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 Post subject: Article 1, Section 3
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 12:49 pm 
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Location: Bethesda, Md.
Commission investigators, based on private interviews with both Bush and Cheney and other witnesses, reported that a telephone conversation occurred between the two leaders shortly before 10:10 a.m. or 10:15 a.m. in which Bush authorized Cheney to order jet pilots to shoot down hostile aircraft.
Within a few minutes, Cheney issued the first shoot-down order, based on reports from the Secret Service of an aircraft -- United 93 -- headed toward Washington. But the reports were based on trajectory estimates; Flight 93 had crashed in Pennsylvania at 10:03 a.m. The vice president issued a similar order at around 10:30 a.m. in response to another report of a hijacked plane. ...
Cheney's general shoot-down orders were issued to NORAD at 10:31 a.m., but clear instructions were never passed along to pilots in the air.
(Washingtonpost.com)<p>***Perhaps later versions will tell us from where in the Constitution the vice president gets his authority to issue military commands. ***


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 Post subject: Re: Article 1, Section 3
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 1:32 pm 
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So far only Reuters has touched on the question:<p>WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House bypassed Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in confusion during the 2001 attack on America and directly ordered U.S. fighter jets to shoot down hijacked airliners used in the strikes, the commission studying the event said on Thursday.


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 Post subject: Re: Article 1, Section 3
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 3:26 pm 
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Shades of "I am in charge here," eh?


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 Post subject: Re: Article 1, Section 3
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 4:31 pm 
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i keep typing brilliant comments, then reminding myself that we're here to mock bad headlines and not figurehead presidents, then deleting.


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 Post subject: Re: Article 1, Section 3
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 6:43 pm 
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From reading the Commission's statement, it looks like there was a liberal interpretation of the Presidential Succession Act of 1947 in effect. Bush's plane "departed at 9:55" from Florida (p.23), while the shootdown "authorization" came at 10:15 (p.24). On page 21, problems with finding secure telephone lines were noted between 9:29 and 10:17.<p>Legally, it would appear that the President simply issued the order *through* the Vice President, since the VP had access to secure communications channels that were unavailable to the President.<p>It looks more like a Ma Bell failure than an Alexander Haig problem.


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 Post subject: Re: Article 1, Section 3
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 6:46 pm 
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Page 27 of the report says that Rumsfeld was in the Pentagon parking lot until 10:30, which is why he didn't receive and/or transmit the order himself.


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 Post subject: Re: Article 1, Section 3
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 7:24 pm 
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<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by lafollette:
Page 27 of the report says that Rumsfeld was in the Pentagon parking lot until 10:30, which is why he didn't receive and/or transmit the order himself.<hr></blockquote><p>You've got to wonder, then, why the military chain of command wasn't followed. I'm not suggesting an impeachable offense or anything, but it's important to explain how this happened. (Imagine Lyndon Johnson delegating the bombing of Hanoi to Hubert Humphrey.)


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 Post subject: Re: Article 1, Section 3
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 11:00 pm 
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How difficult is it for the president or vice president to communicate securely with or at least get the attention of the secretary of defense at the Pentagon, so that the secretary can give orders?<p>This was the 21st century, after all. The technology should exist. Does it now?<p>[ June 18, 2004: Message edited by: Wayne Countryman ]</p>


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 Post subject: Re: Article 1, Section 3
PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2004 1:03 am 
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Rumsfeld was reported to be dealing with the crash of jetliner into his workplace; perhaps that affected his ability to be in the right place in the chain of command. And the commission staff's interim report makes it clear that Cheney was not acting on his own authority in ordering shoot-downs; he was conveying the orders of the commander-in-chief. The biggest outrage revealed in the latest 9/11 report, in my opinion, is that the FAA and the military weren't communicating with each other. The military didn't know that Flight 93 had been hijacked for more than half an hour after the FAA learned that fact. And by the way, the commission has put a big inky government stamp of approval on the whole Flight 93 passenger revolt mythology.


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 Post subject: Re: Article 1, Section 3
PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2004 1:21 am 
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There are subordinates to the president in the military chain of command, to which the vice president does not belong unless the "CIC" is incapacitated.


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