Note: I strongly disagree with some of Griffin's research, such as his analysis of the phone calls from the planes on 9/11 and the Pentagon crash. However, his book does an excellent job in regard to the destruction of the WTC Towers and lack of air defense on 9/11.
A critique of Ryan Mackey's essay: "On Debunking 9/11 Debunking: Examining Dr. David Ray Griffin's Latest Criticism of the NIST World Trade Center Investigation
Debunking Popular Mechanics?: PM Book Alleges FAA Source For Pre-9/11 Statistical Data; FAA: Such Statistics Do Not Exist.
"Popular Mechanics and the military should get their stories straight on NORAD! As it is, we have caught Popular Mechanics and the military lying about NORAD's true capabilities on 9/11." - Dean Jackson
The NORAD Papers--NORAD's Mission To Monitor and Control Territorial Airspace on 9/11
Excerpt from my article "Foreknowledge and Lack of Air Defense":
The Popular Mechanics book Debunking 9/11 Myths cites an article in a 2002 edition of the Colorado Springs Gazette, which claims that, "Before September 11, the only time officials recall scrambling jets over the United States was when golfer Payne Stewart’s plane veered off course and crashed in South Dakota in 1999."
Popular Mechanics adds, "Except for that lone, tragic anomaly, all NORAD interceptions from the end of the Cold war in 1989 until 9/11 took place in offshore Air Defense Identification Zones (ADIZ). . . . The planes intercepted in these zones were primarily being used for drug smuggling."
But an October 13, 2001 Calgary Herald article reported that before 9/11 fighter jets "were scrambled to babysit suspect aircraft or 'unknowns' twice a week."
As Professor David Ray Griffin pointed out in his book Debunking 9/11 Debunking, "Twice a week would be about 100 times per year, and 'babysitting' is not what planes would do with jets suspected of smuggling drugs into the country."
Furthermore, a 1994 United States General Accounting Office report on continental air defense states, "Overall, during the past 4 years, NORAD’s alert fighters took off to intercept aircraft (referred to as scrambled) 1,518 times, or an average of 15 times per site per year. Of these incidents, the number of suspected drug smuggling aircraft averaged one per site, or less than 7 percent of all of the alert sites’ total activity. The remaining activity generally involved visually inspecting unidentified aircraft and assisting aircraft in distress."
As the New York City Activist blog pointed out, "Admittedly this is the early 1990′s, not 2001, and the quote is from a report which recommended trimming down the force. But still it casts a lot of doubt on the Popular Mechanics claim that intercepts were a rare occurrence."
And as Griffin points out in Debunking 9/11 Debunking, "In this account NORAD made 379 interceptions per year, 354 of which 'involved visually inspecting unidentified aircraft in distress,' not intercepting planes suspected of smuggling drugs. Besides the fact that 1992 was part of 'the decade before 9/11,' it is doubtful that the pattern of interceptions would have changed radically after that."
A Canadian government performance report on their arm of NORAD for 1999-2000, the same period as the Payne Stewart flight, relevant to military operations in the years leading up to the 9/11 attacks, backs up Griffin’s statements. The report states, "If required, 'unknown aircraft' are intercepted and identified by aircraft dedicated to NORAD. Over the past year, NORAD has intercepted 736 aircraft, 82 of which were suspected drug smugglers…"
While not addressing these reports, Mike Williams of the “debunking” website 911myths.com states, "The Popular Mechanics claim that there was one intercept of a 'civilian plane over North America' in the decade before 9/11 still seems quite absolute, but then that just means it wouldn’t take much to disprove it. Just find a media report of an intercept, an interview with a pilot who was intercepted when they accidentally flew too close to the White House, anything like that... How difficult can it be?"
Being that Williams only provides two examples of other intercepts for comparison on his webpage concerning the Payne Stewart incident, and that he could not find all the information needed to draw firm conclusions on these, he should know that finding any detailed statistics on such matters is difficult.
The aforementioned entry on the New York City Activist blog highlights the following from the 2004 Complaint & Petition to the NY Attorney General (Spitzer at the time) for a new criminal investigation into 9/11:
Also necessary would be data on cases of errant planes or unknowns in which no scramble orders were issued. Of special interest would be the prior performance within NORAD’s Northeastern Air Defense Sector (“NEADS”), which is headquartered at Rome, New York. Such a cumulative analysis–with special attention to cases when passenger planes deviated from course in the air-traffic control zones within which the 9/11 attacks occurred–would provide indispensable context for serious research into the subject of air defense response on September 11. This data is currently unavailable to the public, and there is no indication such an analysis was undertaken by the Kean Commission.When 9/11 researcher and activist Aidan Monaghan sent a Freedom of Information Act Request to the FAA he was informed that, "...The FAA does not track or or keep information about the request for support of NORAD for intercepting aircraft throughout the National Airspace System."
When Monaghan tried obtaining FOIA information from NORAD he was advised that they are not subject to the FOIA because they are a bi-national organization between the U.S. and Canada.
Perhaps those in government are the ones worthy of the question, "How difficult can it be?"
Read the entire article here.
Debunking 9/11 Myths - Popular Mechanics
The 9/11 Truth Movement has no credentialed experts...