Remote Controlled Boeings on 9/11?
Flight 77 was steered into the nearly empty, recently reinforced and strengthened sector of the Pentagon
on this page
- Boeing's "auto-land" system
- Pentagon renovation program - the Pentagon was hit in the nearly empty, under reconstruction sector
- The alleged pilot flunked flight school
- Robot Warplanes
- Articles about remote control possibility
- The Lone Gunmen - fictional show about remote control hijacking six months before 9/11 (on Fox TV)
- Dov Zakheim, the Project for a New American Century, Remote Controlled 9/11 Planes and the Pentagon's Missing Trillion Dollars
- Hijacking the hijackers (via remote control)
- The Complete No Planes on 9/11
the "no plane" disinformation probably obscures the reality of remote controlled Boeings
There is considerable circumstantial evidence to suggest that remote control technology may have been used to override the planes's controls. It is highly unlikely that flight school drop outs managed to carry out the precision maneuvers on 9/11, and it is even less likely that an expert Egyptian or Saudi pilot would have picked the recently strengthened, under construction, almost empty section of the Pentagon as a target.
The side of the Pentagon that was hit was nearly empty -- and the location for an ongoing major construction project to strengthen the building against such an attack. The plane's trajectory would be extremely difficult for a novice pilot to perform (unlike the much simpler approach to the Twin Towers). This fact makes the official story of "novice pilots" less than believable ...
The first plane that went into the towers passed over Indian Point nuclear power station, on the Hudson river just north of the New York City suburbs. The alleged "al-Qaeda" is described as wanting to do as much murder and mayhem as possible, yet chose to avoid a target that would have caused unbelievable devastation (how would all of New York city, or New England, be permanently evacuated? This question is a good reason to shift from nuclear power to renewable, safe, decentralized energy sources).
The towers were hit near the top, before everyone had arrived at work (most of the people inside the towers managed to escape). While this is not any consolation for the victims, their family and friends, and everyone who suffered psychological trauma from watching helpless on TV, it is a fact that the attacks could have been much worse.
Modern passenger jet planes have multiple alarms to call air traffic control in the event of a hijacking. This is similar to banks that have multiple alarms that can be discreetly activated to sound a silent alarm to call the police. It's probably not public knowledge how many there are on a plane or how they work in a bank - nor is that probably priviledged information the point. It's difficult to rob a bank due to excellent security in most bank franchises (the best way to rob a bank is to buy it first, and use some of the loot for campaign contributions to compromise as many politicians as possible). Similarly, plane hijackings were extremely rare in the US before 9/11 due to adequate security, including the Air Force domestic air defense system. However, on 9/11, none of the commandeered planes sent out any alarms that they were being hijacked. If the planes were actually equipped with remote control technologies - which are not theoretical at all - it would have been easy to ensure the transponders would be automatically turned off once the external controllers "hijacked" the plane. "Crossing the Rubicon" by Michael Ruppert cites mainstream media reports about radar "injects" used to insert fake blips onto radar screens during war game exercises that morning - which would have made it difficult for military officials not part of the conspiracy to find the real, hijacked planes (since the planes would not become "stealthy"
a technical argument against remote control theories that ignores Boeing's "autoland" patent.
remote control is not needed to be proved to show that the Bush administration consciously allowed 9/11 to happen
"OLD" 270° LOOP EXPLAINED [FINAL]
THE 270° LOOP AROUND RUMSFELD
WHERE DID THAT COME FROM?
Adam Larson / Caustic Logic
The Frustrating Fraud
Posted July 18 2007
|Boeing's "auto-land" system|
DATE:01/12/06 (December 1, 2006)
Diagrams: Boeing patents anti-terrorism auto-land system for hijacked airliners
By John Croft
Boeing last week received a US patent for a system that, once activated, removes all control from pilots to automatically return a commercial airliner to a predetermined landing location.
The “uninterruptible” autopilot would be activated – either by pilots, by onboard sensors, or even remotely via radio or satellite links by government agencies like the Central Intelligence Agency, if terrorists attempt to gain control of a flight deck.
Boeing says: "We are constantly studying ways we can enhance the safety, security and effiecency of the world's airline fleet."
“There is a need in the industry for a technique that conclusively prevents unauthorised persons for gaining access to the controls of the vehicle and therefore threatening the safety of the passengers onboard the vehicle, and/or other people in the path of travel of the vehicle, thereby decreasing the amount of destruction individuals onboard the vehicle would be capable of causing,” the patent authors write. “In particular, there is a need for a technique that ensures the continuation of the desired path of travel of a vehicle by removing any type of human decision process that may be influenced by the circumstances of the situation, including threats or further violence onboard the vehicle.”
According to the patent, existing preventative measures are less than fullproof – pilots can decide to open the lockable, bullet-proof cockpit doors and federal air marshals can be overpowered and de-armed. Boeing’s alternative has an onboard processor that once activated, disallows pilot inputs and prevents anyone on board from interrupting an emergency landing plan that can be predefined or radioed to the aircraft by airline or government controllers and carried out by the aircraft’s guidance and control system. To make it fully independent, the system has its own power supply, independent of the aircraft’s circuit breakers. The aircraft remains in automatic mode until after landing, when mechanics or government security operatives are called in to disengage the system.
Boeing envisions several methods of activating the system. Options include manual switches for pilots to hit, or possibly force sensors on the cockpit door that would trip the anti-terror mode if a minimum force threshold were crossed, for instance if someone were trying to break down the door. Another option is a remote link whereby airline or government workers in ground facilities would monitor and aircraft and command the automatic control mode “once it is determined that the security of the air vehicle is in jeopardy.” Radio links could also be used to inform ground facilities and nearby aircraft that an aircraft has been placed in the automatic flight mode.
It’s unclear if the Boeing work is related to last week’s issuance of a $1.9 million US Federal Aviation Administration contract to Raytheon for an Advanced Route Evaluation System (ARES). According to Raytheon, ARES will perform risk analysis on aviation routes to help planners determine the best routes for aircraft to use during emergencies.”
Aside from the safety and security aspects of having such a system, Boeing sees it as a preventative measure: “Once the automatic control system provided by the present invention is initiated, no one on board the air vehicle is capable controlling the flight to the air vehicle, such that it would be useless for anyone to threaten violence in order to gain control the air vehicle.”
United States Patent: 7142971
granted to the Boeing company, November 28, 2006
System and method for automatically controlling a path of travel of a vehicle
|the nearly empty part of the Pentagon|
757's can pull at least 2.7 Gs, and even then a pilot wouldn't be challenged by the force. An F-16 can probably pull 9 Gs. Forces above 6 Gs are likely to produce blackout.
The spiral dive maneuver itself wouldn't be the biggest challenge for an inexperienced pilot -- it's more knowing where it would end up, and even more, pulling off the final appoach to hit the Pentagon's ground-level floor.
the Pentagon was hit in the nearly empty part
In 1993, the Clinton administration decided to upgrade the Pentagon, for many reasons, not least of which was the growing concern over terrorist attacks. In addition to new plumbing, the upgrade included putting in heavy duty fireproofing in the walls, reinforcing the walls, and improving security in general. The final reconstruction strategy called for the work to be divided into five "wedges," each wedge encompassing a corner and a rectangle of the Building. The first wedge to be tackled was the one facing west, covering 1.2 million square feet. By September 2000, work on this wedge was about 70% complete. The wedge was supposed to have been completely done by July 2001, but, as with rebuilding any old "house," more problems kept being uncovered. For example, all sorts of interesting goodies were found in the walls: a secure vault no one knew about, old whiskey bottles (hmm, wonder who went to such lengths to hide their booze!), and other items. Then of course, there were supports that needed more reinforcement, asbestos to be removed, etc. Among the improvements made to Wedge One: Blast resistant windows and brick backup walls behind the building's limestone outer facade. These inner walls contain a metal fabric mesh similar to the mesh used in vehicle air bags. This mesh was designed specifically to CONTAIN DEBRIS FRAGMENTS in the event of a blast.
CNN LARRY KING WEEKEND
Stories of 9-11
Aired September 8, 2002 - 21:00 ET THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, nearly one year after September 11, we share stories of sorrow and strength, heartbreak and healing. With me live tonight in New York, CBS News anchor Dan Rather. And joining us, Lorie Van Auken. Her husband, Kenneth, was killed at the World Trade Center, but he left a message of love before he died. Harry Waizer, terribly burned when the WTC elevator he was riding in erupted in flames. He managed to walk down nearly 80 floors, then beat the odds when doctors said he only had 50/50 chance to live. Michael Flocco, whose only son Matthew was killed at the Pentagon doing the duty he loved. Mike put muscle into his mornings, helping rebuild the Pentagon as part of Operation Phoenix. And deputy chief Richard Picciotto, the highest ranking New York firefighter to survive the collapse of the Twin Towers. Compelling stories of life, changing pain, American patriotism, and the enduring human spirit. With Dan Rather, next on LARRY KING LIVE.
.... KING: Michael, the Pentagon was kind of lucky in a sense, wasn't it?
KING: The side they hit wasn't that populated and it didn't make a direct, full -- like top of the Pentagon hit, right?
FLOCCO: Correct. Also, the other contributing factors -- fewer engines -- was the fact that it hit initially on the newly renovated section that had (UNINTELLIGIBLE) wire inside of -- able to withstand more of an impact.
Plus, some of the columns and the windows had previously been reinforced for the first phase of the renovation. It was a five-phase renovation program. The first phase had just been completed only a week before. And where the plane hit was under restructured, reinforced part of it. So initially, it hit a very solid part and then, glanced off of that and went into the old section that had just been evacuated for phase two renovation. Had it hit anywhere else, it could have been catastrophic.
September 17, 2001
Defense Department signs contract to begin rebuilding Pentagon
By Katherine McIntire Peters
During last Tuesday’s attack, terrorists slammed a passenger airliner into a newly-renovated portion of the Pentagon, killing 188 people and rendering about one-third of the building inoperable. Despite the awful loss of life, Defense officials said the damage to life and property would likely have been much higher had the airliner crashed into any other portion of the building.
“This was a terrible tragedy,” said Lee Evey, chief of the Pentagon renovation project. “But this could have been much, much worse.”
The portion of the building hardest hit in the attack was the only part of the building that had been renovated thus far. Because that section of the building had steel-reinforced walls, blast-resistant windows and Kevlar panels, the damage from the impact and resulting fire was mitigated.
Evey said the steel-reinforced walls kept much of the structure from collapsing for about 30 minutes—allowing many people to escape who might otherwise have been killed. In addition, blast-resistant windows probably prevented many more casualties.
“Despite the obvious huge pressures to which this glass was exposed, the glass is still intact,” Evey said. “Even though the building eventually collapsed, the pieces of glass are still, for the most part, in a single piece. They just kind of popped out as the building came down.”
In an area adjacent to the crash site that had not been renovated, windows shattered, doing considerable damage.
“The building withstood a tremendous amount of punishment because of the very resilient design that went into this,” Evey said.
Lara Jakes - Hearst Newspapers
Most of the top-level military brass, including U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, have offices on the other side of the building. The west side is next to the Pentagon’s helipad. Much of the area was under renovation, meaning that the normal staffing levels were lower than usual.
(September 12, 2001 Front Page section ‘Not a few’ casualties in Pentagon attack)
Assistant Chief James Schwartz of the Arlington County Fire Department
He said the plane struck the building almost in the middle of the space where the renovation had been completed. Personnel had not completely reoccupied this area of the building. “This contributed to the relatively low number of casualties,” Schwartz said. “The number could have been far greater had the plane struck another portion of the building not affected by the renovation.” He said one of the worst places the airplane could have gone was the building’s center court.
MSNBC SHOW: ASHLEIGH BANFIELD
"It’s ironic says Pentagon Renovation Manager Lee Evey that the hijacked airliner smashed into the very area of the Pentagon that had just undergone a renovation to strengthen the building against a terrorist attack. The death toll could have been much worse. Evey said the hijacked aircraft hit a portion of the building that had been renovated and reinforced with blast resistant windows, a special reinforced steel construction, and even fire-resistant Kevlar cloth."
(September 9, 2002 Monday TRANSCRIPT: # 090901cb.467)
SATURDAY, JUNE 17, 2006
Flight of Capital
They say I shot a man named Gray and took his wife to Italy.
She inherited a million bucks and when she died it came to me.
I can't help it if I'm lucky. - Bob Dylan
This may be old news to you, but just a quick note here of something I'd missed
about Flight 77, thanks to "Bismillah" and the RI forum, that I hope
you won't miss, too.
At least among those with a mind for such things, it's fairly well-remembered that on September 10, 2001, Donald Rumsfeld made the shocking announcement that the Pentagon "couldn't track" $2.3 trillion of its transactions. "Iroquois" observes, "What's interesting to me is that he made his press release on a Monday. In DC, I always see bad news given on a Friday, usually late in the afternoon on Friday. The exception, of course, would be when someone happens to know that there is a far bigger story coming out."
And we know that Flight 77, allegedly piloted by an incompetent, made an aerobatic, spiralling descent over Washington, effecting a 270-degree turn to strike the Pentagon from a western approach at ground level. The side struck was the only one with an exterior wall hardened against attack, and was relatively empty while renovation continued.
Relatively. The unfortunate construction workers perished outside, but who were the expendables within?
From The Pittsburg Post Gazette, December 20, 2001: "One Army office in the Pentagon lost 34 of its 65 employees in the attack. Most of those killed in the office, called Resource Services Washington, were civilian accountants, bookkeepers and budget analysts. They were at their desks when American Airlines Flight 77 struck."
The Arlington County After-Action Report noted that the "impact area included both the Navy operations center and the office complex of the National Guard and Army Reserve. It was also the end of the fiscal year and important budget information was in the damaged area." And Insight Magazine editorialized that "the Department of the Army, headed by former Enron executive Thomas White, had an excuse [for not making a full accounting]. In a shocking appeal to sentiment it says it didn't publish a "stand-alone" financial statement for 2001 because of "the loss of financial-management personnel sustained during the Sept. 11 terrorist attack."
High Crimes of State often come down to the movement of capital, and so the
high criminals generally share the gray and black economics of common felons.
Money is money; it's the magnitude of the heist that's different, and the means
to effect and cover-up the crime. And part of the cover-up of the Pentagon heist
has been the no-plane shell game, played smartly by Rumsfeld himself who "misspoke"
that a "missile" had struck the Pentagon the same week Thierry Meyssen's
original no-plane website was launched.
It's such disinformation that has drilled irrelevance and folly into a once potentially dangerous and angry army of authentic skeptics.
Army unit piecing together accounts of Pentagon attack
By MILAN SIMONICH, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
WASHINGTON -- They are soldiers on the capital city's saddest mission.
Each working day, a three-man military history unit uncovers firsthand stories of the Sept. 11 attack on the Pentagon.
The terrorism here killed 189 people, including the five hijackers who crashed a commercial jet into America's military headquarters.
Now the Army's 305th Military History Detachment has the job of making sense of the madness. It is interviewing every willing survivor and witness -- a number that could climb into the thousands -- to write the U.S. government's book on the Pentagon assault and the lessons that can be learned from it.
The job is full of pain.
One Army office in the Pentagon lost 34 of its 65 employees in the attack. Most of those killed in the office, called Resource Services Washington, were civilian accountants, bookkeepers and budget analysts. They were at their desks when American Airlines Flight 77 struck.
Faced with so many funerals of friends and colleagues, the director of the office, Robert Jaworski, agonized over which ones to attend. He could not possibly be at all of them.
Jaworski's plight was extreme, but not so different from what the military historians find every day. Just about every witness or survivor gets emotional when recounting Sept. 11.
"In most interviews there's a tear or two," said Sgt. 1st Class Dennis Lapic of Industry, Pa., who is a member of the history unit.
Before Sept. 11, Lapic spent most of his working life as a territorial sales manager for a manufacturing company. His duties with the 99th Reserve Support Command consumed only a few weeks a year. Now he is on active duty with a two-year assignment to find out everything he can about the attack on Washington.
That job was daunting enough for the Army to dispatch a second unit, the 46th Military History Detachment from Little Rock, Ark., to help with the interviews.
In all, the Army has 66 such units devoted to compiling history from battles and missions around the world. The Pentagon project is unprecedented because it will attempt to unravel an attack on domestic soil that indiscriminately killed civilians.
Even Pearl Harbor was different in that respect. All but 68 of the 2,403 Americans who died in the Japanese attack on Hawaii were soldiers and sailors.
More than three months after the Pentagon was hit, nuggets of information continue to emerge as witnesses step forward.
One day last week, Lapic ventured to Arlington National Cemetery to interview a groundskeeper who watched in horror as the plane crashed into the Pentagon.
The worker, William Middleton Sr., was running his street sweeper through the cemetery when he heard a harsh whistling sound overhead. Middleton looked up and spotted a commercial jet whose pilot seemed to be fighting with his own craft.
Middleton said the plane was no higher than the tops of telephone poles as it lurched toward the Pentagon. The jet accelerated in the final few hundred yards before it tore into the building.
"My sweeper has three wheels. I almost tipped it over as I watched," Middleton said.
In those first minutes, he thought he had seen a plane in trouble, not a terrorist attack.
Middleton and his co-workers at Arlington continued to work Sept. 11 as Washington offices closed and buildings emptied. The cemetery crew had no choice. Funerals were scheduled and burials had to be completed, chaos and all.
As Middleton labored, he could see the destruction less than a mile away at the Pentagon, where the U.S. military mobilized for war.
Another Arlington worker who declined to be interviewed in front of the media told a story that the military historians had not heard in the 244 interviews they had conducted through last week. The man said a mysterious second plane was circling the area when the first one attacked the Pentagon.
The interviewers ask every witness what might have been done to prevent the attack. It is more than protocol. They want to know if somebody may have seen or heard something hours or days earlier that could have been useful in stopping the attack.
When the interviews are completed, the findings will be published in book form and kept at the Army Center of Military History. The researchers hope their work will be a thorough account of the Pentagon attack, as well as a guide on what should be done to prevent terrorist attacks.
Along with facts for the book, the historians collect tidbits on what the attack did to the nation's psyche.
"I felt complete anger. If I wasn't an old man, I might volunteer to go back into the service," said Middleton, 54.
The history detachments for the Pentagon project are based at Fort McNair, a Washington post established in 1791 as Old Arsenal Penitentiary. Until now, the installation's most notable brush with American history involved the murder of President Lincoln.
Four people who conspired with Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth were hanged there July 7, 1865. The executions occurred as a nation torn by civil war tried to heal itself.
Now the military historians see their research on the Pentagon attack as one way to help people cope with today's crisis.
"There can be a cathartic effect to people talking about what they have seen and gone through," said Maj. Robert Smith of Germantown, Md., commander of the 305th History Detachment.
I'm glad to see someone is interested in this. I think the lack of wreckage isn't the real discrepancy. Nobody seems to realize that the section the plane hit was specially hardened just before S11. The plane hit the helipad and broke up there before hitting the building's facade, which probably totally pulverised it. The approach trajectory and the impact itself were incredibly precise. Here's what I gather happened to the plane and the Pentagon (this is a repost of my Nov 18 message to email@example.com):
While we're in X-Files mode here's a chain of improbability nobody seems to have noticed. Looks like Allah was at the controls of 77, and God was protecting the Pentagon.
1 - The terrorist pilot of AA Flight 77 was a top gun and a flaky flyer. According to CBS, Hani Hanjour, the pilot of AA Flight 77 that crashed into the Pentagon was an ace.
"At 9:33 the plane crossed the Capitol Beltway and took aim on its military target. But the jet, flying at more than 400 mph, was too fast and too high when it neared the Pentagon at 9:35. The hijacker-pilots were then forced to execute a difficult high-speed descending turn.
"Radar shows Flight 77 did a downward spiral, turning almost a complete circle and dropping the last 7,000 feet in two-and-a-half minutes. "The steep turn was so smooth, the sources say, it's clear there was no fight for control going on. And the complex maneuver suggests the hijackers had better flying skills than many investigators first believed. "The jetliner disappeared from radar at 9:37 and less than a minute later it clipped the tops of street lights and plowed into the Pentagon at 460 mph."
Time magazine agrees
"And each aircraft performed dramatic but carefully executed course corrections, including a stunning last maneuver by flight 77. The pilot of that plane came in low from the south of the Pentagon and pulled a 270-degree turn before slamming into the west wall of the building. "
The Washington Post, likewise http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A14365-2001Sep11 :
"Controllers had time to warn the White House that the jet was aimed directly at the president's mansion and was traveling at a gut-wrenching speed -- full throttle. But just as the plane seemed to be on a suicide mission into the White House, the unidentified pilot executed a pivot so tight that it reminded observers of a fighter jet maneuver. The plane circled 270 degrees to the right to approach the Pentagon from the west, whereupon Flight 77 fell below radar level, vanishing from controllers' screens, the sources said."
But one month before 9-11 Hani Hanjour was a terrible pilot
"At Freeway Airport in Bowie, Md., 20 miles west of Washington, flight instructor Sheri Baxter instantly recognized the name of alleged hijacker Hani Hanjour when the FBI released a list of 19 suspects in the four hijackings. Hanjour, the only suspect on Flight 77 the FBI listed as a pilot, had come to the airport one month earlier seeking to rent a small plane. However, when Baxter and fellow instructor Ben Conner took the slender, soft-spoken Hanjour on three test runs during the second week of August, they found he had trouble controlling and landing the single-engine Cessna 172. Even though Hanjour showed a federal pilot's license and a log book cataloging 600 hours of flying experience, chief flight instructor Marcel Bernard declined to rent him a plane without more lessons."
The Washington Post reports the same  :
"The Freeway instructors also were skeptical of Hanjour's skills. 'They told me he flew so poorly that they were not willing to give him an endorsement to fly our planes,' Bernard said. Hanjour's two instructors did not return calls and were not home Sunday, but Ann Conner, the mother of one of them, said her 19-year-old son, Benjamin, went aloft twice with Hanjour. They flew the school's routine flight path - half-hour to hour-long segments in oblong loops over the airport - and did not stray into restricted airspace over the Pentagon, flight instructor Bernard said. Hanjour's 'piloting skills were terrible, considering' he was licensed to fly multi-engine planes, Ann Conner said..."
2 - Allah blinded the heathens' radar
"Investigators are still piecing together the facts in the hijacking of American Airlines Flight 77. But the sector of limited radar coverage at an Indianapolis "en route center" helps explain one of its mysteries: Why did the Boeing 757 simply disappear from radar screens for a half-hour or more, turn aroundover southern Ohio and get back into Washington airspace before anyone noticed it or knew that it had been hijacked?"
When the box-cutter men hijacked 77 over Ohio and turned off its transponder, the plane disappeared from Indianapolis' screens because Indianapolis didn't have a _proper_ radar. It just had a "beacon radar" that picked up transponder signals. That was real lucky for Hanjour because his watch showed about 8:56 and his ETA was 9:45. The second WTC tower would be hit in about 3 minutes. Indianapolis didn't warn anybody because it assumed there was a technical problem. Such was standard procedure.
3 - As the goofy Hanjour, transformed by Allah into a crack pilot, came roaring towards the Pentagon at treetop height, the Good Lord had already seen to it that the damage should be limited. The west wing of the building, called Wedge One, had just been reinforced against bomb attack. If 77 had hit anywhere else, the Pentagon would have been toast
"As Pentagon renovation manager Evey grimly concluded, "that the [terrorists] happened to hit an area that we had built so sturdily was a wonderful gift."
Which goes to show you the power of prayer, really. You can bet your tush there's a lot more praying Christians in the Pentagon that there were in the twin towers of Mammon. Or maybe the mighty symbol of the Pentagram protected the nations' brave commanders. But hold on, then they would be praying to...nah, that can't be right.
|The alleged pilot flunked flight school|
Mr. Hanjour, the alleged pilot that flew with amazing accuracy into the Pentagon - was refused permission to rent a small plane a month before the attacks at Freeway Airport in Bowie, Maryland (they claiming that he lacked any piloting skills). It is as if someone was learning to ride a bicycle and couldn't go around the block without training wheels - and the next week they claim to have won the Tour de France.
Marcel Bernard, the chief flight instructor at the airport, said the man named Hani Hanjour went into the air in a Cessna 172 with instructors from the airport three times beginning the second week of August and had hoped to rent a plane from the airport. ... Instructors at the school told Bernard that after three times in the air, they still felt he was unable to fly solo ...
- The Prince George's Journal (Maryland), 2001-09-18
|Robot Warplanes are real|
The Ascent of the Robotic Attack Jet
David Talbot March 2005
UAV - unmanned air vehicle
US Air Force robot planes
Robot plane drops bomb in test
Another step for remote-control warfighting
Jim Ross / NASA via AP
A Boeing Joint Unmanned Combat Air System X-45 aircraft releases an inert GPS-guided bomb Sunday at the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division range in China Lake, Calif.
The Associated Press
Updated: 4:46 p.m. ET April 19, 2004
LOS ANGELES - A robotic plane deliberately dropped a bomb near a truck at Edwards Air Force Base on Sunday, marking another step forward for technology the U.S. military hopes will one day replace human pilots on dangerous combat missions.
Under human supervision but without human piloting, a prototype of the Boeing Co.’s X-45 took off from the desert base, opened its bomb bay doors, dropped a 250-pound (114-kilogram) Small Smart Bomb and then landed.
The inert bomb struck within inches of the truck it was supposed to hit, Boeing said, adding that had the bomb contained explosives, the target would have been destroyed.
“It’s absolutely a huge step forward for us. It shows the capability of an unmanned airplane to carry weapons,” said Rob Horton, Boeing’s chief operator for the mission. “From the video, you see the weapon going down and a huge cloud of dust and the truck shaking around.”
The X-45A was preprogrammed with the target coordinates and used the satellite-based Global Positioning System to adjust its course.
Horton, who was sitting 80 miles (130 kilometers) from the target, authorized the drone to drop the bomb, which was released from 35,000 feet (10,670 meters) as the plane flew at 442 mph (700 kilometers per hour).
The military sees such aircraft taking part in its most dangerous missions, such as bombing enemy radar and surface-to-air missile batteries, in order to clear the path for human pilots.
The Y-shaped, tailless plane has a 34-foot (10.4-meter) wingspan and weighs 8,000 pounds (3,600 kilograms) empty. It is the first drone designed specifically to carry weapons into combat.
Other robotic planes, including the Predator spy drone currently being used in Afghanistan, have been modified to carry weapons.
Boeing hopes to build hundreds of the X-45 planes, which would cost $10 million to $15 million each.
© 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. [posted via Fair Use]
The US State Department claims that remote control flight is not possible:
Remotely Controlled Flight Not Possible
A Boeing Company official stated that Boeing has designed its commercial airplanes so that it is impossible to control them remotely. Elizabeth Verdiev, a spokesperson for Boeing, stated on June 16, 2005:
No Boeing commercial jet transport can be controlled from outside the airplane. No Boeing commercial jet transport can be "commanded" or have its flight controlled other than from within the flight deck by the pilots. Pilots can program the airplane to take off, fly to a destination and land automatically, but Boeing design philosophy keeps pilots in control and in the decision-making loop at all times.
However, Boeing has demonstrated some abilities at remote piloted flight -
and there's not necessarily a contradiction between the hijackers story
and the possibility of remote control.
See www.oilempire.us/lihop-mihop.html for the "hijacking the hijackers" theory.
10/02/2001 - Updated 12:18 PM ET
Remote piloting: Solution or disaster-in-the-making?
A FedEx 727 cargo plane lands using remote control technology being developed by Raytheon
BOSTON (AP) — There's little doubt that landing a plane from the ground — technology that could prevent hijackers turning a commercial jet into a weapon — could soon be feasible. Whether it's a good idea or not is another question. Raytheon is one of several companies looking to use new satellite technology that could someday allow jets to be landed by people on the ground, in much the same way that hobbyists bring in their model airplanes by remote control. The company announced Monday that its technology had guided a Federal Express 727 to a safe landing on a New Mexico Air Force base in August — all without the need of a pilot. Raytheon says the technology, primarily designed to help navigation, could be useful in a remote landing system. ....
"There's some pretty overt national security concerns I would think," said John Carr, president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association. "The devil is in the details. Is this something we would put on all aircraft? Because I'm sure you can imagine if I can control all aircraft you would create a new target."
But according to James Coyne, president of the National Air Transportation Association, the technology could be a way to avert disasters like those in the terrorist attacks or even prevent others like the 1996 Valujet crash in Florida and the 1998 SwissAir crash where crews were apparently stymied by fire.
"Perhaps in both of those cases, if people on the ground could have been made aware of the problems, those planes could have been brought back to safety," said Coyne, who thinks remote control could be a good idea.
Military and civilian jets have been landing on autopilot for years, but the Raytheon test used technology that provides the extremely precise navigational instructions that would be required for remote control from a secure location. ....
Aerial Drones Assigned to Arizona Border Patrol
Jun 25, 2004, 10:40 PM (ET)
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Two aerial drones were assigned to Arizona border patrol on Friday in an unprecedented drive to secure a 350-mile stretch of the U.S.-Mexican border that has become the most popular and deadliest corridor for illegal immigrants.
The two unmanned and unarmed aerial vehicles, piloted remotely, can fly up to 90 mph, detect movement 15 miles away and can transmit live pictures day and night of vast stretches of desert and grasslands traversed by more than 1,000 undocumented immigrants a day.
Border patrol officials at an Arizona news conference said the two drones were the first to be deployed on the U.S. border.
The Israeli-made drones are part of a Department of Homeland Security initiative to arrest and sometimes rescue mostly Mexican immigrants, many of whom die in their bid to seek a higher standard of living in the United States.
Temperatures out in the Sonoran desert soar to above 40 degrees (104F) for much of the summer. Border officials said 61 people had died since October in the Tucson sector of the border, 17 of them because of the heat. Others die in traffic accidents often caused by immigrant smugglers trying to outrun police and border agents.
The drones are the most sophisticated hardware in an array of sky-watch towers, ground sensors, cameras, and mobile scope trucks already used by some 2,000 Arizona border agents.
But hours are wasted by guards driving miles through scrubland sometimes to find that a sensor has been triggered by cattle or that the immigrants have moved on.
Border officials say arrests of undocumented immigrants in Arizona have increased substantially in the past year. Some 71,000 were arrested in March.
Some appear to have been encouraged by a White House proposal in January to grant three-year renewable work permits to millions of foreign workers and enable illegal immigrants currently in the United States to gain temporary legal status.
The union representing Border Patrol agents in February reported an estimated 10 percent to 11 percent increase in illegal crossings since President Bush announced the plan. Many illegals apparently believed they would eventually be granted an amnesty.
The Arizona drone plan got a mixed reception from the Mexican government migrant welfare group Grupo Beta in Agua Prieta, just south of the Arizona border.
"We think it's positive from the point of view of protecting migrants who get into trouble in the desert, as it won't take the border patrol so long to locate them and carry out a rescue," Berta Alicia de La Rosa told Reuters.
"Nevertheless, any measure to boost vigilance along the border carries risk with it as migrants will look for ever more remote places to cross in order to avoid detection, such as the deserts of New Mexico where the distances between populated areas are even greater," she added.
The Hermes 450 drones are made by Israeli company Elbit Systems . Unlike the Predator combat drones used in recent years by U.S. forces in Afghanistan and Yemen to target suspected al-Qaeda operatives, those used by the Arizona border patrol will not carry any weaponry.
Technology Removes Need for Human Pilots
Sun November 23, 2003 09:43 AM ET
By Chelsea Emery
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Wright Brothers demonstrated that man could fly. A century later, we're looking at a future in which planes fly without humans.
Uninhabited Aerial Vehicles, or UAVs, are taking to the skies as military and civilian organizations turn to remote-operated planes or helicopters to perform tasks considered dull, dirty or dangerous.
Already, drones have dropped bombs in the Middle East, snapped images of dangerous terrain from thousands of feet in the air and monitored traffic on congested roads.
Some commentators have even suggested that Lockheed Martin's high-tech F-35 Joint Strike Fighter may be the last inhabited fighter plane needed. At the very least, analysts say, drones can be used for potentially dangerous environmental monitoring, such as checking air quality for chemical and biological weapons.
"It's no longer 'yes or no' -- the technology and the systems are accepted," says Daryl Davidson, executive director at the trade group Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI). "These things are here to stay and they are proliferating."
Proliferating, yes, but not without doubts about their ability to operate safely over urban centers, their cost, and a crash rate that for some far outstrips fighter jets.
In addition, uninhabited vehicles demand extremely high bandwidth -- a measure of how much information can be carried at any given time -- so their use is limited until the technology catches up with the inspiration.
Most fears center on their safety for civilian use, such as monitoring traffic over urban areas.
"They don't have a pilot to get them out of trouble," notes Steve Zaloga, an analyst with Teal Group, an aerospace and defense research firm. "The local TV station isn't going to be happy to have a million-dollar plane crash into traffic or someone's house. It's going to be a hazard and it's going to be a cost issue."
The use of drones took off during the Vietnam War, when soldiers strapped cameras onto target planes and flew them remotely through high-threat areas.
But real leaps have come recently amid breakthroughs in technology, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's clarion call for military transformation, and their success in action in the Balkans and elsewhere.
Advances in satellite-guided global positioning systems and wireless communications have helped scientists jump numerous hurdles.
Networking technology and increasing bandwidth, too, have driven invention, since they allow the complex machines to communicate simultaneously with centers that send them directions, as well as other locations to which they beam their images.
These innovations have led to the development of combat UAVs like Boeing's formerly top-secret X45 plane, which can carry at least 1,000 pounds of precision-guided bombs and be either pre-programmed on the ground or have its mission plan changed mid-flight.
If operations go as hoped in 2006, the Department of Defense will start fielding the systems in 2008, Boeing says.
The Marine Corps has also been testing 5-pound, backpack-portable UAVs called Dragon Eye for "over-the-hill" reconnaissance. Missions are programmed via wireless modem and the planes can be launched by hand or bungee cord.
The Marines plan to field at least 311 in coming years. Drones' successes at reconnaissance and bombing in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq have also garnered support for the technology.
"Much to the chagrin of fighter pilots in the Pentagon, UAVs are here to stay," says John Kutler, an industry watcher and chief executive of U.S.-based defense investment bank Quarterdeck Investment Partners.
Combat drones were used for the first time in Afghanistan, where the U.S. military deployed a Predator UAV armed with Hellfire anti-tank missiles.
But the biggest coup came in November 2002, when the Central Intelligence Agency used a Predator to blow up a car carrying six suspected al Qaeda operatives in Yemen, including one man suspected of involvement in the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000.
"Everyone saw their use in operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, so there's growing confidence in the systems," says George Guerra, deputy program manager for the Global Hawk at Northrop Grumman. "What we are able to do is remarkable."
Advances in technology attracted defense contractors and scientists to the UAV workshop.
Visions of huge profits are keeping them there: Rumsfeld's mandate for a fully connected, wired battlefield has directed billions of dollars into remote vehicle development.
The United States is expected to spend about $680 million on military applications alone for drones in 2002, estimates the Teal Group. In a mere two years, that figure is expected to almost double to about $1.1 billion.
Israel, Japan and Australia are getting into the act, too.
Worldwide spending on UAV development is likely to run to about $3.35 billion in 2012. That's up from $1.88 billion this year.
Wall Street is taking note.
"UAVs could be the next very big growth area," says Jun Zhao, a defense analyst for U.S.-based fund manager Federated Investors. "The Department of Defense has to make a decision whether they will fund legacy programs or skip a generation and go directly to transformation."
His bet? Traditional-platform budgets will suffer. "With civil aviation in the doldrums, drones represent an entirely new market," says Zaloga. "It's a great way to grow a business."
Some UAVs, like the Global Hawk, carry synthetic-aperture radar that can penetrate cloud-cover and sandstorms. Other, smaller drones carry electro-optical cameras, similar to TV cameras, that can capture details as small as helmets or hats from thousands of feet in the air. And they can do it for hours longer than any piloted plane.
The General Atomics reconnaissance Gnat 750, for example, can fly for 48 hours and reach altitudes of 26,250 feet.
But while UAVs are becoming standard equipment in combat, their commercial use has far to go and they are still rare outside the military because of their high costs and the concerns over their safety.
NASA has tested drones over California grape crops to monitor frost conditions and the U.S. forest service is considering using remote-operated planes to beam images of forest fires back to base camps.
Countries such as Australia are planning to buy drones to monitor their borders for illegal immigration and drug smuggling. Other nations are exploring the possibility of using drones to monitor the seas for both piracy and storms.
Even as the Pentagon and local governments in the United States are fast-tracking the technology, critics are raising some troubling issues.
For one, UAVs are expensive. The General Atomics Predator costs about $3 million for the plane alone, and the costs quickly skyrocket to tens of millions once the ground crew and other operating systems are added.
The Global Hawk system costs between $33 million and $35 million, while the futuristic manned F-35 Joint Strike Fighter costs about $37 million to $47 million, depending on its operating system. F-16s can be had for about $38 million.
The Global Hawk may cost slightly less than the JSF, but its crash potential is high compared to manned aircraft -- some 50 times higher than that of an F-16 fighter jet, says Victoria Samson at the think tank Center for Defense Information.
Of the 80 Predators in service as of March, 30 had crashed, says Samson. (Some had been crashed intentionally for testing purposes and others had been shot down by enemy fire.)
There are also worries about how well drones can communicate with civilian planes. In August, the Global Hawk finally won permission to fly in civilian airspace. That makes it the first pilot-less airplane to get such clearance, but it was on the condition that it takes off and lands in military areas, and stays thousands of feet above the path of most commercial planes.
Nonetheless, development of military and civil-use UAVs is driving ahead. "The future is promising," says AUVSI's Davidson. "It won't be The Jetsons," he says, referring to the science-fiction cartoon. "But we'll see very utilitarian uses of UAVs. We'll see them on every runway of every airport doing patrols and day-to-day routine tasks.
"They're going to be used in commercial markets for things we haven't even thought of."
(This feature appears in the current issue of REUTERS magazine, Issue 59, November/December 2003. Copyright Reuters Ltd 2003. www.reuters.com/magazine.)
Rise of the Machines
by Conn Hallinan
April 17, 2004
The press had lots of fun with the recent robot debacle in the Mojave Desert. Competing for $1 million in prize money, 15 vehicles headed off on a 142-mile course through some of the most forbidding terrain in the country. None managed to navigate even eight miles. The robots hit fences, caught fire, rolled over, or sat and did nothing.
However, the purpose of the event was not NASCAR for nerds, but a coldly calculated plan to construct a generation of killer machines.
Sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Mar. 13 “race” was part of the Department of Defense’s (DOD) plan to make one third of the military’s combat vehicles driverless by 2015. The push to replace soldiers with machines is impelled by an overextended military searching for ways to limit U.S. casualties, a powerful circle of arms manufactures, and an empire-minded group of politicians addicted to campaign contributions by defense corporations.
This “rise of the machines” is at the heart of the Bush administration’s recent military budget. Sandwiched into outlays for aircraft, artillery, and conventional weapons, are monies for unmanned combat aircraft, robot tanks, submarines, and a supersonic bomber capable of delivering six tons of bombs and missiles to anyplace on the globe in two hours.
DARPA, the agency behind these Buck Rogers weapons systems, has a mixed track record, somewhere between silly and sobering. The mechanical elephant it developed for the Vietnam War was not a keeper, and one doubts that the robot canine for the Army, aptly dubbed “Big Dog,” will ever get off the drawing boards. But DARPA also gave us stealth technology, the M-16 rifle, cruise missiles, and the unmanned Predator armed with the deadly Hellfire Missile.
It is currently deploying a carbon dioxide laser to spot snipers in Iraq , as well as a “sonic” weapon that can supposedly disable demonstrators at 300 yards with a 145-decibel blast of sound.
Boeing is busy testing its UCAV X-45A unmanned combat aircraft for DARPA, while Northrop Grumman is working on a competitor, the X-47A Pegasus. DARPA has already field-tested the A-160 Hummingbird, an unmanned chopper for the Marines that can carry 300 pounds of missiles up to 2,500 miles.
According to US Rep. Curt Weldon (R-PA), chair of the House Subcommittee on Procurements, one-third of US tactical-strike aircraft will be unmanned within the next 10 years.
Lockheed Martin and Boeing, along with Carnegie Mellon University , are developing ground combat vehicles: the Gladiator, the Retiarius, and the Spinner.
The military’s interest is in part a function of the Vietnam Syndrome: lots of aluminum caskets and weeping survivors play poorly on the six o’clock news. While so far the Bush administration has managed to keep these images at arm’s length by simply banning the media from filming C-130s disgorging the wounded and the slain, as casualty lists grows longer, that will get harder to do.
The lure of being able to fight a war without getting your own people killed is a seductive one. “It is possible that in our lifetime we will be able to run a conflict without ever leaving the United States,” Lt. Col. David Branham told the New York Times last year.
A high-tech machine war would allow the US to quickly strike over enormous distances, an important capability in the Bush administration’s preemptive war strategy.
Project Falcon, under development by Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, is a case in point. While the press has billed the recent successful test of the X-43 Hypersonic Cruise Vehicle with its scramjet as a boon to commercial aircraft – 40 minutes from Washington to Paris – DARPA has something a good deal more sinister in mind.
“The X-43 has everything to do with defense and very little to do with aerospace,” Paul Beaver, defense analyst for Ashbourne Beaver Associates told the Financial Times. “But if it can be dressed up as a commercial aerospace program it allows NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) more access to funding.”
Such a bomber – manned or unmanned – could strike a target anywhere on the globe within two hours. The revolutionary scramjet can accelerate an aircraft to 10 times the speed of sound, making it virtually invulnerable.
An inordinately large section of Bush’s military budget will end up in the coffers of the “Big Five” – Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Raytheon, and General Dynamics. But unraveling that budget is no easy task.
The budget request for fiscal 2005 is $401.7 billion, a 9.7% jump, but there are a host of programs hidden in other budgets. For instance, the $401.7 figure doesn’t include $18.5 billion for nuclear weapons, because that expense is tucked away in the Department of Energy budget. Homeland Security, and related programs in Transportation, Justice, State, and the Treasury, add another $42.5 billion. What should also be included are the Department of Veterans Affairs ($50.9 billion) as well as the interest on defense-related debt ($138.7 billion).
The administration has already informed Congress that it intends to ask for a $50 billion supplement for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (it got $62.6 billion last spring and $87 billion in November).
Hit the add button, and the military budget looks more like $702.3 billion. That’s real money.
Troops Left Out
But not for the troops. The average front-line trooper makes $16,000, the same as a Wal-Mart clerk, and according to a study by Nickel and Dimed author Barbara Ehrenreich, more than 25,000 military families are eligible for Food Stamps. The new budget will raise wages 3.5%, but most of that hike will go to the high-tech Air Force (9.6%), not the larger Army (1.8%).
The arms corporations are another matter. Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Northrop Grumman will corner one out of every four of those dollars.
There are other spigots besides the military budget that pour money into the coffers of the Big Five. The big winners in NASA’s budget boost will be Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and TRW – all major space contractors.
This generosity is repaid come Election Day. In the 2002 election cycle, defense firms, led by Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, poured over $16 million into Political Action Committees (PAC) at a ratio of 65% for Republicans and 35% for Democrats. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, those figures appear to be holding in the run up to the 2004 elections as well.
The collusion between politicians, the military, and the defense firms is particularly egregious in the administration’s race to deploy an antiballistic missile (ABM) system. The ABM soaked up 15% of the $43.1 billion slated for weapons development in 2003 – 60% of which went to Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Raytheon – and it is getting a major boost in the new budget.
The hemorrhaging of money by the ABM has churned up opposition from current and former military leaders. Led by retired Admiral William Crowe, former chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 48 admirals and generals recently urged that the administration halt deploying the ABM and instead divert the $53 billion slated to be spent on the system over the next five years to protecting the nation’s ports from terrorism.
While the military budget and ancillary programs continue to balloon, domestic spending will rise a tepid 0.5%; the White House is highlighting its plan to raise education spending by 3%, but that will only mean a jump of $1.6 billion, less than the cost of a single Northrop Grumman B-2 bomber.
Machines that think and kill are expensive, and very few companies have the wherewithal to make them on the scale needed for the US to continue its imperial reach. The synergy between the massive companies that benefit from empire, and their ability to fill the election coffers of those who dream of a world more akin to the 19th than the 21st century, is a powerful one.
Add to that a military beset by re-enlistment difficulties, and the circle comes complete: war that is costly but, for our side, largely bloodless – a virtual war.
Bloodless war is, of course, an illusion. More than 600 US solders have died in Iraq , and thousands of others have been wounded and maimed. No one knows how many thousands of Iraqis have died, because, as Lt. Cmdr. Jane Campbell told the New York Times, “We don’t keep a list. It’s just not policy.”
In his book Virtual War, historian Michael Ignatieff asks the question: “If western nations can employ violence with impunity, will they not be tempted to use it more often?”
The “impunity,” of course, is fantasy. Our military may indeed be able to kill at enormous distances with its Frankenstein killing machines. But all that means is that civilians, not the military, become targets. Ask the relatives of those who died in the Twin Towers, the embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, the nightclub on Bali, and the commuter train in Spain if high-tech war has no casualties.
Conn Hallinan is an analyst for Foreign Policy in Focus and a provost at UC Santa Cruz.
The 757 and 767, the planes used in the 9/11 attack, are much more computerized than earlier generations of planes
|Articles about remote control possibility|
9/11 Evidence - Smoking Gun ... by
also at www.unknownnews.net/cdd052002.html
one of the best articles describing the evidence and the motivations, warnings, the curious nature of the Pentagon attack (on the mostly empty part of the building), the Bush administration's interference with the FBI investigation of al-Qaeda, and much more. One of the best articles pointing out the likelihood of remote control of the four planes (hijacking the hijackers).
At the very least Bush allowed 9/11 to happen. But the evidence indicates his guilt involves more than just a huge intentional sin of omission – this now seems certain. ...
.... why would Bush admit to having been warned about 9/11 in the first place? In the corporate and political world, this admission is a strategy that has been used over and over by creeps who are guilty of huge crimes and know the heat is on. By confessing to a lesser charge, they try to draw the heat away from the main, more dangerous issue.
Interview with former German Minister of Technology and State Secretary
in the Defense Ministry Andreas Von Buelow, who pokes holes
in the official conspiracy theory, hints at remote control for 9-11 planes
Having the planes under remote control would eliminate the need to trust the abilities of the hijackers/patsies: "hijacking the hijackers" would greatly increase determinism from the alleged conspirators' point of view. In fact, if there were destructive devices in the WTC towers, relying on the foreign terrorists would be risky. If only one plane hit, the bombs might be discovered in the other tower before they could be removed, for example. As for the Pentagon, I'm not sure if the neocons would have risked getting Rumsfeld incinerated in his office right on the approach path.
unsourced Portugal newspaper (in English) argues that the 9/11 planes were probably remotely controlled - this article needs verification, especially since one of the primary participants in the alleged conference mentioned in the article is a promoter of the false Pentagon "no plane" claim
A member of the inquiry team, a US Air Force officer who flew over 100 sorties during the Vietnam war, told the press conference: “Those birds (commercial airliners) either had a crack fighter pilot in the left seat, or they were being maneuvers by remote control.”
JFK, 9/11 and the REAL America
Tying It All Together
by: Jon Phalen / November 22nd, 2003
article on the history of deception to lure reluctant US citizens to support wars.
Explores the evidence for Remote Control software in the 9/11 hijackings (not too dissimilar from electronic hijacking of our computerized election ballot machines).
Retired career Special Forces Master Sergeant Stan Goff has highlighted the problem of the official story with respect to the Pentagon strike:
"Four planes get hijacked and deviate from their flight plans, all the while on FAA radar. The planes are all hijacked between 7:45 and 8:10 AM Eastern Daylight Time.
Who is notified?
This is an event already that is unprecedented. But the President is not notified and going to a Florida elementary school to hear children read.
By around 8:15 AM, it should be very apparent that something is terribly wrong. The President is glad-handing teachers.
By 8:45, when American Airlines Flight 11 crashes into the World Trade Center, Bush is settling in with children for his photo ops at Booker Elementary. Four planes have obviously been hijacked simultaneously, an event never before seen in history, and one has just dived into the worlds best know twin towers, and still no one notifies the nominal Commander in Chief.
No one has apparently scrambled any Air Force interceptors either.
At 9:03, United Flight 175 crashes into the remaining World Trade Center building. At 9:05, Andrew Card, the Presidential Chief of Staff whispers to George W. Bush. Bush "briefly turns somber" according to reporters.
Does he cancel the school visit and convene an emergency meeting? No.
He resumes listening to second graders read about a little girl's pet fucking goat, and continues this banality even as American Airlines Flight 77 conducts an unscheduled point turn over Ohio and heads in the direction of Washington DC.
Has he instructed Chief of Staff Card to scramble the Air Force? No.
An excruciating 25 minutes later, he finally deigns to give a public statement telling the United States what they already have figured out; that there's been an attack by hijacked planes on the World Trade Center.
There's a hijacked plane bee-lining to Washington, but has the Air Force been scrambled to defend anything yet? No.
At 9:30, when he makes his announcement, American Flight 77 is still ten minutes from its target, the Pentagon.
The Administration will later claim they had no way of knowing that the Pentagon might be a target, and that they thought Flight 77 was headed to the White House, but the fact is that the plane has already flown South and past the White House no-fly zone, and is in fact tearing through the sky at over 400 nauts.
At 9:35, this plane conducts another turn, 360 degrees over the Pentagon, all the while being tracked by radar, and the Pentagon is not evacuated, and there are still no fast-movers from the Air Force in the sky over Alexandria and DC.
Now, the real kicker: A pilot they want us to believe was trained at a Florida puddle-jumper school for Piper Cubs and Cessnas, conducts a well-controlled downward spiral, descending the last 7,000 feet in two-and-a-half minutes, brings the plane in so low and flat that it clips the electrical wires across the street from the Pentagon, and flies it with pinpoint accuracy into the side of this building at 460 nauts.
When the theory about learning to fly this well at the puddle-jumper school began to lose ground, it was added that they received further training on a flight simulator.
This is like saying you prepared your teenager for her first drive on I-40 at rush hour by buying her a video driving game. It's horse shit!
Remote Controlled planes of death - unmanned drones used by CIA to assassinate
US citizen in Yemen
Remote control plane technology
(This website had some of the earliest accounts of the possibility of remote control technology used on 9/11, but is now sadly marred by support for disinformation such as the "pod plane" claims, slanders journalist Michael Ruppert as a government operative, tried to disrupt the San Francisco International Inquiry into 9/11, and promotes neo-Nazi Holocaust Denial writers. Perhaps the website's sponsor is merely misguided. Perhaps it is a slick tactic to mix truthful material with obviously wrong information.)
Hani Hanjour, aerobatic pilot? - good review of flight school drop-out's poor
Alleged flight 77 (Pentagon) pilot Hani Hanjour had a history of great difficulties in his efforts to learn to fly. As late as Aug. 2001, he was unable to demonstrate enough piloting skills to rent a Cessna 172.
See for example this article from Newsday
At Freeway Airport in Bowie, Md., 20 miles west of Washington, flight instructor Sheri Baxter instantly recognized the name of alleged hijacker Hani Hanjour when the FBI released a list of 19 suspects in the four hijackings. Hanjour, the only suspect on Flight 77 the FBI listed as a pilot, had come to the airport one month earlier seeking to rent a small plane.
However, when Baxter and fellow instructor Ben Conner took the slender, soft-spoken Hanjour on three test runs during the second week of August, they found he had trouble controlling and landing the single-engine Cessna 172. Even though Hanjour showed a federal pilot's license and a log book cataloging 600 hours of flying experience, chief flight instructor Marcel Bernard declined to rent him a plane without more lessons.
Certainly there is no evidence that Hanjour ever had any sort of practice flying commercial jetliners or any jet-propelled aircraft.
However, air traffic controller Danielle O'Brien, who tracked the radar signal from Flight 77, stated that it was flown like a fighter jet.
"The speed, the maneuverability, the way that he turned, we all thought in the radar room, all of us experienced air traffic controllers, that that was a military plane," says O'Brien. "You don't fly a 757 in that manner. It's unsafe."
The plane was between 12 and 14 miles away, says O'Brien, "and it was just a countdown. Ten miles west. Nine miles west … Our supervisor picked up our line to the White House and started relaying to them the information, [that] we have an unidentified very fast-moving aircraft inbound toward your vicinity, 8 miles west."
Vice President Cheney was rushed to a special basement bunker. White House staff members were told to run away from the building.
"And it went six, five, four. And I had it in my mouth to say, three, and all of a sudden the plane turned away. In the room, it was almost a sense of relief. This must be a fighter. This must be one of our guys sent in, scrambled to patrol our capital, and to protect our president, and we sat back in our chairs and breathed for just a second," says O'Brien.
But the plane continued to turn right until it had made a 360-degree maneuver.
"We lost radar contact with that aircraft. And we waited. And we waited. And your heart is just beating out of your chest waiting to hear what's happened," says O'Brien. "And then the Washington National [Airport] controllers came over our speakers in our room and said, 'Dulles, hold all of our inbound traffic. The Pentagon's been hit.'"
When I wrote my earlier articles on remote control, I was inclined to discount the issues surrounding pilot capabilities. I was concerned that readers would give the benefit of the doubt to the "terrorists" and believe that they somehow managed to carry off the mission in spite of their lack of training. However, I received the following mail from a reader, who convinced me that this is a serious problem indeed for those who believe the official story.
While in the Air Force I worked on heat-seeking, video, electro-optical, and laser-guided air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles and bombs. As a profession today I work in computer network engineering. As a hobby I am an avid fisherman very familiar with the concepts of GPS. From my perspective it would be a piece of cake to build a back door access into an aircraft's avionics and sieze control of the vessel.
We do it all the time with computers. It uses the Telnet protocol and programs such as LanDesk, which are widely available. With it we take control of a remote computer (remote control) and fix it while the end-user sits there and watches their mouse cursor move all over the screen, windows opening and closing, and their computer will not respond to any input they give it. And now we can do it in a wireless setting using hubs and switches that work with IR light to transmit digital signals. This is really ancient technology in the computer industry. The need to control computers half way around the world started as soon as Al Gore invented the internet. lol GPS technology is nothing more that electro-optical technology taken to a much higher degree. E/O and laser guided weapons rely on an energy source to "paint" the target. The weapon uses the reflection as a homing beacon which guides it directly, and with the nth degree of precision, to the target. Using GPS fish locating equipment I can return to a spot in the middle of a 10,000 acre lake exactly. Not close, exactly. To guide a plane to a target the size of the WTC would be no sweat.
All that said, as unbelievable as people would like that scenario to seem, it violates me much less than the one that is being peddled. Imagine a 25-30 year old man that has never driven anything bigger than a family sedan, and never driven over 55 MPH. Then take this man and put him in an 18 wheeler in a city he does not know. Tell him he must drive that truck across town at 80 MPH to an address he does not have a map to find. Just tell him it is southwest from where you are. Make him do this at the rush hour. Then if he does arrive at the correct address, he must back that truck up to the loading dock and do it perfectly the first time. And he must do all this without incident of any sort. Then realize the pilots were flying an aircraft 2000 times larger than anything they had ever flown before. And they were not flying 50% faster than they had ever flown, but 400% faster. Then factor in that these young men knew they would be going to meet Allah. Imagine how their hearts would be racing and their hands shaking. And we get three direct, dead-center hits. That is what stretches my imagination, not the remote control part.
A Line in the Pentagon Grass
e-mail exchange between Ward Schmidt and John Judge
October 6-9, 2003
There are three theories:
- Flight 77 never hit the Pentagon, a cruise missle did. This is total bunk but it has advocates around the internet. If you lived in DC you would know that the plane hit the building. Loads of direct witnesses. No other explanation for the wreckage and bodies. And I have more proof than I want to go into now. So dump this one.
- Someone else flew the planes. There is evidence that the alleged hijackers
on the "suicide mission" were using false identities and at least
five of them came forward in Saudi Arabia to say they were alive and their
pictures and names had been displayed as suspects.
An inside source told me that American Airline pilots say that the actual pilots flew the planes until the very last minute. No way to verify this yet. Cannot imagine, short of MKULTRA, how they would get one of them to do it. Only one of the alleged pilots, Atta, had enough training, including some at US military bases, to come close, and his was the most straightline flight of the three.
Another inside source told me that an attendant on Flight 77 called her mother by cell phone and asked her to report that "we are being hijacked and there are six of them". The official story only has five terrorists aboard. Was there an extra person?
I do not believe that there has ever been a mass suicide in human history and I have studied all the claimed ones. Individual, and kamikaze, yes, but not group and not planned for months. One at the very most per plane may have been suicidal, or programmed somehow, but not 19.
- Global Hawk or other technology overrode the pilots and flew the planes
automatically or by some predetermined course. This might fit into your anomaly
in the photo, though I do think it takes more than a beacon to guide a plane
in towards a target.
My problem with this theory is trying to imagine how you would do the loops and fly so low without being at the controls, and without crashing. One CIA source known to a friend claims it can be done by inserting the flight path on a programmed disk and locking it in so the pilot cannot override. Still, I find the last minute banking on tower two to clip the corner and the Pentagon pattern unlikely if you could either pre-program or control flight in real time. Straight lines are much easier. This one seems remotely possible but unlikely to me.
|The Lone Gunmen: Fox TV show about remote control hijacking six months before 9/11|
13 megabyte MPEG file - excerpt from the show
Regarding the lone gunmen episode in which shadow government types remotely fly a passenger jet inot the world trade center (but are thwarted at the last moment by the lone gunmen *from the X Files).
This was a pilot for their show which ran for one breif season and it floored me to discover it aired in early 2001 almost six months before the 9-11 attacks.
Since I am one who believes in the remote controlled theory of the attacks, this also spurred my interest in WHY this show might have been aired to further the BFEE agenda.
The fact is that the shows creator has shadow government types who consult with him for his shows. This idea could have been planted and not some kind of 100th monkey idea from outside his brain.
I think it was probably due to a propaganda methodology known as "innoculation". IE the fascists plant ideas or do foreshadowing in a way which "prepares" the minds of the consuming public for the ridicule of conspiracy theorists who will say that the BFEE made 9-11 happen. That it was an inside job.
The Lone Gunman series, like the X Files, was full of ideas promoted to disparage the characters' beliefs. Mulder was always spouting off about conspiracies, the cigaret smoking man was in on the JFK assassination, and the lone gunmen themselves are ridiculed by parody in part by their name realted to the JFK assassination.
The "source" of an idea like WTC 9-11 MIHOP by the BFEE (being the mostly silly tv show) airing months before 9-11 innoculates the public to the idea that it was an inside job. "How silly. How unpatriotic. How COULD you think that". Witness the Paul Begala attack on Cynthia McKinney when she said that possibly "Bush Knew" the WTC would be attacked.
The best example of "innoculation" (a specialty of Karl Rove) in my opinion was the James Hatfield book "Fortunate Son" where Rove and other Bush insiders "leaked" the Bush cocaine arrest and comunity service story (including easily provable inaccurate details) to Hatfield knowing that he was a convicted felon. His story become noncredible to the general public because he had lied about or hidden his past. Nevermind that his facts were mostly accurate - the Bush cocaine arrest became a nonissue and the later suicided (IMO) Hatfield's credibility became the issue.
Same thing happened in the Dan Rather fiasco re: the national Guard service memo. The source (but not the story) was unreliable because of the damned font used in the document (never mind that the story was true).
So I would uge that folks not look to synchronicity or the collective unconscious for the source of many such stories like the Lone Gunmen pilot episode about a passenger jet crashing into the WTC.
These bastards KNOW what they are doing with their propaganda. Innoculation is a very effective way to COLOR the way we percieve events. Tell us a scary story. Make it seem unbelievable due to the source. And even if the story is true, we will already be subconsiously dismissing the truth of it.
'Lone Gunmen' Series Presaged 9-11
November 10, 2002
... a fascinating TV program aired March 4, 2001, on Fox that foretold the 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Center, with some fascinating twists.
In that story, a faction within the government organized a remote control takeover of a commercial airline, which it then aimed into the World Trade Center. The motive was to stimulate business for the weapons industry, which had been suffering since the end of the Cold War.
In this version of reality, the plot was discovered by a government employee who was not part of the faction, a good guy, a law-abiding citizen who worked for the government and really believed in the laws. To cut to the chase, the heroes of the story manage to thwart the disaster. One of them hacks the Defense Department computers and manages to restore the pilots' ability to manually override the remote control just moments before the plane would have crashed into the south tower.
The climactic scene shows the plane heading into the tower at night from the south, and when the manual override is restored, the pilots lift the plane, just barely missing the Trade Center. ...
The program was the pilot in a series that was spun off from The X-Files by its creator Chris Carter. The new series centers around three hackers and publishers of a conspiracy zine called "The Lone Gunmen. ....
The TV Guide story mentions that the planes were remotely piloted, saying, "Unlike the actual attacks, there was no suicide hijacker in the Gunmen climax; the terrorists attempted to remotely steer the plane into the skyscraper."
Of course since the White House has successfully blocked a thorough, independent investigation, we can't definitely rule out the possibility of remote piloting. In fact, a number of the alleged hijackers whose pictures were released by authorities almost immediately after the incident, were later found to be alive. We don't know who was on the flight, and we don't know if they knew the craft was being driven into a skyscraper.
.... The TV Guide article neglects to mention another major element of the plot. It mentions "terrorists," but never mentions that the terrorists in the story were Americans, part of the government, and they were doing it to create public support for war in order to fuel the weapons industry. This particular parallel was apparently too too disturbing to mention.
To bundle together two aphorisms, let us remember that while life imitates art, truth remains stranger than fiction. We know that the Joint Chiefs of Staff submitted a plan called Operation Northwoods during the Kennedy presidency, in which they advocated terrorist attacks in American cities in order to stir up support for an invasion of Cuba.
And just this week the CIA carried out an assassination from a drone plane, a plane with no driver, remotely controlled from the ground. And we know that remote control systems are in commercial aircraft now too. (See Drones of Death.)
Funny how a Hollywood series could anticipate the 911 scenario, but the multi-billion dollar defense and intelligence establishment was caught totally off guard. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney say no one ever thought of flying hijacked aircraft into buildings before. And they are honorable men. So are they all, all honorable men.
Do you want to see how that would have looked? FoxTV ran a TV show a year before showing people in a government agency remote controlling a passenger plane in the WTC, so they can blame it on a terrorist group. As an excuse to declare a war.
Did they plant this script as braging rights, or as a means to discredit who knows?
Here is a link to video clip from that TV show you can download. http://sf.indymedia.org/news/2002/09/145289_comment.php#145399
Script excerpt from www.insidethex.co.uk/transcrp/tlg179.htm
BYERS: We know it's a war game scenario. That it has to do with airline counter-terrorism. Why is it important enough to kill for.
BYERS SNR: Because it's no longer a game.
BYERS: But if some terrorist group wants to act out this scenario, then why target you for assassination?
BYERS SNR: Depends on who your terrorists are.
BYERS: The men who conceived of it the first place. You're saying our government is planning to commit a terrorist act against a domestic airline?
BYERS SNR: There you go again. Blaming the entire government as usual. In fact, a small faction ...
BYERS: For what possible gain?
BYERS SNR: The Cold War's over, John. But with no clear enemy to stockpile against, the arms market's flat. But bring down a fully loaded 727 into the middle of New York City and you'll find a dozen tinpot dictators all over the world just clamouring to take responsibility, and begging to be smart-bombed.
BYERS: I can't believe this. This is about increasing arms sales?
(BYERS SNR nods.)
BYERS SNR: Tonight.
BYERS: How are you going to stop them?
(BYERS SNR says nothing.)
BYERS: Why didn't you tell the world about this - go to the press?
BYERS SNR: You think I'd still be drawing breath 30 minutes after I made that call? The press - who's going to run this story?
BYERS: We would!
BYERS SNR: This?
(He goes over to the pile of Lone Gunman newsletters and picks one up.)
BYERS SNR: This is bird cage liner. Wild-eyed crap, up there with "Elvis is an Alien" and two-headed babies.
BYERS: You obviously read it.
BYERS SNR: Don't be so damned naive. This isn't going to save the world. (He sighs) I'm doing what I can, John. I don't have all the specifics on scenario 12-D, but I think I know the flight they've chosen. You stay out of it. I don't want Overlord gunning for you too.
BYERS: We need to know our flightplan.
CUT BACK TO:
(LANGLY and FROHIKE are checking the flight data.)
FROHIKE: I'm mapping the data now.
(The monitor changes to show a map. The map increases in detail and a line showing the flightplan is superimposed on it. The line stops at a point on the map and the target building is highlighted. FROHIKE and LANGLY look at each other.)
LANGLY: Byers. Your flight's going to make an unscheduled stop. In exactly 22 minutes.
(Cut to FROHIKE and LANGLY.)
FROHIKE: Corner of Liberty and Washington, Lower Manhattan.
(Onboard the aircraft. BYERS and BYERS SNR are trying to keep their voices low.)
BYERS: World Trade Center. (He turns to his father) They're going to crash it into the World Trade Center.
BYERS SNR: I'll tell the flight crew.
(The Lone Gunmen offices. LANGLY is frantically working at the console.)
BYERS (VO): Langly, can you override the flight control system?
LANGLY: Working on it.
CUT BACK TO:
(The aircraft flight deck. BYERS SNR enters. The pilot turns to him)
PILOT: What is this?
(The navigator tries to stop BYERS SNR.)
BYERS SNR: My name is Bert Byers. (He shows them his ID) I work for the government. I believe this plane has been commandeered.
PILOT: Sir, passengers are not allowed in the cockpit. I need you to return to your seat now.
BYERS SNR: You don't have control of this plane and I don't know what we can do to get it back. Turn off your auto-pilot. There may be a chance we can override it.
PILOT: Sir, I'll be happy to contact your superiors in the government -
(BYERS SNR rushes to the flight controls.)
PILOT: Sir! Dammit!
(The navigator hauls BYERS SNR back. The Co-Pilot has grabbed the control stick.)
CO-PILOT: He's right!
(Cut to monitor in Lone Gunmen offices. The screen shows: "ALERT: SYSTEM OVERLOAD. Flushing C- Please wait".)
LANGLY: Dammit! Frozen again. (Exasperated) They've encrypted the manual override commands.
FROHIKE: Well, decrypt them then.
LANGLY: I don't have enough power ...
(We cut between BYERS and the Lone Gunmen offices.)
LANGLY (VO): ... my CPUs are pegged.
BYERS: Langly, what's happening?
LANGLY: I'll try decrypting in background mode.
BYERS: How long will that take?
LANGLY: On my calcs per sec? I estimate (pause) seven to ten days.
BYERS: Oh. Needless to say!
LANGLY: Our asses are fried.
Dov Zakheim, the Project for a New American Century,
Remote Controlled 9/11 Planes & the Pentagon's Missing Trillions
Dov Zakheim, the Pentagon's Comptroller (in charge of the money) on 9/11, was co-author of the notorious "Project for a New American Century" September 2000 report that stated the US empire needed a "new Pearl Harbor" and that the US should seize oil-rich Iraq even if Saddam Hussein were deposed. His involvement with PNAC, his previous directorship of a corporation that manufactures remote control flight systems, and his inability to document how the Pentagon has spent our money suggests that real investigations into the crimes of 9/11 and the US invasion of the Middle East would put Mr. Zakheim near the top of the witness list if there is ever a real 9/11 investigation with subpoena power.
Now here's a new wrinkle for conspiracy theorists who believe that the hijacked planes were actually remotely controlled from the ground and that the hijackers were actually themselves turned into suicide mission patsies. Put this name into your system: Dov Zakheim
1985 to 1987 he was deputy under secretary of defense for planning and resources, and held various other senior Pentagon posts in the Reagan administration. He was previously with the Congressional Budget Office. Zakheim is currently corporate vice president of the Systems Planning Corporation (SPC), a high-technology research, analysis, and manufacturing firm, and chief executive officer and president of SPC International, Inc. In 1998, Zakheim, an expert in ballistic missiles, worked in 1998 with Rumsfeld Commission. More significantly, he is a long-time Bush associate, having served as a policy advisor to the governor during the 2000 campaign. In May, 2001, Zakheim was sworn in to the Bush Administration as Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) of the DOD.
Here's the wrinkle: Zakheim's company produces advanced Command Transmitter Systems, designed to provide "remote control and flight termination functions through a fully redundant, self-contained solid state system." The unit is just 5 feet high and can be mounted easily on a mobile platform. Although designed to control unmanned flights such as Global hawk from remote positions on the ground, one British aviation engineer said after 9/11 that the planes used in the attacks were could have been equipped with, or suitable for, such remote control units.
From The San Francisco Chronicle:
Military waste under fire
$1 trillion missing -- Bush plan targets Pentagon accounting
Tom Abate, Chronicle Staff Writer
Sunday, May 18, 2003
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The Department of Defense, already infamous for spending $640 for a toilet seat, once again finds itself under intense scrutiny, only this time because it couldn't account for more than a trillion dollars in financial transactions, not to mention dozens of tanks, missiles and planes.
The Pentagon's unenviable reputation for waste will top the congressional agenda this week, when the House and Senate are expected to begin floor debate on a Bush administration proposal to make sweeping changes in how the Pentagon spends money, manages contracts and treats civilian employees.
The Bush proposal, called the Defense Transformation for the 21st Century Act, arrives at a time when the nonpartisan General Accounting Office has raised the volume of its perennial complaints about the financial woes at Defense, which recently failed its seventh audit in as many years.
"Overhauling DOD's financial management operations represent a challenge that goes far beyond financial accounting to the very fiber of (its) . . . business operations and culture," GAO chief David Walker told lawmakers in March.
WHAT HAPPENED TO $1 TRILLION?
Though Defense has long been notorious for waste, recent government reports suggest the Pentagon's money management woes have reached astronomical proportions. A study by the Defense Department's inspector general found that the Pentagon couldn't properly account for more than a trillion dollars in monies spent. A GAO report found Defense inventory systems so lax that the U.S. Army lost track of 56 airplanes, 32 tanks, and 36 Javelin missile command launch-units.
And before the Iraq war, when military leaders were scrambling to find enough chemical and biological warfare suits to protect U.S. troops, the department was caught selling these suits as surplus on the Internet "for pennies on the dollar," a GAO official said.
Given these glaring gaps in the management of a Pentagon budget that is approaching $400 billion, the coming debate is shaping up as a bid to gain the high ground in the battle against waste, fraud and abuse.
"We are overhauling our financial management system precisely because people like David Walker are rightly critical of it," said Dov Zakheim, the Pentagon's chief financial officer and prime architect of the Defense Department's self-styled fiscal transformation.
Among the provisions in the 207-page plan, the department is asking Congress to allow Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to replace the civil service system governing 700,000 nonmilitary employees with a new system to be detailed later.
The plan would also eliminate or phase out more than a hundred reports that now tell Congress, for instance, which Defense contractors support the Arab boycott of Israel and when U.S. special forces train foreign soldiers, as well as many studies of program costs.
The administration's proposal, which would also give Rumsfeld greater authority to move money between accounts and exempt Defense from certain environmental statutes, prompted influential House Democrats to write Speaker Dennis Hastert last week complaining that the proposals would "increase the level of waste, fraud, and abuse . . . by vastly reducing (Defense) accountability."
"The Congress has increased defense spending from $300 billion to $400 billion over three years at the same time that the Pentagon has failed to address financial problems that dwarf those of Enron," said Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles, one of the letter's signatories.
Saying critics of the bill "were arguing for more paperwork," Hastert spokesman John Feehery said his boss would support the Bush reforms on the House floor. "The purpose is to streamline the Pentagon to become a less bureaucratic and more efficient organization . . . while also making it more accountable," Feehery said.
PROCESS WILL TAKE MONTHS
The debate will center around the defense authorization bill, the policy- setting prelude to the defense appropriations measure that comes up later in the session. With the House and Senate considering different versions of the transformation proposals, it will be months before each passes its own bill and reconciles any differences. But few on Capitol Hill would deny that, when it comes to fiscal management, Defense is long overdue for "transformation."
In congressional testimony Rumsfeld himself has said "the financial reporting systems of the Pentagon are in disarray . . . they're not capable of providing the kinds of financial management information that any large organization would have."
GAO reports detail not only the woeful state of Defense fiscal controls, but the cost of failed attempts to fix them.
For instance, in June 2002 the GAO reviewed the history of a proposed Corporate Information Management system, or CIM. The initiative began in 1989 as an attempt to unify more than 2,000 overlapping systems then being used for billing, inventory, personnel and similar functions. But after "spending about $20 billion, the CIM initiative was eventually abandoned," the GAO said.
Gregory Kutz, director of GAO's financial management division and co-author of that report, likened Defense to a dysfunctional corporation, with the Pentagon cast as a holding company exercising only weak fiscal control over its subsidiaries -- the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. Today, DOD has about 2,200 overlapping financial systems, Kutz said, and just running them costs taxpayers $18 billion a year. "The (Pentagon's) inability to even complete an audit shows just how far they have to go," he said.
Kutz contrasted the department's loose inventory controls to state-of-the- art systems at private corporations. "I've been to Wal-Mart," Kutz said. "They were able to tell me how many tubes of toothpaste were in Fairfax, Va., at that given moment. And DOD can't find its chem-bio suits."
CRITICS CALLED UNPATRIOTIC
Danielle Brian, director of the Project on Governmental Oversight, a nonprofit group in Washington, D.C., said waste has become ingrained in the Defense budget because opposition to defense spending is portrayed as unpatriotic, and legislators are often more concerned about winning Pentagon pork than controlling defense waste. "You have a black hole at the Pentagon for money and a blind Congress," Brian said.
But things may be changing.
GAO's Kutz said Rumsfeld has "showed a commitment" to cutting waste and asked Pentagon officials to save 5 percent of the defense budget, which would mean a $20 billion savings.
Legislators are also calling attention to Defense waste. "Balancing the military's books is not as exciting as designing or purchasing the next generation of airplanes, tanks, or ships, but it is just as important," Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.V., said last week. In a hearing last month about cost overruns, Rep. John Duncan, R-Tenn., of the House Committee on Government Reform said: "I've always considered myself to be a pro-military type person, but that doesn't mean I just want to sit back and watch the Pentagon waste billions and billions of dollars."
But while Capitol Hill sees the need, and possibly has the will to reform the Pentagon, the devil remains in the details, and the administration aroused Democratic suspicions when it dropped its 207-page transformation bill on lawmakers on April 10 -- leaving scant time to scrutinize proposals that touch many aspects of the biggest department in government.
"We have as much problem with the process as with the substance," said said Rep. John Spratt, D-S.C., who co-signed Waxman's letter calling the transformation bill "an effort by the Department to substantially reduce congressional oversight and public accountability."
Defense's Zakheim counters that the reform proposals would "remove the barnacles of past practices (and provide) DOD with modern day management while preserving congressional oversight and prerogatives."
But Waxman, a critic of the administration's handling of Iraqi reconstruction contracts, called the proposals "a military wish list" to take advantage of "the wartime feeling."
"Secretary Rumsfeld is hoping to march through Congress like he marched through Iraq," Waxman said.
E-mail Tom Abate at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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