Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Exclusive -- Pre 9-11: FAA personnel failed to follow clearly promulgated guidance in effect

Update [13 Sep 2005] NY Times reports FAA warned in 1998. [ September 14, 2005
F.A.A. Alerted on Qaeda in '98, 9/11 Panel Said] -- What about the other 50+ warnings; and why is this really news? This sounds like more Katrina-like bungling: Getting news, taking no action.

Must cite as "Constant's Pations"


This note outlines the FAA rules related to the 52 reports of hijacking. We allege [a] there has been a violation of Federal Law; [b] that persons inside the federal government have engaged in obstruction of justice to thwart a lawful inquiry in to 9-11; and [c] that persons prior to 9-11 failed to comply with clear statutory guidance mandating timely reporting of threat information.

It remains to be seen whether this information from the FAA becomes the catalyst to impeach the President.

Stickers here:


Before investigating these allegations, it is important to outline the specific FAA language which relates to the 52 alerts. It remains to be understood through either lawful discovery and investigation how the alleged conduct compares with the jury instructions and US Attorney Manual in re obstruction of justice.

Here is the relevant FAA guidance:

  • Reference 1: Governing guidance prior to 9-11, in Feb01, Ref
    "All Air Traffic employees, regardless of position, shall immediately report any situation or condition considered hazardous to flight to an air traffic facility for appropriate action." [Emphasis added]
    Also, it appears as though the required notifications did not occur, in violation of FAA policies. Note the following textual references in the regulations in force prior to 9-11:

  • Reference 2: "FSS specialists are responsible for"

  • Reference 3: "Forwarding the NOTAM data to the tie-in FSS does not relieve the forwarding facility from the responsibility of coordinating the information with other affected ATC facilities."

  • Reference 4: The phone number was a toll free number, quote: "NOTAM office phone numbers: toll free 1-888-876-6826"

  • Reference 5: There was a clear requirement in place and in force. quoting:
    The U.S. NOTAM Office . . . is responsible for . . . Collecting, validating, and disseminating data for use by the charting and publication entities of FAA, government, and industry

    It is clear that the governing guidance prior to 9-11 established a requirement with the word "shall". At the time,
    FAA spokesman Greg Martin said the quality control manager was disciplined for violating the directive to keep everything relating to the hijackings and to turn them over to investigators. He said privacy considerations prevented him from disclosing how the manager was disciplined.Ref
    Inconsistent FAA application of discipline
  • It remains to be understood why FAA QA personnel were disciplined for not following FAA policies, but no action appears to have been taken in re no action in response to the fifty-two alerts.

    It remains to be understood why, in 2005, we are being asked to accept the story of the FAA. Indeed, they've waited this long to glacially state the obvious: That they had 52 warnings, but failed to communicate. Ref


    Constant's Pations now alleges that there has been a violation of federal law. Moreover, that the FAA has failed to follow its own procedures. Maybe we'll find copies of the destroyed FAA tapes in Echelon files. Who's going to turn over the copies before you're indicted for obstruction of justice?

    Thus, in situations where government employees have knowingly received specific information of threats, but failed to act and communicate, it remains to be understood:

  • What effort there was in place to get the 9-11 families to settle prior to release of the "notice that there were 52 warnings to the FAA which FAA reportedly failed to communicate"?

    It remains to be understood through a grand jury whether the following statement was, in fact, misleading, designed to mislead, obstruct justice, or not respond to lawful inquiry:
    "We believe the audiotape in question appears to be consistent with written statements and other materials provided to FBI investigators and would not have added in any significant way to the information contained in what has already been provided to investigators and members of the 9-11 commission," said FAA spokesman Greg Martin. Ref
    Indeed, the destroyed evidence would not[at the time] have "added to anything already provided" as they refused to turn over information about the 52 reports ... until now.

    Yet at the time the FAA Quality Assurance personnel who destroyed the tape implied that the tape was of no use because it "violated FAA policy."
    The quality assurance [QA] manager said he destroyed the tape because he felt it violated FAA policy calling for written statements from controllers who have handled a plane involved in an accident or other serious incident. He also said he felt the controllers were not in the right frame of mind to have consented to the taping, the report said. Ref [Emphasis added]
    Curiously, why was FAA QA in 2001-2 suddenly "concerned" about "following FAA policy" ... when we now find out in 2005 that FAA failed to follow policy and did not ensure action was taken in response to the 52 alerts?

    Why the sudden concern about "following policy" after the event, but nothing was done in re the 52 alerts?

    The FAA Ruse before the 9-11 Commission

    Yet, despite the fifty-two reports, FAA personnel kept to the game plan: To downplay the significance of the reports. Jamie Gorelick explained the FAA game plan before the 9-11 commission:

    The intelligence and security units in the FAA decided that they would only utilize intelligence with regard to threats to US aviation. Well, if you don't do anything unless you have a very specific threat against an airplane, and intelligence about that, then you're defining away the hard part of the job. What you should be doing is looking at all the intelligence and thinking, "How might that play out in a domain for which I'm responsible," and not just wait for someone to feed it to you.
    However, in light of the 52 FAA alerts, it is now clear that the FAA "evidence" given to the 9-11 commission should be reexamined. According to Gorelick, the intelligence units inside FAA said they would "only utilize intelligence with regard to threats to US aviation".

    Brilliant. The release of the 52-alerts shows that the FAA intelligence "experts" have no credibility. They were attempting to paint a picture before the 9-11 commission that "they had no information," that "there were no warnings", "there was nothing there about US aviation."

    On all counts, according to Gorelick's account of the 9-11 commission hearings, it remains in doubt the veracity of those experts. Bluntly, there remains a reasonable basis to re-open the 9-11 hearings, re-examine the same witnesses under oath who have also provided testimony to the Senate in Confirmation hearings.

    The central issue at this juncture remains: To what extent the intelligence community as a whole did, in fact, mislead the lawful investigation into the facts and circumstances around 9-11; and to what extent those personnel inside the White House engaged in a ruse to cover up the events.

    Four possible answers, none of them are good:

    1. Either the QA person was lying about "following FAA policy" when they destroyed the tape; and that there was a policy in place to ignore threat information, contrary to what the intelligence experts testified to the 9-11 commission;

    2. The tape was evidence of FAA controllers discussions of "other information that should have been acted upon"; and the intelligence community has failed to properly present the evidence to the 9-11 commission; or

    3. FAA did, in fact, follow the guidance yet failed to ensure the NOTAMs were followed; and the intelligence community has taken advantage of the 9-11 hysteria to combine the FBI and CIA when there remains no credible basis to assert that "joining those forces would have solved the problem"; and/or

    4. NSC, JCS, and the White House were in a position to act upon the information in the 52 alerts, failed to adequately oversee their respective departments, and the internal auditors and inspectors know of a problem and failed to provide this information to investigators.

    Which is it, President Bush?


    FAA's Curious 9-11 notes: The entire focus was put on FBI, to distract attention from what the FAA knew. Kristin Bretweiser says Rice's testimony is "undermined."

    The entire Meyers testimony hinged on the now-false-presumption that there was "no warning." Yet, after 52 warnings, and a requirement by FAA to forward NOTAMS to DoD, there should have been no surprise about "what to do."

    The following statement is absurd as there was no general report of threats, but fifty-two [52] specific reports:

    If we knew that there was a general threat on terrorist activity Ref
    There's no reason to have a discussion about a "stand down" if [a] FAA several months prior was notified 52 times of a problem; and [b] there remained a requirement for FAA to transmit that information via NOTAMs back to JCS.

    The real question is [despite the message traffic confirming FAA knew of the 52 warnings were], why were there no procedures in place to quickly shootdown the aircraft once it was hijacked. If the 52 alerts were disseminated, JCS and NSC would have already directed DoD to implement procedures and "be ready" to respond.

    It was known, or personnel within the Vice President's and President's office should have known that there remained 52-credible FAA reports of specific events. The FAA was clearly told there was a potential for hijackings.

  • Why wasn't DoD involved?

  • Was DoD actually aware, but failed to act, contrary to what General Meyers is reportedly have said before the 9-11 commission?

  • Were the witnesses before the 9-11 commission sworn in under oath?

  • If DoD was involved and aware of the 52 FAA alerts, have General Meyers and others committed perjury before the 9-11 commission?

  • If Meyers was telling the truth, why was there no coordination between FAA and DoD in response to the 52 alert?

  • Why all the non-sense about "surprise" and "no procedures in place" all the while that DoD and FAA were in a position to do something about the 52 reports?

  • Why was DoD not involved in exercises to mitigate the risks of a hijacking, or involved in efforts to train "what to do" should the FAA-warnings be realized?


    The problem gets worse for the President. Cheney has already dug himself into a hole:
    The president made the decision...that if the plane would not a last resort, our pilots were authorized to take them out. Ref
    There's no reason for the President to be surprised: He's had X-months and 52 warnings. This is something JCS and the Battle Staff should have already practiced with NSC.

    There was no reason to have "this type of discussion" as the events were unfolding: What to do about the hijackers--they should've already discussed "what to do" based on the 52 reports which FAA was supposed to forward to JCS and NSC via NOTAMs.

    Bush is reported to have said, "I wished we'd had combat air patrol up over New York." Ref

    Well, that's a good question: Why despite the 52 warnings reports via FAA, didn't DoD coordinate well in advance of 9-11 a "what to do" checklist? There's no reason, after 52 FAA reports, that there weren't both procedures and combat aircraft ready to launch. But they were stuck on the ground.

    Despite 52 warnings, DoD wants the world to believe "nobody had any idea". What was FAA doing when it sent NOTAMs into JCS and NSC? It's irrelevant what the FBI and CIA were or were not doing.

    Going forward

    Now we're going to see how well Rice and Gonzalez' testimony stands up in light of the FAA findings. Who is going to run to the grand jury first?

    Rice is in State; and Gonzalez is in DoJ. Unlike their days in the White House, they are no longer in the same office. This makes their coordination that much difficult.

    By appointing these two former White House insiders to two different locations, the President has significantly compounded his coordination problem.

    Yet, the Senate controlled by the Republicans shows no prospect of taking any action. Both were confirmed. The Senate has spoken: It wants to be lied to, fooled, and made fun of.

    There is no prospect the Senate is going to appoint a special counsel to review these matters; nor will the Senate Judiciary Committee do anything.

    It remains up the House Democrats in the House Judiciary Committee to act.

  • Will the country put the pieces together; or will the President swing another sweet deal for the Republicans in exchange for "doing nothing" about allegations of perjury before a duly appointed commission?

  • Will it take 32 more indictments in Texas to find the link between the PAC and the RNC efforts to intimidate lawful inquiry into Social Security; or will someone inside NSA and Echelon turn over the evidence to the House Democrats before Republican Party can destroy the evidence?

    Ask Tom Delay about ethics. He seems to be quite an expert on such "trivialities."


    Ref If you have additional information about message traffic going into Ben Sliney's hands, please advise. Please discuss NOTAMs and other message traffic which may have originated in re VIP transport and VC-9s which DoJ should have coordinated with DoD. Comment here.

  • Sample format: FDC NOTAM 3/3273 FDC NOTAM 3/3273

  • Joint Staff also aware Ref

  • Sample report: Ref

  • Here is the data for NOTAMs, and POCs.