The 9/11 Commission Report Omissions and Distortions Chapter twelve and thirteen Book Summary
For some time the commissions report of Flight 11J F has been a core issue of contention as people try to determine what or who was responsible for the success of the terror attack on American soil and its people in September 11. On one account, the commission argued that the American military forces were not to blame. They faced challenges in their operations and actions such as inadequate prior experience with such a situation, the confusion that ensued after and during the attack and more so, poor communication has also been mentioned as a major contributor to their slow reaction. However, despite the commissions assertion, a closer look highlights a number of loopholes and delays within the response structure and the teams or groups of individuals involved which could have been avoided and eliminated changing the outcome of the day completely.
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The first hurdle and obstacle to the swift response was that the FAA personnel broke protocol and procedures by failing to alert the proper authorities and the military in this case of a flight that is not communicating and moreover has changed its course of direction. The plane was non responsive to directives from the tower to climb, and even though it was uncommon and vital that the planes signal and radio contact was off. The staff still took no immediate action to deal with the situation as an emergency and instead informed other airlines to try make contact with their flight as they worked on moving planes out of the path of Flight 11 J F. The commission in the defense of the FAA and their actions says at the time the lack of communication was mainly driven by the fact that the staff saw no immediate of impending danger and assumed all was well. But later upon getting intelligible and accurate information from one of the communication transmissions on the flight confirming a hijacking, the personnel took action choosing to inform their supervisors who thereafter took charge alerting their chain of command as protocol dictated. The issue raised in regards to this action is that, as they waited for a confirmation that there was a threat aboard the plane, none of those involved thought it necessary to inform the military so that preventative action could be take. Their lack of urgency by the FAA personnel therefore led to delays in the military response and overall led to the poorly coordinated efforts, which ultimately allowed the attacks to proceed unimpeded further supporting the commissions argument that the military were not to blame. The FAA management was not required to follow the procedure they took as they had direct access and communication links to the military an aspect ignored by the commission in their assessment of their role in the attack. Another weakness in the commissions report was their explanation of why the military opted to scramble support from an alert center so far away from the city while there was one within the proximity of the attack which would have made action faster and more efficient. The respondents while being questioned also left doubt in the commissions ability to stay impartial and honest for instance having respondents give different accounts of the ordeal in their statements claiming a fault with their memories. There were incidences of coaching and coercion further diminishing the commissions viability as a neutral, dependable and trustworthy investigative body.
From the accounts of the day from the commissions perspective a number of inconsistencies are uncovered many of which are in their contradictory statements about the chain of command protocols utilized on that day by the FAA, the claim that there were no fighters within the center that was closest to the city, the claim that the fighters needed permission under such circumstances to assemble and act and the sluggish response from the military taking longer that is deemed necessary and plausible. Moreover, the commission was inactive and inconsistent with their search for the truth and evidence eliminating suspicion that the military did not do all it could as it failed to follow up and assess the legitimacy of claims, presumptions and coincidences.
The inconsistencies in the commissions report do not end with Flight 11 but proceed to the Flight 175 which hit the south tower. There were concerns in the fact that the time frames given by NORAD. Through revisionism historians are able to provide different accounts of what is presented to the public as true showing differences previously ignored or assumed as insignificant or need to know. It is a method recognized when used for the right intent as providing more accurate results and outcomes. Amongst its advantages is that it assesses all evidence available unabashedly and moreover, it ensures to provide evidence through comparison of prior reports thus proving its stance rather than disputing aimlessly. The revisionist account in this case is more realistic as it is more supported by actual facts than the original first account report and also more than the currently existing revisionist developments developed over the recent years. From this approach it becomes evident that the commission only supported and promoted the theories promoted by the original theorists and discards all other evidence and concerns holistically or bends it to suit the outcome desired. The chapter does not however assess the legitimacy of the commissions claims but focuses on the success or failure of any and all attempts the involved parties made to alter the results and deliver fallacies through omission and distortion. The commission in this case is accused of being but a tool and platform the military successfully adopted to rid itself of all blame, suspicion, and responsibility of the attacks. In the case of Flight 175, the commission defended the military for their slow response claiming though assembled in prime time, they were delayed by the fact that their target location had not been communicated and thus they were delayed by the wait for direction ad a directive from their senior officer. The critics argument is that though this may have been true, the commission should have provided substantive explanation and factual evidence to explain this lack or failure in communication. Furthermore, reports indicate that even with the lack of timely information on their target direction, the fighter planes had sufficient time to get to the Flight 175 before it hit the south tower at the time of their receiving the coordinates. The statements of the fighter pilots, NORAD and the commission are all contradictory in explaining the failure to perform as was necessary and expected the commission opting to alter a previous statement to state their arrival to the scene was only after the south tower had already been hit.
The commission in light of its mandate to find and stand by the truth opted to desert the previous statements as falsehoods without any explanation and instead supported the military account of things. The different narrations from various groups the commission disputes and asks the public and the critics to believe their account as the gospel truth all the while neglecting to provide any evidence or facts to support their claims on time, response and respondents and some major loopholes in the different reports provided throughout the investigations. The revisionists also argue that the commissions argument that the Flight 175 did not change course nor did the transponder fail to communicate is misguided and untrue as the FAA personnel should then have been able to track the plane and therefore no need to report it hijacked. The gaps are many and the commission is vague in all attempts if any to explain why any of the events took place as they define in their account. From all accounts, the questions and doubts as to the viability and accuracy of the commission report was brought forth and the skepticism from historians and other critics is still a reality. The commissions insistence on absolving the military of any blame inevitable paints a vivid picture of the FAAs incompetence in managing the situation and in alerting the military so as to take appropriate and immediate action. However, from the evidence provided by the revisionists and critics, the commissions bias is obvious and their lack of neutrality outright.