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Point Pent-4: Was There Foreknowledge by Officials that the Pentagon would be
Point Pent-4: Attacked?

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The Official Account

Critical to the success of the 9/11 attacks was the element of surprise, which was emphasized by key White House and Pentagon officials:

  • President George Bush said, “They [al-Qaeda] struck in a way that was unimaginable.” [1]
  • Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said, “Never would have crossed anyone’s mind.” [2]
  • General Richard Myers, Deputy Commander of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said, “You hate to admit it, but we hadn’t thought about this.” [3]
  • White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said, “Never did we imagine what would take place on September 11th, where people used those airplanes as missiles and weapons.” [4]
  • National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice said, “I don’t think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon; that they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile.” [5]
  • Air Force Lt. Col. Vic Warzinski, a Pentagon spokesman, said: “The Pentagon was simply not aware that this aircraft was coming our way, and I doubt prior to Tuesday’s event, anyone would have expected anything like that here. There was no foreshadowing, no particular warning that would have led anyone with any reasonable view of the world to think this was a threat we faced.” [6]

The Best Evidence

The following evidence suggests that an attack on the Pentagon was not at all unexpected: [7]

I. Pre-911 Military Exercises Involving Planes Flown into the Pentagon

  • In 1999 NORAD conducted hijacking exercises where planes were flown into the Pentagon and the World Trade Center. [8]
  • The US military held an exercise rehearsing a response to an airliner crash at the Pentagon on October 24-26, 2000. Emergency responders from the Pentagon and Arlington County assembled in a conference room in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for a mass casualty exercise that involved a commercial airliner crashing into the Pentagon and killing 341 people. [9]
  • Department of Defense medical personnel trained for the scenario of a “guided missile in the form of a hijacked 757 airliner” being flown into the Pentagon in May, 2001. [10]

II. Government Officials Warned Not to Fly

Several warnings from security sources to Pentagon and other officials about flying on September 11 were reported in the news:

  • In a story about warnings, Newsweek reported: “On Sept. 10, Newsweek has learned, a group of top Pentagon officials suddenly canceled travel plans for the next morning, apparently because of security concerns.” [11]
  • San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown received a warning from what he described as his airport security people late Monday evening. [12]
  • Salman Rushdie was prevented, by an emergency resolution from the FAA, from flying the week of September 11th, 2001. [13]

III. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld Twice Predicts Imminent Pentagon Attacks

  • On the morning of September 11, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, seeking approval for enhanced missile defense, held a well-attended 8:00 – 8:50 AM Pentagon breakfast meeting with House supporters. The meeting was winding down just about the time the first Tower was hit at 8:46 AM. During the course of the meeting, Rumsfeld reportedly said that “sometime in the next two, four, six, eight, ten, twelve months there would be an event that would occur in the world that would be sufficiently shocking that it would remind people again how important it is to have a strong healthy defense department.” [14]
  • Later, in a meeting in Rumsfeld’s office, Christopher Cox, the defense policy committee chairman of the House of Representatives, reported Rumsfeld to have been more specific. Cox said:

    “Just moments before the Department of Defense was hit by a suicide hijacker, Secretary Rumsfeld was describing to me why America needs to … focus on the real threat facing us in the 21st century: terrorism, and the unexpected. …

    ‘If we remain vulnerable to missile attack, a terrorist group or rogue state that demonstrates the capacity to strike the U.S. or its allies from long range could have the power to hold our entire country hostage to nuclear or other blackmail,’ he said ‘And let me tell you … there will be another event … There will be another event.’ ” [15]

    According to The Telegraph, Donald Rumsfeld, the Secretary of Defense, was in his office on the eastern side of the building, in a meeting with Christopher Cox. Mr Rumsfeld, recalls Mr Cox, watched the TV coverage from New York and said: “Believe me, this isn’t over yet. There’s going to be another attack, and it could be us.” [16]

    Moments later, the plane hit [the Pentagon]. (When the attack did occur, it did not threaten Rumsfeld, as the attack was on the opposite side of the building.)

IV. NBC’s Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski Warned of Pentagon Attack by Intelligence Officer

Sometime between 9:03 and 9:37 AM, NBC’s Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski said on camera:

“The first time I heard the word ‘terrorism’ out of any US official came shortly after the second plane hit, and I bumped into a US military intelligence official, and I said, ‘Look … what have you got?’ And he said ‘Obviously this is clearly an act of terrorism. And then he got very close to me, and … almost silent for a few seconds, and he leaned in and he said, ‘This attack was so well coordinated that if I were you, I would stay off the E Ring’ – where our NBC office was – ‘the outer ring of the Pentagon for the rest of the day, because we’re next.’ ” [17]

The intelligence official’s apparent foreknowledge was unaccountably specific:

  1. How did he know the Pentagon would be hit next?
  2. Even if he had just guessed that the Pentagon would be hit next, how could he have guessed that the outermost E Ring would be the specific target?
  3. Of course, if an airplane attack had been aimed at one of the walls, the E Ring would have been struck. But why would he have guessed that the attack would have targeted one of the walls, which are only 80 feet high, when it would have been have been easier for a plane to dive into the Pentagon’s roof, where it might have killed the secretary of defense and some top brass?

V. FBI Confiscates Security Camera Videotapes within Minutes of Pentagon Attack

On the morning of 9/11, the Pentagon was surrounded by rush-hour traffic jams[18]

A Department of Justice after-action report describes the difficulty the FBI had in getting to the scene following the official attack time of 9:37 AM:

“The FBI Evidence Recovery Team began arriving before 10:00 a.m. and set up in a grassy area a short distance from the heliport. Because of the extremely congested traffic conditions, it took several hours for the entire FBI contingent to negotiate the route from the District of Columbia to the Pentagon.” [19]

The first priority of the Evidence Recovery Team was “to find and collect all the airplane parts and other bits of evidence from the lawn on the west side of the building, before firefighters and other rescue workers completely trampled it.” [20]

In spite of these conditions and priorities, FBI agents identified at least two private businesses whose security cameras may have captured the attack. The FBI agents then confiscated their videotapes within minutes after the Pentagon was hit:

  1. José Velásquez, the Citgo gas station supervisor was interviewed by the Richmond Times-Dispatch: “Velasquez says the gas station’s security cameras are close enough to the Pentagon to have recorded the moment of impact. ‘I’ve never seen what the pictures looked like,’ he said. ‘The FBI was here within minutes and took the film.’ ” [21]
  2. “A security camera atop a hotel close to the Pentagon may have captured dramatic footage of the hijacked Boeing 757 airliner as it slammed into the western wall of the Pentagon. Hotel employees sat watching the film in shock and horror several times before the FBI confiscated the video.” [22]

The FBI agents who arrived so promptly to seize the business videotapes appeared to be operating separately from the traffic-delayed FBI Evidence Recovery Team.


The idea of 9/11 foreknowledge is also covered in a Consensus Point about World Trade Center 7, another about insider trading, a third about VP Cheney’s role regarding the Pentagon, a fourth about NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and a fifth Point about the Able Danger data-mining discoveries.

This compelling array of evidence suggests that there was foreknowledge of the Pentagon attack by various officials. The strike on the Pentagon (whatever its nature) requires a full, impartial investigation with subpoena power.

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References for Point Pent-4
White House News Release, “President Meets with Muslim Leaders,” September 26, 2001.
Text: Rumsfeld on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press,’ ” September 30, 2001.
American Free Press Service, US Department of Defense, Oct. 23, 2001.
Air Attack on Pentagon Indicates Weaknesses,” by Sylvia Adcock, Brian Donovan and Craig Gordon, Newsday, September 23, 2001.
When a statement is made about the Pentagon being “attacked,” it is often assumed that this means that the Pentagon was struck by an airplane. But evidence has not been adequate to establish the nature of the attack. What is known for certain is that there was an attack of some type, resulting in dozens of deaths.
Steven Komarow and Tom Squitieri, “NORAD had drills of jets as weapons,” USA Today, April 18, 2004; also: Barbara Starr, “NORAD exercise had jet crashing into building,” CNN Washington Bureau, April 19, 2004.
US Army. Military District of Washington, “Contingency planning Pentagon MASCAL exercise simulates scenarios in preparing for emergencies,” November 3, 2000.
Matt Mienka, “Pentagon Medics Trained for Strike,” US Medicine, October 1, 2001.
Mark Hosenball, “Bush: ‘We’re at War,’ ” Newsweek, September 23, 2001. The 9/11 Commission Report omitted this report.
Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross, “Willie Brown got low-key early warning about air travel,” San Francisco Chronicle, September 12, 2001.
James Doran, “Rushdie’s air ban,” London Times (Times Online), September 27, 2001.
“Secretary Rumsfeld Interview with Larry King,” Larry King Live, CNN, December 5, 2001. Transcript here.
Chairman Cox’s Statement on the Terrorist Attack on America,” Tuesday, September 11, 2001. The quote from his press release was picked up by Associated Press the same day: Robert Burns, “Pentagon attack came minutes after Rumsfeld predicted: ‘There will be another event,’The Topeka-Capitol Journal (Associated Press), September 11, 2001.
William Langley, “Revealed: what really went on during Bush’s ‘missing hours,’ ” The Telegraph, December 16, 2001.
For sound only see “9/11 News Oddities – Reporter Pre-Warned of Pentagon Attacks,” NBC News, September 11, 2001. For face-to-face footage of Mr. Miklaszewski, see video documentary by Massimo Mazzucco, “September 11: The New Pearl Harbor,” (@IMDb) 1:15:22 to 1:16:18 (or this short, 1.5 min excerpt).
Arlington County After-Action Report on the Response to the September 11 Terrorist Attack on the Pentagon,” Titan Systems Corporation under contract to Dept. of Justice, n.d. [2002], Annex A, p. A-22. “[t]he Crime Scene Team [was] onsite 30 minutes after the attack. Special Agent John Adams began organizing the FBI Evidence Recovery Team on a grassy site …” p. C-45.
Patrick Creed and Rick Newman, “Firefight: Inside the Battle to Save the Pentagon on 9/11,” Presidio Press, 2008, p. 80.
Bill McKelway, “Three Months On, Tension Lingers Near the Pentagon,” Richmond Times-Dispatch, December 11, 2001.
Bill Gertz and Rowan Scarborough, “Inside the Ring,” Washington Times, September 21, 2001.


Point ME-1: Did Military Exercises Show that the Military was Prepared for
Point ME-1: Domestic (as Well as Foreign) Hijackings?

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The Official Account

Critical to the success of the 9/11 attacks was the element of surprise, which was emphasized by key White House and Pentagon officials. [1]

The element of surprise, as the 9/11 Commission pointed out, rested on two factors:

  • Hijacked planes were used as weapons – a departure from predictable, traditional hijackings; [2]
  • The attacks originated, unpredictably, from within the country, rather than from outside. [3]
The Best Evidence

The military had trained for the possibility of hijacked planes used as weapons, including hijacked planes originating within the country. Professor John Arquilla, a Special Operations expert at the Naval Postgraduate School, stated in 2002 that “the idea of such an attack [using hijacked airliners for suicide attacks against major buildings] was well known, had been wargamed as a possibility in exercises before Sept. 11, 2001, and previous airline attacks had been attempted.” [4]

Multiple training drills using planes as weapons had taken place before September 11, 2001:

  • In October 2000, a military exercise had created a scenario of a simulated passenger plane crashing into the Pentagon. The exercise was coordinated by the Defense Protective Services Police and the Pentagon’s Command Emergency Response Team. [5]
  • US Medicine reported that two health clinics housed within the Pentagon trained for a hijacked airplane to hit the Pentagon in May 2001. “Though the Department of Defense had no capability in place to protect the Pentagon from an ersatz guided missile in the form of a hijacked 757 airliner, DoD medical personnel trained for exactly that scenario in May.” [6]
  • The Department of Transportation in Washington held an exercise on August 31, 2001, which Ellen Engleman, the administrator of the department’s Research and Special Projects Administration, described thus:

    “Ironically, fortuitously, take your choice, 12 days prior to the incident on September 11th, we were going through a tabletop exercise. It was actually much more than a tabletop … in preparation for the Olympic … which was a full intermodal exercise … Part of the scenario, interestingly enough, involved a potentially highjacked plane and someone calling on a cell phone, among other aspects of the scenario that were very strange when twelve days later, as you know, we had the actual event.” [7]

  • One such operation involved planes originating from inside the United States. According to USA Today:

    “In the two years before the Sept. 11 attacks, the North American Aerospace Defense Command conducted exercises simulating … hijacked airliners used as weapons to crash into targets and cause mass casualties … .[O]ne operation, planned in July 2001 and conducted later, involved planes from airports in Utah and Washington state that were hijacked.” [8]

  • The operation involving multiple hijacking drills using planes from inside the United States was Amalgam Virgo 2002, planned for 1500 people in July 2001 and scheduled for operation in June 2002. [9]
Contrary to claims by The 9/11 Commission Report, US military exercises prior to 9/11 involved hijackings – within as well as outside US airspace – in which planes were used as weapons.

Any new investigation should ask why the highest responsible officials denied that such preparation had preceded the attacks on 9/11, and why, given that preparation, no effective actions were taken to stop the hijacked planes from reaching their targets.

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References for Point ME-1
President George Bush said, “al Qaeda struck in a way that was unimaginable.” White House News Release. “President Meets with Muslim Leaders,” Sept. 26, 2001.

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said, “Never would have crossed anyone’s mind.” “Text: Rumsfeld on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press,’ ” September 30, 2001.

General Richard Myers, Deputy commander of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said, “You hate to admit it, but we hadn’t thought about this.” American Free Press Service, US Department of Defense, Oct. 23rd, 2001.

White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said, “Never did we imagine what would take place on September 11th, where people used those airplanes as missiles and weapons.” Ari Fleischer Press Briefing, May 16, 2002.

National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice said, “I don’t think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon; that they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile.” “National Security Advisor Holds Press Briefing,” May 16, 2002.

“In sum, the protocols in place on 9/11 for the FAA and NORAD to respond to a hijacking presumed that … the hijacking would take the traditional form: that is, it would not be a suicide hijacking designed to convert the aircraft into a guided missile.” The 9/11 Commission Report, 18.
“America’s homeland defenders faced outward. NORAD itself was barely able to retain any alert bases. Its planning scenarios occasionally considered the danger of hijacked aircraft being guided to American targets, but only aircraft that were coming from overseas.” The 9/11 Commission Report, 352.
Kevin Howe, “Expert Stresses Need for Intelligence,Monterey County Herald, 18 July 2002. Ken Merchant, NORAD’s joint exercise design manager, told the 9/11 Commission in 2003 that he could not “remember a time in the last 33 years when NORAD has not run a hijack exercise.” Memorandum for the Record: Interview with Ken Merchant, NORAD, November 14, 2003.
Matt Mientka, “Pentagon Medics Trained for Strike,” U.S. Medicine, October 2001. Although this story has been removed from the internet, a portion of it has been retained by
National Transportation Security Summit, Washington, DC, October 30, 2001, “MTI Report S-01-02,” Mineta Transportation Institute, San José State University, 2001.
Steven Komarow and Tom Squitieri, “NORAD Had Drills of Jets as Weapons,USA Today, April 18, 2004.
Airborne Anti-Terrorist Operation Getting Underway,”, June 4, 2002; Gerry J. Gilmore, “NORAD-Sponsored Exercise Prepares For Worst-Case Scenarios,American Forces Press Service.


Point MC-Intro: Overview of Contradicted Claims about Key Military and
Point MC-Intro: Political Leaders

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(Editor’s Note: References supporting this Overview Point are included on the linked pages of the individual Points summarized below.)


One of the most remarkable features of 9/11 is the fact that the official accounts of the activities of six political and military leaders with central roles on 9/11 – roles that put them in position to affect the outcome of crucial events of that day – are challenged by facts suggesting that each story is false or at best dubious.

President George W. Bush (Points MC-1, MC-2)

On the morning of 9/11, President Bush was visiting a grade school in Sarasota, Florida. When it appeared that hijackers were going after high-value targets, the head of the Secret Service detail allowed President Bush to remain at the school for 30 minutes, and to make a television address to the nation, thereby letting any terrorists know that the President was still there.

The Secret Service is charged with protecting the President. One of the unanswered questions, wrote the St. Petersburg Times, is “why the Secret Service did not immediately hustle Bush to a secure location.” The 9/11 Family Steering Committee asked: “Why was President Bush permitted by the Secret Service to remain in the Sarasota elementary school?”

The 9/11 Commission Report merely said, “The Secret Service told us they were anxious to move the President to a safer location, but did not think it imperative for him to run out the door.”

This break in protocol suggests – even if it does not prove – that the Secret Service, at some level, knew that the President was not in danger.

In addition, the White House, during the week of the first anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, described Bush’s visit to the school room in afalse way (see Point MC-2), which later had to be corrected after a videotape of the event emerged.

Vice President Dick Cheney (Points MC-3, MC-4)
According to the 9/11 Commission, Vice President Dick Cheney did not enter the PEOC (Presidential Emergency Operations Center), where he took charge of the government’s response to the attacks, until “shortly before 10:00,” hence after the Pentagon attack.

However, a number of witnesses – including Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta, White House photographer David Bohrer, and Cheney himself (on Meet the Press) – reported that Cheney was in the PEOC before the Pentagon attack. Most important was Mineta, who reported that Cheney had given responses to questions from a young officer, as a plane approached the Pentagon, about whether the “orders still stand.” Cheney’s reply that they did stand can best be understood as Cheney’s confirmation of a stand-down order.

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (Point MC-5)
According to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and The 9/11 Commission Report, Rumsfeld was in his office and oblivious to the attacks until he felt the attack on the Pentagon.

However, counter-terrorism coordinator Richard Clarke’s book Against All Enemies, which appeared in 2004 several months before the publication of The 9/11 Commission Report, portrayed Rumsfeld as being in the Pentagon’s video center in the Executive Support Center from shortly after the second WTC attack until after the attack on the Pentagon. Also, Robert Andrews, a deputy assistant secretary of defense, stated independently that, after the second WTC attack, Rumsfeld went across the hall to the Executive Support Center to join Clarke’s video conference.

It appears that the accounts given by Secretary Rumsfeld and the 9/11 Commission were false.

General Richard Myers (Point MC-6)
According to The 9/11 Commission Report and General Richard Myers, the Acting Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Myers was on Capitol Hill during the attacks, not returning to the Pentagon until after it had been attacked. However, this account is contradicted by several witnesses:

  • The 2004 book Against All Enemies, by counter-terrorism coordinator Richard Clarke, portrayed Myers as having, along with Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, gone to the Pentagon’s video center at roughly 9:10 AM — it was shortly after the second (9:03) attack on the World Trade Center — which would mean that Myers could not have been on Capitol Hill at that time.
  • Thomas White, the Secretary of the Army, indicated that Myers was in a breakfast meeting with Rumsfeld from 8:00 AM until 8:46 AM (when the first plane hit the WTC).
  • The 2009 book by General Hugh Shelton, for whom Myers was substituting that morning, portrayed Myers as being in the Pentagon when it was hit.

It thus appears that the account given by Myers and the 9/11 Commission was false.

General Hugh Shelton, Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff (Point MC-7)
On the morning of 9/11, General Hugh Shelton, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, later reported that he was on a plane – the Speckled Trout – to Europe.

After learning of the second WTC attack, he ordered his crew to return to the Pentagon. According to Shelton, he was almost immediately given permission to return to the USA, returned to Andrews Air Force Base by roughly noon, and reached the Pentagon shortly thereafter.

However, the claim that Shelton’s plane returned to the Pentagon shortly after noon is contradicted by several facts:

  • The Speckled Trout flight navigator reportedly said that the plane, having not quickly received clearance, had to go into a holding pattern over Greenland (for two hours) and again over Canada.
  • The flight tracking strip indicated that the Speckled Trout did not land at Andrews until 4:40 PM.
  • A military assistant traveling with Shelton stated that they drove from Andrews to the Pentagon in the “late afternoon.”
  • General Myers stated that Shelton had arrived at the Pentagon at 5:40 PM, having “just returned from an aborted European flight.”

It appears that this part of General Shelton’s story is not true.

Brigadier General Montague Winfield (Point MC-8)

For two years it was both assumed and reported on television that Army Brig. Gen. Montague Winfield,the Deputy Director of Operations (DDO) at the National Military Command Center (NMCC), was in charge the morning of 9/11.

But in July 2003, the 9/11 Commission was told that between 8:30 AM and roughly 10:00 AM, Winfield had been replaced – at his own request, to attend a meeting to discuss the ratings of Air Force officers – by Navy Captain Charles Joseph “Joe” Leidig, who two months earlier had been made the Deputy for Command Center Operations and in August had qualified to stand watch in Winfield’s place.

However, this account raises several puzzling questions, including these

  • Why did Brig. Gen. Winfield present himself, in CNN and ABC programs in 2002, as the DDO during the attacks?
  • Why was Brig. General Winfield not called back to the NMCC after the second attack on the Twin Towers (which made clear that America was being attacked)?
  • Why did General Richard Myers, who had been the acting chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,describe Winfield – in a memoir published in 2009 – as the “duty officer in charge” of the NMCC on the morning of 9/11?

These unanswered questions suggest the untruth of the claim of the Pentagon and the 9/11 Commission that Leidig, rather than Winfield, served as the DDO during the 9/11 attacks – even though it is not clear why, if this claim is untrue – the Pentagon and the 9/11 Commission made the claim.

These six accounts are of different types: two of them are about men – Bush and Shelton – who were out of town, whereas the other four are about men who were in Washington. But all six accounts have two things in common:

  • All six men were officials who had positions from which they could have affected the outcome of the 9/11 attacks.
  • The 9/11 Commission gave an account of each man that is contradicted by considerable evidence.

These six accounts provide, therefore, a remarkable fact: that the 9/11 Commission has evidently given false accounts of the behavior of six officials occupying positions from which they could have affected the outcomes of the 9/11 attacks.

This interlocking evidence clearly points to the need for further investigation into the roles of key government and military officials on September 11, 2001.

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Point MC-3: The Claim about the Time of Dick Cheney’s Entry into the
Point MC-3: White House Bunker

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The Official Account

Vice President Dick Cheney took charge of the government’s response to the 9/11 attacks after he entered the PEOC (the Presidential Emergency Operations Center), a.k.a. “the bunker.”

The 9/11 Commission Report said [1] that Cheney did not enter the PEOC until almost 10:00 AM, which was at least 20 minutes after the violent event at the Pentagon that killed more than 100 people.

The Best Evidence

Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta told the 9/11 Commission that, after he joined Cheney and others in the bunker at approximately 9:20 AM, he listened to an ongoing conversation between Cheney and a young man, which took place when “the airplane was coming into the Pentagon.” [2]

After the young man, having reported for the third time that the plane was coming closer, asked whether “the orders still stand,” Cheney emphatically said they did. The 9/11 Commission Report, by claiming that Cheney did not enter the PEOC until long after the Pentagon was damaged, implies that this exchange between Cheney and the young man – which can most naturally be understood as Cheney’s confirmation of a stand-down order – could not have occurred.

However, testimony that Cheney was in the PEOC by 9:20 was reported not only by Mineta but also by Richard Clarke [3] and White House photographer David Bohrer. [4] Cheney himself, speaking on “Meet the Press” five days after 9/11, reported that he had entered the PEOC before the Pentagon was damaged. [5]

The 9/11 Commission’s attempt to bury the exchange between Cheney and the young man confirms the importance of Mineta’s report of this conversation.

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References for Point MC-3
9/11 Commission Report (2004), note 213, p. 464 (pdf-p. 481).
Richard Clarke, “Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror” (New York: Free Press, 2004), pp. 2-5.
See “9/11: Interviews by Peter Jennings,” ABC News, September 11, 2002.


Point MC-2: The White House Claim as to How Long
Point MC-2: President Bush Remained in the Florida Classroom

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After President Bush entered the classroom in Sarasota, Florida, his chief of staff, Andrew Card, whispered in his ear, reportedly saying: “A second plane hit the second Tower. America is under attack.” [1]

The Official Account
After getting this message from Card, President Bush, while remaining polite and doing nothing to frighten the children, left the room quickly.

  • The President remained seated “only a matter of seconds,” Card told the San Francisco Chronicle, and then “excused himself very politely to the teacher and to the students and he left.” [2]
  • The President “didn’t want to alarm the children,” Karl Rove told NBC. Knowing that “the drill was coming to a close … he waited for a few moments … not very long at all … and he came into the staff room.” [3]
  • Sandra Kay Daniels, the teacher of the second grade class that Bush visited, told the Los Angeles Times: “I knew something was up when President Bush didn’t pick up the book and participate in the lesson … . He said, ‘Mrs. Daniels, I have to leave now. I am going to leave Lt. Gov. Frank Brogan here to do the speech for me.’ Looking at his face, you knew something was wrong. … He shook my hand and left.” [4]

The Best Evidence
Whereas all the stories quoted above were published in 2002 on or near the first anniversary of 9/11, there had been stories earlier that year that gave a very different account.

  • In a Tampa Tribune article published September 1, 2002, reporter Jennifer Barrs said that after Card whispered in the President’s ear, Bush remained silent for about 30 seconds and then picked up his book and read with the children “for eight or nine minutes.” [5]
  • The Tampa Tribune article, which came out 10 days before the article by Sandra Kay Daniels quoted above, had indicated that Daniels herself had read with the students “for eight or nine minutes.” It added that Daniels, having observed that Bush was so “lost in thought” that he “forgot about the book in his lap,” had been confronted with a difficult problem: “I couldn’t gently kick him. … I couldn’t say, ‘OK, Mr. President. Pick up your book, sir. The whole world is watching.’ ” [6]
  • Various reports indicated that after the reading lesson was over, Bush continued to talk. [7] Bush was “openly stretching out the moment” and even “lingered until the press was gone,” wrote Bill Sammon (the White House correspondent for the Washington Times), who referred to Bush as “the dawdler in chief.” [8]

The fact that Bush had not left the room quickly was confirmed by a videotape of the classroom visit, which had been shot by the local cable-TV director and which became available on the Internet in June 2003. [9]

  • The Wall Street Journal reported in March 2004 that this videotape showed that Bush “followed along for five minutes as children read aloud a story about a pet goat.” [10]
  • This tape became more widely known when Michael Moore’s film “Fahrenheit 9/11,” which included it, appeared in June 2004.
  • When the White House was contacted by the Wall Street Journal for its March 2004 article, spokesperson Dan Bartlett admitted that the President had remained in the classroom for at least seven minutes, explaining that Bush had not left immediately because his “instinct was not to frighten the children by rushing out of the room.” [11]
  • However, even if this explanation were accepted, the real question, which the WSJ did not ask, was why, on the first anniversary of 9/11, the Bush White House started telling a lie about how long Bush had remained in the classroom.

Was this because the White House, having successfully portrayed Bush as a strong leader in response to the 9/11 attacks, wanted to conceal the fact that he had continued listening to children reading a story rather than taking immediate action as president and commander-in-chief? Was it because the Secret Service knew (as suggested in the Point about the President’s not being hustled away) that the country was not really “under attack” by foreign terrorists?

Whatever the motive, the Bush White House used the national media on the first anniversary of 9/11 to circulate a false story about the President.

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References for Point MC-2
The 9/11 Commission Report (2004), 38 (pdf: 55).
Andrew Card, “What If You Had to Tell the President?San Francisco Chronicle, 11 September 2002. Likewise, Card had told NBC’s Brian Williams: “I pulled away from the president, and not that many seconds later, the president excused himself from the classroom, and we gathered in the holding room and talked about the situation,” NBC News, 9 September 2002. Card similarly told ABC News: “The president waited for a moment for the students to finish, then said, ‘Thank you all so very much for showing me your reading skills,’ and headed for the empty classroom next door,” in “Sept. 11’s Moments of Crisis: Part 1: Terror Hits the Towers,” ABC News, 14 September 2002.
“9/11 Interview with Campbell Brown,” NBC News, 11 September 2002.
Sandra Kay Daniels, “9/11: A Year After/Who We Are Now,Los Angeles Times, 11 September 2002.
Jennifer Barrs, “From a Whisper to a Tear,” Tampa Tribune, 1 September 2002. On the importance of this story, plus the fact that it has become virtually unavailable on the Internet, see Elizabeth Woodworth, “President Bush at the Florida School: New Conflicting Testimonies,” 7 July 2007,
Barrs, “From a Whisper to a Tear.”
Ibid.; Bill Adair and Stephen Hegarty, “The Drama in Sarasota,” St. Petersburg Times, September 8, 2002.
Bill Sammon, “Fighting Back: The War on Terrorism: From Inside the Bush White House” (Washington: Regnery, 2002), 89-90.
Scot J. Paltrow, “Government Accounts of 9/11 Reveal Gaps, Inconsistencies,” Wall Street Journal, 22 March 2004.


Point MC-1: Why Was President Bush Not Hustled Away
Point MC-1: from the Florida School?

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On the morning of September 11, 2001, President Bush was in Sarasota, Florida, scheduled to read with grade school students for a “photo op.” [1]

The Official Account
  • When the President arrived, he was told at 8:55 AM that a small plane had hit the World Trade Center. Bush responded that “a commercial plane has hit the World Trade Center and we’re going to … do the reading thing anyway.” [2]
  • While Bush was seated in the classroom, his chief of staff, Andrew Card, came in (at about 9:05 [3]) and reportedly whispered in the President’s ear: “A second plane hit the second Tower. America is under attack.” [4]
  • Bush remained in the classroom another five to seven minutes, [5] then made a statement to the nation from the school, after which he left the school at about 9:35. [6]
  • The St. Petersburg Times asked “why the Secret Service did not immediately hustle Bush to a secure location.” [7] Likewise, the Family Steering Committee – which was instrumental in getting the 9/11 Commission created – asked: “Why was President Bush permitted by the Secret Service to remain in the Sarasota elementary school where he was reading to children?” [8]
  • The 9/11 Commission explained: “The Secret Service told us they were anxious to move the President to a safer location, but did not think it imperative for him to run out the door.” [9]
The Best Evidence
  • The Secret Service is charged with the protection of the president. In a book about the Secret Service, Philip Melanson wrote: “With an unfolding terrorist attack, the procedure should have been to get the president to the closest secure location as quickly as possible.” [10]
  • The presidential visit had been highly publicized, and one journalist had written, in fact, that “Bush’s presence made … the planned reading event a perceived target,” because “the well-publicized event at the school assured Bush’s location that day was no secret.” [11]
  • Given this fact, combined with evidence that many planes had been hijacked and that terrorists were going after high-value targets, [12] the Secret Service should have assumed that a hijacked airliner may have been bearing down on the school at that very moment, so the President should have been removed immediately. Indeed, as soon as the second strike on the World Trade Center was seen on television, the Marine carrying the President’s phone said to Sarasota County Sheriff Bill Balkwill: “We’re out of here. Can you get everybody ready?” [13]
  • However, this Marine’s instructions were evidently overridden: The head of the Secret Service detail allowed Bush to remain at the school 30 minutes longer to make his previously scheduled television address to the nation at 9:29, thereby letting any terrorists know that he was still at the school. [14]

This break in protocol indicates that the Secret Service, at some level, knew that the President was not in danger.

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References for Point MC-1
Mitch Stacy, “Florida School Where Bush Learned of the Attacks Reflects on Its Role in History,Associated Press, 19 August 2002.
The 9/11 Commission Report, 2004, 38 (pdf: 55).
Ibid., p. 39 (pdf: 56)
“One of the many unanswered questions about that day is why the Secret Service did not immediately hustle Bush to a secure location, as it apparently did with Vice President Dick Cheney,” Susan Taylor Martin, “Of Fact, Fiction: Bush on 9/11,” St. Petersburg Times, 4 July 2004. This issue had been raised the day after 9/11 in one of Canada’s leading newspapers, which wrote: “For some reason, Secret Service agents did not bustle [Bush] away,” John Ibbitson, “Action, Not Overreaction, Prudent Course,Globe and Mail, 12 September 2001.
Thomas H. Kean and Lee H. Hamilton, Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission, Knopf, 2006, 54.
Philip H. Melanson, Secret Service: The Hidden History of an Enigmatic Agency (New York: Carroll & Graf, 2002), as quoted in Susan Taylor Martin, “Of Fact, Fiction: Bush on 9/11.
Mike Riopell, “Educator’s History Lesson,Arlington Heights Daily Herald, 11 September 2006.

The event had been known by county school officials since early August. Much preparation had been done. “George W. Bush at Booker Elementary School( 9/11/01)” (YouTube: Matty). Concern was expressed by Sarasota County Sheriff Colonel Steve Burns, who was in charge of security at Booker Elementary school that day and was working with the Secret Service; see “Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office – Behind the Scenes on 9/11” (YouTube: SarasotaSheriff) at 2:30).

Richard A. Clarke, “Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror” (New York: Free Press, 2004), 4.
Tom Bayles, “The Day Before Everything Changed, President Bush Touched Locals’ Lives,Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 10 September 2002; Blakewill’s statement was later quoted in Susan Taylor Martin, “Of Fact, Fiction: Bush on 9/11,St. Petersburg Times, 4 July 2004.
Bush’s speech was reported live on CNN and is available as “Bush 911 Speech on CNN” (YouTube: slipstick99).


Evidence-Based Literature Sources Opposing

The Official Story of September 11


The literature of 9/11 can be divided into US government documents, which support the official account of 9/11, and the body of literature that has emerged from the professional research community through dissatisfaction with the official account.


Government Documents Advocating the Official Story of September 11


A 9/11 investigation was resisted by the White House [1] and was only granted under pressure from the surviving families nearly two years after the event. The 9/11 Commission was a low-budget affair (costing a fraction of the Monica Lewinsky investigation) and tightly controlled by a White House insider, Philip Zelikow. [2]

 Co-Chair Lee Hamilton said the 9/11 Commission was “set up to fail,” and Former commissioner Max Cleland resigned, calling it a “national scandal.” [3]


 The 9/11 Commission Report ignored dozens of facts, [4] including the sudden, straight-down collapse at 5:21 PM of World Trade Center 7, a 47-story steel-framed building that was two blocks from the Twin Towers and was not hit by an airplane.

The Report, which is incomplete and lacks peer review, can hardly be viewed as an evidence-based study.

  The other central documents in the official account were prepared over a seven-year period by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), in an attempt to explain the strange vertical, nearly free-fall collapses of the Twin Towers and Building 7. [5] There was no consideration given to a controlled demolition hypothesis, although the attending firefighters and TV anchors (including CBS anchor Dan Rather and ABC anchor Peter Jennings [6] suggested the uncanny similarity at the time.

 Like The 9/11 Commission Report, the NIST reports were not peer-reviewed. Sixty days were given for public comment on the first draft, but the comments, and many serious concerns that were raised, were almost entirely ignored in writing the final report. [7]


As the NIST reports were not peer-reviewed, they cannot be judged as evidence-based.


Independent Scientific Research Opposing the Official Story of September 11


 Most of the best evidence challenging the official story has been reported in ten highly documented books by Dr. David Ray Griffin, who had taught philosophy of religion, with a heavy focus on the relation between religion and science, for 35 years. His books, videotaped lectures, and online essays are available on a website. [8]


Published articles in the scientific literature include:

  •  a paper reporting the presence of nanothermite in the dust from the destruction of the World Trade Center; [9]
  •   six papers in the February 2010 American Behavioral Scientist, indexed by 67 databases, and published as a whole issue on State Crimes Against Democracy, with 9/11 used as a primary example; [10]
  •   an article in The Environmentalist, “Environmental Anomalies at the World Trade Center: Evidence for Energetic Materials;” [11]
  •   a paper, “Extremely high temperatures during the World Trade Center destruction;” [12]
  •   a science article countering popular myths about the WTC collapses; [13]
  •   59 peer-reviewed papers on the physics of 9/11 events, published since 2006 in the Journal of 9/11 Studies, and 67 letters between members of the academic community; [14]
  •   9 scholarly papers published as a compendium in 2006 by Elsevier Science Press, suggesting US complicity in a false flag operation. [15] The Hidden History of 9-11-2001 was never reviewed in the mainstream press.

      Other resources include Morgan and Henshall’s 9/11 Revealed [16] and Flight 93 Revealed; [17] two books by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky, America’s War on Terrorism[18] and War and Globalisation: The Truth Behind September 11[19] and the Complete 9/11 Timeline investigative project. [20]


Although the foregoing evidence against the official story has not been distilled into the systematic reviews and practice guidelines that are the products of evidence-based medicine, each claim has been either multiply peer-reviewed or substantially documented. All claims are based on continually updated and ongoing research.

This qualifies the independent research cited above as the best available evidence concerning the events of September 11.

 Note: This summary has been excerpted and slightly revised from a paper published in the journal, Information for Social Change, August, 2010. [21]



Pete Brush, “Bush Opposes 9/11 Query Panel,CBS News, May 23, 2002.
George Washington’s Blog, “Whitewash,” January 17, 2008.
These reports are available at
Niels H. Harrit, et al., “Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe” (archive copy), The Open Chemical Physics Journal, Vol. 2 (April 3, 2009), 7-31.
See February 2010 issue. The print issue was available for $24 from Sage Journals at, telephone 1-800-818-7243.
Kevin R. Ryan, James R. Gourley, and Steven E. Jones, “Environmental Anomalies at the World Trade Center: Evidence for Energetic Materials,” The Environmentalist, 29 (2009): 56-63.
Steven E. Jones, et al., “Extremely high temperatures during the World Trade Center destruction,” Journal of 9/11 Studies, January 2008.
Zarembka, Paul, ed., The Hidden History of 9-11-2001, Elsevier, 2006. A second edition (paperback) from Seven Stories Press appeared in 2008.
Rowland Morgan and Ian Henshall, 9/11 Revealed: The Unanswered Questions, Carrol & Graf, 2005.
Rowland Morgan and Ian Henshall, Flight 93 Revealed: What Really Happened on the 9/11 Let’s Roll Flight? Carroll & Graf, 2006.
Michel Chossudovsky, America’s War on Terrorism, Hushion House, 2005.
Michel Chossudovsky, War and Globalisation: The Truth Behind September 11, Global Outlook, 2002.
History Commons, Complete 9/11 Timeline.