FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 11, 2005
September 11th was neither an intelligence failure nor was it a failure of imagination. It was nonfeasance on behalf of a whole host of government agencies, including the FAA.
Of the 105 warnings issued, 52 warnings regarding al Qaeda were given to the FAA by the intelligence community in a six month period from April 2001 to September 2001. According to the 9/11 Commission’s final report, there were eight information circulars put out by the FAA between July 2, and September 10, 2001. Five of these information circulars targeted overseas threats, while the remaining three targeted domestic threats.
The 52 threats regarding al Qaeda were not received by the FAA in a vacuum. From March 2001 to September 2001, according to the Joint Inquiry of Congress, our Intelligence Community received at least 41 specific threats of a possible domestic attack by al Qaeda. Additionally, the FAA was also made aware of the August 16, 2001 arrest of Zacarias Moussouai. Finally, the FAA attended a high level meeting on July 5, 2001 where the domestic threat posed by al Qaeda was discussed by all relevant intelligence agencies.
According to the newly released FAA monograph, in the spring of 2001 the FAA knew that if “the intent of the hijacker is not to exchange hostages for prisoners, but to commit suicide in a spectacular explosion, a domestic hijacking would probably be preferable.”
The aforementioned statement is yet another indicator of how widely known it was in the national security community that al Qaeda was interested in using planes as missiles. Yet, as the historic record also widely indicates, former National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice publicly stated that she didn’t think that anyone could imagine that planes could be used as missiles.
Furthermore, Ms. Rice also testified, under oath, before the 9/11 Commission, that the August 6, 2001 PDB, “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the U.S.,” contained purely “historical” threat information. The revelation of the 52 warnings given to the FAA during this same time period would seem to indicate that Ms. Rice perjured herself during her testimony.
Moreover, Ms. Rice also testified that there was nothing more the U.S. government could have done during the summer of 2001 to thwart the attacks of 9/11. Yet, the newly released 9/11 Monograph states that the federal air marshal program was specifically deleted from all domestic flights during the summer of 2001 as a result of cost cutting by the airlines. Certainly, placing air marshals on domestic flights was well within the purview of Ms. Rice’s own responsibilities and tasking as National Security Advisor. Why has she not been held accountable? Additionally, why has no one in the airline community been held accountable?
An FAA spokesperson asserts that the FAA didn’t have specific information regarding means or methods that would have enabled them to tailor any counter measures. This statement clearly contradicts the reality detailed in this report. Stepping up security in the face of terror warnings is not a new concept for America’s government agencies. The FAA testified before the 9/11 Commission that during the millennium an unknown terror plot caused them to ratchet up their security procedures. With 52 warnings, why was this not done in 2001?
The American public must not be lulled into a false sense of security. While government reports might allege that the myriad of government agencies, individuals, and institutions that failed our nation on 9/11 have been fixed post-9/11, the disturbing fact remains that after all the failures of 9/11 have been revealed, far too many of the same individuals who were unable to react appropriately to clear and abundant warnings, are still in their positions today.
Notably missing from this monograph is any information pertaining to NORAD’s failure to timely scramble jets, which leads us to wonder what else is being withheld from the public.
September 11th Advocates
Lorie Van Auken