Analyzing the 911 Report: Omissions, Contradictions and Falsehoods

The 9/11 Report turns more and more into an “omission report”. 9/11 Truth Activist and researcher Mike Kane broke it apart…

ANALYZING THE 9/11 REPORT

Chapter 1: Omissions, Contradictions and Falsehoods
by Michael Kane
Editorial & Research Contribution from Bryan Sacks
From: http://inn.globalfreepress.com/modules/news/article.php?storyid=693

The final report released by the 9/11 Commission contradicts itself in the very first chapter, repeatedly, and strains credulity beyond a reasonable limit in a number of places. Our primary focus will be chapter 1 of the report titled, “We Have Some Planes,” in which the notification and response of the FAA and NORAD is discussed…

In chapter 1, there is a discussion of NORAD’s mission to defend the airspace of North America. The report states that in the immediate post-Cold War era:

NORAD perceived the dominant threat to be from cruise missiles. Other threats were identified during the late 1990s, including terrorists’ use of aircraft as weapons. Exercises were conducted to counter this threat, but they were not based on actual intelligence. In most instances, the main concern was the use of such aircraft to deliver weapons of mass destruction. [p. 17, emphasis added]

This statement shows the threat of planes being used as weapons was known to NORAD for a long time. But later in the same chapter, the report states:

The defense of U.S. airspace on 9/11 was not conducted in accord with preexisting training and protocols. It was improvised by civilians who had never handled a hijacked aircraft that attempted to disappear, and by a military unprepared for the transformation of commercial aircraft into weapons of mass destruction. [p. 31, emphasis added]

This must be what Chairman Kean has called the “ failure of imagination.” So we are asked to accept that while NORAD was well aware of the possibility of hijacked aircraft being used as weapons, it somehow couldn’t imagine commercial aircraft being hijacked and used as weapons? This seems highly unlikely, particularly when one considers the environment in which NORAD found itself after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

At the conclusion of the Cold War NORAD was threatened with severe budget cuts. But as the Commission report indicates, members of the air defense community made “an effort to preserve its mission” by advocating “the importance of air sovereignty against emerging “asymmetric threats” to the United States” including “drug smuggling, ‘non-state and state-sponsored terrorists’ and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile technology.” [1] In this environment of creative attempts to preserve their mission, how likely is it that NORAD would have failed to consider the possibility of civilian aircraft being hijacked and turned into missiles if it would have strengthened its case for a continuing commitment to wide-spectrum air sovereignty?

LACK OF IMAGINATION vs. LACK OF TRUTH

But speculation on this matter isn’t necessary; as there is ample evidence that the threat posed by hijacked civilian airlines had long been known by the government. With the wide variety of resources this commission had, the Washington Post doesn’t seem to have been one of them. If it had been, perhaps the commission would have included the following in their report:

“Since 1996, the FBI had been developing evidence that international terrorists were using US flight schools to learn to fly jumbo jets. A foiled plot in Manila to blow up U.S. airliners and later court testimony by an associate of bin Laden had touched off FBI inquiries at several schools, officials say.” [emphasis added] [2]

Aren’t jumbo jets commercial aircraft? While the FBI and CIA are notorious for “turf wars,” is the 9/11 Commission suggesting this war spilled over to the FBI and the Joint Chiefs of Staff? Did the FBI forget to inform the Joint Chiefs of Staff about this threat from five years ago? .

The 9/11 Commission report goes on to repeat the same “unpreparedness” thesis a second time, again in direct contravention of known facts:

Prior to 9/11, it was understood that an order to shoot down a commercial aircraft would have to be issued by the National Command Authority (a phrase used to describe the president and secretary of defense). Exercise planners also assumed that the aircraft would originate from outside the United States, allowing time to identify the target and scramble interceptors. The threat of terrorists hijacking commercial airliners within the United States—and using them as guided missiles—was not recognized by NORAD before 9/11. [p. 17, emphasis added]

This contradicts the commission’s own statement that NORAD was aware of threats including terrorists using aircraft as weapons. The only technical difference is the claim NORAD never imagined commercial aircraft hijacked within the United States being used as weapons.

The claim that the possibility of turning hijacked, domestic commercial airliners into weapons was not considered can easily be demonstrated to be false, and thus raises the question whether the Commission is simply attempting to perpetrate a lie. Here’s the proof:

On April 18, 2004 in an article titled “ NORAD had drills of jets as weapons,” USA Today reported a military drill planned in July of 2001 and conducted “later” which posed hijacked airliners, originating in the United States, used as weapons to crash into targets – including the World Trade Center [3] .

As this article clearly illustrates, there was no failure of imagination. It is NORAD’s business to think creatively about threats to US airspace, and USA Today demonstrates that NORAD had anticipated the possibility of hijacked domestic airliners being used as weapons. So too had popular filmmakers and novelists by the end of the 1990s. Thus, it’s clear that the idea was in the air for several years before 9/11. NORAD had considered it. They may have mistakenly disregarded the threat, but that is not the Commission’s claim. It is deceitful to suggest NORAD had not considered this threat.

Further, the body of intelligence gathering and exercises for similar scenarios is extensive as well. At the G8 Conference in Genoa Italy in July of 2001 (just two months before the 9/11 attacks), Italian and Egyptian authorities had been aware of threats that airliners would be hijacked and crashed into the conference to kill President Bush. This threat is mentioned, in part, later in the commission’s report.

In chapter 11, “ Foresight – And Hindsight,” on page 346, the commission again states that NORAD did recognize the threat of hijacked airliners being used as weapons, but assumed such a flight would originate overseas. The USA Today report does note that this was NORAD’s contention, but the report also notes NORAD scriptwriters postulated hijacked aircraft originating from Utah and Washington State and included the idea of hijacked aircraft being used as weapons. This refutes the Commission’s contention that the threat posed by hijacked domestic airliners “was not recognized by NORAD before 9/11”.

Where, then, might have the Commission gotten the idea that NORAD had simply failed to recognize the threat posed by domestic airlines prior to 9/11? The 9/11 report states the source of this claim was an interview with General Ralph Eberhart on March 1, 2004 (see footnote 98, chapter 1). The Commission’s Staff Communications Director Jonathan Stull was contacted and asked for a transcript of the interview referenced in this footnote. He stated the interview was conducted in private, attended only by the commission and its staff, and that the transcript would be placed in the National Security Archives with the rest of the 9/11 Commission’s information. A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request is required to obtain this transcript – if it is obtainable at all.

The fact that this claim was made during a closed-door session is significant for a couple of reasons. First, no NORAD official was called to account for the “no recognition” claim during open hearings. Commissioner Ben-Veniste asked Richard B. Myers, who was the acting chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on 9/11, if he had been aware of the arrest of Zacarias Moussaoui on August 15, 2001 (we need to check the date). He asked if he was aware that the FBI had called Moussaoui a “suspected suicide hijacker.” Myers responded he thinks he would have been, but that he did not recall.

But General Eberhart, the man who headed NORAD on 9/11 – and who was sitting right next to General Myers when this question was posed – was never asked the same question. In fact, no question was posed to General Eberhart regarding what threats NORAD had been privy to prior to 9/11. This leaves Eberhart’s private statement that such a threat “was not recognized” publicly uncontested, and subject to redaction upon request under the Freedom of Information Act.

Second, General Eberhart was under oath during his public testimony, but private interviews by the commission were not conducted under oath. The fact that Eberhart wasn’t asked this while under oath saved him from committing perjury – or worse.

The report goes on to state FAA/NORAD protocols to respond to a hijacking on 9/11 presumed the following:

  • the hijacked aircraft would be readily identifiable and would not attempt to disappear (meaning it wouldn’t turn off its transponder);

  • there would be time to address the problem through the appropriate FAA and NORAD chains of command; and

  • the hijacking would take the traditional form: that is, it would not be a suicide hijacking designed to convert the aircraft into a guided missile. [emphasis added]

This is another version of the “unpreparedness” thesis the commission felt obligated to repeat three times. But claiming to be unprepared in this instance amounts to gross negligence at the very least, especially when NORAD itself admits to having run drills for exactly what they claim to have been “unprepared” for. Suicide hijacking scenarios had been known to be a real possibility since at least 1995; the final report itself specifically references this fact. Exercises for such scenarios had been proposed and conducted not only in the past, but also on the morning of 9/11 itself [4] .

9/11 WAR GAMES: COINCIDENCE?

On the morning of 9/11 the Air Force was running multiple war games. The commission’s report only mentions one such war game titled VIGILANT GUARDIAN, and it is only mentioned in a footnote of chapter 1 of the Commission report. Nothing of significance regarding VIGILANT GUARDIAN is addressed in any fashion.

Other war games running that morning included, but were not limited to, VIGILANT WARRIOR [5] and NORTHERN VIGILANCE [6] . Additionally, the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), which is the agency in charge of many American spy satellites, was running a drill simulating an off-course aircraft crashing into their headquarters at 8:30 a.m., right when an eerily similar plot unfolded in New York City and Washington D.C. The Associated Press reported this in August of 2002.

The NRO drill is never mentioned in the 9/11 Report.

It is stated in the report, that the exercises running that morning actually helped NORAD’s response to the hijackings. General Eberhart confirmed this in open testimony during the Commission’s last public hearing on June 17, 2004. Commissioner Tim Roemer asked Eberhart the only question about the exercises running that morning: [7]

My question is, you were postured for an exercise against the former Soviet Union. Did that help or hurt? Did that help in terms of were more people prepared? Did you have more people ready? Were more fighters fueled with more fuel? Or did this hurt in terms of people thinking, “No, there’s no possibility that this is real world; we’re engaged in an exercise,” and delay things?

Eberhart’s response was as follows:

Sir, my belief is that it helped because of the manning, because of the focus, because the crews — they have to be airborne in 15 minutes and that morning, because of the exercise, they were airborne in six or eight minutes. And so I believe that focus helped.

After General Eberhart’s sworn testimony, I asked him who was in charge of coordinating the multiple war games running on 9/11. He replied: “No Comment.”

If the war games helped “because of the focus,” why was General Eberhart reluctant to comment on just who was at the center of that focus? Tim Roemer’s question is posed as if there was only one exercise running that morning, but this was not the case. There were at least three, as has been documented by the mainstream press, and there may have been more than five such exercises running.

Kyle Hence of 9/11 Citizenswatch asked Commissioner Gorelick about fighter jets from Andrews Air Force base that were off on a bombing run exercise 200 miles away from Washington D.C. on 9/11, leaving the capitol defenseless. Gorelick refused to comment.

At this point it should be clear that the first chapter of the 9/11 Commission report is a disjointed account rife with contradictions, misstatements, false insinuations, critical omissions and, one could argue, outright lies. But let’s continue.

NEW TIMELINE

The report continues:

 

As it turned out, the NEADS air defenders had nine minutes’ notice on the first hijacked plane, no advance notice on the second, no advance notice on the third, and no advance notice on the fourth.

This portion of the final report is entirely misleading and has been hotly contested. This statement is based upon a “new timeline” presented at the final public hearing on June 17, 2004 that defies every official timeline recognized prior to the publication of the final report. Note that no official explanation has been given for the alterations in the respective timelines. This is a serious matter that, left unexplained, further undermines the Commission’s credibility.

When a government commission deems it appropriate to alter the official rendition of events as momentous as those of 9/11, a thorough explanation should be offered as to why previous accounts were inaccurate. Why the silence about the shifting timelines?

Assuming these new times are correct (which is still more than uncertain) the most disturbing questions remain unanswered. [8]

The new timeline still fails to answer why jets scrambled out of Langley followed a “generic” scramble order out to sea instead of obeying a direct order from a NEADS Commander to head to Washington D.C. It also makes the incredible assertion that the FAA never informed NORAD that Flight 93 had been hijacked until after it crashed.

Flight 93 was the plane that went down over Pennsylvania shortly after 10 a.m. The original timeline of events had the FAA notifying NORAD of the possible hijacking of Flight 93 at 9:16. The new timeline adds 51 minutes to this notification making it 10:07. Is this believable? Regardless, at some point, either the FAA or NORAD gave false information to the commission without offering an explanation to the public as to how the timeline could have shifted so dramatically.

DOES THE COMMISSION HAVE NO SHAME?

There is another very troubling section of Chapter 1. In regard to FAA protocols for responding to hijackings, the report states:

The protocols did not contemplate an intercept. They assumed the fighter escort would be discreet, “vectored to a position five miles directly behind the hijacked aircraft,” where it could perform its mission to monitor the aircraft’s flight path. [p. 18, emphasis added]

This statement is also demonstrably false, and raises the serious matter of whether the Commission has willfully conflated the terms “intercept” and “shoot-down” in an attempt to obscure the actual functioning of standard operating procedure once fighter jets are scrambled in a hijacking scenario.

The ambiguity of the statement makes it difficult to pin down the precise meaning of this phrase. The footnote for this statement – chapter 1, #105 – is from FAA regulations Air/Ground Communications Security Order 7610.4J.

In the very same chapter of this FAA regulation referenced in this footnote – chapter 7 – the following statement was mandated by FAA standard operating procedure on the morning of 9/11, and still is to this day:

Section 2. ESCORT PROCEDURES

7-2-1. FACILITY NOTIFICATION

The FAA hijack coordinator will advise the appropriate center/control tower of the identification of the military unit and location tasked to provide the hijack escort. The center/control tower shall coordinate with the designated NORAD SOCC/ROCC/military unit advising of the hijack aircraft’s location, direction of flight, altitude, type aircraft and recommended flight plan to intercept the hijack aircraft. The center/control tower shall file the coordinated flight plan. [emphasis added] [9]

How can the commission state that an “intercept wasn’t contemplated” for a fighter escort when the FAA procedures they are referencing require that NORAD advise of the fighter escort’s “recommended flight plan to intercept
the hijack(ed) aircraft”?

Given the possible interpretations of the escort procedures referenced above, if the Commission has not conflated the terms “intercept” with “shoot-down”, one of following two conclusions can be drawn:

(1) the Commission’s claim that an intercept was not contemplated is an Orwellian attempt to disjoin the scrambling of fighter escorts from the creation of an intercept plan, which the FAA’s escort procedures state are conjoined under standard operating procedure. Or,

(2) the Commission has failed to understand that “vector(ing) to a position five miles directly behind the hijacked aircraft” is intercepting the aircraft, and that their claim above is self-refuting. Assuming that vectoring to such a position to monitor an errant aircraft is technically different than “intercepting” it, it thus appears that conclusion (1) is better supported. What must also be considered is the vectoring procedure is likely the prerequisite to interception.

But let us now consider the second possibility: perhaps the Commission was using the term “intercept” incorrectly, conflating it with the term “shoot-down”. The possibility of such a conflation is reminiscent of Dick Cheney’s appearance on “Meet the Press” on September 16, 2001 where he appeared to use the word “intercept” incorrectly, seeming to confuse it with the term “shoot-down.”

As shown above, interception is part of the FAA’s standard operating procedure – as indicated by FAA law governing the skies on 9/11 and to this very day. Jared Israel produced an in depth report on this back in November of 2001 [10] . While Cheney’s performance will be excused by some as an unintentional conflation on the spur of the moment, the same cannot be said about the Commission’s report.

The fact that the 9/11 Commission may have parroted the same line Dick Cheney gave Tim Russert five days after September 11, 2001 in their report published almost three years later is quite shocking.

Did the commission think no one would check their footnotes?

WHO WAS THE FAA HIJACK COORDINATOR ON 9/11?

In the same chapter of the FAA protocols just referenced – chapter 7 – the protocols also makes clear that, “The escort service will be requested by the FAA hijack coordinator by direct contact with the National Military Command Center (NMCC)” [emphasis added] [11] . This was FAA protocol on September 11, 2001.

The FAA National Commander on 9/11, Ben Sliney, was at the final public hearing on June 17, 2004. Investigative journalist Nicholas Levis asked Sliney about the war games running on 9/11. He stated they are constantly running exercises and it did not affect FAA response. Sliney stated he couldn’t remember if he was told in advance about the war games or not, because exercises are constantly run.

In public sworn testimony, Ben Sliney stated the following in response to a vague question from Commissioner Gorton regarding how the FAA informs the military about the hijackings:

… I believe that the FAA or the Command Center personnel understood that the protocol was in place that the center that reported the hijacking would notify the military … I go back to 1964, where I began my air traffic career, and they have always followed the same protocol. So I think that Command Center personnel were at least in tune to that aspect of the protocol. Now, whether they’re aware of a specific protocol that involved NMCC, that I do not know. I could say I did not know. [emphasis added]

Commissioner Gorton chose to leave what Sliney “could” say, and instead analyzed two decisions Sliney made on the morning of 9/11. The first was Sliney’s decision not to allow any further planes to take off, and the second was his decision to get all civilian aircraft out of the sky. After addressing those decisions, Commissioner Gorton addressed the following question to Sliney:

 

…as I understand it the Command Center had no defined role with respect to obtaining military assistance, fighter assistance. Is that correct?

Sliney stated that the military cell was present, which is the FAA military liaison, and that he believed notification to NORAD was made promptly. Commissioner Gorton then stated:

It wasn’t your responsibility to do so?

Sliney responded:

… We had no process in place where a Command Center would make such a request for a military assistance.

Monte Belger, the acting Deputy Administrator on 9/11 clarified FAA protocol immediately after Sliney made this statement. Belger stated:

Just in direct response to your question, the protocol on that day – the official protocol on that day was for the FAA headquarters, primarily through the hijack coordinator, who is a senior person in the security organization, to request assistance from the NMCC if there was a need for DOD assistance. I mean, that was the formal protocol that day. [emphasis added]

It is very clear who was needed at the final public hearing – the FAA hijack coordinator, but he, or she, was nowhere to be found. [12]

According to the 9/11 Commission report, the hijack coordinator on 9/11 was “(t)he director of the FAA Office of Civil Aviation Security or his or her designate .” [13] According to Jackson Smith of the FAA, that man was Major General Mike Canavan [14] , who testified publicly to the 9/11 Commission on May 22, 2003, and privately on November 4, 2003. Canavan was never publicly asked any questions about whom he had assigned to be the hijack coordinator on 9/11. [15]

Interestingly enough, before Canavan had taken this position at the FAA – nine months prior to 9/11 – he was a commander in the U.S. Joint Special Forces Command. According to the 9/11 Commission report, Canavan was previously involved with Delta Forces plans to capture Osama bin Laden. [16]

With the problems reported by the 9/11 Commission regarding phone bridges on the morning of September 11 between the FAA, NORAD and NMCC, why didn’t the 9/11 Commission address anything of substance regarding the hijack coordinator in their report or in public hearings? Why was the hijack coordinator never called to testify publicly? More alarming, why is the hijack coordinator’s name omitted from the report entirely?

**********

AMERICAN AIRLINES – EARLY WARNINGS

American Airline Flight 11 was the first plane to behave erratically on September 11.

At 8:14 Flight 11 failed to heed instructions to climb to 35,000 ft.
The FAA then reached out to Flight 11 on the emergency frequency.
At 8:19, Betty Ong notified American Airlines that Flight 11 is hijacked.
At 8:21 Flight 11 turned off its transponder.

At this point Flight 11 must have been flagged as being a suspected hijacking.

During Ben Sliney’s testimony to the 9/11 Commission he was asked if there is ever any reason for a commercial flight’s transponder to be shut off. He stated there was never any such reason. When Thomas Kean asked if it was a good idea to make the plane’s transponder inaccessible to the pilot, Sliney agreed that this was likely a good idea. Obviously a plane’s transponder shutting off is not a common occurrence. If we add in the fact that at 8:28 Flight 11 then makes a 100-degree turn to the south, the possibility of a hijacking in progress must have been realized at that point.

Chapter 1, page 32 of the 9/11 Commission report recounts Betty Ong’s notification of American Airlines that Flight 11 was hijacked by 8:19. The manager on duty, Craig Marquis soon realized this was an emergency. At 8:26, Ong reported that the plane was “flying erratically.” A minute later, Flight 11 turned south. Within this time it was communicated from flight attendant Amy Sweeney that:

1. The plane had been hijacked
2. Two flight attendants had been stabbed
3. There was a bomb in the cockpit

Did Marquis contact the FAA or NORAD once he realized this was an emergency? This is never addressed in the commission’s report.

At this point the omissions in Chapter 1 have reached dangerously high levels, let alone the half-truths and lies, and this is only chapter 1. Senator Mark Dayton (D-MI) has even noted this fact in open hearings of the Senate Government Affairs Committee. He brought attention to some of the same points referenced in this report. Hopefully the Senator’s words will bring further attention to the chapter’s inconsistencies, contradictions and false statements which add up to criminal ‘negligence’ at the very least.

 

FOOTNOTES:

1. The 9/11 Commission Report: chapter 1, page 17, paragraph #95

2. Washington Post, September 2001 as sited in chapter 4 of Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed’s book “The War On Freedom” under the section titled, “Post Bojinka Intelligence Gathering”

3. Article can be read at http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2004-04-18-norad_x.htm

4. For an in depth overview of the multiple confirmed war games running on the morning of 9/11 by the Air Force, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, NORAD, the NRO (National Reconnaissance Office), reference: Kane, Michael, “9/11 War Games – No Coincidence,” Global Free Press, June 8, 2004 http://inn.globalfreepress.com/modules/news/article.php?storyid=387
Also reference: Kane, Michael, “The Final Fraud,” FTW July 9, 2004 http://www.911citizenswatch.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=336

5. Clarke, Richard, “Against All Enemies,” Free Press, March 22, 2004: Clarke names “Vigilant Warrior” as an Air Force exercise being run by the Joint Chiefs of Staff on the morning of 9/11 in page 5 of this book.

6. Simmie, Scott, “The Scene at NORAD on Sept. 11: Playing Russian war games … and then someone shouted to look at the monitor,” Toronto Star, December 9, 2001. This report details a drill titled NORTHERN VIGILANCE, which had NORAD jets deployed to Alaska for a simulated attack out of Russia. The 9/11 Report does not mention this. Instead it only references VIGILANT GUARDIAN in a footnote, but describes the exercise as postulating “a bombing attack from the former Soviet Union.” Based on the Toronto Star report, this description sounds more likely for NORTHERN VIGILANCE than VIGILANT GUARDIAN.

7. For an in-depth analysis of the multiple war games running on 9/11, reference Mike Ruppert’s book, “Crossing the Rubicon: 9/11 and America’s Decent into Fascism at the End of the Age of Oil,”

8. Kane, Michael, “The Final Fraud” FTW, July 9, 2004 http://www.fromthewilderness.com

9. FAA regulations Air/Ground Communications Security Order 7610.4J, chapter 7. The law was the same on 9/11 as it is till this day
http://www.faa.gov/Atpubs/MIL/Ch7/chp7.htm FAA protocol from February 2004
http://news.findlaw.com/cnn/docs/terrorism/chp7.html FAA protocol from 1998 (effective on 9/11)

10. Bykov, Illarion and Israel, Jared, “GUILTY FOR 9/11: BUSH, RUMSFELD, MYERS,” Emperors Clothes, Nov. 14, 2001. http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/11_20_01_911murder.html

11. Ibid: FAA regulations Order 76104.J – (chapter 7, section 1, paragraph 2)

12. 9/11 Commission transcript of the final public hearing, June 17, 2004 http://www.9-11commission.gov/archive/hearing12/9-11Commission_Hearing_2004-06-17.pdf

13. The 9/11 Commission Report: chapter 1, page 17, paragraph #102

14. FAA Website, “Memories & Thoughts from our Employees.” Statement from Jackson Smith traveling with his boss, Major General Mike Canavan on the morning of 9/11 http://www.faa.gov/Sept11portraits/ownwords3-2.cfm?portrait=Jackson%20Smith

15. 9/11 Commission transcript from public hearing held on May 23, 2003 http://www.9-11commission.gov/archive/hearing2/9-11Commission_Hearing_2003-05-23.pdf

16. 9/11 Commission Report: chapter 4, page 112, paragraph #555


Articles by: Michael Kane

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