Attack From the Air
Caught Off-Guard by Islamic Terrorists or Exploited by a Horrific Fraud
The story that the air attacks of New York City and the Pentagon were achieved by Islamic terrorists exploiting vulnerabilities in airline security seemed plausible enough to most Americans, most of whom could be counted on to accept the story being told by the media without critical examination of the details. That story, which was virtually indistinguishable from the version of events endorsed by the government, was rejected by skeptics for reasons falling into two broad topics:
- The hijacking scenario is highly implausible, for numerous reasons, ranging from the hijackers' phenomenal success in taking over all 4 flights, to thier lack of piloting skill, to the failure of the government to produce evidence that they were even on the flights.
- Standard Operating Procedures dictated that the military intercept the flights, which it failed to do.
Most Americans, and indeed most observers throughout the world, failed to notice problems with the official story for a number of reasons. We examine some of those reasons relating to each of the above topics.
Many of the problems with the hijacking scenario could be pieced together from press accounts in the days and weeks following the attack. Paul Thompson's 9/11 timelines basically refute the official story using reports from mainstream media. However, the rapidity with which the official story emerged, and the "bandwidth" given it, assured that it would be solidified in the public mind to the point that the damning details emerging in the following weeks would not threaten its acceptance.
Failure of the Military to Intercept
Public doubt of the official story was not engendered by the lack of U.S. military response to the crisis for a number of reasons, including common misconceptions that were exploited and reinforced by government officials.
The air defense system only protects only against offshore threats.
Most people are unaware that all domestic airspace is continuously monitored, and that the FAA is required to report off-course aircraft to NORAD for prompt military intercept.
The government had not contemplated airliners being used as missiles.
This lie was explicitly made by Condoleezza Rice. In fact, the military had practiced war games based on the scenario of hijacked airliners being flown into buildings. 1
Interception means shoot-down.
This misconception was cleverly exploited by Dick Cheney.
2. Nine hundred and Eleven Missing Pieces, [cached]