FAA and NORAD Changed Records to Accord with Cheney Lies

A senior Counsel for the 9/11 Commission, John Farmer, has written a book exposing the degree to which our response to 9/11 was disorganized and outdated–geared to respond to an attack from Russia rather than from terrorists. Most significantly, Farmer reveals that FAA and NORAD altered their chronologies of the day only after a briefing at the White House.

Perhaps nothing perturbs Farmer more than the contention that high-ranking officials responded quickly and effectively to the revelation that Qaeda attacks were taking place. Nothing, Farmer indicates, could be further from the truth: President George W. Bush and other officials were mostly irrelevant during the hijackings; instead, it was the ground-level commanders who made operational decisions in an ad hoc fashion.


Yet both Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Vice President Dick Cheney, Farmer says, provided palpably false versions that touted the military’s readiness to shoot down United 93 before it could hit Washington. Planes were never in place to intercept it. By the time the Northeast Air Defense Sector had been informed of the hijacking, United 93 had already crashed. Farmer scrutinizes F.A.A. and Norad rec­ords to provide irrefragable evidence that a day after a Sept. 17 White House briefing, both agencies suddenly altered their chronologies to produce a coherent timeline and story that “fit together nicely with the account provided publicly by Deputy Defense Secretary Wolfowitz and Vice President Cheney.”

We’ve know for a long time that the FAA records, in particular, were politicized. Given already documented proof that Cheney lied to hide the fact that he violated the chain of command on 9/11 it’s not surprising that that politicization served Dick Cheney’s false narrative of leadership.

But we can add this book to the long list of proof that Cheney’s a big liar trying to hide his own incompetence.

89 replies
  1. tinman1967 says:

    We actually came very close to stopping 9/11 but political in fighting and turf wars got in the way. A riveting account of the efforts one FBI agent made in trying to figure it all out before it happened is here:
    It was first aired about 13 months after 9/11. Once you start watching it you will have a hard time stopping until it is over.

    • skdadl says:

      It is a fascinating profile. This is just an aside, but I watched it before I knew who Frances Townsend was, apart from a friend of O’Neill’s. When I started reading about her here, something nagged away at my memory until I saw her in some White House video or other and the memory clicked into place.

      It’s also one of the sources, I suspect, of ABC’s Path to 9/11, which follows the story pretty much through O’Neill’s role.

      • perris says:

        It’s also one of the sources, I suspect, of ABC’s Path to 9/11, which follows the story pretty much through O’Neill’s role.

        you’re so funny, you actually brought up a fictional novel to use as part of a factual thread.

        funny stuff!

      • Sara says:

        “It’s also one of the sources, I suspect, of ABC’s Path to 9/11, which follows the story pretty much through O’Neill’s role.”

        I think Path to 9/11 depends mostly on former ABC reporter John Miller’s work. Miller interviewed bin Laden for Nightline a few months before the African Embassy bombings, and subsequently he became FBI Director Muller’s public relations person. Miller was with ABC for about six or seven years in the late 90’s and into the 2000’s. He was great buddies with O’Neill, covered the trials in the 90’s, and hung out with the NYC cops. Good reporter, and very interesting first cut of 9/11 that he brought out early in 2002.

        But there are no intellectual pretentions to Miller, He gets his dope from street-wise cops, and his work should not be mistaken for the far more academic approach taken by Farmer and Zegart.

        Would you guess I have just spent time re-ordering books so as to organize shelf space for these topics??? Now I can’t remember where I placed things in seemingly totally logical catagories.

      • fatster says:

        Thanks so much for mentioning this, skdadl. I don’t have time right now, but I do intend to watch it later today. Stay warm up yonder, ya heah?

    • Phoenix Woman says:

      Thanks for this!

      Check out, also, The One Percent Doctrine by Ron Suskind. In it, we find out just how determined Bush was, pre-9/11, to blow off any and all efforts to get him and his top advisors to pay attention to the warning signs:

      The short version: Dick Cheney is the paranoid, spoiled rotten, architect of the destruction, not only of Iraq, but of the America that was given to us by our Founders, and he uses his money and power both as a substitute for brains and to insulate himself from the consequences of his own mistakes.

      The title of the book stems from Cheney’s asinine “doctrine”, the ultimate rejection of Occam’s Razor, and used to justify everything from invading Iraq to torture in US-run prisons worldwide to the destruction of American civil liberties: “Even if there’s a one percent chance of (fill in the blank with whatever improbable scarecrow you like), we have to treat it as a certainty in terms of our response. It’s not about our analysis, or finding a preponderance of evidence. It’s about our response.”

      Mind you, the book’s not perfect. Its one major failing is that the PNAC connections aren’t brought up — you won’t find the words “Project for the New American Century” anywhere in the book, much less in connection with Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Feith, Perle, Chalabi, or any of the Iraq invasion’s backers. And much of this book won’t be news to those of us who’ve been paying attention — real attention — over the past few years. But there are still things to be learned from it.

      The first set of things to be learned starts from the fourth paragraph of the first page of the preface:

      The alarming August 6, 2001 memo from the CIA to the President – “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US” – has been widely noted in the past few years.

      But, also in August, CIA analysts flew to Crawford to personally brief the President – to intrude on his vacation with face-to-face alerts.

      The analytical arm of the CIA was in a kind of panic mode at this point. Other intelligence services, including those in the Arab world, were sounding an alarm. They didn’t know place or time of an attack, but something was coming. The President needed to know.

      Okay, so Bush not only got the August 6 PDB, he also got a visit from CIA analysts in Crawford, trying to tell him that the system was blinking red and something had to be done, NOW. What was Bush’s reaction?

      He looked hard at the panicked CIA briefer.
      “All right,” he said. “You’ve covered your ass, now.”

      The whole book is filled with charming little anecdotes like that. I recommend only reading about twenty or so pages at a time, or else you’ll want to start breaking things.

  2. BayStateLibrul says:

    That is a powerful story.
    “Til be interesting how Cheney and Bush, in their forthcoming books,
    recollect (fabricate) their deeds, post 9-11.

    • darkblack says:

      interesting how Cheney and Bush, in their forthcoming books,
      recollect (fabricate) their deeds, post 9-11

      They should release them as a two-volume set, boxed together with no critical reviews allowed…to honor the spirit of their 9/11 commission appearance.


  3. Sara says:

    Farmer’s book, “The Ground Truth: the Untold Story of America under Attack on 9/11” is excellent — read it about three weeks ago. It is very much a companion piece to “The Commission” — an insider versus an outsider’s critique of the Commission’s work product and the working environment. Farmer depends a good deal on research done by Amy Zegart who published an analysis of FBI and CIA failures a couple of years ago. Zegart is a structural/functional political scientist, with a bent for Culture. Called “Spying Blind: The CIA, the FBI and the Origins of 9/11” it came out about 18 months ago, and is now widely quoted in Journals, Academic papers and all. She used a mix of documentation and insider interviews in her analysis.

    The Commission came to seem to me as I read it, something of a diatribe about personalities at war with each other, with the conflicts and hidden agendas the cause of weaknesses in both the process and final report. Farmer’s book is more about structure of departments and agencies, and it is to their weakness Farmer attributes both the cause of 9/11, and the work of the commission as a whole.

    In Sociological lingo — Farmer does a structural-functional analysis of Government failure based on the evidence the Commission considered. Lots of people come off as “bad news” not because they are evil people with evil intents, but because they totally fail to comprehend structural functionalism and apply it. Farmer, for instance, takes on Gore’s “reinventing Government” efforts in the Clinton years, and wacks it good for being all about money and budget, with little if any serious consideration for how Government agencies should be structured so as to function as intended. He has a wonderful chapter where he compares response to 9/11 and Katrina in structural/functional terms. Since finishing his work at the Commission, Farmer was promoted to Dean of the Law School at Rutgers.

    Anyhow these three books — the Commission, Spying Blind, and The Ground Truth totally compliment each other.

    • mattcarmody says:

      Another book I would recommend, one which was an early advocate for holding the government and officials to initial statements and times indicated, is Paul Thompson’s “Terror Timeline.” Paul and others accumulated news stories from disparate sources and applied what government officials said to the myth that began emerging erly on, particularly the lies about why fighters hadn’t been scrambled to intercept the “plane” that hit the Pentagon.
      There is some speculation as to events but for the most part what was said is compared to what is known and the discrepancies are glaring.

      • Sara says:

        “Another book I would recommend, one which was an early advocate for holding the government and officials to initial statements and times indicated, is Paul Thompson’s “Terror Timeline.” Paul and others accumulated news stories from disparate sources and applied what government officials said to the myth that began emerging erly on, particularly the lies about why fighters hadn’t been scrambled to intercept the “plane” that hit the Pentagon.
        There is some speculation as to events but for the most part what was said is compared to what is known and the discrepancies are glaring.”

        Thompson work is very useful, but it is hardly a serious analysis. What he does very well is select news reports that appeared in the main stream media, organize them in catagories, and present them as a timeline. In essence, a timeline of what passed through the editorial process in various outlets at a given time.

        Remember, Journalism is the first cut of history, and the first cut is not necessarily correct simply because the journalist, focused on a small slice of the story, does not have the time or the instinct to actually do history, openly evaluate sources, cross-check claims, search out past history, compare and contrast — the culture of the newsroom reporting the new information of the day prevents this type of interrogation of information. Journalists and their publishers/owners have no idea when following the threads of a story whether it leads to new comprehension of an event in time, or if it is just a dead end, interesting, but in the end not relevant to the major story.

        It is very valuable to have essentially a clip file available — what was published when? But a clip file is not history.

        To take a specific example from Farmer’s work — the timing and the orders to launch fighter planes on 9/11. Farmer, and the 9/11 Commission finally got the dispositive evidence, the tapes from NEADS that amid all the confusion that morning, recorded all aspects of the timing, sequence, origin of orders, information shared, origin of information — tapes that had not been acknowledged in prior investigations, were not offered by DOD or even indexed as existing, and that contradicted the sworn testimony of a number of military and civil witnesses from relevant departments and agencies — By matching those tapes up with other contemporary documentation, the Farmer team was able to show that after September 17-18 most of the “official” claims were wrongheaded — lies. The anaylitic question is not satisfied by just showing someone lied, (or misspoke as they softly call it), but that the lies were a cover-up, and that from the evidence you can determine what they were covering up.

        Farmer also includes a long segment summarizing the process by which military operations to protect US skies were first organized early in the Cold War, and then gradually defunded, first as the US and the Soviets shifted to Ballistic Missiles from manned bombers in the 70’s, and then as the Cold War ended. Air cap over the US and Canada went from 750 fighters on alert 24/7 to 14 on 9/11. At the same time, the command proceedures for any launch were made far more complex, impossible in an emergency. You will never get that sort of analysis in a news report, even though it is absolutely critical in assessing what happened on 9/11. You had much rewriting of mission statements largely to protect organizations the end of the Cold War made redundant — but you had no re-thinking of what those new missions might require in terms of personnel, training, equipment. As Farmer puts it, the building where NEADS operated that day looked a little like a garage for the Jettsons with a few antenna wagging in the wind, and it was on an otherwise mothballed bomber base in Rome New York. None of their equipment was compatable with FAA, much of the equipment had not been updated since the 60’s. Their training was still about Soviet Bombers coming over the North Pole — but their mission statement was all about terrorism. Why was this the case? For that you have to look at the whole sequence of decisions a number of Government agencies who were supposed to coordinate missions with each other, made over a number of years. This is System’s criticism. We can do it now largely because we have had to take apart what went wrong on 9/11. Have they fixed the problems? Apparently not, because when the Delta/Northwest flight did not respond to controllers for over an hour, and overshot the Twin Cities an a California/Minnesota flight, by a hundred miles or so a few weeks back, FAA did not contact the military in a timely fashion. No, the plane wasn’t hijacked, and there were no mechanical issues, it was pilot errors and inattention. The underlying issue however is whether FAA and the military are still not on the same wavelength. In otherwords, System still not fixed.

  4. perris says:

    this should probably read;

    FAA and NORAD were ordered to Change Records to Accord with Cheney Lies

    this is a just read book, that’s just a synopsis, I would love to see the actual data

    • perris says:

      you know, I posted that with a little snarkish ness but I raise an important point;

      we need to find out who made those changes and who ordered them to do it

  5. tjbs says:

    I can’t wait to hear trial testimony, how KSM tricked cheney into commanding NORAD with-out ANY military experience on 9-11. The only day in American history the VP took command of NORAD.

  6. kt2kelly says:

    May Cheney and Bush rot in hell for eternity for they will never be brought to justice in this life.If Obama wants to stay alive he will never allow any real investigation to move forward,and thats pretty much what hes done.

  7. Teddy Partridge says:

    So not only were we lied into war with Iraq, but the very beginnings of our response to 911 was riddled with lies as well.

    It is as if Bush & Cheney were completely unable to tell the truth, ever. How well suited these two liars were for one another, and how ill-suited to America!

    • Twain says:

      Gives you a creepy feeling, doesn’t it, that everything fell so neatly into place for them. We came too close for comfort this time.

  8. BillWalker says:

    “But we can add this book to the long list of proof that Cheney’s a big liar trying to hide his own incompetence.”

    INCOMPETENCE? Why the hell does Marcy still give this war criminal the benefit of the doubt on this one issue? These PNAC traitors knew they needed “a catalyzing event, like a new Pearl Harbor” to carry out there plan of Mid East transformation, and to implement the Patriot Act, which Chertoff had already written before 9/11.

    Cheney and Rumsfeld changed the existing standing operating procedure for shoot-downs of wayward/hijacked planes, so that they couldn’t be shot down without permission from the SecDef.

    Watch Transportation Secretary Mineta describe Cheney’s stand down order while the plane/missile approached the Pentagon:

    Remember Sibel Edmonds’ recent claim that the CIA creation Mujahadeen (aka Al Queda) was still working for the U.S. up until 9/11? Remember her claims of drug and weapons running Bin Laden brothers?

    9/11 changed everything, allowed trillions to be spent for the benefit of Haliburton, Blackwater, Israel, etc, kept oil prices sky high ever since, and might open up a possibility to take out Iran and possibly Pakistan, all part of PNAC’s pre-9/11 fantasy.

    Cheney said he didn’t accept the Vice Presidency until he was convinced W was committed to a fundamental shift in governing.

    Why is FDL’s best investigative reporter, Marcy Wheeler, still chalking up Cheney’s 9/11 actions to incompetence, without ever suggesting the possibility of “let it happen on purpose” or “made it happen on purpose?”

    Very frustrating, after all these years since 9/11.

    • staygold212 says:

      Besides PNAC’s call for a new Pearl Harbor to re-establish US Military funding and dominance, 9/11 Commission Executive Director Philip Zelikow wrote that the 1993 attack on the WTC would have been that Pearl Harbor event had the terrorists brought the Towers down. I’ve often wondered how history would have turned out if the towers hadn’t collapsed in 2001. No Iraq.

      Zelikow’s intellectual specialty is creating a narrative out of history to bring the nation together. The 9/11 Commission Report is unusual in that it is written like a story. It omits Able Danger and Sibel Edmonds, which don’t fit the narrative.

      Kean and now Farmer have distanced themselves from the 9/11 Commission. It is debunked by its own commissioners. Time for a real investigation without politicians with vested interests.

      Zelikow was interviewed by the Commission as a witness! So was commissioner Jamie Gorelick.

      • BillWalker says:

        Here’s the amazing documentary Press For Truth, about the heroic 9/11 widows and their fight to get the 9/11 Commission created:

        Zelikow and his role and history are heavily featured, as is the Pakistani wiring of $100,000 to Atta just before the attacks.

        Future CIA Director Porter Goss was meeting with the Pakistani General who authorized the wire transfer on the morning of 9/11.

        Joe Biden says the general wasn’t arrested on a subsequent trip to the U.S. because of diplomatic concerns, and the 9/11 Commission said that it was ultimately of little consequence who funded the attacks.

    • bobschacht says:

      Remember Sibel Edmonds’ recent claim that the CIA creation Mujahadeen (aka Al Queda) was still working for the U.S. up until 9/11? Remember her claims of drug and weapons running Bin Laden brothers?

      This is a mishmash. The Mujaheddin are not “aka Al Qaeda,” and anyone who thinks so does not know Afghanistan. Al Qaeda were outsiders who took advantage of some of the local Mujaheddin (mostly the Taliban part of the Pashtun), making an alliance with some of them. The Al Qaeda were few in number, and mainly a motley mixture of Arabs (mostly, and mostly Saudis), Uighurs, and other jihadees. The Mujaheddin were far more numerous, and included Tajiks, Pashtuns and others during the Soviet occupation. The Mujaheddin:Al Qaeda ratio was probably about 100:1.

      Obama will be making a huge mistake if he identifies the Taliban as the enemy, rather than Al Qaeda. Of course, one of his problems is that few of the Al Qaeda are in Afghanistan. Most of them are in Pakistan.

      Bob in AZ

  9. kt2kelly says:

    911 was that pearl harbor event they either made happen or let happen.In all that chaos that preceeded they stole trillions,they spyed on and took down their political enemies,and passed a new constitution called the patriot act to keep the people from getting out of line.

  10. kt2kelly says:

    Does anyone other than myself ever wonder why Bernie Madoff never pleaded down his sentence of 150 years?This man was good friends with Cheney and knows where he hid all that money hes gotten from oil companies and those no bid contractors.There is no way Cheney and Friends did all this with no payback but now Im talking crazy again.

  11. NorskeFlamethrower says:


    Citizen emptywheel and the Firepup Freedom Fighters:

    Thanks for the post Sister Marcy, you help make FDL the best news and analysis outlet in the blog-universe.

    Is there anyone else who thinks that as the actual circumstances and reactions to the 9/11 attack, the facts of the moment, slowly light up the truth, what is really most interesting is the surprise of the fascists in the administration. It would appear that the corporate hierarchy put the plan for the attack into operation, and the toadies in the White House and the State Department were caught completely unawares. Of course, Bush and Cheney knew immediately who had carried it out and where the entire operation came from (before it got to Afghanistan) and knew that if they didn’t take over control of the political reaction, the proximity of the Bush family, the American corporate oligarchy and the Bin Ladins would blow them right out of the water.

    The replay of the Warren Commission in the 9/11 Commission fiasco could not have been accomplished, however, without the acquiescence of our legal system and system of justice…of course the folks who pulled off the 9/11 Commission charade had experience goin back 38 years so there was at least the precidence of experience if not written law. The establishement of a kangaroo justice system in the Military Commissions Act and the Patriot Act, could have been blown up by the federal courts and certainly the torture of prisoners and illegal data mining and eavesdropping should have been stopped dead by the Federal courts.

    What I am sayin’ simply is this: Obama’s failure to take actions in areas like illegal wire-tapping, torture et al may not be a reflection of his desires, wishes or political values but a recognition that if the Federal courts do not do their job as these issues move through the system, any action his justice department takes could be smacked down by those same courts, the adverse judgements codified and the political backlash on the administration would be disasterous.

    We don’t have a system of “rule of law” and the very idea is close to death in our culture. If Obama can’t get the courts and the Congress to do their jobs there is no way that his isolating himself and his administration politically is gunna do it. Our entire political system is septic and antibodies hafta come from the leagal system, the courts and Comgress and NOT from the White House.

    If we can’t get national healthcare reform with some kinda public option there will be NO political room to turn anything else around in the next 3 years.


  12. BillWalker says:

    There are over 10 compelling 9/11 documentaries, but this one is pretty good:
    Fabled Enemies http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2144933190875239407&ei=Svv-SvaXN8qclAe_jt3oCQ&q=fabled+enemies&view=2#

    If you still find yourself prone to giving Cheney and our media the benefit of the doubt over 9/11, or think that nobody could be smart enough to pull off such a conspiracy (except cave dwelling Muslims), please watch this documentary, and do your own real research. Nothing Adds Up about the official story, and the 9/11 Commission was set up to fail. Just ask the Chairmen of the Commission, or the Commissioner who resigned.

  13. iremember54 says:

    Trillions spent as the excuse of defending America, and on 911 it proved all to be a waste. Just as it did many Years before at Pearl Harbor.

    Our Military talks a good game, but never comes through with their actions.

    They have litterally raped the wealth of this Nation, while claiming it was for our protection, using it to build a hugh military empire, that takes care of it’s self.

    Yet the American people have supported it willingly, and fell for everything they were told. They marveled over the fantasic euipment we paid for, while never considering it’s actual usefulness. They support the troops fighting and dieing in useless wars, and go into a rage if anyone questions any of this.

    We have become a Nation of suckers fooled, manipulated, and used at every turn, while defending that being done to us with a fervor hardly matched in other countries of the world.

    There is little hope for change as the people are more set in their ways than even those who are doing it to them.

    • SanderO says:

      excellent… and we don’t have any real enemy or threat to defend against with that huge military monster. No one would want to land an army here and take over this nation and “govern” or enslave our people.

      • iremember54 says:

        You tell me who is massing troops at our borders the Mexicans. Get real.

        Even the cold war was started and perpetuated by our military, and the Russians acted the way they did because they were scared of us.

  14. BillWalker says:

    “There is little hope for change as the people are more set in their ways than even those who are doing it to them.”

    I don’t know which is the more enabling trait of the American public:
    The vanity that tells them nobody in government is smart enough to plan a conspiracy, or the naive belief that no quantity of people working in government could be capable of shockingly evil beliefs and behaviors.

  15. rjrnab says:

    Mr. Farmer has had a tough field to ho. What with the 9/11 Ommission Report, slower coming out than ‘The Torch has Passed’ after the ’63 coupe.
    I’d like to see some RORSAT inteligence of that spooky AWACS Sentry bird spotted flying over Ney York that day, and which way all those antennaes
    were pointing downstate their in Virginia on Wallops Island. No problem at all for Jerry Ford’s appointee to the CIA -‘thousand points of light’-Bush. It was another deadly ‘inside beltway’ job, no doubt about it, we don’t even have a constitution left. Unless Obama can call a Constitutional Convention II, and get evidence to see the light of day, like Sibel Edmonds, the U.S. is just another banana republic of the corporations/Bidlebirgers whatever. The republicans are so scared of a trial in New York, what a joke when if it comes out they were torturing him to say Sadam Hussien was one of the 9/11 terrorists.

  16. BillWalker says:

    “Unless Obama can call a Constitutional Convention II, and get evidence to see the light of day, like Sibel Edmonds, the U.S. is just another banana republic of the corporations/Bilderbergers whatever.”

    Don’t forget Israel, which would be made to look bad in any real 9/11 investigation, thus making such an investigation impossible:


    • staygold212 says:

      The US Government, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Turkey… These are just brand names. Millions of people work in these governments.

      Think back to the founding of Al Qaeda and Charlie Wilson’s war… ‘Israel’ working with ‘Egypt’ working with ‘Pakistan.’ Who is hiding behind these national brand names? The national brand names are used to keep us divided and fighting each other, which is both a smokescreen and quite profitable.

      Then Iran-Contra with Iran and Iraq being armed by the US and the secret profits funding the Contras in Nicaragua, supported by the Sultan of Brunei. Then BCCI.

      I like how the 9/11 Commission said the money trail is irrelevant to their story. Follow the oil, the drugs/cash, the military, the guns, the arms dealers, the arms manufacturers, the banks, the telecomms, the airlines, the aircraft manufacturers, the software firms, the charities, the international associations, the consulting firms, the media firms and their embedded spook reporters…

      The Afghani Counter-Narcotics minister said that US Military planes are exporting hundreds of millions of dollars of drugs from his country! Who is ordering this? Who is getting paid? What do they need the cash for?

  17. ThingsComeUndone says:

    Yet both Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Vice President Dick Cheney, Farmer says, provided palpably false versions that touted the military’s readiness to shoot down United 93 before it could hit Washington. Planes were never in place to intercept it.

    Holy Shit! The Government is not ready big surprise but the lying ARRRRGH! how do they justify it? It gives the American People comfort (false comfort) to know that the military was ready to shoot down planes?
    Or perhaps it helps make the Government seem like our Protector and helped enable Bush to get anything he wanted from the American people and Congress?

  18. SanderO says:

    I suspect it’s not incompetence at all. It’s part of the disinformation and coverup of the crime of the century.

    There is no evidence of a plane crashing in Shanksville, PA. The so called crater which is alleged to have been were the planed “disappeared into” is visible on aerial photo graphs taken well before the event. and the debris was scattered over 8 miles which goes against a crash into the ground as we were told.

    Architects and Engineers for 911Truth (AE911Truth.org) has studied the public recorded of the three towers destroyed on that day and determined that the buildings did not collapse from fire caused weakening of the steel, but were destroyed by explosives.

    This finding alone brings into question the 19 hijacker narrative and a government caught off guard and incompetent. They tried that one with Katrina.

    We need a new investigation based on material science, physics, statics and rational analysis and then when that confirms that explosives were involved we need to figure our who put them there, when, how and why.

    • staygold212 says:

      We need an investigation with real experts, the Family Steering Committee, scientists, pilots, not politicians or people with special interests — commissioners and staff people who were interviewed by the commission as witnesses!

      If I’m replying to Sander Hicks, you are a hero of mine! Keep strong and safe and keep up the good work. Thank you.

  19. ThingsComeUndone says:

    It would be cool if the Press actually carries this story. Funny Fair and Balanced means we tell GOP talking points/lies.
    Liberal Media means we don’t contradict GOP talking points/lies. It also means the best Lefty stories don’t get covered in the news unless all the blogs hammer a point for months.

  20. BillWalker says:

    “It also means the best Lefty stories don’t get covered in the news unless all the blogs hammer a point for months.”

    Ironically, lefties make up some of the strongest defenders of Dick Cheney on the issue of 9/11.

  21. rich2506 says:

    …disorganized and and outdated–geared to respond to an attack from Russia…

    You see, this always bothered me about 9/11. Had things really functioned so as to prevent a nuclear attack, well, it only takes about 30 minutes to get a missile from Russia to the US. What that means is that people in the US chain of command should have been informed very quickly and very accurately as to what, precisely, was going on. Yes, we get stories like “Aw gee, I was in my office, but didn’t hear anything” or “We were in the limo, but thought it was some small, singe-engine plane” and other not-very-believable stuff.

  22. rjrnab says:

    Don’t forget Isreal Billy? That Nano-Thermite smells of that Brit RDT those limys’ blew the dams up with in WWII. You remember when Winny would
    not let FDR tell the Admirals & Generals directly when Pearl Harbor was coming, so’s no one’d figure we had Ultra. Israel just took the Nukes the
    CIA gave them back in ’67.

  23. PJEvans says:

    I seem to recall reading about this, that it took at least an hour to get any jets up. That story was some years back, too. (New Yorker, I think.)

    I guess it’s safe to have the major media notice it – now.

  24. 8bitagent says:

    You know, it’s funny…after we know now that most the so called 9/11 evidence/confessions was culled from months of brutal torture, we know Saudi government agents were financing the hijackers, we know the FBI was intentionally obstructed, and we know the FAA/NORAD/Cheney lied to the commission…

    Why does the left by and large continue to buy the official “9/11 was done by angry muslims out of blowback”. Yeah “incompetence” my ass. If you look into the story of Ali Mohamed, John Oneil, Robert Wright, Coleen Rowley, Harry Samit, FBI obstruction, Saudi and Pakistani transfers…ain’t no damn way this is all just some guy in a cave with the US government’s thumbs up their own bum.

    • acquarius74 says:

      8bitagent, did you forget this one? BTW, Buzzy Krongard later became a member of the advisory board of Blackwater.


      A September 21 story by the Israeli Herzliyya International Policy Institute for Counterterrorism, entitled “Black Tuesday: The World’s Largest Insider Trading Scam?” documented the following trades connected to the September 11 attacks:

      – Between September 6 and 7, the Chicago Board Options Exchange saw purchases of 4,744 put options on United Airlines, but only 396 call options… Assuming that 4,000 of the options were bought by people with advance knowledge of the imminent attacks, these “insiders” would have profited by almost $5 million.

      – On September 10, 4,516 put options on American Airlines were bought on the Chicago exchange, compared to only 748 calls. Again, there was no news at that point to justify this imbalance;… Again, assuming that 4,000 of these options trades represent “insiders,” they would represent a gain of about $4 million.

      – [The levels of put options purchased above were more than six times higher than normal.]

      – No similar trading in other airlines occurred on the Chicago exchange in the days immediately preceding Black Tuesday.

      – Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co., which occupied 22 floors of the World Trade Center, saw 2,157 of its October $45 put options bought in the three trading days before Black Tuesday; this compares to an average of 27 contracts per day before September 6. Morgan Stanley’s share price fell from $48.90 to $42.50 in the aftermath of the attacks. Assuming that 2,000 of these options contracts were bought based upon knowledge of the approaching attacks, their purchasers could have profited by at least $1.2 million. Merrill Lynch & Co., with headquarters near the Twin Towers, saw 12,215 October $45 put options bought in the four trading days before the attacks; the previous average volume in those shares had been 252 contracts per day [a 1200% increase!]. When trading resumed, Merrill’s shares fell from $46.88 to $41.50; assuming that 11,000 option contracts were bought by “insiders,” their profit would have been about $5.5 million.

      – European regulators are examining trades in Germany’s Munich Re, Switzerland’s Swiss Re, and AXA of France, all major reinsurers with exposure to the Black Tuesday disaster. [FTW Note: AXA also owns more than 25% of American Airlines stock making the attacks a “double whammy” for them.]
      On September 29, 2001 – in a vital story that has gone unnoticed by the major media – the San Francisco Chronicle reported, “Investors have yet to collect more than $2.5 million in profits they made trading options in the stock of United Airlines before the Sept. 11, terrorist attacks, according to a source familiar with the trades and market data.

      “The uncollected money raises suspicions that the investors – whose identities and nationalities have not been made public – had advance knowledge of the strikes.” They don’t dare show up now. The suspension of trading for four days after the attacks made it impossible to cash-out quickly and claim the prize before investigators started looking.

  25. rjrnab says:

    8bitagent ya think?! The rest of the new right never really liked Nelson,
    putting the damn structure up, you might have a point. There may be a reason the locals call the other one the Empty State Building. ‘course, no Billy, I don’t believe the new ‘Jewish’ owner was going to pay billions to get all the asbestos replaced. He just called Shrubco.

  26. PJEvans says:

    I hate posts that involve 9/11, because they bring out every f*cking conspiracy theorist in the neighborhood.
    When y’all get actual proof of anything, not just your personal theories, write it up and post it – on your own blog, please.

    • BillWalker says:

      “When y’all get actual proof of anything, not just your personal theories, write it up and post it – on your own blog, please.”

      So if 100% verifiable proof of 9/11 being an inside job was perfectly laid out, you wouldn’t even want to be exposed to it.

      Talk about reality averse!

      Some decision makers would consider you the ideal Good American.

      • PJEvans says:

        No, I’m objecting to it because it hijacks every thread it shows up in.

        (I have yet to see proof. I see a hell of a lot of conjecture and wild-ass guessing, though. Particularly from people who think they know more about it than actual experts on the subjects.)

  27. BillWalker says:

    “Particularly from people who think they know more about it than actual experts on the subjects.”

    The Church Committee on Assassinations found that the CIA published hundreds of books every year by “experts” secretly on their payroll. It still happens, ask any literary agent or publishing house employee.

    Operation Mockingbird has placed untold numbers of CIA agents in the bowels and board rooms of our important media outlets.

    You can bet attempts have been made to infiltrate and sway Firedoglake, and I would bet they have been successful to at least some small extent. Fortunately, we still get a lot of excellent journalism from FDL, including and especially from Marcy.

    The founder of Dailykos said he would have no problem working for the CIA. hmmm.

    How many experts on television turn out to be shills? Remember the retired generals serving as “military experts” on all of the networks while working for the biggest defense contractors and in some cases directly for the Pentagon? Funny how the networks never investigated themselves after it was proven.

    Remember what happened to Van Jones after it was discovered he signed a petition demanding a new investigation into 9/11? Goodbye career.

    There is no shortage of experts who question the official story. I guess you’ll just wait for Cheney’s confession on CNN before you start to do any research of your own.


  28. BearCountry says:

    It’s just amazing to me that those of us who said from the beginning that the 9/11 explanations were suspect and that there were too many loose ends were attacked as “truthers.” No matter how many unexplained points were raised we were shouted down; we were not considered “serious” people (where have I heard that before). Nothing that the admin under w said was accepted in good faith, except what happened on 9/11/01. Now this book shows all of the lies and funny “coincidences” that happened and people are saying how Marcy has uncovered new stuff to be examined about 9/11. Now the “serious” people can begin to ask the “real” questions that should have been asked. Perhaps we “truthers” can come out of the shadows to which we have been consigned.

    • bmaz says:

      Well, let’s not confuse the government fudging and lying to make themselves seem less incompetent than they clearly were with the well oiled conspiracy theory that it was all a secret plot of the Administration and that they “pulled WTC 7” or whatever the giz theory de jour is.

      • BillWalker says:

        From the lips of Larry Silverstein, the new landlord of the WTC who took out extra insurance in the event of a terrorist attack to his asbestos infested investment:


        What’s your comeback to that? What’s your giz theory de jour to explain away his poorly coordinated confession?

        • bmaz says:

          Listen, you are in very much the wrong place to be pitching this junk. This is NOT a truther/911 conspiracy hack forum. If you want to discuss that, I wholeheartedly support your right to do so. So long as it is somewhere else; but not here. You all have had a good run of it today, but it is time to turn out the lights; that party is over.

  29. thatvisionthing says:

    John Farmer, John Farmer… that name rings a bell… ah…

    In May, Inky99 on Daily Kos published a book review of John Farmer’s soon-to-be-released book “The Ground Truth: The Story Behind America’s Defense on 9/11” (slightly different subtitle). He called his diary
    Official story of 9/11 “almost entirely untrue”: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/5/16/732116/-Official-story-of-9-11-almost-entirely-untrue … and he got banned, even though he took pains to say he was writing a book review and not a conspiracy theory diary since John Farmer was the senior counsel to the 9/11 Commission and that the title of his diary were the words of the book’s publisher Houghton-Miflin.

    When Inky99 got banned, long-time big-time Kossack TocqueDeville wrote his own diary, The Conspiracy Theorist Label ( http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2009/5/16/732284/-The-Conspiracy-Theorist-Label ) to discuss the problem, and he got banned, which shocked everybody. His friend buhdydharma posted TocqueDeville’s response, TocqueDeville’s Posthumous GBCW, since TDV could no longer post it himself: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/5/20/733573/-TocqueDevilles-Posthumous-GBCW . Check out the list of recommenders, I think it’s every Kossack there is. Big, big stink.

    As an aside, the publisher of this book seems to change often — Houghton-Miflin in May, Riverhead Books (26.95 per the current NYT article linked to by EW above), and Publisher: Playaway (January 2010) $69.99 per Amazon now.

    What an amazing history of banning. I think it shames Kos.

    • Sara says:

      “As an aside, the publisher of this book seems to change often — Houghton-Miflin in May, Riverhead Books (26.95 per the current NYT article linked to by EW above), and Publisher: Playaway (January 2010) $69.99 per Amazon now.

      What an amazing history of banning. I think it shames Kos.”

      I bought my copy at Barnes and Noble a couple of weeks ago. I have a first edition, and Riverhead Books is in imprint of Penguin. List price is $26, but since I belong to the B&N Discount Club, I paid $21.56. The book is “blurbed” by William Langewiesche (American Ground — in my mind the best literary offering yet on 9/11), Former Senator Bob Kerrey, now President of The New School, and former 9/11 Commissioner, and Haynes Johnson, Author, Pulitizer Prize Reporter.

      The Author is Dean of the Rutgers Law School. As others have pointed out, he was Chief Counsel to the 9/11 Commission, and his special focus was the national response to 9/11, as well as assessment of prepardness.

      We are hardly talking about someone from the fringe here. I hope Kos did not ban him or those who might have actually read the book and wanted to discuss it. And it is not all that unusual for an Author to change Publishers, especially these days. Publishers have been cutting their lists due to sales problems, cutting back on promotion. Sometimes Author’s don’t like the deal they are finally offered, and they change. A Penguin Imprint is not exactly a minor publisher.

  30. alreadypublished says:

    “The second plane looked similar to a C-130 transport plane, he said. He believes it flew directly above the American Airlines jet, as if to prevent two planes from appearing on radar – while at the same time – guiding the jet toward the Pentagon.
    Daily Press September 14, 2001

    “Thank God somebody else saw that. There was most definitely a second plane,” Knowles said. “It’s so frustrating because nobody knows about the second plane, or if they do they’re hiding it for some reason.”
    Daily Press, September 15, 2001

    The only large fixed wing aircraft to appear was a gray C-130, which appeared to be a Navy electronic warfare aircraft, he seemed to survey the area and depart in on a westerly heading.
    Our Net Family, September 2001

    My brother inlaw also witnessed the same plane following the jet while he was on the HOV lanes in Springfield. […]
    Isn’t it odd how there is not a single mention of this aircraft in ANY of the articles written about this crash?
    witness Allen Cleveland, 10/28/2001

    The details of Lt. Col. Steve O’Brien’s proximity to flights 77 AND 93 during termination was classified. Even the Pentagon was allegedly uninformed about the second plane that escorted flight 77 to the Pentagon (!!), circled military headquarters, then headed west towards flight 93 in Pennsylvania.


    But ours is not to reason why….

    • PJEvans says:

      One thing every birder knows is that it’s damned hard to judge distance and scale on anything in the air. That includes airplanes.

    • Sara says:

      “My brother inlaw also witnessed the same plane following the jet while he was on the HOV lanes in Springfield. […]
      Isn’t it odd how there is not a single mention of this aircraft in ANY of the articles written about this crash?
      witness Allen Cleveland, 10/28/2001”

      There is plenty written about this plane. It was a national guard logistics plane out of Minnesota — it had taken supplies to the DC area, and was in the air at the beginning of its return flight when the plane that attacked the Pentagon appeared on Dullas Radar, and it was asked to follow and observe by FAA controllers who had been looking for Flight 77. It was much slower than the commercial jet, it was a C-130. But the pilot managed to see the hit on the Pentagon within seconds of the crash.

      This same plane, then proceeded on its planned flight plan Northwest toward Minnesota. It was also in the area in PA just after Flight 93 crashed, and it provided controllers with the co-ordinates of the crash.

      What you get in carefully reading Farmer’s book is just this. Farmer’s group within the 9/11 commission found that many of the initial reports from FAA, DOD, NEADS, NORAD, did not “add up” so eventually they subpoenaed all the underlying data (tapes of FAA Controllers, NEADS tapes, logs, etc.,) they hired the right technicians to co-ordinate them properly, and totally reconstructed from the underlying data exactly what happened.


      Farmer’s work is very high value because it does tell us what went wrong — it was structural/functional given his argument. And of course we need to reason why the Structure failed on September 11th. It is only by such reasoning that one can advocate for the kind of changes necessary, or judge the advocacy of others.

      There was a great deal of both misinformation and disinformation published after 9/11, a considerable amount of it by the White House and agencies dependent on it — some of it directed toward the Press, other parts to Congress. While it is sometimes useful for various purposes to look at information that ultimately proved inadequate or wrong, and ask why it was wrong — you need to be aware of the vast amount of just wrong headed information in the mix.

    • bmaz says:

      The first thought that should have come to mind is “This crap is insane; no way I am going to wast the time of those nice people at EW’s with it”.

  31. Sara says:

    Earlier I had thought to write a more elaborate review of “The Ground Truth” — a book I found fascinating to read (and yep, I have actually read the book), and which I would strongly recommend to those still sorting out in their minds what really happened on 9/11. I think Farmer puts on the table a major offering that moves the ball forward, and I’d recommend that those who still read books consider getting this one, and spending some quality time reading it.

    Now, as anyone who has read me here and elsewhere, I have very little tolerance for Conspiracy Theorists. From time to time they do come up with unique pieces of evidence on large complex matters, evidence that has somehow been overlooked, not factored in properly — but in most cases they become fixated on their little hunk of evidence and assumptions about it to the exclusion of the rest of the historical process, which is to examine honestly and without prior assumptions each bit of evidence, and then fit it together into the huge jig-saw puzzle that is history, and only make judgments after you have put together enough puzzle pieces to see the whole picture. Most Conspiracy Theorists don’t proceed like this — they start with assumptions, they find one or several supportive bits of evidence, and then they harp. You all know the songs — Oil Pipelines, aah more Oil Pipelines. Halliburton, Halliburton and KBR, and then the ode to Halliburton. Cheney, stinkin Dick Cheney, Cheney Cheney. Linn and Liz Cheney, evil Dick. All of it may be ultimately useful information, but it has to be evaluated, it has to be tested to see if it fits will all the other seemingly valid evidence — and only then should one take a look at assumptions or assertions about its meaning. So I think virtually all Conspiracy Theorists have it ass backwards, even though from time to time they do discover a significant mite of evidence that in the right hands helps us see the full picture. (end of screed)

    John Farmer’s book is anything but a work of conspiracy theory. He doesn’t discredit the work of the whole 9/11 Commission and Report, in fact the core of the book deals with the evidence he examined and organized carefully during his commission work. His group’s work product is right there in the midst of the Commission Report. What he has done in The Ground Truth is to take it to the next step — he asks us to look at the evidence and entertain conclusions based on it that would have never passed muster with the Commission which was determined to issue a bi-partisian unanimous report that did not point fingers at political figures who may have failed to do their job properly. This is not an effort, mind you, to call out people as evil, instead it is an effort to point to poor performance of duty, incompetence, and ultimately cover-up of these failures. Because as I pointed out in my earlier brief review, Farmer is essentially using structural-functional methodological theory as his backbone in this work, understanding where he finds fault requires one to look at both how Government and other institutions are structured, Look at what their intended function as part of a whole really is, and then ask the questions that arise from systems failure — are structures properly designed, is function clear, are functions properly integrated, how do both match up with intended purpose — and finally what do these questions and their answers tell us about the skills and competence of the people who operate the systems? (lots of hard questions.)

    Finding out what happened on 9/11 in the context of looking at the national response, and an evaluation of prepardness, requires that the first thing you need to do is collect the base line evidence you need to construct a second by second timeline. What Farmer’s group found as they started to dig into this task was that the White House did NOT order a serious collection of the base data, best possible data, from all the agencies that played that day, and objectively do this task. They found some clear efforts to professionally do the task that were aborted before they were complete. They found other evidence that “best data” had been left unexamined and instead pronouncements were made on less adequate data bases.

    Specifically, Farmer’s group found that Lt. General Paul Weaver, Air National Guard, offered the first detailed timeline on September 14th, 2001, speaking from the Pentagon. Weaver’s timeline represented the integration of first reports from DOD, WH, NEADS, NORAD, the Airlines, FAA, key Controllers, much else — collected between 9/11 and 9/13 from their original documents, be these tapes, logs, taped phone contacts, E-Mail — whatever they used during the action on 9/11. He didn’t present it as final, but more as a progress report with citations. That same day Paul Wolfowitz appeared on the Lehrer program and made statements that contridicted Weaver’s timeline — these are about flight 93, and whether or not fighters were scrambled in response to it, with Wolfowitz suggesting that this had indeed happened. This idea was then repeated the following Sunday by Dick Cheney on Meet the Press — yes, the military had scrambled fighters, and then the next bit of “claimed evidence” that the President had issued shoot down orders on flight 93.

    The problem was that neither a scramble order vis a vis 93 nor the Presidential Shoot Down order showed up in Weaver’s timeline. What Farmer’s group found was that on September 17th a WH meeting was held to reconcile data, and that from September 18th on, everyone had exactly the same data (even though some didn’t square with original data), and whether they were talking to the Press, to Congress, or anyone else, they all said the same thing. Stories were all matched up neatly. Weaver and his timeline disappeared until Farmer’s group in the 9/11 commission noted the televised press briefing on the 14th, and found Weaver and his original work product.

    Having found these incongruities, Farmer’s group finally subpoened all the original date from all relevant agencies. Their requests had all been answered with dribbles and dabs of material, usually late, not organized in a useful fashion, with much missing. Much of what the Commission got to its request was secondary material, not originals. Testimony to the Commission was vague, incompetent, unclear, and in some cases lies and fabrications. Thus they got tough and issued a subpoena, and they also fanned out and found that there were vast collections of data that had not been even initially reviewed, and certainly not supplied to the commission. Best find was that NEADS used old fashioned reel to reel tape recorders from early cold war days, and recorded everything. The got it, got it digitalized, got the timing right using competent techs, and given that the first call on 9/11 had been to NEADS when it was apparent Atta’s plane was a hijack, they actually had a master of the whole event to which all else should match up. No one in the Pentagon apparently knew that NEADS used Reel to Reel’s and taped everything.

    So what did they find at the commission? More important, what does Farmer suggest is the larger meaning of what they found?

    First — the upper level of the chain of command totally fell apart on 9/11. The chain is President to Sec. of Defense, to various military commands. It isn’t just who commands whom, it is whether a command comes from a recognized competent authority. The President was in Florida, and his staff did not immediately move him to command communications. It was nearly an hour after first reports before he was positioned to assume command. No one made certain that the President was linked to the Sec. of Defense. In fact the Secretary of Defense was also AWOL. After first reports he continued a meeting and did not immediately go to his duty station at the National Command Center, and he was not in communication with the President by other means. When the Pentagon was attacked, he went out to look at the damage and give first aid to the injured. Only after that did he finally get to his duty station which was key because the National Command Center controls all military assets, and control of all of them goes through the Secretary of Defense. Rumsfeld was periodically linked with Richard Clarke’s WH Situation Room — but that facility does not control military assets, in an emergency it feeds to and feeds back all other Government (Executive Department) assets. If there needed to be interchange between military and any other executive function, or a civil agency requested military assistance, that would go through Clarke.

    So now we come to Dick Cheney who as we know went to the Presidential Bunker, Condi went with him (my guess is to keep her eye on him), and once he was installed after a delay, he took a call from the President who had no background information at all, and who initially issued no orders. He had not yet talked with Rumsfeld — important, because Cheney had no place in the Chain of Command, Rumsfeld did. Cheney as we know issued shoot down orders, and then covered it with a post hoc call to the President, but he did not issue the orders through Rumsfeld, and as a result, those who got them (such as NEADS) ignored them because they did not come through the National Command and Rumsfeld. Good Military Officers don’t take commands unless they come from the proper authority. Moreover, Cheney’s shoot down order came after all the planes had crashed.

    Let’s make it worse. The decision to scramble the Otis fighters off Cape Cod was made by NEADS, which also made the eventual call to vector them over NYCity, but only after a delay holding position out over the ocean. Both towers had been hit before the Otis fighters arrived over NYC. The three Langley Fighters were ordered to take off based on a false report that Flight 11, Atta’s hijack, was still in the air and flying south over New Jersey. But the Langley F-16’s were given no directional orders on take off — they flew off to a holding area off the east coast of Virginia, and only after the Pentagon was hit were they ordered back to the DC area, afterburners blazing, but with no rules of engagement, except for the phantom Atta flight, for which they were intended to ID the tail number.

    There is a lot more — but this is enough to illustrate Farmer’s point, the whole National Command totally failed on 9/11. The reason the timelines the White House eventually used after Sept 18th were wrong, intentionally, and vague was because they needed to cover this critical fact up. Neither Bush nor Rumsfeld acted like they knew they were command. Cheney, not in the chain of command, issues irrelevant orders outside the proper chain. They are not accepted, because he is not a competent authority.

    Farmer doesn’t want us to sit around bashing these dunces — he wants us to think about the relationship between competence and structure. National Command fell apart that day because we had not thought about it, indeed one wonders whether the principals had practiced any part of the routine. (God I hope Obama and Gates have practiced this.) None of these guys had people around them who shoved them into command postures — they thought about personal security and the like, but not command responsibility.

    Of course National Command is not the only thing that fell apart that day and ultimately got covered up. Farmer point out that it was a mistaken FAA call that put into the system the phantom flight 11 (Atta’s plane) flying south over New Jersey, that caused Langley to launch the F-16’s, but with no directional orders. He has much to say about FAA’s Radar coverage, FAA’s lack of ability to separate wheat from chafe as far as information management is concerned. He points to incompetent political appointees — and highly competent career staff who made many correct calls in some cases without the knowledge of their politically appointed supervisors. He points to lack of practice operating in crisis mode. He points to lack of communications technology hooking FAA to the Military or even on a secure basis, with the White House. Again it is competence, structure and function.

    What is the function of FAA — it is pretty simple, manage everything in the US that flies (except birds). The structure is all the rest that serves these functions, all the controllers, all the radar, all the proceedure, all the communications and computer tracking, and how it is interactively hooked together. Competence — know what assets you own, how they generally work, and have the skill to immediately focus them on problems, and resolve these problems, and collaborate with other agencies in this process. (Instead we select FAA leadership because the individuals are “trusted” by the airline executives and lobbyists.)

    Farmer reworks other pieces of the 9/11 evidence, and eventually does the same with Katrina evidence all to the end of focusing us on the need for deep going reforms that get at structures and functions as well as competent management. His contention is that Government is failing because we are not doing this kind of analysis, and asking the right questions.

  32. lysias says:

    Farmer’s narrative has the hijackers taking advantage of a lot of gaps in our defense/intelligence system. Was that just dumb luck?

    Farmer admits there was an air defense exercise going on the morning of 9/11 that badly confused the response to the hijackings. Did the hijackers just happen to pick that date by coincidence?

    • Sara says:

      “Farmer’s narrative has the hijackers taking advantage of a lot of gaps in our defense/intelligence system. Was that just dumb luck?

      Farmer admits there was an air defense exercise going on the morning of 9/11 that badly confused the response to the hijackings. Did the hijackers just happen to pick that date by coincidence?”

      Not entirely dumb luck — in the 90’s al-Qaeda had a number of people in the US studying things. Not entirely sure how much they knew, but collecting intelligence is part of their thing. For instance, remember the former Egyptian Army Officer, Ali Mohammad, who joined the US Army and then the National Guard who trained some of the 1993 WTC Bombers on weapons on weekends, but during the week worked in Army Intelligence. Ali also took his leave from the US Army, and went off to Afghanistan to fight the Soviets late in that war. He apparently delivered piles and piles of classified manuals about intelligence to al-Qaeda. There are others that were never identified, but what they collected and sent on was found in al-Qaeda houses in Afghanistan post 2001.

      By sending their members to places such as the Ridley Flight University in OK, they could get AA degrees in things like Air Traffic Control work, and did. The Flight Schools welcomed Arab students who paid full price, and who could “claim” they had a technology job awaiting them at home once they were trained. There were no controls prior to 9/11 on any of this. One of the big projects the FBI had to do post 9/11 was to find the graduate and attendence lists from these schools, and run very detailed background checks on them, in hopes of finding those who might be al-Qaeda. KSM is a graduate in engineering of North Carolina A & T (Jesse Jackson’s school, and the place where the sit-in movement started in 1960). Ramzi Yossaf went to school in Wales, did a computer design degree. FBI and other such agencies abroad had to go back 20-25 years, and try to ID the Middle Eastern students who might be suspect. Huge problem.

      Yes NEADS was running the standard air defense drill on 9/11 — they did it several times a year. I would not consider that out of the ordinary at all. All military units have drill from time to time — sometimes it is paper and pencil, at other times they exercise with equipment. Apparently the drill on 9/11 was very old hat, Soviet Bombers coming over the pole, need to vector fighters to check them out. Farmer quotes Robert MacNamara in 1966 saying that exercise “stunk” as it was so predictable. That is one of Farmer’s themes — Cold War was long over, glossey printed mission statements made this point, but no one had the imagination to invent new drills, so the Soviet Bombers kept coming over the pole on drill day.

    • BillWalker says:

      Bush first appointed Kissinger to head the 9/11 Commission that Bush never wanted, and Bush Doctrine author and Condi Rice co-author Philip Zelikow ran the 9/11 Commission from the shadows as Executive Director, with more power over the outcome than the Commission Chairmen.

      What are the odds that the Commission’s Senior Counsel was a loose cannon beyond the administration’s control?

      Considering how the Commission’s own chairmen said that the commission was “set up to fail,” and how skeptical the general public is about the official story, it makes sense to have one of the team “go rogue” and write a book that “betrays” the administration while all the while maintaining the line that nothing intentional was done by our Leaders, and all their lies were only to cover up incompetence.

      We know Cheney and his associates came into the White House with a highly detailed, RADICAL agenda. We know they saw “a new Pearl Harbor” as the only way the public would ever allow them to embark on their radical agenda.

      We know they were capable of sending thousands of Americans to their death under false pretenses.

      If Cheney and Co. didn’t allow or assist in the attacks of 9/11, it wasn’t because they were not willing or able.

      And when you look at all the pieces of evidence from that day and the months before, the idea that incompetence was the sole reason for the attacks becomes preposterous.

      We have an obvious inclination not to believe something so nefarious could be carried out or allowed to happen by our own leaders. It helps us sleep better, feel better, and gives us peace of mind.

      But that doesn’t make it so.

      And the major and controversial role of Israel and Zionist American Jews inside and outside of government means key details of this elaborate conspiracy will be under-investigated, under-reported, and under-appreciated.

      Think the Lavon Affair, except in America and with American, Pakistani, and Saudi Arabian Intelligence assistance:


      Why do you think employees of an Israeli company in the WTC received an anonymous instant message 2 hours before the attack warning them about it, and instructing them to leave the building?

      • bmaz says:

        Alright. I warned you yesterday; this will be the last time. Take your longwinded conspiracy truther theories elsewhere, this is not the forum for it. I am certain that you know it is not an idle threat, because your friends have been down this road previously with us and they are rarely here anymore, if at all.

        • thatvisionthing says:

          What is the source of such mainstream hostility towards people discussing 9/11 anomalies? Here, Daily Kos, and I hear other sites too. What gives? This blog digs and probes and wild-arse conjectures and hashes and parses and thinks through incredible minutiae and government documents to achieve a really outstanding consciousness on things Cheney and Bush and al-Haramain (sincere thanks to you) etc. At least I think you all do; your electrons look respectable and convincing. EW set the table for these guests here; I don’t understand the rudeness to them now.

          Also I’m surprised not to see a comment in this thread from plunger, is he banned on EW?

          Plunger had left a comment in an earlier EW diary that intrigued me, something about the four 9/11 planes not having flown in the year prior, and I tried to find what he was referring to. Googling led me to info that 911blogger Aidan Monaghan had FOIA’d and received a response with govt Excel spreadsheets from the Dept of Transportation that seemed to show that the last BTS info on the flights was as of the end of December 2000, nothing at all for 2001 and nothing at all on Flight 77. Googling again now, an update shows that the FOIA’d records don’t match the BTS online database and that Monaghan suspects the FBI has seized all the missing 2001 info. See http://www.911blogger.com/node/20456 for scans of the FOIA response and discussion. This was back in June. What does it all mean? I read through it and it seems that the interesting thing is not only that the records don’t match, but that in neither place is there any info on Flight 77, the plane that went into the Pentagon. The commenters are serious and informative. They even hide one on the bottom of page 2, for reasons I can’t fathom unless perhaps that the commenter is holding onto his previously expressed unpopular opinion and isn’t budging, though unlike hiding elsewhere (DailyKos) you can click and see the hidden comment. You guys here at EW are so good, I wish you were following that data, or perhaps that Aidan Monaghan would guest here like Andy Worthington has when the story calls for it. Everyone has their area of expertise. It all goes back to Cheney, why aren’t you all over this?

          Another thing, you and I tangled a bit the last time I commented, on appropriate public involvement in workings of govt — “citizen mobs” vs. just plain citizenship. I just came across another story, totally by chance — why have I never heard of this? — New York City citizens tried to get a call for a new 9/11 investigation on the November ballot. They got the needed signatures but were turned down by a judge, hence nothing 9/11 on the ballot despite their efforts. 30,000 sigs needed, 80,000 so far per the header: http://nyccan.org/The_Turning_Point.php . Do you have an opinion on that? Could this have a bearing on the 9/11 federal trial in NYC Holder announced?

  33. mattski says:

    I appreciate bmaz’s response to BillWalker. I think the Truther business illustrates how difficult it is for some to keep a balanced, evidence-based approach.

    There is often a grain of truth in the claims of paranoid people, indeed there usually is. Unfortunately, serious breaches of trust by elements in the intelligence community (usually in the service of economic elites) have occurred in the past, and revelations of that sort are bound to inflame–and provoke poor judgement in–a certain minority. At risk of being labeled one of the paranoid myself, I’d offer CIA involvement in JFK’s murder as perhaps the most egregious example. But imo, a close reading of “Not In Your Lifetime” (Anthony Summers) and “The Last Investigation” (Gaeton Fonzi) leads inexorably to that unhappy conclusion.

  34. BillWalker says:

    I’d love to defend my conclusions with much more evidence, but I’ll have to sensor myself for fear of bmaz. There is so much more evidence, fellas.

    I hope you guys realize I’m only after the truth, but there’s no real way to prove that.

    I guess we’ll all just have to stick to the conspiracy theory as handed down by the Bush administration, which holds that strip club and alcohol loving Muslim extremists made PNAC’s biggest fantasy come true, despite PNAC members occupying the highest posts in government and the military, and their 100% efforts to stop it from happening.

  35. igfranc says:

    In response to bmaz @78

    With all due respect to you and the fine people here at EWs, you should cast your net a bit wider.

  36. mattski says:

    What is the source of such mainstream hostility towards people discussing 9/11 anomalies?

    I hate to go down this road… Try this for starters: BillWalker wrote,

    Why do you think employees of an Israeli company in the WTC received an anonymous instant message 2 hours before the attack warning them about it, and instructing them to leave the building?

    Unfortunately for BillWalker his link doesn’t support his claim. There is no indication either in his linked article or in the Wikipedia entry for the incident that the “warnings” went to WTC. Rather, they went to a business in Israel, made no mention of WTC and contrary to the spirit of BillWalker’s innuendo, contained anti-semitic slurs.

    • thatvisionthing says:

      See my post #63. That’s the kind of lalalallalalIcan’thearyou craziness I’m used to seeing from Kos in response to any whiff of 9/11. Read the diaries. They’re fine and reasonable, yet the posters got banned, even though they were well-respected members who had both posted many recommended diaries before. Also see #60, 61, 62. Belittling for something directly belied by primary source presented. Silverstein said WT7 was “pulled.” Youtube supplied. That’s not a crazy conspiracy theory, that’s the guy’s own words, right here, right here, look! Nope, won’t, it’s junk. My own favorite is the youtube of the BBC reporter announcing WT7 had fallen, 20 minutes before it actually falls, while it smolders behind her in the background. That’s not Al-Jazeera or the Pennysaver, that’s the BBC.

      Regarding your objection, if there’s chaff in the wheat or bath water with the baby, I don’t think the remedy is throwing it all away.

      To quote from TocqueDeVille’s GBCW:

      Let me say up front that I was wrong. In my diary, “The Conspiracy Theory Label”, I argued that the greatest threat to our national security was the secrecy of the national security state. In fact, I am now forced to reconsider: the greatest threat to our national security is, as Al Gore put it, the assault on reason.

    • BillWalker says:

      Mattski, I’m prevented by bmaz from fully defending my posts and conclusions. To change the subject to the topic of innocence, harmony, and whatever the opposite of Lavon Affair is, I have a little scavenger hunt idea.

      Google Zim American Israeli Shipping Co, Urban Moving Systems, dancing Israelis, and Jerome Hauer anthrax.

      When you finish the scavenger hunt, check back in and tell us how warm and fuzzy you feel!

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