Air Force 1 a Target?

Not true. There are many classified features of the aircraft that nobody here knows about for sure. A NOVA special I watched said the only real things it has in common with a run-of-the-mill 747 is just its looks, but the AF of course wouldn’t comment on specifics. However, it is supposed to be well known that it has in addition to refueling and communication it has several self defense mechanisms as well. Chaff and flares certainly. God only knows what else.

Just because it was a dumb plan doesn’t necessarily mean they weren’t going to try it. I think terrorists are not necessarily smarter than average, just far, far more ruthless and fanatical. Besides, dumb plans can work if you’re lucky and your opponent isn’t expecting it.

While I’m no fan of the President, I don’t think he’d lie about his reasons for not returning to DC immediately.

Here’s what scares me:

How the hell did they learn White House procedures?

That was what Safire was worried about. He has hypothesized that there is a mole inside the White House, which seems pretty scary.

More likely the White house feels that they needed to embellish the threat to AF1 to appear more credible in order to justify Bush’s lack of visibility on Tues.

Agreed, but that doesn’t mean that Ari or Carl wouldn’t tell lies on his behalf. Remember, Bush himself hasn’t said a word on this issue. In this particular situation, who knows? It certainly doesn’t seem to fit in with the rest of the facts. I’m inclined to think that Ned has the right of it. This little detail was embellishment rather than literal truth.

Bush certainly had the power to overrule anyone and go back to the White House. He is the president after all. It’s reported that Kennedy did exactly that during the Cuban Missile crisis.

The fact that Bush didn’t says something about his character and the nature of his relationship with his handlers. It’s reported that Bush wanted to go back to the White House, and that he didn’t get his way. Regardless of how wise you think the decision to go to the White House is, the fact that he didn’t win that argument is not encouraging.

TEjota - you do recall, don’t you, that I’m not a Bush fan.

But you can’t really expect us to believe that you have certain knowledge of an alledged conversation between Bush, the SS and his advisors, now do you?

(and, by the way, for the scenario of AF1 being a target, one would have to have a realistic plan, jab. See, if it’s not a realistic plan, if it’s a dumb plan -even if they were gonna try it- it would mean it was a not, by definition ‘credible risk’. I could threaten to leap over Mt. Rushmore, you may even believe I’d try it, but the fact that it’s a stupid plan means that it’s not a credible risk)

Whoops, my apologies; I misunderstood your point. I plead unclear antecedant.

wring, I believe you may have missed where Tejota said, “it’s reported that…” If I may quote from the NY Times article linked to by jab1:

Ok, I see what you mean, but.

Tejota claims that it’s a case of “Bush didn’t get his way” and that would be a significant thing.

However, another viable interpretation of the facts in the article are that
the SS team wanted Bush out of DC.
Bush wanted to go to DC
the SS team was significantly persuasive and/or gave him additional facts that changed his mind.

The implication that “Bush didn’t get his way” isn’t supported by the available data. It may be true, of course, but I doubt we’ll ever know for certain.

(it’s the tone of the interpretation that I still object to. Keep in mind, I absolutely hate being in this position).

As indicated by the fact that he didn’t go to the White House until the evening even though he is reported to have said (even argued) that he wanted to.

Your interpretation Wiring fits available facts. Although I don’t believe that’s what was said in the article.

That would be Wring no Wiring. (anyone want to guess what I do for a living???)

s’allright Tejota trust me, I’ve been called worse. :slight_smile:

anyhow. I think it was prudent (to borrow dad’s term) for him to not be in DC for a minute. My personal take on how it played out is that young MR. Bush was mindful of how it would seem if he wasn’t in DC, but cooler and more logical heads prevailed. That would account for the quick releases of data re: the White house being targeted etc. However, again, if there was a call, and even if the caller said AF1 was a target, I still don’t see it as a ‘credible threat’ (which really doesn’t matter 'cause I think the White House itself was a credible one, and enough justification for keeping him out of town.).

In the interests of accuracy, I’d like to point out that Maeglin posted the link first.

It was prudent for Bush to not be in the White House. As I said before, Cheney was at the White House, so it was only good sense for Bush to be somewhere else until the danger passed. It never occurred to me that this was anything other than SOP until Ari started to spin.

wring said:

wring, what makes you think the terrorists told the Secret Service their plan? The phone call said AF1 is a target, but it didn’t say a target of what or how. It could have been another airliner, or maybe a SAM parked in the brush near Andrews waiting for the return. The Secret Service didn’t have the luxury of saying “we’ve only seen three airliners attack things, they must only be using hijacked airplanes, so the President is safe”. They had to go on (1) a warning call identifying it as a target, and (2) information from the caller indicating some level of information not available to the public about AF1 security issues. Given they didn’t know what they were protecting against and there was enough information to at least think there was an information leak somewhere, I would say that is a “credible risk”.

I haven’t seen anything that proves that it’s all just spin. I am willing to concede the possibility it could be spin, but I don’t see it is supported.

“Law-enforcement sources say the White House exaggerated the threat and put the Secret Service and other agencies in the position of having to back up a hyped story.”

Oh, gee, now I’m convinced. Unnamed sources giving their version of events overrides the statements of the Vice President and the White House Press Secretary. Yeah, I always trust the ones who don’t show their faces.


We happened to catch 9am -10am on Tivo. In response to the new thread about whether or not the networks should stop playing the tape over and over again, I went and watched that hour over again. I wanted to see how I felt re-living the moment.

I’ll spare you the details of how I felt, but I did catch something interesting. As of 9:45am CBS was reporting that they had gotten a report from the secret service that they had received “credible” threats against the President, the Whitehouse and the Capitol.

So this story started to unfold fairly early in the day.

If you want a cite, then stop on by my house and I’ll play you the tape:)