FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

What You Won’t See in Flight 93, the Film

by JAMES RIDGEWAY

The only people to defend the United States on 911 were the passengers and crews of the 4 hijacked planes.

The President and the Secretary of Defense, the two top officials in the chain of command responsible for defense the country were out of commission. Dick Cheney, the vice president, who under the constitution has no authority to issue orders, was running the country from the White House bunker. The FAA and the military were nowhere.

On Flight 11, flight attendants Betty Ong and Amy Sweeney were on the phone to American Airlines ground personnel minutes after the hijacking began. Even though both the FAA and the airlines had been warned more than 50 times in the months preceding the attack, officials on the ground reacted with skepticism an annoyance to Betty Ong’s desperate call.

According to one account by people who have listened to all the tapes, American Airlines people were anxious to keep what was going on secret. An American Airlines tape, according to Gail Sheehy in the New York Observer, shows the managers were concerned about keeping things secret. People who listened to the tapes said there were statements including the following: “Keep it close,’’ “keep it quiet’’, “Let’s keep this among ourselves.’’

So in those terrifying minutes before the first hit, two brave women on the phone inside Flight 11 were calmly telling American Airlines ground officials exactly what was happening.

The airline’s reaction: Nothing. It did absolutely nothing.

The managers could have picked up a phone and told all their pilots what was going on. Indeed they co told all pilots in the air what was happening. They could have called officials in New York. There is a real likelihood people at least could have evacuated the second tower.

If someone on the ground had acted, Flight 93, sitting on the Newark airport tarmac, might well have avoided the hijack.

Flight 93 took off at 8:42 that morning, a few minutes before the Flight 11 struck the WTC. It was not hijacked until 9:28. It is simple fact that the FAA, American Airlines and the military knew about the 911 hijacking before Flight 93 took off. Before its cockpit was seized two planes had hit the World Trade Center.

The 911 Commission report states it clearly: “As news of the hijackings filtered through the FAA and the airlines, it does not seem to have occurred to their leadership that they needed to alert other aircraft in the air that they too might be at risk.’’

The 911 Commission found “no evidence…that American Airlines ever sent any cockpit warnings to its aircraft on 911.’’ United’s first decisive move to inform its pilots occurred at 9:19 when a United Flight dispatcher, on his own initiative, notified the airline’s intercontinental flights: “Beware any cockpit intrusion. Two a/c [aircraft] hit World Trade Center.’’

Flight 93 got this warning at 9:24. Two minutes later the pilot responded and asked for confirmation. And two minutes later flight controllers in Cleveland heard shouts from the cockpit: “Hey get out of here … get out of here … get out of here.’’

The pilot had heard the warning, but had not had time to react.

The only people who were aware of the earlier hijackings that day and used their knowledge to take decisive and effective action were the passengers on Flight 93.

JAMES RIDGEWAY is the author of “Five Unanswered Questions about 911.’’ Seven Stories Press.

 

 

 

 

 

James Ridgeway is an investigative reporter in Washington, DC. He co-edits Solitary Watch.

More articles by:
July 26, 2016
Nyla Ali Khan
Regionalism, Ethnicity, and Trifurcation: All in the Name of National Integration
Andrew Feinberg
The Good TPP
400 US Academics
Letter to US Government Officials Concerning Recent Events in Turkey
July 25, 2016
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
As the Election Turns: Trump the Anti-Neocon, Hillary the New Darling of the Neocons
Ted Rall
Hillary’s Strategy: Snub Liberal Democrats, Move Right to Nab Anti-Trump Republicans
William K. Black
Doubling Down on Wall Street: Hillary and Tim Kaine
Russell Mokhiber
Bernie Delegates Take on Bernie Sanders
Quincy Saul
Resurgent Mexico
Andy Thayer
Letter to a Bernie Activist
Patrick Cockburn
Erdogan is Strengthened by the Failed Coup, But Turkey is the Loser
Robert Fisk
The Hypocrisies of Terror Talk
Lee Hall
Purloined Platitudes and Bipartisan Bunk: An Adjunct’s View
Binoy Kampmark
The Futility of Collective Punishment: Russia, Doping and WADA
Nozomi Hayase
Cryptography as Democratic Weapon Against Demagoguery
Cesar Chelala
The Real Donald Trump
Julian Vigo
The UK’s Propaganda Machinery and State Surveillance of Muslim Children
Denis Conroy
Australia: Election Time Blues for Clones
Marjorie Cohn
Killing With Robots Increases Militarization of Police
David Swanson
RNC War Party, DNC War Makers
Eugene Schulman
The US Role in the Israeli-Palestine Conflict
Nauman Sadiq
Imran Khan’s Faustian Bargain
Peter Breschard
Kaine the Weepy Executioner
Weekend Edition
July 22, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Good as Goldman: Hillary and Wall Street
Joseph E. Lowndes
From Silent Majority to White-Hot Rage: Observations from Cleveland
Paul Street
Political Correctness: Handle with Care
Richard Moser
Actions Express Priorities: 40 Years of Failed Lesser Evil Voting
Eric Draitser
Hillary and Tim Kaine: a Match Made on Wall Street
Conn Hallinan
The Big Boom: Nukes And NATO
Ron Jacobs
Exacerbate the Split in the Ruling Class
Jill Stein
After US Airstrikes Kill 73 in Syria, It’s Time to End Military Assaults that Breed Terrorism
Jack Rasmus
Trump, Trade and Working Class Discontent
John Feffer
Could a Military Coup Happen Here?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Late Night, Wine-Soaked Thoughts on Trump’s Jeremiad
Andrew Levine
Vice Presidents: What Are They Good For?
Michael Lukas
Law, Order, and the Disciplining of Black Bodies at the Republican National Convention
David Swanson
Top 10 Reasons Why It’s Just Fine for U.S. to Blow Up Children
Victor Grossman
Horror News, This Time From Munich
Margaret Kimberley
Gavin Long’s Last Words
Mark Weisbrot
Confidence and the Degradation of Brazil
Brian Cloughley
Boris Johnson: Britain’s Lying Buffoon
Lawrence Reichard
A Global Crossroad
Kevin Schwartz
Beyond 28 Pages: Saudi Arabia and the West
Charles Pierson
The Courage of Kalyn Chapman James
Michael Brenner
Terrorism Redux
Bruce Lerro
Being Inconvenienced While Minding My Own Business: Liberals and the Social Contract Theory of Violence
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail