9/11 War Games No Coincidence
by Michael Kane -June 08
(special thanks to Barbara Honegger for her early work on this line of research)
?I have an on-the-record statement from someone in NORAD that on the day of 9/11 The Joint Chiefs of Staff (Richard B. Myers) and NORAD were conducting a joint, live-fly, hijack Field Training Exercise (FTX) which involved at least one (and almost certainly many more) aircraft under US control that was posing as a hijacked airliner?.
Mike Ruppert - June 5, 2004, editor of FTW www.fromthewilderness.com
On September 11, 2001, Richard B. Meyers, the acting Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has thus far claimed he was in a meeting with Senator Max Cleland, and was ?unaware? of the ongoing 9/11 attacks until after the Pentagon was struck.
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld claims that he was in the Pentagon giving a lecture to members of Congress about the need for America to ?be prepared for the unexpected? pertaining to future terrorist attacks. As the 9/11 plot unfolded, Secretary Donald Rumsfeld claims he was effectively out of the loop while inside the Pentagon until it was struck at 9:38 am. That comes from his testimony to the 9/11 Commission on March 25, 2004, while under oath.
On September 11, 2001, the Air Force was in its second day of annual wargame drills, titled VIGILANT GUARDIAN, designed to test national air response systems, which incidentally involved hijacking scenarios. In addition the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) which is staffed by military and CIA personnel, and is in charge of most American spy satellites, was running a drill for the scenario of an errant aircraft crashing into its headquarters. NRO headquarters also happens to be located just four miles from Washington?s Dulles airport ? where Flight 77 (the flight said to have hit the Pentagon) originated...
On March 25, when Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld testified before the Commission, not one question was asked with regard to the multiple war games confirmed to have been in progress that morning.
It is possible that Phillip Zelikow, the executive director of the 9/11 Commission, has classified certain wargames running on 9/11 so the Commission can?t address them publicly. The fact that the war games are open source, having been reported in mainstream publications including the Associated Press, UPI, and Aviation Weekly Magazine would make such a classification part & parcel to a cover-up. Hopefully the Commission will address, in public hearing, the impact these wargames apparently had on the NORAD response on 9/11.
For example, we know that Lt. Col. Dawne Deskins, regional Mission Crew Chief for the VIGILANT GUARDIAN exercise, said that everyone at the North East Air Defense Sector (NEADS), part of NORAD, initially thought the first call she received about the real 9/11 hijackings was part of the war games scenario (Newhouse News, 1/25/02).
This is the question. Did VIGILANT GUARDIAN cause enough confusion to allow three successful suicide hijackings to occur over an hour and twenty minute period? The answer would appear to be ? no.
NORAD?s recent admission to investigative journalist Mike Ruppert that they were running a live-fly Field Training Exercise that involved at least one aircraft under US control posing as a hijacking shows VIGILANT GUARDIAN is merely the tip of the iceberg. Especially when considering that the Joint Chiefs of Staff were directly involved with this ?drill?.
Oddly enough, close scrutiny of Flight 11 (which crashed into the north tower of the WTC) leaving Logan Airport in Boston has shown that there were apparently two separate designated boarding gates for the doomed flight. Researchers Nico Haupt & Woody Box have done a detailed analysis based entirely on mainstream accounts and eye witness statements showing that, while the official account has Flight 11 being boarded at gate 26, the flight actually took off from gate 32. However, no passengers actually boarded at gate 32, instead boarding at gate 26. Under close scrutiny it becomes exceedingly difficult to dismiss this discrepancy as a mere ?mistake?, quite to the contrary.
(Flight 11 - The Twin Flight, Global Free Press, March 14, 2004
Is it possible that the gate 26, or gate 32 flight from Logan Airport was posing as a hijacked airliner in one of these 9/11 wargames?
Moreover, we now must examine the NRO emergency evacuation drill running that same morning. NRO spokesman Art Haubold told UPI, ?It was just a coincidence. It wasn't an anti-terrorism exercise. It was an emergency response exercise. It was just a strange coincidence?. The NRO?s internal war-gaming division planned the drill.
Was the NRO?s war-gaming division working in conjunction with NORAD and/or the Joint Chiefs of Staff that morning? On page 5 of former White House counter-terrorism official Richard Clarke?s new book, ?Against All Enemies?, he mentions a war game titled VIGILANT WARRIOR. Is this yet another wargame running on 9/11? In addition, yet another drill titled NORTHERN VIGILANCE, was running on 9/11 simulating an air attack coming from Russia. Just how many war games were running on September 11, 2001?
The NRO is, effectively, the ?eyes of the world?. With the majority of American spy satellites at its fingertips, it can reasonably be assumed that NRO headquarters was an indispensable resource to NORAD and the Air Force from 8:28 when Flight 11 made its unplanned 100-degree turn over Pennsylvania, until 9:38 when it is said to have struck the Pentagon. The NRO claims as soon as the real world events ?began to unfold? the drill was called off and all but the most essential personnel were sent home. (UPI, Aug 22, 2002)
Read that last sentence again.
Why was the NRO sending home personnel during what was likely the biggest military crisis on American soil in recent history? Who were the ?most essential? personnel and what did those individuals do as events unfolded?
What role did Secretary Rumsfeld & Richard B. Meyers play in any of the multiple war game scenarios on the morning of September 11, 2001? What briefings did they receive about these war games before, during and after the morning in question?
These are the questions that must be addressed by the 9/11 Commission, and yet they have not been mentioned even once.
Questions, Questions, Questions?
Commissioner Jamie Gorelick did ask Secretary Rumsfeld, while under oath, a very specific question of exactly when an order was given authorizing fighter pilots to shoot down aircraft on the morning of 9-11. Rumsfeld complicated and confused his answer by giving an account of how they had modified the rules of engagement. General Myers clarified by stating to the best of his recollection the shoot-down order was communicated directly to the pilots shortly after the president issued it.
GORELICK: May I ask one more question, Mr. Chairman?
We can't go into the content of the PDDs and the SEIBs here. And I can't even characterize them in order to ask you the next question that I would ask. So let me ask you this: Was it your understanding that the NORAD pilots who were circling over Washington D.C. that morning had indeed received a shoot-down order?
RUMSFELD: When I arrived in the command centre, one of the first things I heard, and I was with you, was that the order had been given and that the pilots -- correction, not the pilots necessarily, but the command had been given the instructions that their pilots could, in fact, use their weapons to shoot down a commercial airliners filled with our people in the event that the aircraft appeared to be behaving in a threatening way and an unresponsive way.
GORELICK: Now, you make a distinction there between the command and the pilots. Was it your understanding that the pilots had received that order?
RUMSFELD: I'm trying to get in time because...
MYERS: Well, I think -- my understanding, I've talked to General Eberhart, commander now of NORAD, and I think he's briefed the staff. And I think what he told the staff, what he told me, as I recall, was that the pilots did -- at the appropriate point when the authority to engage civilian airliners was given, that the pilots knew that fairly quickly. I mean, it went down through the chain of command.
RUMSFELD: It was on a threat conference call that it was given, and everybody heard it simultaneously. The question then would be -- the reason I am hesitant is because we went through two or three iterations of the rules of engagement. And in the end, we ended up delegating that authority to, at the lowest level, I believe, to two stars.
RUMSFELD: And the pilot would then describe the situation to that level. To the extent that level had time, they would come up to General Eberhart. To the extent Eberhart had time, he would come up to me. And to the extent I had time, I might talk to the president, which in fact, I did do on several occasions during the remainder of the day with respect to international flights heading to this country that were squawking "hijack."
GORELICK: I'm just trying to understand whether it is your understanding that the NORAD pilots themselves, who were circling over Washington, as you referred to in your statement, whether they knew that they had authority to shoot down a plane. And if you don't know, it's fine to say that. You mentioned them in your statement, and I would like to know if you know the answer.
RUMSFELD: I do not know what they thought. In fact, I haven't talked to any of the pilots that were up there. I certainly was immediately concerned that we did know what they thought they could do.
RUMSFELD: And we began the process quite quickly of making changes to the standing rules of engagement, Dick Myers and I did, and then issuing that. And we then went back and revisited that question several times in the remaining week or two while we were still at various stages of alert. And we have since done that in connection with several other events such as the Prague summit.
GORELICK: As you know, we were not intending to address the issues of the day of in this hearing. And it is the subject of a full additional hearing, and we may be back to you with these questions with a more precise time line for you to look at.
Thank you very much.
KEAN: Thank you.
(For complete transcript of Rumsfeld's testimony: http://globalresearch.ca/articles/COM403B.html
At first glance this seems like semantics, but in the context of what was really happening that morning it may be quite significant. Whether or not a pilot has a shoot-down order directly communicated to him is of the highest significance when considering the fact that the pilot may not know if they are still involved in a war game exercise.
Officials at NORAD have stated when the hijackings first occurred they initially thought it was part of the Vigilant Guardian drills running that morning. Despite some confusion, once Flight 11 struck the World Trade Center at 8:45 am, everyone should have known it was not a test. However, this is still an assumption because we do not know what the fighter jocks in the air at the time did and did not know, we do not know the full extent of the orders they received and it has yet to be explained why scrambled fighter jets were unable to intercept even one of the 4 hijacked airliners.
Scrambling Fighter Jets
Standard operating procedure of both FAA & NORAD dictates that once an aircraft is off course and/or its transponder is not responding, within 10 minutes Air Force jets are scrambled to re-establish physical contact with the wayward plane.
Scrambling Air Force interceptors does not mean shooting down any aircraft. It simply means that an Air Force jet is dispatched to fly next to the off course aircraft, attempt to communicate with the its pilots, look inside the cockpit, see who is in control of the plane and report back to flight control what is actually happening. In the year prior to 9/11 this automatic procedure was triggered a total of 67 times (AP, 8/13/02). On the morning of 9/11, it was not successfully applied even once in the well over an hour-long period in which the four separate hijackings occurred.
The most egregious case is that of Flight 77, reported to have struck the Pentagon. At 8:50 am there was a loss of contact with this plane that was now well off course and hurtling toward the nation?s capital, but it was not until 9:24 am that fighter jets were scrambled. That?s 34 minutes after flight control lost contact with the plane and well after 2 hijacked aircraft had already crashed into both World Trade Center towers.
Fighter Planes were dispatched extremely late to the World Trade Center as well, and only made it there after Flight 175 had crashed into WTC 2, too late to be effective. Those planes were then sent back to base, instead of being sent in pursuit of an aircraft, which by that time was widely known to have been well off course.
Did war games conducted by the Air Force, NORAD, NRO and others on 9/11 unintentionally cause this unprecedented ?confusion?, or does all of this point to more disturbing conclusions about what happened that tragic morning?
Hopefully, Commissioner Jamie Gorelick?s statement that Secretary Rumsfeld may be called back to testify to the Commission regarding the day of 9/11 itself will happen ? and in public.