|17/06/04||UQ Wire: Rookie In Command Of Ops Center On 9/11
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by UnansweredQuestions.Org Co-Founder Tom Flocco
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WASHINGTON — June 17, 2004 Posted 11:45 pm — TomFlocco.com — According to the personal written statement of Navy Captain Charles J. Leidig, Jr., entered into the record during today's hearings before the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, Leidig revealed that on September 10 he was asked by Brigadier General Montague Winfield to stand a portion of his duty as Deputy Director for Operations for the National Military Command Center (NMCC), which would require supervision and operation of all necessary communications as watch commander.
Leidig said “On 10 September 2001, Brigadier General Winfield, U.S. Army, asked that I stand a portion of his duty as Deputy Director for Operations, NMCC, on the following day. [September 11] I agreed and relieved Brigadier General Winfield at 0830 on 11 September 2001.”
Winfield had requested Leidig to assume his watch at what turned out to be the very outset of the September 11 attacks—but even after American Flight 11 had already been determined to be hijacked just minutes before Winfield handed over his watch to Leidig.
Captain Leidig's Commission statement was 1.25 typewritten pages, large font, and double-spaced—the shortest written statement provided by any 9-11 Commission deponent as observed by this writer since the commencement of the probe.
The National Transportation and Safety Board auditorium had been quiet until an individual stood up and repeatedly questioned why the Commission was not addressing the issue of 9-11 war games—specifically Operation Vigilant Guardian—wherein fighters were already in the air during the attacks, some just minutes away from New York City. The legitimate questions were ignored and the petitioner was removed by secret service and FBI agents.
Commissioner John Lehman offered that while Air Force Generals Richard Meyers, Ralph Eberhart and Larry Arnold (Ret.) had been questioned, no one had asked any questions of the “only sailor in the group,” Captain Leidig.
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Immediately at the close of testimony by Myers, Eberhart, Arnold and Leidig, this writer quickly walked to the head table to individually question Leidig before his aides could escort him from the auditorium.
The Air Force generals had left quickly.
When asked “Can you tell me the approximate time when you commenced your supervision of the phone bridges,” Leidig told TomFlocco.com, “You'll have to look in the records and Commission staff statements. I can't recall the time.”
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All of which raises questions regarding why the experienced Winfield left his watch after the attacks had begun, what prompted Winfield to request Leidig to assume his watch the next morning, why Winfield chose 8:30 am to have Leidig relieve him, why the Commission never addressed these issues, and whether Winfield had access to intelligence from the CIA and FBI which foretold a “spectacular attack, designed to inflict mass casualties against U.S. facilities or interests. Attack preparations have been made. Attack will occur with little or no warning.” (CIA Intelligence Report for White House, July 5, 2001—60+ days prior to 9-11, Newsweek, 5-1-2003 / The Hill, 5-1-2003)
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