6. Why did the NORAD air defense network fail to intercept the four hijacked jets?
During the depths of the Cold War, Americans went to bed with the somewhat reassuring belief that jet fighters would intercept anyone launching a first strike against the United States. That myth was shattered on 9/11, when four hijacked-jetliners-turned-into-deadly-missiles cruised the American skies with impunity for nearly two hours.
Why did the North American Aerospace Defense Command seem unaware of literally dozens of warnings that hijacked jetliners could be used as weapons? Why does NORAD claim it did not learn that Flight 11 - the first jet to strike the World Trade Center about 8:45 a.m. - had been hijacked until 8:40 a.m., some 25 minutes after the transponder was shut off and an astounding 15 minutes after flight controllers heard a hijacker say, "We have some planes..."?
Why didn't the fighters that were finally scrambled at Otis Air Force Base in Massachusetts and Langley Air Force Base in Virginia fly at top, supersonic speeds? Why didn't fighters immediately take off from Andrews Air Force Base, just outside Washington, D.C.? Why was nothing done to intercept American Airlines Flight 77, which struck the Pentagon, when officials knew it had been had been hijacked some 47 minutes earlier?
And why has no one been disciplined for the worst breakdown in national defense since Pearl Harbor?
7. Why did President Bush continue reading a story to Florida grade-schoolers for nearly a half-hour during the worst attack on America in its history?
In arguably the greatest understatement in U.S. history, Bush told a questioner at a California town-hall meeting in January 2002 that 9/11 'was an interesting day.' Interesting, indeed. In the two years since the attacks, questions have only grown about the president's bizarre behavior that morning, when he was informed in a Sarasota classroom that America was under attack.
'I couldn't stop watching the president sitting there, listening to second-graders, while my husband was burning in a building,' World Trade Center widow Lorie van Auken, a leader of relatives of Sept. 11 victims who have raised questions about the attacks, told Gail Sheehy in the New York Observer.
Why did Bush read a children's story about a pet goat and stay in the classroom for more than a half-hour after the first plane struck the World Trade Center and roughly 15 minutes after Chief of Staff Andrew Card told him that it had been a deliberate attack? Why didn't he take more decisive action, and why wasn't he hustled to a secure area while the attacks were clearly still under way?
Conspiracy advocates have cited these strange lapses as evidence that Bush knew about the attacks ahead of time, but why would anyone with advance knowledge appear so clueless?
For the record I do not believe the Bush administration could conduct a conspiracy with any greater efficiency than they do other things. Given the choice between conspiracy and cock-up I'll go with the cock-up every time.
Thanks to Seeing the Forest for the link.