Jesse Ventura claims gov't involved in 9/11
Former Minnesota governor says Bush administration tied to attacks
updated 6:04 a.m. PT, Tues., March. 9, 2010
In his new book, "American Conspiracies: Lies, Lies, and More Dirty Lies
That the Government Tells Us," former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura begins an
investigative journey to prove that there is more to our national history
than the government wants us to know. In this excerpt, he writes about an
alleged 9/11 cover-up.
Chapter 12: What really happened on September 11?
The incident: On September 11, 2001, four airplanes were hijacked on
American soil and crashed into the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and a field in
The official word: The 19 hijackers were all fanatic Muslim terrorists
linked to al-Qaeda and its ringleader, Osama bin Laden.
My take: Our government engaged in a massive cover-up of what really
happened, including its own ties to the hijackers. Unanswered questions
remain about how the towers were brought down, and whether a plane really
struck the Pentagon. The Bush Administration either knew about the plan and
allowed it to proceed, or they had a hand in it themselves.
I was in my third year as Minnesota's governor on September 11, 2001. After
the devastation of the Pentagon being hit and the Twin Towers falling, I put
the National Guard on alert and secured some of our public buildings. The
following Sunday morning, we were the first state to hold a memorial for the
nearly 3,000 victims. More than 40,000 people showed up on the front lawn of
the State Capitol, while a steady rain fell. I'll never forget Native
American shamans beating drums alongside honor guards who represented the
police and firefighters and military.
It still chokes me up to think about it. Looking out on hundreds of flags
fluttering in the breeze, I remember saying at the end of two hours: "We
will promote good against evil. And finally, we will together restore our
sense of freedom by conquering this enemy!"
I never wanted to believe anything different than what our government told
us about that tragic day. But here is what John Farmer, a Senior Counsel for
the 9/11 Commission who drafted the original report, has to say in a new
book: "At some level of the government, at some point in time ... there was
an agreement not to tell the truth about what happened."
What more do we need? Are we willing to live with another lie to go with the
Warren Report, the Iran-Contra cover-up, and many other "official" stories?
I certainly never expected to think that elements of the Bush Administration
were complicit with the enemy. Today, though, I am convinced that some
people inside our government knew the attack was going to happen and allowed
it to come to pass - because it furthered their political agenda.
I don't necessarily believe that they orchestrated it themselves, although
the door is definitely open to that. I say this after expending many hours
researching things about the official story that don't add up, and
interviewing a number of witnesses with firsthand knowledge that contradicts
what we were told. As a patriotic American, I say this with a heavy heart -
and with an outrage that really knows no words. But it's something we, as a
nation, must come to terms with. Otherwise, it could happen again.
From day one, there was something that puzzled me. You had four airplanes
being hijacked on the same morning. Maybe the first one snuck by the radar -
but the next three? I'd been inside air traffic control, where you've got a
dozen people watching every plane in their sector. They know what direction
all the aircraft are supposed to be going, and here were four planes going
directly opposite of their normal flight path. But we're supposed to believe
that no alarm bells went off anywhere, so no fighter jets got scrambled to
intercept the planes. Was everybody asleep at the switch? How could the FAA
and our air defenses experience such a miserable failure?
I want to tell you a short story about a guy named Charles Lewis, who my
writing colleague*** Russell interviewed recently in Southern California.
Until two months before September 11, Lewis had worked at LAX as the Quality
Control Manager for Kiewit Pacific Construction on its Taxiway "C" project.
A large part of his duties involved security in the Airport Operations Area,
or AOA. There he got to know employees of various agencies - the LA World
Airport Police, the LAPD, California Highway Patrol, the FBI, U.S. Customs,
When the 9/11 attacks occurred, Lewis was a deputy inspector for the city of
LA during a seismic retrofit of the LA Hilton Towers Hotel, only a few
minutes from the airport by car. After making sure the hotel construction
crew went home, Lewis rushed over to LAX's Guard Post 2, because he was one
of very few people who knew how to fix certain parts of the new security
systems in case any problems developed.
(PT - 9:35 AM Eastern), not long after the second plane struck the World
Trade Center. As on other days, there was "chatter" on LAX Security
walkie-talkies and he could easily hear what they were saying, sometimes
both sides of the conversation.
Lewis remembers: "The first thing I noticed was that the guards - and that
day they were the LA World Airport Police and the FBI - were very upset and
agitated because apparently no one [from FAA] had notified NORAD [North
American Aerospace Defense Command]. They were making calls and demanding to
know why not. Eventually word came back that NORAD had indeed been notified,
but they had been ordered to stand down. Then LAX Security wanted to know
who could have made that order. And word came back that it was from the
highest level of the White House. Later on, watching television, I knew the
order didn't come from Bush because he was reading 'My Pet Goat' to the
school kids in Florida, so the only other person it could be was***
It turns out there were some "war games" taking place that morning.
September 11 was the second day of Vigilant Guardian, an exercise of the
Joint Chiefs and NORAD that simulated planes being hijacked in the
Northeastern United States. Another drill, called Northern Vigilance, had
shifted some fighter jets to Canada and Alaska to monitor Russian MIGs
flying training missions. This one put "phantoms" on military radar screens
that would look real to the participants in the exercise. "We fought many
phantoms that day," Richard Myers of the Joint Chiefs later testified to
But could the attack have been scheduled intentionally to coincide with
those war games? If so, this raises a couple of questions. Either there was
a major intelligence leak, whereby the terrorists realized the war games
would be a good cover for their operation. Or else some people in the
administration knew of the attack ahead of time and let it proceed
simultaneously, knowing the confusion this would cause.
Between September 2000 and June 2001, on 67 different occasions fighter jets
were sent to intercept aircraft that had lost radio contact or their
transponder signal or were flying off course, usually within ten minutes of
any sign of a problem. (Contrary to what some people think, presidential
approval wasn't needed to intercept or even shoot down an aircraft.) Then,
on June 1, 2001, the existing hijacking response procedures were changed to
require approval by the secretary of defense before responding to a
situation with lethal force. And when the call came into the Pentagon on
9/11, nobody answered the phone!
The stand-down order that Charles Lewis heard about was confirmed by none
other than Norman Mineta, transportation secretary at the time. According to
the 9/11 Commission, Cheney didn't arrive underground at the PEOC
(Presidential Emergency Operations Center) until almost 10 AM. Mineta,
however, said the Vice President was already down there when he arrived at
about 9:20 AM. Richard Clarke and Cheney's photographer indicated the same
thing. That was before the Pentagon had been hit, and Mineta recalled a
young man coming into the PEOC three times to tell Cheney how far out the
plane was from Washington. After the third report, according to Mineta, the
young fellow asked, "Do the orders still stand?" and Cheney responded, "Of
course the orders still stand. Have you heard anything to the contrary?" The
9/11 Commission chose to ignore Mineta's testimony and went so far as to
remove it from the video archive.
Instead, they had Cheney ordering, almost 45 minutes later than Mineta said,
the inbound aircraft be shot down. Except, by then, all four planes had
already gone down. That was cover-up number one by the 9/11 Commission. Now
let's look at whether it was actually those two planes that were responsible
for the falling towers. I was amazed, watching the 2007 version of the
documentary Loose Change (which I urge everyone to see), at the many
firefighters and other eyewitnesses who talked about a whole series of
explosions before and during the collapse of the buildings. All of this was
reported on the news at the time. Before the South Tower collapsed, video
footage clearly shows sizable amounts of white smoke starting to pour out of
the base. There was described a "giant rolling ball of flame" that came up
from street level; an elevator that exploded on the 65th floor as someone
stood beside it; a woman on the 49th floor seeing people with burns and
broken arms in the stairwells. "For every window in the lobby to be
exploding ... it wasn't from the jet fuel, no way," according to one of the
witnesses. And a whole lot more that did not jive with any plane striking
the building. Barry Jennings, the city's emergency coordinator, was at the
scene before and after the building collapses. Jennings puts it out there
plainly: "I know what I heard. I heard explosions."
For my TV show, I interviewed a witness named William Rodriguez, a ...
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