2,402. 9/11/2001

After hearing about the first crash at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, ” ‘The President [Bush]was surprised,’ said [White House Press Secretary Ari] Fleischer. ‘He thought it had to be an accident.’ Yet, despite having a secure STU-III phone next to him in the presidential limousine and an entire national security staff at the White House, it appears that the President of the United States knew less than tens of millions of other people…watching the attack.” President Bush asked National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice to keep him informed. “Yet even then, at almost 9:00, neither Rice nor Bush was aware that the United States had gone to ‘battle stations’ alert and had scrambled fighter jets into the air to intercept and possibly take hostile action against multiple hijacked airliners, something that was then known by hundreds of others within NORAD [North American Aerospace Defense Command], the Federal Aviation Administration, and the Pentagon.”

 – James Bamford, A Pretext for War, Page 17

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