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9.11 investigation

Perfect 9/11 analogy: Military intercepted Payne Stewart's jet but not 4 jumbo jets

Saw this posted by William Rivers Pitt on another site. This is the speech he gave to 10,000 people in Seattle last week at the peace rally.

It puts a lot in perspective and is suitable material for sleeping Americans
Let me tell you a story, just one of a hundred stories, about that dark day we know as September 11.

First, though, let me tell you about Payne Stewart. Payne Stewart was a professional golfer, much admired and respected in his sport. One day, Stewart boarded a chartered jet and took off into the skies. He took off, in fact, at 9:19 in the morning. This fact is important, because not long after, the air traffic controllers stopped getting responses to their radio contacts with his plane. As a matter of common policy, and without consulting the President of the United States, the air traffic controller called the US military to tell them something had gone wrong with a plane in the air.

21 minutes after Stewart's plane first lost contact, an F-16 fighter aircraft came up behind it and did a visual inspection. As we now know, everyone aboard that plane, sadly, died because the cabin suffered explosive decompression. The plane, still on auto-pilot, flew on until it crashed. The fighter was there so quickly in case the plane started to dive into residential or urban areas, at which point the fighter would have shot it down.

Why is this important?

Because the first hijacked aircraft on September 11 took off at 7:45am from Boston, followed quickly by the second. They were soon joined by two more rogue aircraft. It was a full hour before that first plane struck the World Trade Center, and another 20 minutes after that before the second plane struck. The third and fourth planes continued to fly on. One struck the Pentagon, and another augered into the ground in Pennsylvania.

For nearly two hours, these planes cut the skies above America, and in those nearly two hours, not one fighter aircraft engaged them in any way. Andrews Air Force Base is 12 miles from the White House, and on 9/11 played host to a fighter squadron of F-16s as well as a fighter squadron of FA-18s. Andrews is one of many, many fighter bases along the Eastern seaboard. Not one fighter, not one, turned a wheel until the catastrophe had already run its course, after the entire world knew we were the victims of 'terrorism.'

Payne Stewart merited a fighter escort in 21 minutes. Four massive commercial planes filled with humanity, seeking to strike against more humanity, got nothing in the way of military attention for almost 120 minutes. A miracle. The terrorists were so clever that they managed to ghost, for almost two hours, through the most formidable air defense system in the history of the universe.

The official narrative on this chalks this dizzying failure up to incompetence, and nothing of it has ever been discussed in the mainstream media. Now, when I screw up so badly that thousands of people get killed, I'd expect to be fired or demoted or at least reprimanded. No one has been fired for this incompetence. No one has been demoted. No one has been reprimanded.

No one, but no one, but no one, as asked in public how this could have happened. We've been talking about fear. I think you should fear the answer to that question, one of dozens of unanswered questions regarding that day. Fear that answer, because if and when you get it, you will come face to face with an American darkness as empty as George Bush's face the moment he was 'told' what was happening.

By William Rivers Pitt
like, wow man....... 29.Aug.2003 18:34

izzle shizzle

.... ka raaaayyyzee !!

back away from the bong 30.Aug.2003 05:48

Pancakes for everyone

so many stupid conspiracy theories so little time. you guys really need to give up the herb. it's making you stupid. or should i say stupider.

A very common misconception 30.Aug.2003 11:24

Mulberry Sellers

Pitt is usually pretty good, but here he's falling for a mistake that's been propagated on the net to the point of becoming "common knowledge".

Stewart's plane had crossed the boundary between the Eastern and Central time zones in the interval between controllers' loss of radio contact and the time that a test pilot in an F-16 was vectored to inspect the errant plane. If you read the NTSB summary at  http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/brief2.asp?ev_id=20001212X19931&ntsbno=DCA00MA005&akey=1 you'll note the reported times change from EDT to CDT between the two events.

If you allow for the difference in standard time between the two zones, it turns out that the time between loss of contact and "interception" wasn't 21 minutes, or 15 minutes, or whatever figure the conspiracy buffs are quoting today. It actually took around an hour and a quarter between the time that controllers lost radio contact with Stewart's plane and the time that another plane got close enough to do a visual inspection of it.

The fact that the USAF failed to intercept any of the 9/11 airplanes, even after the first one crashed into the WTC, can most plausibly be attributed to the fact that when they realized what was going on some Bush regime functionary instructed the FAA to initiate a "ground stop", which grounds literally everything that can fly, military aircraft included.

Of course, the conspiracy buffs call this a "stand down" and claim that this was the evil, evil gummint's way of making sure that the hijacked planes reached their targets, but it is equally well explained as what happens when some political appointee whose background consists mainly of being a bullshitter and party hack is suddenly called on to make a decision which they haven't the background to properly understand.

A massive conspiracy or a hack presented with a list of options the full consequences of which they aren't equipped to predict. Hmm. Occam's Razor, anyone?

Back in the 1960s the 9/11 planes probably wouldn't have gotten anywhere near their targets. In those days the Air Force was expecting Soviet bombers to come over the Pole at any time, and spent a lot of their resources preparing for that scenario. By the 1990s an aerial attack by any significant military power had become a non-issue- anyone capable of inflicting really serious damage would be using missiles and not airplanes- and maintaining the ability to intercept any aircraft, anywhere, at a moment's notice wasn't something worth spending the money on- at least in terms of expecting such an attack by a national actor.

air force and cia were practicing for 911 on sept 11 10.Sep.2003 16:04

mark at oilempire dot us


military and "intel" war games before and during 911

refutes the deniers fairly conclusively

the planes sent to intercept were not ARMED 30.Mar.2004 20:35


Shoot down not considered by Pentagon

The Pentagon said Monday it never came close to shooting down Stewart's wayward plane in order to prevent a possible crash into a heavily populated area.

In fact, a Pentagon spokesman said, the F-16 fighter planes that monitored the jet's flight were not armed with air-to-air missiles.