Wednesday, August 02, 2006

9/11: The NORAD Tapes

Vanity Fair has an article about the NORAD tapes from the morning of 9/11. Why are they out now? Who knows. Perhaps it's the polls showing the number of Americans who believe the cover-up angle. Maybe the government had to respond. Here finally is a description of the confusion brought on by a hijacking exercise that was running that morning as well. The most frustrating part for me? I can't read the article right now because company is coming over. Damn it. Oh well. Enjoy. This has got to be fascinating, in a chilling sort of way.



At 5:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great read, but it is yet another dagger in the heart of your conspiracy theory. For those that don't want to wade through the whole lengthy artcle, here is the conclusion:

oring over time-stamped transcripts that undercut the Pentagon's official story, one is tempted to get caught up in a game of "gotcha." For those on the operations floor in the thick of it that day, however, the cold revelations of hindsight are a bitter pill to swallow.

Listening to the tapes, you hear that inside NEADS there was no sense that the attack was over with the crash of United 93; instead, the alarms go on and on. False reports of hijackings, and real responses, continue well into the afternoon, though civilian air-traffic controllers had managed to clear the skies of all commercial and private aircraft by just after 12 p.m. The fighter pilots over New York and D.C. (and later Boston and Chicago) would spend hours darting around their respective skylines intercepting hundreds of aircraft they deemed suspicious. Meanwhile, Arnold, Marr, and Nasypany were launching as many additional fighters as they could, placing some 300 armed jets in protective orbits over every major American city by the following morning. No one at NEADS would go home until late on the night of the 11th, and then only for a few hours of sleep.

Five years after the attack, the controversy around United 93 clearly eats at Arnold, Marr, Nasypany, and several other military people I spoke with, who resent both conspiracy theories that accuse them of shooting the flight down and the 9/11 commission's conclusion that they were chasing ghosts and never stood a chance of intercepting any of the real hijackings. "I don't know about time lines and stuff like that," Nasypany, who is now a lieutenant colonel, said in one of our last conversations. "I knew where 93 was. I don't care what [the commission says]. I mean, I care, but—I made that assessment to put my fighters over Washington. Ninety-three was on its way in. I knew there was another one out there. I knew there was somebody else coming in—whatever you want to call it. And I knew what I was going to have to end up doing." When you listen to the tapes, it couldn't feel more horrendously true.

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."

On the day, however, there was no time for sentiment. Within 30 seconds of the report that United 93 has crashed, killing everyone on board, once again, the phone is ringing.

At 5:41 PM, Blogger John Bartley K7AAY said...

I've linked to an archive of the audio files, in case folks have problems with the JavaScript used at Vanity Fair, over at Clackablog.

At 5:44 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

I'll have my people look at it. From what I've read here it doesn't put a dagger in anything. I want these war games looked at more closely. 9/11 didn't add up. It still doesn't. These war games were the key. I'll read the article later.

At 5:56 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

Okay, we have NORAD in confusion because of some hijacking drills that were aimed at the same locations. Plus the regular air defenses are diverted.
So what's Cheney doing during this time?
I just read a response by Paul Joseph Watspn on the Prison Planet site. These words jumped out at me:

While NORAD struggled to comprehend what exactly was heading towards Washington, in Dick Cheney's PEOC bunker things were apparently a lot clearer. The testimony of Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta is brought under more scrutiny by the NORAD tapes.

How could Cheney know exactly what was heading for Washington and give clear orders for its path to remain clear, while the very people mandated to defend the skies of America scrambled desperately to make sense of the chaos and get fighters in the positions they needed to be?

"During the time that the airplane was coming in to the Pentagon, there was a young man who would come in and say to the Vice President, "The plane is 50 miles out." "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?"

Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta's testimony to the 9/11 Commission, May 23, 2003.

At 6:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So how does that wash with the 9/11 conpiracy theory that the plane that his the Pentagon wasn't actually a plane, but a missile? That just shows that it was indeed an airplane and that Cheney was hesitant to have the military shoot down a plane load of innocent civilians. What a monster.

At 6:53 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

I'll tell you what I've heard. The incoming blip wasn't an airliner, and the videotapes would prove it. The debris at the Pentagon and the size of the hole prove it. That's the reason they haven't released a video of the plane flying into Washington. There is some precedent for this move in military planning. By the way, your claim that Cheney wouldn't shoot down a hijacked airliner that was approaching Washington doesn't square with his own statements of ordering a shoot-down later that day.
But I do wish that compassion you see in him had extended to our soldiers that he lied into Iraq.

At 7:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill, try to be bigger than inflamatory straw man arguments. FDR sent over 400,000 US military personel to their deaths, Bush/Cheney 3000. I'm sure you're all over the conspiracy that FDR new Pearl Harbor was imminent but did nothing because he wanted an excuse to enter WWII to pull out of our economic depression and bolster his saggin poll ratings, right? By your measure, FDR was more than 10x the monster that Bush/Cheney is. If you want to pick your battles, go after the real boogeyman.

At 7:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, I meant 100x, not 10x.

At 7:46 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

No, I'm not down with the Pearl Harbor theory. I idealize that generation because my parents were part of it. My pet theories have to do with JFK, and UFOs. You know, it might be interesting for you to read about Operation Northwoods, a plan by our military leaders to fake terrorist attacks to give us an excuse to attack Cuba back in the Kennedy years. You can actually read the documents, and it might give you more of a feeling that these covert operations do happen.
You might also think back to your comments if another 9/11 event comes along just before October, leading to an attack on Syria and Iran.

At 8:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"No, I'm not down with the Pearl Harbor theory. I idealize that generation because my parents were part of it."

I rest my case. You believe the best of those you worship, the worst of those you disdain. Throw away all facts or logic.

At 8:03 PM, Blogger LaurelhurstDad said...

The boys here in the home have a $100 bet on the exact day of the 'Election Special', and side bets on what it might be. bin Ladin's body is a big one, but the wise ones know that Cheney won't offer that up until '08.

There's also good money on an announcment, either that peace is at hand in Iraq (old as that one is), or that Iraq's police will be able to stand on their own in 'six to eight months'. (We're not counting today's announcment; way too early.)

At 8:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just checking to see if my blog gets through.

At 8:14 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

Think the worst of Cheney and Bush because I distain them? No, it's mainly that they got us into Iraq with a preemptive war doctrine that I don't agree with, and got a lot of young Americans killed based on lies. I've got no problem with the US helping to defeat Hitler in World War 2. In fact I'm proud that my parents participated.
What's your motivation here? Why do you love these guys so much? Tell me why you think President Bush is a great man.

At 8:15 PM, Blogger QuidProQuo said...

Let's try this again. I want my own display name -- not "anonymous" -- which is so heavily already in use on this blog.

At 8:18 PM, Blogger QuidProQuo said...

Okay. Looks like I can jump into the fray as "quidproquo" from here on. Sorry to use up server space to get on board. Chalk it up to the learning curve for we virgin bloggers.

At 8:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, Bill, you have no problem with our involvement in WWII even though that was a product of our pre-emptive war plans against Japan? As I understand it, Pearl Harbor was a pre-emptive strike against us because the Japanese found out we were initiating a pre-emptive strike against them in coordination with the Chinese.

One man's idol is another man's war criminal.

At 8:22 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

Welcome, quidproquo. Love the name. And by saying that I don't expect anything in return.

At 8:31 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

Your World War 2 analogy isn't happening. It was a product of our pre-emptive war plans against Japan? I don't see where you're going with this? I mean I can say it again, "I don't view World War 2 that way." My concern is about the current crisis we have. Our country's form of govenrment is under attack from a bunch of Neo-Cons who believe in Authoritarian Rule. They could have participated in 9/11 as the excuse they needed to implement their dastardly agenda. Isn't that enough of a topic? I mean I see topics on these blogs where people comment on what someone's kid said. I think this 9/11 thing is big enough so that we don't have to review WW2 over again.

At 8:39 PM, Blogger QuidProQuo said...

My first real comment: my hat is off to Bill, anonymous, and laurelhurstdad. In spite of strongly diverse opinions, for the most part you've all tried to be rational and civil in your debates -- minimal name-calling and very little profanity. My kind of civil,intellectual exchange. Hopefully I'll be able to follow suit. But please know in advance, Anonymous, your blind and misplaced devotion to Bush/Cheney is frightening to me. Hopefully, through Bill's blog, you'll come to revisit your thinking. If not, I nonetheless look forward to joining the intellectual sparring.

At 8:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Neo-Cons who believe in Authoritarian Rule"

That is where you are fundamentally wrong. Democracy is not "Authoritarian Rule". If you spent as much time researching 'neo-conservatism' as you did these crazy conspiracy theories, it might alleviate some of this anxiety - and hatred - you have for 'neo-conservatives'. The neo-conservative cause per se is a noble one by anyone's standards. The only real disagreement should be how we achieve it.

quidproquo, welcome to the fray. Don't get off on the wrong foot, however. I don't have devotion to Bush, much less "blind and misplaced". I disagree with Bush on more fronts than I agree with him on (stem cell research, gay marriage, government entitlements, boarder policy to name a few). But I do agree with our decision to go to war with Iraq, and I agree with the steps he's taken here and abroad to combat terrorism.

That you find a difference of opinion of this sort as "frightening" doesn't put you very high on my 'tolerence meter' (not that I suspect you care very much). I obviously disagree vehemently with Bill and others here on many issues, but they don't "frighten" me. Fear breeds hatred. Tolerence breeds understanding.

At 9:08 PM, Blogger LaurelhurstDad said...

Hello quidproquo!

Maybe you can get anonymous to actually answer a question directed at him, like why the blind obedience to those who have been proven to lie to the American people. There must be some reason. I’m guessing because he doesn’t like Mactarnahan’s Ale. Maybe he’s a PBR drinker. Or worse, gin.

Good luck getting logic out of him (or her, I’m not sure). But he sure is a fun foil. Poke and you get lots of strange, unconnected responses – very much like Bill O’Reilly.

At 9:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


"for the most part you've all tried to be rational and civil in your debates"

Hope you weren't refering to responses like laurelhurstdad's last one as an example.

laurelhurstdad, the PBR comment is the worst you ever said to me. Mactarnahan's sucks because its a hops weenie. Try something like Pelican IPA or Widmere's Broken Halo.

Oh, and "blind obedience" is akin to believing in Santa Claus, don't you think? That would be believing in something so illogical because it is something you simply WANT to believe in. Now, would that characterize me being sceptical of 9/11 conspiracies with no concrete proof to back them up, or those who accept that lack of an actual photo of a plane striking a building equals proof that it was a rocket? Yeah....but I'm the crazy around here.

At 9:49 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

Here's a quote from the Project for a New American Century letter to President Bush sent on September 20th, 2001 and signed by many of the most infamous Neo-Cons: "It may be that the Iraqi government provided assistance in some form to the recent attack on the United States. But even if evidence does not link Iraq directly to the attack, any strategy aiming at the eradication of terrorism and its sponsors must include a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq."
Even if there's no evidence the response to 9/11 should be an attack on Iraq. Gee, so maybe it was okay to lie to the American People about the link. Neo-Cons are not only dangerous but their ideas don't work out. The only thing Osama regrets about President Bush is that he can't serve a 3rd term.

At 10:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

'sigh' more time. Bush never said we were attacking Iraq because they were responsible for 9/11. You are 'misleading' by propogating that meme.

We attacked Iraq because it defied 14 UN Resolutions for it to disarm, which was in violation of the agree ceasefire agreement from the first Gulf War. The also continued to fire upon our aircraft in the UN designated no-fly zone, and were subverting the UN mandated sanctions through the 'Oil-For-Food' scam. But hey, the status quo of sanctions that Human Rights Watch blames for about 100,000 Iraqi children deaths was just fine.

The bottom line is, there were plenty of reasons to overthrow Saddam. That he was certain to be a future threat to us and his cooperation with terrorist organizations are just two of them. We had a lot more justification to overthrow Saddam than we did to overthrow Milosovich from a National interest and humanitarian standpoint. But the passivist left was strangely silent a decade ago.

At 10:32 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

Read section 2 of this letter. President Bush did tie Iraq to 9/11 and he was lying when he did it.

Presidential Letter 
Text of a Letter from the President to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate
“March 18, 2003
Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)
Consistent with section 3(b) of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (Public Law 107-243), and based on information available to me, including that in the enclosed document, I determine that:
(1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic and other peaceful means alone will neither (A) adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq nor (B) likely lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq; and
(2) acting pursuant to the Constitution and Public Law 107-243 is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.

At 10:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, you've posted that letter before. And as we've learned since 9/11, Iraq did aid Al Quaeda which perpetrated the attack on 9/11. Iraq may not been directly involved, but it is now know fact that they harbored and aided Al Quaeda operatives. Do you deny this? Again, look up "Salman Pak". That information is actually backed up by hard, black and white documents rather than theories - so I'm not sure if you can process it :)

At 10:58 PM, Blogger QuidProQuo said...


Let's lighten up, okay? I just climbed into the ring, still have my gloves on, have no plans to hit below the belt, and have yet to put in my mouth guard.
Laurelhurstdad sounded to me like he was just poking a little fun, although I'm not sure beverage preferences should ever be treated lite-ly, which respectable IPA's never are.
You're right in assuming that I don't care where I rank high on your "tolerance meter" or anyone else's for that matter. By the way, what
I chose "frighten" on purpose. Those of your mindset are indeed frightening to people like me because, no matter how convincingly the evidence discredits your stances, you cling to them intransigently, unquestioningly. It's frightening and frustrating when seemingly intelligent people are immune to reason.
People are looking for historical parallels these days in Orwell's "1984." It's apropos - no question - but I'd almost rather see people revisiting Orwell's "Animal Farm." Granted, it's chiefly a satirical recounting of the rise of Soviet communism but, that aside, the parallels of how the pigs convert "Animalism" into totalitarianism bear an uncanny resemblance to what's been happening to our country since the Bush/Cheney/Rove/Rumsfeld usurped our government and our Constitution.

You wrote "Fear breeds hatred. Tolerence [sic] breeds understanding."
No one would agree with you more than the Bush/Cheney gang, sans the second sentence. Fear and hatred, that's been their game plan and it's served them well. But, at risk of betraying where I fit on the boomeresque scale, I'm feeling confident that "the times, they are a-changing."

At 11:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

quidproquo, like I said, and the reason I said it, is you came here and immediately jumped on me as a mindless Bush apologist, made assumptions about my overall ideology, and called me 'frightening'. So excuuuuuuuse me for jumping on you with gloves on after I was already suckerpunched. Or I guess when you just said I am "immune to reason", you meant that as a compliment. You are the one that is prone to stereotyping. I agree with Bush on one major issue (or two depending how you look at it): fighting terrorism and Iraq. But you consider me a Bush lapdog. If I had not brought it up, would you have guessed that I am pro gay marriage and stem cell research? No, because my allegiance to Bush on one particular issue labels me as a 'right-wing Nazi' in the eyes of your intolerent persuasion ( I'm labeling you back).

So, lets get off on another foot. I think Bill needs to start a non-political thread to promote some harmony on the community he's started (or he can just ban me and I'm sure all will be well). How about a 'best movie scene' thread? You know, the kind that sends a chill up your spine. Not trying to hijack your blog, Bill, but might be a fun intermission?

At 11:28 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

I'll hit it again tomorrow. I actually over did it today and my eyes hurt. Ironic that my blog's so serious when I'm a professional comedy writer, but that's a sign of the times right there. Thanks for participating. I must be funnier, I must be funnier, I must be...
I did listen to the NORAD tapes tonight. Wow, that brought it all back, didn't it?
I think we can all agree on one thing:
9/11 really, really sucked.

At 12:29 AM, Blogger QuidProQuo said...


Touche. I jumped into the fracas a johnny-come-lately and did indeed stereotype you as a purebred Bush lapdog. Hard not for my passionate type to do in this age of Hannity and Limbaugh. I'm so worried about where the country is headed -- nay, where the world is headed. So many of us are. I do believe that whatever support you've professed for Bush policies is sincere, although misplaced. Hopefully, I, Bill, laurelhurstdad, and others who may come on board will be able to convince you otherwise. Probably not, given your zeal. Yes, we're equally as zealous.

I seriously doubt Bill will be able to retreat from the political thread that's emerged from his blog. His passion is even stronger than mine and I think we both respect that.

But, in the hope that we can achieve even a brief respite from this intense political sparring, to which I'm a newcomer,I propose that all of the bloggers to this site unite briefly to co-write, piecemeal, a mildly erotic short story. (Far more interesting, Anonymous, than "a best movie thread," I think you'll agree.)

Here's my contribution to kick things off:

Regardless of his strict Catholic training, Bernard couldn't resist the temptation. The theater was dark, they were alone in the back row, and Christine, his girlfriend of the past six weeks had hinted that she wanted more than the occasional peck on the cheek when nobody was looking ...

Your turn...

At 12:34 PM, Blogger LaurelhurstDad said...

… Suddenly, Bernard’s pager went off, sounding like a rifle shot in a convent. He looked at the message and sighed.

Bernard’s day job was as a techie at the local animal shelter, which shared space with the haggard remnants of a long-forgotten chapter of the SDS. They also shared a computer. His job was to keep the ancient thing running, and update it as needed. The message he had just received told him the worst: the computer had gone down on him and blew his job.

Sadly, he looked at Christine, so tempting and vulnerable in her moment of need. “Christine,” he said. “I have something to tell you. I’m not really a librarian.”

At 12:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A look of shock engulfed Christine's face, but it quickly transmorphed into a smile. "That's OK", she replied devilishly, "I'm not really Madam Christine, Dominatrix. I'm just a runnaway - on the lam from my crazy dad who lives in Laurelhurst!"

Sorry, couldn't resist ;)

At 1:51 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

Bernard was conflicted. On the one hand he found her attractive but when she said how much she admired President Bush he knew she was just a hopeless moron in the grips of teenage puppy love.

At 7:08 PM, Blogger Frank Dufay said...

I've got no problem with the US helping to defeat Hitler in World War 2. In fact I'm proud that my parents participated.

Funny how we always start with Pearl Harbor, then talk about defeating Hitler. We did NOT force Emperor Hirohito to step down, let alone put him in jail. Brown shirt fascists Generalissimo Franco and Chiang Kai-shek become our...allies.

Did I say funny?

At 7:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Japan is actually an interestig comparison to Iraq. At the time, no one dreamed we could Democratize a people who not only followed their dictator, but revered him as literally a God. I lived in Japan for some years, and let me tell you - I cannot fathom how we pulled it off. To this day, the Japanese regard anyone not of Japanese decent to be of inferior blood. Heck, they even use the SAME WORD for "foreigner" and "barbarian" - gaikokujin, or gaijin for short. But we were able to take them, help them draft a constitution, and democratize them. Of course, they had to be humbled into submission by a couple of nukes.


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