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Commission Seen Ready to Fault 9/11 Air Defense (NY Times)

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paulthompson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 08:05 PM
Original message
Commission Seen Ready to Fault 9/11 Air Defense (NY Times)
This is what a lot of us have been saying all along. Whether you believe in LIHOP (they let 9/11 happen on purpose) or incompetence, there's no doubt US air defenses should have done better on 9/11:

Commission Seen Ready to Fault 9/11 Air Defense

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/25/international/25NORA....

WASHINGTON, April 24 The commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks is expected to offer sharp criticism of the Pentagon's domestic air-defense command in the panel's final report and will suggest that quicker military action on that morning might have prevented a hijacked passenger jet from crashing into the Pentagon itself, according to commission officials.

The performance of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or Norad, and its failure to protect Washington and New York City from attack on Sept. 11 will be a focus of the remaining public hearings of the 10-member commission, which is in the final weeks of its investigation.

Commission officials said interim reports that were expected to be released at the hearings would suggest that Norad had enough time on Sept. 11 to launch jet fighters that could have intercepted and possibly shot down American Airlines Flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon at 9:37 a.m., more than 50 minutes after the first hijacked plane struck the World Trade Center in New York. A total of 184 people died in the Pentagon attack, including the 59 dead aboard the hijacked plane.

---

Comment: One little fact I found staggering not mentioned here but from a recent Wall Street Journal article: the fighters flying to Washington flew below 600 mph and took a longer route over the ocean so they wouldn't violate noise regulations. This despite the fact that the fighters flying to NYC over half an hour earlier ignored those rules and went as fast as they could.
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 08:18 PM
Response to Original message
1. Noise regulations? They worried about being LOUD???????????
Are they going to ask why, knowing that NYC was a target city, they didn't have nearby air support on regular alert? Even if they did not know that New York was a target, a major port city and financial center was considered worth full time protection?????

What were we saving the money for? Halliburton?

May they never sleep.
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paulthompson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 08:54 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. more on the noise regulations
Here's the quote from the Wall Street Journal:

"Once they got in the air, the Langley fighters observed peacetime noise restrictions requiring that they fly more slowly than supersonic speed and take off over water, pointed away from Washington, according to testimony before the commission. (Gen. Quenneville of the Massachusetts Air National Guard said the fighters from Otis Air Force Base ignored peacetime rules because the lead pilot concluded they faced an extraordinary situation.)"

http://www.smirkingchimp.com/print.php?sid=15469

Now, think about this. By the time the fighters took off for Washington at 9:30, practically everyone in the US was aware of what happened in NYC. One of the Langley pilots said they'd been told a plane had crashed into the WTC. Since 9:24 (at the least - probably much earlier) NORAD had been notified that Flight 77 was hijacked and headed towards Washington. Don't you think those pilots would have wanted to go as fast as possible, unless given strict orders to the contrary? If they would have travelled at around 1300 mph they would have reached Washington two minutes before Flight 77 and had a chance to shoot it down (if the order had been given). So adhering to the noise restrictions alone may have made the difference with all the deaths in the Pentagon.

It's things like this that make many think the air defenses were deliberately foiled to let the attacks succeed.
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 08:50 PM
Response to Original message
2. fighters flying to NYC went as fast as they could - another WSJ LIE
Edited on Sat Apr-24-04 08:52 PM by papau
"fighters flying to NYC over half an hour earlier ignored those rules and went as fast as they could"

That statement was indeed made by the Pentagon in testimony to Congress.

But that nasty time line thing - and the max speed of the plane - and a bit of math about the distance from Otis on Cape Cod to NYC - and you get them arriving at least 5 minutes before 2nd Tower is hit.

Seems, per the ground crew comments that afternoon - that the command to shoot down the planes - which can only be made by Bush - were requested - and the pilots told no such ok would be coming from our President and War leader.

But the pilots are not talking these days - and the ground crew is silent - so I guess the WSJ and Pentagon can lie to cover Bush's ass.

There is just that damn math and max speed and take off time, impact time and distance to NYC.

Oh, did I mention the flight info from all the ground folks for the fighters from Otis that would confirm the speed is not available - because of national security needs?

:-)
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paulthompson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 09:04 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. fighters to NYC
Actually, the pilots have talked. But something doesn't add up. Here's the relevant timeline entry:

8:52 a.m. Two F-15s take off from Otis ANG Base, six minutes after being ordered to go after Flight 11, which has already crashed. (8:52, NORAD, 9/18/01, 8:52, CNN, 9/17/01, 8:53, Washington Post, 9/12/01, 8:52, Washington Post, 9/15/01, 8:52, ABC News, 9/11/02) This is 38 minutes after flight controllers lost contact with the plane. They go after Flight 175 instead. According to Lt. Col. Timothy Duffy, one of the pilots, before takeoff, a fellow officer had told him "This looks like the real thing." He says, "It just seemed wrong. I just wanted to get there. I was in full-blower all the way." A NORAD commander has said the planes were stocked with extra fuel as well. (Aviation Week and Space Technology, 6/3/02) Full-blower is very rare - it means the fighters are going as fast as they can go. An F-15 can travel over 1875 mph. (Air Force News, 7/30/97) Duffy later says, "As we're climbing out, we go supersonic on the way, which is kind of nonstandard for us." He says his target destination is over Kennedy airport in New York City. (ABC News, 9/11/02) According to Major Gen. Paul Weaver, director of the Air National Guard, "The pilots (fly) 'like a scalded ape,' topping 500 mph but (are) unable to catch up to the airliner." (Dallas Morning News, 9/16/01) ABC News later says, "The fighters are hurtling toward New York at mach 1.2, nearly 900 miles per hour." (ABC News, 9/11/02) NORAD commander Major General Larry Arnold says they head straight for New York City at about 1100 to 1200 mph. (MSNBC, 9/23/01 (C), Slate, 1/16/02) "An F-15 departing from Otis can reach New York City in 10 to 12 minutes, according to an Otis spokeswoman." (Cape Cod Times, 9/16/01) At an average speed of 1125 mph, they would reach the city in 10 minutes - 9:02. So if NORAD commander Arnold's speed is correct, these fighters should reach Flight 175 just before it crashes. Yet according to the NORAD timeline (NORAD, 9/18/01), these planes take about 19 minutes to reach New York City, traveling less than 600 mph.

---

My guess is that the fighters really did travel as fast as the pilots say they did, but that they left quite a few minutes after the official NORAD time. NORAD has been shown to fudge quite a few numbers, even getting the time CNN first reported the first WTC off by 9 whole minutes! Clearly there's a big coverup going on, and fudging the numbers and facts is a part of it.
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billbuckhead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 09:21 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. This was one incidence when * training in the Texas Air National Guard
should have come into play. Bush let America's air defenses down twice in his life. Bush can't blame Clinton for the poor response from America's air defenses to the 9-11 attacks after taking a 30 day vacation in August. Fighter jock Bush can't prance around on the deck of a carrier and also be uninvolved in America's air defenses on 9-11.
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 10:23 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Your numbers agree with mine - except I had the takeoff a bit earlier
Paul - You own the numbers - everything comes from your hard work -

When did the time line come up with a 8:52 takeoff? What was NORAD waiting for from 8:25 when first notified of hijackings (assuming early timelines were correct) until 8:44 when it reportedly ordered planes scrambled? 8:13:31 a.m.: American Airlines Flight 11 last transmission from Boston Air Traffic Control: AAL11 turn 20 degrees right American Airlines Flight 11 responds: 20 right AAL11. A few seconds later the Controller asks: AAL11 now climb maintain FL350 <35,000 feet> Controller: AAL11 climb maintain FL350 Controller: AAL11 Boston. There is no response from American Airlines Flight 11. 8:14 to 8:20 a.m.: American Airlines Flight 11 goes off course and is hijacked. 8:17 a.m.: American Airlines Flight 11 passenger Daniel Lewin, who belongs to the Israel Defense Force Sayeret Matkal, a top-secret counter-terrorist unit is either stabbed or shot to death. 8:20 a.m.: American Airlines Flight 11 transponder signal stops transmitting Identification, Friend or Foe 8:24:38 a.m.: The pilot of American Airlines Flight 11, John Ogonowski, or one of the hijackers activates the talk-back button, enabling Boston air traffic controllers to hear a hijacker say to the passengers: "We have some planes. Just stay quiet and you will be OK. We are returning to the airport. Nobody move." Apparently, one of the hijackers confused the aircraft's radio with its public-address system. Air traffic control responds, "Who's trying to call me?" 8:24:57 a.m. from American Airlines Flight 11, "Everything will be OK. If you try to make any moves, you'll endanger yourself and the airplane. Just stay quiet." 8:25 a.m.: Boston air traffic control notified several air traffic control centers that a hijack is in progress with American Airlines Flight 11. Boston air traffic control first lost communication with American Airlines Flight 11 more than 11 minutes ago. What took them so long to start to implement procedure? Who says that they did not notify North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) at this time?

If they did follow procedure and notify NORAD at 8:25 and NORAD followed protocol and ordered the 102nd Fighter Wing of the Otis Air National Guard Base in Falmouth, Massachusetts to scramble at say 8:26 the two F-15?s would have been airborne by no later than 8:32 - and would have had at least 14 minutes and 26 seconds to reach the WTC before American Airlines Flight 11 impacts the north side of the North Tower (1 World Trade Center) at 8:46:26. If these two F-15?s were flying at top speed, 14 minutes and 26 seconds is exactly twice the amount of time need to reach the WTC. These two F-15?s could have been at the WTC in just over 7 minutes, or as early as 8:39. Even a spokesperson for Otis said that their F-15?s could reach the WTC in 10 to 12 minutes, which would have them there at 8:42 to 8:44. Hell - we even have at 8:36 a.m.: A NORAD spokesman, Major Mike Snyder, who has been reported to have said, that the FAA notified NORAD of a hijacked aircraft, American Airlines Flight 11, about 10 minutes before it impacted into the World Trade Center.

Then at 8:37 a.m.: Flight controllers ask the United Airlines Flight 175 pilots to look for the lost American Airlines Flight 11, about 10 miles to the south. They respond that they can see it. They are told to keep away from it. This incident is not included in The New York Times flight controller transcript. Why?

The first reports had a scramble at 8:36 -and takeoff around 8:42 - which sounded so reasonable - but I guess those were wrong. Did NORAD give pause because we needed 2 towers to be hit, so we were therefore late for the Pentagon (the Pentagon is another 12 minutes from NYC and we had a good half hour to get there)? Granted giving the order to shoot down 3 civilian jumbo jets with hundreds of innocents aboard, with no "clear justification" for doing so, is a tough call - even with the terrorist warnings - it was the call to make.

And as for pilots talking - I saw the lock down on speech occur for Otis folks - but if they are talking now that is great. No one claims the pilots said no shoot down order to the media - but it sure was a "ground crew rumor" for at least a few hours.

But as you say, Paul, the official numbers are:
PETERSON AFB, Colo. --The following timelines show NORADs response to the airliner hijackings on September 11, 2001.
* All times are Eastern Daylight Time; NEADS = North East Air Defense Sector, NORAD
** Scramble = Order to get an aircraft airborne as soon as possible
***Estimated = loss of radar contact
**** Flight times are calculated at 9 miles per minute or .9 Mach
***** The FAA and NEADS established a line of open communication discussing AA Flt 77 and UA Flt 93
American Airlines Flight 11 Boston enroute to Los Angeles FAA Notification toNEADS 0840*
Fighter Scramble Order (Otis Air National Guard Base, Falmouth, Mass. Two F-15s) 0846**
Fighters airborne 0852
Airline Impact Time (World Trade Center) 0846 (estimated)***

Fighter Time/Distance from Airline Impact Location Aircraft not airborne/153 miles United Airlines Flight 175 Boston enroute to Los Angeles FAA Notification to NEADS 0843
Fighter Scramble Order (Otis ANGB, Falmouth, Mass. Same 2 F-15s as Flight 11) 0846
Fighters Airborne 0852
Airline Impact Time (World Trade Center 2) 0902 (estimated)
Fighter Time/Distance from Airline Impact Location approx 8 min****/71 miles
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paulthompson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-25-04 01:21 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. I wish I knew the answers...
but I don't. All I know is that one can look at the numbers, and the numbers don't add up. This quote is classic:

According to Major Gen. Paul Weaver, director of the Air National Guard, "The pilots (fly) 'like a scalded ape,' topping 500 mph but (are) unable to catch up to the airliner."

Things like this make me feel sometimes that everyone must be on drugs not to see the absurdity of it all. Going 500 mph is "like a scalded ape?" At that speed the fighter would have fallen further behind the jumbo jet if it was directly behind it!
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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-25-04 03:31 AM
Response to Original message
8. kick
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-25-04 04:26 AM
Response to Original message
9. Will the 9/11 Whitewash Commission mention Andrews AFB?
Doubtful.

Andrew Air Force Base. Ten miles from the Pentagon. Two fighter squadrons always kept at scramble-ready status.

No fighters scrambled from it on 9/11.

See http://emperors-clothes.com/indict/indict-1.htm for more info, and http://web.archive.org/web/20010306223457/http://www.dc... for the DC Air National Guard webpage later altered to remove all references to these fighter squadrons.

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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-25-04 03:31 PM
Response to Original message
10. kick
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