This report serves to refute claims by the Bush Administration that they could have predicted that an airplane could be used in a terrorist attack.
In the words of Condoleeza Rice at her 16 May 2002 Press Conference:
RICE: "I don't think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon, that they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile."
In the words of Sec Donald Rumsfeld in testimony at the 9/11 commission in March 2004:
BEN-VENISTE: ... So it seems to me when you make the statement, sir, that we didn't know that planes might be used as weapons in the summer of 2001, I just have to take issue with that.
RUMSFELD: Well, I didn't say we didn't know. I said I didn't know. And if I just was handed a civil aviation circular that people did know. And they sent it out on June 22nd, 2001.
What was the underlying purpose of the staged exercise in late October 2000.
Was it intended to prevent an actual terrorist attack on the Pentagon, or was some other objective being served.
In the words of one commentator: '
"Was this drill a coincidence, or was it planning for something the Pentagon already KNEW was going to take place?"
Who ordered the holding of this exercise?
Rumsfeld's statement under oath at the 9/11 Commission suggests that "he did not know" about an exercise which had been ordered by the Pentagon's Emergency Management Team and involved a large number of Pentagon staff.
Michel Chossudovsky, 3 April 2004
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