2006: A War Referendum
It is a sad triumph
of Rovism that the most passionate believers in our nation's founding principles
have been divided into conflicting camps. Thank you for reaching out to end
The real conservatives
want freedom and justice, and their real opponents are the imperial Republicans
and the Democrat enablers of imperial Republican subversion of our Constitution.
I look forward
to the day when imperialism is renounced and we can debate the best ways to
implement freedom and justice in our own country.
~ Peter Crowley
is one of three Web sites that I visit every day. You guys do a tremendous job,
so please don't take this as a complaint (well, not a big one, anyway).
I wonder why your
letters-to-the-editor page gets updated so infrequently compared to the rest
of the site. The news stories and the blog change every day, and your regular
columnists (such as Raimondo) post a new installment three times a week, it
seems, but the letters are refreshed at glacial speed (in Web-time terms, anyway).
I'm writing this on Oct. 16 while gazing at the "current" letters page dated
I really like
reading what other Antiwar.com visitors have to say – good, bad, or totally
off the wall. It's frustrating waiting so long to read each new batch of missives.
If there's any way to speed up the letter-posting process, I would appreciate
Thanks again for
being there, though. Even if you dropped the letters page entirely I would remain
a faithful reader and supporter.
~ Steve Smith
apologize for allowing so much time to pass without posting a Backtalk file
– and I'm glad that people care enough about Backtalk to complain about
The quantity of
letters we receive varies depending on world events; during the past few months
we've been averaging a little over one file per week, and approximately a half-dozen
letters per file. At this time we don't want to decrease the number of letters
per file nor the quality of the letters we post. For a more frequent take on
Antiwar.com's readers' opinions you might join the Antiwar
Forum, where (this week at least) they're averaging about 11 messages per
The Hidden Horror
will be interesting to see if Bush backs up his statement. He would have to
go to the Census Bureau where there are experts in survey methodology. The Census
Bureau has a long history of integrity (except for a relatively few lapses),
and I really believe they would not cave into political pressure. Look, Johns
Hopkins and MIT are two of our finest institutions of higher learning. This
isn't faith-based science we are dealing with. Being a retired statistician,
I can't believe these people at Johns Hopkins got it wrong. Johns Hopkins is
just down the road from the Census Bureau; they probably have been discussing
this project jointly for some time. Cluster sampling along with demographic
analysis techniques have been used for decades in developing countries in estimating
demographic statistics like mortality. The Census Bureau has a long history
in helping developing countries do this very same thing. Let's hear from the
Census Bureau! I don't want to hear anything more from the White House.
~ Dave, Charlotte,
You preface your
piece about NORAD with the comment that the possibility Flight 93 was shot down
is a theory that has been recently shot down (apologies – couldn't resist it)
– you said "debunked."
I have NO prejudices
on the matter either way. I seek the truth. And continue seeking!
So. Could you
point me in the direction of the data (a link?) to which you refer in this Flight
93 case? Has there been some new revelation which eliminates the possibility
it was shot down? I've not been following this story closely recently and might
have missed it so I thought the matter was still up in the air (oops, there
I go again).
(Bad) humor aside,
this is a serious matter; many innocent lives were lost and finding out precisely
what happened is the best way to honor their loss.
~ Paul Willis,
The NORAD transcripts
suggest that the planes tasked with defending North America never caught up
with any of the hijacked planes.
Thanks for writing.
story about NORAD having not tracked the 9/11 hijacked planes is simply not
I have obtained
an official report dated Feb. 15, 2002, from the National Transportation Safety
Board that confirms my suspicion that NORAD and the 84th RADES Joint Surveillance
System radar covered THE ENTIRE EAST COAST of the United States and tracked
all four 9/11 hijacked aircraft THROUGHOUT THEIR ENTIRE FLIGHTS.
NORAD was not
blind to domestic airspace and "looking outward" only as stated before
the 9/11 Commission and DID NOT have to rely on a phone call from the FAA to
see what was happening on radar inside U.S. airspace.
I have also located
more than 200 F-18 Super Hornet jet fighters and radar planes within range of
both Washington and New York that could have been sent after the hijacked planes
but were not.
RECORDED RADAR DATA STUDY
Office of Research and Engineering
this study the time of day used as the standard time is from the USAF 84 RADES
data, which covers ALL OF THE FLIGHTS FROM TAKEOFF TO RESPECTIVE IMPACTS.
data was obtained from the United States Air Force 84 RADES
RADES data were obtained to capture the ENTIRE FLIGHTS
utilized by the FAA AND THE USAF have the capability to estimate the altitude
of primary targets with a certain degree of accuracy
didn't go into the details in my blog posting, but what apparently happened
is that NORAD was unable to track the planes using their transponder signals
once the terrorists turned the transponders off, and was unable to track the
planes using radar – at the time – due to their being lost among thousands
of civilian flights.
blog entry, I think that you should be wary of accepting the Vanity Fair
article as the final word on NORAD's actions on 9/11.
In your blog entry
you say: "On 9/11/01 there was a NORAD hijacking exercise, which seems to have
caused some confusion when the real hijackings occurred
suggests that there was "a" single exercise, but there were several
war-games in full swing on the morning of 9/11.
author Rebekah Cohen has
written on this subject.
9, 2006), author Michael Kane (works for Michael Ruppert) responded to a long
"hit piece" on "conspiracy theorists" published by Bill Weinberg: "9/11 and
The New Pearl Harbor – A Response to Bill Weinberg."
In the recent,
well-referenced scholarly volume, The Hidden History of 9-11-2001 (Elsevier,
2006), there is an essay by Don "Four Arrows" Jacobs entitled "The Military
Drills on 9/11: 'Bizarre Coincidence' or Something Else?" He documents the possibility
of seven, maybe eight, exercises ongoing on 9/11:
(unconfirmed, featured simultaneous hijacking of two planes)
Timely Alert II
Operation Northern Vigilance
Operation Vigilant Guardian
Operation Northern Guardian
Operation Vigilant Warrior
I also highly
recommend the essay "The Hidden Story of 9/11: Exercises, Operations, and the
Role of the Secret Service" by Matthew Everett and Paul Thompson, submitted
for the record during a congressional briefing held last year by Rep. Cynthia
McKinney. Pdf file here.
All of this documented
information should be considered before considering this latest version of the
9/11 timeline of events on 9/11 as thorough. (According to researcher Thompson,
there have been as many as seven versions of the FAA/NORAD experience on 9/11.)
The very idea
that those plucky 19 hijackers would have picked the very day that these many
war-games converged, out-of-the-blue, as coincidence, seems unlikely at best,
and suggests insider knowledge if not a documentable stand-down order.
These tapes must
have been available on day one. Why is this information emerging now?
~ Allan Giles
Thank you for
sending along all this information.
Let me clarify.
According to the NORAD transcripts, as
quoted in Vanity Fair – and contrary to claims made by some
war opponents – there was no stand-down order on 9/11. (Whether or not
the terrorists were tipped off about war games is a separate question.) To the
extent that war opponents are associated with dubious 9/11 conspiracy theories,
we're discredited. And there's no need to resort to unfounded accusations to
make the anti-empire argument regarding 9/11. Just consider some of the uncontested