Zbigniew Mazurak's Blog

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Archive for April 26th, 2011

There was no stand-down order on 9/11/2001

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on April 26, 2011


This year will mark the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. On September 11th of this year, the entire country will mourn the victims of these acts of Islamic aggression.

Since the attacks, which were clearly staged by a hostile organization and not the US government itself (i.e. it clearly wasn’t an inside job), a number of libertarian myth-lovers have claimed that 9/11 was an inside job.

They claim that on 9/11/2001, there was a stand-down order as a result of which the US military could not respond. Let’s debunk the myth.

The first piece of “evidence” that the so-called “9/11 truthers” use is a testimony before the 9/11 Commission by then-Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta about Dick Cheney talking about an “order”. The “9/11 truthers” say that Dick Cheney was talking about a stand-down order, and that Mineta’s testimony is “proof” of that stand-down order.

But, although Mineta was correct, he wasn’t talking about a stand-down order. Mineta didn’t mention any “stand-down order”, and neither did Cheney. Mineta was answering a question asked about the President’s shoot-down order (i.e. order to shoot down any aircraft suspected of being piloted by terrorists) by 9/11 Commission Co-Chairman Lee Hamilton. See the video of the testimony for yourself:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwFGLIsIBuM

It’s clear from this video that they’re talking about a shoot-down order, not a stand-down order. Such an order was indeed issued, but only after 10AM, because the President, at the time, did not know of any hijacked airliners other than the two which hit the WTC. Unfortunately, the last of the four hijacked airliners, UA Flight 93, crashed at 10:03AM, so there was no way any other plane could’ve been shot down.

It is also claimed that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Instruction (CJCSI) #3610_01a, signed on June 1st, 2001 by then-Director of the Joint Staff, is a “stand-down order”. Alex Jones used it as “a stand-down order telling generals that they could do nothing” and claimed that until it was issued, generals were always authorized to shoot down hijacked or errant aircraft. This is not true.

In the relevant part (4a: Policy), the Instruction says:

"Pursuant to references a and b, the Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA), has exclusive responsibility to direct law enforcement activity
related to actual or attempted aircraft piracy (hijacking) in the “special
aircraft jurisdiction” of the United States. When requested by the
Administrator, Department of Defense will provide assistance to these
law enforcement efforts. Pursuant to reference c, the NMCC is the focal
point within Department of Defense for providing assistance. In the
event of a hijacking, the NMCC will be notified by the most expeditious
means by the FAA. The NMCC will, with the exception of immediate
responses as authorized by reference d, forward requests for DOD
assistance to the Secretary of Defense for approval. DOD assistance to
the FAA will be provided in accordance with reference d. Additional
guidance is provided in Enclosure A."

The previous relevant Instruction, which was superseded by this one, was CJCSI #3610_01, which said, in the relevant part, that:

"Pursuant to references a and b, the Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA), has exclusive responsibility to direct law enforcement activity
related to actual or attempted aircraft piracy (hijacking) in the “special
aircraft jurisdiction” of the United States. When requested by the
Administrator, Department of Defense will provide assistance to these
law enforcement efforts. Pursuant to reference c, the NMCC is the focal
point within Department of Defense for providing assistance. In the
event of a hijacking, the NMCC will be notified by the most expeditious
means by the FAA. The NMCC will forward requests for DOD
assistance to the Secretary of Defense for approval."

Thus, as you can see from these Instructions, forwarding requests to the SECDEF for approval was the standard procedure as early as at least 1997.
This instruction actually liberalized the procedure, by providing an exception for extraordinary circumstances - such as the 9/11 attacks.
So, instead of tying the hands of NORAD generals, it actually liberalized the standard procedure.
(The "reference d" that the second Instruction refers to is
DOD Directive 3025.15, 18 February 1997, “Military Assistance to
Civil Authorities”.)

Posted in Military issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

How the defense budget topline is determined

Posted by zbigniewmazurak on April 26, 2011


Many people have claimed that the defense budget should be cut by this or that amount ($50 bn, $100 bn, $200 bn, $400 bn, or 10%), without specifying how to do it. (And the specifics proposed by most people who have specified their proposals would be disastrous for the military.)

By saying so, these people have proven that they know nothing about defense issues, including how the annual defense budget topline is determined. It isn’t determined by deciding to spend a fixed amount of money.

It is determined this way: firstly, all threats to the US are identified (state and nonstate actors alike; nuclear, conventional, and irregular threats); then, the DOD determines what missions must be executed to protect the US against these threats; and then, it determines what tools and what amount of resources it needs to execute these missions. The aggregate cost of all of these resources combined is the defense budget topline for a given FY.

Posted in Military issues | Leave a Comment »

 
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