Issue #1:
Was there a military or chain of command failure on September 11th?

The mission of North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) includes providing an appropriate response to any form of an air attack on America. It was created specifically to provide a defense against long-range bombers that threatened critical command and control targets, including the Pentagon and White House. It subsequently was given the mission of tracking and intercepting other aircraft including drug-smuggler planes and cruise missile. In August 1999, the commander of the 1st Air Force, General Larry K. Arnold, specifically identified terrorists as part of NORAD's mission, noting "Non-deterrable threats, such as rogue nations and terrorists, make our job more crucial and challenging than ever." NORAD's Capability included an ability to locate rogue aircraft on radar within 2 minutes and scramble interceptor planes within 6 minutes.

On 8:40 a.m on September 11,2001, the FAA notified (NORAD) that flight #11 has been hijacked. Three minutes later it notified NORAD that flight #175 was also hijacked. By 9:02 a.m., both planes had crashed in the world trade center and NORAD knew airliners were being hijacked and converted into bombers. Yet, despite all its sophisticated detection capability and " seamless command and control capability," as General Arnold described it, it was unable to intercept two other airliners headed for command and control centers in the Washington area, at 9:38 a.mó 58 minutes after its initial warning about flight 11ó flight #77 hit the Pentagon; at 10: 06 a.mó one hour and 26 minutes after its initial warningó Flight 93 crashes near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Questions:

1) Why did NORAD fail to have fighters that could travel at a speed of 1,800 miles an hour in a position to block or destroy these bombs. Was it a failure of it equipment or organization?

2) Had NORAD held adequate rehearsals?

3) Was it a failure of it commanders or those higher in the chain of command?

Witnesses:

Gen. Richard B. Myers, former NORAD commander and Vice-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on 9-11, 2001

Gen. Ralph E. Eberhart, commander of NORAD on 9-11, 2001

Crime Scene Investigation:

Tape recordings of communications between Watch commanders on 9-11, General Eberhart, General Myers and others in the chain of command.

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