Clearly that cannot be correct, and once again the testimonies of the pilots differ greatly from NORAD’s explanations. The pilot “Honey” claimed the F-16s were in fact flying toward New York City, not Washington. They were 30 or 40 miles to the east of Washington, not south of it, when they saw a black column of smoke coming from the city. They then headed to Washington instead. [Among the Heroes, by Jere Longman, 8/02, p. 76] By contrast, two of the pilots have claimed their destination was always Washington [ABC News, 9/11/02, AP, 8/13/02 (C)], while NORAD officer Major James Fox claims he dispatched the fighters without any target. [Newhouse News, 1/25/02] So the issue certainly is confused.
Interestingly, at the May 2003 hearing, NORAD officials claimed that the fighters from Langley were sent to fly over the Atlantic Ocean instead of heading directly toward Washington. [NORAD Testimony, 5/23/03] This would jibe with “Honey” ‘s account of the fighters being too far east. NORAD officials admitted that had the fighters traveled faster and headed directly toward Washington, they could have theoretically arrived there before Flight 77. But NORAD claims the fighters had to fly over the ocean because NORAD didn’t have jurisdiction over land. [NORAD Testimony, 5/23/03] Said NORAD Commander Major General Larry Arnold: “Anything that takes off in the United States is considered a law enforcement issue—- or was considered a law enforcement issue, prior to Sept. 11.” [AP, 5/23/03 (C)] Arnold added, “And, of course, [the fighters were] out over water because our mission, unlike law enforcement’s mission is to protect things coming towards the United States.” [NORAD Testimony, 5/23/03] This makes no sense, especially given that earlier in the day fighters flew over land to reach New York City, and that NORAD officials decided to override official regulations from the first word of the first hijacking. Were they hoping the hijacked planes would oblige them and join their fighters out over the ocean? If we add “Honey” ‘s account suggesting that the Langley fighters actually took off later than admitted and headed toward New York City, and if we believe NORAD’s original explanation that no fighters at all scrambled until after the Pentagon was hit, then we can at least see an explanation as to why the Langley fighters would have been headed toward New York City. But the level of incompetence this implies is breathtaking.
Pages: 1· 2
No feedback yet
Form is loading...