Red Flag – Transponders Not Required to Track Errant Aircraft

Most people don’t realize that on September 11th, planes were known to be high jacked and flying around the Eastern US for over 70 minutes.  After September 11th, many wondered why the United States Air Force was unable to stop the high jacked aircraft, especially American Airlines Flight 77 which struck the Pentagon.  American Airlines Flight 11 was high jacked at 8:14 am.  By 8:25 Boston air traffic controllers confirmed that the flight was indeed high jacked and the aircraft struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 8:46.   At 9:03, United Airlines Flight 175 struck the South Tower and at that time, the whole world knew that America was under attack.  It was not until 9:37 that American Airlines Flight 77 hit the Pentagon.

Therefore, it was a full hour and 10 minutes between the times the FAA knew that Flight 11 was high jacked and the time Flight 77 hit the Pentagon.  How could this happen?  The area around the Pentagon and Washington D.C. is some of the most heavily defended airspace in the world.  This fact led many to believe there had to be a stand down order issued which would have prevented Standard Operating Procedures from allowing these aircraft to be intercepted or possibly shot down.  A stand-down is defined as “a relaxation from a state of readiness or alert”.  This certainly took place regarding air defenses on 9/11.

One explanation offered was that the terrorists turned off the electronic device known as a transponder, which helps identify aircraft on radar.  As stated by the 9/11 Commission, it is possible, though more difficult, to track an aircraft by its primary radar returns without the transponder.  However, unlike transponder data, primary radar returns do not show the aircraft’s identity and altitude.

The 9-11 commission failed to consider the fact that the US military has more than just ground radar at their disposal.  In 2006 a golf ball was hit off the International Space Station.  New Scientist magazine reported that the ball was too small to be tracked by ground radar, but noted that,

“US military radar can track space debris as small as 10 centimeters across, and can sometimes see things as small as 5 centimeters wide if it is in just the right orbit.”

There are 35 USAF bases within range of the 9/11 flights, which included the restricted airspace surrounding the Pentagon, Capitol Hill and the White House.  It is hard to believe that a military which possesses such a highly-sophisticated radar system would not have been able to track the high jacked aircraft without a transponder signal.

Commercial airliners do not need their transponders turned on in order to be tracked by the US military.  If America was being attacked by aircraft belonging to a foreign power, it is ridiculous to think these enemy aircraft would have transponders installed to help the US Air Force shoot them down.  It is equally ridiculous to believe the US military lack the technology to track aircraft without a transponder signal.

To listen to this 9-11 Red Flag, click Play in the embedded player below. Click download if you would like to download the file for your media player or iPod.

New revelations in attack on American spy ship

New revelations in attack on American spy ship
Veterans, documents suggest U.S., Israel didn’t tell full story of deadly ’67 incident

|Tribune senior correspondent

Bryce Lockwood, Marine staff sergeant, Russian-language expert, recipient of the Silver Star for heroism, ordained Baptist minister, is shouting into the phone.

“I’m angry! I’m seething with anger! Forty years, and I’m seething with anger!”

Lockwood was aboard the USS Liberty, a super-secret spy ship on station in the eastern Mediterranean, when four Israeli fighter jets flew out of the afternoon sun to strafe and bomb the virtually defenseless vessel on June 8, 1967, the fourth day of what would become known as the Six-Day War.

ussliberty.jpgFor Lockwood and many other survivors, the anger is mixed with incredulity: that Israel would attack an important ally, then attribute the attack to a case of mistaken identity by Israeli pilots who had confused the U.S. Navy’s most distinctive ship with an Egyptian horse-cavalry transport that was half its size and had a dissimilar profile. And they’re also incredulous that, for years, their own government would reject their calls for a thorough investigation.

“They tried to lie their way out of it!” Lockwood shouts. “I don’t believe that for a minute! You just don’t shoot at a ship at sea without identifying it, making sure of your target!”

Four decades later, many of the more than two dozen Liberty survivors located and interviewed by the Tribune cannot talk about the attack without shouting or weeping.

Their anger has been stoked by the declassification of government documents and the recollections of former military personnel, including some quoted in this article for the first time, which strengthen doubts about the U.S. National Security Agency’s position that it never intercepted the communications of the attacking Israeli pilots — communications, according to those who remember seeing them, that showed the Israelis knew they were attacking an American naval vessel.
The documents also suggest that the U.S. government, anxious to spare Israel’s reputation and preserve its alliance with the U.S., closed the case with what even some of its participants now say was a hasty and seriously flawed investigation.

In declassifying the most recent and largest batch of materials last June 8, the 40th anniversary of the attack, the NSA, this country’s chief U.S. electronic-intelligence-gatherer and code-breaker, acknowledged that the attack had “become the center of considerable controversy and debate.” It was not the agency’s intention, it said, “to prove or disprove any one set of conclusions, many of which can be drawn from a thorough review of this material,” available at http://www.nsa.gov/liberty .

[Read more…]

The Military Drills of September 11th: Why a New Investigation is Needed

The Military Drills of September 11th: Why a New Investigation is Needed
by Elizabeth Woodworth
Global Research, September 27, 2007

Information regarding military exercises is classified and difficult to research. Though there was unusually high and confusing drill activity on 9/11, this strange coincidence has not gained much public notice. This essay quotes military officials from their own magazines, and compares their statements to what the 9/11 Commission wrote about the so-called surprise factor, and also to the Commission’s position that the drills aided the response.

Though both the 9/11 Commission Report and members of the Bush Administration repeatedly stated that the use of planes as weapons could not have been predicted, other official sources indicate that military exercises had been underway to counteract this very possibility.

3-f-18s.jpg1. Was it a Surprise that Hijacked Planes Were Used as Weapons on 9/11?

The element of surprise has been widely given (and quoted) as the reason why the 9/11 attacks were so successful against the world’s greatest military power.

Before proceeding to the statements on both sides of the issue, the context for these attacks should be understood in light of three defense procedures which were unusually and significantly changed in the months preceding 9/11:

1. A May 8th 2001 Statement by the President gave responsibility for coordinating, training and planning all national defense programs related to weapons of mass destruction to Vice President Cheney, whose office was not part of the National Command Authority. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta testified before the 9/11 Commission that he was present and observed Dick Cheney in the Presidential Emergency Operating Center tracking the position of Flight 77 for many miles as it approached the Pentagon.1 “Based on Norm Minetta’s testimony and other information, it appears that the military have regarded Cheney as a ‘Deputy Commander-in-Chief’. They also understand that he is the real power behind the throne…It appears that Vice President Dick Cheney was in charge of all the many air defense exercises that took place on the morning of September 11, 2001.”2

2. The 1997 hijacking scramble protocol CJCSI 3610, which distinguished emergent situations (requiring immediate action between the FAA and the military) from non-emergent situations (requiring decision input from the highest levels of the DoD) was rewritten June 1, 2001, as ordered by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.3 As a result, the number of fighter-interceptor scrambles fell from the usual average of 7-8 per month before the rewrite, to zero during the 3.3 months before September 11th, and to zero on September 11th itself.4

3. Changes in the dates of annual and semi-annual military air defense exercises resulted in an unprecedented concentration of air drills on September 11th, and included hijackings and drills in which planes hit buildings. These will be explored later.

The transfer of two line defense roles to senior members of the Bush-Cheney Administration, paired with the concentration of air drills on the day itself, raise serious questions regarding the success of the attacks.

[Read more…]

(Audio) NORAD Live and Un-Cut

NORAD Live and Un-Cut
Official Loose Change Blog

In August, 2006, Michael Bronner, a writer for Vanity Fair Magazine, received 30 hours of audiotape from the Northeast Air Defense Sector that chronicled their response on 9/11. Mr. Bronner released 10 minutes of audio from them in MP3 format.

norad.jpgIn August, 2007, we received 120 hours of audio, and are proud to release them in their entirety to the public.

There are 18 WAV files, each one approximately 180 megabytes in size and six hours in length. To download them, you will need a Bittorrent program. BitLord is recommended for PC and Azereus is recommended for Mac.

Download the torrent file here.

Many thanks to NORAD for sending us this material.

Loose Change Blog posting here.

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