levels of American air defense: ATC, FAA, NORAD, and the Executive.
Without this colossal incompetence, the collisions of Flights 11, 175, and 77 -into those buildings- simply could not have occurred.
Within this above group we must also include the Pentagon and the Dept. of Defense, which is at the center of all command and control decisions in the case of hijackings, (and other national emergencies).
"The escort service [fighter intercept] will be requested by the FAA hijack coordinator by direct contact with the National Military Command Center (NMCC)." --FAA Order 7610.4J 7-1-2
"In the event of a hijacking, the NMCC will be notified by the most expeditious means by the FAA. The NMCC will, with the exception of immediate responses...forward requests for DOD [Department of Defense] assistance to the Secretary of Defense for approval." --CJCSI 3610.01A, 1 June 2001.
"Located in the Pentagon, the NMCC can tap into radar stations and thus monitor dangerous emergencies and hijackings. For example, during the Payne Stewart incident: "...officers on the Joint Chiefs were monitoring the Learjet on radar screens inside the Pentagon's National Military Command Center." --'CNN,' 26 October 1999 (www.tenc.net ibid)
This gives specific clarification to a previous reference in Part 1A, (New York Times, Sept 15)
"military officials in a command center on the east side of the [Pentagon] were urgently talking to law enforcement officials about what to do,"
All of this is now a confirmation of what everyone (with access to a television) instinctively knew on Sept 11:
something went horribly wrong with American airspace security;
somebody was asleep at the switch.
Now we can see, that it was not just one official, in one department; it was system-wide; and we can further see why the government, and the military, do not want us to ask too many questions about it.
This gross, systematic incompetence points to one of three probable causes:
1) criminal negligence, which miraculously occurred at all five levels of civilian air defense at the same time, (with varying degrees of culpability)
2) criminal negligence, emanating primarily from the highest levels of governmental authority,
3) intentional sabotage, (treason) operating from within the government, (which then may have caused other negligent acts to occur).
The first scenario is not very likely.
It would mean that a long process of decay, apathy, and inefficiency would have set in: a ticking time-bomb, in place, imperceivable, waiting for a terrorist group to eventually take advantage.
While such a degradation of the overall system may have played a part in the Sept 11th breakdown, it seems far more likely that a particular ingrediant set it off: either unintended criminal negligence at a very high level, or intentional negligence, (sabotage) at a middle to high level.
It's also possible that very little negligence existed at the lower levels of the FAA and ATC; and instead, occurred in the upper echelons of the military.
For example: NORAD and the Pentagon are the last leg of communication in civilian air-defence; negligence at this level, means that the planes don't get airborne, no matter what ATC and the FAA do.
While it's also true that the planes don't get airborne if the military is not informed, it's less-likely that such negligence would occur across numerous branches of Air Traffic Control centers, and the FAA, all at the same time. The fact that the President was also utterly incapacitated, points to command and control centers in the military.
We should further remember that much of what we know of as evidence in mainstream publications -timelines, who did what, etc- ultimately comes to us from the military.
In matters of "national-security," the FAA and ATC bow to the military authority -for the final word on what "officially" transpired.
See, for example, the previously cited Newsday article, (Sept 23) wherein we read,
"FAA spokesman William Shumann said the agency would not comment on its actions during the Sept. 11 crisis."
"because the attacks are under investigation, the agency is not discussing the timing of its alerts to the military."
By the "official" documentation gathered thus far, it appears that the FAA and ATC is more at fault -for not informing NORAD in time- than is NORAD, (for not ordering the appropriate bases to respond); yet this documentation comes to us largely from NORAD; and we would not expect to publicly hear from ATC or FAA officials, if their experience differed markedly from the "official" line.
It's possible that the ATC and FAA officials did everything by the book on Sept 11 -and that NORAD simply refused to act, or the Pentagon ordered bases not to respond, (for whatever reason).
The fact that no FAA/ATC officials have been publicly charged with negligence, would suggest that the military, (which holds ultimate authority here) is either covering up for them, (taking heat onto itself) or is not charging anyone to cover up its own culpability.
Anyone familiar with the U.S. military knows that the first option, (the act of a senior authority passing up an opportunity to pin the blame for a disaster on a guilty subordinate) is the far less likely of the two.
If the negligence was intentional, (i.e. sabotage) then it still would have had to occur at a fairly high level -for it to have a critical, causitive affect across so many jurisdictions and levels of authority: ATC, FAA, NORAD, the Pentagon, and the President.
The infrastructure of civilian air defence is very complex: it may take some time before we are able to pinpoint precisely who was responsible for what, and to what degree of concious intent.
Intentional or not, such gross negligence and incompetence demands a full public hearing –and for those responsible to be brought to trial.
The only way for this to happen is for individual citizens and groups to spread the word, gather together evidence, separate fact from conjecture, cease accepting government pronouncements as gospel, then make our voices heard across the entire body-politic.
The fact that the whole affair has been overlooked by the Bush Administration, Congress, (and the mainstream media, as we shall see) does not bode well for the search for justice -for the thousands of innocents who needlessly died.
Such is the challenge which befalls the sacred duty of citizens -living in a free society.
Now: while we still do not have a conclusive idea of where the criminal negligence of Sept 11th emanated from, we may be able to shed some further light on the subject, by expanding the scope of our investigation.
That is: if the negligence of Sept. 11th emanted from a high level in the military, (and/or executive) then we should also see it reflected in other jurisdictions which are lower than the military authority, but higher than the FAA/ATC.
If it is not, this would make it more plausible for us to assume that the negligence came from the lower ranks.
It is in this regard the the "official" FBI investigation now represents a potentially fertile ground for gathering evidence -as to exactly where the breakdown (and/or collusion) of authority occurred.
It is to this that we now turn our attention.
Sept 11th – Unanswered
Questions (Part 1D):
and other agencies.
First recall that the CIA/FBI claim they had no real warning of the Sept 11th attacks.
This claim is dubious in the extreme.
The CIA has an "official" budget of $30 billion/yr.
While the CIA/FBI claim no advance warning, it took them only a few days to discover the identities of all sixteen hijackers, their backgrounds, where they traveled, trained to fly, etc.
Within the first week after the attack, German intelligence officials are shocked, (and a little angry) to find that U.S. intelligence forces had been monitoring the suspected terrorist cells in Germany for four years, and had massive files of information on them -yet hadn’t told the Germans a thing. (Analyst John Cooley, "Democracy Now" archive, Sept 26, www.webactive.com)
As the question of CIA "advance warning" involves many variables, (and is not as central to our investigation of what happened on the specific day of Sept. 11th) we largely leave that question to a subsequent report.
Here we focus on the investigative work of the FBI.
So, what do we know so far?
Let's start with the "terrorists."
The FBI says that a number of the terrorist/pilots were trained at certain small-engine flight schools in Florida.
The instructors at those schools freely admit that such training would have been of no significant help to someone wanting to fly commercial airliners. They are "completely different systems." (www.tenc.net Interview with Huffman Aviation).
Remember that the hijacker-pilots were near-universally recognized to have "extraordinary skill," (Washington Post, Sept. 12). It would seem to take significant amount of discipline and training to be able to fly a jet airliner, travelling at 480 miles an hour, (apparently, twice the legal speed) into a target not much wider than an airplane. (Not to mention the above-noted acrobatics over the Pentagon, Part 1A).
Here’s how the various instructors described these "pilots,"
Mohammed Atta, and Marwanal-Al-Shehhi, (Flight 11)
"neither man was able to pass a Stage I rating test to track and intercept."
The Washington Post (September 19, 2001)
Nawaq Alhazmi, Khaid Al-Midhar, (Flight 175)
"Their English was horrible, and their mechanical skills were even worse... like they had hardly even ever driven a car ... in the plane, they were dumb and dumber."
The Washington Post (September 24, 2001)
And how about Hani Hanjour? -the alleged pilot of Flight 77 who was supposed to do the Pentagon air-show?
"... Hanjour went into the air in a Cessna 172 with instructors.... three times... [hoping] to rent a plane from the airport.... after three times in the air, they still felt he was unable to fly solo.... [he] had 600 hours listed in his log book... and instructors were surprised he was not able to fly better with the amount of experience." (pg. 1.) The Prince George's Journal (Maryland), September 18.
Second, while even the most seasoned military strategists were shocked at the sophistication and precision of the Sept 11th operation, the clumsiness of the terrorists -in leaving evidence behind, in hotel rooms, suitcases, and loud public behavior, etc.- was impressive in turn.
There’s the crop dusting manuals, maps, diagrams -that we’ve all heard about.
"In one case, we’re told that two of these super devout Moslems spent the night before their suicidal act drinking in strip bars -a double blasphemy." (whatreallyhappened.com)
"Three men spewed anti-American sentiments in a bar and talked of impending bloodshed the night before the terrorist attacks."
"the men in [the] bar spent $200 to $300 apiece on lap dances and drinks, paying with credit cards.... They were talking about what a bad place America is. They said 'Wait 'til tomorrow. America is going to see bloodshed,'" the owner of the strip bar was quoted as saying."
"Furthermore, [the bar owner] said that he gave the FBI their credit card receipts, photocopied driver's licenses, a business card left by one of the suspects and most amazingly, a copy of a Koran that one of the men had left at the bar."
Associated Press, September 13
Early in the morning of Sept 11th, there was reported to be a "road rage" incident at Boston’s Logan Airport -involving four Arabic-looking people. A witness to this later led police to the vehicle, in the airport parking lot.
They found there: Arabic flight training manuals, and a Koran packed away in a suitcase, (something not done by devout Moslems).
(investigator John Judge, www.astridmm.com/radio/archive.htm)
Then we find out that the FBI doesn’t really have a firm handle on who most of the hijackers were. Of the sixteen originally identified, two are now known to be still alive, (and living in the middle east); at least one has been dead for two years, and the possibility of forged documents has not been ruled out in all but a few cases.
This may partly explain why, when we check the list of passengers on the planes which went down,
we find that the passenger-count for each plane is short four or five of the listed total; and none of the names listed are Arabic-sounding. We may assume from this that because the identities used by the hijackers may not have been their real ones, the FBI may have asked the airlines to keep those names secret; but it remains a mystery.
Yet the pictures of these various "hijackers" are plastered across every major newspaper in the country -as if it’s a fact- for a month after most of their identities are proven to be uncertain.
There were apparently seven phone calls made from the various hijacked planes; not one of them mentions the hijackers being of middle-eastern origin. This may be particularly significant because one of the callers was Barbara Olsen, the wife of the U.S. Solicitor General, (who argued before the Supreme Court in Bush vs. Gore). She was, herself, a noted author, journalist. Are we to believe she simply neglected to mention an important identifying characteristic?
Then we find that five of the suspects appeared to have lived at and/or "got some training at American military bases." (Newsweek, Sept 15) Does this mean that the terrorists had inside help? Or that the identities had been stolen?
We are not likely to hear.
There's the "chilling" final letter of instruction to the terrorists which conveniently connects the three different flights: one in the baggage that "accidentally" got left behind, one in an airport parking-lot garbage-can; and one, intact, at the Pennsylvania crash site where "everything [was] all but obliterated."
A veteran Middle East reporter, Robert Fisk, described the authors of the letter as being "surprisingly unfamiliar with their religion" -due to numerous expressions in the letter, foreign to practicing Moslems, (The Independent, Sept 29, 2001)
"The document begins with the words, 'In the name of God, the most merciful, the most compassionate... In the name of God, of myself, and of my family.... The time of fun and waste is gone.'
"The problem is that no Molsem -however ill-taught- would include his family in such a prayer. Indeed, he would mention the Prophet Mohamed immediately after he mentioned God in the first line. Lebanese and Palestinian suicide bombers have never been known to refer to 'the time of fun and waste' -because a true Muslim would not have 'wasted' his time and would regard pleasure as a reward of the after-life."
"The full Arabic text has not been released by the FBI. The translation, as it stands, suggest an almost Christian view of what the hijackers might have felt -asking to be forgiven for sins, explaing the that fear of death is natural, that 'a believer is always plagued with problems.'"
Yet the effect of this "chilling" disclosure, (mouthed by Attorney General John Ashcroft on national TV) is instrumental in helping to pull the strings of assumed guilt closed around the "terrorists" -in the minds of many.
Then we have the question of the so-called "black boxes": the flight data recorder, and the cockpit voice recorder, designed to withstand a crash of great intensity. Each plane had both, an FDR and CVR.
Only the boxes from the crash in Pennsylvania have been recovered: one unusable, the other blank. All of these occurrences are exceptionally rare.
Yet while none of the eight flight recorders have been found intact, it seems investigators were fortunate enough to find one of the terrorists’ passports in good shape, a few blocks away from where the World Trade Center had been.
Apparently, the passport must have fallen into the air just as the crash occurred, survived the almost 1,000 degree heat of the fire, then come across a strong wind to blow it several blocks away -according to New York Police Commissione Bernard Kerik, and Deputy Chief Barry Mawn.
Can you believe this?
The shoddy, convenient, and questionable nature of such "evidence" is so brazen, that it must be obvious to any thinking person that investigators, (at least to some degree) put a "case" together, to re-assure the public -when, in fact, they had no clear idea who was actually involved, responsible, how they did it, etc. (and/or didn’t want to admit what it was they knew).
Obviously, there's a lot more involved to an investigation of this nature, than what we have covered here; but,
pilots who can’t fly the planes?
Hijackers whose actual identities seem irrelevant?
Behavior absolutely inconsistent with devout Muslims?
Eight missing black boxes?
How stupid do they think we are?
The fact that most of this information came out within a week of the attacks, and has been soundly forgotten by the mainstream press, suggests that it was designed to quickly close the books on the case, and move on to other, less-contentious matters.
That few cries of protest have arisen amongst the general public is no vindication that we are stupid -or that there is nothing to protest against: it's simply a reflection of the fact that most citizens are so pre-occupied with trying to earn a living, raise a family, and maintain some sense of normalcy in the wake of a traumatic attack, that the thought of powerful forces in government fabricating evidence was too much to bear.
Nor have we all swallowed the story.
Both President Bush, (at the U.N. General Assembly)
and Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, (ABC News, AP, Dec.9)
have been compelled to publicly speak about "outrageous conspiracy theories."
This is of no small significance; for men of power know that the best way to discredit something is to ignore it; they only speak of things which threaten to temporarily take the freshed-buffed sheen off their face when they feel they can no longer afford to ignore them.
For many observers, it was the ridiculous nature of the FBI investigation which told them that their initial doubts about American civil air defense on Sept 11th were justified.
This poor excuse for a case clearly implicates the FBI in the cover-up of the criminal negligence which occurred within the ranks of civilian air defence on Sept 11th.
Whether Attorney-General John Ashcroft himself, (nominal head of the FBI) was directly involved in this cover-up, (or whether he was just "fed" -and then blindly delivered- information convenient to closing the case) remains to be seen.
The N.Y. Police commissioner's participation in the passport charade, (noted above) is an indictaion of how the various local police and investigative forces were likely subordinated to the FBI's authority; and, as in the case of civilian air defense, the network of influence within the police services is a complex one: it may take us some time to discover exactly who did what, when, and by what authority.
The significance of this FBI fabrication, for us, is clear: it strongly affirms the probability that the criminal negligence in civilian air-defence must have occurred at a very high level: higher than the FBI; that is, in the Department of Defense/Pentagon, and/or the Executive Branch.
The Executive has already been implicated in the negligence, by the President's refusal to act during a critical thirty minutes of the attack; and if the military was directly involved in an act of intentional treason, it's possible that that this was done under the direction of the White House.
In terms of immediate, concrete fact, however, the decision or inability of the Air Force to put fighter-intercepts into must have come through the military.
In comparison to the absence of fighter-intercepts, the documented negligence of George W. Bush pales. His inaction would only have been recognized by citizens as serious if the fighter-intercepts had been scrambled, (as they were supposed tohave been); then Bush's refusal to leave the children's classroom, (to authorize the shoot-downs) would have clearly been the deciding factor in why the planes "got through."
The military controls daily operations. In terms of a "spontaneous" event, where unintended criminal negligence prevails, the lead agency would have to be the military. The Executive could only be considered as a possible lead agency if a planned, treasonous negligence had been undertaken.
Other areas relevant to airspace/national security still remain to be explored, (airports, the CIA); yet sufficient evidence now lies before us, that we may be justified in attempting to zero in on elements within the Defense Dept. and the Pentagon -as prime suspects in the negligence and/or treason surrounding 9/11.
For such a secretive, tightly-controlled organization as the military, practically the only source of information we have on it's Sept. 11th behavior is through its' "official" explanations of how the tragedy occurred -as revealed in the mainstream media.
So it is there to which we now turn.
Sept 11th -
Unanswered Questions, (Part 1E):
"Official" Explanation: explained
As we have already determined, the ultimate authority for the "official" explanation for the air defense failure of Sept. 11th is the U.S. military.
In matters of defense, the military holds the power, authority, and critical information. Even where the media "fills in" certain parts on its own, (which don't directly relate to civilian air defense) we find they do tend to correspond quite tightly to the military line; so our examination of the "official" explanation is also about the behavior of the media.
Whether the "official" explanation is true or false, accurate or inaccurate, (and to what degree) this is where the military stands. By examining the "official" explanation in some detail, we come closer to understanding the military's role in the tragedy.
The "official" military explanation may be summarized as follows:
The delayed response in getting planes into the air was primarily the fault of the FAA and/or Air Traffic Control. [FAA Delay] This made it impossible for Air Defense to intercept the hijacked planes in time. A companion to this component is also looked at here: 'we really tried.'
The reason that the bases, (chosen to scramble jets from) were far away from their targets, was because military cutbacks caused a drastic reduction in the number of bases with planes on "standby" "strip alert." [few planes available]
Officials also raise the question of what fighter pilots would have done if they had been able to intercept the Airliners -suggesting that, this "terrible decision" may have caused some delay in responding. [To Shoot or Not to Shoot Down]
Then there are a number of "smaller" factors, (such as transponder technologies, foreign intelligence, "airline watch lists," communications, etc.) all of which are said to have added to the culture of [confusion] which prevailed on the morning of Sept 11th. Themes here include: 'We're all a little to blame,' and 'we could not have foreseen.'
Let's look at each one of these positions, and see if they hold up to serious scrutiny, and/or whether they provide any insight as to what went wrong on Sept. 11th.
Readers may recall that the "official" NORAD timeline of events, contained in the Sept. 16th report from CNN,
was the starting point for our discovery that a shocking abandonment of routine procedure, and delays in responding to the hijackings had occurred on Sept 11th. In this, the FAA and/or Air Traffic Control was shown to be directly responsible for ['leaving the Air Force no opportunity to respond in time'].
Although most readers would not have taken the time to add and subtract the various times in this article -to clarify the exact length of the delays- the official figures are there; and the negligence they reveal is truly staggering.
Our Newsday article of the 23rd does not hold back any such punches in clarifying the details,
"after the terrorists turned off [Flight 77's] transponder, ....about 29 minutes went by before the FAA alerted the military to the new threat from the airliner,
"After losing track of Flight 77 for about 10 minutes, the FAA rediscovered the plane heading east over West Virginia, then took about 19 more minutes to alert the military.
"Another response-time question involves American Airlines Flight 11... air controllers first knew at about 8:20 a.m. that there had been a probable hijacking of that plane. But the FAA didn't notify the military until 20 minutes later"
"Did critical information get from the FAA to the military quickly enough? The record suggests that teenagers on instant-message networks communicate faster than some federal officials did during the crisis." (Newsday, 23rd, ibid)
So an extraordinary negligence on the part of the FAA/ATC is clearly a matter of public record.
The military, we are told, was so handicapped by the delay in being notified, that fighter-intercepts could not be gotten "there" in time.
Thus, we hear the theme
'We Really Tried'
repeated, implied, in numerous forms and guises.
"Fighter jets were only eight minutes away from one of the hijacked airliners when it crashed into......... Two other military jets were 12 minutes away when an airliner hit..."
"Air National Guard fighter jets scrambled in a desperate but vain attempt to intercept two of the hijacked airliners..."
"The pilots flew ''like a scalded ape,'' topping 500 mph but were unable to catch up to the airliner.."
And from our CNN article of the 16th, (cited above) we read,
"The fighters broke the sound barrier and travelled supersonic at 720 knots to Washington, making the approximately 130 miles in 14 minutes."
If we recall our previously cited information from the website of the American Federation of Scientists, however,
we find that the top speeds of the F-16 is 1500 mph., and the F-15 1875 mph.
While the planes could not be expected to reach their top speeds with a full fuel and weapons load, it seems pretty clear that,
the "official" speeds given were well below what those planes were capable of,
the media/military sources described those speeds so as to give a very different impression.
If the F-15's from OTIS AFB, for example, (taking off at 8:52, NORAD/CNN, ibid) had travelled at 1200mph, (20 miles/minute, two thirds their top speed) they would have flown the 190 miles to New York City in 9.5 minutes -in time to intercept Flight 175, before it struck the tower at 9:02.
Given that the pilots (supposedly) 'really tried,' it's rather extraodrinary that:
those supposedly most responsible for forcing those pilots to make "a desperate but vain attempt," (FAA/ATC officials) have not only not been charged with criminal negligence; military officials have not even openly criticised them
Instead, the military has talked about other "factors."
'Few Planes Available'
Speaking before the Senate Confirmation hearings, soon-to-be Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Air Force General Richard Myers said,
"far fewer aircraft have been detailed to watch for attacking planes since the end of the Cold War."
How many fewer, exactly?
It makes sense that there not be as many fighters on alert, as there was during the Cold War; but no more than two? (three?) active bases for the entire eastern seaboard?
Well, that seems to be exactly what top military officials are suggesting.
In the following article,
Maj. Gen. Paul Weaver, director of the Air National Guard, says,
"During the Cold War, the Air National Guard and Air Force kept planes on ''strip alert'' -- ready to fly within minutes -- at more than 100 bases around the country. But with the decline of the Soviet threat, that number was drastically reduced."
"Since 1997, the Air National Guard has kept two fighter planes on strip alert at only seven bases on the East, South and West coasts of the country to guard against threats coming from outside U.S. borders, Weaver said." (ibid)
This view is repeated in our previously mentioned Newsday article of the 23rd,
"the number of air bases where fighter planes are kept on alert has dwindled sharply in recent years... no longer [including] any bases close to two obvious terrorist targets - Washington, D.C., and New York City...."
Only seven bases? For the entire United States?
This is an extraordinary claim.
First of all, although the Soviet threat has been dramatically reduced, it still is a nuclear power, and an unstable one at that.
Second, the armed forces is not one of those institutions which has a hard time finding a justification to maintain funding in the context of a reduced threat. So while a reduction would be reasonable, from one hundred to seven seems absurd.
Third, since we have documented numerous ANG bases as maintaining full "battle-ready" squadrons, (parts 1B, Flights 11 and 175) and since
"continental air defense is the mission of the Air National Guard", (above article)
does it not seem reasonable to assume that a few dozen bases, (distributed somewhat evenly across the United States) would have at least two of their "battle-ready" fighters fuelled up and ready to go? -with two pilots on standby?
Does the above "official" statement mean that the internal protection of American skies was entirely abandoned?
If we recall our earlier reference to the Lear Jet of Golf Pro Payne Stewart,
‘First, a fighter jet from Tyndall, Fla., was diverted from a routine training flight to check out the Learjet. Two F-16s from another Florida base then picked up the chase, later handing it over to two Air National Guard F-16s from Oklahoma, which handed it over to two F-16s from Fargo, North Dakota.’ --'ABC News,' 25 October 1999" (www.tenc.net ibid)
it certainly doesn't seem as if only seven bases had active jet-fighters on that day.
Fourthly, the fact that four separate reports, (on the scene, Sept 11th) stated that Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington scrambled F-16's, (after the Pentagon was hit) -and that these reports were later denied by the military, (through other media reports)- suggests further room for doubt.
Overall, the claim of "too few planes" stands on shaky ground.
Even if the claim was accurate, however, it would still remain largely irrelevant to the central cause of the Sept 11th failure: the extreme delay in airforce response.
If routine procedures had been carried out, the planes from Otis AFB would have been ordered to scramble within a few minutes of lost transponder/radio contact; they would have intercepted Flights 11 and 175 in time; and the Langley planes would have intercepted Flights 77 and 93. In this latter case, planes could have been routinely scrambled from Montana and they would have still reached the target in time.
So the above claim does not lessen or explain the outrageous delays attributed to the FAA, nor does it explain why the military authorities have said nothing critical about that; it merely attempts to share a small piece of the blame.
To Shoot, or Not To Shoot Down
Continuing on with the article....
"Weaver... acknowledged that if the F-15s and F-16s had caught up with the hijacked passenger planes, their mission might have been futile.
''What does he do when he gets there? You're not going to get an American pilot shooting down an American airliner,'' Weaver said. ''We don't have permission to do that.''
"the authorities had a terrifying dilemma.... The F16's were in the air with the capability to shoot the second hijacked plane out of the sky."
Meaning what? That we didn't put planes up in the air because we didn't have the presidential authority to shoot them down?
On Sept 16th, Vice-President Dick Cheney was interviewed on the television program "Meet the Press."
Pleading sympathy for the "horrendous decision" that had to be made, (to "shoot it down") he says,
"It doesn't do any good to put up a combat air patrol if you don't give them instructions to act, if, in fact, they feel it's appropriate."
Although this line was repeated in report after report, this has absolutely nothing to do with why routine, standard procedure was not followed by the FAA/ATC (and others) on Sept 11th.
You and I may expect to experience some hesitation, if we were faced with the decision of authorizing the shoot-down, (just as George W. Bush found a sudden fondness for the third grade); but military personel are trained to follow procedures in emergencies precisely because those procedures put you in the best position to handle unknown contigencies, whenever they come up.
One does not know in advance, -whether the appearance of a fighter-intercept may cause hijackers to turn a plane around, surrender, land, crash, etc. Regardless of the unknowns, you follow routine procedures to the furthest extent possible.
You get the planes in the air.
Truly, the above line of thinking from such top military officials runs contrary to everything the military stands for.
In no way does it help to explain or lessen the FAA delay -nor explain why the FAA is not being openly criticised for having left the Air Force so unable to respond.
It merely deflects attention away.
In our attempts (so far) to find within the "official" explanations something to satisfy our grasp of the facts, the reader may, no doubt, be aware of a growing sense of confusion.
This may be, in part, due to the confused or insubstantial nature of the explanations themselves; yet it's also a reflection of something else.
Confusion, it turns out, is one of the central reasons that the media and the military give as the cause of the civilian air defense failures of Sept 11th.
Within this framework, we see two principle components.
'We're All A Little To Blame'
This is where the blame for the failure of civilian air defense on Sept 11th is spread around to many "factors."
Included in amongst the three components discussed above, (the FAA delay, 'too few planes,' and 'to shoot or not to shoot down,') we read of,
transponder technologies, immigration, "airline watch lists," delays in closing airports, evacuation, "faulty communications," "weaknesses in military preparedness," "intelligence."
In the above article, each one is discussed in some detail, (i.e. a paragraph or two).
Although some of these elements clearly had a role in allowing the initial hijackings to occur, none of them, (as described in the article) would have had any effect on the critical question surrounding Sept. 11th: why routine procedure was not followed in the notification of NORAD by the FAA, such that intercepts were not in the air in time.
The article further informs us,
The nation's sharpest military thinkers simply had
never planned for such a massive and well-coordinated
assault, one defense official told Newsday.
'I don't think any of us envisioned an internal air threat by big aircraft," he said. "I don't know of anybody that ever thought through that. We're probably all at fault in some way for not thinking through the scope of that.'"
If this "defense official... didn't know anybody" who had thought through the possibility of airliners as weapons, maybe he should try to 'get out' more.
He's certainly not qualified to speak for those in strategic operations.
He is, however, not the only one.
'Could Not Have Forseen'
"Air Force Lt. Col. Vic Warzinski... Pentagon spokesman: 'I doubt prior to Tuesday's event, anyone would have expected anything like that here.'" (Newsday, ibid)
"despite provisions for close communication between civilian and military traffic officials, and extensive procedures for security control over air traffic during attacks on the United states, it does not appear anyone had contemplated the kind of emergency that was unfolding..... They didn’t have a procedure for handling such an occurrence." (N.Y. Times, Sept 15)
" '...The coordinated assault on the world's financial and political capitals caught the United States completely off guard -- despite a massive intelligence and law enforcement network devoted to detecting and thwarting such attacks...[This was because efforts were] focused largely on guarding against bomb threats to overseas targets... ' ('The Washington Post,' September 12, 2001).
We can certainly see a great sense of confusion here.
Just how real it is, may be a little more-difficult to determine.
It's clearly untrue that "no one" had envisioned the hijacking of American airliners as suicide weapons.
Best-selling books had been written about it.
Yoseff Bodanksy, who is not exactly a fringe figure, wrote about airport training camps dedicated to hijacking and suicide air bombings in detail in a book published in 1993 called "Target America."
Military strategists are paid, (top-dollar) to discuss and plan for every contingency; and while there are practical limits to this, it certainly would have included terrorist hijackings and suicide attacks.
Another example, (from way back in 1994)
"During the cold war, when security agents used to play war games involving terrorist threats to the White House, the one unsolvable problem was a commercial airliner loaded with explosives working its way into the landing pattern at Washington National Airport, then veering off for a suicide plunge into the White House."
"If reading "old" books is too much work, how about this refresher course: Bush, on his trip to Italy just weeks before 9-11, was aware that there was a threat on his life from precisely such an attack when he was in Genoa. The pictures of the surface-to-air batteries set up to defend Genoa were all over the news media at the time:"
" [excerpt from LA Times] 'WASHINGTON -- U.S. and Italian officials were warned in July that Islamic terrorists might attempt to kill President Bush and other leaders by crashing an airliner into the Genoa summit of industrialized nations, officials said Wednesday'
'Italian officials took the reports seriously enough to prompt extraordinary precautions during the July summit of the Group of 8 nations, including closing the airspace over Genoa and stationing antiaircraft guns at the city's airport.'" [tenc.com, /indict/coast, ibid]
Obviously, the military wouldn't have been as "completely caught off-guard" as the media and the public was.
If the unprecedented nature of the attacks did catch some personel off-guard, this still does not explain the abandonment of routine procedure -for an extremely long period of time- whereby, the FAA and/or NORAD did not get the planes in the air, (in anywhere near the time that they should have).
So the culture of "confusion" we have thus far chronicled seems to be expanding further still.
the Extreme FAA Delay, (as yet unexplained, no
We Really Tried, (after the fact)
Few Planes available, (on shaky ground)
To Shoot or Not Shoot Down, (irrelevant)
‘all share a part of the blame…’
‘could not have foreseen…’
we find the "official" explanation still standing, but on legs faltering; stumbling 'round inconclusive corners: most-relevant questions, remain unanswered.
Confusion reigns. To resolve it, we must continue following its' winding trail to the highest peak: to the successful attack on,
Nowhere is the confusion surrounding the events of Sept. 11th more clearly expressed than in the attack on the Pentagon; for here is the command centre of the world's most powerful military: unable to defend itself from a hijacked airliner.
Newsday quite rightly says,
"To many Americans, it probably seems inconceivable that an unauthorized aircraft could get that close to the nation's military command center [Pentagon]on any day, let alone one when the nation was under attack." (23rd, ibid)
We are told,
"Although the military's air defense command got word from the FAA about 13 minutes before Flight 77's crash that a hijacked airliner was streaking toward Washington, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his top aides remained unaware of any danger up to the moment of impact, officials said. After learning of the World Trade Center attacks, Rumsfeld remained in his office, and Pentagon security officials took no steps to alert or evacuate the building's 20,000 employees. Neither the White House nor Congress were evacuated, either."
Air Force Lt. Col. Vic Warzinski, another Pentagon spokesman, added: "The Pentagon was simply not aware that this aircraft was coming our way."
and this, from CNN, Sept 16,:
"Officials at the Pentagon also said they were never made aware of the threat from hijacked United Airlines flight 93 until after it crashed in Pennsylvania."
In other words:
top Pentagon officials "weren't aware" of Flights 77 and 93.
This makes no sense, with what we already know about the Pentagon.
At the risk of repetition, readers may recall ,
"The escort service [fighter intercept] will be requested by the FAA hijack coordinator by direct contact with the National Military Command Center (NMCC)." --FAA Order 7610.4J 7-1-2
"In the event of a hijacking, the NMCC will be notified by the most expeditious means by the FAA. The NMCC will, with the exception of immediate responses...forward requests for DOD [Department of Defense] assistance to the Secretary of Defense for approval." --CJCSI 3610.01A, 1 June 2001.
"....When the military can provide escort aircraft, the NMCC [National Military Command Center, in the Pentagon] will advise the FAA hijack coordinator the identification and location of the squadron tasked to provide escort aircraft. NMCC will then authorize direct coordination between FAA and the designated military unit."
--FAA Order 7610.4J 7-1-2
"Located in the Pentagon, the NMCC can tap into radar stations and thus monitor dangerous emergencies and hijackings. For example, during the Payne Stewart incident: "...officers on the Joint Chiefs were monitoring the Learjet on radar screens inside the Pentagon's National Military Command Center." --'CNN,' 26 October 1999 (www.tenc.net ibid)
So, it's absolutely clear (to us now) that the Pentagon and the Department of Defense would have been at the very heart of communications during the hijackings.
Two days after the attacks, General Richard Myers, (second-highest U.S. general at the time) verified this during his appearance before the Senate Hearings, (confirming his appointment as Chairman to the Joint Chiefs of Staff).
"At the time of the first impact on the World Trade Center, [8:46] we stood up our crisis action team. That was done immediately.... And we started talking to the federal agencies.
As we shall see, the General’s recollection of events on that day is extremely hazy, so the actual notification may have been ten minutes earlier than that; or, if ATC and the FAA did their jobs properly, another ten minutes before that still. (The first hijacked plane went off-course/broke contact at 8:20).
NORAD claims the FAA informed them that Flight 11 was hijacked at 8:38; by law, the command-center in the Pentagon would have also been informed at that time.
At any rate, the second highest officer in the Pentagon admits that officials were informed by 8:50 about a terrorist attack. This would have surely included information about a second hijacked plane (NORAD-confirmed, at 8:43, also near New York).
In short, they knew that an unprecedented, national emergency was taking place.
General Myers said “I don’t know… [whether it was the FAA that informed the NMCC]” -as law and procedure dictated; but clearly, once the NMCC was informed, then they would have been alerted to every suspect plane, and privy to any relevant radar screen they felt inclined to monitor.
Yet we are told that the Pentagon was
not aware that this plane, [Flight 77] was coming our
“never made aware that Flight 93 was in trouble…”
"the secretary of Defense and his closest aids were “never made aware…”
NORAD and the Pentagon claim the FAA didn’t inform them about Flight 77 being hijacked until 9:25; yet Newsday tells us that,
“at 9:06, Washington notifies all ATC….”
Are we to believe that every Air Traffic Control center in America knew that Flight 77 was hijacked nineteen minutes before NORAD and the Command Centre in the Pentagon did?
General Myers says “we” put the crisis-action team “up”; but he neglects to inform the Senate that he was not even informed of the emergency for another fifty minutes -after “it” was “up”; that is, after the Command Centre was informed of a large-scale assault on America!!
As it further turns out, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Shelton, (the top-ranking general in the armed forces) was on a plane over the Atlantic at the time, en route to Europe.
So the two top-ranking generals in the armed forces were not even informed of the emergency -much less in on the command decisions- for fifty minutes after the command center had been notified.
Is this not incredible?
Did Generals Myers or Shelton express any anger over this negligent behaviour on the part of their subordinates in the Pentagon’s command centre?
“Conflicting reports throughout the morning led to confusion in the command centre.”
So now we have the Secretary of Defense, his closest aides, the top two generals, and many other top Pentagon officials, all claiming they were clueless as to what was going on, due to "conflicting reports."
If we recall, (along with General Myer’s “crisis-action statement) our earlier statement from the New York Times, (Sept 15)
“military officials in a command center in the Pentagon were urgently talking to law enforcement officials about what to do…”
it’s absolutely clear that some officials in the Command Center were well aware of what was going on; and that they either didn’t inform their superiors, or their superiors ignored them.
Either way, (and for whatever reason) planes did not get in the air in time; and the entire Pentagon staff afterwards acted as if they were caught completely unaware. They gave the impression they had no idea; that, in effect, the command centre didn’t even exist; so much so, that even when the Pentagon admits being informed by the FAA that Flight 77 was hijacked, (thirteen minutes before it struck) the Pentagon didn’t even warn their own employees to take defensive measures.
"By the time employees inside the Pentagon realized they were the terrorists' next target, it was already over. The sound of Flight 77 slamming into the building - a deafening crash to those nearby, a dull thump elsewhere in the massive structure - was their first alert.
There had been no warning broadcast inside the building that a plane might be approaching, and no orders given to evacuate, even though the FAA had notified air defense commanders that a hijacked airliner was heading toward Washington 13 minutes before it hit the Pentagon.
Even the clear sign of a terrorist attack on U.S. soil - the second plane slamming into the World Trade Center 35 minutes before one hit the Pentagon - barely elevated the state of readiness inside the nation's military headquarters, leaving many of the building's 20,000 workers still sitting at their desks when the plane struck. Some told Newsday they heard the crash but didn't know the plane had hit the Pentagon until they saw it on TV." (Newsday, ibid)
Even after they admit being informed by the FAA, the Pentagon left it's own employees completely unaware -defenseless.
Some readers may recall officials offering an excuse for this outrageous negligence: saying they believed the White House was the original target, and that the plane turned towards the Pentagon at the last minute..
As we have since learned, the actual radar data shows this claim, (repeated in numerous mainstream reports) to be fraudulent, (see above link).
Even if this claim was true, neither did the Pentagon command warn the White House personel to take defensive measures, (“get away from the windows, y’all!”). Nor does this explain why, if the Pentagon admits to following Flight 77 on radar, (i.e. 'we believed it was headed toward the White House') why the Defense secretary and his staff were not even informed of the crisis until after the crash.
Truly, some parts of the command staff were aware of the situation, while others, (the most senior ones) claim they were not.
"Conflicting reports" are claimed as culprit behind the "confusion"; when the actual reports coming from top Pentagon officials themselves simply could not be more conflicting, casual, and clumsy.
This is not the way that the military is supposed to operate.
"Confusion" or ignorance is, in the military, not an excuse of those fit for command.
“Command” means taking responsibility for disorder, when it occurs; a prevailing condition of confusion means failure at the command level; and honour dictates that responsibility for correction must go to the highest level of command at which the confusion prevails.
Only a command coward would pass off his/her own incompetence on the sincere confusion of subordinates -or refuse to chastise those subordinates who neglect to inform their superiors, while refusing to take decisive action.
This spits in the face of everything the military stands for.
Top commanders who claim "confusion" as the cause for inaction are not doing their job.
such commanders try to hide behind inaction, by suggesting
they "weren't informed,"
when a criminal negligence occurs alongside this -resulting in the death of thousands of civilians, for which those commanders hold no one responsible-
then we have found the source of that negligence.
We thus arrive at the foot of the dark door of Sept 11th, 2001: the black hole of accountability, the zone of the unknown, the conduct collapsed.
By a careful, logical analysis of the available documentation, we have woven our way through the fabrications and duty denied.
We do not yet know the intricate details, the motivations, the movements of those involved; but we have established from where the kernel of dis-connection comes.
Without abandoning our careful, consistent approach, it now becomes possible for us to look into the shocking scope of confusion, and see a sudden clarity beginning to emerge.
Thus, we move from confusion, to
From a command perspective, a condition of confusion is considered a sign of failure; for which, an honourable command takes full responsibility.
Few of us seem to be aware that confusion can also be a weapon, by which a dishonourable command can strike upon its' subordinates -either to gain greater control over them, or cover-up negligent/incompetent behaviour.
Just look at any number of national or international “events,” disasters, emergencies, where certain elements are supposedly in control, yet where “confusion” reigns; here, we see all the lower-level officials, bureaucrats, reporters, frantically running around… trying to maintain some sense of order.
It rarely occurs to them, (or us) just how easy it would be, for top-level commanders to sew a crippling confusion across a vast breadth of jurisdictions -simply by refraining from making their small, but critical, contribution.
Such an elite wouldn’t have to openly interfere with the implementation of standard procedure; they’d merely neglect to fulfill their role, fade into the background, and temporarily become less visible.
In other words: the perpetrators do not appear to be involved.
Citizens, be concious of the command concept!
The conscious creation of confusion does not necessarily mean a completely planned campaign from start to finish; for it may simply be a response to unintended, high-level negligence/confusion, (as damage-control); but either way, the claim of "confusion" is itself the key to understanding the riddle in the middle of the clues.
Such a command wouldn’t, (or couldn't) go too far out of sight; (before its claim to authority begins to be called into question); so soon as the "coast is clear," and/or when "the job" is done, dishonourable command steps back into the picture, provides an explanation for “what went wrong,” and relieves “the people” of the doubt which formerly prevails.
In fact, in the midst of great shock, whole populations have shown themselves to be grateful for the re-imposition of the most brutal escalations of authoritarian control, (in the face of the chaotic alternative).
The history of the twentieth century alone is rich with such examples: from countless coup d'etats; to everyday, an shredding of rights in the name of "national security."
In the case of Sept 11, we are not yet sure, the degree to which this criminal confusion was intentional... (at what point it became conscious).
At the very least, top officials in the Department of Defence instituted a system-wide campaign of claimed ignorance and denial, to cover-up the fact that something went horribly wrong in the
It’s now absolutely clear that top Pentagon officials lied about,
"not being aware [of hijacked-Flight 77… before 9:25"] (when the FAA supposedly informed them).
How do we know this?
Every Air Traffic Control station in America knew the plane was hijacked nineteen minutes before that.
The Pentagon’s “crisis-action team” was “up” at 8:50, (thirty-five minutes before).
They lied about,
not being aware of hijacked Flight 93… for fifty minutes after NORAD admits being informed by the FAA.
Are we to believe that NORAD was not talking to the Command Centre in the Pentagon all that time? -after two, then three terrorist attacks?
We have General Myers on record as talking to NORAD commander Eberhart “about… the actions he was going to take,” just after the Pentagon was struck, (9:40) thirty minutes before Flight 93 crashed.
The obvious question here is: why?
Why deny an awareness of Flights 77? and 93? Why not simply say, ['we were monitoring the situation from the time of the first hijacking, and the FAA failed to inform NORAD in time']?
Well, the truth is, if it became common knowledge that the Command Centre was informed about the situation at 8:50, then it doesn’t matter what the FAA did or didn’t do: the Pentagon would have been obligated to act; which means,
immediately declare a state of emergency, order NORAD to get as many jets in the air as possible, and tell George W. Bush that Sesame Street is temporarily cancelled, (so that he can authorize any shoot-downs).
The fact that this wasn't done, would have compelled even the lamest of media to ask the Pentagon why it didn't act when it knew what was happening. The Pentagon would then have to admit that it was not "in command" during a national emergency.
In the case of Flight 77, the Pentagon had to claim ignorance, to deflect the obvious questions: why did the military not defend itself? why were no defensive measures taken?
The statement denying knowledge of Flight 93, (a clearly ridiculous one, given that the military, NORAD, admits being informed fifty minutes earlier) was simply to reinforce the falsehood about Flight 77.
(Officials here obviously felt confident enough that, (with the attack on the Pentagon as "evidence") no one in the mainstream media would ask the obvious questions about the command-center being "uninformed" of its own radar facilities).
None of the above officials talked about a knowledge of flights 11 and 175, until General Myers was compelled to acknowledge the existence of the NMCC "crisis-action team" before the somewhat secluded chambers of the Senate.
The Pentagon denied only what it had to, and remained silent about everything else, (citing national security, if necessary).
Again, exactly when such top officials went into the damage-control mode of ignorance and denial is still open to question; what is now abundantly clear is that the “official” timeline, (of when NORAD claims the FAA informed them about the various hijackings) has lost practically all its credibility.
It’s quite possible that the FAA/ATC did everything by the book on Sept 11th, and informed the Pentagon/NORAD within minutes of the first signs of trouble -and that, the Pentagon’s descent into incompetence and negligence began long before Flight 77 struck its’ walls.
Far more likely than the FAA informing NORAD that Flight 77 was hijacked at 9:25, (at least thirty-five minutes after it should have) is that the Pentagon concocted that story after the attack, so as to make it seem as if they had little time to respond.
The Pentagon would have known that Flight 77 was a suspected hijack by 8:50, (as per radar data, ATC, The NY Times, etc.); with all the necessary radar screens in front of them, they would have known of the lost transponder contact at 8:55/9:00 am (Newsday); yet they warned no one in Washington; as the plane approached, they left their own employees to the mercy of a ruthless attack.
When the Pentagon got hit, most everyone assumed that it must be true: ‘they were caught off-guard.’
We can now see that this is simply not true; but the appearance of being caught "off-guard," (with all its attendant sympathies) is largely why the Pentagon could get away with concocting the story about being “unaware” of Flight 77, and being “uninformed” about Flight 93:
Is it possible that top military officials could be so conscious of damage-control tactics, (and the manipulation of the public mind) that they intentionally did nothing, (even after they admit being informed about the plane) knowing this would increase the apparent credibility of their story?
It boggles the mind to consider, (if the plane had continued on to another target) how long the Pentagon may have continued to stay curled up in its cocoon of isolation, in order to maintain the virtuous vaccuum of "we were not informed."
Within this nebulae of layered-denial, it may be difficult to extract clear information, as to the identities of those directly involved; yet with this criminal confusion now within our conscious grasp, we can turn to look upon the many mirrors by which we have arrived at our vantage point, with a clarity hitherto unseen.
THE "OFFICIAL" EXPLANATIONS:
'could not have foreseen'
'all a little to bLAME'
'downplay the FAA Delay'
'We Really Lied'
'phew, planes available'
To Shoot or Not to Shoot Down,(that ain't the question)
The White House as Target
The Military-Media Alliance
Could Not have Foreseen
(In a House of Mirrors)
In our earlier examination of 'we could not have foreseen,' we observed such quotes as,
"'I doubt prior to Tuesday's event, anyone would have expected...'"
"it does not appear anyone had contemplated..."
"caught the United States completely off guard..."
These claims have little foundation in fact.
Their intent is clear:
Appeal to an emotion that the public is feeling; compel us to sympathize with those in command... to identify with them, as fellow victims.
The editors at the "Emperor’s Clothes" website put it this way,
"This argument resonates with many Americans because it corresponds to how they experienced 9-11... shocked and unsure what to do.
But most Americans are not part of the air traffic control system,.. or the air defense system.
Most are unaware that these systems have routine procedures developed over many years. These procedures, practiced in drills and used in day-to-day situations, are meant to ensure that air safety and air defense personnel can function when confronted with unexpected events, even though ordinary people are understandably at a loss."
is a call for compassion to cushion the blow;
a solace, seeking
in the strings
of tied-up emotional trauma; we wrap
our arms instinctively 'round
the claimants to an equal burden of pain,
and raise high the silent admonition:
'Do not even think of criticizing us now.'
We're All A Little to bLAME
Diffuse the Clues
We can now clearly see that earlier references to,
transponder technologies, immigration, "airline watch lists," delays in closing airports, evacuation, "faulty communications," "weaknesses in military preparedness," "intelligence."
primarily serve to diffuse attention from the high-point of decision-making authority.
spread the blame around,
that the focus forming in towards the core command,
finds no solid ground;
freedom from doubt
flying in on
the wings of
If we recall our earlier list of three possible explanations for the collapse of civilian air defense, (Part 1C: Who is to Blame?) we can see that the military and media authorities have chosen the least-likely scenario, (simultaneous combustion) as the explanation of choice.
Even the central source of the deception, (The Pentagon) takes a small share of the heat. This is likely the reason why officials there did not even warn their own employees about Flight 77, thirteen minutes after they admit being notified by the FAA
The failure to evacuate/warn is a small one, in comparison to the planes being allowed to get through.
Yet by taking a small share of the blame, the Pentagon manages to re-gain some credibility, albeit in a rather twisted way.
i.e. ['Yes. We were caught off-guard; but relatively-speaking, only a little'].
In spreading the blame around, the DOD would have known they couldn't be too obvious in laying the blame at the door of the FAA: they'd have to admit being informed at some point; so they made it "thirteen minutes"; and afterwards, they laid no charges (nor criticism) in an attempt to,
'Downplay the FAA Delay'
For its part, the Military excuses what, (by official accounts) could only be called extreme criminal negligence on the part of the FAA; no charges are laid; nor does the military even openly criticize them.
FAA officials are merely told that they cannot speak directly to the media about the events, (Newsday, 23rd) and any disciplinary action will take place by internal review.
In this case, it appears the primary role in explaining the FAA "lapses" falls to the mainstream press.
From our oft-cited Newsday article of the 23rd, we read,
When the Boeing 757 reached central West Virginia, it was routinely "handed off" by Leesburg to the next air traffic control center, outside Indianapolis.... Flight 77 continued west... [the plane] began to turn slightly - and abruptly disappeared from the radar screens. Suddenly there was no transponder signal."
Normally, when an aircraft's transponder cuts off, the plane is still visible as what's called a "primary target" or "skinpaint" - a target the radar is picking up but can't identify. The controllers in Indianapolis kept watching for Flight 77 to appear over Kentucky, Ohio or Indiana - but they weren't looking for it to reappear far to the east, over West Virginia where the plane had come from, sources said.
"Back in Leesburg, air traffic controllers knew at about 9:05 a.m. that they had a new eastbound plane on their radar, but they didn't know it was Flight 77. The aircraft had entered their airspace with no radio contact and no transponder identification.
The simple action of turning them off appears to have given the Flight 77 terrorists about 10 minutes of valuable invisibility as they sped toward Washington.
During the confusion, rumors circulated that Flight 77 might have exploded in midair. It wasn't until 9:24 a.m. that the FAA alerted the military that the plane was heading for Washington."
The only thing confused here is the logic of the reporting:
For those of us now familiar with basic FAA regulations, the loss of transponder signal is considered to be an "emergency situation."
After two planes in the region had, (by this time) been hijacked -and one of them flown into the World Trade Center in a terrorist attack- it's real simple: if you lose transponder signal with a plane, it's an emergency, don't delay, assume the worst. Call the FAA, NORAD, 911, mommy, anybody... 'America is under attack.'
The above report tell us that, "controllers in Indianapolis kept watching for Flight 77 to appear over Kentucky, Ohio or Indiana, " (right after telling us: "Normally, when an aircraft's transponder cuts off, the plane is still visible as what's called a "primary target....").
Are they saying that Indianapolis didn't have access to generalized radar? Why did they have to "wait" for it to re-appear? Could they not have gotten out of their chair to look at another screen? (By this account, one can almost imagine seeing officials craning their necks to look "far to the east, over West Virginia").
How about calling someone down the hall? Or Leesburg? Or NORAD? -to say, "We've got an emergency!!"(?) "Flight 77's off the screen!!!"
['Uh, ya know that plane we've been watching? That went way off-course about twenty-minutes ago?... Uh, no... Not the one that just crashed into the World trade Center... no, not the second plane hijacked outside New York... this is another one.... right... oh, you're on your coffee-break... I had no idea... No, I wouldn't think of...'].
Our 'investigative' reporters tell us that the plane was 'lost' for ten minutes, before Leesburg picked the signal up again; and when they did pick it up, "they had a new eastbound plane on their radar, but they didn't know it was Flight 77. The aircraft had entered their airspace with no radio contact and no transponder identification.... [and] during the confusion...."
Now, repeat after me class, (very slowly): no radio contact, no transponder signal = ?
That's right. No confusion here.
The point at which Flight 77 went silent may have been strategically chosen to maximize confusion amongst ATC officials; but this would have bought the terrorists no more than a minute -at the most- before high level security officials would be called in.
Remember: an emergency within a national emergency existed. "If you're in doubt as to whether a situation is an emergency, handle it as if it is one." (FAA Order 7110.65M 10-1-1-c)
And what is the routine response to lost transponder/radar/cockpit contact? You order intercept fighters into the air to re-establish contact.
Warning signals should have been going off all over the place -right to the top.
The article tells us, "The simple action of turning.. off [the transponder] appears to have given the Flight 77 terrorists about 10 minutes of valuable invisibility."
So "valuable," in fact, that the authors appear moved to downplay the nineteen minutes more that it took the FAA to inform NORAD.
The authors repeat this theme in relation to Flight 11,
"One aviation expert said a simple change in the way airliner transponders work could have helped significantly on Sept. 11."
It's a safe explanation, the mantra of the machine: we never have enough technology; look to better systems to solve our problems; don't ask questions about the people in control of them.'
[The only thing "the simple act of" putting such wily words on paper "appears to have given the" above authors is some valuable column space -and the opportunity at self-parody].
Can you see how thin the explanation is?
Yet it's quite effective in diffusing people's attention from the obvious questions.
The short answer is that this information is coming to us from the military, (whom we have been trained to think of as our "protectors" in times of crises) and is being accepted as fact by every major newspaper and television station in the country, (a fuller explanation to follow).
'We Really Lied'
In our earlier section, ('we really tried') we were told that the F-15 jets from Otis Airforce Base "flew like a scalded ape, topping 500mph, and that the F-16's from Langley "broke the sound barrier, and travelled supersonic at 720 knots."
We compared this with the apparent fact that the top speed of the F-16 is 1500 mph., and the F-15 1875 mph.
While the planes would not be expected to reach their top speeds with a standard fuel and weapons payload, it seems clear that the official version shows the planes flying well below their capability, while giving the oppositte impression.
This contradiction may be explained easily enough, given the liklihood that the planes were not even scrambled; that is, that the entire story, was a fabrication.
Consider the following report,
"The new cover story, that "the planes were sent up but they arrived too late" also arrived pretty late: it was first put forth on September 14th on the CBS 6 PM news. Until that time, top officials said that no planes were scrambled to protect Washington, DC until after the Pentagon was hit. Vice President Cheney was giving out the old story as late as September 16th on the NBC TV program, MEET THE PRESS..."
"Dan Rather broadcast this cover story on the CBS 6:00 news, September 14th. This was the first time that anybody said planes were scrambled from Langley AFB on 9-11. We did a little research and found 31 references to Langley in the English-speaking mass media, that is newspapers & TV, worldwide, between September 11th and the CBS News at 6 PM on the 14th."
Not one of these news reports about Langley Air Force Base mentioned Dan Rather's excellent new fact!
"Read the transcript of that CBS news program. You will see that Rather cites no source for his new 'information.' He just says, casually, "CBS News has learned..."
"Four (4) days later, [actually two, see CNN, Sept 16, ibid] also without a word of explanation for this rewriting of history, NORAD incorporated the CBS report in its official timeline. The Langley interceptors had become a Fact."
[NOTE: the above report only specifically refers to the Langley planes, but does, (imo) shed some suggestive light onto the OTIS ones as well].
Also of interest: it seems that in the first few weeks following the Sept 11th tragedy, there was an inordinate amount of media attention paid to praising the military.
Now, in a time of national shock, when a certain patriotic zeal is nearing its height, such praise might not at first seem unusual -that is, for firefighters and police, (who bore the brunt of the rescue attempts).
But for the airforce?
That seems like a bit of a stretch, given the fact that no regular citizen was refering to the Air Force as heroes on Sept 11. If anything, there was a sense of shame: not a vocal protest; more a dissappointment; certainly not praise.
Yet for the first time, (in my memory, at least) there was CNN: carrying live coverage of the Military Ceremonies Confirming General Richard Myers as the new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff -with George W. Bush and Defence Secretary Rumsfeld heaping praise upon praise, amongst others.
It was a long and tedious affair, yet CNN obviously felt it was "newsworthy" enough to take a two-hour dip in the ratings.
Then there's the report I came across, (now where did my "tedious details" folder go?) of Senator Edward Kennedy, presiding over a ceremony at Otis Air Force base, thanking the pilots and ground crew for their 'valiant' attempts to intercept the terrorists.
This appears to be but another arrogant attempt by the military authority to associate the public's grief with its' own.
If some would justify this on the basis of trying to raise the morale of the Air Force, it's a pretty pathetic reflection of the world's most powerful war machine: to be praised in failure, that it doesn't have to look in the bloody mirror.
phew, planes available
In a previous section, ('few planes available') Pentagon spokespersons told us there were "far fewer" bases with planes on standby-alert than there used to be.
How many? exactly?
We discussed the improbablity of this figure, based on the number of bases with "battle-ready" squadrons, the still-existing Soviet threat, the legendary budgetary appetite of the armed forces, the use of other bases in previous emergencies, the cover-up surrounding ANDREWS AFB, and so on.
Well, it turns out that,
"Since Tuesday's events, the Defense Department has raised the number of bases where planes are on strip alert to 26." (ibid)
Now that didn’t take long, did it? (four days).
Thank God for the Air Force! See how quickly they act when they really want to?
We’re safe now.
This sudden capacity for preparedness was also reflected in the words of General Richard Myers, as he spoke before the Senate on Sept. 13th.
In answer to the question,
"are there capabilities or equipment that the armed forces need today to respond to the terrorist attacks that they do not currently have? Or are they able to respond today..."
the General replied,
"I think we are able to respond today.... [there are always improvements] but... we have what we need today to do what we need to do."
So, no new technologies, systems, intelligence needed: "we have what we need," two days after the attacks.
As we have already seen, General Myers himself, (at the Senate hearings) laid the bulk of the blame for the air defense failure on 'two few planes.' Two days later, he says "we have what we need."
Does this mean that we had our 26 bases on strip alert within two days? Or eighteen bases in one day?
It most likely means that the Air Force already had what it needed on Sept 11th, (and that those routine safeguards were not implemented) -as the documentation has been suggesting all along.
As most Americans already know, the protection of American civilian airspace is the specific "mission" of the Air National Guard, (ANG).
We have already discussed this "mission" in some detail -in relation to a few individual squadrons.
Official documents from the National Guard are a little more specific.
File no. 108101. Military Support to Civil Authorities:
…The National Guard
Bureau Operations Center…. Serves as the focal point of all
state emergency reports… ANG mobilization… 24hrs. 7days a
week and maintains close/immediate operational and reporting
connectivity with the ANG Operations Center… at Andrews Air
Whether a crisis or emergency situation is deemed to be of such a serious nature, or has the potential to escalate to such a level that it would require support or continuous monitoring… a Crisis Action Team [will be activated]. The CAT will bring to bear the entire capability of both the Army and Air national Guard.
Emergencies or disasters will often transcend jurisdictional boundaries or a state’s capability to respond…. An Interstate Compact constitutes the legal basis for mutual assistance among member jurisdictions.
When an emergency or disaster occurs and waiting for instructions from a higher authority would preclude an effective response, a National Guard commander may do what is necessary and justified to save life…. Support will not be denied or delayed….
Sounds reasonable, doesn't it?
Does it not sound, (as far the regulations go) that the Air National Guard and civilian air defence have an effective security apparatus in place? -which features a healthy reliance on the ability of local commanders to act, (when needed)?
So does it not also seem reasonable that, if the entire Air National Guard force was reduced from a "strip alert" readiness of one-hundred bases to seven, (presumably from orders on high) then this would be a clear betrayal of the Air National Guard’s central reason for existence? -what its members are paid to do?
And should not heads be rolling?
In suggesting the number of bases "on alert" was seven, it’s likely that military spokespersons are playing a slight of hand: describing the seven bases under the direct control of NORAD; when, in fact, other bases are fully capable of putting planes in the air; such as, (noted above) when Payne Stewart's Lear jet went off course.
A clue to the veracity of this may be found in the following, from our Newsday article of the 23rd, which specifically mentions Andrews AFB twice, in a clear attempt to counter numerous earlier reports that planes had been scrambled from there, (after Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon).
"The fighter jets launched toward Washington took off not from Andrews Air Force Base, 15 miles from the capital, but from Langley Air Force Base near Hampton, Va., 130 miles from Washington."
Then, much later in the article,
"Despite Andrews Air Force Base's proximity to the capital, fighter jets don't "sit alert" there the way they do at Langley, ready to take to the air in 15 minutes. Until Sept. 11, one defense official said, they didn't have to - fighters at Langley would have plenty of time to intercept any enemy aircraft coming from outside the United States."
Do you notice how our "defense official" attempts to confuse NORAD's external border patrols, (protecting against outside, foreign threats) with protection against domestic air-emergencies? -for which fighter-intercepts are routinely deployed?
The article in question doesn't mention that Andrews is the home of Air Force One, (the President's plane) which obviously implies that they would have fighters on standy-by to protect it; (does anyone remember the "extraordinary escort" Air Force One eventually recieved on Sept 11?).
This further attempt to deny the use of fighters at Andrews on Sept. 11, (see USA Today, Sept. 16) raises the relevance of resolving this contradiction.
Were all four separate, on-the-scene media reports mistaken? -in their description of fighters scrambling from Andrews AFB?
We can see why the military/media alliance would later try to deny the story: because it blows the relevance of the Langley cover; but why would Andrews fighters be scrambled at all? If the Pentagon was claiming "we weren't informed," why not just keep the planes on the ground and maintain the chosen appearance?
The likely answer shows the multi-facted nature of the cover-story:
A lot of
people in Washington, (citizens, politicians, and service
personel) are fully aware of Andrew's alert status.
If fighters had not been scrambled at all, there would have been a big hue and cry about it in the local press, (which, in Washington, often means national coverage).
By scrambling planes after the attack on the Pentagon, the claim of "we weren't informed" is, at least, not immediately dismissed as absurd.
Afterwards, when the cover-story that Andrews AFB "had no planes available" begins to appear in the national press, Washington area residents can pass this "mistaken" report off as irrelevant, (since the planes made no difference anyway); and they can chalk it up to 'some bozo in the press room not geeting his/her facts straight,' the nature of the rumour-mill, and so on.
According to the above ANG documents, this same Andrews AFB houses the headquarters of the Air National Guard.
May we surmise from this, that if Andrews AFB was to temporarily "stand-down," that the entire Air National Guard would be placed in a similar posture?
Also, it would appear that the "crisis-action team" spoken of in the ANG regulations is the same crisis-action team that General Richard Myers speaks of -as being "up" in the Pentagon, after the first plane attack occurred, (8:50). (see Senate Confirmation Hearings).
At the highest levels of ANG and Pentagon command, at least, there appears to have been no problem with communication.
To Shoot, or Not To Shoot Down
(That Ain't The Question)
Knowing what we now know, about the fabrication of timelines, unscrambled planes, and "scalded apes," let's look at this shooty explanation... in a little more detail.
Continuing on with the article....
"Weaver... acknowledged that if the F-15s and F-16s had caught up with the hijacked passenger planes, their mission might have been futile.
(Acknowledged? Sounds like the reporter had that concept in mind already).
''What does he do when he gets there? You're not going to get an American pilot shooting down an American airliner,'' Weaver said. ''We don't have permission to do that.''
(And you’re not going to get it if the President is incapacitated, are you?)
"Only the president could issue such an order," he confirmed in an impromptu hallway interview at the Pentagon.
The Guard planes responded nevertheless, Weaver said, on orders from the Northeast Air Defense Sector in Rome, N.Y.
So even though the scrambling of planes was "futile," they did their duty anyway.
What a perfect explanation for why the planes were nowhere near being in position to do something, (as standard procedure demands) and just in case the President didn’t happen to be sitting behind a flank of school children with a "do not disturb" sign on his forehead.
"But it remains unclear what their pilots would do if terrorists again succeeded in taking over an airliner and turning it into a flying bomb."
''There are certain rules of engagement for a hijacked plane -- if you know it's a hijacked plane -- or a missing plane or off course,'' Weaver said. ''There's ways of getting their attention. But remember, this is an American carrier with American pilots and Americans on board.
''This is new territory for all of us.''
Do you see what's being said here?
The authorities are going to great lengths to make it seem as if it would not have mattered if the planes had been in position to intercept, so as to make the question of why they weren't, irrelevant.
That's like the fireman saying to owner of the house which just burnt to the ground, 'It doesn't really matter that we took so long getting here because the hose we're using has a big hole in it.'
They're also making a clear attempt to confuse the issue of shooting a commercial airliner down, with the concept of "interception" -a routine procedure.
Here's Vice-President Dick (oil-slick) Cheney, speaking on the Sept. 16th edition of NBC’s "Meet the Press."
"It doesn't do any good to put up a combat air patrol if you don't give them instructions to act, if, in fact, they feel it's appropriate."
Earlier on, he had said,
"I suppose the toughest decision was this question of whether or not we would intercept incoming commercial aircraft."
deliberately confusing the issue of "interception" (which is done on a routine basis) with shooting a plane down.
Yes, it’s true: shooting down airliners would be somewhat of a "new territory." But does this justify the abandonment of time-honoured, emergency procedure?
So what -if you don’t know what to do before the planes go up? You get the planes in the air so that you have an option, if and when the time comes to act. That's what procedure is for: to follow through a prepared plan for when the emotions want to spill over.
We didn’t know how the terrorists were going to act on Sept 11, did we? And we still don’t know how a future suicide-pilot might respond to a fighter, sent to intercept them.
Such sentiments issued by the military/media, are shameless appeals for a wounded public to immerse itself in emotional grief, feel sorry for "the boys" in uniform, and leave the question of military order, duty, and responsibility to those "more-qualified."
We find the same "shooty" logic in the following article of Sept. 13th,
"the authorities had a terrifying dilemma.... The F16's were in the air with the capability to shoot the second hijacked plane out of the sky."
(Unless, of course, they’re one hundred miles away).
"At 9.00 UA175 changed direction again - heading straight for Manhattan from the South over a very built up area.
I understand it would have required sanction from the President to shoot down a civilian airliner and he was touring a school in Florida."
(And couldn’t be interrupted) .
"We don't know whether he was even informed about the second plane - until - at five minutes past nine, United airlines Flight 175 with 65 people on board was deliberately crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Centre."
So, sympathy for the poor, beleaguered officials is the order of the day. Never mind that the F-16’s "in the air" had no "capability to shoot the second hijacked plane out of the sky" if they couldn’t get there in time!!
All this is merely a distraction from the real question of why the planes weren’t even in the ballpark.
Nor is it even necessarily true that the President is the only one who can authorize a shoot-down. I mean, what if he's incapacitated? Kidnapped by terrorists? Or forcefully confined by a group of school kids?
While any decision to blow commercial airliners out of the sky would normally require presidential authorization, aviation expert John Nance told WABC Radio's John Gambling on Sept. 15:
"Very often, and all the fighter pilots know this, they may have to make an in-the-field decision even without higher authority."
White House as Target
Readers may recall (from Part 1A) that top White House officials repeatedly claimed, (on Sept 11 and 12) that Air Force One, (the President’s plane) was re-routed to Louisiana, then Nebraska on Sept 11, because there had been "credible evidence that Air Force One and the White House were targets."
As we have documented, this claim was later dismissed as false and/or irrelevant(!?) by those same top officials.
It's the 'White House' aspect of this story that was also used to explain why the Pentagon was caught 'off-guard' in relation to Flight 77.
In response to reporters comments about radar data showing a direct path to the Pentagon, White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said,
"That's not the radar data we have seen... the plane was headed for the White House."(CBS news, cited below)
Pentagon officials may have been trying to corroborate this when they said,
"Air Force Lt. Col. Vic Warzinski....The Pentagon was simply not aware that this aircraft was coming our way."
"To call for a general evacuation, at that point, it would have been just guessing," said a Pentagon spokesman, Glenn Flood. "We evacuate when we know something is a real threat to us."(Newsday, ibid)
Vice-President Dick Cheney also makes his contribution,
"As best we can tell, they [the terrorists on Flight 77] came initially at the White House and... when it entered the danger zone and looked like it was headed for the White House was when they grabbed me and evacuated me to the basement..."
"...under these circumstances, they just move. They don't say "sir" or ask politely. They came in and said, "Sir, we have to leave immediately," and grabbed me and...
"MR. RUSSERT: Literally grabbed you and moved you?
"VICE PRES. CHENEY: Yeah. And, you know, your feet touch the floor periodically. But they're bigger than I am, and they hoisted me up and moved me very rapidly down the hallway, down some stairs, through some doors and down some more stairs into an underground facility under the White House, and, as a matter of fact, it's a corridor, locked at both ends..."
This colorful commentary from Cheney receives an interesting examination in the following article,
comparing his "treatment" by the secret service with that of George. W Bush.
In great detail, the article shows that both Bush and the Secret Service knew about the first terrorist attack before Bush left the hotel in Sarasota Florida, (at about 8:55). The President should have been considered to be in relatively great danger. Terrorist planes were attacking buildings. His intinerary for the morning was well-known. In comparison to Cheney, he was out in the open. Yet absolutely no extra precautions were taken.
Cheney may have indeed been privy to a joy ride to the basement, but the treatment of George W. suggests that it was neither necessary nor consistent with the actual priorities of the secret service on that day.
The most descriptive of all the 'white-house-as-target' stories came from numerous voices in the mainstream press,
"In the skies over the city flight AA77 was heading straight for the White House when at 9.38 it suddenly veered 270 degrees to right away from White House and headed towards the Pentagon, It crashed into the west side two minutes later."
"Just before the crash a civilian plane was filmed over the city apparently banking hard and there were reports of a military plane circling the US capital. Moments later, the Department of Defense was hit."
and The Washington Post, Sept. 12th
".. the jet was aimed directly at the president's mansion and was traveling at a gut-wrenching speed--full throttle.
"But just as the plane seemed to be on a suicide mission into the White House, the unidentified pilot executed a pivot so tight that it reminded observers of a fighter jet maneuver.
The plane circled 270 degrees from the right to approach the Pentagon from the west, whereupon Flight 77 fell below radar level, vanishing from controller's screens, the sources said." pgs. 1 & 11
That sounds pretty confident, right? Is it unanimous?
Readers may recall an earlier report from Bob Orr, CBS Transportation Correspondent,
"New radar evidence obtained by CBS News strongly suggests that the hijacked jetliner which crashed into the Pentagon hit its intended target."
"Top government officials have suggested that American Airlines Flight 77 was originally headed for the White House and possibly circled the Capitol building. CBS News Transportation Correspondent Bob Orr reports that's not what the recorded flight path shows."
"Eight minutes before the crash, at 9:30 a.m. EDT, radar tracked the plane as it closed to within 30 miles of Washington. Sources say the hijacked jet continued east at a high speed toward the city, but flew several miles south of the restricted airspace around the White House."
"At 9:33, [it] crossed the Capital Beltway... flying at more than 400mph, [which] was too fast and high when it neared the Pentagon at 9:35. The hijacker pilots were then forced to execute a difficult high-speed descending turn."
"Radar shows Flight 77 did a downward spiral, turning almost a complete circle and dropping the last 7,000 feet in two-and-a-half minutes."
"The steep turn was so smooth, the sources say, it’s clear there was no fight for control going on. And the complex maneuver suggests the hijacker had better flying skills than many investigators first believed."
"The jetliner disappeared from radar at 9:37 and less than a minute later it clipped the tops of street lights and ploughed into the Pentagon at 480mph."
Obviously, these two stories contradict one another, (although they both agree that a sharp turn was made).
One of them is clearly wrong.
As Bob Orr shows in his report, the main source of the White-House-as-target story appears to be government officials.
Judging from the fact that,
these same White House officials already played big-time media-spin with the original story about Air Force One, (and White House) as being targets; and since,
CBS news is actually daring to openly contradict the White House position with evidence in hand, (albeit, after nobody cares); and since,
Bob Orr's report is the one with the most accurate timeline; and since,
Dick Cheney has shown himself not to be above making well-crafted lies,
it seems likely that the radar records do indeed show Flight 77 by-passing the White House no-fly zone, heading directly toward the Pentagon.
(NOTE: The term, "new", in the above article, may be journalistic-speak for facts which agree with what most experts and informed reporters already know to be correct -in spite of what the White House is saying.)
It appears far more likely, that White House officials concocted the White-House-as-target story in order to justify George W's absence from Washington for 9 & 1/2 hours, then found a ready excuse for the Pentagon not warning its own employees.
The presentation of this position, to explain why the Pentagon was caught 'off-guard,' merely masks the far more-important falsehood: the Pentagon claiming it was "not informed" about Flight 77 thirty-five minutes before.
As per usual, many in the mainstream media found it more convenient -simply to take the government pronouncements as fact, and reproduce them, (with an artistic flourish of a most consistent, clandestine kind).
Unanswered Questions, Part
Now that we have examined the events of Sept. 11th, and found, (in the realm of civilian air defence) a glaring, criminal negligence existing alongside the acts of terror...
now that we have moved through an examination of the FAA, the executive, the FBI, the epicentre of misconduct moving towards the upper reaches of the Pentagon...
now that we have thoroughly examined the "official" explanations, (for which the military is ultimately responsible) and found there a clear, convincing affirmation of a deceptive, negligent command...
the reader may be moved to consider the nature of the military-media alliance by which such deception is allowed to carry on.
Though we long ago deduced that the negligence of Sept. 11th emanated from many quarters, we can no longer assume that the epicentre of that negligence emanates from within the government alone; for without the negligence of the mainstream media, (failing to persist with fundamental questions of accountability) the deceptions in the Department of Defense simply would not have taken hold.
Thus, as we move forward in our investigation, we must now approach the roots of negligence as if they are emanating from two, distinct camps: one supposedly public, the other clearly private.
The two appear to feed off of and reflect upon the other, serving some kind of common interest. Likewise should we continue to examine the one in the light of the other, so as to reveal what that interest is.
Two main tasks now appear before us: uncover the character of the command decisions which occurred within the military on Sept. 11th; and consider the behaviour of the media, as a reflection of the cultural context in which these decisions continue to operate.
An examination of the media in relation to this tragedy is worthy of its own, extensive investigation; for now, we begin modestly enough: with a review of,
A Few Choice Articles
CNN (military communique?)
"Channel Four News" (crude, but effective)
Beginning with our oft-cited, MSNBC article,
the author carefully moves from criticism...
"Clearly, the Air Force had the capability and the training to intercept the American and United flights that hit the World Trade Center."
"Once it is apparent that [a plane] is not following directions, it might be forced over the ocean or to a remote airport - or even shot down. The intent with Stewart’s plane was to shoot it down if it was going to crash into a major populated area."
"Why didn’t Atlantic City fighter planes respond? One answer is that Atlantic City is a National Guard base,
(Civilian air defense is the "mission" of the Air National Guard.)
not an Air Force intercept base,
(Otis Air Force Base is both, an Air National Guard Base, and a NORAD intercept base).
and it may not have had planes on alert.
"Flying time to the World Trade Center is 24 minutes at high speed from Albany. Flight time from Atlantic City, the nearest F-16 fighter base, to the World Trade Center is just 18 minutes. That leaves just six minutes to launch fighter jets to intercept the hijacked plane."
Meaning: the planes would not have made it on time; so we can ignore the question!
"The nearest air intercept base, Otis Air Force Base on Cape Cod, Mass., was reported to have launched two F-15s, but they could not get to the World Trade Center in time."
Having satisfied that question, the author suggests that,
"Once a hijacker had the twin towers in sight, only modest flight training would be necessary to manoeuvre the plane toward them."
Hmmmm... When is the last time, (one may ask) did you fly a 767-class airliner, not a simulator, into a building at 480 miles/hr? -twice the legal speed?
He closes with,
"Our nation has a long history of reacting to "credible threats" and body counts rather than planning for unrealized but highly probable threats. The thought of shooting down a commercial airliner may have been too horrifying to contemplate, but it is something for which aviation authorities must now plan."
Now doesn’t that sound nice?
I mean, how reasonable-sounding can you get?
The author begins smartly enough:
He notes that systems are in
place to handle hijackings, (even to shoot the planes
He does acknowledge the existence of fighter-squadrons near Atlantic-City, (though he doesn't mention that this is just one of many such "battle-ready" squadrons in the region, including Philadelphia, Syracuse, Westfield, Hartford) and he does ask the question, "why weren't fighters launched?"
A lame "maybe" they weren't on alert.
Maybe the above author would have done his readers a big service by using his mainstream journalistic resources to actually find out.
As it is, it’s very hard for an ordinary citizen to find out anything about the Air National Guard these days -on the internet, or otherwise.
From here, the author jumps to:
why the Atlantic City Fighter's difficulty in getting there in time somehow explains why they were not launched.
He neglects to mention we didn’t know where the plane was intending to strike, (if at all) -and that another hijacked plane was already within fifty miles of the first- (heading towards Philadelphia/ Atlantic City).
The author, supposedly a part-time pilot, also seems to have forgotten that the top speed of an F-16 is well over 1000 mph, (at least 17mile/minute). Atlantic City is a little over 100 miles from New York City. We're talking about six minutes travel time, not eighteen.
From critical engagement, to selective omissions, to a comfortable conclusion: all in one nice, neat flowing package.
"Our nation has a long history of reacting to "credible threats" and body counts rather than planning for unrealized but highly probable threats. The thought of shooting down a commercial airliner...."
This totally ignores the fact that the U.S. already has the most sophisticated, far-reaching, and pre-emptive military force in the world. All told, we're talking over a $300 billion yearly budget. Within that realm, there is far more emphasis given to guarding against unwarranted threats, making them up, and justifying defenses, than there is to overlooking them.
The article ignores the crucial question entirely: the unprecedented delays in getting the intercepts into in the air.
Damage-control = engage, frame, pacify.
Offering doubt-afflicted citizens a quaff of controlled comfort, 'stead of calling us to ask the necessary questions, only adds to the campaign of criminal omission.
We next briefly examine our oft-cited CNN article of Sept 16,
we find that it leads with,
Government failed to react to FAA warning
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Following Tuesday's terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, and for at least 12 minutes after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) warned the military's air defense command that a hijacked airliner appeared to be headed toward Washington, the federal government failed to make any move to evacuate the White House, Capitol, State Department or the Pentagon...
This, of course, utterly avoids the real delay-issue of Sept 11th, (not getting planes in the air in time); and it shifts the burden of the blame, (for defense) from the military onto the federal government.
We're talking about the Pentagon, right? The Pentagon got hit, right? -the headquarters of the guys in hats and helmets who are supposed to defend against such things?
What does "the Federal Government" have to do with the Pentagon being clueless and unable to warn anyone else?
Having taken the military out of the picture, the framework proceeds with this deft/daft diversion at a pace.
Officials at the Pentagon said that no mechanism existed within the U.S. government to notify various departments and agencies [to evacuate] under such circumstances.
If the Pentagon knew that a suicide plane was on the way, they could just pick up the phone and start calling people, or walk through the hallways, telling people to make an orderly evacuation, or take defensive measures, (the ever-popular, "duck and cover"); but nothing was done; and the ones doing that nothing were the Pentagonites, not "the federal government."
So CNN ignores the central question of why the Pentagon didn't defend itself: why there were no fighters in the air, why the central command center claims it didn't even know what was happening; and it even has the galls to blames the "federal government" for not having the facilities to evacuate.
It has to be quite clear here that "no mechanisms" exist at CNN for an arms-length policy towards the military, if this is what passes for criticism during an obvious catastrophe.
Officials also told CNN that President George W. Bush had not given authorization to the Defense Department to shoot down a passenger airliner until after the Pentagon had been struck.
So this explains why the Pentagon's surface-to-air missilies weren't used?
Ohhhh... I seeeee....
It's a pity that this article fails to mention that that the great General ("oscar") Myers himself had already said, (three days earlier) that the Command Center in the Pentagon "was up" soon after the first plane attack, (8:46).
This would mean that the reason George W. Bush wasn't able to give the shoot-down order was because the Pentagon neglected to get Georgy out of Grade three: for over forty minutes, the necessary hiatus interruptus message never came, (and we've still received no satisfaction from CNN).
The above comment, at least, does clearly show that once again, George W. Bush's timing on Sept 11 was perfectly in line with every other vestige of American Air Space authority: phonecalls delayed, warnings ignored, planes that "couldn't quite get there in time" -every time.
We've already pointed out the nonsensical,
"Officials at the Pentagon also said that they were never made aware of the threat from hijacked United Airlines flight 93 until after it crashed in Pennsylvania." (ibid)
The amusing point here may be that the spin and the evidence against it, (when the FAA informed NORAD that the plane was hijcked, at 8:50, almost an hour earlier) is in the same article, (though only visible, perhaps, to those who have the time and instinct to find it).
We close this brief sampling of the Sept 11th press coverage, with an example of how easily early reports can be extremely inaccurate.
The author of the "terrifying dilemma" article says,
"The four doomed airliners took off within 15 minutes of each other. Just before 8 flight AA 11 left Boston. heading for Los Angeles Two minutes later UA 93 left New York for San Francisco."
Actually, Flight 93 took off at 8:42, forty minutes later. It was supposed to take off at 8:02. (CNN, Sept 16, ibid, MSNBC.com Sept 22)
‘At 8.10 flight double A 77 left Washington for San Francisco. Four minutes after that a second Boston flight headed for LA."
"The first visible sign of anything untoward came at 8.28 when flight AA11 out of Boston inexplicably took a 50 degree turn South as it flew over New York state."
As the documents cited above have already clearly shown, the "first visible sign" was the loss of transponder and radio contact with the cockpit, which occurred eight minutes earlier. Flight 11 was well off-course by the time it veered sharply south.
"Fifteen minutes later and two more planes suddenly change course. United Airlines flight A93 reaches Cleveland and turned back on itself heading towards Washington or possibly the Presidential retreat Camp David."
Actually, at 8:43, Flight 93 had just taken off a minute or two before. It would still not be over Cleveland for almost an hour.
Here again we see the previously cited story about the White House as target.
"A few minutes later flight AA77 altered course over Kentucky also heading towards Washington. Air Traffic Controllers at Reagan National Airport immediately alerted the Pentagon that an airliner was headed for the restricted airspace over Washington... heading straight for the White House...."
Now, of course, in the midst of a chaotic situation, a reporter cannot be blamed for not getting all the facts right, first time around; yet it goes to show how easy it is for inaccuracies and confusion to dis-credit the discourse.
Once a falsehood is printed, its effect has already been felt -in the extra effort needed by already-hard-working readers, just to come up with a basic picture with which to begin a serious inquiry.
Inaccuracy fatigues the inquiring mind.
Two more interesting quotations,
"By the time employees inside the Pentagon realized.....
There had been no warning broadcast inside the [Pentagon].....
Even the clear sign of a terrorist attack on U.S. soil... barely elevated the state of readiness inside the nation's military headquarters...
To many Americans, it probably seems inconceivable that an unauthorized aircraft could get that close to the nation's military command center [Pentagon]on any day, let alone one when the nation was under attack. Yet U.S. continental air defenses, slashed dramatically since the Cold War ended and never designed to thwart an internal threat, were helpless to stop the attacks, leaving the nation's capital and its most populated city exposed. (Newsday 9/23, ibid)
The authors here are using a fact which is related to why the Pentagon was not defended, to explain why the Pentagon was not "informed." The (supposed) fact that fewer planes were available has absolutley nothing to do with why the Pentagon was (supposedly) "unaware."
The article specifically speaks to the obvious question of how the "command center" was caught unawares -then deflects it to something which is totally unrelated to the question of command.
That's classic damage control: seek out the obvious point of contention, frame it, give an answer which sounds close enough to the truth, (before readers come to their own conclusions). Leave them to think that the sense of dis-connection they're feeling, (from this answer) is because they're too stupid to put two-and-two together; so they/we let it pass.
To what degree each of the authors were aware of this obvious distortion,we cannot say.
Here's an interesting line,
"No regular Air Force planes were scrambled during the terrorist attacks because continental air defense is the mission of the Air National Guard, an Air Force spokesman said, speaking on condition of anonymity."
Now, since when does a "spokesman" speak on condition of anonymity? Either you’re a "spokesman" with a name, representing an organisation, or your a "nameless official," a "source," etc. This sounds more like someone from a private corporation, than a public servant: doesn't seem to raise an eyebrow with the reporter.
In our review of the Sept 11 events, we have recalled and/or uncovered some incredible facts,
hijacked planes that are in the air for almost an hour without any fighter-planes scrambled to intercept them,
a President who is allowed to sit amongst a classroom of children for thirty minutes during a confirmed national emergency,
a supposed "inside" threat to Air Force One which keeps the President away from Washington for 9 & 1/2 hours, later cast aside as 'irrelevant' by the same officials who initially made the threat public,
top officials in the Pentagon, (including the Secretary of Defense) claim they were "unaware" of the plane that was coming towards them, (and of another plane which crashed in Pennsylvania, an hour after radar defense was "officially" notified).
an FBI investigation of dissappearing black-boxes and indestructible terrorist passports, Islamic "confessions" in biblical tongue, "pilots" who can't fly, hang out in strip-clubs, whose real identities seem irrelevant.
Such glaring contradictions to the concept of competent leadership -in the wake of a tragedy which cost the lives of thousands of civilians- demand that pointed and sustained questions be asked by the media; yet, as we have seen, the mainstream has consistently avoided this; rather, the emphasis has been to try and patch up the tattered image of the government/military authority, by accepting "official" pronouncements as fact.
We have examined a whole web of these "official" pronouncements, which are supposed to explain why civilian air defense failed on Sept. 11th -which only leave us with more-troubling conclusions:
the air bases which were not used, (with "battle-ready" fighter squadrons) twenty-six of which have squadrons on stand-by alert within a few days of the attack,
the supposed FAA delays -criminal in scope- which are explained as "transponder," "communications," and other minor, technical issues,
stories, the prime purpose of which appears to be to distract from other, more essential questions,
deliberate confusion of "intercept" with shoot-down,
propogation of false radar reports to justify Pentagon inaction,
the soft-peddling of emotional "buttons" which only serve to shroud the harsh reality of what went down,
"we tried," "we could not have forseen,"
the denial of planes used at Andrews Air Force base,
the intentional diffusion of blame so as to distract from the command responsibility at the core of the military,
all this, the mainstream media has met without a sustained protest, criticism, or insight.
There are numerous reasons for this.
Chief among these must be the stunning degree of media concentration in America -where four or five massive conglomerates control the vast majority of the newspapers, radio, and television stations: through outright ownership, control of media services, news-wires, dependence on advertising, etc.
These voices, (CNN/Time-Warner, MSNBC, CBS, etc.) thoroughly dominate the exchange of ideas -and by their vast corporate holdings/partnerships/parent-companies, are as equally committed to the preservation of elite interests in government, business, and the military.
Reporters who think for themselves never even get a chance to rise up in ranks such as these, (though in the midst of a national crisis, critically important reports may still come through).
There are still editors and reporters who struggle to report the honest truth; yet it takes time and money to do investigative reporting, (much more cost-effective to "manage" the news than to dig for it); and all are under great pressure to "go along" with the "mass distress" in times of national shock.
Like many of us, most reporters would like to believe that their government is, on the whole, redeemable.
It's a truly frightening concept for anyone to consider that the government upon which we depend for so much may be lying to us at every turn. Only a much greater love for self and others can enable us to embrace that dark possibility -to which the demands of working for a living do not easily surrender.
Such esteemed observers are quickly weeded out of the mainstream journalistic pool. Seasoned reporters who think for themselves are ever on the verge of being replaced with young "greenhorns," eager to please their editors.
At some points, the idiocy and irrelevance of the media -in not asking the obvious questions, (and/or sticking to them until they get a decent answer)- might appear as comical, absurd theatre, if it didn't have the reality of a cluster bomb and "tribunals-for-all" attached to it.
Such an echo of
"Officials at the Pentagon also said that they were never made aware" (CNN 9/16 ibid)
was not informed prior to the.....
were "simply not aware" (Newsday, ibid)
may remind us of a rather stark, but essentially true assessment of modern media from Hitler’s propaganda minister, Joseph Goebels:
"You tell a lie often enough, and the people will eventually believe it."
The central command, of the most powerful military force in the world
claiming a cranial vapour-lock of
"we weren't informed"
during a national emergency
must instinctively raise the eyebrows of any thinking human being.
The virtual absence of air-intercepts on Sept 11 must truly stun anyone remotely familiar with routine air-defense procedure.
Yet the vast majority of reporters and editors have put their nagging doubts aside, in order to preserve and protect what they think is essential; and in the process, (whether by not knowing or not caring to know) they have moved themselves and their viewers further away from the ability to face reality, the next time it comes crashing in.
We now return to the other pillar of our analysis, the military. Let's see if we can get a closer look at the command-structure on Sept. 11th, by examining the
Senate Confirmation Hearing for General Richard Myers
This "Confirmation Hearing" is where a new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, (the highest ranking commander in the land, after the President and Defense Secretary) is to be confirmed by the Senate.
The existing Chairman, (in this case, General Shelton) is stepping down.
Usually, this is a bit of a rubber-stamp affair. Senators in various military-liason committees are already intimately involved with the workings of the Defense Department, and rarely take serious issue with whomever the President proposes.
Yet this was an extraordinary time: two days after the Sept 11th attacks.
If ever there was a time when one of the top military officials would be called to speak on the civilian defense failures of Sept 11, you would think this would be it; and the results, (or absence thereof) are quite telling.
The transcript is long, boring, and rather pathetic; in the midst of Senator after Senator falling over themselves to praise and thank the new "commander," (sharing jokes about whose Alma Mater the general belongs to, like some "old Boys Club") some of them actually ask a direct and relevant question about what was on everyone's mind, yet in such a way that.... well.... you can see for yourself.
The timing of the hearing itself is significant.
The "old" leader, (who had technically been in command during the worst security failure in U.S. history) was stepping down, and a new commander was taking his place.
What that means is: say goodbye to the "old" leader, (Shelton) being called to hold himself and his staff accountable for what he did or didn't do.
As it was, the "new" chairman, General Myers, was in a good position to represent the "outgoing command," since he had been its second-in-command, as Vice-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, ("at times acting as chairman in General Shelton's absence"). He also refers to himself here as "the commander-in-chief of North American Aerospace Defense Command," (NORAD).
Technically-speaking, he had still been second-in command during the crisis; and for this reason, the Senate may not have felt as obligated to press for solid answers, (though common sense would surely suggest otherwise).
Now, as America was only two days into recovering from the shock and confusion of Sept 11, you'd think the Senators would have been inclined to postpone the confirmation hearing for a few days, or a week, (at least) to give themselves some time to identify where any security breaches may have occurred -so that they could ask the general meaningful questions about it.
This would have also given General Myers some time to prepare the data he would need to give the Senate a competent explanation for what had just happened.
They just had to push right on through.
Even under such constraints, the General has an enormous staff of people at his disposal. He knew this hearing was scheduled; and he could have ordered his subordinates to put every timeline, memo, spread sheet, and briefing he needed right in front of him -to make sure the Senate is fully informed.
Yet ad naseum, the General says, "I'll get back to you," "I'll check on that," "I can get that for you," (as we shall see).
(Note: The sequence of speakers has been altered so as to make the presentation of the material more... digestible. Some of these comments have already been discussed in previous sections of Unanswered Questions).
Near the beginning of the session, Myers makes a rather startling statement, (to those of us who are now aware of FAA and Pentagon regulations).
LEVIN: General, in your personal view, are there capabilities or equipment that the armed forces need today to respond to the terrorist attacks that they do not currently have? Or are they able to respond today, should that decision be made, to those attacks?
MYERS: Sir, I think we are able to respond today.... [there are always improvements] but let me re-iterate...we have what we need today to do what we need to do.
So, two days after the attacks, the top military commander says with confidence "we have what we need" [to stop another terrorist attack]. We don't need more planes or bases, no more covert ops funding, sophisticated technologies. "We have what we need."
It's possible that Myers was just saying this to re-assure the public, (when he really wasn't sure); but his assertion dovetails exactly with what the evidence has been saying all along: procedures, personel, and airplanes were in place on Sept. 11th, to insure that the terrorist attacks would not be successful; the problem was not their non-existence, but that they were not implemented.
WHAT MYERS DID
I was with Senator Cleland [in the senate] when [the attack] happened and went back to the Pentagon.... they were evacuating, of course, And I went into the National Military Command Center because that's essentially my battle station when things are happening.
So, the vice-chairman, (second in command of all U.S. forces) gets to his "battle-station" after the attack on the Pentagon, (9:40) over fifty minutes after the first attack on the World Trade Center had occurred.
This raises a few questions:
General Myers was not "at" his "battle-station" until 9:40; was he at least informed of the situation before that? That is: even though he was not "at" his "battle station" was he already acting in consort with it? At what point was this commander involved in the command decisions of his "battle station"?
Who else was there? Was the top commander? -the chairman, General Henry Shelton?
No, he was not.
According to the Department of Defense, General Shelton was,
"'somewhere over the Atlantic en route to Europe when the attacks occurred..."
General Myers continues,
MYERS: "At the time of the first impact on the World Trade Center, we stood up our crisis action team. That was done immediately."
Yet according to "Defense Link," (cited above) General Shelton was not a part of this "crisis action team," when it was "stood up."
Myers said he was on Capitol Hill that morning in the offices of Georgia Sen. Max Cleland to discuss his confirmation hearing to become chairman. While in an outer office, he said, he saw a television report that a plane had hit the World Trade Center.
"They thought it was a small plane or something like that," Myers said. So the two men went ahead with the office call.
Meanwhile, the second World Trade Center tower was hit by another jet. "Nobody informed us of that," Myers said. "But when we came out, that was obvious. Then, right at that time, somebody said the Pentagon had been hit."
Somebody thrust a cell phone in Myers's hand. Gen. Ralph Eberhart, commander of U.S. Space Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command, was on the other end of the line "talking about what was happening and the actions he was going to take."
"Nobody is informed us of that, [the second attack on the World Trade Center]... then somebody said the Pentagon was hit."
In speaking of the "crisis-action team," General Myers uses the word "we"; when, in fact, he was not even notified of the emergency until fifty minutes after "we" were "up"!!
Is this not unbelievable? The top two commanders are away from their "battle-stations" during a national emergency, and the second in command is not even notified for at least fifty minutes! (NORAD was aware that Flight 11 had been hijacked at least ten minutes earlier, by 8:38).
The General saw the television report almost a full hour before he heard about it from his subordinates.
Can you spell criminal negligence, General?
Why were you not notified? And whose job was it to notify you? Who bears responsibility for the decisions (not) made in the command center?
Perhaps it's not unusual for the two top commanders to be absent from their "battle-station" at the same time; but surely the nearby second-in-command should have been informed?
The Defense Link article adds that, because General Shelton was "somewhere over the Atlantic")
"it was critical for Myers to get back to the Pentagon."
[Oh yes sir. Absolutely critical.... so critical that... well, ya see... the "crisis-action team" had been "up" for over fifty minutes now... sweating it out... they would surely have been getting hungry by now... and General Myers... why, he knows all the best take-out places in town!!!]
"Make no mistake," (as George W. says).
The General continues,
"So we stood it up. And we started talking to the federal agencies. The time I do not know is when NORAD responded with fighter aircraft. I don't know that time."
So Myers "doesn't know" when NORAD responded with fighter aircraft...
Hey General, how about: 'Order it immediately!?!'
What other possible fact could be more important for you to know?
This is the military, right? And... it's the military's job to do what?
And when the military responded is what everyone wants to know, General... so we can all heave a little sigh of relief, or heave the ones who screwed up out the door!!!
Could someone please explain why the General didn't just say, 'The planes were ordered up, as soon as "we," (the crisis-action team) were "up"'(?)
That's the law; and if the General wasn't sure enough -as to whether the law was carried out by his subordinate commanders- then he should have bloody-well made it his business to find out, immediately!!
['Oh well... what with the confirmation hearing coming up... appointment at the hairdressers, the manicurist at 9, speech writer at 9:15... who has the time?']
He said conflicting reports throughout the morning led to confusion in the Command Center.
Oh. Confusion huh? Maybe this is why the "confirmed" one wasn't notified for fifty minutes?
OK, General, let's go back to boot camp basic.
What's the first thing you learn in the military, when confusion reigns in an emergency? Those in command act to eradicate the confusion, and take responsibility for what does or doesn't happen.
"If ... you are in doubt that a situation constitutes an emergency or potential emergency, handle it as though it were an emergency."
--FAA Order 7110.65M 10-1-1-c (tenc, ibid)
No weanie excuses.
No passing the hot potato off to some one else's "conflicting reports."
The buck stops here.
Is there anything else you've forgotten about, General? Got your underwear on straight? Got your NORAD timelines in front of you? ['Oh yeah, the confirmation hearing'].
LEVIN: Was the Defense Department contacted by the FAA or the FBI or any other agency after the first two hijacked aircraft crashed into the World Trade Center, prior to the time that the Pentagon was hit?
MYERS: Sir, I don't know the answer to that question. I can get that for you, for the record.
another odd thing for Myers to say.
Obviously, the Defense Dept. (NMCC) had been
contacted by somebody, (after the first attack). Why didn't
he say, ['I'm not sure exactly when the FAA contacted us,
but I'm sure they did early on -because that's what they are
mandated to do.'](?)
Why leave the question hanging? Why not give a vote of confidence for the FAA? -and make everybody feel a little more comfortable?
As we now know, it's because uncertainty around the FAA holds aloft its supposed negligence, covering up the real gooey center.
WE KNOW YOU DON'T KNOW
LEVIN: [did] the FAA or FBI notify you that other planes had turned direction from their path, their scheduled path, and were returning or aiming towards Washington, [was] there.. any notice from any of them, because that's such an obvious shortfall if there wasn't.
LEVIN: And in any event, but more important, if you could get us that information.
probably happened. As you remember, I was not in the
Pentagon at that time, so that part of it is a little hazy.
After that, we started getting regular notifications through
NORAD, FAA to NORAD, on other flights that we were worried
And we knew about the one that eventually crashed in Pennsylvania. I do not know, again, whether we had fighters scrambled on it. I have to . .
LEVIN: If you could get us those times then. We know you don' t know them.
MYERS: But we'll get them.
"We know you don't know"(??)
Sounds like the Senator here is reading from a script called, "let's blame the FAA, lob an easy one to the general, then brush it aside when he hits a foul."
All Myers has to do is say, ['yeah, I guess so] -and he gets away with it!.
The candidate for the most powerful soldier in the most-powerful country in the world didn't even bother to bring a NORAD timeline with him.
It's up to Senator NELSON to say,
"I do note with some irony that it's important to document all of the timeframes by using our most able informant, CNN."
Even with little preparation time, the general has a
huge staff of people at his disposal to collect the relevant
timelines, and have all his own movements listed on a sheet
of paper in front of him. Yet he simply flies by the "ah...
uhm... ah..." seat of his pants.
Acting like a schoolboy at his first exam: he sees no need to hold himself and the military command accountable for the catastrophe that just occurred.
WHY THE DELAY?
BILL NELSON You said earlier in your testimony that we had not scrambled any military aircraft until after the Pentagon was hit. And so, my question would be: why?
MYERS: I think I had that right, that it was not until then. I'd have to go back and review the exact timelines.
BILL NELSON: Perhaps we want to do
this in our session, in executive session. But my question
is an obvious one for not only this committee, but for the
executive branch and the military establishment.
If we knew that there was a general threat on terrorist activity, which we did, and we suddenly have two trade towers in New York being obviously hit by terrorist activity, of commercial airliners taken off course from Boston to Los Angeles, then what happened to the response of the defense establishment once we saw the diversion of the aircraft headed west from Dulles turning around 180 degrees and, likewise, in the aircraft taking off from Newark and, in flight, turning 180 degrees? That's the question.
MYERS: ... after the second tower was hit, I spoke to the commander of NORAD, General Eberhart. And at that point, I think the decision was at that point to start launching aircraft.
Do you see what's happening here?
The General is making mistakes...
According the Senator, Myers had earlier said, "we had not scrambled any military aircraft until after the Pentagon was hit."
He had also said he "didn't know" when the order to launch intercepts was given.
Now he's saying he and Eberhart gave the decision to launch after the second tower was hit; but he's already on the public record as stating he didn't speak to Eberhart, (and wasn't even informed of the disaster) until after the Pentagon was hit, almost forty minutes later!! (see Defense-Link pg).
He's lying so often, he's forgetting them as fast as he's making them up.
Now, the Senator here may be asking the General a perfectly reasonable question: 'why the delay?'
possible that he's coming to the General's rescue -giving
him a chance to correct himself in public.
Can you catch the clue?
"Perhaps we want to do this in our session, in executive session,"
(behind closed doors, right after the public one).
That may be code-word for: ['Hey, stupid, do we have to go over it again? Get it straight, or you'll see an executive session that you'll never forget.']
other reason could the Senator possibly have for indicating
a closed-door "executive session"?
So that the General can explain when planes were scrambled?
Is there any question of "national security" or "sensitivity" here?
You and I wouldn't think so.
So now we've gone from: 'planes launched after the attack on the Pentagon'; to 'planes launched after second attack on the WTC'; within a day or two we'll learn that planes were launched just after the first attack.
Catch the General's decisive command capabilities:
"I think[???] the decision was at that point"???
He thinks? Doesn't he know when a serious
decision is made? Didn't he insist on knowing it?
And why did the top Pentagon Commanders wait for fifteen minutes -after they were informed of the first attack- to (supposedly) launch fighters anyway?
Flight 175, (the second plane) was already declared hijacked, and was just outside New York.
Coffee break, anyone?
The General's performance here is so sloppy, that it's obvious it can't be held up to any serious scrutiny.
Within a few days, a nice, neat package of timelines will emanate down from on high, making this farce of a command-performance seem irrelevant to all but a few.
The General is unprepared; there has been no time for Senators to prepare questions which they can insist on an answer for. And this seems to be just what's intended: ['make a show of it, get through it and move on.']
WHAT WAS CAUSE? HOW TO FIX?
The General pits the blame for the air defense "lapse" on a lack of air bases on ready alert,
"we've got just a few bases around the perimeter of the United States.... "it's not just a question of launching aircraft, it's launching to do what? You have to have a specific threat"
(repeating one or two of the same feeble spins we've already discussed).
To be more specific, he says,
In this case, if my memory serves
me -- and I'll have to get back to you for the record -- my
memory says that we had launched on the one that eventually
crashed in Pennsylvania. I mean, we had gotten somebody
close to it, as I recall. I'll have to check that out.
I do not recall if that was the case for the one that had taken off from Dulles. But part of it is just where we are positioned around this country to do that kind of work because that was never -- it goes back to Senator Collins' issue. Is this one of the things that we'll worry about. You know, what's next?
BILL NELSON: Well, that one is one that we need to talk about together as we get prepared for the future.
MYERS: Yes, sir.
"I'll have to get back to you"???? -for the record? Isn't this exactly what the confirmation hearing is for?: to lay the general's competency out for the public record? Isn't he supposed to be showing an ability to be in command of the given situation?
The top commander in the U.S. military: "..if my memory serves me... I'll have to check that out... I'd have to go back and review..." [We'd have to go back and review how many times he says this, to get an exact sense of how vague he is].
Naturally, he avoids the question altogether, of why it took almost an hour for Air Force command to respond, (on two occasions): meaning, the planes could have flown in from Montana in time, if routine response times had been honored.
General Myers prefers the classic damage-control combo: sounding smart, acting dumb; and the Senator appears to give him a passing grade, with a 'you'll-do-better-next-time' nod -just for showing up!
CLELAND what lessons, over the last 72 hours, [have you] ...learned... that you can share with this committee.
MYERS: Well, I think you've hit on some of them... what is the department's role... and how all the agencies of this government collaborate and cooperate... intelligence... the absolute essential nature of our communications. And they worked fine in this crisis. But you could envision other scenarios..
Myers, of course, completely avoids the issue of intercept-response-time, (someone else's department) in order to emphasize "communications, [which] worked fine in this crisis... but you could envision..."
Well excuse me, but can you envision the gall of a commander talking about vague, future threats -while still in the aftershock of the most colossal domestic defense failure in living memory?
Can you envision calling it "fine communications" when the top commander is not even informed of a national emergency for fifty minutes?
Ooops, sorry: forgot about CNN.
CLELAND Thank you very much for your service and God bless you.
[Thank you, tiny Tim. God Bless Us, Everyone].
REED:it seems to me, in a very narrow point of force protection, that in terms of the Pentagon, a major military facility, you had absolutely no advance warning that such an attack was being contemplated, prepared, planned or executed. Is that correct?
MYERS: There was no strategic warning that this was contemplated or planned, to the best of my knowledge.
The general is carefully avoiding the part of this question which speaks to the Pentagon being unaware of an attack, as it was being executed, (underway, in-motion, comin' down the pipe, 'round the mountain, in through the window).
REED: And I presume, based on your discussion with Senator Cleland, that this has been a source of almost immediate examination and review by the Department of Defense, as to what can be done in the future to avoid this situation?
MYERS: Absolutely. And it's not just the Department of Defense, but all the civil agencies as well that have intel apparatus, given that this, you know, that they may have knowledge as well.
['I agree. Now let me deflect your attention from the incompetence of the Department of Defence one more time.']
REED: Thank you very much.
BUNNING: what action would you take to ensure the security of our nation, of our armed forces, from terrorist attacks?
MYERS: I think we need to look really closely at our intelligence capabilities, our ability to analyze the information we get.... I think we need to look at our communications as well. And again, I go back to the other issue, and that is the issue of homeland security, homeland defense. There are a lot of unanswered questions in this area that we've just got to wrestle to the ground. And we can't keep putting these off or we'll not be prepared in the future.
The General seems to be doing a very good job of "putting off" answering the relevant questions.
Here he blames the defenceless skies on "intelligence capabilities," "our ability to analyse information," and again on "communications" ["which," as he said earlier, "worked fine in this crisis"].
struck by the fact that the attacks that we experienced this
week are being treated more as a matter of law enforcement,
that the Department of Justice, for example, is the lead
agency, rather than as an act of war, where the Department
of Defense would be, I would assume, the lead agency.
Do you have any comments on how we better define the role of the Department of Defense?
MYERS: Well, as I indicated
earlier... Is this a civil law enforcement issue? Or is it
one of national security? Because, however you decide that
question, then will decide who has got primary
we need to define our roles and responsibilities, probably in ways that we haven't yet today.
I will tell you though, that the cooperation among all the departments and agencies of this government has been absolutely superb. And yes, this was a terrorist act and the FBI and the Department of Justice are working the evidentiary piece of this. And that's appropriate.
I must tell you though, General Myers is quite consistent with his insistent refusal to deal with any contentious issues in a straightforward manner.
The Senator is asking him why the debate around the attacks is centered on law enforcement? Why is justice the lead agency, when we were struck by a military attack?
Why is the military hanging in the
Why is the General saying, "however you decide that question"(?) -when it is the clearly the military which is the final arbitrator of who did? and does what?
We're not talking about policy here. We're talking about the power to act, (or not).
Could this avoidance of authority, (in appearance only) be related to the fact that the Pentagon was struck, supposedly "unawares"?
General Myers spins this off into a question of "unclear" roles and responsiblities -until the clarity of the original question is lost.
A FEW MORE POINTS OF INTEREST
It may be
worthwhile noting that the Senators were going to have a
closed-door session with General Myers immediately following
this one, (at which Deputy Defense Secretary Wolfowitz was
also going to be present) .
Numerous comments to this effect appear throughout the transcript.
ROBERTS: We're going to have to talk about that later. I won't go into it right now.
SMITH: Mr. Chairman, I have some other . . .
MYERS: I can tell you in closed session what I do know.
SMITH: I'll wait for that.
BILL NELSON: Perhaps we want to do this in our session, in executive session.
Most of the confirmation hearing didn't even concern Sept 11.
Senators asked General Myers about
space-command, missile-systems, biological warfare, anthrax
While it would only make sense that not every other military concern be put on hold for this hearing; (life must go on) one may be struck by just how much the government seems bent on carrying on with "business-as-usual."
It rather begs the question: what has to happen in modern U.S. society for the government to stop doing what it's doing, and really consider a fundamental change of management.
The Confirmation Hearings bring some kind of closure to the uncertainties which the evidence has thus far placed before us,
It was already abundantly clear that a gross, criminal negligence had occurred in the realm of civilian air defense on Sept 11th -without which, the terrorist plane attacks would not have been successful.
This appeared to involve ATC/FAA, NORAD, The President, and the Pentagon/DOD as co-incompetents.
Subsequent investigation has shown that the FBI -through its travesty of an investigation- is implicated at a very high level; and increasingly, the paths of culpability point towards the highest levels in the Pentagon, as "ground zero" -for responsibility denied.
Now with the appearance of General Myers before the Senate, we have clear confirmation of,
his personal evasion of responsibility for his role as top General during a national catastrophe,
incompetence beyond belief,
blatant contempt for considerations of accountability to the American public,
and as representative of the top Pentagon Commanders, clear indication of their cover-up and probable guilt for the criminal negligence of Sept. 11th, 2001.
General Myers admits that he and the "crisis-action team [were] up" after the first attack on the World Trade Center, (with a hijacked Flight 175, [NORAD confirmed] still fifty miles outside of New York City); and they did not see to it that a state of emergency was declared; and that fighter-intercepts from all available bases were ordered on immediate patrol.
He said "I do not know when NORAD responded with fighter-aircraft" -as if knowing that was an insignificant concern, a clear abandonment of his most basic responsibility.... to make sure that decisive action was immediately taken.
The General is unable to answer the most basic questions about when the Pentagon was first informed of the emergency, by whom, or whether planes were dispatched at all. Six times he tells Senators, 'I'll have to get back to you on that...' when he has an enormous staff available to provide him with every stat he needs.
This reflects a similar negligence we've already seen in the command staff of the Pentagon: from the Defense Secretary who says he and his staff were "unaware" that hijacked Flight 77 was headed towards them; to the Joint Chief Officers, monitoring the radar screens in the Command Center... aware of the national emergency since at least 8:50, (likely 8:40 or earlier) privy to all suspect radar data... yet no action taken for thirty-five minutes... if at all.
The Hearing has further confirmed that the Senate has no interest in uncovering the truth about what occurred on Sept. 11; in fact, it's members are doing everything they can to protect the military industrial complex from scrutiny.
This must widen and further complicate our examination of what happened on Sept 11, (and why). Amongst top officials in the Executive, the Pentagon, FBI, we must now cast a wary eye across the network of elected officials who have so thoroughly embraced the "war on terrorism" while avoiding the blatant criminal negligence of American officials which pre-date it.
We can come to no other conclusion but that,
something went terribly wrong in the command centers of the Pentagon on Sept. 11
the President was incapacitated because of it, for an entire day
Top Pentagon officials initiated a campaign of lies and mis-information to derail any public discussion.
the FBI generously fabricated evidence to quickly close the case in the minds of the public
elected officials rallied around the military, denying the obvious
the press made it all seem believable, knowingly or unknowingly, whether out of fear, servitude, or a lack of critical instinct.
The reality of such criminal negligence, widespread corruption, and incompetence is ominous indeed.
It means that the main centers of power and influence in U.S. society -nay, the world- are out of control, way out touch with reality, and that we are headed for a disaster of far greater proportions than 9/11.
For those of us aware that,
planet earth may be made uninhabitable for humans in a relatively short period of time,
humanity spends as much on weapons every two weeks -as it would take to feed all of us for an entire year
this disturbing reflection coming off the waters of Sept. 11th may not come as much of a surprise.
Ignorance and Responsibility
Perhaps one of the most telling aspects of General Myer's performance before the Senate, revolves around the language he employed, and the attitude this language embodies.
It's deceptive, dishonest, without honour, yet in a singularly unremarkable way.
There's no outright, brutish force employed, no charismatic pull to follow; simply an impetus to be left alone, to avoid contact, responsibility.... in order to fulfill one's hidden agenda.
What makes this attitude significant to us is that, it is one which permeates our entire modern culture.
From the attitude of children, (often having more respect for the TV than their elders) to the elders in government, (looking down on the "unwashed masses") there is a moral degeneracy which accompanies our refusal to be seen by others for who we really are. Instead, we cultivate an image by which we attempt to get what we want from others -while avoiding an open admission of intent as much as possible.
Thus, the vague, evasive language; the cultivated confusion of intent.
Underneath this soft, surreal blanket is the brutal face of power: in politics, business, a conversation.
Pornography is about power. Teenage angst, fashion, fame, are primarily about power: those who've got it, those who want it, and what people are willing to do to get it.
This quest for power is driving our world.
There's a different kind of power, of course, formed in the interaction of our vulnerable and courageous souls.
Yet when the deceptive power grows as a dominant force in society, it spreads like a cancer in the minds and hearts of the millions amongst us, and within.... crowding out most precious heart.
It is largely for this reason that the commanders in the Pentagon have been able to get away with their evasion of responsibility for the criminal negligence which occurred on Sept 11th, costing thousands of lives.
Sad to say: it is because we, the masses, don't want to know about it.
That is, we instinctively accept the Pentagon's claim of "we didn't know," "we weren't informed," as a valid excuse, because we ourselves want to believe that our own ignorance of something absolves us of responsibility.
Thus: 'if I avoid knowing about something, then I am less responsible for what effect it may have.'
Such an ignorance, of course, stops short of when we perceive it affecting us; (though we ultimately blind ourselves to its effects on us) the emphasis of our ignorance is on how it affects others.
Thus: 'I don't want to know what my government is doing to other people around the world, so long as I don't perceive it affecting me personally; and if I'm not aware of it's effect on others, then I bear no responsibility for it; hence, the reason we choose to avoid being aware of it.
We know that the governments we elect are schools of deception, yet we continue to elect them, and/or turn our backs on the true implications.... ignoring its effects.
We know that the military let us down on Sept 11th, but we don't want to think about it, for the implications that lie in the dark doorway beyond our dependence on an authoritarian state.
The flip side of this, of course, is that most of us citizens today are unable to separate ourselves from the actions of our government, when it is attacked; for it is precisely because we choose to remain so ignorant, that we are shocked if/and when the repercusions finally hit home.
This is why very few of us were able to listen to the the quite valid argument that American (and European) foreign policy is largely responsible for creating the culture of international terrorism in the first place.
Like a pendulum, we swing from ignorance, to shock, to blind allegiance, then back to ignorance again.
Our governments, and centers of influence are very well aware of this; in fact, they encourage it, cultivate it, because they can use it to their own advantage.
While we all share in a state of general ignorance, the rich and powerful are are not ignorant about power, they merely use the appearance of being "unaware" of it in order to absolve themselves of responsibility for the benefits they receive. We, on the other hand, ("the people") choose to remain ignorant of the power-question, accepting the elite's avoidance of responsibility, (appearing as ignorance) in return for a few table scraps, and the ability to avoid the responsibility of knowing what the elite are doing to others.
These are not our only motivations, of course; we struggle every day, (often heroically) to live honourable lives -under great pressure, invariably put upon us by those elites; yet at a certain point, our own oppression no longer becomes a worthy excuse for ignoring the oppression of others; dignity demands that we lift our heads up to behold our whole, human essence.
We are as yet, on the whole, unwilling to deal with the prospect that the government is unworthy of our trust; wherein, we can rely on it no longer, to shield us from our fears; and so the problem keeps getting worse... as it has been for a long, long time.
We do not want to look beyond our own backyard, unless we have to.
This is where the government, military/media can say,
"those planes wouldn't have got there on time anyway... we wouldn't have been able to shoot them down without..."
'don't trouble yourself with asking questions.... it won't make any difference.... we'll take care of it'.
And we accept it, because it lets us off the hook. All we have to do is let those in power off the hook too.
How conveniant for all concerned.
Our menial comfort zones, and the image we have spent so long in crafting, we protect at great cost: we continue to eke out our partial paths of pleasure, rarely realizing that there are some who have learned to profit handsomely from this network of isolated illusions, in which we all play some small part.
The cry of our true inner being never grows silent; always we seek to find a way; so even when we finally open our arms to embrace the whole truth, the bitter beauty, we find the struggle continues.
The depth of denial which confronts us looms large; ultimately, beyond comprehension: a devastating, relentless expansion of social decay, disintegrating relationships, divided self, imperiled earth; wherein, only the courage to continue shall find within us, a cool compassion, with the capacity to endure.
We forge ahead, as solitary souls, faithful, that the underlying bond between us shall become that much more visible; in the eyes of others, in the arms that one day shall receive us.
When we look upon our everyday heroics and facades as expressions of one, whole humanity, we can see in the language of a General Myers the tired, life-denying ambition which so cruelly characterizes our present human condition: the absence of clarity and concrete inspiration; the combination of lukewarm logic and a vicious boot to the balls; bloody war, bombs to keep the economy booming.
Ignorance, confusion, diffusion of blame -all these contribute to the false sense of freedom we associate with an absence of responsibility.
It's in this context, that we may find meaning in the
SCIENCE of SPIN
Spin is a topic worthy of detailed scrutiny.
In general, a spin evolves from an intention to hide the truth about a given situation, through avoidance, delicate denials, and the semi-conscious creation of confusion.
We may see the embryonic form of this quite clearly in the behavior of children, (esp. teenagers): attempting to establish their own power and authority amongst others more powerful than they, struggling with the ethical challenge of short-term gain vs. long-term love.
In political/social terms, spin becomes significant to us, as an organized system of deception -whereby certain interests cultivate a culture of collective mind management.
This organized form of spin is of a much more sophisticated, refined nature than the instinctive, childhood kind, (though it relies on the dissemination of that same ground-floor deception, to nourish the soil in which the spin can take root).
It almost goes without saying that, in our modern society, we are daily bombarded with a whole labyrinth of sophisticated spins... from numerous levels of government, corporations, advertsiers, "experts," "specialists," "advisors," "think tanks" -and, of course, the media.
These are of varying degrees of deception.
We must always allow individuals and groups some bias in their advocacy of a certain point of view; and it is this open and honest exchange of views which we want to distinguish from deception, misrepresentation, and all the various hidden characteristics associated with what we call spin.
The spin is most often observed within nominally "democratic" societies, where the "public's right to know" is an operating assumption. In fascist, totalitarian states, this sense of accountability is openly declared irrelevant to the exercise of power. In so-called "democracies," it is not so much denied as it is managed.
In general, the object of the spin is to suspend a clear understanding of a particular issue, only long enough for events to move the spin into the dustbin of irrelevance.
Thus, the operating principle: neither deny nor confirm.
Outright denial is often a confirmation of something; it allows some closure to a particular question, allowing the observer to move on to other questions, or examine the denial as if it is standing still, solid, confirmed.
Though denial itself is the essence of spin, a concrete, specific denial usually requires other "ingrediants" to draw attention away from it.
The preferred practice is to both engage and deflect the inquiring observer's attention, so as to occupy it, keep it moving, in flux, until "nobody cares" anymore.
For instance: a "spinster" may say, 'yes, exactly... I'll be glad to answer that...' then proceed to unveil a line of cause and effect which really doesn't speak to the question being asked; but rather, to one which sounds like it... leading to completely different, (confused and irrelevant) conclusions.
A few examples of this which we have already seen include:
General Myers before the Senate,
Q: "[did you have] advance warning that such an attack was being contemplated, prepared, planned or executed...?"
MYERS: "There was no strategic warning that this was contemplated or planned...."
(carefully avoiding the component of the question.... 'did you have a warning that an attack was being executed,' 'underway,' 'goin' down,').
Q: "And I presume... that this has been a source of almost immediate examination?"
MYERS: Absolutely. And it's not just the Department of Defense, but all the civil agencies...
"Absolutely... and... but..."
After describing how completely "unaware" the Pentagon was that a plane was coming towards them, Newsday speaks to what is on everyone's mind,
"To many Americans, it probably seems inconceivable that an unauthorized aircraft could get that close to the nation's military command center [Pentagon] on any day, let alone one when the nation was under attack."
Then deflects the question into la la land.
"Yet U.S. continental air defenses, slashed dramatically since the Cold War ended..."
substituting why-the-planes-were-not-intercepted for why-the-Pentagon-was-"unaware."
Readers may also recall the deliberate confusion by Pentagon officials, Dick Cheney, etc. of routine "interception" with "shoot-down."
Sometimes the object of the spin is simply to downplay controversy -to make glaring errors seem more reasonable.
After two weeks of silence, (following the President's nine-hour detour from Washington on Sept. 11th, blamed by White House officials on "clear and credible evidence" that the attackers had "access to Presidential codes") White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer says,
"I'm not going to comment on... it's not an uncommon occurrence for people to threaten.... This has nothing to do with anything.... This is about an attack that took place on our country." (ibid)
We have also noted on numerous occasions, how the object of a spin may be to appeal to more malleable, push-button emotions in the observer, which serve to distract from the calm, contentious, critical ones.
could not have foreseen...."
"We were caught off-guard...."
"faced with a horrifying decision..."
"We really [lied -I mean] tried...."
The beauty and significance of the larger spin is that, once we have been able to pierce through the web of explanations, the spin campaign itself becomes one of the most damning and localized pieces of evidence, indicating guilt.
In the case of a 'national-event' such as Sept. 11, the spin campaign also provides a most penetrating lens by which to see into the inner workings of a country's power-structure.
We can, however, only arrive at this insight after we have spent much time and effort in piercing through the various explanations.
At first, the web of "stories" seems complex, diverse, and perhaps convincing.
As each "explanation" is explored, and found to be unconvincing -an array of unresolved contradictions is left in the wake of our movement towards the center, inevitably leading towards higher and higher levels of decision-making authority.
As we near the source-point of the "larger spin," the sense of dis-connection between the various diversionary spins starts transforming into connections of persons, times, dates; and the remaining confusion itself begins to take on the weight of solid evidence.
Then we discover, at the core of the various spins, the "main spin" which all the others are designed to deflect attention away from.
Now turning, we can look back along the path and clearly see how all the various "spins" serve the center; and then, to other observers, we can lay out the structure of the spin, (as an organized whole) so that they/we/you can grasp it's central character without having to go through all the sifting.
The main spin is usually rather subtle to the uninformed eye; glaring, once grasped.
In our case, we discovered that,
the Department of Defense is making it seem as if it was "uninformed," as to the aviation emergencies taking place on Sept 11.
This evasion of responsibility was necessary to cover-up the fact that something happened within the highest levels of the Pentagon, to insure that the Air Force did not do its job.
To the uninformed observer, this may appear insignificant. To those of us with a clear understanding of what "command" means, it's as solid as the human spirit is wide.
Whether by unconcious, criminal negligence or intentional treason, we cannot yet say: it's clear that the blame directed (by the Pentagon) to other segments does not hold sufficient water to hold back the tide of suspician.
The primary purpose of the various weak explanations was to divert attention from what is, in essence, a glaring incongruity: the military, which justifies its existence on its ability to be in charge, was not: thousands died; and a traumitized nation was provoked into war.
Standing at the gate of spin-central, we can now clearly see another essential component of the campaign:
the "fall-guy" -the patsy- the one who's supposed to take the bulk of the blame, just in case the initial campaign of damage-control and distraction does not work.
Clearly, in the case of the air defense negligence of Sept. 11, the main body of the blame would fall on the FAA/ATC.
This is in the official timeline of NORAD. It has been clearly identified in the press.
There have been no charges publicly filed against FAA/ATC officials, yet; because, to do so, would be to admit to the existence of the criminal negligence. When innocent people are charged, there's bound to be resistance. Far less messy to simply deny it, by downplaying the extent of the FAA delay.
Any "investigation" has so far been confined to an "internal" review; but if sufficient public dissatisfaction with the "official" story of Sept. 11 begins to mount, we can confidently predict that a selective blaming of certain officials will be made public, (in controlled doses).
The cynical manipulations implied in such a conscious campaign of cover-up and false accusation should not lead us to assume that the perpetrators of this are the "personification of evil," or jump to conclusions about intentional "treason," and so on; nor should it shock or surprise us.
An ongoing infrastructure of "damage-control experts," "p-r specialists," etc. are now considered an essential component of any major governmental authority or institution.
They are designed and constructed so as to be able to move into action, as soon as an emergency, crisis, scandal occurs.
Those employed in these positions, (to varying degrees) have been well-trained in the art of extracting personal morality out of their waking existence, and maintaining passive, emotionless expressions while they lie.
Some do it for the money, some for the prestige, and the taste of power; some have convinced themselves it's in the "national interest." Most are just gutless wonders.
They're good at what they do; and they're an essential part of "doing business."
To see a real "master" at work, just watch a White House press conference, presently hosted by Press Secretary Ari Fleischer:
smoother than a speeding bullet,
more dourful than a token motive,
able to leap tall falsehoods in a single bound;
trained to pacify an entire room of scoop-scrounging journalists,
with a mirage of meanings meandering
into a circular feast
of fresh-waxed sheen.
Having said this, it remains quite possible that the failure of the military to protect American skies on Sept 11th, may be solely and entirely due to an unintentional, (though still criminal) incompetence and negligence.
We have thus far simply proven that the negligence existed, emanating from the highest reaches of the Pentagon (and the Executive) and that a system-wide campaign of damage-control was quickly initiated.
If we have not yet made a case for the possibility of intentional sabotage and treason, it was because it would have been highly speculative. The facts demanded that a case for negligence be verified, before the causes could be explored.
Now that we can further see the extent to which governments are pre-disposed to planning deceit, this may be the logical time to examine the more-troubling question.
In doing so, we should not be tempted to assume some scenario.
The concept of treason doesn't necessarily mean that elements which may have intentionally undermined civilian air defense on Sept 11th knew that thousands of American lives would be lost.
An intentional sabotage of some kind may spark a corresponding unplanned negligence which takes the effects to a level which a perpetrator does not foresee.
Intentional acts on the part of some top officials does not mean that all, or even most of them were involved; it could indicate some kind of internal power-struggle, causing unforseen consequences.
Nor can we absolutely rule out the possibility that thousands of civilians were intentionally sacrificed for certain ends; for, in the dark dimensions of the human condition, great power can sometimes make men do unthinkable things.
Rather than assuming some scenario, we are simply asking the question: is it possible?
The systematic nature of the criminal negligence, coupled with the Pentagon's claim of surprise, then a spin campaign unfolding with military precision, makes it reasonable for us to explore this possibility: if only to put the question to rest, (make a clear distinction between "conspiracy theory" and serious research) and move on.
Neither should we think that we are nearing the end of our investigation; for if there is evidence to support the charge of intentional sabotage, then it may be that our investigation is just beginning; and readers should be prepared for a whole other scope of inquiry demanding the same careful, critical approach we have thusfar employed.
The outline for a case of criminal negligence has been placed before you.
It is now up to the American people, world-citizens, community groups, to take this information -test it in your own research and experience- and raise a call for a process of national inquiry, in the most public way possible.
Let us now turn and face the question of intentional sabotage, by asking the simple question,
Who could have been expected to benefit from the devastation of 9/11?
In attempting to answer this question, we must not be tempted to lay blame on someone -simply because they may appear to benefit in some way.
Some benefits may be coincidental, some intentional, and some a mixture of both.
Whether someone actively participates in a crime, or merely takes advantage of the situation, by covering over, (or ignoring) what may be unpleasant for the public to hear, it is the nature of the question that we attempt to make the distinctions clear.
It must first be absolutely clear to any thinking person, that the attacks of Sept. 11 have not benefited those in the Moslem world who are violently opposed to American foreign policy, (i.e. the "terrorist" community).
Nor could it have been otherwise.
It’s one thing to blow up an American Embassy in Kenya, or the USS Cole in the Middle-East -thousands of miles away from the direct experience of the vast American public. It’s quite another to bring death and destruction down on thousands of civilians in the heart of America -in broad daylight- where it could not help but be aired on nationwide TV.
The strengthening of public resolve behind American foreign policy -against those resisting it; this would have been entirely predictable.
No doubt, there may be a percentage of people in the world who are so angry at America, as to be irrational about it; that is, to think that killing thousands of American civilians in broad daylight will somehow "even the score," (for a multitude of grievances); or, that it might bring about a change in American foreign policy.
Clearly, such people are not operating with a full deck.
That such irrationality might be mixed in with a complex, covert operation of "stunning precision" -requiring a careful build-up over many years, and the execution of cold-blooded operatives- may make us wonder to what extent dupes, (of varying degrees) may have had the help of "skilled professionals" -to gain access to U.S. soil, airplanes, and training, etc.
As such, we may then wonder why such skilled professionals would use fanatics to such an end; for clearly, (from the point of view of those opposing American foreign policy) it was a predictably stupid thing to do.
On the other hand, in spite of the trauma and suffering that Sept 11 has brought to the American people, (and much of the "western" world) there is clearly no doubt that the Sept. 11th attacks have greatly benefited the prestige and power of the Bush Administration, and of the American military machine in general.
Again, this would have been entirely predictable.
The rush of patriotic fervor behind the President has put aside nagging complaints with economy. The slide into recession, (which was already happening anyway) are now largely blamed on the attacks.
In the aftermath of Sept. 11, Bush has been allowed to push through legislation and initiatives which he would not have been able to do otherwise -such as his tax giveaway to huge multinational corporations, camouflaged as a "Stimulus Package"
or his welcoming of China into the WTO.
Before Sept 11, this embrace of China, (whose slave-labor camps represent a powerful point of investment for "western" capital) would have seen massive protests from the anti-globalization movement.
This movement, which only a few months previous, (in Genoa, Italy) had gathered over two-hundred thousand in protest, represents a powerful -though as yet, loosely organized- force of resistance to the neo-liberal policies of the major "western" countries, (which lies behind the creation of the World Trade Organization, or WTO).
The next mass demonstration was planned for Washington DC in late September, (a meeting of the IMF/World Bank, it was subsequently held in Ottawa, Canada, on Oct. 16th, under extremely subdued conditions).
By Jan. 2002, Bush had won important "fast-track" veto powers in regard to the WTO, (Trade Authority Promotion Bill, passed in Congress, 215 for, 214 against); and interestingly enough, the organizers of the World Economic Forum, (WEF) the next anticipated scene of mass protest chose... New York City... as the location for their February meeting.
The attacks have also provided for a far-reaching curtailment of civil liberties, (powers of detention, military tribunals) which dovetail nicely with a "law and order" president, (famous for the number of executions he presided over as Governor of Texas) and a cabinet largely drawn from the CIA and Department of Defence.
"The Vice President is an oil executive and
former Secretary of Defense. The national Security Advisor
is a director on the board of a transnational oil
corporation and a Russian scholar. The Secretary of State is
a man with no diplomatic experience whatsoever, and the
former Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff... Donald
Rumsfeld... former CEO of Searle Pharmaceuticals... [along
with Cheney was] featured speaker at the May, 2000,
Russian-American Business Leaders Forum. So the consistent
currents in this cabinet are petroleum, the former Soviet
Union, and the military."
Presently enforced on immigrants and foreign nationals, one could confidently predict it would only be a matter of time before such powers would be used to suppress dissent amongst American citizens, under the guise of "patriotism."
"Attorney General John Ashcroft is rounding up or interrogating thousands of immigrants in what will go down in history as the Ashcroft Raids. The FBI and secret service are harassing artists, activists... publishers are firing anti-war columnists and cartoonists. University presidents are scolding dissident faculty members."
"They [secret service] said they had several reports of anti-American activity going on here and wanted to see the exhibit."
"On November 1, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) sent a disturbing letter to its members.
'Dear Bookseller, Last week, President Bush signed into law an anti-terrorism bill that gives the federal government expanded authority to search your business records, including the titles of the books purchased by your customers... There is no opportunity for you or your lawyer to object in court. You cannot object publicly, either. The new law includes a gag order that prevents you from disclosing 'to any person' the fact that you have received an order to produce documents."
Taken from, "The New McCarthyism," by Matthew Rothschild, "The Progressive" magazine.
NATO, the American-led international military force, has found a new, expanded purpose on the global stage. It now leads a multi-national coalition whose expressed purpose is an ongoing "war against terrorism", which finds legitimate expression in the invasion of any country it deems guilty of "harboring the terrorists", (without regard to international law, the U.N. or any other body).
In this regard, two additional comments from the Confirmation Hearing of General Myers may be relevant,
CLELAND: "...about the role of America in the wake of the Cold War being over and that, in many ways, we were hyperextended. We were overextended. Our forces were spread thin.
And I personally, like you and others in this body here, have been to see where we have spent $300 million in defending, with Camp Bonnestille (ph), Kosovo; where throughout the continent of Europe; where last August I was up on the DNZ; where we've got 37,000 troops in Korea."
SESSIONS: President Bush this year is proposing -- and will achieve, I believe -- a $38 billion increase, over $30 billion."
So before 9/11, hyperextended military power; after 9/11, huge increase in military spending.
Senator Cleland adds,
"For this hyperextension of American power, all around the globe, it does seem ironic to me that we can't defend New York and Washington."
All this can only be good for defense contractors, of course, and for the protection of "western" corporations -milking the sweat off impoverished workers in the developing world.
For those familiar with the behaviour of modern nation-states and superpowers, one could have seen this coming -even as the planes were seen striking the towers.
Beneath the screams of the September innocents, one could faintly hear the echo of the screams to come, (which would not be heard) -in the prison cells, the solitary confinements, beneath the veil of loyalty oaths imposed, of neighbours no longer talking.
In the words of General Wesley Clark, (Supreme NATO Commander, speaking at the time of the the Serbian invasion of Kosovo) all this would have been "entirely predictable."
Again, none of this "proves" that members of the Bush Administration, the military, etc. intentionally allowed the Sept 11th attacks to occur. We are simply asking the question:
Who has benefited? And in what way?
The people of Afghanistan have certainly not benefited from the attacks, (though we wouldn't know much about that -by the way the media has steadfastly ignored the reports of civilian casualties; which, by late December, had exceeded the number of deaths in the Sept. 11th attacks. see Webactive.com Democracy Now, archives, Dec. 10).
If we look more-closely, we can see that it is actually certain American, British, and other "western" interests that have much to gain from the ensuing conquest of Afghanistan.
Afghanistan is located next to a number of Russia’s faltering former republics, Uzebekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan -which represent a critical point of entry (for "the west") into the undeveloped resources of Central/East Asia.
The Caspian sea area is said to be one of the world’s richest untapped sources of oil and natural gas.
Afghanistan is the logical route for an oil pipeline from the Caspain sea to SouthEast Asia, which the Unocal company has been lobbying Congress on for years.
So long as the volatile Taliban remained in power, the pipeline would not get built.
To some observers, the massive Afghan opium trade also holds strategic importance.
There’s even plenty of information to suggest that, not only does the administration have a motive for finding Bin Laden and co. at fault, (in order to justify an intervention) but that they were already planning for an intervention into Afghanistan well before Sept 11th.
Former Pakistani Foreign Secretary, Niaz Naik, says that senior American officials in mid-July [told him] that military action against Afghanistan would go ahead by the middle of October. (BBC, Sept 18).
"India Reacts," (June 26) reports that India, Iran, and Russia were talking with American officials, (Powell) about "plans for ‘limited military action’ against the Taliban if the contemplated tough new economic sanctions don't bend Afghanistan's fundamentalist regime."
As of October, 2001, the U.S. administration began admitting that they’re not after Bin Laden, so much as they want to get rid of the Taliban; then they’re suddenly willing to include Taliban "moderates", (who were previously only worthy of "no negotiations") in a new, [U.S. controlled] Afghani coalition, (Washington Times, October 9, 2001)
For those of us aware of U.S. foreign intervention over the last one hundred years, the pattern rings familiar.... as the motivating force, driving behavior.
More disturbing still, is how the demonizing of Bin Laden and the Taliban, (by the Bush Adminstration, Congress, the military, and the media) may be partly driven by the desire to cover-up the close ties between "the enemy," the CIA, and the American establishment.
bin Laden and the CIA
By Washington’s own admission, the U.S. invested some $6 billion in covert weapons support, (through Pakistan) to the Afghani rebels fighting the Soviet Union, (1979-89). This was the largest covert operation in history.
In this context, the American government encouraged the most extreme Islamic, (Saudi Arabian) factions.
Between 1982 and 1992, some 35,000 Muslim radicals from 43 Islamic countries would come to fight with the Afghani Mujahadeen.
Contrary to mainstream presumption, U.S. support for Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban didn’t end with the Soviet withdrawal, or the Gulf War of 1991.
Numerous well-documented articles on Bin Laden and the CIA are available at: http://emperors-clothes.com/indict/911page.htm#2
It was American, (and through them) Pakistani funds which created the massive expansion of the Taliban schools in the first place; this support ensured the victory of the Taliban over the other Afgani tribes, in the vicious civil war which followed the pull-out of the Soviets.
I can still remember a remarkable film shown on TV soon after the Sept 11 attacks: an old follower of beloved Afghani leader Ahmed Massoud, (assassinated two days before Sept 11 by Pakistani hit-men) bitterly rages at the Pakistani army for its support of the "foreign invaders" (Taliban)... re-igniting the fighting after a ten-year battle.
They were on ‘our’ team.
According to "The Washington Times," "The Canberra Times," (Australia) "The Charleston Gazette," and numerous other publications, Osama Bin Laden and co. were directly involved in pro-American "terrorist" organizations in Bosnia, Kosovo, (KLA) and Macedonia -right up until the summer of 2001.
"But, one may protest, "this doesn't make sense. Why would the U.S. military support anti-American movements?"
The critical geo-political component to recognize here is this: de-stabilization.
In the conquest and control of a foreign territory, progress often proceeds in stages.
If the opponent's central government is strong, then it must first be weakened, by inciting dissaffection amongst those groups who already feel marginalized -exacerbating long-standing ethnic and cultural suspicians- giving arms to the most extreme, criminal factions, even committing acts of sabotage to create unrest.
This can then provide the pretext for a broader, full-scale invasion.
Even nominally "anti-American" governments, (i.e The Taliban) can be tolerated if the military support and adherence to U.S. policy is maintained through a third party, (i.e. Pakistan).
These same terrorist cells are also said, (by some, see tenc.com) to be active in the Chechen separatist movement -perhaps responsible for the bombings of apartment buildings in Moscow in 1999.
Equally disturbing may be the growth in the Afghani opium trade alongside American/Pakistani involvement.
Citing numerous reports, University of Ottawa professor Micheal Chossudovsky says that, "prior to theSoviet/Afghan war, the opium trade was directed to small regional markets. There was no local production of heroin.... within two years of.. the CIA operation in Afghanistan, 'the Pakistan-Afghanistan borderlands became the world's top heroin producer, supplying 60 per sent of the U.S. demand…With the disintegration of the Soviet Union, a new surge in opium production has unfolded. (According to UN estimates)."
On July 12, 2000, (at a U.S. Congressional Committee Mtg) Rep. Dana Rohrabacher bitterly "charged the U.S. State Department with pretending to oppose bin Laden and the Taliban while actually secretly supporting them." (ibid, see tenc.com "Congressman").
As late as May, 2001, the Bush Administration pledged "another $43 million to Afghanistan, [Taliban] raising the total yearly aid to $124 million," (Washington Post).
So women's right's organizations, protesting the barbarity of the Taliban, should not be fooled by the sudden expressions of sympathy for the plight of Afghani women, by the Bush Administration and the media.
Then, the Oct. 10th 2001 edition of the Wall Street Journal quotes The Indian Times as saying that, Pakistan’s "Lt. Gen. Mahmud Ahmad had been fired as head of Islamabad's Inter-Services Security, [ISI] agency after U.S. linked him to a militant allied with terrorists who hijacked an Indian Airlines plane in 1999."
The article states: "Top sources confirmed here on Tuesday, that the general lost his job because of the ‘evidence’ India produced to show his links to one of the suicide bombers that wrecked the World Trade Centre. The US authorities sought his removal after confirming the fact that $100,000 was wired to WTC hijacker Mohammed Atta from Pakistan by Ahmad Umar Sheikh at the instance of Gen Mahumd." [My emphasis].
It further turns out that this same general had arrived in the US on the 4th of September, a full week before the terrorist attacks. He had "a regular visit of consultations" with his US counterparts at the CIA and the Pentagon during the week prior to September 11, and meetings at the State Department after the attacks. (This is fully confirmed by Reuters, N.Y. Times, Newsweek. For full documentation, see
"The evidence we [the Government of India] have supplied to the US, [as to Pakistan’s involvement in anti-western terrorism] is of a much wider range and depth than just one piece of paper linking a rogue general to some misplaced act..." Agence France Press (AFP)
Is this not shocking?: the head of the Pakistani secret service, (the force that is most-directly serving U.S. interests in the region) who is meeting with top U.S. security officials in Washington, (before and after the Sept 11th attacks) is "let go" in Oct. because he’s linked to sending $100,000 to the supposed ring-leader of the terrorist attacks!?!
There was no meaningful discussion of this in the mainstream press.
Then there’s the report of the Wall Street Journal, Sept 27th 2001, (amongst others) which states that the Bin Laden family is part owner of the Carlyle Group, (the world’s largest private equity firm specializing in arms sales) for which former President George Bush sr. is a consultant, while numerous members of Bush’s former cabinet are either partners or directors. (The Bin Laden’s have since divested themselves).
So at the same time that President Bush was declaring war on "the evildoers," he makes no mention of all the intimate connections between them and the American establishment.
None of these facts make Osama Bin Laden into a "nice guy," (or absolve him of possible involvement in Sept 11); but they do cast any involvement or knowledge he might have had into a different light; that is, elements of the American empire were using him and his network to achieve certain policy ends -right up to the summer of 2001, (and probably beyond).
As an "asset," (or dupe) of American foreign policy, in certain aspects, (usually funded and armed through a third party, like Pakistan, the KLA, etc.) Bin Laden also served as a convenient way to brand-name all those opposed to that policy, ("look ma, bloody hands"); and now, as "evildoer": to divert attention away from the American security lapses that allowed the attacks of Sept 11 to occur.
The "collateral damage" which Pentagon playmakers often refer to, (as the number of unintended casualties they are willing to tolerate -in the interests of certain policy gains) could just as well refer to the soldiers killed in the bombing of the U.S. Cole, or the U. S. Embassy in Kenya, as it does to:
dead civilians in Afghanistan, Isreal, or Rwanda,
disappeared trade-unionists in Columbia,
torture victims in Turkey, and so on.
Sometimes this is referred to as "blowback"; or it's just part of
We must further concede at least the possibility that, the existence of a "terrorism" which supports "western" (NATO) foreign policy doesn’t necessarily end with that foreign policy.
At any rate, there’s simply no question that the above documentation does cast serious doubt, as to the Bush, (and Clinton) Administration’s sincerity, in presenting Bin Laden as "the enemy".
Our exploration here, of "who benefits," has not yet pointed to specific characters who may have intentionally abetted the attacks of Sept. 11; the evidence simply suggests that there are many interests within a dominant world-power, (economic, military, political) who have much to gain with the creation of an ongoing, global, military campaign, while ensuring a compliant U.S. population.
These gains have now been realized, compliments of the "war on terrorism."
If you have any doubts about these conclusions, test the links for yourself.
Do your own research.
Make your own conclusions.
Blaming bin Laden
The centerpiece of the government/media spin, of course, surrounded the blaming and demonizing of Osama Bin Laden.
This began at full throttle within an hour of the attacks, with CNN’s own "national security correspondent"David Ensor.(CNN "Breaking News," 11am).
Government hawks like Gen. Wesley Clark, (11:28) John McCain and Orin Hatch, (12:40) appeared soon after, pointing a trembling, accusatory finger.
On Sept. 12th, George W. Bush caused a bit of a sensation by referring to the attacks as "acts of war," "bracing the nation for a long fight against terrorism." (Nashua Telegraph, Sept 12)
Within two days CNN was already leading every show with the caption: "America’s New War." (see "CNN Transcripts," cnn.com)
In less than a week, Bush had declared war on Bin Laden, The Taliban, Afghanistan, and "all those who harbor terrorists" -and the burning question of ‘how could such a breakdown in security have occurred?’ was completely over-shadowed.
In the aftermath of national emotional shock, the American people found themselves swiftly moving to an expanded military posture, (at home, and abroad).
Few could find a reason to argue in such a moment of national grief and anger.
There was no room given for careful public debate or investigation -to which the mainstream media passively (and/or hatefully) complied.
Under the pretext of "national-security," the Bush Administration made not even a pretense of providing evidence of Bin Laden’s guilt -while issuing demands of the Taliban government which they knew the Taliban could not possibly meet.
Now, any intelligent person understands that if you want to negotiate with someone, (in order to avoid an all-out war) even "pathological liars," (as Rumsfeld described the Taliban) have their negotiating points.
Even if we were to threaten an opponent with all-out war, surround the country with troops, or make a demonstration of power, we must still leave them some room to move towards our demands; or war then becomes "entirely predictable."
Although the Taliban were amongst the world's most brutal of religious extremists -a vicious mercenary army ultimately funded by the CIA- what real standing they had in the Moslem world was based on their adherence to Islamic law.
An important principle of the Islamic faith, (as some in the media informed us) is, ‘one must never expose one’s guest, visitor, to the hands of their enemy.'
To demand that the Taliban "hand over" Bin Laden within a few days, without even the pretense of respecting Islamic custom, codes of international law, etc.; it was a foregone conclusion that the Taliban would not comply.
In the aftermath of the death, outrage smouldering in the ruins of the two towers, the terms "no negotiations" may have seemed reasonable to some Americans, (at first); yet to those of us thoroughly-seasoned to the slice of past American campaigns, (Noriega, Saddaam Hussein, Milosevic) it seemed quite clear that the Bush Administration was intentionally being beligerant because they didn't actually want Bin Laden handed over; rather, they wanted a pretext for invasion.
One wonders, (if the Taliban had been smart enough to realize that their former benefactors were suddenly going to serve them up a buffet of beligerance beyond even their dictatorial comprehension): what would they have had to do to satisfy the superpower, and avoid annihilation?
Alas, the Taliban were, in the larger scheme of things, small-time brutes: blinded by the powers their petty fiefdom enshrined; and so, their response, again, was "entirely predictable."
Then in comes England’s Tony Blair, vying for the title of imperial sidekick, toady, millenial lick-spittle... with claims of providing "overwhelming," "incontrovertible" proof -as to Bin Laden’s guilt.
This turns out to be little more than loose-fitting conjecture and hearsay.
Upon investigation, we find the all-important phrase: "There is other intelligence we cannot disclose of an even more direct nature indicating guilt." (BBC Online).
Then in mid-December, with the initial conquest of Afghanistan coming to a close, the U.S. happens to find a video "confession" of Bin Laden in some bombed-out village.
It’s supposed to "close the book" on any lingering doubt’s about Bin Laden’s guilt.
At first, many observers call the evidence "damning"; yet substantive doubts soon begin to appear from all quarters and angles:
The possibilities of "Hollywood effects"-type manipulation, (a la Forrest Gump)
The problems of translation, sound-quality
The quality of Bin Laden’s nose-job,
At any rate, (and as per usual) the actual content of the conversation, does not appear to be nearly as damning as officials first claimed, (and as media then assumes).
Whether Bin Laden knew about the attacks beforehand, (and could care less about American civilians) is rather irrelevant to the question of:
Who masterminded these attacks? (upon which America has justified its invasion of another country)
Have the members of the Bush Administration, the military, and the media -who are presenting this as evidence- proven themselves to be trustworthy advocates of the truth?
The fact that this "smoking gun" has only unleashed more controversy than it sought to contain,
suggests that the real questions remain unanswered.
Another related, (though perhaps, as yet, not central) aspect of the September 11th breakdown in air defense, is the question of whether some elements within society, (besides the terrorists) had advance knowledge of the attacks.
Of particular interest is the activity of the stock-market, in the days and weeks before Sept 11.
Obviously, if one had advance knowledge, one could have predicted that certain airline stocks would plummet after the attacks.
On Sept 13th, The San Francisco Chronicle reports that a massive trade of United Airline (and related, insurance) stocks had taken place on the three days before the attack. (I can no longer locate this article online; but the following source goes into the trading in some detail, discussing banking interests closely connected to the CIA):
This was followed up by Reuters reports, (9-20-1)
Chicago traders on Wednesday cited unusual activity in airline options up to a month before attacks on U.S. landmarks, and German bankers reported brisk activity in reinsurer Munich Re shares, adding to speculation that those behind the attacks tried to profit from their acts.
By Laura Jacobs and Thomas Atkins
"Bundesbank President Ernst Welteke said that in
addition to strange movements in airline and insurance
shares there were signs of suspicious dealings in gold and
oil around the time of the September 11 attacks.
``There is lots of speculation and rumors at the moment so we have to be careful. But...that there are ever clearer signs that there were activities on international financial markets which must have been carried out with the necessary expert knowledge,'' Welteke said during a break in an EU finance ministers' meeting.
`With the oil price we have seen
before the attacks a fundamentally inexplicable rise in the
price, which could mean that people have bought oil
contracts which were then sold at a higher price,'' he
Gold markets also saw movements ``which need explaining.''
Welteke said the first evidence of unusual price movements emerged last Thursday, two days after the attacks.
By correspondent A. Chalomumbai
These extreme irregularities were soon transformed into questions of how "the terrorists" (Bin Laden, Al Quieda) may have profited from the attacks; the possibility of any other "interests" profiting from them quietly faded into the background of the "internal" investigation.
Summary of Spin
Now that we have included in our analysis of the Sept. 11th attacks, an exploration of a key area, foreign policy, (which the U.S. government and mainstream media have completely left out of the discussion framework) we can clearly see that
the Bush Administration and Department of Defense, (et al) are guilty of transfering the rage that many Americans felt over the attacks, into a pretext for attacking and annexing Afghanistan.
This must cause us to pause and consider with what speed and efficiency the American military found its ground after being so "confused" on Sept. 11th; and further, how the Pentagon could claim to be so caught off-guard during an actual military emergency, then be able to so quickly and effectively create a cover-story with all the precision and scope of a military campaign.
Minions in high places were dispatched to repeat the sacred mantras of "too few planes," "no authorization to shoot down," "we simply weren't aware," and transponderitis.
"Official spokesmen" speaking on condition of anonymity, the Secretary of Defense and staff working diligently away in Pentagon isolation tanks, planes "desperately" flying "like a scalded ape," indestructible passports and porn-loving Moslems: each of these explanations we have examined and found to be little more than flimsy spin.
And yet, with all the apparent deficiency of these arguments, we may marvel at their effectiveness in satisfying public opinion; and we may be moved to ask: are we, "the people" just stupid?; or does the apparent aquiesence of the public cause us to doubt the worth of our conclusions?
We must first remark that it is the mainstream pollsters who are telling us that the American people are solidly accepting the government's version of events.
The unified consensus which appears to prevail amongst the mainstream press, the military, government, and the public occurs within the context of an increasing concentration of power into fewer and fewer hands.
This is occurring in banking, (de-regulation) business, (privitization, mergers) media, and government, (executive orders, "national-security directives").
The control of the television set, (the primary means of national communication) allows a relative few to project an image of agreement amongst all -which, if the majority chooses to accept it, becomes "reality"; yet this should in no way persuade us to believe it to be of lasting substance.
History is rich with examples of ruling elites which become so successful at controlling public debate, that they delude themselves, feeling impervious, unstoppable -only to suddenly be de-throned within a short period of time.
We are entering a period of history where the mass of the population is so completely shut out of the "info-tainment" machine as to be like a silent, sleeping giant -audible only to those who are able, (themselves) to turn that machine off.
Secondly: so long as the general public is utterly absorbed with the struggle to survive, and the psychological stress that comes from living in the midst of social, moral, and spiritual crises, relatively few of us are in a position to stop the treadmill of info/consumption which feeds us the illusions -bearing short-term comfort.
Thus, it doesn't really matter that the explanations for the air-defense failure of Sept 11th are flimsy: they're simply designed to satisfy people for a short period of time, long enough to keep our attention span moving away from the questions which have the capacity to generate a critical mass of independent thought.
On a practical, surface level, (the level that power brokers undertsand best) there is only a short period of time at which the attention of the public is ripe for seeking real answers. After that, the public adjusts to the new reality, and they/we don't really care about the flimsiness of the arguments anymore, (should a critical voice happen to break through the wall of assumptions).
Thus, he who has the last spin is he who has the organizational power to pull others along, until they/we move by our own consensual motion.
Such power brokers and spin-doctors, however, are quite incapable of understanding the inner, human condition; whereby, after a long period of development, millions of people "suddenly" begin to arrive at fundamental conclusions at a similar point in time.
For the moment we are, realistically speaking, largely at the mercy of the governments we elect, and the media monoploies which claim to inform us.
Powerful interests within government, military, media, money, clearly benefit from this.
In fact, while making obscene profits at the expense of others remains, (for some) a time-honoured tradition, it could be said that an equally powerful, underlying motivation for regressive government policy, inane television shows, and the like, is that:
it actually "pays" to punish people -to keep them down, treat us like we're stupid, ignore needs, blame, ridicule, etc.
Thus we are taught from an early age in school to be robotic sponges; and every effort is made, (at the highest levels) to keep young people from getting the tools and attention they/we need to become independent-thinkers, self-aware, esteemed, and empowered.
When an opportunity comes along to amplify the fear factor tenfold, just look at how the various dominant interests tighten up the notch of hatred, vengeance, and a blind allegiance to the state apparatus -falling over themselves, in the attempt to compel others to agree more strongly with whatever punishment is to be meted out, (on whomever it is decided is the next incarnation of Hitler).
While this mass indoctrination looks imposing, rest assured: the curve has an apex -after which the sales of urinal cakes with Bin laden's face on them begin to drop off dramatically; and while history has not yet proven to be an indicator of decreasing atrocities, such a day will soon come.
It has been heart-breaking to see and feel the window of inquiry surrounding the events of Sept 11th closing down into a tighter and tighter circle; yet more-comforting still, has it been to feel the critical mass finally taking hold.
Strands of independent thought which could once be so delicately broken have now formed formidable roots in fertile minds.
You who have seen through the web of diversions -spun across the TV screens and newsprint in all their graphic splendour- are now as free to see the cage as few could have imagined, a generation ago.
May you use your gift wisely.
We have journeyed now through a long process, starting with the stunning, delayed response-time of civilian air-defense on Sept 11th, 2001.
We saw how this grossly contradicted routine procedure.
Begining with Flight 77, we chronicled a thirty-five minute delay: between the time that the plane was "probably hijacked" and when the FAA supposedly notified NORAD.
With Flight 11, we found a twenty-four minute delay, between the time when radio/transponder contact was lost, (plane off-course) and when the order for jets to scramble went through.
In the case of Flights 175, 11, and 77, NORAD refused to use the many bases with "battle-ready" fighter squadrons which were close to the planes, (including Andrews AFB); and instead, chose bases which were 130 and almost 200 miles away.
Flight 93 was in the air for fifty minutes after the FAA declared it hijacked, and not a single fighter-intercept was in the vicinity when it crashed.
The collapse and negligence of civilian air defense was clearly system-wide.
We also found that this included the President, who refused to remove himself from a children's classroom for thirty minutes during a national emergency -then was kept from returning to Washington for over nine hours, (due to some "credible threat" that later vanished into "no comment").
Then we discovered that top officials in a Command Center in the Pentagon were tapped into all civilian and military radar systems -and were, by law, to be informed by the FAA of any hijackings, at the earliest opportunity.
Of necessity, all this expanded the scope of our inquiry to include the FBI investigation, which turned out to be an almost comic festival of fabrication which only a nation with no more stomach for bad news could have endured: disappearing black-boxes and indestructible passports, devout Moslem suicide bombers with a taste for strip joints and christian confessionals, who can't fly bi-planes, and can't remember whether they've been dead for two years or are still living in the Middle East; ad lib infintum.
This compelled us to continue looking up, towards a higher level of authority for the source of the breakdown; and found, within the highest ranks of the Pentagon, the claim that they were "uninformed" -as to the emergencies taking place.
This stunning position was easliy proven to be both, groundless and illuminating; from there, the whole labyrinth of explanations for the air-defense collapse came into a sudden clarity -casting the entire "official" timeline, (of when the FAA supposedly informed NORAD of the hijackings) into doubt.
Each one of these explanations, (or spins) we have examined in some detail: "few planes available," "to shoot or not to shoot down," "we really tried," "communication problems," and found them flimsy at best, ludicrous or fraudulent in the main.... all designed to divert attention from the command center which claimed it was "not informed."
We examined the behaviour of the mainstream media at some length, (dedicated damage-control) then the appearance of General Richard Myers before the Senate Confirmation Hearing, fully confirming the evidence of criminal negligence at the highest level in the Pentagon.
The Senate too, seemed to be in on the deal.
The wisespread nature of this collusion eventually led us to consider the possibility that the high-level negligence may have been intentional, (i.e. treasonous) and so we asked the question: who benefits from the Sept 11th attacks.
and a more-powerful Bush Administration benefited;
though we found
no clear evidence, by which we could discern whether such elements intentionally abetted the "terrorists," or whether they merely took advantage of the attacks to achieve long-standing policy gains and cover up their own negligence.
We further discovered that Osama Bin Laden, Al Queda, and the Taliban were paid clients/servants of the CIA, (through Pakistan) -doing NATO's bidding in the former Soviet Republics of Bosnia, Kosovo, Turkmenistan, and the like.
Like many of the U.S.-supported extremists and dictators around the world, this group appears to have served a dual role: as fomenters of destabilization in countries ripe for capital "investment", (plunder) and as the target for America's rather routine wrath against the "enemies of civilization."
Whatever Bin Laden's relationship to the attacks of Sept. 11th, it's clear that the Bush Administration has been summarily dishonest in its characterization of Bin Laden and co. as a "distant" enemy.
We then clarified the role of the "spin":
give the public enough plausible-sounding information to keep our limited attention span moving past the point of contention until we no longer care.
You who are now reading this have persevered, and stand in posession of clear faculties to consider the following
We have not been told the truth about Sept 11, 2001 -not by the government, the military, media.
A criminal negligence occurred within the highest ranks of the Pentagon and Executive on Sept. 11th -without which, the terrorist attacks would not have been successful; and no one in positions of authority is willing to talk about it.
The case against Osama Bin Laden and co. has never been in doubt; for there never has been a case, to speak of. In the name of "national security," the Bush Administration has made no attempt to make a case before the public; rather, circumstantial evidence and hearsay has served to achieve long-standing economic and military aims in Afghanistan, and to distract from the culpability of top American officials, in the criminal negligence of Sept 11.
The possibility that some top officials intentionally abetted the terrorist attacks, (and that others have covered up for them) has not been ruled out; though this has yet to be adequately examined.
With more civilians killed from the U.S. bombing of Afghanistan than the attacks on the World Trade Center, (webactive.com democracy now archive, Dec. 10th) the above actions by the Bush Administration are simply criminal in nature:
unless, and to the degree that, the Administration can demonstrate to U.S. citizens a willingness to first take responsibility for their own possible failures during the events of Sept 11, by submitting to an open, public review.
Such an inquiry must start with the president being called to explain,
as commander-in-chief, why did he initially do nothing for thirty minutes, (in the midst of a national emergency) when thousands of lives were at stake?
-where his own decision-making authority is officially claimed to have been essential, if an airliner needed to be shot down.
Why, during this national emergency, was he flown halfway across the country, and prevented from reaching Washington for 91/2 hours, because it was believed there was "credible evidence" that Air Force One was in danger, from terrorists who had secret access codes?
Who made that warning? Why was it heeded? Why was it later dismissed as irrelevant?
Why was Flight 77, (hijack-suspected) allowed to stay in the air for thirty-five minutes after the first attack on the World Trade Center had been confirmed -without a single plane able to intercept it?
Why was Flight 11 in the air for twenty-four minutes, off-course, without transponder or radio contact, before fighters were ordered to intercept it?
Why did the Pentagon and NORAD not use planes at Andrew’s AFB to defend Washington? before Flight 77 struck its target, rather than after? then deny that those planes were used at all?
Why was Flight 93 in the air for fifty minutes after the military knew it was hijacked, with no fighters near to intercepting it.
By it's refusal to openly discuss the affair, the Bush Administration has profoundly abused the trust of the American people.
The voices in the immediate aftermath -speaking the obvious, seeking answers- have been swept away on a tide of vengeance, rising off the promise of "evidence" undisclosed, insufficient, often ludicrous.
The most powerful nation on earth -one of the most tightly controlled air spaces in the world- has just been struck in the heart of its jurisdiction, and the security establishment wants us to let them do an internal investigation?
One may reasonably ask: How badly do they have to screw up before we, the public, are allowed to investigate them?
Under the rubric of "security," any "official" investigation into the Sept 11th security breakdown will be little more than an internal condolence, by which the "poor CIA" and its "dedicated" assortment of "assets" will be allowed to lick their sorry wounds.
The Bush Administration has a moral obligation to immediately call for the fullest of national, public inquiries -the prime directive of which must be:
to involve as many local citizens as possible in the collection, discussion, and presentation of research, through the creation of a national web-site, with full interactive, and organizational support to ensure local, de-centralized access and participation.
Make no mistake: these charges are in no way meant to imply a dis-loyalty to America and its people.
Our capacity to criticize a government does not mean we are for the other side; on the contrary, only by fulfilling our role as conscious citizens, (the watchdogs of government) do we truly earn the right to live in a free society.
The behavior of the mainstream media, in passively representing the government position, (and in the most graphically entertaining way) suggests that they cannot be relied on to pursue a rigorous critique of official doctrine.
Witness such bits of wisdom in the volatile days following the tragedy:
III" ('New York Times,' 9/13)
"Give War A Chance" ('Philadelphia Inquirer,' 9/13)
"Time To Use The Nuclear Option" ('Washington Times,' 9/14).
It must be up to those of us in the various grass-roots communities to carry on the research, share information –and articulate a review of the available evidence, sufficient to put a demand for a full, public inquiry into the events of Sept 11th at the forefront of our activity.
We cannot cease questioning the attacks on Afghanistan, (and other countries) denouncing racist reaction, and the curtailment of civil rights, etc; yet neither can we be satisfied with this purely defensive response.
Rather, we should seize upon the demand for an inquiry -as the pivot upon which to expose the government’s duplicity in going to war; for, in its’ arrogance, it has vastly over-reached itself.
Yet until we focus on this investigation, the opportunity will not be realized; and the larger, deeper criticisms will not stand -amidst the fear that the campaign of terror enshrines.
A word here should be said about the position taken by respected critics such as Noam Chomsky, Micheal Albert, and others: while technically correct in their characterization of the United States government as the world's leading supporter of global terror, (with Europe a close second) this position is hopelessly flawed in terms of the present mindset of the American people -due to the attacks of Sept 11.
We have to understand that while the attacks appear to have been a great strengthener of the Administration, and American beligerance abroad, they actually represent their deepest achilles heal -once the true nature of the behavior becomes revealed.
Once the general public begins to hear a consistent, solid, and well-documented voice –calling into question the government’s immunity from investigation- then the whole justification for blindly accepting the government’s rationale for bombing Afghanistan, (and blaming Bin Laden) will also come into question.
From there, public opinion will create a slow-closing vice upon the governmental veil -from which it will only be able to redeem itself, by allowing an open and honest truth to sail through the bankrupt blanket of silence which now suffocates our real, human hope: that it may emerge, at long last, into the light of day.
If the evidence available so far, proves to be just the tip of the ice-burg, then over time, the U.S. administration will prove itself far to be far more vulnerable around the issue of incompetence, criminal negligence, or worse... than from any foreign policy or civil libertarian standpoint.
It’s time for us to take the offensive, by building a case before the American people.
As Stan Goff, re-humanized former member of U.S. special forces says, "the left [anti-globalization movement] has missed the boat on this one; by allowing them to get away with rushing past the question of who did what on September 11th.... accepting [the govt's] framework... [we’re missing] the more crucial point that [the official] story about Sept. 11 is full of holes." (narconews.com)
So full of holes you could fly a plane through it.