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Friday, May 4, 2012

ECHELON: Exposing the Global Surveillance System


ECHELON: Exposing the Global Surveillance System



Global Research, April 25, 2012


This important article was published more than 15 years ago (February 1997) in Covert Action Quarterly

In the late 1980′s, in a decision it probably regrets, the U.S. prompted New Zealand to join a new and highly secret global intelligence system. Hager’s investigation into it and his discovery of the Echelon dictionary has revealed one of the world’s biggest, most closely held intelligence projects. The system allows spy agencies to monitor most of the world’s telephone, e-mail, and telex communications.
For 40 years, New Zealand’s largest intelligence agency, the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) the nation’s equivalent of the US National Security Agency (NSA) had been helping its Western allies to spy on countries throughout the Pacific region, without the knowledge of the New Zealand public or many of its highest elected officials. What the NSA did not know is that by the late 1980s, various intelligence staff had decided these activities had been too secret for too long, and were providing me with interviews and documents exposing New Zealand’s intelligence activities. Eventually, more than 50 people who work or have worked in intelligence and related fields agreed to be interviewed.
The activities they described made it possible to document, from the South Pacific, some alliance-wide systems and projects which have been kept secret elsewhere. Of these, by far the most important is ECHELON.
Designed and coordinated by NSA, the ECHELON system is used to intercept ordinary e-mail, fax, telex, and telephone communications carried over the world’s telecommunications networks. Unlike many of the electronic spy systems developed during the Cold War, ECHELON is designed primarily for non-military targets: governments, organizations, businesses, and individuals in virtually every country. It potentially affects every person communicating between (and sometimes within) countries anywhere in the world.
It is, of course, not a new idea that intelligence organizations tap into e-mail and other public telecommunications networks. What was new in the material leaked by the New Zealand intelligence staff was precise information on where the spying is done, how the system works, its capabilities and shortcomings, and many details such as the codenames.
The ECHELON system is not designed to eavesdrop on a particular individual’s e-mail or fax link. Rather, the system works by indiscriminately intercepting very large quantities of communications and using computers to identify and extract messages of interest from the mass of unwanted ones. A chain of secret interception facilities has been established around the world to tap into all the major components of the international telecommunications networks. Some monitor communications satellites, others land-based communications networks, and others radio communications. ECHELON links together all these facilities, providing the US and its allies with the ability to intercept a large proportion of the communications on the planet.



The computers at each station in the ECHELON network automatically search through the millions of messages intercepted for ones containing pre-programmed keywords. Keywords include all the names, localities, subjects, and so on that might be mentioned. Every word of every message intercepted at each station gets automatically searched whether or not a specific telephone number or e-mail address is on the list.
The thousands of simultaneous messages are read in “real time” as they pour into the station, hour after hour, day after day, as the computer finds intelligence needles in telecommunications haystacks.
SOMEONE IS LISTENING: The computers in stations around the globe are known, within the network, as the ECHELON Dictionaries. Computers that can automatically search through traffic for keywords have existed since at least the 1970s, but the ECHELON system was designed by NSA to interconnect all these computers and allow the stations to function as components of an integrated whole. The NSA and GCSB are bound together under the five-nation UKUSA signals intelligence agreement. The other three partners all with equally obscure names are the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in Britain, the Communications Security Establishment (CSE) in Canada, and the Defense Signals Directorate (DSD) in Australia.
The alliance, which grew from cooperative efforts during World War II to intercept radio transmissions, was formalized into the UKUSA agreement in 1948 and aimed primarily against the USSR. The five UKUSA agencies are today the largest intelligence organizations in their respective countries. With much of the world’s business occurring by fax, e-mail, and phone, spying on these communications receives the bulk of intelligence resources. For decades before the introduction of the ECHELON system, the UKUSA allies did intelligence collection operations for each other, but each agency usually processed and analyzed the intercept from its own stations.
Under ECHELON, a particular station’s Dictionary computer contains not only its parent agency’s chosen keywords, but also has lists entered in for other agencies. In New Zealand’s satellite interception station at Waihopai (in the South Island), for example, the computer has separate search lists for the NSA, GCHQ, DSD, and CSE in addition to its own. Whenever the Dictionary encounters a message containing one of the agencies’ keywords, it automatically picks it and sends it directly to the headquarters of the agency concerned. No one in New Zealand screens, or even sees, the intelligence collected by the New Zealand station for the foreign agencies. Thus, the stations of the junior UKUSA allies function for the NSA no differently than if they were overtly NSA-run bases located on their soil.
The first component of the ECHELON network are stations specifically targeted on the international telecommunications satellites (Intelsats) used by the telephone companies of most countries. A ring of Intelsats is positioned around the world, stationary above the equator, each serving as a relay station for tens of thousands of simultaneous phone calls, fax, and e-mail. Five UKUSA stations have been established to intercept the communications carried by the Intelsats.
The British GCHQ station is located at the top of high cliffs above the sea at Morwenstow in Cornwall. Satellite dishes beside sprawling operations buildings point toward Intelsats above the Atlantic, Europe, and, inclined almost to the horizon, the Indian Ocean. An NSA station at Sugar Grove, located 250 kilometers southwest of Washington, DC, in the mountains of West Virginia, covers Atlantic Intelsats transmitting down toward North and South America. Another NSA station is in Washington State, 200 kilometers southwest of Seattle, inside the Army’s Yakima Firing Center. Its satellite dishes point out toward the Pacific Intelsats and to the east.
The job of intercepting Pacific Intelsat communications that cannot be intercepted at Yakima went to New Zealand and Australia. Their South Pacific location helps to ensure global interception. New Zealand provides the station at Waihopai and Australia supplies the Geraldton station in West Australia (which targets both Pacific and Indian Ocean Intelsats).
Each of the five stations’ Dictionary computers has a codename to distinguish it from others in the network. The Yakima station, for instance, located in desert country between the Saddle Mountains and Rattlesnake Hills, has the COWBOY Dictionary, while the Waihopai station has the FLINTLOCK Dictionary. These codenames are recorded at the beginning of every intercepted message, before it is transmitted around the ECHELON network, allowing analysts to recognize at which station the interception occurred.
New Zealand intelligence staff has been closely involved with the NSA’s Yakima station since 1981, when NSA pushed the GCSB to contribute to a project targeting Japanese embassy communications. Since then, all five UKUSA agencies have been responsible for monitoring diplomatic cables from all Japanese posts within the same segments of the globe they are assigned for general UKUSA monitoring. Until New Zealand’s integration into ECHELON with the opening of the Waihopai station in 1989, its share of the Japanese communications was intercepted at Yakima and sent unprocessed to the GCSB headquarters in Wellington for decryption, translation, and writing into UKUSA-format intelligence reports (the NSA provides the codebreaking programs).
“COMMUNICATION” THROUGH SATELLITES: The next component of the ECHELON system intercepts a range of satellite communications not carried by Intelsat.In addition to the UKUSA stations targeting Intelsat satellites, there are another five or more stations homing in on Russian and other regional communications satellites. These stations are Menwith Hill in northern England; Shoal Bay, outside Darwin in northern Australia (which targets Indonesian satellites); Leitrim, just south of Ottawa in Canada (which appears to intercept Latin American satellites); Bad Aibling in Germany; and Misawa in northern Japan.
A group of facilities that tap directly into land-based telecommunications systems is the final element of the ECHELON system. Besides satellite and radio, the other main method of transmitting large quantities of public, business, and government communications is a combination of water cables under the oceans and microwave networks over land. Heavy cables, laid across seabeds between countries, account for much of the world’s international communications. After they come out of the water and join land-based microwave networks they are very vulnerable to interception. The microwave networks are made up of chains of microwave towers relaying messages from hilltop to hilltop (always in line of sight) across the countryside. These networks shunt large quantities of communications across a country. Interception of them gives access to international undersea communications (once they surface) and to international communication trunk lines across continents. They are also an obvious target for large-scale interception of domestic communications.
Because the facilities required to intercept radio and satellite communications use large aerials and dishes that are difficult to hide for too long, that network is reasonably well documented. But all that is required to intercept land-based communication networks is a building situated along the microwave route or a hidden cable running underground from the legitimate network into some anonymous building, possibly far removed. Although it sounds technically very difficult, microwave interception from space by United States spy satellites also occurs.4 The worldwide network of facilities to intercept these communications is largely undocumented, and because New Zealand’s GCSB does not participate in this type of interception, my inside sources could not help either.
NO ONE IS SAFE FROM A MICROWAVE: A 1994 expos of the Canadian UKUSA agency, Spyworld, co-authored by one of its former staff, Mike Frost, gave the first insights into how a lot of foreign microwave interception is done (see p. 18). It described UKUSA “embassy collection” operations, where sophisticated receivers and processors are secretly transported to their countries’ overseas embassies in diplomatic bags and used to monitor various communications in foreign capitals.
Since most countries’ microwave networks converge on the capital city, embassy buildings can be an ideal site. Protected by diplomatic privilege, they allow interception in the heart of the target country. *6 The Canadian embassy collection was requested by the NSA to fill gaps in the American and British embassy collection operations, which were still occurring in many capitals around the world when Frost left the CSE in 1990. Separate sources in Australia have revealed that the DSD also engages in embassy collection. On the territory of UKUSA nations, the interception of land-based telecommunications appears to be done at special secret intelligence facilities. The US, UK, and Canada are geographically well placed to intercept the large amounts of the world’s communications that cross their territories.
The only public reference to the Dictionary system anywhere in the world was in relation to one of these facilities, run by the GCHQ in central London. In 1991, a former British GCHQ official spoke anonymously to Granada Television’s World in Action about the agency’s abuses of power. He told the program about an anonymous red brick building at 8 Palmer Street where GCHQ secretly intercepts every telex which passes into, out of, or through London, feeding them into powerful computers with a program known as “Dictionary.” The operation, he explained, is staffed by carefully vetted British Telecom people: “It’s nothing to do with national security. It’s because it’s not legal to take every single telex. And they take everything: the embassies, all the business deals, even the birthday greetings, they take everything. They feed it into the Dictionary.” What the documentary did not reveal is that Dictionary is not just a British system; it is UKUSA-wide.
Similarly, British researcher Duncan Campbell has described how the US Menwith Hill station in Britain taps directly into the British Telecom microwave network, which has actually been designed with several major microwave links converging on an isolated tower connected underground into the station.
The NSA Menwith Hill station, with 22 satellite terminals and more than 4.9 acres of buildings, is undoubtedly the largest and most powerful in the UKUSA network. Located in northern England, several thousand kilometers from the Persian Gulf, it was awarded the NSA’s “Station of the Year” prize for 1991 after its role in the Gulf War. Menwith Hill assists in the interception of microwave communications in another way as well, by serving as a ground station for US electronic spy satellites. These intercept microwave trunk lines and short range communications such as military radios and walkie talkies. Other ground stations where the satellites’ information is fed into the global network are Pine Gap, run by the CIA near Alice Springs in central Australia and the Bad Aibling station in Germany. Among them, the various stations and operations making up the ECHELON network tap into all the main components of the world’s telecommunications networks. All of them, including a separate network of stations that intercepts long distance radio communications, have their own Dictionary computers connected into ECHELON.
In the early 1990s, opponents of the Menwith Hill station obtained large quantities of internal documents from the facility. Among the papers was a reference to an NSA computer system called Platform. The integration of all the UKUSA station computers into ECHELON probably occurred with the introduction of this system in the early 1980s. James Bamford wrote at that time about a new worldwide NSA computer network codenamed Platform “which will tie together 52 separate computer systems used throughout the world. Focal point, or `host environment,’ for the massive network will be the NSA headquarters at Fort Meade. Among those included in Platform will be the British SIGINT organization, GCHQ.”
LOOKING IN THE DICTIONARY: The Dictionary computers are connected via highly encrypted UKUSA communications that link back to computer data bases in the five agency headquarters. This is where all the intercepted messages selected by the Dictionaries end up. Each morning the specially “indoctrinated” signals intelligence analysts in Washington, Ottawa, Cheltenham, Canberra, and Wellington log on at their computer terminals and enter the Dictionary system. After keying in their security passwords, they reach a directory that lists the different categories of intercept available in the data bases, each with a four-digit code. For instance, 1911 might be Japanese diplomatic cables from Latin America (handled by the Canadian CSE), 3848 might be political communications from and about Nigeria, and 8182 might be any messages about distribution of encryption technology.
They select their subject category, get a “search result” showing how many messages have been caught in the ECHELON net on that subject, and then the day’s work begins. Analysts scroll through screen after screen of intercepted faxes, e-mail messages, etc. and, whenever a message appears worth reporting on, they select it from the rest to work on. If it is not in English, it is translated and then written into the standard format of intelligence reports produced anywhere within the UKUSA network either in entirety as a “report,” or as a summary or “gist.”
INFORMATION CONTROL: A highly organized system has been developed to control what is being searched for by each station and who can have access to it. This is at the heart of ECHELON operations and works as follows.
The individual station’s Dictionary computers do not simply have a long list of keywords to search for. And they do not send all the information into some huge database that participating agencies can dip into as they wish. It is much more controlled.
The search lists are organized into the same categories, referred to by the four digit numbers. Each agency decides its own categories according to its responsibilities for producing intelligence for the network. For GCSB, this means South Pacific governments, Japanese diplomatic, Russian Antarctic activities, and so on.
The agency then works out about 10 to 50 keywords for selection in each category. The keywords include such things as names of people, ships, organizations, country names, and subject names. They also include the known telex and fax numbers and Internet addresses of any individuals, businesses, organizations, and government offices that are targets. These are generally written as part of the message text and so are easily recognized by the Dictionary computers.
The agencies also specify combinations of keywords to help sift out communications of interest. For example, they might search for diplomatic cables containing both the words “Santiago” and “aid,” or cables containing the word “Santiago” but not “consul” (to avoid the masses of routine consular communications). It is these sets of words and numbers (and combinations), under a particular category, that get placed in the Dictionary computers. (Staff in the five agencies called Dictionary Managers enter and update the keyword search lists for each agency.)
The whole system, devised by the NSA, has been adopted completely by the other agencies. The Dictionary computers search through all the incoming messages and, whenever they encounter one with any of the agencies’ keywords, they select it. At the same time, the computer automatically notes technical details such as the time and place of interception on the piece of intercept so that analysts reading it, in whichever agency it is going to, know where it came from, and what it is. Finally, the computer writes the four-digit code (for the category with the keywords in that message) at the bottom of the message’s text. This is important. It means that when all the intercepted messages end up together in the database at one of the agency headquarters, the messages on a particular subject can be located again. Later, when the analyst using the Dictionary system selects the four- digit code for the category he or she wants, the computer simply searches through all the messages in the database for the ones which have been tagged with that number.
This system is very effective for controlling which agencies can get what from the global network because each agency only gets the intelligence out of the ECHELON system from its own numbers. It does not have any access to the raw intelligence coming out of the system to the other agencies. For example, although most of the GCSB’s intelligence production is primarily to serve the UKUSA alliance, New Zealand does not have access to the whole ECHELON network. The access it does have is strictly controlled. A New Zealand intelligence officer explained: “The agencies can all apply for numbers on each other’s Dictionaries. The hardest to deal with are the Americans. … [There are] more hoops to jump through, unless it is in their interest, in which case they’ll do it for you.”
There is only one agency which, by virtue of its size and role within the alliance, will have access to the full potential of the ECHELON system the agency that set it up. What is the system used for? Anyone listening to official “discussion” of intelligence could be forgiven for thinking that, since the end of the Cold War, the key targets of the massive UKUSA intelligence machine are terrorism, weapons proliferation, and economic intelligence. The idea that economic intelligence has become very important, in particular, has been carefully cultivated by intelligence agencies intent on preserving their post-Cold War budgets. It has become an article of faith in much discussion of intelligence. However, I have found no evidence that these are now the primary concerns of organizations such as NSA.
QUICKER INTELLIGENCE, SAME MISSION: A different story emerges after examining very detailed information I have been given about the intelligence New Zealand collects for the UKUSA allies and detailed descriptions of what is in the yards-deep intelligence reports New Zealand receives from its four allies each week. There is quite a lot of intelligence collected about potential terrorists, and there is quite a lot of economic intelligence, notably intensive monitoring of all the countries participating in GATT negotiations. But by far, the main priorities of the intelligence alliance continue to be political and military intelligence to assist the larger allies to pursue their interests around the world. Anyone and anything the particular governments are concerned about can become a target.
With capabilities so secret and so powerful, almost anything goes. For example, in June 1992, a group of current “highly placed intelligence operatives” from the British GCHQ spoke to the London Observer: “We feel we can no longer remain silent regarding that which we regard to be gross malpractice and negligence within the establishment in which we operate.” They gave as examples GCHQ interception of three charitable organizations, including Amnesty International and Christian Aid. As the Observer reported: “At any time GCHQ is able to home in on their communications for a routine target request,” the GCHQ source said. In the case of phone taps the procedure is known as Mantis. With telexes it is called Mayfly. By keying in a code relating to Third World aid, the source was able to demonstrate telex “fixes” on the three organizations. “It is then possible to key in a trigger word which enables us to home in on the telex communications whenever that word appears,” he said. “And we can read a pre-determined number of characters either side of the keyword.” Without actually naming it, this was a fairly precise description of how the ECHELON Dictionary system works. Again, what was not revealed in the publicity was that this is a UKUSA-wide system. The design of ECHELON means that the interception of these organizations could have occurred anywhere in the network, at any station where the GCHQ had requested that the four-digit code covering Third World aid be placed.
Note that these GCHQ officers mentioned that the system was being used for telephone calls. In New Zealand, ECHELON is used only to intercept written communications: fax, e-mail, and telex. The reason, according to intelligence staff, is that the agency does not have the staff to analyze large quantities of telephone conversations.
Mike Frost’s expos of Canadian “embassy collection” operations described the NSA computers they used, called Oratory, that can “listen” to telephone calls and recognize when keywords are spoken. Just as we can recognize words spoken in all the different tones and accents we encounter, so too, according to Frost, can these computers. Telephone calls containing keywords are automatically extracted from the masses of other calls and recorded digitally on magnetic tapes for analysts back at agency headquarters. However, high volume voice recognition computers will be technically difficult to perfect, and my New Zealand-based sources could not confirm that this capability exists. But, if or when it is perfected, the implications would be immense. It would mean that the UKUSA agencies could use machines to search through all the international telephone calls in the world, in the same way that they do written messages. If this equipment exists for use in embassy collection, it will presumably be used in all the stations throughout the ECHELON network. It is yet to be confirmed how extensively telephone communications are being targeted by the ECHELON stations for the other agencies.
The easiest pickings for the ECHELON system are the individuals, organizations, and governments that do not use encryption. In New Zealand’s area, for example, it has proved especially useful against already vulnerable South Pacific nations which do not use any coding, even for government communications (all these communications of New Zealand’s neighbors are supplied, unscreened, to its UKUSA allies). As a result of the revelations in my book, there is currently a project under way in the Pacific to promote and supply publicly available encryption software to vulnerable organizations such as democracy movements in countries with repressive governments. This is one practical way of curbing illegitimate uses of the ECHELON capabilities.
One final comment. All the newspapers, commentators, and “well placed sources” told the public that New Zealand was cut off from US intelligence in the mid-1980s. That was entirely untrue. The intelligence supply to New Zealand did not stop, and instead, the decade since has been a period of increased integration of New Zealand into the US system. Virtually everything the equipment, manuals, ways of operating, jargon, codes, and so on, used in the GCSB continues to be imported entirely from the larger allies (in practice, usually the NSA). As with the Australian and Canadian agencies, most of the priorities continue to come from the US, too.
The main thing that protects these agencies from change is their secrecy. On the day my book arrived in the book shops, without prior publicity, there was an all-day meeting of the intelligence bureaucrats in the prime minister’s department trying to decide if they could prevent it from being distributed. They eventually concluded, sensibly, that the political costs were too high. It is understandable that they were so agitated.
Throughout my research, I have faced official denials or governments refusing to comment on publicity about intelligence activities. Given the pervasive atmosphere of secrecy and stonewalling, it is always hard for the public to judge what is fact, what is speculation, and what is paranoia. Thus, in uncovering New Zealand’s role in the NSA-led alliance, my aim was to provide so much detail about the operations the technical systems, the daily work of individual staff members, and even the rooms in which they work inside intelligence facilities that readers could feel confident that they were getting close to the truth. I hope the information leaked by intelligence staff in New Zealand about UKUSA and its systems such as ECHELON will help lead to change.

 Global Research Articles by Nicky Hagar

US Navy Seals Destroyed to Cover Up Washington’s Bin Laden Execution Hoax?


Dead Men Don’t Talk: US Navy Seals Destroyed to Cover Up Washington’s Bin Laden Execution Hoax?



The wiping out of 30 US special forces in the Chinook helicopter crash in Afghanistan comes at a time when Washington’s official version of how it carried out the assassination of Osama bin Laden was falling apart from incredulity.
Among the 38 dead in the helicopter disaster – the biggest single loss of American lives in the 10-year Afghanistan war of occupation – are believed to have been 17 US Navy Seals. The dead also include other members of US special forces and Afghan commandos.
Early Western news media reports indicated that the Chinook may have been involved in a significant military operation against Afghan militants when it went down in Wardak Province, not far west from the capital, Kabul, early Saturday.
Taliban sources are reported to have claimed that its militants shot down the Chinook with rocket fire.
US military officials say they are investigating the cause of the crash.
However, significantly, unnamed US sources have told media outlets that they believe the helicopter was shot down. This unofficial US briefing seems a bit odd. Why would US military sources want to hand enemy combatants a stunning propaganda coup?
Perhaps, it serves US interests to divert from the real motive and cause of the helicopter crash, whether it was it hit by a rocket or not.
US officials have admitted that the dead Navy Seals were part of the Team Six unit that allegedly carried out the assassination in May of the supposed 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden.
From the outset, Washington’s account of how its special forces murdered Bin Laden in his residential compound in Abbottabad, northern Pakistan, has been riven with contradictions. Why was the liquidated Bin Laden buried hurriedly at sea? How could the world’s “No 1 Terrorist” have resided inconspicuously only miles from the Pakistani military headquarters in Rawalpindi?
Most glaringly, several informed sources are convinced that Bin Laden died from natural causes years ago. Author Ralph Schoenman dismissed the alleged Navy Seal execution as “a big lie”. Schoenman cited evidence on this subject from former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, among others, for their confirmation that Bin Laden had died from kidney failure years earlier.
More recently, as Paul Craig Roberts reports [1], Pakistani locals have claimed that the Navy Seal operation in Abbottabad ended in disaster, with one of three US helicopters exploding as it took off from the ground near the compound. The other two choppers had not landed and, according to witnesses, they flew from the scene immediately after the explosion. As Roberts points out, that means there was no Bin Laden corpse to dispose of at sea, as Washington maintains.
The key people who would know the truth about Washington’s incredible Bin Laden assassination are now unavailable for comment. Case sealed.
Finian Cunningham is a Global Research Correspondent based in Belfast, Ireland.
Correction: 
In a prior version of this article, Ralph Schoenman was quoted in error as stating: "I have interviewed several members of the Pakistani intelligence service and militants, and they have all confirmed that Bin Laden died from kidney failure over 10 years [ago]."
Schoenman's meetings with Pakistani intelligence preceded the putative assassination of Osama Bin Laden. These meetings concerned the role of US intelligence in the events of 9/11 and the false claim that the US captured and now holds in custody Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
cunninghamfin@yahoo.com 
NOTES
[1] http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=25898

 Global Research Articles by Finian Cunningham

911 - Insider Trading


SEPTEMBER 11, 2001: Insider Trading 9/11 ... the Facts Laid Bare



Is there any truth in the allegations that informed circles made substantial profits in the financial markets in connection to the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, on the United States?

Arguably, the best place to start is by examining put options, which occurred around Tuesday, September 11, 2001, to an abnormal extent, and at the beginning via software that played a key role: the Prosecutor's Management Information System, abbreviated as PROMIS. [i]

PROMIS is a software program that seems to be fitted with almost "magical" abilities. Furthermore, it is the subject of a decades-long dispute between its inventor, Bill Hamilton, and various people/institutions associated with intelligence agencies, military and security consultancy firms. [1]

One of the "magical" capabilities of PROMIS, one has to assume, is that it is equipped with artificial intelligence and was apparently from the outset “able to simultaneously read and integrate any number of different computer programs or databases, regardless of the language in which the original programs had been written or the operating systems and platforms on which that database was then currently installed." [2]

And then it becomes really interesting:
What would you do if you possessed software that could think, understand every major language in the world, that provided peep-holes into everyone else’s computer "dressing rooms", that could insert data into computers without people’s knowledge, that could fill in blanks beyond human reasoning, and also predict what people do - before they did it? You would probably use it, wouldn't you? [3]
Granted, these capabilities sound hardly believable. In fact, the whole story of PROMIS, which Mike Ruppert develops in the course of his book Crossing the Rubicon in all its bizarre facets and turns, seems as if someone had developed a novel in the style of Philip K Dick and William Gibson. However, what Ruppert has collected about PROMIS is based on reputable sources as well as on results of personal investigations, which await a jury to take a first critical look at.

This seems all the more urgent if you add to the PROMIS capabilities "that it was a given that PROMIS was used for a wide variety of purposes by intelligence agencies, including the real-time monitoring of stock transactions on all the world´s major financial markets". [4]

We are therefore dealing with a software that
a) Infiltrates computer and communication systems without being noticed.
b) Can manipulate data.
c) Is capable to track the global stock market trade in real time.

Point c is relevant to all that happened in connection with the never completely cleared up transactions that occurred just before September 11, [5] and of which the former chairman of the Deutsche Bundesbank Ernst Weltke said "could not have been planned and carried out without a certain knowledge". [6]

I specifically asked financial journalist Max Keiser, who for years had worked on Wall Street as a stock and options trader, about the put option trades. Keiser pointed out in this context that he "had spoken with many brokers in the towers of the World Trade Center around that time. I heard firsthand about the airline put trade from brokers at Cantor Fitzgerald days before." He then talked with me about an explosive issue, on which Ruppert elaborated in detail in Crossing the Rubicon.
Max Keiser: There are many aspects concerning these option purchases that have not been disclosed yet. I also worked at Alex Brown & Sons (ABS). Deutsche Bank bought Alex Brown & Sons in 1999. When the attacks occurred, ABS was owned by Deutsche Bank. An important person at ABS was Buzzy Krongard. I have met him several times at the offices in Baltimore. Krongard had transferred to become executive director at the CIA. The option purchases, in which ABS was involved, occurred in the offices of ABS in Baltimore. The noise which occurred between Baltimore, New York City and Langley was interesting, as you can imagine, to say the least.
Under consideration here is the fact that Alex Brown, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank (where many of the alleged 9/11 hijackers handled their banking transactions - for example Mohammed Atta) traded massive put options purchases on United Airlines Company UAL through the Chicago Board Option Exchange (CBOE) - "to the embarrassment of investigators", as British newspaper The Independent reported. [7]

On September 12, the chairman of the board of Deutsche Bank Alex Brown, Mayo A Shattuck III, suddenly and quietly renounced his post, although he still had a three-year contract with an annual salary of several million US dollars. One could perceive that as somehow strange.

A few weeks later, the press spokesperson of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) at that time, Tom Crispell, declined all comments, when he was contacted for a report for Ruppert´s website From the Wilderness, and had being asked "whether the Treasury Department or FBI [Federal Bureau of Investigation] had questioned CIA executive director and former Deutsche Bank-Alex Brown CEO [chief executive officer], A B 'Buzzy' Krongard, about CIA monitoring of financial markets using PROMIS and his former position as overseer of Brown's 'private client' relations." [8]

Just before he was recruited personally by former CIA chief George Tenet for the CIA, Krongard supervised mainly private client banking at Alex Brown. [9]

In any case, after 9/11 on the first trading day, when the US stock markets were open again, the stock price of UAL declined by 43%. (The four aircraft hijacked on September 11 were American Airlines Flight 11, American Airlines Flight 77 and UAL flights 175 and 93.)

With his background as a former options trader, Keiser explained an important issue to me in that regard.
Max Keiser: Put options are, if they are employed in a speculative trade, basically bets that stock prices will drop abruptly. The purchaser, who enters a time-specific contract with a seller, does not have to own the stock at the time when the contract is purchased.
Related to the issue of insider trading via (put or call) options there is also a noteworthy definition by the Swiss economists Remo Crameri, Marc Chesney and Loriano Mancini, notably that an option trade may be "identified as informed" - but is not yet (legally) proven - "when it is characterized by an unusual large increment in open interest and volume, induces large gains, and is not hedged in the stock market". [10]

Open interest describes contracts which have not been settled (been exercised) by the end of the trading session, but are still open. Not hedged in the stock market means that the buyer of a (put or call) option holds no shares of the underlying asset, by which he might be able to mitigate or compensate losses if his trade doesn't work out, or phrased differently: one does not hedge, because it is unnecessary, since one knows that the bet is one, pardon, "dead sure thing." (In this respect it is thus not really a bet, because the result is not uncertain, but a foregone conclusion.)

In this case, the vehicle of the calculation was "ridiculously cheap put options which give the holder the ‘right' for a period of time to sell certain shares at a price which is far below the current market price - which is a highly risky bet, because you lose money if at maturity the market price is still higher than the price agreed in the option. However, when these shares fell much deeper after the terrorist attacks, these options multiplied their value several hundred times because by now the selling price specified in the option was much higher than the market price. These risky games with short options are a sure indication for investors who knew that within a few days something would happen that would drastically reduce the market price of those shares." [11]

Software such as PROMIS in turn is used with the precise intent to monitor the stock markets in real time to track price movements that appear suspicious. Therefore, the US intelligence services must have received clear warnings from the singular, never before sighted transactions prior to 9/11.

Of great importance with regard to the track, which should lead to the perpetrators if you were seriously contemplating to go after them, is this:
Max Keiser: The Options Clearing Corporation has a duty to handle the transactions, and does so rather anonymously - whereas the bank that executes the transaction as a broker can determine the identity of both parties.
But that may have hardly ever been the intention of the regulatory authorities when the track led to, amongst others, Alvin Bernard "Buzzy" Krongard, Alex Brown & Sons and the CIA. Ruppert, however, describes this case in Crossing the Rubicon in full length as far as possible. [12]

In addition, there are also ways and means for insiders to veil their tracks. In order to be less obvious, "the insiders could trade small numbers of contracts. These could be traded under multiple accounts to avoid drawing attention to large trading volumes going through one single large account. They could also trade small volumes in each contract but trade more contracts to avoid drawing attention. As open interest increases, non-insiders may detect a perceived signal and increase their trading activity. Insiders can then come back to enter into more transactions based on a seemingly significant trade signal from the market. In this regard, it would be difficult for the CBOE to ferret out the insiders from the non-insiders, because both are trading heavily." [13]

The matter which needs clarification here is generally judged by Keiser as follows:
Max Keiser: My thought is that many (not all) of those who died on 9/11 were financial mercenaries - and we should feel the same about them as we feel about all mercenaries who get killed. The tragedy is that these companies mixed civilians with mercenaries, and that they were also killed. So have companies on Wall Street used civilians as human shields maybe?
According to a report by Bloomberg published in early October 2001, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) began a probe into certain stock market transactions around 9/11 that included 38 companies, among them: American Airlines, United Airlines, Continental Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Boeing, Lockheed Martin Corp., American Express Corp., American International Group, AXA SA, Bank of America Corp., Bank of New York Corp., Bear Stearns, Citigroup, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., Morgan Stanley, General Motors and Raytheon. [14]

So far, so good. In the same month, however, the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper reported that the SEC took the unprecedented step to deputize hundreds, if not even thousands of key stakeholders in the private sector for their investigation. In a statement that was sent to almost all listed companies in the US, the SEC asked the addressed companies to assign senior staff for the investigation, who would be aware of "the sensitive nature" of the case and could be relied on to "exercise appropriate discretion". [15]

In essence, it was about controlling information, not about provision and disclosure of facts. Such a course of action involves compromising consequences. Ruppert:
What happens when you deputize someone in a national security or criminal investigation is that you make it illegal for them to disclose publicly what they know. Smart move. In effect, they become government agents and are controlled by government regulations rather than their own conscience. In fact, they can be thrown into jail without a hearing if they talk publicly. I have seen this implied threat time after time with federal investigators, intelligence agents, and even members of United States Congress who are bound so tightly by secrecy oaths and agreements that they are not even able to disclose criminal activities inside the government for fear of incarceration. [16]
Among the reports about suspected insider trading which are mentioned in Crossing the Rubicon/From the Wilderness is a list that was published under the heading "Black Tuesday: The World's Largest Insider Trading Scam?" by the Israeli Herzliyya International Policy Institute for Counterterrorism on September 21, 2001:
  • Between September 6 and 7, the CBOE saw purchases of 4,744 put options on United Airlines, but only 396 call options. Assuming that 4,000 of the options were bought by people with advance knowledge of the imminent attacks, these "insiders" would have profited by almost $5 million.
  • On September 10, 4,516 put options on American Airlines were bought on the Chicago exchange, compared to only 748 calls. Again, there was no news at that point to justify this imbalance; again, assuming that 4,000 of these options trades represent "insiders", they would represent a gain of about $4 million.
  • [The levels of put options purchased above were more than six times higher than normal.]
  • No similar trading in other airlines occurred on the Chicago exchange in the days immediately preceding Black Tuesday.
  • Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co, which occupied 22 floors of the World Trade Center, saw 2,157 of its October $45 put options bought in the three trading days before Black Tuesday; this compares to an average of 27 contracts per day before September 6. Morgan Stanley's share price fell from $48.90 to $42.50 in the aftermath of the attacks. Assuming that 2,000 of these options contracts were bought based upon knowledge of the approaching attacks, their purchasers could have profited by at least $1.2 million.
  • Merrill Lynch & Co, with headquarters near the Twin Towers, saw 12,215 October $45 put options bought in the four trading days before the attacks; the previous average volume in those shares had been 252 contracts per day (a 1200% increase). When trading resumed, Merrill's shares fell from $46.88 to $41.50; assuming that 11,000 option contracts were bought by "insiders", their profit would have been about $5.5 million.
  • European regulators are examining trades in Germany's Munich Re, Switzerland's Swiss Re, and AXA of France, all major reinsurers with exposure to the Black Tuesday disaster. (Note: AXA also owns more than 25% of American Airlines stock, making the attacks a "double whammy" for them.) [17]

    Concerning the statements of the former chairman of the Deutsche Bundesbank Ernst Welteke, their tenor in various press reports put together is as follows:
    German central bank president Ernst Welteke later reports that a study by his bank indicates, "There are ever clearer signs that there were activities on international financial markets that must have been carried out with the necessary expert knowledge," not only in shares of heavily affected industries such as airlines and insurance companies, but also in gold and oil. [Daily Telegraph, 9/23/2001] His researchers have found "almost irrefutable proof of insider trading". [Miami Herald, 9/24/2001] "If you look at movements in markets before and after the attack, it makes your brow furrow. But it is extremely difficult to really verify it." Nevertheless, he believes that "in one or the other case it will be possible to pinpoint the source". [Fox News, 9/22/2001] Welteke reports "a fundamentally inexplicable rise" in oil prices before the attacks [Miami Herald, 9/24/2001] and then a further rise of 13 percent the day after the attacks. Gold rises nonstop for days after the attacks. [Daily Telegraph, 9/23/2001] [18]
    Related to those observations, I sent a request via e-mail to the press office of the Deutsche Bundesbank on August 1, 2011, from which I was hoping to learn:
    How did the Bundesbank deal with this information? Did US federal agencies ask to see the study? With whom did the Bundesbank share this information? And additionally:

    1. Can you confirm that there is such a study of the Bundesbank concerning 9/11 insider trading, which was carried out in September 2001?
    2. If Yes: what is the title?
    3. If Yes: who were the authors?
    4. If Yes: has the study ever been made available to the public?

    On August 2, I was then informed: "Your mail has been received by us and is being processed under the number 2011 / 011551." Ultimately, however, the press office of the Deutsche Bundesbank was only available for an oral explanation on the phone. With this explanation, I then turned to the press office of the federal financial regulator in Germany, the Bundesanstalt fur Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht, BaFin, with the following e-mail - and that because of obvious reasons:
    Yesterday, I sent a request (see end of this e-mail) to the press office of the Deutsche Bundesbank relating to insider trading connected to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, and respectively relating to an alleged study carried by the Deutsche Bundesbank. The request carries the reference number 2011 / 011551.

    The press office or respectively Mr Peter Trautmann was only available for an oral explanation. I repeat this now, because it is related to your entity. This will be followed by my further questions.

    According to an oral explanation from the press office of the Deutsche Bundesbank, there has never been a detailed and official study on insider trading from the Bundesbank. Rather, there has been probably ad-hoc analysis with corresponding charts of price movements as briefings for the Bundesbank board. In addition, it would have been the duty of the Bundesfinanzaufsicht to investigate this matter. The press office of the Bundesbank was also not willing to give out any written information, not even after my hint that this alleged study by the Bundesbank has been floating around the Internet for years without any contradiction. That was the oral information from the Bundesbank press office, or respectively from Mr Peter Trautmann.

    Now my questions for you:

    1. Has the BaFin ever investigated the 9/11 insider trading?
    2. With what result? Have the results been made public?
    3. Have there not been any grounds for suspicion that would have justified an investigation, for example as damaged enterprise: Munich Re, and as buyers of put options of UAL's United Airlines Company: Deutsche Bank/Alex Brown?
    4. Has the Deutsche Bundesbank ever enquired with BaFin what information they have regarding the 9/11 insider trading - for example for the creation of ad-hoc analysis for the Bundesbank?
    5. Have the US federal agencies ever inquired if the BaFin could cooperate with them in an investigation?
    Could you reply to me in writing, unlike the Deutsche Bundesbank, please? I would be very grateful for that!
    The next day I did indeed receive an e-mail concerning this topic from Anja Engelland, the press officer of the BaFin in which she answered my questions as follows:
    1. Yes, the former Bundesaufsichtsamt fur Wertpapierhandel, BAWe (federal supervisory for securities trading), has carried out a comprehensive analysis of the operations.
    2. As a result, no evidence of insider trading has been found. Their approach and results have been published by the BAWe or BaFin in the annual reports for the years 2001 (cf S 26/27) and 2002 (cf p 156 above first paragraph). Here are the links. [See here and here.]
    3. See annual reports 2001 and 2002. Put options on United Airlines were not traded on German stock exchanges (the first EUREX options on US equities were introduced only after the attacks on 9/11/2001); there were warrants on UAL and other US stocks, but those traded only in low volumes.
    4. I personally do not know about such a request. Furthermore, the Bundesbank itself would have to comment on this.
    5. BaFin is fundamentally entitled to the exchange of information with foreign supervisory authorities, like SEC, on the basis of written agreements, so-called memoranda of understanding (MoU). Regarding potential inquiries from foreign supervisory authorities, the BaFin can unfortunately not comment, this would be a matter of respective authority. For this I ask for understanding.
    Then I wrote another brief note to BaFin, "in order to prevent any misunderstanding: your answers refers, as far as I understand, solely to the financial markets in Germany and Frankfurt, or not?" The reply from BaFin:
    The answers refer to the German financial market as a whole and not only on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. In terms of the assessment of foreign financial markets, the relevant authorities are the competent points of contact.
    In my inquiries, I mentioned, among other things, a scientific study by US economist Allen M Poteshman from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which had been carried out in 2006 regarding the put option trading around 9/11 related to the two airlines involved, United Airlines and American Airlines. Poteshman came to this conclusion: "Examination of the option trading leading up to September 11 reveals that there was an unusually high level of put buying. This finding is consistent with informed investors having traded options in advance of the attacks." [19] 
    TO READ THE COMPLETE ASIAN TIMES ARTICLE CLICK HERE

    Lars Schall is a German financial journalist. This article published by the Asian Times is a slightly modified and updated excerpt from the book Mordanschlag 9/11. Eine kriminalistische Recherche zu Finanzen, Ol und Drogen (Assassination 9/11: A criminalistic research on finance, oil and drugs), published in Germany by Schild Verlag.  
  • 911 - The Military Drills of September 11th


    The Military Drills of September 11th: Why a New Investigation is Needed




    Editor's Note
    We bring to the attention of our readers this carefully researched analysis.   

    "Given the warnings of incipient terrorist attacks that had been repeatedly received by the Administration and the FBI, why would anyone coordinate two major annual air training exercises at this time, and divert key resources to the North Pole on an outdated mission? Who was in a position to do this?" 

    The 911 Commission carefully overlooked these considerations. "It ignored the issue of the drills and continuously pointed to FAA incompetence.  Thus the the mock live hijackings which were apparently in progress on the morning of September 11th should be investigated as a plausible explanation for why the national defense was such an abysmal failure."

    Global Research, 27 September 2007

    Information regarding military exercises is classified and difficult to research. Though there was unusually high and confusing drill activity on 9/11, this strange coincidence has not gained much public notice. This essay quotes military officials from their own magazines, and compares their statements to what the 9/11 Commission wrote about the so-called surprise factor, and also to the Commission's position that the drills aided the response.
    Though both the 9/11 Commission Report and members of the Bush Administration repeatedly stated that the use of planes as weapons could not have been predicted, other official sources indicate that military exercises had been underway to counteract this very possibility.

    1. Was it a Surprise that Hijacked Planes Were Used as Weapons on 9/11?

    The element of surprise has been widely given (and quoted) as the reason why the 9/11 attacks were so successful against the world’s greatest military power.
          Before proceeding to the statements on both sides of the issue, the context for these attacks should be understood in light of three defense procedures which were unusually and significantly changed in the months preceding 9/11:
    1. A May 8th 2001 Statement by the President gave responsibility for coordinating, training and planning all national defense programs related to weapons of mass destruction to Vice President Cheney, whose office was not part of the National Command Authority. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta testified before the 9/11 Commission that he was present and observed Dick Cheney in the Presidential Emergency Operating Center tracking the position of Flight 77 for many miles as it approached the Pentagon.1 “Based on Norm Minetta's testimony and other information, it appears that the military have regarded Cheney as a ‘Deputy Commander-in-Chief’. They also understand that he is the real power behind the throne...It appears that Vice President Dick Cheney was in charge of all the many air defense exercises that took place on the morning of September 11, 2001."2
    2. The 1997 hijacking scramble protocol CJCSI 3610, which distinguished emergent situations (requiring immediate action between the FAA and the military) from non-emergent situations (requiring decision input from the highest levels of the DoD) was rewritten June 1, 2001, as ordered by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.3 As a result, the number of fighter-interceptor scrambles fell from the usual average of 7-8 per month before the rewrite, to zero during the 3.3 months before September 11th, and to zero on September 11thitself.4
    3. Changes in the dates of annual and semi-annual military air defense exercises resulted in an unprecedented concentration of air drills on September 11th, and included hijackings and drills in which planes hit buildings. These will be explored later.
         The transfer of two line defense roles to senior members of the Bush-Cheney Administration, paired with the concentration of air drills on the day itself, raise serious questions regarding the success of the attacks.
    Early expressions of surprise over the attacks: In response to the seemingly inexplicable success of the 9/11 attacks, a chorus of astonishment issued from the White House, the military, and the FBI. Tim Ruppert asked Donald Rumsfeld on September 30, 2001 whether he had ever imagined that the Pentagon would be attacked by a terrorist using an American commercial airline. “Oh goodness no! “Never would have crossed anyone’s mind.”5 His Commander-in-Chief had earlier said that “al Qaeda “struck in a way that was unimaginable.”6
          General Richard Myer, acting air defense commander, told the military press in late October: “You hate to admit it, but we hadn’t thought about this.”7 FBI Director Robert Mueller declared a week after the attacks, “There were no warning signs that I’m aware of that would indicate this type of operation in the country.”8
          White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer fell into step. "Until the attack took place, I think it is fair to say that no one envisioned that as a possibility.”9
          However, on May 17, 2002, CBC News revealed that a 1999 report, "Sociology and Psychology of Terrorism: Who Becomes a Terrorist and Why?" “...warned the executive branch that bin Laden's terrorists might hijack an airliner and dive bomb it into the Pentagon or other government building.”10
          On May 19th, the London Observer quoted a New York newspaper report that “angry citizens are asking why they have suddenly learned what George W. Bush knew all along: that weeks before the event, the CIA had warned the President and other top officials of an active plot to seize civilian aircraft.”11 
          Later that day, Bob Woodward and Dan Eggen of the Washington Post covered the hijack briefing in more detail:
    “The top-secret briefing memo presented to President Bush on Aug. 6 carried the headline, ‘Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.’. . . .The President's Daily Briefing underscored that Osama bin Laden and his followers hoped to ‘bring the fight to America.’. . .The August 6th memo. . .suggested that bin Laden's followers might be planning to hijack U.S. airliners.”12
          The story had, several days earlier, prompted a press conference from White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, saying: “Never did we imagine what would take place on September 11th, where people use those airplanes as missiles and weapons.” His statement was echoed later in the day by National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, as quoted below in a Baltimore Sunarticle.13
    A 2003 Joint Inquiry into the Intelligence Community tells a different story.
          The denials continued into 2004, when Donald Rumsfeld told the 9/11 Commission, “I knew of no intelligence during the six-plus months leading up to September 11 to indicate terrorists would hijack commercial airlines, use them as missiles to fly into the Pentagon or the World Trade Center towers.”14
    But a Congressional Joint Inquiry report, released July 24th, 2003,15 suggested that the government had failed to act on warnings of a terrorist attack within the country, involving aircraft as missiles. The New York Times published excerpts:
    “Shortly after...May 1998...the community began to acquire intelligence that bin Laden’s network intended to strike within the United States. Many of these reports were disseminated throughout the community and to senior U.S. policy makers...the totality of the information...clearly reiterated a consistent and critically important theme: bin Laden’s intent to launch terrorist attacks within the United States...In the spring of 1999, the [intelligence] community obtained information about a planned bin Laden attack on a government facility in Washington, D.C...In September 1999, the community obtained information that bin Laden and others were planning a terrorist act in the United States, possibly against specific landmarks in California and New York City...In March 2000, the community obtained information regarding the type of targets...The Statue of Liberty was specifically mentioned, as were skyscrapers, ports, airports and nuclear power plants...In April 2001, the community obtained information...that bin Laden was interested in commercial pilots as potential terrorists. The source warned that the United States should not focus only on embassy bombings, that terrorists sought “spectacular and traumatic” attacks and that the first World Trade Center bombing would be appealing.” 16
          Four days later, the Baltimore Sun published the following:
          “President Bush's adviser [Condoleezza Rice] told the public in May 2002 that a pre-Sept. 11 intelligence briefing for the president on terrorism contained only a general warning of threats and largely historical information, not specific plots, the report said.
          But the authors of the congressional report, released last week, stated the briefing given to the president a month before the suicide hijackings included recent intelligence that al-Qaida was planning to send operatives to the United States to carry out an attack using high explosives.
          At the same May 2002 press briefing, Rice also said that "I don't think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon; that they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile."

    But the congressional report states that "from at least 1994, and continuing into the summer of 2001, the Intelligence Community received information indicating that terrorists were contemplating, among other means of attack, the use of aircraft as weapons."17
          The contradiction could not be more evident.
    Contradictions Within the 9/11 Commission Report:
          The Commission reported early in its pages:
    “NORAD and the FAA were unprepared for the type of attacks launched against the United States on September 11, 2001. They struggled, under difficult circumstances, to improvise a homeland defense against an unprecedented challenge they had never encountered and had never trained to meet.”18
          But the Report later documented, in reference to the use of planes as weapons, that such a "possibility was imaginable, and imagined." It cited intelligence from the August 1999 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Civil Aviation Security that warned about the possibility of a Bin Ladin "suicide hijacking operation,” and that NORAD had "imagined the possible use of aircraft as weapons, too, and developed exercises to counter such a threat---from planes coming to the United States from overseas."19  
    The Commission further reported that on August 24, 2001, the CIA had described “subjects involved in suspicious 747 flight training,” and Zacarias Moussaoui as a possible “suicide hijacker;”20 also that the week before the attacks a Minneapolis FBI agent had told the FAA that Moussaoui, was "an Islamic extremist preparing for some future act in furtherance of radical fundamentalist goals.”21 The Commission further noted that on August 23, 2001, CIA Director George Tenet "was briefed about the Moussaoui case in a briefing entitled 'Islamic Extremist Learns to Fly.’"22
          And Louis Freeh, FBI Director from 1993 to June 2001, told the 9/11 Commission that in 2000 and 2001, the subject of “planes as weapons” was always considered in the planning of National Special Security Events (NSSE’s), in which the FBI and FEMA participated, and that “resources were actually designated to deal with that particular threat.” He confirmed that “the use of airplanes, either packed with explosives or otherwise, in suicide missions” was “part of the planning” for NSSE’s.23
    A Summary of the Contradictions:
          There are thus stark contradictions: 1) between White House spokespersons and each of: The Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities of July 2003; the August 6, 2001 Presidential Briefing Memo; many press reports detailing the two foregoing documents; and the testimony of FBI Director Louis Freeh; 2) between the 9/11 Commission’s findings and all of the above; and 3) within the 9/11 Commission Report itself.
          How did the 9/11 Commission deal with these contradictions? It did not: it simply left out the findings of the Joint Inquiry report and the Louis Freeh testimony, and though it copied the August 6th Presidential Briefing Memo into its Report,24 it did not include the memo in its entirety as quoted by CNN on April 10, 2004.25 And further to that Memo, the Commission referred to Condoleezza Rice’s April 8th Hearing testimony, but did not include it. In it she had said, “I was concerned about possible threats inside the United States.”26
          As the foregoing summary shows the element of surprise to have been very much in doubt, a new investigation should question how a non-surprise attack could have been so successful.

    2. What did the Military Training Drills Reveal about US Expectations?

    The military exercises of 9/11 will be examined in relation to two of the things that the Commission blamed for the critical element of surprise:
    1. the unheard of concept of using hijacked planes as weapons---a departure from predictable, traditional hijackings, and
    2. the fact that the attacks originated, unpredictably, from within the country, and not from outside it.
          Two 9/11 Commission Report quotations below document these perceptions:
    “In sum, the protocols in place on 9/11 for the FAA and NORAD to respond to a hijacking presumed that. . .the hijacking would take the traditional form: that is, it would not be a suicide hijacking designed to convert the aircraft into a guided missile.”27
    “America's homeland defenders faced outward. NORAD itself was barely able to retain any alert bases. Its planning scenarios occasionally considered the danger of hijacked aircraft being guided to American targets, but only aircraft that were coming from overseas.”28
    The Pre 9/11 Military Training Drills:  Though neither the White House nor the FBI had envisaged planes as weapons, the military, supposedly adrift from its government and bereft of communication --no small feat with a 2001 budget of over $400 billion -- had
          According to Professor John Arquilla, a Special Operations expert at the Naval Postgraduate School, “The idea of such an attack (like 9-11) was well known. It had been wargamed as a possibility in exercises before Sept. 11, 2001.”29
          The following exercises demonstrate that many military minds were concerned with the express idea of planes hitting buildings.
          In October 2000, a military exercise created a scenario of a simulated passenger plane crashing into the Pentagon. The exercise was coordinated by the Defense Protective Services Police and the Pentagon's Command Emergency Response Team.30
          US Medicine reports that two health clinics housed within the Pentagon trained for a hijacked airplane to hit the Pentagon in May 2001. “Though the Department of Defense had no capability in place to protect the Pentagon from an ersatz guided missile in the form of a hijacked 757 airliner, DoD medical personnel trained for exactly that scenario in May.”31
          The Department of Transportation in Washington held an exercise on August 31, 1001, which was described by a participant, Ellen Engleman:
          “Ironically, fortuitously, take your choice, 12 days prior to the incident on September 11th, we were going though a tabletop exercise. It was actually much more than a tabletop...in preparation for the Olympic...which was a full intermodal exercise...Part of the scenario, interestingly enough, involved a potentially highjacked plane and someone calling on a cell phone, among other aspects of the scenario that were very strange when twelve days later, as you know, we had the actual event.”32
          According to USA Today:
          “In the two years before the Sept. 11 attacks, the North American Aerospace Defense Command conducted exercises simulating what the White House says was unimaginable at the time: hijacked airliners used as weapons to crash into targets and cause mass casualties...One of the imagined targets was the World Trade Center...NORAD, in a written statement, confirmed that such hijacking exercises occurred...‘Numerous types of civilian and military aircraft were used as mock hijacked aircraft,’ the statement said...The exercises differed from the Sept. 11 attacks in one important respect: The planes in the simulation were coming from a foreign country...But there were exceptions in the early drills, including one operation, planned in July 2001 and conducted later, that involved planes from airports in Utah and Washington state that were "hijacked... Until Sept. 11, 2001, NORAD conducted four major exercises a year. Most included a hijack scenario, but not all of those involved planes as weapons."33
          The New Yorker reported:
          “A former top F.B.I. official said that the bureau had been concerned about an attack in New York City ever since...associates of Osama bin Laden...were convicted in federal court in connection with the 1998 bombing of American embassies in Africa. ...During the last several years, the government regularly planned for and simulated terrorist attacks, including scenarios that involved multiple-plane hijackings.”34
          One such multiple hijacking drill using planes from inside the United States was Amalgam Virgo 2002, planned for 1500 people in July 2001 and scheduled for operation in June 2002. In the Second 9/11 Commission Hearing, Commissioner Richard Ben-Veniste was foiled in several attempts to extract information from General McKinley and Colonel Scott regarding this drill:
    MR. BEN-VENISTE: ...My question is: The concept of terrorists using airplanes as weapons was not something which was unknown to the U.S. intelligence community on September 10th, 2001, isn't that fair to say?
    GEN. MCKINLEY: I'd like the intelligence community to address that. I would find it hard to believe that they hadn't speculated against that. But it was unavailable to us at the time.
    MR. BEN-VENISTE: Well, let's start, for example, with September 12th, 1994, a Cessna 150L crashed into the South Lawn of the White House, barely missing the building, and killing the pilot. Similarly, in December of 1994, an Algerian armed Islamic group of terrorists hijacked an Air France flight in Algiers and threatened to crash it into the Eiffel Tower. In October of 1996, the intelligence community obtained information regarding an Iranian plot to hijack a Japanese plane over Israel and crash it into Tel Aviv. In August of 1988, the intelligence community obtained information that a group of unidentified Arabs planned to fly an explosive-laden plane from a foreign country into the World Trade Center. The information was passed on to the FBI and the FAA.
    In September of 1998, the intelligence community obtained information that Osama bin Laden's next operation could possibly involve flying an aircraft loaded with explosives into a U.S. airport and detonating it. In August 2001, the intelligence community obtained information regarding a plot to either bomb the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi from an airplane, or crash an airplane into it. In addition, in the Atlanta Olympics, the United States government and the Department of Justice and my colleague Jamie Gorelick were involved in planning against possible terrorist attacks at the Olympics, which included the potential of an aircraft flying into the stadium. In July 2001, the G-8 summit in Genoa, attended by our president, among the measures that were taken were positioning surface-to-air missile ringing Genoa, closing the Genoa airport and restricting all airspace over Genoa.
    Was not this information, sir, available to NORAD as of September 11th, 2001?
    GEN. MCKINLEY: ... we had not postured prior to September 11th, 2001, for the scenario that took place that day.
    MR. BEN-VENISTE: Well, obviously it would be hard to imagine posturing for the exact scenario. But isn't it a fact, sir, that prior to September 11th, 2001, NORAD had already in the works plans to simulate in an exercise a simultaneous hijacking of two planes in the United States?
    This question was followed by a wall of obfuscation from General McKinley and Colonel Scott, and Ben-Veniste never did get an answer.35 Nor was the matter included in the Commission Report.
          Ben-Veniste also questioned the officers on the “vestigial” nature of planning primarily for Cold War attacks from Russia and other nations beyond US borders.36 (And on this point, Major Arias had told the News Herald in June 2001 that “The Cold War is over”.)
          These two points raise disturbing questions as to why Vigilant Guardian diverted much of the US defense fleet to the North Pole that day; who made the decision that this should occur; and why NORAD and the Commission were so silent about the hijacking drills.
    Air Training Drills the Morning of September 11th:
    On the morning of September 11th, two nationwide annual air defense drills were in full stride.
          NORAD was in the midst of one of its four major annual exercises, the week-long “Vigilant Guardian”, which the Commission described as “postulat[ing] a bomber attack from the former Soviet Union.”37
          A second annual global readiness exercise, Global Guardian, which had traditionally been held in October or November, and which, according to NBC News military analyst William Arkin, had been scheduled for October 22-31, 2001,38 was also underway. The Space Observer, a military newspaper, reported on March 23rd 2001 that this exercise was scheduled for October 2001,39 which meant that sometime after March 23rd, Global Guardian was rescheduled for early September.
          Third, Richard Clarke, in his book “Against All Enemies”, noted that acting Joint Chiefs of Staff (JSC) Chairman Richard Myers told him in a videoconference on 9/11, “Not a pretty picture, Dick...We are in the middle of Vigilant Warrior, a NORAD exercise.”40
          Information about military drills is classified and difficult to research. There have been suggestions that Richard Clarke confused this drill with Vigilant Guardian (the North Pole drill) but Vigilant Guardian is a NORAD exercise, apparently without JSC involvement. It has also been reported41 that the “Warrior” designation equates to JSC involvement and includes “live-flies”. A NORAD press release, reported in USA Today in 2004, stated that, “These ‘mock hijacked aircraft,’ otherwise called ‘live-flies,’ are used sometimes in air-based war games involving hijacking scenarios. They are actual planes of a variety of makes, in the air (manned or under remote control), pretending to be hijacked for the benefit of effective training.”42
          Thus the evidence suggests that mock hijacks were in progress on September 11th, which would explain the reports of military officers in the next section.
          There were more “planes into buildings” scenarios going on that morning. “In what the government describes as a bizarre coincidence, one U.S. intelligence agency was planning an exercise last Sept. 11 in which an errant aircraft would crash into one of its buildings... The National Reconnaissance Office had scheduled an exercise...in which a small corporate jet would crash into...the agency's headquarters building after experiencing a mechanical failure. ...The agency is about four miles from the runways of Washington Dulles International Airport.”43
          Finally, USA Today reported that “a joint FBI/CIA anti-terrorist task force that specifically prepared for this type of disaster” was on a “training exercise in Monterey, Calif.” Thus, “as of late Tuesday, with airports closed around the country, the task force still hadn’t found a way to fly back to Washington.”44 Furthermore, the FBI had deployed “all of its anti-terrorist and top special operations agents at a training exercise (complete with all associated helicopters and light aircraft) in Monterey, California.” While the attacks were in progress, then, “the chief federal agency responsible for preventing such crimes was being AWOL.”45
    A Summary of the Contradictions:
    There is a strong and clear contradiction between the White House and 9/11 Commission claims of wildly unpredictable surprise attacks, and the training exercises which were running to counter such attacks. In short, these training exercises reflected an expectation that multiple, simultaneous, internal hijackings using planes as weapons were very imaginable indeed.
          How did the Commission deal with this problem? With the exception of one footnote mentioning Northern Vigilance, it simply failed to mention the drills at all. By repeatedly claiming that no one had expected such attacks to have originated from within the United States, it diverted attention away from the drills, and away from warnings that there were Muslim operatives within the country who were learning to fly commercial airliners.
          Were these diversions merely cowardly flights from a failed responsibility, or were they more ominous indications of foreknowledge? This crucial question should be the subject of a new impartial investigation.
          If, as the evidence suggests, the White House and the Commission were not surprised by such attacks (whereas in fact they were aware of such events)46 the new investigation should ask why they said they were.
    1. Did the 9/11 Military Training Drills Help or Harm the Response?
    As mentioned above, the only reference made by the 9/11 Commission to the September 11th training exercises was to Vigilant Guardian, in footnote 116 from Chapter 1 of the Report:
    "On 9/11, NORAD was scheduled to conduct a military exercise, Vigilant Guardian, which postulated a bomber attack from the former Soviet Union. We investigated whether military preparations for the large-scale exercise compromised the military's response to the real-world terrorist attack on 9/11. According to General Eberhart, "it took about 30 seconds" to make the adjustment to the real-world situation. Ralph Eberhart testimony, June 17, 2004. We found that the response was, if anything, expedited by the increased number of staff at the sectors and at NORAD because of the scheduled exercise. See Robert Marr interview (Jan. 23, 2004)."47
          Unfortunately for the Commission, this conclusion has been contradicted by many military participants that day.
          Remember, all of NORAD was participating in Vigilant Guardian that morning. Other exercises were also running. As one research organization noted, “NORAD is thus fully staffed and alert, and senior officers are manning stations throughout the US. The entire chain of command is in place and ready when the first hijacking is reported.”48
          Almost immediately, however, confusion and bewilderment set in:
    At 8:40, Deskins noticed senior technician Jeremy Powell waving his hand. Boston Center was on the line, he said. It had a hijacked airplane.

    "It must be part of the exercise," Deskins thought.
    At first, everybody did. Then Deskins saw the glowing direct phone line to the Federal Aviation Administration.
    On the phone she heard the voice of a military liaison for the FAA's Boston Center.
    "I have a hijacked aircraft," he told her.
          Six minutes later, at 8:46, the exercises were still causing confusion: "Deskins ran to a nearby office and phoned 1st Air Force Chief Public Affairs Officer Major Don Arias in Florida. She said NEADS had a hijacked plane, no, not the simulation likely heading for JFK.
          ABC News quoted NORAD Commander Major General Arnold, from a command center at the Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida. "First thing that went through my mind was, 'Is this part of the exercise? Is this some kind of a screw-up?'"49
          NEADS Major Nasypany later recalled:
    "When they told me there was a hijack, my first reaction was 'Somebody started the exercise early,'" Nasypany later told me. The day's exercise was designed to run a range of scenarios, including a "traditional" simulated hijack in which politically motivated perpetrators commandeer an aircraft, land on a Cuba-like island, and seek asylum. "I actually said out loud, 'The hijack's not supposed to be for another hour.'"50
          Later yet, at 9:09 AM, Richard Clarke reports that FAA Command Center Head Jane Garvey told him by videoconference, “We have reports of eleven aircraft off course or out of communications.”51 This was verified in an aviation report, “...the FAA command center then reported 11 aircraft either not in communication with FAA facilities, or flying unexpected routes.”52
    Major-General Larry Arnold recalled,
    “As I walked out of a video teleconference with NORAD, someone came up and told me that the Northeast Air Defense sector had a possible hijacking. My first thought was the hijacking was part of the exercise...Then we began getting calls of other potential hijackings. Not all the calls were true. These hijacking reports added to the confusion... We were receiving many reports of hijacked aircraft. When we received those calls, we might not know from where the aircraft had departed. We also didn’t know the location of the airplane...By the end of the day, we had twenty-one aircraft identified as possible hijackings.”53
          In a 2006 interview with Vanity Fair, Arnold went further: "I'll be the first to admit that immediately after—-in fact, for a long time after—-we were very confused with who was what and where, what reports were coming in.”54
          Robert Marr, head of NEADS on 9/11, says, “At one time I was told that across the nation there were some 29 different reports of hijackings.”55
          General Richard Meyers at the Pentagon confirmed that “conflicting reports throughout the morning led to confusion in the Command Center.”56 The Commission itself documented, “During the course of the morning, there were multiple erroneous reports of hijacked aircraft in the system.”57
          Thus it would appear that simultaneous air defense drills were fogging the defense data streams and that personnel were chasing 4 real hijacked airplanes among 29 unidentified blips.
          And so there is a profound contradiction between the Commission’s position that the drills enhanced the defense response, and the reports by officers on duty that day.
    Summary of the Contradictions:
    Why, when only 4 planes were hijacked, were there so many reports of other hijacked planes? And why were the military personnel so ready to interpret these hijacking reports as being part of the exercises, when no one had ever “imagined” such a thing?
          Given the warnings of incipient terrorist attacks that had been repeatedly received by the Administration and the FBI, why would anyone coordinate two major annual air training exercises at this time, and divert key resources to the North Pole on an outdated mission? Who was in a position to do this?
          Commissioner Richard Ben-Veniste resolved to pursue these questions “very very diligently”, and made determined efforts to do so.
          But what did the Commission do about his unanswered questions? It ignored the issue of the drills and continuously pointed to FAA incompetence.58 However, blaming the FAA lacked credibility, because the failures of duty were not followed up and no one was disciplined.
          Thus the the mock live hijackings which were apparently in progress on the morning of September 11th should be investigated as a plausible explanation for why the national defense was such an abysmal failure.
          If the drills impeded the response, a new investigation should question why the two strange departures from longstanding air defense protocols were made in the months before 9/11.
          And if the drills enhanced the response, a new investigation should ask how the attacks could have succeeded on a day when the country was especially prepared to handle them.
          Either way, the situation cries out for clarification.
    NOTES
    1
     9/11 Commission Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta Testimony. http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=norman+mineta
    2 Colonel Robert Bowman, PhD, U.S. Air Force(ret.)
    Director of Advanced Space Programs Development under Presidents Ford and Carter. Email, September 26, 2007.
    3 The flight base commanders were required by the June 1st "Joint Chiefs of Staff Instruction" to seek approval from the Secretary of Defense before responding to hijackings, whereas before the rewrite they could have responded routinely. Robin Hordon, retired pilot and FAA officer, has ”emphasized that the debate has deliberately been channeled by NORAD and the government to focus on reactions to hijackings, when the real issue is the emergency condition of the aircraft well before a hijacking is even confirmed.” http://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=36598&st=90
    4 Guns and Butter. Interview with Robin Hordon, former FAA ATC, Boston Center. KPFA Radio, April 18, 2007.)
     (
    http://www.kpfa.org/archives/index.php?arch=19792)
    The original and the rewritten documents are available at http://www.dtic.mil/doctrine/jel/cjcsd/cjcsi/3610_01.pdf (7/31/1997: CJCSI 3610.10 and
    http://www.dtic.mil/doctrine/jel/cjcsd/cjcsi/3610_01a.pdf (6/01/2001: CJCSI 3610.10A)
    5
     “Text: Rumsfeld on NBC's 'Meet the Press'”, September 30, 2001.
    (
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/nation/specials/attacked/transcripts/nbctext_093001.html
    6
     White House News Release. “President Meets with Muslim Leaders,” Sept. 26, 2001. http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2001/09/20010926-8.html
    7 American Free Press Service, Oct. 23rd, 2001.
     (
    http://www.defenselink.mil/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=44621)
    8
     Text: Justice Department Briefing, Washington Post, Monday, Sept. 17, 2001. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/nation/specials/attacked/transcripts/justice091701.html  
    9 What Bush Knew Before Sept. 11,” Washington, May 17, 2002
    (
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/05/16/attack/main509294.shtml )
    10 Ibid.
    11 Ed Vulliamy. “A Bad Call?” Observer, May 19, 2002 (citing Joe Conason of the New York Observer.) 
    12
     Bob Woodward and Dan Eggen. “Aug. Memo Focused On Attacks in U.S.” Washington Post, May 19, 2002.
    (
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A35744-2002May17&notFound=true).

    A transcript of this presidential briefing was later published by CNN: “Transcript: Bin Laden detrmined to strike in US,” April 10, 2004.
    (
    http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/04/10/august6.memo/index.html)
    13 The White House. “Press Briefing by Ari Fleischer,” May 16, 2002.
    (
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/05/20020516-4.html)

    Rice’s statement is at (
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/05/20020516-13.html)
    14 “Bush, Clinton figures defend terrorism policies,” CNN Report, March 24, 2004.
     
    http://edition.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/03/23/911.commission/index.html 
    15
     “9/11 Report: Joint Congressional Inquiry. Report of the Joint Inquiry into the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001 – by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Select Comminttee on Intelligence. 858 p. Published 2002 and publicly released on July 24, 2003. http://news.findlaw.com/hdocs/docs/911rpt/  
    16
     “Excerpts From Report on Intelligence Actions and the Sept. 11 Attacks,” NYT, July 25, 2003. Available for purchase at (http://www.nytimes.com/2003/07/25/national/25TTEX.html?ex=1189569600&en=87b62bfc380ea076&ei=5070
    See also, “9/11: Threats about airplanes as weapons prior to 9/11,” Dr. Matthew Robinson, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, Appalachian State University,
    http://www.justiceblind.com/airplanes.html, and see, “US Received Warnings of “Airplanes As Weapons,” By Dana Priest, Washington Post, Sept. 19, 2002. http://www.globalpolicy.org/wtc/analysis/2002/0918warn.htm
    (article has disappeared from the WP website and the Lexis Nexis database) See also: Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball, “The Secrets of September 11. The White House is battling to keep a report on the terror attacks secret. Does the 2004 election have anything to do with it?” Newsweek, April 30, 2003. The quoted material, printed in December 2002, became available to the public on July 24, 2003, at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/serialset/creports/pdf/fullreport_errata.pdf, and is found on pp. 124-5.
    17 “9/11 report, Rice remarks in conflict: Investigators say Bush got specific data on threats,” Associated Press, July 29, 2003
    http://www.baltimoresun.com/business/nationworld/bal-te.rice29jul29,0,2620591.story?coll=bal-business-headlines
    18 9/11CR, p. 45.
    19
     9/11CR, pp. 345-6.
    20
     9/11CR, p. 274.
    21
     9/11CR, p. 273.
    22
     Ibid., p. 275.
    23
     Public hearings of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, 10th, April 13, 2004, p. 28.
     
    http://www.9-11commission.gov/hearings/index.htm 
    24
     9/11CR, pp.261-2.
    25
     CNN Report. “Transcript: Bin Laden determined to strike in US”, Saturday, April 10, 2004. (http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/04/10/august6.memo/index.html) This transcript includes a sentence left out by the 9/11 Commission Report: “An Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) operative told - - service at the same time that bin Laden was planning to exploit the operative's access to the U.S. to mount a terrorist strike.”
    26 Public hearings of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, 9th, April 8, 2004, p. 8. http://www.9-11commission.gov/hearings/index.htm
    27 9/11CR, p. 18.
    28
     9/11CR, p. 352.
    29 Kevin Howe. “Expert Stresses Need for Intelligence.” Monterey County Herald, July 18, 2002. (http://web.archive.org/web/20021128002557/http://www.montereyherald.com/mld/montereyherald/3686928.htm)
    30 Dennis Ryan. “Contingency planning Pentagon MASCAL exercise simulates scenarios in preparing for emergencies,” Nov. 3, 2000http://www.mdw.army.mil/content/anmviewer.asp?a=290
    31 Matt Mientka.”Pentagon Medics Trained For Strike,” U.S .Medicine, October 2001. (http://www.usmedicine.com/article.cfm?articleID=272&issueID=31)  
    32 National Transportation Security Summit. Washington, DC, Oct. 30, 2001. “MTI Report S-01-02,” Mineta Transportation Institute, San José State University,2001.http://transweb.sjsu.edu/mtiportal/research/publications/documents/terrorism/Terrorism%20Symposium%202001.htm
    33 Steven Komarow and Tom Squitieri. “NORAD had drills of jets as weapons,” USA Today, April 18, 2004, http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2004-04-18-norad_x.htm
    34 “September 11, 2001,” The New Yorker, September 24, 2001.
    (
    http://web.archive.org/web/20020215175752/http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?010924fa_FACT)
    35 Public hearings of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, 2nd, Day 2, May 23, 2003.
     (
    http://www.9-11commission.gov/archive/hearing2/9-11Commission_Hearing_2003-05-23.htm)
    This lack of cooperation with Commissioner Ben-Veniste is underscored by the fact that the 10-member Commission panel was forced to issue subpoenas to both NORAD and the FAA, and encountered “serious delays” in obtaining information from the Defense Department. “We are especially dismayed by problems in the production of records of activities of NORAD and certain Air Force commonds on Sept. 11th,” the panel reported.(In the Commission's November 7 Press Release,
    see 
    http://www.fas.org/irp/news/2003/11/911-110703.pdf)
    A second subpoena served on the Pentagon was similarly unsuccessful in obtaining records. (Philip Shenon. 9/11 Panel Issues Subpoena to Pentagon. Washington Post, Nov. 8, 2003.
     
    http://nucnews.net/nucnews/2003nn/0311nn/031108nn.htm#501)  
    36 Ibid.
    37 9/11CR, p. 458.
    38 Arkin, William M. “Code Names: Deciphering U.S. Military Plans, Programs and Operations in the 9/11 World”, Steerforth, 2005, p. 379.
    39 “21st Space Wing Priorities,” Space Observer, March 23, 2001, p. 2. http://web.archive.org/web/20030320100542/http:/www.peterson.af.mil/21sw/observer/23mar01.pdf
    40 Richard A. Clarke. “Against all Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror”, Free Press, 2004, pp. 4-5.
    41 “Wargame IV: Vigilant Warrior.” http://they-let-it-happen.blogspot.com/2007/01/wargame-iv-vigilant-warrior.html 
    42 Steven Komarow and Tom Squitieri. “NORAD had drills of jets as weapons,” USA Today, April 18, 2004, http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2004-04-18-norad_x.htm
    43 John J. Lumpkin, Associated Press. “Agency planned exercise on Sept. 11 built around a plane crashing into a building,” August 21, 2002. http://www.boston.com/news/packages/sept11/anniversary/wire_stories/0903_plane_exercise.htm  
    44 Bill Nichols, Homeland defense needs now 'grim reality,' Sept. 11, 2001.
    (
    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2001/09/11/security.htm)
    45 .” U.S. Devastated by Terrorist Attacks: Bush Faces Defining Moment, As Others Scramble For Advantage.” USA Today, Sept. 11, 2001.http://web.archive.org/web/20030312214742/http://www.evote.com/features/2001-09/091101attack.asp
    46 See Commissioner Ben-Veniste’s long list of prior incidents, cited above.
    47 9/11CR, p. 458.
    48 Cooperative Research. “Complete 9/11 Timeline. Military Exercises up to 9/11.”
     (
    http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/timeline.jsp?timeline=complete_911_timeline&before_9/11=militaryExercises)
    49 “Moments of Crisis, Part 1: Terror Hits the Towers: How Government Officials Reacted to Sept. 11 Attacks.” ABC News, September 14, 2002. http://s3.amazonaws.com/911timeline/2002/abcnews091402.html
    50 Michael Bronner. “9/11 Live: The NORAD Tapes.” Vanity Fair, August 2006, p. 2. 
    http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2006/08/norad200608?currentPage=10


    51
     Richard A. Clarke. “Against all Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror”, Free Press, 2004, pp. 4-5.
    52 William B. Scott. “Exercise Jump-Starts Response to Attacks, Aviation Week & Space Technology, June 3, 2002. http://web.archive.org/web/20020917072642/http://www.awstonline.com/ or
    http://911research.wtc7.net/cache/planes/defense/aviationnow_jumpstart.htm

    53 “Conversation With Major General Larry Arnold, Commander, 1st Air Force, Tyndall AFB, Florida.” Code One, An Airpower Projection Magazine, 1st Quarter, 2002.http://www.codeonemagazine.com/archives/2002/articles/jan_02/defense/
    54 Michael Bronner. “9/11 Live: The NORAD Tapes.” Vanity Fair, August 2006, p. 10.
    55 Robert A. Baker. “Commander of 9/11 Air Defenses Retires.” Newhouse News Service, March 31, 2005. (http://web.archive.org/web/20050519084002/http://www.newhousenews.com/archive/baker033105.html 
    56 Kathleen Rehm, “Myers and Sept. 11: ‘We Hadn’t Thought About This,’” American Forces Press Service, Oct. 23, 2001. http://www.defenselink.mil/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=44621
    57 9/11CR, p. 28.
    58 9/11CR. The first 30 pages of the Commission Report alone contain statements criticizing the FAA for delays and false assumptions on pages 11, 26, 27, 29, and 30. 

     Global Research Articles by Elizabeth Woodworth