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A Boulder moment. - Adventures in Engineering — LiveJournal
The wanderings of a modern ronin.

Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2006-05-08 00:09
  Subject:   A Boulder moment.
Public
  Mood:amused
I just had a Boulder moment! As I was taking the trash out to the dumpster, a Black suburban winds its way through the parking lot of my apartment complex. A guy with sunglasses leans out the window, a bullhorn in his hand.

The tinny bullhorn voice floats fourth...

"Wake up, America. 9/11 was an inside job! Your government is lying to you."

He sticks his head back inside, and the Suburban speeds up and drives away. Never can be too careful - those G-men lurk everywhere! Hahahhaa.

Now, I'll be the first to shout from the rooftops that the Bush II admn lied to us blatantly to get us into Iraq. And Bush deserves to be impeached 2,418 times over it - since that's the (current) number of soldiers killed there by his damned lies.

But 9/11 an inside job? 9/11 a vast conspiracy, orchestrated by the same government who, as Rumsfeld so eloquently put it, "has a worse PR organization than Al Qaida"?? The only "conspiracy" unfolding in this country is the one between Dubya's ears - the one that prompts him to check under his bed at night to make sure there are no TERRAH-ists or WMDs there...
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osmium_ocelot: flare
  User: osmium_ocelot
  Date: 2006-05-08 16:57 (UTC)
  Subject:   Re: Uhm... actually...
Keyword:flare
ah, then you're missing several salient points.

First off, I agree that Bush is an ideological idiot. But the point is, it isn't him. I'm not entirely sure who (though I'd bet on Cheney), but somebody VERY high.

The most important bits (which, by the way were ignored by the 9/11 commission, and every other investigation into the matter) are the parts that have to do with the breach of protocols and notification as pertains to aircraft in-flight.

Here :

Department of Defense (6/1/01) and FAA (7/12/01) procedure: In the event of a hijacking, the FAA hijack coordinator on duty at Washington headquarters requests the military to provide escort aircraft. Normally, NORAD escort aircraft take the required action. The FAA notifies the National Military Command Center by the most expeditious means. [DOD/, 6/1/01, FAA, 7/12/01, FAA 7/12/01]

"Pilots are supposed to hit each fix with pinpoint accuracy. If a plane deviates by 15 degrees, or two miles from that course, the flight controllers will hit the panic button. They’ll call the plane, saying "American 11, you’re deviating from course." It’s considered a real emergency, like a police car screeching down a highway at 100 miles an hour." [MSNBC, 9/12/01]

If NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) hears of any difficulties in the skies, they begin the work to scramble jet fighters [take off and intercept aircraft that are off course]. Between Sep 2000 and June 2001 fighters were scrambled 67 times. [AP, 8/12/02] When the Lear jet of golfer Payne Stewart didn’t respond in 1999, F-16 interceptors were quickly dispatched. According to an Air Force timeline, a series of military planes provided an emergency escort to Payne’s stricken Lear about 20 minutes after ground controllers lost contact with his plane. [Dallas Morning News, 10/26/99]

If you continue to read through the document, you'll see several aprroximately HALF HOUR delays in notifications, etc. And NO that isn't how it usually works. Intercepts are usually timely.

You can spend your time in worse ways than reading this, really.

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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
osmium_ocelot
  User: osmium_ocelot
  Date: 2006-05-11 11:50 (UTC)
  Subject:   Re: Uhm... actually...
yes... and if the transponder is off they're supposed to radio the plane and go "yo, sup? why's your transponder off?". And when you don't get a proper reply, that's kind of an indicator.

Please cite your sources for unarmed planes being scrambled and what time (to the minute) they went up. Also cite the supersonic pilots.

I can't think of any good reason why there was nearly a half hour delay between the time the flights were officially considered highjacked and NORAD was notified. Nor any good reason why it took so long for those planes to be considered highjacked. And that's the point. WTF took so long? Especially given our rapid response to these kinds of situations in the past?
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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
osmium_ocelot
  User: osmium_ocelot
  Date: 2006-05-11 23:38 (UTC)
  Subject:   Re: Uhm... actually...
First, there's a difference between conspiracy and the point at which you have to question "how much convenient coincidence is it before it's no longer convenient coincidence?" I am not a conspiracy theorist, nor do I subscribe to ANYTHING based on faith (which is nothing more than wishful thinking). I base my judgements on fact. That said :

Thank you for the citations. I'll look them up some time.
This still does not explain why it took so long to re-aquire the flights on radar. Nor does it explain why unarmed planes were sent up when armed planes were (supposedly) ready and available. As I've pointed out, our reaction to this kind of thing has been prompt and proper in the past, why was it screwed up this time?
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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
osmium_ocelot
  User: osmium_ocelot
  Date: 2006-05-12 16:51 (UTC)
  Subject:   Re: Uhm... actually...
To the best of my knowledge, air defense has a very good record of prompt response to off course planes (which is what I'm talking about, not hijackings, just the fact that a plane is off course by an unacceptable margin).

Unarmed F-15s are an unacceptable response to an off course flight; especially considering that (as I said) armed planes were (supposedly) ready and available for just this kind of thing. At the very least, whoever was responsible for sending up unarmed planes should have their head roll.

It doesn't matter _why_ the beacon has turned off. The response time should be the same, and worst case scenarios should always be assumed either hijacking or crash; and the response should be appropriate. In the past, as far as I know, this has been the case. Again, I ask, why the goddamn delay? If it really was just mass incompetence all at once, then why haven't heads rolled?

They're not trying to track the entire corridor, just a part of it. Planes only move so fast, and they've only been out of touch for so long. It isn't as much sky as you might think. And aren't those transponder signals overlayed on the radar? Should be a pretty easy task to look at the blips and see which one isn't showing a transponder signal. [granted I say all of this without any first hand experience as an air-traffic controller, perhaps we should get one on-hand to hash this out?]
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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
osmium_ocelot
  User: osmium_ocelot
  Date: 2006-05-13 00:50 (UTC)
  Subject:   Re: Uhm... actually...
1) I should have made it clear that it was my opinion and not any official rule that unarmed F-15s are an inappropriate response to a possible hijacking. I mean, what are they gonna do? Watch it happen? The webpage I linked that started all this (IIRC) cited sources for armed warbirds being ready.

2) Not sure where to start looking for that information. As I said, that was to the best of my knowledge. However, I shall endevour to remember to ask Tom (22 year Air Force Veteran) about it next time I see him (which ought to be soon).

3) As I noted, I'm not an air traffic controller. I'd like to have one on-hand to hash this bit out. I don't recall anything that came from the head of the FAA, nor anything about the hours post 9/11 incident. My reaction to the goings ons of that day was anything but typical of my fellow Americans. _I_ was expecting something like this to happen someday, and was not the least bit surprised that it did. Nor was I surprised by the idiotic kneejerk reactions of my government that followed (and continue to this day). I shrugged, got dressed, and went to work.

4) Where the hell did this come from? We're not talking about light aircraft, stealth aircraft, wooden aircraft, or remote controlled aircraft. It's a passenger jet with a big radar signature. Please don't mix apples and oranges.
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osmium_ocelot
  User: osmium_ocelot
  Date: 2006-05-16 01:10 (UTC)
  Subject:   Re: Uhm... actually...
okay, so I spoke to Tom tonight.

He concurs that sending up unarmed F-15s was inappropriate not only in theory, but in practice. Not only was it inane, but it goes against regulations.

He also confirms that armed planes were ready and available at bases closer to the incidents then those that were called to intercept. Those sent to intercept were also improperly vectored over the ocean (for no good reason or explination yet given).

So, this continues to beg the quetion : how could the system possibly have failed so badly? If it wasn't at least in part an inside job then what the hell really did happen and why hasn't anyone gotten to the bottom of it? (I'll note here that the 9/11 commission FAILED to do so)
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