RealNews

9/11 Panel Set to Detail Flaws in Air Defenses

The commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks is expected to offer sharp criticism of the Pentagon’s domestic air-defense command in its final report, according to commission officials who said they believed that quicker military action might have prevented a hijacked passenger plane from crashing into the Pentagon itself. While other officials stressed that the panel had not reached any final conclusions on the performance of the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or Norad, or whether the Pentagon attack could have been prevented, they said that Norad’s failure to defend Washington and New York City on Sept. 11, 2001, would be subjected to intensive scrutiny at the remaining public hearings of the 10-member commission. The panel is in the final weeks of its investigation. Norad has previously acknowledged that if jet fighters had scrambled faster on Sept. 11, they might have been able to reach American Airlines Flight 77 before it crashed into the Pentagon at 9:37 a.m., more than 50 minutes after the first hijacked plane struck the World Trade Center in New York. A total of 184 people were killed in the Pentagon attack, including the 59 aboard the hijacked plane. Full Story

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