by Illarion Bykov and Jared Israel
November 14, 2001
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Introduction & Part 1, Section 1
INTRODUCTION TO SUMMARY OF EVIDENCE
Andrews Air Force Base is a huge military installation just 10 miles from the Pentagon. On 11 September there were two entire squadrons of combat-ready fighter jets at Andrews. Their job was to protect the skies over Washington D.C. They failed to do their job. Despite over one hour's advance warning of a terrorist attack in progress, not a single Andrews fighter tried to protect the city.
The FAA, NORAD and the military have cooperative procedures by which fighter jets automatically intercept commercial aircraft under emergency conditions. These procedures were not followed. Air Force officials and others have tried to explain away the failures: "Air Force Lt. Col. Vic Warzinski, another Pentagon spokesman, [said]: 'The Pentagon was simply not aware that this aircraft was coming our way, and I doubt prior to Tuesday's event, anyone would have expected anything like that here.'"--'Newsday,' 23 September 2001
Using information from the mass media and official Websites, we will show that this is a lie.
Some of what happened on 9-11, such as planes flying into buildings, is unusual. But most of what happened, such as commercial jets flying off-course, transponder failures and possible hijackings, are common emergencies. We will show that these emergencies are routinely handled with expert efficiency based on clear rules.
The crash of the first hijacked jet into the World Trade Center made it clear the United States was faced with an extraordinary situation. This should have intensified the emergency responses of the air safety and defense systems. The whole country was aware. For example, at 9:06 a.m. the NY Police broadcast: " 'This was a terrorist attack. Notify the Pentagon.'" --'Daily News' (New York) 12 September 2001
'American Forces Press Service' reported that ordinary people working at the Pentagon worried they could be next: "'We were watching the World Trade Center on the television,' said a Navy officer. 'When the second plane deliberately dove into the tower, someone said, 'The World Trade Center is one of the most recognizable symbols of America. We're sitting in a close second.'" --'Defense Link News', Sept. 13, 2001
U.S. air safety and air defense emergency systems are activated in response to problems every day. On 9-11 they failed despite, not because of, the extreme nature of the emergency. This could only happen if individuals in high positions worked in a coordinated way to make them fail. Such operatives would almost surely have failed if they tried to disrupt and abort routine protection systems without top-level support. The failure of the emergency systems would be noticed immediately. Moreover, given the catastrophic nature of the attacks, the highest military authorities would be alerted. Acting on their own, the operatives could expect that their orders would be countermanded and that they themselves would be arrested.
The sabotage of routine protective systems, controlled by strict hierarchies, would never have been contemplated let alone attempted absent the involvement of the supreme U.S. military command. This includes at least U.S. President George Bush, U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and the then-Acting Head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Air Force General Richard B. Myers.
In the following summary of evidence we will demonstrate probable cause for charging the above-named persons with treason for complicity in the murders of thousands of people whom they had sworn to protect. The summary of evidence covers the following areas:
Andrews Air Force Base and the myth of 'no available planes;'
The air safety/air defense systems and the myth that they were not prepared;
The actions of George Bush on 9-11 that clearly violated his positive legal and constitutional obligations and demonstrated consciousness of guilt;
The testimony of General Richard B. Myers at Senate hearings on his nomination as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In these hearings, the contents of which were reported accurately by one lone journalist, General Myers attempted to cover up what had happened 9-11 when he was Acting Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. He offered three mutually contradictory cover stories and demonstrated consciousness of guilt;
The cover story floated by CBS evening news, September 14th. Until that time, officials reported that no planes had been 'scrambled' to intercept the hijacked planes. But following Gen. Myers disastrous Senate testimony, CBS broadcast an improved version of 9-11. In the new script, fighter jets from Otis and Langley Air Force Bases did try, but failed, to intercept the hijacked planes. This is now presented as the official NORAD story and has been repeated uncritically by media and government officials alike. We will demonstrate that this cover story is both weak and incriminating.
SECTION 1, PART 1: Why did no fighter jets 'scramble' to protect Washington D.C.?
LIE #1: 'NO COMBAT READY FIGHTERS WERE STATIONED NEAR THE PENTAGON'
As noted, Andrews Air Force base is 10 miles from the Pentagon. The media has mainly avoided talking about Andrews. An exception is USA Today, the second-highest circulation newspaper in America. On one day it published two contradictory stories to explain the failure to scramble jets from Andrews prior to the Pentagon crash:
First USA Today Story: “Andrews Air Force Base, home to Air Force One, is only 15 miles [sic!] away from the Pentagon, but it had no fighters assigned to it. Defense officials won't say whether that has changed." --USA TODAY, 17 September 2001
Second USA Today Story : "The District of Columbia National Guard maintained fighter planes at Andrews Air Force Base, only about 15 miles [sic!] from the Pentagon, but those planes were not on alert and not deployed." --USA Today, September 17, 2001
Both stories are false.
Only one newspaper told the truth. That was the San Diego Union-Tribune:
"Air defense around Washington is provided mainly by fighter planes from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland near the District of Columbia border. The D.C. Air National Guard is also based there and equipped with F-16 fighter planes, a National Guard spokesman said.
"But the fighters took to the skies over Washington only after the devastating attack on the Pentagon..."--San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 September 2001.
Andrews Air Force Base is a huge installation. It hosts two 'combat-ready' squadrons: the 121st Fighter Squadron (FS-121) of the 113th Fighter Wing (FW-113), equipped with F-16 fighters; the 321st Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA-321) of the 49th Marine Air Group, Detachment A (MAG-49 Det-A), equipped with F/A-18 fighters. These squadrons are served by hundreds of full-time personnel.
THE 121st FIGHTER SQUADRON, 113th FIGHTER WING
"…as part of its dual mission, the 113th provides capable and ready response forces for the District of Columbia in the event of a natural disaster or civil emergency. Members also assist local and federal law enforcement agencies in combating drug trafficking in the District of Colombia. [They] are full partners with the active Air Force" --DC Military
THE 321st MARINE FIGHTER ATTACK SQUADRON (VMFA-321)
"In the best tradition of the Marine Corps, a 'few good men and women' support two combat-ready reserve units at Andrews AFB.
"Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 321, a Marine Corps Reserve squadron, flies the sophisticated F/A-18 Hornet. Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 49, Detachment A, provides maintenance and supply functions necessary to maintain a force in readiness. "--DC Military
So Andrews AFB had at least two 'combat-ready' squadrons.
Our research has been carried out mainly by volunteers. Newspapers and TV news departments have full-time research staffs. The important media have bureaus in Washington DC, just a few miles from the Andrews airbase. Why haven't newspapers and TV news programs reported the truth: that Andrews job was to protect DC?
This failure is especially striking because some media did report that fighters scrambled from Andrews, but only after the Pentagon was hit. Thus they were aware that Andrews was supposed to defend D.C. For example:
" Within minutes of the attack American forces around the world were put on one of their highest states of alert - Defcon 3, just two notches short of all-out war - and F-16s from Andrews Air Force Base were in the air over Washington DC." --Sunday Telegraph, (London), 14 September 2001
"Washington - …an audible gasp went up from the rear of the audience as a large black plume of smoke arose from the Pentagon. Terrorism suddenly was at the doorstep and clearly visible through the big glass windows overlooking the Potomac River. Overhead, fighter jets scrambled from Andrews Air Force Base and other installations and cross-crossed the skies…
"A thick plume of smoke was climbing out of the hollow center of the Pentagon. Everyone on the train understood what had happened moments before." --Denver Post, 11 September 2001
"It was after the attack on the Pentagon that the Air Force then decided to scramble F-16s out of the DC National Guard Andrews Air Force Base to fly cover, a--a protective cover over Washington, DC." --NBC Nightly News, (6:30 PM ET) 11 September 11 2001
The media should have demanded to know the truth about why fighter jets assigned to protect Washington didn't scramble an hour BEFORE the Pentagon was hit.
Besides fighters, tanker planes and AWACS were also readily available. (An AWACS is a flying communication center equipped with radar which can scan at least 250 miles. This is almost the full distance from the West-Virginia/Ohio/Kentucky border, where American Air Flight 77 turned around before flying back to DC.) Both General Myers and Vice President Cheney admit that these planes did not go into the air over Washington until after the Pentagon was hit.
Here is General Myers, testifying 13th September: "When it became clear what the threat was, we did scramble fighter aircraft, AWACS, radar aircraft and tanker aircraft to begin to establish orbits in case other aircraft showed up in the FAA system that were hijacked." --Gen. Richard B. Myers at Senate confirmation hearing 13 September 2001
And Richard Cheney on Meet the Press:
"VICE PRES. CHENEY: Well, the--I suppose the toughest decision was this question of whether or not we would intercept incoming commercial aircraft.
"MR. RUSSERT: And you decided?'
"VICE PRES. CHENEY: We decided to do it. We'd, in effect, put a flying combat air patrol up over the city; F-16s with an AWACS, which is an airborne radar system, and tanker support so they could stay up a long time." --NBC, Meet the Press (10:00 AM ET) 16 September 2001
As we shall see, Mr. Cheney's statement that "the toughest decision was this question of whether or not we would intercept incoming commercial aircraft" is a lie. Publicly available FAA documents prove that fighter jets routinely intercept commercial aircraft under certain designated circumstances without requiring or asking for approval from the White House.
LIE # 2: PRESIDENTIAL AUTHORIZATION WAS NEEDED TO SCRAMBLE JETS TO INTERCEPT FLIGHT 77
On Sunday, September 16th, Vice-President Richard Cheney was interviewed on NBC TV's Meet The Press. During that interview he created the impression that the military would have needed presidential authorization to scramble fighter jets to intercept American Airlines Flight 77 before it hit the Pentagon. Mr. Cheney did not present this lie in a straightforward manner. Instead he did two things:
First, he avoided discussing the failure to intercept Flight 77. Instead he talked only about the choices Mr. Bush supposedly made after the Pentagon was hit.
Second, he took it for granted that presidential approval was required to intercept a commercial jet, as if this were an accepted fact. Then based on this false foundation, he emitted a fog of emotional misinformation to confuse the millions of Americans who wanted to know: why didn't jet fighters scramble to intercept Flight 77 before it crashed into the Pentagon? Doesn't the U.S. have radar and an Air Force anymore?
It is common for officials attempting to cover-up a capital crime to put the blame on a subordinate. However Mr. Cheney used a different approach on Meet The Press. Relying on his skills in public deception, Cheney tried to create the impression that nothing improper had occurred, that faced with horrendous choices a brave President had done the right thing. But as soon as one sees through this verbiage, one realizes Mr. Cheney has actually placed the responsibility for the failure to intercept American Flight 77 on George W. Bush.
Here is the relevant excerpt from Meet The Press:
"MR. RUSSERT: What's the most important decision you think he made during the course of the day?
"VICE PRES. CHENEY: Well, the--I suppose the toughest decision was this question of whether or not we would intercept incoming commercial aircraft.
"MR. RUSSERT: And you decided?
"VICE PRES. CHENEY: We decided to do it. We'd, in effect, put a flying combat air patrol up over the city; F-16s with an AWACS, which is an airborne radar system, and tanker support so they could stay up a long time...
"It doesn't do any good to put up a combat air patrol if you don't give them instructions to act, if, in fact, they feel it's appropriate.
"MR. RUSSERT: So if the United States government became aware that a hijacked commercial airline[r] was destined for the White House or the Capitol, we would take the plane down?
"VICE PRES. CHENEY: Yes. The president made the decision...that if the plane would not divert...as a last resort, our pilots were authorized to take them out. Now, people say, you know, that's a horrendous decision to make. Well, it is. You've got an airplane full of American citizens, civilians, captured by...terrorists, headed and are you going to, in fact, shoot it down, obviously, and kill all those Americans on board?
"...It's a presidential-level decision, and the president made, I think, exactly the right call in this case, to say, "I wished we'd had combat air patrol up over New York." --NBC, Meet the Press 16 September 2001
Note that Mr. Cheney has performed a sleight of hand here. First he says, "the toughest decision was...whether we would intercept incoming commercial aircraft." Later he says, "The president made the decision... that if the plane would not divert as a last resort, our pilots were authorized to take them out..." that is, "shoot it down." But "intercept" and "shoot it down" do not mean the same thing.
"in·ter·cept (în´ter-sèpt¹) verb, transitive·
in·ter·cept·ed, in·ter·cept·ing, in·ter·cepts
"1. a. To stop, deflect, or interrupt the progress or intended course of"
--'American Heritage Dictionary'
"shoot·down (sh¡t¹doun´) noun·
"Destruction of a flying aircraft by a missile attack or gunfire."
--'American Heritage Dictionary'
Mr. Cheney deliberately confused these terms to stop people from asking: why weren't any of the hijacked planes intercepted?
Since "stopping, deflecting, or interrupting the progress or intended course of" a hijacked airplane does not necessarily involve violence, there could be no moral obstacle to scrambling fighter jets to intercept Flight 77. Therefore Mr. Cheney shifted quickly to the morally charged question of whether to shoot down "an airplane full of American citizens". By creating this emotional link between interception (not necessarily violent) and shooting down a commercial jet (very violent), Cheney hoped to create sympathy for a President forced to make this "horrendous" choice: to intercept or not to intercept.
Note that Cheney is speaking only of the period after Flight 77 hit the Pentagon. By confusing the issues of "intercepting" vs. "shooting down" AFTER the Pentagon was hit, Cheney was trying to get his listeners to forget the real issue: that nothing had been done BEFORE the Pentagon was hit.
Mr. Cheney attempted to hide the jump from "intercept" to "shoot down" by means of the following connecting sentence: "It doesn't do any good to put up a combat air patrol if you don't give them instructions to act, if, in fact, they feel it's appropriate."
This is disinformation. Mr. Cheney was treating his viewers like fools.
First, as anyone with a computer and basic knowledge of the Internet can find out, Air Traffic Controllers request military jets to intercept commercial aircraft on a routine basis. Sometimes the purpose is to tell a commercial pilot that his plane has gone off course; other times the interceptor goes up in order to observe the situation directly - for instance, to see who is flying the plane. None of this requires presidential approval.
Second, military interceptors (or 'escorts') already have clear "instructions to act." These instructions can be read online in detailed manuals from the FAA and the Department of Defense. The instructions cover everything from minor emergencies to hijackings. If a problem is serious, high-ranking military officers from the National Military Command Center (NMCC) in the Pentagon can take charge.
Let us consider the procedures used in intercepting commercial aircraft. An Air Traffic Controller (ATC) may request military jets to intercept (or 'escort') a commercial aircraft in response to any serious problem which the Air Traffic Controller cannot solve through radio contact. Perhaps the most common problem is that a commercial jet has deviated from its authorized flight path. Every commercial jet is required to follow IFR, or Instrument Flight Rules. IFR requires pilots to file a flight plan with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) before takeoff. (FAA Order 7400.2E 14-1-2)
"Commercial flights fly according to predefined flight plans. These flight plans are intended to provide quick routes that take advantage of favorable winds while avoiding the routes traveled by other aircraft. The usual flight plan is a series of three connected routes: a standard instrument departure (SID) route, an en route path, and a standard instrument arrival (STAR). Each route consists of a sequence of geographic points, or fixes, which, when connected, form a trajectory from the point of departure to the point of arrival." --Direct-To Requirements by G. Dennis & E. Torlak
If a plane deviates from its flight plan, or makes the wrong turn at one of its 'fixes,' an Air Traffic Controller (ATC) contacts the pilot. If the ATC cannot make contact, he or she will request an escort - that is, a military jet - to scramble and check out the situation. This is called 'interception.' As you can see, interception is not necessarily an aggressive act. Usually it is requested because routine communication has become impossible.
For example, when the Lear jet chartered by Payne Stewart, the famous golf pro, went off course, and the pilot did not respond by radio, the FAA immediately contacted the military:
"Several Air Force and Air National Guard fighter jets, plus an AWACS radar control plane, helped the Federal Aviation Administration track the runaway Learjet and estimate when it would run out of fuel."--CNN, 26 October 1999
The FAA online manual describes how an escort (i.e., a fighter jet) might communicate with a commercial airliner which fails to respond to radio contact. The FAA has a chart entitled:
"INTERCEPTING SIGNALS. "Signals initiated by intercepting aircraft and responses by intercepted aircraft."
According to the chart, which is available on-line, if a commercial jet is intercepted in daytime, the escort fighter jet may communicate by: "...Rocking wings from a position slightly above and ahead of, and normally to the left of, the intercepted aircraft..." This conveys the message, "You have been intercepted." The commercial jet should respond by rocking its wings, indicating it will comply.
The escort then makes a "slow level turn, normally to the left, on to the desired heading [direction]." The commercial jet is supposed to respond by following the escort. (FAA 'AIM' 5-6-4)
When a commercial jet deviates from its approved flight path, it creates a potentially deadly hazard: it could collide with another jet. It is therefore reassuring that the FAA has an exacting standard for what constitutes an emergency: "Consider that an aircraft emergency exists ... when: ...There is unexpected loss of radar contact and radio communications with any ...aircraft." --FAA Order 7110.65M 10-2-5
"EMERGENCY DETERMINATIONS: "If ... you are in doubt that a situation constitutes an emergency or potential emergency, handle it as though it were an emergency." --FAA Order 7110.65M 10-1-1-c
A high-ranking FAA official - called an Air Defense Liaison Officer (ADLO) - is stationed in the headquarters of NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command. The purpose: to help the FAA and the military work together to handle emergencies as quickly as possible. Escorts are usually scrambled from NORAD bases, such as the Otis Air Force Base on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, or the air base at Langley, Virginia. But not always: "Normally, NORAD escort aircraft will take the required action. However, for the purpose of these procedures, the term "escort aircraft" applies to any military aircraft assigned to the escort mission. " --FAA Order 7610.4J 7-1-2
Thus when Payne Stewart's Lear jet went off course: "First, a fighter jet from Tyndall, Fla., was diverted from a routine training flight to check out the Learjet. Two F-16s from another Florida base then picked up the chase, later handing it over to two Air National Guard F-16s from Oklahoma, which handed it over to two F-16s from Fargo, North Dakota." --ABC News, 25 October 1999
During a serious emergency, or if there is any possibility that a hijacking has occurred: "The escort service will be requested by the FAA hijack coordinator by direct contact with the National Military Command Center (NMCC)."--FAA Order 7610.4J 7-1-2
A Defense Department manual makes the same point: "In the event of a hijacking, the NMCC will be notified by the most expeditious means by the FAA. The NMCC will, with the exception of immediate responses...forward requests for DOD [Department of Defense] assistance to the Secretary of Defense for approval."--CJCSI 3610.01A, 1 June 2001
Located in the Pentagon, the NMCC can tap into radar stations and thus monitor dangerous emergencies and hijackings. For example, during the Payne Stewart incident: "...officers on the Joint Chiefs were monitoring the Learjet on radar screens inside the Pentagon's National Military Command Center." --CNN, 26 October 1999
When dealing with potentially hostile situations, escorts can adopt more aggressive behavior:
"Small Private Plane Ordered to Land in Vicinity of Bush Ranch. A small private plane flying unauthorized in the vicinity of President Bush's ranch near Crawford was ordered by the military to land Thursday, a sheriff's deputy said....
"The Federal Aviation Administration declared that the plane was unauthorized and ordered its occupants detained, Plemons said. At that point military officials, flying in two jets beside the plane, got on the pilot's radio frequency and ordered the Cessna to land...
"The plane landed on a private landing strip near State Highway 6, about eight miles from the Bush ranch near Crawford....
"In [a second incident, in] Wood County, Sheriff's senior Dispatcher Rodney Mize said a private plane was forced down by two military pilots in A-10 Warthog jets about 11:30 a.m. The jets flew one above and one below until the private plane's pilot landed at Wisener Field near Mineola."--AP, 13 September 2001
The Boston Globe reported that: [Marine Corps Major Mike] Snyder, the NORAD spokesman, said its fighters routinely intercept aircraft: "When planes are intercepted, they typically are handled with a graduated response. The approaching fighter may rock its wingtips to attract the pilot's attention, or make a pass in front of the aircraft. Eventually, it can fire tracer rounds in the airplane's path, or, under certain circumstances, down it with a missile."
--Boston Globe, 15 September 2001
Now, let us return to Mr. Cheney and his interview on Meet The Press. As you will recall, he said: "It doesn't do any good to put up a combat air patrol if you don't give them instructions to act, if, in fact, they feel it's appropriate."
Mr. Cheney is attempting to misinform by pretending that intercept pilots need 'instructions' from the President, when he knows perfectly well that clear instructions and a whole organizational network exist to handle intercept emergencies.
Moreover, Mr. Cheney's implicit argument - that there is no point in sending up an escort unless the pilot has clearance to shoot down a commercial jet - is absurd. Why would such a decision have to be made in advance of scrambling the escort? Even if an airliner has been taken over by a terrorist with a suicide mission, how could Mr. Cheney, Mr. Bush or anyone else other than God Himself possibly predict how the hijacker would respond to an intercept by military jets? Even if a hijacker were ready to die for the glory of crashing into the Pentagon, does that mean he would also be ready to die for the glory of ignoring a military pilot's order to land?
So even if the military had no authority to shoot down Flight 77, why not send up escorts planes? Isn't that in fact how police and the military routinely handle hijack situations - by mobilizing a potentially overwhelming force in the hope of getting the hijacker to surrender?
Why, as Mr. Cheney claims, would there have been "no point" in trying this tactic in the case of Flight 77? Weren't many human lives at stake? Isn't that "a point"?
A DEFENSE THAT BACKFIRES
What about the rest of Mr. Cheney's remarks, his contention that only President Bush could authorize the military to actually shoot down a hijacked plane? In all probability this is true. But as we shall see in a later section, this comment, as well as other things Mr. Cheney said on Meet The Press, will prove damning to George W. Bush when he goes on trial for treason.