On the record...
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“I have an on-the-record statement from someone in NORAD that on the day of 9/11 The Joint Chiefs of Staff (Richard B. Myers) and NORAD were conducting a joint, live-fly, hijack Field Training Exercise (FTX) which involved at least one (and almost certainly many more) aircraft under US control that was posing as a hijacked airliner”.
Mike Ruppert – June 5, 2004, editor of FTW www.fromthewilderness.com

Our take...
Sounds definitive, doesn't it? Which is probably why this claim is published on its own, all over the web. But doesn't it leave you wondering why, if such an on-the-record statement has been produced, no-one bothers to print that? Actually if you look closely, articles like one on Rupperts site do seem to give a little more information about this on-the-record statement.

What Crossing the Rubicon has documented conclusively is that there was a live-fly drill taking place on 9/11 titled Vigilant Warrior. Richard Clarke disclosed the name of this drill on page 4 of his book, but it was Major Don Arias of NORAD who confirmed the definition of the title "Warrior" to Mike Ruppert via email.

Warrior = JCS/HQ NORAD sponsored FTX, or field training exercise (live-fly).

Hmm, doesn’t exactly match the initial claim, though. Perhaps reading a more complete segment of the Arias email will help.

The terms used for NORAD exercises have specific meanings. Per NORAD Instruction 33-7: “Nicknames: A combination of two separate unclassified words which is assigned an unclassified meaning and is employed for unclassified administration, morale or public information. The first word must begin with the combination of letters of the alphabet allocated to the using agency.” A nickname is used exclusively to designate a drill, or exercise. Exercise terms are used to prevent confusion between exercise directives with actual operations.”
Vigilant or Amalgam means it is a HQ NORAD sponsored exercise.
Guardian means it is a multi-command CPX, or command post exercise (no live-fly).
So on 9/11 NORAD was conducting a NORADwide, multicommand, command post exercise with no live-fly.

Other exercise terms include:
Warrior = JCS/HQ NORAD sponsored FTX, or field training exercise (live-fly)"
Crossing the Rubicon, Page 368

Nothing here about live-fly exercises, in fact Arias specifically says that "on 9/11 NORAD was conducting a NORADwide, multicommand, command post exercise with no live-fly". Nothing about hijackings, either, or that any US plane was "posing as a hijacked airliner". So how does Ruppert justify his initial statement? 

It seems to be a mix of three things. First, a NORAD press release showing that hijack scenarios had been carried out by NORAD.

Before September 11th, 2001, NORAD regularly conducted a variety of exercises that included hijack scenarios. These exercises tested track detection and identification; scramble and interception; hijack procedures; internal and external agency coordination and operational security and communications security procedures. Numerous types of civilian and military aircraft were used as mock hijacked aircraft.
Crossing the Rubicon, Page 357

Then Ruppert points out that Richard Clarke mentioned an exercise called Vigilant Warrior in a book of his own:

The JCS Chairman Richard Myers had named Vigilant Warrior over a secure phone line as he talked to Richard Clarke early in the attacks. As Clarke recounted:
“Not a pretty picture, Dick.” Dick Myers, himself a fighter pilot, knew that the days when we had scores of fighters on strip alert had ended with the cold war. “We are in the middle of Vigilant Warrior, a NORAD exercise...

Then Ruppert extracts the definition of "Warrior" as a Norad exercise name from the Don Arias email:

Warrior = JCS/HQ NORAD sponsored FTX, or field training exercise (live-fly)"
Crossing the Rubicon, Page 368

Wave a magic wand, and he tells us

Taking the statements of Arias and Clarke together, it was now on the record that the Joint Chiefs and NORAD were running a live-fly hijack drill on September 11th.
Crossing the Rubicon, Page 369

Stretching things a little? We think so, here's three reasons why.

#1, no-one, not Clarke, Arias or anyone else has said their were hijacking drills on September 11th. In fact neither mention hijacked planes at all. Ruppert simply has a report that NORAD had carried out these drills prior to 9/11, and it makes a better story if they were happening on the day itself, so let's pretend it's been proven.

#2, Arias specifically said there was no live-fly drill on September 11th, but Ruppert chooses to ignore this, presumably because it doesn't fit.

#3, and in fact the only way Ruppert gets "live-fly" drills in at all is by taking the Richard Clarke talk of Vigilant Warrior, and pointing to Arias saying that "Warrior = Live-Fly". 

But could it be that Clarke just got the name of the drill wrong? Certainly, not least because he's the only person to mention this particular exercise. To which we then might hear that's because it's the "top secret cover for 9/11", but then in that case why is General Myers blurting it out over the phone? Especially to someone like Clarke, who judging by his subsequent actions wasn't exactly a friend of the Bush administration?

Whatever the truth of the exercise name, the reality of the story proves very different to Ruppert's abbreviated quote. No-one at NORAD has ever said there were hijacking drills running on 9/11: the claims otherwise simply don't stand up to scrutiny.

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