Why Do Good People Become Silent—or Worse—about 9/11?


Written by Fran Shure   

Part 3: Obeying and Believing Authority 

911-experts-shureSummary/Editor’s Note:

Frances Shure, M.A., L.P.C., has performed an in-depth analysis addressing a key issue of our time: “Why Do Good People Become Silent—or Worse—About 9/11?” The resulting essay, to be presented here as a series, is a synthesis of reports on academic research as well as clinical observations.

In answering the question in the title of this essay, last month’s segment, Part 2, addressed the anthropological study, Diffusion of Innovations, which discusses how change occurs in societies. These anthropologists discovered that, within diverse cultures, there can be found groups that vary in their openness to new ideas and technology—groups that fall within a neat bell curve. The success of the spread of an innovative technology or new idea reliably hinges on one point: whether or not opinion leaders vouch for it. In this context, the mainstream media can rightly be seen as promoting the official myth of 9/11, and therefore aiding and abetting the crimes of September 11, 2001.

We continue Ms. Shure’s analysis in Part 3 with the authority experiments of Stanley Milgram, Jane Elliott, and Philip Zimbardo.

In his famous 1961 experiment on obedience to authority, Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram set out to answer the question, “Could it be that Eichmann and his million accomplices in the Holocaust were just following orders? Could we call them all accomplices?”

Three people made up each of Milgram’s experiments: an experimenter (the authority); the subject of the experiment, a volunteer who was told that he or she was a “teacher”; and a confederate (a plant) who was thought by the subject to be a “student” or “learner,” but who was actually an actor.

The “teacher” (subject) was given a sample electrical shock that the “student” (actor) would supposedly receive. Then, the teacher read a list of word pairs to the student, and the student would press a button to give his answer. If the response was correct, the teacher would go to the next list of word pairs, but if the answer was wrong, the teacher would administer an electric shock to the student. This would continue with shocks increasing in 15-volt increments for each succeeding incorrect answer. In reality, no electric shocks were actually administered, but pre-recorded sounds of pain would play at certain shock levels. At a higher level of the supposed shocks, the actor would bang on the wall separating him and the teacher and complain of his heart condition. At an even higher shock level, all sounds from the student ceased.

Whenever a teacher would want to stop the experiment, the authority had a predetermined set of verbal prods, given in this order:

1. Please continue.

2. The experiment requires that you continue.

3. It is absolutely essential that you continue.

4. You have no other choice. You must go on.

If, after the fourth prod, the subject still indicated a desire to stop, the experiment was halted. Otherwise, it was terminated only after the subject delivered what he or she thought was the maximum 450-volt shock three times in succession.

milgram study diagramThe setup of the Milgram experimentSurprising the participants of a previous poll, given to Yale senior-year psychology students, Milgram’s colleagues, and some local psychiatrists, who allpredicted that a very small fraction of the subjects would administer the maximum shock, Milgram found that approximately two-thirds of his subjects would willingly administer what they thoughtwas the maximum, potentially lethal, 450-volt shock to a student, although many were very uncomfortable doing so.

In his article, “The Perils of Obedience,” Milgram summarized the results of his groundbreaking study:

Stark authority was pitted against the subjects’ strongest moral imperatives against hurting others, and, with the subjects’ ears ringing with the screams of the victims, authority won more often than not. The extreme willingness of adults to go to almost any lengths on the command of an authority constitutes the chief finding of the study and the fact most urgently demanding explanation.2

A modified version of this experiment delivered some good news to those of us confronting the lies and abuses of authorities:

In one variation, three teachers (two actors and a real subject) administered a test and shocks. When the two actors disobeyed the experimenter and refused to go beyond a certain shock level, thirty-six of forty subjects joined their disobedient peers and refused as well.3

The lesson for 9/11 skeptics is not difficult to grasp: If we continue pushing through our own taboo barriers and the resistance of others and confidently speak our truth with solid information, our peers throughout the world will gradually join us.

Nevertheless, the data from the original Milgram experiments can still “shock” us, as it did the world in the 1960s. For me, as an undergraduate student, hearing the fact that two-thirds of us would deliver a potentially lethal shock to a helpless and ill person was disturbing and life changing: Having been reared by fairly authoritarian parents, I knew that it was likely I would also have followed those orders! I resolved, therefore, to never blindly follow authority, but instead to listen to and trust my own inner guidance and conscience.

But do these findings apply to firmly believing what an authority tells us? We might suspect that sometimes we follow the orders of an authority, but we do not always deeply believe what this authority proclaims (e.g., 19 Muslims attacked us because they hate our freedoms). Empirical evidence suggests that, yes, these findings do apply, especially if our fear has intensified and we respect that particular authority (e.g., George W. Bush or Barack Obama).

jane elliottThird-grade teacher Jane ElliottAn astonishing social experiment by third-grade teacher Jane Elliott demonstrates the power of our human proclivity to believe a trusted authority—and even to develop our identity based on what this authority tells us about ourselves. Following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., Elliott wanted to help her all-white third-graders in a small town in Iowa to understand prejudice. One day she told them:

Today, the blue-eyed people will be on the bottom and the brown-eyed people on the top. What I mean is that brown-eyed people are better than blue-eyed people. They are cleaner than blue-eyed people. They are more civilized than blue-eyed people. And they are smarter than blue-eyed people.

Brown-eyed people were allowed longer recess, the use of the bigger playground equipment, and to be first in line for lunch and second helpings. Elliott instructed the blue-eyed people to not play with brown-eyed people, unless asked, and to sit in the back of the room. Each brown-eyed child was given a collar to put around the neck of a blue-eyed child. Throughout the day, the teacher reinforced that brown-eyed children were superior and blue-eyed children were inferior.

By lunchtime, the behavior alone of the children revealed whether they had brown or blue eyes:

The brown-eyed children were happy, alert, having the time of their lives. And they were doing far better work than they had ever done before. The blue-eyed children were miserable. Their posture, their expressions, their entire attitudes were those of defeat. Their classroom work regressed sharply from that of the day before. Inside of an hour or so, they looked and acted as if they were, in fact, inferior. It was shocking.

But even more frightening was the way the brown-eyed children turned on their friends of the day before….4

Jane Elliott reversed the experiment the next day, labeling the blue-eyed children as superior, and the same thing happened in reverse.

At the end of the day, she told her students that this was only an experiment and there was no innate difference between blue-eyed and brown-eyed people. The children took off their collars and hugged one another, looking immensely relieved to be equals and friends again. An interesting aspect of the experiment is how it affected learning…. Once the children realized that their power to learn depended on their belief in themselves, they held on to believing they were smart and didn’t let go of it again.5

But surely, adults would be immune to such social pressure and manipulation, right? Wouldn’t adults be able to discern and resist what children cannot? Surely, as adults, our very identity would not be affected by such manipulation, would it?

In a study strikingly similar to third-grade teacher Jane Elliott’s, social psychologist Philip Zimbardo’s famous Stanford Prison Experiment in the early 1970s proves this understandable assumption largely wrong.

Zimbardo and colleagues used 24 male college students as subjects, dividing them arbitrarily into “guards” and “inmates” within a mock prison. Zimbardo instructed the “guards” to act oppressively toward the “prisoners,” therefore assuming the role of an authority.

All students knew this was an experiment, but surprising even the experimenters, they nevertheless quickly internalized their roles as brutal, sadistic guards or emotionally broken prisoners. The “prison system” set up by the experimenters and the subsequent dynamic that developed had such a deleterious effect on the subjects that the study was terminated on the sixth day. However, this did not happen until graduate psychology student Christina Maslach—whom Philip Zimbardo was dating and who subsequently became his wife—brought to his attention the unethical conditions of the experiment.6

prison experimentPhotos of subjects in Stanford Prison ExperimentThis experiment—as did the Milgram and Elliott studies—demonstrates the human tendency to believe and follow authority. The Zimbardo and Elliott studies demonstrate that our very identities are affected by what authority tells us and that peer pressure powerfully reinforces these human tendencies. As a result, Milgram’s subjects, Elliott’s third graders, and Zimbardo’s adult students committed atrocities, even in violation of cherished moral values.

Zimbardo became an expert defense witness at the court-martial of one of the night-shift guards, Ivan “Chip” Frederick, of the infamous “Abu Ghraib Seven.” Because of his experience with the Stanford Prison Experiment, Zimbardo argued that it was the situation that had brought out the aberrant behaviors in otherwise good people. While the military argued that that these guards were a few “bad apples” in an otherwise good U.S. Army barrel, Zimbardo argued that these guards were normal, good apples in a very, very bad barrel.

Chip Frederick pleaded guilty and received a sentence of eight years in prison, with Zimbardo’s testimony having little effect on the sentence he received. The other guards, found guilty, received sentences ranging from zero to ten years; the discrepancy in sentences seemed to make no sense.

What is the truth? Were these night-shift guards only a few “bad apples” in a good barrel, or was the barrel itself contaminated? The Army itself stated that, since October 2001, there were more than 600 accusations of abuse of detainees. Many more went unreported, including abuse of “ghost detainees,” those unfortunate souls who, under the control of the CIA, were never identified and were often “rendered” to torture states. Many of these victims were essentially “disappeared.” By extension, there were obviously many “ghost abusers” who were never held accountable.

To support his accusation that the barrel, rather than the apples, was toxic, in The Lucifer Effect, Zimbardo puts the system itself on trial. He finds that the orders, the expectations, and the pressure to torture came from the very top of the chain of command, and his analyses find guilty Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, CIA Director George Tenet, Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, Major General Geoffrey Miller, Vice President Dick Cheney, and President George W. Bush.

Zimbardo’s detailed analyses conclude that “this barrel of apples began rotting from the top down.” Yet he also praises the many heroes, the whistle-blowers from the bottom to the top of the military hierarchy, those human beings who risked their lives and careers to stand up and to stand strong against the toxic system.7

Why do some people conform to the expectations of the system while others find the courage to remain true to their principles? Throughout this essay there are pointers toward these answers from the perspective of developmental and depth psychology, but to explore this immensely important subject in detail would require a separate work. Zimbardo, however, begins this exploration from a social psychologist’s perspective, declaring that we are all “heroes in waiting” and offers suggestions on how to resist undesirable social influences.8

It is my firm belief that 9/11 skeptics—and true skeptics of any paradigm-shifting and taboo subject—who publicly expose lies and naked emperors are heroes who have come out of waiting, for we have suffered the ridicule and wrath of those emperors, their minions, and the just plain frightened.

These three studies—Milgram’s study on obedience to authority, Elliott’s Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes Exercise, and Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment—demonstrate our human proclivity to trust and obey authority. Another question arises for us: Is this predisposition encoded genetically? Evidence appears to support this.

To survive as babies and young children, we automatically look to our parents for confirmation of safety or danger.

Chimpanzees, with whom our genetics match at least 94%, generally have one or more alpha male leaders, albeit often chosen by the females of the troop.10 Bonobos, with a genome close to that of the chimpanzees and thus to humans, have a matriarchal system with a female leader.11

And, of course, human communities have leaders. Thus, the need for a leader, an authority, appears to be genetically hardwired. If we have been reared in an authoritarian family and school system, then this tendency to rely on authority figures for confirmation of reality is likely reinforced. Conversely, if we are reared in a family, school system, and cultural context that rewards critical thinking and respects our feelings and needs, then the tendency to rely on authority figures would likely be weakened.

In our American society, many of our officials routinely lie to and abuse us, but nonetheless, many citizens continue to look to them for truth and safety—especially when fear is heightened. This strong tendency to believe and obey authority is another obstacle with which skeptics of the official 9/11 account must contend.

By unquestioningly believing and obeying authority, we develop and perpetuate faulty identities and faulty beliefs, and to top it off, we make very bad decisions, which often negatively affect others. This can be equally true for the next four human proclivities studied by social psychologists: doublethink, cognitive dissonance, conformity, and groupthink.

Editor’s note: To be continued in our next newsletter with Part 4: George Orwell’s brilliant observation of “Doublethink.”


1 Stanley Milgram, Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View (Harper & Row Publishers, Inc., 1974).


2 Stanley Milgram, “The Perils of Obedience,” Harpers Magazine (1974). Can be accessedhttp://www.age-of-the-sage.org/psychology/milgram_perils_authority_1974.html.

3 Ibid.

4 Dennis Linn, Sheila Fabricant Linn, and Mathew Linn, Healing the Future: Personal Recovery from Societal Wounding (Paulist Press, 2012) 56–60. William Peters, A Class Divided: Then and Now, expanded ed. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1971); this book includes an account of Jane Elliott conducting a similar experiment for adult employees of the Iowa Department of Corrections. Documentary films that also tell this story are The Eye of the Storm, ABC News, 1970, distributed in DVD format by Admire Productions, 2004,http://www.admireentertainment.com, and A Class Divided, by Yale University Films, 1986, presented on Frontline and distributed in DVD format by PBS Home Video, http://www.pbs.org; both programs include study guides for use with groups.

5 Dennis, Sheila, and Matthew Linn, Healing the Future, 57–58.

6 Philip Zimbardo, The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil (Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2008). Also, seehttp://www.simplypsychology.org/zimbardo.html.

7 Zimbardo, The Lucifer Effect, 324−443.

8 Ibid, 444−488.

9 http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=human-chimp-gene-gap-wide

10 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimpanzee

11 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonobo3.

Targeting the President: Evidence of U.S. Government Training Exercises on 9/11

posted by Shoestring

A significant number of apparent terrorist incidents occurred on September 11, 2001, in which President Bush or locations associated with him, like the White House and Camp David, seemed to be the target. And yet for all these incidents, the apparent threat was subsequently claimed to be unfounded, perhaps having come about due to a misunderstanding. A possibility that has remained unexamined, however, is that the incidents were in fact scenarios in training exercises taking place that day.

It seems reasonable to assume that if the incidents were indeed exercise scenarios, the Secret Service, as the agency responsible for protecting the president and the White House, would have been participating in them. Alarmingly, though, the times at which some of the incidents occurred indicates that if they were scenarios in training exercises, these exercises were not canceled in response to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, but instead continued until well after the real-world crisis ended. If the Secret Service was indeed involved in exercises at the time of the 9/11 attacks, then, we surely need to consider what effect these exercises had on the agency’s ability to respond to the attacks.

Below are descriptions of eight apparent terrorist incidents that occurred around the time of the 9/11 attacks, in which the president or a location associated with the president appeared to be the target. The first two incidents involved the president himself seeming to be the terrorists’ target; the next three involved Air Force One, the president’s plane, being the apparent target; and the final incidents involved the places where President Bush lived, such as the White House, being the apparent target.

One of the apparent threats which involved President Bush himself seeming to be a terrorist target came to light early on the morning of September 11, when a Sudanese man called Zainelabdeen Ibrahim Omer contacted the police in Sarasota, Florida–the city Bush was scheduled to visit later that day–and alerted them to the possible danger. When police officers visited him shortly after 4:00 a.m., Omer told them a friend of his, who he referred to as “Gandi,” was in Sarasota with two companions, and he feared they might be a danger to Bush.

Gandi, Omer said, had “made several remarks in the past that indicated extremely violent thoughts.” Gandi, it was later reported, also had links to the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, a guerrilla group. Omer told the police officers that considering the man’s “past inclinations,” the fact that Gandi was in Sarasota at the same time as Bush was visiting the area “might not be coincidental.”

The police contacted the Secret Service to pass on Omer’s warning. Police officers and Secret Service agents then visited an address in Sarasota, where they found 11 Arab men. One of the men had a card for a club located near the resort in Longboat Key where Bush had been spending the night.

The men were questioned and held until Bush left Sarasota, and then released. An unnamed law enforcement source later told authors Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan there was no evidence indicating the men were linked to the 9/11 plotters. [1] Despite occurring on September 11, the incident received almost no publicity and is still largely unknown.

It certainly seems plausible that this series of events came about because of a training exercise run by the Secret Service. Omer’s report to the police, which was passed on to the Secret Service, could have been intended to test the ability of police officers and Secret Service agents to respond to a potential threat to the president, and the 11 men found at the address in Sarasota could have been actors in the exercise, playing potential terrorists.

Another suspicious incident reportedly occurred while President Bush was staying on Longboat Key, prior to his visit to Sarasota. Either during the evening of September 10 or early on the morning of September 11, a group of Middle Eastern men turned up at the Colony Beach and Tennis Resort on Longboat Key, near Sarasota, while Bush was staying there and falsely claimed to have an interview with the president, but they were turned away from the resort.

The men arrived in a van and said they were reporters who had an interview arranged with Bush. They also asked for a particular Secret Service agent by name. Security guards at the resort called reception to pass on their request, but the receptionist knew nothing about a planned interview with the president or the Secret Service agent the men had asked for. She passed the phone to a Secret Service agent, who also knew nothing about the interview and had not heard of the Secret Service agent the men asked for. The agent had the men turned away from the premises. [2]

Some people have noted the resemblance of this incident to the way Ahmad Shah Massoud, the leader of the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, was assassinated on September 9, 2001, and have wondered if the Middle Eastern men intended to kill Bush in a similar fashion. [3] Massoud was killed by a bomb hidden in the video camera of two Arab men who said they were journalists who wanted to interview him. [4]

The incident at the Colony Beach and Tennis Resort came to light because Carroll Mooneyhan, a local fire marshal, overheard a receptionist and a security guard discussing it at the front desk of the resort at around 6:00 a.m. on September 11, and a reporter later heard Mooneyhan describing what they’d said to another firefighter. [5]

The alleged incident, however, was subsequently denied. Longboat Key Police Chief John Kintz said: “There wasn’t a single person who could confirm that it happened. We never found anyone who worked at the gate who could tell us that that happened.” [6] The day after the incident was first reported in a local newspaper, Mooneyhan reportedly “went silent” about it. [7] “How did [the newspaper] get that information from me if I didn’t know it?” he later said. [8] Secret Service agents visited the newspaper and told it to “back off the story.” [9]

Might the incident have been denied, though, because it was part of a Secret Service training exercise and this fact had to be concealed? The exercise could have been intended to test how Secret Service agents would respond to a possible attempt to assassinate the president.

Several apparent terrorist incidents occurred as President Bush was leaving Sarasota, after visiting the Emma E. Booker Elementary School there. The first of these took place shortly before 10:00 a.m., as Air Force One was taxiing out at the Sarasota airport with Bush on board.

The Secret Service noticed a man standing by the fence at the end of the runway carrying some kind of device, which they thought might be a long gun. “Shooters” had the unidentified man in their sights and were reportedly ready to “take him down” if he moved. Colonel Mark Tillman, the pilot of Air Force One, was alerted to the man and instructed to take off in the opposite direction to what had been planned, so as to stay away from him. [10]

Tillman climbed Air Force One steeply, so any potential shooter would not have a correct line of sight to fire at it. [11] The plane took off “like a rocket,” White House communications director Dan Bartlett, who was on board, has recalled. [12]

The incident, though, was a false alarm. According to Tillman, the person at the end of the runway, possibly with a gun, turned out to be a man who had come to the airport with his children to watch Air Force One leaving, and the device he was carrying was just a video camera. [13]

However, might what happened instead have been a scenario in a training exercise intended to test the ability of Secret Service agents to spot and respond to a possible threat to the president and Air Force One? The suspicious man at the airport could in fact have been a participant in the exercise, playing the part of a potential terrorist.

Air Force One was again the focus of an apparent threat at around 10:30 a.m., when an anonymous phone call was received at the White House in which the caller said the president’s plane would be the next target of the terrorist attacks. They referred to Air Force One by its Secret Service code name, “Angel,” which, according to a senior White House official, suggested they had “knowledge of procedures that made the threat credible.” [14]

As many as three locations at the White House received the threatening message. It was received by the White House switchboard, according to some accounts. [15] A pager message sent at 10:32 a.m. that morning stated that it was received by the Secret Service Joint Operations Center at the White House. [16] And other accounts indicate it was received by the White House Situation Room. For example, Major Robert Darling of the White House Military Office has described answering a call from someone in the Situation Room, who told him the Situation Room had “a credible source in the Sarasota, Florida, area that claims Angel is the next target.” [17]

News of the threat was promptly relayed on the Pentagon’s air threat conference call. [18] And a military officer passed on details of the threatening message to officials in the Presidential Emergency Operations Center (PEOC)–a bunker below the White House–including Vice President Dick Cheney and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice. [19] According to Robert Darling, who was in the PEOC at the time, “The talk among the principals in the room quickly determined that the use of a code word implied that the threat to Air Force One and the president could well be from someone with access to [the president’s] inner circle–possibly someone who was near the president at that very moment.” [20]

Cheney quickly phoned Bush and told him about the threatening call. Bush passed on the news to his military aide, telling him, “A call came into the White House switchboard saying, ‘Angel is next.'” [21] Mark Tillman was then told about the threat. Concerned about it, he asked for an armed guard at his cockpit door. Meanwhile, Secret Service agents double-checked the identities of everyone on Air Force One. [22]

The threat was subsequently determined to be “almost surely bogus,” according to Newsweek. [23] Toward the end of September 2001, unnamed government officials reportedly said that “they now doubt whether there was actually a call made threatening Air Force One,” and claimed the mistaken report of the threat came about because “White House staffers apparently misunderstood comments made by their security detail.” [24]

The Secret Service’s intelligence division said the mistaken report originated in a misunderstanding by a watch officer in the Situation Room. But Deborah Loewer, the director of the Situation Room on September 11, told the 9/11 Commission she disputed this claim. [25]

White House spokesman Dan Bartlett said in 2004 that “there hadn’t been any actual threat” against Air Force One, and the report of the threat was due to “confusion in the White House bunker, as multiple conversations went on simultaneously.” Around the same time, two former Secret Service agents who had been on duty on September 11 said their agency played no role in receiving or passing on the alleged threatening message. [26] Their claim, however, was contradicted by the Secret Service pager message sent at 10:32 a.m. on September 11, which stated that the Secret Service Joint Operations Center received an “anonymous call” reporting that “Angel is [a] target.” [27]

Former Secret Service officials also said in 2004 that the code name for Air Force One–“Angel”–hadn’t been an official secret, and was actually “a radio shorthand designation that had been made public well before 2001,” according to the Wall Street Journal. [28] But Condoleezza Rice said the use of the code name in the threatening call was “why we still continue to suspect it wasn’t a crank call.” [29] And Mark Tillman said “Angel” was “a classified call sign of Air Force One.” He added that on September 11, “the only people that knew that call sign was us, [the] Secret Service, and the staff,” which was why he found the threat “incredible.” [30]

By the end of 2001, White House officials were still unsure where the threatening call had come from, according to Newsweek. [31] Details were still unclear by 2010. That year, Robert Darling wrote, “To this day, it has never been determined why either the ‘credible source’ or Situation Room personnel used that code word [i.e. ‘Angel’] in their report to the PEOC.” [32]

A possibility that has never been suggested to explain this mysterious incident, however, is that the threatening phone call was in fact part of a training exercise intended to test the ability of the Secret Service, other government agencies, and the crew of Air Force One to respond to a threat against the president’s plane. The fact that the Secret Service Joint Operations Center reportedly received the threatening call, and the threatening message included the Secret Service code name for Air Force One, suggests that the Secret Service would either have been running the exercise or have been a key participant in it.

If the threatening call was indeed part of an exercise, this might help explain the contradictory accounts surrounding the incident, the denials that a threat was made, and the failure to identify the source of the call. The lack of clarity could have been the result of attempts to cover up the existence of the exercise and the fact that it was still taking place at around 10:30 a.m. on September 11, almost half an hour after the terrorist attacks that day ended.

Almost immediately after this threatening message was received, another apparent terrorist incident occurred in which Air Force One was the target. Just after he learned about the “Angel is next” message, Mark Tillman was informed that an unidentified aircraft that might be another hijacking was flying toward his plane and was only 10 miles away.

Tillman has recalled that an air traffic controller at the FAA’s Jacksonville Center told him that “there was an aircraft coming at us, descending … and … its transponder was not on, and they had no idea who it was. It could have been another hijacked airliner.” The controller said the plane was “behind you 10 miles, descending at least, flight level 3-5-0, looks to be holding there.” He added, “Apparently we’ve lost radio contact with them.” [33] Tillman informed other individuals on Air Force One about the suspicious plane.

In an interview, it was pointed out to Mark Rosenker, the director of the White House Military Office on September 11, who was on Air Force One with the president that day, that the unidentified aircraft had followed the modus operandi of the aircraft involved in the terrorist attacks, as it was out of radio contact with air traffic control and its transponder was off. (A transponder is a device that sends a plane’s identifying information, speed, and altitude to controllers’ radar screens.) Rosenker agreed that this fact had made people on Air Force One “a little nervous.” [34]

Air Force One changed course and headed out over the Gulf of Mexico in response to the report about the unidentified aircraft. “There’s basically fighters all over the Gulf that have the capability to make sure that no one comes into the Gulf, penetrates the United States,” Tillman has commented. “So I knew I’d be safe out into the Gulf of Mexico.” [35]

But the incident, like the previous apparent threats to Air Force One, was subsequently found to have been a false alarm. “In reality, just his transponder was off [and] he hadn’t checked in with the controller right afterwards,” Tillman said. [36] Again, though, it seems plausible that what happened was in fact a scenario in a training exercise taking place that morning, intended to test the response to a threat against the president’s plane.

The targets of other apparent terrorist incidents on September 11 were the places where President Bush lived: the White House in Washington, DC; Camp David in Maryland; and Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas.

In the first of these incidents, beginning at 10:02 a.m., the Secret Service Joint Operations Center gave reports to military officers in the PEOC, in which it passed on information it had received from the FAA about a fast-moving unidentified aircraft that was approaching Washington. A military aide then told Dick Cheney and others in the PEOC about the aircraft. At around 10:10 a.m. or shortly after, the aide reported that the plane was 80 miles away from Washington. A few minutes later, they reported that it was 60 miles away.

Then, at around 10:30 a.m., those in the PEOC were told that another suspicious aircraft was flying toward Washington and was only five to 10 miles away from there. [37] They were alerted to this aircraft by the White House Situation Room, which was relaying a message from the Secret Service, according to Robert Darling. It was “a high-speed, low-level aircraft,” Darling wrote, that was “coming down the Potomac in the direction of the White House.” An FAA representative reported over the phone to those in the PEOC that the aircraft was too low for controllers to pick up on radar. [38]

The reports of these two suspicious aircraft approaching Washington turned out to be false alarms. The 9/11 Commission Report claimed the first aircraft was in fact United Airlines Flight 93, the fourth plane to be hijacked on September 11, even though this aircraft crashed in rural Pennsylvania at 10:03 a.m. The 9/11 Commission’s explanation for the mistaken report was that the “FAA may have been tracking the progress of United 93 on a display that showed its projected path to Washington, not its actual radar return.” Therefore, “the Secret Service was relying on projections and was not aware the plane was already down in Pennsylvania.”

The second aircraft was just a medevac helicopter, according to the 9/11 Commission Report. [39] The helicopter was heading to the Pentagon, Robert Darling described, and “it seemed the hapless pilot had been on the wrong frequency and was apparently not communicating with the control tower at Reagan National Airport.” [40] However, Newsweek claimed the aircraft was actually “a phantom of the fog of war” that in reality “never existed.” [41]

Alternatively, though, might the reports about the two suspicious aircraft have been simulated scenarios in a training exercise, intended to test the ability of government agencies to respond to an attempted terrorist attack on Washington or the White House?

Since the Secret Service is responsible for protecting the White House and other buildings in Washington, if these reports were indeed part of an exercise, it seems quite likely that the Secret Service would either have been running that exercise or have been a key participant in it. Supporting this possibility is the fact that the Secret Service was the agency that alerted the White House to both of the suspicious aircraft, and so it played a central role in these incidents.

Immediately after these incorrect reports were received, another erroneous report went out, which suggested another of President Bush’s homes had been the target of a terrorist attack. This time the location involved was Camp David, the presidential retreat in the Catoctin Mountains in Maryland, about 70 miles northwest of Washington.

The incident was apparently first reported by the Secret Service, which stated that Flight 93 had crashed into Camp David. At 10:36 a.m., Doug Davis, a member of staff at FAA headquarters, was talking over the phone to John White, a manager at the FAA’s Command Center, and said: “Secret Service is saying they believe United 93 hit Camp David. That is what Secret Service is reporting.” [42] White later told the 9/11 Commission, “They [the Secret Service] confirmed that; I heard it; it was in my ear.” [43]

The erroneous report was apparently circulated widely within the Secret Service. Officials at the Director’s Crisis Center at the agency’s headquarters were told about the crash, apparently by the Secret Service’s intelligence division. [44] Laura Bush, the wife of President Bush, heard about the crash while she was in an underground conference room at the Secret Service headquarters. [45] And Edward Marinzel, the head of the president’s Secret Service detail, learned about it while flying away from Sarasota on Air Force One. [46] The crash was also reported on television, with CBS News mentioning it shortly after 11:00 a.m. [47]

The Secret Service contacted officials at the Catoctin Mountain Park, where Camp David is located, and asked for the park to be closed and for an expanded security presence there. This was an unusual request. J. Mel Poole, the Catoctin Mountain Park superintendent, has commented, “It was only when we had an additional head of state beyond the president that we would do something like that.” [48] The park was reportedly closed around midday, “as a precaution.” [49] And fighter jets from Langley Air Force Base in Virginia arrived over the park at around 11:00 a.m., according to Poole. [50]

The report that a plane had crashed at Camp David was soon found to have been incorrect. At 10:45 a.m., nine minutes after he passed on the Secret Service’s claim that Flight 93 had hit Camp David, Doug Davis told John White that the Secret Service had retracted the claim. “They think the United did go in south of Johnstown and not at Camp David,” he said. [51] The FAA called the military at some point for confirmation that a crash had occurred at Camp David and was assured that no such crash had taken place. [52] And after the Secret Service confirmed to him that it “had not heard of [any] plane crash” at Camp David, J. Mel Poole told reporters there had been “no crash at Camp David and no crash at Catoctin Mountain Park.” [53]

A possibility that needs to be investigated, though, is that this supposed plane crash was in fact a simulated scenario in a training exercise. Since Camp David is the president’s country residence, the scenario could have been intended to test the response to an attempted terrorist attack on the president while he was staying there. The fact that the incorrect reports about the crash appear to have originated with the Secret Service suggests that if this incident was indeed part of an exercise, the Secret Service was either running the exercise or was a key participant in it.

If an exercise was taking place, there were other incidents that have been described, as well as the reports of the crash at Camp David, that may have been part of it. For example, around mid-morning on September 11, Theresa Hahn, the catering manager for a restaurant near the presidential retreat, told reporters that “lots of fire trucks were on the road and no one can get up there” to Camp David. While firefighters may simply have been responding to the incorrect reports of a plane crash, it is also possible they were practicing their response to a terrorist attack as part of an exercise. [54]

Additionally, around the time the attacks on the World Trade Center took place, an Emergency Medical Services meeting was being held in the Catoctin Mountain Park, which, according to J. Mel Poole, “all the coordinators from all the parks in the region” were attending. [55] Could this meeting have been connected to an exercise taking place that morning and have perhaps been intended to discuss some of the issues addressed in the exercise, such as how to respond to a terrorist attack?

Furthermore, communication systems went down in the Camp David area around the time the crash was being reported. Theresa Hahn has recalled that she was unable to get through on the phone to an aunt who lived on the other side of the Catoctin Mountain Park. [56] And J. Mel Poole said that when he tried making a call, “the entire trunk system for this area went down.” There was “a message display on the phone that tells you the status of the phone,” he said, and this showed that “it was not just that the line was busy, that there was too much traffic,” but in fact that “the trunk went down, which is like the main line that all the other lines feed into.” [57] No explanation has been given for this loss of communication. But might it have been caused deliberately as part of an exercise, and was it perhaps intended to test how emergency response agencies would cope if their usual lines of communication were unavailable during a crisis?

The next incident in which one of President Bush’s homes seemed to be the target of an attempted terrorist attack occurred early in the afternoon of September 11, when air traffic controllers at the FAA’s Fort Worth Center reported that a suspicious aircraft was flying toward Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas.

The report appears to have circulated widely among government agencies. The aircraft was discussed on the Pentagon’s air threat conference call. [58] Just before 1:00 p.m., Dick Cheney and others in the PEOC were told about “a low-flying, high-speed aircraft headed for the president’s ranch.” [59] The president and his entourage learned about it just after 1:00 p.m. and, in response, Bush instructed an underling to alert everyone at the ranch. [60] And Laura Bush has recalled hearing that a plane had crashed into the ranch while she was at Secret Service headquarters. [61]

Officials in the White House Situation Room were also alerted to the aircraft and, in response, Bush’s personal aide, Logan Walters, contacted the ranch’s caretaker and told him to get away from the ranch right away. Franklin Miller, a senior national security official who was in the Situation Room that day, was told that a combat air patrol–an aircraft patrol set up for the purpose of intercepting and destroying hostile aircraft before they reach their targets–had been established over the ranch in response to the threat. However, when Miller then tried to call off the combat air patrol, he was told it had not been established to begin with. [62]

Meanwhile, on the air threat conference call, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) representative told the deputy director for operations in the Pentagon’s National Military Command Center that NORAD had two fighter jets on the ground and two en route from Ellington Field, Texas, to respond to the suspicious aircraft. But after the aircraft was reportedly found, the NORAD representative said: “We don’t have confirmation of an actual scramble [of the fighter jets]. The only word we got was they were working on tactical action.” [63]

Like the previous incidents in which it appeared that terrorists might be trying to attack one of the president’s homes, this incident turned out to be a false alarm. Franklin Miller was told that “no rogue aircraft” had been heading toward Bush’s ranch. [64] White House press secretary Ari Fleischer, who was traveling with the president that day, has recalled that the unidentified aircraft “turned out to be a private plane of no consequence that should have been grounded, but wasn’t grounded.” [65] According to Dick Cheney, it “turned out to be a wayward crop duster, or something.” [66]

Again, we need to consider whether this incident was a scenario in a training exercise. It could have been intended to test how various agencies would respond to an attempted attack on the president while he was staying at his ranch in Crawford.

A notable piece of evidence supports this possibility. A NORAD exercise called Amalgam Virgo 02 included a scenario much like this incident. The exercise, according to an official information sheet, included the simulation of a crop duster plane stolen in Mexico being “en route to the simulated ranch” in Turnersville, Texas, which is just a few miles from Crawford, “with the intent of spraying anthrax” there.

This simulation of a terrorist attack was scheduled to be conducted on November 8, 2001. [67] Presumably it would have required a considerable amount of time to plan and would therefore have been in preparation before September 11. If this was the case, it would mean that, even before 9/11, an incident resembling that which took place over Crawford on September 11 was considered as a possible scenario to be used in training exercises. Might that therefore have been the case for an exercise taking place on the day of 9/11?

It is notable that around the time the U.S. came under attack on September 11, all these incidents occurred in which the president or a location associated with the president seemed to be the target of terrorists, and that every one of them turned out to be a false alarm. All of the incidents were also subsequently treated as if they were insignificant and had an innocent explanation, such as being the result of a misunderstanding, and as if they had no connection to the terrorist attacks they had coincided with.

It would be a remarkable coincidence if so many incidents that had the same theme–the president or a location associated with him being the apparent target of a terrorist attack–and that took place around the same time were unrelated. The timing and similarity of the incidents would make sense, however, if they were all scenarios in training exercises scheduled for September 11, which had been intended to test the ability of government agencies to protect the president from terrorists.

There is a significant amount of evidence suggesting that if these apparent terrorist incidents were indeed scenarios in training exercises, the exercises were either run by the Secret Service or were interagency exercises in which the Secret Service was a key participant.

To begin with, as its mission statement noted, the Secret Service was “responsible for the protection of the president.” [68] And as the descriptions above make clear, President Bush appeared to be the focus of these incidents. Indeed, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, commented that the nature of the events of September 11 suggested “a pretty widespread effort at decapitation” of the government, and added that this was “a pattern that you couldn’t ignore.” [69]

Since the Secret Service was the agency responsible for protecting the president, it seems logical that it would have held training exercises based on the scenario of the president being targeted by terrorists. The apparent terrorist incidents on September 11 that seemed to be targeting Bush could presumably, therefore, have been instances of these exercises.

And since the Secret Service was also responsible for protecting the White House, if the reports about the two suspicious aircraft heading toward the White House between around 10:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. on September 11 were part of an exercise, it seems quite likely that the Secret Service would have been running or participating in that exercise.

Furthermore, it has been reported that the Secret Service participated in exercises in the years before 9/11 based on scenarios resembling some of the apparent terrorist incidents on September 11.

Specifically, in May 2001, Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill stated that the Secret Service “holds interagency tabletop exercises in preparation for terrorist attacks on the White House.” [70] And since 1998, according to former Secret Service agent Paul Nenninger, the Secret Service’s James J. Rowley Training Center in Beltsville, Maryland, had been running computer simulations of planes crashing into the White House, in order to test security there. [71]

So if the Secret Service was participating in training exercises on September 11, some of those exercises, similar to the agency’s previous exercises, could presumably have involved the scenario of terrorists attempting to crash planes into the White House. The reports of two unidentified aircraft approaching the White House between 10:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. on September 11 could plausibly have been part of such an exercise.

Evidence also suggests the Secret Service could have been conducting training exercises on September 11 as part of its preparations for two forthcoming events that had been designated “National Special Security Events.” These were a UN event in New York, presumably the General Assembly’s annual gathering of world leaders on September 24 to October 5, which President Bush was due to address on September 24, and the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, which were scheduled to take place in Washington, just a few blocks from the White House, on September 29-30. [72]

Since the late 1990s, if an important upcoming public event was designated a National Special Security Event (NSSE), the Secret Service became the lead agency for designing and implementing security operations for it. The agency, according to its website, would then conduct a “tremendous amount of advance planning” for the NSSE. This would involve a “variety of training initiatives,” which included “simulated attacks and medical emergencies, interagency tabletop exercises, and field exercises.” [73]

On September 11, it has been reported, government agencies were already busy with their preparations for the forthcoming UN event and International Monetary Fund /World Bank meetings. [74] Might the Secret Service, therefore, have been conducting “tabletop exercises,” “field exercises,” or “simulated attacks” that day, in preparation for the NSSEs in New York and Washington at the end of the month?

Furthermore, the Secret Service would be involved in providing air defense for NSSEs. This would include using “air interdiction teams to detect, identify, and assess any aircraft that violates, or attempts to violate, an established temporary flight restricted area … above an NSSE,” according to Brian Stafford, the director of the Secret Service at the time of the 9/11 attacks. [75]

Perhaps for this reason, the possibility that suicide pilots would commit terrorist attacks using planes as weapons was considered during the preparations for an NSSE. Louis Freeh, the director of the FBI from 1993 to June 2001, told the 9/11 Commission that in 2000 and 2001, the subject of “planes as weapons” was “always one of the considerations” in the planning of security for NSSEs. He said preparing for “the use of airplanes” by terrorists “in suicide missions” was “part of the planning” for an NSSE. [76]

Since several of the apparent terrorist incidents described above–such as the supposed plane crash at Camp David and the report of an unidentified aircraft flying toward Air Force One–seemed to involve terrorists attempting to use planes as weapons, might these incidents have been scenarios in exercises, as “part of the planning” for the two forthcoming NSSEs?

Further supporting the possibility that the Secret Service was participating in training exercises on September 11 is the fact that other government and military agencies are known to have been conducting exercises that day. [77] For example, NORAD was holding its annual exercise, Vigilant Guardian, which has been described as “an air defense exercise simulating an attack on the United States.” [78] And the U.S. Strategic Command (Stratcom) was holding its annual exercise, Global Guardian, which tested nuclear command and control and execution procedures, and was based around a fictitious scenario that would exercise the ability of Stratcom to deter a military attack against the United States. [79]

The Secret Service could have been participating in some of the exercises run by other agencies or could have scheduled its own exercises so they were concurrent with them. Don Arias, the director of public affairs for the 1st Air Force and the Continental United States NORAD Region at the time of the 9/11 attacks, has confirmed the collaboration that takes place between different agencies for training exercises. “It’s common practice, when we have exercises, to get as much bang for the buck as we can,” he said. “So sometimes we’ll have different organizations participating in the same exercise for different reasons.” [80] A NORAD exercise held in June 2002, for example, included participants from agencies such as the FAA, the FBI, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Transportation Security Administration. [81]

The numerous apparent terrorist incidents on September 11 in which President Bush or locations associated with him seemed to be the target require further investigation. If it turns out that any or all of these incidents were scenarios in training exercises, this will raise serious questions.

For example, when were the exercises terminated? Many of the incidents that could have been exercise scenarios occurred after the actual attacks ended. (Flight 93, the last plane to be hijacked on September 11, reportedly crashed at 10:03 a.m.) One incident–the suspicious aircraft flying toward the president’s ranch–took place around three hours after the attacks ended.

Evidence therefore indicates that exercises were allowed to continue even after it became obvious the U.S. was in the middle of a serious terrorist attack. At that time, agencies such as the Secret Service should surely have been devoting all their available resources to dealing with the real-world crisis. But if instead the exercises were allowed to carry on, why was this?

And if the Secret Service was participating in exercises on the morning of September 11, did this activity contribute in any way to its alarmingly slow response to the terrorist attacks? For example, various accounts have described how slow the Secret Service was to evacuate its protectees, such as President Bush, Laura Bush, Dick Cheney, and Lynne Cheney, and take them to secure locations. [82]

The Secret Service only implemented the standard “emergency call-up” of all its personnel after 9:37 a.m., when the Pentagon was hit. [83] And it only ordered that the White House be evacuated at 9:45 a.m., almost an hour after the first plane crashed into the World Trade Center. [84] In a book about the Secret Service, author Philip Melanson summarized what happened, referring to the Secret Service’s “slow start to 9/11 protection,” and noted that “the president’s detail seemed late in responding to the news of the aerial terrorist assault, whose scope, targets, and nature had yet to be determined.” [85]

Investigators would need to examine if Secret Service personnel mistook real-world events for exercise scenarios. And did the exercises cause any additional confusion, or otherwise impair the ability of Secret Service agents to respond to the real-world crisis?

Importantly, who was responsible for planning the exercises? Who decided what scenarios they would include? And who decided they would take place on the morning of September 11?

Furthermore, since any exercise scenarios based on attempted terrorist attacks could have been confused with the real-world events they coincided with, investigators should surely examine whether the exercises were part of a deliberate attempt to sabotage the responses of the Secret Service and other government agencies, so as to ensure the 9/11 attacks were successful. If this was the case, it would suggest that at least some of the people who planned the exercises were part of the group that planned and perpetrated the 9/11 attacks.

As previously stated, evidence suggests that if the apparent terrorist incidents described above were indeed parts of training exercises, the Secret Service was either running the exercises or was a key participant in them. And yet little has been revealed about the actions of the Secret Service on September 11. Many more documents relating to this subject should therefore be made public. And the actions of the Secret Service, and the possibility of its involvement in training exercises, would need to be important areas of inquiry in any new investigation of 9/11.

[1] Sarasota Police Department Incident Report #01-049053, Part 1. Sarasota Police Department, September 11, 2001; Sarasota Police Department Incident Report #01-049053, Part 2. Sarasota Police Department, September 11, 2001; Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan, The Eleventh Day: The Full Story of 9/11 and Osama bin Laden. New York: Ballantine Books, 2011, p. 457.
[2] Shay Sullivan, “Possible Longboat Terrorist Incident.” Longboat Observer, September 26, 2001; “9/11: Timeline.” Longboat Observer, September 7, 2011.
[3] Susan Taylor Martin, “Of Fact, Fiction: Bush on 9/11.” St. Petersburg Times, July 4, 2004.
[4] Michael Elliott, “They Had a Plan.” Time, August 12, 2002; Susan Taylor Martin, “The Man Who Would Have Led Afghanistan.” St. Petersburg Times, September 9, 2002.
[5] Shay Sullivan, “Possible Longboat Terrorist Incident”; Robin Hartill, “9/11 Looking Back: Q&A With Former City Editor Shay Sullivan.” Longboat Observer, September 7, 2011.
[6] Robin Hartill, “9/11 Looking Back: John Kintz.” Longboat Observer, September 7, 2011.
[7] Robin Hartill, “9/11 Looking Back: Q&A With Former City Editor Shay Sullivan.”
[8] Susan Taylor Martin, “Of Fact, Fiction.”
[9] Robin Hartill, “9/11 Looking Back: Q&A With Former City Editor Shay Sullivan.”
[10] Eric Shawn, “Command & Control: The Careful Job of Piloting the President on Sept. 11, 2001.” Fox News, September 6, 2011; Mark W. Tillman, “Air Force One: Zero Failure.” Speech presented at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, Dayton, Ohio, February 29, 2012.
[11] On Board Air Force One. National Geographic Channel, January 25, 2009.
[12] White House transcript, interview of White House communications director Dan Bartlett by Scott Pelley, CBS. White House, August 12, 2002.
[13] Mark W. Tillman, “Air Force One: Zero Failure”; Molly McMillin, “Air Force One Pilot Recalls 9/11 Attacks.” Wichita Eagle, November 13, 2012.
[14] William Safire, “Inside the Bunker.” New York Times, September 13, 2001; Bob Woodward, Bush at War. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2002, p. 18.
[15] Bill Sammon, Fighting Back: The War on Terrorism–From Inside the Bush White House. Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2002, p. 106; Ari Fleischer, Taking Heat: The President, the Press, and My Years in the White House. New York: HarperCollins, 2005, pp. 141-142.
[16] Declan McCullagh, “Egads! Confidential 9/11 Pager Messages Disclosed.” CBS News, November 25, 2009.
[17] 9/11 Commission, The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2004, p. 554; Robert J. Darling, 24 Hours Inside the President’s Bunker: 9/11/01 The White House. Bloomington, IN: iUniverse, 2010, pp. 60-61.
[18] Air Threat Conference Call, Transcript. U.S. Department of Defense, September 11, 2001; 9/11 Commission, The 9/11 Commission Report, p. 554.
[19] White House transcript, interview of National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice by Evan Thomas of Newsweek magazine. White House, November 1, 2001.
[20] Robert J. Darling, 24 Hours Inside the President’s Bunker, p. 61.
[21] Bill Sammon, Fighting Back, pp. 106-107; Ari Fleischer, Taking Heat, pp. 141-142.
[22] David Kohn, “The President’s Story.” CBS News, September 11, 2002.
[23] Evan Thomas, “The Day That Changed America.” Newsweek, December 30, 2001.
[24] Ron Fournier, “Support Builds for Coalition.” Associated Press, September 26, 2001; “Whopper of the Week: Karl Rove, Ari Fleischer, and Dick Cheney.” Slate, September 28, 2001.
[25] 9/11 Commission, The 9/11 Commission Report, p. 554.
[26] Scot J. Paltrow, “Government Accounts of 9/11 Reveal Gaps, Inconsistencies.” Wall Street Journal, March 22, 2004.
[27] Declan McCullagh, “Egads! Confidential 9/11 Pager Messages Disclosed.”
[28] Scot J. Paltrow, “Government Accounts of 9/11 Reveal Gaps, Inconsistencies.”
[29] White House transcript, interview of National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice by Evan Thomas of Newsweek magazine.
[30] Mark W. Tillman, “Air Force One: Zero Failure.”
[31] Evan Thomas, “The Day That Changed America.”
[32] Robert J. Darling, 24 Hours Inside the President’s Bunker, p. 62.
[33] On Board Air Force One.
[34] White House transcript, interview of General Mark V. Rosenker, director of the White House Military Office by CBS. White House, August 29, 2002.
[35] On Board Air Force One.
[36] Mark Knoller, “Air Force One Pilot Calls it Quits.” CBS News, January 17, 2009.
[37] White House transcript, interview of Scooter Libby by Newsweek magazine. White House, November 14, 2001; Evan Thomas, “The Day That Changed America”; 9/11 Commission, The 9/11 Commission Report, p. 41.
[38] Robert J. Darling, 24 Hours Inside the President’s Bunker, pp. 57-58.
[39] 9/11 Commission, The 9/11 Commission Report, pp. 41-42.
[40] Robert J. Darling, 24 Hours Inside the President’s Bunker, p. 59.
[41] Evan Thomas, “The Day That Changed America.”
[42] Miles Kara, “Transcript of East NTMO, Line 4530, Admin Line.” 9/11 Commission, November 4, 2003.
[43] “Memorandum for the Record: Interview With John White, Former Assistant. Program Manager for Administration at the ATCSCC, ‘Command Center,’ Herndon, VA.” 9/11 Commission, May 7, 2004.
[44] “USSS Statements and Interview Reports.” 9/11 Commission, July 28, 2003.
[45] Laura Bush, Spoken From the Heart. New York: Scribner, 2010, pp. 201-202.
[46] USSS memo, interview of Edward Marinzel. United States Secret Service, October 3, 2001.
[47] Mark K. Miller, “Three Hours That Shook America: A Chronology of Chaos.” Broadcasting & Cable, August 25, 2002.
[48] J. Mel Poole, interview by Mark Schoepfle. National Park Service, December 17, 2001.
[49] Peter Geier, “Camp David Crash Rumor Proves False.” Maryland Daily Record, September 12, 2001.
[50] J. Mel Poole, interview by Mark Schoepfle.
[51] Miles Kara, “Transcript of East NTMO, Line 4530, Admin Line.”
[52] Pamela Freni, Ground Stop: An Inside Look at the Federal Aviation Administration on September 11, 2001. Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, Inc., 2003, p. 42.
[53] Peter Geier, “Camp David Crash Rumor Proves False”; J. Mel Poole, interview by Mark Schoepfle.
[54] Peter Geier, “Camp David Crash Rumor Proves False.”
[55] J. Mel Poole, interview by Mark Schoepfle.
[56] Peter Geier, “Camp David Crash Rumor Proves False.”
[57] J. Mel Poole, interview by Mark Schoepfle.
[58] Air Threat Conference and DDO Conference, Transcript. U.S. Department of Defense, September 11, 2001.
[59] White House notes: Lynne Cheney notes, September 11, 2001; White House transcript, telephone interview of Mrs. Cheney by Newsweek magazine. White House, November 9, 2001; White House transcript, telephone interview of the vice president by Newsweek. White House, November 19, 2001.
[60] Nicholas Lemann, “The Options.” New Yorker, October 1, 2001; Bill Sammon, Fighting Back, p. 117.
[61] Laura Bush, Spoken From the Heart, p. 202.
[62] Robert Draper, Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush. New York: Free Press, 2007, pp. 142-143.
[63] Air Threat Conference and DDO Conference, Transcript.
[64] Robert Draper, Dead Certain, p. 143.
[65] White House transcript, interview of press secretary Ari Fleischer by Terry Moran of ABC. White House, August 8, 2002.
[66] White House transcript, telephone interview of the vice president by Newsweek.
[67] “Unclassified Change 1: Exercise Amalgam Virgo 02-6 Exord/Red Spins.” North American Aerospace Defense Command, July 31, 2003.
[68] “Mission Statement.” United States Secret Service, 2002.
[69] White House transcript, interview of Scooter Libby by Newsweek magazine.
[70] “Testimony of Paul H. O’Neill, Secretary of the Treasury, Before the Senate Committee on Appropriations.” U.S. Department of the Treasury, May 8, 2001.
[71] Paul L. Nenninger, “Simulation at the Secret Service: As Real as it Gets.” In Learning Rants, Raves, and Reflections: A Collection of Passionate and Professional Perspectives, edited by Elliott Masie, pp. 175-187. San Francisco: Pfeiffer, 2005, p. 175; Paul L. Nenninger, “One Secret Service Agent’s Experience.” Southeast Missourian, August 29, 2011.
[72] “Washington is Seeking Support to Handle Protests at 2 Meetings.” New York Times, August 18, 2001; “UN General Security Council Condemns Attacks.” New York Times, September 12, 2001; Mark Tran, “IMF and World Bank Meetings in Jeopardy.” The Guardian, September 14, 2001; “Bush to Attend UN General Assembly.” Associated Press, October 29, 2001; “National Special Security Events Fact Sheet.” U.S. Department of Homeland Security, July 9, 2003.
[73] “National Special Security Events.” United States Secret Service, 2002; “Statement of Brian L. Stafford, Director, United States Secret Service, Before the Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security.” U.S. House of Representatives, July 9, 2002.
[74] “Members of Congress to Present Commendation to New York Field Office for Actions on September 11th.” United States Secret Service news release, April 29, 2002; 9/11 Commission, The 9/11 Commission Report, p. 314; “Spotlight on: Barbara Riggs.” PCCW Newsletter, Spring 2006.
[75] “Statement of Brian L. Stafford, Director, United States Secret Service, Before the Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Treasury and General Government.” United States Senate, March 30, 2000.
[76] National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States: Tenth Public Hearing. 9/11 Commission, April 13, 2004.
[77] See “Training Exercises on 9/11.” Complete 9/11 Timeline, n.d.
[78] Leslie Filson, Air War Over America: Sept. 11 Alters Face of Air Defense Mission. Tyndall Air Force Base, FL: 1st Air Force, 2003, p. 122; William M. Arkin, Code Names: Deciphering U.S. Military Plans, Programs, and Operations in the 9/11 World. Hanover, NH: Steerforth Press, 2005, p. 545.
[79] Nuclear Weapon Systems Sustainment Programs. Washington, DC: Office of the Secretary of Defense, May 1997; Joe Wasiak, “Global Guardian ’99.” Collins Center Update, December 1999; Exercise Global Guardian 2001-2 Joint After-Action Report. United States Strategic Command, December 4, 2001, p. A2.
[80] Michael C. Ruppert, Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil. Gabriola Island, BC: New Society Publishers, 2004, p. 367.
[81] Gerry J. Gilmore, “NORAD-Sponsored Exercise Prepares for Worst-Case Scenarios.” American Forces Press Service, June 4, 2002.
[82] See, for example, Kevin Ryan, “Secret Service Failures on 9/11: A Call for Transparency.” Washington’s Blog, March 25, 2012; “Laura Bush on 9/11: Why Was the President’s Wife Left Vulnerable and Unprotected?” Shoestring 9/11, June 18, 2012; “The Dangerously Delayed Reactions of the Secret Service on 9/11.” Shoestring 9/11, October 2, 2013.
[83] Chitra Ragavan, “Under Cloudy Skies.” U.S. News & World Report, December 1, 2002; Philip H. Melanson, The Secret Service: The Hidden History of an Enigmatic Agency. 2nd ed. New York: Carroll & Graf, 2005, p. 331.
[84] “September 11: Chronology of Terror.” CNN, September 12, 2001; Dan Balz and Bob Woodward, “America’s Chaotic Road to War.” Washington Post, January 27, 2002.
[85] Philip H. Melanson, The Secret Service, pp. 330-331.

Representative Marcy Kaptur: “I would be more than happy to receive information..”

Or fast forward to 41:01 in this video:

Transcript of the exchange:

“Congress’s refusal to investigate the evidence that Building 7 was brought down in a controlled demolition on 9/11 is based on its blind trust in NIST’s WTC 7 report, which has now been found to contain incorrect data about the building design that, when corrected, renders NIST’s fire collapse conclusion impossible. As appropriations committee member would you be willing to review the errors in NIST’s report and help in seeking accountability from NIST for its errors considering that NIST has spent over 20 million dollars of taxpayers money to produce this erroneous report? ”

Representative Marcy Kaptur:

“I would be more than happy to receive information from you sir and turn it over to those who have that particular agency under their jurisdiction. I have seen some of the callers who have called into programs and I think you’re getting your message through, and as I said earlier, ‘Truth will out’…sometime the government doesn’t have all the facts, or there is an effort in some matters to not reveal the facts, for whatever reason, but ultimately if the American people are persistent the truth will be revealed. So you certainly can send me material and I will discuss it with those who are in charge of funding those agencies.”

Link to the evidence and complaint:


Media Ignored 9/11 Calm Amid Chaos



Script by Andrew Greeley.

On Sept. 11 last year, up to 1 million people were evacuated from Lower Manhattan by water “in an emergent network of private and publicly owned watercraft–a previously unplanned activity.” It was an American Dunkirk, like the epic rescue of the British army at Dunkirk in 1940 by an armada of similar craft.

Yet you most likely never saw this astonishing event, reported last month by Professor Kathleen Tierney at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, on television and never read about it in the print media. It would have made for spectacular TV imagery; yet, as an example of calm and sensible and spontaneous action, it did not fit the media image of panic, an image that will doubtless be re-enacted next week. Tierney, director of the Disaster Research Center at the University of Delaware, argued that the reaction of people at the World Trade Center was what one might have expected from the research literature of the last 50 years on behavior in disaster situations. ”Social bonds remained intact and the sense of responsibility to others–family members, friends, fellow workers, neighbors and even total strangers remains strong. . . . People sought information from one another, made inquiries and spoke with loved ones via cell phones, engaged in collective decision-making and helped one another to safety. When the towers were evacuated, the evacuation was carried out in a calm and orderly manner.” There is growing research literature that Tierney cites that leaves little doubt about this description. (See also Lee Clarke’s article in the current issue of the new sociological journal Contexts.) Many will not believe that the scenario could possibly be true.

Doesn’t everyone know that there is panic in disaster situations? Don’t people become frightened, selfish and flee in headlong panic? The answer is no, they don’t. The proof that this was not true on Sept. 11 is to be found in the fact that 90 percent of the people in the World Trade Center escaped–which would have been impossible had people panicked. Most people are cool under such pressure. Their old social networks do not dissolve, and new social networks emerge. The paradigm of humankind as a mob simply isn’t true. We are social animals, and even when terribly frightened we remain social animals. Note that most of the positive social behavior that saved so many lives was not organized by any formal agency, much less by any command-and-control mechanism. People saved themselves. Other people converged from all over the city to help. As Tierney says, “The response to the Sept. 11 tragedy was so effective precisely because it was not centrally directed and controlled. Instead it was flexible, adaptive and focused on handling problems as they emerged.”

In some sense, Sept. 11 was a victory over the terrorists. Socially responsible free Americans prevented the loss from being much worse. Yet, the response of the planning agencies has been to establish more and more elaborate command-and-control structures, which will force a population that is not about to panic into panic behavior.

Says Tierney: “When Sept. 11 demonstrated the enormous resilience in our civil society, why is disaster response now being characterized in militaristic terms?” Perhaps because those who are determined to control everything don’t understand that even in military situations, it’s the second lieutenants and the sergeants who win battles, as, for example, in the Omaha Beach chaos at Normandy. Generals sitting in faraway bunkers cannot control battles.

Neither can bureaucrats far from the scene of tragedy, no matter how elaborate their plans. The media got the story all wrong because the panic paradigm is still pervasive and because no one in the media had read the disaster-research literature. They thus reinforced the propensity of those running the country not to trust the good sense and social concern of ordinary folk. Rather, they want to control everything with such ditsy ideas as the proposed Homeland Security Department. That plan would take union and civil service protections away from government workers and accomplish little else. You can count on it: In the orgy of self-pity in which the media will engage next week, no one will pay any attention to why there was no panic in the evacuation, much less to the American Dunkirk at the lower end of Manhattan.

Nor will anyone argue that the only kind of formal plan that will work in similar situations is one that is sensitive to and ready to integrate with the powerful social propensity of the human species. – See more at: http://www.brasschecktv.com/videos/the-911-files/media-ignored-911-calm-amid-chaos.html#sthash.dFctspVh.dpuf

Dossier Alleging British War Crimes Lodged with the International Criminal Court.

By Felicity Arbuthnot

Global Research, January 12, 2014
Url of this article:

A “devastating” two hundred and fifty page document: “The Responsibility of UK Officials for War Crimes Involving Systematic Detainee Abuse in Iraq from 2003-2008″, has been “presented to the International Criminal Court, and could result in some of Britain’s leading defence figures facing prosecution for “systematic” war crimes” the (London) Independent on Sunday has revealed.(i)

The dossier charges that: ‘ “those who bear the greatest responsibility” for alleged war crimes “include individuals at the highest levels” of the British Army and political system.’

Among those named, states the Independent, are two former Defence Ministry supremos, Geoff Hoon and Adam Ingram, Defence Secretary and Minister of State for the Armed Forces, respectively, under Tony Blair’s premiership, during the planning and invasion of Iraq and for most of the UK’s occupation. General Sir Peter Wall, head of the British Army is also named.

Shocking allegations have been compiled from the testimonies of four hundred Iraqis: ‘representing “thousands of allegations of mistreatment amounting to war crimes of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.” ‘

The document, lodged with the International Criminal Court at the Hague on Saturday (11th January 2013) “calls for an investigation into the alleged war crimes, under Article 15 of the Rome Statute” and is the result of some years of work by Birmingham based Public Interest Lawyers and the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR.). The submission: “is the most detailed ever submitted to the ICC’s Office of the Prosecutor on war crimes allegedly committed by British forces in Iraq.”

In 2006 the ICC opined that: “There was a reasonable basis to believe that crimes within the jurisdiction of the court had been committed, namely willful killing and inhuman treatment.” However, since the claims were less than twenty cases, prosecutors declined to mount an investigation.

Subsequently: “hundreds of other claims have come to light, prompting consideration of the complaint now. It is the start of a process which could result in British politicians and generals being put in the dock on war-crimes charges.” The: “pattern of abusive treatment by UK services personnel in Iraq continued over almost six years of military operations.” When is a crime not a crime, one wonders, when it is “only” in double figures?

Evidence is presented of: “systematic use of brutal violence, that at times resulted in the death of detainees, while in the custody of UK Services Personnel.” The two law bodies claim: “there is evidence of brutality combined with cruelty and forms of sadism, including sexual abuse, and sexual and religious humiliation”, with widespread use of “hooding”, prisoners forced in to excrutiating: “stress positions, sleep deprivation, noise bombardment and deprivation of food and water.”

All such techniques were banned under the government of Edward Heath in 1972, after being used in Northern Ireland. Claims are that these legally outlawed techniques were used: “in a variety of different UK facilities (in Iraq) … from 2003 to 2008.” (Incidentally, after September 2007, the British stated that only had a small military contingency remained, assisting in training Iraqis.)

Alleged tortuous treatment was compounded, seemingly, by: “failures to follow-up on or ensure accountability for ending such practices became a cause of further abuse. The obvious conclusion is that such mistreatment was systematic.”

The Independent quotes Professor William Schabas, human rights law expert: “What this application does is throw down the challenge to the court to show there are no double standards. There is definitely a case for an investigation by the ICC.” He suggested that “there’s no doubt” of war crimes committed by British forces in Iraq. “People should be worried.”

The UK Ministry of Defence and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office both state that any allegations of abuse have been, or are being investigated through various, including legal channels, with William Hague emphasizing that there was no need for the ICC to become involved.

The ICC as a body has also come under fire, accused of only putting on trial, or investigating largely Africans and ignoring other alleged human rights abuses.

ECCHR Secretary General, Wolfgang Kaleck told the Independent: “With the current communication to the ICC we want to move forward the criminal prosecution against those political and military leaders in the UK who bear the most responsibility for systematic torture in Iraq”, adding: “The International Criminal Court in The Hague is the last resort for victims of torture and mistreatment to achieve justice.

“Double standards in international criminal justice must end. War crimes and other severe violations of human rights must be investigated and prosecuted, regardless of whether they are committed by the most powerful.”

According to Phil Shiner of Public Interest Lawyers, the actions of British officials in high places, involved in the invasion, planning, execution and occupation, are to come under investigation. : “I think we easily meet the threshold for these issues to be looked at, I would be gobsmacked and bitterly disappointed if they don’t look at this.”

Geoff Hoon, Adam Ingram and General Sir Peter Wall could not be reached for comment.

A small sample of the eye watering allegations presented to the ICC can be found in the full article referenced below.

The full submission document, which the Independent has exclusively seen, will be released publicly on Tuesday.

Truth, War Propaganda, CIA and Media Manipulation

By Global Research
Global Research, January 09, 2014
31 March 2011
Never before has it been so important to have independent, honest voices and sources of information. We are – as a society – inundated and overwhelmed with a flood of information from a wide array of sources, but these sources of information, by and large, serve the powerful interests and individuals that own them. The main sources of information, for both public and official consumption, include the mainstream media, alternative media, academia and think tanks.

The mainstream media is the most obvious in its inherent bias and manipulation. The mainstream media is owned directly by large multinational corporations, and through their boards of directors are connected with a plethora of other major global corporations and elite interests. An example of these connections can be seen through the board of Time Warner.

Time Warner owns Time Magazine, HBO, Warner Bros., and CNN, among many others. The board of directors includes individuals past or presently affiliated with: the Council on Foreign Relations, the IMF, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Warburg Pincus, Phillip Morris, and AMR Corporation, among many others.

Two of the most “esteemed” sources of news in the U.S. are the New York Times (referred to as “the paper of record”) and the Washington Post. The New York Times has on its board people who are past or presently affiliated with: Schering-Plough International (pharmaceuticals), the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Chevron Corporation, Wesco Financial Corporation, Kohlberg & Company, The Charles Schwab Corporation, eBay Inc., Xerox, IBM, Ford Motor Company, Eli Lilly & Company, among others. Hardly a bastion of impartiality.

And the same could be said for the Washington Post, which has on its board: Lee Bollinger, the President of Columbia University and Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; Warren Buffett, billionaire financial investor, Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway; and individuals associated with (past or presently): the Coca-Cola Company, New York University, Conservation International, the Council on Foreign Relations, Xerox, Catalyst, Johnson & Johnson, Target Corporation, RAND Corporation, General Motors, and the Business Council, among others.

It is also important to address how the mainstream media is intertwined, often covertly and secretly, with the government. Carl Bernstein, one of the two Washington Post reporters who covered the Watergate scandal, revealed that there were over 400 American journalists who had “secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency.” Interestingly, “the use of journalists has been among the most productive means of intelligence-gathering employed by the CIA.” Among organizations which cooperated with the CIA were the “American Broadcasting Company, the National Broadcasting Company, the Associated Press, United Press International, Reuters, Hearst Newspapers, Scripps-Howard, Newsweek magazine, the Mutual Broadcasting System, the Miami Herald and the old Saturday Evening Post and New York Herald-Tribune.”

By far the most valuable of these associations, according to CIA officials, have been with the New York Times, CBS and Time Inc. The CIA even ran a training program “to teach its agents to be journalists,” who were “then placed in major news organizations with help from management.”

These types of relationships have continued in the decades since, although perhaps more covertly and quietly than before. For example, it was revealed in 2000 that during the NATO bombing of Kosovo, “several officers from the US Army’s 4th Psychological Operations (PSYOPS) Group at Ft. Bragg worked in the news division at CNN’s Atlanta headquarters.” This same Army Psyop outfit had “planted stories in the U.S. media supporting the Reagan Administration’s Central America policies,” which was described by the Miami Herald as a “vast psychological warfare operation of the kind the military conducts to influence a population in enemy territory.” These Army PSYOP officers also worked at National Public Radio (NPR) at the same time. The US military has, in fact, had a strong relationship with CNN.

In 2008, it was reported that the Pentagon ran a major propaganda campaign by using retired Generals and former Pentagon officials to present a good picture of the administration’s war-time policies. The program started in the lead-up to the Iraq War in 2003 and continued into 2009. These officials, presented as “military analysts”, regurgitate government talking points and often sit on the boards of military contractors, thus having a vested interest in the subjects they are brought on to “analyze.”

In 2013, Public Accountability reported:

During the public debate around the question of whether to attack Syria, Stephen Hadley, former national security adviser to George W. Bush, made a series of high-profile media appearances. Hadley argued strenuously for military intervention in appearances on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and Bloomberg TV, and authored a Washington Post op-ed headlined “To stop Iran, Obama must enforce red lines with Assad.”

In each case, Hadley’s audience was not informed that he serves as a director of Raytheon, the weapons manufacturer that makes the Tomahawk cruise missiles that were widely cited as a weapon of choice in a potential strike against Syria. Hadley earns $128,500 in annual cash compensation from the company and chairs its public affairs committee. He also owns 11,477 shares of Raytheon stock, which traded at all-time highs during the Syria debate ($77.65 on August 23, making Hadley’s share’s worth $891,189). Despite this financial stake, Hadley was presented to his audience as an experienced, independent national security expert.

The major philanthropic foundations in the United States have often used their enormous wealth to co-opt voices of dissent and movements of resistance into channels that are safe for the powers that be. As McGeorge Bundy, former President of the Ford Foundation once said, “Everything the Foundation does is to make the world safe for Capitalism.”

Examples of this include philanthropies like the Rockefeller Foundation, Ford Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation providing immense financial and organizational support to Non-Governmental Organizations. Furthermore, the alternative media are often funded by these same foundations, which has the effect of influencing the direction of coverage as well as the stifling of critical analysis.

This now brings us to the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) and Global Research.

As an institution which acts as a research centre as well as a source of alternative news through the website http://www.globalresearch.ca, the CRG has become a much needed voice of independence seeking to break through all the propaganda and misinformation.

To maintain our independence, Global Research does not accept assistance from public and private foundations. Nor do we seek support from universities and/or government.

While the objective is to expand and help spread important and much-needed information to more people than ever before, Global Research needs to rely upon its readers to support the organization.
Thank you, dear readers, for your tireless support.

Supporting Global Research is supporting the cause of truth and the fight against media disinformation.

Thank you.

US patent 5505799 looks like manual for 9/11 “explosive”

by Sitting-Bull

Two weeks ago a german fellow found this patent by accident in search for an online discussion with so called debunkers, originally by searching the temperature of thermite burning.
US patent 5505799: called, Nanoengineered Explosives, Filed 1993, granted 1996,


I forwarded this patent to Prof. Harrit who did immediately respond and called it a good catch, and begged me I should write a blog entry about it. Also, Prof. Jones did respond immediately, too, with the multilayers working on his mind. Because this patent describes a three-layered “near” explosive material.

This patent looks like the manual for what was found in the WTC dust. Maybe the biggest hint is the last figure (31) published in the work “Actice Thermitic Material Discovered In Dust Of The World Trade Center Catastrophe” by Niels Harrit et al,
showing a residue with two red-grey-layers and other layers as well.

There are several sentences you have to read from the patent:

“A complex modulated structure of reactive elements that have the capability of considerably more heat than organic explosives while generating a working fluid or gas. The explosive and method of fabricating same involves a plurality of very thin, stacked, multilayer structures, each composed of reactive components, such as aluminum, separated from a less reactive element, such as copper oxide, by a separator material, such as carbon. The separator material not only separates the reactive materials, but it reacts therewith when detonated to generate higher temperatures. The various layers of material, thickness of 10 to 10,000 angstroms, can be deposited by magnetron sputter deposition. The explosive detonates and combusts a high velocity generating a gas, such as CO, and high temperatures”

“The reaction of metals (i.e. Al, Ti, Be . . . ) with inorganic oxides (i.e. CuO, Fe.sub.2 O.sub.3, MnO.sub.2 . . . ) is well known. For example, the reaction of Al and Fe.sub.2 O.sub.3 to produce Al.sub.2 O.sub.3 and Fe is referred to as the Thermite reaction, and it has been used for many years in metallurgical processes, such as welding.
Also, the enhanced reactivity of thin multilayer structures compared to powder mixtures has been observed by other researchers. The reactivity of thin multilayer structures is attributed to the energy stored in the layer interfaces and the very high ratio of interface area to volume.”

“Unlike organic explosive molecules, this explosive has properties that can be engineered because the structure is a fabricated multilayer not determined by molecular structure and bonding. It provides an alternative to any application for organic propellants or explosives. The stability of inorganic materials from which the new type explosive consists make it attractive for use in severe environments such a space applications. Also, the multilayer structure can be engineered to provide desired ignition temperatures and detonation characteristics. For example, the multilayer explosive can be engineered to be ignited by a mechanical scratch at room temperature, or to be as insensitive to ignition as a mixture of powder components. In addition, the ability to control the thickness (from 10 to 10,000 angstroms) of the various layers in the multilayer structure provide control over ignition sensitivity. Thicker layers in the multilayer structure produce a more stable material. In addition to beryllium, aluminum, and titanium, other inorganic elements or reactive metals such as lithium (Li), calcium (Ca), zirconium (Zr), and yttrium (Y), may be used. Also, the inorganic oxides of other metals, such as gallium (Ga), zinc (Zn), nickle (Ni), cobalt (Co), molybdenium (Mo), tin (Sn), and germanium (Ge) may be used. While carbon is the preferred organic component layer between the reactive layer and the oxide layer, other organic components (i.e. polymer films) which will react with both but also prevents any passivating reaction between the reactive material and the inorganic oxide material, may be used.”

I would call it only a manual, with strong evidence such material could in fact be developed long before 9/11, because, sure, there are at least the following differences:
-In the patent CuO (cupper-oxide) was used for the metal-oxide. In the red-grey chips described by Harrit et al they found FeO. However, FeO (iron oxide) is mentioned in the patent as the metal-oxide for well known thermite reaction (see above). What are the differences: CuO is faster in the reaction, but more expensive, too, as cupper is much more expensive than iron. There is no doubt that FeO can be used, too, with a little slower reaction front.
-there are three distinguishable layers, each useful for a special purpose, described in the patent: The CuO for the metal-oxide, the carbon layer for secure handling and creating carbide in the reaction and the Al-layer delivering the aluminum for the reaction. In the red-layer of the red-grey chip it looks like more than one of the features of the patents different layers were used, aka Al, FeO and C together. As there is the possibility, that more layers were used and only fragments of the layers were found, or that for other purposes the layers were even intermixed, it is no reason to undermine the meaning of this patent.
-magnetron sputtering is not a likely method for creating the amounts of nano-engineered explosives eventually used for the WTC destruction
-the term “explosive” shoud be used with caution, as there are clear definitions of it- we have a new stuff here, on the border between beeing explosive and incendiary

So, besides this, we can put a few things to rest: A stuff combining best of two worlds, as described later in science, a reaction speed likewise of explosives with the potential energy of incendiaries, nanomaterial layers capable of producing gas, carbides, very high temperatures in the reaction, like explosives, features adjustable just what you want from it, because of the adjustable layer features, known as early as 1993…means: Such stuff is possible. Don’t matter how often the “debunkers” will say thermite is not an explosive and the layers were much too thin for any harming of WTC steel. This looks like an important further step for reaching out to the criminals who did blow up the towers.

This patent can be found only randomly, if ever, in regards to 9/11 truth, e.g. you will find some comments on the web by harrasing “debunker” “Merlin5by5” on youtube or a short article by 911truth.ch. However, this information can be considered new to a wider audience, including the authors of the “Active Thermictic Material…” Even if it is not exactly the stuff that was used in the WTC demolition, hopefully it is a useful contribution for further studies.