Thursday, August 03, 2006

Confirmed: hijack scenario scheduled for Vigilant Guardian on 9/11, confusion lasted well into attacks

Excerpt from Vanity Fair article on recent tape releases:


----------------

08:37:52 -- BOSTON CENTER: Hi. Boston Center T.M.U. [Traffic Management Unit], we have a problem here. We have a hijacked aircraft headed towards New York, and we need you guys to, we need someone to scramble some F-16s or something up there, help us out.

POWELL: Is this real-world or exercise?

BOSTON CENTER: No, this is not an exercise, not a test.

Powell's question—"Is this real-world or exercise?"—is heard nearly verbatim over and over on the tapes as troops funnel onto the ops floor and are briefed about the hijacking. Powell, like almost everyone in the room, first assumes the phone call is from the simulations team on hand to send "inputs"—simulated scenarios—into play for the day's training exercise. ...

8:37:56 --
WATSON: What?

DOOLEY: Whoa!

WATSON: What was that?

ROUNTREE: Is that real-world?

DOOLEY: Real-world hijack.WATSON: Cool! ...

"When they told me there was a hijack, my first reaction was 'Somebody started the exercise early,'" Nasypany later told me. 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. "I actually said out loud, 'The hijack's not supposed to be for another hour,'" Nasypany recalled. (The fact that there was an exercise planned for the same day as the attack factors into several conspiracy theories, though the 9/11 commission dismisses this as coincidence. After plodding through dozens of hours of recordings, so do I.)

08:43:06
-- FOX: I've never seen so much real-world stuff happen during an exercise.

... More than TWENTY MINUTES LATER and AFTER 2nd attack:

09:04:50

—Is this explosion part of that that we're lookin' at now on TV?
—Yes.

—Jesus …
—And there's a possible second hijack also—a United Airlines …

—Two planes?…

—Get the fuck out …

—I think this is a damn input, to be honest.

---------------

According to previous reports, "everybody" at NEADS originally thought the attacks were part of the exercise. We now have confirmation that even after the second strike, NORAD officials were still thinking that 9/11 was possibly all part of Vigilant Guardian, which included a hijack scenario scheduled for about same time.

The author's comments regarding "conspiracy theories" is regrettable:

"The fact that there was an exercise planned for the same day as the attack factors into several conspiracy theories, though the 9/11 commission dismisses this as coincidence. After plodding through dozens of hours of recordings, so do I."

Not too long ago, anyone who spoke of exercises during the attacks was labeled as 'conspiracy theorist'.

Plus, the last time I checked the 9/11 Commission's Final Report states that Vigilant Guardian "postulated a bomber attack from the former Soviet Union." The Commission said nothing about a hijack scenario.

Moreover, the Commission used apparently false testimony to imply that the exercise actually helped the response, which is...well...complete bullshit.

The Commission also neglected to mention any of the other exercises that were underway that day, such as Global Guardian, which will be the subject of an upcoming American Monitor report.

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