Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Failure To Imagine Debunked Part 2

In a past post, I described how 9/11 Commission panel’s chairman, Tom Kean, famously stated that the main reason the 9/11 attacks were not prevented was that there had been a "failure of imagination" with regards to the attacks and how they were carried out.

I can say with 100% certainty that the above excuse is a lie. Thanks to the 9/11 Commissions NORAD Exercise Summary found in the National Archives as posted below. NORAD Exercises Hijack Summary

The US military conducted a training exercise in the five days before the September 11. These exercises included simulated aircraft hijackings by terrorists, according to a 9/11 Commission document. In one of the scenarios, implemented on September 9, terrorists hijacked a London to New York flight, planning to blow it up with explosives over New York.

In the September 9 simulation, the fictitious hijackers' goal appears to have been to kill citizens of New Yorker with falling debris after the plane's explosion in mid-air. As part of the military exercise, the passenger jet was intercepted and the plane was forced away from the city. When the hijackers realized they were not near New York, they blew up the plane "over land near the divert location," killing all on board. The military unit most involved in this scenario was NORAD's Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS), which also played a major part in the air defense response to the 9/11 attacks, two days after the scenario!

Numerous Hijacks Listed

Three days earlier, on September 6, 2001, NORAD simulated two hijackings as part of the same exercise, which was called "Vigilant Guardian." In one scenario, a fictitious terrorist organization called Mum Hykro hijacked a Boeing 747 from Tokyo to the US and made a "threat of harm to passengers and possibly large population within US or Canada." The terrorists intended to "rain terror from the skies onto a major US city unless the US declares withdrawal from Asian conflict." The plane is listed as being bound for Anchorage, Alaska, although the hijackers changed course for Vancouver in Canada, and then for San Francisco, California. Liaising with the FAA, NORAD provided "covert shadowing" of the hijacked plane.

In a second hijack scenario on the same day, ten members of another fictitious terrorist group, called Lin Po, hijacked another 747 to Anchorage, this time originating from Seoul, South Korea. The hijackers were armed with weapons thanks to ground crews work before takeoff. Keep in mind, the 9/11 hijackers also had weapons on board. Were they helped by ground crews much like this simulation? Gas containers were also smuggled on board and could be detonated on the plane. Two of the plane’s passengers were murdered, and the CIA and NSA warned that the group had the means to pull off an attack with chemical and biological weapons. In response to the hijack, NORAD's commander in chief ordered fighters from the Alaskan NORAD Region (ANR) to intercept and shadow the hijacked plane, and get into "position to shoot down aircraft."

NORAD's Southeast Air Defense Sector received training via another scenario included in the Vigilant Guardian exercise which was run the day before 9/11, although this followed the more traditional scenario of Cubans hijacking a flight from Havana and demanding to be taken to New York for political asylum in the US. The plane would end up landing at Dobbins Air Force Base in Georgia.

The document lists hijack exercises going as far back as 1998. Several of which had involved flights originating in the United States. In one hijacking scenario, a January 1999 exercise included the simulated takeover of a Miami to Oklahoma City flight and the hijacking of a San Diego to Anchorage flight the next day. This of course involved NORAD and contradicts General Richard Myer's testimony to the 9/11 Commission.

At the release of the 9/11 Commission Report in July 2004, the panel’s chairman Tom Kean famously said that the main reason the 9/11 attacks were not prevented was that there had been a "failure of imagination." However, the hijack simulation planners proved Mr. Kean wrong. In one example, in a September 1999 exercise, hijackers on a 747 bound from Hong Kong to Canada had sarin gas on board, and threatened to blow up the plane releasing the gas into a population center below. An exercise the following month included the simulation of a terrorist group hijacking a plane with American and Canadian citizens on board. The plane was bound from France to Canada, and the terrorist group was said to have the "will and means to strike North America with WMD." Communications with the passenger plane were lost after the hijacking, but the flight crew battled the terrorists and regained control of the plane at the last second.

An exercise in October 1998 included terrorists hijacking a 747 with the intent of committing a "suicide run into [a] metropolitan area of" San Francisco. Does that sound familiar?
And an October 2000 exercise included the simulated hijacking of a plane bound from London to Cairo. The scenario was that "100 religious fanatics will take over the aircraft," but the "aircraft will land at JFK [airport in New York] without incident and [the] FBI will escort [the] hijackers."

Hijacking Exercise on Day of 9/11

Although it is not listed in the document, there is evidence of a simulated plane hijacking scheduled to take place in the Northeast US on the day of 9/11! The schedule of this exercise overlapped with the real-world events causing confusion amongst air traffic controllers and NORAD personnel. According to Vanity Fair, "The day's exercise was designed to run a range of scenarios, including a 'traditional' simulated hijack in which politically motivated perpetrators commandeer an aircraft, land on a Cuba-like island, and seek asylum." Vigilant Guardian appears to have simulated attacks within the continental United States. NORAD personnel in Rome, New York who received first reports of hijackings within NORAD'S Northeastern sector, including Col. Robert K. Marr and Lt. Col. Dawne Deskins, are reported to have asked if this was "real world or exercise." This implies that the scenarios for the wargames on September 11 were strikingly similar to the actual attacks that unfolded that morning.

When NEADS was informed of the first real-world hijacking on 9/11/2001, members of its staff thought that alert was part of the exercise. For example, Master Sergeant Maureen Dooley, the leader of the ID section, told the other members of her team: "We have a hijack going on. Get your checklists. The exercise is on." Major Kevin Nasypany, the mission crew commander, actually said out loud, "The hijack's not supposed to be for another hour."

Like the numerous hijacking scenarios described in the "NORAD EXERCISES" document, there was no mention of this simulated hijacking scheduled for the morning of September 11 in the 9/11 Commission Report.

Clearly, a need for a new investigation is required to verify and extrapolate further details revealed in the "NORAD EXERCISES" document, and in particular find out what else the September 2001 Vigilant Guardian exercise involved. The fact that this exercise included simulations of terrorists hijacking aircraft, and that New York City was central to some of its scenarios, should be a major concern to citizens around the world. Perhaps this is why NORAD lied to the 9/11 Commission.

This crucial piece of evidence also proves that NORAD radars and defenses do not just "look" outward for external threats. Indeed 6 out of the 28 of these NORAD hijack exercises originated in the United States and ended in the United States.

Testifying before the 9/11 Commission General Richard Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the commission in response to a question on NORAD’s failure to anticipate the 9/11 attacks, “I can’t answer the hypothetical. It’s more - it’s the way that we were directed to posture, looking outward.”

General Richard Myers lied to the 9/11 Commission and to the world.

And one final question to former Vice President, Dick Cheney, what were the orders and why did they stand?