Cheney Caught Ordering Air Force Stand down
on September 11, 2001

9/11 Commission Report
Chapter 1, Page 31

"The defense of U.S. airspace on 9/11 was not conducted in accord with preexisting training and protocols."

**Cheney lies about his activities to coverup conversation overheard by Mineta.

Cheney recalls taking charge from bunker

WASHINGTON (CNN) --As horrified Americans watched the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, unfold on their television sets, Vice President Dick Cheney directed the U.S. government's response from an emergency bunker.


After the planes struck the twin towers, a third took a chunk out of the Pentagon. Cheney then heard a report that a plane over Pennsylvania was heading for Washington. A military assistant asked Cheney twice for authority to shoot it down.

"The vice president said yes again," remembered Josh Bolton, deputy White House chief of staff. "And the aide then asked a third time. He said, 'Just confirming, sir, authority to engage?' And the vice president -- his voice got a little annoyed then -- said, 'I said yes.'"

It was a rare flash of anger from a man who knew he was setting the tone at a White House in crisis.

**This isn't the Pennsylvania plane, its the Pentagon plane. And this isn't a shoot down order. Why would a defense order be questioned 3 times? This can only be an AF Stand Down order.

Public Hearing; Friday, May 23, 2003, Hart Senate Office Building, Room 216
Washington, DC

MR. MINETA: No, I was not. I was made aware of it during the time that the airplane coming into the Pentagon. There was a young man who had come in and said to the vice president, "The plane is 50 miles out. The plane is 30 miles out." And when it got down to, "The plane is 10 miles out," the young man also said to the vice president, "Do the orders still stand?" And the vice president turned and whipped his neck around and said, "Of course the orders still stand. Have you heard anything to the contrary?" Well, at the time I didn't know what all that meant. And --

MR. HAMILTON: The flight you're referring to is the --

MR. MINETA: The flight that came into the Pentagon.

MR. HAMILTON: The Pentagon, yeah.

  • If this is a shoot down order, whats the urgency at 10 miles? There was no plane engaging at that distance.
  • Why did Cheney lie and say this was referring to United Airlines flight 93 when clearly he is referring to American Airlines 77 heading towards the Pentagon.
  • Why does this discussion upset Cheney? Why does he silence the aide? Is he scared the aide will reveal what the orders are to Transportation Secretary Mineta?
  • The Pentagon defensive system was not activated. Jets at Andrews Air Force base sat on the ground. The plane is 10 miles out, do the orders still stand, Mr. Cheney?
  • Pre-existing protocols were not followed. AF Jet engagement was standard protocol, there is no need for Cheney to order standard protocol.

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