Air Defense & Wargames

There are standard procedures for dealing with off-course or out-of-contact aircraft. But for some reason, on September 11, our multi-trillion dollar defense and intelligence infrastructure completely failed. This failure spanned over an hour and a half, from the time the attack started until Flight 93 supposedly crashed in Pennsylvania. No one has been held accountable.

The FAA, NORAD, and the command structure (Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, etc.) have all given conflicting timelines or accounts of the events of that day.



  1. The Failure to Defend the Skies on 9/11 Cooperative Research
  2. NORAD Stand Down and Air Defense 911 Research
  3. NORAD had drills eerily like Sept. 11 USA Today
  4. FAA Managers Destroyed 9/11 Tape Washington Post
  5. Wargames on 9/11 and NRO Simulation
  6. Simplifying the Case Against Dick Cheney Michael Kane, FTW
  7. Military Exercises Timeline Cooperative Research
  8. Pentagon Mass Casualty Exercise
  9. One War Game Now in Mainstream Press FTW


Crossing The Rubicon
by Michael Ruppert


Senator Mark Dayton video

As confirmed by the military and mainstream media, there were several military exercises taking place on the morning of September 11, with names like “Vigilant Guardian,” “Northern Vigilance,” and “Global Guardian.”

These wargames diverted fighter jets from the Northeast and even included mock-hijackings and a drill of a plane crashing into a goverment building! The “coincidental” nature of these wargames is highly suspicious. Incidentally, Dick Cheney had simultaneous command authority that day over the military response to the attack, and all training exercises.

The crux of the air defense issue is that the government’s position that they were “surprised” or “unprepared” for such attacks simply doesn’t hold up. There are very standardized, well-rehearsed plans for domestic air defense—dealing with hijackings, missile attacks, or any other threat from the sky. Pilots and jets are on stand-by at bases throughout the country to deal with just such emergencies.

The issues of air defense and wargames can be quite complicated, with an overwhelming number of details of procedure and chronology. We’ve tried to keep it simple here, but really understanding these issues requires a bit of research. If you wish to follow this story further, just check out the Resources section.


  • “In May of 2001, just four months before the attacks, Dick Cheney was placed in charge of implementing the “seamless coordination” of all military exercises and war games pertaining to weapons of mass destruction. He was placed in charge of managing and overseeing these operations as declared by executive order from George Bush.” 9

  • Scrambling fighter jets to check out suspicious, errant, or non-responsive planes is not uncommon. In the year 2000, jets were scrambled 129 times. Jets and pilots are commonly ready to be airborne within 5 minutes and F-16s and F-15s can fly at 1500mph and 1875mph, respectively.

  • On 9/11 most available fighter jets were taking part in wargames in Alaska and Canada. Military exercises also included fake hijackings which showed up on radar screens and hindered response. 5

  • The National Reconnaisance Office or NRO (a joint agency between the DoD and CIA, responsible for operating the nation’s spy satellites) was conducting a simulation of a plane crash into their headquarters on the morning of 9/11/01. 5 NRO

  • In October 2000, the Pentagon conducted the “Pentagon Mass Casualty Exercise,” a tabletop simulation of a passenger jet crashing into the Pentagon. 8

  • According to the official timeline, the FAA failed to report off-course aircraft in a timely manner.

  • After being notified, NORAD did not scramble jets from the nearest bases.

  • Responding fighter jets flew at just a fraction of their top speed. Some were even sent in the wrong direction. Two F-15s were ordered into a holding pattern off Long Island until after the second tower was hit.

  • An FAA official destroyed a tape of interviews with the air traffic controllers who handled the 9/11 flights. The mainstream media even reported that this official destroyed the tape by, “crushing the tape with his hand, cutting it into small pieces and depositing the pieces into trash cans around the building.” 4