Friday, May 18, 2007


On September 11, two F-15s were sent from Otis AFB in Massachusetts to protect Manhattan from further hijacking attacks. They weren’t scrambled until 8:52, six minutes after the first impact, and didn’t arrive at the scene until 9:25, 23 minutes after the second impact, and they reportedly didn't learn of any impact at all until they got there after the NY leg of the attack was complete. One of the pilots, code-named “Nasty,” lamented to the BBC “for a long time I wondered what would’ve happened if we’d, uh… been scrambled in time.” [1]

I would like to invite you to wonder along with him; imagine for a moment that the two Otis fighters had been scrambled “in time,” sent in the right direction, and flew full-blower. Imagine them arriving in Manhattan at, say, 8:54, just after the first plane had hit the WTC. They would be circling nervously in their F-15s, seeing United 175 coming in fast and low. Imagine the fighters rushing out to intercept it, ready to scatter the airliner over some farmer’s field before it scattered itself against and into the South Tower. Imagine them on the scene, ready to act and deal with the nightmares later, and prevent the second catastrophic collision and alleged jet-fuel-induced collapse that killed so many.

Now imagine they were left without legal authority to fire; imagine them asking and asking again as the hijacked airliner came into view “permission to engage?” and receiving the reply “do not engage.” We’d like to think they would pull the trigger anyway, and “take lives in the air in order to preserve lives on the ground,” the standard response in such an un-standard case. But it’s also possible they may have done their job and follow orders, even though the protocols mandated that they watch powerlessly as United 175 passed them by and slammed explosively into the South Tower. That would not look good for the government.

In fact, that would have been the situation if the pilots had been scrambled sooner. Every source agrees on this point; the fighter pilots sent to defend the skies were never instructed (and thus never allowed) to fire on airliners until long after all the targets had crashed. In fact, this itself may be the best clue in understanding the botched reaction up to that point. If not for the unlikely string of synchronized failures that kept all fighters well away from the hijacked planes, the lack of authorization would have been absolutely crucial and a political liability to say the least.

The Langley pilots did receive a vague order at 9:55 from the Secret Service to protect the white House. Recollections vary: “I want you to protect the White House” - ”The White House [is] an important asset to protect” - “Be aware of where it is… it could be a target.” [2] This was not taken by the pilots as a clear shoot-down order, signed off on by the proper authorities. Fifteen minutes later, in fact, the pilots were told they had “negative clearance to shoot.” [3] Jere Longman concluded that after patrolling Washington for hours “both Honey and Lou said that no one had given them any orders to shoot down a commercial airliner.” [4]

New York flight control mentioned to Otis pilot Nasty “if we have another hijacked aircraft we’re going to have to shoot it down.” He knew this was conversational and “not connected to the chain of command.” [5] “Only the President could make that decision,” Nasty explained to the Cape Cod Times, “and he was indisposed at a public event,” referring to his now-famous reading exercise at a Florida elementary school. [6]

[1] “Clear the Skies.” BBC Video. 2002.
[2] Thompson, Paul and the Center for Cooperative Research. The Terror Timeline: Year by Year, Day by Day, Minute by Minute. New York. Regan books. 2004. Page 436.
[3]See [2]. Page 453.
[4] Longman, Jere. Among the Heroes: United Flight 93 and the Passengers and Crew who Fought Back. New York. Harper Collins. 2002. Page 222
[5] See [2]. Page 440.
[6] Dennehy, Kevin. “'I Thought It Was the Start of World War III'” The Cape Cod Times. August 21, 2002. Accessed November 13, 2004 at:

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

LIHOP vs. MIHOP {and MIHOP masterlist}

LIHOP vs. MIHOP: to the uninitiated, it looks like a discussion about where to eat pancakes, but is really one of the long-running debates among those who reject the official story of 9/11 – did they Let it Happen on Purpose or Make It Happen on Purpose? Originally I saw that the military’s defenses failed with curious precision and let the attack happen. Bolstered by the immediate and brazen capitalization on the tragedy, this was my first and most lasting impression. But later I came to see the merits of a MIHOP explanation, the basic idea of which is if you want it done right, do it yourself. The former I came to call the "New Day of Deceit" construct, the latter became "Shadow 9/11."

Quickly enough I decided both were more likely than the official story, both meant we were in deep trouble and people needed to be alerted, and both share the common thread "On Purpose." So I set to defining and exposing that purpose but found the sheer volume of possible ulterior motives made such a cataloguing a daunting task. It’a also redundant; everyone has seen from minute one how this was America’s New Pearl Harbor, our own finest hour emerging from the darkest, and clearly Bush’s defining moment, his only claim to mass public loyalty.

So seeing that purpose was clearly established, I returned to the method: Allowed or Orchestrated? The name of this page may indicate a LIHOP leaning, and that is indeed where the evidence herein points. But in fact I’m a LIHOP/MIHOP fence-sitter; and it must be noted that their Letting It Happen doesn’t necessarily exclude the possibility of their also Making It Happen. LIHOP in fact is a necessary sub-set of a mechanically engineered inside job; it would do no good to make it happen if you then let normal defense protocols stop the plot in mid-flight. So either way, unless I’m wrong and it was just an unprovoked surprise attack that accidentally benefited them so, they had to have purposefully Let It Happen. If you don’t believe me, read at least three posts from this site and then reconsider.

It’s nigh impossible to prove that defenses were scuttled on purpose. So far as I know there is not even one charge from anyone in the defense system claiming an outright military stand-down.But to strongly indicate a purposefully thrown defense is not too hard at all. In many cases, all one need do is read a few lines of the 9/11 Commission’s Final Report and make the connections they were unwilling to. Others take deeper research, and a little imagination run by factual and common sense checks goes a long way.

The reason people have so gravitated to MIHOP theories is the possibility of finding hard proof of such. Slow fighter scrambles and inadequate deployments don’t necessarily prove anything, but if we could verify that a missile hit the Pentagon, or that the WTC attack planes were drones fitted with missile-firing pods, we’re clearly looking at someone closer to home than foreign terrorists. But the main problem with such evidence is it either doesn’t exist or is impossible to verify in the sea of fakes, which I regularly take on over at The Frustrating Fraud.

So, for evidence of a LIHOP scenario, either stand-alone or as a subset of a MIHOP operation, read anything on the site. As for the good arguments for a MIHOP explanation – which almost by definition are unprovable – there are some I felt worth covering on this and my other pages.

On the Mechanics of Shadow 9/11:
- A Plane IS a missile: On Raytheon’s August 2001 perfection of a new remote piloting system for airliners.

- Vialls, Von Buelow, Home Run: A Questionable, self-referrential tag-team bring us an intriguing but unprovable charge: a secret airliner remote control system in place since the 1970s.

- Flight 93 and the audio record: the prime stumbling block of the no-hijacker remote-control theory.

- A remote control airliner as a tool in an inside job worked its way into a pre-9/11 TV program – flown into the WTC BY the Pentagon, no less.Scenario 12-D: Another X-File

- Getting the drones in the air? The War Games of 9/11 {masterlist}

- Northwoods 2001?: The curious revelation of Northwoods decades later and just months before 9/11 and the Acting JCS Chairman caught in the thick of conspiracy theory crossfire.

Questioning the Official Perps:
- The Hijackers {masterlist}: a partial compilation of the problems with the official perpetrators, lending weight to the possibility that they were not as reported and possibly not even on the planes.

- A Fabricated threat? Bojinka {masterlist]: The 9/11 tactic was the telltale sign, leading back to Operation Bojinka, a plot found in an ‘al Qaeda’ brain in the Philippines in the first days of 1995. Just a few days earlier the same threat was written up by a Pentagon adviser and then deleted until after 9/11. Is this the cover story to mask Shadow 9/11 and direct blame to the Arabs?

- Threats of war and other such provocations in Afghanistan in the months before 9/11. Did this play any role in the long-planned attack? If so does this transform LIHOP to MIHOP?

Monday, May 7, 2007


Adam Larson / Caustic Logic
They Let It Happen
last updated 5/7/07

A year after the attack, CNN retold Vice President Cheney’s version of what happened. Cheney was in his proper office in the West Wing when he heard that a plane had crashed into the WTC. Unlike everyone else whose reactions I’ve looked at - with the notable exception of counter-terrorism “Czar” Richard Clarke - Cheney had an inkling this may not be a simple accident. “He watched TV and hoped that his instincts were wrong.,” CNN reported. He explained “it was a clear day, there were no weather problems, and then we saw the second airplane hit in real time. At that moment, you knew this was a deliberate act. This was a terrorist act.” [1]

Shortly after this, his Secret Service agent “all of a sudden materialized right beside me and said, 'Sir, we have to leave now.' He grabbed me and propelled me out of my office, down the hall, and into the underground shelter in the White House." [2] So while, as many noted, the Secret Service was allowing the President to linger in the open at the schoolhouse, they were “propelling” Cheney to safety in an underground bunker. While both men were on the East Coast, they seemed to be operating in two different time zones.

This underground shelter was the Presidential Emergency Operations Center (PEOC). From the previously unused but well-equipped PEOC, as CNN explains, the Vice-President “directed the U.S. government's response” to the attack. The actions Cheney took “included moving key members of Congress to a secure location and having the Secret Service bring his wife, Lynn, to the bunker.” [3] Somehow, these radical moves failed to halt the attack.

Cheney and Rice share a tense moment in the PEOC on 9/11. Photo chosen for presence of Cheney on the phone.
Cheney’s account actually offers little in the line of useful action, focusing more on talk of raw emotion – agony and impotence and rage – just like the rest of us – after he saw the second plane hit on the TV - just like the rest of us. But Bush talked to Cheney on a regular cell phone instead of a secure phone, which wasn’t working right. Cheney’s information seemed partial and confused. The 9/11 Commission, based on Cheney’s private testimony, decided Cheney suffered major communications problems that hampered a response. [4] CNN described the PEOC’s performance on 9-11 “a day of crisis with some hitches.” For example, “Cheney wanted to track TV reports of the devastation and listen in on communications with the Pentagon.” But, as aide Mary Matalin recalled, “you can have sound on one or the other and he found that technically imperfect.” [5]

But we know he was in the presence of Secret Service agents during the entire crisis, and the evidence indicates their communication abilities were widespread and efficiently used. Cheney seemed to slip on this once, telling Meet the Press, on September 16 “the Secret Service has an arrangement with the FAA. They had open lines after the World Trade Center was ...” [6] He cut himself off there and shifted gears. What this means is that after the first plane hit, and we would presume soon after, the Secret Service knew, and were listening in on, at least, the FAA’s communications by about 8:50. The second plane was already confirmed hijacked by FAA and NORAD and headed to New York by this time.

Richard Clarke also testified in his book Against All Enemies that at about 9:40, Brian Stafford, Director of the Secret Service “slipped me a note. “Radar shows aircraft headed this way.’” Clarke explained “Secret Service had a system that allowed them to see what FAA’s radar was seeing.” [7] The 9/11 Commission also has backed up direct Secret-Service-FAA communications in their final report. [8] The Secret Service knew all these things and were just a “hey, you!” away from Cheney’s ear and Bush’s.

The communication abilities of the Secret Service also, apparently, extended into the military chain of command, their contacts to the very front lines of the battle. Recall that it was the Secret Service who called the Langley fighter pilots around 9:55 and told them to “protect” the White House (though with no mention of precisely how). [9] They also called Andrews Air Force Base, near the Pentagon, shortly after 9:03 to request fighter jets, which didn’t get any off the ground until 10:42. [10]

Bush's famous shot talking to Cheney from Air Force One
So the Secret Service - and thus both Bush and Cheney - were as in the communications loop as they wanted to be. There was two-way access to all information from FAA, regional Air Force bases, and even the actual fighter pilots, and probably also NORAD, NMCC, etc. So why, with access to a bird’s eye view of the situation and universal communications at Cheney’s and the President’s fingertips, wasn’t an adequate defense marshaled? The story that the phones didn’t work well that day, that Cheney couldn’t talk to the Pentagon and get his intelligence briefings from CNN at the same time, etc. does not pan out well. Something else, probably something sinister, had to be behind this curiously long roster of excuses.

[1], [2], [3], [5] “Cheney recalls taking charge from bunker.” CNN. September 12, 2002. Accessed at:
[4] 9/11 Commission Final Report. Page 40.
[6] Thompson and the CCR. "The Terror Timeline." Page 375.
[7] Ruppert, "Crossing the Rubicon." Page 427.
[8] 9/11 Commission Final Report. Page 41.
[9] Thompson and the CCR. "The Terror Timeline." Page 436.
[10] Thompson and the CCR. Page 458.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007


NORAD’s third “incorrect” story to the 9/11 Commission was their testimony that the Langley fighters, scrambled eight minutes before the Pentagon was hit, “were scrambled to respond to the notifications about American 77, United 93, or both.” This certainly makes sense: there were planes targetting Washington. The jets that should have been sent for them were sent. But they were not sent up for that reason. As late as 9:35 no one in the defense system was aware of any real designs on Washington – or so says the Commission. Instead, they decided, “the notice NEADs received at 9:24 was that American 11 had not hit the World Trade Center and was heading for Washington, DC.” [1]

It was to intercept this ghost target that the Langley fighters took off at 9:30. The commission cited a taped NEADS call, conversations within the FAA system, contemporaneous logs from NEADS, Continental Region headquarters, and NORAD, among others. “Yet this response to a phantom aircraft was was not recounted in a single public timeline or statement issued by the FAA or Department of Defense. The inaccurate accounts created the impression that the Langley scramble was a logical response to an actual hijacked aircraft.” [2]

Here is the transcript of this call, placed from FAA’s Boston Center to NEADS at 9:21:
“FAA: Military, Boston Center. I just had a report that American 11 is still
in the air, and it’s on its way towards—heading towards Washington.
NEADS: Okay. American 11 is still in the air?
FAA: Yes.
NEADS: On its way towards Washington?
FAA: That was another—it was evidently another aircraft that hit the tower. That’s the latest report we have.
NEADS: Okay.
FAA: I’m going to try to confirm an ID for you, but I would assume he’s somewhere over, uh, either New Jersey or somewhere further south.
NEADS: Okay. So American 11 isn’t the hijack at all then, right?
FAA: No, he is a hijack.
NEADS: He—American 11 is a hijack?
FAA: Yes.
NEADS: And he’s heading into Washington?
FAA: Yes. This could be a third aircraft.” [3]

The NEADS technician who took this call from the FAA immediately passed the word to the mission crew commander, who reported to the NEADS battle commander: ”Okay, uh, American Airlines is still airborne. Eleven, the first guy, he’s heading towards Washington. Okay? I think we need to scramble Langley right now. And I’m gonna take the fighters from Otis, try to chase this guy down if I can find him.” The Otis pilots were not dragged from their just-established patrol of Manhattan, but they also were nearly sent after this non-existent target.

The Commission ultimately found themselves “unable to identify the source of this mistaken FAA information.” So let’s trace it back, based on the information that they had. In their report they note that the call was placed from FAA’s Boston Center to NEADS at 9:21, and in turn ”Boston Center had heard from FAA headquarters in Washington that American 11 was still airorne .” [4] So at some point prior to 9:20, someone at the national HQ in DC called this in to Boston, responsible for tracking these flights and already in contact with NEADS.

There are numerous possible explanations for this false report, and it wouldn’t have been the only one of the day. FAA Administrator Jane Garvey told Richard Clarke, after the first two planes had crashed, “we have reports of eleven aircraft off course or out of communications, maybe hijacked.” [2] Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta said “we probably had maybe about ten unaccounted for planes.” [3] Florida State Congressman Adam Putnam, who was aboard Air Force One with President Bush, who told him at 11:30 that there were six aircraft still unaccounted for. [4] In his bunker beneath the White House, Cheney had at least two possible run-ins with ghost planes, which he aggressively ordered shot down.

One explanation for these phantom flights centers on the presence in the radar system of false returns inserted for the morning’s war game Northern Vigilance. It’s unclear where these blips were showing up and on whose screens, but they were allegedly purged at about 9;00 am, as it became clear the US was under air attack and a clean slate was needed. Not that it helped much.

There are other possibilities as well. I’m guessing if this particular report of the Ghost Flight 11 is ever is explained, it’ll be something innocuous sounding, like this:

A controller at Boston center got a printed report – not a radar return – that American 77 was unaccounted for, missing from radar, possibly crashed or possibly headed to DC. But in the chaos after having seen American 11 disappear, he turns the 7s into 1s (optically easy to do, especially if the 1s are printed with pronounced serifs). He sees American 11 is missing from radar and possibly headed to DC and reports it as such. No radar track, so he can only guess – it was in New York, headed to DC… looking to the south of there...

But it could well be something more concrete than that, though we have to venture into weird land for the next post to see this possibility. Next: Mistaken FAA Info: Some or The?
Back to FAA Masterlist

Tuesday, May 1, 2007


Adam Larson/Caustic Logic
Posted 4/30/07

For whatever It’s worth, it was the 102nd birthday of the late neocon intellectual godfather Leo Strauss when, on September 20th 2001, as President Bush prepared to give an address to a special joint session of Congress pitching the “War on Terrorism” to a stunned nation, the PNAC delivered an open letter to Bush entitled, humbly, “Lead the World to Victory.” [signed by Kristol, Bauer, Cropsey, Cohen, Gaffney, two Kagans, Perle, Podhoretz, Schmitt, etc.] Full text available here.

The letter lauded Bush’s tough response to the attack and his framing of it as a war, and praised the administration’s public assertions that the campaign would be fought on many fronts, and early hints that it would not be limited to al Qaeda. They encouraged this thinking and suggested some of their own ideas as to what other fronts should be opened; for starters, they offered Hezbollah, the Palestinian Authority, and, of course, Iraq, with a hint of more threats to come. These suggestions bore more similarity to an Israeli wish-hit-list than any realistic response to the nine-day-old 9/11 attacks. The proposals of the letter could have just as easily been passed on by Cheney, (and probably already had been) but they wanted it to look open, and perhaps more importantly, to bring their ideas to the attention of the stunned and suggestible public on the same day Bush was going public with his own guaranteed war proposal. It was a highly visible formal entreaty to cover for pre-arranged back-room deals that became evident as Bush spoke that evening.

The nation drew in a breath and listened; just nine days after the attack, and after much discussion with his august advisers, Bush already knew the shape and scope of the war at hand. He informed his fellow Americans that “this war will not be like the war against Iraq a decade ago, with a decisive liberation of territory and a swift conclusion. It will not look like the Air Wars above Kosovo two years ago, where no ground troops were used and not a single American was lost in combat… Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen.” IWith his fatwa “either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists,” Bush charted a clearly unilateralist direction – we were going this way, others would either follow or hold back at their own risk, a clear nod to the PNAC’s Concept of unilateralism (or, more accurately, multilateralism via “global leadership”). He had almost certainly read the Project’s letter well before he spoke, and had likely already acceded to all of its major proposals.

The following day, Charles Krauthammer’s essay “Voices of moral obtuseness” appeared in Time, arguing the same case as the PNAC’s letter. He had, in fact, signed the letter. Krauthammer lamented that “in the wake of a massacre that killed more than 5,000 innocent Americans in a day, one might expect moral clarity,” but we were instead hearing criticism of U.S. policy, what he saw as a relativist, liberal “we had it coming” attitude. He was of course right in his observation that the attack was an “event of blinding clarity,” although I’m not sure he sees the irony in that phrase. Krauthammer noted the earlier dissolution of anti-war and isolationist sentiment following the attack on Pearl Harbor, an analogy that had to have his colleagues at the PNAC smiling as they set about implementing their "process of transformation."

One month after the attack, Bush delivered a speech at the wounded Pentagon, offering a more concrete assurance of his dedication to the PNAC vision. On a dreary Thursday morning, October 11th, 2001, he reassured the Project, on at least four key points, that 9-11 was indeed the fulfillment of their year-old report Rebuilding America’s Defenses.

Bush’s Address at the Pentagon, October 11, 2001: “Brick by brick, we will quickly rebuild the Pentagon.”
1) He noted “as Americans did sixty years ago, we have entered a struggle of uncertain duration.” This was perhaps code for “new Pearl Harbor.”

2) Perhaps in response to the PNAC’s call for increased ”defense” budgets, Bush assured them “in the missions ahead for the military, you will have everything you need, every resource, every weapon, every means to assure full victory for the United States and the cause of freedom.”

3) Bush reassured them that “brick by brick, we will quickly rebuild the Pentagon.” It’s interesting to note that the Pentagon did not need to be rebuilt, just repaired. But he didn’t say repaired; he said the Pentagon would be re-built, possibly code for a Rebuilding America’s Defenses. And it would be done “quickly,” as in the desired speed of the “process of transformation.”

4) The report had called for the U.S. to “fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theater wars.” A year and a month later, Bush reassured them and the world that “we have a unified country. We have the patience to fight and win on many fronts.”

It appears the PNAC was essentially quite pleased with the direction the Administration was taking, following their road map to the expansion of the Pax Americana and to continued “American global leadership.” Bush in turn seemed pleased with the response to the attack that the PNAC had prepared a year before it happened. Of course, they all had to understand the irony that this road map would not have been followed so quickly, as the Project had earlier noted, without the realization of the “new Pearl Harbor.” It turned out well for the Project; their laboriously crafted roadmap was being followed, and they set about refining its details and positioning the military’s machinery to start moving by it. By the time of Bush's 10/11 speech, bombs were already falling on Afghanistan, troops and aircraft carriers were soon moving to all the other pushpins on the Pentagon’s big map, and the plan to take Iraq was put into motion. Their “New American Century” had begun with a bang.