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"The truth, however, is all on tape."
August 2, 2006 9:51 AM   Subscribe

"The real story is actually better than the one we told." A Vanity Fair recounting of NORAD's response to the September 11 attacks, based on "30 hours of never-before-released tapes from the control room," isn't quite the same as what the Pentagon told the 9/11 Commission. Commission staffers "thought that e-mails and other evidence provided enough probable cause to believe that military and aviation officials violated the law by making false statements to Congress and to the commission."
posted by kirkaracha (126 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
John F. Lehman, a Republican commission member and former Navy secretary, said in a recent interview that he believed the panel may have been lied to but that he did not believe the evidence was sufficient to support a criminal referral.

"My view of that was that whether it was willful or just the fog of stupid bureaucracy, I don't know," Lehman said. "But in the order of magnitude of things, going after bureaucrats because they misled the commission didn't seem to make sense to me."
posted by kirkaracha at 9:52 AM on August 2, 2006


ROUNTREE: Is that real-world?
DOOLEY: Real-world hijack.
WATSON: Cool!


I would guess Watson would eventually regret ever saying that.
posted by Dr-Baa at 9:59 AM on August 2, 2006


"For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence--on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations. Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed."

"The very word 'secrecy' is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it."
President John F. Kennedy
Waldorf-Astoria Hotel
New York City, April 27, 1961
posted by Unregistered User at 10:05 AM on August 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


Money, money money... with apologies to the O'Jays
posted by Unregistered User at 10:08 AM on August 2, 2006


Nevermind that the Kennedy administration kept just as many secrets as the administrations before and after. Makes for nice rhetoric, though, I guess.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 10:11 AM on August 2, 2006


So, basically, the government just went ahead and lied to itself.

It's not even a second nature to these guys. It's their nature, period.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:11 AM on August 2, 2006


But in the order of magnitude of things, going after bureaucrats because they misled the commission didn't seem to make sense to me

I mean, baseball players are using steroids, for fuck's sake.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:12 AM on August 2, 2006


"My view of that was that whether it was willful or just the fog of stupid bureaucracy, I don't know,"

Doesn't that sound like the ultimate cop-out? Soon enough you'll be unable to get any information from government agencies, and enquiries into the causes will all result in this sort of response, which basically translates into "I know there's something wrong, but I'll be fucked if I can be bothered to find out what it is."
posted by clevershark at 10:15 AM on August 2, 2006


When I asked Nasypany about the conspiracy theories—the people who believe that he, or someone like him, secretly ordered the shootdown of United 93 and covered it up—the corners of his mouth began to quiver. Then, I think to the surprise of both of us, he suddenly put his head in his hands and cried. "Flight 93 was not shot down," he said when he finally looked up. "The individuals on that aircraft, the passengers, they actually took the aircraft down. Because of what those people did, I didn't have to do anything."

Okay, so far so good; this scenario seems plausible from the "fog of war" communication and information breakdown that apparently took place that day.

...Michael Bronner was an associate producer on the movie United 93.

So when is United 93 coming out on DVD?

Not to be cynical, but it seems an ill-formed idea to have someone who profits from 9/11 report on how the events of the day transpired.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:16 AM on August 2, 2006


Lately the real news has come from unlikely sources. Vanity Fair... Rolling Stone... These rags are reporting more truth then the supposed "real news".

It really speaks volumes about the state of big media news in this country.
posted by LoopSouth at 10:16 AM on August 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


Oh monju, "YOUR GUYS DID IT TOO!!!1" is such a fine substitute for a rational argument, and clearly justifies today's misdeeds. Nevermind the fact that your blanket statement is entirely unsupported, and really a crock of shit.

In fact, it's clear we shouldn't ever expect any level of accountability, openness, or honesty from the elected officials of our government.
posted by stenseng at 10:17 AM on August 2, 2006


Medals for everyone!
posted by TetrisKid at 10:20 AM on August 2, 2006


Oh monju, "YOUR GUYS DID IT TOO!!!1" is such a fine substitute for a rational argument, and clearly justifies today's misdeeds.

Who's guys? What are you talking about? I'm merely pointing out that Kennedy's pious genuflection to open society--particularly in that it's a response to the perceived Communist threat--is rhetoric, and no more. I'm not trying to justify anybody's misdeeds.

Nevermind the fact that your blanket statement is entirely unsupported, and really a crock of shit.

Well, it's certainly unsupported in the sense that I didn't bother to include any evidence in my comment itself, but do you really think the Kennedy administration didn't keep secrets, despite his paean to transparency?
posted by monju_bosatsu at 10:23 AM on August 2, 2006


any thoughts on how I can download those audio clips locally?

this is fascinating.
posted by I, Credulous at 10:23 AM on August 2, 2006


I would ultimately get three CDs with huge digital "wav file" recordings of the various channels in each section of the operations floor, 30-some hours of material in full, covering six and a half hours of real time.

Duh huh? Three CDs would hold less than four and a half hours of audio in .wav format. Is this Bronner guy just technignorant?
posted by Clay201 at 10:26 AM on August 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


You're trying to tell me that the 9/11 Commission was manipulated and distorted by omission? The very same "independent" commission that Kissinger was originally appointed to head? Shock of the fucking century.

Then, I think to the surprise of both of us, he suddenly put his head in his hands and cried. "Flight 93 was not shot down," he said when he finally looked up. "The individuals on that aircraft, the passengers, they actually took the aircraft down. Because of what those people did, I didn't have to do anything."

Yes, that bit of improv would certainly be surprising. Really, who cares anymore? We've got two major motion pictures under our belts, it's a codified fictional construct branded into our skulls. Might as well be true, just like Saddam having WMD's... just keep spoon feeding the bullshit and we'll devour it and ask for seconds.

...but do you really think the Kennedy administration didn't keep secrets, despite his paean to transparency?

Good thing that's not what this conversation is about. You might have been taken aback by stenseng's abrasive tone, but I'd agree with his assessment of your initial comment. What is the point of it except as a catchall of absolution? What we need right now is insight on the inverse of that scale, pointed and refined notions of information exchange.
posted by prostyle at 10:27 AM on August 2, 2006


At the risk of derailing the discussion, I'd just like to say that was a really interesting article and the links to voice recordings below the transcripts were a great use of the web.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 10:28 AM on August 2, 2006


Investing in Fascism

The reason America is not fascist is because business does not need to form an alliance with political power to maintain their wealth and privilege — because, now, they are that political power.

...the questions around the Bush family's connections to the Nazi regime are relevant today. The episode does not point to some secret ideological affinity for fascism so much as it reveals a willingness to empower them if it furthers their ends. The really interesting question raised by the "Bush-Nazi connection" is not so much a hidden skeleton in the family closet as what the episode says about American society's willingness to ignore inconvenient truths of history, and how that affects the ethos of current public policy.

Authoritarian government does not aim at converting people to its own faith; it desires only to rule them.
posted by Unregistered User at 10:28 AM on August 2, 2006


Actually the problem with America is that it believes its own PR.
posted by clevershark at 10:31 AM on August 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


Three CDs would hold less than four and a half hours of audio in .wav format.

If they were 44KHz, stereo, 16bit, and uncompressed. A cd would hold rather more than that if it were, say, 12KHz, mono, 8bit, and zipped.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:39 AM on August 2, 2006


Or he could have meant DVDs rather than CDs...
posted by vorfeed at 10:45 AM on August 2, 2006



The reason America is not fascist is because business does not need to form an alliance with political power to maintain their wealth and privilege — because, now, they are that political power.


Don't you think alarmism and hyperbole about Bush hurt The Cause more than they help it? "Business" has always been the foundation of American political power. Let's go back to 1787:
Suppose, on the other hand, that substantially all of the merchants, money lenders, security holders, manufacturers, shippers, capitalists, and financiers and their professional associates are to be found on one side in support of the Constitution and that substantially all or a major portion of the opposition came from the non-slaveholding farmers and the debtors--would it not be pretty conclusively demonstrated that our fundamental law was not the product of an abstraction known as "the whole people," but of a group of economic interests which must have expected beneficial results from its adoption? ... The data ... bear out the latter hypothesis.
(Charles Beard, An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States (New York: Macmillan, 1935), 17)
Democratic presidents (with the possible exception of FDR) have always been beholden to their business cronies to the same extent that Republicans have been. This is as true for Kennedy as it is for Clinton.
posted by nasreddin at 10:46 AM on August 2, 2006


...the questions around the Bush family's connections to the Nazi regime are relevant today.

Where the hell did that come from?

Wow, from 9/11 to the Nazis in 18 posts.
posted by Fidel Cashflow at 10:47 AM on August 2, 2006


metafilter: from 9/11 to the Nazis in 18 posts.
posted by nasreddin at 10:52 AM on August 2, 2006


Duh huh? Three CDs would hold less than four and a half hours of audio in .wav format. Is this Bronner guy just technignorant?

Well, they're probably not stereo, so you get 9 hours on three cds. Then they could be 11khz rather than 44.1 (no need for cd quality), and you get 36 hours.

Has anybody seen a link or full transcript of these tapes?
posted by AaRdVarK at 10:55 AM on August 2, 2006


Authorities suggested that U.S. air defenses had reacted quickly, that jets had been scrambled in response to the last two hijackings and that fighters were prepared to shoot down United Airlines Flight 93 if it threatened Washington.

Yeah, "prepared".
posted by interrobang at 10:57 AM on August 2, 2006


prostyle - Yes, that bit of improv would certainly be surprising. Really, who cares anymore? We've got two major motion pictures under our belts, it's a codified fictional construct branded into our skulls.

What is fictional? That the military actually shot down flight 93? What proof do you have that they did? How would it have even been feasible, given the timeline, and how long it actually takes to put fighters in the air?

Finally, why would the adminstration even lie about that? I never understood this conspiracy theory. It would be perfectly acceptable to the American public that the military shot down an airliner hijacked and heading to DC after three other airlines crashed into rather important buildings.

There's no reason to cover this up. They didn't get the fighters there in time, and they didn't get authorization to shoot until well after the fact.
posted by Pastabagel at 10:59 AM on August 2, 2006


What is the point of it except as a catchall of absolution?

But what was the point of the Kennedy quote in the first place? If Kennedy didn't live up to it (and he didn't to my mind), then it's perfectly relevant to point that out.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 11:00 AM on August 2, 2006


Pastabagel wrote, "There's no reason to cover this up. They didn't get the fighters there in time, and they didn't get authorization to shoot until well after the fact."

So you do, in fact, agree that it's a conspiracy so cunning it doesn't even need to be covered up.
posted by boo_radley at 11:03 AM on August 2, 2006


"The very word 'secrecy' is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it."

This statement isn't even true. The "founding fathers" were not opposed to secret societies. They were freemasons for crying out loud. Last time I checked that was a secret society. In the South, the establishment formed the KKK after the civil war. Boston and Philadelphia still have the meeting halls of a wide variety of secret societies from the 18th and 19th centuries.

Americans only hate the secret societies they can't get into.

Just because Kennedy says it, doesn't make it true.
posted by Pastabagel at 11:08 AM on August 2, 2006


So you do, in fact, agree that it's a conspiracy so cunning it doesn't even need to be covered up.
posted by boo_radley at 2:03 PM EST on August 2 [+] [!]


Wrong. The conspiracy is covered up. It is wrapped in a blanket of truth so many layers deep that the conspiracy would remain hidden by truth forever but for the fact that the blanket is invisible. But only to human eye.

For you see, the bees know nothing of this.
posted by Pastabagel at 11:13 AM on August 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


Cheney, Stand Down.
posted by Unregistered User at 11:21 AM on August 2, 2006


For you see, the bees know nothing of this.

Apparently the truthiness of 9/11 mythology makes anyone who questions the merest details of what happened a conspiracy nut.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:31 AM on August 2, 2006



Apparently the truthiness of 9/11 mythology makes anyone who questions the merest details of what happened a conspiracy nut.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:31 PM EST on August 2 [+] [!]


Question all you want, but at least back it up with something that supports the alternate theory.

Why does anyone even think it was shot down?
posted by Pastabagel at 11:36 AM on August 2, 2006


9/11 Commission Testimony: Norman Mineta: WMV video download (1.8 MB)
"There was a young man who came in and said to the vice president "The plane is 50 miles out" [from Washington], "The plane is 30 miles out", and when it got down to "The plane is 10 miles out" the young man also said to the vice president "Do the orders still stand?", and the vice president turned and whipped his neck around and said "Of course the orders still stand, have you heard anything to the contrary?"
posted by Unregistered User at 11:40 AM on August 2, 2006


(The fact that there was an exercise planned for the same day as the attack factors into several conspiracy theories, though the 9/11 commission dismisses this as coincidence. After plodding through dozens of hours of recordings, so do I.)

This is an absolute fluff piece which is set to pull at our heart strings and cloud our judgement with the supposed "insight" that this individual feels he is privileged to by digesting these audio tapes. What is the point of this statement (among others) in the article? If the guy isn't going in circles regurgitating the standard lines he's saying garbage like: "The real story is actually better than the one we told." As much as the Rove card is played on conspiracy theories in and of themselves I would totally throw it down here - what better way to discredit an opposing viewpoint than to admit that the original report was not completely accurate, and that "the real story is actually better"? As if we couldn't have stood for the embellishment, it was simply too much of a perfect storm of cave-dwelling goat-herders and box-cutters. Yea-huh-ok.

...what was the point of the Kennedy quote in the first place?

I'm imagining that the poster thought it had a direct resonance with the issues presented in the post, but seeing as I'm not him I can't really be sure of his motivations.

If Kennedy didn't live up to it (and he didn't to my mind), then it's perfectly relevant to point that out.

Perfectly relevant if the entire motivation is to derail any impetus the statement may carry. Look, I didn't think the Kennedy quote was particularly relevant to the conversations specifics, but the detraction was so ridiculous. It'd be like posting in a Mothers Against Drunk Driving grieving FPP that - DUH: Travelling in a motorvehicle on public roadways at speeds over 30 miles per hour is inherently dangerous, so who are you to complain about situations that may arise from these circumstances we all have come to accept? Wtf is the point? Even if you are technically accurate, it's so reductive and pointless it only serves to mitigate dialog. Nonetheless, I suppose it continues; one piece of hyperbole for another - the question is which one are you more ready and willing to digest?

PastaBagel - much like the hallucinatory mushroom thread, I am not here to educate you. You can only find your own answers, and your experiences shall guide those judgements. Think for yourself. Question authority.
posted by prostyle at 11:41 AM on August 2, 2006


A simulated excercise was scheduled on the same day-- one in which terrorists hijack a passenger plane.

One of the nearly 100 "coincidences" that occurred on or about that day.

Please. I would rather be a called "conspiracy theorist" (a term now demonized by the media- just like "liberal") than a naive ostrich who has never read a history book.
posted by wfc123 at 11:44 AM on August 2, 2006


The fact that there was an exercise planned for the same day as the attack factors into several conspiracy theories, though the 9/11 commission dismisses this as coincidence. After plodding through dozens of hours of recordings, so do I.

So did I until the 7/7 London bombing which coincided with a training drill involving multiple bombs placed on the underground. So now I'm not so sure that these attacks weren't informed by knowledge of the training drills.
posted by sonofsamiam at 11:46 AM on August 2, 2006


I know United 93 the movie rather well having seen it about 10 times for an article I wrote. The essence of what is in this article is in the movie - presumably drawn from the extracts the producers were given - and supports the authenticity of its account of the hijacking, though the scenes on the aircraft are, of course, pure speculation.

At the time I was somewhat confused by the account given in the movie, given that it was rather different from others. Looking in the 9/11 Commission Report I read with surprise the critical comments made there about the military (and their testimony) - ironic that the conspiracy folk will no doubt now reclaim parts of a report they declared a pack of lies only a short while ago.

History is random, coincidences happen, and so do cock ups.
posted by A189Nut at 11:59 AM on August 2, 2006


A simulated excercise was scheduled on the same day-- one in which terrorists hijack a passenger plane.

One of the nearly 100 "coincidences" that occurred on or about that day.

Please. I would rather be a called "conspiracy theorist" (a term now demonized by the media- just like "liberal") than a naive ostrich who has never read a history book.
posted by wfc123 at 2:44 PM EST on August 2 [+] [!]


Wow. Did you even read the article in the post? Because they mentioned that. They also mention that it's a hijacking of a plane to an island like Cuba. Which is basically entirely different than what happened.

Furthermore, do you know how frequently they do exercises at Norad? If they do 1 a week, is that really a mysterious conincidence, especially considering 9/11 fell on a Tuesday?

And prostyle - much like that thread, I will reiterate that there is a reality that exists regardless of anyone's perceptions of it. If they shot the plane down, there should be some evidence of that fact. I don't need you to educate me, thanks for being patronizing though. I'm sure these theories, like Dark Side of the Moon, make much sense on mushrooms .

And personally, I like "question everything" better. They get questioned, but so does everybody else. So far, their story holds up better than any alternate theory I've heard, at least on this particular point.

And you'll note that I did ask a question that never got answered: Why would the adminstration even lie about shooting down the plane?

That's what makes this conspiracy more ridiculous than others. There's no reason for it to exist.
posted by Pastabagel at 12:02 PM on August 2, 2006


Great read; thank you for this post, Kirkarcha.
posted by CRM114 at 12:08 PM on August 2, 2006


Why would the adminstration even lie about shooting down the plane?

Obviously (in this model) because they didn't think the people would look at it kindly. I remember my first thought that day was that it had been shot down but they wouldn't want to say anything, even if people would have understood. Also, to my jaded post-modern ears, the "let's roll" story sounded kinda trite and fake, even if it did in fact happen.

Not that I now think it was shot down, I just don't see your objection regarding the lack of motive.
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:19 PM on August 2, 2006


Great link, mostly useless comments here in the blue.
posted by b1tr0t at 12:19 PM on August 2, 2006


There were four awesome things about this post.

First, including the audio on the page -- amazing.

Second, the whole debunking of the idea that Cheney stood firm and noble in his resolve to defend America by shooting down the planes like a Tom Clancy hero president -- yeah. Is there any exploitative lie they won't tell to make themselves look better?

Third, when questioned urgently as to the correct thing to do, knowing that multiple buildings are ablaze, resources are extremely limited, and the fate of possibly thousands of people is in his hands, the controller kept doing the right thing and making the right call with the information he had. Well done sir.

Fourth, 14 airplanes defend the united states.
posted by felix at 12:23 PM on August 2, 2006


Why, there's one now.
posted by soyjoy at 12:24 PM on August 2, 2006


Why would the adminstration even lie about shooting down the plane?

Because a story about the bold Americans who instead took the plane down themselves is more rah-rah than a fighter jet shooting down a bunch of innocent people (regardless of where it was headed)?

Not to say I whether I agree or not with the idea the plane was shot down (it really isn't relevant), but the idea that passengers took it down is a much better story, and people love stories.
posted by inigo2 at 12:24 PM on August 2, 2006


(useless comment, not airplane)
posted by soyjoy at 12:25 PM on August 2, 2006


Yeah, useless comments like this one: Would new Bush military tribunals cover American reporters?

1. According to the Washington Post, "the plan, which would replace a military trial system ruled illegal by the Supreme Court in June, would also allow the secretary of defense to add crimes at will to those under the military court's jurisdiction."

lets be clear about this, it is not the republicans fault alone, by any means, as JA suggests here. I hate linking to these silly party blogs, especially, JA, but just go read this.

Another brick in the wall...
posted by Unregistered User at 12:28 PM on August 2, 2006


Makes for nice rhetoric, though, I guess

Jefferson fucked his slaves.

now go report to your British masters, quick.
posted by matteo at 12:30 PM on August 2, 2006


We all know the truth; The fourth plane was brought down by a clandestine organization inside the US government dedicated to keeping dread Cthulhu locked in his eternal prison at the center of the Pentagon. Do you fools think the shape is a coincidence! Even so, two of the rings were breached on 9/11 and the fourth plane might have finished the job and woken the Great Old One.

All hail the saviors of humanity who kept the evil one imprisoned!
posted by Justinian at 12:45 PM on August 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


Scapegoating Norad
The prevailing spin from the Washington Post article and the related Vanity Fair article is that Norad lie to the Commission simply to cover up its incompetence on 9/11.

But stop and think about it for one minute. Is it more likely that a government agency would lie to an official government commission simply to cover up incompetence? Or to hide classified information regarding 5 military war games occuring that day, and the the interference which those war games caused with FAA and Norad's normal response to hijackings?
posted by Unregistered User at 12:46 PM on August 2, 2006


One of the nearly 100 "coincidences" that occurred on or about that day.

How many coincidences happen on an average day? How many more when you sift through every little piece of data? Or are coincidences not supposed to happens on days arbitrarily declared "special" by humans? The universe couldn't care less.

Btw, I just asked Satan here in hell and he says you're going to die on April 21, 2036. Start reseeaching conspiracy theories for 4/21/36 now!
posted by the ghost of Ken Lay at 12:52 PM on August 2, 2006


I found some other interesting audio (cockpit recordings to/from Cleveland tower) from Flight 93, including the hijacker's voice.

Makes a sad song.
posted by iam2bz2p at 12:54 PM on August 2, 2006


The article itself is fascinating. The 'discrepancies' (I haven't read the commission report) are not the main focus. It's fascinating to hear even in a place like NORAD rumors flying (it was a civilian craft, a Cessna!) being thrown around just like they were across the country right after the initial incident. What surprised me was that they had fighters already heading to NYC when the plane hit. This seems to indicate that they were actually pretty well ahead of the game, but since they didn't know what the game was they were confused.
posted by delmoi at 1:02 PM on August 2, 2006



But stop and think about it for one minute. Is it more likely that a government agency would lie to an official government commission simply to cover up incompetence? Or to hide classified information regarding 5 military war games occuring that day, and the the interference which those war games caused with FAA and Norad's normal response to hijackings?


I don't understand why you assume that "the government" is a unitary body. The government is an expansive trillion-dollar bureaucracy with departments, subdepartments, committees, bureaus, and so on. Individual petty bureaucrats don't give a damn whether Bush's alleged nazi-british-jew-freemason conspiracy is exposed or not. They all want to accomplish one thing first and foremost: ensure that they can obtain career advancement or at least not lose their jobs. If a government commission concluded that responsible parties at NORAD were negligent in whatever their duty was, and that this negligence resulted in a potential PR disaster for the administration, they could kiss promotions goodbye. So they lie, because the official attitude is to create an impenetrable fog protecting the hides of the incompetent. If the Bush administration were really engaging every branch of the government in a conspiracy, they would be following a different policy; namely, killing or blackmailing every person that may have been present in the relevant sectors of NORAD on Tuesday morning. I was born in the USSR, and this ain't it.
posted by nasreddin at 1:07 PM on August 2, 2006


Why would the administration even lie about shooting down the plane?

I'm having a hard time detecting any sarcasm in your question, and that worries me.

The fact that you would even have to ask why the administration would want to offer another explanation, ANY explanation, over the government purposefully exterminating a plane full of innocent citizens through military force calls your judgement into question on this entire issue.

Note I think any administration would have wanted the same thing. Understand a good portion of the country protests when the government kills people who have been found guilty in a court of law. Weather you agree with the underlying reasoning or not, both Ruby Ridge and Waco were situations dealing with trying to bring outlaws into custody, and there was OUTRAGE.

Shooting a plane out of the freaking sky, with no "proof" (at that very moment) that it had been hijacked? What if the transponder had just, oh coincidentally, quit working at a very inopportune time? Yeah, that would have gone over with nary a comment. Are you insane? What if it had been shot down before the heroes got to call their loved ones and tell them? What if the missiles had hit before "let's roll" was ever uttered?

Why would they lie about it, indeed.
posted by Ynoxas at 1:10 PM on August 2, 2006


Do all these people still have their jobs? (i'm guessing yes)
posted by amberglow at 1:13 PM on August 2, 2006


So did I until the 7/7 London bombing which coincided with a training drill involving multiple bombs placed on the underground. So now I'm not so sure that these attacks weren't informed by knowledge of the training drills.

Oh come on. There are probably people doing training drills every single day. The 7/7 training drill in London was being done by a private company, not the government.
posted by delmoi at 1:27 PM on August 2, 2006


Do all these people still have their jobs? (i'm guessing yes)

Yeah, after a catastrophic event, it's best to replace everyone with any real-world experience with people who have no record of failure. They'll probably fail too, but in the interim you can feel a little more confident. Being 0 for 0 is way better then being 0 for 1!
posted by delmoi at 1:28 PM on August 2, 2006


Not only do they have their jobs, I suspect they were in all likelyhood promoted.
posted by Unregistered User at 1:31 PM on August 2, 2006


delmoi: I don't understand. Why is it more plausible that two attacks that coincided with drills accidently coincided with those drills than that the attacks were intended to coincide with the drills?

I'd imagine that the broad details of drills in public space are no particularly great secret.
posted by sonofsamiam at 1:34 PM on August 2, 2006


General Larry Arnold retired in 2002. He speaks about 9/11
posted by A189Nut at 1:37 PM on August 2, 2006


Through the heat of the attack the wheels of what were, perhaps, some of the more modern pieces of equipment in the room—four Dictaphone multi-channel reel-to-reel tape recorders mounted on a rack in a corner of the operations floor—spun impassively, recording every radio channel, with time stamps.

the recordings are from multiple radio signals, hence the 30 hours of recordings for the 4.5 hours of real time.
posted by lescour at 1:43 PM on August 2, 2006


There are probably people doing training drills every single day.

Does anybody know whether this is the case? What is the frequency of this type of drill?
posted by spacewaitress at 1:51 PM on August 2, 2006


delmoi: I don't understand. Why is it more plausible that two attacks that coincided with drills accidentally coincided with those drills than that the attacks were intended to coincide with the drills?

In order for two events to intentionally coincide, the people responsible for the events need to have shared information. Are you saying you believe someone at NORAD informed Al-Qaeda of the of their schedule, and that the two were in cahoots? If NORAD does a drill once a week then the probability that the two would fall on the same day would be 1/5 (assuming they do drills on weekdays), or about 20%.

Are you saying that there's a greater then 20% chance in your mind that that Al-Qaeda and NORAD were working together to plan the attacks?

And I mean, the fact that it was a drill only seemed to slow them down for a maybe a minute or two, based on the audio recordings.

As far as the 7/7 things, the people doing the training drill were not in any way connected with the US government, NORAD or even the British government. It was just a private company doing a private drill. They had no responsibility to actually do anything about an attack, as far as I know. And the people who did the train bombings weren’t related to people who planned 9/11 in anything beyond a general admiration. So now you're saying there was a connection between all four? In order for the second coincidence to be evidence of the first coincidence not being a coincidence you have to believe there's some conspiracy involving the 19 hijackers, the NORAD command, some private company in England and four dumbass teenagers in the UK. I find that pretty hard to believe.

If there was a conspiracy between the UK teens and the UK private company, what would be the point? It wouldn't have helped the UK teens since the private company wasn't in the business of trying to stop terrorist attacks, only respond to them in order to protect their business.
posted by delmoi at 2:07 PM on August 2, 2006


Okay you're just saying the drills are public knowledge that Al-Qaeda just picked up. While I doubt they're classified I still don't think it was intended to coincide. From what I heard the attack was meant for 9/18, which would have been Passover, but that Mohammed Atta moved it forward one week because of that one guy getting arrested. One week because the airline schedules would be the same.
posted by delmoi at 2:10 PM on August 2, 2006


I'm scared now. There's no doubt a drill going on in NYC right this second. I wish I they'd stop.

Actually I heard The Governenment is doing a drill about terrorists causing heat waves. And you know what? It's a blazing 100 degrees today.

Coincidence?
posted by yeti at 2:15 PM on August 2, 2006


Do all these people still have their jobs? (i'm guessing yes)

Who are "all these people" you're referring to? If you read (TF) article, you know that it's actually extremely complimentary of the performance of the folks on site in NEADS that day.

If you're referring to the three individuals who testified to Congress, if you read (TF) article, you know that two of them, Major General Arnold and Colonel Scott, were already retired at the time they testified. Major General McKinley was apparently still in active service, but it's not clear what his testimony was.
posted by pardonyou? at 2:21 PM on August 2, 2006


That the military actually shot down flight 93? What proof do you have that they did? How would it have even been feasible, given the timeline, and how long it actually takes to put fighters in the air?

And the official story is what again?
posted by rough ashlar at 2:26 PM on August 2, 2006


The portrayal of efficient execution by the military in this article is BS.
to me, below is the worst part: (from the very article)

According to the 9/11 commission, the Langley pilots were never briefed by anyone at their base about why they were being scrambled, so, despite having been given the order from NEADS to fly to Washington, the pilots ended up following their normal training flight plan out to sea—a flight plan dating from the Cold War. As one pilot later told the commission, "I reverted to the Russian threat—I'm thinking cruise-missile threat from the sea."

posted by uni verse at 2:27 PM on August 2, 2006


Okay you're just saying the drills are public knowledge that Al-Qaeda just picked up.

And it only took you 4-5 paragraphs of debunking to realize it :P
posted by sonofsamiam at 2:28 PM on August 2, 2006


Not only do they have their jobs, I suspect they were in all likelyhood promoted.

Why hop on google and find out, when wild speculation is so much easier...
posted by Fidel Cashflow at 2:30 PM on August 2, 2006


Why does anyone even think it was shot down?

I surmise we will never know what happened, because:

• There isn't a coherent, non-mythological version of events from the people and organizations involved

• The full, unedited aircraft black box transcript has been kept secret from the public

• Debris from the crash site was spread over an eight-mile path, which calls into question the version of events suggesting that the plane simply dove into the ground

Personally, if I was the President, I would have shot it down for the greater good, and I suspect that, in the end, the public would agree with that choice in the context of the larger attack taking place.

I don't know why there has been so much official secrecy around this part of 9/11, but — whatever happened — it has to be said that the government's mistrust of the public on this issue and throughout the 9/11 Commission has not helped us reach an objective, coherent interpretation of events.

If there are conspiracies, they exist only to the extent that this administration and its cabinet officials have gone out of there way to be unhelpful.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:31 PM on August 2, 2006


Why does anyone even think it was shot down?
posted by Pastabagel at 11:36 AM PST on August 2

http://www.flight93crash.com/
http://www.flight93crash.com/flight93_secondary_debris_field.html
And that was from a simple Google Search.

Care to explain how the claims made there are incorrect?
posted by rough ashlar at 2:31 PM on August 2, 2006


Care to explain how the claims made there are incorrect?

"Homer: Not a bear in sight. The "Bear Patrol" is working like a charm!
Lisa: That's specious reasoning, Dad.
Homer: Thanks, honey.
Lisa: By your logic, I could claim that this rock keeps tigers away.
Homer: Hmm. How does it work?
Lisa: It doesn't work; it's just a stupid rock!
Homer: Uh-huh.
Lisa: But I don't see any tigers around, do you?
Homer: (pause) Lisa, I want to buy your rock."

Prove my rock doesn't keep tigers away!
posted by Fidel Cashflow at 2:38 PM on August 2, 2006


And you'll note that I did ask a question that never got answered: Why would the adminstration even lie about shooting down the plane?

That's what makes this conspiracy more ridiculous than others. There's no reason for it to exist.
posted by Pastabagel at 12:02 PM PST on August 2


So you want the people of the Blue to explain the motivations of the Bush Administration?

Tell ya what, I've asked you to provide debunking of the www.flight93crash.com I found. When you've explained the debris field and eyewitness reports of the day and how a group of people inside the plane can create such a debris field, I'm sure you'll have have your explaination.
posted by rough ashlar at 2:38 PM on August 2, 2006


s/there/their
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:40 PM on August 2, 2006


Care to explain how the claims made there are incorrect?

"Homer: Not a bear in sight. The "Bear Patrol" is working like a charm!
Lisa: That's specious reasoning, Dad.
Homer: Thanks, honey.
Lisa: By your logic, I could claim that this rock keeps tigers away.
Homer: Hmm. How does it work?
Lisa: It doesn't work; it's just a stupid rock!
Homer: Uh-huh.
Lisa: But I don't see any tigers around, do you?
Homer: (pause) Lisa, I want to buy your rock."

Prove my rock doesn't keep tigers away!
posted by Fidel Cashflow at 2:38 PM PST


Wow. Is THAT the best you have to offer?
posted by rough ashlar at 2:41 PM on August 2, 2006


There are probably people doing training drills every single day.

Does anybody know whether this is the case? What is the frequency of this type of drill?
posted by spacewaitress at 1:51 PM PST on August 2


That is what's interesting. From what I've seen no one on the 'the 9/11 report is true' publishes that info, and no one on the 'the 9/11 report is false' has that info either.

Perhaps someone here will have a link to the various training efforts/frequencies.
posted by rough ashlar at 2:45 PM on August 2, 2006


Wow. Is THAT the best you have to offer?

I'm not here to argue with you. You pull this "prove my crazy conspiracy theory wrong" shit all the time, so it's not worth the effort. I remember reading some ass-backwards argument a while back where you wanted someone to prove to you that Titan Systems wasn't in charge of a 5.5 billion dollar drug smuggling ring, *sigh*, operating at the behest of President Bush. Logic and reason with you are out - I'm just here to make fun of you.

The idea that I, or anyone else, must disprove something for it to be false, rather than prove something to be true is, uh, incredibly stupid.

Like, trans-stupid stupid - it's not the way logic works.
posted by Fidel Cashflow at 2:51 PM on August 2, 2006


As far as the 7/7 things, the people doing the training drill were not in any way connected with the US government, NORAD or even the British government. It was just a private company doing a private drill. They had no responsibility to actually do anything about an attack, as far as I know.

Not exactly. The managing director for the company used to work for Scottland Yard in the anti-terrorism unit. He was interviewed by BBC Radio 5:
POWER: At half past nine this morning we were actually running an exercise for a company of over a thousand people in London based on simultaneous bombs going off precisely at the railway stations where it happened this morning, so I still have the hairs on the back of my neck standing up right now.
Helluva coincidence. Visor is a crisis management company. They were doing a drill for a situation that was very close to what actually happened.
posted by ryoshu at 2:56 PM on August 2, 2006


I'm not here to argue with you..... I'm just here to make fun of you. posted by Fidel Cashflow at 2:51 PM PST on August 2

Good to see you are working on "note: Help maintain a healthy, respectful discussion by focusing comments on the
issues, topics, and facts at hand -- not at other members of the site."

The original question was "
Why does anyone even think it was shot down?
posted by Pastabagel at 11:36 AM PST " I provided a site that makes an argument FOR a shoot-down.

If the web site is wrong, then either you or pastabagel (or whomever) should be able to show where the web site is wrong.

Instead, you offer up Simpson quotes. *yawn*

So go ahead. Show that your life on the Blue is not a waste and explain what is wrong about the debris field reporting.


Speaking of truth on tape:
by Matthew L. Wald,
The New York Times

May 6, 2004

WASHINGTON, May 6 -- At least six air traffic controllers who dealt with two of the hijacked airliners on Sept. 11, 2001, made a tape recording that same day describing the events, but the tape was destroyed by a supervisor without anyone making a transcript or even listening to it, the Transportation Department said in a report today.

posted by rough ashlar at 3:02 PM on August 2, 2006


Good to see you are working on "note: Help maintain a healthy, respectful discussion by focusing comments on the
issues, topics, and facts at hand -- not at other members of the site."


Act like a clown, expect to get laughed at.
posted by Fidel Cashflow at 3:06 PM on August 2, 2006


Act like a clown, expect to get laughed at.
posted by Fidel Cashflow at 3:06 PM PST


Instead of showing where the message of the debris field and witnesses is wrong, you go after the messenger to where the message is.
posted by rough ashlar at 3:10 PM on August 2, 2006


So, basically, the government just went ahead and lied to itself.

It's not even a second nature to these guys. It's their nature, period.


To believe that the government "lied to itself" would be to miss the point entirely, and give the liars one hell of a big break.

The government lied to us.

The Pentagon did not mislead Congress by accident, and Congress had a good idea they were being misled. But both Congress (especially the Republican toadies on the Commission) and Bush (who was ultimately giving orders to, and is responsible for, the Pentagon) had no real interest in the "truth." They knew the people wanted an investigation into 9/11. Their job was to make sure the investigation panned out in a politically expedient way for them. In short: make sure nothing really damaging to Bush or Republicans came out there (at least, not something that couldn't be sent into oblivion by the Republican Noise Machine. The 9/11 report is incredibly damaging to Republicans, and the Federal government in general, but there was nothing so salacious that they could not use their considerable propaganda machine to convince John Q. Conservative that the 9/11 report actually bolstered the Bush and Republican job in that event. Hello, 1984. Up is down.).

And that's exactly what happened. The Pentagon lied to the Commission because (a) they're better at lying and subterfuge: it's part of their job, and (b) it gave the Congress critters that were lied to plausible deniability about their (very real) role in whitewashing the whole 9/11 investigation.

That quote by Lehman is self-serving bullshit. In the last couple of years, more than 60% of Americans are unhappy with the direction the country is taking, and lots of folks are now wise to the fact that Republicans have been a pack of liars for years now. Lehman wants to tap into that a bit by giving lip service to outing corruption and lies, while at the same time doing absolutely nothing about it the lies he was told (lies which he probably knew as such the day they were told to him).

The hope is that a vague, nebulous term like "the Pentagon" can be used as a scapegoat. As if said lies were not directed from the very highest levels, or the Pentagon is not composed of real people (people who should be going to jail for lying to Congress).

The current government is the most corrupt and dishonest in American history, and that's saying something. Bush and crew figured out really quick that 9/11 was an opportunity to save his foundering presidency, and get some distasteful Republican shit going that otherwise the public would not go for. They began rewriting history almost immediately after the event happened, to make sure that they were only seen as heros, and that no real problems were addressed. That way, 9/11 could remain the powerful tool that has, to this day, kept their filthy asses in office.

Unfortunately, bringing things like this up gets me labeled as an angry Bush-hater with no rationality. And you should understand that I'm not trying to say Republicans are all bad, or that Democrats would have somehow been perfect or have zero culpability. I'm not. But the fact is, no matter what the Democrat's faults, it is Republicans that have been in control since 2000, and they have been some of the most corrupt and inept leaders this country has ever seen.

It'd be nice if we could start to accept that fact, regardless of party affiliation. The crooks in charge aren't good for anybody, Republican or Democrat, American or Iraqi.

The bipartisan "they all suck game" is a complete cop out. People have responsibility for what they do. Republicans included. And if American government sucks, Americans suck, because we are the American government.
posted by teece at 3:12 PM on August 2, 2006


I dunno. Seems to boil down to either incompetancy or a conspiracy. And at some levels bit of both ("How good would it have looked for the government in general if we still couldn't have stopped the fourth plane an hour and 35 minutes into the attack?”) and there are differing even competing conspiracy theories.
Either way, politically very little responsibility was taken and there was massive capitalization on the event. Which is what is probably leading to all the ambiguity in public information (a nice way of saying we’re not getting a straight fucking answer) and giving rise to all of this speculation (above what we might normally see from actual tinfoil hat wearing folks).

“Think we put the exercise on the hold. What do you think? [Laughter.]” struck me. Certainly theater exercises are more complex than just a field exercise, but there are protocols for real world events. A Navy jet shot down an Air Force jet in a major exercise involving aircraft carriers, ground forces, etc. etc. because the Navy fighter had a live missile. The exercise was halted, rescue ops started to get the Air Force pilot out of the water, etc. It doesn’t sound like these things can turn on a dime, but they can. Not, of course, that they always will.
Just one more of them ‘coincidences’ I guess. I don’t necessarially believe any conspiracy. But it is certainly odd.
(There’s no percentage if it’s ever uncovered. I mean what are you going to say? “AHA! I told you we were all completely fucked and the trilateralists were selling us as food to aliens! Ha ha ha! Uh...oh. Crap.)
I agree with the Kennedy quote. We gotta have the truth and it really doesn’t matter whether there’s a conspiracy blocking it or some guys playing ‘cover our ass’.
(And who gives a fuck whether the founding fathers loved secret societies or whatnot - it’s my world now)
posted by Smedleyman at 3:14 PM on August 2, 2006


An 8 mile debris field - can we speculate that the plane broke up before impact? It certainly was beyond normal stress limits.

That seems more plausible than an unknown fighter plane firing an unknown missile on unknown authority.

I will read the other stuff with interest.
posted by A189Nut at 3:14 PM on August 2, 2006


all the ambiguity in public information (a nice way of saying we’re not getting a straight fucking answer) and giving rise to all of this speculation.....We gotta have the truth

If one doesn't want to see 'conspiracy threories' the only way is to have the truth, so that there is no place for the 'conspiracy threories' to take hold.

Instead you have "the other side lies" and "you are a clown" as responses. Why not join the grown ups and ask for the truth?
posted by rough ashlar at 3:21 PM on August 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


An 8 mile debris field - can we speculate that the plane broke up before impact?

Either the large debris field was known to the people who were questioning a 'shoot down' version or it was not.

If the data was known and rejected, I'd like to hear their reason why they rejected the claims of a 8 mile debris path. If it was unknown and after examination they reject it, I'd like to know why also.

Instead, you get "it doesn't make sense" or Simpson quotes.
posted by rough ashlar at 3:26 PM on August 2, 2006


According to the Vanity Fair article, "United 93 had crashed before anyone in the military chain of command even knew it had been hijacked."

Salon's "Ask the Pilot" on the Flight 93 wreckage:
The damage caused by Flight 93 in Shanksville was more extensive than many Web sites portray, and the lack of sizable pieces is fully consistent with an aircraft striking the ground at a tremendous rate of speed (over 500 miles per hour). According to the black boxes, the skyjackers put the 757 into a near vertical dive at maximum power. Similar to the case of American 77, this sets up a crash dynamic entirely different...from that of the vast majority of airplane accidents.
...
Many remnants of the 757, including an engine, were discovered at considerable distances from the main impact zone, fueling speculation that the jet was fired on by one or more U.S. military fighters, causing it to burst apart in midair.
...
Reality: High-energy impacts can eject fragments over startlingly long distances. It's also quite probable that the violent, high-speed maneuvers induced by the skyjackers caused one or both of the plane's engines to detach and/or partial breakup of the main structure. Comparatively benign plummets of aircraft in the past have resulted in the separation of engines, control surfaces and even entire wings. Debris can be carried aloft for many miles by the wind. And had Flight 93 been blown up with a missile, destruction of the airframe would not have been as complete, with portions falling to earth at a lower, less disintegrative velocity.
From a three-page commentary on conspiracy theories.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:38 PM on August 2, 2006


“if one doesn't want to see 'conspiracy threories' the only way is to have the truth...Why not join the grown ups and ask for the truth?”-posted by rough ashlar

Why not notice that’s exactly what I was positing?
Or go fuck yourself?
Both viable options.


/I like the gallows humor. Right after the missile went right up the ass of the b1rd and the parachute blossomed one all the navy and air force officers were quiet and the of the mag colonels said “navy one...air force zero” broke us all up.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:39 PM on August 2, 2006


One can formulate as many theories as one wants and may come up to any conclusion : that may lead to some significant result or to a bunch of useless plausible theories.

BUT formulating theories have other effects, such as distracting attention from the glaringly obvious questions like : why did we spent trilllion and trrillion and billions and zillion of taxpayers money into defence contracts to private industry, if we can't stop a bunch of guys with package oweners from blowing up two skyscrapers ?

This question opens the _possibility_ of asking oneself: maybe if we spent that money differently, it may have worked. Maybe if we didn't spend
ONLY or PRIMARILY in weapons, we may actually be safer now.

Yet this goes in contracts with the notion: we need better, bigger, faster weapons to scare our enemy shitless ! Which industries don't like at all, as it was completely proved that having the world biggest nuclear arsenal doesn't make _everybody_ safer, no matter how expensive or updated it is ; the proof is two collapsed towers.
posted by elpapacito at 5:38 PM on August 2, 2006


Three collapsed towers.
posted by FYKshun at 6:14 PM on August 2, 2006


Re: Perhaps someone here will have a link to the various training efforts/frequencies

Here: False Flag News
posted by augustweed at 6:14 PM on August 2, 2006


Okay, I just looked at this thread for the first time in hours. Onthe subject of why most Americans would expect and accept their governement to shoot down a hijacked civilian aircraft, let me submit my anecdotal info from that day.

I'm in an office building lobby four blocks from the white house. A TV is on mute and a local DC news radio station is on. The streets are jammed with traffic at a standstill. About 45 people are in the lobby. The Pentagon is burning and the towers have collapsed. Everyone pretty much assumes it's the end of the fucking world.

The guy on the radio reports (incorrectly as it turned out because 93 was already down by this time) that another hijacked flight is headed toward DC.

At least a dozen people in the crowd said, almost in unison, "shoot it down". People are walking around the corner to stare at the white house. As the minutes progress, other join the chorus "jesus, just shooting the plane down already..." Finally some reporter from ABC calls in to the radio station and reports the info is wrong. As the day progresses we get reports about nuclear silos on standby, etc.

The fact that you would even have to ask why the administration would want to offer another explanation, ANY explanation, over the government purposefully exterminating a plane full of innocent citizens through military force calls your judgement into question on this entire issue.

Sorry, but this is appalingly disingenuous. The issue is not shooting down a plane full of civilians, the issue is shooting down a hijacked plane full of civilians who are going to die very soon anyway, possibly in the destruction of the White House or Capitol. Once you have a reasonable belief (not proof, because you are never going to get proof in the 3 minutes you have to make the decision) that the plane is hijacked, you assume the people are already dead. Now its about protecting the people on the ground in the buildings, etc.

Average people would have no problem with this. It's not even a difficult moral dilemma. Don't assume away the part of the problem that makes the solution easy.
posted by Pastabagel at 6:57 PM on August 2, 2006


And about that flight93crash.com site, refuting that is easy:

1) We had somewhere between 30 and 55 minutes after Flight 93 was "suspect" to intercept it. The current official story is that 3 F-16 fighters had been scrambled at 9:24AM and were airborne over Washington D.C. by 9:40AM. AWACS and a Tanker were scrambled also. These pilots saw the Pentagon on fire, the President had OK'd a shootdown, the Secret Service had advised the pilots to protect the White House at all costs, and Flight 93 was the only aircraft off course - heading toward D.C. - with it's transponder off. Flight 93 crashed at 10:06AM only 125 miles from D.C. (10 minutes away at 750mph for an F-16) and 3 nuclear power plants were in between Flight 93 and D.C. Fighter pilots have weighed in and told me likely speeds might be 600+ for the F-16's and 300+ for the 757 converging at 1000 mph.

We know that this version of events isn't even correct. The president never ok'd a shootdown. He granted Norad commanders teh authority to order a shootdown, but there is no evidence that they did and a great deal of evidence that they did not.

Now of course it's possible that the tapes are fabricated and everyone is lying but there is no proof. A bunch of speculation about a debris field proves nothing. Maybe the hijackers did have a bomb and they detonated it. That would explain the plane exploding in mid air, and everything else. In other words, the "evidence" offered on that site does not lead you to conclude that planes shot it down, only that the planes exploded before they hit the ground.

As a general note, comments like this:

lane was OBLITERATED. Very small debris was spread over a couple hundred yards. This is exactly what you'd expect to see when an Airliner impacts nearly vertically as Flight 93 did. Nothing survived this impact... yet a 1000lb fan was found elsewhere.

that attempt to tell the reader how extermely sophisticated structres are going to behave under catastrophic stress are always bullshit. Absolutely always. There is no computer simulation to date taht can predict this with any accuracy. There are literally too many variables. You hear these comments about the towers collapsing too, that such and such steel wouldn't melt from heat, blah blah blah. Armchair engineering.

It is beyond impossible to predict how a plane will break up on a crash, and it is equally impossible to reconstruct how a plane hit based on a crash site. This isn't skid marks in the pavement. That's why data recorders record data. They will tell you how fast the plane was going, which direction, what the status of control surfaces were etc.

But we don't have the black box it's classifed etc.

True. Which means no one is in a position to conclude anything about how the plane hit the ground, becasue we don't know. So absent the debris field hocus pocus, what do you have? Eyewitness accounts? Great.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:20 PM on August 2, 2006


We know that this version of events isn't even correct. The president never ok'd a shootdown. He granted Norad commanders teh authority to order a shootdown, but there is no evidence that they did and a great deal of evidence that they did not.
Uh, how is "[granting] the authority to order a shootdown" at all different from OKing a shootdown? In fact, that sounds like the process I would expect to take place.

I'm not going to argue with you further because you're going to believe what you will and there's no conclusive evidence either way. But still, aim for coherency in your arguments.
posted by polyhedron at 8:59 PM on August 2, 2006


Re: Medals for everyone!

Except for YOU Mutley!!!!
posted by augustweed at 8:59 PM on August 2, 2006


Uh, how is "[granting] the authority to order a shootdown" at all different from OKing a shootdown?

They are different. In the former case, you are giving someone else the authority to order whatever planes to be shotdown that they see fit. In the latter, there is a particular plane that the person is requesting permission to shoot down. If another plane needs to be shot down, permission needs to be sought again.
posted by Pastabagel at 9:04 PM on August 2, 2006


The issue is not shooting down a plane full of civilians, the issue is shooting down a hijacked plane full of civilians who are going to die very soon anyway, possibly in the destruction of the White House or Capitol

I do not know the timelines on any intimate level, but are you sure that when 93 hit the ground, I'm talking about that moment, not the woven stories days afterwards, in that moment was there enough evidence to say that 93 was hijacked?

Had 93 informed the tower it was hijacked? Of course later we were told it was hijacked, but in that instant, when there was absolute chaos on a scale not experienced in at least a generation, was it indisputable it was hijacked?

Yes, an hour later, the morning looked much different, hence the people you saw saying "shoot it down". Also, in the heat of the moment, I think they may not have fully comprehended their knee-jerk responses condemning hundreds of innocent citizens to death.

But I think it was a lot more ambiguous than you are claiming when it actually happened. Very few people knew anything when it was actually happening. What if it had been a pilot who panicked and headed for an airport that wasn't the closest. He's off his flight path, so with no other proof you shoot 'em down?

And again, the government would prefer ANY story to having to tell the public they were forced to shoot down a plane full of civilians.

(Note: I do not think 93 was shot down.)
posted by Ynoxas at 10:05 PM on August 2, 2006


I also do not think 93 was shot down, but I can't believe no one has answered the "why the government would lie about it" question with the most obvious answer...money.

If the government shot down a civillian aircraft, filled with dads and grandmas and pilots and babies, then they would have been sued by every wife and grandchild and daughter and father.
posted by nadawi at 11:33 PM on August 2, 2006


BUT formulating theories have other effects, such as distracting attention from the glaringly obvious questions like : why did we spent trilllion and trrillion and billions and zillion of taxpayers money into defence contracts to private industry, if we can't stop a bunch of guys with package oweners from blowing up two skyscrapers ?

posted by elpapacito at 5:38 PM PST


*Clap* *clap*


You forgot the part about how the military managed to loose 2.1 (2.3?) Trillion in accounting. Remember Sept 10th when this was announced to the public?
A comment on the Sept 10th issue
posted by rough ashlar at 1:29 AM on August 3, 2006


So absent the debris field hocus pocus, what do you have? Eyewitness accounts? Great.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:20 PM PST


So you dismiss the eyewitness statements. And the eyewitness statements about what debris was seen, like human-remain bits.

That fine. Thank you for explaining your reason(s).

This bit also helps explain your reasoning.

I'm in an office building lobby four blocks from the white house.



In the interest of dialogue - can you provide some answers to what Elpapacito has said?
posted by rough ashlar at 2:02 AM on August 3, 2006


Pastabagel, you assert that 'OKing' a shootdown refers to authorizing a specific event but do not contest that 'granting the authority to shootdown' gives the chain of command the go ahead to shoot down any planes they feel are necessary. One is a subset of the other.

In fact, in its original context the phrase isn't accurately described by your definition:

These pilots saw the Pentagon on fire, the President had OK'd a shootdown, the Secret Service had advised the pilots to protect the White House at all costs, and Flight 93 was the only aircraft off course - heading toward D.C. - with it's transponder off.

This passage does not claim that the President specifically authorized anyone to specifically shoot down flight 93. Yet you took issue with it, stating "the President never ok'd a shootdown." Except that the President, by your own admission in the following sentence, did grant the authority to shoot down a plane to whichever commanding officers were in the position to make the call. Which is, as far as I can tell, the claim made in the original statement.

You are wrong, in spite of your attempt to redefine the original statement.
posted by polyhedron at 2:07 AM on August 3, 2006


Oh, I was just going to post this. I missed it.

Amazing, amazing stuff.
posted by blacklite at 2:09 AM on August 3, 2006


This thread, though, I don't know.
posted by blacklite at 2:26 AM on August 3, 2006


This thread, though, I don't know.
posted by blacklite at 2:26 AM PST


The thread is as amazing as one makes it. So feel free to make it amazing.
posted by rough ashlar at 3:32 AM on August 3, 2006


Some people see conspiracies in their breakfast cereal.
posted by moonbiter at 3:38 AM on August 3, 2006


Some people see conspiracies in their breakfast cereal.
posted by moonbiter at 3:38 AM


High fructose corn syrup

Or perhaps you don't like the Gerneral and his Mills

Millett gruel

There ya go. Enjoy!
posted by rough ashlar at 4:48 AM on August 3, 2006


Hahahaha, you actually used Cure Zone as a source for anything? That's worse than just quoting Wikipedia.
posted by darukaru at 7:40 AM on August 3, 2006


"Yeah, after a catastrophic event, it's best to replace everyone with any real-world experience with people who have no record of failure. They'll probably fail too, but in the interim you can feel a little more confident.

Okay.

You take your car to a mechanic.

He fucks it up. Your family is killed as a result.

Now - are you more confident to take your car to him next time, now that he has this "real world experience."

Happy trails....
posted by rougy at 8:03 AM on August 3, 2006


Hahahaha, you actually used Cure Zone as a source for anything? That's worse than just quoting Wikipedia.
posted by darukaru at 7:40 AM PST


It was the 1st hit on the B17/Laetril is a vitamin claim. (Which some people claim its a big conspiracy to keep B17 off the market) Millet was the only breakfast food I could think of with some kind of claim which is counter to normal health advice - don't eat arsenic.
posted by rough ashlar at 8:09 AM on August 3, 2006


Some people see conspiracies in their breakfast cereal.

New poll: ... Thirty-six percent of respondents overall said it is "very likely" or "somewhat likely" that federal officials either participated in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon or took no action to stop them "because they wanted the United States to go to war in the Middle East."
"One out of three sounds high, but that may very well be right," said Lee Hamilton, former vice chairman of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (also called the 9/11 Commission). His congressionally appointed investigation concluded that federal officials bungled their attempts to prevent, but did not participate in, the attacks by al-Qaida five years ago. ...

posted by amberglow at 11:05 AM on August 3, 2006


"Yeah, after a catastrophic event, it's best to replace everyone ..."

"You take your car to a mechanic."

I don't really have any decided opinion on what should be done, if anything, to the people who were in the trenches (so to speak) on 9/11/01, but this is a totally false comparison.
Number of times a domestic military defense force has had to face civilian aircraft turned into hideous missiles: once.
Number of times a mechanic gets to fuck with a car: lots.

The key is in the last sentence of delmoi's comment: "Being 0 for 0 is way better then being 0 for 1!" Seriously, would you rather have people staffing NORAD who have never seen anything bad happen on their shift? I wouldn't.

Disregarding whatever editorializing is present in the article we're discussing here, you can hear it in their voices — these people were trying to do whatever they could, with four planes to defend the entire northeastern united states, multiple untrackable threats, and totally useless out-of-date systems. There is not one person whose voice I heard who I would place any bit of blame on.

When things fuck up in this kind of situation, you find out what went wrong, you reorganize, you plan, and you train for next time. You don't fire everyone.
posted by blacklite at 11:59 AM on August 3, 2006



When things fuck up in this kind of situation, you find out what went wrong, you reorganize, you plan, and you train for next time.


So where's the reorganization, what's the plan, and where's the new training? Is the plan to instantly shoot planes down, even with us onboard? Is it to let them hit whatever they want? What's the plan? Why is it still possible to bypass airline security? ...
posted by amberglow at 12:04 PM on August 3, 2006


"So where's the reorganization, what's the plan, and where's the new training?"

Bada bing
posted by Smedleyman at 10:38 AM on August 4, 2006


The DOD inspector general's office said the military didn't lie, and the "initial inaccurate accounts could be attributed largely to poor record-keeping." The inspector general's report is dated May 27, 2005, but wasn't publicly released until last Friday. "The question of whether military commanders intentionally withheld the truth from the commission would be addressed in a separate report that is still in preparation." Just like the Phase 2 report!

The Next Hurrah has more details.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:13 AM on August 6, 2006


"So where's the reorganization, what's the plan, and where's the new training? "

I don't know. But why assume it doesn't exist? I'd bet you $100 it does exist. I'm nearly positive that all the agencies involved are perfectly prepared today to respond to 9-11. Not that it's very relevant anymore. The military is always prepared to fight the previous war.

And the article, which isn't on the topic of agency reorganization and tactics and strategy, does mention that NEADS today has state-of-the-art equipment to replace the out-of-date crap they had on 9-11.

BTW, your comment doesn't make this clear, but I'm interested to know: do you believe that 9-11 was a conspiracy by portions of the US government engineered to provide a rationale for the Iraq war?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:57 PM on August 6, 2006


But why assume it doesn't exist? I'd bet you $100 it does exist.



A check will be fine.
posted by prostyle at 6:21 AM on August 7, 2006


That's a little sparse for evidence, prostyle. That's a photo of the roof of NEADS during a subsequent, similar terrorist attack? If so, please email me your address and I'll be sending the check shortly.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:39 AM on August 7, 2006


That's a photo of the roof of NEADS during a subsequent, similar terrorist attack?

No, amazingly enough it's a photo of victims of a forecasted natural disaster who are pleading for help and support during a time of crisis and need. When our own government can't even save us from standing water, statements like "I'm nearly positive that all the agencies involved are perfectly prepared today to respond to 9-11" ring entirely hollow.
posted by prostyle at 8:51 AM on August 7, 2006


prostyle - you might want to work on your reading comprehension. EB was snarkily clear that the relevant agenices are prepared to respond to a 9/11 like event:

I'm nearly positive that all the agencies involved are perfectly prepared today to respond to 9-11. Not that it's very relevant anymore. The military is always prepared to fight the previous war.

They are probably prepared to respond to Katrina, now that it has already happened. The tricky part is setting up a government agency that is able to respond to a new kind of threat that hasn't happened yet.
posted by b1tr0t at 12:30 PM on August 7, 2006


EB was snarkily clear that the relevant agencies are prepared to respond to a 9/11 like event

Huh? Didn't sound like snark to me, and the "bet" was a loaded proposition. If I read it wrong, I apologize, however; considering his response to my inlined image I really doubt it was snark alluding to the lack of preparedness on behalf of the agencies.

They are probably prepared to respond to Katrina, now that it has already happened.

Sorry, I won't buy that for a minute. It wasn't a question of preparedness, it was a question of initiative and direction. We had none at the highest levels of our government, and that wasn't due to omission of information - about the levees, about the strength and path of the storm, about the abilities and timeframes for the deployment of aid. Anyway, you can split hairs left and right about what constitutes an appropriate reaction to a national crisis. What I feel is disingenuous is to compartmentalize these instances as if that distinction really matters, when it comes down to those who are suffering and will remain impacted by these events I see that as being incredibly myopic pedantry.

The tricky part is setting up a government agency that is able to respond to a new kind of threat that hasn't happened yet.

That's a convenient retcon of the agencies and institutions that were created and specifically driven to address these types of threats. This comment reminds me of a quote from the Oliver Stone WTC Trailer: We prepared for everything, but not this, not for something this size. It's antithetical, it's pointless and it's derivative. I choose to not view this piece of history through that lens, among others.
posted by prostyle at 1:05 PM on August 7, 2006


Anyway, you can split hairs left and right about what constitutes an appropriate reaction to a national crisis. What I feel is disingenuous is to compartmentalize these instances as if that distinction really matters, when it comes down to those who are suffering and will remain impacted by these events I see that as being incredibly myopic pedantry.

If you are unwilling to analyze a failure and determine how to fix it, you should shut up, take your self-righteous attitude with you, and go away. You can't simply ask for magic ponys from the government and expect them to be delivered on time. You really have to develop a detailed, step-by-step, plan that can be executed by the relevant agencies. Laughing at people who are trying to figure out where the lines should be drawn makes you part of the problem rather than part of the solution.
posted by b1tr0t at 8:32 PM on August 7, 2006


When I said: "When things fuck up in this kind of situation, you find out what went wrong, you reorganize, you plan, and you train for next time. You don't fire everyone."

I didn't mean that I thought that's what the US government has done. There have been some changes made, serious restructuring of some departments, mergers, consolidations, whatever. Katrina was still a total shitstorm, which is a good point, but it also involves departments that are quite far removed from security & defence. I imagine there's a bit more integration now, just like there's more FAA/USAF/NORAD integration now due to 9/11.

As much as I am conscious that Brownie did a heck of a job (that's sarcastic, if you can't tell,) I can also appreciate that there were no useful plans in place for an entire city filling up with water. Obviously there should have been, in New Orleans, but I've read enough times about how badly managed New Orleans and Louisiana were that it doesn't surprise me at all that there weren't.

In both situations, I suspect there were real people in the emergency systems that were trying as hard as they could, but the organization broke down; the system failed.

I hope, out of all of this, there's some communication between emergency planners, organizational theory, and the guys at the Pentagon who write books on "PMESI" (political, military, economic, social, infrastructure, and information instruments — I just read Blink, which quotes LtGen (Ret) Paul Van Riper, one of the most brilliant take-no-shit guys that military strategy has ever had, I think, but I digress) and something good results. But, I don't know.
posted by blacklite at 11:31 PM on August 7, 2006


If you are unwilling to analyze a failure and determine how to fix it, you should shut up, take your self-righteous attitude with you, and go away.

Well, that's really quite hilarious considering it's not what I implied. What was that about a self-righteous attitude, again?

Laughing at people who are trying to figure out where the lines should be drawn makes you part of the problem rather than part of the solution.

Wtf is this, Reading Rainbow? Any other facts of life you can pass my way? Maybe another gem like this: you might want to work on your reading comprehension, perhaps?
posted by prostyle at 6:56 AM on August 8, 2006


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