Gut Rumbles

June 18, 2004

worth reading

Here's a good post on whether or not the military had a chance to intercept and shoot down the 9/11 passenger planes.

I don't believe that anyone understood the gravity of the situation until the first plane slammed into the tower. By that time, it was too late to stop the second one, or the one that hit the Pentagon. I was thoroughly convinced at the time that we HAD shot down flight 93. By the time that one crashed, everybody had a pretty good idea about what was happening.

Some armchair quarterbacks with 20-20 hindsight can bitch all they want to about what we SHOULD have done and what we COULD have done that day, but how many of them would have made the call? "SHOOT DOWN THAT PLANE FULL OF CIVILIANS!"

Even if we had the wherewithall to do it, that's not a decision anyone in his right mind makes easily.


I don't think most folks understood the gravity of the situation until the *second* plane hit. Even then, it took boneheads like me hours to digest and accept. It was the biggest NFW moment I've yet to see. No way anyone saw it coming.

Posted by: Seppo on June 18, 2004 09:23 AM

And what about the people on the ground...? If you shoot down an aircraft the debris has got to fall SOMEWHERE...

Posted by: Mike on June 18, 2004 10:55 AM

I just read a comment on some site [dunno which one, been on a web run] proposing--what if the AF fighters had succeeded in scrambling, shooting down the 4 hijacked planes, and also had shot down two planes NOT hijacked, in the general confusion? The guy commented, wouldn't we be discussing President Cheney's reelection campaign?
Face it, the DemonRAT critics have no clue as to what reality is, all they are trying to do is toss a hundred lies against the wall daily, hoping that some stick.

Posted by: John Cunningham on June 18, 2004 11:52 AM

John Cunningham: That was on James Lileks' blog.

My observation is that the same halfwits that don't think pilots should carry sidearms to deal with terrorists because someone might get hurt in a highjacking have no problem with shooting down the whole plane outright.

Yeah, like that's a better plan.

Posted by: Gramps on June 18, 2004 01:45 PM

As I understand it, there were five planes in the New York area on that day in a ready state (fueled and armed), two F-15's out of Otis ANGB, and three F-16's at Langley AFB.

The F-15's were scrambled about five minutes after the first plane hit the north tower, and neither they or the F-16's could have made in time to get a missile off at anything.

As I understand it, there are now quite a lot of ready aircraft in the area, and around most major cities.

I've seen all the moonbat theories about how norad could have scrambled fighters sooner, and they could have gotten there sooner, and blah blah blah. Most of them have three fatal flaws: They think F-15/16's can reach their maximum rated speed at low altitude (they can't), they think pilots are permitted to exceed Mach 1 over US airspace (they aren't, save for a few restricted areas near bases), and that shooting a fully fueled airliner down at low altitude over a densely populated area would have been a good idea.

The moonbats don't care whether or not those planes could have been intercepted. They don't care how many people died, nor how many could have were those planes shot down. All they care about is fabricating "fact" in an effort to discredit the eeeevil "administration", whatever it may be.

They make me sick.

Posted by: Mr. Lion on June 18, 2004 01:58 PM

Even beyond the issues of hitting the wrong planes, imagine the destruction and debris if a missile had blasted a full-sized commercial aircraft out of the sky over The City, particularly as low as the planes were flying.

Maybe not as many people would have died in the Trade Center, but we would have had either equal or greater numbers spread across an even greater area, which could have inhibited Emergency Team response and effectiveness.

Also, there is no proof that the towers would not have collapsed at some point anyway, based on the instability introduced when the first plane hit. Perhaps the domino effect would have been delayed, but there still may have been such an effect.

There is no way to look back and accurately assess what could or could not have been done. We have to accept the idea that it was a shocking, unexpected event, and yet the area directly affected produced an outstanding response and reaction to the situation.

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