A review of the history of military orders governing response to hijackings casts doubt on the idea that the June 1 order was instrumental in hobbling the military's response on September 11. The June 1 order superseded the 1997 directive CJCSI 3610.01. 3 The 1997 directive also stipulated that the NMCC "forward all requests or proposals for DOD military assistance for piracy (hijacking) to the Secretary of Defense for approval."http://911research.wtc7.net/planes/defense/june1.html
The 1997 directive cancels three earlier ones:
These earlier documents do not appear to be archived on dtic.mil. It would be interesting to learn what policy they mandated for military response to hijackings, and, in particular, whether it required approval by the Secretary of Defense.
- MCM-102-92, 24 July 1992, "Hijacking of Civil Aircraft"
- CJCS MOP 51, 13 April 1992, "Aircraft Piracy (Hijacking) of Military and Military Contract Aircraft"
- MCM-- 173-90, 14 September 1990, "Destruction of Derelict Airborne Objects"
Layered FailuresThe air defense network had, on September 11th, predictable and effective procedures for dealing with just such an attack. Yet it failed to respond in a timely manner until after the attack was over, more than an hour and a half after it had started. The official timeline describes a series of events and mode of response in which the delays are spread out into a number of areas. There are failures upon failures, in what might be described as a strategy of layered failures, or failure in depth. The failures can be divided into four types.
- Failures to report: Based on the official timeline, the FAA response times for reporting the deviating aircraft were many times longer than the prescribed times.
- Failures to scramble: NORAD, once notified of the off-course aircraft, failed to scramble jets from the nearest bases.
- Failures to intercept: Once airborne, interceptors failed to reach their targets because they flew at small fractions of their top speeds and/or in the wrong directions.
- Failures to redeploy: Fighters that were airborne and within interception range of the deviating aircraft were not redeployed to pursue them.
Pumpitout Radio: Foreknowledge and Lack of Air Defense - NORAD Section Update 12/24/2014
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