The 9/11 War Games
By Rebekah Cohen
Among the many mysteries surrounding 9/11 is the emerging information that several government/military war games were taking place on the morning of 9/11/2001. The military war games on that day could have been a particularly interesting coincidence, or served the much greater purpose of confusing, distracting, and potentially even facilitating the September 11th terrorist attacks.
In May of 2001, Vice President Dick Cheney was nominated to oversee Domestic Counter terrorism Efforts. According to Michael Ruppert’s book, Crossing the Rubicon this position put domestic military control in the hands of Cheney, giving him the power to issue a scramble or a direct stand-down order in the unlikely case of a terrorist attack. Without Chenex’s consent the military would not act. (Ruppert 2004).
Interestingly enough, several “live-fly? (as opposed to simulated) war games were taking place the week of 9/11. “I have an on-the-record statement from someone in NORAD that on the day of 9/11, the Joint Chief of Staff (Richard B. Myers) and NORAD were conducting a joint, live-fly, hijacked Field Training Exercised (FTX) which involved at least one (and almost certainly more) aircraft under US control that was posing as a hijacked airliner,” said Mike Ruppert (Kane 6/8/2004).
The confirmed war game taking place on 9/11 was “Vigilant Guardian.” An annual drill in its second day, Vigilant Guardian was allegedly an exercise focusing on old Cold War threats and was conducted by NORAD. This “live-fly? war game was actually being used to test national air response systems ? involving hijacking scenarios (Kane 6/8/2004).
Another drill taking place on 9/11 was titled “Northern Vigilance.” This exercise was also conducted by NORAD once a year and involved deploying fighter jets to locations in Alaska and Northern Canada (Ruppert 2004). This drill succeeded in pulling military personnel and equipment north, away from the East Coast and away from the pending terrorist attacks. There is also evidence suggesting a war game, titled “Vigilant Warrior,” was also being played on 9/11. This is a drill from the 1996 Persian Gulf. The name “Vigilant? in both “Vigilant Guardian” and “Vigilant Warrior? suggests a possible connection between the two drills. The common first name suggests the possibility of the two games playing opposing forces (Ruppert 2004).
Another potential drill going on was hosted by the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). They have claimed to have been “running a drill for the scenario of an errant aircraft crashing into its NRO headquarters (coincidentally, located only four blocks from Dulles airport in Washington D.C.)? (Kane 6/8/2004).
As early as 8:30 A.M., on the morning of September 11th, air force Major General Larry Arnold, involved with the Vigilant Guardian war game, questioned the validity of the calls in regards to possible terrorist activity. Upon hearing of the hijackings, he wondered if it was all apart of the exercise or the real thing. It was apparently around this time that the FAA, NORAD, and other agencies (FBI and CIA) were on an open line discussing the possibility of a hijacked plane. When the whereabouts of the taped conversation between these various agencies was questioned, it was revealed that FAA manager Kevin Delaney, destroyed the air traffic control tapes just months after 9/11. No reason was stated and the issue has gone un-pressed (Haupt, 5/30/2004).
Also taking place around 8:30 A.M., Colonel Deskins, Head of Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) and mission crew chief for ongoing exercise Vigilant Guardian, was quoted as saying “uh, we have a hijacked aircraft and I need you to get some sort of fighters out here to help us out.” Although, contrary to Colonel Deskins, Major General Eric Findley, who was in charge of NORAD on 9/11 in Colorado, claimed that no calls for help took place until 10:01 A.M. Another conflicting statement made by General Rick Findley claims that he commanded fighters into the air as early as 8:46 A.M (Haupt, 5/30/2004).
The controversial 2003 9/11 hearing revealed that their logs indicated 8:40 to be the first time the FAA reported a possible hijacking. Although, the “tower logs? were not physically present at the hearing and the fact was based on recollection only. Other reports claimed that NEADS was most likely aware of a potential hijacking as early as 8:20 A.M (Haupt, 5/30/2004).
There was never a direct mention of war games on 9/11 in the 9/11 Commission hearings. So the names of the possible war games and the people in charge of them on September 11th were not overtly specified or further subjected to mainstream criticism. However, when General Eberhart was questioned about the authority heads behind the war games, he replied with, “No comment.” His unwillingness to divulge names of the people in charge is highly suspicious and warrants further explanation (Kane 1/18/2005).
Representative Cynthia McKinney (D-Altanta) attempted to bring some attention to the 9/11 war games during the House Hearing on FY06 Department of Defense Budget, on March 11th, 2005. She questioned Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld and Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, Richard Myers about the four war games that took place on September 11th. Myers responded to the question with very ambiguous explanations. He claimed that war gaming was being held by several different departments and it was not NORADs overall responsibility to respond to the attacks, but the FAA?s. Nonetheless, he felt the gaming actually provided “an easy transition from an exercise into a real world situation” and contributed to a quick response. Myers failed to comment on McKinnex’s question of who was actually in charge of managing the war games on 9/11 (Kane 3/1/2005).
Michael Kane, “Mr. Chairman, I have a Question: Representative Cynthia McKinney
Rocks Rumsfeld on War Games”, http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/030105_mckinney_question.shtml , March 1, 2005
Michael Kane, “Crossing the Rubicon simplifying the case against Dick Cheney”, http://fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/011805_simplify_case.shtml, Jan. 18, 2005
Michael Kane, ?9/11 War Games ? No Coincidence”, http://inn.globalfreepress.com/modules/news/print.php?storyid=387, June 8, 2004
Nico Haupt, “The lost war drill? (Chapter 9)”, http://inn.globalfreepress.com/modules/news/print.php?storyid=325, May 30, 2004
Michael Ruppert, “Crossing the Rubicon: The decline of the American empire at the end of the age of oil”, New Society Publishers, 2004.