As people who follow the issue closely are aware, there has been some debate over the involvement of a group of military officers stationed at FAA headquarters–generally referred to as the “military cell”–in the events of 9/11. Although I don’t mean to recap the whole debate here, the basic jist is that the 9/11 Commission claimed that the military were unaware of the hijacking of United 93 until a few minutes before it crashed, but what about the military cell–were they too unaware of what was going on?
Yesterday, I was reading through the commission documents we have posted at the 911 Document Archive at Scribd, and I came across a transcript of FAA communications on the day of 9/11. You can find the following at page 59 (approximately 9:45 a.m. – 9:50 a.m.):
MR. : Tactical Net–
MR. : And this is Cleveland Center. Who’s up?
MR. : It is the Command Center with about five or six people listening.
MR. : Okay. Mr. [inaudible], the chief, just asked if we have any military up or not? Are we pursuing that? We’d like to be able to track this guy (United 93) so we know what’s going on, especially when we lose a transponder.
MR. : We have been in contact with the military cell here in the building and they’re working the issue. I’m not sure where they are with–
Obviously, this does not prove that the military cell at the FAA was aware of the hijacking of United 93 (still less that they passed it on to other elements in the military), but a contemporary reference stating their involvement is certainly interesting evidence.