Thursday, May 27, 2010

Mohamed Atta and Ali Mohammed

The reason why the Bush Administration worked so bury information about Able Danger are not clear. It was a sophisticated data-mining project designed to gather information about Al Qaeda. Discussion of the findings of the Able Danger project lead to consideration of how much the US knew about Atta and other terrorists before 911. At the very least, it is a picture of incredible incompetence. But some of the evidence could be used to raise questions about what else was being hid. This piece will focus on what was known about Ali Mohamed, who was convicted for involvement with the 1998 embassy bombings and Mohamed Atta. Ali Mohammed is relevant because he was connected to the 1993 bombing and the embassy bombings of 1998. There is clear evidence that he was connected to the F.B.I., and at least briefly to the C.I.A..

Republicans spun the story as an illustration of the failures of the Clinton administration. They noted that the Clinton Pentagon failed to act on information about these terrorists. James Woolsey, former C.I.A. director and neocon who detested Clinton, worked closely with Pa. Republican Congressman Curt Weldon to give the story a strong anti-Clinton spin. Weldon claimed before the House that Shaffer and civilian contractor James D. Smith told him the Able Danger project had warned the Navy not to refuel the Cole in Yemen in 2000. Former F.B.I. director Louis Freeh has used Able Danger this to sell his book, claiming the Clintons kept him from hunting Al Qaeda. But the fact was that Able Danger was shut down under Bush, and no one has said that Able Danger had stopped tracking Al Qaeda cells outside the US before the project ceased operation. Freeh, has never explained why three good leads within his agency were quashed or why he did not stand by John O"Neill, the best terrorist hunter we have had to date Freeh’s greatest failure was not acting on information that it had about the Al Qaeda cell in Brooklyn.

The F.B.I. knew a great deal about the Brooklyn cell, which was involved in the 1993 bombing. It was led by the blind sheikh, Omar Abdel-Rahman. The cell’s chief trainer was Ali Mohamed, a former Egyptian army officer who had taught Green Berets at Fort Bragg.

Khalid al-Mihdar, mastermind of the attack on the Cole was protected by the C.I.A.. The agency did not provide the F.B.I. with the information it had about him or his travels. Nor did it tell the F.B.I. anti-terrorism unit what it knew about an Al Qaeda meeting in Malasia. It did give the director of the F.B.I. regular updates on the meeting. Great efforts were made to hide evidence of Saudi money getting to al Mihdar while he was in San Diego, and it is believed that that was contained in the 28 redacted pages of the Congressional Report on 9/11
Ali Mohammed

The strange relationship of the F.B.I. and Ali Mohammed raises many questions. The F.B.I. has a thick file on the target shooting activities of Ali Mohammed and other men from his mosque at Calverton. They apparently went shooting after mosque services in Brooklyn. According to Investigators Tom Hennigan and Peter Lance, he was a triple agent, loyal in the end to Al Qaeda. If they were wrong, the other reasonable conclusion was that the F.B.I. was somehow complicit in his dangerous activities. A somewhat similar situation existed in relationship to Mohammed Atta. Various government agencies knew quite a bit about Atta’s doings. It seems to come down to a matter of incredible incompetence or some degree of complicity.

Ali Mohamed had been the chief security advisor to Osama bin Laden and had trained the terrorist leaders’s security detail. He worked briefly for the C.I.A. in the early eighties. The agency claims it found him unreliable and placed him on a watch list to prevent entry to the United States. Yet he obtained a visa, according to one account through a secret C.I.A. program, and became a US citizen in 1986. At Fort Bragg, he was an instructor in Islamic culture. While there, he frequently traveled to New York, where he trained young Muslims in the use of explosive and fire arms. His student bled the head off Rabbi Meyer Kahane. The chief of NYPD detectives said it was a lone gunman even though some of his men had gathered enough evidence, including target practice photographs, to conclude otherwise. The F.B.I. quickly embraced the long gunman explanation.

Another became involved in a scheme to blow up the United Nations. A third student was convicted in the plot to bomb the World Trade Center in 1993. He also spent time training Islamic fighters in Afghanistan and the C.I.A. has 1989 footage of him training terrorists. It is also known he taught them how to seize an airplane. Ali was detained in a Canadian airport in 1993 when he was found to be carrying two fake Saudi passports. He was released after Royal Canadian Mounted Police called his American handler, John Zent.(Toronto Globe and Mail, 11/22/01)]

In the 1990s, he did surveillance on the US consulate in Nairobi, Kenya and other places in north Africa. One wonders how he explained his frequent absences to his F.B.I. employers and whether they ever doubted his explanations. . In 1993 the Royal Canadian Police detained him, and the F.B.I. secured his release. He went on to Kenya to photograph the US embassy there. The 9/11 report ( page 68) bluntly states that he led those who plotted to attack the embassy in Kenya

In 1989, Ali Mohamed settled in California where he soon helped Ayman al-Zawahiri raise money. Again, in 1994 he helped al Zawahiri. His neighbors were certain he was an intermediary between the C.I.A. and the Afghan rebels , arranging for the movement of arms. By the 1990s, he infiltrated the F.B.I. and became involved in its super-secret Division Five. The agency admitted using him but claimed it was just to track down illegal immigrants, and it did not admit linking him with terrorists. At that time, he somehow obtained the complete list of unindicted coconspirators, which included himself, and faxed it to bin Laden. The F.B.I. held him on a John Doe warrant for 9 months to keep him away from the press and prevent his testimony in the trial of the 1993 bombers. His name came up frequently in the trial and defense lawyers demanded that he be produced as a witness because they knew he worked for the F.B.I. and perhaps also the C.I.A.. In 1996, he was helping Al Qaeda move from Sudan to Afghanistan. Yet, in the late 1990s, he was also in some kind of F.B.I. custody for considerable periods.

As late as 2000, he worked in the bureau’s Sacramento office, was briefly detained after that, and then released. Then he was indicted for his role in the 1998 embassy bombings and entered a guilty plea. The people who produced the National Geographic special on him claim that after 9/11 he was able to explain to federal interviewers all the ins and outs of the 9/11 plot CBS reported in October, 2001 that he was “awaiting sentencing,”
but he then disappeared from the federal criminal justice system.

The Ali Mohammed story becomes even more interesting when it is considered that the F.B.I. had an informer in that Brooklyn cell. Email Salem, a former Egyptian army major was the F.B.I. informer and had warned that some sort of attack was coming, but the F.B.I. claimed Salem was driven off July, 1992 because he refused to testify or wear a wire.

The F.B.I. had blind Shiekh Dr. Omar Abdel- Rahman in its sights, and Salem was a trusted member of his circle, known as al Gamma Isiamiya. Abdel-Rahman was a known enemy of the United States who was let into the country under the cover of national security. There was some unknown reason for him to be here, in Brooklyn. He was on the State Department’s watch list but was still given a tourist visa and green card.

Special agent Nancy Floyd recruited the former Salem and tried to protect him. His meetings with the F.B.I. began in November, 1991. A month later, he was urging the Brooklyn cell to become more militant. According to Peter Lance, who has provided much reliable evidence on 9/11, Carson Dunbar, her supervisor, did not trust her and he ordered her in August 1992 to have no more contact with him. She was subjected to an interminable internal investigation because she technically revealed a meaningless piece of information. All that time, she was shunned by many colleagues, denied promotion or transfer. At one point the agency planted stories that she was sleeping with her asset. With her out of t he way, and Salem being pretty muched shelved by the agency, the F.B.I. missed a golden opportunity to stop the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center. This is pretty much the conventional account of what happened.

However, Salem’s many taped conversations with the F.B.I. show that his relationship with the agency deepened. With Floyd out of the way, her superiors took over dealings with Salem, who was a trusted member of the circle of the Abdel- Rahman. Although it is illegal, it appears that the F.B.I. recruited Salem as an agent provocateur. He became a key source of information in the investigtion of the men who were accused of bombing the World Trade Center on February 26, 1993. He did not testify in the first trial but did in the second. The original plan was to involve the potential terrorists in building pipe bombs with fake gun powder, but an F.B.I. supervisor later had them use real gun powder. After the blast, Salem wanted to complain to F.B.I. headquarters about what had happen3ed but was dissuaded by his handler. Ralph Blumenthal wrote in the New York Times, “Law-enforcementofficials were told that terrorists were building a bomb that was eventually used to blow up the World Trade Center, and they planned to thwart the plotters by secretly substituting harmless powder for the explosives, an informer [Emad Salem, a former lieutenant colonel in the Egyptian Army] said after the blast,”

For a man reluctant to wear a wire, Salem soon learned to use the wire the agency gave him against the F.B.I. itself. The transcripts of the recordings make it unclear if the F.B.I. used him or if he used the F.B.I.. The problem is that the recordings are selective. They show that an F.B.I. supervisor told him to use real explosives. The taped conversation with handler John Anticev make it clear that Salem was using federal money to build the pipe bombs. When the bombs were built, Salem is on tape telling the F.B.I. that the time had come to arrest the Islamic extremists. Nothing was done. We don’t know what that meant. Was he to go along and carry real explosives or was he doing more than that? He is heard on the tape acknowledging that the F.B.I. helped him construct a bomb and that the DA was involved? Why did they go that far? The tapes also show that Floyd had more contact with Salem than once thought as they discussed their mutual anguish about failing to head off the bombing. The recordings also make it clear that he was coached as to what not to say in court as revelation of some matters would result in the case against the Islamic extremists being thrown out.

Salem revealed the existence of the tapes at a news conference and was subsequently paid $ 1 million for his cooperation and silence about some things. Andrew C. McCarthy, an assistant federal prosecutor, turned over some of the many tapes to Judge Michael B. Mukasey and judged that others were being retained until they could be screened for’security and other issues.”

William Kuntsler, attorney for the accused, argued that the whole conspiracy was originated by Salem, who was prompted by the agency. The government refused to acknowledge that Salem was a long term informant. It was acknowledged that the F.B.I. knew about his claims of a plot to blow up the WTC but was put off by his demands for money.

A little less is known about Mohammed Atta's activities than about those of Ali Mohamed, but it is clear that even without information from Able Danger, the government had enough information to keep tabs on him. Moreover, it is clear that the F.B.I. had knowledge of the movements of Atta and two others in Venice, Florida before 9-11. In addition, two Al Qaeda terrorists were tailed in San Diego by the F.B.I.. They resided there with a known F.B.I. asset, “Professor” Abdussattar Shaikh . The alleged professor had a bogus degree and taught at a mail order university that no longer existed. The bureau forbade agent Stephen Butler from telling t he 9/11 Commission of his frustration that his superiors would do nothing about these two subjects, Hazmi and Midhar.

The “professor” was really an Indian named Abdussattar Chhipa. He was asso C.I.A.ted with Sam Koutchesfahani, an Iran exile and arms dealer, who was busy illegally bringing people from the Middle East into the US. The Iranian was also an F.B.I. informant. The two helped the immigrants acquire false documents and diplomas from the mail-order universities in the area.

For almost four years, while he was in Germany, Atta was employed by a foundation run by the German and US governments - Carl Duisberg Gesellschaft. He was an instructor in an exchange program , and did some work for it in Aleppo, Damascus, and Cairo. The US part of the program was overseen by the State Department but ranking private citizens such as David Rockefeller and Henry Kissinger were also involved. He also attended the Technical University at Hamburg, and German federal police ( BKA) investigated him for minor drug crimes.

According to a September 24, 2001 article in the German intelligence magazine Focus, German security people were watching and listening to the Hamburg cell in 1998 and 1999, and it is not unreasonable to assume their information was shared with the C.I.A.. In 1999, the C.I.A. attempted to recruit one member of that cell, Mamoun Darhazanli. There is evidence that he visited the Philippines in 1999, but there is no clear evidence that the Germans knew this. The American agency started following Atta in January of 2000 and found that he was buying dangerous chemicals in Frankfurt. On May 18, 2000, he obtained a visa in Berlin and arrived in New Jersey on June 3, 2000. There is some evidence that he had been in the US before, and there is clear evidence that he and Marwan Alshehhi visited the Philippines in 1999. Several months later, while in Florida, he received $100,000 from an agent under the control of General Mahmoud Ahmad, head of the Pakistani intelligence service. This man was in Washington on September 10, 2001. Oddly, Dr. Rice denied seeing him while he was in the city, and the White House transcript of the press conference said the part of the question about him was inaudible. The Federal Press Service's transcript referred to him by his title as head of the ISI , Pakistan 's press service.

In all, they probably received $325,000 from Pakistani intelligence. About $175,000 more came from unknown sources. Atta was attending a flight school at Huffman Avaiation in Venice, but he had previously attend two others. He and Marwan each paid $28,000 for instruction, but there were many places where instruction would cost a great deal less. The school did not offer instructions in operating commer C.I.A.l jet liners.

He was a licensed pilot already and was given the privileges of an instructor. He may have even gone on some drug runs for them. It was known that he had business dealings with men who flew in from Germany to see him. It is also known that twelve other hijackers had lived somewhere near those two flight schools at one time or other. Atta lived across the street from the Venice Airport, sharing an apartment for two months with Amanda Keller. Later the tenants were told by the F.B.I. to say nothing about this. Told to keep quiet, Amanda disappeared for a time.

The DEA confiscated and auctioned a private jet owned by one of the owners of the school. The agency found 43 pounds of heroin. No action was ever taken against the owner Wally Hilliard, a 70 year old born-again retired Midwesterner health insurance executive whose firm's motto was “Fight Sin, Hate Communism, and Back the Pack.” The DEA did not arrest the pilot even though he had refused to give them his cell phone. The co-pilot, Michael Francis Bassington, was not arrested and and mayb have been a DEA agent. He was unnamed in court documents. Hilliard was a long time asso C.I.A.te of Adnan Khashoggi and was involved in Oryx Investments with him. However, the DEA also believed Bassington was somehow tied to the Alfonso Bowe Smuggling Group. Bassington was also involve ed in a military procurement scandal Guyana. Bassington was close to fellow pilot Wolfgang Bohringer, whom Mohammed Atta called “my brother.” Daniel Hopsicker, an investigative reporter who has revealed much about the C.I.A.’s uses of the Venice , Florida airstrip, claims that Bassington was involved in helping the Sinsaloa drug Cartel in Mexico acquire 100 planes, many of whuch had belonged to the C.I.A. and C.I.A. contractors.
Two of the planes thus acquired were involved in moving drugs. One, a DC 9 painted to resemble a Homeland Security plane was seized in a small Yucaqtan airport on September 30, 2008. On board were 5.5 tons of cocaine. The second was a Gulfstream ii, which had been used in rendition flights, crashed on September 24, 2007 and was carrying a little less than 4 tons of cocaine. Both flights originated in Saint Petersburg-Clearwater, and both were owed by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the Mexican drug lord.

Hilliard obtained the jet from the same people who provided Barry Seal with jets when he was working for the C.I.A., bringing drugs into Mena, Arkansas.( Richard Ben-Veniste of the 9/11 Commission had been Seal's lawyer.) The same jet had made 39 weekly milk runs to Venezuela before the DEA acted. It would appear that Hilliard was running a charter service for drug dealers. There is evidence that the Venice police and Sarasota County Drug Interdiction officers had been warned to leave Dekkers and Hilliard alone.

Several hours after the attack, the F.B.I. had employees of Huffman Aviation under surveillance. A former Huffman executive said that a car full of agents was parked outside his house by the middle of the afternoon. He said they bugged his telephone and pressured him to clam up, and not tell the press what he knew. His theory was that Atta and others were double agents. Without admitting to drug trafficking, he said “I gleaned early on that the operation I was working for had government protection.” Others made the same comment. He refused to say anymore adding “I've got a family to worry about.” Others who had some information were to say the same thing. Dekkers once sold a structurally damaged plane, and was turned in to the FAA by someone who wanted to prevent the sale. Some ribs were crushed and there were dents on the front of a wing. The FAA did nothing to prevent the sale, which some took to be a sign that Dekkers had government protection.

The unnamed executive could have been onto something. It was widely known that Osama bin Laden controlled the Afghanistan drug business and that he was looking into becoming involved in Latin American drug operations. It would make sense to place people in the Hilliard operation. Hilliard had been making illegal trips to Cuba and spreading around Presidential Rolex watches. He said he was doing church work. He could have been seeking Cuban help in the drug trade. Some of Mohammed Atta's German friends in Florida had criminal connection. One of his Florida friends was flying for an o0logarch tied to the Russian mob who had great wealth and power in Czechoslovakia. It all sounds a bit like the strange interrelationships Sibel Edmonds was prevented from discussing.

Some thought Hilliard was some sort of intelligence agent. His partner in a number of ventures was the shadowy Mark Shubin, who was said to have worked for both the KGB and C.I.A.. His father was a KGB colonel, and he spent some time in the Jamaican military and was said to have ties to the Russian mob. Shubin was in business with Kenneth Good who was largely responsible for the Silverado Savings and Loan collapse. Good was a Bush family retainer and close to Neil Bush, who was somehow connected to the Silverado collapse. Bush and Good were also involved in a Venezuelan oil deal, but Bush had neglected to tell Silverado investigators about this.

The school's operator and nominal co-owner was Rudi Dekkers, a native of Holland who owed his government $3,000,000. Dekker had been in Naples and built a record for not paying his bills, they he moved to Venice and bought Huffman Aviation on behalf of Hilliard. A former Huffman executive said it was clear their drug trade had government protection. Hilliard also operated an air carrier which was used and endorsed by Katherine Harris and Jeb Bush. For some reason Hilliard loaned Jerry Falwell $1 million.

There was a second flight school at that airport owned by another native of Holland, Arne Kruithof. The two Hollanders bought flight schools within months of one another. Altogether, eight terrorists trained at the two schools operated by the Hollanders. Other airlines operated out of that airport, including one known C.I.A. company, Caribe Air, and the little known, Bratannia Aviation which was to obtain a multi-million dollar contract to maintain the Lynchburg, Va. Airport. Lynchburg authorities were urged to do due dilligence before giving Hilliard the contract but they rushed ahead without doing so. No doubt Jerry Falwell, who owed Hilliard money, put in a good word. But some speculate that the C.I.A. intervened to help Dekkers and Hilliard. Hilliard tried to collect some of the money from Falwell's account, who tried to hide partial repayments. He said Falwell cleared the account every month, simply taking the cash and putting it somewhere else. Financier Jackson Stevens tired o Falwell's non payment and foreclosedd on the north campus of Falwell's Liberty University.

Pilots at Venice for the various firms moonlighted by doing missionary flights at night for religions groups like Pat Robertson's Operation Hope.. Mark Mikarts, Mohammed Atta’s flight instructor, flew for Agape Flights, a fundamentalist missionary outfit that sent supplies to a man in Haiti accused of plotting a coup against the Aristide regime. Agape in turn, was tied to the Summer Institute of Linguistics, which the Latin American press says is a C.I.A. financed organization designed to use fundamentalist Christianity to break down indigenous cultures and remove barriers to natural resource exploitation.

Dekkers claimed he did not know her, but they both used Pascal Schreier, a German, to recruit Arab students. From the time Dekkers came to Venice in 1999 Arab students were frequenting the school in significant numbers. Dekkers and Hilliard had been in business together before, paid too much for the flight school, and had apparently lost millions in their ventures. Money was not their problem. They had an odd habit of conducting private conversations inside a plane that was in a building.

At first, the F.B.I.'s biography of Atta did not mention his stay in Venice. Three of the four hijacker pilots trained at two Venice schools, and many other Arabs gravitated there for training. Venice authorities think there was a fifth terrorist studying at Huffman, but they cannot prove it. The day after the attack, the F.B.I. seized all the police records as well as the flight school records and put them aboard a C-130 at the Sarasota airport. Around 2 AM on September 12, according to Venice policemen, the flight school records were spirited away in two Ryder trucks that went to the Sarasota Airport, where Jeb Bush and a Florida Air National Guard C-130 were waiting.

Dekkers tried to minimize the time Atta was at the flight school and claim that he barely knew him. He swore before Congress that he never saw Atta again after December, 2002. For some reason, Dekkers tried to deny that Atta stayed in Venice after getting his multi-engine license in December, 2000, and a New York Times reporter tried to spike a story about the Atta's third residence there in the Sandpiper. Atta and Marwan trained at an airport in Charlotte County in January and February and then returned to Huffman for a third time. There were at least 17 Arabs being trained in that county, and the F.B.I. was to seize all records relating to their training. Five of the hijackers received training of one sort or other at US military installations in the 1990s, and three of them received pilots training at the Pensacola Naval Station.

On one occasion, Dekkers said Atta was a terrible person, an incompetent pilot who left school December 20, 2000 and did not return.. Others claim Atta was there in 2001 and that he and the operator were friendly. In August, two of the other hijackers were with Atta, and Atta's attorney father visited from Egypt. The three younger men were said to hire a Yellow Cab in the evenings which was driven by a retired Navy Seal, who left soon after they left Venice. Another driver reported that the two were on very friendly terms and that they shared a cab to a Sarasota night spot in August, 2001. Atta was apparently a hard drinker, did drugs, and he sometimes partied with pilots most probably tied to C.I.A. operations. He had an American girlfriend who was an exotic dancer, and he seems to have had a brief relationship with a stripper. This does not conform to the official story that he was a strict and observant Muslim fundamentalist. On September 8, 2001 he was two companions in a Ft. Lauderdale bar named Shuckums, where he got wasted and called out “F**k God.”Atta was also known to gamble and mix with ladies of the night, but he was not the only terrorist who was not a strict Muslim.

Atta developed ties with Makram Chams, a Lebanese who ran a convenience store and was a co-owner of a floating casino called Vegas-in-Venice. There are indications that th is casino was used for the laundering of drug money, and funds could have come through it for 9/11. After that terrible event, Chams simply disappeared.

Four terrorists lived above a strip club called “Lance” in Wayne, New Jersey. They were Lebanese pilot Ziad Jarrah and three Saudi musclemen, Ahmed al-Haznawi, Ahmed al-Nami, and Saeed al-Ghamdi Probably because the were portrayed as religious fanatics, the F.B.I. confiscated the security tapes showing them in the club. Videotapes of a nearby video store patronized b y the hijackers and the Mossad agents tailing them were also seized, and later telephone numbers of the store patrons disappeared in a strange robbery.

The F.B.I. showed up at Shuckums' bar in Venice eight hours after his plane hit the World Trade Center. For some reason, the F.B.I. asked all kinds of questions about him in places other than Venice, where he spent much of his time. The F.B.I. also asked a few questions in Venice, and agent talked to a flight school executive four hours after the planes struck. However, the bulk of the investigation there was left to the state Department of Law Enforcement.

On January 24, 2003 Ruddi Dekers had to splash down his helecopter into the Caloosahatchee River near downtown Fort Myers. Something had gone wrong, and before the flight he was worried that something bad could happen to him. Earlier, Arne Kruithof and two others barely survived a crash on 26, 2002. The plane nose dived after a diufficult take-off from the Venice airport. Deekkers was later arrested for fraud.

Mohammed el-Amir Atta insists his son was not involved in 9/11. Unable to accept what appears to have happened,has said that his son telephoned him on September 12, 2001. Almost a year later, he was sticking to his story, saying his son was in hiding.

``Following the lead of the F.B.I., the 9-11 commission did not discuss the schools. The F.B.I. has repeatedly said that Atta left the school in late 2000. At the Moussaoui trial, clear evidence was produced that Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi were still there and flying in February, 2001 and that the F.B.I. knew all about it. Moreover, they violated airpark rules by taking off at night and were observed by a watchman and the police, who conducted the flight school. The F.B.I. subsequently interviewed a Huffman administrator about the incident. Yet, another administrator told a Congressional panel under oath that the school had no knowledge of the two men after December 24, 2000.The Knight Rider papers, the Washington Post, and Newsweek reported a week after 9-11 that five of the hijackers had been trained at US military facilities at one time or another. This did not involve Atta's brief employment much earlier in Hamburg, before he experienced a religious conversion in Egypt. It was said that Atta was at the International Officers School at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama. Abdulaziz Alomari was at the Areospace Medical School in Texas .The Sarasota Herald-Times discovered that Atta lived for more than two months at the Sandpiper Apartments in Venice in March and April of 2001 with a part-time stripper and lingerie model. She reported that the F.B.I. urged her to keep quiet. Florida records show that Atta became a business partner of chief Morrocan military attache Colonel Ahmed Arara and another man in business venture of some sort. The attache could have been related to highjacker Mohammed Araras.

Soon after 9-11, F.B.I. agents were in Venice asking questions that made it clear they knew about Atta’s movements there. The nature mof their questioning activities strongly suggests they were very much aware of Atta’s presence there before 9-11. They questioned another cabbie about their nocturnal rides with the other driver. They seized a pharmacy’s security tape for the day Atta and his father were there and excised that part of the tape. It develops in an odd coincidence that the woman who helped one of the hijackers find an apartment was the wife of Michael Irish, the senior National Enquirer editor who received an anthrax letter. Irish also used that aifield.

There were rumors that the flight schools had a C.I.A. connection, and that their records were removed on September 12, 2001. The limited action taken after the biggest drug seizure in central Florida history led to speculation about some kind of a protected drug trade. For years there have been rumors about C.I.A. and DIA drug trading; and those who have written about this have had their careers ruined. There will probably never be enough evidence to prove why the Pentagon did not want to move against Atta and now claims it knew nothing about him. One employee said Atta and others moved on to a school in Pompano Beach to learn to fly big jets via simulator. He added that he did not think this approach could be successful. Fired F.B.I. translator Sibel Edmunds was asked if she came across evidence that there was any evidence of a connection between drug trading and 9-11. She said, "The 9/11 terror plot intersected with the activities of a drug trafficking network of international scope, in ways that form a "crystal clear" picture of what was going on.@ As she came to understand how tight federal gag order placed upon her was, she later answered this question with a "nondenial-denial." Don"t look for solid answers anytime soon. Daniel Hopsiocker, who has long investigated the Venice flight school attended by Atta, ties the seized a hereoin shipment found in the plane of one of the co-owners of the school. Puzzling over why the plane was seized but the politically connected owner was never touched, he concluded that someone with great influence in DC was buying drugs from Osama bin Laden. We know Al Qaeda sells drugs, but that connection is just a guess. It has also been suggested that he had been involved in a protected heroin smuggling operation and that this accounts for the Pentagon’s reluctance to pursue him earlier. Given the history of that airport, it is far more likely that the C.I.A. was moving drugs through it.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Able Danger

There have been many conflicting stories about what was involved in Able Danger, a Pentagon effort to use data-mining techniques to track Al Qaeda. There have been numerous efforts to prevent the public from knowing about Able Danger. It is hard to believe that Al Qaeda and many foreign intelligence agencies do not have almost complete information on the project. Why are American citizens kept in the dark? We already knew that US intelligence people had been tracking the future highjackers in Hamburg, Germany for years, and that Al Qaeda Cells in Brooklyn and in the west had also long been in the sights of the F.B.I. With the revelation of the Able Danger project, it becomes difficult to escape the conclusion that the federal government had more than enough information to prevent 9-11. The 9-ll commission either was not told about Able Danger or it chose to ignore the information because it would have derailed its major conclusions. Commission co-chairman Lee Hamilton said the conclusions would have been different had they known about Able Danger, but he is the man who presided over what seemed to be a clumsy cover up of an October 19, 1980 deal with Iran to hold 52 hostages until after the U.S. election.

In 1999, the Pentagon Special Operations Command in Tampa established Able-Danger, a secret program, to gather information on Al Qaeda. It was begun on the order of General Hugh Shelton, then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff, and its driving force was General Peter Schoomaker, another four star officer. Some of the advanced software employed were Spire. Starlight, and Parentage. The project purchased information from various brokers, including some who had kept track of people entering mosques around the world. Sometimes the work simply involves thoroughly mining and analyzing information available on the internet. The data was processed by civilian contractors, most important of whom was Raytheon, now part of SRA International Corporation. Able Danger worked closely with a Defense Intelligence operation called Stratus Ivy and the Army Information Dominance Center, but the C.I.A. refused to work closely with the new project. The operation was seen as so promising that then Major Anthony Shaffer briefed the jaunt chiefs of staff twice and C.I.A. Director George Tenet once. The projects day-to-day operations were run by Navy Captain Scott Phillpott.

By 2000, Able Danger identified Mohammed Atta, the architect of 9-11, and three others as members of the cell that attacked the complex in 1993 and as part of the Hamburg, Germany Al Qaeda terrorist cell.

There is also evidence that two hijackers were known to be living in Dan Diego with a C.I.A. informer. An F.B.I. official complained, “[The C.I.A.] purposely hid [Almihdhar] from the F.B.I., purposely refused to tell the bureau. ...And that’s why September 11 happened. ...They have blood on their hands.” A C.I.A. agent named “Michelle” , working in the Alec Station which specialized in Bin Laden, blocked a cable telling the F.B.I. that Almihdhar had a US visa. The memo was drafted by Doug Miller, an F.B.I. agent on loan to Alec. Michelle also wrote a cable saying the F.B.I. had been informed. She was later questioned about this by the Justice Department’s Inspector General. Two other agents who were present when this was done claimed they remembered nothing.

Army Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, who worked at the DIA, became aware of Atta and his three colleagues in mid-2000. Shaffer informed the F.B.I. of what was known about these four Al Qaeda operatives. Pentagon lawyers became involved to prevent passing on the information. There were concerns about whether there was adequate supervision of collecting information from open sources, which would necessarily net information on US citizens as well as people legally living within the United States. . The lawyers claimed they had problems recommending action against someone holding a green card. But Atta did not have a green card or a valid entry visa. He came to the US three times on a visitor's visa. For a time he was enrolled at the International Officers at Maxwell Air Force Base. The Pentagon is now denying that it knew anything about these people before 9-11. Pentagon lawyers had also required a unit tied to Able Danger to discard information about four Chinese from corporations in the US that were attempting to acquire US military technology.

There is mounting evidence that concealing information about Able Danger was much more than protecting the methods of an anti-terrorist operation. The Pentagon should not be faulted with keeping quiet about those aspects that involved highly sophisticated electronic surveillance of foreign targets outside the US. There could also have been concerns that F.B.I. action on these leads would eventually lead to revealing information about the government’s highly sophisticated data mining technology. That would have opened a bigger can of worms. But as it turned out, most Americans later seemed to support the government’s extensive domestic and foreign electronic spying programs.

Another possibility is that a discussion of Able Danger would have led to a discussion of what else government knew about Atta before 9/11. Eventually the Army destroyed the Able Danger files on Atta claiming this was necessary because he was a "US person" under the meaning of legislation that said the military could only retain intelligence information on US persons for 90 days. In all, 2.5 terabytes on Al Qaeda were erased. It has been reported that some of the destroyed information involved ties between prominent Americans and the Chinese military. The data also showed that several Al Qaeda operatives rented rooms in a New Jersey hotel and that a cell met there. The Able Danger team was so good at tracking these terrorists that they discovered a meeting of representatives of cells at the Wayne Inn in northern New Jersey.. Able Danger was moved from Virginia to Texas, and in February and March of 2001, it was shut down by the Defense Department, only to be reactivated later as Able Providence. Able Danger was shut down soon after the Bush administration took office. General Schoomaker , its protector, retired, and the new officers to whom the Able Danger people were to report were clearly hostile. A two star general in DIA bluntly told Shaffer to back away from the project telling him spying was not his job.. The general subsequently denied that the conversation took place.

Shaffer was deployed to Afghanistan in October, 2003 , where he had an opportunity to brief Dr. Philip Zelikow and his staffers on Able Danger. Zelikow had worked for Condoleezza Rice in the NSC. He told the Rice deputy that “We found two or three cells which conducted 9/11, to include Atta.” After Zelikow told Shaffer to contact him when he returned to Washington. The 9/11 commission materials show that Zelikow called the US almost immediately, at 4AM eastern time. When Shaffer tried to contact Zelikow at the Kean ( 9/11) commission, staffers told him there was no need for a meeting as they had all the necessary information on Able Danger. Zelikow did not give this information to the commission and did not include it in the document. . Zelikow denies the meeting with Shaffer in Afghanistan, but Shaffer has Zelikow's business card as evidence. Zelikow later said it was "not historically relevant." Zeliknow had been on loan from the White House National Security Office and is now special counselor to his friend, Secretary of State Rice. The Able Danger project also turned up business dealings between Stanford University Provost and the People’s Republic of China.

The Pentagon initially said that Able Danger never existed, and later said the files on the project had disappeared. . Shaffer, a Bronze medal winner, could not leave well enough alone. He sought to make certain that people in power, including Congressmen, realized what could be accomplished by using the Able Danger approach. He also revealed that the team had been aware of Mohammed Atta and the five Al Qaeda cells in the US and abroad. Shaffer lost his security clearance as well as his DIA job. He was also charged with stealing government pens from an embassy where his father worked when he was thirteen years old. In an effort to frame him, someone sent Shaffer a package with five secret documents and a bag of 20 government pens. A inquiry costing about $400,000 was launched to determine whether Shaffer had fraudulently charged to the government $67 worth of telephone calls over eighteen months.

When he appeared on Wolf Blitzer's program, the broadcaster blind-sided him with the charge he was sleeping with a woman in the office of Congressman Curt Weldon. Shaffer claimed that when the Bush administration replaced his top superior General Peter Schoomaker, that all hope of using the knowledge gained was gone. Navy Captain Scott Philpott, hade of the team, said they identified Atta as a member of the Brooklyn cell, but the US had certain knowledge Atta was in Hamburg at the time. However, J.D. Smith, a civilian contractor, has said he was "absolutely positive" Atta was in Brooklyn at that time. Smith was to withdraw his firm from the project. . Shaffer was forbidden to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee. However, this decision was later reversed.

The DIA moved to take Shaffer off its payroll, and an unidentified DIA representative told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that Shaffer was having an affair with one of Congressman Curt Weldon’s staffers. The Congressman answered that the colonel did not know anyone on his staff. Some other members of the Able Danger team are represented by Shaffer’s lawyer and are now saying other members of the data-mining task force do not support his claim that they knew Atta was physically in the United States. The colonel must be under enormous pressure to modify his story. Two conclusions are inescapable. (1) There was great reluctance on the part of the Pentagon, under both Clinton and Bush, to act on the knowledge it had about Atta and his three friends.( 2) Now it is clear to all, that the Pentagon was and is busy denying it had this knowledge, and it was mightily assisted in this cover-up by the executive director of the 9-11 commission. A third conclusion is likely and may explain much of the lying about Able Danger. Kean Commission member Richard Ben-Veniste openly denied that the United States had any of the data mining capacities described by Colonel Shaffer. It could all be about denying these capabilities and what possession of such capabilities mean to US citizens.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Khalid the Master Mind

Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, a U.S. educated jihadi, played a major role in the plot to hijack airlines and attack buildings. He was allegedly Osama bin Laden’s number three man. At a March, 2007 military hearing, he appeared without a lawyer and without the right to bring witnesses. He told ---actually boasted to --a US military commission of twelve anonymous military judges: "I was responsible for the 9/11 operation from A to Z," Khalid also took full credit for beheading reporter Daniel Pearl with “my blessed right hand.” This despicable and possibly mad fellow also took credit for major roles in 28 other terrorist acts that included plots against John Paul II and former U.S. Presidents. He claimed responsibility for the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, and a future posting will deal with that. . He also said he had been tortured, but maybe the torture did not work as CIA sources said he was their “toughest prisoner.” But we also hear that this just meant he resisted water-boarding longer than others before begging to tell all. After he was captured in Pakistan on March 1, 2003 , he was held by the CIA for six months before being sent to Guantanimo. His sons, 7 and 9, were taken to the U.S. for questioning.

He painted himself as an Islamic George Washington, and probably exaggerated his role. But it is unclear to what extent many of his claims can be believed. Few believed his full confession and European intelligence people saw it as the result of too much torture. . By subjecting him to torture, the Bush administration has probably foreclosed any normal legal process, whose results could be believed or at least pursued. For example, independent investigators will never know about his close ties to the Pakistani intelligence service or to senior Islamists there. In 1996 he was indicted in connection with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and the CIA allegedly knew he was in Quatar, but did not act. A June, 2001 CIA memorandum reported that he traveled to the US with some regularity. How did he evade the spooks? He will not be able to shed light on any of this.

. By trying him as an “enemy combatant” in a military commission rather than as the dastardly criminal he is, the Bush administration gave currency to the claim that there is a moral equivalence between the American use of torture and the Al Qaeda resort to terrorism.

The timing of his trial suggests those in power wanted to remind people that the war on terror was far more important than the various bush administration scandals then occupying the headlines His long confession reminds us that Al Qaeda appears to have outthought our 40 billion dollar intelligence operations and supports the official story of 9/11 that bureaucratic glitches and snafus account for our failure to anticipate 9/11.The confession also plays into the theme that the war on terror must trump all other considerations. The Khalid as central figure narrative rests upon Fouad’s interview of him in 2002 that was shown on Al-Jazeera, the case made in the indictment of Moussaoui, and , now, Khalid’s fulsome confession.

Khalid Shaikh Mohammed’s nephew , Ramzi Ahmed Yousef ( born 1967) was a Pakistani born in Kuwait who was connected with a plot to kill the pope (January, 1995) and carry out other terrorist activities. Some day we may have enough evidence to conclude that he was more important than his uncle. He entered the US in 1992 with an Iraqi passport and was known to have placed over thirty telephone calls to Iraq. In his Jersey City home, he assembled a bomb to be used at the World Trade Center in 1993 and rented the van to deliver the device. .After the attack, he fled to Paskistan.

In December, 1994 he placed a bomb on Philippine Airlines Flight 434, but despite the explosion the pilots managed to safely land the plane. This was to be a test run for larger plan called “Bojinka” to plant explosives on twelve airliners, and simultaneously kill 4,000 people. There was also a plan to assassinate Pope John Paul II during his visit to the Phillipines. The Philippine police raided the apartment where he was manufacturing bombs and seized his partnerAbdul Hakim Murad. This man had attended flight school in the United States the previous year. Murad supplied information Bojinka and told about a” third plan” to fly commercial airliners into the World Trade Center, the Sears Tower, and other buildings in the United States. The Philippine police insist that the information they developed had been passed on to the FBI’s New York office. There is no evidence the FBI did anything with this information, nor is there evidence that Congressional 9/11 investigators knew anything about Bojinka or the “third plan.”

Yousef, known there as “the chemist,” played a major role in developing it and visited the Philippines several times. He claimed to be Osama bin Laden’s personal envoy, sent to set up an operation among Muslim rebels Earlier, in 1992, he planned the WTC 1993 bombing while in those islands. Among his recruits were government agents, but what the Philippine government told the US is unknown, other than it appears to have made a serious effort to share all information about the subsequent Bojinka plan. By keeping track of Osama bin Laden’s brother-in-law, the Philippine authorities uncovered Bojinka . A CNN reporter there who followed the story believed the plotters were helped by some Pakistani ISI agents. Yousef ‘s computer and notebook were fouind, and he fled and was arrested in Pakistan and extradited to the United States.

The FBI arranged for Gregory Scarpa, Jr., an imprisoned mobster, to provide extensive outside communications for Yousef. The Bojinka plan provided valuable information that might have uncovered the 9/11 plot, but the FBI did not fully exploit his communications and ended the program out of fear it would compromise 9 other cases that were pending. When the Scarpa relay was cut off, Yousef immediatgely developed other effective means to communicte with the outside. The cooperative gangster had the book thrown at him. Richard Labeviere has reported that Yousef had been a CIA employee in the 1980s, and Newsweek claimed that the FBI was looking into that..

Yousef was sentenced in 1996 life imprisonment for his role in the Bojinka Plot, particularly the part calling for the bombing of US commercial airlines in the Far East. It was recommended that he spend his entire sentence in solitary confinement. In 1998 Bojinka plotter Abdul Hakim Murad offered to reveal the missing aspects of the Boninka plan for a plea deal, but no arrangement was reached.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Pentagon and 9/11

Government and Pentagon spokesmen repeatedly said that no one every considered the possibility that terrorists would crash planes into buildings. Air Force General Richard Myers said, "You hate to admit it, but we hadn't thought about this." On October 24-26, 2000 the Pentagon carried out a full scale exercise built around the idea that a plane was crashed into the building.

The Pentagon is only a few miles from Andrews Air Force Base and is one of the best defended buildings in the world. There were antimissile batteries that were supposed to take out any plane entering restricted air space. We think we know the path the plane must have taken to hit the Pentagon, but if the views of 13 eye-witnesses are accepted the official view was wrong and would not account for some things that were knocked down.

American Airlines Flight 77, carrying 59 people ( not counting the hijackers), disappeared from the radar screen somewhere over Ohio and Kentucky and did not reappear until it was very near the Pentagon.

Though the US has the best radar system in the world, the plane flew 40 minutes without detection. It was being flown by terrorist Hani Hanjour, whom the 911 commission said “was perhaps the most experienced and highly trained pilot among the 9/11 hijackers.” Oddly, there was no reference to a damning report written by a Jet Tech flight instructor who tought this very short man was an inept pilot. Oddly, the FBI report on him seemed an effort to inflate what training the man did have and even mischaracterizes an evaluation exercise as flight training. It is possible that he may have mastered the controls of a 737, but that would not equip him to fly a 757. There is no evidence he ever had training on one, and it seems impossible anyone could have executed the maneuvers he allegedly carried out that day without practice. This led one pilot/writer to speculate that maybe some rich Saudi arranged for secret training in Nevada or Arizona. But just weeks before 9/11, he could not pass a flight training evaluation test, so the secret training theory seems unsustainable.

People who knew him said he was a terrible pilot. If the official account is correct, he was to pull off extraordinary maneuvers in order to hit the recently reinforced West wing. The people who ran the flight school he attended lodged five reports with the FAA claiming the man was incapable of flying a plane safely. Three and a half weeks before the strike, a certified flight instructor refused to rent him a Cessna 172 because he had poor flight skills

Somehow this fellow was able to navigate from the Ohio/Kentucky border to the District of Columbia, pass over the White House, go to the front of the Pentagon, where the main officials’ offices were, and then go around to the building's most fortified wall. He even managed, as was necessary, to fly execute a 270 degree turn while sharply descending to perhaps 10 feet before dropping to a matter of inches before hitting the building. Some theorize that a human pilot could not have done this and speculate that the plane was flown by remote control, which is certainly technically possible.
Many have said that the remote pilot theory is ridiculous. The truth is that the Air Force has flown several 737s across the Atlantic by using Global Hawk remote control technology. This is feasible but would require elaborate preparations. The advantage of this theory is that it does not require proving that the hijackers were bent on suicide or religious fanatics.

Experienced pilots wonder why none of the pilots flipped on the transponder to the hikacker code. It would have only taken a second and should have been done as soon as they suspected something was wrong.

To confuse things a bit Barbara Honegger has carried out an investigation that she thinks shows that there was an explosion in the Pentagon 6 minutes before a plane hit. She was a Reagan aide who has written credibly about past black ops and now is now a senior military affairs journalist at the Naval Affairs Postgraduate School in California.

This inexperienced pilot makes this remarkable turn, descends and hits a lamp pole 1000 feet out; then there are other lamp poles bouncing off the wings. They were about 30 feet high. The toppling of the poles probably disproves the theory that it was not a plane that hit the building. He hit a generator trailer and bumped two big wire spools and went through a tree at 345 mph.

The 757 and 767 have sophisticated computers that are designed to limit pilot error. They are set to prevent maneuvers that exceed 1.5 g. There is supposed to be no way a pilot can override the mechanism. Some military experts figure the maneuvers of Flight 77 exceeded 1.5 gs by more than a multiple of three Some have said that the Pentagon was hit by a missile, but there is no evidence for that view. It is not beyond the realm of possibility that control of the plane was somehow taken away from Ham.jour at the last moment and that the plane behaved lile a missile. Technology does exist that makes this possible.
The media raised no tough questions about this or other odd aspects of the events of that tragic day. According the vice president of CNN International, “Anyone who claims the U.S. media didn’t censor itself is kidding you”

A plane of some sort did hit the Pentagon. There were people who had to duck and hit the ground when it came in. Moreover, there were parts of some bodies which have been adequately identified.

The Pentagon was struck at 9:32AM. We know that because so many clocks stopped then. Many thought it had been bombed, and they later smelled cordite, which was very different from burning gasoline. Bomb sniffing dogs and their handlers were seen at the Pentagon subway station from 7:30 AM on. Someone must have anticipated bombs.

Sometime around 9:25, Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta heard a conversation in which an astonished younger man asked Cheney if his previous orders still stood. They had been tracking a blip heading toward the Pentagon. Cheney said they did. The orders must have been not to shoot, because no effort was made to shoot it down.

Something struck the building not long after that, and the round hope looks like it was too small for the fuselage of the Boeing 757. The Washington Post said the hole was 5 stories high and 200 feet wide, but a photograph taken by a Marine showed the entrance hole to be about 18 feet in diameter. It seems the Marine’s picture was taken after the strike, and that the almost the full facade did collapse thirty minutes later. If the Post were correct, the nose would have gone into the building and the rest would have been on the lawn. AP photographs show no parts on the lawn. Nor are there any skid marks.

The 16 X 20 initial hole was too small for a Boeing 757. There was a smaller hole in the inner ring of the Pentagon, but a Boeing 757 with a soft aluminum body would not have gotten that far anyhow. Donald Rumsfeld mistakenly talked about “the missile that struck this building.”

The first responders had to undergo decontamination before they were permitted to enter the building. But there are no nuclear parts on a Boeing 757. Perhaps the nose of the plane was made of dense or heavy metal.

Witnesses said they saw something looking like a Boeing 757 hit the Pentagon. But there is very little physical evidence that this happened . There was a piece of fuselage with American Airlines markings. There was some airplane debris outside, some of which could be associated with a 757. There was probably too much for it to have been planted. There were no pieces of seats or luggage. Many bodies were removed by emergency personnel. For some reason, they did not incinerate as was the case at the World Trade Center.

Inside, there was much of an engine rotor. The trouble was it was not part of the Pratt and Whitney turbofan engine used on the 757. It was three feet in diameter, whereas the rotor for a 757 is nine feet in diameter, and there should have been two of them.

When the plane hit the Pentagon, it was flying at about an inch or two above the ground, and as it approached it obviously came low enough to damage some lines. A 757 is essentially a hollow tube, yet this one pierced six reinforced Pentagon walls. How?

A close examination of the photographs show three cable spools standing on end. They are at the place where the plane must have entered. Yet they are standing on end and were not knocked over. Their presence damages the assumption that the plane must have been a few inches off the ground when it hit the Pentagon wall. Right above the entry hole are unbroken glass windows. A 100 ton 757 hit the building and the glass did not break.

There was no damage to the lawn where Flight 77 allegedly struck the ground and then skidded into the building. According to the Pentagon, the plane struck the building at 9:37. It is assumed the plane must have hit the ground as no one could have followed the trajectory that has been reconstructed by physicists.

It is argued that the plane was flying at 400 miles per hour at 7000 feet. It then did a left hand turn, making almost a complete circle, descending to ground level in 2 and a half seconds. One experienced pilot claims that such a sharp maneuver executed that high could bring about aq fuel stall. Pilots claim the maneuver was almost impossible for a human to execute, yet it was done by a man with very little training. The man could barely operate a Cessna. Some claim that somehow the plane was under remote control. MITRE Corporation has developed UAVs ( unmanned aereal vehicles) but there is no way to know how far along this technology is.

Some have claimed that a small military plane, loaded with explosives, hit the Pentagon. Somehow, it released a small plasma jet that went into the building. That would explain the small hole and the official claim that missiles were not fired. Others, anyway, say the building was hit by a missile .If was a missile, it would have sought out the heat from an earlier explosion. In an interview published in Parade on October 12 with Wallwork Winick, Rumsfeld mistakenly referred to “the missile” that damaged the Pentagon. The trouble with both explanations is that the bodies of some people on Flight 77 were taken away from the Pentagon. Witnesses described a massive concussion followed by very bright light. Those outside described powerful shock waves, which suggest explosives rather than hydrocarbon fireballs. There was some aircraft debris, but no one has been able to prove it was 757 debris. A woman who worked for the airline told John Judge, a critic of the official 9/11 story, that she recognized debris from a 757. Others have disputed this.

If the 757 struck the Pentagon, there was no evidence that the tail, which stood 40 feet above the ground, scraped or marked the building. Some argue that the tail was not strong enough to mark the building, but there was enough of it that some pieces should have been found.

There were no marks where the wings should have hit. The façade was made of soft limestone and should have shown some marks. There were no big pieces of aircraft inside the Pentagon other than one engine, even though they had to be there as they were not on the lawn. There should have been traces of fire on the building’s roof adjacent to the portion that collapsed but there were none. Some engine parts and plane pieces were found . It is theorized that the explosion generated such intense heat that the rest, except the two engines, just vaporized. There is no record of any other plane just vaporizing. FEMA claimed the plane just plowed all large debris into the building, but the grass looks undamaged. One engine was found and a part that did not go with anything on a 757. An unsigned, scratched piece of the fuselage was also found.

The plane had a 120 foot wingspan. Some of the wings should have been in the yard. The tail was 40 feet high. Some of it should also have been in the yard.

The Pentagon’s report says almost all the interior damage was restricted to the first floor. The report said, The aircraft seems for the most part to have slipped between the first-floor slab on grade and the second floor."

The slipping under the slab separating the first and second floors seems an impossibility given the size of the plane and speed at which it traveled.

The point of entry was a refortified wall. The exterior columns were 21 inches square of reinforced steel covered with 6 inches of limestone façade. The same size columns were inside the E Ring of the building. The panels with windows had eight inches of brick; the panels without were 8 inches of brick and ten of concrete. The windows were an inch and a half thick and with mountings weighed 1600 pounds.

No one reported seeing any luggage, but it must have buried up. A 757 is not that much smaller than the 767s that hit the World Trade Center. The gasoline must have burned the same way at the Twin Towers, but the Pentagon did not collapse. The Pentagon crash tapes that have now been released did clearly not show a plane slamming into the Pentagon and two or three frames seemed to be missing.
It appears that the explosion occurred on an angle, going through E,D, and C Rings, with an exit hole in the C Ring. The hole is 310 feet from the entry point and abnsolutely round. Is one to suppose that the nose of the plane somehow punched out here? There was 40 feet between the C and B Rings. The B ring was not marked in any way. Purdue engineers suggest that it was a ball liquefied energy traveling through Rings E,D, And C. By then the engines did not exist; they simply vaporized, but the fuel had not vaporized in the explosion. There is no historical precedent for this theory. There is no explanation for the size and shape of the exit hold or the fact that no explosive energy jumped to Ring B.

Some eyewitnesses claimed that the plane exploded just before hitting the Pentagon, which would resolve all the riddles about the sequence and kinds of flame and smoke seen and when. On the other hand, the facts also fit the theory that an anti-aircraft missile hit the plane just before it struck. But no one saw the missile. Some thought they saw an American Airlines plane.

The witness testimony is consistent—a big plane hit the Pentagon. There was also a bright silvery flash, not seen at the Twin Towers. The flash and smell of cordite explains why some say there were explosive aboard the plane. Two people saw a C-130, an electronic warfare plane, over the Navy Annex.

After the attack, Rumsfeld gave an interview to Parade that would encourage the missile theory advocates: "Here we're talking about plastic knives and using an American Airlines flight filed with our citizens, and the missile to damage this building and similar (inaudible) that damaged the World Trade Center." He added, "There were lots of warnings," he says.

Reviewing all the evidence, it is possible to see how some jump to the “no Boeing” theory, even though t he bulk of the evidence is that the Pentagon was struck bay an airplane that most probably was a Boeing 757. Why the Pentagon has sat on so much evidence is anyone’s guess. It has fuelled the “No Boeing argument, “ which is clearly the weakest part of the case made by those who doubt the official story.

There were many videocameras in the vicinity of the Pentagon, and investigators have sought access to 85 different tapes. Within five minutes of the strike, the authorities were confiscating tapes. The Defense Department said its security cameras did not record the crash. At one point ehe government claimed it had no confiscated tape. So far, very little has been released.
As noted, human bodies were found but no one reported finding any luggage. Just another mystery--

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Building Seven & 9/11

Many Americans do not realize that a third building at the World Trade complex collapsed that day. It had not been struck by an airplane, but it came down lipe pancakes anyhow. This is not mentioned in the report of the 9/11 commission.

Building Seven was located away from the two towers. BBC read a news release about its collapse 26 minutes before it went down. It collapsed symmetrically in 6.3 seconds into its own footprints. For that to happen the support beams have to be pulled at the same time. Fires were only observed on one side of the building. It had 24 core columns and 57 perimeter columns.
There were numerous warnings that Building 7, Salomon Brothers, would be brought down because it had allegedly become unstable. It also housed Emergency Management, the CIA, the Secret Service, and some Department of Defense offices. It could be that the building had been so weakened by a morning explosion that it had to be brought down. David Ray Griffin has carefully analyzed the accounts of two men who were trapped in the building for 90 minutes in the morning. They thought there had been a massive explosion at about 9:35 AM. New Yortk City’s Office of Emergency Management was there, essentially a hardened bunker within the building. Some have trouble believing this bunker simply collapsed without a trace.

In 2008, the National Institute of Standards and Technology ruled that its collapse was due to multiple fires throughout the building. This makes it the first steel skyscraper in the world to collapse because of mostly normal fires. There was some diesel fuel stored in the building. The problem for many was that it came down in such a smooth, symmetrical way, just as a controlled demolition would appear. Many say it should have come down taking the paths of least resistance, which would not have appeared to look like a controlled demolition.

However, the observable fires there were relatively paltry. Frank Fellini, a fire chief, said the firemen were evacuated from that building five or six hours before it came down. Who knows if it was really unstable. No proof has been offered. As David Lyunch noted, it came down just like the others , as though there were a detonation. As to whether the US government could be involved, ie said “Too big for people to think about.” Mayor Giuliani’s Office of Emergency Management was on the 23rd floor. There was a major SEC office there, and the New York Post noted that the loss of records held there would endanger a number of major prosecutions.
Despite its name, the building had many governmental agencies as tenants. The Kean Commission never mentioned its collapse even though no plane hit it. Moreover, most people are unaware that this rather large building came down, even though it was not hit by a plane. In 6.5 seconds, nearly free fall speed it collapsed into its very footprints, It had 47 towers and there was no jet fuel in it. Photographs only showed small fires in it, and only on the 7th and 12th floors. Some say the diesel fuel stored there caught fire, but the pictures do not reveal this. There were two small fires on the 12th and 5th floors. Though it was not engulfed in flames, people were being told 4 and 5 hours in advance that it would collapse. It was claimed there was a four floor hole between the third and sixth floors that had somehow been created by shock waves from the collapse of the nearest tower. Some said the hole was 20 floors deep. . Some said the whole building was engulfed in flames. None of this was shown in pictures. Nothing was done to save it.

The building had been evacuated long before it came down or was brought down. Yet the authorities said they had to remove the steel immediately in case there were still people trapped in it.

When the building came down it collapsed into a small pile of rubble. That would be consistent with a form of demolition called implosion. This form of detonation requires the most skill and planning. Larry Silverstein, who ran a consortium that controlled the buildings, once told a PBS team that the buildings were brought down by explosives to prevent the loss of any more lives. He is on tape saying he asked to have it “pulled.” But the official explanation is that it collapsed.

Some think that the floors in the two towers were taken out by “light” or’sound” technology developed by the Israelis and US over the last 20 years. This technology can invisibly destroy hard targets. It would have been necessary to prep the building with some conductors to move the waves through the buildings. In that way concrete, steel, and human bodies could have been vaporized. Advocates of this theory say that so much of the pulverized powder was very tiny ( under 100 microns) suggests that something better than thermite was used.

Many emergency workers heard the warning come through bull horns that Building 7 was to be brought down. Later, the official explanation was that it collapsed accidentally due to collateral damage from the two larger towers. This was a large building with 47 stories, and there was no gasoline burning in it. If it was brought down or pulled, it would have to have been planned in advance so that explosives could be planted carefully to prevent it from damaging structures around it. There would not have been time on September 11 to do all this. In late April, 2007, John Kerry told a Austin, Texas questioner that the building was brought down by controlled demolition. "I do know that that wall, I remember, was in danger and I think they made the decision based on the danger that it had in destroying other things, that they did it in a controlled fashion."

FEMA established a command post on Pier 29 on September 10, 2001. This could have been part of a massive set of defense drills that were scheduled for September 11 and were coordinated by Vice President Richard Cheney.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The WTC & 9/11: Part Four

Steven E. Jones, a physicist at Brigham Young University, hypothesized that prepositioned thermite charges, used with barium nitrate, brought the buildings down. A thermite explosion generates temperatures around 2500 degrees and molten metal. It gives off white smoke with little odor. However, it burns slowly and does not go off in dramatic explosions. For that reason, those who think that some other explosive might have a point. There was visual evidence of molten iron falling from the eastern edge of the South Tower just before it went down. Three FEMA scientists, Jonathan Barnett, Ronald R. Biederman, and R. D. Sisson, Jr. , theorized that thermite, with sulfur and an eutectic alloy, would account for the ability to cut through steel so quickly. They were not encouraged to test their theory.

In April 2009, Scholars for Truth and Justice announced that studies had been made of fragments from the 9/11 debris that revealed that traces of thermite were present. The chief investigator was a Danish physicist. Red/gray bilayered chips were analyzed with x-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy (XEDS) and scanning electron microscope (SEM ). The report stated, that the red “ portion of these chips is found to be an unreacted thermitic material and highly energetic." The material was weapons grade, and it did not contain the required markers that would make it possible to trace it to its place of origin. The tested material came from four separate and unrelated samples taken after the explosions. All samples had thermite. The problem will be that these were not “official samples,” so questions can be raised about thains of custody, and there can be no perfect answers to these objections. A great deal of time will be spent picking away the four sources, but little or no time will be invested into examining who could have planted thermite in these buildings.

In 1999 and 2000, there were construction upgrades to the towers. In WT 1, 18 floors were upgraded and fireproofed, and in WT 2, 13 were upgraded. The width of these floors came out twice what was specified in the blueprints. Oddly, these were the first floors to collapse in both buildings, and this has led some to believe that explosives were inbedded in them.

Sherman Skolnick believed that a somewhat different explosive was used, but the new thermite finding may to eliminate his theory. He knew that the government has a new sub atomic explosive called “ blue lightening, ” but we do not know if it included thermite. Skolnick reported that it was used on retreating Iraqis in 1991, and he suspected it was used in the Oklahoma City bombing. He learned of this from Michael Riconosciuto, a known weapons expert and inventor. Riconosciuto helped develop it for Wackenhut Corporation. It is a electro-hydrodynamic gaseous fuel bomb that has an enormous blast. He claimed it was used to incinerate and blast away thousands of Iraqi troops in 1991. When it is used there is a residue of tritium. ( I know some are critical of Riconosciuto, but I’ve researched everything he man ever said, and found only a few comments on other things that could not be supported. He was a very, very odd genius.) But even without Riconoscuito, there was some evidence of this sub nuclear explosive.

Gasoline fires yield black smoke. On September 27, New York fire officials ordered 2000 gallons of Pyrocool FEF, a chemical that has two agents to fight ultraviolet radiation. Thermite gives off ultraviolet radiation. Some of the core columns showed sharp cuts, suggesting a thermite blast. Some other high energy explosive could have been used. Globules containing iron, aluminum, and sulfur were found. The iron and aluminum were to be expected, but the sulfur points to termite.

Albert Turri, Deputy Fire Chief for Public Safety told NBC on 9/11 that he believed that one of the towers war brought down by explosives. The Fire Department interviewed many of the firefighters who worked that tragic day and the interviews were released in 2005. There were many references to controlled demolition. In 2003, a fireman said he was present when FBI men found three of the four black boxes from the two planes, and another emergency worker confirmed this report. The official story is that all four transponders were never found.

Some believe that the three buildings came down as a result of controlled nuclear blasts. They make this suggestion because there has been a high incident of non-Hodgkin lymphoma among residents of the area around the site. This kind of cancer occurs around leaking nuclear reactors and where high energy releases have occurred. Some think it is a form of tritium or “Blue Lightning,” which was allegedly used on fleeing Iraqi troops in the First and Second Gulf War. It has a shorter half-life than plutonium.
Three blocks away, the Woolworth building developed a roof fire that day.

For some reason, FEMA forbade private photographers from taking pictures in southern Manhattan for several weeks after the blasts.

The Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory is located is located 25 miles north of the towers. They registered a slight seismic activity when the planes hit the buildings. When the South Tower collapsed in registered 2.1 seismic activity and 2.3 when the North Tower came down. Cell phones in the vicinity went dead briefly. These are characteristics of micronukes, which were about the size of coffee cans back in the 1960s. The South Tower went down first, and oddly there were some indications that the fires were beginning to go out on its upper floors.

One of the odd things about the WTC attacks was that the planes flew into computer rooms. We’re talking about rooms with large computers and things that looked like large batteries. . The plane that hit the North Tower honed in on the 95th and 96th floors. The 81st floor of the South Tower was hit. That was one of three floors leased by Fuji Bank. It was full of battery-like devices, same as the 95th floor of the other building. No one says the large battery -like things on the 81st floor were ever turned on. No one ever worked there. Some think they contained thermite, but there is no proof other than the color of smoke when the area exploded. It is believed that Blue Lightening used in the First gulf War on the Baghdad airport and on fleeing Iraqi troops.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

WTC & 9/11: Part Three

The concrete did not behave as concrete has in the past. Under great stress it crumbles and breaks. It has not been known to be pulverized until now. But the pictures show the buildings giving off massive clouds of very fine dust. 425,000 yards of cubic concrete when into each building. Almost all of it was reduced to dust. The pull of gravity would have broken most of the concrete into fairly small pieces, but it would not have reduced the concrete to tiny pieces of dust. It has been estimated that ten times the energy generated by gravitational pull would have been necessary to create the enormous dust cloud from the North Tower. Another strange thing is that that cloud was emitted in the first second or two of the North Tower’s collapse—before much momentum was gained. At that point, concrete slabs would be hitting one another at the momentum of 30 miles per hour at best. It should be noted that the first dust clouds came from far above the plane impact zones. According to the official theory, laid out in Popular Mechanics, the pan caking should have begun with the first floor above the impact zone. Yet, observers noticed that the collapse of the South Tower began well below the impact zone.

The dust or powder appeared within ten seconds of the collapse. No one has proven it was produced by mechanical means. That leaves the possibility of explosives.

Aside from the three WTC buildings, no other buildings framed with structural steel have ever, anywhere, come completely down as a result of fire. . Why did it happen this time? Frank Di Martini, an engineer at the WTC, said the buildings were designed to withstand airplanes crashing into them.

The melting point of steel is 2700 degrees. A jet fuel fire cannot exceed 1800 degrees. The fires dispersed fairly quickly and were not intense at any given spots for very long. Experts think that at some places it as 1300 degrees for a period. Sophisticated advocates of the official “pancake” theory avoid saying the steel melted. Rather, it buckled and somehow always buckled in directions to facilitate a perfect pancake- like effect

Even if this were true, one would expect something other than what resulted, piles of debris a few stories high. Even if the jet fuel fires somehow defied the laws of physics and got up to 2700 degrees, they would not explain the molten steel found in the pits. Burning steel does not bend or break, it runs like a very thick syrup. In the basement of each building there was molten metal that had to be created by something other than burning airplane gasoline. Molten steel is found at demolition sites at points were explosives were used to cut steel. Peter Tully, head of one of the clean-up firms, talked about seeing large pools of molten steel. An engineer said that 21 days after the attack, the fires were still burning and molten steel was still running.

In all three buildings concrete was pulverized and steel beams were thrust out horizontally. The energy created by gravity was not enough to accomplish this. Moreover, photographs of the falling buildings show many metal projectiles going out horizontally at great force. This suggests detonations and explosions. According to the pan -caking advocates, the weight of one concrete floor falling onto another will pulverize concrete and send steel beams out horizontally. However, they do not provide a satisfactory explanation of how gravitational energy, which is vertical, could eject beams substantial distances. The horizontal ejection of steel beams is also a characteristic of demolitions. In the World Trade Center, some beams were ejected 500 feet.

ABC News reported a week later that the temperature at the core or pit of the two buildings was 2000 degrees Fahrenheit on September 18. . Six weeks later, the firemen thought the temperature at the core was about 1500 degrees. In perfect conditions, jet fuel can burn at 1520 degrees. That is not enough to melt steel. The pictures of the burning towers show heavy black smoke, indicating that the fires were oxygen deprived. That means that the gasoline was burning at considerably less than 1500 degrees. Yet, weeks after the attack, molten steel was found in the three buildings. So called “meteorites” were also found, fusions of steel and concrete. Months later, in February, 2002, a crane removed a beam that had dripping molten steel. There was something far more powerful than imperfectly burning aviation fuel.

One sign of controlled demolitions is that the buildings come straight down. To achieve this result, the demolition has to be very thoroughly planned. On 9/11 the buildings in the World Trade Complex came down with this kind of precision, but we are asked to believe this occurred purely by happenstance. The two largest buildings, each 110 stories, came down in a way that perfectly mimicked controlled demolitions.

Buildings brought down by demolition come down at almost free fall speed because the support structures on the lower floors had been taken out first, eliminating resistance to what was coming down from above. If the official “pancake” theory were true, the lower floors would have been there in some form or other to complicate and slow the fall of the higher floors, most effected by damage from fire and plane crashes.

FEMA scientists observed that the transmission tower atop the World Trade Tower shifted and began to move downward before there was any observable movement in the building below it. If the core columns were somehow cut first, this makes sense. This cannot be explained according to the pancake theory.

The top block of thirty-four floors on the top of the South Tower behaved strangely. They tipped and rotated toward the part of the building damaged by the plane. That part is not odd. But then the rotation stopped and they went straight down. According to the law of the conservation of angular momentum they should have kept going and ended up well outside the footprint of the building. The law continues that the angular motion would stop only if the object was acted upon by some torque. Then it gets stranger still; it then became powder in mid air, creating a huge white cloud.

If no explosives were used, neither tower should have come down in a pancake like manner. The South Tower should have toppled toward the corner where it was hit.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The WTC& 9/11: Part Two

100 New York firemen have said that they heard explosions and saw flashes. A court ordered 10,000 pages of oral history released in 2005. Adjunct Fire Lieutenant Paul Isaac said: "There were definitely bombs in those buildings..." Isaac added: "...many other firemen know there were bombs in the buildings, but they're afraid for their jobs to admit it because the 'higher-ups' forbid discussion of this fact” He continued, "It's amazing how many people are afraid to talk for fear of retaliation or losing their jobs," regarding the FBI gag order placed on law enforcement and fire department officials, preventing them from openly talking about any inside knowledge of 9-11.Battalion Chief Brian Dixon recalled, “the lowest floor of fire in the south tower actually looked like someone had planted explosives around it because . . . everything blew out on the one floor"

Here are the words of Lou Cacchioli , another fireman
...there were bombs...elevator doors completely blown out... we heard this huge explosion that sounded like a bomb... another huge explosion like the first one hits.... Oh. My God, these bastards put bombs in here like they did in 1993! Then as soon as we get in the stairwell, I hear another huge explosion like the other two. Then I heard bang, bang, bang - huge bangs... .

William "Willy" Rodriguez, a janitor in the WTC1, said he escaped from the basement after hearing a huge explosion go off several subbasements below him. He said he heard the explosion just before the plane hit.

In one short period everything we knew about steel and concrete was demolished, perhaps because the terrorists were such marvelous scientists. Expert after expert expressed their astonishment and then quickly agreed with the official theory—which were brand new. It was that the fires made pancake-line inevitable. There could have been as much as 24,000 gallons of jet fuel burning in each building. The basic claim of the official theory is that nothing could withstand being melted by such intense heat. The problem is that the maximum temperature the fire could have been at was about 1100 degrees below the level at which steel begins to melt. Another problem with the conventional view is that the fireballs were gone after about ten minutes. How long did maximum temperatures prevail?

Steel-framed buildings had never come down like this before. To wonder if there were other explanations rendered one an outrageous conspiracy theorist. The problem was, however, that the towers were designed to withstand the kind of impact that 767s would bring. A WTC design engineer, Hyman Brown, said: “They were over-designed to withstand almost anything, including hurricanes, . . . bombings and an airplane hitting [them]” Maybe the designers miscalculated stress equations. Even so, would the buildings have come down so neatly? Even the studies that support the official theory do not claim that the core columns were subjected to intense heat. In each core, there were 47 massive steel columns. Maybe some of the peripheral columns were subjected to such heat that they began to buckle. This is a theory—certainly not a scientific fact. There is some evidence that some of the core columns may have buckled. That could not have happened unless they were somehow taken out from below.

In addition, each floor in these 110 floor buildings were supported by a total of 287 columns. Each was supposed to be crushed instantly as the buildings went down in symmetrical fashion. Each building had a steel support network of 100,000 tons or more. They collapsed as though the steel were not there.

The pancake theory does not account for the fact that existing steel beams and other structures on the floors below the collapsing floors should have slowed up or impeded the serial collapsing of the floors. The resistance should have been greater because there were these support structures in place. After the first floors collapsed there should have been a loss of momentum and energy. That is to say there should have been a decrease in gravitational acceleration, but there was not. To collapse at free fall speed, the floors below the falling ones had to be removed, as well as their supporting structures. It is an application of the theory of the Conservation of Momentum. “Free fall” means falling through thin air.

Three large buildings in the World Trade Center collapsed, two in a matter of ten to fifteen seconds. Before this, modern building built around steel beams had ever collapsed completely .To fall at that rate, it would have been necessary to remove the floors as objects of resistance. If each floor offered just a second of resistance, the time would have been 37.5 + 10

There were two major explanations for why the steel skeleton of the buildings collapsed. (1) They were secured by single bolt connections that popped, and (2) the intense fire caused by burning fuel caused them to melt. An MIT team said that the single bolt connections did not secure the floor trusses. Assuming all the bolts could be melted, they would have to be melted at exactly the same time for the buildings to come down like decks of cards, as they did.
In the middle of each tower, were many steel beams clustered together around many elevator shafts. The Kean Commission Report inadvertently said the core simply was hollow except for elevators and stairwells. This gave the wrong impression, as there were many steel pillars in the middle, comprising 47 huge pillars. These inner cores were rectangular. This is what has been called the “tube within a tube” design. Even in high winds, the top sways less than three feet. When the buildings went up in the seventies, the rule was that a structure should handle three times the maximum load that could be placed upon it.

The buildings were surrounded by 240 interlinked “box” or outer columns. The official theory is that they could not have impeded the collapse the least little bit. Therer was no forensic testing and the metal was swiftly hauled away.

Pictures of the South Tower show that the upper floors broke off as a unit and somehow slid right down where the rest of the rectangular core should have been, unless it had all melted at once. Two people who were in the area of the South Tower were 78th –80th floor area the plane hit did not see a roaring inferno. They saw flames licking up but not fireballs.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

WTC&9/11: Part One

In 1971, The American Society of Civil Engineers gave an award for excellence to the people who built the World Trade Towers. They noted the unusual strength of the buildings and said that "the World Trade Center towers would have an inherent capacity to resist unforeseen calamities." With the collapse of those towers, we are now hearing how poorly they were built from people who depend upon government contracts to make a living. We were told that the gasoline burned so hot that the steel in the towers turned to licorice. The number of gallons involved were greatly inflated. In 2004, Underwriters Laboratories tested the pancake theory with a model and found that nothing collapsed, but the National Institute of Standards and Technology repeated its defense of the pancake theory in 2005. Some believe that if the pancake theory had any validity, it would have resulted in the 47 interconnected towers in the core still standing with the rest of the buildings gone.

Here is information on the exterior walls of the World Trade Center. Keep in mind that there was a powerfully built inner core in each building.

The North Tower was struck at 8:45 and the South Tower at 9:03. The South Tower was hit near a corner, which should mean that less damage was done. Yet it fell before the North Tower, which sustained more damage. Captain Gregory M. Zeigler, Ph.D., a former intelligence officer said:

I knew from September 18, 2001, that the official story about 9/11 was false. That was when I realized that the perpetrators had made a colossal blunder in collapsing the South Tower first, rather than the North Tower, which had been hit more directly and earlier.

Until now, no one has ever been able to get jet fuel to melt steel and concrete. The picture of the first tower, when the second was struck , showed that the flames had died down quite a bit. Yet the North Tower collapsed at 10:29. There was no prior indication of lower floor stress or damage. There were no lower floor fires, blow outs, or broken glass. There were few signs of stress on the lower floors of the South Tower. Most of the fuel was expended when the planes hit their targets, with much of it spilled outside the buildings. The 911 Commission flatly stated that the cores of the towers were hollow. This simply is not true. This construction picture shows that the core was made of steel. The pancake theory of how they collapsed is also based on the misinformation about a hollow core.

Both buildings were built with the assistance of computers to provide greatest possible protection against stress. When the hollow shell/pancake theory was demolished, it was replaced by the theory that the building was inadequately fire proofed, thus allowing the fire to spread and consume everything. Some experts think such buildings could only be taken down with pre-planted explosives.

There was less fuel in the second plane, but the South Tower went down in 47 minutes. There was about 200,000 tons of steel in each building. The accounts of people hearing great explosions and seeing flashes that day are numerous. The New York Fire Department took 500 interviews, but the Bloomberg administration refused to release any of them until 2005 when litigation forced some releases.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

NORAD and 9/11

Robin Hordon, an experienced air traffic controller bluntly claimed, “There is absolutely no way that four large commercial airliners could have flown around off course for 30 to 60 minutes on 9/11 without being intercepted and shot completely out of the sky by our jet fighters unless very highly placed people in our government and our military wanted it to happen.”

There were two jets that made it to New York just as the first hijacked plane went into the Twin Towers. They had expended a great deal of fuel getting there and needed to be refueled. There seems to have been no effort to assess the extent to which the exercises planned for that day made response difficult. There was no plan in place to deal with an air attack on the United States. Time elapsed as the traffic controllers verified that they were dealing with a hijacking, then hijackings. Northeast Air Defense Sector of NORAD was aware of a likely hijacking of Flight 11 at 8:20. Boston lost valuable time trying to get help from Atlanta, which was no longer involved in plans for tracking efforts. Then a decision had to be made to contact NORAD, and within NORAD, there had to be conversations between at least three levels of authority. It is clear that they had trouble trying to round up F-16s and even had to seek them in Toledo, Ohio.

North American Aerospace Defense Command Air Force Gen. Ralph E. Eberhart told the 9/11 commission that NORAD could have shot down the hijacked planes had it been notified by NORAD. What either the FAA or NORAD actually did is unclear. There was a standing policy that jets already in the air routinely escort commercial liners that lose radio or transponder contact with control towers. Between September 2000 and June 2001, military aircraft had dealt with civilian breaches of flying regulations 67 times. On June 1, 2001, the Pentagon established new orders for how this was to be done , and the Secretary of Defense was even inserted in the process. There was a long standing policy of shooting down hijacked planes and those thought to be hijacked. This protocol ended the shoot-down policy and replaced it with a stand down policy that could be changed in each instance by the President, Vice Prewsident or Secretary of Defense.

One Boston Center controller said that FAA notified NORAD after it first lost communications with the first plane to be hijacked. A few minutes were lost before the FAA notified NORAD, and the information then went up three levels, one at a time. Sorting through all sorts of contradictory testimony, the 9/11 Commission investigators thought that NORAD learned about the hijacking just 9 minutes before Flight 77 ( N644AA) hit the Pentagon. One would wonder if any military people were looking at their screens or listening to the radio or tv.

Attempting to find out why NORAD did not respond effectively is nearly impossible. It is likely that the FAA was using Ptech software. To interact with the Air Force. For two years personnel from Ptech and their Ptech software had been in the basement of the FAA looking into how well the FAA and Air Force communicate with one another. An accused Al Qaeda bagman was associated with that firm. Later, when the FBI sought to probe the matter, Justice Criminal Division head Michael Chertoff intervened to derail the probe .

At one point in its deliberations, the official 9/11 commission was so alarmed by the many contradictions in the Defense Departments explanations that it considered asking the department of Justice to investigate (Post, Aug 2, 2006). In the end it simply referred its concerns to the Department’s inspector general. So many stories were floated that it is hard to keep them straight. First it was said that no planes went up until after the Pentagon was hit. The next claim was they were scrambled sooner but it was too late.

Major General Larry K. Arnold , who ran NORAD’s responses to the attacks, appears to have misled the commission. He said that NORAD learned about the lost American Airlines Flight 77, which hit the Pentgon, at 9:24, and added that it was distracted then because it was concerned with United Flight 93, which would eventually go down in Pennsylvania. Arnold said that he and “my own staff, we were orbiting over Washington D.C., by this time, and I was personally anxious to see what 93 was going to do, and our intent was to intercept it.” The fact was that NORAD command knew nothing about United 93 until after it had crashed.

When NORAD turned over information to the commission, it neglected to provide any tapes from traffic monitoring stations. When the commission’s investigators learned that those tapes existed, NORAD and the DOD at first refused to turn them over. For a time the staff director , who had friends at the Pentagon, seemed to support issuing a subpoena while also appearing to maneuver to derail that process. Eventually, the commission had to issue the subpoenas, but valuable months of research were lost.

On Tim Russert’s “Meet the Press,” Vice President Cheney said that the FAA had an open line with the White House as soon as the first plane struck. ( at about 8:46) IF the FAA was in communication with the White House by then, it clearly had time and capability to be in touch with NORAD by then. By 9:15, Richard Clarke was holding a teleconference with the Pentagon and FAA. Yet we hear that planes still could not be scrambled because there was no way for the FAA and the military to communicate.

Early in the Bush administration, in May 2001, Vice President Cheney was assigned oversight of NORAD and control of all drills and war games. Some involved simulated airline hijackings, and the games involved placing false blims on controllers’ radar screens. At the time of the attacks, Cheney was controlling the war games in the Presidential Emergency Operations Center. He was most probably working through a very top secret computer network called PDAS ( the meaning of which is unkinown). About a hundred people have access to it, and it is reached from about sventy terminals. There were only eight fighters available to the NY-DC area, and the blips seemed to paralyze an effective response. Many planes had been diverted to Alaska and Canada. Only one exercise was mentioned in the 9/11 Commission report footnote.

On 9/11 NORAD, along with elements under Central Command, was training on how to deal with planes crashing into important buildings. NORAD was simulating multiple hijackings on 9/11 Radar screens were showing up to 22 hijacked airliners. This was one of five or six training exercises were going on that day. In Operation Northern Vigilance ( Vigilant Guardian), jets were moved from the east coast to Canada and Alaska. One was the annual testing of Global Guardian, the system that coordinates use of the nuclear arsenal. In the Global Guardian of 1999, the system reacted to airplanes being used to crash into the World Trade Center—something the Bush administration claimed had been unthinkable. In March, a military paper reported it had been scheduled for October 2001. In Tripod II, a biowarfare exercise, FEMA staff were prepositioned in New York City on September 10. In another, F-16s were simulating bombing runs near Atlantic City.

Some might find the fact that multiple war games and disaster drills were planned for that day a “bizarre coincidence.” One of the people coordinating these activities was John Fulton of the Reconnaissance Office. His expertise was in satellite data and very sophisticated global positioning systems, or the’smart GPS.” Another figure with similar expertise was Under Secretary of the Air Force Peter B. Teets, who could report directly to the Secretary of Defense and the Director of Central Intelligence.

According to Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta, Vice President Richard Cheney was already in the Presidential Emergency Operations Center. They knew a hijacked plane was approaching Washington, and someone was announcing that it was 50 miles out, then 30, and then. Cheney was operating a command, control, and communications center that could override the National Military Command Center (NMCC) and the White House situation room.
On a television interview, Cheney said that through a standing arrangement the Secret Service had open lines with the FAA immediately after the World Trade Center was hit. This means that Cheney would have known about the strike almost immediately. NORAD claimed it had no knowledge of the hits for some time—something that is very hard to believe. 10. A young man asked Cheney “do the orders still stand?’ and Cheney whipped his neck around and said “Of course, the orders still stand, have you heard anything to the contrary?” There is no way to determine what this meant. Did it mean should the training exercises continue? Was there a standing order that the plane should not be shut down? Mineta’s testimony about what went on in that room was not included in the 9/11 Commission report, which said that Cheney was rushed to the PEOC when after the attacks began. After the Pentagon was hit, Cheney was moved to another bunker.

Perhaps the exercises occupied so many jets that nothing could be done about the hijackers. Some argue that the multiple (9) war games occurring at once created so much confusion that NORAD could not respond to a real threat. In fact, the US has intercept procedures that work flawlessly about 100 times a year. The evidence seems to indicate that NORAD stood down that day for exercises. Why couldn’t the exercises have been interrupted to intercept these planes. If the US intercept procedures had been in place only a few years, it might be understandable why a complete and unalterable stand down was needed. One of the exercises was Vigilant Guardian,” which should have had the effect of shortening response times, as the planes and pilots were on the ready.

There is some confusion about whether Andrews Air Force Base was capable of defending Washington on September 11. Normally two units of fighter jets --the 121st Fighter Squadron and the 321st Marine Fighter Attack Squadron . The day after the attack, the Base removed those two units from its web site, only to subsequently restore them.

Some airplane parts were found near the World Trade Center. Those parts are numbered and time-tracked, so it would be possible to prove once and for all that they came off the planes said to have hit the towers. That would dispose of some of the outrageous theories that some sort of constructs, looking like Boeings, hit the towers. But if the FBI released that information, it would also have to be as precise about material found at the Pentagon. For whatever reason, full data on parts at the three locations has not been released.