Kenn Thomas: I guess the place to start is to get your take on exactly who is responsible for the events of 9/11. Who flew the planes into the buildings?
John Judge: I don’t think we yet know who is responsible for 9/11 on either the mechanical or the broader level. We certainly don’t know who was on the planes and who the specific pilots were other than the assertions of the 911 Commission to that effect, and the FBI report naming the 19 suspects. The FBI claimed that the list of names and pictures that came out so quickly after the attack was based on getting that information from the manifest of the airplanes and then somehow I guess having enough file information to have photos of all these people already themselves. But one has to wonder that if they had that kind of information on each of these individuals that they wouldn’t have been tracking them before that. In any case, they pretty quickly put out both photos and at least they never released any extensive photos of any of these people coming through the security checks.
We got pictures early on of Mohamed Atta and one of the other plotters up in Logan airport coming through a security check. Finally, on the day that the report was released, we got security photos of two of the people getting on to Flight 77 at Dulles Airport but presumably either no other security pictures were taken, which doesn’t make much sense since you’d presume they’d be taking pictures of everybody coming through, or they haven’t released them. If they’re trying to conceal these identities that would make sense. It’s not the case as some have speculated that none of them were on the planes or that no Arabs got on the planes. I have talked to ground crew at least on the American Airlines Flight 77 who later recognized some of the pictures of some of the people getting on to that plane at least.
KT: But of course there are people who have come forward claiming that the names actually belong to them.
JJ: The problem is that we don’t really know these people’s real identities even if the pictures match. The problem was that the airlines release manifests fairly quickly. They’re required by law to release every name.
KT: They don’t release the passenger manifest until everybody is aboard the flight and it takes off.
JJ: That’s an internal release to Homeland Security. But a public release after a crash of a plane that identifies who was on the plane has to be released and made public at some point. They usually wait a period of several days or maybe a week while they individually notify the families but at some point they also have to post it publicly. If they leave names off of that manifest they actually can be sued by the families involved.
KT: And this happened, right?
JJ: And this happened. I went immediately to the manifests on the American and United Airlines sites and pulled them down within two weeks of 9/11 to my memory. And in each case none of the nineteen names of the suspects were on the manifest. Also in each case when I counted the names that were there—and none of them were Arab names—they were short the total given for passenger and crew that died on the plane. In other words, if you would say 72 died on the plane, then 68 were listed and there were names missing when you counted the actual names. The number missing is consistent with the official story on three of the flights.
The passenger manifests on three of the flights are short just the exact number of alleged hijackers in the official story. On Flight 77 the official story is five but there are six names missing in that manifest. That is also consistent with a statement named by Renee May, an airline attendant for American who called her mother. It’s in the 9/11 Commission Report. [“At 9:12, Renee May called her mother, Nancy May, in Las Vegas. She said her flight was being hijacked by six individuals who had moved them to the rear of the plane. She asked her mother to alert American Airlines. Nancy May and her husband promptly did so.”, pg 9, Chp 1.] No weight is given to it apparently because it’s contradictory to its version. But she told her mother that she had to call headquarters. She gave her a number to call for the airline. She said “tell them we’re on the Dulles/LAX route, Flight 77 and we are being hijacked.” Then she said, “And there are six of them, Mom.”
The official story is that there are five but the sixth is consistent both with the number missing from the manifest and from the number of names missing from a later, Pentagon-released list of bodies identified by DNA search of all the remains. It was considered one of the most exhaustive and thorough DNA searches and the they got 98% of the material from the bodies. But that list also exactly matches the manifest list in terms of number of names and is six names short. None of the names on the DNA list match the conspirators or the alleged hijackers either.
KT: Given that, why is the official word that there were only five hijackers?
JJ: Who knows? Are they concealing an additional hijacker’s identity? Was Hani Hanjour not the pilot of the plane, being so incompetent? Was there, in fact, a sixth person who was more competent and able to do the maneuvers in the plane? Most pilots told me you’d have to be a very experienced pilot to do this dogfight maneuver around the Pentagon to come in so low, so fast. I don’t know. But the implication is that you’ve got yet one person on that plane who to this day has never been identified in any official or non-official version. The manifests to this day are also still short all of these names. There’s been no subsequent release of any more names. But since the airlines can be sued for not releasing names, then my assumption is that pressure would have had to have been put on them not to release. I can’t imagine that pressure—apparently from the government—I don’t know where else it would come from because the corporate interest is is not to get sued. So from outside, I would assume it would be the government, the FBI, or somebody in the investigation. If those names actually match the list of suspects that we were given, then shouldn’t that mean that they would have been glad to list them? And that the pressure had been put on because whatever those manifest names are, they do not match those 19 at least to some degree.
Now the second layer of the question is that we have seven people that have come forward, some in Egypt, some in Saudi Arabia, most in Saudi and they have said, ‘That’s me! That’s my picture, my identification, my name.’ In some cases they said that their identifications had been stolen in the past. They said, ‘I was not on the plane. I was not in the United States.’ Some had never been in the United States. Others were pilots, some of whom were trained in the United States. Five of the seven names of these people who came forward said ‘that’s somebody using my ID, I wasn’t on the plane’ relate to a single company in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Airlines.
What this means then is that it may not be so surprising that people involved in a criminal enterprise or a covert operation would use a false identity. But they’re using a false identity either to hide their identity or, in a covert operation the reason you would do it is primarily to give a false sponsorship to the event. In other words, to use someone else’s identity so that the wrong people would be blamed. But the report of the 911 Commission and the FBI’s statements don’t give any credit to these people. I’ve talked to some individuals who at second hand know people who know them and have spoken to them. The BBC interviewed them. Their pictures were shown in some cases.
KT: What does the Commission Report say about them? That they’re simply not credible?
JJ: Nothing! The Report doesn’t mention them to one degree or another. It doesn’t discount them. It just omits that they even exist or that the contradiction is there. Then the report proceeds to follow those 19 names, which we can’t match to the manifest, which we only can rely on the FBI for, to trace them back in history, to a cell in Hamburg, to working in Afghanistan and being trained, to swearing fealty to bin Laden, et cetera. But if you have a stolen identity, then you don’t know six months prior whether you’re talking about the actual person or you’re talking about the person who stole their identity and got on the plane with that identity, or if you’re talking about yet another person who at that point was using the stolen identity. So it’s impossible to track backwards just using that name and tell yourself anything about how this plot unfolded.
But by ignoring that and pretending that it’s consistently the same person named in the Hamberg cell and everything else, the whole thing could be an intelligence legend from the beginning, dipping these people into the Mujahadeen, into the cells, penetrating the cells and using their identities in order to link the event back to the sponsorship they wanted to show for it.
The other thing that’s suspicious and doesn’t let us fully identify the plot is the link to bin Laden. At first we were told that the entire story would be revealed and that those links would be revealed in a white paper. Colin Powell, Secretary of State then, said that it would be released to the public in a short time. Then he said, ‘I misspoke myself.’ Then there were reports in the US and British press that the US brought the evidence to the British and there was a statement, I think by Blair but certainly by some of the British authorities, I believe it was Blair, where he said, ‘well, it’s not enough to go to court but it’s enough to go to war.’ Then the Brits and the US invaded Afghanistan, of course, the invasion of Afghanistan had been on the books for months, if not longer, prior to the actual invasion, because the Taliban had stood in the way of UNOCAL, a southern oil company in the United States who wanted to develop a pipeline down through northern Afghanistan to the gulf, to the water, from the Caspian Sea basin.
KT: Didn’t UNOCAL drop the plans to do that?
JJ: Yes, UNOCAL backed off. And actually a secondary plan—because the Taliban wouldn’t let it come through southern Afghanistan—a secondary plan to by-pass them by going across northern Afghanistan through Pakistan to the sea was then developed by Enron. Then, of course, Enron’s plan was dropped when the company folded. Now there is going to be, I think this one goes through Turkey out of the Caspian Sea.
KT: This is UNOCAL?
JJ: No, but UNOCAL is involved with another one that is being planned to go through Afghanistan. So they’re back in the picture now, along with Russian and French interests as well. So there’s been a lot of shifting around about who is going to get their hands on the profits from this oil. But the Taliban balked at the price, basically. Not being willing to offer more, UNOCAL sent their foreign relations representative to Congress in ’98 and testified that this Taliban group was basically standing in the way of progress and our access to oil and had to be removed. The British and US troops were fully staged for the invasion well before 9/11. In June and July, Colin Powell visited the surrounding countries, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and told the leadership there, according to foreign press at least, that the United States was going to militarily intervene in Afghanistan in mid-October, and take out the Taliban. Then 9/11 happens and becomes the pretext and the context under which we’re going to attack Afghanistan because it’s sheltering bin Laden In fact, the Taliban was one of a number of foreign groups and countries that gave the United States preliminary warnings that an attack was imminent in the United States.
KT: Is that so?
JJ: Yes. That’s one of the sources. And when 9/11 happened, the Taliban offered three times to turn bin Laden over to an independent, international tribunal, like a Nuremberg trial, for a crime against humanity, to turn him over as a possible suspect for interrogation to such a tribunal. The United States response was, “we don’t negotiate with terrorists.” They invaded Afghanistan, they failed to capture bin Laden, or they did capture and kill him but we just don’t know it, who knows? But at least they say they failed to capture him and history moves that notch forward and on to the war in Iraq, which was also on the books before 9/11. But the whole link then to bin Laden rests on the official claims of the State Department, which never to this day has produced the evidence to the American public. And the evidence produced by the 9/11 Commission relies on the testimony of three individuals, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who is considered the mastermind of the plot; his nephew, Ramzi Yousef, and [Ramzi] Bin al-Shibh, and all three of these guys are captured at different points.
So these three people have been in a status of having been arrested and concealed. Sort of like going to Guantanamo. But they’re in undisclosed locations. This has lasted over years now, in the case of some of them, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and others. They have never been charged with anything, although publicly they are said to be the masterminds of the plotters behind 9/11. They have never been brought into a military tribunal or an open court in the United States. They are held incommunicado to the rest of us. When the 9/11 Commission attempted to interview them, they were rebuffed for national security purpose. Then the 9/11 Commission asked if they could talk to their handlers and interrogators and they were rebuffed in that as well. So the 9/11 Commission had to rely on redacted reports that they were given of their testimony taken by their interrogators and to solely rely on that. We, of course, don’t know, number one, whether these people are yet alive or dead. We don’t know if they gave the testimony under torture. And we don’t know if they gave testimony at all. These are the only three sources that link the 19 suspects to bin Laden. So the whole case rests on three prison snitches that no one can interview.
KT: Who are supposedly the masterminds of the whole 9/11 but whose names are nowhere as recognizable as Osama Bin Laden’s. How is it that 9/11 Commission didn’t have the authority to talk to them?
JJ: They were asking the executive branch in the White House. The White House obstructed their investigation from the start. First they didn’t want a panel. Then when they got the panel they didn’t want them to see anything. Like Tim Roemer, who had sat on the House intelligence and Senate intelligence joint committee that made a report.
That report was confiscated and vetted for a very long time by the White House. And least one of the early Commissioners, Max Cleland—who quit the Commission saying that it was a whitewash, and got appointed by the Bush administration to a job at the Export/Import bank—he early on, or actually I get it was near the time he was leaving, but when that report finally did come out, he said the White House had intentionally delayed the report to not have it come out prior to the election. And the report was damning. But Tim Roemer, who had sat in on the hearings, was one of the Commissioners, he was not allowed to see the transcripts of his own committee hearings that he sat in on. They were closed hearings, but he was in them. But then when he asked the White House to see the transcripts of them, and get the evidence, they were denying it even to him, much less to the rest of them.
So they were fighting at all different levels, whether they could get certain people to testify. When they finally concede to allow Condoleeza Rice to testify, the agreement was that no other member of the Bush administration’s executive staff could be asked to testify after she did. That was one of the conditions. Other conditions were that Bush and Cheney testify not under oath, not in public. One person was chosen to take the notes, Philip Zelikow, the executive director, and the notes had to be vetted before they were given back, again, to the same people who were sitting in the room listening.
In some cases certain people were chosen to see certain parts of the record, and only they could see it and they could only see it in a locked room and they couldn’t take it with them and they couldn’t copy it. In some cases I think they were allowed to make notes but then the notes had to be vetted.
It was this insane level of security around all these things and it was only over time that certain documents like the presidential daily briefing that’s given by the CIA to the president, for August 6th of 2001, prior to the attack, the title of it was concealed in their public statements. The report was that bin Laden would attack not just the United States but inside the United States and that the attack was imminent and that it might involve hijackings. They response to that report, which was requested apparently by Bush, that somebody give him a report on the imminence of the attack after he’s hearing from Richard Clarke and they hear from Sandy Berger that things are imminent, that this is a big danger from the time they come into office.
That was the point at which Bush took the long vacation. He went golfing and he was out of the White House for a long time, after getting this report that bin Laden was close to doing something. But they had to fight tooth and nail to see that and then only other persons were allowed to see certain parts of the full report of all days’ briefings, but not all Commissioners were allowed to see all the days’ briefings ... it’s just one layer of obstruction after another.
So to this day we don’t know the actual identities of all the people that got on the planes, or effected the plot, whatever the plot was. We don’t know what they did on the plane, we don’t know which ones were pilots or not pilots. And when we go in to the background of the 19 named people here in the United States, at least, where people like Hopsicker and other researchers have tracked them inside the United States, and talked to the people that knew them, you’re finding people that don’t appear to be very devout Muslims. They’re college educated; they’re doing drugs, drinking...
KT: Running around with hookers...
JJ: Yes, sleeping around—they don’t follow a pattern of people who are fanatics, who are killing themselves for a religious reason. You also find instances where it was obvious that the FBI and the CIA were stumbling over them, but in some cases when they tried to do anything about it, they were blocked. And so without knowing their real identities, we may just have a criminal enterprise that stole some ID, concealing itself, or we may have an intelligence operation that, as George Tenet said the first week after 9/11, is a sophisticated, state-level covert operation. That’s still the way I’m analyzing it. If so, then it’s consistent with that kind of an operation, to create a legend, a false story, a false sponsorship, and even with the people you are using, if you are using them as negative assets, you can have what’s called a false flag operation, where you have them thinking that you are working on behalf of a particular cause or country or interest when in fact they are being manipulated by intelligence groups.
KT: What does it take to track it from that angle? What other kinds of research can you do?
JJ: What you do then is you start to take the suspects apart in detail, which is really the way the Kennedy assassination was solved, I think. A lot of people focus on the gunmen, but the gunmen were cut outs and would lead you anywhere even if you could find out their real identities or how many there were. I think they are hirelings that are meant not to lead you back to the actual sponsorship. So what bore fruit in the Kennedy assassination in my view was to research the patsy. The named suspect. The alleged killer. So when you do Oswald, a whole plethora of stuff opens up about his intelligence ties and the legend that’s created about him: a false Oswald in Mexico City two weeks before the assassination; going to the Russian embassy and the Cuban embassy, and trying to get in to Cuba, basically to make a link to Castro of an Oswald two weeks before he’s going to set up as the patsy in the killing operation.
KT: So the named suspects in 9/11 are patsies then?
JJ: I would say that would be the parallel, that you see them us patsies, even if they are operational patsies. Even if they are actually carrying out the crime, unlike Oswald.
KT: But they are identified as Saudis...
JJ: Fifteen of them were from Saudi Arabia.
KT: And, in fact, the war in Afghanistan, in order to create the pipeline you were discussing, is something that works against US dependency on Saudi oil.
JJ: Yes. And the US is also moving militarily out of Saudi as a base of operations in the Middle East, into the surrounding stands.
KT: So are you suggesting that they are trying to pin this on the Saudis?
JJ: Well, that might be one read, is that the identities that are given seem to lead to Saudi Arabia. Remember, that when the Joint Inquiry Report came out, the intelligence committees, Porter Goss and Bob Graham’s report, 28 pages were completely redacted and the statement that they made was that the eight pages referred to countries—plural—that were involved in the 9/11 plot. And Graham continually hinted and winked at the idea that Saudi Arabia was one of them without ... he kept saying ‘I can’t say so or I’ll go to jail’ or something. But he clearly was indicating that Saudi Arabia was one of these countries. I tried to pin him down on whether Pakistan was one of these countries, because we have a link to Pakistan intelligence ...
KT: The ISI.
JJ: Right, the ISI, their military intelligence. The head of the ISI at the time of 9/11, General Mahmoud Ahmed, reportedly, according the Times of India and also Wall Street Journal confirming it, transferred $100,000 to Mohamed Atta in Sarasota, Florida in August of 2001, right before the attack. The carrier for this money was allegedly Khalid Sheikh, who has his own set of ties to being involved in a lot of terrorist operations, but also being involved withy British intelligence and some hints that he was involved with US intelligence as well. So we don’t really know whose side this guy is playing on. Then he is brought up under charges of killing the Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearle, although Daniel Pearle’s wife was told by the Pakistani state authorities, not the ISI, but the actual state authorities under Musharraf and the police forces, that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed killed her husband, not Khalid Sheikh. But Sheik is the one who has been convicted of doing so.
KT: The story that Pearle was pursuing when he died was tracking this pay off, right?
JJ: Well, that’s at least what the wife hints at. She says that he was looking into this. Because the Wall Street Journal is the only US source that covered the transfer of the funds, and he’s a Wall Street Journal reporter over there and he was getting close to the circles around Khalid Sheik Mohammed. So he was getting into the middle of the plot. Then he’s murdered. But the indication from his wife is that he was working on material that might have linked US intelligence to some of the plotting.
KT: Some of the ISI plotting.
JJ: Yes. And the other link in that is that this General that actually effected the transfer—and this was, in fact, reported early on ...
KT: He had to resign over it.
JJ: Yes, but this was also the first sort of smoking gun that the FBI said that they were following in the case. They made public statements about it and said that they were tracking this money that was sent to Mohamed Atta. It’s also interesting, I think, that Mohamed Atta in Sarasota was renting his room from someone who had ties to the Contragate operation, This is an important story because then General Ahmed came to the United States on September 4, the guy who supposedly the source of this transfer to Atta, and the head of Pakistani military intelligence. This also is important because that was CIA funds that were sent to the Mujahadeen resistance, as part of the large covert operation to draw the Soviet Union into the struggle in Afghanistan and then help collapse the Soviet Union by putting them into a quagmire, an idea that came from Zbigniew Brzezinski and Jimmy Carter but was basically inherited and carried out by Reagan and Bush administrations through William Casey as the largest covert operation in history, in terms of the cost—over three billion dollars from the US and another three billion from the Saudis. And the funding was Saudi royal family and Saudi intelligence, through BCCI, the Bank for Credit and Commerce International, which itself was a nest of US covert operations abroad and drug money, and being funded through the opium money in Afghanistan, which was 85 to 90 percent of world opium. So it was funding things like the Kosovo liberation Army through CIA later, but at this time it was funding the Mujahadeen.
Then the CIA was sending a similar amount of money and its conduit was the Pakistani ISI, and through that conduit the Mujahadeen would be trained in Pakistan and sent up there. One of the major benefactors of that conduit of money was Mr. Hekymatyar. What’s important about him is that he’s not only taking and distributing the CIA funds, but he’s also the sort of mentor to Osama bin Laden. And Bin Laden, of course, is adding his own funds because he comes from a very rich Saudi family, Saudi construction that did a great deal of CIA contracting and military contracting that in fact built the caves in Afghanistan that were used for the Mujahadeen to hide in. Later we’re told that bin Laden was in these caves running the operations of al Qaeda against the United States.
So here comes the current head of Pakistani ISI to the United States, on September 4, after having in August given money to Mohamed Atta, and he meets with George Tenet at the CIA, his counterpart, he meets with Colin Powel and Richard Armitage after 9/11, at the State Department, and on the day of 9/11 he’s having breakfast with Porter Goss and Bob Graham, who are the two people who later write the Joint Intelligence Report on 9/11 and on the intelligence “failure”, which is how this is all posed, of 9/11. So he’s in with all those people, and then he comes back to Pakistan and his role is exposed and he is basically forced to resign. His head rolls because he’s too close to bin Laden and because he transferred this money to Atta.
KT: A lot of the ISI were sympathetic toward bin Laden and, in fact, have tried to assassinate Musharraf twice now, and there’s still a big fear that they might stage a coup.
JJ: Yes, there’s an apparent split between some ISI elements and the state government. It operates kind of the same way our intelligence does: don’t operate directly with the government and sometimes in opposition to it. There’s a large Muslim community in Pakistan and elements of this international Islamist terrorists still being trained there. And these tribal areas are contentious so, yes, there have been attempts to kill Musharraf.
But this particular guy was Musharraf’s pick, and he had been responsible as a military man for bringing Musharraf into power and staging the coup that put Musharraf in. So part of his reward was being put into this position. But we’re not clear about what role Pakistan plays then or still plays to this day in terms of this funding, or if there’s ongoing funding or training of terrorists.
The point is that you’ve got people from Pakistani ISI, which had relations right up until that obviously with American CIA, funneling money into the alleged perpetrators of this plot. It doesn’t have to mean that the whole thing was a creation of American intelligence. Nor does it have to mean that the whole thing was a blowback against intelligence, where they created a bin Laden who then turned and bit the hand that fed him. I think an alternate explanation might be that this doesn’t involve the whole of the US government intelligence but involves elements within military intelligence, or DIA, operating abroad and CIA with assets, who may be used as positive assets to attack the Soviet Union, and then turned as negative assets who are then attacking the United States or believe they are attacking the United States, and are manipulated or penetrated in that role, either to stop them or to limit what they’re doing, or to use them.
The CIA does not only penetrate groups that would carry out the positive thing that they want done, but they’ll also penetrate enemy groups. So did the FBI. Take the 1993 bombing of the Twin Towers. It’s now known from the trial testimony that entire operation was penetrated right to the heart by an FBI informant who told the FBI and warned them that they were planning to bomb together to go into the building with. The FBI even fed information through this informant to them of where the most efficacious place to plant the bomb would be, to make the damage happen. Then they assured this informant that at the last minute they would substitute a harmless powder so that the bong would never go off. Realizing that it was imminent, he asked, ‘don’t you want to come in and raid or stop it?’ and they said, ‘no, don’t worry about it’ and then the plot went through and the bomb did go off in the building. But the FBI was right in the middle of it even at that time.
So you have these conflicting loyalties where you’re penetrating to find out what they’re doing, but then there’s other elements that don’t want to either expose the informant or whatever and it ends up with them going ahead and facilitating the crime. Or maybe you want a provocateur situation, where like in COINTELPRO, they would send FBI penetrates into a group that wasn’t otherwise violent and say, ‘oh, I have all these, skills. I know how to get in these buildings, I know how to build a bomb. I can help you blow it up’ and actually facilitate and encourage a crime ...
JJ: Yes, to entrap people who previously wouldn’t have even thought of doing such a crime. So you don’t know until you get down to that level, and that’s certainly not the level of the testimony or the evidence that the 9/11 Commission sought. But those elements are still, to me, all in the air.
The other major paradigm problem with the way you’re looking at 9/11 is that it’s been defined from the beginning as a failure of intelligence, and intelligence failure. Failure of cooperation between FBI and ClA. A failure of the intelligence agencies to have enough human intelligence sources, all these different failures. And, of course, the response to the intelligence failure has not been to hold anybody accountable for that failure or to hold anybody accountable for the bad oversight on that failure, but in fact to reward all those people who were involved in the failure and to further fund and buttress these intelligence agencies and give them an expanded level of powers.
KT: The so-called “failure of intelligence” delivered them an event that justified the already pre-set foreign policy goals that were mapped: the war. There was no failure there. 9/11 in that sense was a complete success.
JJ: Yes. So whether it was something that they used as an event that they didn’t know was coming for that purpose, or they let an event happen at a certain level, or they pulled the plug, or ...
KT: Or these competitions between these police bureaucracies and the people they conscribe into them like the hijackers, and it all just fell out of control. This is something less than blaming it on the Bush administration.
JJ: Yes. I think everybody sort of wants to go the top and say that Bush is in charge and therefore Bush knew and Bush did everything.
KT: Well, you got people saying they launched a Cruise missile into the Pentagon when in fact, the situation as you just reviewed, says there is a real mystery here—that sixth missing hijacker who may have been the real pilot—which could account for some of the anomalies that researchers have picked out, like the impossibility for the known incompetent hijacker to have performed the wide angle turn that crashed Flight 77 into the Pentagon.
JJ: That’s probably true of Hani Hanjour—but we don’t know that he was the pilot. On the other hand, I don’t believe that you can explain such a maneuver and the last minute corrections that had to have been made even as it approached the first floor, by remote control. I do believe that you can guide a plane in a particular direction, either with geophysical satellite information or even with just a radio beacon. You could guide a plan to a building and crash it in but even that is belied.
I think, that on the second tower, when it’s hit, there’s again, a last minute correction by the plane, which is going very fast. If you’re flying this plane, to see those towers, they’re just going to whip past you and to get back to New York, first of all, in a plane where you don’t know where you are. You are out in the middle of Ohio or Pennsylvania. How do you find New York? Much less that building at that speed. And then to actually drive the plane in so that one plane smacks right into it and the other plane hits a lower floor—which I believe is why it falls first.
The second tower is hit later but it falls first because the plane goes in at a lower level, so there’s more weight pressing down on the collapse. But that plane has to curve in—if you’ve watched the video—at the very last second. It’s like the pilot jerks it over into the corner of the building and it doesn’t make as direct a hit. And then at the Pentagon, the plane is 5000 feet in the air and it does a descending loop around the Pentagon, 270 degrees around. Almost the entire 360. And then flies in at over 500 knots, tremendously high speed, fifteen, twenty feet above the ground, knocking lamp posts off, and slams into ...
KT: Which is very hard to do.
JJ: Yes, it’s very hard to hold the plane down because the reason a plane slows down to land and speeds up to take off is because you have lift! Even if you aren’t using the aileron and the flaps, just the wings are going to lift the plane. And so to bring a plane down that fast, low, is destabilizing it and you’ve also got tremendous pressure to lift the plane back up over the building at that speed. So it’s got to be somebody that knows how to hold the plane down with the flaps. I said initially that the pilot would have had to be standing up to have enough strength to press down on the pedals to keep the wing flaps down so that it wouldn’t actually crash. And also at the last minute it almost tips over. The wing on one side goes down and it hits some of the emergency vehicles that are there. It almost flips over or crashes and then it slams into this area just between—it basically goes in mostly on the first floor but a little bit up to the second floor level.
Another thing that people don’t know about that area in there is that in the wedges of the Pentagon, the ring walls don’t continue. So that at each wedge side of the five points, within that little triangle that comes out, between them there are these rings, these tie A, B, C, D and E of the Pentagon, with two walls each. But when you get into the wedge area, at the corner, those ring walls disappear on the first floor, which is an open floor. In other words, what’s going in there is not going through six walls in order to get to the inner walls.
KT: What simple thing can you say that definitively pooh-poohs the idea that it was a Cruise missile or drone or that it wasn’t a plane that hit Pentagon?
JJ: What would pooh-pooh a Cruise missile to me is that a Cruise missile has all sorts of remote control and generally flies on a straight line to its target. So it’s even more incredible that a Cruise missile would do a 270 degree descending loop to go into the building! Why would you go all the way around it with a Cruise missile?
KT: What single thing can you point to then, to the people who say that the Pentagon was not hit by a plane?
JJ: A simple thing to say is to come to Washington. DC and interview any twenty people and you will run into somebody who either saw the plane or knows somebody who saw the plane. I have talked to dozens of direct witnesses on the ground, in surrounding buildings, up close to the building, some of whom ducked, who saw the plane come in. They saw its distinctive silver color, which is American Airlines. Some of them saw the American Airline logo on the plane. They saw the size of the plane. You have literally hundreds and hundreds of witnesses to that event.
KT: You know a flight attendant who was supposed to be on the plane, right?
JJ: I know a flight attendant who worked for American Airlines and her regular route was Dulles/LAX and on Flight 77, on that route. The entire crew that she normally worked with died in the plane that day. In fact, when I heard the route announced, I thought she was dead. As it turned out, she was not assigned to the plane that day and was home taking care of her father who was sick, and she wasn’t in the air that day. But she subsequently did go down with her her mother on the invitation of some of the people at the Pentagon and the rescue crews asked the airline attendants, who often already have security clearance, to come down and serve drinks to the rescuers and the people who were doing the clean up. This was about a week and a half after the crash. And she went down and did an all night stint with these people, giving them drinks. And then they came in the morning and asked her and some of the attendants did they want to see the crash sitte? Some of the attendants said, ‘No, I don’t want to see it.’ But my friend is a researcher and she’s a trained professional ...
KT: Could I use her name?
JJ: I’d rather not use her name just for the fact that there are so many people vilifying her that I’d rather just spare her the difference. It’s not a concealment. It’s not that she doesn’t exist. But I just would rather not get her more trouble than it’s worth. There are so many people trying to discredit her that I don’t want her bothered by this. But she exists. Her friends died on the plane. She went in to the crash site. She saw pieces of the plane, remaining debris. Se saw a window that told her that it was a 757 by the shape and size of the window. It’s different than on smaller planes. She’s been an airline attendant for that airline—and knows those planes—for years ...
KT: They did recover a lot of the plane ...
JJ: They did recover a great deal of the plane parts. These people that say there was no debris, they’re relying on one or two press reports or what they can’t see in a photo. But there was a great deal of debris and there was also DNA and she saw charred bones. She also saw upholstery that was charred but she could recognize the patterns as belonging to that plane. And that’s plane that she worked on two or three times a week. So it’s not unfamiliar to her. She could recognize it. And then she was also shown photographs, as were the families and other crew, and this is standard in a plane crash, of body parts that were photographed on the scene by the forensic experts. In those photographs, she was able to identify a severed forearm that was charred, but around the wrist was a bracelet that she shared with Renee May, the attendant on the plane. That was her best friend on the plane. They wore the same bracelet, so she could tell that that was Renee’s arm. Rather grisly, but, I mean, Renee didn’t ride in there on a Cruise missile. They did extensive DNA and identified all the passengers on the plane except for the terrorists, whose identities I think differ from what we’ve been told, and that’s why that was withheld, not that nobody was on the plane.
KT: As you were saying before, this is a genuine mystery, who that sixth person is on the list. But this is nothing that’s even brought up by these no-Pentagon-plane researchers. What purpose is served by [Thiessen], the French author, and all these people promoting this, by putting that kind of cartoon version of what happened, when in fact you have an actual mystery that you would assume everybody would be on?
JJ: On the most benign level, it could just be someone who wants to make a name for himself and wants to take some kind of a theory that he’s involved with and get himself out there and promote himself and, who knows, maybe even believes it. But a guy in France who has never been to the crash site, who is working from a couple of photographs from a web site and a bunch of speculation that a hole isn’t big enough in his mind to accommodate the plane—I mean, it’s just not credible.
But then a more sinister interpretation would be that, as in the case of the Kennedy assassination and other things, alternate, false information, or disinformation, is put out relating to the story in order to help discredit it. In classic disinformation, what you do is you give the truth to the person who has the least credibility and you give the lie to the person who has the most credibility. Then at the same time you also plant, ‘Oh, the mob did it’ or ‘oh, the anti-Castro Cubans did it’ or ‘oh, the oil men did it’ and you have seventeen different suspects and nobody can figure out what’s the hand that wiggles all these fingers.
KT: But we don’t seem to have competing culprits here. Every one of these people say it’s Bush and his buddies that did it.
JJ: Or they say it’s Osama Bin Laden and his buddies. So we don’t have that particular piece, but if you wanted to discredit the research community, an easy way to do it—and it’s already been done in Popular Mechanics magazine recently—is you put up these straw men that are easily knocked down by any scientist and you say that these are all nut case conspiracy theory people. That’s why I think you have to have people that have expertise, that do real research. And I’m not a pilot. I’m not a forensic building engineer. I’m not a trained scientist. I do common sense, nuts-and-bolts research. I’m not even a formal academician. I’m somebody that’s looking for the truth. But I don’t claim to be more than I am and if I want to find out how the buildings fell down, I would go to, as I did, the sites of the engineering people and see what they’re putting out and whether that seems plausible given the other facts. If you see conflicting facts, you can bring them up.
But you don’t bring them up among yourselves; you bring them up to the people that are involved. If somebody says something about the building and it seems suspicious, you go to that person and try to determine what it was that they said or what they meant to say. But instead, I find people that build whole arguments based on a couple or one or two witnesses that say something different. A little bit of research and basically they think they prove something by a lack of evidence. But a lack of evidence proves to me your lack of research.
Not that the government isn’t blocking evidence. A simple way to prove that a plane went into the Pentagon or not would be for the government to release the evidence that they collected as part of the investigation, which included video cameras on nearby buildings. The Marriott Hotel took pictures of it.
KT: One video was released from the Citgo station across the street, right?
A; It’s actually not a video. It’s a series of five photographs that they put into Photoshop or something and tried to make them move along as a sequence. It wasn’t shot as a video, but it was a sequence of photographs. That actually shows something consistent with the plane going into the building, although everybody says it doesn’t. You can fit the plane in the space but also a great deal of the scenario is not visible because this is downhill and you are looking up over a ridge. So the whole plane is not visible as it goes into the building, but the tail of the plane is visible. In fact, one of the sites, to prove some other point, did a high-contrast photo to show something else but when they did that you could see the tail and see the A-slash-A logo of American Airlines on the tail in that photo. I think you need people that really know how to do the analysis.
The big explosion outside of the building comes from the fact that the fuel is underneath the wings. When the plane hits, the wings begin to collapse and hit the front of the building, this fuel underneath is exploding outside the building. That’s what that huge fire balls is. Also, when the nose of the plane hits the building, the momentum backwards, the shock of the building is pushing against the 500 mile-an-hour force forward and the wings break forward. A plane is not a solid piece of metal. Somebody said there was something like 1.5 million pieces in each plane. If you’ve ever watched wings on a plane as you’re landing, all these flaps come up and it’s not just a solid chunk of stuff.
You’re basically taking an aluminum can and throwing it into a building at 500 miles an hour. Of course it’s going to disintegrate. The wings break forward and the hole size is consistent with the fuselage, which is what does go through. At that speed, it goes through further than it would normally. You can take a piece of straw in a hurricane and drive it into a tree if it’s going fast enough. So you’ve got that tremendous momentum bringing it in further than it would normally go, in to an area of the building that had not yet been reinforced.
That whole side of the building was being reinforced. And the only practical effect of taking the plane all the way around the building and hitting that side is that it was the side of the building that had almost nobody in it, where the offices were under construction for the better part of three years. If Atta was in fact a plotter—there were descriptions of Atta carrying a model of the Pentagon around. All you have to do is drive by to see that it had been a construction area.
That is consistent with another thing that I think is a mystery in the hitting of the towers. The towers were first hit at 8:45 and then at 9:05. They began the evacuation, although some people were told to stay in the building, but they did begin the evacuation and they saved most of the people in the floors below where the planes hit. About 1500 people got out and were taken to other places. Of course, many people died and when it collapsed it killed people around the area as well. We don’t know how many, and the rescue crews that were coming in.
By arriving at 8:45 rather than 9:00—if they had come an hour later, if they had taken the next flight out and hit well into the hour between 9 and 10, they would have had tens of thousands of deaths, even with the evacuations. But at 8:45, most people are not at work. Then also if you look in detail at the plotting, the planes that did hit there, took off anywhere from a half hour to forty five minutes later than they were supposed to have taken off. So actually the plotters would have gone into the buildings even earlier had the planes taken off on time, which meant fewer people would have been there.
KT: Minimizing the number of deaths.
JJ: And it’s consistent with minimizing the number of deaths at the Pentagon, which does seem to me to be consistent with a terrorist plot. You just want spectacle but you’re trying to be kind to these people you want to kill? It might be consistent with somebody creating a plot that, although it’s going to have some collateral damage, they try to minimize that but they want the psychological effect. Who are those people? Well, that’s a question.
But if we are to believe they are murderous, Islamist terrorists, who hate the United States and everyone in it, then they would presumably want to kill as many people as possible. All those early morning planes are sparsely populated on those days of the week. There would have been more planes up in the air if they had taken a later flight. But I don’t think it was necessary for them to take the first flight out in terms of planning. It just strikes me that those things point to something else.
There’s no sense in a pilot who is bent on smashing a plane into the Pentagon coming within visual sight of the Pentagon and not just driving right into it. You would do more damage if you landed in the central court yard and plowed through the building form the inside than what was done. And it was a very difficult maneuver to do in a plane that size. One of the trainers in Florida, Rudy Decker, said if they had tried the Pentagon maneuver on his simulator, it would have shut down because they’re putting tremendous stresses on the plane. The plane itself would have shaken the stick and had override capabilities built in to the plane to keep that from happening. Whoever the pilot was, he would have had to know how to turn those off. It’s not impossible to turn them off, and pilots often do fly manually.
KT: But with a would-be suicide pilot, you are getting into a counter-intuitive idea of somebody who is about ready to commit suicide trying to limit the number of other deaths...
JJ: Right, that’s not consistent either, is it?
KT: Are you suggesting then remote control?
JJ: No. I’m suggesting that you have a plot of some kind—whatever those people think they are doing, maybe they think they are just following orders, but those orders, wherever they come from, are meant to minimize the deaths. I’ve looked at remote control, you have to put millions of dollars to get one of those planes up to remote control capability and then the particulars of the corrections and things argue against it. The do have planes—they this Global Hawk system where they can take off and fly to another point and land, but that’s usually a straight line. It’s not doing aerial maneuvers and dogfights and loop-de-loops. And to do that, how can you see what you’re doing by remote well enough not to crash the plane? And if you are flying remote, one would presume that there’s a pattern that you’ve already laid out and that you’re not going to be making these last minute stick jerks to get around to the building because you’re going to have it on a GPS or something where you know where it is you’re going. But the Pentagon one especially argues against the possibility of a remote control or a missile—that you have a human pilot.
How do you get that pilot to kill himself? That’s a different question. I’ve studied a lot of so-called mass suicides in human history and in every case I found that they were mass murders, including Jonestown, even going back to Masada, Solar Temple, Heaven’s Gate—all of these actually, if you check the forensics, were murders, not suicides. Even a lover’s pact often ends in one killing themselves and the other one bolting. The attack on the Khobar Towers by the al Qaeda supposedly, the one guy drives in and the last guy jumps out of the truck at the last second!
There’s a will to preserve life that usually goes beyond other things. Not entirely. You can have a disciplined Buddhist monk immolate himself. But the idea that a bunch of rock-n-rollers and some crazy Bible freak at Waco chose fire, the most painful death possible, as a suicide move under a siege—I mean, it just doesn’t make sense.
It’s also an old conqueror’s lie. There are instances where they came in and slaughtered people and said, ‘oh, they were so afraid of us they all killed themselves.’ The old Nazis would say that the Jews had lebensmüde. They were sick of living and they killed themselves in the camps! It’s a common cover story, but when you go the details, not a single person at Jonestown committed suicide, according to the Guyanese grand jury. This is not just me talking, it’s when you look at the forensic and the pathological evidence.
So how do you get 19 guys in a suicide pact going over months and months and none of them are defecting and they all get on these planes where there’s no escape? Can you have a kamikaze pilot? Yes. But if you remember the kamikaze pilot scenarios, they were individual pilots in individual planes. They weren’t even taking anybody else with them. In addition to that, they didn’t just go out like lemmings and all kill themselves. It was a tactic, when everything else failed and the only thing you could do to make damage was to kill yourself and then you would dive down. And some still didn’t, of course, and shamed themselves for the rest of their lives or whatever.
No matter how deep the fanaticism, there’s other cells in the brain and the body that are going to vote and try to get you to change your mind. That leaves us with a possible scenario that the Commission itself doesn’t rule out: that only one person knew in each flight that it was a suicide mission. But then how do you get that person to go along and kill all of these people with them? I don’t know. But the official story of the 19 guys with a suicide wish and an ATM card, who don’t even appear to be Muslims, doesn’t fit any better. That’s a conspiracy theory in my view that has yet to be proved. I don’t think that we have the final word on it but I think that the official version of it has too many holes and that it really needs a much more thorough examination and background, which the Commission doesn’t give us.
It gives us this “intelligence failure” instead of break down in standard operation procedure, which is what this was on each level. On the investigative levels of the FBI, on the warnings that came in to CIA and other intelligence that wasn’t followed up on in some cases, but in other cases were followed up on. When I went into the details I found that as early as 1996 the bare bones of this plot were known to the CIA at least. Even in the months prior to 9/11, there were CD packages created for the airline people that they showed to their employees about suicide hijackers taking over planes and using them to attack buildings. In 1996, Ramzi Yousef’s computer was confiscated in the Phillipines and it had the Bojinka plan on it, the “Big Noise” plan, and that was to hijack planes from outside the United States, but nonetheless those planes would come into the United States and they would be used to attack the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, the CIA, the White House—the Capital. So the targets were known. It’s not rocket science to figure out the Twin Towers would be a target, they were a target already in ’93. And the others are just common sense. You would go after the government buildings.
So not only did they have that warning but in some cases they took it seriously. The Pentagon did an exercise in October of 2000, about a year prior to 9/11. with the Arlington County fire teams and rescue teams and first responders, simulating a plane going into a building and how they would respond to that. NORAD had a plan that it had laid out but not implemented called “Amalgam Virgo 2”. it was mentioned by Ben-Veniste, one of the Commissioners, in the testimony, when they were getting testimony from NORAD. And this was a plan about hijacked planes being used as planes against government buildings and how NORAD would intercept them and whatever they would do. But this scenario wasn’t approved prior to 9/11, they didn’t actually test it out, but they wrote it up.
In addition to that, in ’99 I was with the head of security in the Pentagon, a guy that had been there for thirty years, and he told me that they were on Delta alert, the highest form of alert—Alpha, Beta, Charlie, Delta. This is 1999 and I asked, “why are you on your highest form of alert?” He said, “We have bomb threats from Muslims every day.” We were standing outside of the building and he turned and pointed to the roof of the Pentagon and said, “And we have camera and radar up there so that they don’t try to run a plane into the building.” This in ’99. When he said it, I thought he was out of his mind. I didn’t know what he was talking about. But of course they knew about these plots and they were preparing for them.
I confronted Richard Shelby, who was one of the minority people on the Joint Intelligence Inquiry Bob Graham and Shelby were taking questions at the press conference that followed the release of their Joint Inquiry Report. First I quoted Condoleeza Rice saying that this attack was so outside the box that no one could possible imagine that anything else would have happened. As I was saying that, Shelby started grinning. Then I said, “Did your investigation find that in fact planes had been used as weapons or could be used as weapons or had been used as weapons by these particular groups?” Because I knew that in Chechnya, a plane plot involved Osama Bin Laden, reportedly. Another al Qaeda plot in Paris was foiled to bring a plane into the Eiffel Tower. The one in Moscow actually hit an apartment building, I think.
Shelby acknowledged it by responding, “Yes, we found numerous instances where planes had been used as weapons or might be used as weapons.” Then I followed up right away and said, “And did you also find instances of preparations being made for that possibility?” And his demeanor literally changed. He stepped back, he mumbled something that sounded like “I can’t get into that”. He then walked away from the podium without answering the question. He turned his back to me, and walked away to consult with somebody over on the sidelines while Graham stepped up and took the next question. But when Shelby came back, he pointed to me before they on to the next question, and said, “And in answer to your question, on advice of counsel, my answer is, No.” Now I wasn’t quick enough to say, “Why not? If you knew about it, why didn’t you prepare for it?” But I think in fact they did.
We also know that at the [G-8] Genoa Summit that summer [in July 2001] they ringed Bush and the other people with surface-to-air missiles. They prohibited any commercial or non-commercial over the area where the summit was taking place and they moved Bush from location to location including out on a ship in order to keep anyone from knowing day-to-day which building he was in, to prevent planes being used as weapons or attacking the building.
Interestingly enough, on the day of 9/11 it was reported in the Washington Post later that when the twin towers were hit, the second tower was hit, they went to Alpha, their lowest form of alert, which is merely a communication, “heads up, something might be happening”. There’s also another report in the Post that had the commandant of the Marine Corps ask his assistant, after they saw on TV the Towers being hit, to go down the hall at the Pentagon and talk to the security people in the building and find out if there was a raised security alert. The assistant came back to him after a bit and said, ‘No, sir, there’s been no change in the security alert.’ Then the plane hit. It was also reported in the Post that after the plane hit the Pentagon, they went to Charlie alert! So [in 1999] on a day when they’re getting nothing but calls, they’re at Delta. On a day when a plane flies into their building, they’re on Charlie.
And when this recent plane came into the restricted airspace and got into P56B, the most restricted 16 mile circle around the monument, and flew over Dick Cheney’s house and got within three miles or two minutes of the Capital, the Pentagon did not evacuate or call any kind of an alert. But on 9/11, they began to evacuate the Pentagon and the capital and the White House prior to the arrival of Flight 77. Prior to. So they knew it was coming. And still there was no standard operating response on all of those planes. They would have picked them up from the beginning of no transponder, no radio communication, not following orders, going off course, for even a few minutes.
The air traffic controller will try and re-establish control for two or three more minutes. If he doesn’t get it, he immediately flags his supervisor and the military liaison at the control center. The military liaison puts the report into the national military command center at the Pentagon and they in turn relay it to NORAD to prepare to scramble. Because it’s an air emergency. You don’t know if it’s a hijacking or not, it doesn’t matter what it is. All you know is that a plane is not doing what it needs to do, and especially a large plane full of people, where hundreds of lives on the plane and who knows how many more wherever it hits are at stake. You are going to start responding as immediately as possible to that air emergency.
In his testimony to the Commission, Eberhardt, the NORAD commander in charge that day said that had they been given sufficient notice, they could have intercepted all four of the planes. And that’s in fact the case, because the first plane starts having trouble at 8:14 and doesn’t hit until 8:45. So that’s a good half hour, these planes can be scrambled in six to ten minutes. They go to a staging point and they can come in the bogey at 15 to 18 hundred miles an hour. Once the air traffic lane is cleared, they can shoot right into the bogey on full burner.
The pilots out of Otis Air Force Base when they were finally sent up—after the first tower had been hit—they were finally sent up in the air, they went on full burner to their staging point because they thought something was the matter. But FAA gave them no designator, no bogey. They said they weren’t getting any “bogey dope”. That’s how they put it. They sat out at Whiskey 105, off of Long Island, their point, and looped until after the second tower was hit, and then they were told to go in to the New York air space.
Also, according to someone we talked to whose son was stationed at Otis and had talked to those pilots on their return, the pilots told him that they were aware from chatter they were getting—because as early as 8:24 a phone bridge began to open between the FAA, NORAD, the Pentagon, the Secret Service, all these government agencies were getting real-time information about the flights that were off course or were being hijacked and that information is also being relayed to the pilots, so the pilots as well as everybody else know real-time that a plane’s coming to DC and where it is—the Otis pilots, were aware of that, turned to intercept Flight 77 and were called back and told to stay in New York air space.
KT: A stand down order.
JJ: That’s essentially the effect. Also, the Langley pilots, 130 miles south of DC that were scrambled, were scrambled too late and thought when they were scrambled that they were going to New York. They went out on the Atlantic to their staging point and started heading north and were asked on the way up to verify that the Pentagon had been hit and saw a plume of smoke and said, “yes, it’s been hit.” That was the defense. And they don’t have to go 130 miles south of DC because we have Andrews Air Force base within ten miles. We have Anacostia Naval air station right across the river from the Pentagon, with the air national guard unit there that’s responsible for guarding the DC skies with F16s and F18s.
There were Andrews planes over North Carolina on maneuvers that could have been tasked. The regulations say that in an air emergency any base commander can task a place anywhere. He doesn’t have wait for NORAD. And NORAD can task any place, not just the scramble planes. We also know that at Pomona air national guard 177th Air Wing in Atlantic City, which had been a NORAD scramble base in the past—although at the time of the Bosnia war they took them off that duty and used them abroad—they had two F15 fighters out on the runway, at the end of the runway, ready to take off on bombing run patterns into New York, an exercise that they did each month. And they’re out there with their engines running and they were so close to the scenario that Flight 175, that went into the second tower, actually came south and going back north passed over Pomona air field, in the New Jersey air space, and they were for the first time in their career, called back, off the runway, when they could have been activated and gotten up.
These aren’t all shoot-downs, but at least you go up, you identity the problem, you wag your wings, you can divert, you can throw flares, you can sandwich—there’s numbers of ways to divert a plane and try to identify what’s the matter. That’s why you go up. To identify the problem. You have different protocols if it’s a hijacking than if it’s something else. But none of those protocols prevent you from getting up there in the first place.
That’s what completely falls apart on 9/11 and there’s even in the Commission Report a story that at some point the FAA regional office in Boston, overseeing the Logan situation and picking up these planes, knew that there was a problem shortly after 8:14 and they put in a call—I think it’s still even before 8:30 but if not it’s very close to 8:30—they put in a call too on their own, to Otis and to Pomona, and said, ‘We’ve got a problem, you need to get something up, you need to scramble some jets and get something up’ and they called both of those bases. But no planes ever went up from Pomona and the Otis planes didn’t go up until well after that situation happened, they weren’t responding to these direct calls from the airlines and they weren’t going from the places they normally would have been ordered to go, nor were any additional planes scrambled.
I sat and watched television that morning, Channel 8, the local news channel, announced that one of the planes that had been hijacked was coming in to DC twenty minutes before it hit. I know when it hit, because it shook my window. I’m right across from the Pentagon, within a mile. It shook my window from the impact. But they announced it was coming! Well, that isn’t the Channel 8 investigative team! [announcer voice:] “Channel 8 news team has discovered ...” That’s them reporting something that the government told them. So the government knew it was coming. The official story in the Commission Report is that they lost track of the plane somewhere over West Virginia and they didn’t pick it back up until it was like five minutes away. That’s nonsense. They can track these planes even when they have their transponders off. They did it on Flight 11. It turned its transponder off and they put a separate tag on it and tracked it all the way into the valley.
KT: What do you do then with all the deficiencies of the official 9/11 Report? There’s not going to be another investigation or another commission.
JJ: I don’t think there will be that. I think our momentum would be to first of all try to deconstruct the Report because it has the weight of an official government study. But it’s also got this popular weight and myth that this is a definitive thing and it’s the best thing that’s come down the pike and it’s one of the most bipartisan and objective reports that’s ever been done and it really gets at the truth and it’s going to be the standard for fifty years. And while there’s a strata of people, of course, who are very critical of the report, that’s not the case across America. It was nominated for a national book award. It’s gotten a little bit of critical press, but not much. It also served then as this engine of a train that jammed itself through Congress carrying all these recommendations into law, consolidating the intelligence agencies. It didn’t challenge at all the Pax Americana, or the attacks of the Bush administration. It gave more weight to the Homeland Security and all of the interruptions of civil liberties.
When they were considering their recommendations, we tried to get them to hear alternative witnesses. Just as an example, they had a whole panel on civil liberties versus security that did not include the American Civil Liberties Unions. It’s that basic. Who do you want to talk to here? Primarily their staff was made up of people that came out of the national security council.
That’s what’s wrong with doing any kind of investigation of the national security state is that the only people entrusted with enough security to look at it are already part of it! It’s like investigating your own navel! ‘Well, you can’t look because you’re just an ordinary citizen. We’re the only ones that know enough.’ But the way you get into those positions is that you already bought into the paradigm. You’re supportive of the network. So of course it’s in their interest to pose this as an intelligence failure rather than a break down of procedure, which somebody would be held accountable for. Instead, those people are promoted.
There’s even been at the Pentagon—where you can get a court martial for turning over a jeep—their own building is smacked into by a plane and there’s no line of duty inquiry. There’s no court of inquiry. There’s no court martial. Not a single head rolls. The two people who are responsible at the top are promoted, one of which is Richard Myers. And the key people that should have been in place that day and responding, are sitting there, according to their own reports!
Myers said he knew about the first plane hitting, thought it was a small commercial accident, went into a private meeting with Max Cleland and didn’t come out until after the Pentagon was hit, and then went over to the Pentagon. That’s the acting head of the Joints Chiefs of Staff, OK? You have Rumsfeld, the Secretary of Defense, who says he was taking calls and doing papers in his office and didn’t know anything was wrong until the plane hit. Isn’t somebody going to come to the door and says, ‘Excuse me, sir? Secretary of Defense? Head of the Joint Chiefs? The country’s under attack.’
When people ask what did Bush know and when did he know, I say 9:05. Because at 9:05 the whole country knew that accident and coincidence no longer explained this, that this was a terrorist attack. By 9:05 everybody knew that who was paying any attention at all. No matter whether he was in a grade school, I’m sure somebody got the message. But when they deliver the message to Bush there, he looks to me like a deer caught in the headlights. He doesn’t look like somebody who knew what was going, he looks suddenly like, “Good heavens, what do I do now?” And he’s basically kept out of the loop the rest of the day. He’s left to finish his little jaunt to read to the students and then he does a press statement and they get him on the plane and they take him further and further away from these command and control centers.
When he goes up in Air Force One, he complains on 60 Minutes a year later that his secure line to the White House, his command and control phone on the plane, which gives him nuclear control goes dead. For two hours his communication is dead. He’s calling on unsecure cell phones. He’s forcing the plane to land so that he can get a communication to somebody and he’s insisting that he go back to DC and become the president. I even talked to a Secret Service agent here in DC who said that what actually happened was that Cheney didn’t want him to come back and for security purposes the Secret Service made Bush sign a waiver saying that they could not protect his life. They weren’t responsible for his life. Then on that condition they brought him back to DC. But he was a guy that to me was being pushed out of control.
The other person most responsible for the events would have been the commander in charge of the National Military Control Center, General Montague Winfield. He had been there for several years and he had made an arrangement the day before that between 8:00 and 10:30 he was going to be out of the office. So during the entire scenario, he’s gone and a young Navy guy, now an admiral, who testified to the 9/11 Commission, Captain Charles Leidig, is put in charge for the first time. He’s put in charge during that period and he’s not apparently responding in the way that he’s supposed to. The Commission leaves the FAA holding the bag, saying that because they didn’t declare it a hijacking until 9:24 no response was given, but that’s not the response for NORAD. [more transcription here for book]
NORAD has given several different responses for what they did on that day but their response is not dependent on a finding of hijacking from federal agencies on the ground. Also, in addition to the FAA, NORAD’s standard procedure, there’s a secondary level, as we now know in the news and has been there my whole life time, a restricted zone around the capital here in DC called P56. It has an outer zone, an identification zone of fifty miles out and it has an inner zone of a 16 to 17 mile circle which includes the Pentagon and the Capital and all the main buildings around the Washington Monument. For my entire life that air space was guarded. When small planes came in, things went up. F16s and other things went up to intervene. [more transcript] And you’ve got the defense of the Pentagon itself and the White House itself, both of which have surface-to-air missile response. At some point don’t you have to ask, if they can’t defend their own building, how can they defend the rest of us? Is that question in there somewhere subliminally in the U.S. psyche?