Thursday, November 30

Secret Service's "Air Surveillance System" Monitored Hijacked 9/11 Planes Moments after First WTC Strike

Furthermore, since 1974 the Secret Service operations center has possessed a special communications line from the control tower of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. This hotline allows air traffic controllers monitoring local radar to inform agents at the White House of any planes that are off course or appear to be on a “threatening vector.”--Paul Thompson, "Complete 9/11 Timeline"

When future American scholars, journalists and writers finally have the courage to engage honestly the 9/11 evidence of the terrorist attacks on America, author Paul Thompson, creator of the “Complete 9/11 Timeline,” and the many volunteers who contribute to his work at The Center for Cooperative Research ( will be remembered as unsung American heroes.

In the absence of the investigative journalism essential to democracy’s survival, they offer an invaluable 9/11 information archival service that will permit future researchers to see that 9/11 indeed was an inside job. In the recently-released riveting documentary 9/11 Press for Truth, an account of the White House's informational stonewalling of the families of 9/11 victims, Thompson receives some of the richly deserved accolades future researchers will more generously bestow on his research.

(Watch that important video below or on a wider screen at Google Video here.)

While the Center's number of similar cooperative research projects have expanded, Thompson and helpers (most notably Matthew Everett) continue their high-level archiving that cumulatively demonstrates 9/11 was “an inside job.”

Consider the recently added but marginalized news nugget below in Thompson’s 9/11 timeline; it details the Secret Service's sophisticated airplane tracking capabilities installed in their dark-windowed suburbans that were linked to the agency's tracking centers in New York and Washington on the morning of 9/11. In suggesting the level of electronic technology at the Secret Service's disposal, it may help explain why Bush repeatedy has stated he saw Flight 11 strike the North World Trade Center in real time, though that video footage was not televised until 12 September. (According to Bush, that first crash at 8:46 A.M. occasioned him midway through his reading exercise with second graders in Sarasota, Florida to begin "'thinking about what I was going to say. Obviously, I felt it was an accident. I was concerned about it, but there were no alarm bells.' [Washington Times. 10/7/2002]".)

On the other hand, the information does reveal the Secret Service had with them that morning early-warning air surveillance technology to detect errant aircraft in the vicinity of the school and President. So agents knew no planes were threatening Bush that morning. But it remains unclear why Bush continued his photo-op for more ten minutes after Andrew Card entered the room to tell him of the second crash into South World Trade Center and that "America was under attack."

(September 2000 and after): Secret Service Has Air Surveillance Capabilities

It is reported that the US Secret Service is using an “air surveillance system” called Tigerwall. This serves to “ensure enhanced physical security at a high-value asset location by providing early warning of airborne threats.” Tigerwall “provides the Secret Service with a geographic display of aircraft activity and provides security personnel long-range camera systems to classify and identify aircraft. Sensor data from several sources are fused to provide a unified sensor display.” [US Department of Defense, 2000; US Department of the Navy, 9/2000, pp. 28 pdf file] Among its responsibilities, the Secret Service protects America’s highest elected officials, including the president and vice president, and also provides security for the White House Complex. [US Congress, 5/1/2003] Its largest field office with over 200 employees is in New York, in Building 7 of the World Trade Center. [Tech TV, 7/23/2002] Whether the Secret Service, in New York or Washington, will make use of Tigerwall on 9/11 is unknown. The Secret Service appears to have other air surveillance capabilities. Counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke will describe that on 9/11, the Secret Service had “a system that allowed them to see what FAA’s radar was seeing.” [Clarke, 2004, pp. 7] Barbara Riggs, a future deputy director of the Secret Service who is in its Washington, DC headquarters on 9/11, will describe the Secret Service “monitoring radar” during the attacks. [PCCW Newsletter, 3/2006; Star-Gazette (Elmira), 6/5/2006] Furthermore, since 1974 the Secret Service operations center has possessed a special communications line from the control tower of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. This hotline allows air traffic controllers monitoring local radar to inform agents at the White House of any planes that are off course or appear to be on a “threatening vector.” [Time, 9/26/1994]

But in a May 2005 draft on the Secret Service's 9/11-related activities that apparently failed to make it into Thompson's timeline, he and 9/11 Timeline contributor Matthew Everett suggest a 9/11 hotline call reveals that TigerWall not only was in use that morning but that its plane-tracking sophistication matches if not surpasses that of the FAA.

This hotline is mentioned in the 9/11 Commission Report: "At 9:33, the tower supervisor at Reagan National Airport picked up a hotline to the Secret Service and told the Service's operations center that "an aircraft [is] coming at you and not talking with us." [9/11 Commission Final Report, 7/04, p. 39] However, Chris Stephenson, the head flight controller at the airport towers, says it happened the other way around. He claims that he was called by the Secret Service at this time and told an unidentified aircraft was headed his way. [USA Today, 8/12/02] Regardless, this suggests the Secret Service was using Tigerwall or some similar system, as well as use of the hotline.

Part of Thompson and Everett's August 2005 draft also mentions the Secret Service's aircraft "shoot down capability" for defending the White House.

The Secret Service also had the means to stop any hijacked planes attacking Washington themselves. The Daily Telegraph reported that on 9/11, “If [Flight 77, which subsequently hit the Pentagon] had approached much nearer to the White House it might have been shot down by the Secret Service, who are believed to have a battery of ground-to-air Stinger missiles ready to defend the president’s home. The Pentagon is not similarly defended.” [Daily Telegraph, 9/16/01] There has been some dispute as to whether or not Flight 77 technically entered the prohibited airspace zone around the White House or not. [CBS News, 9/21/01] But given the way it flew in a 360-degree circle over Washington, it surely would have been in range of the Secret Service’s missiles. Yet neither the media nor any official commission have ever explored the question of why these missiles weren’t fired.

Postscript: More Info on Secret Service's Tigerwall

August 2005: Secret Service among US agencies adding blimps to its air surveillance system

September 2004: Photograher Jon Freilich threatens Crytome with lawsuit if website fails to remove his copyrighted photo of Tigerwall system. While the website compiles with the request, it still commentary and links to reports on the system.

Tigerwall System. Tigerwall is an air surveillance system currently used by the U.S. Secret Service to ensure enhanced physical security at a high-value asset location by providing early warning of airborne threats. SSC San Diego has assisted the Secret Service in implementing and maintaining the Tigerwall system by providing expertise gained from other SSC San Diego surveillance and physical security programs. See:

The system uses cameras and radiofrequency equipment to identify planes and other objects in the sky, and provides a real-time tactical map of their locations and trajectories. The system was designed by SPAWAR, the Navy's space warfare division, for the Secret Service. I imagine that the system is not purely for surveillance; the information provided by the "tiger" could create a virtual "wall." Tigerwall could be used to shoot down airborne hostiles, like a mini anti-ballistic-missile system around "high value assets." Also see:

Th excerpt below from the Crytome page is from someone claiming to be a former employee at “Advanced Counter Measure Systems, Inc, a division of Sierra Nevada Corporation” based in California that manufactured Tigerwall-fitted suburbans

I ended up quitting ACM after nine months because the intense mismanagement of tax dollars in the name of defense broke my heart and busted my butt. Some great engineers there, but some shady management.

4 August 2005: Team 8+, “a group of independent researchers who have been brought together by a mutual desire to find the real truth behind the 9/11 attacks and other major world events,” posted to one of their forums a May 2005 draft of Paul Thompson and Matthew Everett’s timeline for “military excercise” on the Secret Service’s role in the widely reported emergency exercise and military war games conducted just before and during the 9/11 attacks.

The Hidden Story of 9/11:
Exercises, Operations, and the Role of the Secret Service
Part 3: The Secret Service
By Matthew Everett and Paul Thompson

Due to the length (and a technical glitch I seem to be having with MS Word’s
cut-and-paste function) of the third part of the essay, click here and scroll down the page to access it. But some excerpts from that part of their timeline warrant excerpting.

…It has also been reported that the Secret Service was defending President Bush’s hotel in Sarasota, Florida, with ground-to-air missiles the night before the 9/11 attacks, which certainly raises the question of how much they may have been concerned before 9/11 that he could be attacked from the air to take such an unusual measure. [Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 9/10/02]

…But in fact it appears that the Secret Service did give orders directly to fighter pilots during the morning of 9/11. For example, shortly after the second World Trade Center crash at 9:03, the Secret Service began informally communicating with a fighter pilot at Andrews Air Force Base, just ten miles outside Washington, D.C., and the Secret Service requested that some fighters get prepared to fly. A “flood” of calls from the Secret Service and local flight control centers was said to have come into the base. Later, fighter pilot Lt. Col. Marc Sasseville, stationed at Andrews, is reported as saying that some time after the Pentagon was hit he received a call from the Secret Service, ordering: “Get in the air now!” The article describing this continues: “The Andrews-based F-16s were launched by the Secret Service and someone in the White House command center, not NORAD.” This was despite the fact that, “At the time, there was no standing agreement between the Secret Service and the 113th Wing [based at Andrews] for the latter to provide fighters in response to an attack on Washington.” [Aviation Week and Space Technology, 9/9/02]

So, Bush's Secret Service team with him that day in Florida had him completely wired-in to what was unfolding in New York well before he entered the elementary school on the morning of 9/11. As Canadian broadcaster Barry Zwicker reveals in the 1o-minute vid clip below, Bush's strange behavior and publicly stated timeline of knowing for that morning clashes with a thorough analysis of the communications technology he had available to him.

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