Mon, 15 November 2010
Most people don’t realize that on September 11th, planes were known to be high jacked and flying around the Eastern US for over 70 minutes. After September 11th, many wondered why our air force was unable to stop the high jacked aircraft, especially American Airlines Flight 77 which struck the Pentagon. American Airlines Flight 11 was high jacked at 8:14. By 8:25 Boston air traffic controllers confirmed that the flight was indeed high jacked and the aircraft struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 8:46. At 9:03, United Airlines Flight 175 struck the South Tower and at that time, the whole world knew that America was under attack. It was not until 9:37 that American Airlines Flight 77 hit the Pentagon.
Therefore, it was a full hour and 10 minutes between the time the FAA knew that Flight 11 was high jacked and the time Flight 77 hit the Pentagon. How could this happen? The area around the Pentagon and Washington D.C. is some of the most heavily defended airspace in the World. This fact led many to believe there had to be a stand down order issued which would have prevented Standard Operating Procedures from allowing these aircraft to be intercepted. A stand-down is defined as “a relaxation from a state of readiness or alert”. This certainly took place regarding air defenses on 9/11.
One explanation offered was that the terrorists turned off the electronic device known as a transponder, which helps identify aircraft on radar. As stated by the 9/11 Commission, it is possible, though more difficult, to track an aircraft by its primary radar returns without the transponder. However, unlike transponder data, primary radar returns do not show the aircraft’s identity and altitude.
The 9-11 commission failed to consider the fact that the US military has more than just ground radar at their disposal. In 2006 a golf ball was hit off the International Space Station. New Scientist magazine reported that the ball was too small to be tracked by ground radar, but noted that,
There are 35 USAF bases within range of the 9/11 flights, which included the restricted airspace surrounding the Pentagon, Capitol Hill and the White House. It is hard to believe that a military which possesses such a highly-sophisticated radar system would not have been able to track the high jacked aircraft without a transponder signal.
Commercial airliners do not need their transponders on in order to be tracked by the FAA and NORAD. If America was being attacked by aircraft belonging to a foreign power, it is ridiculous to think these enemy aircraft would have transponders installed to help the US Air Force shoot them down. It is equally ridiculous to believe the FAA and NORAD lack the technology to track aircraft without a transponder signal.
Mon, 15 November 2010
On the morning of September 11th, 2001, Vice President Dick Cheney was in charge of the military response to the attacks while the President flew around the country in Air Force One. The 9-11 Commission failed to follow up on the nature of and order the Vice President had given which related to American Airlines Flight 77 which hit the Pentagon at 9:36. Many have wondered if these orders were NOT to shoot down Flight 77 as it approached the Pentagon.
We know about this order because on May 23, 2003, then Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta testified before the 9-11 Commission. Secretary Mineta testified that he was present at the Presidential Emergency Operating Center (PEOC) in a bunker below the White House on the morning of September 11th under the direction of Vice President Dick Cheney. During questioning by Co-Chairman Lee Hamilton, Mineta was asked if he was in the PEOC when the Presidential order was given to shoot down suspected hijacked commercial airliners.
During the time that Secretary Mineta testified about, Flight 77 had already been severely off course for over an hour and it was thought that the flight was being controlled by terrorists. Flight 77 was also being tracked by the FAA and NORAD and according to Secretary Mineta’s testimony it was even being tracked for at least 50 miles from the PEOC.
Secretary Mineta’s testimony has raised many questions. The most obvious question is, what were the orders that Vice-President Cheney had issued to the young man? When asked by Mr. Hamilton during testimony if the order was a shoot down order, Secretary Mineta could not confirm that it was. Is it reasonable to assume that this was a shoot down order?
During this same hearing, Secretary Mineta also testified that aircraft had been scrambled from nearby Langley Air Force Base and were only 10 miles away from the Washington D.C. area. If the orders Secretary Mineta spoke of was a shoot down order, then why was this plane not shot down before it hit the Pentagon? Our modern fighters are the most sophisticated in the world and can shoot down multiple targets from many miles away. The question begs to be asked, were these orders the young man spoke of orders NOT to shoot down Flight 77?
We now know that Naval Officer Douglas F. Cochrane is the young man Mineta was referring to in his testimony. When questioned about the day, Mr. Cochrane has refused to answer questions about what happened and repeatedly refers to the 9-11 Commission as the definitive report on the terrorist attacks.
It is another failure of the 9-11 Commission that this testimony by Secretary Mineta was not followed up on. Today, important questions still persist about what these orders were and why the 9-11 Commission failed to dig deeper and ask questions of how Flight 77 could have possibly been allowed to strike the heart of the US Military.
Mon, 15 November 2010
The Bush administration fought hard against the creation of an independent commission to investigate 9/11. The families who fought for the creation of such a commission, wanted full accountability concerning the event that led to the deaths of their loved ones. Yet, the administration resisted this. Why?
On the 29th of January 2002 – CNN reported that,
Daschle told reporters that an investigation,
On May 23rd 2002, CBS News reported that,
The excuses for the opposition to the Commission often given were alleged fears of national security compromises and claims that those involved in the “war on terrorism” would have their jobs hampered. Yet, clearly national security had been compromised as a result of the attacks. If there were such failings and if people did not do their jobs, then they needed to be held accountable.
In September 2002, under pressure from victims’ family members, CBS reported that,
The victims’ families “fought the Bush administration tooth and nail for a commission to investigate the September 11th terrorist attacks — and won”. Yet, why did they even have to fight them for one in the first place?
During the 9/11 Commission hearings – the Family Steering Committee requested Commissioners to ask Bush and Cheney to,
The Bush administration actively opposed any formal investigation into the attacks of September 11th. If it were not for the determination of victims’ family members and a budding 9-11 Truth Movement, there would have never been any inquiry beyond the heavily redacted Joint Intelligence Committee Inquiry from 2002. Why did President Bush not want the American public to know exactly what happened before, during, and after September 11th?
Mon, 15 November 2010
Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton , the Chair and Vice-Chair of the 9/11 Commission, made an astonishing admission in their book, Without Precedent – The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission. They said,
In an interview with the CBC, Lee Hamilton said he thought they were “reasonably successful in telling the story,” although he also acknowledged, “I don’t believe for a minute that we got everything right.” However, that the Commission was set up to fail at all is a big Red Flag. Why was the Commission set up to fail, and who did it?
Kean and Hamilton, in the first chapter of the book titled, “Set Up to Fail,” explain their reason for thinking this.
1) The late establishment and start of the commission itself. In fact, it took 441 days after the attacks and a Congressional mandate to force the Bush administration into a formal investigation.
One might reasonably ask; if they’ve got nothing to hide, why are they acting as if they do? When Hamilton was asked by the CBC interviewer about why he thought they were set up to fail, he laughed, and said, “I think basically it’s because they were afraid we were going to hang somebody, that we would point the finger, right in the middle of a presidential campaign.”
The 9-11 Commission was mandated by law to “provide a full and complete accounting” of the tragic events of September 11th. How on earth were they able to carry out this mandate if they were “set up to fail”? The answer is, they couldn’t.