Editor’s note: For more information on this topic you can watch Barbara Honegger’s presentation on YouTube, listen to her new interview on my radio show, and read a counter-argument by Denver Conference folks including recent interviewee David Chandler. –Kevin Barrett
Eyewitnesses for and Evidence of Explosives at the Pentagon
Barbara Honegger, M.S.
Presentation to the International Hearings on The Events of September 11, 2001
Chapter 13 in The Toronto Hearings Report
This paper presents compelling evidence that the central fact of the Pentagon attack on September 11, 2001, is the same as at the World Trade Center: inside-the-building explosives which no foreign terrorists could have had the access to plant, making the official narrative of what happened on 9/11 impossible. Physical evidence and eyewitness testimony converge to show that internal as well as external explosions went off just after 9:30 a.m., when the official narrative claims Flight 77 was still dozens of miles from Washington and did not approach the building until 9:37:46, and that these primary explosions went off at locations far removed from the official story “plane penetration path” in Wedge One, including in Wedge Two and in the innermost rings well beyond the alleged C Ring “exit” hole.
The FBI knows that explosives are central to the actual 9/11 plot
The FBI’s code names for terrorist investigations known to have been carried out by means of bombs or explosives end in BOM[B] — for example, the acronym for its Oklahoma City bombing investigation is OKBOM.1 It is therefore highly significant that the official FBI code name for the investigation of the September 11 attacks is PENTTBOM, which stands for PentagonTwin Towers Bombing. In this acronym, the abbreviation for Pentagon comes first, followed by that for the Twin Towers, with the notable absence of an abbreviation for Pennsylvania. Robert Mueller, who was FBI director on 9/11, confirmed this to Timemagazine: “The [FBI’s] SIOC [Strategic Intelligence Operations Center] filled to capacity on 9/11 and remained that way through PENTTBOM, the FBI’s cryptonym for ‘Pentagon,’ ‘Twin Towers’ and ‘Bombing’” [emphasis added], reconfirming Newsweek’s report in the immediate wake of the attacks.2 Despite the clear inference that the 9/11 investigation, the largest in the agency’s history,3 was focused on bombs, or explosives, FBI briefers lied to the “Jersey Girls,” whose husbands died in the Twin Towers, when they asked why the investigation was called PENTTBOM. They were told it was because “all the FBI’s investigations [code names] end in BOM.”4 This is provably false; even the acronym for the agency’s investigation of the 9/11-related anthrax attacks is AMERITRAX, not AMERIBOM. The truth is, the entire U.S. government knows why the investigation of the Sept. 11 attacks was called PENTTBOM[B], has from the very beginning, and made a conscious decision to keep the American people, including more than 6,000 victims’ family members, not only in the dark but actively deceived about what really happened to cause the mass murder of nearly 3,000 of their fellow citizens.
Reports of primary explosions throughout the chain of command
As detailed by Professor Graeme MacQueen at these Toronto Hearings, more than 100 firefighters, first responders and other eye- and earwitnesses heard and felt explosions inside the WTC Towers in New York City, including at least two dozen reporting massive basement-level explosions in WTC 1 before the first plane hit more than ninety floors above. Similarly, Pentagon eye- and earwitnesses gave testimonies to Department of Defense historians and to the mainstream media that they experienced massive explosions at the Pentagon — one, April Gallop, more almost eight minutes before Flight 77 is held by the official story to have come anywhere near the building.
Only minutes before the attack on his own building, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, who was in his office in a section of the Pentagon opposite the alleged impact point, “predicted” that there would be “another event” in addition to the two that had then already taken place in New York City,5 and shortly after the attacks told Sam Donaldson of ABC News that his first thought in the wake of the attack was that a bomb had gone off. When Donaldson asked, “What did you think it was?” Rumsfeld replied, “A bomb?”
The 9/11 Commission staff report on its interview with Navy Capt. Charles Joseph “Joe” Leidig, acting deputy director of operations for the Pentagon’s National Military Command Center on 9/11, notes, “He [Leidig] had no awareness of AA77 coming back to Washington. His first awareness was a call from the SECDEF’s [Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld’s] three-star aide who asked if he felt the explosion in the building, and asked Leidig to investigate whether it might be a terrorist attack [emphasis added].”6
Many other military officers and enlisted personnel inside the building also experienced and reported explosions. Lt. Nancy McKeown, who was in the Naval Command Center on the first floor of the second-in D Ring, said, “It sounded like a series of explosions going off… It sounded like a series of bombs exploding, similar to like firecrackers when you light them and you just get a series going off.” This is almost identical language to firefighters’descriptions of preplaced explosives going off in the World Trade Center towers in New York City on 9/11. McKeown yelled “Bomb!” when she heard and felt a major explosion, after which tiles fell from the ceiling.7 Lt. Col. Thurman, who was on the second floor of the same D Ring, said, “To me, it didn’t seem like a plane. To me, it seemed like it was a bomb. Being in the military, I have been around grenade, artillery explosions. It was a two-part explosion to me. It seemed like there was a percussion blast that blew me kind of backwards in my cubicle to the side. And then it seemed as if a massive explosion went off at the same time.” Army Lt. Col. Victor Correa, who was on the second floor in the Army Personnel area just above the alleged impact point, said, “We thought it was some kind of explosion, that somehow someone got in here and planted bombs because we saw these holes.”8 John Yates, a security manager for the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs who was in the same area as Correa just above the alleged impact point, said, “There was no noise. I mean, I did not hear a plane. Just suddenly the room just exploded, and I was blown through the air.”9 Even a local mayor who was at the Pentagon that morning had a similar experience, reported by the Frederick (Maryland) News-Post. Thurmont Mayor Marty Burns “was leaning against an office doorway when an explosion rocked the Pentagon…Pentagon employees assumed it was a bomb… ‘Where’s the next bomb?’ Burns and his Pentagon colleagues wondered. Even outside the building, Burns saw no indication thata plane had caused the damage.”10 Lt. Col. Brian Birdwell, who had just come out of a restroom off Corridor 4 in the vicinity of the B Ring, said, “I heard the sound of a very loud explosion. In my number of years in the artillery community, I hadn’t heard anything that loud. I thought it was a bomb.”11 And standing outside the Navy Annex about three football fields’ distance from the building witness Terry Morin recalled, “I saw the flash and subsequent fireball rise approximately 200 feet above the Pentagon. There was a large explosion noise and the low frequency sound echo that comes with this type of sound. Associated with that was the increase in air pressure, momentarily, like a small gust of wind. For those formerly in the military, it sounded like a 2,000-pound bomb going off…”12 Though this report is from a pilot who had just experienced a large plane fly overhead and to his right along the south side of the Annex, he nevertheless described what the official story alleges to have been an impact, which he could not see, with bomb-related references.
The author conducted an interview with Ft. Monmouth Army financial auditor Michael Nielsen, who was on temporary duty assignment at the Pentagon before and on 9/11. He was in the Army financial management area, soon to be among the most destroyed by the attack, only minutes before the Pentagon explosion on the morning of 9/11. He had just returned to his temporary duty office on the ground floor near the building’s cafeteria when he heard and felt a massive explosion. Immediately afterwards, he said, hundreds of Pentagon personnel ran by him down the corridor and out the exit, yelling “Bombs!,” “A bomb went off!” and “It was a bomb!”
Even Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Hugh Shelton, the highest-ranking military officer in the U.S. chain of command, experienced what had to have been the residue of explosives. On page 434 of his biography Without Hesitation, Gen. Shelton noted that upon his arrival at the Pentagon he was struck by an overpowering smell of cordite, related to gunpowder, a substance used in bombs that has a distinct and very different odor from that of burning jet fuel. “The smell of cordite was overwhelming [emphasis added],” he said. Pentagon worker Don Perkal told MSNBC, “People shouted in the corridor outside [my office] that a bomb had gone off. Even before stepping outside, I could smell the cordite. Then I knew explosives had been set off somewhere.”13 Department of Defense attorney Gilah Goldsmith reported that immediately after hearing “an incredible whomp noise,” she “saw a huge black cloud of smoke” that “smelled like cordite or gunsmoke.”14
Army witness April Gallop, who experienced a massive explosion just as she was about to press the ‘on’ button on her computer in Room 1E517 in Wedge Two off Corridor 5 more than 100 feet north of the official story alleged impact point (see Fig. 1, below) also smelled cordite and thought that it was a bomb. “Being in the Army with the training I had, I know what a bomb sounds and acts like, especially the aftermath,” and it sounded and acted “like a bomb,” Gallop told the author in an under-oath videotaped interview.15 She also restated this in her court filing and in a videotaped interview with former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura for a TruTV episode on the Pentagon attack aired December 17, 2010.16 The force of the explosion or the impact of debris falling on her stopped her wrist watch at or just after 9:30,17almost 8 minutes before the official story says Flight 77 came anywhere near the building. Cordite produces a strong detonation shock wave but is cool burning, which would explain why Gallop could experience a major explosion and yet remain unburned (see Fig. 2, second below).
In sworn videotaped testimony to the author submitted in evidence to these Hearings, Gallop stated that there was no jet fuel and no fire on the floor as she walked out. “I had no jet fuel on me…I didn’t smell any jet fuel…I didn’t see any airplane seats. I didn’t see any plane parts…I didn’t see anything that would give me any idea that there was a plane [in the building],” she said under oath. As the explosion at or near her desk in Wedge Two was many minutes before and many dozens of feet from the alleged impact point in Wedge One, they wouldn’t, however, have been expected. The fires Gallop said she did see were “flames coming out of the computers”on desks in the large Army administrative area in the outer E Ring where she worked. In her original interview with an Army historian soon after the attack, Gallop said that her computer “blew.” This was also experienced by other workers closer to the official alleged impact point further south in Wedge 1. As everything went black witness Tracy Webb, whose office was 2E477 on the second floor of the outer E ring off Corridor 4 effectively above the alleged impact point, also saw her “computer burst into flames.”19
Pentagon wall clocks and April Gallop’s wrist watch were stopped by primary explosions 5 to 8 minutes before the official story says Flight 77 approached the building
Multiple, independently set electric or battery-operated wall clocks in areas of the Pentagon that sustained major damage — including one outside the main building in the heliport fire house off the west wall — were stopped by explosions shortly after 9:30 when the plane the official story claims was Flight 77 was still dozens of miles from the area. The Navy, whose Naval Command Center was also destroyed by an explosion, immediately posted a photo of one of these wall clocks, stopped at 9:31:40 (right clock in Fig. 3, below) on an official DoD website, and the heliport firehouse clock, stopped at 9:32:30, is in the official 9/11 exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History (left clock in Fig. 3, below).20 The photo caption on the Smithsonian website states that “the blast” from the Pentagon attack “knocked the heliport clock from the wall, freezing it at 9:32.”
Clearly, if major violent event(s) caused destruction at the Pentagon shortly after 9:30, the official story that Flight 77 struck the building at 9:37:46 cannot be the whole or even the most important part of what really happened at the nation’s military command center on Sept. 11.
Early press and media reports of the Pentagon attack time were correct
Before the Bush-Cheney administration settled on the official story that the Pentagon was attacked at 9:37:46 — almost 9:38 — mainstream press reports on the time of the attack were accurate:
about 9:30— Reuters,reported 3:57 p.m. on 9/11/01
about 9:30— USA Today, reported 6:11 a.m. on 9/12/01
about 9:30 — New York Times, reported on 9/12/01
shortly after 9:30— U.S. News and World Report, reported on 9/12/01
Preplaced explosives may have triggered the E Ring collapse
Because they contain no definitive evidence of a plane approach prior to the appearance of a fireball, the ‘five frames’ videotapes from the two security cameras outside the west wall are clear evidence only for an explosion either at/in or outside the wall, and there is evidence that the later collapse of a portion of the outside E Ring may have also been due to explosives. The contractor hired to do an “autopsy” on the concrete from the structural support columns in the alleged plane penetration path including those supporting the outside wall, American Petrography Services, found temperatures so high and “concentrated for [such] a long period of time” in the portion of the building which later collapsed that some of the concrete “turned to mush.”21The samples “that came from [the concrete of] columns near the [alleged] crash site” also had “a reddish hue and tints of bright orange…that could be seen with the naked eye” due to the presence of iron. This section of the building experienced “the most extreme conditions” that the president of the company “had ever seen,” and though its analysis proposed that “the red and orange colors came from tiny amounts of iron in the rock that were oxidized in extreme heat,” the iron could rather have been due to intense heat generated by superthermitic reactions at/around the columns similar to those known to have occurred at the WTC, reactions which produce molten iron at temperatures exceeding 4,000 degrees F.This temperature is more than sufficient to cut through the steel reinforcement inside the columns that collapsed approximately 20 minutes after the attack as well as to turn their concrete to “mush,” whereas the far lower temperature of a quickly-burning jet-fuel-initiated office fire of only approximately 500 degreesF.22 is not.
The columns on both sides of the alleged “impact/entrance” hole are bowed outward from an internal explosion, not inward from an external impact
Strong evidence that internal explosion(s) at or near the alleged impact point, rather than a plane or other impactor from the outside, are the cause of the visible damage along the west wall are photographs showing that the outside columns on both the right and left of the official story alleged impact point are bowed out, not in, as can be seen in Figure 4 below.
The remains of the outer wall columns to the left/north of the alleged impact point were also bowed out and not in, as seen in Fig. 5 below, again consistent with outward pressure from an internal explosion.
Shaped charge explosives created the alleged C Ring “exit” hole
After studying photos of the alleged “exit” hole of a plane in the inner wall of the C Ring, such as in Fig. 7 below, shaped charge explosives expert Michael Meyer concluded that the near-perfectly-round, clean-edged hole not only could not have been made by a plane, plane parts or a quasi-liquid slurry of plane parts, office debris and jet fuel (the official claim in the Pentagon Building Performance Report) but has the exact signature of having been caused by shaped charge explosives. “It is physically impossible for the C Ring wall to have failed in a neat, clean circle like that [due to kinetic impact from a plane, plane parts or slurry; emphasis added],” Meyer emphatically stated.
As for claims that any part of the debris seen in photos of the C Ring opening was from a plane, Terry Mitchell of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Audio/Visual Division, who was given early access to the A-E Drive between the C and B Rings into which the hole opens, showed a photo like the above to the media at the Pentagon’s September 15 news briefing and clearly explained: “This is a hole in [the C Ring] – there was a punch out. They suspect that this was where a part of the aircraft came through this hole, although I didn’t see any evidence of the aircraft down there…This pile [of debris outside the hole] here is all Pentagon [not plane] metal. None of that is [from the]aircraft whatsoever. As you can see, they’ve punched a hole in here. This was punched by the rescue workers to clean it out.” [emphases added] Reporters asked, “We’re trying to figure out how it [even] came [got] into the building” and how far it penetrated,23 which Mitchell evaded answering. The circle with a crossed “V” spray-painted on both sides of the opening after it was made is, in fact, the international triage marking symbol for “confirmed dead Victims removed.”24 The fact that the data file from the Flight Data Recorder (FDR) was downloaded four hours before the official story says the FDR itself was allegedly found just inside this C Ring hole25 and that the only data fields that could have definitively identified the black box as having come from the plane that flew as Flight 77 on 9/11 (or not) were intentionally “zeroed out”26 proves that this most important piece of “wreckage” was manipulated and then planted to make it appear that part of a plane had penetrated to the C Ring. This was almost certainly done by the agency in charge of all the evidence at the Pentagon, the FBI – the same FBI which code named its Sept. 11th investigation PENTTBOM[B].
Some researchers have suggested that the C Ring “exit” hole could have been created by a quasi-liquid “slurry” of unburned jet fuel, wreckage and office debris moving through the alleged “plane penetration path,” but this is physically impossible. In addition to former NASA Dryden Research Division Director of Research Engineering Dwain Deets having shown that all possible paths between the alleged E Ring “impact” point and alleged C Ring “exit” hole had many steel-reinforced columns still standing after the attack, such a “slurry” would had to have re-constituted and re-focused itself after being progressively shredded and dispersed from impacting multiple intervening columns, finally forming itself into a perfectly-focused cone of energy capable of exploding a near-perfectly-round hole in the inner C Ring wall. As shown by Fig. 8 from the Purdue University simulation study below, the entire plane would have been shredded after penetrating only half way into the first E Ring — two and a half Rings before the alleged C Ring “exit” hole.
The Pentagon itself initially said there were three “exit” holes, not one
The Pentagon originally claimed that there were three, not just one, “exit holes” on the inside of the C Ring. This is shown by Fig. 9, below, a graphic based on information from Pentagon sources published in the Washington Post shortly after the attacks.
Although the left/south and middle openings were not artificially created like the one on the right which the official story later claimed to be the sole“exit” hole made by parts of or a slurry from a plane — they are a roll-up door and a door — the point is not that only one of the three is a new artificial wall breach, but that the Pentagon itself initially referred to all three as “exitholes,” clearly putting them all the same category as personnel exit/entry locations, as was explicitly stated by DoD’s own spokesman Terry Mitchell at the Sept. 15th press briefing. And because it is impossible for any impactor – whether a plane, a drone or a missile – to be the cause of three exit holes that are not in alignment, this is compelling evidence that, at the time the Pentagon gave this information to the Washington Postbased on which it created the graphic in Fig. 9 showing three C Ring “exit holes”, the official story that a plane was the cause of the northernmost “exit” hole had not yet been consolidated.
Fire and Destruction in the Innermost A and B Rings Far Beyond the C Ring “Exit” Hole
Compelling evidence against the official story that a plane caused the internal damage at the Pentagon is that there was fire and destruction in the innermost B and A Rings — one and two rings further in towards the center courtyard than the alleged C Ring “exit” hole that was allegedly the furthest penetration point of any part of a plane.
The author interviewed the then Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations on 9/11, Robert Andrews, a former Green Beret and the top civilian official then in charge of special operations under Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. In this position, Andrews oversaw the Special Operations Command, one of whose operations was the Al Qaeda-tracking-and-data-mining “Able Danger” group which identified three of the four alleged 9/11 hijacker cells more than a year before the attacks and was ordered shut down shortly after Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld took office. Andrews related the following: Immediately after the second WTC attack of 9:03, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld left his office on the Potomac side of the Pentagon and went across the hall to his Executive Support Center (ESC)27 which was set up for teleconferencing. The first Department of Defense statement released just before 10:00 a.m. EDT on 9/11 stated that Rumsfeld was “directing the response” from his “command center in the Pentagon,”28 which was the ESC. From the ESC, Rumsfeld then joined the secure video teleconference of top government officials convened by National Security Council counter-terrorism ‘czar’ Richard Clarke out of the White House Situation Room media room. Clarke, in his book Against All Enemies, confirmed that Rumsfeld was among the first officials to come on to this teleconference. Clarke’s account and Robert Andrews’ confirmation of it are thus completely at odds with the official story and the 9/11 Commission Report, which claim that no one could “locate” Rumsfeld until approximately 10:30 a.m. when he suddenly appeared at the National Military Command Center. Also, the fact that Rumsfeld, the military’s top civilian official, was on the White House teleconference with the top official of the Federal Aviation Administration, FAA Director Jane Garvey, also puts the lie to the claim that NORAD fighters weren’t scrambled in time to intercept the second/WTC2, third/Pentagon and fourth/ Pennsylvania planes because the military and FAA had difficulty communicating thetop-most officials of the Pentagon and the FAA were talking to each another near continuously for hours while Rumsfeld was in the ESC as well as being videotaped on Clarke’s teleconference, a tape which the Bush-Cheney administration refused to make public and which was withheld even from the 9/11 Commission. This videotape is thus “The Butterfield Tape” of Sept. 11th and must be declassified and released to a new independent investigation. (During the Watergate scandal, a secretly-made tape of President Nixon’s Oval Office conversations revealed by Alexander Butterfield became the “Smoking Gun” which forced Nixon to resign rather than face impeachment in the House and trial by the Senate.)
According to Andrews, immediately after the second WTC tower was struck at 9:03, he and an aide left his office and ran down to Rumsfeld’s west section Counterterrorism Center (CTC). While they were in the CTC, a sudden violent event caused the ceiling tiles to fall and smoke to pour into the room. Andrews immediately looked at his watch, which read c. 9:35 but which was set fast to ensure timely arrival at meetings, so the actual time was closer to 9:32. He and the aide then immediately left the CTC to join Secretary Rumsfeld in his Executive Support Center across the hall from his main office. En route to the ESC, Andrews said that when he and his aide entered the corridor on the innermost A ring of the west section, “we had to walk over dead bodies” to get to the central courtyard. This is in the A Ring, two rings further in towards the center from the alleged “exit” hole in the third-in C Ring which the official story says should have been the furthest point of any major damage and deaths as it was claimed to be the furthest that any part of a plane or damage from a plane penetrated.
Once in the Pentagon’s inner courtyard, Andrews and his aide ran to Rumsfeld’s Executive Support Center, where he joined the Secretary as his special operations/counterterrorism adviser during Clarke’s White House video teleconference. When they arrived, Andrews said, Rumsfeld was already on the teleconference,29 and while there, Andrews said Rumsfeld spoke with President Bush. Whether this was via Clarke’s teleconference or by phone or other means was not clarified. The fact that Rumsfeld personally spoke with Bush while he was in his Pentagon ESC was published on an official DoD website, of the Naval Postgraduate School. The author’s sworn affidavit as to the content of the interview with Robert Andrews has been provided to the panelists and organizers of these Hearings.
In addition to the deaths, and by inference violent events that caused them, encountered by Andrews and his aide on the inside of the innermost fifth-in A Ring, there also was massive damage and fire on the inside of the fourth-in B Ring. This, again, is one ring further in towards the center courtyard from the official story alleged plane “exit” hole on the inside of the third-in C Ring. The day after 9/11, the Washington Post reported that “the attack destroyed at least four of the five ‘rings’ that spiral around the massive office building… A 38-year-old Marine major… said he and dozens of his colleagues rushed to the area in the Pentagon that appeared most heavily damaged — the B Ring between the 4thand 5thcorridors [emphases added].” The major said that the B Ring area “was decimated” and “that heat and fire, it could eat you alive in three seconds.” In his interview with the Army’s Center of Military History, Lt. Col. Victor Correa, who was in Room 2C450 in the middle C Ring at the time of the attack, said he saw “thewindows in the B Ring go out and [then] come in — like the pressure, the blast made the windows go out [emphases added],”30again consistent with a massive internal explosion inside even the B Ring. Also, members of the Pentagon Rescue Team told the Washington Post that “When we got into the building we started to feel the heat right away, and as we walked deeper down the hallways [further towards the center], it got hotter and hotter. It was just fire everywhere. Not so much smoke, but just fire all around us. You couldn’t see the plane, just debris everywhere you looked.”31
It is physically impossible for any impactor, whether a plane or otherwise, that allegedly penetrated only to the middle C Ring as the official story holds, to cause massive damage, fire and deaths in the two rings further in. More importantly, no foreign terrorist — Al Qaeda or otherwise – but only insiders could have had the access to plant explosives anywhere inside the Pentagon, arguably the most security and highly controlled building on the planet, regardless of the ring. That is, the Pentagon attack was not a ‘terrorist’ attack.
Evidence that some of the inside explosives were targeted
Once it is realized that the real story at the Pentagon – as at WTC 1, 2 and 7 in New York City – is preplaced inside explosives, the possibility that specific offices or functions were targeted not only becomes possible, it in fact becomes likely. No foreign terrorist would have chosen the hardest-to-hit place on the Pentagon — just above the ground on the only wedge that had just been hardened, that was the least populated, and that presented the greatest obstacle course including a hill, highway signs, light poles, a tall antenna, a chain-link fence and six-foot-high spools – as a target. Outside terrorists would have chosen the surest, simplest, fastest dive straight into the roof over the “highest value” targets – the offices of the Secretary of Defense and top-ranking military officers on the opposite side of the building. It therefore had to have been, rather, the perceived necessity by insiders of taking out one or more functions located on the first floor of the Pentagon’s west side that was the real reason for both the explosives being placed in those areas and the need to create the appearance of a plane impact on such a “mission impossible” target to appear to account for the damage.
The two Pentagon areas with by far the most physical destruction and fatalities were the Army administrative area on the first floor of the outer E Ring, and the Naval Command Center on the first floor of the second-in D Ring, and there is evidence that both areas were, indeed, targeted by inside explosives. Pentagon sources even said so to the Washington Post immediately after the attacks.
The Naval Command Center
Shortly after the attacks, the Washington Post published the below graphic entitled “The Targeted Ones” sourced to the “U.S. Navy, Navy personnel and Department of Defense” showing the Naval Command Center (NCC) as an internal target of the Pentagon attack,32 all of whose offices were well beyond the furthest point into the E Ring to which the Pentagon Building Performance Reports aid the plane’s fuselage penetrated. The NCC’s functional divisions are detailed in the office layout blow-up at the top of the below Figure 11, in which the “intel cell” – the Naval Intelligence cell — in the right corner is designated by ‘8’ in the legend: The Targeted Ones.
The Targeted Ones
The Naval Command Center was the second-most-destroyed area of the Pentagon on 9/11, after the Army personnel and administrative area, which is addressed below. NCC personnel had recently moved into their new offices on the first floor of the outer E and next-in D Rings. The NCC was the only military service command center in the targeted west wedge; the other service command centers, for the Air Force and Army, as well as the National Military Command Center and offices of the Secretary of Defense and Joint Chiefs of Staff were all in untargeted wedges.
Significantly, in the report on its investigation of the damage to the building — the Pentagon Building Performance Report — the American Society of Civil Engineers states that the sole upward-thrust section of the second-floor floor slab in the alleged “plane penetration path” was likely due by an “independent” explosion, not impact and fire, as the official story claims that an impactor penetrated essentially level and fire would have at the most, the report said, collapsed the floor downwards: “The explosion, suggested by the raised [second-] floor section, might represent an independent explosion [emphasis added].” This second-floor concrete slab that was thrust upwards by a major force is, not surprisingly, above the first-floor Naval Command Center that experienced a massive and reportedly targeted explosion. In Fig. 12 below, compare the location of the Naval Command Center in the above graphic with the location of the orange rectangular area that represents this upward-thrust second-floor slab near the center of the alleged plane penetration path (gray area).
The official story codified in the 9/11 Commission Report and repeated by most of the mainstream media holds that all but one of the military personnel present in the Naval Command Center on the morning of Sept. 11 died in the attack and that alleged sole survivor was Navy Lt. Kevin Shaeffer.33 One possibility as to why it was targeted is what Shaeffer told the quarterly magazine CHIPS: “The Navy Command [Center] would have been able to prove what hit the World Trade Center [and almost certainly also what was about to hit — or not — the Pentagon itself] if we had not been hit” by the explosion.34 Notably, had it not been targeted, the NCC also could have ordered Navy fighters to intercept errant planes that it determined NORAD was not responding to in a timely manner, which on 9/11 was all of them.
That something extremely important and apparently highly threatening to Bush-Cheney administration higher-ups was being pursued by the Naval Command Center’s intel cell is underscored by yet another cover-up — of the real number of NSC personnel killed there on Sept. 11th. The official story holds that 42 of 43 military personnel who were in the Pentagon’s Naval Command Center on Sept. 11 died,38with Lt. Kevin Shaeffer being the sole survivor. But the author was told something very different by the military officer who had been in command of the Navy Anti-Terrorism Division in the NCC on 9/11, Coast Guard Reserve Rear Adm. Jeffrey Hathaway.39 After the USS Cole was attacked in Aden Harbor, Yemen, on Oct. 12, 2000, Hathaway was put in charge of Navy counterterrorism force protection, for which he had been assigned to the NCC before Sept. 11. Admiral Hathaway told the author that Shaeffer was not the only survivor, but that “the majority of the 18- to 19-person intelligence cell who were in a hardened room inside the Naval Command Center also survived” [emphases added] the explosion. Whether the minority of the “18 to 19” who were killed included the seven members of the super-secret Chief of Naval Operations-Intelligence Plot (CNO-IP) is unclear. Regardless, what is clear is that there was a decision by the highest levels of the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld administration to hide the fact that there were more far more survivors of the attack on the Naval Command Center than just Lt. Shaeffer, who they were, and what they knew and what they were doing that caused them, their computers and their files to be targeted.
The Army Financial Audit Area
The Army’s administrative, personnel and financial management/audit offices were the most heavily damaged areas with the greatest number of casualties at the Pentagon on Sept. 11th. Nearly three dozen of the 125 Pentagon victims were auditors, accountants and budget analysts, all or almost all of whom worked in the Army area. The day before 9/11, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld had publicly announced that the Pentagon was “missing” — that it allegedly could not account for — $2.3 Trillion dollars.35Some reports gave the amount as $2.6 Trillion. To put this number into perspective, after more than a decade the total cost of both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars was, according to some reports, approximately this same amount. The question naturally arises, were the auditors in the Army area who were trying to “follow the money” – and the computers that were helping them to do it — intentionally targeted by the inside explosives at the Pentagon on September 11th? The author was the first to suggest this possible nexus, in The Pentagon Attack Papers published in The Terror Conspiracy by Jim Marrs.36 Recall also that the fires seen by April Gallop, who told a conference audience that her office was not far from the Army auditors’, were those coming out of computers. Michael Nielsen, an Army financial auditor interviewed by the author, said that the auditors’ computers could indeed have been targeted and that their records were, in any case, destroyed in the Pentagon attack on Sept. 11th.
Similar to the heavily damaged Army financial management/audit area, there is also reason to suspect that the Naval Command Center’s intelligence cell was targeted because it was looking into what could have become grounds for a financial scandal with potential major geopolitical implications. A recent analysis claims that the NCC intel cell was investigating $240 Billion in secret securities that had been illegally used to sabotage the Soviet Union’s economy during the Cold War, that these securities were to become redeemable the day after the attacks, and that some of the financial entities involved in the securities had their offices and kept the records related to this highly sensitive covert operation in the World Trade Center.37 Given this context, it may prove important that Phillip Zelikow – a former member of President George H.W. Bush’s National Security Council, a close colleague of and co-author with President George W. Bush’s NSC Director Condolezza Rice, an expert in the creation and maintenance of “Myths of State” – such as the Official Story of 9/11 — and the Executive Director of the 9/11 Commission which codified the “New Pearl Harbor” State Myth – headed the Harvard study that used the CIA’s own documents to “exonerate” the agency of charges that its Bush Sr./Team B faction had politicized and fixed “intelligence” on the Soviet Union around covert Cold War policy decisions. As one of the most secret policy decisions if this nexus were true would have been the use of billions of dollars to sabotage the Soviet Union, Zelikow and George Bush Sr. would have shared a special interest in seeing that documents on this most sensitive of covert operations reportedly held and being scrutinized by the Naval Command Center intel cell were destroyed. Zelikow also defended the “Myth of State” that the original Pearl Harbor was a surprise attack in an Amazon review of Robert Stinnett’s ground-breaking book Day of Deceit, in which Stinnett exposed President Roosevelt’s provocation of Japan and setting up of Navy ships at Pearl Harbor as “sitting ducks” to ensure a “successful” attack.
In addition to the potential strategic and financial motives, there is yet another reason that the Naval Command Center’s intelligence cell and adjacent damaged Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) offices may have been internally targeted: their likely participation in Able Danger, the pre-9/11 Special Operations Command data mining and analysis team that had identified two of the three “Al Qaeda” cells and four of the lead hijackers allegedly responsible for the 9/11 attacks including ‘ringleader’ Mohammed Atta, and which Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld ordered shut down in late January 2001 immediately after taking command of the Pentagon, apparently not wanting the future hijackers to be tracked.
Naval Command Center survivor Lt. Kevin Shaeffer’s testimony is also strong evidence that the NCC explosion was a primary event, unrelated to any possible plane impact. He insisted that the massive orange fireball that destroyed the Center, which Lt. Cmdr. Tarantino described as “a bombed out office space [emphasis added],”40happened “at precisely 9:43.” As the official story claims that a plane didn’t impact until 9:37:46, over five minutes later, and that whatever allegedly penetrated to the C Ring did so in less than one second, or by 9:37:47, even if the official story were true Flight 77 could not have been the source of the Naval Command Center explosion and destruction. As the first Pentagon explosion was by April Gallop’s desk in the E Ring in Wedge Two at 9:30 and another outside by the heliport firehouse at 9:32:30 stopping the heliport clock at that time, the NCC explosion at 9:43 makes was at least the third huge explosion heard and felt by renovation team member Terry Cohen, which she said was “about 15 minutes later.”41 And yet still another primary explosion, which occurred at c. 10:10 and was almost certainly the result of detonation of shaped charge explosives to bring down the section of the outer wall over the alleged plane impact point, was reported live by local television.42
The Pentagon attack is centralto the 9/11 plot
Though the attacks on the World Trade Center towers in New York City were more spectacular, it is the attack on the Pentagon, the nation’s most iconic military facility, that most fully turned the Sept. 11 attacks into the “New Pearl Harbor” called for by the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) one year earlier. It was the Pentagon attack that ensured that the Bush-Cheney administration could use the combined attacks as a pretext for being “at war”; for establishing the first-ever U.S. mainland combatant command, NORTHCOM; for rolling out its entire global domination agenda; and for creating and consolidating a domestic surveillance state. Alone, the attacks on the World Trade Center could have been credibly argued to be “a bigger World Trade Center ‘93” or “a bigger Oklahoma City,” both of which had been successfully addressed by the civilian courts. The Pentagon attack is thus the core of the real 9/11 plot without which George W. Bush could not have become the “war president” he said he wanted to be before even running for the office; without which the military pretext for “preemptive” wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and beyond would not have existed; without which Vice President Cheney could not have realized his long-sought goal of concentrating power in a “unitary executive” with near-absolute authority of a monarch over defense and foreign policy;43 and without which Bush could not have credibly invoked his Article II commander-in-chief military powers to justify every violation of the Constitution and U.S. and international law in the wake of the attacks.
Because the “New Pearl Harbor” – the Pentagon – had to be “successfully” attacked, such a critical pretext for endless war could not be left to foreign terrorists. It had to be planned and, most importantly, controlled and executed by the very insider cabal who then used it as a pretext to roll out their entire global domination and domestic surveillance agenda. Foreign terrorists could never have come up with a plot line so perfectly resonant with the original Pearl Harbor deep within the American psyche: an expertly scripted kamikaze attack by suicide pilots using planes as weapons, only this time to attack buildings instead of ships. At most, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Ramzi bin Alshibh and the other “9/11 Five” awaiting “trial” in Guantanamo planned a 9/11-like attack, but they are not the real terrorists. The real terrorists are insiders who are still at large and must be brought to justice through a new, truly independent 9/11 investigation.
The findings on explosives contained in this paper are necessary but not sufficient to explain the key events at the Pentagon on Sept. 11th. For these Hearings, a request was made by the organizers and honored to focus only on that aspect of the attack. For the author’s broader analysis rebutting official story claims about Flight 77 and the role of other planes observed at and near the Pentagon on 9/11, see
About the Author
The author served in the U.S. federal government in a number of positions, including White House Policy Analyst and Special Assistant to the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy, and for more than a decade was the Senior Military Affairs Journalist at the Naval Postgraduate School, the premiere science, technology and national security affairs graduate research university of the Department of Defense (2000-2011). She is the author of October Surprise, the pioneering book exposing the deep story behind the Iran side of the Iran-Contra affair (Tudor, 1989); is one of the first 50 current and former government, military and intelligence officials to publicly call for a new independent investigation of 9/11 at www.patriotsquestion911.com;and is one of the 20 original charter members of the international organization Political Leaders for 9/11 Truth.
1 “The official [FBI] investigation, known as ‘OKBOMB’…”, Wikipedia, Oklahoma City Bombing entry, paragraph 3, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OKBomb.
2 “The Terrorist Hunter,” Timemagazine, May 9, 2011, p. 27; and “Bush: ‘We’re at War’”, Newsweek, Sept. 24, 2001, http://www.ratical.org/ratville/JFK/JohnJudge/linkscopy/GWBwereAtWar.html.
3 “9/11 Investigation: PENTTBOM,” FBI website, http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/history/famous-cases/9-11-investigation.
4 Communication with the author by Monica Gabrielle. In her videotaped testimony to the Toronto Hearings, another Jersey Girl, Lori van Auken, mentioned that other FBI briefers told the Jersey Girls that the agency’s code name for the 9/11 investigation ends in BOM[B] because the plot included planes being used as bombs.
5 “Pentagon Attack Came Minutes After Rumsfeld Predicted ‘There Will Be Another Event,’” by Robert Burns, Associated Press, Sept. 11, 2001, 5:58 p.m. EDT.
6 9/11 Commission staff report on Team 8 interview with Navy Capt. Charles Joseph Leidig, http://cryptome.org/nara/dod/dod-04-0429.pdf.
7 Pentagon 9/11, Alfred Goldberg et al., Washington, D.C., Office of the Secretary of Defense, 2007, p. 31.
8 Army Lt. Col. Victor Correa entry, compilation of witness accounts by Eric Bart, http://web.archive.org/web/20040501101751/http://eric-bart.net/iwpb/witness.html.
9 “9/11 Pentagon Victims Recall Their Journey of Survival,” by Christie Vanover, INCOM,Fort Riley Post, Sept. 5, 2002, http://www.army.mil/article/27202.
10 Frederick (Md.) News-Post, Sept. 7, 2011.
11 Lt. Col. Brian Birdwell interview excerpt in Then Came the Fire: Personal Accounts from the Pentagon — 11 September 2001, by Stephen J. Lofgren, General Editor, Center of Military History, United States Army, Washington, D.C., Sept. 2011, pp. 72-73,
12 Terry Morin quote, “9/11 and the Pentagon Attack: What Eyewitnesses Described,” No. 640, Arabesque, April 2 2007, http://arabesque911.blogspot.com/2007/04/911-and-pentagon-attack-what.html.
13 “The Works of Humankind: A Dispatch by Don Perkal,” http://www.mcsweeneys.net/2001/09/19perkal.html; and http://911research.wtc7.net/pentagon/evidence/witnesses/explosive.html.
14 Gilah Goldsmith quote, compilation of witness accounts by Eric Bart, http://web.archive.org/web/20040501101751/http://eric-bart.net/iwpb/witness.html.
15 Two-hour videotaped under-oath testimony interview of April Gallop by the author, Irvine, Calif., March 2007, submitted in evidence to these Toronto Hearings, to Prof. Graeme MacQueen. This testimony formed a basis for a lawsuit Gallop brought against Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, then Acting Chmn. of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Richard Myers, and Vice President Dick Cheney. See also video of keynote Gallop’s keynote address to Freedom Law Center conference, March 2007, Irvine, Ca, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5U5hOyZlrcY&feature=gv.
16 TruTV, “Conspiracy Theory” episode on the Pentagon attack with Jesse Ventura, aired Dec. 17, 2010, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrZ14NRbT-s.
17 In the Qs and As following her keynote address to the Freedom Law Center conference (see Note 15), April Gallop states, “I know my watch stopped at 9:30. The watch that I had on stopped at 9:30,” at 30:31-3-:13 min. in http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5U5hOyZlrcY&feature=gv.
18 “Witness D.C. 9/11,” National Geographiccompilation of 9/11 video footage, still photo of April Gallop at 21:13 min., http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIfwsjF8X5U.
19 September 11: An Oral History, by Dean E. Murphy, New York, Doubleday, 2002, p. 212.
20 The photo on the right of a Navy/Marine Corps wall clock stopped at 9:31:40 was posted on an official Navy web site http://www.news.navy.mil/view_single.asp?id=2480Pentagonclock_BBC.The electric Skillcraft wall clock on the left stopped at 9:32:30 is from the Pentagon helipad firehouse outside the west wall and is in the official 9/11 exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History, http://americanhistory.si.edu/september11/collection/record.asp?ID=19. Heliport firefighters Alan Wallace and Mark Skipper raced out of the way of an incoming white plane with two horizontal stripes on its fuselage that exploded into a fireball at or near the heliport, stopping the heliport clock at 9:32:30. This plane is the source of what one witness called “millions” of pieces of small confetti-like wreckage in the vicinity of the helipad 100 feet and more north of the official story alleged impact point, and cannot be Flight 77, as the fuselage of of American Airlines planes are a silvery polished aluminum, not white.
21 “’Concrete Autopsy’ Helps Strengthen Pentagon,” by Kerry Hall, National Geographic Today, July 9, 2002, http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2002/07/0709_020708_TVpentagon.html.
22 “It is impossible that jet fuel [fires] raised the temperature of this floor more than 495 degrees F.,” “Jet Fuel: How Hot Did It Heat the World Trade Center?” http://911research.wtc7.net/mirrors/guardian2/wtc/how-hot.htm.
23 Department of Defense News Briefing, Sept. 15, 2001, segment with Terry Mitchell of ASDPA audio visual, defenselink.mil/news/Sep2001/t09152001_t915evey.html; reported with commentary in Pentagateby Thierry Meyssan, Carnot Publishing, p. 18.
24 Jacqueline Augustino, FEMA photos,http://www.photolibrary.fema.gov/photolibrary/photo_details.do?id=4958.
25 “Pentagon 9/11 Flight ‘Black Box’ Data File Created Before Actual ‘Black Box’ was Recovered,”
26 “Flight Data Expert [Dennis Cimino] Confirmation: No Evidence Linking FDR Data to American 77,” Pilots for 9/11 Truth, http://pilotsfor911truth.org/Dennis-Cimino-AA77-FDR.html. See also the presentation by Cimino at the Vancouver 9/11 Hearings, 2012, video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmGi5YeQ_Bw.
27 Author’s interview of Sept. 4, 2004 with former Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict Robert Andrews, and article based on this interview published on the website of the Naval Postgraduate School (no longer online), “Special Operations Policy Expert and Veteran Robert Andrews Gives Distinguished Guest Lectures at NPS.” See also author’s California Jurat with Affiant Statement signed by Barbara Honegger and Notary Public Kelly Harlow of Monterey, Calif., May 25, 2011, which has been provided to the Toronto Hearing Panelists and organizers.
28 Transcript of the first Pentagon press briefing of Sept. 11, 2001, c. 10:00 a.m., subsequently removed from the Department of Defense website. In 9/11: The Big Lie, p. 13 footnote 1, Thierry Meyssan notes that as of 2002, it could be accessed via the Yale University website at http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/sept_11/dod_brief03.htm.
29 Firefight: Inside the Battle to Save the Pentagon on 9/11, by Patrick Creed and Rick Newman, Presidio Press, pp. 276–277, 2008, also reported that Rumsfeld went to a conference room in the Executive Support Center where he joined a secure video teleconference with Vice President Dick Cheneyand other officials.
30 Lt. Col. Victor Correa interview excerpt in Then Came the Fire: Personal Accounts from the Pentagon — 11 September 2001, by Stephen J. Lofgren, General Editor, Center of Military History, United States Army, Washington, D.C., Sept. 2011, p. 64,
31 WashingtonPost.com, Sept. 11, 2001..
32 “The Targeted Ones”, The Washington Post, from U.S. Navy, Navy personnel and Depot. Defense sources, http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_j1WCY4T_2yI/SSJjfSvi0LI/AAAAAAAAEzI/OS7hJJYawTY/s1600-h/PENTAG~1.GIF. There is precedent for the government targeting its own intelligence personnel in a terrorist attack. Following the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, Pan American Airlines sued the U.S. government claiming federal authorities knew intelligence officers were on board, had prior knowledge of the impending attack, and had not attempted to prevent it, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan_Am_Flight_103.
33 “Survivor of Pentagon Attack Has Positive Attitude,” by Sarah Zablotsky, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 11, 2006, http://www.post-gazette.com/neigh_south/20030611s19kevin0611p6.asp.
34 CHIPS magazine, Spring/June 2003 issue.
35 “Vince Gonzales Investigates the Pentagon: Unaccounted For Funds,” CBS News, Sept. 10, 2001; Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, “DOD Acquisition and Logistics Excellence Week Kickoff: Bureaucracy to Battlefield,“ Department of Defense, Sept. 10, 2001, http://www.defenselink.mil/speeches/speech.aspx?speechid=430.
36 “The Pentagon Attack Papers,” by Barbara Honegger, appendix to The Terror Conspiracy(first ed.) and The Terror Conspiracy Revisited (second ed.),by Jim Marrs; more recent online edition at http://www.truthjihad.com/PentagonAttackPapers.htmand www.sd911truth.org.
37 E.P. Heidner, “Collateral Damage: U.S. Covert Operations and the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001,” http://www.scribd.com/doc/9442970/Collateral-Damage-US-Covert-Operations-and-the-Terrorist-Attacks-on-September-11-200128062008or http://www.wanttoknow.info/911/Collateral-Damage-911-black_eagle_fund_trust.pdf.
38 “The Last Watch,” by Richard Leiby, Washington Post, Jan. 20, 2002.
39 Rear Admiral Jeffrey Hathaway bio information, History Commons, http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=complete_911_timeline_3229#complete_911_timeline_3229.
41 Interview with Pentagon renovation construction worker Terry Cohen, NBC Channel 4 News, Sept. 11, 2001, http://letsrollforums.com/miltary-testimony-huge-explosion-t19067.html,scroll to third video screen.
42 “Local Washington DC Affiliate Captures 2nd Powerful Pentagon Explosion on 9/11,” video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ykfKS8Rbls. The anchor asks the reporter on site at the Pentagon if she saw anything overhead that could have been the cause of the second explosion, and she answers no, making it clear that it was an internal explosion.
43 Cheney made this reference that the presidency should be imperial and have the powers of a monarchy in the dissenting minority report he commissioned as ranking House Republican on the Congressional Joint House-Senate Iran-Contra Committee that was published along with the majority report. It referred to his Nixonian opinion that the Reagan-Bush Sr. Administration’s sending of arms to the Nicaraguan Contras in direct violation of federal law, the Boland Amendment, should not be considered illegal because the President had authorized it and because the president has the final word in everything relating to foreign policy.When asked by a reporter in 2005 to explain his expansive views about presidential power, Cheney replied, “… go look at the minority views that were filed with the Iran-contra committee.”