“During his surprise Christmas Eve trip to Iraq, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld referred to the flight being shot down – long a suspicion because of the danger the flight posed to Washington landmarks and population centers.
On the Sept. 16, 2001, edition of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Vice President Dick Cheney, while not addressing Flight 93 specifically, spoke clearly to the administration’s clear policy regarding shooting down hijacked jets.
Vice President Cheney: “Well, the – I suppose the toughest decision was this question of whether or not we would intercept incoming commercial aircraft.”
Cheney: “Yes. The president made the decision … that if the plane would not divert … as a last resort, our pilots were authorized to take them out.
“… It’s a presidential-level decision, and the president made, I think, exactly the right call in this case, to say, I wished we’d had combat air patrol up over New York.'”
Alliance Commander: “Seems odd you’d name your ship after a battle you were on the wrong side of.”
Mal: “May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.” – From the Firefly episode “Bushwhacked”