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Guilty for 9-11
Section 3: Bush in the Open

by Illarion Bykov and Jared Israel
Posted: January 18, 2002

From the Emperor's Clothes

We have demonstrated that normal air safety and air defense measures were not employed on September 11th. This is extraordinary because 9-11 was the only day that four airplanes were hijacked in the U.S., not to mention the only day that three planes crashed into key buildings in New York City and Washington, DC.

We have argued that this stand-down of the air protection systems could not have occurred absent the involvement of top officials. We have named George Walker Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and General Richard B. Myers.

Why these three men?

Authority in the U.S. military stems from a person's position in the military chain-of-command. The President and the Secretary of Defense are the two top positions in the military chain-of-command. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is part of the communications chain and can be given specific responsibilities by the President and/or Secretary of Defense. On 11 September, George Bush was President. Donald Rumsfeld was Secretary of Defense. And General Richard B. Myers was Acting Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

These three men had critical responsibilities for the protection of New York and Washington, DC that day. According to the information which is publicly available, they shirked their duties.

Their behavior, as described in the media, presents the appearance of bewilderment, naiveté and lack of preparedness. But we shall prove this appearance was contrived.

Let us begin at the top of the chain-of-command.

GEORGE WALKER BUSH.

On 9-11 President Bush was in Sarasota, Florida on the second day of a two-day tour. Bush's plans for that day were publicly known in advance.

Many people are confused concerning what President Bush knew and when he knew it that morning.

The reason for this confusion is that, later on, Ari Fleischer, Bush's press secretary, Richard Cheney, his Vice President and President Bush himself issued contradictory accounts of what Bush did that morning.

Fortunately, newspaper and TV people were with President Bush in Florida on September 11. Their eyewitness reports paint a clear picture.

In this section of the Summary of Evidence, we will:

* a) establish what Bush and his staff knew prior to his entering the classroom at the Booker School and

* b) consider some implications.

In future sections we will examine Bush's actual visit to the Booker School and his departure from Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport in Florida later that morning. We will also examine the cover stories floated, later on, by Fleischer, Cheney and by President Bush himself.

BUSH KNEW ABOUT THE FIRST CRASH BEFORE ENTERING BOOKER SCHOOL

Associated Press reporter Sonya Ross was one of the journalists covering Bush's trip to Florida on the morning of 9-11. Ms. Ross was either on her way to the Booker School or already there when she learned of the first WTC crash:

"My cell phone rang as President Bush's motorcade coursed toward Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, Fla. A colleague reported that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center in New York. No further information.

"I called the AP desk in Washington, seeking details. Same scant information. But I knew it had to be grim. I searched for a White House official to question, but none was on hand until 9:05 a.m. "

Ms. Ross 'searched for a White House official' because she knew Bush's people would be better informed than the Associated Press.

BUSH TRAVELS WITH A POWERFUL STAFF

President Bush is not an ordinary person. He travels with an entire staff. They are responsible for receiving, filtering and conveying administrative and military information. Chief of Staff Andrew Card organizes and coordinates these staff members and communicates with the President. In addition, Bush has the Secret Service, which is responsible for his safety.

The members of this support team have the best communications equipment in the world. They maintain contact with, or can easily reach, Bush's cabinet, the National Military Command Center (NMCC) in the Pentagon, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and Secret Service agents who have stayed behind at the White House, etc.

Since the President's information system is far more extensive and sophisticated than what is available to a reporter, it seems more than plausible that by the time Ms. Ross heard about the first WTC crash - that is, as the Bush motorcade was speeding to Booker Elementary School - the president already knew about this tragic event. Public sources confirm this.

ABC journalist John Cochran was traveling with the President. He reported on ABC TV on Tuesday morning:

"Peter, as you know, the president's down in Florida talking about education. He got out of his hotel suite this morning, was about to leave, reporters saw the White House chief of staff, Andy Card, whisper into his ear. The reporter said to the president, 'Do you know what's going on in New York?' He said he did, and he said he will have something about it later. His first event is about half an hour at an elementary school in Sarasota, Florida."
'ABC News' Special Report

So Bush knew about the first WTC incident before leaving his hotel.

What else did he know?

1) John Cochran reports that President Bush did not respond to Andrew Card. It is inconceivable that a living person could be told that a plane had just ploughed into the biggest building in New York and have no response. So Bush must have known before Card whispered in his ear.

2) This is confirmed by the fact that shortly after Card spoke to him, Bush told a reporter that he would make a statement later. Bush would not have said that without discussing the situation with his Chief of Staff and others.

DID BUSH KNOW THE WTC CRASH WAS A TERRORIST ATTACK?

This question is answered by something Vice President Richard Cheney revealed, probably unwittingly, on MEET THE PRESS, Sunday, September 16th.

Even without John Cochran's report on ABC, Cheney's comments constitute evidence that before President Bush went to the Booker School he knew a plane had been hijacked and then crashed into the WTC.

Cheney was talking with MEET THE PRESS journalist Tim Russert about the flight path of American Flight 77, which struck the Pentagon. Here's the exchange:

"VICE PRES. CHENEY: ...As best we can tell, they [American Flight 77] came initially at the White House and...

"MR. RUSSERT: The plane actually circled the White House?

"VICE PRES. CHENEY: Didn't circle it, but was headed on a track into it. The Secret Service has an arrangement with the F.A.A. They had open lines after the World Trade Center was... "

"MR. RUSSERT: Tracking it by radar.

"VICE PRES. CHENEY: And when it entered the danger zone and looked like it was headed for the White House was when they grabbed me and evacuated me to the basement... (Etc.)" MEET THE PRESS Transcript

Cheney stopped before completing his sentence. But it is obvious that the sentence should have ended with the word 'hit' or something similar. Thus:

"The Secret Service has an arrangement with the F.A.A. They had open lines after the World Trade Center was hit."

The Secret Service had a special connection with the FAA so that it could rapidly access information relevant to the President's safety. After the first WTC attack, the connection between the FAA and the Secret Service was elevated to the level of open lines.

(In a similar fashion, orders issued by the FAA and the Joint Chiefs of Staff require heightened contact between the FAA and the National Military Command Center (NMCC) during hijackings. See 'Guilty for 9-11.

Therefore, by the time American Flight 11 crashed into the World Trade Center, around 8:46, and most likely before that happened, the Secret Service knew what the FAA knew.

So, what did the FAA know?

The FAA admits that at 8:20 it 'suspected' that American Flight 11 had been hijacked. And according to the official story released Sept. 14th:

"8:40 [the] FAA notifie[s] NEADS (the Northeast Air Defense Sector) of NORAD, the military's civil defense system, about Flight 11, [i.e., that it had been hijacked.]" Newsday 23 September 2001

Therefore, based on the official story, the Secret Service knew by 8:40 or before that Flight 11 had been hijacked. And since the FAA was tracking Flight 11, as was the National Military Command Center, which is notified of hijackings and has access to radar from all over the country, it is definite that at 8:46 the Secret Service knew a hijacked plane had crashed into the World Trade Center.

So according to the official story, before the President entered the Booker School, indeed, apparently before he left his hotel, the Secret Service knew that, for the first time in US history, the country had been attacked by terrorists from the air.

The Secret Service, which employs more than 4,000 people, has several responsibilities. The most important is protecting the President. And surely, this means first of all keeping him out of unnecessary danger because prevention is better than cure. This is especially true in regard to certain dangers:

"During the cold war, when security agents used to play war games involving terrorist threats to the White House, the one unsolvable problem was a commercial airliner loaded with explosives working its way into the landing pattern at Washington National Airport, then veering off for a suicide plunge into the White House." (TIME Magazine)

The Secret Service has long been aware that one of the trickiest security dangers is posed by a suicide attack from a hijacked commercial airplane from a nearby airport. On a day when planes were being hijacked from different airports and crashing into buildings, a top security precaution would be to keep the President away from a publicly announced appointment at a building near an airport.

The Booker School is fewer than 5 miles from the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport.

HERE'S WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR

1) Before President Bush left his hotel, the Secret Service knew a hijacked plane had ploughed into the World Trade Center, a building that symbolized US power.

2) The President is the most obvious individual target for a terrorist attack.

3) The President was scheduled to visit the Booker School that morning. The visit was of no importance - that is, he could easily cancel it. His schedule was publicly known, down to the minute he would give a televised talk on education - 9:30.

4) Assuming the official story was entirely true, there was every reason to believe that a terrorist had flown a plane into the WTC. Therefore a terrorist might fly a plane into the Booker School to kill Bush - arguably a bigger victory than ramming the WTC. This danger was increased by the proximity of Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport.

Moreover, the WTC attack might signal the start of a broader terrorist attack, In that case it was certainly possible that heavily armed terrorists would attack the Booker School on the ground.

HERE IS THE BURNING QUESTION:

Given the Secret Service's obligation to protect the President;

Given the Secret Service's open line to the FAA and therefore its knowledge that a plane had been hijacked and subsequently ploughed into the World Trade Center;

Given the potentially deadly threat to President Bush if he proceeded to a public place, on schedule, as announced the day before and known to everyone in the region;

There is only one explanation for the Secret Service allowing President Bush to take the deadly risk of going to the Booker School on the morning of September 11th.

George Walker Bush knew the plans for 9-11. And because he knew those plans, he knew that nobody was going to attack the Booker School.

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