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NORAD Tapes Expose
Lax Military Attitude On 9/11 Air Defense
"We'll get back to you on that," Navy ATC told ground ops as they pleaded for fighter support
NORAD tapes released this week which shed light on the negligence of the U.S. military in providing adequate air defense on 9/11 contain a conversation with a Navy air traffic control operator that provides another smoking gun for the assertion of a deliberate stand down policy on the morning of the attacks.
It's 09:34 on September 11, 2001.
At this point in the timeline, NORAD commanders were becoming increasingly frustrated at their impotence and inability to successfully intercept any of the stray aircraft. Erroneous reports of hijacked aircraft that never were and a report that a Cessna, not American Airlines Flight 11, has hit the WTC north tower, are adding to the confusion.
However, the NORAD ground ops know that something is headed towards Washington and they are chomping at the bit to turn around fighters that have been meandering in a stand-by position and send them in the direction of Baltimore.
From the Vanity Fair piece,
"At NEADS, a 28-year-old staff sergeant named William Huckabone, staring at his Green Eye, is the first to notice that the Langley jets are off course. His voice is a mix of stress and dread as he and the controller next to him, Master Sergeant Steve Citino, order a navy air-traffic controller who's handling the fighters to get them turned around toward Baltimore to try to cut off the phantom American 11. The navy air-traffic controller seems not to understand the urgency of the situation."
The conversation with Navy ATC takes place four minutes before Flight 77 hits the Pentagon.
NAVY A.T.C.: You've got [the fighters] moving east in airspace. Now you want 'em to go to Baltimore?
HUCKABONE: Yes, sir. We're not gonna take 'em in Whiskey 386 [military training airspace over the ocean].
NAVY A.T.C.: O.K., once he goes to Baltimore, what are we supposed to do?
HUCKABONE: Have him contact us on auxiliary frequency 2-3-4 decimal 6. Instead of taking handoffs to us and us handing 'em back, just tell Center they've got to go to Baltimore.
NAVY A.T.C.: All right, man. Stand by. We'll get back to you.
CITINO: What do you mean, "We'll get back to you"? Just do it!
HUCKABONE: I'm gonna choke that guy!
CITINO: Be very professional, Huck.
CITINO: All right, Huck. Let's get our act together here.
The fighters never arrive, Flight 77 ploughs into the Pentagon.
Click here for the audio file.
From the tape, you can hear that the NORAD ground ops are furious with the attitude of the Navy air traffic controller at his listless, placid response to their plea for support.
The biggest attack on America since Pearl Harbor is an hour and twenty minutes underway, two planes have already crashed into the World Trade Center, untold more are known to have been hijacked, the President has been told that America is under attack, and military air traffic control who are in charge of the country's air defense fighters do not understand the urgency of the situation?
This is the 9/11 stand down in plain site.
Not only do the NORAD tapes prove that no shoot-down permission was ever granted by the top brass, but they also betray a laissez faire, suspiciously over-relaxed tone from military personnel who failed to assist NORAD in implementing any kind of rapid air defense procedure at every turn.
Webster Tarpley's presentation at the American Scholars Symposium goes into great details about the different wargames that were running on 9/11 and how they confused NORAD commanders and prevented them from doing their job. Click here for a summary and details on how you can see the 66 minute presentation.