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I want to tell you a short story about a guy named Charles Lewis, who my writing colleague Dick Russell interviewed recently in Southern California. Until two months before September 11, Lewis had worked at LAX as the Quality Control Manager for Kiewit Pacific Construction on its Taxiway “C” project. A large part of his duties involved security in the Airport Operations Area, or AOA. There he got to know employees of various agencies—the LA World Airport Police, the LAPD, California Highway Patrol, the FBI, U.S. Customs, and others. When the 9/11 attacks occurred, Lewis was a deputy inspector for the city of LA during a seismic retrofit of the LA Hilton Towers Hotel, only a few minutes from the airport by car. After making sure the hotel construction crew went home, Lewis rushed over to LAX’s Guard Post 2, because he was one of very few people who knew how to fix certain parts of the new security systems in case any problems developed. Lewis estimates he arrived at about 6:35 AM (PT—9:35 AM Eastern), not long after the second plane struck the World Trade Center. As on other days, there was “chatter” on LAX Security walkie-talkies and he could easily hear what they were saying, sometimes both sides of the conversation. Lewis remembers: “The first thing I noticed was that the guards—and that day they were the LA World Airport Police and the FBI—were very upset and agitated because apparently no one [from FAA] had notified NORAD [North American Aerospace Defense Command]. They were making calls and demanding to know why not. Eventually word came back that NORAD had indeed been notified, but they had been ordered to stand down. Then LAX Security wanted to know who could have made that order. And word came back that it was from the highest level of the White House. Later on, watching television, I knew the order didn’t come from Bush because he was reading ‘My Pet Goat’ to the school kids in Florida, so the only other person it could be was Dick Cheney.”2 It turns out there were some “war games” taking place that morning. September 11 was the second day of Vigilant Guardian, an exercise of the Joint Chiefs and NORAD that simulated planes being hijacked in the Northeastern United States. Another drill, called Northern Vigilance, had shifted some fighter jets to Canada and Alaska to monitor Russian MIGs flying training missions. This one put “phantoms” on military radar screens that would look real to the participants in the exercise. “We fought many phantoms that day,” Richard Myers of the Joint Chiefs later testified to Congress. But could the attack have been scheduled intentionally to coincide with those

Profile for HAROLD ARROYO, JR.

AMERICAN CONSPIRACIES, LIES AND DECEPTION FROM THE U.S. GOVERNMENT, JESSE VENTURA  

AMERICAN CONSPIRACIES, LIES AND DECEPTION FROM THE U.S. GOVERNMENT, JESSE VENTURA  

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