No planes have been shot down

Jose G. Perez jgperez at
Tue Sep 11 13:17:03 MDT 2001

No planes have been shot down -- at least not that has been acknowleged..
But there is little doubt that such a thing might happen. That would have
been the reason for grounding all traffic, to be able to detect and respond
to any planes under the control of attackers. Fox news reports fighter jets
are patrolling the New York and Washington areas, and undoubtedly in other
areas there are countless fighters fully armed, with pilots in the cockpit,
ready to fly at a moment's notice. Press reports indicate that someone
aboard the fourth plane -- the one that is reported to have crashed in the
countryside some distance from Pittsburgh-- was able to call authorities
from a cell phone while hiding in a bath room some 20 minutes before that
flight ended and tell them they were being hijacked.

Given what has happened, I believe the U.S. government considers itself to
be in a state of war and is acting accordingly. For example, President
Bush's whereabouts have been kept secret. What appears to me to have been a
false cover story that he was flying back to Washington was put out while he
was taken from Sarasota, which was on his public schedule, to a base in
Louisiana. There he made a statement for the cameras which was not fed out
live, but held, presumably until the President was en route to another
location. Warships at anchor in their home ports have set sail, including
two aircraft carriers to New York. The official version is that they may be
able to help with rescue operations and so on; however, their capabilities
would be more suitable to setting up a forward air defense. All civilian air
traffic is grounded at least until noon tomorrow.

The scope of the attacks is staggering. Some 50,000 people work in the World
trade Center complex, 25,000 in the Pentagon, and the majority of those
would have been there when the attacks took place. How many were killed
immediately, how many were still trapped inside the buildings when they
collapsed (partly, in the case of the Pentagon) is unknown. News report
initially said hundreds were feared dead, but the authorities on all levels
have been jawboning the news organizations into not offering any figures at
all. Certainly there are no survivors from the four planes, and
congressional leaders were privately briefed by the FBI to expect a final
toll on the order of 10,000 (which the members immediately relayed to Fox
news and it put on the air).

Fox news reported about 12:30 eastern that two transatlantic flights ordered
to divert to Canada have not been heard from. They did not give a source or
attribution, and I can't imagine authorities briefing the press on
operational details of military activities on a day like today.
Unfortunately there's going to be a lot of misinformation due to the United
States's totally irresponsible, out of control tabloid media culture,
especially Fox, where Brit Hume and his colleagues are engaging in an orgy
of speculation focused on the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden.

Of the other news organizations, CNN is more focused on covering details and
the sheer scope of the disaster, but there, too, there has been speculation
around bin laden and so on. But CNN has also been reporting details that, in
effect, ask very pointed questions. The first plane to impact the World
Trade Center was diverted from its east-west route hundreds of kilometers
north of New York City and put on a flight path almost due south. Thus there
was perhaps, 1/2 hour warning that something was amiss with that flight, and
the second attack did not come until 18 minutes later, enough time so that
cameras were able to record the plane's final approach and impact. And the
plane attack on the Pentagon came almost an hour later. The chronologies and
comments point in the direction of trying to assign blame for the failure to
stop the subsequent attacks after the first one, as well as to the adoption
of extreme security measures.

In addition to CNN, the four national entertainment networks have gone
completely to this story. ABC and CBS are on rolling (continuous) coverage,
again with the emphasis more on the tragedy but also with some speculation
as to who may be responsible. I assume NBC is also, but their local
affiliate in Atlanta is instead simulcasting CNN. The fox network's local
affiliates are simulcasting the fox news channel or CNN. Most local stations
in the U.S., I should explain, which aren't necessarily owned by the
entertainment over-the-air network they are affiliated with, have agreements
with CNN allowing the stations to do this (and vice-versa). Some also have
such accords with FOX or MSNBC.

The tone of this is somewhat reminiscent to what I remember of the day when
President Kennedy was assassinated. Many schools have been closed, as have
countless government facilities. Shopping TV channels have suspended their
activities, putting up slates saying they are doing so out of respect for
the dead.

The major news web sites were shut down --presumably by overwhelming
demand-- this morning. An almost completely text-only version of is
back up, don't know about the others.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Grinker" <grinker at>
To: "marxmail" <marxism at>
Sent: Tuesday, September 11, 2001 12:58 PM
Subject: planes shot down?

Reports on our radio of planes shot down. Any word over there?

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