Posted Thursday, October 25, 2001

Quick navigation

Alphabetical index (text)


When Bush vanished and flew to Offutt airforce base in Nebraska was it because he had ordered the fighter pilot who had launched the fatal air-to-air missile, and his commanding officer and any others in the know, to meet him there?





Thursday, October 25, 2001
(Key West, Florida, USA)


IN July 1940 Mr Winston Churchill had to take a decision which deeply disturbed him and has occupied historians ever since: he ordered the British navy to attack and sink the fleet of France, a country which until a few days earlier had been his ally and upon which he had not declared war. He had misunderstood the correct translation of the word Kontrolle, in the German version of the draft peace treaty put to France (it means "supervision", not "control").

Seen in legal terms, it was an act of international brigandry. He had killed two thousand young French matelots. Churchill justified it to himself in several ways. He wanted to shock American public opinion. He wanted to make plain to his own that there could be no talk of peace with Germany. Oh, and he wanted to prevent French warships from falling into the wrong hands.

It never occurred to him, either then or afterwards, to suggest that the French sailors on board the ships had mutinied, overpowered their admirals, and sunk those ships themselves. Churchill openly announced and affirmed the decision that he had taken, to shoot down those ships. Nobody challenges that he was the better leader for having taken a tough decision, and openly defending it.


WHAT is the relevance of this little narrative to today's events? It is this -- that a US president has evidently issued an order, which was most probably justified in the circumstances, but which he is not prepared to stand up for and defend in retrospect.

This is, for want of any other evidence or explanation, the only likely explanation for the mystery that lingers after the crash of Flight United 93 at Shanksville, Pennsylvania -- the fourth plane to go down on September 11.

BushIt is sadly more probable than the version officially approved, that three or four brave passengers overpowered the hijackers and caused it to crash into the ground rather than into Washington DC. The first part of that story is probably true; which makes it seem rather a blemish that a US fighter plane then shot the airliner out of the sky pursuant to President G W Bush's orders.

Is that however what happened? I confess that I for one, being an inveterate disbeliever of government versions, suspected it from the moment when, that same morning, a television bulletin reported that a ground dispatcher had received a phone call from a passenger concealed in the plane's lavatory, reporting that the plane had been hijacked ("this is not a hoax") and then, said the dispatcher, there had followed a sudden silence, after the passenger said there had been an explosion and white smoke.


THE problem with this scenario is the same as with all conspiracy-type theories: How many people were in the know, then or immediately afterwards, who have had to be silenced or sworn to secrecy in consequence? (Quite a few, if press reports are to be believed: beginning with that dispatcher. We learned, days later, that the FBI had seized the tape, and -- so we now hear -- ordered him not to talk to the press).

The suspicion grew into a near-certainty when the television news reported, later that day, that Vice President Dick Chaney had indeed confirmed that the president had authorised his air force to shoot down any airliners not obeying orders from ground control.

I believe from memory that the time quoted for this presidential authorisation to shoot was 9:53 a.m. -- perhaps somebody else will confirm my memory for me; the bulletin then went on to reassure listeners that Flight UA93 had already crashed by that time, so "fortunately" the awful deed had not had to be carried out. (The actual time of crash was, we now know, about 10:10 a.m.)

The suspicion hardened: there were things that did not fit even on that day, and as the local news items filtered through the thump and blare of martial bulletins over the next weeks, it became a certainty.

One newspaper reported that debris had been found eight miles away. The authorities hastened to suggest that this was light stuff like nylon and fabric shreds, which had blown there with the wind. Other items, buried in the local press, said that body parts had been found some distance away, and even part of one aircraft engine.

True, or false? Should these items be put in the same round container as the apocryphal story of the WTC holocaust survivor, who "rode down from the top floor with the crashing building" and survived with cuts and bruises?


WHY would the government lie about such a thing? Well, this is war; G W Bush has himself said so. It did not retroactively become war, so it wasn't one at the time; but the government may well quail before the prospect of the free press finding out that a US fighter plane did indeed shoot down one of their own airliners (the American public had not minded very much when the Israelis shot down that Egyptian airliner over the Sinai desert in the 1960s, or when the USS Vincennes mistakenly shot down an Iranian jumbo jet over the Gulf more recently; of course, on a one-to-one scale "Arab" lives don't count the same as Americans, as we have already perceived).

The reason for the lying is probably this: it is not just that Washington's word can not be trusted, but that this city and the administration are peopled by hardy folk known as lawyers, of whom the personal-injury variety are a particular rottweiler breed. If the government admits to having killed nearly a hundred of its own citizens, this has the makings of the mother of all class-action lawsuits against somebody. (We suspect that there must be another lawsuit brewing even as we write, brought against the New York Port Authority by the next-of-kin of the seven hundred people trapped above the fires in the North Tower, for having ordered the escape doors to the flat roof locked, in consequence of a ludicrous territorial feud between the N.Y. fire and police departments -- a feud that makes the notorious bickering between Joachim von Ribbentrop and Dr Joseph Goebbels look like children squabbling at a birthday party.

What inspires me with the confidence to write these words about the United flight is that I find I am seemingly not alone.

Half a dozen web pages have burgeoned, fed by individuals with the same suspicions about the frankness of their government: if they can lie about Shanksville, they argue, then about what else?

When President Bush vanished after dropping in to an airfield in Louisiana that day, September 11, 2001, and flew to Offutt airforce base in Nebraska -- probably the securest site in the world -- was it because he had ordered the fighter pilot who had launched the fatal air-to-air missile, and his commanding officer and any others in the know, to meet him there, so he could personally swear them to secrecy? When he invited the widow of Todd Beamer, one of the passenger-heroes, to stand at his side as he addressed the Congress, was it from a sense of guilt? Time will surely tell.

Related items on this website:

Previous Radical's Diary
Troublesome website on United Flight 93 ordered shut down | Timeline and maps on Flight 93 | What really happened in the skies above Pennsylvania? Shanksville was not the only site of the airliner's wreckage | Flashback: CNN first reports Pennsylvania crash debris found 8 miles away | [ a great investigative website]| Evidence hardens that United flight 93 was shot down
An Ugly Question, which nobody wants to ask, let alone answer
 Register your name and address to go on the Mailing List to receive

David Irving's ACTION REPORT

© Focal Point 2001 [F] e-mail: Irving write to David Irving