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Wednesday, February 16, 2005

The 52 FAA warnings: Other areas that need to be reviewed

Welcome Yahoo readers: There were 52 FAA warnings prior to 9-11. But there were many other chances.

  • Here are the statutes [references, in red] which were apparently violated with the FAA inaction.

  • Even if the FAA problem is ignored, there were back up communication methods that were stifled.

  • It remains to be understood what role Congress played in the inaction prior to 9-11. Raw Story discusses how intelligence was fixed in the Senate. It remains to be understood what role the Senate played in stifling FAA action, or blaming "communication problems" on illusory problems.

  • The problem is not isolated to the Senate, but also includes the House.

  • Despite not finding the real problems and ignoring information, the government is focusing on the wrong solutions. Discussion: FAA managment failures are not solved with the Patriot Act.

    Original Blog

    FAA apparently had 52 warnings between April and August 2001 that there were problems. In 2005, we are asked to believe this is ancient history, not to be reviewed.

    On the contrary, the 52 FAA warnings now require a closer examination of what we’ve been asked to believe. Let’s consider a list of what needs to be re-examined.

  • Phoenix Memo

    DoJ and FBI personnel have asserted that their agents were not aware of the information in the FBI’s Phoenix memo; or that the information did not go to the correct level; or that the memo was too vague.

    On all counts, all these reasons are irrelevant. It remains to be understood in light of the 52 FAA alerts, why DoJ was not in a position to act on the Phoenix memo.

    DoJ senior leadership also have the responsibility to coordinate with DoD VIP transport; regular message traffic is sent between DoD, DoJ, and FAA to coordinate VIP transport support on both fixed and rotary wing aircraft.

    - Why was management within DoJ not aware of the 52 FAA alerts?

    - What method is used to ensure that DoJ coordination with DoD is satisfactory?

    - How were the 52 FAA alerts used in DoJ-DoD joint VIP planning of VIP transport?

  • Moussoui Computer

    The Moussoui computer has been a point of contention. DoJ has asserted that they had no information to justify intrusions; that management did not have probable cause; or that the computer was somehow insufficient warning.

    Yet, given the 52 alerts through FAA and DoJ’s interacting with both FAA and DoD, it remains unclear why DoJ should be believed.

    Had the FAA actually provided the NOTAMs to DoJ’s VIP transport support, DoJ senior management would be well positioned to recognize the potential importance of the Moussoui computer.

    Indeed, FAA’s alerts were related to specific threats on aircraft, which Moussoui was training.

    DoJ needs to explain, again in light of the 52 FAA alerts, what their rationale was for taking no action on the Moussoui computer. Specifically, DoJ management needs to explain the specific factors that they used to justify blocking access to the computer; and why their management who were in discussions with DoD to coordinate VIP transport, were at the same time taking no action or not involved in the 52 FAA alerts.


    At the 9-11 hearings, General Meyers has suggested that there were no specific warnings and there was in adequate time to do anything.

    Yet, in light of the 52 FAA warnings, General Meyer’s comments before the 9-11 commission need to be re-examined. Specifically, we need to have a clean story as to what actually happened, and why DoD was not involved in the 52 Alerts.

    Current policies within the FAA mandate timely reporting of information to the JCS, DoD, and other flight centers. It remains to be examined whether this information was actually provided.

    Also, overseas intelligence gathering does engage in domestic surveillance. DoD does have overseas allies who are on contract to intercept transmissions between various US agencies. This ensures that agencies are not a threat to the national security.

    Clearly, in the case of the 52 FAA alerts, DoD would ask that this check on communication does not occur, or that it failed. Please provide a discussion of the means DoD uses to ensure that it has all the information necessary to ensure the national security.

    If DoD chooses to not act on 52 FAA alerts, or despite having DoD personnel on FAA programs DoD management is not willing to take action on that information, then those DoD personnel assigned to FAA no longer need to be assigned.

    Clearly, in the case of the 52 FAA warnings and the requirement for DoD personnel to timely report that information back to JCS, this was not done; or if it was done, it was without effect.

  • JCS

    The purpose of the Joint Staff is to coordinate all national security information across all branches of government and ensure a seamless management and leadership of combat units.

    FAA personnel have specific requirements to provide timely NOTAMs to JCS.

    In light of the 52 FAA alerts, it remains unclear why the JCS-concept remains viable. If the concept of joint and centralized command and control was a viable one, then national security information from the FAA would have been provided through the NOTAMs to the JCS and then farmed out to various CONUS units, both combat and non-combat.

    Further, domestic intelligence service and inspectors in the army criminal investigation, naval investigation, inspector generals, and office of special investigations would have been in a position to get access to these notices to ensure that their base commanders had the information, security procedures in place.

    Further, had there been a timely notification of the 52 FAA alerts, personnel within law enforcement within each of the three branches should have been alerted to this information as a possible threat to ongoing operations.

    On all counts, we are asked to believe that all these JCS-functions failed. This is absurd. The inspector general reports and GAO continued to provide timely and glowing reports of personnel performance at all levels. We have no evidence that there was a major discipline problem, or that the IG offices in any way reported problems with communication.

    In fact, battle staff results during operational readiness inspections continued to report glowing reports. Each threatcon was briefed, information disseminated, and all agencies were timely notified.

    Thus, in light of the 52 FAA warnings, we remain puzzled. What suddenly failed in the system? The answer is simply that despite all the training and preparation nothing was done as it should have been; and personnel who regularly coordinated information between FAA and JCS via the NOTAMs failed to ensure that senior management implemented programs that would work when most needed.

    This is not a failure of imagination. It is a willful dereliction of duty, and a willful failure to comply with clearly promulgated policies, statutes, and notification procedures that were put in place to ensure timely notification of threats.

    Yet, at each count DoD would like the nation to believe that they were surprised. Rather, DoD should ask itself why it should continue to have public confidence and support when the vast resources of DoD that regularly reported as ready-to-go, conveniently fell down on 9-11.

    The right answer is that there needs to be a better understanding of what information within DoD that was sent from FAA via the NOTAMs failed on 9-11 to translate into action. The information was there. The problem was the failure to ensure that personnel, when they received the actual alert, had the requisite resources, training, and procedures in place to deal with a clearly well understood problem within FAA.

  • NAVY flight training in Florida

    DoJ personnel have threatened Florida residents to remain quiet. In light of the 52 FAA warnings, we are puzzled by this DoJ action.

    Specifically, it remains a matter of great public interest to understand why, on one hand, DoJ and FAA were exchanging VIP security information; yet at the same time JTTF and DoJ are putting effort to keep citizens quiet about information that might be of interest to VIP security.

    However, in light of the 52 FAA alerts, it appears the pressure on citizens is wholly unrelated to national security, and simply an effort to keep the citizens quiet about DoJ misconduct.

    Yet, the 52 FAA alerts, had they been known to the public, might have heightened the needed public pressure to inject this information to the requisite management levels. However, in light of the 52 alerts, it remains clear that the specific NAVY flight training in Florida has not been adequately addressed.

    Specifically, it would be helpful if Congress required DoD to provide a straight story:

    Why the NAVY continued to provide flight training despite the 52 FAA alerts?

    What basis there was to ignore reports of unusual training around the NAVY basis, all the while FAA had alerts of possible attacks using personnel that closely matched the descriptions of those in the NAVY flight program?

  • Threats against DoJ Analysts, Sibel Edmonds

    DoJ asserted that Sibel Edmonds was problematic and making a problem. Yet, in light of the 52 FAA alerts, it seems Sibel was treated unfairly without credible management foundation.

    It remains for DoJ to explain, in light of the 52 FAA alerts, why Sibel was treated the way she was. Given Attorney General Gonzalez was in the White House at the time, he should recuse himself from all questions related to DoJ and the 52 FAA alerts that flowed into the DoJ intelligence center.

    What was the basis to harass Sibel Edmonds?

    Why were the 52 FAA alerts not used as a means to corroborate Sibel’s allegations before the inspector general?

  • Overseas warnings

    There were many reports from overseas intelligence about the possibility of an attack. These were explained away as being vague. In light of the 52 warnings sent to the FAA, we need a better understanding of what failed.

    Clearly, the intelligence was there. Not only domestically, but from overseas. The 52 FAA alerts means that there were multiple levels of the same information entering the system, but no action was taken.

    Please describe the similarity in information between the overseas alerts and the 52 FAA alerts. We would like a better discussion of the similarity of the data from overseas and what existed within the 52 FAA reports.

    It remains unclear why the overseas information was not further elevated when it was clear that the information matched and closely paralleled that within the 52 alerts. Specifically, please describe the overseas message traffic that was routed through NSA, Echelon, and Koza’s desk in re UN discussions about the overseas warnings.

    A reasonable person would think that once information is in the control of the government that it is the basis for action. Yet, in this case, it appears not to be the case.

    On one hand we have the government collecting vas quantities of information that it does nothing with; yet, at the same time goes to great lengths to gather additional information through secret means.

    Yet, in light of the 52 FAA warnings, it remains unclear why additional resources need to be spent on NSA, Echelon, or CIA. The information was already in the hands of the government; providing additional, repetitive information appears to suggest that the information is ignored.

    Please provide a clear story as to what information NSA, Echelon, and other intelligence agencies can gather, analyze, and provide to decision makers that was outside what was already in FAA hands in the 52 alerts.

    Please explain why there was significant effort into bugging the UN headquarters to get additional information, yet the information within FAA hands was not acted upon.

  • Patriot Act

    One argument for the Patriot Act has been the requirement to monitor domestic problems. Yet, if the FAA had 52 warnings, what use is it to have more information?

    Clearly, 52 warnings to a single agency were not enough. Yet, the 52 warnings were based on not having the Patriot Act. We need a better explanation, in light of the FAA warnings, why the Patriot Act is needed.

  • Basis for detentions

    Following 9-11, many were detained as witnesses. Yet, in light of the 52 FAA warnings, it is clear that the real evidence existed within the FAA and other agencies.

    The purpose of holding a material witness is if they are a flight risk, or they have unique a specialized information which the government cannot easily obtain elsewhere. Yet, in light of the 52 FAA warnings, it appears as though the basis for detaining these material witnesses is without foundation.

    Specifically, in light of the 52 FAA alerts, there appears to be no credible basis with which to assert that individuals outside the government had special information or knowledge.

    Please explain the rationale for detaining material witnesses in the US DoJ Bureau of Prisons. In light of the 52 FAA warnings, please provide a better accounting of what was the basis to detain, abuse, threaten, and physically torture individuals?

    Why were personnel who had superior information within FAA not similarly treated?

    What was the basis to assert individuals who had no access to the 52 FAA warnings somehow had more information that what was in the Presidential Daily Briefing?


    The 52 FAA warnings prior to 9-11 are problematic. The entire story the public has been asked to believe now comes undone. At each phase of the pre-9-11 events, the story does not add up.

    If the country is truly going to apply the lessons of 9-11, then the full facts need to be understood.

    However, given the post 9-11-response has been more about throwing money at a problem [that did not exist, because 52 FAA warnings meant the communication problem was an illusion], we need to ask who is really running things.

    It remains clear that 52 FAA warnings did not adequately translate into effectual policy, training, or a response on 9-11. The illusion about there being a problem with a wall between FBI-CIA is a canard. FAA had 52 chances to get it right.

    We heard many excuses from the intelligence community about how hard they worked, and all that they had done. That they terrorists only have to get it right once, and the US gets it right all the time.

    In light of the 52 FAA alerts, these crocodile tears from the intelligence community should be pointed to as what they are: A distraction from the primary problem.

    There were plenty of warnings prior to 9-11. And the requisite information was not simply on an isolated computer or a memo in Phoenix. Nor was the 9-11 response hanging on the failure of a single individual who failed to provide a single critical piece of information.

    Rather, the FAA had the information needed. It remains implausible that these 52 alerts were not provided through the NOTAMs to either JCS or the President’s PDB.

    The entire 9-11 story the public has been asked to believe is a sham. Nobody had to die on 9-11. Yet, despite 52 warnings to the FAA and the NOTAMs to JCS, the nation is asked to believe that 52 were not enough.

    The public’s sense of patience has been exhausted. Yet, it is clear this President will only do one thing to get to the bottom of things. Create more excuses, dream up more illusions, and find more scapegoats.

    9-11 happened on his watch. 52 warnings were not enough. The excuses with the PDB were irrelevant. This President had 52 chances to get it right, and each time he got it wrong.

    Going forward

    Some have suggested that nothing can be done as the Republicans control the House Judiciary Committee, the body needed to hear evidence in re an impeachment. The nation needs to commit as a national goal the single purpose of first bringing charges against the President for failure to do his job; and as a secondary goal to gain a Democratic Majority in the House.

    It is outrageous that despite 52 warnings to the FAA, this President would ask that despite all the favorable DoD Operational Readiness Inspections, that everything fell apart on 9-11.

    No way. There are millions of people around the globe who are willing to go the extra mile to make sure the right thing was done. Nobody in their right mind can credibly believe that so much went wrong without central direction and coordination.

    Specifically, based on what I understand of the 52 FAA alerts, I allege that there was a conspiracy to actively thwart timely action on the basis of these 52 FAA alerts; and that personnel within FAA, DoD, and DoJ actively went out of their way to not follow procedures; and that they refused to ensure that the requisite training, policies, and procedures were executed.

    The man at the top is responsible for the performance of those he is charged to lead. It is time the nation see the 52 FAA alerts for what they are: A reasonable basis to begin a serious discussion about brining articles of impeachment against the President of the United States.

    We cannot credibly be lead by someone who fails to ensure procedures are followed; and does so much to ensure that all that has been learned is ignored. The procedures are there to ensure a response; they are not there to be selectively ignored.

    I call on people in the government who were personally involved in this cover-up and bungling prior to 9-11 to come forward. You have been carrying a burden too long. The nation wants to hear the truth about what actually happened; why the 52 alerts did not translate into a swift response on 9-11.

    If you are threatened with a loss of a job, then I can assure that the publicity you will receive will not be alone. There are many others. It will only take one of you to come forward.

    Think of the possible book deals. It remains unclear how court testimony could possibly remain secret, especially when we’re talking about possible articles of impeachment against the President.

    It is time the nation hears the rest of the story. There are many questions. Remember, if you don’t cooperate, there are overseas files outside the US government control that can be gleaned.

    An issue of criminal law

    Remember the images from Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. Those images surfaced because they obviously existed, and someone shared them.

    It is time to share the information from the overseas files. The principals in the 9-11 cover-up have already given sworn testimony. It is now time to get the evidence that shows they were part of a criminal enterprise to undermine the law and put the nation at risk.

    You owe it to yourself to ensure the right thing gets done. Otherwise, you simply invite more abuse the longer you remain silent. You are better than that. All that you know deserves to be known by all, not covered up.

    It is not an issue of national security. This is a matter of criminal law. Those who cooperate may be given favorable treatment. Those who wait will have less of a chance. The evidence is out there.

    The question remains whether you choose to come forward and cooperate, or whether you are the last one to realize that your testimony before the grand jury is about making you a target, not simply a witness.

    If you are overseas and have documented electronic intercepts of the FAA-DoD communications, you are invited to release that information.

    Those who have already testified could very well be surprised when the full capabilities of the Echelon system are brought to bear on those who violate the law in order to protect their secure positions.

    Power is tenuous. The Constitution will ultimately prevail. As will the rule of law over tyrants and abusive government.

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