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Editor’s Note: We would like to draw the attention of our readers to this op-ed article by Dr. John Wyndham (PhD Physics, Cambridge), Coordinator of Scientists for 9/11 Truth. It was published in the Keene Sentinel, September 11, 2015.

 

Iranian deal opponents seek oil, not peace

Right wing war hawks want to torpedo President Obama’s Iran deal as part of their plan for war. This plan, a military takeover of the Middle East, has been in full public view for many years. Obama’s Iran deal, supported by the UK, France, China, Russia and Germany, would block the planned path to war. This plan made its most visible debut with the September 11, 2001 (9/11) false flag event, a.k.a the “New Pearl Harbor” envisaged by neoconservatives who supported the “Project for a New American Century (PNAC).” An incredulous public has been slow to catch on.

General Wesley Clark, a 2004 Presidential contender, explained the plan to Amy Goodman of Democracy Now in an interview on March 2, 2007. As related by Clark, some weeks after 9/11 when the US was bombing Afghanistan, an unnamed Pentagon general, a member of the Joint Staff who used to work for him, told Clark this: “ … we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.

Clark understood that oil was central to the Middle East wars. In a 2012 interview with Mike Gray, Clark “explicitly lays out the central role of oil in American military strategy” (Business Insider). Other notables who have pointed to oil as the main reason for the Iraq war include former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, former Senator and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and General John Abizaid, former head of U.S. Central Command and Military Operations in Iraq.

The PNAC’s goal was “to promote American global leadership,” a task likely to be a long one “absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor.” PNAC signatories include Jeb Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz. According to Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld “routinely handed out or recommended” Roberta Wohlstetter’s 1962 book, Pearl Harbor: Warning and Decision in the months before 9/11.

During the 9/11 Pentagon attack Rumsfeld was photographed out on the Pentagon lawn helping to carry the wounded. Rumsfeld’s absence from his command post in the middle of the attacks supports the findings of thousands of highly-credentialed engineers, scientists, architects and scholars that the 9/11 “attacks” were a false flag operation carried out by elements in our own government and military together with support from foreign governments. Two bills in Congress, H. Res. 14 and S. 1471, aim to release from a Congressional inquiry the 28 redacted pages that point to foreign government involvement in 9/11.

From solid physical and eyewitness evidence, independent scientists have concluded that the Twin Towers and Building 7 (WTC7) in New York City were destroyed by explosives using some form of controlled demolition. The buildings were NOT destroyed by planes hitting them, and jet fuel and office fires. Almost 3000 innocent people died on 9/11 in NYC, more than a thousand exposed to the dust have already died, and thousands more (3,700 according to the NY Post, 08/09/15) are sick and dying from the toxic dust or powder. The powder consists of finely dispersed concrete, asbestos, glass, thermite and its by-products, and computer innards fragmented by explosive force.

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) reports on the New York Towers’ destructions are fraudulent as shown by this author and others in a 2014 scientific paper published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The IEEE is the largest organization of its kind with almost 500,000 members worldwide. The paper, Ethics and the Official Reports, can be seen at scientistsfor911truth.org. From the start, the Middle East wars have been driven by falsehoods.

US and Iran relations today are the direct outcome of the overthrow in 1953, by the CIA and British MI6 intelligence operatives, of Mohammad Mosaddegh, the democratically elected prime minister of Iran. Mosaddegh nationalized the Iranian oil industry which had been under British control since 1913. The Iraq war was based on lies about weapons of mass destruction (WMD’s), but, as later admitted, the real goal was oil. Iran, by some estimates, has more oil reserves than Iraq. Iran is also perceived as a threat to Israel whose influence in Congress, as witnessed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address (03/03/15) opposing Obama’s Iran deal, is substantial.

The same war advocates who led us into the Iraq quagmire now oppose Obama’s Iran deal. Their arguments are once again based on fear, a well-known technique for getting public support for wars. Six days after Netanyahu’s address, 47 Republican senators, including New Hampshire’s Kelly Ayotte, sent an email letter to the “Leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran” intended to derail American foreign policy and the Iran deal. These 47 senators seem to have an agenda of their own, distinct from the system of government established in the U.S. Constitution. This agenda appears to be foreign domination and resource acquisition through preemptive war.

The neoconservative plan for American hegemony in the Middle East with its vast Muslim population seems as unrealistic as Great Britain’s attempt to rule India with a few hundred thousand troops. These wars of aggression violate traditional international law and have cost many thousands of lives. We are now experiencing the blow-back from the US invasion of Iraq in the form of ISIS. With 32 million people in Iraq and 76 million in Iran, what will be the blow-back from a war with Iran? Can anyone in their right mind reasonably argue for war rather than diplomacy that may lead to peace and friendship? It is high time for Congress and the People to identify the forces driving us to war, bring them to a halt, and restore sanity, lawfulness and justice.

John D. Wyndham

Peterborough, NH 03458

Dr. John D. Wyndham is the Coordinator of Scientists for 9/11 Truth.

 

NEW YORK, September 9, 2015 – Fourteen years after the world-changing events of 9/11, new evidence refuting the official story continues to be unearthed by a Panel of 23 professional researchers.

Today the 9/11 Consensus Panel releases two new Consensus Points presenting evidence of official foreknowledge of the attacks.

The first Point deals with Able Danger, the code name for a high-level intelligence operation co-founded by Generals Hugh Shelton and Peter Schoomaker, Commanders in Chief of the Defence Department’s Special Operations Command (SOCOM).

Able Danger indicated that the man identified as “Mohamed Atta” had been in the United States in January-February 2000, about 18 months before the 9/11 attacks, whereas the official story said he arrived in June, 2000.

Officials also claimed that US intelligence didn’t know Atta was in the country before 9/11, whereas this vital arm of US intelligence knew he had been there since Jan-Feb, 2000.

Nevertheless: Able Danger’s evidence was consistently ignored by government officials before the attacks; the 9/11 Commission failed to mention its evidence afterwards; and the Defence Department’s Inspector General later covered this up.

Louis Freeh, the former director of the FBI, called the 9/11 Commission’s claim that this evidence was not historically significant “astounding.”

The second new Consensus Point shows that the attack on the Pentagon was expected in several quarters before the event. Several pre-911 military exercises involving planes flown into the Pentagon suggest that such an attack was not unexpected.

In addition, news reports contained warnings from security sources to Pentagon and other officials not to fly on September 11.

On the morning of 9/11, Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld predicted a Pentagon attack. In his office, as he watched the TV coverage from New York, he reportedly said: “Believe me, this isn’t over yet. There’s going to be another attack, and it could be us.”

Meanwhile, within minutes of the attack, and during “extremely congested traffic conditions,” the FBI was reportedly arriving to confiscate security camera videotapes from several locations that overlooked the section of the Pentagon that had just been hit.

NBC’s Pentagon correspondent, Jim Miklaszewski, was warned in advance by a US military intelligence official, who reportedly said, “I would stay off the E Ring [the outer ring of the Pentagon, where the NBC office was] for the rest of the day, because we’re next.”

Previous foreknowledge Points include the collapse of World Trade Center 7, evidence of insider trading, and the roles of Vice President Dick Cheney and New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

The Panel employs a methodology used in medicine to generate consensus statements of the best available evidence on specific topics. During the survey process, the expert respondents remain blind to one another through three rounds of revision and feedback.

Over a four-year period the Consensus Panel has published 46 Points of evidence refuting the official story.

Source: The 9/11 Consensus Panel   @consensus911
Contact list: www.consensus911.org/media-contacts/
E-mail: consensus911@gmail.com

###

488 words

 

Point MC-10: The Activities of NYC Mayor Giuliani on September 11, 2001

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Introduction

One of the most surprising events of 9/11 was that New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani told ABC’s Peter Jennings in the morning that while he and his Emergency Management team – who were in a building at 75 Barclay Street where they had set up temporary headquarters after the Twin Towers were struck – had been warned that the World Trade Center was going to collapse, so they had decided to [escape from] leave the Barclay Street building.

He later gave the 9/11 Commission a quite different account about which building was expected to collapse.

The 9/11 Commission did not ask him about the apparent contradictions, so the account he gave the Commission must be considered the official story.

The Official Account

On 19 May 2004, Mayor Giuliani testified before the 9/11 Commission. Volunteering to tell what he had done on the morning of September 11, 2001, Giuliani said that, after finishing breakfast at a hotel some distance away from the World Trade Center, he was told that a twin-engine plane had crashed into the North Tower. While in a van trying to get to the World Trade Center, Giuliani and his breakfast companions learned that the World Trade Center’s South Tower had been struck by a second plane, making it clear to him that a terrorist attack was underway.

Giuliani and his companions then found that the van could get no farther than Barclay Street, at which point the Police Commissioner notified him that 7 World Trade (which housed Giuliani’s Office of Emergency Management) had been evacuated, so they would instead set up a command post at 75 Barclay Street. Giuliani told the Commission that, after going inside 75 Barclay Street and while waiting to talk to Vice President Dick Cheney on the phone:

“I heard a click, the desk started to shake, and I heard next Chief Esposito, who was the uniformed head of the police department … say, ‘The [South] tower is down, the tower has come down.’ And my first thought was that one of the radio towers from the top of the World Trade Center had come down. I did not conceive of the entire tower coming down, but as he was saying that, I could see the desk shaking and … then all of a sudden I could see outside a tremendous amount of debris and it first felt like an earthquake, and then it looked like a nuclear cloud. So we realized very shortly that we were in danger in the [Barclay Street] building, that the building could come down. … So the police commissioner and I, and the deputy police commissioner, we jointly decided that we had to try to get everyone out of the building.” [1]

So Giuliani and his team left the Barclay Street building, because “if something happened and the building crashed, you’d virtually have all of city government gone.” [1]

The Best Evidence

Giuliani’s account to the 9/11 Commission contains two serious contradictions with what Giuliani had told Peter Jennings:

  1. He did not tell the Commission that he had been warned that the World Trade Center was going to collapse.
  2. He told the Commission that he and his people left the Barclay Street building for fear that this building might collapse.

The Peter Jennings Interview

While being interviewed during the morning of 9/11 via telephone by Peter Jennings, then the anchor at ABC News, Giuliani said that after he learned about the attack on the World Trade Center,

“I went down to the scene and we set up headquarters at 75 Barkley Street, which was right there with the Police Commissioner, the Fire Commissioner, the Head of Emergency Management, and we were operating out of there when we were told that the World Trade Center was going to collapse. And it [the South Tower] did collapse before we could actually get out of the [Barclay Street] building, so we were trapped in the building for 10, 15 minutes, and finally found an exit and got out.” [2]

Giuliani’s statement to Jennings agreed in part with the account he later gave the 9/11 Commission, but he did not tell the Commission about being “told that the World Trade Center was going to collapse.” Also, whereas he had told Jennings that he was concerned that the Twin Towers were going to collapse, he told the Commission that he instead was worried that he and his people were “in danger in the [Barclay Street] building, that the building could come down.”

Although the 9/11 Commission failed to ask Giuliani about these contradictions – no mention of concern that the World Trade Center would collapse; new concern that the Barclay Street building might collapse – WNBC reported that in May 2007, he was asked about the Jennings interview by a small group of people with a video camera. [3] A young woman, after reminding Giuliani of his statement to Jennings that “no steel structure in history has ever collapsed due to a fire,” asked: “How come people in the buildings weren’t notified? And who else knew about this? And how do you sleep at night?”
Giuliani replied: “I didn’t know the towers were going to collapse.” A male member of the group then reminded Giuliani that he had indeed told Jennings that he had been notified in advance that the towers were going to collapse, adding, “Who told you the towers were going to collapse in advance, sir?”
Giuliani replied: “I didn’t realize the towers would collapse. … Our understanding was that over a long period of time, the way other buildings collapsed, the towers could collapse, meaning over a 7, 8, 9, 10-hour period. No one that I know of had any idea they would implode. That was a complete surprise.” [4]

But this explanation contradicts Giuliani’s statement to Jennings—“we were told that the World Trade Center was going to collapse. And it did collapse before we could actually get out of the building.” According to that statement, he had clearly expected an imminent collapse of at least one of the Twin Towers.

Giuliani’s Claim about Other Building Collapses

Giuliani’s alternative explanation also contradicted factual evidence.

In the first place, in speaking about “the way other buildings collapsed,” he implied that steel-framed high-rise buildings had previously collapsed. (Otherwise, the mention of collapsed buildings would have been irrelevant.) In fact, the young woman’s statement, that “no steel structure in history has ever collapsed due to a fire,” is not controversial. Two months after 9/11, for example, New York Timesreporter James Glanz wrote that “experts said no … modern, steel-reinforced high-rise, had ever collapsed because of an uncontrolled fire.” [5]

Also, although Giuliani claimed that he expected a tower to collapse over a 7-10 hour period, steel-framed buildings had burned, some of them longer than 10 hours, without collapsing:

  • In 1988, the 62-story First Interstate Bank Building in Los Angeles burned for 3½ hours, with 64 fire companies battling the blaze. The fire gutted offices from the 12th to the 16th floor, with “no damage to the main structural members.” [6]
  • In 1991, a huge fire in Philadelphia’s One Meridian Plaza lasted for 18 hours and gutted 8 of the building’s 38 floors. “Beams and girders sagged and twisted … under severe fire exposures,” said the FEMA report, but “the columns continued to support their loads without obvious damage.” [7]
  • During the 1990s, a series of experiments were run in Great Britain to see what kind of damage could be done to steel-framed buildings by subjecting them to extremely hot, all-consuming fires that lasted for many hours. After reviewing those experiments, FEMA said: “Despite the temperature of the steel beams reaching 800-900°C (1,500-1,700°F) in three of the tests … no collapse was observed in any of the six experiments.” [8]
  • Finally, illustrating that the laws of nature had not changed in 2001, a 50-story building fire in Caracas in 2004 raged for 17 hours, completely gutting the building’s top 20 floors, and yet this building did not collapse. [9]

However, although the implicit claim that steel-framed buildings had collapsed after burning for several hours was false, his statement was: “Our understanding was that over a long period of time, the way other buildings collapsed, the towers could collapse” (emphasis added). However, even that is false, because Robert F. Shea, the acting administrator of FEMA’s Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, said: “No one who viewed it that day, including myself, believed that those towers would fall,” [10] and this view was confirmed by multiple firefighters and other experts. [11]

Accordingly, there is no basis for a revisionist account, according to which Giuliani did not tell ABC’s Peter Jennings that he had been warned that “the World Trade Center was going to collapse.” Given the fact that Giuliani did say this, the next question is: Who gave Giuliani this information?

Who Told Giuliani that the World Trade Center Was Going to Collapse?

A partial answer may be found in the oral histories recorded by the Fire Department of New York.

  • Deputy Assistant Chief Albert Turi reported that, at a time when they had no indication of any structural instability, “Steve Mosiello, Chief Ganci’s executive assistant, came over to the command post and he said we’re getting reports from OEM that the buildings are not structurally sound … and Pete [Ganci] said, well, who are we getting these reports from? … Steve [Mosiello] brought an EMT person over to the command post … and Chief Ganci questioned him, where are we getting these reports? And his answer was … we’re not sure, OEM is just reporting this.” [12]
  • Steven Mosiello’s statement shows that this “EMT person” was Emergency Medical Technician Richard Zarrillo, who said: “John [Perrugia] came to me and said you need to go find Chief Ganci and relay the following message: that the buildings have been compromised, we need to evacuate, they’re going to collapse. I said okay.” After he and Steve Mosiello told Ganci that the buildings were going to collapse, Ganci said “who the fuck told you that?” Mosiello told Ganci and others: “I was just at OEM. The message I was given was that the buildings are going to collapse; we need to get our people out.” [13]
  • John Peruggia said: “They [people in the fire operations center] advised me that the Office of Emergency Management had been activated.” Later, Peruggia reported that “I was in a discussion with Mr. Rotanz [the deputy director of planning and research of the OEM [14]] … [and some] engineer type person, and several of us were huddled talking in the lobby and it was brought to my attention, it was believed that the structural damage that was suffered to the towers wasquite significant and they were very confident that the building’s stability was compromised and they felt that the North Tower was in danger of a near imminent collapse. I grabbed EMT Zarrillo, I advised him of that information. I told him he was to proceed immediately to the command post where Chief Ganci was located. … Provide him with the information that the building integrity is severely compromised and they believe the building is in danger of imminent collapse.” [15]
  • Peruggia was asked whether they were talking about “just the one building or both of them,” to which he said: “The information we got at that time was that they felt both buildings were significantly damaged.” [16]

As these testimonies show, the message that the towers were going to collapse came from the OEM. Accordingly, if Giuliani, as he told Peter Jennings, was informed that the towers were going to collapse, the warning must have originated from the OEM.

However, the OEM was under Giuliani’s control. [17] So although Giuliani said that he and others at 75 Barclay Street “were told” that the towers were going to collapse, it was his own people in his own office who were providing this warning.

The only remaining question is: How could people in the OEM have known – given the virtually universal belief that a total collapse of the towers would have been impossible – that the towers were going to collapse?

The Fire Chief Who Expected the Towers to Fall

Chief Ray Downey was reportedly an exception to the 9/11 Commission’s stated belief that “none of the [fire] chiefs present believed that a total collapse of either tower was possible.” [18] And this was an important exception, because, as 9/11 Commissioner Timothy Roemer said, Downey was a “very respected expert on building collapse.” In fact, said a FDNY battalion chief, Downey was “the premiere collapse expert in the country.” [19]

FDNY Commissioner Thomas Von Essen had told the 9/11 Commission that Downey had said to him, “Boss, I think these buildings could collapse.” [20] As to why, according to Downey’s nephew Tom Downey, his uncle had been “worried about secondary devices in the towers, explosive devices that could hurt the firemen.” [21]

During his Oral History interview, FDNY chaplain Father John Delendick said that after the top of the South Tower appeared to explode, he asked Downey whether jet fuel had blown up. Downey replied “at that point he thought there were bombs up there because it was too even” – meaning that it had been too even to have been produced by exploding jet fuel. [22]

Conclusion

The account Mayor Giuliani gave to the 9/11 Commission in May 2004, according to which he got out of the building at 75 Barclay Street for fear that it would come down, is contradicted by the account he had given on the morning of 9/11 to ABC’s Peter Jennings.

When Giuliani was challenged to explain why he had not told people in the towers that they were going to collapse, he claimed that he “didn’t realize the towers would collapse” and that “No one that [he knew] of had any idea they would implode.” This is in stark contrast to Giuliani’s statement to Peter Jennings that he was told that the Twin Towers were going to come down.

How Giuliani knew that WTC Buildings I and II were going to come down is a question that has not been asked publicly of Giuliani by the mainstream media or any government body. This is a question that must be asked of Giuliani, while he is under oath.

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References for Point MC-10
This statement, made on 9/11 to Peter Jennings of ABC News, can be read and heard at “Who Told Giuliani the WTC Was Going to Collapse on 9/11?” What Really Happened (Updated), August 27, 2010.
A televised video of this encounter, entitled “Activists Confront Giuliani over 9/11,” was formerly available at wnbc.com (as documented by web.archive … //video.wnbc.com/player/?id=112179), and may now be viewed on YouTube, titled “WeAreChange Confronts Giuliani on 9/11 Collapse Lies.”
James Glanz, “Engineers are baffled over the collapse of 7 WTC,” New York Times, November 29, 2001.
United States Fire Administration, “Interstate Bank Building Fire Los Angeles, California May 1988.”
FEMA, World Trade Center Building Performance Study, May 2002, “Appendix A: Overview of Fire Protection in Buildings,” A-9.
Robin Nieto, “Fire Practically Destroys Venezuela’s Tallest Building,” October 18, 2004.
Learning from 9/11: Understanding the Collapse of the World Trade Center,” Hearing before the Committee on Science, House of Representatives, 6 March 2002. Of course, WTC 7 was different: Many people became convinced that it would come down, but this was after the Twin Towers had come down and after they had been told that it was going to come down. See: 9/11 Consensus Panel, Point WTC7-7: “Foreknowledge of the Collapse of World Trade Center Building 7”.
To give a few examples:

  • John Skilling, the architect primarily responsible for the structural design of the Twin Towers, when asked in 1993 what would happen if one of the towers were to suffer a strike by an airliner loaded with jet-fuel, replied that “there would be a horrendous fire” and “a lot of people would be killed,” but “the building structure would still be there.” (Eric Nalder, “Twin Towers Engineered to Withstand Jet Collision,” Seattle Times, 27 February 1993.
  • An investigator with the Bureau of Investigations and Trials said that “no one ever expected it to collapse like that.” (Oral History: Lieutenant Murray Murad, 20).
  • A firefighter battalion chief said that after “everything blew out on … one floor,” he thought that the top of the South Tower was going to come off and fall down, but “there was never a thought that this whole thing is coming down” (Oral History: Battalion Chief Brian Dixon, 15).
  • Another firefighter said: “You just couldn’t believe that those buildings could come down. … [T]here’s no history of these buildings falling down” (Oral History: Lieutenant Warren Smith, 14-15, 30-31, 32).
  • Even the 9/11 Commission said that, to its knowledge, “none of the [fire] chiefs present believed that a total collapse of either tower was possible” (The 9/11 Commission Report, 302). One apparent exception was Chief Ray Downey, who was a collapse expert, but he had become convinced that explosives had been placed in the buildings Tom Downey, The Last Men Out: Life on the Edge of Rescue 2 Firehouse, [New York, Henry Holt, 2004]).
  • Likewise, NIST (the National Institute of Standards and Technology) wrote: “No one interviewed indicated that they thought that the buildings would completely collapse” (NIST NCSTAR 1-8, “The Emergency Response Operations,” 72). One apparent exception was Chief Ray Downey, who was a collapse expert, but he had become convinced that explosives had been placed in the buildings; see Tom Downey, “The Last Men Out: Life on the Edge of Rescue 2 Firehouse,” New York, Henry Holt, 2004).
“Rotanz was assigned to the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management in 2000,” Urban Hazards Forum, FEMA, 2002.
A document titled a “Brief History of New York City’s Office of Emergency Management” said: “1996: By executive order, the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management is created. The Director reports directly to the Mayor.” (also in OEM, “About OEM: History of NYC OEM”).
Roemer’s statement was made during the 9/11 Commission Hearing, 18 May 2004.
9/11 Commission Hearing, 18 May 2004. Von Essen had already told this story in his book, Strong of Heart: Life and Death in the Fire Department of New York, New York, William Morrow, 2002, 22.
Tom Downey, The Last Men Out: Life on the Edge at Rescue 2 Firehouse (New York: Henry Holt, 2004).
Oral History: Father John Delendick, 5. Father Delendick added: “As we’ve since learned, it was the jet fuel that was dropping down that caused all this.” But what is important is what he reported that Downey, the expert, had said. (Oral History: Father John Delendick, 5.)

 

Point MC-9: The Activities of General Ralph Eberhart during the 9/11 Attacks

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Introduction

NORAD is the US-Canadian military agency responsible for defending North American airspace. Its traditional operating procedures – according to which planes are to be intercepted when they deviate from their courses, turn off their transponders, or permanently lose radio contact – were not followed on 9/11.

As the commander-in-chief of NORAD on 9/11, General Ralph E. “Ed” Eberhart was ultimately responsible for all of NORAD’s failures on 9/11 – most importantly, the failure to intercept hijacked airliners before they could strike the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. The fourth airliner, UA 93, which was reportedly headed towards the nation’s capital, may have been shot down by NORAD, but NORAD has denied this. Accordingly, the official story about 9/11 is that NORAD was four-for-four in failing to intercept hijacked airliners that day.

Nevertheless, in spite of NORAD’s disastrous failures under General Eberhart’s leadership, he was never held accountable or even criticized. Indeed, he was promoted shortly after 9/11 and later called a “9/11 hero.” [1]

Unlike others, such as Gen. Richard Myers and Gen. Henry Shelton, Eberhart has not written an account of his actions on 9/11. Likewise, he was seldom discussed by the 9/11 Commission. Accordingly, we do not know much about his actions that day. But enough has been said and reported by officials and the media to add up to an official story about his actions.

The Official Account
  • “On the morning of 9/11 General Eberhart was in his office at headquarters—roughly 30 minutes away from Cheyenne Mountain, where the operations center is located.” [2]
  • “Eberhart received a call at 6:45 AM MDT (Mountain Daylight Time, or 8:45 AM EST [sic EDT] from CMOC’s [Cheyenne Mountain Operation Center’s] Command Director (CD) that informed him of the ongoing circumstance of a suspected hijacking on the East Coast. He was told that this was a non-exercise. He went to his office, and saw the CNN broadcast of the World Trade Center explosion.” [3]
  • It seemed to Eberhart that there was “great confusion in the system” at this time. (This was also stated by Canadian Lt. Gen. Rick Findley, the Battle Staff Director at Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center, who later told the 9/11 Commission that, following the second attack on the Twin Towers, there was “confusion as to how many, and which aircraft, were hijacked.” [4]) When Eberhart learned about the second WTC attack, it became obvious to him that “an ongoing and coordinated terrorist attack” was underway. [5]
  • Eberhart tried to contact Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Henry Shelton, but could not, because Shelton was on a plane to Europe to attend a NATO meeting. [6]
  • Eberhart then contacted the acting chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Richard Myers, who was on Capitol Hill meeting with Senator Max Cleland. Eberhart called Myers sometime between 9:03 and 9:30 AM, hence before the report of the Pentagon attack, which took place at approximately 9:37 AM. [7]
  • Eberhart updated Myers about the crisis, telling him that the Twin Towers had been hit, that NORAD would be launching fighter jets in response, and that he was working with the FAA to get all non-military planes in the United States grounded. [8]
  • According to Myers, Eberhart told him that there were “several hijack codes in the system,” [9] which meant, said Myers, “that the transponders in the aircraft [were] talking to the ground, and they’re saying … we’re being hijacked.” [10]
  • Eberhart next said that he was going to remain at Building 1 of Peterson Air Force Base – the headquarters of the US Air Force Space Command (of which Eberhart was also the commander) – because “he did not want to lose communication.” However, he then decided to drive to NORAD’s Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center, leaving at “approximately 9:30” EDT (or 7:30 MDT), which would have been shortly after his conversation with Myers. As to why Eberhart took this trip during the crisis, he explained that things had “quieted down” and the Operations Center “had communications capabilities not available at Peterson.” [11]
  • Although, according to the 9/11 Commission, making the 12-mile drive normally takes “roughly 30 minutes,” it took Eberhart 45 minutes. As a Washington Post story reported later, the trip “can be time-consuming if traffic is bad.” [12] During this period, it was later reported, Eberhart “couldn’t receive telephone calls as senior officials weighed how to respond,” [13] or at least could not hold them: He “lost a cell phone call with Vice President Dick Cheney.” [14]
  • At 9:49 AM, Eberhart, during the Pentagon’s air threat conference call, ordered “all air sovereignty aircraft to battle stations, fully armed.” [15]
  • The 9/11 Commission asked Eberhart why he, after realizing that there was an organized attack against the country, did not implement the plan called SCATANA (Security Control of Air Traffic and Air Navigation Aids), which would clear the sky of all non-military planes, so that the military would have complete control of the U.S. airspace. Eberhart explained that, with the radars it had, NORAD would not have been able to “control the airspace that day,” so if SCATANA had been implemented suddenly, even more problems would have developed. In response to those within NORAD who had advised him to implement it immediately, Eberhart said: “I will execute SCATANA once you have a modified SCATANA that … doesn’t cause a bad situation to become worse.” Two hours after the second plane hit the WTC, Eberhart was able to execute the modified SCATANA. [16]
The Best Evidence

An examination of the evidence shows that Eberhart, rather than being considered a “9/11 hero,” may well be the opposite. This evidence can be divided into two categories:

  1. Eberhart made several contradictory and implausible statements.
  2. Eberhart also caused delays by virtue of his actions and omissions.

1. Eberhart made several contradictory and implausible statements:

The official story about Eberhart contains the following elements, discussed in the order they appeared in the summary above:

  • Eberhart said that he first tried to contact Gen. Shelton, finding that he was on the way to Europe. However, given that Shelton’s trip had been planned for some time, the claim that Eberhart did not know when his immediate superior (the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) would be absent is not credible.
  • Eberhart said that he called General Myers while the latter was on Capitol Hill – which, as shown in the 9/11 Consensus Point about Myers, [17] was false.
  • Although Eberhart reported that the hijacked airliners, having used the hijack code, were talking to the ground, the failure of all eight pilots to squawk the hijack code is one of the main problems with the official account. [18]
  • Although Eberhart justified driving to the Operations Center by saying that things had “quieted down,” two hijacked airliners were still in the air (which his statements about several hijack codes implies that he believed).
  • If he had a good reason to get to the Operations Center, he could have taken the quick helicopter trip (rather than wasting 45 minutes or longer driving the distance). [19]
  • Although Eberhart claimed that he was unable to communicate by cell phone during the trip, he at 9:49 AM (7:49 Mountain) reportedly ordered – during an air threat conference call – interceptor pilots to get to their battle stations. [20]
  • Although “battle stations” sounds like an effective action, it actually means that pilots wait in their jets with the engines off, so they were not ready to scramble immediately. [21]
  • Eberhart’s claim that he could not implement SCATANA immediately, without making a bad situation worse, is not credible, given that SCATANA was a procedure set up for emergencies, and the modified SCATANA would have surely been already worked out, especially given the fact that NORAD was doing exercises at the time, including a plane crashing into a Manhattan skyscraper. Also the NORAD officers who were urging Eberhart to order SCATANA evidently saw no problem with doing so.

Accordingly, the official account about Eberhart contains inaccuracies, extraordinary claims, and actions and omissions through which the interception of the hijacked airliners would have been delayed.

2. Eberhart caused delays through further actions and omissions

There were additional irregularities regarding Eberhart’s actions, omissions, and statements:

  • It is standard operating procedure for NORAD to intercept a flight if it has lost radio contact, turned off its transponder, and gone off course. This was true of all four 9/11 flights and yet NORAD, under Eberhart, did not intercept any of them. [22]
  • As to why NORAD failed to intercept, it gave out a timeline in 2001, claiming NORAD knew about the hijackings and tried to intercept the airliners but could never get there in time. [23] NORAD told this story from 2001 until 2004. But then, in The 9/11 Commission Report, it gave a completely different account, according to which (1) the FAA failed to alert NORAD about American 11 until it was too late for jets to reach it and (2) the FAA failed to tell NORAD about all three of the other flights until after they had crashed. [24]
  • Regarding American 77 (which reportedly hit the Pentagon), Eberhart and the 9/11 Commission said that “NEADS never received notice that American 77 was hijacked.” [25] But if that were true, why did Eberhart, about six weeks after the attacks, tell the U.S. Senate that NORAD had scrambled jets at 9:24 AM after being notified that hijacked American 77 was coming towards Washington, adding that this was a “documented notification”? [26] Did the 2004 timeline mean that Eberhart’s 2001 statement to the Senate was a lie? Or did it mean that the FAA was lying when it emphatically said that it had shared “real-time information” with NORAD and the Pentagon about “all the flights of interest, including Flight 77.” [27]
  • As to why the new story may have emerged: The 9/11 research community had shown that NORAD’s first timeline did not excuse NORAD, because there would have been time to intercept the airliners before the Twin Towers and the Pentagon were hit. In June 2004, while the 9/11 Commission Report was being prepared, Eberhart said that this view was correct – that if NEADS had been told about the flights when the FAA claimed, his people would have been able to “shoot down all three of them — all four aircraft.” [28]
  • When Eberhart was interviewed by the 9/11 Commission in March 2004, he said he had “no knowledge of the circumstance [sic] that initiated the scramble” [29] of fighter jets at 9:24 AM from Langley. Having learned that NEADS had scrambled those fighters in response to a false report – that American 11, which had hit WTC 1, was still airborne and heading toward Washington DC – Eberhart said that he had learned about this false report only “recently.” [30] It seems incredible that the head of NORAD would have been ignorant about which fighters had been scrambled until two and a half years following the attacks.
  • Eberhart had the responsibility of setting the alert levels of the INFOCON, which defends against attacks on the Pentagon’s communications networks. Just 12 hours before the attacks, INFOCON was reduced to its least protective level and then not raised until after the second WTC attack. [31]
  • Eberhart was also in charge of many of NORAD’s military exercises (“war games”) that occurred on 9/11, such as Vigilant Guardian, which had a scenario in which terrorists hijacked an airliner with the aim of attacking New York City. The exercise was conducted “sim over live,” meaning the simulated hijackings were to be inserted into the live air traffic control system. As a result, NEADS personnel for some time were uncertain whether the radar tracks were real or simulated.
    According to Eberhart’s own testimony, he realized after the second WTC attack, hence shortly after 9:00 AM, that a “coordinated terrorist attack” was underway. Eberhart was the person with the primary responsibility to protect Canada and the US from attack, and yet he allowed the war games to continue until after 10:00 AM.
    Moreover, radar personnel at Cheyenne asked NEADS to “get rid of this goddamn sim.” According to a 9/11 Commission interview with Canadian Lt. Gen. Rick Findley, who was NORAD’s Battle Staff Director at Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center on the morning of September 11, there was, following the second attack, “confusion as to how many, and which aircraft, were hijacked.” [32] Nevertheless, the sim remained until after the time of the Pentagon attack (at 9:37 AM). When asked about the impact of the military exercises by the 9/11 Commission, Eberhart falsely claimed that they had “at most cost us 30 seconds.” [33]
  • Researcher and reporter Michael Kane of Global Free Press, who was on the scene at a 9/11 Commission Hearing, reported: “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.’” [34] However, Lt. Col. Dawne Deskins from the North East Air Defense Sector (NEADS) told the Commission, “Exercises that are designed on the NORAD level are created at planning conferences. NORAD planning exercises are mostly held at Peterson,” which is where General Eberhart was in charge. [35]
Conclusion

Eberhart made several statements that were clearly false and others that were at least highly implausible, including:

  • that he decided it would be all right to drive to the Operations Center because things had “quieted down”;
  • that the airliner pilots had squawked the hijack code;
  • that he could not use his cell phone during his drive to the Operations Center;
  • that the military exercises would have delayed NEADS no more than 30 seconds;
  • that he had only recently learned that the 9:24 AM scramble was based on a false report about American 11;
  • that he called General Myers while the latter was on Capitol Hill.

Eberhart also caused delays through his actions and omissions:

  • by turning INFOCON down to the least protective level;
  • by taking 45 minutes or longer to drive to the Operations Center with a cell phone that reportedly did not work (which meant that Eberhart – like Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Myers, Shelton, and Winfield – was reportedly incommunicado during the attacks);
  • by ordering interceptor pilots to “battle stations,” which meant that the pilots wait in their jets with the engines off, so they were not ready to scramble immediately;
  • by delaying to implement SCATANA until after the attacks were over;
  • by arranging multiple military exercises for 9/11, with at least one of them being “sim over live,” then not ordering removal of these confusing “sims” until after the Pentagon attack.

Finally, in agreeing with The 9/11 Commission’s statement that NORAD’s 2001 timeline was false, Eberhart implied that the military (under his control) had given a false account.

In short, Eberhart did nothing effective in response to the 9/11 hijackings – despite being present in the military’s teleconference as those hijackings were in progress – except to delay responses.

Considerable evidence points to Eberhart as having been derelict in his duty. [36]

A formal investigation should be launched to see if there is any other conclusion that could be reached.

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References for Point MC-9
Gerry J. Gilmore, “Eberhart Tabbed to Head U.S. Northern Command,” American Forces Press Service, May 8, 2002; the Northern Command (NORTHCOM) is considered “the nation’s premier military homeland defense organization”; NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs, “NORAD and USNORTHCOM Honour 9/11 Heroes,” October 15, 2012.
The 9/11 Commission Report, note 228 on p. 465.
Ibid., p. 2.
General Myers confirmed that shortly after Eberhart’s call the Pentagon was hit while he was on his way back to it. Source: “Panel I, Day II of the Twelfth Public Hearing of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States.” Chaired by Thomas Kean, Chairman, June 17, 2004, p. 43-44.
Richard Myers (with Malcolm McConnell), Eyes on the Horizon: Serving on the Front Lines of National Security (New York: Threshold Editions, 2009), 9.
“Richard Myers, Interview by Jim Miklaszewski,” NBC News, September 11, 2002; Myers, Eyes on the Horizon, 9.
The 9/11 Commission Report, 465; T. R. Reid, “Military to Idle NORAD Compound,” Washington Post, July 29, 2006.
Bruce Finley, “Military to Put Cheyenne Mountain on Standby,” Denver Post, July 27, 2006.
The 9/11 Commission Report, 42; Pam Zubeck, “Cheyenne Mountain’s Fate May Lie in Study Contents,” The Gazette, June 16, 2006; Lynn Spencer, Touching History: The Untold Story of the Drama That Unfolded in the Skies Over America on 9/11 (New York: Free Press, 2008), 240.
The 9/11 Commission Report, p. 38 (pdf-p. 55), citing “DOD transcript, Air Threat Conference Call, Sept. 11, 2001.”
William B. Scott, “Exercise Jump-Starts Response to Attacks,” Aviation Week & Space Technology, June 3, 2002; 9/11 Commission, Twelfth Public Hearing, June 17, 2004, p. 70; Spencer, Touching History, 269.
9/11 Consensus Panel, Point MC-6: “The Activities of General Richard Myers during the 9/11 Attacks.”
9/11 Consensus Panel, Point Flt-1: “A Claim Regarding Hijacked Passenger Jets.”
“No reason was ever given (or requested) for why Eberhart did not fly directly to CMOC from Peterson, making use of the Cheyenne Mountain helicopter port,” Kevin Ryan, “The Case Against Ralph Eberhart, NORAD’s 9/11 Commander,” January 12, 2013.
The 9/11 Commission Report, p. 38 (pdf-p. 55), citing “DOD transcript, Air Threat Conference Call, Sept. 11, 2001.”
Leslie Filson, Air War Over America: Sept. 11 Alters Face of Air Defense Mission (Tyndall Air Force Base: 1st Air Force, 2003), 55; Lynn Spencer, Touching History, 27.
NORAD, “NORAD’S Response Times, Sept. 11, 2001,” September 18, 2001.
The 9/11 Commission Report, pp. 18-30 (pdf-p. 35-47).
The 9/11 Commission Report, p. 34 (pdf-p. 51).
1st Fighter Wing History Excerpt, July through December 2001: 61.
Vigilant Guardian 01-02 Planning Document; “ ’Real-World or Exercise’: Did the U.S. Military Mistake the 9/11 Attacks for a Training Scenario?” Shoestring 9/11, March 22, 2012; “ ‘Let’s Get Rid of This Goddamn Sim’: How NORAD Radar Screens Displayed False Tracks All Through the 9/11 Attacks,” Shoestring 9/11, August 12, 2010; 9/11 Commission, Twelfth Public Hearing, June 17, 2004. 9/11 Consensus Panel, Point ME-2: “The Claim that the Military Exercises Did Not Delay the Response to the 9/11 Attacks”.
Kane spoke to Eberhart following the Commission’s Twelfth Public Hearing, June 17, 2004. Source: Don Jacobs, “The Military Drills on 9-11: ‘Bizarre Coincidence’ or Something Else?” In Paul Zarembka, ed., “The Hidden History of 9-11-2001,” Elsevier, 2006, p. 129.
9/11 Commission Interview with Lt. Col. Dawne Deskins, North Eastern Air Defense Sector (NEADS) field site visit, October 30, 2003, p. 3.
“Dereliction of duty is a specific offense under United States Code Title 10,892, Article 92, and applies to all branches of the US military. A service member who is derelict has willfully refused to perform his duties … or has incapacitated himself in such a way that he cannot perform his duties [as when Eberhart took his long drive] … Article 92 also applies to service members whose acts or omissions rise to the level of criminally negligent behavior.” (“Dereliction of Duty,” Wikipedia, accessed April 2015).

 

The 9/11 Consensus Points


Factual Evidence Contradicts the 9/11 Story

 

The official account of the events of September 11, 2001, has been used:

  • to justify the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which have resulted in the deaths of over a million people; [1]
  • to authorize torture, military tribunals, and extraordinary rendition; and
  • to suspend freedoms guaranteed by the American Constitution such as habeas corpus in the USA, and similar freedoms in Canada, the UK, and other countries.

The official claims regarding 9/11 are contradicted by facts that have been validated by a scientific consensus process, and which include the following points of “best evidence”.

The 50 Consensus Points are divided into the ten categories below, which in turn link to the individual 50 points:

 



A. General Consensus Points



B. Consensus Points about the Twin Towers



C. Consensus Points about the Collapse of World Trade Center 7

Point WTC7-1: The Claim that WTC 7 Collapsed from Fire Alone

Point WTC7-2: The Claim in NIST’s Draft Report that WTC 7 Did Not Come Down at Free Fall Acceleration

Point WTC7-3: The Claim in NIST’s Final Report that WTC 7 Came Down in Free Fall Without Explosives

Point WTC7-4: Did the Official Simulation of the Fall of WTC 7 Match the Observed Collapse?

Point WTC7-5: World Trade Center Building 7: NIST’s Analysis of the Collapse Initiation Is Not Valid

Point WTC7-6: The Fraudulent NIST Claim That There Was No Steel Recovered from Building WTC 7 for Analysis

Point WTC7-7: Foreknowledge of the Collapse of World Trade Center Building 7

Point WTC7-8: The Omission of Evidence that Barry Jennings and Michael Hess Experienced an Explosion in WTC 7 the Morning of 9/11   New, June 2016



D. Consensus Points about the Pentagon



E. Consensus Points about the 9/11 Flights



F. Consensus Points about US Military Exercises On and Before 9/11



G. Consensus Points about the Political and Military Commands on 9/11

Point MC-Intro: Overview of Contradicted Claims about Key Military and Political Leaders

Point MC-1: Why Was President Bush Not Hustled Away from the Florida School?

Point MC-2: The White House Claim as to How Long President Bush Remained in the Florida Classroom

Point MC-3: The Claim about the Time of Dick Cheney’s Entry into the White House Bunker

Point MC-4: When Did Cheney Authorize the Shoot-down of Civilian Planes?

Point MC-5: Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld’s Behavior between 9:00 and 10:00 AM

Point MC-6: T he Activities of General Richard Myers during the 9/11 Attacks

Point MC-7: The Time of General Shelton’s Return to his Command

Point MC-8: The Activities of Brigadier General Montague Winfield between 8:30 and 10:30 AM

Point MC-9: The Activities of General Ralph Eberhart during the 9/11 Attacks

Point MC-10: The Activities of NYC Mayor Giuliani on September 11, 2001



H. Consensus Points about Hijackers on 9/11



I. Consensus Points about the Phone Calls on 9/11



V. Consensus Points about Official Video Exhibits Regarding 9/11

 

Sources: 1. G. Burnham, R. Lafta, S. Doocy, and L. Roberts, “Mortality after the 2003 invasion of Iraq: A cross-sectional cluster sample survey,” Lancet, October 11, 2006: 21;368 (9545):1421-28. 2. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore. This epidemiological study estimated 654,965 excess deaths in Iraq related to the war, or 2.5% of the population, through the end of June 2006. 3. Catherine Lutz, “September 11 and the Cost of War,” Brown University, September 10, 2012. 4. Dr. Gideon Polya, author of Body Count: Global Avoidable Mortality Since 1950, estimated by January 2010 that more than four million Afghanis died (from both violent and non-violent causes) since the 2001 invasion, who would not have died without the invasion. See: “January 2010 – 4.5 Million Dead in Afghan Holocaust, Afghan Genocide.” 5. Dr. Gideon Polya, “Iraqi Holocaust: 2.3 Million Iraqi Excess Deaths,” March 21, 2009.

 

Point MC-Intro: Overview of Contradicted Claims about Key Military and
Point MC-Intro: Political Leaders

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(Editor’s Note: References supporting this Overview Point are included on the linked pages of the individual Points summarized below.)

Introduction

One of the most remarkable features of 9/11 is the fact that the official accounts of the activities of six political and military leaders with central roles on 9/11 – roles that put them in position to affect the outcome of crucial events of that day – are challenged by facts suggesting that each story is false or at best dubious.

President George W. Bush (Points MC-1, MC-2)

On the morning of 9/11, President Bush was visiting a grade school in Sarasota, Florida. When it appeared that hijackers were going after high-value targets, the head of the Secret Service detail allowed President Bush to remain at the school for 30 minutes, and to make a television address to the nation, thereby letting any terrorists know that the President was still there.

The Secret Service is charged with protecting the President. One of the unanswered questions, wrote the St. Petersburg Times, is “why the Secret Service did not immediately hustle Bush to a secure location.” The 9/11 Family Steering Committee asked: “Why was President Bush permitted by the Secret Service to remain in the Sarasota elementary school?”

The 9/11 Commission Report merely said, “The Secret Service told us they were anxious to move the President to a safer location, but did not think it imperative for him to run out the door.”

This break in protocol suggests – even if it does not prove – that the Secret Service, at some level, knew that the President was not in danger.

In addition, the White House, during the week of the first anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, described Bush’s visit to the school room in afalse way (see Point MC-2), which later had to be corrected after a videotape of the event emerged.

Vice President Dick Cheney (Points MC-3, MC-4)
According to the 9/11 Commission, Vice President Dick Cheney did not enter the PEOC (Presidential Emergency Operations Center), where he took charge of the government’s response to the attacks, until “shortly before 10:00,” hence after the Pentagon attack.

However, a number of witnesses – including Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta, White House photographer David Bohrer, and Cheney himself (on Meet the Press) – reported that Cheney was in the PEOC before the Pentagon attack. Most important was Mineta, who reported that Cheney had given responses to questions from a young officer, as a plane approached the Pentagon, about whether the “orders still stand.” Cheney’s reply that they did stand can best be understood as Cheney’s confirmation of a stand-down order.

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (Point MC-5)
According to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and The 9/11 Commission Report, Rumsfeld was in his office and oblivious to the attacks until he felt the attack on the Pentagon.

However, counter-terrorism coordinator Richard Clarke’s book Against All Enemies, which appeared in 2004 several months before the publication of The 9/11 Commission Report, portrayed Rumsfeld as being in the Pentagon’s video center in the Executive Support Center from shortly after the second WTC attack until after the attack on the Pentagon. Also, Robert Andrews, a deputy assistant secretary of defense, stated independently that, after the second WTC attack, Rumsfeld went across the hall to the Executive Support Center to join Clarke’s video conference.

It appears that the accounts given by Secretary Rumsfeld and the 9/11 Commission were false.

General Richard Myers (Point MC-6)
According to The 9/11 Commission Report and General Richard Myers, the Acting Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Myers was on Capitol Hill during the attacks, not returning to the Pentagon until after it had been attacked. However, this account is contradicted by several witnesses:

  • The 2004 book Against All Enemies, by counter-terrorism coordinator Richard Clarke, portrayed Myers as having, along with Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, gone to the Pentagon’s video center at roughly 9:10 AM — it was shortly after the second (9:03) attack on the World Trade Center — which would mean that Myers could not have been on Capitol Hill at that time.
  • Thomas White, the Secretary of the Army, indicated that Myers was in a breakfast meeting with Rumsfeld from 8:00 AM until 8:46 AM (when the first plane hit the WTC).
  • The 2009 book by General Hugh Shelton, for whom Myers was substituting that morning, portrayed Myers as being in the Pentagon when it was hit.

It thus appears that the account given by Myers and the 9/11 Commission was false.

General Hugh Shelton, Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff (Point MC-7)
On the morning of 9/11, General Hugh Shelton, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, later reported that he was on a plane – the Speckled Trout – to Europe.

After learning of the second WTC attack, he ordered his crew to return to the Pentagon. According to Shelton, he was almost immediately given permission to return to the USA, returned to Andrews Air Force Base by roughly noon, and reached the Pentagon shortly thereafter.

However, the claim that Shelton’s plane returned to the Pentagon shortly after noon is contradicted by several facts:

  • The Speckled Trout flight navigator reportedly said that the plane, having not quickly received clearance, had to go into a holding pattern over Greenland (for two hours) and again over Canada.
  • The flight tracking strip indicated that the Speckled Trout did not land at Andrews until 4:40 PM.
  • A military assistant traveling with Shelton stated that they drove from Andrews to the Pentagon in the “late afternoon.”
  • General Myers stated that Shelton had arrived at the Pentagon at 5:40 PM, having “just returned from an aborted European flight.”

It appears that this part of General Shelton’s story is not true.

Brigadier General Montague Winfield (Point MC-8)

For two years it was both assumed and reported on television that Army Brig. Gen. Montague Winfield,the Deputy Director of Operations (DDO) at the National Military Command Center (NMCC), was in charge the morning of 9/11.

But in July 2003, the 9/11 Commission was told that between 8:30 AM and roughly 10:00 AM, Winfield had been replaced – at his own request, to attend a meeting to discuss the ratings of Air Force officers – by Navy Captain Charles Joseph “Joe” Leidig, who two months earlier had been made the Deputy for Command Center Operations and in August had qualified to stand watch in Winfield’s place.

However, this account raises several puzzling questions, including these

  • Why did Brig. Gen. Winfield present himself, in CNN and ABC programs in 2002, as the DDO during the attacks?
  • Why was Brig. General Winfield not called back to the NMCC after the second attack on the Twin Towers (which made clear that America was being attacked)?
  • Why did General Richard Myers, who had been the acting chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,describe Winfield – in a memoir published in 2009 – as the “duty officer in charge” of the NMCC on the morning of 9/11?

These unanswered questions suggest the untruth of the claim of the Pentagon and the 9/11 Commission that Leidig, rather than Winfield, served as the DDO during the 9/11 attacks – even though it is not clear why, if this claim is untrue – the Pentagon and the 9/11 Commission made the claim.

Conclusion
These six accounts are of different types: two of them are about men – Bush and Shelton – who were out of town, whereas the other four are about men who were in Washington. But all six accounts have two things in common:

  • All six men were officials who had positions from which they could have affected the outcome of the 9/11 attacks.
  • The 9/11 Commission gave an account of each man that is contradicted by considerable evidence.

These six accounts provide, therefore, a remarkable fact: that the 9/11 Commission has evidently given false accounts of the behavior of six officials occupying positions from which they could have affected the outcomes of the 9/11 attacks.

This interlocking evidence clearly points to the need for further investigation into the roles of key government and military officials on September 11, 2001.

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Point MC-5: Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld’s Behavior
Point MC-5: Between 9:00 and 10:00 AM

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Introduction

Questions have been raised about whether Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld could have had responsibility for one or more of the 9/11 attacks, and whether he was partially responsible for the crash of United Airlines Flight 93, which the 9/11 Commission claimed, occurred in Shanksville, PA.

The Official Account
The activities of Secretary Rumsfeld on the morning of the 9/11 attacks show that he could not have had any responsibility for any of the attacks, even in the sense of having been able to prevent them, or anything to do with the crash of United 93.

  • On the morning of 9/11, Secretary Rumsfeld held a breakfast meeting with members of Congress at the Pentagon, which lasted until about 9:00, [1] and as that meeting was breaking up, they learned that “the first plane had hit the World Trade tower.” [2] Authorities believed this crash to have been due to a pilot error. [3]
  • “He [Rumsfeld] returned to his office for his daily intelligence briefing.” After he was “informed of the second strike in New York … he resumed the briefing while awaiting more information.” After the Pentagon was struck, Secretary Rumsfeld went to the parking lot to assist with rescue efforts. [4]
  • “Secretary Rumsfeld was not in the NMCC [National Military Command Center] when the shootdown order was first conveyed. He went from the parking lot to his office, where he spoke to the President [shortly after 10:00], then to the Executive Support Center, where he participated in the White House video teleconference. He moved to the NMCC shortly before 10:30, in order to join Vice Chairman Myers.” [5]

As that summary shows, Rumsfeld was in meetings when the attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon occurred.

With regard to the Pentagon in particular, the military, as The 9/11 Commission Report pointed out, “never received notice that American 77 was hijacked.” [6]

  • The military might have learned that American 77 (which, according to the 9/11 Commission, crashedinto the Pentagon) was in trouble, possibly hijacked, if any of the people dealing with the crisis had been involved in the White House video teleconference, which was conducted from the Situation Room by counterterrorism coordinator Richard Clarke. However, the 9/11 Commission reported: “We do not know who from Defense participated, but we know that in the first hour, none of the personnel involved in managing the crisis did.” [7]
  • Rumsfeld in particular, as the summary shows, was not involved in Clarke’s video conference until a few minutes after 10:00.

Moreover, Rumsfeld also could not have had anything to do with the crash of United 93, which occurred at 10:03, for two reasons:

  • Rumsfeld, as the summary shows, did not enter the NMCC until 10:30.
  • “By the time the military learned about [United 93’s hijacking], it had crashed.” [8]
The Best Evidence

Claims made about Rumsfeld in The 9/11 Commission Report, which reflect claims made by Rumsfeld himself in 2004, have been contradicted by several authoritative sources:

  1. Richard Clarke, the national counterterrorism coordinator, wrote a best-selling book, Against All Enemies [9]– which came out in March 2004, several months earlier than The 9/11 Commission Report. Clarke’s book contradicts claims that would be made in this Report about Rumsfeld’s activities on 9/11 between 9:00 and 10:00 AM.
    • Reporting about his video conference, which evidently began at roughly 9:10, [10] Clarke wrote: “As I entered the Video Center … I could see people rushing into studios around the city: Donald Rumsfeld at Defense and George Tenet at CIA.” [11] So, whereas Rumsfeld and the Commission say that Rumsfeld went from his breakfast meeting to his office for a CIA briefing, where he remained until the Pentagon attack, Clarke said that, shortly after the second WTC attack, Rumsfeld went to the Pentagon’s teleconferencing studio.
    • Clarke indicated, moreover, that Rumsfeld continued to participate in the videoconference: After the Pentagon attack,Clarke could “still see Rumsfeld on the screen.” [12] A little later, Clarke wrote, “smoke was getting into the Pentagon secure teleconferencing studio,” and “Franklin Miller urged him [Rumsfeld] to helicopter to DOD’s alternate site,” but Rumsfeld replied: “I am too goddam old to go to an alternate site.” So “Rumsfeld moved to another studio in the Pentagon.” [13]

    Clarke’s account of Rumsfeld’s location from 9:10 to 9:45 seems more plausible than the account provided by Rumsfeld and The 9/11 Commission Report, because:

    • Clarke’s account, if false, could have been proven wrong by the videoconference tape.
    • It is not plausible that, after being told of the second attack on the World Trade Center, the Secretary of Defense would have continued listening to a CIA briefing.
    • It is not plausible that, if the 9/11 Commission could have contradicted Clarke’s account of Rumsfeld, it would have failed to do so. Instead, it simply did not mention it. [14]
  2. Robert Andrews, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict, gave a lecture in 2007 that contradicted the Rumsfeld-9/11 Commission account of Rumsfeld’s movements: [15]
    • Knowing that Rumsfeld had gone to the Executive Support Center (ESC) to join Clarke’s video conference after the second WTC attack, Andrews stated, he rushed to the counter-terrorism center [CTC] to get materials that Rumsfeld would need. [16]
    • Then, after feeling and hearing an explosive event in the Pentagon, Andrews rushed back to the ESC, where he served as Rumsfeld’s advisor during the White House videoconference. “I was there in the Support Center with the Secretary when he was talking to Clarke on the White House video-teleconference, and to the President,” Andrews said. [17]
  3. A third authoritative source contradicting the official account of Rumsfeld’s activities was Paul Wolfowitz, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, in an early April 2002 interview with military historian Dr. Alfred Goldberg, [18] who would later be the first author of Pentagon 9/11[19] Wolfowitz gave a report inconsistent with the 9/11 Commission’s claim that Rumsfeld had not gone into the NMCC until after United 93 had crashed:
    • Wolfowitz stated that after the Pentagon attack, he and others were told to go outside the building, but that they were allowed to go back in within “less than ten minutes” – which means, if the Pentagon was attacked at 9:38, he was referring to going back in at roughly 9:50.
    • Wolfowitz reported: “We went into the NMCC, where the Secretary was, and General Myers. General Shelton was in Europe.”
    • He next said: “We proceeded with discussions by secure video conference. One issue was what to do about the plane over Pennsylvania, getting orders to get fighters up to intercept it, and the Secretary getting approval from the President to shoot it down.” [20]

    This report by Wolfowitz contradicted two central elements in the account of Rumsfeld’s locations provided in The 9/11 Commission Report:

    • Whereas the 9/11 Commission claimed that Rumsfeld did not go into the NMCC until 10:30, Wolfowitz reported talking with Rumsfeld there before 10:00.
    • Whereas the 9/11 Commission claimed that the military did not learn about UA 93’s troubles until after it crashed, Wolfowitz reported that he and Rumsfeld, along with General Myers, had discussed “what to do about the plane over Pennsylvania.”
Conclusion
The 9/11 Commission absolved Donald Rumsfeld of any responsibility for what happened after 9:03 that morning by claiming that, in the first hour of the White House video teleconference, “none of the [Defense] personnel involved in managing the crisis [participated].” [21] Reports by both Richard Clarke and Robert Andrews, however, show that Rumsfeld participated in this videoconference during this crucial hour.

The 9/11 Commission also absolved Rumsfeld from any involvement in the crash of UA 93 by claiming that the military did not know anything about UA 93 until after it had crashed, and that Rumsfeld was not in the NMCC prior to 10:30. Paul Wolfowitz, however, indicated that he discussed what to do about UA 93 with Rumsfeld and Myers before 10:00.

Testimonies by Richard Clarke, Robert Andrews, and Paul Wolfowitz, accordingly, provided very strong evidence that the 9/11 Commission made false claims relevant to Rumsfeld’s behavior. Further investigation of Rumsfeld’s actual behavior on the morning of 9/11, therefore, is needed.

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References for Point MC-5
Donna Miles, “Vice Chairman: 9/11 Underscored Importance of DoD Transformation,” American Forces Press Service, September 8, 2006.
Rumsfeld’s War,” Frontline, PBS, October 26, 2004.
Ibid., 37 (54).
The 9/11 Commission Report, 43-44. The Commission’s account corresponds to one given by Rumsfeld himself, in which he said: “I was in my office with a CIA briefer and I was told that a second plane had hit the other tower. Shortly thereafter, at 9:38, the Pentagon shook with an explosion of then unknown origin. I went outside to determine what had happened. I was not there long because I was back in the Pentagon with a crisis action team shortly before or after 10:00 A.M. On my return from the crash site and before going to the Executive Support Center, I had one or more calls in my office, one of which was with the president. I went to the National Military Command Center where General Myers … had just returned from Capitol Hill. … I joined the air threat telephone conference call that was already in progress” (9/11 Commission Hearing, March 23, 2004).
Ibid., 36. The Commission added: “And none of the information conveyed in the White House video teleconference, at least in the first hour, was being passed to the NMCC [National Military Command Center].”
Ibid., 34.
Richard A. Clarke, Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror (New York: Free Press, 2004). MSNBC said: “The publishing phenomenon of the year. … Sales soar for book by former terrorism adviser”.
Clarke reported that, after having arrived at the White House shortly after 9:03 (when the second World Trade Center building was hit), he started his videoconference shortly after having a brief meeting with Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice (Clarke, Against All Enemies, 1-3). Clarke indicated that, several minutes after the conference had begun, Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta arrived, and Clarke “suggested he join the Vice President [who had gone down to the PEOC]” (ibid., 5). Mineta told the 9/11 Commission that he “arrived at the PEOC at about 9:20 AM” (9/11 Commission Hearing, May 23, 2003.) Clarke’s account agrees with that of Mineta; see “Statement of Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta before the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, May 23, 2003”. It takes a few minutes to get down to the PEOC from the Situation Room, so if Mineta is right about getting to the PEOC by 9:20, he must have started down at roughly 9:15. And if this is correct, the videoconference must have begun at about 9:10.
Clarke, Against All Enemies, 3.
Ibid., 7.
Ibid., 8-9.
The fact that the Commission did not mention Richard Clarke’s treatment of Rumsfeld does not mean that this treatment did not influence the Commission’s account of Rumsfeld. According to early (2001 and 2002) discussions of Rumsfeld’s movements by him and his assistant Torie Clarke (no relation to Richard Clarke), Rumsfeld went, after going to the reported crash site, directly from his office to the NMCC; the ESC was not mentioned (“Assistant Secretary Clarke Interview with WBZ Boston”; “Secretary Rumsfeld Interview with John McWethy, ABC,” U.S. Department of Defense, August 12, 2002). But Clarke’s book appeared on March 10, 2004, two weeks before Rumsfeld’s March 23 testimony to the 9/11 Commission. During this testimony, Rumsfeld modified his story, saying: “On my return from the crash site and before going to the Executive Support Center, I had one or more calls in my office … I went to the National Military Command Center …” (9/11 Commission Hearing, March 23, 2004). This modification allowed the 9/11 Commission to soften the contradiction between its story and Clarke’s: The Commission wrote that Rumsfeld “went from the parking lot to his office … then to the Executive Support Center, where he participated in the White House video teleconference. He moved to the NMCC shortly before 10:30” (The 9/11 Commission Report, 43).
As shown by his biographical statement, “Robert Andrews, Consultant”, Andrews has received the Department of Defense Award for Outstanding Public Service (2007) and the medal for Distinguished Civilian Service to the United States Army (2009).
“The moment I saw the second plane strike ‘live,’” said Andrews, “I knew Secretary Rumsfeld would need the most up-to-date information, and ran down to our counterterrorism center [CTC] to get maps of New York and other data to take to him in the Executive Support Center [ESC].” Quoted in Barbara Honegger, “Special Operations Policy Expert and Veteran Robert Andrews Gives Distinguished Visiting Guest Lectures at NPS,” September 4, 2004. Honegger could not publish this interview (it belongs to the Naval Postgraduate School, her former employer), but she will supply it on request.
Honegger, “Special Operations Policy Expert.” Andrews hence said that Rumsfeld was in the ESC when he talked to the President, not – as The 9/11 Commission Report said – in his office.
Pentagon Attack: Interview with Paul Wolfowitz” (backup) by Alfred Goldberg and Rebecca Cameron, April 19, 2002.
Alfred Goldberg et al., Pentagon 9/11, Defense Studies Series (Historical Office of the Secretary of Defense: Washington, D.C., 2007).

 

Point MC-4: When Did Cheney Authorize the Shoot-down of Civilian Planes?

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Introduction

At 9:26 AM on 9/11, the Bush-Cheney administration ordered a national ground stop, meaning that no more civil planes were allowed to take off; and at 9:45, all planes already in the air were ordered to land. [1] Those orders provided the background for the possibility of an order to shoot down civilian airplanes that violated this order. There has been controversy about whether United 93 (which, the 9/11 Commission claimed, crashed in Shanksville, PA) was shot down.

The Official Account

Vice President Cheney reached the Presidential Emergency Operations Center “shortly before 10:00.” [2] At 10:02, he “began receiving reports from the Secret Service of an inbound aircraft – presumably hijacked – heading towards Washington.” [3] Although this aircraft was United 93, the Commission said, this was not known at the time, because the military did not learn about the hijacking of this flight until after it had crashed. [4]

Through a military aide, Cheney gave authorization to shoot civilian airplanes down at “some time between 10:10 and 10:15,” again “probably some time between 10:12 and 10:18,” and then obtained confirmation from President Bush by 10:20. [5] Reporting that Richard Clarke had “ask[ed] the President for authority to shoot down aircraft,” the 9/11 Commission wrote: “Confirmation of that authority came at 10:25.” [6]

Shoot-down authorization came, therefore, far too late to affect the fate of United 93, which crashed at 10:03. [7]

The Best Evidence

Considerable evidence indicates that the shoot-down authorization came not at some time after 10:10 but closer to 9:50, therefore early enough for the military to have shot down United 93:

  1. The fullest evidence appeared in counter-terrorism coordinator Richard Clarke’s 2004 book, Against All Enemies[8]
    • Just before the Pentagon attack, Clarke wrote, he told Major Michael Fenzel, his liaison to Cheney, that he wanted authorization for “the Air Force to shoot down any aircraft – including a hijacked passenger flight – that looks like it is threatening to attack and cause large-scale death on the ground.” [9]
    • Fenzel called back rather quickly. (Clarke said: “I was amazed at the speed of the decisions coming from Cheney and, through him, from Bush.”) Fenzel’s call back came after the Pentagon attack but before Air Force One took off from the airport in Florida, which would mean between 9:38 and 9:55. [10]
    • Fenzel said: “Tell the Pentagon they have authority from the President to shoot down hostile aircraft, repeat, they have authority to shoot down hostile aircraft.” Clarke reported that he then said: “DOD, DOD … the President has ordered the use of force against aircraft deemed to be hostile.” [11]
  2. A 2003 U.S. News and World Report article, discussing “President Bush’s unprecedented order to shoot down any hijacked civilian airplane,” stated: “Pentagon sources say Bush communicated the order to Cheney almost immediately after Flight 77 hit the Pentagon and the FAA, for the first time ever, ordered all domestic flights grounded.” [12] This report, reinforced by the previous and following points, would put the shoot-down authorization shortly after 9:45.
  3. Barbara Starr, CNN’s Pentagon correspondent, said in a 2002 program reliving the events of 9/11: “It is now 9:40, and one very big problem is out there: United Airlines Flight 93 has turned off its transponder. Officials believe it is headed for Washington, D.C. … On a secure phone line, Vice President Cheney tells the military it has permission to shoot down any airliners threatening Washington.” [13]
  4. In 2002 and 2003, a number of military leaders stated that they received the shoot-down authorization while United 93 was still aloft.
    • Colonel Robert Marr, the head of NEADS, said: “[W]e received the clearance to kill if need be.” [14]
    • General Larry Arnold, the commander of NORAD within the Continental United States, said: “I had every intention of shooting down United 93 if it continued to progress toward Washington, D.C.” [15]
    • Brigadier General Montague Winfield, the deputy director of the National Military Command Center in the Pentagon, reportedly said: “The decision was made to try to go intercept Flight 93. … The Vice President [said] that the President had given us permission to shoot down innocent civilian aircraft that threatened Washington, DC.” [16]

    In spite of all of this evidence, The 9/11 Commission Report, published in July 2004, declared: “By the time the military learned about [United 93], it had crashed.” [17] On the basis of this claim, the 9/11 Commission declared that the above-cited statements by Marr, Arnold, and Winfield were “incorrect.” [18]

    However, besides contradicting these statements, the 9/11 Commission’s claim conflicts with an FAA memo to the Commission of May 23, 2003.

    • This memo said that in an FAA teleconference with the military that had begun “minutes after the first aircraft hit the World Trade Center” – hence shortly after 8:46 AM – the FAA had “shared real-time information … about … all the flights of interest,” [19] which would have included United Flight 93. [20]
    • 9/11 Commissioner Richard Ben-Veniste, putting the FAA memo in the Commission’s record, said that it provided evidence that the “FAA was providing information as it received it, immediately after the first crash into the Towers.” [21] But the 9/11 Commission dealt with this memo by simply omitting any reference to it in The 9/11 Commission Report.
Conclusion

The 9/11 Commission claimed that Cheney did not issue a shoot-down authorization until 10:10 or later, whereas the evidence shows that Cheney gave the authorization by 9:50 – hence at least 20 minutes earlier than the Commission claimed. This 20-minute difference means the difference between whether military pilots could, or could not, have been ordered to shoot down United Flight 93 (which reportedly crashed at 10:03).

The Commission’s claim about the time of the shoot-down authorization was not the only part of the official account of the shoot-down authorization that was problematic: The press focused on the Bush administration’s claim that Cheney had transmitted authorization received from the President (rather than declaring it on his own, which would have been illegal), about which even the 9/11 Commission was skeptical. [22]

More important to the truth about 9/11, however, was the 9/11 Commission’s claim that the shoot-down authorization was not given by Cheney until 10:10 or later, hence after United 93 had crashed. This claim is contradicted by reports from Richard Clarke, U.S. News and World Report, Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr, the FAA, and three military officers: Col. Marr, Gen. Arnold, and Brig. Gen. Winfield.

Moreover, the 9/11 Commission’s 10:10-or-later claim presupposed the Commission’s claim that Cheney did not enter the PEOC, where he took charge, until almost 10:00, and this claim is contradicted by abundant evidence, as shown in Point MC-3[23]

Any new investigation needs to ask why the 9/11 Commission made a claim about the time of Cheney’s shoot-down authorization that contradicted a great deal of evidence.

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References for Point MC-4
Ibid., 40.
Ibid., 41.
Ibid., 34.
Ibid., 41. (The movie United 93 (2006), which follows the timeline of The 9/11 Commission Report, says that the shoot-down authorization was given at 10:18.)
Ibid., 37.
“By 10:03, when United 93 crashed in Pennsylvania, there had been no mention of its hijacking [to the military]” (Ibid., 38).
Richard A. Clarke, “Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror” (New York: Free Press, 2004).
Ibid., 7.
Clarke reported that the call came while the President’s plane was still “getting ready to take off” (ibid., 8).
Ibid., 8.
Chitra Ragavan and Mark Mazzetti, “Pieces of the Puzzle – A Top-Secret Conference Call on September 11 Could Shed New Light on the Terrorist Attacks,” U.S. News & World Report, 31 August, 2003.
’The Pentagon Goes to War’: National MilitaryCommand Center,” American Morning with Paula Zahn, CNN, 4 September 2002.
Quoted in Leslie Filson, “Air War over America: Sept. 11 Alters Face of Air Defense Mission,” Foreword by Larry K. Arnold [Public Affairs: Tyndall Air Force Base, 2003], 68). Marr also said that, after he received the shoot-down authorization, he “passed that on to the pilots” (“9/11: Interviews by Peter Jennings,ABC News, 11 September 2002.)
Filson, Air War Over America, 71.
9/11: Interviews by Peter Jennings,” ABC News, September 11, 2002.
The 9/11 Commission acknowledged that FAA headquarters had realized by 9:34 that United 93 had been hijacked (The 9/11 Commission Report, 28). Also, when General Arnold was asked by the 9/11 Commission what NORAD was doing on 9/11 at 9:24 AM, he said: “Our focus was on United 93, which was being pointed out to us very aggressively, I might say, by the FAA” (9/11 Commission Hearing, May 23, 2003).
In The 9/11 Commission Report, the Commission’s scepticism is muted, limited to stating that there was no documentary evidence for the call to President Bush that, according to Cheney, he made shortly after entering the PEOC, during which Bush gave him the authorization (pp. 40-41). According to Newsweek magazine, however, this statement was a “watered down” version of an earlier draft, which had reflected the fact that “some on the commission staff were … highly skeptical of the vice president’s account.” That earlier draft, which evidently expressed more clearly the belief that the vice president and the president were lying, was reportedly modified after vigorous lobbying from the White House (Daniel Klaidman and Michael Hirsh, “Who Was Really in Charge?Newsweek, June 20, 2004.
See Consensus Point MC-3: “The Claim About the Time of Dick Cheney’s Entry into the White House Bunker.”

 

Point MC-3: The Claim about the Time of Dick Cheney’s Entry into the
Point MC-3: White House Bunker

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The Official Account

Vice President Dick Cheney took charge of the government’s response to the 9/11 attacks after he entered the PEOC (the Presidential Emergency Operations Center), a.k.a. “the bunker.”

The 9/11 Commission Report said [1] that Cheney did not enter the PEOC until almost 10:00 AM, which was at least 20 minutes after the violent event at the Pentagon that killed more than 100 people.

The Best Evidence

Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta told the 9/11 Commission that, after he joined Cheney and others in the bunker at approximately 9:20 AM, he listened to an ongoing conversation between Cheney and a young man, which took place when “the airplane was coming into the Pentagon.” [2]

After the young man, having reported for the third time that the plane was coming closer, asked whether “the orders still stand,” Cheney emphatically said they did. The 9/11 Commission Report, by claiming that Cheney did not enter the PEOC until long after the Pentagon was damaged, implies that this exchange between Cheney and the young man – which can most naturally be understood as Cheney’s confirmation of a stand-down order – could not have occurred.

However, testimony that Cheney was in the PEOC by 9:20 was reported not only by Mineta but also by Richard Clarke [3] and White House photographer David Bohrer. [4] Cheney himself, speaking on “Meet the Press” five days after 9/11, reported that he had entered the PEOC before the Pentagon was damaged. [5]

The 9/11 Commission’s attempt to bury the exchange between Cheney and the young man confirms the importance of Mineta’s report of this conversation.

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References for Point MC-3
9/11 Commission Report (2004), note 213, p. 464 (pdf-p. 481).
Richard Clarke, “Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror” (New York: Free Press, 2004), pp. 2-5.
See “9/11: Interviews by Peter Jennings,” ABC News, September 11, 2002.

 

Point MC-1: Why Was President Bush Not Hustled Away
Point MC-1: from the Florida School?

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Introduction

On the morning of September 11, 2001, President Bush was in Sarasota, Florida, scheduled to read with grade school students for a “photo op.” [1]

The Official Account
  • When the President arrived, he was told at 8:55 AM that a small plane had hit the World Trade Center. Bush responded that “a commercial plane has hit the World Trade Center and we’re going to … do the reading thing anyway.” [2]
  • While Bush was seated in the classroom, his chief of staff, Andrew Card, came in (at about 9:05 [3]) and reportedly whispered in the President’s ear: “A second plane hit the second Tower. America is under attack.” [4]
  • Bush remained in the classroom another five to seven minutes, [5] then made a statement to the nation from the school, after which he left the school at about 9:35. [6]
  • The St. Petersburg Times asked “why the Secret Service did not immediately hustle Bush to a secure location.” [7] Likewise, the Family Steering Committee – which was instrumental in getting the 9/11 Commission created – asked: “Why was President Bush permitted by the Secret Service to remain in the Sarasota elementary school where he was reading to children?” [8]
  • The 9/11 Commission explained: “The Secret Service told us they were anxious to move the President to a safer location, but did not think it imperative for him to run out the door.” [9]
The Best Evidence
  • The Secret Service is charged with the protection of the president. In a book about the Secret Service, Philip Melanson wrote: “With an unfolding terrorist attack, the procedure should have been to get the president to the closest secure location as quickly as possible.” [10]
  • The presidential visit had been highly publicized, and one journalist had written, in fact, that “Bush’s presence made … the planned reading event a perceived target,” because “the well-publicized event at the school assured Bush’s location that day was no secret.” [11]
  • Given this fact, combined with evidence that many planes had been hijacked and that terrorists were going after high-value targets, [12] the Secret Service should have assumed that a hijacked airliner may have been bearing down on the school at that very moment, so the President should have been removed immediately. Indeed, as soon as the second strike on the World Trade Center was seen on television, the Marine carrying the President’s phone said to Sarasota County Sheriff Bill Balkwill: “We’re out of here. Can you get everybody ready?” [13]
  • However, this Marine’s instructions were evidently overridden: The head of the Secret Service detail allowed Bush to remain at the school 30 minutes longer to make his previously scheduled television address to the nation at 9:29, thereby letting any terrorists know that he was still at the school. [14]

This break in protocol indicates that the Secret Service, at some level, knew that the President was not in danger.

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References for Point MC-1
Mitch Stacy, “Florida School Where Bush Learned of the Attacks Reflects on Its Role in History,Associated Press, 19 August 2002.
The 9/11 Commission Report, 2004, 38 (pdf: 55).
Ibid., p. 39 (pdf: 56)
“One of the many unanswered questions about that day is why the Secret Service did not immediately hustle Bush to a secure location, as it apparently did with Vice President Dick Cheney,” Susan Taylor Martin, “Of Fact, Fiction: Bush on 9/11,” St. Petersburg Times, 4 July 2004. This issue had been raised the day after 9/11 in one of Canada’s leading newspapers, which wrote: “For some reason, Secret Service agents did not bustle [Bush] away,” John Ibbitson, “Action, Not Overreaction, Prudent Course,Globe and Mail, 12 September 2001.
Thomas H. Kean and Lee H. Hamilton, Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission, Knopf, 2006, 54.
Philip H. Melanson, Secret Service: The Hidden History of an Enigmatic Agency (New York: Carroll & Graf, 2002), as quoted in Susan Taylor Martin, “Of Fact, Fiction: Bush on 9/11.
Mike Riopell, “Educator’s History Lesson,Arlington Heights Daily Herald, 11 September 2006.

The event had been known by county school officials since early August. Much preparation had been done. “George W. Bush at Booker Elementary School( 9/11/01)” (YouTube: Matty). Concern was expressed by Sarasota County Sheriff Colonel Steve Burns, who was in charge of security at Booker Elementary school that day and was working with the Secret Service; see “Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office – Behind the Scenes on 9/11” (YouTube: SarasotaSheriff) at 2:30).

Richard A. Clarke, “Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror” (New York: Free Press, 2004), 4.
Tom Bayles, “The Day Before Everything Changed, President Bush Touched Locals’ Lives,Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 10 September 2002; Blakewill’s statement was later quoted in Susan Taylor Martin, “Of Fact, Fiction: Bush on 9/11,St. Petersburg Times, 4 July 2004.
Bush’s speech was reported live on CNN and is available as “Bush 911 Speech on CNN” (YouTube: slipstick99).

 

Point MC-6: The Activities of General Richard Myers
Point MC-6: during the 9/11 Attacks

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Introduction

On September 11, 2001, General Richard B. Myers, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), became the Acting Chairman, because the JCS Chairman, General Hugh H. Shelton, was flying to a NATO meeting in Budapest. [1] An account of Myers’ activities during the morning of 9/11 was provided by The 9/11 Commission Report and Myers himself. But some features of this account raise questions.

The Official Account
General Myers was not at the Pentagon during the attacks, because he was on Capitol Hill with Senator Max Cleland to discuss the upcoming hearing to confirm Myers to be the new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. [2] Senator Cleland verified that the meeting with him on 9/11 did occur. [3]

While Myers was waiting in Cleland’s outer office, a television report gave him the impression that the World Trade Center had been hit by “a small plane or something like that,” so he and Cleland went ahead with their meeting. [4] Soon, having learned from a staffer that the second tower had been hit, they ended their meeting. Returning to the exterior office, they learned from TV that flames had erupted in the WTC. [5]

While watching the TV coverage, Myers received a call on his military aide’s cell phone from General Ralph Eberhart, the commander of NORAD, saying that he was working with the FAA to get all planes grounded. Myers then got a call from his executive assistant, who said that a major hijacking seemed to be underway and recommended that Myers “return to the Pentagon as soon as possible.” [6] “As we raced away from Capitol Hill,” [7] Myers wrote, “the Pentagon was hit … [b]efore we even got to the 14th Street Bridge.” [8]

At 9:46, NORAD staff “reported that they were still trying to locate Secretary Rumsfeld and Vice Chairman Myers.” General Myers returned to the National Military Command Center (NMCC) “shortly before 10:00,” at which time he joined the NMCC’s air threat conference call [9]– which had begun without him at 9:37. [10]

General Myers, accordingly, was not in the Pentagon during the attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon. With regard to the hijacking of United Flight 93 (which, the 9/11 Commission claimed, crashed in Shanksville PA), Myers could not have ordered fighter jets to bring it down, because “[b]y the time the military learned about the flight, it had crashed.” [11]

The Best Evidence

Questions about the accuracy of the accounts provided by The 9/11 Commission Report (2004), along with Myers in 2004 and later years, are raised by:

  • Contradictions with accounts provided by Counter-terrorism coordinator Richard Clarke, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, Navy Captain Charles Joseph Leidig, General Hugh Shelton, and Army Secretary Thomas White;
  • Inconsistencies with accounts Myers had provided in 2001;
  • Implausibilities.

A. Contradictions

  1. The official account of General Myers’ activities during the attacks contradicts the account that had been provided in counter-terrorism coordinator Richard Clarke’s 2004 book, Against All Enemies[12] which had appeared several months before the publication of The 9/11 Commission Report, and which described Myers as being in the Pentagon during the attacks. Describing the beginning of the White House videoconference, which his account suggests began at approximately 9:10, [13] Clarke wrote:

    “As I entered the Video Center … I could see people rushing into studios around the city: Donald Rumsfeld at Defense and George Tenet at CIA.” [14]

    “Air force four-star General Dick Myers was filling in for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Hugh Shelton, who was over the Atlantic.” [14]

    Shortly before 9:28, Clarke reported, he had this exchange with Myers:

    [Clarke:] “JCS [Joint Chiefs of Staff], JCS. I assume NORAD has scrambled fighters and AWACS. How many? Where?”

    [Myers:] “Not a pretty picture Dick. … We are in the midst of Vigilant Warrior, a NORAD exercise, but … Otis has launched two birds toward New York. Langley is trying to get two up now.” …

    [Clarke:] “Okay, how long to CAP [15] over D.C.?” …

    [Myers:] “Fast as we can. Fifteen minutes?” Myers asked, looking at the generals and colonels around him. It was now 9:28. [16]

    Accordingly, Clarke’s account – which was not mentioned in either The 9/11 Commission Report or in Myers’ 2009 book, Eyes on the Horizon – was contradicted by the account given by Myers and the 9/11 Commission.

  2. The official account of Myers’ activities was also contradicted by statements made in 2002 by Paul Wolfowitz, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, with regard to two points:

    1. In an interview conducted by Alfred Goldberg (who would later become the first author of Pentagon 9/11, a major study published in 2007 [17]), Wolfowitz gave a report that contradicted the claim, made by Myers and The 9/11 Commission Report, that Myers had been away from the Pentagon until he returned “shortly before 10:00”:
      • Wolfowitz stated that after the Pentagon attack, he and others were told to go outside the building, but that they were allowed to go back in within “less than ten minutes” – which means, if the Pentagon was attacked at 9:38, he was referring to going back in at roughly 9:50.
      • Wolfowitz reported: “We went into the NMCC, where the Secretary was, and General Myers. General Shelton was in Europe.”
      • Wolfowitz next said: “We proceeded with discussions by secure video conference. One issue was what to do about the plane over Pennsylvania, getting orders to get fighters up to intercept it, and the Secretary getting approval from the President to shoot it down.” [18]

      This report by Wolfowitz, therefore, contradicted the claims by The 9/11 Commission Report that (a) Myers was not in the Pentagon when the building was attacked and that (b) the military, led by General Myers, had not been informed about United Flight 93’s troubles before it crashed.

    2. In 2001, Wolfowitz – as well as Myers himself – contradicted the claim about United 93 that would be made by The 9/11 Commission Report – that the military did not know anything was wrong with it until it crashed.
      • Wolfowitz, answering a question on the PBS “NewsHour with Jim Lehrer,” said: “We responded awfully quickly … and, in fact, we were already tracking in on that plane that crashed in Pennsylvania. I think it was the heroism of the passengers on board that brought it down. But the Air Force was in a position to do so if we had had to.” [19]
      • Also in 2001, Myers said at his confirmation hearing: “[I]f my memory serves me … we had launched on the [airliner] that eventually crashed in Pennsylvania … [W]e had gotten somebody close to it, as I recall.” [20]
    3. One of the claims by Myers and The 9/11 Commission Report that was contradicted in the interview of Wolfowitz – that Myers was not in the Pentagon during the attacks – was also contradicted in a 9/11 Commission document labeled “Secret Memorandum for the Record.” [21] This memorandum, which was dated a year earlier than The 9/11 Commission Report, reported statements that were made in 2003 by Navy Captain Charles Joseph “Joe” Leidig, who about two months before 9/11 had assumed duties in the NMCC as Deputy for Command Center Operations. [22] According to this document:
      • Leidig said that, on the morning of 9/11, he served as the NMCC’s Deputy Director of Operations (DDO) in place of Brigadier General Montague Winfield from 8:30 until Winfield relieved him some time after 10:00.
      • During a discussion of Delta Flight 1989, which occurred between 9:23 and 9:26, [23] Leidig was “certain that the Vice Chairman [of the Joint Chiefs of Staff] was in the room at the time. He [Leidig] recalled looking at him and saying there is a recommendation to evacuate the Sears tower in Chicago. He remembered General Meyers [sic] saying that was a good idea.” [24]

      According to this memorandum, therefore, Captain Leidig supported Wolfowitz’s report that Myers was in the Pentagon, not somewhere else, shortly before the Pentagon attack.

    4. The claim by the 9/11 Commission and Myers that he was not in the NMCC until “shortly before 10:00,” and hence was not there immediately after the Pentagon attack, was contradicted by the officer he was replacing that day, General Hugh Shelton:
      • In Shelton’s 2009 book, describing what happened on the plane that had been taking him to Europe – but which he, after learning about the attack on the Pentagon, turned around – he wrote: “Meanwhile, Dick [Myers] was on the phone, and the first report was that a hand grenade had just gone off in the Pentagon parking lot. … Since our connection was encrypted, he was able to give me a complete status report from the NMCC.” [25]
      • Continuing his discussion with Myers, Shelton added: “I need you to call Ed Eberhart … at NORAD and let him know that we’re coming back on Speckled Trout, and that I would consider it a personal favor if he would see to it that the Chairman and his crew are not shot down on their way back to Andrews.” Myers replied: “Will do.” [26]
    5. Thomas White, the Secretary of the Army, indicated that General Myers had been at a breakfast meeting in the Pentagon from 8:00 until 8:46, when the first plane hit the World Trade Center (not in Senator Cleland’s office on Capitol Hill). [27]
      • White told Frontline: “Don Rumsfeld had a breakfast, and virtually every one of the senior officials of the Department of Defense—-service chiefs, secretary, deputy, everybody, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. And as that breakfast was breaking up, the first plane had hit the World Trade tower.” [28]
      • By “chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff,” White had to mean Myers, the acting and soon-to-be-confirmed chairman, because General Hugh Shelton, the outgoing chairman, was on his way to Europe. [29]

B. Inconsistencies

  1. The official story about Myers, which was based on The 9/11 Commission Report and Myers’ statements in 2004 and later, contradicted assertions Myers had made in 2001:
    1. Official story, 2004: Myers learned of the Pentagon attack while being driven back to the Pentagon. [30]

      September 13, 2001: Myers learned of the attack while still in Senator Cleland’s office[31]

    2. Official story, 2004: While Myers was being driven back to the Pentagon, he was called by General Eberhart. [32]

      October 2001: Myers received the Eberhart call while still in Sen. Cleland’s office. [33]

    3. Official story, 2004: The Eberhart call to Myers came before the Pentagon was hit. [34]
      October 2001: The Eberhart call came after the Pentagon was hit. [35]
  2. Senator Cleland’s stories also contained inconsistencies:
    • At the confirmation hearing in 2001, Cleland said to Myers: “It’s a good thing we were meeting here [on Capitol Hill] and not us meeting in the Pentagon because about the time you and I were having our visit … at just about that very moment, the Pentagon was being hit.” [36]
    • In 2003, Cleland said that just at the moment after “Myers rushed out of [his] office, headed for the Pentagon … the Pentagon was hit.” [37]

C. Implausibilities

  1. In a 2001 interview, Myers said that while he was meeting with Cleland in his office, the second tower was struck, but “[n]obody informed us of that.” It was only when they finished their meeting and came out of the inner office, Myers said, that he and Cleland realized “that the second tower had been hit.” [38] It was “right at that time,” Myers added, that “somebody said the Pentagon has been hit” [39] – thereby indicating that the meeting had lasted until almost 9:37.
    • But the idea that nobody – neither Cleland’s secretary nor anyone at the Pentagon or otherwise in the military – had notified him (the Acting Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff), so that he did not know anything about the second attack until just before the Pentagon was struck, is implausible.
    • This realization likely motivated the later version of his story, according to which a staff person from the outer office told Myers and Cleland about the second WTC attack right after it occurred. [40]
  2. In a 2003 speech, Senator Cleland said: “The first plane had already hit the World Trade Center and Gen. Myers bolted from his seat. We rushed into an adjoining office as we saw on TV the second plane slam into the second tower. Gen. Myers rushed out of my office, headed for the Pentagon. At that moment, the Pentagon was hit.” [41]
    • There were 30-some minutes between these two attacks.
    • Cleland’s account was implausible, because it suggested that there were at most 10 minutes between the two attacks.
Conclusion

In light of the above problems –

  • the contradictions between the 2004 accounts by Myers and the 9/11 Commission, on the one hand, and the accounts by Richard Clarke, Paul Wolfowitz, Captain Leidig, General Shelton, Thomas White, and, even the Myers of 2001, on the other;
  • the inconsistencies between the earlier and later stories told by Myers;
  • and the implausibilities in the accounts by Myers and Cleland –

the evidence suggests that the official account about Myers – according to which he was not in the Pentagon during the attacks and also could not have been involved in a decision to bring down United 93 – is false, and should be further investigated.

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References for Point MC-6
General Hugh Shelton, Ronald Levinson, and Malcolm McConnell, Without Hesitation: The Odyssey of an American Warrior (New York, St. Martin’s Press, 2010), 430, 433.
Richard B. Myers, Eyes on the Horizon: Serving on the Front Lines of National Security (New York: Threshold Editions, 2009), 7. See also “Interview: General Richard B. Myers,” Armed Forces Radio and Television Services, 17 October 2001, and The 9/11 Commission Report, 463n199, citing an interview of 17 February 2004.
Sen. Max Cleland said: “General, it’s a good thing that … you and I were meeting … here [on Capitol Hill] and not us meeting in the Pentagon.” Quoted in “General Myers Confirmation Hearing,” September 13, 2001.
Interview: General Richard B. Myers” (October 17, 2001).
Myers, Eyes on the Horizon, 8.
Ibid., 9.
Ibid., 9.
Jim Garamone, “Former Chairman Remembers 9/11 Attacks,” American Forces Press Service, September 8, 2006.
Ibid., 37. At 9:29 AM, a “significant event” conference had begun, but it was canceled at 9:34, which “resumed at 9:37 as an air threat conference call.” (The 9/11 Commission Report added: “All times given for this conference call are estimates, which we and the Department of Defense believe to be accurate within a ±3 minute margin of error” [ibid.].)
Ibid., 34.
Richard A. Clarke, Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror (New York: Free Press, 2004), which came out and became a best-seller while the 9/11 Commission was holding public hearings.
Clarke reported that he had a brief meeting with Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice, which began after his arrival at the White House shortly after 9:03. The starting time of approximately 9:10 is further supported by Clarke’s statement that this conference had been going on for several minutes before Norman Mineta arrived, combined with Mineta’s statement that, after he arrived, he spent “four or five minutes” talking with Clarke before going down to the Presidential Emergency Operations Emergency Center, which he reached “at about 9:20 AM.” 9/11 Commission Hearing, May 23, 2003.
Clarke, Against All Enemies, p. 3.
“CAP” is the Combat Air Patrol, used as a verb.
Clarke, Against All Enemies, p. 5.
Alfred Goldberg et al., Pentagon 9/11, Defense Studies Series (Historical Office of the Secretary of Defense: Washington, D.C., 2007).
Pentagon Attack: Interview with Paul Wolfowitz” (backup), by Alfred Goldberg and Rebecca Cameron, April 19, 2002.
An FAA transcript shows that Delta 1989 was reported hijacked at 9:23 but then shortly reported as OK at 9:26.
Gen. Hugh Shelton et al., Without Hesitation, 432-33. Just before that statement by Shelton, he had written: “Until I crossed back into United States airspace, all the decisions would be Dick’s to make. …” (ibid., 432). There is no hint in these pages that Myers was not in the Pentagon.
Ibid., 433.
This meeting is mentioned in Robert Burns, “Pentagon Attack Came Minutes after Rumsfeld Predicted: ‘There Will Be Another Event,’” Associated Press, September 12, 2001.
See Consensus Point MC-7: “The Time of General Shelton’s Return to his Command.”
In June 2004, Myers said he learned that the Pentagon was hit while he was on his “way back to the Pentagon.” 9/11 Commission Hearing, June 17, 2004. In his 2009 book, Myers likewise said that he was told “the Pentagon’s just been hit” as he “raced away from Capitol Hill” (Eyes on the Horizon, 9).
At his confirmation hearing, Myers said: “I was with Senator Cleland when this [attack on the Pentagon] happened” (“General Myers Confirmation Hearing”). In an interview of October 17, 2001, Myers said that when he and Cleland came out of his office, the fact that the second tower had been hit “was obvious. Then right at that time someone said the Pentagon has been hit.” (“Interview: General Richard B. Myers,” Armed Forces Radio and Television Services, October 17, 2001).
“I was called out by Gen. Eberhart … and my executive assistant,” Myers wrote. He then immediately got into his car and rushed back to the Pentagon. “Before we even got to the 14th Street Bridge, the Pentagon was hit,” he said. “The scene coming across the bridge was the Pentagon with black smoke rolling out of it.” Jim Garamone, “Former Chairman Remembers 9/11 Attacks,” American Forces Press Service, September 8, 2006. In his 2009 book, Myers also said that the call from Eberhart came before he learned that the Pentagon had been hit (Eyes on the Horizon, 9).
In 2001, Myers said: “Sometime during that office call the second tower was hit. Nobody informed us of that. But when we came out, that was obvious. Then right at that time somebody said the Pentagon has been hit. … [S]omebody handed me a cell phone, and it was General Eberhart out at NORAD in Colorado Springs,” “Armed Forces Radio and Television Service Interview, General Richard B. Myers, October 17, 2001.
“I was called out by Gen. (Ralph) Eberhart … and my executive assistant,” he said. Myers immediately got into his car and rushed back to the Pentagon. “Before we even got to the 14th Street Bridge, the Pentagon was hit,” he said. “The scene coming across the bridge was the Pentagon with black smoke rolling out of it.” Jim Garamone, “Former Chairman Remembers 9/11 Attacks,” American Forces Press Service, September 8, 2006. In his 2009 book, Myers also said that the call from Eberhart came before he learned that the Pentagon had been hit (Eyes on the Horizon, 9).
“Sometime during that office call the second tower was hit. Nobody informed us of that. But when we came out, that was obvious. Then right at that time somebody said the Pentagon has been hit. I immediately [sic], somebody handed me a cell phone, and it was General Eberhart” (“Interview: General Richard B. Myers”).
Tom Baxter and Jim Galloway, “Max returns, with fire in his eyes,Atlanta Journal-Constitution, June 16, 2003. This talk is also available as “Max Cleland Speech,” St. Marks Episcopal Church, Raleigh NC. Although this document spelled Myers’ name “Meyers,” it otherwise appears to be an accurate transcription of a speech given by Cleland.
Interview: General Richard B. Myers,” ArmedForces Radio and Television Services, October 17, 2001.
In his 2009 book, Myers said: “He [Cleland] had started preparing a pot of tea, but we hadn’t taken a sip when a staff person came in from the outer office and informed us that the second tower had been hit. We both knew the interview was over” (Myers, Eyes on the Horizon, 8).
Baxter and Galloway, Max returns.