Monday, October 26, 2009

Did Training Exercises Prevent Andrews Air Force Base From Responding to the 9/11 Attacks?

Why did airplanes fly around for an hour and a half without interceptors being
scrambled from Andrews [Air Force Base] ... right next to the capital?

- Paul Hellyer, Canadian minister of national defense, 1963-1967

Many aircraft at a military base just outside Washington, DC, were taking part in training exercises around the time the terrorist attacks occurred on September 11, 2001, it has been revealed. But whether these exercises impaired the ability of the various units at the base to effectively respond to the attacks has never been properly investigated.

On September 11, FAA air traffic controller James Ampey was on duty in the control tower at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, near the District of Columbia border. He later told the 9/11 Commission that there was "an unusually high number of aircraft taking off and landing at Andrews that morning, because previously scheduled military exercises were under way." Ampey apparently did not tell the Commission what specific exercises these were, or the time period during which the aircraft were "taking off and landing" at the base. [1] However, other publicly available information offers minor clues about these exercises.

Journalist and author Dan Verton has described that, around the time of the Pentagon attack on 9/11 (9:37 a.m.), "civilian and military officials were boarding a militarized version of a Boeing 747, known as the E-4B National Airborne Operations Center (NAOC), at an airfield outside of the nation's capital. They were preparing to conduct a previously scheduled Defense Department exercise." [2] The airfield Verton referred to could well have been Andrews Air Force Base, as this is located only 10 miles from Washington. [3] Indeed, according to Miles Kara, who was a professional staff member of the 9/11 Commission, primary source information reveals that an E-4B took off from Andrews that morning, and was airborne at 9:27 a.m. [4] The exercise Verton referred to was likely "Global Guardian," which was "in full swing" when the attacks began, and for which three E-4Bs were launched. Global Guardian was an annual exercise run by the U.S. Strategic Command, to test its ability to fight a nuclear war. [5] Whether other aircraft taking off or landing at Andrews were also participating in Global Guardian is unknown.

Another major exercise taking place on September 11 was "Vigilant Guardian." It seems less likely, however, that aircraft at Andrews would have participated in this.

The annual Vigilant Guardian exercise was being conducted by the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), including its Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS). [6] Vigilant Guardian has been described as "an air defense exercise simulating an attack on the United States," and was scheduled to include a simulated hijacking during the morning of September 11. [7] However, the DC Air National Guard (DCANG), which is based at Andrews, was not part of the NORAD air defense force. [8] Furthermore, members of the DCANG had just returned from a major training exercise in Nevada. With only a few pilots available, 9/11 was reportedly a "light flying day" for the unit, which would indicate that it would not have participated in Vigilant Guardian or any other major exercises that morning. [9] And since Andrews was not one of NORAD's seven "alert" sites around the U.S., it seems unlikely that any of the other military organizations there would have been involved in a NORAD exercise. [10]

While only limited information is available indicating what exercises the planes at Andrews were involved in, we know that numerous military organizations are located at the base, in addition to the DCANG, some of which may have had air defense capabilities. And some of them could well have been participating in the exercises Ampey referred to.

Among more than 60 separate organizations located at Andrews Air Force Base are units from the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force Reserve, and Air National Guard. [11] These include Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 321, which flies the F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet, and Naval Air Facility, Washington, DC, which has numerous aircraft available, including the F/A-18 Hornet. [12] Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 321 at least appears to have had air defense capabilities that may have been able to provide protection against the attacks on September 11: At around 9:50 a.m. that morning, one of its officers called a friend who worked at NEADS, and said: "Dude, get us in the war. I've got wrench turners on our planes uploading weapons. What can we do?" [13]

Another unit at Andrews was the 1st Helicopter Squadron. Its primary mission was "to support [Department of Defense] contingency plans for transport of key government officials should a national emergency arise." It had around 200 members of staff, and possessed 19 twin-engine UH-1N "Huey" helicopters. Many of these helicopters reportedly flew throughout the day of September 11. [14] Whether the 1st Helicopter Squadron was involved in the training exercises that morning is unknown.

It is essential to investigate whether the training exercises impaired the organizations at Andrews in their ability to respond to the 9/11 attacks. Were any of them delayed or otherwise hindered as a result of their participation in an exercise? Were assets, such as aircraft and personnel, which could otherwise have been utilized in the response to the attacks, unavailable because they were being used in an exercise? Were military and civilian air traffic controllers in the Washington area perhaps confused about flights in their region because of the exercises taking place?

In a news report published on the day of 9/11, Knight Ridder stated, "Air defense around Washington, DC, is provided mainly by fighter planes from Andrews Air Force Base." [15] Indeed, the DC Air National Guard is known as the "Capital Guardians." [16] According to a 9/11 Commission memorandum, "Many planes were scrambled out of Andrews" throughout the day of September 11. [17] And yet the first fighter jet to take off from there in response to the attacks was an unarmed DCANG F-16, which took off at 10:38 a.m., more than 30 minutes after the attacks had come to an end. [18] Might fighter jets have been able to respond earlier on, only the emergency responses of units at Andrews were somehow delayed by the training exercises?

As mentioned above, it seems unlikely that the DC Air National Guard would have been involved in a major training exercise on September 11. However, other circumstances seem to have significantly reduced its ability to respond to the attacks.

Three days earlier, on September 8, members of the DCANG returned from a major exercise in Nevada, called "Red Flag." Most of its fighter pilots, who flew commercial planes in their civilian lives and were involved with the unit on only a part-time basis, were consequently away, either back at their airline jobs or on leave, according to different accounts. The unit reportedly had just seven pilots available on 9/11. [19] At least three of these were inexperienced, junior pilots. [20] And of the seven pilots, three had taken off shortly before the first attack in New York occurred, for a routine training mission around 200 miles away from base, over North Carolina. They did not arrive back at Andrews until after the attacks had ended. [21]

While discussing the 9/11 attacks, in 2004, Paul Hellyer, a former Canadian minister of national defense, posed the question, "Why did airplanes fly around for an hour and a half without interceptors being scrambled from Andrews [Air Force Base] … right next to the capital?" He said: "With a quick-reaction alert they should have been in the air in five minutes or 10 minutes. If not, as a minister of national defense, which in the United States would be the secretary of defense, I would want to say, 'Why not?'" [22]

His questions are as pertinent today as they were five years ago.


[1] "Memorandum for the Record: Visit to Reagan National Airport Control Tower in Alexandria, VA and Andrews Air Force Base Control Tower." 9/11 Commission, July 28, 2003.

[2] Dan Verton, Black Ice: The Invisible Threat of Cyber-Terrorism. Emeryville, CA: McGraw-Hill/Osborne, 2003, pp. 143-144.

[3] "Andrews AFB, Maryland.", March 3, 2002.

[4] Miles Kara, "9/11: The Mystery Plane; Not so Mysterious." 9/11 Revisited, June 30, 2009.

[5] Joe Dejka, "Inside StratCom on Sept. 11 Offutt Exercise Took Real-Life Twist." Omaha World-Herald, February 27, 2002; Joe Dejka, "When Bush Arrived, Offutt Sensed History in the Making." Omaha World-Herald, September 8, 2002.

[6] William B. Scott, "Exercise Jump-Starts Response to Attacks." Aviation Week & Space Technology, June 3, 2002; William M. Arkin, Code Names: Deciphering U.S. Military Plans, Programs, and Operations in the 9/11 World. Hanover, NH: Steerforth Press, 2005, p. 545.

[7] Leslie Filson, Air War Over America: Sept. 11 Alters Face of Air Defense Mission. Tyndall Air Force Base, FL: 1st Air Force, 2003, p. 122; Michael Bronner, "9/11 Live: The NORAD Tapes." Vanity Fair, August 2006.

[8] William B. Scott, "F-16 Pilots Considered Ramming Flight 93." Aviation Week & Space Technology, September 9, 2002; Leslie Filson, Air War Over America, p. 76.

[9] "Memorandum for the Record: Interview With Major David McNulty, Chief of Intelligence, 121st Fighter Squadron, Air National Guard, Andrews Air Force Base." 9/11 Commission, March 11, 2004.

[10] Pat McKenna, "FANGs Bared." Airman, December 1999.

[11] "Andrews Air Force Base: Welcome.", Summer 2001; "Andrews AFB, Maryland."

[12] "Andrews Air Force Base: Tenant Units.", February 9, 2001; "Andrews Air Force Base: Partner Units.", Summer 2001.

[13] Lynn Spencer, Touching History: The Untold Story of the Drama That Unfolded in the Skies Over America on 9/11. New York: Free Press, 2008, p. 188.

[14] "Capital Flying." Air Force Magazine, January 2001; "Andrews Air Force Base: Andrews Units.", Summer 2001; "Memorandum for the Record: Visit to Reagan National Airport Control Tower in Alexandria, VA and Andrews Air Force Base Control Tower."

[15] Steve Goldstein, "Focus of Training for Terrorist Attacks has Been Chemical, Biological Warfare." Knight Ridder, September 11, 2001.

[16] Steve Vogel, "Flights of Vigilance Over the Capital." Washington Post, April 8, 2002; William B. Scott, "F-16 Pilots Considered Ramming Flight 93."

[17] "Memorandum for the Record: Visit to Reagan National Airport Control Tower in Alexandria, VA and Andrews Air Force Base Control Tower."

[18] 9/11 Commission, The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (Authorized Edition). New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2004, p. 44; Miles Kara, "Relevant Andrews Transmissions." 9/11 Commission, February 17-18, 2004; Steve Vogel, The Pentagon: A History. New York: Random House, 2007, p. 446.

[19] Steve Vogel, "Flights of Vigilance Over the Capital"; "Memorandum for the Record: Interview of Major Billy Hutchison, 113th Fighter Wing Air National Guard, Andrews Air Force Base." 9/11 Commission, February 27, 2004; "Memorandum for the Record: Interview With Major David McNulty"; Lynn Spencer, Touching History, p. 156.

[20] "Memorandum for the Record: Interview of Major Billy Hutchison"; Lynn Spencer, Touching History, pp. 236-237. These pilots were Eric Haagenson, Lou Campbell, and Heather Penney Garcia.

[21] "Memorandum for the Record: Visit to Reagan National Airport Control Tower in Alexandria, VA and Andrews Air Force Base Control Tower"; Miles Kara, "Relevant Andrews Transmissions"; "Memorandum for the Record: Interview With Major John Daniel Caine, USAF, Supervisor of Flying at 121st Squadron, 113th Wing, Andrews Air Force Base on September 11, 2001." 9/11 Commission, March 8, 2004.

[22] "Paul Hellyer, Former Defence Minister of Canada Questions the Lack of Fighter Response on 9/11 and Comments on the Shallowness of the 9/11 Investigation." Connect the Dots, May 27, 2004.


Friday, October 23, 2009

9/11 Redux Pt1

Former FBI agent Colleen Rowley discusses still unanswered questions about the lead up to 9/11. Coleen Rowley is a former FBI agent and whistleblower. Rowley jointly held the TIME "Person of the Year" award in 2002 with two other women credited as whistleblowers.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Danish Prime Minister Knew WTC Would Collapse

Giuliani received the same warning – victims and firefighters inside the tower did not

During a recent interview on Danish television, the former Prime Minister of Denmark admitted that he received a message 5 to 10 minutes beforehand telling him that the south tower of the World Trade Center was going to collapse, prompting questions as to why the victims and rescue personnel inside the building didn’t get the same warning.

Poul Nyrup Rasmussen told Denmark’s largest broadcast television network, The Danish Broadcasting Corporation, that before he walked into his office to hold a security meeting on the morning of 9/11, he got advance knowledge of the south tower’s imminent collapse.

“I am told that the first tower has completely collapsed….I received a message 5-10 minutes before it physically happened saying there was impending danger the tower would collapse so I knew disaster was coming” said Rasmussen.

Rasmussen added that the imminent collapse of the building was confirmed as soon as he entered his office.

The Danish Prime Minister was not the only high-level official to receive advance knowledge that the World Trade Center was going to collapse.

During an interview on 9/11 with ABC News’ Peter Jennings, then New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani stated, “I went down to the scene and we set up headquarters at 75 Barkley Street, which was right there with the Police Commissioner, the Fire Commissioner, the Head of Emergency Management, and we were operating out of there when we were told that the World Trade Center was going to collapse. And it did collapse before we could actually get out of the building, so we were trapped in the building for 10, 15 minutes, and finally found an exit and got out, walked north, and took a lot of people with us.”

In the eight years since the attacks, Giuliani has failed to explain how and why he received advance knowledge of this unprecedented event and why that same warning was not passed on to those inside the towers, who had been told to remain in their offices via loudspeaker after the first plane struck at 8:46am.

“Some people — it’s not clear how many — returned to their offices after announcements on the building’s emergency loudspeaker system said that it was safe to stay in the south tower,” reported USA Today under the sub headline “announcements caused deaths,” adding that to some this sounded like an order to return, not an option.

The fact that officials knew the tower was about to collapse as much as 10 minutes before it fell was completely ignored by the 9/11 Commission. If that same warning had been transmitted to those inside the towers who still had the capability to get out, hundreds of lives could have been saved.

Add to this the fact that the collapse of a steel building that was purposefully built to withstand the impact of a commercial airliner without collapsing through fire damage was a completely unprecedented event, and the notion that the 9/11 Commission wouldn’t even question these advance warnings sounds alarm bells and provides yet another reason why a new investigation is needed.

Watch the two clips below.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

NASA Engineer to Speak on Destruction of WTC Buildings

Encinitas resident a leader among 900 architects and engineers

San Diego - On Wednesday, October 21, 2009, former NASA engineering executive Dwain Deets, will speak on behalf of more than 900 architects and engineers who cite evidence of explosive demolition at all three World Trade Center high-rises on 9/11 and are calling for a new, independent investigation into their destruction.

Mr. Deets’ multimedia presentation will begin at 12:00 p.m. at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice, on the campus of University of San Diego, 5998 Alcalá Park, San Diego, CA 92110. The event will conclude at 3:00 p.m.

An engineer with NASA Dryden Flight Research Center for more than 37 years, Mr. Deets is a board member and the writing team leader for Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth (AE911Truth). Comprised of more than 900 architects and engineers listed on their website at, the organization contends that the official FEMA and NIST reports fail, for several reasons, to explain correctly the towers’ destruction. AE911Truth points in particular to the destruction of the third high-rise, World Trade Center 7, which was not hit by a plane but came down in less than seven seconds. These 900 architects and engineers have signed a petition calling for a new investigation.

Mr. Deets will include in his presentation an abridged version of 9/11: Blueprint for Truth, featuring Richard Gage, AIA, a San Francisco Bay area architect of 20 years, the founder and CEO of AE911Truth, and a member of the American Institute of Architects.

The organization’s conclusions are shared by hundreds of scientists; senior-level military, intelligence, and government officials; firefighters; pilots and aviation professionals; scholars and university professors; 9/11 survivors and family members; and media professionals around the world.

In 1986, Mr. Deets was awarded the Wright Brothers Lectureship in Aeronautics by the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics. He became aware of the many problems with the official reports concerning 9/11, and began speaking publicly on this topic in 2007. He and his wife have been residents of Encinitas for the past six years.

This event is sponsored by the Toreros for Truth, a University of San Diego club with a purpose to promote, and in part to provide, the best in investigative reporting, scholarly research and public education regarding the suppressed realities of September 11th, its aftermath and exploitation for political ends.

Please forward this Press Release to any group or individual you think might be interested- this is a free event and open to the public.

Contact: Event information: Aaron Brown; Program content: Dwain Deets
Phone: Brown: 909-576-2800 Deets: 760-445-3242
Event Date: Wednesday, October 21, 12:00 p.m.


Friday, October 9, 2009

Once Again, The Will of the Voters Is Denied

October 9, 2009

Yesterday afternoon, Justice Edward Lehner of the State Supreme Court rubberstamped Referee Louis Crespo’s recommendation that the decision to establish a local commission to investigate the events of September 11th not be put before the voters on November 3rd.

After showing interest in weighing both sides’ arguments in the hearing, the Judge’s short decision gives no indication of having considered the arguments put forth in the Petitioners’ memorandum of law, nor any acknowledgement of the need for a new investigation, which the City of New York callously dismissed as “irrelevant”.

On a dark day for democracy, the patriotic call for answers by hundreds of 9/11 families, first responders and survivors has been stifled, and the will of the people of New York City once again denied.

Judge Lehner ruled that modifying the petition to make it “legally permissible” would result in it being “inconsistent with the law sought by the signatories of the Petition” despite the fact that all 80,000 signatories agreed by signing the Petition that “If any provision of this law is held to be unconstitutional or invalid for any reason, the remaining provisions shall be in no manner affected thereby but shall remain in full force and effect.”

The deadline for inclusion on the ballot falls just before the election, making it possible to appeal Judge Lehner’s decision. NYC CAN is weighing all options and will make an announcement early next week on this issue, as well as on how it will be moving forward on other fronts. Regardless of the outcome in court, the quest for answers continues full throttle. This fight is only the beginning.


The Official Version of 9/11

I found this comment on a Telegraph article about Charlie Sheen's questions to the President, and just had to re-post it.


Charlie Sheen will be viewed by history as a very brave individual...

The Official Version of 9/11 goes something like this...

Directed by a beardy-guy from a cave in Afghanistan, nineteen hard-drinking, coke-snorting, devout Muslims enjoy lap dances before their mission to meet Allah...

Using nothing more than craft knifes, they overpower cabin crew, passengers and pilots on four planes...

And hangover or not, they manage to give the world's most sophisticated air defense system the slip...

Unphased by leaving their “How to Fly a Passenger Jet” guide in the car at the airport, they master the controls in no-time and score direct hits on two towers, causing THREE to collapse completely...

Our masterminds even manage to overpower the odd law of physics or two... and the world watches in awe as steel-framed buildings fall symmetrically - through their own mass - at free-fall speed, for the first time in history.

Despite all their dastardly cunning, they stupidly give their identity away by using explosion-proof passports, which survive the fireball undamaged and fall to the ground... only to be discovered by the incredible crime-fighting sleuths at the FBI...

…Meanwhile down in Washington...

Hani Hanjour, having previously flunked 2-man Cessna flying school, gets carried away with all the success of the day and suddenly finds incredible abilities behind the controls of a Boeing...

Instead of flying straight down into the large roof area of the Pentagon, he decides to show off a little...

Executing an incredible 270 degree downward spiral, he levels off to hit the low facade of the world's most heavily defended building...

...all without a single shot being fired.... or ruining the nicely mowed lawn... and all at a speed just too fast to capture on video...

...Later, in the skies above Pennsylvania...

So desperate to talk to loved ones before their death, some passengers use sheer willpower to connect mobile calls that otherwise would not be possible until several years later...

And following a heroic attempt by some to retake control of Flight 93, it crashes into a Shankesville field leaving no trace of engines, fuselage or occupants... except for the standard issue Muslim terrorists bandana...

...Further south in Florida...

President Bush, our brave Commander-in-Chief continues to read “My Pet Goat” to a class full of primary school children... shrugging off the obvious possibility that his life could be in imminent danger...

...In New York...

World Trade Center leaseholder Larry Silverstein blesses his own foresight in insuring the buildings against terrorist attack only six weeks previously...

While back in Washington, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz shake their heads in disbelief at their own luck in getting the 'New Pearl Harbor' catalyzing event they so desired to pursue their agenda of world domination...

And finally, not to be disturbed too much by reports of their own deaths, at least seven of our nineteen suicide hijackers turn up alive and kicking in mainstream media reports...


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Media Pundits Back Away From 9/11 Debate With Sheen

Initial interest waned after Sheen insisted discussion must be moderated fairly

Charlie Sheen’s challenge to media pundits to debate him on the issues brought up in his “20 Minutes With The President” letter has not been met after several news outlets expressed interest in taking part but later backed off when it became clear that the discussion would have to be fairly moderated.

Bill O’Reilly was the only pundit to express an interest in debating Sheen but all has gone quiet on that front following Sheen’s request that the debate be properly presented with each side having equal time.

Earlier this month, appearing on The Alex Jones Show, Sheen responded to personal attacks by Meghan McCain, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly, by challenging them all to a debate on neutral ground regarding the unanswered questions surrounding 9/11.

Initially, CNN’s Larry King Live show was eager to host the debate but was shocked that it could find no one who would agree to go toe to toe with Sheen and his 20 bullet points on 9/11.

E mails forwarded to us by Sheen indicate that Bill O’Reilly was initially interested and that ABC’s Good Morning America was keen to broadcast the debate.

However, as soon as Sheen outlined rules that would ensure a fair environment to discuss the issues, O’Reilly and his representatives went cold and backed away from the challenge, according to Sheen.

But at least O’Reilly had the courage to respond, unlike every other debunker who attacked Sheen yet skulked away in a cowardly fashion when they were challenged.

“We’re not naked shouting from the top of a building ‘come debate us’, we’re just issuing a very calm and reasonable offer to just sit down in an open and fair debate forum and hash this thing out,” Sheen told The Alex Jones Show yesterday.

Sheen characterized O’Reilly’s brief interest in the debate as a “nibble” and added that an agreement has not been reached on the terms that were presented to the Fox News host’s representatives.

Sheen said that the reaction to his challenge was, “Inkeeping with how this very deceptive and dangerous machine operates.”

“As long as they’ve got the media under their control then this is the mountain that we must continue to climb,” he added.

Watch Sheen’s appearance on The Alex Jones Show yesterday below. E mails exchanged between Sheen, his representative, and Bill O’Reilly’s representative are reprinted at the end.

RELATED: Charlie Sheen’s Video Message to President Obama

RELATED: Twenty Minutes With The President


From: Charlie Sheen
Date: September 18, 2009 1:47:14 PM CDT
To: Stan Rosenfield
Subject: debate guidelines

I’ll agree to BO on his turf if the following rules are agreed upon:

1) If BO is going to have anyone on with him then we need ample warning, as well as the disclosure of who this person is.

2)If BO, adds more people to his debate team CS can include others as well, obviously revealed prior to the event.

3) Minimum 2 segments 5 min each, preferably 3 segments. Cannot cover all this ground in ONE segment.

4) Live broadcast.

5) 1 minute allotted to each side per issue or case point, no interruptions from either side during presentation of each specific point or argument.

6) No microphone silencing or commercial send-offs during CS’s allotted debate minute(s) per debate point. No other tactics of disruption, verbal or otherwise.

Look forward to your response – cs


From: Mitchell, Ron
Sent: Tuesday, September 22, 2009 8:15 AM
To: Stan Rosenfield
Subject: RE: Sheen/O’Reilly

Good Morning America would love to do this. Seems like completely neutral ground. Please let me know ASAP, and we will start to make plans.


From: Stan Rosenfield
Sent: Friday, September 18, 2009 3:38 PM
To: Mitchell, Ron
Subject: RE: Sheen/O’Reilly



From: Mitchell, Ron
Sent: Friday, September 18, 2009 12:34 PM
To: Stan Rosenfield
Subject: RE: Sheen/O’Reilly

Let me come up with some ideas. I don’t think that going on CNN would necessarily be an option, though! (Sheen’s idea on that radio show)


From: Stan Rosenfield
Sent: Friday, September 18, 2009 3:19 PM
To: Mitchell, Ron
Subject: Sheen/O’Reilly


l have spoken again with Charlie and has definite interest in speaking publically with Bill

regarding 9-11.

Although he has no problem in discussing this with Bill, we would prefer to do this on neutral turf.

Let me know your thoughts.




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