Hi, today I am handing this blog over to my wife, Lisa.
Guest blog by Lisa Franks, American citizen and proud native of New York City
I want to know who attacked my city and killed 3,000 people including my cousin who was at work in one of the Twin Towers on that fateful day.
We have all heard about the conspiracy theory from the 9/11 attacks on New York, Washington DC and Pennsylvania. The question is not whether the US government was involved somehow but how much involvement did they have in the attacks.
If you have seen footage of the explosions before the planes hit the towers, why there was no apparent ‘plane’ damage to the Pentagon on that fateful day or why there remains a mystery about the alleged crash site of UA93, then you have probably questioned the attacks too.
Now, new documents come to light over the involvement of Saudi Arabia in the attacks. Before delving into their involvement, let us not forget that Osama Bin Laden was himself Saudi. If we can piece the conspiracy together with this new theory, then maybe we will find the truth of how and why 3000 people were killed and another 6000 injured on that September morn.
Let’s start by putting the day’s timeline together:
- 7:59 am – American Airlines Flight 11, a Boeing 767 with 92 people aboard, takes off from Boston’s Logan International Airport en route to Los Angeles.
- 8:14 am – United Airlines Flight 175, a Boeing 767 with 65 people aboard, takes off from Boston; it is also headed to Los Angeles.
- 8:19 am – Flight attendants aboard Flight 11 alert ground personnel that the plane has been hijacked; American Airlines notifies the FBI.
- 8:20 am – American Airlines Flight 77 takes off from Dulles International Airport outside of Washington, D.C. The Boeing 757 is headed to Los Angeles with 64 people aboard.
- 8:24 am – Hijacker Mohammed Atta makes the first of two accidental transmissions from Flight 11 to ground control (apparently in an attempt to communicate with the plane’s cabin).
- 8:40 am – The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) alerts North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD)’s Northeast Air Defence Sector (NEADS) about the suspected hijacking of Flight 11. In response, NEADS scrambles two fighter planes located at Cape Cod’s Otis Air National Guard Base to locate and tail Flight 11; they are not yet in the air when Flight 11 crashes into the North Tower.
- 8:41 am – United Airlines Flight 93, a Boeing 757 with 44 people aboard, takes off from Newark International Airport en route to San Francisco. It had been scheduled to depart at 8:00 am, around the time of the other hijacked flights.
- 8:46 am – Mohammed Atta and the other hijackers aboard American Airlines Flight 11 crash the plane into floors 93-99 of the North Tower of the World Trade Centre, killing everyone on board and hundreds inside the building. With the first crash, it was thought to be a commuter plane that hit the North Tower.
- 8:47 am – Within seconds, NYPD and FDNY forces dispatch units to the World Trade Centre, while Port Authority Police Department officers on site begin immediate evacuation of the North Tower.
- 8:50 am – White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card alerts President George W. Bush that a plane has hit the World Trade Centre; the president is visiting an elementary school in Sarasota, Florida at the time.
- 9:02 am – After initially instructing tenants of the WTC’s South Tower to remain in the building, Port Authority officials broadcast orders to evacuate both towers via the public address system; an estimated 10,000 to 14,000 people are already in the process of evacuating.
- 9:03 am – Hijackers crash United Airlines Flight 175 into floors 75-85 of the WTC’s South Tower, killing everyone on board and hundreds inside the building. We now know these two incidents are terrorist attacks but who are the terrorists?
- 9:08 am – The FAA bans all take-offs of flights going to New York City or through the airspace around the city.
- 9:21 am – The Port Authority closes all bridges and tunnels in the New York City area.
- 9:24 am – The FAA notifies NEADS of the suspected hijacking of Flight 77 after some passengers and crew aboard are able to alert family members on the ground.
- 9:31 am – Speaking from Florida, President Bush calls the events in New York City an “apparent terrorist attack on our country.”
- 9:37 am – Hijackers aboard Flight 77 crash the plane into the western façade of the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., killing 59 aboard the plane and 125 military and civilian personnel inside the building. Since there was no wing damage to the Pentagon, where did they go? In fact, where did the plane go?
- 9:42 am – For the first time in history, the FAA grounds all flights over or bound for the continental United States. Some 3,300 commercial flights and 1,200 private planes are guided to airports in Canada and the United States over the next two-and-a-half hours.
- 9:45 am – Amid escalating rumours of other attacks, the White House and U.S. Capitol building are evacuated (along with numerous other high-profile buildings, landmarks and public spaces).
- 9:59 am – The South Tower of the World Trade Centre collapses. Why did the building seem to implode on itself?
- 10:07 am – After passengers and crew members aboard the hijacked Flight 93 contact friends and family and learn about the attacks in New York and Washington, they mount an attempt to retake the plane. In response, hijackers deliberately crash the plane into a field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, killing all 40 passengers and crew aboard. Really? Where did the plane go then?
- 10:28 am – The World Trade Centre’s North Tower collapses, 102 minutes after being struck by Flight 11. Again, this tower went down on itself. How is it possible that two buildings collapsed straight down on themselves? Coincidence? Twice? Was it a pre-planned demolition and needed reason to set the explosives off?
- 11 am – Mayor Rudolph Giuliani calls for the evacuation of Lower Manhattan south of Canal Street, including more than 1 million residents, workers and tourists, as efforts continue throughout the afternoon to search for survivors at the WTC site.
- 1 pm – From a U.S. Air Force base in Louisiana, President Bush announces that U.S. military forces are on high alert worldwide.
- 2:51 pm – The U.S. Navy dispatches missile destroyers to New York and Washington, D.C.
- 5:20 pm – The 47-story Seven World Trade Centre collapses after burning for hours; the building had been evacuated in the morning, and there are no casualties, though the collapse forces rescue workers to flee for their lives.
- 6:58 pm – President Bush returns to the White House after stops at military bases in Louisiana and Nebraska.
- 8:30 pm – President Bush addresses the nation, calling the attacks “evil, despicable acts of terror” and declaring that America, its friends and allies would “stand together to win the war against terrorism.”
So what can the world expect to see in the ’28 pages’ if and when they are declassified?
Tim Roemer, who was a member of both the joint congressional inquiry as well as the 9/11 Commission and has read the secret chapter three times, described the 28 pages as a “preliminary police report.”
Fifteen of the 19 hijackers were citizens of Saudi Arabia. The Saudi government says it has been “wrongfully and morbidly accused of complicity” in the attacks, is fighting extremists and working to clamp down on their funding channels. Still, the Saudis have long said that they would welcome declassification of the 28 pages because it would “allow us to respond to any allegations in a clear and credible manner.”
The pages were withheld from the 838-page report on the orders of President George W. Bush, who said the release could divulge intelligence sources and methods. Still, protecting US-Saudi diplomatic relations also was believed to have been a factor.
Neither the congressional inquiry nor the subsequent 9/11 Commission found any evidence that the Saudi government or senior Saudi officials knowingly supported those who orchestrated the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people.
Roemer said many questions remain about the roles of Fahad al Thumairy, an official at the Saudi consulate in Los Angeles who allegedly helped two of the hijackers find housing and transportation after they arrived in Southern California. Al Thumairy was later denied entry into the United States in May 2003 after the State Department alleged that he might be involved in terrorist activity. Roemer also wants to know more about Omar al Bayoumi, who was strongly suspected of being a Saudi spy and was alleged to have been helpful to the hijackers.
“We did not discover … Saudi government involvement at the highest level of the 9/11 attacks,” Roemer said. But he added: “We certainly did not exonerate the Saudis. … Saudi was a fertile ground for fundraising for al-Qaida. Some of these issues continue to be problems today. That’s why we need to continue to get to the bottom of this.”
Whatever the ’28 pages’ do reveal, however, I am sure they will not to throw any light onto the facts needed to answer the real questions: how did both of the twin towers collapse in exactly the same way as carefully demolished skyscrapers? Where did the plane go that was supposed to have hit the Pentagon? The hole was too small for it to have passed through and there was no debris from the aircraft left outside. And exactly where did UA93 go? If it flew into the supposed crash site, how was some debris allegedly found eight miles away? It just doesn’t add up.
Was flight 93 shot down? This has been denied but then it would be, wouldn’t it? Was the CIA or some other US government black-ops group involved? And, just how high up the chain of command was there knowledge of any covert US action? Did it reach the Commander-in-Chief in the Oval Office?