||DC Envoy Says Bush Ordered Flight 93 Shot Down
Infowars.com | February 24, 2005
Reversing all previous statements, The Washington Envoy to Canada, Paul Cellucci told his Canadian audience that a Canadian general at NORAD scrambled military jets under orders from Bush to shoot down flight 93
Read into the article below for the following section:
"He compared the situation to one that occurred during the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the U.S. He noted that it was a Canadian general at Norad who scrambled military jets under orders from Bush to shoot down a hijacked commercial aircraft headed for Washington."
Cellucci's statement thus reverses all of Washington's previous statements about Flight 93. (Other than the two times that Rumsfeld admitted that Flight 93 was shot down..)
Missile rejection perplexes U.S.
CP | February 23, 2005
By COLIN PERKEL AND BETH GORHAM
(CP) - Canada's apparent decision to stay out of a North American missile-defence system has dumbfounded Americans as an unnecessary giveaway of sovereignty, Washington's envoy to Ottawa said Wednesday.
"We don't get it," Paul Cellucci said in Toronto. "If there's a missile incoming, and it's heading toward Canada, you are going to leave it up to the United States to determine what to do about that missile. We don't think that is in Canada's sovereign interest."
Despite strong pressure from the U.S. to sign on, Prime Minister Paul Martin was expected to pull the plug on Canada's participation in the missile program on Thursday.
However, reaction from American officials suggested the decision had already been made.
Regardless, said Cellucci, Washington would press ahead with its plans.
"We will deploy. We will protect North America," he said.
"We think Canada would want to be in the room deciding what to do about an incoming missile that might be heading toward Canada."
In Washington, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said Canada had yet to inform the U.S. of its decision.
He refused to speculate on the effect a negative decision would have on relations between the two neighbours or whether it would cause a rift.
"We have a very solid basis of co-operation in many areas and we'll see how that sees us through," said Boucher.
A senior Canadian official who requested anonymity said Wednesday that Canada's decision was relayed at this week's NATO summit in Brussels attended by Martin and President George W. Bush.
But Canada's interest in Norad, the joint Canada-U.S. air defence command, remains paramount, said the official.
"The key for Canada is preserving the Norad relationship. It's such an important command that losing it would not be in Canada's best interests."
Boucher noted Canada and the U.S. amended an agreement last August to allow Norad to track any incoming rogue missiles.
Washington had hoped Canada would would go further and participate in building the continental defence shield, an elaborate system that some worry could lead to weapons in space and an international arms race.
Cellucci compared the situation to one that occurred during the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the U.S. He noted that it was a Canadian general at Norad who scrambled military jets under orders from Bush to shoot down a hijacked commercial aircraft headed for Washington.
Had that plane been flying over Canada, it would have fallen to the prime minister to make the decision to shoot it down, Cellucci said.
That's why Americans were "perplexed" as to why Canadians would want to leave it up to the Americans to decide what action to take in the event a missile was aimed at Canada.
David Biette, director of the Canada Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars in Washington, agreed with Cellucci's assessment that Canada is giving up sovereignty.
"I fear that it risks marginalizing Canada and Canada is ceding sovereignty by not being there when the decisions are being made," said Biette.
"It's making people unhappy in this administration that Canada is happy to take a free ride."
However, like Cellucci, Biette said he didn't think the issue would ultimately hurt Canada-U.S. relations.
Unpopular with most Canadians, the multibillion-dollar program to shoot down incoming missiles has been a political nightmare for Martin's minority government.
There's been intense pressure from Bush, who unexpectedly raised the issue during his visit to Canada last December and reportedly was blunt with Martin in a private meeting.
Some U.S. analysts were shaking their heads at the intrigue and confusion stirred this week by Frank McKenna, who takes over as ambassador to the United States next week.
McKenna told a Commons committee Tuesday that Canada is effectively already part of the missile-defence program, given Norad's increased responsibility.
"We're part of it now and the question is what more do we need?" he asked. "What does 'sign on' mean?"
Behind closed doors Wednesday, Martin indicated Canada hadn't joined the missile program and suggested McKenna erred by saying otherwise.
"Did Frank express himself badly? Perhaps," is the way one Liberal described the prime minister's message at Wednesday's caucus meeting. Another Liberal confirmed the account.
Liberal MPs have also been sent speaking notes from party brass, urging them to get out and toe the government line on missile defence.
"Canada is obviously not participating in BMD," said a copy of Tuesday's Liberal Research Bureau message obtained by The Canadian Press.
"The government has not taken that decision yet and the ambassador never intended to leave the opposite impression."
U.S. defence analyst Dwight Mason said Canada's refusal to get more involved would be "unfortunate in a symbolic sense."
"It's the first time since 1938 that Canada would have refused to participate in continental defence. It's a turning point. But the impact would be much greater if Canada pulled back from where it is now."
Rumsfeld says 9-11 plane
'shot down' in Pennsylvania
During surprise Christmas Eve trip, defense secretary contradicts official story
WND |December 27, 2004
WASHINGTON – Ever since Sept. 11, 2001, there have been questions about Flight 93, the ill-fated plane that crashed in the rural fields of Pennsylvania.
The official story has been that passengers on the United Airlines flight rushed the hijackers in an effort to prevent them from crashing the plane into a strategic target – possibly the U.S. Capitol.
During his surprise Christmas Eve trip to Iraq, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld referred to the flight being shot down – long a suspicion because of the danger the flight posed to Washington landmarks and population centers.
Was it a slip of the tongue? Was it an error? Or was it the truth, finally being dropped on the public more than three years after the tragedy of the terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000?
Here's what Rumsfeld said Friday: "I think all of us have a sense if we imagine the kind of world we would face if the people who bombed the mess hall in Mosul, or the people who did the bombing in Spain, or the people who attacked the United States in New York, shot down the plane over Pennsylvania and attacked the Pentagon, the people who cut off peoples' heads on television to intimidate, to frighten – indeed the word 'terrorized' is just that. Its purpose is to terrorize, to alter behavior, to make people be something other than that which they want to be."
Several eyewitnesses to the crash claim they saw a "military-type" plane flying around United Airlines Flight 93 when the hijacked passenger jet crashed – prompting the once-unthinkable question of whether the U.S. military shot down the plane.
Although the onboard struggle between hijackers and passengers – immortalized by the courageous "Let's roll" call to action by Todd Beamer – became one of the enduring memories of that disastrous day, the actual cause of Flight 93's crash, of the four hijacked airliners, remains the most unclear.
Several residents in and around Shanksville, Pa., describing the crash as they saw it, claim to have seen a second plane – an unmarked military-style jet.
Well-founded uncertainty as to just what happened to Flight 93 is nothing new. Just three days after the worst terrorist attack in American history, on Sept. 14, 2001, The (Bergen County, N.J.) Record newspaper reported that five eyewitnesses reported seeing a second plane at the Flight 93 crash site.
That same day, reported the Record, FBI Special Agent William Crowley said investigators could not rule out that a second plane was nearby during the crash. He later said he had misspoken, dismissing rumors that a U.S. military jet had intercepted the plane before it could strike a target in Washington, D.C.
Although government officials insist there was never any pursuit of Flight 93, they were informed the flight was suspected of having been hijacked at 9:16 am, fully 50 minutes before the plane came down.
On the Sept. 16, 2001, edition of NBC's "Meet the Press," Vice President Dick Cheney, while not addressing Flight 93 specifically, spoke clearly to the administration's clear policy regarding shooting down hijacked jets.
Vice President Cheney: "Well, the – I suppose the toughest decision was this question of whether or not we would intercept incoming commercial aircraft."
NBC's Tim Russert: "And you decided?"
Cheney: "We decided to do it. We'd, in effect, put a flying combat air patrol up over the city; F-16s with an AWACS, which is an airborne radar system, and tanker support so they could stay up a long time ...
"It doesn't do any good to put up a combat air patrol if you don't give them instructions to act, if, in fact, they feel it's appropriate."
Russert: "So if the United States government became aware that a hijacked commercial airline[r] was destined for the White House or the Capitol, we would take the plane down?"
Cheney: "Yes. The president made the decision ... that if the plane would not divert ... as a last resort, our pilots were authorized to take them out. Now, people say, you know, that's a horrendous decision to make. Well, it is. You've got an airplane full of American citizens, civilians, captured by ... terrorists, headed and are you going to, in fact, shoot it down, obviously, and kill all those Americans on board?
"... It's a presidential-level decision, and the president made, I think, exactly the right call in this case, to say, I wished we'd had combat air patrol up over New York.'"
Flashback: Found: The 911 "Stand Down Order"?