Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Norman Mineta Confirms He May be Wrong About the Timeline

The truthers have been going crazy about this, even posting here in the comments demanding to know why we have not posted on it, as if it is our responsibility to immediately point out the fallacies in any of their stories. They have also been plastering the Internet with their misleading stories, like this headline on the Jones Report reading: "Norman Mineta Confirms That Dick Cheney Ordered Stand Down on 9/11". 9/11 Blogger also had a similar lie posted as a headline before they changed it. If you actually watch the interview, Mineta says nothing of the sort, in fact the issue of a "stand down" is never brought up, and Mineta clearly says that he thought the order was to shoot down a plane. So starting about 30 seconds in:

Interviewer: I don't want to ask a rhetorical question, but was Vice President Dick Cheney already at 9:20 there...

Mineta: I might have been mistaken on the 9:25, but he was already there.

OK guys, here we have it. To the best of my knowledge nobody has ever claimed that Cheney was not in the bunker before Norman Mineta. The only issue is at what time that occurred, and on that issue Mineta admits he may be mistaken. He in fact is. The 9/11 Commission Report specifically mentions that there is a conflict as to the exact time Cheney entered the bunker, but they determined it was much later than 9:25 based on the preponderance of evidence. From the footnotes:

209. American 77's route has been determined through Commission analysis of FAA and military radar data. For the evacuation of the Vice President, see White House transcript, Vice President Cheney interview with Newsweek, Nov. 19, 2001, p. 2; USSS memo, interview of Rocco Delmonico, Oct. 1, 2001 (evacuation of the White House); see also White House notes, Mary Matalin notes, Sept. 11, 2001. On the time of entering the tunnel, see USSS report,"Executive Summary: U.S. Secret Service Timeline of Events, September 11-October 3, 2001," Oct. 3, 2001, p. 2. Secret Service personnel told us that the 9:37 entry time in their timeline was based on alarm data, which is no longer retrievable. USSS briefing (Jan. 29, 2004).

210.White House transcript,Vice President Cheney interview with Newsweek, Nov. 19, 2001, p. 4; President Bush and Vice President Cheney meeting (Apr. 29, 2004).

211. On Mrs. Cheney, see USSS report, "Executive Summary: U.S. Secret Service Timeline of Events, September 11-October 3, 2001," Oct. 3, 2001, p. 2 (time of arrival);White House transcript, Lynne Cheney interview with Newsweek, Nov. 9, 2001, p. 2 (joining the Vice President). For the contemporaneous notes, see White House notes, Lynne Cheney notes, Sept. 11, 2001. On the content of the Vice President's call, see White House transcript,Vice President Cheney interview with Newsweek, Nov. 19, 2001, p. 5.According to the Vice President, there was "one phone call from the tunnel. And basically I called to let him know that we were a target and I strongly urged him not to return to Washington right away, that he delay his return until we could find out what the hell was going on." For their subsequent movements, see White House transcript,Vice President Cheney interview with Newsweek, Nov. 19, 2001, p. 5;White House transcript, Lynne Cheney interview with Newsweek,Nov. 9, 2001, p. 2.

So we have the testimony of the Secret Service, the White House alarm records, the Secret Service logs, Dick Cheney, and the notes of the White House, Mary Matalin, and Lynne Cheney on one side of the issue, and the hazy recollections of a 76 year old man who admits he may be wrong on the time on the other side. Hmm, who do we go with?

They continue:

Mineta: It wasn't 10....

Interviewer: It was 9:58 which doesn't make much sense at all.

Mineta: Oh no...

Interviewer: So it goes against his own testimony, it goes against your testimony where he says he was there at 9:38. So he was already there?

Mineta: Oh absolutely.

Interviewer: And you also said that you thought he was going through a shoot down order with a young man and do the orders still stand. Do you recall that at all?

Mineta: Well I was not involved in that conversation. I overheard...

Interviewer (reading): Well the young man said do the orders still stand?

Mineta: I heard that.

Interviewer: Well you stated that you thought it was a shoot down order, when you learned later that was not actually the case.

Mineta: Well when I overheard something about "the orders still stand" umm... and... so... what I thought of was that they had already made the decision to shoot something down. I remember later on when I heard about the Shanksville plane going down the Vice President who was across from me said, "Do you think we shot it down ourselves?" He said "I don't know" so let's find out." So he had someone check with the Pentagon. So that was about 10:30 or so. We never heard back from the DoD until probably about 12:30. And they said "No, we didn't do it."


The interviewer then once again asks whether Cheney was there when Mineta arrives. Once again, a point entirely not under contention. Mineta even states that Lynne Cheney was there, once again showing his timeline is off, because Mrs. Cheney did not arrive at the White House until 9:52.

213. On the Vice President's call, see President Bush and Vice President Cheney meeting (Apr. 29, 2004). For the Vice President's time of arrival in the shelter conference room, see White House record, PEOC Shelter Log,Sept. 11, 2001 (9:58); USSS memo, OVP 9/11 Timeline, Nov. 17, 2001 (9:52; Mrs. Cheney arrived White Houseand joined him in tunnel);White House notes, Lynne Cheney notes (9:55; he is on phone with President);WhiteHouse transcript, Lynne Cheney interview with Newsweek, Nov. 9, 2001, p. 2 ("And when I got there, he was onthe phone with the President . . . But from that first place where I ran into him, I moved with him into what theycall the PEOC"); White House transcript,Vice President Cheney interview with Newsweek, Nov. 19, 2001, p. 4(9:35 or 9:36 arrival; he estimated a 15-minute stay); Carl Truscott interview (Apr. 15, 2004) (arrived with Riceand the Vice President in conference room; called headquarters immediately; call logged at 10:00); President Bush and Vice President Cheney meeting,Apr. 29, 2004 (Vice President viewed television footage of Pentagon ablaze in tunnel);White House transcript, Rice interview with Evan Thomas, Nov. 1, 2001, p. 388 (Rice viewed television footage of Pentagon ablaze in Situation Room). For the Vice President's recollection about the combat air patrol,see President Bush and Vice President Cheney meeting (Apr. 29, 2004); White House transcript, President Bush interview with Bob Woodward and Dan Balz, Dec. 17, 2001, p. 16.

So what we have here is a man whose timeline conflicts with every other piece of evidence available, and who admits he may be wrong. When asked about a shootdown order, he replies that he thought there was one, yet the truthers manage to take this and make headlines stating that Mineta confirmed that there was a standdown order, exactly opposite what Mineta thought there was. Amazing.

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