What You Won`t See in United 93, the Film

Category: Americas, World Affairs Topics: Terrorism, Travel Views: 4683

The only people to defend the United States on 911 were the passengers and crews of the 4 hijacked planes.

The President and the Secretary of Defense, the two top officials in the chain of command responsible for defense of the country were out of commission. Dick Cheney, the vice president, who under the constitution has no authority to issue orders, was running the country from the White House bunker. The FAA and the military were nowhere.

On Flight 11, flight attendants Betty Ong and Amy Sweeney were on the phone to American Airlines ground personnel minutes after the hijacking began. Even though both the FAA and the airlines had been warned more than 50 times in the months preceding the attack, officials on the ground reacted with skepticism an annoyance to Betty Ong's desperate call. 

According to one account by people who have listened to all the tapes, American Airlines people were anxious to keep what was going on secret. An American Airlines tape, according to Gail Sheehy in the New York Observer, shows the managers were concerned about keeping things secret. People who listened to the tapes said there were statements including the following: "Keep it close," "keep it quiet", "Let's keep this among ourselves." 

So in those terrifying minutes before the first hit, two brave women on the phone inside Flight 11 were calmly telling American Airlines ground officials exactly what was happening. 

The airline's reaction: Nothing. It did absolutely nothing.

The managers could have picked up a phone and told all their pilots what was going on. Indeed they could have told all pilots in the air what was happening. They could have called officials in New York. There is a real likelihood people at least could have evacuated the second tower.

If someone on the ground had acted, Flight 93, sitting on the Newark airport tarmac, might well have avoided the hijack. 

Flight 93 took off at 8:42 that morning, a few minutes before the Flight 11 struck the WTC. It was not hijacked until 9:28. It is simple fact that the FAA, American Airlines and the military knew about the 911 hijacking before Flight 93 took off. Before its cockpit was seized two planes had hit the World Trade Center.

The 911 Commission report states it clearly: "As news of the hijackings filtered through the FAA and the airlines, it does not seem to have occurred to their leadership that they needed to alert other aircraft in the air that they too might be at risk."

The 911 Commission found "no evidence ... that American Airlines ever sent any cockpit warnings to its aircraft on 911." United's first decisive move to inform its pilots occurred at 9:19 when a United Flight dispatcher, on his own initiative, notified the airline's intercontinental flights: "Beware any cockpit intrusion. Two a/c [aircraft] hit World Trade Center." 

Flight 93 got this warning at 9:24 a.m. Two minutes later the pilot responded and asked for confirmation. And two minutes later flight controllers in Cleveland heard shouts from the cockpit: "Hey get out of here ... get out of here ... get out of here."

The pilot had heard the warning, but had not had time to react.

The only people who were aware of the earlier hijackings that day and used their knowledge to take decisive and effective action were the passengers on Flight 93.

James Ridgeway (b. 1936) is a prominent American investigative journalist. He served as Washington correspondent for The Village Voice where he worked from the mid-1970s until April 2006.

  Category: Americas, World Affairs
  Topics: Terrorism, Travel
Views: 4683

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Older Comments:
Now, now children let's at least try to 'play' civil shall we?

I must agree with Hudd on the dubious nature of the offical 9/11 hypothesis. Too many loop holes.

Thomas, "To defend the West"????? I think that probably summarizes the extent of your 'neutrality' let alone the validity of the statements you make and the sources you retrieve them from. Maybe you wish you were one of those 'brave few' that went around the continental US trying desperately to commit genocide against the indigineous ('original' in case you don't understand the context) population. Remebering of course that they KNEW that they were deliberately trying to exterminate them and then steal their lands only to proclaim a 'brave new world of oppurtunity'. Hmm, I suppose the Libyan pirates said the same thing when they were regularly US cargo ships in the late 19th century.

You may consider brewing a large pot of freshly brewed coffee supplied from Kenya, before postng some more of your sobering, highly intellectual, non-biased commentary.

Professor Thomas the Doubtful! So, you are such an expert that you can determine the language level of individuals. Well, English is not my second language, it's my twelveth, OK? Are you discriminating against non-English speakers or immigrants? Or people of colour? Let me guess, you are discriminating against Muslims only. You pull my strings because you would like to know what stripe I was. I am everybody. I join every oppressed on the planet in their struggle for freedom and independence. But I would oppose those who would want to create a split in an already formed nation. I am a Canadian, and not Francophone, but Anglophone, this again, proves your mentally impaired functions by not being able to process properly incoming information from what you read. Your synapses in your shrunk cerebellum must be all screwed up, man, probably the coke. And I don't mean Coca-Cola. Like I said, I am Canadian and thrive on multiculturalism. If I don't have the brown, the black, the yellow, the red and the white around me but only one colour I become paranoid and depressed. It must be a Canadian syndrome characteristic to big cities.

About the movie, first of all with all due respect to the duped victims, I don't believe that al-Qaidah could pull such a stunt. No way Jose! The technicality of flying such planes is not accessible on the intercave network. A bunch of poorly trained pilots wannebes couldn't fly those Boeings with such 'military' skill! Come on guys, my daughter is a pilot trainee, she flys small planes 'Cessnas' for pleasure and fun while training for airliners, I asked her how possible was to do the 9/11? She said, without tower support? Even with an automated navigational system, to find a target like that without extended pilot experience or auto-pilot pre-destined program is like winning the national lottery. I believe what she says, when she strays too far away she needs the tower's support to get back to the airport. 9/11 is still an assuption.

D. THOMAS said:
I don't think I will see the movie in theaters, but on DVD. I did see a documentary a few weeks ago on PBS, and it was extremely insightful into the event. If people get a chance to see this documentary, please do, as it probably is a more accurate portrayal of what happened on 9/11. I would like to give my sympathies to the families of the victims of 9/11. The victims and their families were innocent, and I hope such a horrible event doesn't happen again on our shores. However I have a gut feeling that something much worse will happen within the next few years.

Hudd, man, boy oh boy you need to get some thicker skin. I make spelling mistakes also, but I don't go around insulting you level of intelligence or anybody else on this site. Since you were attacking my intelligence I thought it was fair game to attack your spelling. Again, get over it! I dont think your spelling mistakes is a sign of low intelligence, it is probably your second language so keep up the good work in English.

Oh, I see, Thomas the Doubtful, so your solution was not 'total nuclear anihilation' or as your stupid president would say it,'toral nukear anilation'. Talking about spelling, professor, you are no brainer. You just use your 'spellcheck' all the time. Besides let me tell you a true story. When I was a kid I had in my class a girl that always won the spelling bee at my school. I had also the worse speller in my class, it wasn't me, I spell correctly but not at the level of a spelling bee. After 20 years I met the spellbe champion at the school of my kids as a lunch-monitor. It happens that I was summoned on a research team as a scientist and found the worse speller to be the leader of the project. I felt compelled to let you on this because you began feeling yoursel superior to those that were mispelling. I suggest you analyze the contents of the comments rather than the spelling of words. What are you anyway, a spelling drone?

D. THOMAS said:
It is well known fact that the tough decisions and money that goes along with securing North America haven't been done, and a more tragic terrorist attack is therefore 100% sure to happen. Nothing is easier to do then attack a free democratic society such as Canada, United States or Europe. 9/11 was taken in stride and actually had nothing more then a symbolic impact on Western civilization. Wait till a real incident and then a real response will be implemented to secure Western civilization. A real terrorist incident will let the West clearly see the the threat that is at its doors.

I believe that before things can get better sometimes they have to get worse.

To make the West safe it is simple. It is the elimination of all possible threats from the inside and outside of the country. I think most people would agree to make a country safe the elimination of all threats are necessary, and half measures are a prescription to failure.

Hudd, concerning your spelling mistakes if you are going to call people stupid, take a little time so that you don't look stupid with spelling mistakes.

What a waste. Try watching "In Plane Sight" instead.

Mr Thomas the Doubtful! I sent you a comment on your brazen posting addressed to me, but it wasn't published. Not because it was "dirty", but maybe the administration is not happy with personal wars on their website. I found a title for you,'Professor', since you lectured me on spelling, like an insensitive dude! We all make spelling mistakes when we write informally, because we hurry,dah! Anyway, let's return to our sheep. You said:

"I also think that it will take a much more serious terrorist event, before what has to be done will be done to make Western civilization safe."

I wonder, "what has to be done to make Western civilization safe?", please, satisfy my insatiable curiosity!

It is very sad not only the idiots claiming Islam as their faith who did this (who we know went to strip clubs and the like) and the incompetence from official directions that facilitated their morbid desires... all in all 911 was a catastrophe that could have been avoided on so many counts...

Hey Jim,

Whats exactly wrong with this article? This and many, many views circulate the web everyday and many documentaries from different point of views regarding this event. Why should anyone trust the general media that cannot even report on 100 % authentic basis. On the same note, many Amercians have an idea that what happened, although wrong in every nature, was a shady event indeed. 11/9, the collapse of Berlin Wall, and 9/11 are the dates that shifted and changed the worlds direction.

Only on Islamicity could you find an article like this one. It's not bad enough that these people were murdered, but you have to somehow turn it into a politcal statement and your negativity abounds. Sick.

Are you trying to deflect blame of 9/11 from the Muslims who did it to Bush?

D. THOMAS said:
Yes everything is factually correct in this article, and so what? This article only proves that man is incapable of planning for all unknown possible events, and under moments of crisis errors will be made.

It shows a government who thru the commission that has tried to learn from the events. I just don't see the investigative journalism in this article.

I also think that it will take a much more serious terrorist event, before what has to be done will be done to make Western civilization safe.

A number of researchers questioning the official account of 9/11 have expressed skepticism about the official account of events surrounding September 11th. Some have proposed alternative theories and explanations. Assertations include the involvement of the government and private sector agents; that the government had foreknowledge of the attacks and consciously failed to prevent them; the existence of a cover-up in the investigation, and criticisms of the 9/11 Commission Report. These claims are widely dismissed as conspiracy theories by journalists and scientists in publications ranging from Scientific American[7] to Popular Mechanics[8] but are being further supported by a minority of scientists, government officials, military experts and some in the intelligence community -including Rep. Cynthia McKinney, Prof. Steven E. Jones, Robert M. Bowman, and Wayne Madsen.

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