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# 1 September 11: The New Pearl Harbor
This report serves to refute claims by the Bush Administration that they could have predicted that an airplane could be used in a terrorist attack.
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By Paul Thompson of History Commons.
Flight 77 took off from Dulles International Airport near Washington at 8:20, ten minutes after the scheduled departure time. [8:20, CNN, 9/17/01, Guardian, 10/17/01] Its last routine radio communication was made 51 seconds after 8:50, and then it failed to respond to a routine instruction. [New York Times, 10/16/01 (D)] According to a USA Today map, it likely had already turned about 90 degrees from its scheduled flight path by this time. According to the New York Times, “a few minutes” after 8:48, flight controllers learned that Flight 77 had been hijacked. [New York Times, 9/15/01 (C)] But, as with Flight 11, they clearly violated regulations and failed to immediately notify NORAD.
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NORAD had drills of jets as weapons
By Steven Komarow and Tom Squitieri, USA TODAY
One of the imagined targets was the World Trade Center. In another exercise, jets performed a mock shootdown over the Atlantic Ocean of a jet supposedly laden with chemical poisons headed toward a target in the United States. In a third scenario, the target was the Pentagon — but that drill was not run after Defense officials said it was unrealistic, NORAD and Defense officials say.
NORAD, in a written statement, confirmed that such hijacking exercises occurred. It said the scenarios outlined were regional drills, not regularly scheduled continent-wide exercises.