View Full Version : Bush OK'd Shootdown of Hijacked Planes

16th Sep 2001, 21:00
Cheney: Bush OK'd shootdown of rogue planes

September 16, 2001 Posted: 11:42 AM EDT (1542 GMT)

Vice President Cheney and President Bush at Camp David on Saturday

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- In the moments after it became apparent that the United States was under attack Tuesday, President Bush authorized the military to shoot down any unauthorized civilian aircraft that might have been heading toward the White House or the Capitol, Vice President Dick Cheney said Sunday.

"We decided to do it," Cheney declared on NBC's "Meet the Press."

The chance never materialized.

An American Airlines flight with 64 people on board slammed into the Pentagon before military jets had a chance to intercept it. And another jet -- United Airlines Flight 93, with 45 on board -- crashed in western Pennsylvania. Authorities believe it may have been headed toward the White House or the Capitol, and it crashed during an apparent struggle between the passengers and hijackers.

None of the four flights that were hijacked and deliberately crashed -- two others slammed into the World Trade Center in New York -- were hit by military fire.

Cheney said the decision to shoot down any civilian military aircraft was the "toughest decision" the administration faced in those early moments, but one it felt was justified.

"The president made the decision. ... I concurred ... that if the plane would not divert, if they wouldn't pay any attention to instructions to move away from the city, as a last resort, our pilots were authorized to take them out," Cheney said.

The vice president acknowledged that it was "a horrendous decision to make" because the plane was full of "civilians captured by terrorists and -- are you going to shoot it down and kill all those Americans on board?"

Airborne Hamster
17th Sep 2001, 07:15
From your post,can't seem to see who's side you're on.I could be very wrong.. (nothing to do with me - English)However,leftwing rhetoric could be a mistake...After All,everyone over here has the Greatest of Respect for All of You over There.

......Good Luck

17th Sep 2001, 07:59
>>From your post,can't seem to see who's side you're on.<<

Duh... Take a look at my location if you're too dense to figure it out.

17th Sep 2001, 08:38
Well I was with Airborne Hamster on not quite being sure what side you were on. Then you pointed out that you were from Redneck, Tenne...... oh sorry, Rockytop, Tennessee, so I guess you were for the shooting down of the hijacked airplanes.

DUH......... silly me???!!!

Should have known from all the gun racks in the back of the pick-ups.

17th Sep 2001, 09:07
Then again, Al Gore is from Tennesse.

17th Sep 2001, 10:00
This would mean serious consequences as to the outcome of future hijackings. Should the flight continue, it could be shot down, or if the flight continued, it could mean death into terrain/building of some kind if that was the course.
The pilots/crew/aircarft would be not have much of an outcome in their favor which would mean a catch 22 situation of immense proportion should they be shot down.
We understand and have seen the consequences of allowing a flight to continue in such a case. I wonder what the best options would be to avoid a catch 22 situation? Grounding flights forever, in order to be safe, would not be in our interests.

Lurk R
17th Sep 2001, 10:17
Would be interesting to see the spin on quasi-hijackings like last years effort at Stansted which was just a mock at getting a planeload of foreigners into the country. If the whole lot was shot down in a fireball, we may never know if they were the real thing or just a tube full of asylum seekers???

17th Sep 2001, 11:03
I must admit there are some questions around here in Belgium. The first thing we heard from the plane that crashed in without hitting anything (Pennsylvania or however you write it) was that it was shot down by the Air Force, of course that was denied again some time later. We can't help but to find that a bit strange.

About the downing of civilian airplanes when there is a hijack and people think, or rather the military, they might be used as a flying bomb, this is sooo dangerous.
Remember the Korean plane that got shot down, or any other civilian one (there was one in the Mediterrean a long time ago)? From now on civilian planes would be free targets (ok that's too strong I know) as whenever the military makes a mistake they could always say it was a hijack. I for one would not like to be the next pilot who gets intercepted when he's off course with a radio failure.
Almost all major airports are near big cities, so of course you would try to land over there, good luck if the local military command is still nerveous and on edge (or maybe a bit over it already).

I agree shooting the planes down before they hit would have been the best thing that could have happened (which of course didn't) but please never give anyone an excuse to shoot down a civilian plane.

Just my humble opinion of course. :)