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Home > War On Terror

Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps...

"We responded awfully quickly I might say on Tuesday. And in fact we were already tracking in on that plane that crashed in Pennsylvania. I think it was the heroism of the passengers on board that brought it down, but the Air Force was in a position to do so if we had had to."

- Deputy Defense Secretary, Paul Wolfowitz

8 February 2004

President Bush is doing his best to dodge being questioned by the official September 11th commission (a.k.a. the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States). When asked, on NBC’s Meet The Press, whether he’d go before the panel, the President boldly sidestepped the matter with a forthright: “perhaps, perhaps…”

According to an Associated Press report:

The commission is trying to get Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney to testify, as well as Clinton and former vice president Al Gore. Commissioners previously have suggested they also want Cabinet members, as well as Rice, to testify in public hearing, but none of them has said whether they will do so.

Perhaps one reason why Bush is reluctant to go before the panel is that they might ask him tricky questions about Flight 93.

The fate of the hijacked Flight 93 (which crashed in fields in Pennsylvania before reaching its intended target: Washington DC) is still extremely relevant today, particularly because of the alarming new trend in military escorts for commercial flights, and recent proposals for in-flight cameras, which would beam down images of cockpits and cabins so that it can be more quickly and easily determined whether a plane has been hijacked. And has therefore become a threat. That needs getting rid of.

On which note, let us return for a moment to the smouldering fields of Pennsylvania...

There is an unpuncturable myth about Flight 93: that it crashed as a result of the on-board heroism of the passengers and crew. As Tom Ridge, the director of Homeland Security (and Governor of Pennsylvania at the time of the crash) said, at the memorial service one year after the crash:

"Faced with the most frightening circumstances one could possibly imagine, they met the challenge like citizen soldiers, like Americans. The terrorists were right to fear an uprising. The passengers and crew did whatever they humanly could - boil water, phone the authorities, and ultimately rush the cockpit to foil the attack…"

The difficult question - or rather, the "unthinkable question" (to use a phrase from WorldNetDaily) - is this: given that the Pentagon knew about the hijacking of Flight 93 some 50 minutes before it crashed, and given that Wolfowitz admits that "we were already tracking in on that plane that crashed in Pennsylvania" - isn't it more likely that it was brought down deliberately by the US military, rather than being allowed to continue on its course towards Washington DC?

We know that after the WTC and Pentagon impacts, but before the Pennsylvania crash, Bush had given the order to shoot down errant airliners:

"I gave our military the orders necessary to protect Americans. Of course, that was difficult. Never did I dream we would be under attack this way."

Dick Cheney, the Vice President, concurs:

"The president made the decision on my recommendation as well. If the plane would not divert, if they wouldn't pay any attention to instructions to move away from the city, as a last resort our pilots were authorized to take them out. As it turned out, we did not have to execute that decision.

People say that's a horrendous decision to make. Well, it is. You've got an airplane full of American citizens - civilians - captured by terrorists. Are you going to in fact shoot it down, obviously, and kill all those Americans on board?"

Well Dick - are you? The closest Cheney has ever come to admitting the shooting down of Flight 93 is this:

"If we had the opportunity to take out the two aircraft that hit the World Trade Center, would we have been justified in doing it? I think absolutely we would have."

Justified, but innocent.

This is such a common pattern in politics at the moment: to deny an event or an act whilst at the same time stressing that such an act would have been wholly justified (c.f. the whole WMD debate, and the justification of war against Iraq: even if no WMD's are found, so the argument goes, the war was still "justified").

But it isn't some kind of hypothetical justification we want from Cheney or Bush. We want answers. For Christ's sake, just answer the damned questions for once.

Break the habit of a lifetime.

For more information on Flight 93, start with this article, which has a wealth of quotes and links.

Then read this article on WorldNetDaily, which summarises the piece written in the Daily Mirror last year which so forcefully set out the case for Flight 93 being shot down.

And also, while you're about it, have a look at a couple of pieces by Robb Magley - to get a taste of the full spectrum of Flight 93 theorising. The first examines the evidence of a sonic boom, the second asks: was Flight 93 shot down by an HPM? - (a high-powered microwave weapon):

The possibility is that United Flight 93 crashed as a result of being attacked by a high-powered microwave weapon, most likely fired from the C-130 aircraft acknowledged by the Department of Defense to be present that morning.

Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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