Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Port Authority police transcripts

A transcript has been released of conversations (or here) between the Port Authority police desk and the La Guardia Airport control tower (I haven't found the actual transcripts yet). The transcripts were originally released in August after some hesitation by the Port Authority, but the release of this more recently released set of transcripts was delayed, according to the Port Authority, because the tapes were discovered later (the New York Times apparently forced them to cough it up). Minutes after the second plane struck the WTC, a caller from the Port Authority police desk told Chris McCary, a La Guardia Airport control tower employee, that "they are considering it a criminal act." It would be nice to know who 'they' is, but at the very least it is the opinion of the Port Authority police, who have had years to think about the issue of terrorism. From Walter Burien (there are a few obvious typos which I haven't corrected; my emphasis):

"I was a tenant at WTC1 in 1979-81

The primary concern any of the tenants had 20 years ago was a hijacked plane being flown into the towers.

Here is the 'Key' to unlock the door: The extensive flight logs for 20 years from the 3 military bases in the area, and Port Authority responding to air threats is exemplary.

Thousands of sorties run in response to threats, practice runs, false alarms, done weekly or daily over 20 years. Back in the late seventies the NY Post ran an article about the Port Authority bragging how their manned 24/7 response helicopter would be in the air within 4 minutes of an alert call going out per possible air threats to the WTC towers.

There is one occasion that I am aware of, or in most probabilities that any one else is aware of in this exemplary record of response to air threats covering a period of over twenty years that the intercepts did not launch and were told to stand down, after going on high alert within a minute or two of the threat, not from just one threat but then by two, then three. That date was 9/11/01

This in itself is the most condemning fact of them all when that 20-year record is brought to light. The motive then becomes crystal clear in review of that exemplary response record to threats from the air against the WTC towers.

No, off course or negligent aircraft came close. They were always intercepted and told to change their course or they would be blown out of the sky. It was a no fly zone and this happened to many pilots that intentionally or unintentionally flew to close to the WTC towers over those 20 years."

If this is true it puts the complete failure to do anything about the attacks on the WTC in a timely manner in an entirely new light. It's funny how National 'Security' Advisor Condoleezza Rice couldn't possibly imagine what was completely obvious to tenants in the towers twenty years ago ("I don't think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon; that they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile"). Any investigation of the events of 9-11 would have to include testimony from current and retired Port Authority police officers. I suspect there are officers willing to talk whose specific job was to monitor potential attacks against the towers. The history of the daily liaison between the Port Authority police, the FAA, and local (by which I mean closer than Cape Cod) air force bases would no doubt be very enlightening.