RealNews

Pre-9/11 Files Show Warnings Were More Dire and Persistent

Early this year, the independent commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks played four minutes of a call from Betty Ong, a crew member on American Airlines Flight 11. The power of her call could not have been plainer: in a calm voice, Ms. Ong told her supervisors about the hijacking, the weapons the attackers had used, the locations of their seats. At first, however, Ms. Ong’s reports were greeted skeptically by some officials on the ground. “They did not believe her,” said Bob Kerrey, a commission member. “They said, `Are you sure?’ They asked her to confirm that it wasn’t air-rage. Our people on the ground were not prepared for a hijacking.” For most Americans, the disbelief was the same. The attacks of Sept. 11 seemed to come in a stunning burst from nowhere. But now, after three weeks of extraordinary public hearings and a dozen detailed reports, the lengthy documentary record makes clear that predictions of an attack by Al Qaeda had been communicated directly to the highest levels of the government. Full Story

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