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Part 1, Section 2 of 'GUILTY FOR 9-11:
by Illarion Bykov and Jared Israel
[Posted 20 November 2001]

Dedicated to the firemen of New York.

In Part 1, Section 1 we demonstrated that
Andrews Air Force base, 10 miles 
from the Pentagon, had combat-ready
fighter squadrons on September 11th. Why 
didn't jets scramble from Andrews until
after the Pentagon was hit?


On Sunday, September 16th, Vice-President
Richard Cheney was interviewed on 
NBC TV's 'MEET THE PRESS.' During that
interview he made the claim that the 
military needed authorization from
President George W. Bush before
fighter jets to intercept American
Airlines Flight 77.

Mr. Cheney did not present this lie in a
straightforward manner. He did not 
say, "A commercial airliner can't be
intercepted without presidential 
approval." Instead, he spoke as if the
need for presidential authorization 
were a commonly accepted fact; and then,
based on this false foundation, he 
emitted a fog of emotional misinformation
to confuse the millions of 
Americans who had asked themselves: why
didn't jet fighters intercept Flight 
77 before it crashed into the Pentagon?
Doesn't the U.S. have radar and an 
Air Force anymore?

It is common for officials attempting to
cover-up a capital crime to put the 
blame on a subordinate. However Mr.
Cheney used a different approach on 'MEET
THE PRESS.' Relying on his skills in
public deception, Cheney tried to create 
the impression that nothing improper had
occurred. But as soon as one sees 
through his lies, one realizes Mr. Cheney
has placed the responsibility for 
the failure to intercept on George W.

Here is the excerpt from 'MEET THE PRESS'
where Richard Cheney puts forward 
his intercept lie: 

"MR. RUSSERT: What's the most important
decision you think he made during the 
course of the day? 

"VICE PRES. CHENEY: Well, the--I suppose
the toughest decision was this 
question of whether or not we would
intercept incoming commercial aircraft. 

"MR. RUSSERT: And you decided? 

"VICE PRES. CHENEY: We decided to do it.
We'd, in effect, put a flying combat 
air patrol up over the city; F-16s with
an AWACS, which is an airborne radar 
system, and tanker support so they could
stay up a long time...

"It doesn't do any good to put up a
combat air patrol if you don't give them 
instructions to act, if, in fact, they
feel it's appropriate. 

"MR. RUSSERT: So if the United States
government became aware that a hijacked 
commercial airline was destined for the
White House or the Capitol, we would 
take the plane down? 

"VICE PRES. CHENEY: Yes. The president
made the decision...that if the plane 
would not divert...as a last resort, our
pilots were authorized to take them 
out. Now, people say, you know, that's a
horrendous decision to make. Well, 
it is. You've got an airplane full of
American citizens, civilians, captured 
by...terrorists, headed and are you going
to, in fact, shoot it down, 
obviously, and kill all those Americans
on board? 

"...It's a presidential-level decision,
and the president made, I think, 
exactly the right call in this case, to
say, "I wished we'd had combat air 
patrol up over New York."
--NBC, 'Meet the Press' 16 September 2001

* * * 

Note that Mr. Cheney has performed a
sleight of hand here. 

First he said, "the toughest decision
was...whether we would intercept 
incoming commercial aircraft." 

Later he said, "The president made the
decision... that if the plane would 
not divert as a last resort, our pilots
were authorized to take them out..." 
that is, "shoot it down." 

But "intercept": and "shoot it down" do
not mean the same thing. 


"in·ter·cept (în´ter-sèpt¹) verb,
in·ter·cept·ed, in·ter·cept·ing,

"1. a. To stop, deflect, or interrupt the
progress or intended course of"
(From 'American Heritage Dictionary')  


"shoot·down (sh¡t¹doun´) noun

"Destruction of a flying aircraft by a
missile attack or gunfire." 
(From 'American Heritage Dictionary')  

Mr. Cheney deliberately confused these
terms to stop people from asking: why 
weren't the hijacked jets intercepted?

Since "stopping, deflecting, or
interrupting the progress or intended
of" a hijacked airplane does not
necessarily involve violence, there could
no moral obstacle to scrambling fighter
jets to intercept Flight 77. 
Therefore Mr. Cheney shifted quickly to
the morally charged question of 
whether to shoot down "an airplane full
of American citizens". By creating 
this emotional link between interception
(not necessarily violent) and 
shooting down a commercial jet (very
violent), Cheney hoped to create 
sympathy for a President forced to make
this "horrendous" choice: to 
intercept or not to intercept. 

Mr. Cheney attempted to smooth over his
sleight of hand by inserting the 
following connecting sentence: 

"It doesn't do any good to put up a
combat air patrol if you don't give them 
instructions to act, if, in fact, they
feel it's appropriate." 

This is disinformation. Mr. Cheney was
treating his viewers like fools. 

First, as anyone with a computer and
basic knowledge of the Internet can find 
out, Air Traffic Controllers request
military jets to intercept commercial 
aircraft on a routine basis. Sometimes
the purpose is to tell a commercial 
pilot that his plane has gone off course;
other times the interceptor goes up 
in order to observe the situation
directly - for instance, to see who is 
flying the plane. None of this requires
presidential approval. 

Second, military interceptors (or
'escorts') already have clear
to act." These instructions can be read
online in detailed manuals from the 
FAA and the Department of Defense. The
instructions cover everything from 
minor emergencies to hijackings. If a
problem is serious, high-ranking 
military officers from the National
Military Command Center in the Pentagon 
(NMCC) can take charge. 

Let us consider the procedures used in
intercepting commercial aircraft. 

An Air Traffic Controller (ATC) may
request military jets to intercept (or 
'escort') a commercial aircraft in
response to any serious problem which the
Air Traffic Controller cannot solve
through radio contact. Perhaps the most 
common problem is that a commercial jet
has deviated from its authorized 
flight path. 

Every commercial jet is required to
follow IFR, or Instrument Flight Rules. 
IFR requires pilots to file a flight plan
with the Federal Aviation 
Administration (FAA) before takeoff.
(FAA Order 7400.2E 14-1-2) (2) 

"Commercial flights fly according to
predefined flight plans. These flight 
plans are intended to provide quick
routes that take advantage of favorable 
winds while avoiding the routes traveled
by other aircraft. The usual flight 
plan is a series of three connected
routes: a standard instrument departure 
(SID) route, an en route path, and a
standard instrument arrival (STAR). Each 
route consists of a sequence of
geographic points, or fixes, which, when 
connected, form a trajectory from the
point of departure to the point of 
--'Direct-To Requirements' by G. Dennis &
E. Torlak (3)

If a plane deviates from its flight plan,
or makes the wrong turn at one of 
its 'fixes,' an Air Traffic Controller
(ATC) contacts the pilot. If the ATC 
cannot make contact, he or she will
request an escort - that is, a military 
jet - to scramble and check out the
situation. This is called 'interception.'

As you can see, interception is not
necessarily an aggressive act. Usually it
is requested because routine
communication has become impossible. 

For example, when the Lear jet chartered
by Payne Stewart, the famous golf 
pro, went off course, and the pilot did
not respond by radio, the FAA 
immediately contacted the military:

"Several Air Force and Air National Guard
fighter jets, plus an AWACS radar 
control plane, helped the Federal
Aviation Administration track the runaway
Learjet and estimate when it would run
out of fuel."
--'CNN,' 26 October 1999 (4)

The FAA online manual describes how an
escort (i.e., a fighter jet) might 
communicate with a commercial airliner
which fails to respond to radio 
contact. The FAA has a chart entitled: 

"Signals initiated by intercepting
aircraft and responses by intercepted 

According to the chart, which is
available on-line, if a commercial jet is
intercepted in daytime, the escort
fighter jet may communicate by: 

"...Rocking wings from a position
slightly above and ahead of, and normally
to the left of, the intercepted

This conveys the message, "You have been
intercepted." The commercial jet 
should respond by rocking its wings,
indicating it will comply. 

The escort then makes a

"slow level turn, normally to the left,
on to the desired heading 

The commercial jet is supposed to respond
by following the escort.
(FAA 'AIM' 5-6-4) (5)

When a commercial jet deviates from its
approved flight path, it creates a 
potentially deadly hazard: it could
collide with another jet. It is therefore
reassuring that the FAA has an exacting
standard for what constitutes an 

"Consider that an aircraft emergency
exists ... when: ...There is unexpected 
loss of radar contact and radio
communications with any ...aircraft."
--FAA Order 7110.65M 10-2-5 (6)



"If ... you are in doubt that a situation
constitutes an emergency or 
potential emergency, handle it as though
it were an emergency."
--FAA Order 7110.65M 10-1-1-c (7)

A high-ranking FAA official - called an
Air Defense Liaison Officer (ADLO) - 
is stationed in the headquarters of
NORAD, the North American Aerospace 
Defense Command. The purpose: to help the
FAA and the military work together 
to handle emergencies as quickly as
possible. (8) Escorts are usually 
scrambled from NORAD bases, such as the
Otis Air Force Base on Cape Cod, 
Massachusetts, or the air base at
Langley, Virginia. But not always: 

"Normally, NORAD escort aircraft will
take the required action. However, for 
the purpose of these procedures, the term
"escort aircraft" applies to any 
military aircraft assigned to the escort
mission. "
--FAA Order 7610.4J 7-1-2 (9)

Thus when Payne Stewart's Lear jet went
off course:

"First, a fighter jet from Tyndall, Fla.,
was diverted from a routine 
training flight to check out the Learjet.
Two F-16s from another Florida base 
then picked up the chase, later handing
it over to two Air National Guard 
F-16s from Oklahoma, which handed it over
to two F-16s from Fargo, North 
--'ABC News,' 25 October 1999 (10)

During a serious emergency, or if there
is any possibility that a hijacking 
has occurred: 

"The escort service will be requested by
the FAA hijack coordinator by direct 
contact with the National Military
Command Center (NMCC)."
--FAA Order 7610.4J 7-1-2 (9)

A Defense Department manual makes the
same point:

"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...forward requests for DOD
[Department of Defense] assistance to 
the Secretary of Defense for approval."
--CJCSI 3610.01A, 1 June 2001 (11)

Located in the Pentagon, the NMCC can tap
into radar stations and thus 
monitor dangerous emergencies and
hijackings. For example, during the Payne
Stewart incident: 

"...officers on the Joint Chiefs were
monitoring the Learjet on radar screens 
inside the Pentagon's National Military
Command Center."
--'CNN,' 26 October 1999 (4)

When dealing with potentially hostile
situations, escorts can adopt 
aggressive behavior: 

"Small Private Plane Ordered to Land in
Vicinity of Bush Ranch 

"A small private plane flying
unauthorized in the vicinity of President
Bush's ranch near Crawford was ordered by
the military to land Thursday, a 
sheriff's deputy said.... 

"The Federal Aviation Administration
declared that the plane was unauthorized 
and ordered its occupants detained,
Plemons said. At that point military 
officials, flying in two jets beside the
plane, got on the pilot's radio 
frequency and ordered the Cessna to

"The plane landed on a private landing
strip near State Highway 6, about 
eight miles from the Bush ranch near

"In [a second incident, in] Wood County,
Sheriff's senior Dispatcher Rodney 
Mize said a private plane was forced down
by two military pilots in A-10 
Warthog jets about 11:30 a.m. The jets
flew one above and one below until the 
private plane's pilot landed at Wisener
Field near Mineola."
--'AP,' 13 September 2001 (12)

The 'Boston Globe' reported that:

"[Marine Corps Major Mike] Snyder, the
NORAD spokesman, said its fighters 
routinely intercept aircraft. 

"When planes are intercepted, they
typically are handled with a graduated 
response. The approaching fighter may
rock its wingtips to attract the 
pilot's attention, or make a pass in
front of the aircraft. Eventually, it 
can fire tracer rounds in the airplane's
path, or, under certain 
circumstances, down it with a missile."
--'Boston Globe,' 15 September 2001 (13)

Now, let us return to Mr. Cheney and his
interview on 'MEET THE PRESS.' 

As you will recall, he said:

"It doesn't do any good to put up a
combat air patrol if you don't give them 
instructions to act, if, in fact, they
feel it's appropriate." 

Mr. Cheney is attempting to misinform by
pretending that intercept pilots 
need 'instructions' from the President,
when he knows perfectly well that 
clear instructions and a whole
organizational network exist to handle 
intercept emergencies.

Moreover, Mr. Cheney's implicit argument
- that there is no point in sending 
up an escort unless the pilot has
clearance to shoot down a commercial jet
is absurd. Why would such a decision have
to be made in advance of scrambling 
the escort? Even if an airliner has been
taken over by a terrorist with a 
suicide mission, how could Mr. Cheney,
Mr. Bush or anyone else other than God 
Himself possibly predict how the hijacker
would respond to an intercept by 
military jets? Even if a hijacker were
ready to die for the glory of crashing 
into the Pentagon, does that mean he
would also be ready to die for the glory 
of ignoring a military pilot's order to

So even if the military had no authority
to shoot down Flight 77, why not 
send up escorts planes? Isn't that in
fact how police and the military 
routinely handle hijack situations - by
mobilizing a potentially overwhelming 
force in the hope of getting the hijacker
to surrender? 

Why, as Mr. Cheney claims, would there
have been "no point" in trying this 
tactic in the case of Flight 77? Weren't
many human lives at stake? Isn't 
that "a point"?


What about the rest of Mr. Cheney's
remarks, his contention that only 
President Bush could authorize the
military to actually shoot down a
plane? In all probability this is true.
But as we shall see in a later 
section, this comment, as well as other
things Mr. Cheney said on 'MEET THE 
PRESS,' will prove damning to George W.
Bush when he goes on trial for 

Summary of evidence is CONTINUED IN PART


For a map of Washington showing the
distance from Andrews Air Force base to 
the Pentagon go to: 

(1) 'NBC, Meet the Press' (10:00 AM ET)
Sunday 16 September 2001.
Full transcript at:
Backup transcript at:

(2) Regarding rules governing IFR
requirements, see FAA Order 7400.2E 
'Procedures for Handling Airspace
Matters,' Effective Date: December 7,
(Includes Change 1, effective July 7,
2001), Chapter 14-1-2.
Full text posted at:

(3) For a clear and detailed description
of flight plans, fixes, and Air 
Traffic Control, see: 'Direct-To
Requirements' by Gregory Dennis and Emina
Torlak at:

(4) 'CNN,' 26 October 1999 "Pentagon
never considered downing Stewart's 
Learjet," Web posted at: 8:27 p.m. EDT
(0027 GMT)
Full text posted at:
Backup at:

(5) FAA 'Aeronautical Information Manual:
Official Guide to Basic Flight 
Information and Air Traffic Control (ATC)
Procedures,' (Includes Change 3 
Effective: July 12, 2001) Chapter 5-6-4
"Interception Signals"
Full text posted at:

(6) FAA Order 7110.65M 'Air Traffic
Control' (Includes Change 3 Effective: 
July 12, 2001), Chapter 10-2-5 "Emergency
Full text posted at:

(7) FAA Order 7110.65M 'Air Traffic
Control' (Includes Change 3 Effective: 
July 12, 2001), Chapter 10-1-1 "Emergency
Full text posted at:

(8) FAA Order 7610.4J 'Special Military
Operations' (Effective Date: November 
3, 1998; Includes: Change 1, effective
July 3, 2000; Change 2, effective July 
12, 2001), Chapter 4, Section 5, "Air
Defense Liaison Officers (ADLO's)"
Full text posted at:

(9) FAA Order 7610.4J 'Special Military
Operations' (Effective Date: November 
3, 1998; Includes: Change 1, effective
July 3, 2000; Change 2, effective July 
12, 2001), Chapter 7, Section 1-2,
"Escort of Hijacked Aircraft: Requests
Full text posted at:

(10) 'ABCNews,' 25 October 1999 "Runaway
Plane Crashes in S.D.; Golfer, at 
Least Four Others Killed," by Geraldine
Full text posted at:
Backup at:

(11) 'Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff Instruction 3610.01A,' 1 June 
2001, "Aircraft Piracy (Hijacking) and
Destruction of Derelict Airborne 
Objects," 4.Policy (page 1)
PDF available at:
Backup at:

(12) 'The Associated Press State & Local
Wire' 13 September 2001, Thursday, 
BC cycle, "Small private plane ordered to
land in vicinity of Bush ranch"
Full text posted at:

(13) 'The Boston Globe,' Saturday 15
September 2001 Third Edition Page A1, 
"Facing Terror Attack's Aftermath: Otis
Fighter Jets Scrambled Too Late to 
Halt The Attacks" by Glen Johnson.
Full text posted at:

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