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Profile: Pentagon

 
  

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Pentagon actively participated in the following events:

 
  

Between October 24 and 28, 2000: Military Holds Exercise Rehearsing Response to a Plane Crash at the Pentagon      Complete 911 Timeline

       Pentagon and Arlington County emergency responders assemble in the office of the Secretary of Defense�s conference room in the Pentagon for a mass casualty exercise (“MASCAL”). The exercise involves three mock-scenarios. One is of a commercial airliner crashing into the Pentagon and killing 342 people, while the other two involve a terrorist attack at the Pentagon�s subway stop and a construction accident. The exercises are conducted using a large-scale model of the Pentagon with a model airplane literally on fire in the central courtyard of the building. An Army medic who participates in the mock attack calls it “a real good scenario and one that could happen easily,” while a fire chief notes: “You have to plan for this. Look at all the air traffic around here.” [9/11 Commission Final Report, 7/04, pp 314; UPI, 4/22/04; MDW News Service, 11/3/00; Daily Mirror, 5/24/02]
People and organizations involved: US Department of Defense, Pentagon
          

Early Morning September 11, 2001: Medic Is Studying a Medical Emergency Disaster Plan for a Plane Crash at the Pentagon      Complete 911 Timeline

       Sergeant Matt Rosenberg, an army medic at the Pentagon, is studying “a new medical emergency disaster plan based on the unlikely scenario of an airplane crashing into the place.” [Washington Post, 9/16/01] The day before, Rosenberg later recalls in an interview with the Office of Medical History, he called the FBI with questions about who would have medical jurisdiction if such an event were to take place. “Believe it or not, the day prior to the incident, I was just on the phone with the FBI, and we were talking ‘so who has command should this happen, who has the medical jurisdiction, who does this, who does that,’ and we talked about it and talked about it, and he helped me out a lot. And then the next day, during the incident, I actually found him. He was out there on the incident that day.” [Office of Medical History, 9/04, pp 9]
People and organizations involved: Pentagon, Federal Bureau of Investigation
          

September 11, 2001: The 9/11 Attack: 3,000 Die in New York City and Washington, D.C.      Complete 911 Timeline

      
The September 11, 2001 attacks. From left to right: The World Trade Center, Pentagon, and Flight 93 crash.
The 9/11 attack: Four planes are hijacked, two crash into the WTC, one into the Pentagon, and one crashes into the Pennsylvania countryside. Nearly 3,000 people are killed.
People and organizations involved: United Airlines, al-Qaeda, American Airlines, Pentagon, World Trade Center
          

(Before 9:37 a.m.): Sheer Coincidence Brings Emergency Rescue and Secret Service Near to Pentagon      Complete 911 Timeline

       In response to an emergency 9-1-1 telephone call, the Arlington County Emergency Communications Center dispatches several units to deal with an apartment fire in Rosslyn, Virginia—within the vicinity of the Pentagon. Because this fire is in a high-rise building, nine different fire and medical service units are dispatched. However, the first engine crew to arrive radios to the other units that the fire has gone out. Consequently, by “sheer coincidence,” at the time when the Pentagon is hit, there are a significant number of available fire and medical service units already on the road nearby. [Arlington County After-Action Report, 7/02; Fire Engineering, 11/02] Additionally, Secret Service personnel are concentrated around the heliport a short distance from where Flight 77 will hit: “President Bush was scheduled to fly from Florida that afternoon, and his helicopter, Marine One, would carry him to the Pentagon. That meant Secret Service everywhere and their cars blocking the driveway.” [Scripps Howard News Service, 8/1/02]
People and organizations involved: George W. Bush, Pentagon, Secret Service
          

(9:55-10:15 a.m.): Langley Fighters Finally Reach Washington; Accounts of Timing Are Contradictory      Complete 911 Timeline

      
A fighter and helicopter both fly directly above the Pentagon on 9/11 on the morning of 9/11. Exact time is unknown.
The three F-16s scrambled after Flight 77 from Langley, Virginia, at 9:30 a.m. finally reach Washington and the burning Pentagon. The 129 mile distance could theoretically be covered by the fighters in six minutes, but they've taken a wide detour over the ocean. The exact time they arrive is very unclear. NORAD originally claimed they arrive as soon as 9:49 a.m., but the 9/11 Commission implies they don't arrive until shortly after 10:00 a.m., though no exact time is specified. [9/11 Commission Report, 6/17/04; CBS News, 9/14/01; CNN, 9/17/01; New York Times, 9/15/01; NORAD, 9/18/01] Press accounts of when the first fighters reach Washington are highly contradictory. Early news accounts of fighters arriving from Andrews Air Force Base “within minutes,” “a few moments,” or “just moments” after the Pentagon crash appear to have been accounts of these Langley fighters, since they apparently arrive before Andrews fighters do. [Daily Telegraph, 9/16/01; Denver Post, 9/11/01; ABC News, 9/11/02] Yet other newspaper accounts inaccurately deny fighters from Andrews were deployed [USA Today, 9/16/01] , and some deny Andrews even had fighters at all. [USA Today, 9/16/01 (B)] Defense officials initially claimed, “There were no military planes in the skies over Washington until 15 to 20 minutes after the Pentagon was hit” —in other words, 9:53 a.m. to 9:58 a.m. [Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 9/14/01] ABC News reports that by 10:00 a.m., “Dozens of fighters are buzzing in the sky” over Washington. [ABC News, 9/11/02] Whereas the New York Times reports, “In the White House Situation Room and at the Pentagon, the response seemed agonizingly slow. One military official recalls hearing words to the effect of, ‘Where are the planes?’ ” The Pentagon insists it had air cover over its own building by 10 a.m., 15 minutes after the building was hit. However, witnesses, including a reporter for the New York Times who was headed toward the building, did not see any until “closer to 11.” [New York Times, 9/16/01 (B)] It is likely, though not completely certain, that fighters would have reached Washington before Flight 93 did, had the plane not crashed.
People and organizations involved: Pentagon
          

10:15 a.m.: Pentagon Section Collapses      Complete 911 Timeline

      
The wall where the Pentagon was hit before and after its collapsed at 10:15.
The front section of the Pentagon that had been hit by Flight 77 collapses. [CNN, 9/12/01; New York Times, 9/12/01; Television Archive, WDCC 10:00] A few minutes prior to its collapse, firefighters saw warning signs and sounded a general evacuation tone. No firefighters were injured. [NFPA Journal, 11/1/01]
People and organizations involved: Pentagon
          

February 20, 2002: Pentagon Office Designed for Telling Lies Revealed; Declared Closed      Complete 911 Timeline

       The Pentagon announces the existence of the new Office of Strategic Influence (OSI), which “was quietly set up after September 11.” The role of this office is to plant false stories in the foreign press, phony e-mails from disguised addresses, and other covert activities to manipulate public opinion. The new office proves so controversial that it is declared closed six days later. [CNN, 2/20/02; CNN, 2/26/02] It is later reported that the “temporary” Office of Global Communications will be made permanent (it is unknown when this office began its work). This office seems to serve the same function as the earlier OSI, minus the covert manipulation. [Washington Post, 7/20/02] Defense Secretary Rumsfeld later states that after the OSI was closed, “I went down that next day and said fine, if you want to savage this thing fine I'll give you the corpse. There's the name. You can have the name, but I'm gonna keep doing every single thing that needs to be done and I have.” [US Department of Defense, 11/18/02]
People and organizations involved: Unknown, Office of Global Communications, US Department of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, Pentagon, Donald Rumsfeld, Office of Strategic Influence
          

August 13, 2002: Electronic Warfare Methods May Have Brought Flight 93 Down      Complete 911 Timeline

       The Independent carries a story entitled, “Unanswered Questions: The Mystery of Flight 93,” a rare critique of the official version of events around that plane's crash. Most of the information is a summation of what was reported before. However, there is one interesting new theory. Theorizing why witnesses did not see smoke from the faltering plane, the article points to the 1996 research of Harvard academic Elaine Scarry, “showing that the Air Force and the Pentagon have conducted extensive research on ‘electronic warfare applications’ with the possible capacity to intentionally disrupt the mechanisms of an aeroplane in such a way as to provoke, for example, an uncontrollable dive. Scarry also reports that US Customs aircraft are already equipped with such weaponry; as are some C-130 Air Force transport planes. The FBI has stated that, apart from the enigmatic Falcon business jet, there was a C-130 military cargo plane within 25 miles of the passenger jet when it crashed (see September 14, 2001). According to the Scarry findings, in 1995 the Air Force installed ‘electronic suites’ in at least 28 of its C-130s—capable, among other things, of emitting lethal jamming signals.” [Independent, 8/13/02]
People and organizations involved: Pentagon, Central Intelligence Agency, Elaine Scarry
          

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