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August 13, 2006

Insider's View of the Chaos in the Air on 9/11

A new-to-me local blogger has a great post up on DailyKos reviewing and adding to an article on Vanity Fair about the massively inept air defense responses to 9/11.  Paul at A Blue Eyed Buddhist works at the FAA here in Seattle and has an insider's knowledge about the workings of the FAA and NORAD and the bureaucracy and institutional lack of ability to consider new possible kinds of threats that kept the two from even knowing where to start on that pivotal day nearly five years ago.

The Vanity Fair article is written by Michael Bronner, a producer working on the movie, United 93, who had total access to the 9/11 NORAD tapes.  The on-line article also has links to video from NORAD.  Paul builds on that and adds his knowledge of how the FAA works.  One of his purposes in the post is to debunk any thought that the U.S. Air Force shot down United 93, which is apparently one of the conspiracy theories floating around.  Basically, they couldn't have because they didn't know what was going on until it was too late.

Personally that's more believable than any conspiracy theory and also scarier in some ways.  With the complete incompetence of the Bush Administration in these last five years, coupled with the massive drain on our resources from the combination of the Iraq War and the tax cuts for the wealthy, it's hard to see how we are going to be able to meet the real threats posed by real enemies.      

Check it out at either DailyKos or A Blue Eyed Buddhist.

Posted by Lynn Allen on August 13, 2006 at 08:08 AM in National and International Politics | Permalink


Then-Secretary of Transporation Norman Mineta told me, when I met him in 2004, that if he had to redo 9/11, he wouldn't ground all U.S. planes like he did, certainly not for as long as he did. That's a little off topic from your post, but it does deal with 9/11 air response. I think taken together, these scraps of evidence just show it really was an inept day, even for Democrats like Mineta.

Posted by: Nathan E. | Aug 13, 2006 1:53:02 PM

Hey, thanks for the link and the plug.

I'm a very big skeptic when it comes to the various 9/11 conspiracy theories. They all require a massive suspension of disbelief, and nearly all would require considerable numbers of people from many walks of life to have been "in" on the conspiracy to have pulled them off.

Among the more-believable conspiracies would be the notion of a shoot-down of UAL93. It was out in the (relative) boonies, it was the last one to go down so in theory there should have been the most time to coordinate a response, and by that point I'm sure that both the political and military leaders were just dying for something and someone to shoot at.

That said... I don't think it happened. I think the "official" version of what happened is pretty doggone close to what really did happen. I think the military played a few games in the investigation afterwards, but they had more to do with covering up just how truly helpless we were than covering up any kind of actions they took on that day.

Posted by: Paul | Aug 14, 2006 10:37:55 AM

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