Part 1E
Sept 11: Unanswered Questions
by MalcontentX
for Main Page:http://www.communitycurrency.or/MainIndexMX.html

Part 1E:

"Official" (military) Explanations


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.'

[Note: as we shall see, the military doesn't actually "talk" about the FAA delay, (which, in itself, is significant); the delay simple stands as a fact, indicating blame]

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.

FAA Delay

Reflected Spin

Readers may recall that the "official" NORAD timeline of events, contained in the Sept. 16th report from CNN, (6)

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 appears 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'

Reflected Spin

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'

Reflected Spin

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" ( 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 serves to spread a small piece of the blame around.

To Shoot, or Not To Shoot Down

Reflected Spin

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.


Reflected Spin

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'

Reflected Spin

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'

Reflected Spin

"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.'" [, /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.

After examining,

the Extreme FAA Delay, (as yet unexplained, no charges laid)
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, remaining unanswered.

Confusion reigns. To resolve it, we must continue following its' winding trail to the highest peak: to the successful attack on,

The Pentagon

Reflected Spin

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."

and this,

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 hijacked 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 ( 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. See Part 1F).

    "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

    “simply not aware that this plane, [Flight 77] was coming our way,”
    “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 us 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?


    Myers said,

    “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, an excuse of those not 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.

    When 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


    Official Explanation Explained
    Reflected Spin

    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, providing an explanation for “what went wrong,” and relieves “the people” of the doubt which formerly prevailed.

    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 lieu of the chaotic alternative).

    The history of the twentieth century alone is rich with such examples: from countless coup d'etats; to everyday, a 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


    Official Explanation Explained
    Reflected Spin

    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, see Part 1A, Flight 77) 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.’

    In fact, the fact that the Pentagon got hit, that it seems to have been caught off-guard, was the single-most compelling reason why most people assumed that every other department of government must have been caught off-guard, as well.

    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; and why, the entire governmental apparatus got a immediate "pass," (beyond the rank of suspician).

    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.


    Official Explanation

    '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)

    Official Explanation Explained
    Reflected Spin

    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."

    Here is a call for compassion to cushion the blow;
    a solace, seeking
    soft sympathy
    scrutiny unravelling
    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 b-LAME.
    Diffuse the Clues

    Official Explanation Explained
    Reflected Spin

    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.

    Diffuse the clues,
    spread the blame around,
    that the focus forming in towards the core of 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.

    The central source of the deception, (The Pentagon) also 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, laid no charges (nor criticism) in an attempt to,

    'Downplay the FAA Delay'

    Official Explanation Explained
    Reflected Spin

    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, (see Part 1A , (Flight 77) 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, see part Part 1F, Media Summary).

    'We Really Lied'

    Official Explanation Explained
    Reflected Spin

    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

    Official Explanation Explained

    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. (see Part 1F)

    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, (see Part 1B, Flights 11, and 175).

    Official documents from the National Guard are a little more specific.

    File no. 108101. Military Support to Civil Authorities:


    1. …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 Force Base.
    2. 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.

    Section 2.6

    1. 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.

    Section 2.2:

    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…. search.asp

    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)?

    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, (that is, after Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon. See Part 1A, Flight 77).

    "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 here 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, Part 1F).

    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)
    Official Explanation Explained
    Reflected Spin

    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 answer already in mind ).

    ''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.

    (Uh huh).

    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.

    How noble.

    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 suggest that, the question of why they weren't, becomes 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 on 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

    Explanations Explained

    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..."

    Cheney continues,

    "...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

    This all sounds pretty confident, colorful, right? Is it unanimous?

    Readers may recall an earlier report from Bob Orr, CBS Transportation Correspondent,,1597,310721-412,00.shtml

    It says,

    "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.

    Which one?

    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).

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