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The 'Stand-Down Order'

The shocking failure of the air defense system to protect New York City and the capital would seem to require either an incredible series of failures or an order to stop intercepts -- a stand-down order. Yet apparently there have been no cases of military officials disciplined for gross negligence surrounding 9/11/01, nor have there been publicized reports of commanders admitting to having received stand-down orders.

If the stand-down order were disguised as a procedural change, and enacted well in advance, it might be hidden in plain sight.

CJCSI 3610.01, dated July 31, 1997, required that all requests for assistance in hijackings be approved by the Secretary of Defense. An update to that order, CJCSI 3610.01, dated June 1, 2001, had an exception for emergencies that would seem to give commanders in the field autonomy in ordering intercepts. However, that exception did not cover requests for "potentially lethal assistance", the kind required to respond to the attack:

(DODD 2025.15, Feb. 18, 1997) 4.4 The Secretary of Defense retains approval authority for support to civil authorities involving: use of Commander in Chief (CINC)-assigned forces (personnel units, and equipment) when required under paragraph 4.5, below; DoD support that will result in a planned event with the potential for confrontation with specifically identified individuals and/or groups or will result in the use of lethal force. 1  

Hence, this order may have been the long-sought stand-down order.

If it is true that the standing orders would have required approval by the Secretary of Defense for intercepts on 9/11/01, then, in theory, a defacto stand-down could have been implemented by the secretary simply failing to act during the crisis. However, it is doubtful that insiders planning the attack would have relied on the orders alone to assure that there was no effective military response to the attack. It was likely one of a number of "fixes" that included multiple war games planned on the day of the attack. Thus, even if commanders violated standing orders and ordered intercepts of the commandeered jetliners, they would face depleted interceptor resources and corrupted flight data.

The following post starts with the June 1st order and goes on about Rumsfeld. It fails to note Reference D, explained in Jerry Russell's stand-down post, and fails to note the order which JCSI 3610.01A supersedes, JCSI 3610.01.

e x c e r p t
title: Criminal Mastermind: Donald Rumsfeld
From:      *San Francisco IMC*


*Criminal Mastermind: Donald Rumsfeld*
by D. Rumsfeld /Thursday July 17, 2003 at 06:52 PM/

  Download the actual Joint Chiefs of Staff Document this
  article is based on (Adobe PDF):

Criminal Mastermind: Donald Rumsfeld

(please help to disseminate this information)

By Donald Rumsfeld's own admission, he was unaware of any threats
to the Pentagon -- the building where he was located during the
September 11th attacks -- until an aircraft crashed into the side
of it, and he ran out "into the smoke" to see if it might be a
"A bomb? I had no idea."
(ABC News This Week, Interview 9/16/01).

Well, that's a pretty tall tale by any standard. The New York
Times reported that by 8:13am, the FAA was aware of the first
hijacking out of Boston. The Pentagon explosion, which Donald
Rumsfeld claimed he had "no idea," did not occur until
approximately 9:37am, nearly an hour and a half later, this after
two of the tallest buildings in the world were devastated. Note
that a plane hijacked out of Boston can reach Washington D.C. as
easily as it can reach New York City.

It was widely reported that Pentagon personnel were indeed aware
of the threats to their security, and they took security measures
on that morning. But not the "Secretary of Defense." Why should
the man charged with defending the United States of America
concern himself with hijacked aircraft?

There is a set of procedures for responding to hijackings. In
particular, these procedures were changed on June 1, 2001 while
Rumsfeld was in power as our Secretary of Defense, in a document
 J-3 CJCSI 3610.01A"


These are the standing orders to the military as to how to
respond to hijackings over United States territory. The June 1
'01 document deliberately changed the existing policies.
Previous directives were issued in 1997, 1986 and before.

What is shocking about this entire sordid episode is the total
disconnect between what Donald Rumsfeld's story alleges
(ignorance of inbound hijacked aircraft), and what these Chief
of Staff Instructions require of the Secretary of Defense:

"b. Support.
When notified that military assistance is needed in conjunction
with an aircraft piracy (hijacking) emergency, the DDO, NMCC,

(1) Determine whether or not the assistance needed is reasonably
available from police or commercial sources. If not, the DDO,
NMCC, will notify the appropriate unified command or NORAD to
determine if suitable assets are available and will forward the
request to the Secretary of Defense for approval in accordance
with DODD 3025.15, paragraph D.7 (reference d)."


The usage of the word "approval" is the major change here to the
existing hijacking response procedures. While the text of the
document tries to link this "approval" to the previous orders
"DODD 3025.15," the approval is now required BEFORE providing any
assistance at all.  Previously, approval would be required to
respond to a situation with lethal force.

This June 1st update to the orders stopped all military
assistance in its tracks UNTIL approval from Donald Rumsfeld
(the "Secretary of Defense") could be granted -- which, by his
own admission, it was not.  Rumsfeld claimed total ignorance of
the inbound aircraft that attacked the Pentagon (on the opposite
side of the building complex, where a construction project had
been underway) .*

In this manner, fighter planes were held up from immediately
responding to the hijacked commercial jets on September the 11th.

The flight base commanders were ordered by the June 1st "Joint
Chiefs of Staff Instruction" to wait for "approval" from the
Secretary of Defense before they could respond to hijackings,
where they would have routinely responded in the past.

It's inconceivable that New York City could be struck by two
wayward jumbo jets, and still over 30 minutes later there
remained no defenses over the skies of Washington D.C., easily
one of the most heavily defended places in the world.

This reality led Anatoli Kornukov, the commander-in-chief of the
Russian Air Force to say: "Generally it is impossible to carry
out an act of terror on the scenario which was used in the USA
yesterday. (...) As soon as something like that happens here, I
am reported about that right away and in a minute we are all up."

The Plot Thickens

Enter the patsy. Rumsfeld wouldn't be a mastermind if he hadn't
thought of a fall guy to take the blame, if needed. This brings
us to Tom White, the former Enron executive, appointed to be
Secretary of the Army, and more importantly the "executive agent
for the Department of Defense" on May 31, 2001 --

The first public statement of Donald Rumsfeld on September 11th,
2001 makes an issue of Tom White's "responsibility" for the

"Secretary of the Army Tom White, who has a responsibility for
incidents like this as executive agent for the Department of
Defense, is also joining me."
(The Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia, September 11, 2001 6:42 P.M.,

It should be noted that Rumsfeld eventually fired White,
allegedly for disagreeing about a weapons system. But, what about
the introduction cited above? This is clearly an attempt to
divert blame and responsibility away from the Secretary of
Defense, and over to the "executive agent" a position that the
general public would have no knowledge. That way, if inquisitive
reporters started asking questions about the procedures and
failures, Rumsfeld would have an easy scapegoat as to who the
*real* person in charge of the situation should have been.
Amazingly, no mainstream reporters bothered to investigate these
matters at this level, and so the patsy wound up being

The Joint Chiefs of Staff Instruction is explicit, however, and
it mentions Rumsfeld's position and it requires his "approval."

Just where was this "approval" on September 11th 2001?

There is no mention of the Secretary of Defense approving
anything related to the hijackings. The Vice-President (Cheney)
is on record as approving the shooting down of the fourth plane
over Pennsylvania.  Whether or not the shoot-down occurred is
not yet clear. But there is no connection whatsoever to the
Secretary of Defense, whose "approval" is explicitly required
before the military can respond to a hijacking incident over the
USA, according to its own instructions.


The 1997 procedures provided a clear way for the military to
respond to an emergency such as a hijacking:

"4.7.1. Immediate Response.
Requests for an immediate response (i.e., any form of immediate
action taken by a DoD Component or military commander to save
lives, prevent human suffering, or mitigate great property
damage under imminently serious conditions) may be made to any
Component or Command. The DoD Components that receive verbal
requests from civil authorities for support in an exigent
emergency may initiate informal planning and, if required,
immediately respond as authorized in DoD Directive 3025.1
(reference (g))."

Rumsfeld went ahead and clouded the waters. The priority in the
June 1st, 2001 directive is to place decision making power -- in
the specific case of a hijacking -- into the hands of the
Secretary of Defense. This is repeated in multiple paragraphs:

"c. Military Escort Aircraft
(1) When notified that military escort aircraft are needed in
conjunction with an aircraft piracy (hijacking) emergency, the
DDO, NMCC, will notify the appropriate unified command or
USELEMNORAD to determine if suitable aircraft are available and
forward the request to the Secretary of Defense for approval in
accordance with DODD 3025.15, paragraph D.7 (reference d)."

This creates the necessity for: 1) making a request to the
Secretary of Defense, and 2) receiving approval before military
aircraft may respond.  

The statement "to determine if suitable aircraft are available"
is also suspicious. Can anyone imagine a situation where the
United States of America does not have a "suitable aircraft"
available to respond to a hijacked airliner?

NORAD tried to spin such a story in the aftermath of September
11th.  Supposedly, we just didn't have any fighter planes on the
morning of September 11th. What were they all doing?

Obviously we had planes available in Washington D.C., because
press reports tell us about the "air cover" or "air cap" that
went into effect just after the Pentagon was struck. Planes from
Andrews Air Force base were in the sky "just minutes" after the
Pentagon was struck. Why was no air cover available BEFORE the
Pentagon was struck, Mr. Rumsfeld?  After all, the "Secretary of
Defense" is supposed to approve the launching of "Military
Escort Aircraft." Did you?

If not, why not?

Also, if you take no interest in actually "defending" the people
of America during an attack, why do you remain in your position
as the Secretary of Defense?


Both Rumsfeld and Condoleezza Rice have maintained the fiction

"RUMSFELD: (...) Never would have crossed anyone's mind that a
commercial airline -- usually a hijacker who takes an airplane,
of course, wants to get someplace or wants to make a statement
or wants to go on television or wants to hold hostages, but this
is a distinctly different behavior pattern than we've seen
previously, and now, obviously, it's something we have to be
attentive to."
(NBC's Meet the Press, Washington, D.C., September30, 2001

This is a blatant lie, which can be disproved in numerous ways:

1) Threats of a suicide skyjacking were known at the Genoa G-8
summit in July of 2001. The Italian government ringed the city
of Genoa and the airport with anti-aircraft guns and missiles
because of a known Al Qaeda plot to assassinate George W. Bush
and other world leaders.
(LA TIMES, September 27, 2001)

2) The Pentagon had staged response exercises, "Mass Casualty
Exercises" in the case of a crash by a jetliner, nearly a year
before September 11th in October of 2000.

3) Since 1995, the FBI had been aware of "Project Bojinka" a
plan by extremists to simultaneously seize and to crash multiple
commercial jets as suicide weapons. This prompted investigations
at US flight schools.

4) Numerous warnings from Britain, Egypt, Germany, Russia,
Israel, Jordan and others alerted the US intelligence services
that a plane would be used as a weapon to attack "prominent
symbols of American power," including World Trade Center and the
Pentagon, during the Summer of 2001.

5) A small Cessna plane actually did crash into the White House
on September 12, 1994.

6) In 1994, suicidal Algerian hijackers plotted to use an Air
France jetliner, loaded with fuel and dynamite as a deadly
weapon and crash into the Eiffel Tower.

7) Another similar plan had Muslim militants hijack Pan Am
Flight 76 in Pakistan in 1986 in order to attack Tel Aviv,
Israel. The plane was stormed before take-off.

8) At the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics, "Black Hawk helicopters
and US Customs Service jets were deployed to intercept suspicious
aircraft in the skies over the Olympic venues,"
(LA Times).

With the numerous reports that came out in May of 2002 of Bush
Administration warnings prior to September 11th, it is the lack
of action that is most telling. The American people were not
warned.  Instead lies were told that "no warnings" were ever
received. When it became public knowledge that warnings were
indeed received, the Bush Administration spin changed to
"warnings weren't specific enough." This is also a lie.

If US airport security screeners were given the type of
information that was widely known in the intelligence community,
then there is a good chance that thousands of lives could have
been saved.

But, in that case, we wouldn't have a "new Pearl Harbor."


The Project for the New American Century (PNAC) is a Washington
foreign policy "think tank" created in 1997 by Donald Rumsfeld,
Paul Wolfowitz, Dick Cheney, Jeb Bush and others. Their policy
papers are available on the web. In a document called
"Rebuilding America's Defenses" they spell out pretty
straightforwardly what it is they seek. The "neo conservatives"
want nothing short of total world domination though military
and financial supremacy.

It is about the time that the PNAC was founded when Rumsfeld
and others began to pressure President Clinton to invade Iraq.
A January 1998 letter demands a new strategy of Clinton: "That
strategy should aim, above all, at the removal of Saddam
Hussein's regime from power."

Iraq, the second largest oil reserve in the world, is a major
strategic prize. And it is the strategic advantage that drives
the ideologues such as Rumsfeld, confident in the belief that
whatever means employed are justified in the pursuit of American
"primacy" or dominance over the entire world. The Project for
the New American Century will accept no challenge to American
supremacy around the globe, and the policies they are now
implementing support this belief. They intend to raise military
expenditures to absurd levels, in a world where the United States
already outspends the rest of the earth combined on military.

What the September 11th attacks are then is stated explicitly in
"Rebuilding America's Defenses." It is the "new Pearl Harbor."
According to Rumsfeld and company, the United States of America
would slowly become the unchallenged power of the world. But this
process would be speeded up satisfactorily if some new external
attack, "some catastrophic and catalysing event, like a new Pearl
Harbor" were to occur. This concept is also state explicitly in
"THE GRAND CHESSBOARD - American Primacy And It's Geostrategic
Imperatives," Zbigniew Brzezinski, Basic Books, 1997.

Both Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz traveled around the media after
September 11 repeating the phrase "Pearl Harbor," and cementing
it in people's minds.  The "Pearl Harbor effect" is what is
sought. An America gung-ho for war, for payback, for militarism,
for sacrifice, for tears, for aggression, for the kind of
violence witnessed at Hiroshima or Nagasaki if need be, this is
the intended effect of September the 11th and ultimately the
reason that day came to pass.

These are the true reasons that the September 11th attacks remain
uninvestigated, covered-up and classified. Motive, opportunity
and means -- the only thing needed here is justice.

Much ado was made in the press about John Walker Lindh, the
"American Taliban" who fought in Afghanistan. On September 11,
2001, there was another Al Qaeda operative, a man who did more
to help the attacks succeed than anyone else. It was not Osama
bin Laden, but Donald H.  Rumsfeld who has earned his place in
the history books as the "American Taliban 2."

Don't forget that it was Donald Rumsfeld shaking the hand of
Saddam Hussein in 1983, even while it was known that the dictator
("Hitler revisited") was using prohibited poison gas weapons.
Rumsfeld assisted Saddam Hussein both financially and militarily,
never once bringing up any qualms about helping a "ruthless
dictator who gasses his own people."


1. Military Assistance to Civil Authorities, dtic.mil, 2/18/1997

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