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.
Richard Clarke, Against all Enemies (New York: Free Press, 2004), pp. 2-5.
See “9/11: Interviews by Peter Jennings,” ABC News, September 11, 2002.


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