RON SCHALOW: Do You Remember This About 9/11? Part 2

(For those who missed Part 1, the first seven paragraphs are repeats.)

Every year around 9/11, Facebook and other mediums are filled with flags and images from that tragic day and calls to “NEVER FORGET,” as is proper. The day should never be forgotten.

Except many people in this country don’t know many of the details of that day, or choose to ignore them, so they don’t have much to forget. You can’t “not forget” what you “don’t know.”

Terrorists flew planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. On one plane, passengers fought back in a suicide mission and succeeded in saving another target and lives. Thousands died. Maybe that’s enough to know, but I don’t think so.

Just for record; I’m not a conspiracy theorist. I don’t believe now, or ever, that our government had anything to do with the attacks on 9/11. I’m not a truther, as a bulbous and dense Forum Communication blogger concluded and published after zero research.

My contention has always been that general incompetence, compounded with the unwillingness (perhaps laziness) to learn the basics of a job, mostly on the part of the president, made any of the four terrorist acts less likely to be thwarted before or during the 102 minutes.

But it’s been 15 years since 9/11, and the day will always be an important date in American history, and some things bear repeating, especially facts that were obscure within days, but shouldn’t have been. Plus, most people born in the early ’90s, or later, have no specific memories of that day.

I’ll write about one fact at a time, in no particular order or importance. This one is pretty odd.

No. 2: Did you remember this?

Twelve minutes after leaving the classroom in Sarasota, Fla., where he spent seven minutes thinking about what Chief of Staff Andy Card told him, “America is under attack” (after the second WTC Tower was hit), the president gave a short speech to the nation at 9:30 a.m., while an airliner bore down on Washington, D.C., which ended up hitting the Pentagon.

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is a difficult moment for America. I, unfortunately, will be going back to Washington after my remarks. Secretary Rod Paige and the lieutenant governor will take the podium and discuss education. I do want to thank the folks here at Booker Elementary School for their hospitality. Today, we’ve had a national tragedy. Two airplanes have crashed into the World Trade Center in an apparent terrorist attack on our country. I have spoken to the vice president, to the governor of New York, to the director of the FBI and have ordered that the full resources of the federal government go to help the victims and their families and to conduct a full-scale investigation to hunt down and to find those folks who committed this act. Terrorism against our nation will not stand. And now if you would join me in a moment of silence. May God bless the victims, their families and America. Thank you very much.” — GEORGE BUSH, EXPLAINING EVENTS TO TELEVISION VIEWERS.

That’s the fact, but I have no idea why Bush chose to do it.

There were still two passenger planes in the air that were considered hijacked.

The president spoke as though the attacks were over.

The FAA and the Secret Service knew there were more hijacked planes in the air. Did the Secret Service not tell the president? Did no one think to call the FAA? Most agencies in the defense sector were aware.

“The Secret Service has an arrangement with the FAA. They had open lines after the World Trade Center was…” — Vice President Dick Cheney, “Meet The Press,” September 16, 2001.

American Airlines Flight 77 crashes into the Pentagon at 9:43 a.m., but obviously, people working in the outer ring, and above ground, weren’t warned. Why?

“At 9:16, NORAD was notified that Flight 93 had been hijacked, and at 9:24 it was notified that Flight 77 had also been hijacked and was heading toward Washington.” —NORAD, 9/18/01.

Does it matter that the president gave a speech in the middle of the attacks? There is no evidence that Bush made any defensive decisions, or gave any orders, while the action was transpiring, so, in that context, no.
Ponder on all of that. Part 3 coming soon.

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