911 Cheney vs Bush 2a
By Ronald Bleier
By 10:03 a.m. on the morning of September 11, when UA Flight 93 purportedly crashed into a field near Shanksville, PA, we saw all the terror that we were going to see. Nevertheless it took many hours and well into the day for the situation to calm down and for the nation to sense that things were more or less under control. Even so, it took three days for the U.S. to allow normal resumption of civil aviation and land travel. For many hours after 10 a.m. there was much confusion.
For example, as researcher Gerard Holmgren discovered, at various times, both American Airlines (AA) 77 and AA 11 reportedly struck New York City’s World Trade Center (WTC). In the end, AA 77 was switched to the strike on the Pentagon. Regarding AA 77 in particular there were “wild discrepancies.” First it was reported that it had struck the WTC; then that it didn't even take off for a half hour after the second WTC strike. Later it was reported taking off at 9:33 a.m., but it somehow “flew 700 miles out to Ohio and back in just 5 minutes, to hit the Pentagon.”
Holmgren also found from the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) that both these flights were “fictitious.” Neither AA 77 nor AA 11 was scheduled to fly on 9/11, and neither did. Why didn’t the terror planners simply revise these anomalous statistics either beforehand or shortly after 9/11 when the discrepancies would not have been discovered? Was it a simple oversight: the arrogance of government planners who couldn’t be bothered with such minute detail? In any case, even after Holmgren published his discovery, it took years for the BTS data to be revised to conform to the official account.
Unlike the two American Airlines flights which never flew that day, the two other planes, both United Airlines (UA 175, N612; South Tower) and UA 93 (N591; Shanksville, PA) were actually scheduled and were airborne. But according to BTS records, Holmgren found, they did not crash on 9/11 since they were not destroyed until 2005.
It was not until late on September 11th that concerns regarding the possibility of more terror attacks abated. In the course of the day, United Airlines reported that it took hours to sort the many false reports it received of hijackings, explosions, and other terror threats. For all the public knew there might have been more to come. Perhaps the plotters might have had in mind a menu of even more terror options. Perhaps they made on-the-spot decisions and in the end, limited the terror to what actually happened, or what the official narrative claims happened on 911.
I was reminded of the possibility that more terror might have been planned when I learned from Daniel Hopsicker’s Terrorland: Mohammed Atta and the 9/11 Cover-up, (2004), that there had actually been an assassination attempt on the life of President Bush. It took determined reporting by Hopsicker to search out this information since the government made a point of suppressing news of the foiled attack. Hopsicker tracked down early press reports in the local media in Florida, acting, he writes, on a friend’s “cynical dictum” that the most reliable information one gets in the wake of such high profile events are these early press reports, untainted by the subsequent cover-up. (Hopsicker, p.40)
Shay Sullivan, reporting for the Longboat Observer of Sarasota, Florida, found a chance witness, Longboat Key Fire Marshall, Carroll Mooneyhan, who noted unusual activity at the president’s hotel. Mooneyhan happened to be waiting at the front desk of the Colony Beach Resort at Longboat Key, at 6 a.m. when four Arab men in a white van arrived at the hotel’s guard gate. They said they were scheduled for a morning “poolside interview” with the president. According to Mooneyhan, they even asked for a secret serviceman by name. The men were told to contact the president’s public relations office in Washington and were turned away. (Hopsicker, pp.44-45)
Two days earlier, on September 9, 2001, the popular Afghani Northern Alliance leader, Shad Massoud, was assassinated in Afghanistan with a disturbingly similar modus operandi. Two suicide bombers, posing as journalists had requested an interview with Massoud, and set off a bomb hidden inside their television camera.
The Northern Alliance declared that Massoud’s assassination was the work of Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the ISI, which had close links to the CIA. Author David Ray Griffin cites author Michel Chossudovsky, who claims that the U.S. had been trying to weaken Massoud because he was a nationalist who had unified much of his region, and would very likely have balked at U.S. plans to invade Afghanistan. After Massoud’s death, the Northern Alliance became fragmented and significantly weaker, unable to contest U.S. war plans. (David Ray Griffin, The New Pearl Harbor (2004), p.110)
News of what seems to be an attempt on the life of George W. Bush was firmly suppressed by U.S. officials. Witness Mooneyhan, who at first spoke freely to the Longboat Observer, was soon warned off. He said that after 9/11 he had been visited by the CIA and the Secret Service and he told Hopsicker that he preferred not to talk about what he witnessed because of concern for his career. He said he has to “be careful what he says.” (Hopsicker, p. 48). As to the four Arab men who turned out to be Sudanese, the AP reported that they were interrogated and soon released when no connection could be made to the 9/11 attacks. Similarly, the FBI “pooh-poohed” the apparent assassination attempt and the story got virtually no attention in the major media. (Hopsicker, p. 43)
The incident raises many obvious questions. Why were the four Arab men released? How did they know the whereabouts and the schedule of President Bush? How did they learn the name of a Secret Service agent? What connections, if any, did the Sudanese men have with U.S. intelligence agencies? Why was news of their attempt to interview President Bush suppressed and key witnesses warned off the story? One enormous red flag is that the circumstantial evidence of a connection between the Arabs and the U.S. security services is strong.
At about 8:30 a.m. President Bush travelled in a motorcade from his hotel to his scheduled photo-op at the Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, Florida. On his way, after 8:46 a.m, he learned of an incident in NYC involving a strange plane crash into the North World Trade Center Tower. Soon after he took his place in a second grade classroom and watched and participated in a reading lesson about a pet goat. At 9:03 a.m. he was told in a whisper by Andy Card, his chief of staff that “America is under attack.” 1
Instead of briskly responding to the emergency, as might be expected of a commander-in chief, he remained calm, if not repressed, as if he were following a script. (In one video I saw years ago -- apparently no longer available on the internet -- I detected a moment when Bush’s lips parted into a brief smirk before they darted back into a tight line.)
Evidently, when the conspirators set up Bush’s Florida photo-op, they correctly assumed that the public would not learn, at least in a timely way, of the irresponsible manner in which President Bush responded to the emergency. (Perhaps the main lesson this incident emphasizes is that in such false flag operations, timeliness is all. Had the video been available in the days following 9/11, pointed questions might have been asked, and U.S. foreign and domestic policy might have been substantially altered.) Nevertheless, the conspirators were undoubtedly later embarrassed by the wide release of Moore’s documentary.
Instead of reacting quickly to the news of the shock and awe of the ongoing terror in New York City, and immediately taking up his role as chief executive of the United States, President Bush spent perhaps the next 10 minutes or so after 9:03 a.m. calmly listening to the children read and, every so often, making his own cringeworthy contributions to the lesson. Even after he left the classroom, he lingered at the school, talking with students and teachers and posing for photos. During this period, neither he nor members of his entourage, including his security detail, showed any special concern for their own safety, not to mention the national security. The one exception was an anonymous Marine who, when he heard the news of the second attack at the WTC, said to the local sheriff, “We’re out of here. Can you get everyone ready?” He was overruled.
Not until 9:35 a.m. did Bush’s motorcade move out to the Sarasota airport where Air Force One was waiting. Finally, at 9:55 a.m., Bush and his entourage were airborne, “incredibly” – as the authors of the History Commons put it, -- without fighter protection. This unexplained lapse in security is yet another example consistent with the president’s evident intention to leave the direction of U.S. policy to his vice president. It was only after he was airborne that he began his struggle with Dick Cheney to take charge of his movements.
At Booker Elementary, Bush gave people to understand that he intended an immediate return to Washington. But soon after takeoff Bush, Cheney and the Secret Service “began arguing whether it was safe to fly back to the capital” due to proliferating terror threats. Bush’s Chief of Staff, Andrew Card advised caution:, “We’ve got to let the dust settle before we go back.”
At the time, there were still over 3,000 planes in the air over the US [USA Today, 8/13/02 (B)], including about half of the planes in the region of Florida where Bush was. [St. Petersburg Times, 9/7/02] Recall, too, that the Secret Service learned of a threat to Bush and Air Force One “just minutes after Bush left Booker Elementary.” Karl Rove, also on Air Force One, confirmed that a dangerous threat was known before the plane took off: “They also made it clear they wanted to get us up quickly, and they wanted to get us to a high altitude, because there had been a specific threat made to Air Force One…. A declaration that Air Force One was a target, and said in a way that they called it credible.
Assuming that both Cheney and Bush knew that reports of threats from foreign entities to Air Force One (and to the rest of the country) were bogus, it’s not surprising that Bush was not a happy camper. For the next half hour, before he bowed to Cheney’s “advice,” Air Force One simply circled the Sarasota airport, while Bush fought for an immediate return to the White House. But Cheney won. After their 10:32 phone conversation, Bush finally agreed and flew instead to Barksdale Air Force base near Shreveport, Louisiana, landing there at 11:45 a.m. with no military escort until the last five minutes. President Bush’s decision to fly more than 750 miles to Louisiana with no security escort is another piece of circumstantial evidence that both Bush and Cheney knew there was no foreign-based threat to the president.
From Bush’s body language in the Moore video we get the impression that the president was well satisfied with events up until he was airborne at 10 a.m. (setting aside the foiled assassination attempt). The months-long planning for the big day of 9/11 homegrown terror had finally arrived. Although he was not the quarterback, he was the most high profile member of the team that planned and executed perhaps history’s most stunning false-flag operation. President Bush was fully invested in the conspirators’ goal to transform America’s imperial mission and radically change the world.
But the president’s copacetic frame of mind was soon to be overturned when he was informed that Cheney had in mind a change of plan. President Bush’s early resumption of his executive powers would be delayed – for who knows how long?
Bush’s frustration and attempted push-back at this unanticipated turnabout is a clue that all the planned terror events of 9/11 were to be completed by 10 a.m. Bush had proceeded to Florida with the understanding that he would stretch out his photo-op at Booker Elementary and remain out of the chain of command until then. He understood that the plan was that after 10 a.m. he was to fly back to Washington.
What did Bush make of Cheney’s rationale that the threats to Air Force One required a detour or two? The central fact was clear: Cheney was maintaining control of government. President Bush may well have suspected a sinister motive. Did one of the many rumors of ongoing terror threats mask Cheney’s plan to assassinate him?
In any case, at Barksdale, Bush was once again on the losing side of the question of where he should go next. He spent much of his time at Barksdale arguing with Cheney. When a frustrated President Bush insisted to his aide Karl Rove that he wanted to return to Washington, the latter replied “Our people are saying it’s unstable still.” Bush once again gave in and when he left Barksdale around 1:30 p.m. it was not for D.C. but for Offutt Air Base in Nebraska. He was told that he could get to the U.S. Strategic Command center there quicker than he could fly to Washington.
Finally Bush was allowed to or insisted on his return to Washington. Bush left Offutt at 4:30 p.m. and reached Andrews Air Force Base at 6:34 p.m. From there he helicoptered to the White House which he reached at 7 p.m. At 8:30 p.m. he gave a five-minute nationally televised speech threatening revenge on the terrorists and a on those who harbored them.
President George W. Bush was back in control.
Did Cheney actually plan to assassinate President Bush? It’s hardly likely we’ll ever get to the bottom of this question since it didn’t happen. But is it so far-fetched? Would it not have been similarly far-fetched to consider that President Kennedy would be assassinated in broad daylight in Dallas 38 years earlier had it not actually happened?
How do we explain the early morning assassination attempt of President Bush at Longboat Key? As we have seen, evidence points to the involvement of elements of U.S. security and intelligence agencies, including the CIA and the FBI, well within the control of the vice president. How do we explain President Bush’s careless and irresponsible behavior from 8:46 a.m. to 10 a.m.? How do we explain Vice President Cheney’s unwonted change of plan, refusing to allow President Bush his expected early return to the White House? Surely the sinister theory deserves consideration.
How ambitious was Dick Cheney? Cheney was a larger than life force of nature without whom there would have been no 9/11, and perhaps no Bush presidency. Are there many who doubt that had the early assassination attempt on President Bush’s life succeeded, Cheney would have welcomed the opportunity to move into the White House? The only question was whether he had made such plans.
What sort of a world are we living in? If the underlying assumptions of this paper are correct, we’re manifestly living in the world of the big lie. Perhaps that’s the natural order of things in nation states where scores and hundreds of millions of people have to find ways of living in comity. To do so we perforce delegate authority, all-too-often to those of ruthless ambition.
Where does justice and the rule of law come in? As Dickens’s Artful Dodger in Oliver Twist understood, “This ain’t the shop for justice.”2
1 Allan Wood, Paul Thompson, “An Interesting Day: President Bush's Movements and Actions on 9/11.” All the references in this essay to President Bush’s movements on 9/11 come from this article for the History Commons website, now available on Google cache, and perhaps elsewhere on the internet.
2 Quoted in the inestimable R. H. Blyth, Zen in English Literature and Oriental Classics (1942).