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Cheney to Oversee Domestic Counterterrorism Efforts
President announces new homeland defence initiative
Therefore, I have asked Vice President Dick Cheney to oversee the development of a coordinated national effort so that we may do the very best possible job of protecting our people from catastrophic harm. I have also asked Joe Allbaugh, the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to create an Office of National Preparedness. This office will be responsible for implementing the results of those parts of the national effort overseen by Vice President Cheney that deal with consequence management.
Specifically it will coordinate all federal programs dealing with weapons of mass destruction consequence management within the Departments of Defence, Health and Human services, Justice, and Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies…
- Official Statement of President George W. Bush, May 8, 2001
Office of the Press Secretary, The White House
"On August 6, 2001, the president's intelligence briefing included a response to questions that he had earlier raised about any Al Qaeda intentions to strike our homeland. This briefing item was not prompted by any specific threat information. And it did not raise the possibility that terrorists might use airplanes as missiles."
- Condi Rice's Testimony Before The 9/11 Commission
“No, the enemy hit us. The enemy hit us. They didn't know who they were hitting. They probably thought after 9/11/2001 that maybe a couple lawsuits would be filed against them.” (Sep. 27, 2002)
- This statement has been repeated atleast 64 times by Bush www.dubyaspeak.com...
NORAD also has confirmed it was running two mock drills on September 11 at various radar sites and command centers in the United States and Canada, including air force bases in upstate New York, Florida, Washington, and Alaska. One drill, Operation Vigilant Guardian, began a week before September 11 and reflected a cold war mind-set: Participants practiced for an attack across the North Pole by Russian forces.
Investigators at the September 11 commission confirm they are investigating whether NORAD’s attention was drawn in one direction – toward the North Pole – while the hijackings came from an entirely different direction.
“[FAA Administrator] Jane [Garvey] where’s Norm?” I asked.
They were frantically looking for Norman Mineta, the Secretary of Transportation, and, like me, a rare holdover from the Clinton administration. At first FAA could not find him.
”Well, Jane, can you order aircraft down? We’re going to have to clear the airspace around Washington and New York”
“We may have to do a lot more than that, Dick. I already put a hold on all take-offs and landings in New York and Washington, but we have reports of eleven aircraft off course or out of communications, maybe hijacked.”
I turned to the radar screen. “JCS, JCS. I assume NORAD has scrambled fighters and AWACS. How many? Where?”
”Not a pretty picture Dick.” Dick Myers, himself a fighter pilot, knew that the days when we had scores of fighters on strip alert had ended with the cold war. “We are in the middle of Vigilant Warrior, a NORAD exercise, but… Otis has launched two birds toward New York. Langely [Air force Base] is trying to get two up now…
It was now 9:28.”
Northern Vigilance, planned months in advance, involves deploying fighter jets to locations in Alaska and Northern Canada. Part of the exercise is pure simulation, but part if real world. NORAD is keeping a close eye on the Russians, who have dispatched long-range bomber to their own high north on a similar exercise…
The Federal Aviation Administration has evidence of a hijacking and is asking for NORAD support. This is not part of the exercise.
In a flash, Operation Northern Vigilance is called off. Any simulated information, what’s known as an “inject” is purged from the screen…
“Lots of other reports were starting to come in, “ [Major General Rick] Findley [Director of NORAD operations] recalls. “And now you’re not too sure. If they’re that clever to co-ordinate that kind of attack, what else is taking place across North America?”
WASHINGTON – In what the government describes as a bizarre coincidence, one US intelligence agency was planning an exercise last September 11 in which an errant aircraft would crash into one of it’s buildings.
An announcement for an upcoming Homeland Security conference in Chicago first noted the exercise.
In a promotion for speaker John Fulton, a CIA officer assigned as chief of NRO’s strategic gaming division, the announcement says,
”On the morning of September 11th 2001, Mr. Fulton an his team… were running a pre-planned simulation to explore the emergency response issues that would be created if a plane were to strike a building. Little did they know that the scenario would come true in a dramatic way that day.”
“Tech. Sgt. Jeremy W. Powell of … Northeast Air Defence Sector (NEADS) in Rome, NY, took the first call from Boston Center. He notified NEADS Commander Col. Robert K. Marr Jr. of a possible hijacked airliner, American Airlines Flight 11.
’Part of the exercise?’ the Colonel wondered. No, this is a real world event, he was told. Several days into a semi-annual exercise known as Vigilant Guardian….”
“Lt. Col. Dawne Deskins figured it would be a long day….
September 11 was Day 2 of ‘Vigilant Guardian,’ an exercise that would pose an imaginary crisis to North American Air Defence outputs nationwide…
At 8:40, Deskins noticed senior technician Jeremy Powell waving his hand. Boston Center was on the line, he said. It had a hijacked airliner.
It must be part of the exercise,’ Deskins thought.”
Subject: Exercise Scenario
In defence of my last unit, NORAD.
For POSITIVE FORCE/RSOI in Apr 01, the NORAD exercise developers wanted an event having a terrorist group hijack a commercial airliner (foreign carrier) and fly it into the Pentagon. PACOM [Pacific Command] didn’t want it because it would take attention from their exercise objectives, and Joint Staff action officers rejected it as too unrealistic.
Concerns that terrorists might use hijacking airlines as missiles date back to the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta, when jets were placed on patrol to guard against such a threat.
WASHINGTON – In the two years before the Sept 11 attacks, the North American Aerospace Command conducted exercises simulating what the White House says was unimaginable at the time: hijacked airliners used as weapons to crash into targets and cause mass casualties.
One of the imagined targets was The World Trade Centre. In another exercise, jets performed a mock shoot down over the Atlantic Ocean of a jet supposedly laden with chemical poisons headed toward a target in the United States. In a third scenario, the target was the Pentagon – but that drill was not run after defence officials said it was unrealistic, NORAD and Defence officials say…
“Numerous types of civilian and military aircraft were used as mock hijacked aircraft,” the statement said, “These exercises tested track detection and identification; scramble and interception; hijack procedures; internal and external agency coordination and operational security and communications security procedures…
A White House spokesman said Sunday that the Bush administration was unaware of the exercises. But the exercises using real aircraft show that at least one part of the government thought the possibility of such attacks, thou unlikely, merited scrutiny…
In early drills, including one operation, planned in July 2001 and conducted later, that involved planes from airports in Utah and Washington State that were “hijacked”. Those planes were escorted by US and Canadian aircraft to airfields in British Columbia and Alaska”
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Sometime between 1991 and 2001, a regional sector of the North American Aerospace Defence Command simulated a foreign hijacked airliner crashing into a building in the United States as part of a training exercise scenario, a NORAD spokesman said Monday…
Military officials said the exercise involved simulating a crash into a building that would be recognizable if identified, but was not the WTC or the Pentagon…
The identity of the building named in the exercise I classified...
The sector exercise involved some flying of military aircraft as well as a command post exercise in which communications procedures were practised in an office environment…
NORAD has the ongoing mission of defence of US air space…
According to a statement from NORAD, “Before September 11th 01, NORAD regularly conducted a variety of exercises that included hijack scenarios. These exercises tested track detection and identification; scramble and interception; hijack procedures..”
NORAD did not plan and execute these types of exercises because we thought the scenarios were probable. These exercises were artificial simulations that provided us the opportunity to test and validate our process and rules of engagement with the appropriate coordination between NORAD’s command headquarters, its subordinate regions and sectors and National Command authorities in Canada and the United States
The transcript is as follows.
POWER: At half past nine this morning we were actually running an exercise for a company of over a thousand people in London based on simultaneous bombs going off precisely at the railway stations where it happened this morning, so I still have the hairs on the back of my neck standing up right now.
HOST: To get this quite straight, you were running an exercise to see how you would cope with this and it happened while you were running the exercise?
POWER: Precisely, and it was about half past nine this morning, we planned this for a company and for obvious reasons I don't want to reveal their name but they're listening and they'll know it. And we had a room full of crisis managers for the first time they'd met and so within five minutes we made a pretty rapid decision that this is the real one and so we went through the correct drills of activating crisis management procedures to jump from slow time to quick time thinking and so on.
Counterterrorism expert Juval Aviv spoke with FOX Fan Central about what Americans can do to protect themselves in case of a terror attack.
Do you believe another terrorist attack is likely on American soil?
I predict, based primarily on information that is floating in Europe and the Middle East, that an event is imminent and around the corner here in the United States. It could happen as soon as tomorrow, or it could happen in the next few months. Ninety days at the most.