[Beth did an interview with Bill Veale last week and we are bringing it forward to you today.
Bill is the attorney for April Gallop who is suing Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Richard Meyers for war crimes in regards to 9/11. If you are not familiar with this case, please click HERE and HERE.
Enjoy and pass this around to everyone that you know! t]
Beth Trutwin: Hi everybody. I want to welcome you. I am interviewing this morning, the attorney for April Gallop. And this is Bill Veale. And he is going to help answer some questions we have about what happened at the Pentagon on 9/11.
Beth Trutwin: Good morning Bill, how are you?
Bill Veale:I’m fine, thank you very much.
Beth Trutwin: Good. I wanted to ask you, I thought I heard April say that her boss called her into work early and told her it was okay to bring your baby, because she was returning from maternity leave and I think what I heard was she was sitting about 40 feet from the hole that penetrated the wall. And I wonder if… she should have been killed in this accident so I was wondering why did they call her in early to work that day.
Bill Veale:Well, this is one of the thousand questions that we have [for the] people who are running the Pentagon. It wasn’t so much that she was called in early. She was told to go there first before she dropped the kid off to daycare because there was something that needed to be taken care of before she did anything else. So it’s all a mess of questions. There’s just no guessing about what happened and the only way that we’re ever going to get to the bottom of this is we have subpoena power and we get to ask her next supervisor and then that person’s supervisor and it’s like that. And we’ll always learn the answers to those questions I’m sure.
Beth Trutwin: Right I understand. Well we all know that on September 10, 2001 Donald Rumsfeld went on the CBS nightly news to say that that 2.3 trillion dollars was missing from the Pentagon and they couldn’t account for the loss. I was wondering do you have any information… did April’s work have anything to do with the resource services there? The bookkeepers, accountants, and budget analysts?
Bill Veale:Um, I can’t answer that question.
Beth Trutwin: Ok, that’s cool. I appreciate that. The next question I have is the 9/11 commission council Janice Kephart revealed in her interview with her interview with Jesse Ventura in December of 2010, that the protection of the institution is more important than learning the truth. Based on your experience with judge Chin and judge Walker, can you comment on that?
Bill Veale:Yeah, I’m afraid I’m one of those people in the world who takes it that there’s nothing more important than the truth. And so I think the base, the bottom, the support of democracy is people to be honest with each other and understanding what really goes on and so we’re not ever going to have a real democracy in this country where people can make intelligent decisions about their lives until we know what the consents are, what the structure is that they’re offering us. So I just completely reject the notion that [unclear] but that’s a fact.
Beth Trutwin: Exactly. I agree with that. So next I was wondering, we assume Dick Cheney was in the underground bunker at the white house around 9:40. There’s differing reports. He said as much in his interview with Tim Russert on the 16th of September. Do we know where Rumsfeld and Meyers were and why is that important to April’s case.
Bill Veale:First of all, with regards to Cheney, I think he was probably in the bunker a lot sooner than 9:40. In one of the most amazing pieces of journalism in this country is the understanding of the first minutes after the second tower was hit. The book that I like to refer to in this instance is Barton Gellman’s book “Angler” that talks about the Cheney vice presidency. The interesting thing there is that everybody who has written about these people in these times in this administration goes to 9/11 first because it was such a defining moment. And so Gellman has a number of pages about where Cheney was and what he was doing and things like that supposedly taken from records that were made at the time and people that he interviewed, I assume, at the time. And so, if you don’t mind me going on about this, about Cheney before we get to Rumsfeld and Meyers…
Beth Trutwin: Absolutely. I’ve heard of other people that were there that hasn’t been brought out.
Bill Veale:Yeah. Well. At any rate, Gellman tells the story that says that Cheney was sitting in his office looking at the television and saying muttering to himself, or the people around, this is after the first plane hit, “gee whiz… how could somebody fly into the world trade center? Into a great big building like that? How could that happen?” then at 9:03, the south tower was hit and Gellman then describes the secret service reaction. And [he] talks about then later on the secret service learns that there’s a plane heading towards the white house. And then he names the secret service agent, I can’t remember what his name is off the top of my head, but then he describes the secret service agent bringing his hand down on the desk loudly and says “NOW, Mr. Vice President” or whatever and basically then some other things. He doesn’t describe it this way particularly but he kinda grabs Cheney by the back of the belt they’re up and out of the room. Now he says that was 9:33 in the morning. Now I’m a [unclear] of west wing and I think there’s a lot of [unclear] in that but the idea that this secret service agent who knows, as everyone else did, that at 9:03 the country was under a terrorist attack, and waste thirty minutes to get the vice president out of the room that guy would be fired in a heartbeat and that whole agency would be set up in flames.
Beth Trutwin: It’s not a very believable story, is it?
Bill Veale:Well, it’s simply unbelievable. And the fact is Norman Mineta said that he got down to the bunker about 915/920 and Cheney was already there. So… and Cheney has said on other occasions that “we got down there shortly thereafter”. And he said at one point or another in an interview, and I think it was, maybe it was with Russert I can’t remember, where he said “you really don’t ask questions, you really don’t say anything to anybody, in moments like that, you just do what you’re told”. And he said “we were up and outta there”. So I believe he was in the bunker probably within five or ten minutes because the point of the matter is, when there is a terrorist attack on the country, unless they actually do know what the state of the attack is, they don’t know what the shape of the attack is, in other words there may be planes flying here but there may be someone with an RPG in Lafayette Park, and there may be somebody with a truck bomb, there might be some small airplane that’s going to crash into the white house as it happened back during the [unclear] times. The secret service simply doesn’t know how this is going to happen so they have to protect for every possible eventuality and so the first thing you have to do when you don’t know what’s going to happen is to protect the guy in whatever way that you can. You don’t wait 30 minutes to get him out of the room. So that seems to me… and it was one of the great [unclear] I remember reading the book and calling up Bart Gellman and said, “excuse me did you interview Norman Mineta ? And he said “I didn’t get to it”. And my attempts to contact Barton Gellman throughout afterwards have been completely a failure. He simply won’t talk to me. So there are lots of problems to try and get to the heart of this thing but be careful that we certainly know which questions to ask. With regards to Rumsfeld and Meyers, we have the testimony of the book – actually it was “Against All Enemies” written by Richard Clark who’s the chief of counter terrorism for Clinton and for bush at that time and he describes how he was conducting a video talk conference between the White House and the Defense Department and the National Military Command Center and describes how he was sitting there looking at Meyers and Rumsfeld as the smoke comes into the room from the attack on the Pentagon. And he… you know… he confirmed that… I can’t remember the actual words in the book but anyway, Beth, the point is Rumsfeld said that he was in his office until 10 o’clock and didn’t know what was going on and then went down… and apparently did go down to help people out, for what reason I can’t imagine, but anyway at some point or another he was down there. But before that he was in the National Military Command Center because Richard Clark said he was. And I can’t think of a reason why Richard Clark would put in there that he wasn’t because I assume there’s a tape of that. I mean, all these things are recorded, so if someone could tell us or show to us that we’re completely out of line here, that we’re making allegations which are unfounded, then they could produce a video tape that would show that Meyers and Rumsfeld were not there but I’m pretty sure they were because Richard Clark said they were. So what their story is about [unclear] is a matter of lies which is very important and he didn’t think it’s very important when he was writing his decision about our case.
Beth Trutwin: Right. Well just a quick question, is the National Military Command Center located in the Pentagon?
Beth Trutwin: That’s something I think people wouldn’t realize, and then I’m wondering who else was in on that video conference besides Richard Clark, Meyers, and Rumsfeld. Was the Vice President on that conference? Was the President? Was anyone else there?
Bill Veale:The answer to those questions, it’s a very important question; I have no idea what the answers to those questions are. My sense, and it’s really nothing more than a sense, is the picture of Cheney in the bunker with Condoleezza Rice and Addington and I can’t remember who the other people were but… and it doesn’t look like the kind of place, of course the cameraman David Bohrer could have been between himself and the screen… between the screen and the Vice President, excuse me… but it didn’t look like the kind of high tech kind of place that you would have thought. But… that’s just one picture that I don’t really know the answer to the question. I’m just guessing.
Beth Trutwin: Right. I just wanted a Mineta video and he said on the YouTube that Mrs. Cheney was in the PIA with Mr. Cheney.
Bill Veale:Yes. That’s what I understand.
Beth Trutwin: I’ve had three NSA agents tell me they were there too.
Beth Trutwin: And… um… I don’t even know their names. They just gave me a code name. And I’m wondering who else was there and why were they there?
Bill Veale:I guess David…. I was told that David Bohrer was there who was the White House photographer and Condoleezza Rice I believe was there and I think it was Addington and then who knows how many other people and who’s the young man that comes into the room looking occasionally to brief Mineta, uh to brief Cheney that Mineta hears, so I simply don’t know the answers to the questions. Those are very important questions that I don’t know the answers to.
Beth Trutwin: I see. The next question I had was Norman Mineta testified on tape for the 9/11 commission and his testimony and tape had a gag order slapped on it and it was wiped from the record. And he said Vice President Cheney refused… this is just speculation in the way that it’s being put out there… that he refused to fire on maybe a cruise missile that was heading for the Pentagon. Did April’s complaint touch on this part of it?
Bill Veale:Well… our complaint says, is that, this is a conspiracy that involves Cheney and Rumsfeld and Meyers and we deposit that flight 77 or maybe even a substitute plane flew over the Pentagon at the same time that maybe a missile or another bomb or whatever went off inside and then we cited evidence for that in the discrepancies between the various computer simulations of the flight of flight 77 and the one going north of the navy annex [unclear] and how that doesn’t make any sense, so and then there’s the altitude of the plane when the black box, the flight data recorder information, seemed to end which would have been 273 feet which is much too high to get down to the point where it’s flying parallel to the ground where it goes into the building as the video tape seems to suggest that [unclear] the Pentagon. So a plane couldn’t do that sort of maneuver. It would break up. The wings would fall off it if it moved that quickly in that space of time and it simply wouldn’t be able to perform that sort of maneuver so those are the things that we rely on to come to the conclusion that that airplane probably flew over the Pentagon. Was it a missile? Was there… I mean it looks certainly like [unclear]… that video tape that was released by the Pentagon was real. They’re capable of making anything up but I’m assuming that that’s real and that looks like some kind of a plane, missile, or whatever flying into the building parallel to the ground right at the ground, that’s what it looks like. So I’m assuming that that’s what happened. That there was some sort of flying object that went into the building at the time that the other plane is flying over. And that’s just for a guess. But I don’t know. There are all kinds of questions that need to be answered and we’re doing our best to get to the bottom of it. But we’re not being helped by the court at this moment.
Beth Trutwin: Right. Right. That’s an understatement. Alright, so I’m trying to see the picture of when April was there in the Pentagon that morning. So what I can see because I watched it on TV, I watched it from the first reporting. So at 8:20 on 9/11, we had the largest attack ever on American soil. And we all know that over the white house and over the Pentagon are no fly zones, they’ve been forever. So what was the protocol back then if there were any planes in those no fly zones. And if this was a cruise missile or even an airplane, what would they have done to stop…. What protocol would have been initiated? And if it wasn’t initiated, was it not so that they could hide the truth?
Bill Veale:Alright, so… you mean with protocol… are you wondering about what kind of defenses existed and what sort of actions should have been initiated as a result of this threat? Is that what you’re talking about?
Beth Trutwin: Right. Well we assume the story that we’re told is true that terrorists attacked the world trade center and we know this. That had happened for an hour and then we’re looking at the Pentagon. So if something is flying through the air in a no fly zone over the Pentagon, what should we have assumed would have happened?
Bill Veale:Oh well … you know, if you go back even before then… back to the earliest moments, it was 815 or something like that when there was any indication at all that in the country there was a problem. And so from my understanding talking to air traffic controllers and things like that… as soon as there is an in-air emergency, an in-flight emergency, then when you don’t know anything, when the transponder goes off, when somebody takes a route that they’re not prescribed you determine that there is an emergency there and when somebody can’t get through to them the first thing that you do is you go to the air force and you say, “hey, listen we have a problem here. Get somebody up there”. That’s the first thing that you do. Now it had, for example, the pilots squawked in the highjack code which takes a matter of several seconds but that’s about all it takes, which should have happened, and it hasn’t happened yet on any of those flights, there was never a highjack code squawked, so you wonder whether or not, whether that was what was actually going on. But anyway, if it’s made clear to the air traffic controller that there was a highjack going on then there is not this immediate sense of emergency. You don’t necessarily send the jets up in order to intercept right away when there’s a highjack. You might get into the air and have them trail behind. But when you have an in-flight emergency like we have here and you don’t know that it’s a high jacking. You just have an in-flight emergency and what you do is you get the airplanes up in the air right away. And so it’s usually within 10 minutes you got airplanes right there up next to the plane trying to figure out what’s going on. And so then if at some point or another they actually have the ability to shoot the plane down and that used to be clearer than it is, than it was in June of 2001, but certainly even then if you follow protocol properly they would have had jets in the air before those planes ever got close to new york. And when they saw them flying towards the World Trade Center they would have called their boss and said “hey what should I do” and the boss would say “shoot it down” because this is something we can’t… this is getting bad… we don’t know what’s going on here… something is flying right towards the World Trade Center. So we gotta shoot them down. And that probably would have gone to the Secretary of Defense or to the President.
Beth Trutwin: Not to interrupt you, but can I interject something here?
Bill Veale:Sure, sure.
Beth Trutwin: I grew up on long island and my Mom worked for Lufthansa for 10 years and she was a cargo agent. And growing up on long island we knew it was common knowledge that over Manhattan there is a no fly zone. So there wouldn’t even be a disabled aircraft that close to lower Manhattan. That would shoot off the alarms for even civilians – who know nothing.
Bill Veale:Yup, right. That’s right. Well, it’s certainly…. If you talk about the Pentagon, there’s a problem with the Pentagon in the fact that the Reagan national airport is right next to the Pentagon. So there are planes flying in that neighborhood all the time. And there are a pair of lanes that they are able to fly in and these codes that says “you know, I’m friendly, I’m flying to Reagan, or whatever.” So if you have somebody come in the airspace there which is not responding, then something has to have happened to disable our defenses. And that’s what I believe did happen in this instance. They were told to stand down.
Beth Trutwin: Right. I went to high school with a friend who was an air traffic controller working at JFK when this happened. And to this day he still won’t share his story but all I was told was a few days after this happened he was offered a job at Homeland Security.
Beth Trutwin: And I don’t know what else they said to him. He won’t talk. My next question is regarding April’s case, what are the obligations of the secretary of defense and the joint chief of staff in the event of attack on the military on American soil by a foreign invasion?
Bill Veale:There is a duty to protect the United States and its citizens. Put simply, that’s the facts, so you know, they have their forces and they deploy them to repel the attack – that’s their job. If you’re looking for something more than that… but that’s the fact.
Beth Trutwin: Right. Well that’s a point of the case that’s not talked about a lot.
Bill Veale:I’m not sure I understand what… you’re saying that… well, explain what you mean to me more because I’m not sure that I understand.
Beth Trutwin: I work, I blog, and I talk to people on the radio and people ask me questions and I get thousands of emails every week and I feel the pulse of what people remember about 9/11 and what questions still linger because we were all given this psychological attack that day. And so there’s glitches in the memory and the Pentagon was the least talked about of all of them and I think the fact that our leadership and our military completely ignored this incoming whatever it was, apparently a plane, on our military is just confounding.
Bill Veale:No, no. No, no, you’re right. And lemme just say that… if… if you could just take yourself out of that moment of horror where we learned about these things and just say however many words there are, the Pentagon was successfully attacked. So here he is, if the headquarters of the greatest military force ever conceived by man, created by man, there it is, and somebody hit it. Somebody attacked it. Successfully. Now wait a minute. Now that just has to stop you in your tracks to say, “wait a minute. How could that possibly happen?” There is such enormous quantities and resources of intelligence, of machinery, of human resource, there’s the wealth of the American defense establishment is right here. Why would you not be able to protect that building? And the answer is, of course you protect that building. And there are all kinds of stories about there actually are, there are batteries, of anti-aircraft batteries, around in some way or another, but a friend of mine who worked as an air force army officer, at the very least have these handheld, have people stationed who have handheld missiles that can take out anything. There are protections literally there so when you’re presented with a notion that the headquarters was attacked, you’ve got to stop yourself in your tracks and say, “wait a minute. We got some questions to ask here”. And that’s where this investigation has gone. That’s why April Gallop is in the position that she is in now today. She said, “where are our protections?” and she tried to get those questions asked of the 9/11 commission and Rumsfeld just danced around them and wasn’t going to answer anything to the extent that the commissioners would ask that which wasn’t particularly impressive either. So the ideas, there are a couple of, well there are 50 ideas, but you take 2 or 3… the Pentagon was attacked successfully and this is a takedown idea, it’s a very powerful one that can’t be, but the other one that just lights me up is April Gallop walked out of the Pentagon. Well… where did she walk out? She walked out where the plane flew in according to [unclear].
Well it was a 757, a Boeing 757.
It’s an enormous aircraft. How did it get in there?
Well it was flying 530 miles/hour.
I see, it was flying 530 miles/hour when it hit the building and it went into the building. I see…. She was 40 feet away from the edge of the hole that that plane flew into. Now where’s that plane?
Well, it was vaporized by all the heat that was created.
Oh, I see so there’s nothing left of the plane.
Well basically no there’s nothing left of the plane because of all the heat.
I see… and April Gallop walked out of that hole within minutes? She was knocked … she picked up her child, she walked… she ended up on the lawn without any… without being burnt? Have you ever seen anything like that?
Beth Trutwin: Can I interject something just for… real quick? I worked for Worker’s Compensation Reinsurance Association in the state of Minnesota and I’m a registered nurse and I reviewed medical cases. We had a lady, a single engine air craft flew into the building where she was typing on her computer and exploded near her desk and we were treating her for burns on 80% of her body and that was a single engine aircraft. So it’s insane to assume that that’s even possible what you’re saying… that April…
Bill Veale:I think that you’ve used a good word. It’s insane. It’s insane. But apparently the… I don’t know… who knows what [unclear] can do but they weren’t particularly interested in that particular point I’ll have to say during…
Beth Trutwin: Well, when the airplane flew into the World Trade Center it was so hot it and there was so much fuel it exploded it and made it fall to the ground but when it flew into the Pentagon April could walk through the hole a few minutes later.
Bill Veale:That’s right. Well, I’m afraid I’ve pretty much run out of time here. If you don’t mind I apologize but I’m literally in the middle of some other things so if I could thank you very much for interviewing me I appreciate it. But I have to say good bye.
Beth Trutwin: It’s been so nice to get to talk to you. I appreciate your time so very much.
Bill Veale:Take care of yourself. Thank you very much.