Another Look At Norman Mineta's Testmony

After seeing the following paragraph today in Nafeez Ahmed's latest piece on 9/11, I thought maybe I should post this on blogger.

Here is the paragraph from Nafeez's piece:

There are related issues here of public safety. For instance, technologies were in place to remotely direct the hijacked aircraft to avoid the terrible scenario unfolding. “Most modern aircraft have some form of autopilot that could be re-programmed to ignore commands from a hijacker and instead take direction from the ground,” Jeff Gosling of the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, told the New Scientist one day after 9/11. Why were these technologies not used to save the aircraft? Why did the 9/11 Commission not bother to ask the same question?

Norman Mineta stated during his testimony before the 9/11 Commission:

"During the time that the airplane was coming in to the Pentagon, there was a young man who would come in and say to the Vice President, "The plane is 50 miles out." "The plane is 30 miles out." And when it got down to "the plane is 10 miles out," the young man also said to the Vice President, "Do the orders still stand?" And the Vice President turned and whipped his neck around and said, "Of course the orders still stand. Have you heard anything to the contrary?"

During this testimony, Lee Hamilton made sure that Norman Mineta eventually "agreed" that the order was a "Shoot-Down" order.

MR. HAMILTON: Let me see if I understand. The plane that was headed toward the Pentagon and was some miles away, there was an order to shoot that plane down.

MR. MINETA: Well, I don't know that specifically, but I do know that the airplanes were scrambled from Langley or from Norfolk, the Norfolk area. But I did not know about the orders specifically other than listening to that other conversation.

MR. HAMILTON: But there very clearly was an order to shoot commercial aircraft down.

MR. MINETA: Subsequently I found that out.

As you can see, Norman Mineta didn't find out until later that it was a "Shoot-Down" order. We have no idea what that order was. The "young man" was never brought before the 9/11 Commission that I know of. If he was, it wasn't mentioned in the 9/11 Report.

The biggest question I have about this part in Norman Mineta's testimony is why would the "young man" feel the need to run in and out of the room if he was given a "Shoot-Down" order?

I would think, and if you're in the military, please correct me if I'm wrong, but I would think that if the "young man" was given a "Shoot-Down" order, he would wait for confirmation of the shoot-down, and then go tell Cheney about it.

He wouldn't run in and out of the room, finally asking if the orders still stood would he? The very question itself indicates that whatever the orders were, he questioned them.

I have speculated in the past that the order he questioned was in fact, a "Stand-Down" order. It made sense because the plane was never intercepted, and ultimately crashed into the Pentagon.

The problem with that theory is that the young man questioned the orders at 10 miles out. Would they have been able to stop the plane with an intercept with such short notice? I don't think so. I could be wrong.

The other possibility for a "Stand-Down" is for the Pentagon's defenses. Whatever they may have been at the time. According to April Gallup, the Pentagon had missile batteries. According to Wayne Madsen, the Pentagon didn't have missile batteries at the time, but did have what are known as "Phalanx Close-In Weapon System (CIWS)." According to WorldNetDaily, the Pentagon didn't have any defenses.

Defense Department officials actually considered a terrorist scenario in which Islamic fundamentalist martyrs crashed planes into the otherwise impregnable Pentagon, but they ruled out countermeasures, such as anti-aircraft batteries and radar, as too costly and too dangerous to surrounding residential areas, a senior Pentagon official specializing in counterterrorism told WorldNetDaily in an exclusive interview.

If the Pentagon, America's Military Headquarters, is undefended, then I would certainly fire whoever is in charge of the Pentagon's security.

Some have speculated that the reason they won't release the Pentagon's video tapes is because they may show the Pentagon's defenses being activated, and that's "classified".

Anyway, back to the "young man". If the order he received that he questioned was not a "Shoot-Down" order, and was not a "Stand-Down" order, then what kind of order was it?

Some of you may remember former state secretary of the German Federal Ministry of Defense (1976-1980), and former Minister of Research and Technology (1980-1982) Andreas Von Bulow.

He once said:

"The Americans had developed a method in the 1970s, whereby they could rescue hijacked planes by intervening into the computer piloting [automatic pilot system]."

According to Joe Vialls, it was DARPA who was contracted to develop this technology.

I've never been able to verify that this technology was developed. My whole theory can fall apart right here. It does make sense though considering 4 planes were simulateously hijacked on September 12th, 1970.

However... what if the "young man" was questioning an order to guide Flight 77 into the Pentagon? We all remember hearing how Cheney had at his disposal technology that superceded everything else that day.

If Cheney was the "Maestro", then maybe he was in charge of those "Live Fly" drills from the PEOC. What if the "young man" simply used whatever technology he was using to take over the "hijacked" aircraft, and guide it into the Pentagon?


Perhaps the "young man" was in communication with those who were in control?

My theory is essentially, he was questioning whether or not to guide Flight 77 into the Pentagon.

Feel free to blast this theory to shreds.


I don't know Jon, but it sounds plausible.


No shredding here

That's an interesting theory, one I hadn't heard before. It's one of those things will likely never know.

I did notice that the World Net Daily article you linked to says under the title:

Posted: September 11, 2001
1:00 a.m. Eastern

We need to...

Find out who that young man is.

Without the young man, there's no way of verifying what that order was.

That's ok though, because according to the 9/11 Commission's report, Dick Cheney wasn't even there at the time to have that conversation, which is damning in and of itself.

"It was all about finding a way to do it. That was the tone of it. The president saying ‘Go find me a way to do this."


This was written by GW a long time ago, followed by yesterday's story. What is it they say about how far advanced military technology is as compared to domestic technology?

Where's the Remote Control?


Some writers have claimed that the 9/11 hijacked airplanes were flown by remote control. So far, nothing has convinced me that the airplanes were controlled remotely.

However, as demonstrated below, the technology did in fact exist to control commercial airplanes by remote control as of September 11, 2001:

"Most modern aircraft have some form of autopilot that could be re-programmed to ignore commands from a hijacker and instead take direction from the ground". See also this article, in which the former head of British Airways "suggested . . . that aircraft could be commandeered from the ground and controlled remotely in the event of a hijack."

Indeed, Boeing states of its 757-200 (the type of airplane which slammed into the Pentagon), "A fully integrated flight management computer system (FMCS) provides for automatic guidance and control of the 757-200 from immediately after takeoff to final approach and landing."

In fact, Before 9/11, remote-controlled planes could fly up to 8600 miles (from the April 24, 2001 edition of Britain's International Television News)

Interestingly, Fox TV ran a fictional drama 6 months before 9/11, in which the U.S. government intended to fly a plane into the World Trade Center via remote control and blame it on terrorists.

So it is beyond doubt that the hijacked planes could have been controlled remotely. Were they? I am still waiting for convincing proof.

New autopilot will make another 9/11 impossible



A hijack-proof piloting system for airliners is being developed to prevent terrorists repeating the 9/11 outrages.

The mechanism is designed to make it impossible to crash the aircraft into air or land targets - and enable the plane to be flown by remote control from the ground in the event of an emergency.

Scientists at aircraft giant Boeing are testing the tamper-proof autopilot system which uses state-of-the-art computer and satellite technology.

It will be activated by the pilot flicking a simple switch or by pressure sensors fitted to the cockpit door that will respond to any excessive force as terrorists try to break into the flight deck.

Once triggered, no one on board will be able to deactivate the system. Currently, all autopilots are manually switched on and off at the discretion of pilots.

The so-called 'uninterruptible autopilot system' - patented secretly by Boeing in the US last week - will connect ground controllers and security services with the aircraft using radio waves and global satellite positioning systems.

After it has been activated, the aircraft will be capable of remote digital control from the ground, enabling operators to fly it like a sophisticated model plane, manoeuvring it vertically and laterally.

A threatened airliner could be flown to a secure military base or a commercial airport, where it would touch down using existing landing aids known as 'autoland function'.

After it had landed, the aircraft's built-in autobrake would bring the plane safely to a halt on the runway.

Boeing insiders say the new anti-hijack kit could be fitted to airliners all over the world, including those in the UK, within the next three years.

The latest move to combat airline terrorists follows The Mail on Sunday's disclosure three weeks ago that scientists in Britain and Germany are developing a passenger-monitoring device.

This will use tiny cameras linked to specialist computers to record every twitch, blink, facial expression or suspicious movement made on board flights in order to identify potential terrorists.

A Boeing spokesman said : "We are constantly studying ways we can enhance the safety, security and efficiency of the world's airline fleet.

"There is a need in the industry for a technique that conclusively prevents unauthorised persons gaining access to the controls and threatening the safety of passengers.

"Once this system is initiated, no one on board is capable of controlling the flight, making it useless for anyone to threaten violence in order to gain control."

"So where is the oil going to come from?... The Middle East, with two-thirds of the world's oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize ultimately lies."

Richard Cheney - Chief Executive Of Halliburton

The orders

"However... what if the 'young man' was questioning an order to guide Flight 77 into the Pentagon?"

That is possible. I've never thought about that.

Given that interception might indeed have been uncertain at 10 miles' distance, the orders may have been about something else.


Since it was reported by Vanity Fair that at 10:10:31, there was no authorization to shoot down any aircraft:

10:10:31 NASYPANY (to floor): Negative. Negative clearance to shoot.… Goddammit!…FOX: I'm not really worried about code words at this point. NASYPANY: Fuck the code words. That's perishable information. Negative clearance to fire. ID. Type. Tail.

The orders from higher headquarters are to identify by aircraft type and tail number, and nothing more. Those orders—and the fact that the pilots have no clearance to shoot—are reiterated by NEADS controllers as a dramatic chase towards the White House continues.

We know that the order was not a shoot down order. At 10 miles out, they probably would not have been able to intercept the plane. It doesn't make sense to order a stand down at that point. Unless it was in regards to the Pentagon's defenses. So, what was the order?

"So where is the oil going to come from?... The Middle East, with two-thirds of the world's oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize ultimately lies."

Richard Cheney - Chief Executive Of Halliburton


Anyone remember when Randi Rhodes had audio of that guy who said "you better stand away from that area of the Pentagon because it's going to be hit...?" Where is that audio clip?

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