ABC News: New 9/11 Audiotapes Reveal U.S. Military's Information Breakdown
But the tapes' biggest revelation may revolve around United Flight 93, which passengers forced down near Shanksville, Pa.
Tech Sgt. Shelley Watson first received a call about United 93 at 10:07 from the Cleveland Air Traffic Control Center, which claimed that the plane was hijacked and carrying a bomb. By that time, the flight had already been burning on the ground for three minutes. The timing of the call, which is beyond dispute, as the tapes are stamped with time codes, means it was impossible for the military to have had any chance of shooting down United 93.
This new timeline contradicts certain statements given by administration and military officials in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, made both publicly and before the 9/11 Commission.
"I was extremely troubled, and so were the other members of the commission," Thomas Kean., chairman of the 9/11 Commission. "This was one of the most troubling facts in the whole 9/11 investigation — how our military failed to get the information and then, in testifying before us, didn't really give the truth.
"What's strange to me about these statements to the press on the ABC News special [which aired on September 11, 2002] and many other places is, you know, a year later and beyond, you have Cheney, Rove, Andrew Card, and you have military people continuing to talk about the fact that they were watching United 93 — they were deliberating," Bronner said.
"The reality is, even though the military tried its best to get going and tried its best to intercept these plans, they had information late every time and there was no real play on any of the hijacked planes."