Almost every detail and event in the 'official story' of 9/11 carries some element of unexplained contradiction and suspension of logic. The official narrative regarding American Airlines Flight 77 crashing into the Pentagon is no different. First of all, as with all other hijacked planes that morning, it was allowed to fly unimpeded and wildly off-course for an excruciatingly long period of time. According to the New York Times, "within a few minutes" after 8:48 a.m., controllers knew that "American 77 had probably been hijacked." (NYTimes, 15 September, 2001, Wald, Matthew) Moreover, the flight's transponder was turned off at 8:56 a.m., a sure sign to controllers, in light of one plane already having crashed into the North Tower and another unresponsive and heading to NYC, that AA 77 had been hijacked.
And yet, the 9/11 Commission Report concludes that the military was not contacted regarding Flight 77's unapproved wayward path toward D.C. until 9:34 a.m. Forty minutes after the confirmed hijacking, and fifty minutes after the first plane impact. This directly contradicts not only common sense, logic, and standard operating procedures in full effect on the morning of 9/11, it also inexplicably contradicts specific information given directly to the Commission itself in regards to Flight 77. "Within minutes after the first aircraft hit the World Trade Center (at 8:46 a.m.), the FAA immediately established several phone bridges that included FAA field facilities, Command Center, headquarters, DOD, the Secret Service, and other government agencies. The US Air Force liaison immediately joined the FAA phone bridge and established contact with NORAD on a separate line…The FAA shared real-time information on the phone bridges about unfolding events…including Flight 77. NORAD logs indicate that the FAA made formal notification about AA Flight 77 at 9:24 a.m., but information about the flight was conveyed continuously during the phone bridges before the formal notification." (FAA clarification memo presented by Laura Brown to the 9/11 Commission, entitled 'FAA Communications with NORAD on Sept 11, 2001', presented 21 May, 2003)
So this clarification memo means that the military suspected, along with the FAA, at 8:48 a.m. that AA Flight 77 had been hijacked. And the hijacking was confirmed at 8:56 a.m. when the plane's transponder was turned off. Yet the Commission inexplicably states the military and government leadership receives no official word of Flight 77's approach to D.C. until 9:34 a.m., four minutes before the Pentagon is struck. Why? Were they trying to explain away the initial lack, then bizarre pattern, of military response? Because while military jets were airborne by 9:30 a.m. - 34 unexplained minutes after confirmation of 77's hijacking - they were ordered toward Baltimore, not D.C., to chase down a 'phantom flight 11' the Commission Report invented without the use of any corroborating evidence. Then in the minutes before the crash at the Pentagon, the jets are turned east away from Baltimore, again given inexplicable instructions, this time to fly 60 miles out to sea away from Washington and the obvious bearing of Flight 77.
It is essential to remember the testimony of Norman Mineta reviewed earlier in this paper, showing full government and military awareness of Flight 77 and its suicidal path toward D.C. before the fighters were scrambled and given the above nonsensical orders. By 9:27 a.m. (which is when Mineta walked into the scene), Cheney and others were already watching the progress of Flight 77 zeroing in on Washington from their underground bunker below the White House. "During the time that the airplane (Flight 77) was coming into 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!?"
Mineta's testimony proves that Cheney, and other top military officials in the bunker with him at that time, not only knew about Flight 77's whereabouts and approach, they were giving direct orders as to how to engage and deal with it. And since Cheney has admitted numerous times that orders to shoot down planes were not given until after 10:10 a.m., clearly Cheney's orders referred to in Mineta's testimony were to not shoot down AA77. Meaning the Vice President of the United States, the ranking government official in Washington that morning, ordered that the airplane be allowed to freely enter D.C. airspace, line up the Pentagon, and slam into its West wing. That Cheney did not even evacuate the White House bunker in which he was himself sitting, even though it was surely a potential target, only furthers the suspicion of the VP's full knowledge of AA77's intentions. And while the media refuses to connect the dots, Cheney's deliberate order of non-action in regards to the flight, and his refusal to evacuate the Pentagon, are nothing less than high treason and mass murder. Any reasonable investigator would pull Cheney into an interrogation room, and hammer at him over and over and over to explain his comments, his whereabouts, his meaning, his contradictions, and the highly suspicious nature of his behavior.
But, of course, Cheney believes himself untouchable. And so far, because of our collective inaction, he is.
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