- Dear Jeff,
- The vital perspective provided by this pilot raises as
many questions as it answers on - "Where Was The U.S. Air Force When
We Needed It On 9-11?" - the answer is, they were in-flight along
the Atlantic seaboard, but didn't follow regulations to intercept those
off-course and unresponsive airliners - WHY? I hope you will post this
along with the testimony given on September 13th, two days after, by General
Richard Myers before the Senate Armed Services Committee. The questions
by senators on 9-11 and his answers outrageously insult the intelligence
of the senators, and by extension the congress and the American public.
Nevertheless General Myers was promoted to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs,
in spite of his dereliction of duty and criminal negligence on the morning
- Posted on the KPFK 90.7 FM Listener Online Bulletin Board
- By Michael Guillaume 6-9-2
- I am a pilot and I know what happens to me when I lose
my transponder. The controllers console immediately alerts him to the fact
since he no longer has my transponder code and altitude. This causes him
a graet deal of trouble and very shortly I get trouble also. I am usually
instructed to stay below 3,500 feet and return to the airport. The reason
for the concern is that I am a hazard to navigation. Now imagine the situation
in the Air Route Traffic Control Center (commonly abreviated to "center").
- This is in the northeast corner of the U.S., the busiest
airspace on the planet. Each controller has a wedged shaped sector that
he is responsible for. His airspace is also bounded by altitude limits.
Commercial flights, refferred to as heavies, are always under positive
control. They must constantly be in communication with the controllers
in order to maintain legal seperation. If one of these heavies loses its
transponder, it causes instant problems for more than one controller since
altitude information is lost.
- The controllers still have a skin paint, or passive echo
from the airframe, but the blip now shows up on all consoles for that sector,
not just the original one that was handling the altitude range of the flight.
If that same flight loses communication with the controllers as well, the
controller work load takes another giant step upward. Keep in mind that
this is in an area that is normally stretched to the breaking point with
controller overload. This flight is now a hazard to air navigation, and
the controllers primary function of seperating the planes is in jeopardy.
- The procedure for lost communication emergencies is simple:
follow your last clearance. If the flight under discussion follows its
last clearance, the controllers can predict where it will go and can still
keep other flights out of harms way. If in addition to losing communication
and transponder the flight starts to deviate from its last clearance, the
whole system is in an emergency condition. Alarms all over the country
would be going off. One interesting piece of information is the recording
of controller and pilote conversations. These tapes are a matter of public
record and are written over after a few days unless something interesting
happens. These tapes would show the response of the system. Where are they?
- So, we know that the traffic control system would be
in panic mode within two to three minutes of the initial events. We know
that Otis Airforce Base is only five minutes from Manhatten by F15. We
know that the controllers always had a passive return form the planes and
could vector an intercept. The last Airmans Informatiion Manual I bought
has a date of 1989 and it describes intercept procedures. So we know that
intercepts have been routine low level events since at least that time.
- We know that there is an Air Defence Intercept Zone just
off shore for the entire Atlantic Coast. This zone is constantly being
patrolled. In general fast movers would not need to be scrambled. They
can be diverted from routine patrol and training flights for the intercept.
I know from experience that early morning flights are every pilots favorite.You
preflight the plane in the dark and take off. Even in a Cessna breaking
out into the bright clear sunshine from the dark earth below is a kick.
In an F15 doing Mach 1 straight up would make it impossible to stop grinning.
The odds are that many flights would be on patrol just off shore. It would
be most improbable that even one commercial flight could go more than ten
minutes without being intercepted. The intercepting plane would slowly
close from the left and take station slightly above and ahead of the errant
heavy. At this pont he would rock his wings and expect the other planeto
do the same as a form of non verbal communication. After this he would
perform a gentle turn to the left and the intercepted plane is required
to follow. If this does not occur, there are many actions short of firing
the fighter can take to prevent the commercial jet from harming either
itself, any other plane, or any ground structure.
- Interceptions are routine daily occurrances. The fact
that they didn't happen under extreme provocation raises some serious questions.
I hope Mary Schiavo will ask them.
- Note - This is a corrected version of Gen. Myers' testimony
- >From William Desjardins 6-12-2
- Jeff - Here's the corrected text for the first exchange
between Levin and Myers quoted on your site.
- Upon more detailed examination, the senate hearing posted
on your site is a compilation of exchanges extracted from the original
transcript. Senators did not pepper general Myers as they appear to be
doing. From what I've looked at thus far, there are no substantive alterations
to the quotes extracted and arranged in this manner. Moreover, the progression
appear to be in concordance with their progression during the hearing.
- I checked the KPFA site. The exchange between Levin and
Myers does not appear on the chatroom--only the statement of Michael Guillaume.
- Source: emperor's clothes website http://emperors-clothes.com/9-11backups/mycon.htm
- LEVIN: Was the Defense Department contacted by the FAA
or the FBI or any other agency after the first two hijacked aircraft crashed
into the World Trade Center, prior to the time that the Pentagon was hit?
- MYERS: Sir, I don't know the answer to that question.
I can get that for you, for the record.
- LEVIN: Thank you. Did the Defense Department take --
or was the Defense Department asked to take action against any specific
- MYERS: Sir, we were . . .
- LEVIN: And did you take action against -- for instance,
there has been statements that the aircraft that crashed in Pennsylvania
was shot down. Those stories continue to exist.
- MYERS: Mr. Chairman, the armed forces did not shoot down
any aircraft. When it became clear what the threat was, we did scramble
fighter aircraft, AWACS, radar aircraft and tanker aircraft to begin to
establish orbits in case other aircraft showed up in the FAA system that
were hijacked. But we never actually had to use force.
- LEVIN: Was that order that you just described given before
or after the Pentagon was struck? Do you know?
- MYERS: That order, to the best of my knowledge, was after
the Pentagon was struck.
- LEVIN: General Myers, you have agreed to give us your
personal views, even when they might disagree with the administration in
power. But the secretary was quoted in a July article as saying that his
choice for chairman would have to possess candor and forthrightness, of
course -- he said -- but he wanted this willingness to disagree to show
up only in very direct, private counsel.
- Now, have you been told that your willingness to disagree
should show up only in private counsel? Or are you committed to give us
your personal views when asked, even if those views might differ with that
of the secretary?
- MYERS: Sir, I've never been told to limit my views to
private. And as I said earlier, Mr. Chairman, absolutely.
- LEVIN: Thank you. General, you indicated in response
to one of the committee's pre- hearing policy questions, as to what your
priorities would be if confirmed, that one of your priorities would be
to better define the military's role in homeland security. I'm wondering
if you could tell us what your concerns are in this area and what role
you believe the military should play.
- MYERS: Mr. Chairman, that issue was debated in our quadrennial
defense review. And it's still being debated. I think this current tragedy
puts that issue center stage.
- As the commander-in-chief of North American Aerospace
Defense Command, as well as U.S. Space Command, we had plans to deploy
our fighters to defend from external threats. I never thought we'd see
what we saw the last few days, where we had fighters over our cities, defending
against a threat that originated inside the United States of America.
- So I think this whole issue of homeland defense or homeland
security needs a lot more thought. There is a role, obviously, for the
Department of Defense. What that role is, I'm not confident I know that
answer today. But I just know that the debate needs to take place now.
- We've had other issues that we have worked in seminar
games, if you will, or exercises, where we've looked at other incidents
of weapons of mass destruction. And what we found in some of those is that
local authorities are often quickly overcome by the situation. And there
is going to be reliance, I believe, on some of the capabilities that we
have inside the department.
- So we need to sort through those issues. To tell you
exactly what our role ought to be, I don't know for sure. I just think
we need to think through that, so the next time we have a terrible tragedy,
that we are ready to act in a unified way and a focused way.
- That is not to say that we haven't done that in this
crisis. I think we have come together very, very well. But it certainly
raises those questions, Mr. Chairman.
- LEVIN: Thank you very much.