Friday, July 23, 2004

AP Lies to Discredit Heroic Passengers of Flight 93

The story of flight 93 has been that crashed outside Pittsburgh is well known. However, the September 11th Commission Report describes the heroic fight that the unarmed passengers launched against the hijackers in great detail. It is the struggle of Americans in the first battle of the War on Terror. It would be hard for anyone to read the account of the passengers attempt to retake the plane without becoming emotional.

The AP decided to comment on the struggle as detailed in the report, and it decided to smear the passengers with it's headline. This is the full AP story, including the headline as it appeared on yahoo news:

Panel: Flight 93 Crashed Without Struggle

Fri Jul 23, 5:37 AM ET

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By TED BRIDIS, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - Passengers aboard United Airlines Flight 93 fought back against the hijackers but never actually made it into the cockpit, the Sept. 11 commission concluded.

The assertion, included in the panel's dramatic summary of the harrowing flight, contradicts the firmly held belief by some victims' families that passengers breached the cockpit and fought with hijackers inside during their final moments.

In phone calls from the plane, four passengers said they and others planned to fight the hijackers after learning of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York earlier that morning.

With the words "Let's roll," passengers rushed down the airliner's narrow aisle to try to overwhelm the hijackers.

Relying on the cockpit recorder and flight data, the commission said terrorist-pilot Ziad Jarrah violently rocked the jet's wings and told another hijacker to block the door. With the sounds of fighting outside the cockpit, Jarrah asked, "Is that it? Shall we finish it off?"

Another hijacker, who wasn't identified, replied, "No, not yet. When they all come, we finish it off."

Jarrah then began pitching the nose of the plane up and down to throw passengers off balance.

Seconds later, a passenger who wasn't identified yelled, "In the cockpit! If we don't, we die!" And 16 seconds afterward, another passenger yelled, "Roll it!" Investigators previously have said they believe passengers tried to use a food cart to break the cockpit door.

Jarrah said, "Allah is the greatest! Allah is the greatest!", and he asked his fellow hijacker, "Is that it? I mean, shall we put it down?"

The other hijacker answered, "Yes, put it in, and pull it down."

Roughly 90 seconds later, the jet rolled onto its back and crashed into a Pennsylvania field at more than 580 mph, killing everyone aboard.

The commission concluded that the hijackers remained at the controls of the plane, "but must have judged that the passengers were only seconds from overcoming them."

The commission said the hijackers' destination was Washington. It praised the courage of the passengers and said their struggle "saved the lives of countless others, and may have saved either the Capitol or the White House from destruction."

The Associated Press reported last year that the government's theory about Flight 93 — described by FBI (news - web sites) Director Robert Mueller to congressional investigators in closed testimony — also concluded that passengers grappled with terrorists but never actually got into the cockpit.

The body of the story describes a struggle, but the headline is meant to deceive. Why? Why would the AP decide to lie about the passengers on Flight 93 with the headline of the story? Is there an agenda or is it just another example of the poor quality of today's "journalism"?

The link is here, but the link may be removed by the AP at any point.