9/11 attacks invited | TheUnion.com

9/11 attacks invited

These 9/11 attacks were arguably invited to happen by President Bush and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld when they dismantled standard protocol to intercept hijacked planes on June 1, 2001.

Before June 1, 2001, NORAD fighter interceptions of errant passenger planes were automatic and required no authorization from senior officials. Such interceptions were routine: 67 such fighter interceptions occurred between September 2000 and June 2001. On June 1, 2001, a new Pentagon directive scrapped this long-standing protocol and required all interceptions to be authorized by the secretary of defense.

Hence our skies were left undefended for practical purposes between June 1, 2001, and Sept. 11 at a time when warnings of terrorist attacks were at an all-time high. NORAD had even rehearsed intercepting passenger planes scripted as hijacked to be flown into the World Trade Center and Pentagon during the two years prior to Sept. 11.

NORAD was aware that hijacked planes were aloft between 8:38 a.m. when NORAD was informed of Flight 11 and 10:03 a.m. when Flight 93 crashed. But on the morning of Sept. 11, Rumsfeld failed to appear at the Pentagon NMCC to authorize any interceptions until all four hijacked planes were down.

Geordie Zapalac

Nevada City

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