Getting Scrambled over 911

On a Pacifica radio program on conspiracism and the 911 attacks, I lost my train of thought during an interview and ended up making a series of statements that are just plain wrong.

I had been researching how different airbases are assigned scramble status, and that sometimes that means the nearest airbase does not have the duty assignment. I also was speculating as to why air traffic handlers might decide (against regulations as it turns out) to delay sending jets into the air [other than as part of a vast conspiracy].

This is what would have been an accurate set of statements:

Why weren't there plans in place to scramble jets [from the nearest airbase]? If you research... what you find... not on the web, but if you go to government repositories, you'll look at documents, [you will see that sometimes airbases in urban and suburban areas get complaints over jet noise, and that scramble assignments are often handed to airbases near the ocean]. Now is that a bad idea, in retrospect? Sure it is but it goes back 7 or 8 years.

[Some peope have speculated that] You don't scramble planes until you've made contact with the hijackers. Now why? Because the assumption, which turns out to be false, is the hijackers are either going to make a demand or want to land. And that if you [scramble] planes before you're talking to them, they could freak out and shoot the pilot. So you don't want planes flying next to hijacked airliners until you're talking to the hijackers. [So maybe that's why there was a delay--not a conpiracy involving Bush].

I apologize for the original garbled statements, which are neither accurate, nor an accurate reflection of what I was trying to say.

-Chip Berlet 

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