Friday, September 06, 2002

A few comments on Hani Hanjour and the alleged crash of Flight 77 into the Pentagon:

  1. Hani Hanjour was the most peripatetic of the hijackers, spending ten years wandering between San Diego, Tuscon, Phoenix (where an FBI informant may have tried to warn the FBI about Hanjour), Scottsdale, Florida, Maryland, and New Jersey, with occasional trips back home to Saudi Arabia (he was from a well-to-do family; here is a lot of background and some psychobabble). He was involved in the odd incident obtaining driver's licences in Virginia for many of the hijackers. He is striking because he appears to actually have been who he is supposed to have been. He doesn't appear to have used a stolen identity. He seemed to suffer no great sudden personality shifts. He appeared to be constantly attempting to learn how to fly, never learned to speak English well, and probably was never replaced by any mercenary (although there may be just a little doubt about that). My feeling is that he became involved in al-Qaeda as a means of continuing his pilot training, as he seems not to have shown any great interest in fundamentalism.

  2. The most striking and important thing about Hanjour, and one of the most important facts about September 11, was that Hanjour, despite years of training, was utterly and completely incompetent as a pilot. He actually managed to obtain a U. S. commercial pilot's licence, a requirement at the time for flying for a commercial airline in Saudi Arabia. He failed in obtaining a job as a pilot in Saudi Arabia, presumably when they saw how incompetent he was, and returned to the U. S. for more training. We can only speculate, but if he had managed to become a Saudi commercial pilot, we might never have heard of him. When he returned to Arizona, he was so bad that his instructors couldn't believe that he had obtained a commercial pilot's licence and they notified the FAA, who noticed his language and skill problems but seemed content to merely confirm that he did have a licence (wasn't the FAA remarkably negligent about this? - I suppose we could see this as part of the series of brushes with authorities that the hijackers had, all without inconvenience, or as part of the era of deregulation, where all regulators are afraid of interfering with the workings of the perfect capitalist market). Neither his English language skills nor his technical flying ability were close to what should have been required. Peggy Chevrette, the manager for the flight school, said: "I couldn't believe he had a commercial license of any kind with the skills that he had." As late as mid-August 2001, he attempted to rent a small plane in Maryland. In order to rent the plane, he had to fly with an employee of the rental company to ensure that he was sufficiently competent to take the plane out alone. He was such a bad pilot, having trouble controlling and landing the aircraft, that they would not let him rent the plane without a rental company employee to accompany him! Anne Greaves, in answering questions on Atta's flying abilities, said:

    "A lot of people have said to us in Cairo they simply don't believe it was Mohamed Atta because they don't believe that he could have had those piloting skills in that short period of time.

    I think it is very possible. You see what I cannot be specific about is as to the skills of Mohamed Atta when he came to Huffman Aviation. For him to have progressed as rapidly as he seemed to have done at Huffman he must have had flying skills before he came to Huffman Aviation. In order to progress onto a multi-engine aircraft you have to first have your private pilot license. Then you have to fulfil certain amount of hours because hours count in aviation. Flight experience. Then you have to do a course in instrument rating and then pass the exam and fulfil a certain amount of hours before you are then allowed to fly a multi-engine aircraft. However a talented or shall I say a determined person could certainly teach themselves the rudiments of flying a jet aircraft and as we now know it had taken off the aircraft. Now we have a specific code on the transponder that allows the tower to track your path, your flight path. Now anyone in aviation knows that if you don't want to be tracked you just switch the transponder off and they must have done that so in other words the aircraft had taken off so the difficult part was over. They had climbed out to a certain height so that to take over the controls then having established the aircraft in flight… I'm not saying it's easy but it doesn't take particular skill I don't think to do what we now know happened.

    And to hit a specific target?

    And to hit a specific target. You just aim for it."

  3. Marcel Bernard, of the airport in Maryland, said, speaking of Hanjour: "There's no doubt in my mind that once that [hijacked jet] got going, he could have pointed that plane at a building and hit it." Of course, both Greaves and Bernard hit the nail right on the head. It is relatively easy once the plane is in the air to steer it into a building like the WTC. The critical point is that Hanjour wasn't one of the pilots who ran a plane into the WTC. He had to perform a difficult maneuver to bring his plane around 270 degrees, and effectively land it right at the point where the Pentagon building meets the ground, and apparently did it so well that he hit the building at exactly ground level, without even leaving a mark on the earth in front of the hole. This is a fellow who in mid-August was rejected to rent a small aircraft in part because he had trouble landing it. A few weeks later his landing was a spectacular feat. The best pilots in the world would have trouble doing what Hanjour did. Even if you accept the impossible and believe he did that, why would the terrorists, with four available pilots, pick the absolutely worst one to do the hardest job? Even if they were short an experienced pilot, why didn't Atta or al-Shehhi take the Pentagon flight? It makes no sense. Hanjour simply did not fly Flight 77 into the Pentagon.

We can add the fact that Hanjour didn't have the ability to crash Flight 77 into the Pentagon to the long list of reasons why it is impossible that Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon:

  1. The pictures of the hole in the wall of the Pentagon before the wall collapsed are conclusive evidence of the fact that Flight 77 couldn't have caused that damage. I've already been through this. The key to understanding the crash is to focus on the three pictures (one two three). The first picture shows you where the two vehicles (a car and a SUV) are parked with respect to the Pentagon (you can see the back of the SUV and the front of the car to the left of the fire). The second picture shows you the position of the hole in the wall of the Pentagon as it relates to the vehicles. The third picture shows the wall after it has collapsed over the hole (you can see the same car and SUV, now melted). (Here you can see the lack of damage to the ground). The hole isn't big enough, it is not high enough, there is no damage to the ground where there should be damage, there is no damage to the wall around and above the hole where there should have been damage caused by the wings and tail, and, of course, no wreckage of wings or tail on the ground. Flight 77 simply couldn't have gone through that hole.

  2. Except for a few tiny pieces, there was no plane wreckage found at the Pentagon. The fire is supposed to have burned so hot that the whole plane vaporized, including the engines! Yet they have the audacity to tell us that they obtained enough DNA from the site to identify all but one of the passengers on the plane! There's no wreckage because the plane didn't crash there!

  3. We're supposed to believe that the Pentagon had no anti-aircraft defense. We're also supposed to believe that with 55 minutes notice from the time of the first WTC attack neither of the two planes available to defend the Pentagon could fly the few miles from Andrews AFB or Langley AFB to get there on time. You'd even think that defending the Pentagon might be a priority. Of course, if Flight 77 wasn't headed for the Pentagon, there would be no reason to send a plane there.

  4. We're supposed to believe that there is but one video camera trained on that side of the Pentagon, and the only video released shows an explosion but no plane!

  5. Careful study of the witnesses shows that they are not helpful either way. Some saw a small plane, sone saw a missile, and some saw Flight 77. Some of the witnesses are obviously connected to the Pentagon, and we have to remember that in weighing their testimony. In short, the witness testimony is inconclusive.

Against all this, we have the word of the Pentagon brass that Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon. This is the same group responsible for the lies of the USS Maine, the Gulf of Tonkin, the USS Liberty, My Lai, the USS Iowa, Tailhook, and many others too numerous to mention, as well as the defalcation of billions of dollars out of the military budget. I generally take their assertion that something happened as tantamount to proof that it didn't happen. Flight 77 simply did not crash into the Pentagon. What does this mean?

  1. Flight 77 had to have been shot down and disposed of. In fact, Flight 77 may have been shot down only because the wreckage of Flight 93 had been seen, meaning that Flight 93 couldn't be blamed for the Pentagon damage, and a new patsy had to be found. The DNA that was studied to identify the passengers may have come from the actual crash site of Flight 77.

  2. A bomb, a missile, or a small plane, or a combination of these, caused the Pentagon damage.

  3. The attack was almost certainly an inside job. We can only speculate as to the reasons, but it may have been felt that the attacks on the WTC may not have succeeded, and certainly wouldn't have brought the towers down, so the Pentagon attack was engineered to provide enough of an excuse for the war on terror and all the benefits to the military-industrial complex that it has entailed.

  4. The Pentagon attack, in both its nature and timing, proves specific foreknowledge of the nature and timing of the hijacker attacks.

  5. The speed and certainty with which the Flight 77 story was provided to obscure the truth also proves specific foreknowledge, as well as guilt as to the real cause of the damage.

  6. The President's non-reaction to the WTC attacks, and particularly his complete failure to do anything to protect the country from further attack before the Pentagon attack, shows he or his advisors knew nothing needed to be done. Once the second WTC attack was over, America was only under attack from within.

It is possible that Bush himself was unaware of the plot until he had implicated himself by doing nothing on the morning of September 11. His initial reaction seems to be more confusion that celebration, and his aides may well have steered him into inactivity to use the inactivity against him later. Once he looks like he is involved in the plot, he is unable to either say anything about it, or deny the thugs anything they want to do. The most perfect coup is when the government is changed but looks exactly the same. I find it interesting that Rumsfeld apparently was beginning war planning against Iraq five hours after the Pentagon crash, despite the fact there was no evidence whatsoever that Iraq had anything to do with the events of September 11 (and there still is no such evidence, although I understand that Tony Blair, as part of his embarrassing love of the junta, has promised to have some manufactured).