2,493. 9/11/2001

" 'There's been at least three instances here where we've had reports of aircraft approaching Washington–a couple were confirmed hijack,' [Vice President Dick] Cheney told [Secretary of Defense Donald] Rumsfeld [on the morning of September 11, 2001]… 'And pursuant to the President's [Bush's] instructions I gave authorization for them to be taken out.' Actually, the presidential authorization cited by Cheney consisted, at best, of the words 'You bet' from Bush as Air Force One streaked out of Orlando, Florida. In any event, it was Rumsfeld, not Cheney, who was legally in the chain of command and authorized to give such an order."

 – Andrew Cockburn, Rumsfeld, 6

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