Thursday, November 06, 2008

Chronology of Chaos.

I thought it would be a simple matter to meld together a timeline I'd recently unearthed online called "War on Terrorism," with another one that covered overlapping ground, which was pulled together in August 2002 on the industry website, Broadcast & Cable, in an article called, Three hours that shook America: A chronology of chaos.

I was under the impression that the list I'd found at an Irish web source was the compendium of the Associated Press "Breaking News" wire from September 11, 2001, relevant to terrorism. The chronology of chaos timeline promised to be "a compelling illustration of how news organizations struggled to separate fact from fiction on the morning of Sept. 11."

By that, the author Mark K. Miller, meant to take the significant work of seven broadcast news organizations, over the period from 8:45am to 11:33am on September 11th, 2001, and present it in a running timeline format. He lists the seven as,

"CNN; New York's WABC-TV, WCBS-TV and WNBC(TV); and Fox's WTTG(TV) Washington and WTOP(AM)/-FM Washington."

Mr. Miller wasn't very good at punctuating his list of only six names---so I couldn't tell if a typo was at fault. But then I noticed a seventh news organization was appearing occasionally in the timeline anyway---AP, for the Associated Press, which last I heard, wasn't a broadcaster---it was a news gatherer and sourcer.

So with two strikes against him already, I wasn't happy when I confronted the nature of the eight individual AP items I found on his list. I had no way of knowing for sure if the items on the Irish list represented a complete listing of the news reports that AP issued on 9/11. But when I melded Mr. Miller's AP items with similar ones, I came up with something that looked like this:

9:14am - Plane crashes may have been on purpose "There are reports that the FBI may be investigating the possibility that the two plane crashes may have happened on purpose."
9:15 AP: 'The FBI is investigating reports that the two crashes are the result of foul play.'

9:43 AP: 'An aircraft has crashed into the Pentagon, witnesses say. The West Wing of the White House is being evacuated amid terrorist threats.'

9:47am - Reports of helicopter crashing into Pentagon

9:49 AP: 'The Federal Aviation Administration has shut down all aircraft takeoffs nationwide.'

10:00 AP: 'An explosion hits another building near the WTC.'
10:02am - Part of second tower collapses

10:23 AP: 'A car bomb explodes outside the State Department, senior law-enforcement officials say.'
10:35am - Car bomb explodes at State Department
"There are reports of a car bombing at the State Department."

10:37 AP: 'A large plane crashes in western Pennsylvania, officials at Somerset County airport confirm.'
10:38am - 747 down in Pennsylvania "There are unconfirmed reports that a 747 has come down in Pennsylvania."

11:15 AP: 'Mayor Giuliani says, 'I have a sense it's a horrendous number of lives lost.''
11:15am - Witnesses tell of horror at New York carnage

11:23 AP: 'American Airlines says it 'lost' two aircraft carrying 156 people.'
11:24am - Aircraft can carry up to 300

It is unlikely for alternate versions to exist of the same AP banners and reports, like the pairings at 9:14/9:15am, and at 10:23/10:25am, which are essentially semantic. Other near matches, like the pairings at 11:15am and 11:22/11:23am, are spooky by their being so close, yet so very far away. The matched pair at 10:37/10:38 is transgressive by the way in which the confirmed item precedes the unconfirmed one. It would have made some sense the other way around, as news developed and a source came in.

If Miller's list was assembled to dissemble, perhaps this next item is the reason

9:49 AP: 'The Federal Aviation Administration has shut down all aircraft takeoffs nationwide.'

I'm not personally up on the politics of that action, and If my memory serves, several people try and take "credit" even going for the Oscar gold: "Damn it! I said bring those planes down!

But I am most concerned about the final item, for I find in its very subtlety the seeds of disaster, like the spongy ambiguity of a deflating balloon, softly saying, "aircraft"

I am up on the politics of this one, big time, trust me. I believe that both CNN and CBS went forward with reports of an airplane impacting the Pentagon, in a misstep, as a faux pas, a premature ejaculation triggered by an unanticipated show down with a CNN producer; announcing ahead of its scheduled time, the AP-sourced information---that an airliner had crashed into the Pentagon.

Aaron Brown reported on CNN at 9:46 or 9:47 AM that a "plane," "it was a plane" that impacted the Pentagon, and he attributed the information to the Associated Press. What did you know, and when did you know it?

It was not until 10:11am, in an Associated Press banner: Large airliner crashes into the Pentagon, that it is quoted, "AP reporter Dave Winslow also saw the crash. He said, "I saw the tail of a large airliner..... It plowed right into the Pentagon."

Over at CBS, it was Andrea Roane who said at 9:43am “Now we are hearing the Associated Press is quoting witnesses as saying it was an aircraft that crashed into the Pentagon..." Hiss the witnesses...

So Mike Buchanan could sound off at 9:43am, "So we’ve got two planes that plowed into the world trade center in New York and now we’ve got a plane plowing into the pentagon here in Arlington!"

But at 9:46am Mike said this on live TV, “He said it was a large airliner...'I saw the tail of a large airliner, it plowed into the Pentagon,' according to an Associated Press radio reporter."

You can make that one an airliner WITH A LARGE TAIL.

That Associated Press report was issued at 10:11am---25 minutes after Buchanan's loud mouth, and lack of cool, and pathological need to be some big tough center of attention, spilled the beans.

The banner headline reads
Large airliner crashes into the Pentagon the body of the report contained, among other things, this item: "AP reporter Dave Winslow also saw the crash. He said, "I saw the tail of a large airliner..... It plowed right into the Pentagon."

This is unambiguous. Without conflict. It is a truth. There are implications.

Like the truth in "a compelling illustration of how news organizations struggled to separate fact from fiction on the morning of Sept. 11," but forgot to add, "and then stepped their foot down on the neck of truth, and drowned it in six inches of water."

I believe this chronology of chaos was constructed in order to hide within the record this grave offense, which threatened the very fabric of this plot. But don't take that seriously though. The plot is unraveling at many different ends.

Since I like metaphor so much, I'm delighted that it is the Irish who have preserved knowledge from the hoards, and thus might be credited with saving civilization once again.

1 comment:

  1. i applaud your analysis. i too smell a rat. especially because i think i found a part in the naudet movie where they filmed themselves actually murdering the poor old guy on camera.
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