Possible Explanation of the Rather/Kennedy Interview
By Mark D

12/1/01

Original Link: 
http://makethemaccountable.com/whatwhen/Rather1.htm

Regarding the Dan Rather/Tom Kennedy audio clip which is purported to "prove" that FEMA knew about the WTC attacks before September 11th, I decided to do a bit of research into it myself. I originally went out to try and prove that the audio clip was doctored or otherwise a hoax, but instead came up with a completely reasonable explanation for everything.

The Urban Search and Rescue program is not a single unit, but a program made up of twenty-eight teams across the country (http://www.fema.gov/usr/tasklist.htm). According to the web site, the US&R "is a framework for structuring local emergency services personnel into integrated disaster response task forces." In other words, they are fire fighters and local emergency teams from various metropolitan areas that are specially trained to deal with large-scale disasters. In the case of a disaster, they are equipped to deploy, at very short notice, to any part of the country.

On September 11th, FEMA mobilized twelve US&R teams, eight to New York and four to the Pentagon (http://www.fema.gov/nwz01/nwz01_94.htm). All twenty-eight team were on alert.

By Sunday, Sept 16th, plans were set up for a nine-team rotation in New York City (http://www.fema.gov/nwz01/nwz01_111.htm).

By MONDAY, September 17th, [please note the day], nine teams were working at the site. That same day, US&R Texas Task Force 1 left Austin, TX for rotation in New York City (http://www.fema.gov/emanagers//nat091701.htm).

By Tuesday, Sept. 18th, two more teams were scheduled to deploy (I assume the Texas unit was one of them - the other is not mentioned), with four more teams to arrive on Wednesday (http://www.fema.gov/nwz01/nwz01_128.htm) to relieve the teams that had been there since the 11th (see also http://www.fema.gov/nwz01/nwz01_122.htm).

From that point on, teams were rotated on a regular basis. For a blow by blow, here is the main page for September operations: http://www.fema.gov/diz01/d1391n_sept01.htm

Although I've been unable to confirm this, it seems reasonable to assume that Tom Kennedy could have been in the Texas task force that arrived on Monday (making them the last team to arrive before rotation started). Considering that actual rotation didn't start until Wednesday, the 19th, it is NOT unreasonable to consider either of the two teams that deployed on Tuesday "one of the first teams that was deployed".

Without hearing a full-length version of the Rather/Kennedy interview, it is ridiculous to assume that the interview was made during the first week after the disaster. It is even more ridiculous to think that Mr. Rather, or any of the several million viewers could have let that one slip by unnoticed. Do we even know the source of this clip?

I think we have our explanation, and there is nothing sinister about it.

I want you to know that I fully support your efforts. This is not meant in any way to discredit your work. In fact, my purpose is just the opposite. If you/we are going to maintain any sort of credibility in these times, we must strive to present our views based on good evidence, and not rumour and/or fabrication.

Of course, I know you can't verify everything, and I'm not accusing you of making this shit up. For what it's worth, I think you're doing a wonderful job.

It is my sincere hope that you will point out to your readers that this story is a hoax, and put it behind us. There is still plenty of stink coming out of Washington to keep us busy. Please don't resort to the same fear-mongering that those in power are using against us.

My response

Thanks for the explanation.  What you say makes sense, except for Tom Kennedy's obvious non-Texas accent (which doesn't prove that he doesn't live in Texas, of course) and for the fact that FEMA won't explain and won't allow him to explain.
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