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Saturday, July 15, 2006

More on the 9/11 Commission

More on the 9/11 Commission

9/11 Commission second interim report (dated Wednesday, September 23, 2003)
We are developing a full depiction of the conspiracy to attack this country; how
the plotters analyzed our weaknesses, the strategies they developed, the actions
they took, and those who helped them.

9/11 Report Cites Lack of Preparation
FAA Too Slow in Alerting Military, Panel Says
(Washington Post, June 18, 2004)
The head of the U.S. air defense system told the commission yesterday that if the FAA had notified military authorities immediately when the planes were hijacked, fighter jets could have reached all four jetliners in time. "If that is the case, yes, we could shoot down the airplanes," testified Air Force Gen. Ralph E. Eberhart, commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).

Yet the Sept. 11 commission's report, issued during the panel's final public hearing in Washington yesterday, cast serious doubt on Eberhart's claim, finding that even if the fighter pilots had had more time, an executive order by Vice President Cheney that gave the military permission to shoot down hostile aircraft that morning did not come until long after the last hijacked airliner had crashed. Furthermore, the panel found, the instruction was never passed on to fighter pilots scrambled from Virginia's Langley Air Force Base to Washington because of uncertainty about the order's ramifications.

"The details of what happened on the morning of September 11 are complex," the commission's investigators concluded. "But the details play out a simple theme. NORAD and the FAA were unprepared for the type of attacks launched against the United States on September 11, 2001. They struggled, under difficult circumstances, to improvise a homeland defense against an unprecedented challenge they had never encountered and had never trained to meet."

From the Washington Post article Conspiracy Theories Flourish on the Internet
"We discussed the theories," said Philip D. Zelikow, the commission's executive director. "When we wrote the report, we were also careful not to answer all the theories. It's like playing Whack-A-Mole. You're never going to whack them all. They satisfy a deep need in the people who create them. What we tried to do instead was to affirmatively tell what was true and tell it adding a lot of critical details that we knew would help dispel concerns."

As best as I can determine, the 9/11 Commission report makes no mention of WTC 7. Perhaps the fact that it fell down was regarded as too much of a "conspiracy theory"? Or perhaps it was just deemed not relevant. I don't know.

But be sure to check through the staff statements and monographs and the redacted staff report (where you can find out such fascinating nuggets of information as the following)
300In the six months prior to 9/11, Flight 95 had operated six times a week, Monday through Saturday,
from 6/11/01 through 7/7/01, then five times a week, Monday through Friday, from 7/9/01 through 8/31/01. Daily service had started only with the week of 9/3/01.
614No "Red Team" FAA Special Assessments were conducted at Dulles security
checkpoints over the two years prior to 9/11. The "Red Team" did test the explosive
detection systems for checked baggage, and the checkpoint passed [deleted]such tests in the period

Nevertheless, the FAA had indeed considered the possibility that terrorists would hijack a
plane and use it as a weapon. In the spring of 2001, FAA intelligence distributed an
unclassified CD-ROM presentation to air carriers and airports, including Logan, Newark,
and Dulles. The presentation cited the possibility that terrorist might conduct suicide
hijacking but stated: "fortunately, we have no indication that any group is currently
thinking in that direction."424

In 1998 and 1999, the FAA intelligence unit produced reports about the hijacking threat
posed by Bin Ladin and al Qaeda, including the possibility that the terrorist group might
try to hijack a commercial jet and slam it into a U.S. landmark. It viewed this possibility
as "unlikely" and a "last resort."

428 In 1998 UBL was reported to have stated "...All Islamic military have been mobilized
to strike a significant U.S. or Israeli strategic target, to bring down their aircraft and
hijack them" See: FAA response of 2/04/03 to Congressional Joint Inquiry staff letter

and be sure to dig through the hearing transcripts as well. I'm fairly confident that you can find a 9/11 Commission mention of WTC 7 somewhere among all those sources. I mean, I'm assuming that they did read the FEMA report which devotes an entire chapter to that building, since they use it as a source of information.


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