This is a copy of page Less than 24 hours after I was informed by a fellow researcher on 9/11 event that this page was available on internet, it was knocked off. Fortunately, I did a copy, that I can host now on my web site. I hope the webmasters of will be able to put their stuff on line again soon. JPD. Oct 6 2004.

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 L5b.1- Now, about the Washington hijacked plane: United Flight 77.  And, as before, this narration does not really provide sources or justification of information.  For that, you should have hand-outs that you were given.

 L5b.2- Flight 77, another Vigilant-Guardian-designated test plane, took off from Dulles air port near Washington. D. C., at about 8:20.  The take-off was about 15 minutes late.  Part of the evidence of Flight 77's special relationship to Vigilant Guardian was its pilot on 9/11.

L5b.3- No one in the media--or elsewhere, for that matter--has mentioned that the pilot that morning of Flight 77 had, in fact, not long before, prepared the Pentagon's emergency procedures in the event of a commercial plane hitting the Pentagon. He was Air Force National Guard.

L5b.4- Please reflect on this a moment: again, "the pilot of Flight 77 had, in fact, not long before, been an author of the Pentagon's emergency procedures in the event of a commercial plane hitting the Pentagon"--and it would be this very plane, piloted by the author of those Pentagon emergence procedures--whose plane he piloted DID hit the Pentagon on the morning of 9/11. But he was no longer the pilot.

L5b.5- This confronts us with two possibilities: either, the gods have a strange sense of humor; or, two, that precisely that pilot had been designated by NORAD to carry out a Vigilant Guardian hijack routine because he was the sort of "insider" pilot they preferred to have take part in such a simulation game. I challenge anyone to come up with any other explanation. If you do, tell us. And in the meantime: Hands. who believes the first alternative? The second alternative? Any other alternatives come to mind?

L5b.6- Flight 77's Vigilant Guardian planned routine appeared to have begun by the pilot at about 8:45 AM, as Flight 77's transponder and radio went silent and the plane flew off course by several miles. (To the north, like Flight 11.) However, no more than 5 minutes later, Flight 77 was back on course, resuming its course in the direction of its destination. During that 5-minute period, when Flight 77 was in the role of a hijacked plane, Dulles control tower relayed news of the irregularities of Flight 77--and probably did so by 8:50. NORAD would not have taken special notice of the information except to log it with other Vigilant Guardian results. NORAD was busy. And at that time, just minutes after Flight 11 crashed, the idea that all simulated hijackings were possibly also real hijackings might well have not crossed anyone's mind.

L5b.7- That is, notice that Flight 77 began its Vigilant Guardian routine even BEFORE 8:46--thr time of Flight 11 striking Tower One. The Flight 77 pilot would have had no idea that another Vigilant Guardian psuedo-hijack plane had turned into the real thing. He probably never heard about the terrible events in New England before he, himself, was a victim of the real hijackers of his own plane, which happened a couple of minutes after Flight 11 crashed.

L5b.8- That is, only minutes after Flight 77 had displayed its "hijack characteristics" for the Vigilant Guardian game, it returned to its correct flight course; and--this is critical--the Flight 77 pilot had then responded normally to Indianapolis tower control, and the control tower approved Flight 77 flying at a higher altitude and a course correction--common plane-ground communications. That is, Flight 77 was behaving quite normally by 8:55 and thus probably no longer would have been on any hijack list. (Although we don't actually know how such a classification or procedure was in effect on 9/11--but it was probably controlled by FAA's National Hijack Coordinator, in conjunction with his counterpart in NORAD.)

L5b.9- So, only minutes after the occurrence of the Boston-New York horror became a stark and obvious emergency, Flight 77 appeared to be flying normally again, and NORAD's attention was riveted on New York, and report of a second hijacked plane--Flight 175--and by 8:55, so was the attention of many millions of TV viewers. In all probability, so were FAA officials. Nevertheless, FAA was obliged by law to scramble to investigate Flight 77's reported sshaart period of "irregular behavior"--but only when requested by civilian authority.

That request came only a half hour later, and in a quite curious way.

L5b.10- It is certain that the FAA's National Hijack Coordinator or a comparable person in NORAD--they are in the same office--stopped the normal intercept routine because Flight 77's episode of "irregularities" had been expected, and qualified as the desired characteristics of the Vigilant Guardian simulation exercise.

L5b.11- Therefore, we are doubly safe in presuming that Flight 77 was, indeed, scheduled as part of the Vigilant Guardian exercise:   one proof was that FAA did not order NORAD to scramble interceptors to investigate. The further confirmation was that, at 9:25, a half hour later, FAA did specifically notify NORAD only that Flight 77 was "probably hijacked" and FAA gives no source or reason why they believed this.

L5b.12- After resuming its normal direction west, Flight 77 had passed from Pennsylvania into Ohio, crossing along Ohio's southern border with West Virginia and nearing Kentucky, and passed out of Dulles airport responsibility, and soon entered a zone which was not yet visible on Indianapolis's control tower radar--which was Flight 77's next control tower link.      Technically, Flight 77 was then flying under the control of Cleveland--which had no real control or apparent knowledge of Flight 77..

L5b.13- However, at that point, (now nearing 9:00AM) at about the Ohio-West Virginia-Kentucky border intersection, very real hijackers did seize Flight 77. Flight 77's transponder was turned off. Then, within minutes (just before 9:00), over West Virginia, Flight 77 made a 180 semicircle turn, and began to fly back toward Washington. For a short while, no one noticed either the turn-around, nor the now-east-bound and unidentified plane. In and of itself, that was not unusual. Quite a few--usually smaller--planes in the air do not use transponders and are not identified by any control tower except when they make radio contact.

L5b.14- Vigilant Guardian exercise included all of the U.S. and Canada. Throughout that area for which NORAD was responsible, at that time more than 4,000 planes were in the air. In fact, when the air space over the U.S. was shut down around midday, 9/11, 4,500 planes landed. And before they landed, very many of them would not be immediately and positively identifiable.

L5b.15- In fact, around 9 AM, NORAD had been concerned about a fourth erratic, but known plane out of Newark International that had indeed been hijacked, and would later crash in rural Pennsylvania; and NORAD was concerned about a second erratic plane identified by a control tower--incorrectly--as being another hijacking.  In all, there were eleven suspect planes at the time, but--for the moment-- not Flight 77.

L5b.16- Nevertheless, soon there were bound to be questions about what had happened to Flight 77, because, in fact, for practical purposes, it had disappeared. There was even some speculation that--perhaps in Ohio or West Virginia, or Kentucky or Indiana, where it's normal flight route would have taken it--that it might have crashed or even exploded in the sky.

L5b.17- Eventually--shortly after flight 175 crashed into Tower Two (at 9:02)--a West Virginia airport control tower became concerned about radar "blips" of an unidentified plane because it was flying swiftly east in the general direction of Washington and did not respond or identify itself by radio.

L5b.18- By 9:05, that information was passed around among control towers, and control towers in the Washington area eventually would request planes in the air to identify this "blip." Eventually,  Pentagon emergency headquarters picked up on this unknown plane. For a half hour, there were no identifications. However, it was Flight 77, flown by hijackers.

L5b.19- Almost immediately, when a West Virginia tower reported the blip flying rapidly toward D.C., and the Secret Service at the White House was notified. (It is possible that Cheney, himself, in the Situation Room, picked up the original report.  How early Cheney went to the Situation Room may be quite important.  This narrative assumes he was there  from the time Flight 11 crashed into the World Trade Towers, and before Flight 77 was hijacked.)

L5b.20- Let me pause here, in this narrative, to look at what seemed to have been going on at the White House during this time: that is, from before 9:00 AM until after 9:30 AM, and mention a few events in Florida, where President Bush was that morning.

L5b.21- But first, you should know that this half-hour period--before 9:00 AM until after 9:30 AM--and events related to the White House and the Pentagon, stand out because--more than any other part of this 9/11 narrative--there are obvious deceptions and possibly also unintended confusion and, most of that is about the timing of events. Over and over, the times people cite just don't add up.

L5b.22- All of which probably indicates that if there are sinister aspects to 9/11, it is somewhere during this period in the Washington area that we can especially expect clues. What was going on here appears to be a cause for worry by those were trying to cover their tracks. If so, the cover-up has serious--maybe fatal--cracks, because a careful survey of known evidence points to a problem that Mr. Cheney was having.

L5b.23- Now, back to this White House story. On the morning of 9/11, the Bush family was not at the White House, Vice President Cheney was.  Also, so was National Security Advisor, Candoleezza Rice, whose office is close to the Situation Room in the White House basement. Cheney's White House office is on the first floor, West Wing of the White House.

L5b.24- By 9:00, Cheney already seems to have been in the Situation Room in the basement of the White House, where he could see on display the real-time information that was available about hijacked planes--which would include Flight 175 striking Tower Two at 9:02 AM.  He had been joined by Candoleezza Rice and some others of  the White House staff.

L5b.25- (It must be mentioned that the "Situation Room" --an unprotected room in the White House basement has been chosen here as the place where the described events between 9:00 and 9:30 happened; in distinction to "the White House Bunker," which are several underground rooms considerably more removed from the White House via a tunnel, where Cheney, Candoleezza Rice and others were moved to at some point around or after 9:30. The Bunker is further underground and strongly reinforced to withstand quite powerful explosions, even nuclear blasts. The interior of both major rooms are similar in communications equipment. An issue of fact is: in which room did events happen from 9:00--9:30 AM?  However, for our purposes, it makes little difference.)

L5b.26- At about 9 AM, Candoleezza Rice telephoned George Bush, who had just arrived at a grade school in Florida, about to make a TV presentation about teaching reading, and she told him what had happened with Flight 11. Ms. Rice's telephone call may or may not have included news of  the 9:02 crash of Flight 175. Ms. Rice says it did not.

L5b.27- Shortly after the second hijack crash into Tower #2, Candoleezza Rice and Cheney were also to hear about another plane with probable hostile intentions that was flying east out of W. Virginia at least 400 miles an hour toward Washington, D.C.  There were, as mentioned above, a number of other suspect planes.

L5b.28- At about 9:05, the White House Secret Service, under Cheney's direction, called--not Bush, not the Pentagon, nor FAA, but--nearby Andrews Air Force Base and ordering them to launch interceptors to provide air cover for the White House. That is a Secret Service responsibility. Cheney also ordered the Andrews planes to shoot down the eastward flying plane if it did not yield. For precisely this purpose, Andrews supposedly had interceptors in high readiness. But what they did not have ready was interceptors that were armed with rockets, ready to destroy other planes.

L5b.29- It should be mentioned here that there was a Joint Chief's order that no NORAD equipment was to be used to physically interfere with any civilian plane--even those declared hijacked. That order had been in force only since June, 2001, and could be overturned by only a handful of people in the federal government:  Joint Chief General Sheldon (who, on the morning of 9/11 was over the mid Atlantic, traveling to Europe), Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, at the Pentagon, and President Bush--and possibly Vice-President Cheney, but only if Bush was somehow not capable.

L5.30- Thus, on 9/11, by calling Andrews Air Force Base (where Air  Force One, the Presidential planes, are kept, and where Secret Service often work) Secret Service had effectively preempted both agencies--FAA and NORAD--in the defense of the White House (and "Sector 56") against the approaching unknown plane from the west.  May we also assume that Cheney's orders via the Secret Service were also passed along to those
on an emergency telephone "party line" hook-up of key military and Pentagon people--which was hooked up at about the same time?  Possibly.

L5.31- However, after 10 or 15 minutes of waiting, it would have been entirely clear to those in the White House that Andrews AFB still had not launching planes. Andrews AFB seemed to be having a  prolonged problem with loading up rockets, that they would need to effectively fire on planes, as ordered by Cheney.

L5b.32- At 9:09-- a few minutes after Cheney and the Secret Service had taken the initiatives with Andrews Air Force Base--NORAD Hq in Florida also put three F16 interceptor and their pilots on alert at NORAD's own air base at Langley, Virginia-- which is about 130 miles south of Washington.  At least, formally, NORAD had no notice of Flight 77 as being hijacked. However, by this time, NORAD, FAA, Chaney and others--except Pres. Bush--may have been in direct contact with each other via a telephone hookup.  We have no knowledge if the possibility that Flight 77 was approaching Washington was mentioned on this hook-up.  We can be fairly certain that an unknown plane flying toward Wasshington was mentioned over the emergency hook-up.

L5b.33- Unlike the Andrews planes, the Langley interceptor planes were armed. However, NORAD could not order the Langley interceptor to take off toward Washington without FAA orders. Instead, these and other NORAD planes did have specific "pathways" assigned to them, out to sea from their land bases.  NORAD would have to wait for nearly a half hour to get orders to fly across land to Washington.  After all, before 9/11,  hijacking was a criminal matter, not a military matter, and the Air Force was forbidden to enforce American law without specific authority to do so.

L5b.34- Cheney had been a hands-on Secretary of Defense during Gulf War One. He knew NORAD was the expert and long-practiced agency to provide air defenses over Washington--and elsewhere in America. We may also assume he knew about the restrictions imposed on NORAD's plane's in June: two months before 9/11, that said NORAD could not interfer with civilian planes--even those identified as hijacked, without orders from top-level civilian officials.

L5b.35- At 9:05, Cheney's impatience to get air protection over his own head would be understandable, but why would Cheney turn to the Secret Service for that protection, rather than turning directly and immediately to NORAD--or then, indirectly to FAA--which always had that primary mission?  Or why not talk to his long-time colleague, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, and request the NORAD permission?

L5b.36- By directing the Secret Service to try for 20 minutes to muster an air shield over Washington and over himself, via Andrews AFB,--instead of working with civilian high officials--Cheney appears to have made a tactical--and genueine--mistake. That is:

L5b.37- NORAD knew what was going on in their command: Langley AFB was much better prepared that morning than Andrews Air Base--and very possibly because word had gotten around at Langley, but not at Andrews, to be prepared to participate in the Vigilant Guardian exercise. Andrews was not part of that exercise, or at least not prepared with armed intercepters.

L5b.38- Thus, in spite of the Secret Service's orders, Andrews Air Base's interceptors never did get airborne in time to intercept the radar blip as it approached Washington. Given a shoot-down order, the Andrews pilots knew--like most other supposedly high-readiness interceptors in the U. S.--that they were not loaded with the means to destroy planes in the sky. Their commanders may also have had doubts about the legality of carrying out Cheney's orders. In case of doubt, the military tradition is to say "yes, sir"--and then stall around.

L5b.39- That is, an unmentioned--much less explained--puzzle is why Cheney, by his own admission, came to be actively involved in deciding whether NORAD should scramble planes, and from where. It may be that Cheney has something quite serious to answer for: to explain why--instead of NORAD on 9/11 getting permission from the President or Rumsfeld to to protect Washington, D.C., that Cheney, himself, quite unofficially, took over that responsibility that seems contrary to federal regulations, and surely invited predictable confusion and ineffective application of the national defensive capacity--with grimly-fatal results to the people in the Pendagon.

L5b.40- And so we might also ask: if, at about 9:05, Cheney had irregularly interfered with the Washington air defenses, had he--or some comparable person-- also interfered with NORAD launching the F15's at Otis Air Base a half hour earlier which should have protected New York City?
The answer is "no." NORAD's delay in New England was clearly a result of the confusion caused by the genuine hijackers hiding behind the Vigilant Guardian multiple hijack exercise, as explained in the previous lecture.

L5b.41- But, was it not that very New England confusion, which was actually repeating itself with Flight 77--which Cheney realized was happening again? So did he take over the defense of Washington, himself, since apparently FAA and NORAD were not responding to what had happened to Flight 77, and Cheney feared that again they would not respond in time?

L5b.42- That is, did Cheney believe what FAA and NORAD did not know:  that--in spite of the normal responses of the Flight 77 pilot at 8:55AM, the plane had most probably turned into a real hijacking, and the unknown flight toward Washington was indeed Flight 77, controlled by hijackers intent on destroying a symbolic American prime target, first among which was the White House, where Cheney, himself, was. (Incidently, also Ms. Cheney was also in the Situation Room/Bunker.)

L5b.43- But, if Cheney realized this, why did he not simply tell FAA and NORAD to stop the east-bound, unknown plane?

But consider his likely position:

L5b.44- Could he reveal WHY he knew that additional planes--precisely the Vigilant Guardian hijack exercise planes--were over by real hijackers without revealing how and why he knew---and NO ONE ELSE IN WASHINGTON KNEW or even believed?

L5b.45- Or--could Cheney, himself, have been given prior power to make this very serious decision, in the event that the President had been incapacitated while talking about goats to second graders? But Cheney did NOT have such a derived presidential power.  Repeatedly, testimony said such a derived power had not been communicated to FAA or the American military command, and. they knew of no shoot down orders at all  before Flight 77 hit the Pentagon.
Actually, the procedure for transferring Presidential power to the Vice-president is rather complicated, and it had not happened.

L5b.46.- In his turn, Cheney did not know that only the Langley NORAD planes were ready to defend Washington with live, mounted missiles. And quite apparently, Cheney did not realize that there was--apparently-- a conscious "confusion" at Andrews AB, after the Secret Service gave Cheney's Draconian orders that pilots be prepared to kill perhaps 100 innocent American civilians on Flight 77..

In any event, for a long time, when it was needed, there was no interceptor umbrella at all over Washington.

L5b.47-However, the question then emerges:  why FAA had not notify NORAD to do what Cheney was already doing, even if Cheney had not asked for their help.  That is, why did FAA not see to it that armed NORAD planes were launched over Washington--in addition to Cheney's unexecuted order to Andrews?  That would seem sensible and prudent, since an unknown plane without answering questions from the ground,  was rushing toward Washington--America's prime target--and two hostile planes had crashed into two big buildings only minutes before.  Or  at least in hindsight this seems prudent.

l5b.48- We might assume that either:
1.  No one else thought of it--unlikely; or
2. There were regulations which limited the launching of intercepters-- true; but not sufficient
3. Cheney or someone else said not to do it; so it didn't happen--possibly true, or
4. The Insider telephone hook-up people in authority decided to go with Cheney's use of Andrews planes, perhaps because it did not require the extra step of getting an approval to send armed planes without the prior identity of the plane known.

Since we are told that the Pentagon emergency center continued to try to find out what the in-coming plane was, it is possible that the "Cheney's-already-doing-it" alternative seemed practical--at least until 9:25 AM.
But Cheney had NOT succeeded in "doing it."  So, why didn't Cheney tell FAA, NORAD or Rumsfeld that he was unsuccessful and explain why someone else should take over?

L5b.48b- That is, it is clear that neither Rumsfeld nor the others with these responsibilities shared Cheney's sense of urgency.  At least they did not act on it, and indeed, they, themselves, remained at high risk.  We must therefore assume they did not understand why Cheney was so concerned and urgent.  But then, why did not Cheney explain what he knew?

L5b.48c- The story we have been told is that after 9:00 AM, an uneasy Secret Service had been telling Cheney fairly regularly about the expected time that the east-bound plane blip moving fast toward the White House would arrive over--or better, into--the White House. They were also frequently asking him if he was still ordering a shoot-down to prevent the wayward plane from reaching the White House--and he was replying with an annoyed  "yes" to each time he was asked.  Apparenntly, Andrews was offering to immediately launch planes, but without rockets.

L5b.49- By 9:20, very many nervious people watching TV in Washington would have known about the fast-moving radar blip flying toward D.C., and among them would certainly have been the Cabinet Secretary of Transportation Menita, who oversees FAA.  This menacing blip must have been on Menita's mind--and surely since shortly after 9:00 AM--for, let's say--a mimumum of 15 minutes.  And presumably he had learned about--or watched or listened in on--Cheney's unsuccessful attempt to monopolize the defenses of Washington, D. C.-- but unlike other relevant players, Menita seems to have acted.  He was officially responsible.

L5b.50- Finally, at about 9:20--possibly later--Secretary Menita walked into the White House Situation Room, where, as he later testified, he found Cheney "taking charge."

L5b.51- We have no information about any Cheney-Menita conversation, but at 9:25, we are told that FAA finally told NORAD that Flight 77 was "probably hijacked," which obviously freed NORAD to intervene with its armed planes from Langley, and finally, it did.

L5b.52- For its part, FAA refuses to release the name of the on-duty FAA coordinator for hijacking emergencies on 9/11 who should have had this responsibility and who would know when and how--or if--Cheney had usurp that FAA responsibility. And it also appears that the head of FAA  is lying about what was known about Flight 77. That, too, muddies the water, and implied NORAD was enormously incompetent or worse. In fact, NORAD's hands were tied legally until freed by a civilian order.

L5b.53- As it is, it is fairly certain that NORAD had not launch it's Langley F16's until Flight 77 was about to strike the Pentagon--and very possible even after Flight 77 struck. At least, several Air Force generals testified that no planes had been launched until only after the Pentagon was struck.

L5b.54- This is possibly the key issue that needs to see the light of day, but no hearing or investigation has asked questions about these events or the reason for the inadequate response, and  probably none will ask.

L5b.55- Although it appears that an increasing number of people knew that Flight 77 had genuinely gone missing from about 8:55 AM, we are told that only at about 9:25 was the name of the  missing flight 77 was put forward by FAA to NORAD as a "POSSIBLE" hijacking. But no one seemed to know--besides Cheney-- where Flight 77 was, so the "possible hijacking" designation would hardly help NORAD to do much about actually stopping Flight 77. It was simply too late.

L5b.56- In fact, FAA has released no information at all about why FAA decided--40 minutes after Flight 77 displayed the characteristics of hijacking that should have required immediate designation as a hijacking--that finally, in FAA's eyes, at 9:25, Flight 77 was indeed "possibly" hijacked, but without any input from control towers announcing the fact--nor without locating Flight 77..

L5b.57- So, we may say that after a half hour, because armed Andrews  planes had not yet appeared over D. C., an increasingly nervous Cheney, and probably with Transportation Secretary Menita's urgent insistance, finally said something that activated FAA's capacity to get the Langley interceptors airborne. Did designating Flight 77 as hijacked seemed the simplest and most direct way to get NORAD back into the business of defending D.C.?  If so, without Cheney's help, it still left NORAD with the problem of discovering where Flight 77 might be.

And why did it take the Transportation Secretary walking down into the White House Situation Room/Bunker to get this message delivered to NORAD?  These are key questions we wll not see asked by the 9/11 Commission that is supposedly investigating the matter.

L5b.58- So, until after 9:30, and probably closer to 9:35, NORAD's Langley F16 pilots had remained at the ready sitting in their planes on the ground--waiting nearly a half hour. Finally they were ordered to take off, and to head --still not towards Washington, where the Secret Service reigned, but--toward New York City (or perhaps even out to sea, via NORAD's open air corridor, or, as one NORAD official stated that the planes were given no specific destination except "north.").  Apparently, NORAD still did not have sufficient information to specifically identify the plane approaching the White House as the "possibly" hijacked Flight 77.

But why would it take a specific identification of Flight 77 approaching Washington to allow NORAD to direct its armed planes to protect Washington?

Besides, NORAD emergency people in the Pentagon were surely part of the telephone hook-up that included Cheney.  Had Cheney not explained why he believed the in-coming plane was Flight 77, hijacked? Apparently not.

L5b.59- Probably having taken off even after the Pentagon was hit, and as the Langley planes were flying northeast toward New York, and passing considerably to the east of  D. C., the three F16's  from Langley reported seeing smoke rising from the Pentagon. They could not have been in the air for five minutes.  It was nearly identical to the action of the Cape Cod planes. Finally, they were ordered to fly toward Washington.

L5b.60- That is, about 9:30, the unidentified east-bound plane had approached Washington--it is said at about 7,000  feet--perhaps too high for the missiles on the roof of the White House.   Then, we are told,  very near the White House, Flight 77 banked sharply to the right--and turning further to the west, so that at the plane was approached the Pentagon again from the west--the direction from which it had originally come--but this time very low--low enough that it was now avoiding the Pentagon's missiles, located in the five-story-high Pentagon's center court yard. (The missiles were  not on the roof, where they might have had a wider-ranging line of fire--if they had even been activated. Apparently they were not.  Interestingly, just before 9/11, the Pentagon had gone through an on-paper plane attack exercise--which "crashed" an on-paper plane in the central court yard--but apparently that "game" exercise did not alert the Pentagon to the lack of effective defenses.)

L5b.60b-  In fact, Flight 77 was flying too low.  It struck the ground slightly, just before it hit the Pentagon, and is reported as attem*pting to gain altitude just before it hit..

L5b.61- A C130 transport was taking off to the south from Andrews AFB just prior to Flight 77 passed by--at about 9:30. The C130 pilot was asked to look at the nearby, now-low-flying unknown plane--and, for the first time, he was immediately able to identify the plane as Flight 77. The C130 actually followed close behind and above Flight 77 ( and some ground observers mistook it for another suicide attack plane). However, the C130 pilot could only watch helplessly as--moments later-- Flight 77 crashed low into the western outer ring of the Pentagon, and exploded--breaking into compressed masses of hot aluminum, like hot cannon balls--that passed clear through several rings of Pentagon office buildings. About 200 people--125 in the Pentagon--died.

L5b.62- The time of the crash into the Pentagon is disputed: NORAD says  later (a respectible time after the FAA announcement and after they had launched their planes--and after Bush's statement on TV), but private reports noted it earlier. But the definitive evidence are damaged clocks found in the Pentagon debris which stopped at the same time: 9:31 AM.  No official source has mentioned the clocks, and no official source has said Flight 77 crashed so early.  In fact, the time described for the crash is varied and remains officially vague--but stated well after NORAD ordered its Langley planes into the air.  (At a later hearing, the crash time was moved from 9:45 AM to 9:37 AM by NORAD--based on the timer running in a parking lot TV recording, that showed Flight 77 striking the Pentagon.  The problem with this revision of the crash time was that the timing devises in the parking lot cameras were not set correctly.  Even their dates were wrong.  9:31+ AM remains the best estimate.)

The crash also occurred after--or while--George Bush finished his only TV statement to the American public about two attacks during that day.  (He made another statement in the evening).

L5b.63- (An innocent part of this time confusion may be due to what was apparently  at least one explosion about 10 minutes after the plane had already struck the Pentagon--which could have had a number of causes typical of hot building fires, and surely account for the people, who  having heard on seen the explosion, but not the crash, thought that the plane crashed later. Department of Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, who was on the east side of the Pentagon--that is, the side opposite the crash--said he noticed nothing until the in-building announcements of the crash.)

L5b.64- But if Flight 77 crashed at 9:31--and there is really no plausible alternative--it meant that NORAD's 3 interceptors went into the air as--or AFTER--Flight 77 crashed, and that--similarly--it was only at that time that the Secret Service conducted Cheney into the bunker tunnel.

L5b.65- Were they to admit that Flight 77 reached Washington at 9:30, FAA's notification--at 9:25-- to NORAD to intercept with its planes still on the ground, 130 miles away, would have been been clearly too late, and the failure would have fallen back on FAA--and then, ultimately, on Cheney, who had apparently blocked earlier FAA action. Of course, since NORAD had no location for Flight 77, and no permission to shoot down the plane,  it was not even relevant when the NORAD planes had taken off.

L5b.66- If NORAD had indeed been so late launching its Langley interceptors, it was a repetition of what had happened 45 minutes earlier in New England--i.e., NORAD launched the Otis interceptors only after Flight 11 crashed into Tower One. Later, in both situations NORAD lied about these absurdly-late responses.

L5b.67- However, in the Flight 77 situation, it appears to be interference by Cheney via the Secret Service that had seriously and secretly side-tracked a timely NORAD response to the unknown blip. That is, NORAD had failed to scramble to investigate the Vigilant Guardian pseudo hijacking at 8:50--which would have enabled NORAD to have found and intercepted Flight 77 not much after 9:00.

L5b.68- But then, FAA or NORAD surely had deemed the 8:50 incident to have been part of the Vigilant Guardian exercise. But Cheney somehow knew otherwise.   It appears NORAD had missed this second, and more important chance at intercepting Flight 77 shortly after 9:00 because of  the intervention of the Secret Service--under Cheney's direction--and lack of a positive identification of Flight 77, although control towers had spotted an unknown, suspecious plane.

(A play--"Cheney at 9:31"--tells this story in a semi-fictionized version, but with all of the known facts included.  The text of the play is attached as "P5b."  The play has been performed and recorded,  suitable to be aired as an hour-long Access TV presentation.  The hour-long recording is on CD, and may be procured by communicating with the "teach-in committee," listed at the end of this lecture.)

L5b.69- Thus, Vigilant Guardian had played a role in interfering in effective responses to each hijacking, but there were significant differences in the actual sequence of events, and who the prime players were.

L5b.70- But, surely, it was also high time that FAA, NORAD and related agencies--and especially Cheney-- should have gone through an exercise to find out how to work together in such an emergency. But for 125  people in the Pentagon, it was too late.

L5b.71- So, in recognition of his outstanding performance, NORAD's commanding officer in Florida was soon promoted to head up all NORAD. That should keep him quiet until at least after the 2004 election.

L5b.72- There was a fourth hijacked plane, Flight 93, that left Newark at 8:42 (40 minutes late) flying toward San Francisco, but ended its flight in southwestern rural Pennsylvania, where it either crashed because its passengers staged an attack to take back the plane, or  because the plane was shot down by the Air Force--which by that time was up and pursuing the plane. Or the hijackers, themselves, crashed the plane for one or both reasons.  There are some indications that a hijacker actually bllew up the plane whille in flight.

L5b.73- Not much attention has been paid to this fourth hijacking, which was less attractive to the media, since it lacked the dramatic impact of he other three buildings. Not as many people died.

L5b.74- However, Flight 93 shows some of the same pattern as the other three hijacked planes: At about 9:20, FAA tells NORAD that Flight 93 is hijacked. Nothing happens.

L5b.75- Then 12 minutes later, at about 9:30, there is a record of unusual background noises and commotion on the plane that does suggest  there is indeed a genuine hijacking in progress, and the plane's radio and transponder are turned off.

L5b.76- Or, perhaps, because of the New York City events, FAA had only gone through the motions of the Vigilant Guardian simulation schedule and dispensed with waiting out the psuedo-hijack routine for Flight 93. (Many details of Flight 93 are known, since it's "black boxes" were recovered, and quite a bit was recorded and saved--but interestingly, the first quarter hour is missing--when either a Vigilant Guardian routine--or the real thing--might have been played out. If he was not being hidden, the FAA emergency coordinator might tell us what he did and when. Perhaps some day he will write a book.)

L5b.77- However, the Flight 93 story generally corresponds to the pattern of the other three planes: of a first, scheduled, simulated "hijacking" being reported and passed on to FAA and to NORAD, and then ten or 15 minutes later a genuine hijacking seems to be happening.

L5b.78- We do not know when FAA first notified NORAD. However, the hijacker deception apparently was no longer working--because NORAD planes were soon pursuing Flight 93, and directly or indirectly, and that may have stopped Flight 93 from reaching Washington.

L5b.79- That is, 93's hijackers were not as successful as their comrades had been earlier. Probably it was their 40-minute take-off delay that cost them their chance to deceive NORAD: that by 9:20,  FAA/NORAD apparently finally realized that "simulated" hijackings were  turning into real hijackings, and Flight 93 was pursued accordingly.  This time, the hijackers were stopped--one way or another-- before they  reached their target.

L5b.80- We know the target of Flight 93's hijackers because--although Flight 93 did not reach its target, the hijackers did tell the passengers they were being flown to Washington, D.C., not back to their airport of origin- Newark --and one public source says the plane actually notified some  tower control on the ground of their "flight plan modification"--their intentions of flying to Washington! Of course, this can be seen as corresponding to the targets listed by Khalid Shaikh Mohammed.

L5b.81- Oslama ben Laden, himself, later said that their target was the Capital Building.

L5b.82- In these cases, as they are described, it appears that the genuine hijackers were fairly consistent in taking over the planes after the pilots had shut off radios and transponders--and at somewhat more than five minutes into the period when the pilots were carrying out the Vigilant Guardian psuedo-hijackings.

L5b.83- A reasonable hypothesis would be that the Vigilant Guardian scenario provided for the psuedo-hijack routine was defined differently for each  plane. To maximize the likelihood that the take-over would not be understood on the ground for what it really was--or at least not successfully communicated--the real hijackers were to wait perhaps five minutes into the scheduled psuedo-hijacking routines, and then invade the plane's cockpit. In the case of Flight 77, it appears that the pilot cut short his puedo-hijack simulation, and contacted the Indianapolis control tower--perhaps because he knew he was running late. By so doing, his routine communications at 8:55 restored Flight 77 to a normal flight status before the real hijackers struck. However, by doing so, perhaps the pilot of Flight 77 had actually helped the hijackers, by further confusing FAA and NORAD.

L5b.84- Khalid Shaikh Mohammed said the real hijacking was to be between 5 and 12 minutes after take-off, although that does not seem to include Flight 77 or Flight 93, which must have occurred a half hour after take off. Perhaps Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was not eager to disclose that the actual directive to the hijackers was to seize planes 5  after the psuedo-hijacking was begun as part of Vigilant Guardian.

L5b.85- Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was not likely to admit that he had confederates around the White House, helping him and the hijackers to their successes, any more than would White House insiders want to advertise their contact with Khalid Shaikh Mohammed.

L5b.86- Another possible conclusion to draw from the Flight 93 saga is that this time, the Air Force definitely was NOT "standing down" to enable the terror spectacle to happen again--as many have accused FAA and NORAD of having done with the previous planes. Rather, finally when those agencies began to understand what was going on, Flight 93 was pursued--and one way or another it did not reach its destination.

L5b.87- That is, if the Air Force had not interfered, Flight 93 might have ended very dramatically by crashing into the White House, the Capital or the CIA.  That is, if --according to the "stand down" theory of 9/11-- 9/11 was a scheme orchestrated via NORAD and/or FAA to create a tidal wave of American fury that would justify and support wars and conquest in the Middle East, there would have been no reason for NORAD/FAA to frustrate Flight 93's intended dramatic and destructive accomplishments. And It would have only taken some continuing bungling and mismanagement by the two agencies to let Flight 93 get to its target.

L5b.88- Instead, the information available seems to indicate that whatever nefarious forces may have been at work on 9/11, they were far more subtle and careful, and would not have attempted the risks and possible exposure of actually interfering in military operations enough to block any part of NORAD's fairly efficient and well-practiced procedures--even if NORAD may have indeed stuck in regulations inappropriate to the situation.

L5b.89- What this says is that by just betraying of the details of Vigilant Guardian exercises to the hijack team, so that those plans could be exploited, the Betrayer of Vigilant Guardian had provided the hijackers enough extra time and confusion to give them the intended advantage they needed for success. The failure of the hijackers of Flight 93 rather showed that timing and surprise was important, and when they had lost 40 minutes because of a late take-off, it was long enough for successful defensive measures of the Air Force to take effect against them.

L5b.90- And, indeed, the events of 9/11 had exposed serious deficiencies in NORAD's routines and preparations --far more than anyone had imagined-- and Vigilant Guardian had accomplished its purpose of showing program deficiencies. It just did not save the people at risk on 9/11.

L5b.91- So, one conclusion from careful consideration of the 9/11 events is that NORAD command seemed to have been confused, uncertain or
hobbled in what it should--or even could--do on 9/11; and NORAD's boast of how quickly they could get armed planes into the sky was false.
There were too few armed planes ready for take-off. (In fact, only 4 on the Northeast Coast.) That is, NORAD did not seem to have enough armed planes where they were needed--especially not with rockets--that could not only confront but actually shot down an errant plane. It was typical peace-time parade grounds posturing.

L5b.92- But that is not a criminal conspiracy, either.

L5b.93- This may bring to mind that the U.S.S Cole's sailers on guard duty in Yeman, who had been provided with weapons--but no
ammunition--even in what was known as a quite dangerous environment--so could do nothing as they watched a small boat with a lot of high explosives come along side the USS Cole and detonate enough explosives to nearly sunk the USS Cole.

L5b.94- Should NORAD-FAA have anticipated the possibility of betrayal of the Vigilant Guardian exercise, itself? Actually, a rising tide of
communications and other indicators before 9/11 should have alerted the FBI, the CIA and others to the possiblity--but that raises questions for
another lecture to address.

L5b.95- Concerning the events on 9/11:  more detailed records and analysis of testimony will probably show more irregularities and
inconsistencies--and changing stories. Minutes and distances already do not exactly fit together. Memories disagree. Some people seem to have
shaded their stories to appear more alert or more heroic, and so on. (Prosecutors and investigators know that the more one investigates, the more much cracks and distortions tend to appear in the details--but that is true for even the most solid and careful investigations--including those that result in convictions--which are proven entirely valid.) But the general picture on 9/11 does hang together.

L5b.96- Excluding Cheney's behavour, taken together, no part of the narrative stands out as maliciously deficient--with the possible exception of an odd hesitancy by FAA national emergency control failing to announce Flight 7  hijacked, or at least missing under suspecious circumstances.. Otherwise, one can sustain a charge of failed aggressive imagination, of dullness or being lulled by peace-time routine--but those are not felonious crimes. And,  in the case of Flight 77, it did not show signs of being hijacked--it was only missing--until nearly 9:30 AM.

L5b.97- In short, the evidence does not support charges that--except for Cheney--there was a planned--or especially, a concerted--sabotage of the NORAD defense system on the morning of September 11, 2001 to aid the Al Qa'eda hijackers: and certainly not that there was a design or
conspiracy of flag officers, etc., who INTENTIONALLY caused NORAD to "stand down" or to fail, and intended thousands to die.

L5b.98- And common sense would suggest that it would be entirely impossible to corrupt so many people so profoundly or keep a plan to commit multiple murder secret among them. It couldn't have been kept quiet. And they won't do it. No seasoned American official or officer would have risked so much by furthering or directing such a elaborate, high-risk, "Anti-American" scheme. How could any possible vague promise of future returns justify the risk? Even Mafia leadership would not consider it. Senior government officials are not young, desperate, and suicidal fanatics. That is not the way the world works.

L5b.99- But--

L5b.100- All of this is true ONLY if we factor in the Vigilant (and Cabal-) Guardian exercises, which account for the lost time which gave three of the hijacked planes up to approximately a half hour time after the programmed Vigilant Guardian routines were carried out--during which time NORAD still supposed that the distress and panic from several control towers reporting to FAA--so far as NORAD even knew--might be no more than excited, shocked air traffic controllers--in Boston--who had never experienced air piracy, and now were experiencing two at the same time, and that Flight 77's routine answers after the Vigilant Guardian "hijack" routine allowed NORAD--or FAA--to dismiss Flight 77 out of mind--or at least removed it from NORAD's scope of more urgent responsibilities

L5b.101- After all, was not the very purpose of Vigilant Guardian 2001 to use multiple psuedo-hijacking to create a completely unusual, highly
emotional situation to see if the system could operate without too much confusion? For a half hour into the simulation exercise, cool rationality did not seem to be prevailing, but why should NORAD have begun to imagine the unimaginable--that their own theater piece had become reality? They had no evidence before 8:47 AM, and only with the second crash--of Flight 175--could they be sure that they were confronting a nightmare come to life.

L5b.102- But that is only if the Vigilant Guardian exercises are included in the picture--and, of course, only given the reality of Vigilant Guardian and the Vigilant Guardian Betrayer(s). With it, almost all information about 9/11 is a believable--if a regrettable and only too human--tragic tale. But without the Vigilant Guardian-NORAD exercise on 9/11, (as many bitter critics of the government have charged) the response system failures appear massive, sinister and malicious--and confound our sense of the possible.

L5b.103- So, in the face of this outcry, why does the government remain silent about Vigilant Guardian?

L5b.104- In spite of a continuous bombardment of charges from the public and the media--both in America and especially from oversees--and these are many, very serious charges--why haven't we heard from more than a handful of perhaps a thousand witnesses who most certainly knew
about the Guardian exercises because they had parts to play in it? With a few, quite minor exceptions, they have remained uniformly silent. Are they being told to remain silent? In a few known cases, that appears to be the case.

L5b.105- Neither officially nor individually has anyone made this obvious "excuse" for 9/11 failures, in spite of the apparent reality that the Guardian
exercises seems to absolve (almost) anyone in government from a criminal "stand down" or of criminal or even malicious intentions for failure to intercept--or not even coming close to intercepting-- the three planes that crashed into buildings.

L5b.106- This silence, in the face of the appearance of cold indifference of FAA/NORAD to obvious hijackings, which resulted in a massive
disaster, now divides off many millions of Americans in bitter opposition to, and deep resentment and distrust of, the present federal government and especially the Bush Administration. These people believe that many if not all of the 3,000 deaths that day could have been saved, and perhaps the government--for several terrible reasons-- intentionally avoided protecting the victims or even intended their destruction.

L5b.107- Obviously these are a very serious charge. When combined with the deceit about the grounds for making war on Iraq and the ugly
manipulations and deceit surrounding the Florida vote count that brought Bush into the White House, in the first place, one would suppose that--if it
could--the White House would spare itself the burden of being a lightening rod, so to speak, also for the still-smoldering anger and fury over the 9/11 disaster. The Republican Party could call Vigilant Guardian witnesses to hearings which would make the case made here beyond anyone's doubts.

L5b.108- After all, there is an election coming up. Blame for 9/11 surely is a burden no politician would want attached to himself--even if it was the opinion of a minority.

L5b.109- Especially not if it could be avoided.

L5b.110- So, what is going on at the White House?

L5b.111- One might possibly imagine that the White House is preserving the requirements of secrecy attached to the Vigilant Guardian exercises. But there have been no such requirements--and especially when such exercises are completed. In fact, such exercises are especially successful when they turn up unexpected glitches, and the failures are openly discussed and worked on and corrected--not hidden. That is the purpose of such exercises.

L5b.112- Exercise tests are kept secret beforehand only so that they surprise the involved parties. Like the answers to any test, they should not be prematurely revealed to the persons taking the test. Details of Vigilant Guardian plans were held secret before September 11th.

L5b.113- But not afterward.

L5b.114- And, so far as anyone on the outside knows, information about Vigilant Guardian still is not classified. Indeed, there are a few mentions of
the exercise, but with one exception no mention that carrying out Vigilant Guardian had, of itself, undone the real umbrella of NORAD protection
during the exercise.

L5b.115- But the federal government remains silent to its own considerable detriment and NORAD has woven an entire network of lies, that are actually rather transparent.

L5b.116- But more important, when one looks closely there is more than silence. There is a rather quiet but intense effort to keep proof of Vigilant
Guardian and especially Vigilant Cabal, out of sight, even though the public doesn't even seems to care. A careful inspection of the lists of those killed
not only shows that the supposed Middle Eastern hijacker names have been removed, so have names that would prove mportant parts of the
Guardian exercises. The government is quietly trying to suppress all the evidence. The government may also be promoting far-fetched alternative theories to muddy the water.

L5b.117- When there are high stakes, and some stake-holders are obviously doing something that seems entirely irrational and self-harming, wisdom should suggest that it is the beholder who does not understand the situation. That was a basic premise of the Sherlock Holmes stories--and it applies here.

L5b.118- One basic question is: did the Vigilant Guardian exercise temporarily blunt or even blind NORAD's capacity to defend, even though the exercise was supposed to have been a test of that capacity to defend? There can be little doubt but that was just what had happened.

L5b.119- But,  how was it possible for a score of Middle Eastern young men--many apparently rather provincial and from a desolate area of
southwest Arabia, to have so cleverly positioned themselves to intentionally take advantage of what was essentially a secret U.S. Air Force exercise?

L5b.120- Because it was an inside job.

L5b.121- There can be little doubt that the key information had been brought to Khalid Shaikh Muhammad by an insider(s) with access to NORAD's secrets and a knowledge of how NORAD operates--and especially the date it would happen.  That is, it was NOT Khalid Shaikh Muhammad who chose the date.  Rather, someone gave the date--and obviously the other secret data--to Muhammad Atta, the lead hijacker, who could then tell his Middle Eastern superiors in June, 2001, when it would happen.. And that person who provided the times, places and dates is the what is called here the Vigilant Guardian Betrayer--and that is why the Bush Administration is covering up so much information about 9/11. They fear that if more details become known, the betrayal--and the Betrayer(s)--will become more obvious.

L5b.122- Whoever the Vigilant Guardian Betrayer is, it someone too close to Bush to risk exposing him. (Although this Betrayer is referred to as masculine and as single person, of course, neither has to be the case. In fact, it is quite likely that we are talking about several people working very secretly and tightly together. However, all the likely suspects are males.)

L5b.123- Just who knew what was going to happen--not who knew about the Vigilant and Vigilant Cabal exercises in general; a lot of people knew about that--but who knew that planes might destroy the Towers? Who knew about the anthrax attacks, which I believe is not to be separated from 9/11 as the government wants you to believe. That is, who knew ahead of time about the dangers can tell us a great deal. Above all, how did the team of Al Qa'eda suicide hijackers and their coordinator, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed,  get the secret details. And when they got the details is important.

L5.124- Further, we have seen the apparent certainty that Cheney was taken by surprise by Flight 77's genuine hijacking. He, his wife, Ms. Bush and even Secretary Rumsfeld well-positioned to be victims. Some OTHER forces in addition to Cheney and his Cabal associates had acted to increase al Qa'da's impact, even at the expense of risking the lives of these top-level figures. What other stakes were there besides the Neocon plans to wage a war in the Middle East? Who else would coldly disregard the safety of Washington's main power-brokers?  And who, besides Cheney, "knew too much and too early?"  There appears to be at least two separate conspiracies--one less destructive and one more destructive.
Who are the insiders to each, and why?

L5b.125- So, if those questions interests you, you might want to take a break here and come back in ten minutes, and hear about some of the answers, plus some guesses, that you, yourselves, may want to look into further. I hope you do.

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