Mineta’s testimony about the order to shoot down hijacked airliners


Here’s the transcript of Secretary Mineta’s testimony before the 9/11 Commission about Bush’s order to shoot down hijacked airliners (which “9/11 truthers” claim was a stand-down order):

“MR. HAMILTON: We thank you for that. I wanted to focus just a moment on the Presidential Emergency Operating Center. You were there for a good part of the day. I think you were there with the vice president. And when you had that order given, I think it was by the president, that authorized the shooting down of commercial aircraft that were suspected to be controlled by terrorists, were you there when that order was given?

MR. MINETA: No, I was not. I was made aware of it during the time that the airplane coming into the Pentagon. There was a young man who had come in and said 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?” Well, at the time I didn’t know what all that meant. And —

MR. HAMILTON: The flight you’re referring to is the —

MR. MINETA: The flight that came into the Pentagon.

MR. HAMILTON: The Pentagon, yeah.

MR. MINETA: And so I was not aware that that discussion had already taken place. But in listening to the conversation between the young man and the vice president, then at the time I didn’t really recognize the significance of that.

And then later I heard of the fact that the airplanes had been scrambled from Langley to come up to DC, but those planes were still about 10 minutes away. And so then, at the time we heard about the airplane that went into Pennsylvania, then I thought, “Oh, my God, did we shoot it down?” And then we had to, with the vice president, go through the Pentagon to check that out.

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.

MR. HAMILTON: With respect to Flight 93, what type of information were you and the vice president receiving about that flight?

MR. MINETA: The only information we had at that point was when it crashed.

MR. HAMILTON: I see. You didn’t know beforehand about that airplane.

MR. MINETA: I did not.

MR. HAMILTON: And so there was no specific order there to shoot that plane down.

MR. MINETA: No, sir.

MR. HAMILTON: But there were military planes in the air in position to shoot down commercial aircraft.

MR. MINETA: That’s right. The planes had been scrambled, I believe, from Otis at that point.”

The source: http://www.9-11commission.gov/archive/hearing2/9-11Commission_Hearing_2003-05-23.htm

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