This just in

Another article from the “no shit” department:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. fighter jets had virtually no chance to shoot down or intercept four hijacked planes on Sept. 11, 2001, because of confusion and poor communication among “unprepared” officials responsible for America’s air defenses, a special commission said on Thursday.

The confusion was shared by Vice President Dick Cheney, who wrongly believed at one point that the military had downed “a couple” of aircraft under orders he conveyed, the panel said. In a report that included chilling quotes from hijackers commandeering the doomed aircraft, the commission’s staff found a White House order to shoot down hijacked planes did not reach Air Force jets until after the last airliner had crashed.

Although fighter jets were airborne seven minutes after the first plane crashed into the World Trade Center, military officials received insufficient notice of the other hijackings to stop the planes, the staff statement said. The civilian Federal Aviation Administration came under particular attack. “I think (FAA) headquarters blew it,” said panel member Bob Kerrey, a former Democratic senator.

Gen. Ralph Eberhart, commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), said that if the FAA had immediately reported all it knew to the military command, jets could have shot down the planes. The earliest notice the military had of any of the hijackings was nine minutes before a plane crashed.

The report was presented at the final hearing of the 10-member government-established panel investigating the Sept. 11 attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people. In the audience sat grieving relatives of some of victims, several clutching photographs of their loved ones.

The report said NORAD and FAA officials were “unprepared for the type of attacks launched against the United States on Sept. 11, 2001,” and “struggled under difficult circumstances to improvise a homeland defense against an unprecedented challenge.”

It said many front-line military and aviation personnel responded well, despite confusion, inaction and sometimes wildly inaccurate information at higher levels.

Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, doesn’t it? Just though I would share. Have a nice day.

Later.

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