9/11, Pentagon, and Missile Defense: $130 Billion on Pentagon’s Missile Defense Fails to Stop Four Airliners on 9/11
by Fred Burks
May 21, 2009
Remember Star Wars? Do you remember the Pentagon’s Strategic Defense Initiative to build a massive missile defense system that raised so much controversy during the Reagan and first Bush years? 130 billion of our tax dollars were poured into developing that system. It was designed to detect and intercept missiles fired from an unknown destination traveling at well over 10 times the speed of a commercial airliner, and to shoot them down in 15 minutes or less, before they reached their US targets.
According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) website, “a defensive system may need to hit a warhead smaller than an oil drum that is traveling above the atmosphere at speeds greater than 13,000 miles per hour.” The CBO report states that missile defense and intercept systems must take down an ICBM in a matter of minutes or it is all over.
You may remember that before 9/11, there were a number of tests of the Pentagon’s missile defense systems. Some tests failed, while others succeeded. But there is an important question here. If these sophisticated military systems were designed to detect missiles fired from unknown locations at over 13,000 mph and shoot them down in mere minutes, why on 9/11 could they not detect any one of the four large airliners traveling at a mere 600 mph, especially when two of them were known to be lost for over 40 minutes before they crashed?
This question applies especially to Flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon. The first plane hijacking on 9/11 was reported at about 8:20 AM (see NY Times article), well over an hour before Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon at 9:38. According to the Times article, Flight 77 was reported lost at 8:56 A.M., 42 minutes before it crashed. Even if the FAA radar systems completely failed and FAA officials failed to alert the military, all military leaders certainly knew within minutes that the World Trade Center had been hit at 8:46. By 9:03, when the second tower was hit, they certainly knew there were big problems.
How is it possible that the Pentagon’s highly touted missile detections systems could not locate Flight 77 in the 42 minutes it was known to be lost before it crashed into the heart of the defense system of the U.S.? The missile detection systems did not depend on FAA radar and were programmed to pick up any unaccounted for objects and raise alarms immediately, as mentioned on the CBO website.
Here’s another related question. Why was the Pentagon’s billion-dollar missile defense system such a hot topic in the media before 9/11, yet we’ve heard almost nothing about it since? Could it be that there are elements in the government and military who don’t want people to think about questions like those asked here? And an even bigger question is why isn’t our media asking these questions and more?
Why is it that the 9/11 Commission budget was far less than the budget allotted to the Challenger space shuttle disaster or even the Monica Lewinsky affair? The 9/11 commission was originally allotted only $3 million. Eventually, after much begging and haggling, the commission was given $15 million. Yet a CNN article lists the cost of the Lewinsky investigation at $30 million. A Los Angeles Times article states the cost of the Columbia space shuttle disaster investigation was $175 million.
How could 9/11 — the greatest disaster in American history — be given such a small budget for investigation? Why didn’t the Pentagon aggressively investigate the greatest failure ever in U.S. defenses? And why did both the president (see CNN article) and vice-president (see Newsweek article) initially oppose any investigation at all?
Why aren’t we, the public, asking these questions and demanding answers? It’s not too late. Let us take action now and seek answers to these vital questions. For further reliable information on this topic, go to the revealing two-page 9/11 summary at available here.
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