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  Rumsfeld, or Rums"fled" What to call it when the Sec of Def abandons his post?
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Author Topic: Rumsfeld, or Rums"fled" What to call it when the Sec of Def abandons his post?  (Read 2304 times)
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« on: August 31, 2004, 01:44:40 am »

The Smoking Gun on 9/11
Documented Evidence

August 15, 2004

by freedomburns  

The 9/11 Commission has serious problems.  They pick and choose what to cover and what to leave out of that report.  It is a whitewash.  The most damning evidence that I have seen of a case for gross negligence, or worse, lies in the absence of leadership and the total dereliction of duty by the top people in the chain of command.

Bush, Rumsfeld and Gen. Myers (Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) carried on with their normal scheduled activities on the morning of Sept. 11 and then each went missing for extended periods of time, abandoning their responsibilities and becoming conspicuously absent during this national emergency.  They all acted as though their sworn duty to protect the nation had been completely forgotten.  The country was left virtually leaderless during the crucial hour and a half between 8:30AM and 10:00AM on 9/11.  This contributed to the massive confusion on that fateful morning.  
Rumsfeld was coincidentally in a meeting discussing missile defense and the risk of terrorism when he was informed of the first attack.  Later, in a meeting with Christopher Cox, the defence policy committee chairman of the House of Representatives, Mr Rumsfeld, recalls Mr Cox, watched the TV coverage from New York and said, "Believe me, this isn't over yet. There's going to be another attack, and it could be us."  Moments later Flight 77 struck the Pentagon.  Yet, Rumsfeld did not feel compelled to go to the Pentagon War Room, again shirking his duty.  Why did the country's top leadership, to a man, abandon its posts in this time of crisis?

Gail Sheehy, in an article published in the LA Times on Friday, August 13, 2004, points fingers and names names, but she does not tell the whole story.  

A few choice excerpts from her articles:
Rumsfeld and Bush Failed Us on Sept. 11    (LA TIMES 8/13/04)      
"Two planes hitting the twin towers did not rise to the level of
Rumsfeld's leaving his office and going to the War Room? How can that be?" asked Mindy Kleinberg, one of the widows known as the Jersey Girls, whose efforts helped create and guide the 9/11 commission.
The lead military officer that day, Brig. Gen. Montague Winfield, told the commission that the Pentagon's command center had been essentially leaderless: "For 30 minutes we couldn't find" Rumsfeld.
[Rumsfeld] didn't speak to the vice president until 10:39 a.m.,
according to the report. Since that was more than 30 minutes after the last hijacked plane crashed, it would seem to be an admission of dereliction of duty.
Why wasn't Rumsfeld able to see on TV what millions of civilians
already knew? After the Pentagon was attacked, why did he run outside to play medic instead of moving to the command center and taking charge? The 9/11 report records the fatal confusion [italics mine] in which command center personnel were left: ...

Who's in Charge Here?                  (Mother Jones 7/22/04)  
"In what may be one of the most remarkable statements in the report, the commission concludes that "[t]he Secretary of Defense did not enter the chain of command until the morning's key events were over."

Bush was similarly absent from fulfilling his duties.  Bush swore on the Bible at his inauguration to protect this country from all enemies, foreign and domestic.  Yet at the exact moment that the towers were burning and crumbling to dust, Bush chose to sit in a second-grade classroom, carrying on with reading a book called "My Pet Goat".  After being told by his Chief of Staff, Andrew Card, "America is under attack," Bush sat and did nothing for twenty agonizingly long minutes when he should have seized the helm of government and taken steps right away to protect the country.  Again, the absence of leadership caused fatal confusion, (to borrow Sheehy's language).

The information that really needs national coverage is that the person ostensibly left "in charge" was a rookie Captain named Leidig who was told the night before (Sept 10) to sit in for Gen. Montague Winfield, the director of the National Military Command Center (NMCC).  Leidig was "in charge" for only the 90 minutes that the crisis was happening.  In this writer’s humble opinion, this is obviously not just a coincidence.  

The official investigation of the September 11th events has failed to
explain or even to ask why the top officials in the U.S. military chain
of command were missing in action during the attacks.
The report neglects to mention anything about the whereabouts on Sept. 11 of Gen. Montague Winfield, the director of the National Military Command Center, the "war room" located in the Pentagon itself.

Montague Winfield

The Joint Chiefs of Staff are technically advisers
( http://www.dtic.mil/jcs/core/jcs_defn.html ) to the executive and
theater command, which under law "runs from the President to the
Secretary of Defense; and from the Secretary of Defense to the commander of the combatant command." As the theater of combat on Sept. 11 was domestic, the function of combatant command resided in the NMCC and authority therefore ran from Bush to Rumsfeld to Winfield.

Winfield was scheduled to be at his post on the morning of Sept. 11. But on Sept. 10 he arranged for his deputy to relieve him the next morning, at exactly 8:30 a.m. This turned out to be just eight minutes before the military was alerted to the diversion of the first flight, at 8:38 a.m. (according to the timeline in The 9/11 Commission Report).

The report mentions Winfield by name only once, as a source in a
footnote, without clarification (Ch. 1 fn 190, p. 463). His apparent absence from the NMCC after 8:30 a.m. was revealed to the Commission in a June 17, 2004 statement by his deputy, Capt. Charles J. Leidig (who was recently promoted to admiral).

Winfield was scheduled to testify before the Kean Commission in public on the same day as Leidig. As on Sept. 11, he was a no-show. Leidig spoke for him, saying under oath that on Sept. 11, "Right after we resolved what was going on with United 93, around that time General Winfield took over" command of the NMCC.

Thus Gen. Winfield did not hold any operational authority until after the attacks were over.  In the further absence of Bush and Rumsfeld, the man in charge of the U.S. military during the attacks was apparently Capt. Leidig, a rookie in the job who, in his own words, first qualified in August 2001 "to stand watch as the Deputy Director for Operations in the NMCC."

Winfield either forgot his own absence or attempted to gloss over it when he was filmed for a 2002 Discovery-Times documentary...

Why would Winfield try to hide an absence for which no one would otherwise think to blame him, since it was arranged the night before? Where was he during the 90 minutes after 8:30 a.m.?

Excellent questions.  Journalists should keep asking them and then ask the next one, and the next, and the next.  The country, including the families who lost loved-ones on 9/11, demand that these questions be answered.  They are the ones who caused the 9-11 Commission to be formed despite resistance from the White House.  Now they are calling the report a cover up.  The mass media needs to publish the information on Capt. Leidig's role, and to start asking the tough questions that lead from there.  

Other obvious questions surround the four or five different war games that the military coincidentally had scheduled for 9/11.  How did the terrorists know to strike on this particular day, when the war games were taking place, when they would have a greater chance of success due to the confusion between whether this was a drill-exercise or something real?  Are all of the bizarre coincidences just that?  How can there be so many of them?  Why did the 9/11 Commission fail to conduct any questioning on the war games going on that day?   Why are Americans always the last ones to know what is going on?  Is it because the major media outlets control how we think and how the debates are framed?


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