From David Ray Griffin's article, "9/11 Contradictions: When Did Cheney Enter the Underground Bunker?"
<< To see possible motives for the 9/11 Commission’s efforts to obliterate [Sec. of Transportation, Norman Mineta’s] story from the public record, we need to look at the conversation he reported to the Commission. He said:
During the time that the airplane was coming in to the Pentagon, there was a young man who would come in and say to the Vice President, “The plane is 50 miles out.” “The plane is 30 miles out.” And when it got down to “the plane is 10 miles out,” the young man also said to the Vice President, “Do the orders still stand?” And the Vice President turned and whipped his neck around and said, “Of course the orders still stand. Have you heard anything to the contrary?”
Mineta’s story had dangerous implications with regard to the strike on the Pentagon, which occurred at 9:38. According to the 9/11 Commission, the military did not know that an aircraft was approaching the Pentagon until 9:36, so that it “had at most one or two minutes to react to the unidentified plane approaching Washington” (9/11CR 34). That claim was essential for explaining, among other things, why the Pentagon had not been evacuated before it was struck -- a fact that resulted in 125 deaths. A spokesperson for Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, when asked why this evacuation had not occurred, said: “The Pentagon was simply not aware that this aircraft was coming our way” (Newsday, Sept. 23, 2001). Mineta’s testimony implied, by contrast, that Cheney and others knew that an aircraft was approaching Washington about 12 minutes before that strike.
Even more problematic was the question of the nature of “the orders.” Mineta assumed, he said, that they were orders to have the plane shot down. But the aircraft was not shot down. Also, the expected orders, especially on a day when two hijacked airliners had already crashed into buildings in New York, would have been to shoot down any nonmilitary aircraft entering the “prohibited” airspace over Washington, in which “civilian flying is prohibited at all times” (“Pilots Notified of Restricted Airspace; Violators Face Military Action,” FAA Press Release, September 28, 2001). If those orders had been given, there would have been no reason to ask if they still stood. The question made sense only if the orders were to do something unusual -- not to shoot the aircraft down. It appeared, accordingly, that Mineta had inadvertently reported Cheney’s confirmation of stand-down orders. >>
Informant: John Calvert