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Bush 9-11 Photo Scandal

In the Infamous 9-11 Fundraising Photo, Did Bush Order the Shootdown of the Flight 93 Heroes?

by Bob Fertik
June 21, 2002

Bush 911 Phone

9:55 am: Once airborne, Bush spoke again to Cheney, who said the combat air patrol needed rules of engagement if pilots encountered an aircraft that might be under the control of hijackers. Cheney recommended that Bush authorize the military to shoot down any such civilian airliners - as momentous a decision as the president was asked to make in those first hours. "I said, 'You bet,'" Bush recalled. "We had a little discussion, but not much." - Washington Post, 10 Days in September, January 27, 2002

Bush Puts September 11 Up For Sale

The Republican Party's decision to sell the photo of George W. Bush taken on Air Force One on September 11 for $150 generated a firestorm of outrage and controversy. On CNN.com, Bill Press wrote:

As President Bush repeated often: "September 11 is a day that unites us all." But now he's using that memorable day to divide us. September 11 no longer belongs to all Americans. From now on, it only belongs to those Republicans willing to shell out $150 for a souvenir. How tacky. It's not illegal. It's just gross. It's also a huge insult to the victims of 9/11 — who died never knowing they were helping raise big bucks for the Republican party... George Bush hasn't restored dignity to the White House. He's debased it even further. (8)

But until now, no one has asked what George Bush was actually discussing on the phone aboard Air Force One. 

And here is a very likely scenario: Bush was approving the shooting down of hijacked airliners, which led Dick Cheney to order the shooting down of Flight 93 - with all of the Heroes on board. 

How can we arrive at this conclusion? In part, we rely upon the White House's own version of the events of 9-11, as told to Dan Balz and Bob Woodward of the Washington Post, and reported in Part I of the Post's instant history of 9-11, 10 Days in September

While the White House admits that Bush gave the shootdown order, the Pentagon denies it actually shot down Flight 93. However, a careful analysis of all available evidence points to a shootdown as the most likely cause of the crash of Flight 93 - thus making George W. Bush personally and directly responsible for the deaths of 37 passengers and 7 crew members on Flight 93

As Four Planes Were Hijacked, Bush Read a Children's Story 

On July 5, White House Terrorism Czar Richard Clarke convened a top-level meeting of counter-terrorism experts. As a result of numerous warnings received by the CIA, FBI, NSA, and even the FAA, Clarke declared "something really spectacular" would happen, and cancelled all vacations. On August 6, the CIA briefed George W. Bush on the threats of an Al Qaeda attack on the U.S. And with each passing day, more warnings of a terrorist attack poured in. 

Yet on the morning of September 11, George W. Bush - Commander-in-Chief of our armed forces - scheduled a 9 a.m. visit to the Booker Elementary School in Florida. 

At 8:00 a.m., American Airlines Flight 11 took off from Logan Airport in Boston, heading west towards Los Angeles. At 8:15, air traffic controllers overheard hijackers taking control of the plane. At 8:27, Flight Attendant Betty Ong called ground supervisors from the plane and reported that two flight attendants had been stabbed and a passenger had had his throat slashed. After an as-yet unexplained delay of 23 minutes, flight controllers notified NORAD about the hijacking at 8:38. Six minutes later, at 8:44, NORAD ordered two F-15 fighter jets scrambled from Otis Air Force Base on Cape Cod. At 8:46, Flight 11 hit the first World Trade Center tower. At the same time, United Airlines Flight 175 from Boston stopped transmitting its beacon signal. At 8:52, the Otis F-15's were airborne. At 9:00, air traffic controllers for Flights 77 and 93 near Washington learned these two planes were being hijacked. At 9:03, as the nation watched in horror on TV, United Flight 175 struck the second World Trade Center tower. 

So with American under attack, was George W. Bush told - and what did he do about it? 

In evaluting George W. Bush's actions on 9-11, it is important to remember that Bush was a highly-trained fighter jet pilot who served four years in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War. Bush's duty included patrols to protect the Southern border of the United States, so Bush was familiar with the life-and-death decisions a combat pilot would have to make. (Bush pulled powerful strings to get into the ANG and thereby avoid combat - a fact he still denies - and then missed a flight physical exam and was grounded, and went AWOL for the last two years of his duty - both scandals the mainstream media has never asked Bush about.) 

According to ABC's John Cochran, Bush discussed the first crash with his Chief of Staff, Andrew Card, before he left his hotel. As Bush approached his car, a reporter asked, "Do you know what's going on in New York," and Bush said he did - and would say something later. 

On two occasions since 9-11, George W. Bush has said that he actually saw the first plane hit the World Trade Center. 

Well, Jordan, you're not going to believe what state I was in when I heard about the terrorist attack. I was in Florida. And my Chief of Staff, Andy Card -- actually, I was in a classroom talking about a reading program that works. I was sitting outside the classroom waiting to go in, and I saw an airplane hit the tower -- the TV was obviously on. And I used to fly, myself, and I said, well, there's one terrible pilot. I said, it must have been a horrible accident.

December 4, 2001: President Meets with Displaced Workers in Town Hall Meeting, Orlando, Florida

Still, Bush stuck to his schedule and entered the classroom at 9:00. When the second plane hit the WTC at 9:03, Andrew Card immediately whispered into Bush's ear. Although the nation was in the midst of a crisis, with two hijacked planes still in the air - and heading for Washingon DC - Bush sat in the classroom listening to a story for 25 additional minutes. He then made a brief statement on TV, and headed for Air Force One. 

Bush Orders the Shooting Down of Civilian Airliners 

In "10 Days in September," Balz and Woodward described Bush's actions at 9:55 a.m., shortly after Air Force One left Florida en route to Louisiana and then Nebraska. 

Once airborne, Bush spoke again to Cheney, who said the combat air patrol needed rules of engagement if pilots encountered an aircraft that might be under the control of hijackers. Cheney recommended that Bush authorize the military to shoot down any such civilian airliners-as momentous a decision as the president was asked to make in those first hours. "I said, 'You bet,'" Bush recalled. "We had a little discussion, but not much."

Bush then talked to Rumsfeld to clarify the procedures military pilots should follow in trying to force an unresponsive plane to the ground before opening fire on it. First, pilots would seek to make radio contact with the other plane and tell the pilot to land at a specific location. If that failed, the pilots were to use visual signals. These included having the fighters fly in front of the other plane.

If the plane continued heading toward what was seen as a significant target with apparently hostile intent, the U.S. pilot would have the authority to shoot it down. With Bush's approval, Rumsfeld passed the order down the chain of command.

In the White House bunker, a military aide approached the vice president.

"There is a plane 80 miles out," he said. "There is a fighter in the area. Should we engage?"

"Yes," Cheney replied without hesitation.

Around the vice president, Rice, deputy White House chief of staff Joshua Bolten and I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Cheney's chief of staff, tensed as the military aide repeated the question, this time with even more urgency. The plane was now 60 miles out. "Should we engage?" Cheney was asked.

"Yes," he replied again.

As the plane came closer, the aide repeated the question. Does the order still stand?

"Of course it does," Cheney snapped.

The vice president said later that it had seemed "painful, but nonetheless clear-cut. And I didn't agonize over it."

It was, "obviously, a very significant action," Cheney said in an interview. "You're asking American pilots to fire on a commercial airliner full of civilians. On the other hand, you had directly in front of me what had happened to the World Trade Center, and a clear understanding that once the plane was hijacked, it was a weapon."

Within minutes, there was a report that a plane had crashed in southwestern Pennsylvania-what turned out to be United Flight 93, a Boeing 757 that had been hijacked after leaving Newark International Airport.

The time of the crash was 10:06 a.m.

Flight 93 Crash Memorial
Flight 93 Crash Memorial - Darryl Bush/San Francisco Chronicle

Was Cheney's Order Carried Out?

According to the official White House version, the answer is no.

Many of those in the PEOC feared that Cheney's order had brought down a civilian aircraft. Rice demanded that someone check with the Pentagon.

On Air Force One, Bush inquired, "Did we shoot it down or did it crash?"

It took the Pentagon almost two hours to confirm that the plane had not been shot down, an enormous relief. "I think an act of heroism occurred on board that plane," Cheney said. Later, reports of cell phone conversations before the plane crashed indicated that some passengers had fought with the hijackers.

But should the White House version be believed?

Certainly, the White House has every reason to lie. After all, it would look pretty horrible if Bush and Cheney were responsible for the deaths of the crew and passengers about Flight 93, even if the planes were shot down to protect Washington DC.

Moreover, the public relations problem for the White House has been compounded by the massive publicity about the Heroes, who captured the public imagination through saturation TV coverage, and were immortalized in Neil Young's hit song "Let's Roll."

Unfortunately for the White House, there is overwhelming evidence that Flight 93 was shot down - and no evidence at all that the Heroes succeeded in taking control of the cockpit.

No Evidence that The Heroes Entered the Cockpit

On April 18, 2002, the FBI invited the families of the Flight 93 victims to listen to the cockpit voice recorder. No reporters were allowed to listen to the tape, but the New York Times received an exclusive briefing from the FBI, which reporter Jere Longman described on March 23.

Officials said the tape, a loop that records the last 30 minutes of a flight, did not record the moments when the hijackers got into the cockpit and does not resolve how they took over or whether the pilot and co-pilot were then killed. It also does not make clear whether the passengers were able to force their way into the cockpit in an effort to regain control of the plane or whether the hijackers crashed the Boeing 757 deliberately or just lost control of it.

It is safe to assume that if there was the slightest evidence that the Heroes had made it into the cockpit, the White House would have told the families - and the world.

Flight 93 Pieces Were Found 8 Miles from Crash Site 

There is important physical evidence in the form of Flight 93 debris. The most comprehensive analysis of the debris field is provided by an independent researcher who created Flight93Crash.com

Flight 93 did a nosedive into the ground, creating a crater 35 feet deep and a fireball that consumed most of the plane. But considerable debris was also found far from the crash site - as much as 8 miles away. The National Transportation Safety Board claims this debris was blown by the wind, but Flight93Crash.com argues that was impossible. 

Wind speed that day was 9 knots (or 10.4 MPH). Video from that morning shows a very light breeze.

The NTSB theory is that a lot of lightweight paper-like material survived the crash fireball and escaped the 35 foot deep, wet mud crash site and floated at 10 mph 2 - 8 miles over more wet, muddy fields. And how did clothing, books and large engine parts blow there again? And is there stuff 2 to 8 miles away at the Pentagon crash? Or another crash you can think of? Oh yea, at Lockerbie and Flight 800 there was (both had in-air explosions). 

Remember, the debris is NOT continuous. They didn't even have a clue the secondary debris existed until phone calls from residents brought skeptical investigators looking. If this debris was heavier than feathers it would not have floated from an explosion the height of 600 feet to 11,000+ feet sideways. Even if it could, there would have been a continuous trail back to the crash with the heavier items falling first. Remember, all the debris at the crash crater bounced South and Southwest. The secondary debris is East in the direction of, and beyond, Indian Lake. 

Indian Lake is where witnesses heard the airliner fly over, and saw debris falling from the sky moments after the crash. If the debris floated from the crash site, it would have taken 10-15 minutes at 10 mph to get there.

If the Flight 93 heroes had succeeded in gaining entry to the cockpit and crashing the plane, the debris would not have been scattered over such a large area. Something tore pieces off the plane 8 miles from the crash site - but what? 

F-16 Reported Near Flight 93

From the Washington Post article above, we know that a fighter jet was within striking range of Flight 93.

"There is a plane 80 miles out," he said. "There is a fighter in the area. Should we engage?"

"Yes," Cheney replied without hesitation.

An interview with an FAA employee in Nashua NH, where air traffic controllers tracked the two flights that left from Boston and hit the World Trade Center, provided additional details, as reported by the Nashua Telegraph on 9-13-01.

Controllers have also learned that an F-16 fighter closely pursued hijacked United Airlines Flight 93 until it crashed in southwestern Pennsylvania, the employee said. 

Although controllers don't have complete details of the Air Force's chase of the Boeing 757, they have learned the F-16 made 360-degree turns to remain close to the commercial jet, the employee said. 

"He must've seen the whole thing," the employee said of the F-16 pilot's view of Flight 93's crash.

Unfortunately, it is now impossible to verify this account, because the FBI has ordered flight controllers to refuse press interviews. 

Witnesses Believe Flight 93 Was Shot Down 

Several witnesses on the ground near the crash scene heard sounds - missiles and explosions - which led them to believe Flight 93 was shot down. According to the Philadelphia Daily News

"I know of two people - I will not mention names - that heard a missile," [Shanksville Mayor Ernie] Stuhl said. "They both live very close, within a couple of hundred yards... This one fellow's served in Vietnam and he says he's heard them, and he heard one that day." The mayor adds that based on what he knows about that morning, military F-16 fighter jets were "very, very close."

... 

Go to Shanksville and the surrounding farm fields where people actually saw or heard the jetliner go down at roughly 10:06 that morning and there are a number of people - including witnesses - who also think that Flight 93 was shot down, or at least aren't ruling it out. 

Laura Temyer, who lives several miles north of the crash site in Hooversville, was hanging some clothes outside that morning when she heard an airplane pass overhead. That struck her as unusual since she'd just heard on TV that all flights were grounded. 

"I heard like a boom and the engine sounded funny," she told the Daily News. "I heard two more booms - and then I did not hear anything." 

What does Temyer think she heard? "I think the plane was shot down," insists Temyer, who said she has twice told her story to the FBI. What's more, she insists that people she knows in state law enforcement have told her the same thing, that the plane was shot down and that decompression sucked objects from the aircraft, explaining why there was a wide debris field. 

... 

"I think it was shot down," said Dennis Mock, who was not an eyewitness but lives closest to the crash site on the west side. "That's what people around here think."

Passenger Reported Explosion in Call to 911

Minutes before Flight 93 crashed, a desperate passenger called 911 from the plane's bathroom. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Authorities weren't ready yesterday to pronounce the crash a result of terrorism. But a telling detail came minutes before the plane went down when dispatchers at the Westmoreland County Emergency Operations Center intercepted a frantic cell phone call made to 911 by a passenger aboard the doomed flight.

"We are being hijacked, we are being hijacked!" the man told dispatchers in a quivering voice during a conversation that lasted about one minute. 

"We got the call about 9:58 this morning from a male passenger stating that he was locked in the bathroom of United Flight 93 traveling from Newark to San Francisco, and they were being hijacked," said Glenn Cramer, a 911 supervisor. 

"We confirmed that with him several times and we asked him to repeat what he said. He was very distraught. He said he believed the plane was going down. He did hear some sort of an explosion and saw white smoke coming from the plane, but he didn't know where. 

"And then we lost contact with him."

Millions of Americans heard this conversation broadcast over the TV networks shortly after the crash, and many vividly recall the passenger yelling, "There's puffs of smoke on the wing!"

FOX News Reported Flight 93 Was Shot Down

One TV viewer, Tom Kelly, vividly recalls FOX News actually reporting Flight 93 was shot down.

After the second plane hit, I called my wife to tape the news coverage. That night when I got home from work we watched the days tragic events unfold, over and over. Early in the morning a reporter from FOX 10 in [Phoenix AZ], Rick DiMicco, said a brother-in-law (or some relative) who was a air traffic controller back east somewhere called him and told him the plane had been shot down! After the commercial break Rick was no longer on the air, and the story was never repeated, I watched this part of the tape twice just to make sure I didn't mistake what I'd heard, I didn't! Unfortunatley I taped over the information, not realizing [until] later in the week how important it really was. Rick's still on the air at Fox 10, I don't know if he'd verify this as he probably got chewed out for stating that in the first place. But my wife and I both saw and heard it!

Who Actually Shot Down Flight 93? 

There are several possible planes that could have shot down Flight 93. 

The F-16 described above could have come from one of several locations. 

  • The first possibility is one of the F-16's that was scrambled from Langley Air Force Base in Virginia to defend Washington. A plane could have continued on to Pennsylvania.      
  • The second possibility is one of the F-16's from the 113th Fighter Squadron based at Andrews Air Force Base near Washington, which was scrambled at 9:35 a.m. and had plenty of time to reach Flight 93. (5)     
  • Another possibility is an F-16 from the 180th Fighter Wing in Toledo, Ohio. "They had the fuel. They had guns. That’s what was needed," said retired Lt. Col. Alan Scott. According to the official Pentagon version, Toledo jets took off at 10:17, 15 minutes after the crash. But Flight93Crash.com reports an eyewitness saw an F-16 take off around 9 a.m., before the second plane hit the WTC. Mysteriously, the 180th's 44-year-old commander of operations, Pete Raffa, died of a heart attack in early December.      
  • Another possibility is a fighter that was already on patrol over the US, either protecting the East Coast on routine patrol or somewhere over the US on exercises scheduled for 9-11. On 8-30-02 - nearly a year after 9-11 - ABC News reported for the first time that two F-16's from an unidentified unit "happened to be on a training mission near Detroit [and] were sent to intercept the United flight." But the Pentagon says the F-16's were unarmed and arrived after the crash. (6)
Yet another possibility is a different kind of plane - not an F-16, but one of similar size with air-to-air missile capability. This idea of a "mystery jet" is discussed at length on Flight93Crash.com, with the strongest possibility being an unmarked white jet operated by the Pentagon or the Customs Service.

What About a Bomb? 

There is one other possible explanation for the scattered debris: the explosion of a bomb by one of the hijackers. In their desperate cell phone calls, several passengers reported that the hijackers held a red box and said it was a bomb. 

However, the FBI has stated that there was no evidence of a bomb at the crash site. If the hijackers detonated a bomb, it is hard to imagine a reason why the FBI would cover it up. 

Moreover, the use of a real bomb does not fit with the plan used by the other hijackers, who used ceramic knives to slip past baggage screeners without being caught. Carrying a bomb would have massively increased the chances of getting caught before boarding. And since the goal was to crash the plane into a national landmark - not to blow up the plane - why would they have taken the chance? 

Of course, if a hijacker did have a bomb, then the question must be asked: How did he get it past the baggage screeners? 

The Coverup 

All of the public evidence points to the shootdown of Flight 93, under direct orders from George Bush and Dick Cheney. But this evidence has been removed from public view, as the FBI confiscated everything it could find. 

And the FBI has refused to produce a report documenting its conclusions. The FBI even rejected a request by conservative media critic Reed Irvine of Accuracy in Media for a transcript of the cockpit voice recorder, claiming 

the transcript is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act because "it could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings." I can't for the life of me figure out what kind of enforcement proceedings release of the CVR transcript could possibly hamper. The hijackers are all dead.
Indeed, Irvine is one of the harshest critics of the FBI's investigation, accusing Bush and former Gov. Tom Ridge of a political coverup:
The White House wants us to believe that Flight 93 crashed because a group of male passengers stormed the cockpit and struggled with the hijackers at the controls, causing them to crash the plane into an abandoned strip mine.

If that were true, it could be proven by releasing the cockpit voice recorder tape. It would have recorded the sounds of that struggle. The FBI has refused to release it, saying there is nothing on it that would console the relatives of those who died. If those men were heroes that kept the plane from destroying the White House, that would be some consolation. What they are hiding is evidence that it was shot down by our Air Force. They haven’t been able to hide the fact that a half-ton piece of one of the engines and smaller pieces of metal fell off before the plane crashed. 

We have only recently learned from Rob Frasconi, who lives in the area, that hundreds of state police in scores of police cruisers converged on the rural crash site. Horseback patrols were even brought in to police the area. Rob tells us it was reported that a five-mile perimeter was to be set up around the site. "Why the massive police presence?" he asks. He speculates that Bush, having approved shooting down the plane, called Governor Ridge to guard the scene to keep the truth from being known. 

Rob says, "I voted for Bush. If he had to order F-16s to shoot down Flight 93, he should have been forthcoming with the American people. We would have been sorrowful, yet we would have understood... If that plane was ordered shot down, and if the President lied about it in order to avoid negative political fallout, I shudder to think of the moral, political and psychological implications for our nation. Americans deserve to know the truth."

Conclusion

All available evidence points to one conclusion: that an F-16 shot down Flight 93 on orders from George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. But the Pentagon denies this, and the FBI refuses to publish a final report. 

The credibility of both the Pentagon and the FBI are in shreds. The Pentagon officially revealed itself to be in the lying business when it quietly announced its Office of Strategic Initiatives; although the office was repudiated after a media firestorm, few Americans doubt the Pentagon is still secretly lying when it feels a need to do so. The FBI, on the other hand, has been exposed as grossly incompetent, both in failing to heed numerous pre-9-11 warnings from its own agents, and in failing to find the Anthrax terrorist after more than 8 months. 

If the Bush administration truly believed Flight 93 crashed without being shot down, it could release a wide range of credible evidence to prove its case: 

  • Disclosure of the collected debris, with a full debris map      
  • Disclosure of both the voice and data flight recorders      
  • Radar reports from ground radar and AWACS         
  • Interviews with the fighter jet pilots who were scrambled on 9-11, as well as their commanders         
  • Interviews with air traffic controllers
But the Bush administration adamantly refuses to disclose any information about its conduct on 9-11.

So the mystery remains: does the famous $150 photo show Bush ordering the shootdown of Flight 93? 

The truth is out there, but Congress and the media will have to ask some very tough - and unspinnable - questions to find it. 

Postscripts 

1. This story was attacked on the air by Rush Limbaugh on July 1, 2002. To read some of the letters we received from Rush's listeners, click here

2. NY Times reporter Jere Longman has written a new book called "Among the Heroes," in which he reconstructs the flight VOICE recorder based on interviews with family members who listened to the tape in April. After documenting the struggle, Longman writes: "A final rushing sound could be heard, and about three minutes after 10, the tape went silent." If a fighter jet shot off an engine and opened a hole in the fuselage, that would explain the "final rushing sound" - as well as the debris scattered over 8 miles on a calm day. 

3. Researcher Robb Magley reported that a seismograph only 60 miles from where Flight 93 crashed recorded a sonic boom at 9:22 a.m., no doubt from a military jet. But which base sent the plane? Magley argues it came from the 180th Fighter Wing in Toledo OH, which was definitely scrambled on 9-11 - the Pentagon says they took off at 10:17, but an eyewitness saw them at 9 am. This only deepens the mystery of the December death of the 180th's 44-year-old commander of operations Pete Raffa. (Note: on 9/13/02 Magley withdrew his analysis upon learning that the seismograph pattern did not fit known patterns of sonic booms.)

4. UK Independent reporter John Carlin interviewed witnesses and called official government sources and came away believing the shoot-down theory was more credible than the theory that the Heroes actually gained access to the cockpit and crashed the plane. Carlin cites the 1-ton engine part found 2000 yards from the crash, and the paper debris that was scattered over 8 miles on a nearly windless day. (This debris was seen falling shortly after the plane passed over Indian Lake, BEFORE the plane crashed - evidence of a missle or a bomb.) Carlin also does not believe the "mystery jet" seen by eyewitnesses was a civilian jet.

5. On 7-31-02, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz thanked members of the 113th Fighter Squadron based at Andrews AFB near Washington DC. "Minutes after [Flight 77] struck the Pentagon on Sept. 11, the squadron had planes in the air looking for a second jetliner [Flight 93] that ultimately crashed in Pennsylvania." The F-16's from the 113th were in the air at 9:35 a.m., and had plenty of time to reach Flight 93 and shoot it down at 10:06 a.m.

6. On 8-30-02, ABC News reported that "two F-16's that happened to be on a training mission near Detroit... were sent to intercept" Flight 93. "But there was a major problem according to U.S. Air Force Col. Robert Marr, commander of the Northeast Air Defense Sector, in Rome, N.Y.: 'The real scary part is that those guys are up there on a training mission; they don't have any weapons on board they can use,' he said. 'The first question that came from my mission crew commander, the individual that is in charge of the operations force: 'Well, sir, what are they going to do?' I said we're going to put them as close to that airplane as we could, in view of the cockpit and convince that guy in that airplane that he needs to land.' And if the plane wouldn't land, commanders were well aware that without weapons on board, the fighter pilots might have no choice but to slam their own jets into the hijacked plane... The F-16 pilots never had to make that suicidal decision, since Flight 93 crashed before the fighter jets were able to close in on it."

7. Paul Thompson of UnansweredQuestions.org has published an amazingly complete timeline of Flight 93. This is a crucial resource for Flight 93 researchers.

8. In the days leading up to the First Anniversary of 9-11, BuzzFlash published an excellent editorial on Bush's 9-11 Photo Profiteering.

Update 6/17/04

The 911 Commission issued its findings on the air defense response on 911, and pushed back the shoot-down conversation between Bush and Cheney from 9:55 until a few minutes AFTER the crash of Flight 93 at 10:03 a.m. This would not change the lead question of this article: did the photo show Bush ordering the shooting down of Flight 93? However, the 911 Commission's findings raise the following issues about the rest of our article:

  1. Is the Commission's revised timeline accurate?
  2. If it is, it's still possible Flight 93 was shot down by an F-16 without an order from Bush or Cheney.

 


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