RealNews

Military unprepared for 9/11 attacks

The panel established to investigate the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks was told Friday that the United States was so unprepared that the first warplanes sent to the capital’s airspace to intercept the hijacked airliners were unarmed. The two F-16s, part of the 113th Air National Guard based at Andrews Air Force Base were visible in the sky above the Pentagon as it was evacuated after being struck by American Airlines Flight 77, Maj. Gen. Craig McKinley, a commander in the Air Force told the panel. McKinley is in charge of the division of the North American Aerospace Defense Command — known as NORAD — responsible for protecting the continental United States. He was one of a number of federal officials who gave evidence on the second day of public hearings held by the commission to find out what went wrong and why on Sept. 11. The picture that emerged was one of military and federal agencies scrambling desperately to respond to an attack for which they were completely unprepared, but officials said much had been to improve the nation’s readiness since. Full Story

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