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What is the evidence that the hijackers used "box-cutters" and "plastic knives"?
Edward Jay Epstein (website) ^ | 3 June 2002 | Edward Jay Epstein

Posted on 06/03/2002 1:07:58 PM PDT by Kermit

Question:

In response to questions about the advance warning President Bush received from the CIA concerning a possible hijacking plot, his press spokesman Ari Fleischer (identified by the New York Times as the anonymous “senior administration official) replied in his daily press briefing on May 15th, 2002: "The administration, based on hijackings, notified the appropriate agencies and, I think, that's one of the reasons that you saw that the people who committed the 9-11 attacks used box cutters and plastic knives to get around America's system of protecting against hijackings."

What is the evidence that the hijackers who took over the Boeing 767s that crashed into the World Trade Center “used box cutters and plastic knives?”

Answer:

There is zero evidence of box-cutters on either plane that hit the World Trade Center. Not a single flight crew member or passenger on American Airlines Flight 11 or United Airlines Flight 175 reported seeing box-cutters or plastics knives. Nor were they mentioned in the FAA executive summary on any of the hijacked plane.(LINK FAA MEMO.) Only on American Airlines Flight 77, which hit the Pentagon, was there a near-mention by one passenger that the hijackers in the back of the plane had knives and "card-board cutters," and even that passenger to claim to see what weapons were actually used to hijack the plane. The claim by administration officials that plastic knives were used to hijack the planes is pure invention. (See Fictoid #9)

Since unlike guns, metal knives and bombs, it was legal for airline passengers on September 11th 2001 to carry aboard box-cutters and plastic knives, the claim that they used such devices to commandeer the planes that destroyed the World Trade Center is a functional fictoid. Not only does it serve to shield the airlines, airports and airport screeners from massive liability from the victims at the World Trade Center, it protects the Bush Administration by diverting attention away from concern that airport security at three Federally-supervised airports was dangerously lax.

Collateral Question:

Since CBS News quoted press briefer Ari Fleischer verbatim, why did the New York Times identify him anonymously as a “senior administration spokesman?


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 911; boxcutters; conspiracy
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I'm not a fan of Edward Jay Epstein, but if he's correct here, I for one have been taken in. And I don't like being had. I thought there was good reporting on what the hijackers used for weapons. We do know they killed stewardesses, pilots and maybe others to intimidate the passengers.

Anyone have any other info?

1 posted on 06/03/2002 1:07:59 PM PDT by Kermit
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To: Kermit
People from both the Pentagon and Penn planes that made calls stated what the hijackers had.

I find it silly to assume that the WTC used their bare hands when on both the other planes items were used such as box cutters and knifes.

Just because those hijacked on the 2 WTC planes didn't get a chance to call others and report what was going on does not mean no weapons were used. ALso the victims on both WTC planes really had no idea what was going on. It all happened so quick.

I do find it hard to believe that a gun was aboard either WTC plane as well.

2 posted on 06/03/2002 1:12:42 PM PDT by alisasny
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To: Kermit
Wasn't there a stewardess on the plane that hit the north tower who was on the phone right up until the plane made impact? Maybe she said boxcutters. The guy does raise an interesting question.
3 posted on 06/03/2002 1:13:13 PM PDT by Huck
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To: alisasny
I think the $64K question that no one wants to answer is whether the box-cutters were brought through the metal detectors or whether the weapons were stashed on the plane.

If it's the latter scenario, then the only people who did their job that day were the $4.50 an hour baggage handlers, the people who were blamed and lost their jobs because of 9/11, while the trillion-dollar "intelligence" agencies failed completely, with no high level resignations.

4 posted on 06/03/2002 1:15:48 PM PDT by JohnGalt
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To: Huck
Barbera Olson confirmed knives on #77, that hit the Pentagon:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/americas/newsid_1543000/1543466.stm

5 posted on 06/03/2002 1:15:59 PM PDT by Huck
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To: Huck
Here's more from Epstein, it's undated.

Following the September 11th attack, government authorities declared that the weapons used to hijack the planes that crashed into World Trade Center were plastic knives and box cutters. The story about plastic knives and box cutters, implements which passengers then were not legally restricted from bring through security checkpoints at airports, was relentlessly drummed into the public's mind by two of the highest officials in the government. John Ashcroft, the attorney general, Donald Rumsfeld, the Secretary of Defense.

Ashcroft told ABC News on September 15th that "investigators believed that each of the commandeered planes had been hijacked by groups of three to six men armed with box cutters and plastic knives." Donald Rumsfeld told Fox News on September 16th, that the hijackers used weapons that are distinctively different - - plastic knives." On October 9th, he suggested to Dan Rather on CBS News "plastic knives and the use of a U.S. airliner filled with American people as a missile [were used] to destroy a World Trade Center." On November 7th, he described to Jim Lehrer on PBS " One of our planes is used as a missile to fly into our building and into the World Trade Center. It was beyond one's imagination that plastic knives and our own commercial aircraft filled with our own people would be used as the implement of war."

Actually, it was their imagination, not established facts, that informed the world that the hijackers had used plastic knives and box cutters to commandeer the two airliners that had destroyed the twin towers of the World Trade Center. Not a scintilla of evidence had been found then— or to date— that either plastic knives or box cutters were used by any of the ten hijackers who crashed United Airlines flight 175 and American Airlines Flight 11 into the World Trade Center. No box cutters or plastic knives were found in the debris. Nor were the cockpit voice recorders ever found from Flight 11 and Flight 175. No witnesses, either passengers or crew members, on either flight 11 or flight 175 ever reported any hijacker having a box cutter or a plastic knife.
Both United Airlines flight 175 and American Airlines Flight 11 had departed from Boston. Once both Boeing 767s had reached their cruising altitudes, the hijackers took control of them by unknown means without any of the four pilots warning the ground controllers, even though they had open radios. Both airliners then turned off their transponders and disappeared from the computerized radar screens.

No message was ever received from flight 175 that mentioned any weapons. So, for all anyone knows, the hijackers may have used guns, grenades, poison gas or any other weapon

An executive summary of an unpublished FAA memo stated:

"At approximately 9:18 am, it was reported that two crew members in the cockpit were stabbed. The flight then descended with no communications from the flight crew members. The American Airlines FAA Principal Security Inspector (PFI) was notified by Suzanne Clark of American airlines Corporate Headquarters that an on board flight attendant contacted American Airlines Operation Center and informed that a passenger located in seat 10B shot and killed a passenger in 9B at 9:20 am. The passenger killed was Daniel Lewin shot by Satam al-Suqama. One bullet was reported to have been fired."
The information came from two cell phone calls made by flight attendants, Betty Ong and Madeline Amy Sweeney, to Americal Airlines ground controllers. Ong, who was in the first class compartment— and the only witness to the assault on the cockpit. She reported that she had seen four hijackers come from first-class seats, kill a passenger seated behind them, and use a chemical weapon which she described as "some sort of spray" that made her eyes burn and made it difficult for her to breathe." Madeline Amy Sweeney, the flight attendant in the rear compartment, call was not recorded. According to the ground controller, she said that the pilots, another flight attendant and a passenger had been stabbed or killed.
The FAA subsequently said that the report of a gun shot was an error proceeding from a "miscommunication". The ground controller did not recall a gun shot or a bullet being mentioned.
In any case, there were no box cutters or plastics knives on flight 11 were used.

Two other flights were hijacked that morning, American Airlines flight 77, a Boeing 757 departing from Virginia, and United Airlines Flight 93, a Boeing 757 departing from Newark. On flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon, one single passenger, Barbara Olsen, reported on weapons that some of the five hijackers had in the back of the plane. She told her husband, Theodore Olsen, on a cell phone that the hijackers who herded her and other the passengers into the back of the plane had two kind of weapons: knives and cardboard cutters (presumably box cutters). She did not say anything about the other hijackers in the cockpit and she apparently did not even know that they were piloting the plane. Nor did any other passenger or crew member on Flight 77 describe the hijackers' weapons. It cannot be assumed that all the hijackers on the plane had similar weapons. The hijackers assaulting the cockpit might have needed more sophisticated weaponry to rapidly stun or kill the pilots.
On flight 93, the Boeing 757 which crashed near Pittsburgh, the flight attendant reported over a cell phone that a hijacker in her plane had a "bomb strapped on." Some unidentified person also said over the loud speaker that there was a "bomb" aboard the plane. A passenger, Todd Beamer, talked over a cell phone about the "terrorist with a bomb." Another passenger, Tom Burnett, told his wife over a cell phone that he had heard that a pilot had been "knifed." No passenger or crew member described either box cutters or plastic knives as weapons and, as far as is known, no box cutters of plastic knives been recovered from the wreckage.

Similar weapons thus were not reported in the different flights. A paralytic chemical spray was described in the front compartment of flight 11, knives and card cutters was described in the rear compartment of Flight 77 and a bomb was described on flight 93. Nor is there any reason to assume that different hijackers on different planes leaving from different airports would use the same weaponry. Atta and Alomari, for example, having made a detour to Portland, might have obtained weapons unavailable to the hijackers in Virginia and New Jersey.)

In any case, the Ashcroft's story that the hijackers used box-cutters and plastic knives in the attack on the World Trade Center is a functional fictoid. In this case, the function was diversion. This fictoid serves to divert public attentions from the responsibility, and legal liability, of the government and airlines to prevent major weapons— such as guns, bombs, chemical sprays and hunting knives from being carried aboard airplanes. If such illegal devices had been smuggled aboard the planes, the liability could amount to billions of dollars. If, , on the other hand, it could be disseminated that the hijackers had only used plastic knives, such as those provided by the airlines for meals, or box cutters, which were allowed on planes, neither the airlines, the screeners at the airport, or the FAA, which regulates the safety of airports, could be held legally responsible. Paul Pillar, who had headed the CIA's counter-terrorism, could thus explain that"the attack that killed almost 4,000 people used box cutters." This press accepted it as established fact. The New York Times, for example, reported "the hijackers did not use firearms, which would probably have been detected, but apparently wielded box-cutter knives of the type that were then allowed on board but are now banned."

What made the box cutter and and plastic knives fictoid particularly welcome was that the FAA had found massive failures of airport screeners to find weapons prior to the attacks. Such tests were conducted by FAA undercover "Red Teams." In 1998, for example, one FAA Read team leader told the New York Times, "we were successful in getting major weapons— guns and bombs--aboard planes at least 85 percent the time." The failure rate was as high as 97 percent at some airports. Nor was this vulnerability corrected before September 11th. FAA Special Agent Bogdan Dzakovic, according to USA TODAY, said that FAA officials had ignored security problems before the terrorist attacks.
The fictoid successfully deflected from this gaping hole in security.

6 posted on 06/03/2002 1:18:07 PM PDT by Kermit
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To: Huck
I heard Ted Olson say that his wife called him collect from the airphone. This is not possible to do. No one has brought this up.
7 posted on 06/03/2002 1:19:43 PM PDT by miamimark
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To: Kermit
Because, "IF" the hijackers had used guns, the 2nd Amendment would have been cancelled by now.

The stewardess had her throat cut ... and was vividly described by witnesses .... Why do you doubt what the Bush adminstration said in this case?

Or, asking the other side of that question, why would you ever consider what a democrat was saying would be accurate and worth thinking about?

8 posted on 06/03/2002 1:21:19 PM PDT by Robert A. Cook, PE
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To: Kermit
From what I remember of the reports on September 11th, one of the flight attendants was able to call someone from the back of the plane. She was able to give the seat numbers of the hijackers, which is how we found out who they were. I thought at the same time she said they used boxcutters and knives to slit throats and take over the planes.
9 posted on 06/03/2002 1:24:49 PM PDT by BUSHdude2000
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To: JohnGalt
I think the $64K question that no one wants to answer is whether the box-cutters were brought through the metal detectors or whether the weapons were stashed on the plane.

I've wondered that myself.
10 posted on 06/03/2002 1:27:07 PM PDT by wheezer
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To: Kermit
There is one thing that continues to perplex me. Numerous phone calls were made by the passengers to relatives, etc. stating what was occurring.
However, as far as I know, none of them gave a physical description of the hijackers. The photographs of the hijackers certainly made it clear that they weren't "blue-eyed" blondes". Apparently none of the passengers or the stewardess thought that little detail was important.
Just curious.
11 posted on 06/03/2002 1:27:15 PM PDT by Marianne
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To: Kermit
There is zero evidence of box-cutters on either plane that hit the World Trade Center.

Uh...DUH! People were calling family members with their cell phones.
Can't the liberals come up with something smarter than this? How far down into the gutters are they going to dig for new "suggestions" of dirt?
These people are going over the edge. They're losing their sanity, really. Hello? Reality check!

it protects the Bush Administration by diverting attention away from concern that airport security at three Federally-supervised airports was dangerously lax.

He should have personally frisked each passenger since his first day in the Whitehouse! But make sure there's no checks on anyone but Christian white men, otherwise it's racial profiling. Sorry , it's the law.

12 posted on 06/03/2002 1:27:16 PM PDT by concerned about politics
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To: miamimark
BKO called on her cell phone. Several times.
13 posted on 06/03/2002 1:28:25 PM PDT by Phantom Lord
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To: JohnGalt
On Sept. 11, it was NOT illegal to bring box cutters or knives onto planes. This was NOT a failure of airport security. The failure was in CONGRESS and their refusal to protect our borders and allow anyone and everyone into the country on visas as long as the application said "student."

Congress clearly couldnt admit fault, so they targeted the easiest target. Airport security.

14 posted on 06/03/2002 1:30:24 PM PDT by Phantom Lord
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To: Kermit
Not denying they said it, but I don't remember "plastic" knives being mentioned. When I've flown first class, I've received actual silverware.
15 posted on 06/03/2002 1:33:06 PM PDT by JmyBryan
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To: Kermit
It's a good question. I'd be curious to hear more.

As I recall, one or two additional planes that were not hijacked that day were found on the ground with box cutters or knives taped onto the trays, with the trays raised, so the weapons were hidden between the trays and the seat backs. It was also said that some of the hijackers' associates worked for airport food service companies at Logan International in Boston, and therefore possibly also at the other airport in New Jersey. At the time, I thought it likely that some of these food service people might have taped weapons in similar fashion on the trays in the four hijacked airliners, in the seats where the terrorists knew from their reservations that they would be seated. That way, they wouldn't need to bring the weapons through inspection at all.

We have not really seen any of these details followed up on or made public. There could be security reasons for this silence, but I don't see what those reasons can possibly be, and I have very little confidence in the reliability of the FBI or of the people who are running airport security. For that matter, I have very little confidence in "investigative reporters," who are pretty much a mythical breed these days. Most reporters these days are like a bunch of like-minded lemmings, who to sit around the office or attend chic parties, waiting for Democrat politicians and government sources to tell them what they should print.

16 posted on 06/03/2002 1:40:13 PM PDT by Cicero
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To: Kermit
Why has no one questioned the numerous attacks on Americans all through the Clinton administration? What did he know then, and when?
All those attacks, and Clintons open boarder free INS passes led up to 9/11.
The message of this highjaked airline and a terrorist attack goes back to 1995. Where was the Clinton CIA and FBI to stop it?
Clinton had 5 years, Bush had Florida recounts!
Clinton let Bin Ladin go, even though Americans had been attacked so many times before.
Shouldn't we be focusing on why Clinton let the WTC mastermine fulfill his 1995 plans? Bin Ladin fled to Afganistan in 1996! Where the heck was Clinton for 8 years? Hanging out with Monica?
17 posted on 06/03/2002 1:40:22 PM PDT by concerned about politics
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To: Marianne
none of them gave a physical description of the hijackers

Not true. Several of the flight 93 passengers, including Glick and Beamer, described "Iranian-looking men tying red bandanas on their heads".

18 posted on 06/03/2002 1:45:02 PM PDT by buccaneer81
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To: alisasny
In a recent check of airport screeners (post 9/11 mind you) the screeners missed a large percentage of the guns (I think it was 30 or 40 percent). So it's not impossible. Doubly not impossible if the guns were planted prior to boarding.

On the other hand knives are plausible too since trying to get guns aboard the planes is a riskier proposition.

In any case I doubt that it's all that relevent. No system, no matter how good, can stop all possible attacks. I think that many of the attempts to find fault with the government are based on the faulty premise that the government can make us perfectly safe. They never could do that. Unfortunately many of the things government is doing now, like confiscating fingernail clippers and spying on American citizens, will founder on the same foolish premise.

19 posted on 06/03/2002 1:48:32 PM PDT by alpowolf
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To: alpowolf
Still hard to believe that 4 planes were hijacked at the same time with the same similar plans. That 3 of them hit their targets....yet we still cant profile?????

I read somewhere that none of the planes had a full house so it was easy to get the passengers to the backs of the planes with minimul threats.

I can see a bomb threat with a box cutter working wonders on passengers taken off guard....why resist......the furthust thought from the passengers minds as well was they would never crash into buildings....

The only reason flight over PA rebelled was because they were warned and knew what was coming. The others on the other 3 planes had no idea.

20 posted on 06/03/2002 1:59:06 PM PDT by alisasny
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To: Phantom Lord
She [Barbara] had trouble getting through, because she wasn't using her cell phone - she was using the phone in the passengers' seats," said Mr Olson. "I guess she didn't have her purse, because she was calling collect, and she was trying to get through to the Department of Justice, which is never very easy." . "She wanted to know 'What can I tell the pilot? What can I do? How can I stop this?'"

Though the American Airlines Boeing 757 is fitted with individual telephones at each seat position, they are not of the variety where you can simply pick up the handset and ask for an operator. On many aircraft you can talk from one seat to another in the aircraft free of charge, but if you wish to access the outside world you must first swipe your credit card through the telephone. By Ted Olson's own admission, Barbara did not have a credit card with her.

It gets worse. On American Airlines there is a telephone "setup" charge of US$2.50 which can only be paid by credit card, then a US$2.50 (sometimes US$5.00) charge per minute of speech thereafter. The setup charge is the crucial element. Without paying it in advance by swiping your credit card you cannot access the external telephone network. Under these circumstances the passengers' seat phone on a Boeing 757 is a much use as a plastic toy.

Perhaps Ted Olson made a mistake and Barbara managed to borrow a credit card from a fellow passenger? Not a chance. If Barbara had done so, once swiped through the phone, the credit card would have enabled her to call whoever she wanted to for as long as she liked, negating any requirement to call collect.

21 posted on 06/03/2002 1:59:19 PM PDT by miamimark
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To: Kermit
"No message was ever received from flight 175 that mentioned any weapons. So, for all anyone knows, the hijackers may have used guns, grenades, poison gas or any other weapon "

Ok, he seems to be saying that since there is no evidence that they used box cutters they must have used guns or granades. Does anyone else see the utter stupidity of his assumptions.

A hint, there also is no evidence that they used guns or granades or whatever.

Its clear to me that the weapon used was stinky cheese.</sarcasm

22 posted on 06/03/2002 2:00:41 PM PDT by monday
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To: Kermit

This search for somebody on our side to blame pisses me off. These people make it sound like being searched and stripped is just a normal part of getting on an airplane, and if somebody didn't do it right that day, it's their fault that a gang of suicidal madmen from Islamic Hell were able to pull off a plan they'd been working on for five years.

That whole line of reasoning is so much crap. Since when should ordinary human beings have to anticipate every possible act that a fanatical madman might come up with, and submit to whatever measures might be necessary to eliminate the threat? That way lies a police state, and worse.

Prudent measures to deter the occasional nutcase I can see, but the measures required to stop dedicated madmen funded by an even crazier millionaire fanatic are beyond what people should have to deal with on a daily basis. The better, and far cheaper alternative, is to hunt down and kill the millionaire fanatic and as many of his followers as can be found. On that, we're off to a good start. As for putting cyanide detectors in every kitchen, and metal detectors in every grocery store, and all the 10,000 other things we'd have to do to really protect ourselves from an infinite supply of evil crazy people... screw it. The far better path to safety is find the crazies where they live and kill them before they act. Every dollar spent on another explosives-detection machine is a dollar that could have gone to hunting these bastards down and killing them.


23 posted on 06/03/2002 2:06:27 PM PDT by Nick Danger
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To: Marianne
It wouldn't have been PC in that pre-911 era to describe them physically; particulary, by their color.
24 posted on 06/03/2002 2:08:16 PM PDT by luvbach1
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To: concerned about politics
The liberal press is incapable of printing anything regarding BillyBoy's culpability in the 911 attacks. During his crime-ridden administration, the press acted as his Red Guard - protecting and deflecting for 8 years.

Words cannot describe how much I utterly loathe and detest that man. I will never forgive him for the damage he and his hag wife have done to our fair nation.

Your questions are excellent, but don't hold your breath waiting for them to be asked...

25 posted on 06/03/2002 2:08:45 PM PDT by Joan912
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To: Kermit
Didn't the people who called out on their cell phones give this information about the weapons the subhumans had?
26 posted on 06/03/2002 2:09:52 PM PDT by Terriergal
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Comment #27 Removed by Moderator

To: Kermit

Sorry. This is a bunch of uninformed nonsense. There is overwhelming evidence of the box cutters. Not only from the instructions in the letters that they left behind, and their computers. But also to the taped box cutters under the seats of other flights that were aborted. Let us not forget the wal-mart video on the night prior to the attack where they bought box cutters.


Geeze. Research before you write such blather.


28 posted on 06/03/2002 2:13:47 PM PDT by vannrox
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To: Kermit
How is it possible for plastic knives to have survived that inferno? Most likely, the terrorists disabled people with some type of pepper spray amd then either used box cutters or took knives from the galley to use as weapons. If the black boxes from the planes that hit the Towers were never recovered, I doubt much else could have survived.
29 posted on 06/03/2002 2:13:51 PM PDT by stanz
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To: Kermit
hijackers used weapons that are distinctively different - - plastic knives.

I'm in mind of a movie I just watched again last night.... "Grosse Pointe Blank" - in which the weapon of choice was a ball point pen. Ball point pen to the jugular is certainly as deadly a weapon as a plastic knife. I can't imagine that a plastic knife is capable of holding any edge, unless someone can correct me here... ceramic maybe. HOWEVER plastic knives could be used to kill someone just as a ball point pen could, by puncture. However wrestling someone into position and puncturing someone's jugular would be a heck of a lot harder than slashing with a long edge,especially if someone had interfered.

30 posted on 06/03/2002 2:14:38 PM PDT by Terriergal
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To: miamimark
I thought it was on her cell phone. Which is not allowed, generally but who is going to care, except the hijackers, in that case.
31 posted on 06/03/2002 2:15:30 PM PDT by Terriergal
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To: BUSHdude2000
I RECALL HEARING THE SAME THING, and RE BARBARA OLSEN, I THOUGHT SHE USED HER CELLPHONE TO CALL HER HUSBAND...what short memories we all have
32 posted on 06/03/2002 2:15:56 PM PDT by Eowyn-of-Rohan
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To: concerned about politics
your sentiment is duly noted. :-)
33 posted on 06/03/2002 2:16:46 PM PDT by Terriergal
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To: Kermit
Any body ever think of one of these?

CIA Letter Opener

34 posted on 06/03/2002 2:17:19 PM PDT by gilor
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To: All
What is the evidence that Europeans used smallpox infected blankets to purposely kill Native Americans?

I hear that all the time from leftist historians who want to discredit Western Civilization, but do these historians have signed orders from Queen Isabella saying to dump smallpox blankets off on the Indians? Are there records from the Catholic Church about this conspiracy? Is it conjecture made a half millennium after the fact because a bunch of Indians died from a disease with smallpox-like symptoms? What?

Cell phone calls made to authorities from the hijacked flights talk about the Arab terrorists cutting the throat of a stewardess. Maybe it wasn't a "boxcutter" but the terrorist probably used a knife. I doubt the terrorist sliced that woman's throat with a copy of Eminem's new CD, kids.

35 posted on 06/03/2002 2:19:24 PM PDT by Scott McCollum
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To: miamimark
I would think that if she picked up the phone and there was a way to get an operator, she would have been exempted from having to swipe her credit card due to the nature of the emergency... maybe... just like 911 calls are free on pay phones.
36 posted on 06/03/2002 2:19:27 PM PDT by Terriergal
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To: Nick Danger
Spot On Nick. Probably the most reasonable, well-thought through post I've read on FR in quite some time.

Ditto your comments, and BUMP!

37 posted on 06/03/2002 2:20:33 PM PDT by usconservative
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To: Scott McCollum;miamimark
I am also thinking that just because Olson didn't have her purse with her, doesn't mean she didn't have her credit card with her. My husband carries a very small cardholder instead of carrying his entire billfold.
38 posted on 06/03/2002 2:22:01 PM PDT by Terriergal
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To: Kermit
Anyone have any other info?



Uh-huh. Follows:

By Paul Sperry
© 2002 WorldNetDaily.com

WASHINGTON – FBI investigators found a stout "fighting" knife among the wreckage at the United Airlines Flight 93 crash site in western Pennsylvania, says a federal official who reviewed photographs of evidence at FBI headquarters here.

It's no secret that Islamic terrorists carried knives on board Flight 93 and the three other planes they hijacked on Sept. 11, but they were widely thought to be box cutters and possibly other short-bladed knives.

Any knife with a blade less than four inches, including box cutters, was allowed on planes under Federal Aviation Administration rules before the attacks.

"One of the knives found at the crash site in Pennsylvania was one of those belt-clip, serrated, locking-blade knives," the official said. "Its design is purely and simply a fighting knife."

He added: "Knives such as these should not have been allowed through (airport) checkpoints," assuming the knife was not stowed in checked baggage.

Flight 93 took off from Newark, N.J.

The official, a specialist in aviation security, says he saw a large photograph of the so-called fighting knife, broken in "two or three pieces," hanging on the wall, along with other photos of evidence collected from crash sites that day, at the FBI's Strategic Information and Operations Center. SIOC [SY-OCK], as it's called, is where the FBI stages major crime investigations.

Hijacking ringleader Mohammed Atta bought two knives before the attacks – one on June 25, 2001, in Dubai, U.A.E., and another on July 8, 2001, in Zurich, Switzerland, according to the Justice Department's indictment of suspected "20th hijacker" Zacarias Moussaoui.

The FBI declined to comment on the Flight 93 knife.

"That would be considered evidence in an active investigation, so we can't comment," said FBI spokesman Paul Bresson.



Paul Sperry is Washington bureau chief for WorldNetDaily.
39 posted on 06/03/2002 2:26:24 PM PDT by archy
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To: Kermit
An executive summary of an unpublished FAA memo stated:

"At approximately 9:18 am, it was reported that two crew members in the cockpit were stabbed. The flight then descended with no communications from the flight crew members. The American Airlines FAA Principal Security Inspector (PFI) was notified by Suzanne Clark of American airlines Corporate Headquarters that an on board flight attendant contacted American Airlines Operation Center and informed that a passenger located in seat 10B shot and killed a passenger in 9B at 9:20 am. The passenger killed was Daniel Lewin shot by Satam al-Suqama. One bullet was reported to have been fired." The information came from two cell phone calls made by flight attendants, Betty Ong and Madeline Amy Sweeney, to Americal Airlines ground controllers. Ong, who was in the first class compartment— and the only witness to the assault on the cockpit. She reported that she had seen four hijackers come from first-class seats, kill a passenger seated behind them, and use a chemical weapon which she described as "some sort of spray" that made her eyes burn and made it difficult for her to breathe." Madeline Amy Sweeney, the flight attendant in the rear compartment, call was not recorded. According to the ground controller, she said that the pilots, another flight attendant and a passenger had been stabbed or killed.
The FAA subsequently said that the report of a gun shot was an error proceeding from a "miscommunication". The ground controller did not recall a gun shot or a bullet being mentioned.

By Paul Sperry
© 2002 WorldNetDaily.com

WASHINGTON – A Federal Aviation Administration official says a disputed high-level report detailing a shooting aboard American Airlines Flight 11 on Sept. 11 is not a mistaken first draft, as claimed by FAA management.

The official, a veteran security specialist, says he was at FAA headquarters here when the "executive summary" of the four hijacked flights was written late that tragic day for FAA Administrator Jane Garvey and other top managers.

"The document was reviewed for accuracy by a number of people in the room, including myself and a couple of managers of the operations center," he told WorldNetDaily.

"Nobody disputed it before I left work for the day," which was close to midnight, said the official, who asked to go unnamed.

His account is at odds with the FAA's.

According to FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown, the passage about hijacker Satam al-Suqami shooting and killing passenger Daniel Lewin with a single bullet on the flight out of Boston, was "corrected" that day in a "final summary" to Garvey. The alleged earlier draft was written at 5:31 p.m.

"That report was prepared for the evening. As soon as that piece of paper was prepared and people in security saw it, they said, 'No, no, no, no, we found out that wasn't true.' And it was corrected," Brown said in a Feb. 27 interview with WorldNetDaily. "So that was a draft of the final executive summary."

Brown told the Washington Post much the same thing in a March 2 article.

"By the end of the day, they knew that there had not been a gun on the aircraft," she was quoted as saying.

Asked again for a copy of the "final summary," Brown refused, reiterating that it is "protected information." She would not explain why a corrected version of a memo that has already been made public might still be sensitive.

Brown agreed to check the time that the alleged final draft was written, but has not followed up. A copy of the document obtained by WorldNetDaily is time-stamped "9/11/01 5:31 p.m."

The report is controversial because, up until now, there was every indication that the 19 hijackers used box cutters – a legal carry-on item at the time – and therefore did not breach airport security, which was managed by the airlines and regulated by the FAA. Guns, of course, are banned.

The official who was at the FAA Operation Center the day the report was prepared says he knows its author, and that the employee is not known to make mistakes.

"The person is extremely competent," he said, declining to reveal the author's name.

A former FAA special agent says he understands one of the authors to be Penny Anderson, an official in FAA's international operations division.

"She was involved in the writing, proofing and delivery of the report," said Steve Elson, an airport-security whistleblower who has maintained close ties to many FAA staffers since resigning from the agency in 1999. "She hand-delivered it to Garvey on the 10th floor."

Brown would not say when Garvey got a copy of the summary.

"Penny is bright and pays attention to detail," Elson said. "I'd be surprised if she'd let a mistake like that get by."

He added: "I don't think there is any second draft."

Anderson referred questions to FAA's press office. Brown declined comment when asked about Anderson's contribution to the Sept. 11 report.

If the report of a gunshot is a mistaken draft, two others things are curious – it's not labeled "draft," and it wasn't destroyed.

Brown says she can't explain it. But she maintains that there was no gun aboard Flight 11, and that the account resulted from a "miscommunication" between FAA headquarters and American Airlines dispatch centers.

What kind of "miscommunication"? She would not elaborate.

But Brown points out that, given the multiple jumbo-jet crashes and catastrophic attacks on the country that day, the information-gathering process at the operations center was unusually chaotic, leading to several errors – only one of which was the gun account.

Indeed, the same Flight 11 summary containing the gun incident said the jet crashed at 9:25 a.m, when in fact it hit the first World Trade Center tower at 8:48 a.m. In another error, United Airlines Flight 93 passenger Christian Adams' name is misspelled as "Christine."

Still, these errors are perfunctory by comparison. There's a big difference between confusing weapons and causes of death, and mixing up times and spellings of names, skeptics point out.

Sources familiar with what happened that day in FAA's emergency operations center say information was coming in at a frenetic pace. As new pieces of data arrived, they were written down on paper and posted on a "status board" for the four flights. At the end of the day, one or more staffers summarized all the information on the board in a report.

The gunshot account "was recorded factually from what was on the wall containing all the information we had at that point in time," the FAA source involved in the process said.

The shooting passage is the most specific in the report:

"The American Airlines FAA Principal Security Inspector (PSI) was notified by Suzanne Clark of American Airlines Corporate Headquarters that an on board flight attendant contacted American Airlines Operations Center and informed that a passenger located in seat 10B shot and killed a passenger in seat 9B at 9:20 a.m.

"The passenger killed was Daniel Lewin, shot by passenger Satam Al Suqami. One bullet was reported to have been fired."

Apart from the time, many of the details check out.

The passenger seating matches that of the airline's manifest. Clark in Fort Worth did contact FAA Principal Security Inspector Janet Riffe in Washington, though both deny discussing a gun.

"We do not know where that got its life in this summary written for Jane Garvey," said American Airlines spokesman John Hotard.

Also, an American flight attendant on the plane did call and report a passenger being killed by hijackers seated in rows 9 and 10 – although the passenger died of stab wounds, according to the FBI's account of what she said. And she called Logan International Airport in Boston, however, not American's system operations control center at Fort Worth. It was another American flight attendant who called Fort Worth, but she apparently did not mention a passenger being killed.

The FBI, which got the manifest from American within hours of the first crash, denies it was the FAA source for the gun story.

And officials at the bureau say they have come up with no evidence in their investigation of the hijackings to suggest any passengers were shot aboard the flights.

"There is no evidence that any shots were fired at any time on any of the flights," FBI spokesman Bill Carter told WorldNetDaily.

So how did a detailed account of a shooting on Flight 11 end up in a high-level government report?

"In any investigation, there is information that may be developed very early on that, after further scrutiny and further investigation, is determined to be no longer operative," Carter explained.

Previous stories:

Hijacker shot Flight 11 passenger: FAA memo

American Airlines denies giving gun info to FAA

Did FAA get Flight 11 gun info from FBI?

FAA covering up 9-11 gun, whistleblower agent claims

Israeli aboard Flight 11 'executed,' friends say

40 posted on 06/03/2002 2:32:50 PM PDT by archy
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To: miamimark
Since you copied your comment word-for-word from this conspiracy theory page, I can only assume you're using it as your source of information.

It's wrong. You can pick up the phone and dial "12#" and be connected to an operator. End of conspiracy.

41 posted on 06/03/2002 2:38:35 PM PDT by Timesink
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: *conspiracy
*Index Bump
42 posted on 06/03/2002 2:47:38 PM PDT by Fish out of Water
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: vannrox
Here's what I wrote:

"I'm not a fan of Edward Jay Epstein, but if he's correct here, I for one have been taken in."

I was under the same impression that you have. Epstein refered to the FAA's executive summary, which I posted above. I guess in one spot, it refers to "cardboard cutters".

Another post above, refers to a "folding fighting knife", which isn't a box cutter. I was hoping many FReepers would have a handle on this and could refute Epstein.

43 posted on 06/03/2002 2:55:26 PM PDT by Kermit
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Kermit
An executive summary of an unpublished FAA memo stated:

"At approximately 9:18 am, it was reported that two crew members in the cockpit were stabbed. The flight then descended with no communications from the flight crew members. The American Airlines FAA Principal Security Inspector (PFI) was notified by Suzanne Clark of American airlines Corporate Headquarters that an on board flight attendant contacted American Airlines Operation Center and informed that a passenger located in seat 10B shot and killed a passenger in 9B at 9:20 am. The passenger killed was Daniel Lewin shot by Satam al-Suqama. One bullet was reported to have been fired."

By Paul Sperry
© 2002 WorldNetDaily.com

WASHINGTON – He could bench-press 315 pounds and squat more than 450 pounds as a teen-ager. As an officer in an elite unit of the Israeli army, he was trained to kill terrorists with a pen or a credit card, or just his bare hands.

On Sept. 11, he may have gotten the chance.

As fate would have it, Daniel C. Lewin, a 31-year-old Israeli-American, was seated on American Airlines Flight 11 between hijackers Mohammed Atta and Abdulaziz Alomari in the row in front of him, and hijacker Satam al-Suqami in the row behind him.

A secret Federal Aviation Administration executive summary, first uncovered by WorldNetDaily, says that al-Suqami, who would have been sitting directly behind Lewin in seat 10B, shot and killed Lewin with a single bullet.


Daniel C. Lewin

The FAA maintains the high-level report was a mistaken first draft and that Lewin was more than likely stabbed, not shot, along with American Airlines crew members on Flight 11. (Box cutters were allowed that day through airline security, which the FAA regulated, but not guns.)

But a childhood friend who served with Lewin in the Israel Defense Force says only a bullet would have stopped Lewin.

"He'd be more than a match for those skinny little (expletive)," said Brad Rephen, a New York lawyer who grew up with Lewin in Jerusalem. "With his training, he would have killed them with his bare hands."

"I can tell you, their knives would not have stopped him," he added. "He would have taken their knives or their box cutters away and used them against them."

Rephen recalls Lewin's injured hands after he returned from an Israeli anti-terrorist training course.

"They were pretty beaten up from the fighting he did," he said. "He knew how to fight with knives and take knives away from people."

He described Lewin, at about 5-11, 200 pounds, as "thick-boned." He says he witnessed him bench-press more than 300 pounds and squat close to 500 pounds.

"He was very, very strong and had a lot of meat on him," Rephen said. "They couldn't have subdued him by slashing him. The only way they could have stopped him was by shooting him."

Before returning to America, where he worked as an Internet company executive in Boston, the Denver-born Lewin was a captain in Sayeret Matkal, a top-secret reconnaissance unit of the Israeli army used for special anti-terror missions such as the raid on Entebbe. In 1976, Israeli commandos rescued 103 hostages from a gang of Arab terrorists at the airport in the Ugandan capital.

Lewin went on dozens of such missions, friends say. In the '80s, for example, he helped rescue thousands of Jews stranded in Ethiopia. His outfit – Unit 269 – secured the airport there during the airlift operation, friends say.

Rephen called Lewin "the best of the best."

"About 2,500 guys try out for the unit he was in," he said. "Twenty-five make it, and one gets chosen as an officer. It was him."

He was also extremely tough and determined, Rephen says.

He recalls an earlier time, during basic military training, when Lewin fell into a ravine and was knocked unconscious and rushed to the hospital.

"He was back the next day," Rephen said.

He guesses that Lewin, who understood Arabic, sensed something was wrong on Flight 11 the moment he took his seat next to the three terrorists, including Atta, the ringleader.

"He probably picked up that they were on a suicide mission by what they were saying or wearing," Rephen said.

"Hamas and other Islamic terrorist groups put on headbands as badges of their death," he added. "If they put that stuff on, and he saw it, he would have known the ride was over."

And then he would have made his move.

"If I know Danny, when he realized what they were doing, he attacked them," Rephen said. "He probably cursed them in Arabic to scare them, and then he hurt them."

He speculates that during the struggle with Atta and the other hijacker sitting in front of Lewin in row 8, al-Suqami shot him from behind.

"I have no doubt they got a gun on the plane as a backup for a situation like that," Rephen said, speculating that they either brought it on board the plane, likely in pieces, or had it planted there earlier by ground services crew.

The FAA report, though very specific, does not indicate whether Lewin was killed during a struggle or while sitting in his seat. Whatever happened, it likely went down within 15 minutes or so of takeoff. Authorities say the pilots were overpowered by then.

Rephen, like other Lewin friends and associates contacted by WorldNetDaily, doubts the report of gunfire was written in error.

"If this were an error, they wouldn't have been so fact-specific," Rephen said.

The FBI says the Lewin incident is still under investigation.

"I don't think we know for sure right now if he was killed" on board the flight, said FBI spokesman Paul Bresson. "All of this is something we're trying to figure out ourselves."

Attempts to reach Lewin's family were unsuccessful. His wife and children live in the Boston area, and his parents, both doctors, and two younger brothers live in Israel.

Previous stories:

Friends think Flight 11 Israeli was 'executed'

FAA official insists gun memo not draft

Hijacker shot passenger on Flight 11: FAA memo

Terrorists slit throats of 2 AA flight attendants



Paul Sperry is Washington bureau chief for WorldNetDaily.
44 posted on 06/03/2002 2:56:28 PM PDT by archy
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To: Kermit
An executive summary of an unpublished FAA memo stated:

"At approximately 9:18 am, it was reported that two crew members in the cockpit were stabbed. The flight then descended with no communications from the flight crew members. The American Airlines FAA Principal Security Inspector (PFI) was notified by Suzanne Clark of American airlines Corporate Headquarters that an on board flight attendant contacted American Airlines Operation Center and informed that a passenger located in seat 10B shot and killed a passenger in 9B at 9:20 am. The passenger killed was Daniel Lewin shot by Satam al-Suqama. One bullet was reported to have been fired."

By Paul Sperry
© 2002 WorldNetDaily.com

WASHINGTON – He could bench-press 315 pounds and squat more than 450 pounds as a teen-ager. As an officer in an elite unit of the Israeli army, he was trained to kill terrorists with a pen or a credit card, or just his bare hands.

On Sept. 11, he may have gotten the chance.

As fate would have it, Daniel C. Lewin, a 31-year-old Israeli-American, was seated on American Airlines Flight 11 between hijackers Mohammed Atta and Abdulaziz Alomari in the row in front of him, and hijacker Satam al-Suqami in the row behind him.

A secret Federal Aviation Administration executive summary, first uncovered by WorldNetDaily, says that al-Suqami, who would have been sitting directly behind Lewin in seat 10B, shot and killed Lewin with a single bullet.


Daniel C. Lewin

The FAA maintains the high-level report was a mistaken first draft and that Lewin was more than likely stabbed, not shot, along with American Airlines crew members on Flight 11. (Box cutters were allowed that day through airline security, which the FAA regulated, but not guns.)

But a childhood friend who served with Lewin in the Israel Defense Force says only a bullet would have stopped Lewin.

"He'd be more than a match for those skinny little (expletive)," said Brad Rephen, a New York lawyer who grew up with Lewin in Jerusalem. "With his training, he would have killed them with his bare hands."

"I can tell you, their knives would not have stopped him," he added. "He would have taken their knives or their box cutters away and used them against them."

Rephen recalls Lewin's injured hands after he returned from an Israeli anti-terrorist training course.

"They were pretty beaten up from the fighting he did," he said. "He knew how to fight with knives and take knives away from people."

He described Lewin, at about 5-11, 200 pounds, as "thick-boned." He says he witnessed him bench-press more than 300 pounds and squat close to 500 pounds.

"He was very, very strong and had a lot of meat on him," Rephen said. "They couldn't have subdued him by slashing him. The only way they could have stopped him was by shooting him."

Before returning to America, where he worked as an Internet company executive in Boston, the Denver-born Lewin was a captain in Sayeret Matkal, a top-secret reconnaissance unit of the Israeli army used for special anti-terror missions such as the raid on Entebbe. In 1976, Israeli commandos rescued 103 hostages from a gang of Arab terrorists at the airport in the Ugandan capital.

Lewin went on dozens of such missions, friends say. In the '80s, for example, he helped rescue thousands of Jews stranded in Ethiopia. His outfit – Unit 269 – secured the airport there during the airlift operation, friends say.

Rephen called Lewin "the best of the best."

"About 2,500 guys try out for the unit he was in," he said. "Twenty-five make it, and one gets chosen as an officer. It was him."

He was also extremely tough and determined, Rephen says.

He recalls an earlier time, during basic military training, when Lewin fell into a ravine and was knocked unconscious and rushed to the hospital.

"He was back the next day," Rephen said.

He guesses that Lewin, who understood Arabic, sensed something was wrong on Flight 11 the moment he took his seat next to the three terrorists, including Atta, the ringleader.

"He probably picked up that they were on a suicide mission by what they were saying or wearing," Rephen said.

"Hamas and other Islamic terrorist groups put on headbands as badges of their death," he added. "If they put that stuff on, and he saw it, he would have known the ride was over."

And then he would have made his move.

"If I know Danny, when he realized what they were doing, he attacked them," Rephen said. "He probably cursed them in Arabic to scare them, and then he hurt them."

He speculates that during the struggle with Atta and the other hijacker sitting in front of Lewin in row 8, al-Suqami shot him from behind.

"I have no doubt they got a gun on the plane as a backup for a situation like that," Rephen said, speculating that they either brought it on board the plane, likely in pieces, or had it planted there earlier by ground services crew.

The FAA report, though very specific, does not indicate whether Lewin was killed during a struggle or while sitting in his seat. Whatever happened, it likely went down within 15 minutes or so of takeoff. Authorities say the pilots were overpowered by then.

Rephen, like other Lewin friends and associates contacted by WorldNetDaily, doubts the report of gunfire was written in error.

"If this were an error, they wouldn't have been so fact-specific," Rephen said.

The FBI says the Lewin incident is still under investigation.

"I don't think we know for sure right now if he was killed" on board the flight, said FBI spokesman Paul Bresson. "All of this is something we're trying to figure out ourselves."

Attempts to reach Lewin's family were unsuccessful. His wife and children live in the Boston area, and his parents, both doctors, and two younger brothers live in Israel.

Previous stories:

Friends think Flight 11 Israeli was 'executed'

FAA official insists gun memo not draft

Hijacker shot passenger on Flight 11: FAA memo

Terrorists slit throats of 2 AA flight attendants



Paul Sperry is Washington bureau chief for WorldNetDaily.


45 posted on 06/03/2002 2:56:51 PM PDT by archy
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To: Terriergal
If she had her credit card, why would she making a collect call, as Olson stated she did.

In subsequent interviews he changed his story and said she called from her cell phone and that the hijackers had box cutters.

46 posted on 06/03/2002 3:00:40 PM PDT by miamimark
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To: Kermit
I am sure 50 people have already or will post this but Barbara Olson told Ted Olson this as a direct witness to one of the flights. I do not think Ted Olson would make this up.
47 posted on 06/03/2002 3:04:01 PM PDT by TaRaRaBoomDeAyGoreLostToday!
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To: Timesink
Thanks-I wasn't aware that you could hit 12# and call collect. Never saw that printed on the instructions.
48 posted on 06/03/2002 3:04:43 PM PDT by miamimark
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To: gilor
Any body ever think of one of these?

CIA Letter Opener

I like these newer, improved ones better:

The Cold Steel *Delta Darts* are decent, too:

Three of them rest neatly behind a wide tie, and their zytel nylon construction makes them tough, light and bloodstain-resistant. They also serve rather nicely as tentpegs on ice or frozen hardpacked clay.

49 posted on 06/03/2002 3:11:57 PM PDT by archy
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To: JmyBryan
If anything, I think the "plastic" mention is Bull$#!+. The gov't was willing to pay out alot of money to protect the airlines. There's more than a possibility they'd be willing to engage in a bit of "misinformation" here and there. Oh, and I'm no tin-foiler, either. But there are now doubts in my mind about the weaponry used.
50 posted on 06/03/2002 3:18:50 PM PDT by stands2reason
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