9/11: The Unanswered Questions
Ramesh S Arunachalam
Sixteen years after the horrific 9/11 crime,[i] we are not aware of the systemic failures that caused it. Isn’t that a serious problem, folks?
Specifically, on 9/11, one important stakeholder to thoroughly botch up was the Federal Aviation Administration[ii] (FAA).
The FAA summarily failed to not only protect the United States airspace in the first place, but was also unsuccessful in taking effective (immediate) remedial action to protect its key (air) assets that were turned into weapons of mass destruction. This cannot be disputed by anyone!
While several issues deserve mention in this regard, two aspects appear especially important. First is the FAA’s communication[iii] with the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD[iv]), which in my opinion was strangely ineffective, as otherwise the hijacked airliners would have been either escorted to safety and/or shot down. Second is NORAD’s own communication about its response to the hijacking, which again, is perplexing.[v]
Put differently, communication emanating from FAA to various stakeholders including NORAD was ineffective. NORAD, on their own, also failed to provide an (effective) response to the hijackings.
Thus, FAA and NORAD collectively failed to protect not only the airspace and air assets—that ultimately were turned into deadly weapons of mass destruction—but also precious lives (both in the air and on the ground) as well as assets in the United States. That the FAA and NORAD failed miserably in their response to 9/11 has been widely acknowledged. But merely stating that is simply not enough—just naming the FAA and/or NORAD is NOT sufficient. We need to get to the bottom of the pit and ascertain how and why things panned out the way they did and it is here that—in my opinion—the 9/11 Commission has missed the bus completely and failed to serve the purposes for which it had been established.[vi]
As noted above, an often mentioned argument is that the lack of proper and timely communication between the FAA and NORAD was responsible for much of what happened on 9/11. If communication was sub-optimal and has been blamed for much of the systemic failure to protect air space, air assets (including life) and ground space and assets (including life), then it is only fair to look at systems related to communication to fix responsibility and accountability for the huge systemic failure on 9/11.
Okay, folks, what are these systems? Obviously, we are talking about information systems across the FAA that fall under the purview of the National Airspace System (NAS). The NAS may be viewed as an information system of systems that collectively supports all air operations in the United States and certain oceanic areas.
Viewed in this manner, the NAS can be conceptually and strategically divided into three parts:
1. Sources (or originators) of information necessary to perform air operations,
2. Users (or beneficiaries), who use the information to perform air operations and who, in the course of performing them, produce additional information. In other words, users themselves become sources as they collate and aggregate information and data, and
3. Access to and management of all the information that falls between the sources and users and are produced by these stakeholders.
It is important to note that millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars[vii] were invested in the design of FAA’s NAS that failed so miserably in protecting airspace, life, and assets on 9/11. Yet, you will be shocked to know that the FAA’s NAS is mentioned just once and[viii] fleetingly in the 9/11 Commission’s final report.
Why is this so?
If 9/11 had a systemic failure in the communication/information systems between FAA and NORAD, then, is it not appropriate that this communication/information system (called NAS) should be examined closely to determine what facets caused the systemic failure?
This then leads to the next set of questions:
a) How was the NAS designed and implemented, prior to 9/11?
b) Who designed and implemented it prior to 9/11?
c) Who financed the design and implementation of the NAS prior to 9/11?
d) Who (i.e., which stakeholders) were involved in the design and implementation of the NAS, prior to 9/11?
e) What were their security clearances? Who authorized these clearances?
f) Did any of these stakeholders have access to the complete NAS or even parts of the NAS on 9/11?
g) Who else had access to the NAS on 9/11?
h) Were there conflicts of interest[ix] that prevented the NAS designers and implementers from being investigated? Did any of the 9/11 commissioners and other (related) stakeholders have relationships with these NAS designers and implementers that prevented them from being investigated?
i) Were they probed as part of the 9/11 Commission activities? If not, why were they not investigated by the 9/11 Commission?
These and several other questions remain unanswered up to date with regard to the 9/11 crime. The above is just one example and many more such aspects are explored microscopically here in this book, which analyzes the 9/11 crime and the horrific collapse of the two World Trade Center (WTC) Towers—due to acts of terror—into their own footprint, perhaps faster than free fall. The strange collapse of WTC 7 is also explored as part of this analysis.
Let us first get the facts clear.
Never, in the history of mankind, have tall multi-storied steel structures collapsed due to (structural failure caused by) fire other than the three WTC buildings (WTC North Tower, WTC South Tower and WTC 7).
Interestingly, they were all located in the same place (Lower Manhattan, New York, U.S.A.), they all fell on the same day and they all had been leased[x] to the same person.[xi]
The above facts make 9/11 a unique event and I said to myself, “is that a coincidence or what”. I decided to research this issue and this book is the outcome of this quiet effort for over sixteen years. I hope to bring an objective and rigorous analytical research perspective to this (Pearl Harbor like) transforming event,[xii] its antecedents and consequences.
We owe this to the American People, especially the families of the 9/11 Victims as well as the General American Public and also the Global Community, which have since 9/11 suffered the burden in many ways.
Using clear and objectively verifiable facts collected painstakingly over sixteen years, the book shows why and how the official 9/11 Commission report has (miserably) failed to provide a fair, transparent and objective analysis of the 9/11 crime and thereby failed to fix responsibility and accountability for its actual happening.
Specifically, while the book analyzes events, incidents, evidence, statements, people, institutions etc. in an objective but critical manner, it does not put forward any conspiracy theory. Rather, it attempts to set the ground—in a clear and objective manner by solidly critiquing the work of the official 9/11 Commission and its final report using strong evidence—for a new objective (criminal) investigation.
People who read this book and peruse the evidence will surely not be able to defend the official 9/11 Commission report, under any circumstances what-so-ever as the evidence is solidly presented in black and white and hits a reader in the face upfront.
While the book builds on the previous excellent work (cited in the book) with regard to 9/11 done by scholars, researchers, scientists and other stakeholders, it differs from the existing attempts to critique the work of the 9/11 Commission in several major ways:
a) It analyzes the crime of 9/11 from first principles and thereby draws up an exhaustive list of evidence that should have been examined, and people who ought to have been interviewed, in terms of how the security was breached both in the air and on the ground (in what was then the most protected country on the planet) with a focus on stakeholders involved, and people, companies, contractors, consultants etc. associated, and the key interrelationships among them.
Security companies at WTC buildings/airports, insurers of WTC buildings, owners, lessors, and lessees etc. along with enterprise architecture consultants (who worked for the FAA and NORAD and even set up the key systems[xiii]) among others, have been focused upon in a detailed manner along with their key relationships and interrelationships. The causal analysis helps isolate responsibility and fix accountability, something which the 9/11 report has failed to do.
b) It traces antecedents as far back as the Iran Contra affair, the ‘October Surprise’ and the hearings way back in the 1980s when Lee Hamilton and Dick Cheney were reportedly coordinating closely with each other. It moves through the last stage of the Nixon Presidency, sifts through two terms of the Reagan Presidency, the Bill Clinton Presidency, the George W. Bush Presidency and the Obama Presidency with the George H. W. Bush Presidency sandwiched between the Reagan and Clinton Presidencies.
The focus here is on Pentagon policies, accounting issues, and the missing trillions;[xiv] key counterterrorism policy issues and their implementation—especially after the WTC building was bombed in 1993 and Tridata Corporation (subsidiary of System Planning International) analyzed the security breaches for the same and the subsequent events thereafter—and the major people involved in all these decisions, including those like Jamie Gorelick. Interestingly, Jamie Gorelick, who became a future 9/11 commissioner, reportedly issued a memo[xv] as deputy attorney general (DAG) in the Clinton Administration which has been cited as responsible for reportedly building the wall between the FBI and CIA with regard to intelligence—many have cited this as one of the most important reasons for the intelligence failure with regard to 9/11.
c) The book also explores the key inter-relationships between various people including consultants, companies, and defense contractors, and especially with future 9/11 commissioners and staff, along with a comprehensive exposition of associated conflicts of interest issues and ramifications of all of the above for 9/11, the horrific event.
Again, as before, every bit of evidence is presented in black and white for the reader. There are no inferences. Plain simple facts dominate the discourse and that would make it hard for anyone to defend the official 9/11 Commission report—which as this book shows—clearly ignored important pieces of evidence and testimonies of crucial people, relevant to the 9/11 crime.
d) There are many more distinguishing features but let me refrain from letting the ‘cats’ out of the ‘bags’ for now.
e) Most importantly, as noted earlier, the book does not advance any conspiracy theory. It relies simply on objectively verifiable facts and provides all such evidence upfront and raises valid questions that could help facilitate a new objective probe and thereby fix accountability and ultimate responsibility for the horrific 9/11 crime.
See a review of the book, by the PRESTIGIOUS US REVIEW OF BOOKS, at http://www.theusreview.com/
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[i] Hereafter, 9/11 is used to refer to the horrific incident on September 11, 2001. Four planes were reportedly hijacked and two of these hijacked planes reportedly rammed into the World Trade Center (WTC) Buildings (WTC, North and South Towers) in New York in successive fashion. The other two hijacked planes crashed—one reportedly into the Pentagon and the other while supposedly flying en route to the White House. Collectively, these incidents caused tremendous death and destruction and are, in common parlance, referred to as the 9/11 incident—which is a modern day ‘Pearl Harbor’ like transforming event.
[iii] The words of the vice-chair of The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks in the United States (9/11 Commission), Lee Hamilton, after submission of the final report (July 22, 2004), sums this up aptly, “But the fact of the matter is, if you look at 9/11, all the way through, FAA communications, NORAD communications, White House communications, there was just a lot of confusion, and a lot of gaps.”—See ‘9/11: Truth, Lies and Conspiracy, Interview: Lee Hamilton’, August 21, 2006, 911 Truth.Org, last accessed on March 5, 2018, http://911truth.org/truth-lies-and-conspiracy-interview-with-lee-hamilton/; the original links for the same interview can be found at the following sites, which sometimes are unavailable. The same aforementioned interview at these links have however been downloaded by the author, http://web.archive.org/web/20070108233707/; http://www.cbc.ca/sunday/911hamilton.html
[v] In a letter dated July 29, 2004, addressed to Hon. Joseph E. Schmitz, Inspector General, U.S. Department of Defense, Washington, D.C. 20301-1900 and Hon. Kenneth M. Mead, Inspector General, U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 7th St., S.W., Room 9210, Washington, D.C. 20590, Daniel Marcus, General Counsel, National Commission on Terrorist Attacks in the United States (9/11 Commission), noted, “During the course of our investigation, the staff of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States discovered evidence that certain public statements made by NORAD and FAA officials at a Commission hearing on May 23, 2003, and elsewhere, regarding the actions of NORAD and FAA officials in responding to the 9/11 attacks were not accurate.” See ‘Daniel Marcus-Box 6 NORAD-FAA-Misstatements’, 14:34, June 6, 2009, originally located, copied and uploaded by History Commons, last accessed on March 8, 2018, http://www.911myths.com/images/4/48/Daniel_Marcus-Box6_NORAD-FAA-Misstatements.pdf
What is ironical is that despite the (above) known inaccuracies, the 9/11 Commission failed in its mandate to get to the truth behind the 9/11 incident. More importantly, it failed to look at the NAS—which is an information system of information systems within the FAA and that is a huge mistake—and analyze its failure in the whole 9/11 episode. If that had happened, perhaps the entire 9/11 report would have been different. Also see what Thomas Kean, Chair of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks in the United States (9/11 Commission) and former Governor of New Jersey said in this regard, “We to this day don’t know why NORAD told us what they told us, it was just so far from the truth”—See Dan Eggen, ‘9/11 Panel Suspected Deception by Pentagon’, The Washington Post, August 2, 2006, last accessed on March 5, 2018, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/01/AR2006080101300.html?sub=new
[vi] “The purposes of the Commission are to—(1) examine and report upon the facts and causes relating to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, occurring at the World Trade Center in New York, New York, in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, and at the Pentagon in Virginia; (2) ascertain, evaluate, and report on the evidence developed by all relevant governmental agencies regarding the facts and circumstances surrounding the attacks; (3) build upon the investigations of other entities, and avoid unnecessary duplication, by reviewing the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of—(A) the Joint Inquiry of the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives regarding the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, (hereinafter in this title referred to as the ‘‘Joint Inquiry’’); and (B) other executive branch, congressional, or independent commission investigations into the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, other terrorist attacks, and terrorism generally; (4) make a full and complete accounting of the circumstances surrounding the attacks, and the extent of the United States’ preparedness for, and immediate response to, the attacks; and (5) investigate and report to the President and Congress on its findings, conclusions, and recommendations for corrective measures that can be taken to prevent acts of terrorism.”, Source: ‘Title VI—National Commission On Terrorist Attacks Upon The United States’, page 26, last accessed on March 5, 2018, http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/911/about/107-306.pdf
[vii] It is obvious that something like the NAS, as described above, could not have been built without American tax payer money.
[viii] The only sentence where the words National Airspace System can be found is the following: “FAA headquarters is ultimately responsible for the management of the National Airspace System.” See page 16, ‘The 9/11 Commission Report, Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States’, U.S. Government Printing Office, July 22, 2004, last accessed on March 5, 2018, https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/GPO-911REPORT/pdf/GPO-911REPORT.pdf
[ix] See ‘Conflict of interest’, Grammarist, last accessed on March 8, 2018,
[x] WTC North and South Towers had been leased less than 100 days before their collapse. WTC 7 had been leased before.
[xi] All three towers had been leased to the same person (Larry Silverstein) and/or his companies.
[xii] This is how many have referred to the 9/11 incident in the United States of America.
[xiv] See Senator Robert C. Byrd’s comments, who, during Donald Rumsfeld’s confirmation hearings dated January 11, 2001, noted: “The audit report found that, out of $7.6 trillion in Department level accounting interest, $2.3 trillion in entries either did not contain adequate documentation or were improperly reconciled, or were made to force buyer and seller data to agree. This DOD IG report is very disturbing. Last year, according to the General Accounting Office, the Pentagon reported that it did not expect to have the necessary assistance in place to be able to prepare financial statements for 3 more years. That was last year. We are now advised that the Pentagon is currently telling the Office of Management and Budget that it will take them until the year 2005 or 2006. I seriously question an increase in the Pentagon budget, and in the face of the Department’s recent Inspector General’s report how can we seriously consider a $50 billion increase in the defense budget when DOD’s own auditors say the Department cannot account for $2.3 trillion in transactions in 1 year alone? Now, $2.3 trillion I would readily assume is a large amount of money. …So why is this happening? ... Now, my question to you is, Mr. Secretary, what do you plan to do about this?”—Source: ‘S. HRG. 107–749, Nominations Before The Senate Armed Services Committee, First Session, 107th Congress Hearings Before The Committee On Armed Services United States Senate, One Hundred Seventh Congress, pages 68-69’. See the related website, last accessed on March 8, 2018, https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CHRG-107shrg75903/pdf/CHRG-107shrg75903.pdf
[xv] Memo dated March 4, 1995 from the then Deputy Attorney General, Jamie Gorelick.