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Main article: Secret Service:Timeline
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June 29, 2001: Surveillance Indicates Al-Qaeda Will Attack Genoa Summit with Multiple Planes Edit

The Italian Secret Service SISDE records a meeting in the Finsbury Park mosque. Sheikh Abu Hamza al-Masri (an Afghanistan war veteran heading a radical Islamic group), Mustapha Melki (linked to al-Qaeda member Abu Doha[see 1]), and a man only known as Omar talk to each other.

Notes of the meeting state, Abu Hamza proposed an ambitious but unlikely plot which involved attacks carried by planes.” This is apparently a reference to an attack on the upcoming G8 summit in Genoa scheduled in several weeks. But unlike other reports of an al-Qaeda attack on that summit, this refers to an attack using more than one plane.

The notes of the meeting conclude, “The belief that Osama bin Laden is plotting an attack is spreading among the radical Islamic groups.”[1][2]

July 5, 2001: Clarke Warns Domestic Agencies of ‘Something Spectacular’ Planned by Al-Qaeda Edit

At the request of National Security Adviser Rice and White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke leads a meeting of the Counterterrorism Security Group, attended by officials from a dozen federal agencies, including the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), the FAA, the Coast Guard, the Secret Service, Customs, the CIA, and the FBI. The CIA and FBI give briefings on the growing al-Qaeda threat. [WASHINGTON POST, 5/17/2002; TIME, 8/4/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 258] Then Clarke later recalls saying, “You’ve just heard that CIA thinks al-Qaeda is planning a major attack on us. So do I. You heard CIA say it would probably be in Israel or Saudi Arabia. Maybe. But maybe it will be here. Just because there is no evidence that says that it will be here, does not mean it will be overseas. They may try to hit us at home. You have to assume that is what they are going to do.” [CLARKE, 2004, PP. 236] Two attendees later recall Clarke stating that “something really spectacular is going to happen here, and it’s going to happen soon.” One who attended the meeting later calls the evidence that “something spectacular” is being planned by al-Qaeda “very gripping.” [WASHINGTON POST, 5/17/2002; TIME, 8/4/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 256] Clarke directs every counterterrorist office to cancel vacations, defer non-vital travel, put off scheduled exercises, and place domestic rapid-response teams on much shorter alert. However, there is very poor follow up to the meeting and the attendees don’t share the warnings with their home agencies (see Shortly After July 5, 2001). By early August, all of these emergency measures are no longer in effect. [CNN, 3/2002; WASHINGTON POST, 5/17/2002] Entity Tags: US Customs Service, Richard A. Clarke, Secret Service, US Coast Guard, Al-Qaeda, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Federal Aviation Administration, Central Intelligence Agency, Counterterrorism and Security Group, Condoleezza Rice, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Andrew Card Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

August 21, 2001: Local FBI Pleads with Headquarters to Warn Secret Service About Moussaoui The Minnesota FBI office e-mails FBI headquarters on this day, saying it is “imperative” that the Secret Service be warned of the danger that a plot involving Zacarias Moussaoui might pose to the president’s safety. However, no such warning is ever sent. [US CONGRESS, 10/17/2002; NEW YORK TIMES, 10/18/2002] Entity Tags: FBI Minnesota field office, George W. Bush, FBI Headquarters, Secret Service, Zacarias Moussaoui Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

Early September 2001: Unusually High Volume Trade of US Treasury Note Purchases After 9/11, both the SEC and the Secret Service announce probes into an unusually high volume trade of five-year US Treasury note purchases around this time. These transactions include a single $5 billion trade. The Wall Street Journal explains: “Five-year Treasury notes are among the best investments in the event of a world crisis, especially one that hits the US. The notes are prized for their safety and their backing by the US government, and usually rally when investors flee riskier investments, such as stocks.” The value of these notes has risen sharply since the events of September 11. The article also points out that with these notes, “tracks would be hard to spot.” [WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/2/2001] Entity Tags: US Securities and Exchange Commission, Secret Service Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

September 5-8, 2001: Raid on Arab Web Hosting Company Precedes 9/11 Attacks

Infocom logo. [Source: Infocom] The US Joint Terrorism Task Force conducts a three-day raid of the offices of InfoCom Corporation, a Texas-based company that hosts about 500 mostly Arab websites, including Al Jazeera, the Arab world’s most popular news channel. [GUARDIAN, 9/10/2001; WEB HOST INDUSTRY REVIEW, 9/10/2001] Three days after the initial raid, the task force is “still busy inside the building, reportedly copying every hard disc they could find. It is not clear how long these websites remain shut down.” [GUARDIAN, 9/10/2001] InfoCom began to be seriously investigated by the FBI in late 1998 when the name of an employee was discovered in the address book of bin Laden’s former personal secretary. There also was evidence of a financial link between InfoCom and a top Hamas leader (see October 1994-2001). InfoCom is closely connected to the Holy Land Foundation. Not only are the two organizations across the road from each other in Richardson, Texas, a number of employees work at both organizations. For instance, Ghassan Elashi is both the vice president of InfoCom and chairman of Holy Land. [GUARDIAN, 9/10/2001; NEW YORK TIMES, 12/20/2002] A local bank closes Holy Land’s checking accounts totaling about $13 million around the same time as the raid on InfoCom, but Holy Land’s assets are not officially frozen by the government. [DALLAS BUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/7/2001] The US will shut down Holy Land and freeze their assets two months later (see December 4, 2001) for suspected ties to Hamas. Holy Land is represented by Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, a Washington, D.C., law firm with unusually close ties to the Bush White House. [WASHINGTON POST, 12/17/2001] In 2002, the five brothers running InfoCom will be charged of selling computer equipment overseas in violation of anti-terrorism laws and of supporting Hamas by giving money to Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzouk through 2001. In 2004, the five brothers will be convicted of the first charge, and in 2005, three brothers will be convicted of the second charge.(see December 18, 2002-April 2005). On a possibly connected note, in the Garland suburb adjoining Richardson, a fifth-grade boy apparently has foreknowledge of 9/11 (see September 10, 2001). [HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 9/19/2001] Entity Tags: Federal Bureau of Investigation, InfoCom Corporation, Secret Service, Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, Osama bin Laden, Ghassan Elashi, Joint Terrorism Task Force, Al Jazeera, Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, Hamas, Mousa Abu Marzouk Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

(6:00 a.m.) September 11,2001: Bush Interview or Assassination Attempt?Edit

President Bush has just spent the night at the Colony Beach and Tennis Resort on Longboat Key, Florida Wikipedia. [3] He wakes up around 6:00 a.m. and is preparing for his morning jog. [4][5] [6]

A van occupied by men of Middle Eastern descent arrives at the Colony Beach Resort, stating they have a “poolside” interview with the president. They do not have an appointment and are turned away.[7] Some question whether this was an assassination attempt modeled on the one used on Afghan leader Ahmed Massoud Wikipedia two days earlier [see 2] [8]

Longboat Key Fire Marshal Carroll Mooneyhan Wikipedia was reported to have overheard the conversation between the men and the Secret Service, but he later denies the report. The newspaper that reported this, the Longboat Observer Wikipedia, stands by its story. [9] Witnesses[who?] recall seeing Mohamed Atta in the Longboat Key Holiday Inn a short distance from where Bush was staying as recently as September 7, the day Bush’s Sarasota Wikipedia appearance was publicly announced. [10][9]

  1. . 
  2. [DISCOVERY NEWS, 9/13/2001]
  3. "[SARASOTA HERALD-TRIBUNE, 9/10/2002]". 
  4. "[NEW YORK TIMES, 9/16/2001;". 
  5. "DAILY TELEGRAPH, 12/16/2001;". 
  6. MSNBC, 10/27/2002]. 
  7. [LONGBOAT OBSERVER, 9/26/2001]. 
  8. "[TIME, 8/4/2002]". 
  9. 9.0 9.1 "[ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 7/4/2004]". 
  10. "[LONGBOAT OBSERVER, 11/21/2001;". 

8:30 a.m. September 11, 2001: Preparations Underway in New York for UN General Assembly Edit

Preparations are underway in New York City for the upcoming meeting of the United Nations General Assembly Wikipedia.[1] The Secret Service has an additional 100 employees in the city for this event. [2][3] Four communications soldiers from the 1108th Signal Brigade are also temporarily assigned to New York to support the Secret Service. [4]

Presumably, the specific event being prepared for is the General Assembly’s annual gathering of world leaders, scheduled for September 24 to October 5, which President Bush is due to address on September 24. [5]

For example, one report says Secret Service Officer Craig Miller is in New York today “to do advance security work for President Bush’s then upcoming visit to the United Nations General Assembly.” [6] The General Assembly is designated as a National Special Security Event (NSSE). [7]

Since 1998, the National Security Council Wikipedia has been authorized to designate important upcoming events as NSSEs [see 3], which puts the Secret Service in charge of the planning and implementation of security. [8]

It is unclear whether the UN General Assembly received NSSE status prior to 9/11, or is later designated as an NSSE due to the attacks. However, the UN’s previous ‘Millennium Summit Wikipedia’ in New York in September 2000 was an NSSE. [9][10]

And in 2003, Secret Service Director Ralph Basham states: “Each year, the UNGA [United Nations General Assembly] is a manpower and resource intensive effort for the Secret Service.” [11] So it seems likely that it was designated as an NSSE before 9/11. There are questions about how preparations for an NSSE could have affected security in New York. The Secret Service says it conducts a “tremendous amount of advance planning and coordination” for NSSEs, involving a “variety of training initiatives,” which include, “simulated attacks and medical emergencies.” [12][13]

Furthermore, former FBI Director Louis Freeh will later tell the 9/11 Commission that in 2000 and 2001, the use of airplanes by terrorists in suicide missions “was part of the planning” for NSSEs. [14][15] Whether any such preparations are taking place in New York on or around 9/11 is unknown. The Secret Service is also mandated to create capabilities for achieving “airspace security” over NSSEs, which include “air interdiction teams” used to detect and identify aircraft that violate the restricted airspace above the event.[16][17] Again, whether such capabilities are already available in New York in advance of the UN General Assembly is unknown. Even though only four or five events per year are designated as NSSEs, preparations are also underway in the Washington, DC Wikipedia area for a separate NSSE [see 4]. [18][19] The UN General Assembly’s gathering of world leaders will be cancelled due to the 9/11 attacks but is rescheduled for November.[20][21]

8:30 a.m. September 11, 2001: Preparations Underway for IMF/World Bank Meeting in Washington, DC Edit

Preparations are already underway for the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, which are scheduled to take place in Washington, DC on September 29-30, 2001. Many of the agencies that will be involved in the emergency response to the Pentagon attack, including the Arlington County Fire Department, are engaged in preparations for the IMF/World Bank event (see 8:30 a.m. September 11, 2001). [UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL, 9/6/2001; US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, 7/2002, PP. A-4; 9/11 COMMISSION, 5/19/2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 314] The meetings have been designated as a National Special Security Event (NSSE). [NEW YORK TIMES, 8/18/2001; EUROMONEY, 9/1/2001] The Secret Service is in charge of security for NSSEs. [UNITED STATES SECRET SERVICE, 2002] The FBI and FEMA also have key roles. [CSO MAGAZINE, 9/2004; SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE, 1/11/2005] There are questions about how preparations for an NSSE might have affected security around Washington. When preparing for such an event, the Secret Service carries out “a tremendous amount of advance planning and coordination in the areas of venue and motorcade route security, communications, credentialing, and training.” It conducts a “variety of training initiatives,” including “simulated attacks and medical emergencies, inter-agency tabletop exercises, and field exercises.” [UNITED STATES SECRET SERVICE, 2002] According to former FBI Director Louis Freeh, in 2000 and 2001 the use of airplanes by terrorists in suicide missions is “part of the planning” for NSSEs. [9/11 COMMISSION, 4/13/2004] Also, the Secret Service is mandated to create capabilities for achieving “airspace security” over NSSEs. [US CONGRESS, 3/30/2000] But whether it has such capabilities already in place around Washington is unknown. Though there are only about four or five NSSEs each year, preparations also happen to be underway in New York for another possible NSSE (see 8:30 a.m. September 11, 2001). [US DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, 7/9/2003; US DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, 11/8/2004] The IMF/World Bank event will be cancelled due to the 9/11 attacks. [CBS NEWS, 9/17/2001] Entity Tags: Arlington County Fire Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Secret Service, Federal Emergency Management Agency Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(8:45 a.m.-9:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Secret Service Does Not Use Its Stinger Missiles to Protect New York and Washington

Soldier firing a Stinger missile. [Source: US Army] In New York, the Secret Service has a Stinger missile secretly stored in the World Trade Center, to be used to protect the president if the city were attacked when he visits it. Presumably it keeps this is in WTC Building 7, where its field office is. [TECH TV, 7/23/2002; WEISS, 2003, PP. 379] Stinger missiles provide short-range air defense against low-altitude airborne targets, such as fix-winged aircraft, helicopters, and cruise missiles. They have a range of between one and eight kilometers. [FEDERATION OF AMERICAN SCIENTISTS, 8/9/2000; GLOBALSECURITY (.ORG), 4/27/2005] Whether the Secret Service makes any attempt at defending New York from the two attacking planes with its Stinger missile is unknown. The agency is also known to have air surveillance capabilities. These include a system called Tigerwall, which provides “early warning of airborne threats” and “a geographic display of aircraft activity” (see (September 2000 and after)). And according to Barbara Riggs, who is in the Secret Service’s Washington, DC headquarters on this day, the agency is “able to receive real time information about other hijacked aircraft,” through “monitoring radar and activating an open line with the FAA.” [US DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, 9/2000, PP. 28 ; PCCW NEWSLETTER, 3/2006; STAR-GAZETTE (ELMIRA), 6/5/2006] These capabilities would presumably be of use if the Secret Service wanted to defend the World Trade Center. Furthermore, according to the British defense publication Jane’s Land-Based Air Defence, “the American president’s residences in Washington and elsewhere are protected by specialist Stinger teams in case of an aerial attack by terrorist organizations.” [JANE'S LAND-BASED AIR DEFENCE, 10/13/2000] Knight Ridder has previously reported “several sources” telling it, “Stinger missiles are in the Secret Service’s arsenal.” [KNIGHT RIDDER, 9/12/1994] And according to the London Telegraph, the Secret Service is “believed to have a battery of ground-to-air Stinger missiles” ready to defend the White House. [DAILY TELEGRAPH, 9/16/2001] Flight 77 reportedly comes within four miles of the White House before turning toward the Pentagon. [ABC NEWS, 10/24/2001; USA TODAY, 8/13/2002] Whether the Secret Service makes any attempt at defending the place with its Stinger missiles is unknown. However, the Washington Post will later claim it is an “urban legend that Stinger missiles are mounted on the White House roof.” [WASHINGTON POST, 4/4/2002] Entity Tags: Secret Service Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(After 8:46 a.m.) September 11, 2001: FAA Establishes Open Telephone Line with the Secret Service Shortly after the WTC is hit, the FAA opens a telephone line with the Secret Service to keep the White House informed of all events. [ [SOURCES: RICHARD (“DICK”) CHENEY] A few days later, Vice President Cheney will state, “The Secret Service has an arrangement with the FAA. They had open lines after the World Trade Center was…” (He stopped himself before finishing the sentence.) [MSNBC, 9/16/2001] Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration, Secret Service Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(8:50 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Secret Service Agent Outside Cheney’s Office Learns Plane that Hit WTC Is Passenger Jet While he is waiting outside the vice president’s office for a scheduled meeting, Dick Cheney’s chief speechwriter John McConnell has been chatting with Cheney’s secretary Debbie Heiden and the Secret Service agent posted at the door. They all see the news about the first plane hitting the World Trade Center on the television above Heiden’s desk. McConnell later recalls, “There wasn’t any kind of alarm. It was just kind of, ‘Oh man, look at that.’” The Secret Service agent then receives an urgent call from the agency’s intelligence division. According to McConnell, “He put the phone down and told me: passenger jet. And that’s when you go, Geez. And then you start getting a sick feeling. Because a passenger aircraft is not going to crash into the World Trade Center.” [HAYES, 2007, PP. 329-330] But, according to the 9/11 Commission, it is not until they learn of the second crash at 9:03 that nearly everyone in the White House realizes this is not an accident (see (Between 8:46 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 35] Entity Tags: Debbie Heiden, John McConnell, Secret Service Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(8:50 a.m.) September 11, 2001: FAA Establishes Phone Bridges, Including with the Military, Earlier than Claimed by 9/11 Commission According to a statement by two high-level FAA officials, “Within minutes after the first aircraft hit the World Trade Center, the FAA immediately established several phone bridges [i.e., telephone conference calls] that included FAA field facilities, the FAA command center, FAA headquarters, [Defense Department], the Secret Service, and other government agencies.” The FAA shares “real-time information on the phone bridges about the unfolding events, including information about loss of communication with aircraft, loss of transponder signals, unauthorized changes in course, and other actions being taken by all the flights of interest, including Flight 77. Other parties on the phone bridges in turn shared information about actions they were taken.” The statement says, “The US Air Force liaison to the FAA immediately joined the FAA headquarters phone bridge and established contact with NORAD on a separate line.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 5/23/2003] Another account says the phone bridges are “quickly established” by the Air Traffic Services Cell (ATSC). This is a small office at the FAA’s Herndon Command Center, which is staffed by three military officers at the time of the attacks (see (Between 9:04 a.m. and 9:25 a.m.) September 11, 2001). It serves as the center’s liaison with the military. According to Aviation Week and Space Technology, the phone bridges link “key players, such as NORAD’s command center, area defense sectors, key FAA personnel, airline operations, and the NMCC.” [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 6/10/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] According to an FAA transcript of employee conversations on 9/11, one of the phone bridges, between the FAA Command Center, the operations center at FAA headquarters, and air traffic control centers in Boston and New York, begins before Flight 11 hits the World Trade Center at 8:46 (see 8:46 a.m. September 11, 2001). [FEDERAL AVIATION AUTHORITY, 10/14/2003, PP. 3-10 ] If these accounts are correct, it means someone at NORAD should learn about Flight 77 when it deviates from its course (see (8:54 a.m.) September 11, 2001). However, the 9/11 Commission will later claim that the FAA teleconference is established about 30 minutes later (see (9:20 a.m.) September 11, 2001). The Air Force liaison to the FAA will claim she only joins it after the Pentagon is hit (see (Shortly After 9:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Entity Tags: Secret Service, Federal Aviation Administration, Air Traffic Services Cell, US Department of Defense Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(9:03 a.m.) September 11, 2001: WTC Building 7 Evacuated According to a soldier at the scene, WTC Building 7 is evacuated before the second tower is hit. [FORT DETRICK STANDARD, 10/18/2001] The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) states, “As the second aircraft struck WTC 2, a decision was made to evacuate WTC 7.” This would be just after the Port Authority Police Department called for the evacuation of the entire WTC complex (see 8:59 a.m.-9:02 a.m. September 11, 2001). But by this time, “many WTC 7 occupants [have] already left the building and others [have] begun a self-evacuation of the building.” [NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY, 9/2005, PP. 109 ] All individuals in the Secret Service’s New York field office, located in WTC 7, were ordered to evacuate after the first attack, and they are in the process of doing so when the second plane hits the South Tower. [PCCW NEWSLETTER, 3/2006] The Secret Service has a Stinger missile secretly stored in the WTC, to be used to protect the president if there were an attack on the city when he visits it. [WEISS, 2003, PP. 379] Presumably, this missile is abandoned with the evacuation. The Office of Emergency Management’s command center, on the 23rd floor of WTC 7, is not evacuated until later, at 9:30 a.m. (see (9:30 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Entity Tags: World Trade Center, Secret Service Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001: President Bush’s Security Agents Watch Second WTC Crash on Television; Bush Continues with Photo-Op Edit

Bill Balkwill. [Source: Sarasota County Sheriff's Office] According to Sarasota County Sheriff Bill Balkwill, just after President Bush enters a Booker Elementary classroom, a Marine responsible for carrying Bush’s phone walks up to Balkwill, who is standing in a nearby side room. While listening to someone talk to him in his earpiece, the Marine asks, “Can you get me to a television? We’re not sure what’s going on, but we need to see a television.” Three Secret Service agents, a SWAT member, the Marine, and Balkwill turn on the television in a nearby front office just as Flight 175 crashes into the WTC. “We’re out of here,” the Marine tells Balkwill. “Can you get everyone ready?” [SARASOTA HERALD-TRIBUNE, 9/10/2002] However, Bush stays at the school for another half-hour. Who makes the decision to stay—and why—remains unclear, and the Secret Service won’t comment on the matter. Philip Melanson, author of a book on the Secret Service, comments, “With an unfolding terrorist attack, the procedure should have been to get the president to the closest secure location as quickly as possible, which clearly is not a school. You’re safer in that presidential limo, which is bombproof and blastproof and bulletproof.… In the presidential limo, the communications system is almost duplicative of the White House—he can do almost anything from there but he can’t do much sitting in a school.” [ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 7/4/2004] The decision to allow the president to remain in the classroom seems odder still considering that, according to the Tampa Tribune, the reason that Sandra Kay Daniels’ classroom has been selected for Bush’s photo-op is “not because [it] fulfilled some complicated formula; her classroom merely was situated next to the school’s north door, making it easier to organize elaborate security.” [TAMPA TRIBUNE, 9/1/2002] Entity Tags: Bill Balkwill, Secret Service, George W. Bush Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(After 9:03 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Secret Service Agent Establishes Open Line with FAA Soon after the second WTC tower is hit, a senior Secret Service agent who is responsible for coordinating the president’s movements establishes an open line with his counterpart at the FAA. This FAA official tells him of further planes, on top of the two that have already crashed, that are unaccounted for and possibly hijacked. Although the Secret Service agent asks someone to pass this information on to the Secret Service’s operations center, the 9/11 Commission says that either this does not happen or else the message is passed on but not disseminated. Therefore the information fails to reach agents assigned to the vice president and, consequently, “the Vice President was not evacuated at that time.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 464] However, some other accounts contradict this, saying the vice president is indeed evacuated from his White House office by Secret Service agents at around this time. [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/16/2001; DAILY TELEGRAPH, 12/16/2001; ABC NEWS, 9/14/2002] Entity Tags: 9/11 Commission, Secret Service, Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

Shortly After 9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001: Secret Service Learns of Additional Suspicious Planes, but Vice President’s Agents Supposedly Not Alerted A senior Secret Service agent at the White House establishes a direct phone line with his counterpart at the FAA and is told there are more suspect planes that are unaccounted for, but this information supposedly does not lead to the evacuation of the vice president from his White House office. Secret Service Liaison Calls FAA - Secret Service agent Nelson Garabito, who is responsible for coordinating the president’s movements and is also the agency’s liaison to the FAA, is at the Secret Service Joint Operations Center (JOC) at the White House, attending a 9:00 a.m. meeting. After seeing the second attack on the World Trade Center on television, he calls Terry Van Steenbergen, his counterpart at the FAA. According to Garabito, the TV’s sound is off, so it takes a few minutes before he realizes a second plane has hit the WTC and makes the call. But Van Steenbergen, who is at FAA headquarters in Washington, DC, will say Garabito calls him “within 30 seconds” of the attack. Warning Not Passed On - Shortly into the call, Van Steenbergen tells Garabito there are two unaccounted for planes that are possibly hijacked, in addition to the two that have crashed into the WTC. Garabito tells someone with him to run upstairs and pass this information on to other Secret Service agents, but, according to the 9/11 Commission, “it either was not passed on or was passed on but not disseminated.” As a result, Van Steenbergen’s information “failed to reach agents assigned to the vice president, and the vice president was not evacuated at that time.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/28/2003, PP. 9-11; 9/11 COMMISSION, 3/30/2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 464] Conflicting Evacuation Times - According to the 9/11 Commission, the Secret Service does not evacuate Vice President Dick Cheney from his office at the White House until “just before 9:36.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 39] However, some accounts will say Cheney is evacuated around the time of the second attack on the WTC (see (9:10 a.m.) September 11, 2001), which would suggest that Van Steenbergen’s information is indeed passed on and disseminated. [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/13/2001; ABC NEWS, 9/14/2002] Garabito and Van Steenbergen will remain in contact over the phone—via a direct line, not a conference call—for the next 14 hours. Garabito feeds information to Van Steenbergen, though Van Steenbergen does not know how Garabito is getting this information. [9/11 COMMISSION, 3/30/2004] Entity Tags: Richard (“Dick”) Cheney, Nelson Garabito, Secret Service, Terry Van Steenbergen Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(Between 9:05 a.m. and 9:32 a.m.) September 11, 2001: DC Air National Guard Officer Calls Secret Service, Told It Does Not Need Help An officer with the District of Columbia Air National Guard (DCANG) at Andrews Air Force Base, just outside Washington, calls the Secret Service and asks if it needs any help, but, after a “quick, confusing conversation,” the agent he speaks with only says he will call back. [FILSON, 2003, PP. 76; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 124] Caine Concerned about Jets on Training - Major Daniel Caine is the supervisor of flying this morning with the 113th Wing of the DC Air National Guard, which is based at Andrews. After learning of the second attack on the World Trade Center (see (9:04 a.m.) September 11, 2001), he went to the operations desk. His “primary concern,” he will later recall, is three of the wing’s jets, which are away on a training mission over North Carolina (see 8:36 a.m. September 11, 2001), and that he wants to get back to base promptly. [9/11 COMMISSION, 3/8/2004 ; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 122-123] Caine has called the control tower at Andrews and asked if any air traffic measures are going into effect due to the attacks. [FILSON, 2003, PP. 76] He was told during that call that the tower had just received a message that the Secret Service wants fighter jets launched over Washington (see (Shortly After 9:04 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/28/2003; 9/11 COMMISSION, 3/8/2004 ; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 465] Caine Offers Help to Secret Service - Caine then calls Kenneth Beauchamp, his contact at the Secret Service. The exact time he makes this call is unclear. Caine asks: “Do you have any additional information? Are you guys going to need some help?” Beauchamp replies, “No, but I’ll call you back if that changes.” Caine will later say Beauchamp tells him that “things were happening and he’d call me back.” Caine describes this as “a very quick, confusing conversation.” [FILSON, 2003, PP. 76; 9/11 COMMISSION, 3/8/2004 ; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 124] Lieutenant Colonel Marc Sasseville, the acting operations group commander under the 113th Wing, will later comment: “At that time, we weren’t thinking about defending anything. Our primary concern was what would happen to the air traffic system.” [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 9/9/2002] Beauchamp Does Not Call Back - Despite saying he will call Caine back, Beauchamp does not do so. [9/11 COMMISSION, 3/8/2004 ] However, someone else from the Secret Service will subsequently call Caine, and ask if his unit can get some planes launched (see (Shortly After 9:33 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [FILSON, 2003, PP. 78; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 156] Secret Service Has Authority over DCANG - According to author Lynn Spencer, “Given that the Secret Service provides protection to the president—and that the president, and the vice president when the president is not available, is the ultimate commander in chief of the military—the Secret Service also has certain authority over the military and, in this case, the DC Guard.” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 123] The 113th Wing also works closely with Secret Service agents that are across the runway at Andrews, in the Air Force One hangar. [WASHINGTON POST, 4/8/2002; VOGEL, 2007, PP. 445] Entity Tags: Secret Service, Marc Sasseville, Daniel Caine, Kenneth Beauchamp Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(Shortly After 9:04 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Secret Service Notifies FAA that It Wants Fighters Launched; Message Relayed to Air Force Base near Washington

Andrews Air Traffic Control Tower. [Source: FAA] The Secret Service tells FAA headquarters that it wants fighter jets launched over Washington, DC, and this message is then relayed to the air traffic control tower at Andrews Air Force Base, which is 10 miles from Washington. The District of Columbia Air National Guard (DCANG) at Andrews is notified, but no jets will take off from the base until 10:38 a.m. [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/28/2003; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 44, 465] The request for fighter jets is apparently made by Secret Service agent Nelson Garabito, who is responsible for coordinating the president’s movements, during a phone call with his counterpart at FAA headquarters in Washington, Terry Van Steenbergen. This call began shortly after the second tower was hit at 9:03 a.m. (see Shortly After 9:03 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/28/2003; 9/11 COMMISSION, 3/30/2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 464] FAA Headquarters Calls Andrews Tower - According to the 9/11 Commission, “The FAA tower” at Andrews is then “contacted by personnel at FAA headquarters” who are “on an open line with senior agents from the president’s detail,” and is informed that the Secret Service wants fighters airborne. Karen Pontius at FAA headquarters tells Steve Marra, an air traffic controller at the Andrews control tower, “to launch F-16s to cap the airspace over Washington.” Message Passed to DCANG - Marra then relays Pontius’s message to the 113th Wing of the DC Air National Guard, which is based at Andrews. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/28/2003 ; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 465] Marra apparently passes the message to Major Daniel Caine, the 113th Wing’s supervisor of flying, when Caine phones the control tower (see (Between 9:05 a.m. and 9:32 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Caine will later recall that the tower controller (i.e. Marra) tells him “that they just received the scramble order.” But Caine will also tell the 9/11 Commission that the Andrews tower “would not have been in the loop for any Secret Service orders to scramble aircraft.” [FILSON, 2003, PP. 76; 9/11 COMMISSION, 3/8/2004 ] Despite receiving this message from the Secret Service, the DCANG will not launch its first fighter jet until 10:38 a.m. (see (10:38 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 44] Entity Tags: Daniel Caine, District of Columbia Air National Guard, Andrews Air Force Base, Steve Marra, Terry Van Steenbergen, Nelson Garabito, Secret Service, Federal Aviation Administration, Karen Pontius Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(9:05 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Clarke, Cheney, and Rice Talk; Clarke Concludes that Al-Qaeda Is behind Attacks Counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke is driving up to a gate outside the White House when Lisa Gordon-Hagerty—a member of his staff who is already at the White House—calls and tells him, “The other tower was just hit.” He responds: “Well, now we know who we’re dealing with. I want the highest level person in Washington from each agency on-screen now, especially the FAA.” He ordered Gordon-Hagerty to set up a secure video conference about five minutes earlier. A few minutes later, according to his own recollections, Clarke finds Vice President Dick Cheney and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice in Cheney’s White House office. Clarke tells Cheney: “It’s an al-Qaeda attack and they like simultaneous attacks. This may not be over.” Rice asks Clarke for recommendations, and he says, “We’re putting together a secure teleconference to manage the crisis.” He also recommends evacuating the White House. (A slow evacuation of the White House will begin around 9:20-9:25 (see (9:22 a.m.) September 11, 2001).) Rice notes the Secret Service wants them to go to the Presidential Emergency Operations Center (PEOC) below the White House, and as Clarke leaves the other two, he sees Cheney gathering up his papers. In Cheney’s outer office, Clarke will recall, he sees eight Secret Service agents instead of the usual two, ready to move to the PEOC. [CLARKE, 2004, PP. 1-2; AUSTRALIAN, 3/27/2004] Entity Tags: Secret Service, Richard A. Clarke, Condoleezza Rice, Lisa Gordon-Hagerty, Al-Qaeda, Richard (“Dick”) Cheney, Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(9:06 a.m.) September 11, 2001: President Bush Told WTC Hit Again and US Is Under Attack; He Continues Photo-Op

Andrew Card speaks to President Bush and tells him of the second World Trade Center crash. [Source: Agence France-Presse] President Bush is in a Booker Elementary School second-grader classroom. His chief of staff, Andrew Card, enters the room and whispers into his ear, “A second plane hit the other tower, and America’s under attack.” [EDUCATION CHANNEL, 9/11/2001; NEW YORK TIMES, 9/16/2001; DAILY TELEGRAPH, 12/16/2001; ALBUQUERQUE TRIBUNE, 9/10/2002; ABC NEWS, 9/11/2002; WASHINGTON TIMES, 10/8/2002] Intelligence expert James Bamford describes Bush’s reaction: “Immediately [after Card speaks to Bush] an expression of befuddlement passe[s] across the president’s face. Then, having just been told that the country was under attack, the commander in chief appear[s] uninterested in further details. He never ask[s] if there had been any additional threats, where the attacks were coming from, how to best protect the country from further attacks.… Instead, in the middle of a modern-day Pearl Harbor, he simply turn[s] back to the matter at hand: the day’s photo-op.” [BAMFORD, 2002, PP. 633] Bush begins listening to a story about a goat. But despite the pause and change in children’s exercises, as one newspaper put it, “For some reason, Secret Service agents [do] not bustle him away.” [GLOBE AND MAIL, 9/12/2001] Bush later says of the experience: “I am very aware of the cameras. I’m trying to absorb that knowledge. I have nobody to talk to. I’m sitting in the midst of a classroom with little kids, listening to a children’s story and I realize I’m the commander in chief and the country has just come under attack.” [DAILY TELEGRAPH, 12/16/2001] Bush continues to listen to the goat story for several more minutes. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 38-39] According to author Christopher Andersen, the reason he does this is, “Without all the facts at hand, George Bush ha[s] no intention of upsetting the schoolchildren who had come to read for him.” [CBS NEWS, 11/1/2002] Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport is only three and a half miles away. In fact, the elementary school was chosen for the photo-op partly because of its closeness to the airport. [SARASOTA HERALD-TRIBUNE, 9/12/2002] Why the Secret Service does not move Bush away from his publicized location (see September 7, 2001) that morning remains unclear. Entity Tags: Andrew Card, George W. Bush, James Bamford, Secret Service Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(9:10 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Vice President Cheney Apparently Goes to White House Bunker; Other Accounts Have Him Moving Locations Later According to counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke and others, Vice President Dick Cheney goes from his White House office to the Presidential Emergency Operations Center (PEOC), a bunker below the East Wing of the White House, at about this time. There is no video link between response centers in the East and West Wings, but a secure telephone line is used instead. [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/16/2001; DAILY TELEGRAPH, 12/16/2001; ABC NEWS, 9/14/2002; CLARKE, 2004, PP. 3-4] Cheney Leaves Office 'Just after 9 a.m.' - One eyewitness, David Bohrer, a White House photographer, will say Cheney leaves for the PEOC just after 9:00 a.m. [ABC NEWS, 9/14/2002] White House adviser Karl Rove, who is with the president in Florida, will appear to corroborate this account, later telling NBC News that when Bush tries phoning Cheney at around 9:16 a.m., he is unable to contact him because “the vice president was being… grabbed by a Secret Service agent and moved to the bunker” (see (9:16 a.m.-9:29 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [MSNBC, 9/11/2002] And Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta will say that when he arrives at the PEOC, at around 9:20-9:27, Cheney is already there (see (Between 9:20 a.m. and 9:27 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [MSNBC, 9/11/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 5/23/2003; ACADEMY OF ACHIEVEMENT, 6/3/2006] Cheney Leaves Office 'Just before 9:36' - However, there is a second account claiming that Cheney does not leave his office until sometime after 9:30 a.m. (The 9/11 Commission will say he is evacuated “just before 9:36.”) In this account, Secret Service agents burst into Cheney’s office. They carry him under his arms—nearly lifting him off the ground—and propel him down the steps into the White House basement and through a long tunnel toward the underground bunker. [NEW YORK TIMES, 10/16/2001; NEWSWEEK, 12/31/2001; WASHINGTON POST, 1/27/2002; BBC, 9/1/2002; MSNBC, 9/11/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] According to journalist and author Stephen Hayes, it takes “Less than a minute” for the Secret Service agents to escort Cheney from his office down to the secure tunnel leading to the PEOC. [HAYES, 2007, PP. 335] Although its specifications are highly classified, two sources will tell journalist and author Barton Gellman that the PEOC is located two floors below ground. [GELLMAN, 2008, PP. 420] Arrives at PEOC 'Shortly before 10:00' - Despite admitting that there “is conflicting evidence about when the vice president arrived” in the PEOC, the 9/11 Commission will conclude that the “vice president arrived in the room shortly before 10:00, perhaps at 9:58.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 40] In addition to the eyewitness accounts of Clarke, Mineta, and Bohrer, several accounts will claim that Cheney is in the bunker when he is told Flight 77 is 50 miles away from Washington, at about 9:26 a.m. (see (9:26 a.m.) September 11, 2001). This further supports the claims of Cheney going to the PEOC earlier on, rather than after 9:30. Entity Tags: Richard A. Clarke, David Bohrer, Karl Rove, Norman Mineta, Richard (“Dick”) Cheney, Secret Service Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(9:15 a.m.) September 11, 2001: DC Air National Guard Intelligence Officer Unable to Obtain Information on Crisis

David McNulty. [Source: Air National Guard] An intelligence officer with the District of Columbia Air National Guard (DCANG) at Andrews Air Force Base, 10 miles outside Washington, is unable to obtain further information about the attacks from other agencies, and instead has to make do with what he can learn from television reports. [FILSON, 2003, PP. 79; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 155-156] Having learned of the two attacks in New York, Major David McNulty, the senior intelligence officer of the 113th Wing of the DCANG, checks the SIPRNET—the Department of Defense’s classified version of the Internet—for pertinent information, but apparently without success. He phones anyone he can think of who might be able to provide information, including the Air Combat Command Intelligence Squadron at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia, the 609th Air Intelligence Squadron at Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina, the FBI field office in Washington, and the Secret Service’s White House Joint Operations Center. Yet, as he will later recall, the agencies have “nothing to report.” Even his call to the FBI is “a fruitless effort.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 3/11/2004 ; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 155-156] McNulty will say, “I even called the National Security Agency 24-hour information desk and they knew nothing more than I did.” He adds, “We were all getting our information from CNN.” [FILSON, 2003, PP. 79] According to Knight Ridder, “Air defense around Washington, DC, is provided mainly by fighter planes from Andrews Air Force Base.” [KNIGHT RIDDER, 9/11/2001] However, author Lynn Spencer will claim that because the DCANG “is a general purpose F-16 unit, no one is specifically tasked with keeping the squadron informed.” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 156] Entity Tags: Air Combat Command Intelligence Squadron, David McNulty, District of Columbia Air National Guard, 609th Air Intelligence Squadron, National Security Agency, FBI Washington Field Office, Secret Service Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(Between 9:16 a.m. and 9:29 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Secret Service Still Does Not Evacuate Bush From School, Allegedly at the President’s Insistence

Frank Brogan. [Source: Publicity photo] The Secret Service later tells the 9/11 Commission that while he is in the holding room at the Booker Elementary School (see (9:16 a.m.-9:29 a.m.) September 11, 2001), they are “anxious to move the president to a safer location, but did not think it imperative for him to run out the door.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 39] Yet according to Philip Melanson, who is an expert on the Secret Service, “With an unfolding terrorist attack, the procedure should have been to get the president to the closest secure location as quickly as possible, which clearly is not a school.” [ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 7/4/2004] Bush himself later recalls that at this time, “[T]he Secret Service and the Mil Aide [military aide] was in the process of getting information about where the president ought to go. One thing for certain, I needed to get out of where I was.” [SAMMON, 2002, PP. 93] Yet he does not immediately leave the school, and will remain there to give a brief statement in its library (see 9:29 a.m. September 11, 2001). According to Frank Brogan, the lieutenant governor of Florida, who is also in the holding room at this time, the Secret Service tries to get the president to return to Air Force One immediately. But Bush refuses, saying he is “committed to staying on the ground long enough to write a statement about what was happening, read it to the nation and lead a moment of silence for the victims.” [UP ONLINE, 9/18/2003] Bush himself later says that while he is in the holding room, “I didn’t spend that much time about my own safety because I knew others were worried about that. What I was interested in is making sure that the response mechanism that was under my control was sharp and ready to go. And that meant defense, for starters.” [SAMMON, 2002, PP. 93] Yet he reportedly will not make any decisions about the response to the attacks until after 9:55 a.m. (see (Between 10:00 a.m. and 10:15 a.m.) September 11, 2001). The 9/11 Commission later claims that, while Bush is in the holding room, “No one in the traveling party had any information… that other aircraft were hijacked or missing. Staff was in contact with the White House Situation Room, but as far as we could determine, no one with the president was in contact with the Pentagon.” [WASHINGTON POST, 1/27/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 39-41] In contrast to the Secret Service’s inaction in removing Bush from the school, Vice President Dick Cheney is reportedly “seized by the arms, legs and his belt and physically carried” out of his office by Secret Service agents around this time, in order to get him to the bunker below the White House. Cheney himself says the agents “hoisted me up and moved me very rapidly down the hallway, down some stairs” (see (9:10 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [NBC, 9/16/2001; DAILY TELEGRAPH, 12/16/2001] Entity Tags: Secret Service, Frank Brogan, George W. Bush Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(9:30 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Office of Emergency Management Command Center Is Evacuated; Exact Time Is Unclear

Thomas Von Essen. [Source: Publicity photo] The headquarters of New York’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM), which is on the 23rd floor of WTC Building 7, is evacuated at approximately 9:30 a.m., according to the 9/11 Commission. The headquarters was opened in 1999 and was specifically intended to coordinate the city’s response to disasters such as terrorist attacks (see June 8, 1999). A senior OEM official orders the evacuation after being told by a Secret Service agent that additional commercial planes are unaccounted for (see (9:30 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 283-284 AND 305] OEM personnel do not initially respond to the evacuation order with a sense of urgency. According to a 2003 report by the Mineta Transportation Institute, “They calmly collected personal belongings and began removing OEM records, but they were urged to abandon everything and leave the building quickly.” [JENKINS AND EDWARDS-WINSLOW, 9/2003, PP. 16] However, there are contradictory accounts of when the OEM command center is evacuated. The National Institute of Standards of Technology (NIST) claims the evacuation happens slightly later than stated by the 9/11 Commission, at “approximately 9:44 a.m.” [NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY, 9/2005, PP. 109 ] Other accounts suggest it may have happened before 9:03, when the second attack occurred (see (Soon After 8:46 a.m.-9:35 a.m.) September 11, 2001 and (Shortly Before 9:03 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen will arrive at WTC 7 shortly before the collapse of the South Tower, looking for Mayor Giuliani. Learning that the OEM headquarters has been evacuated, he later claims that he thinks, “How ridiculous. We’ve got a thirteen-million-dollar command center and we can’t even use it.” [ESSEN, 2002, PP. 26] He says in frustration, “How can we be evacuating OEM? We really need it now.” He will later tell an interviewer that he’d headed for the OEM headquarters because, “I thought that was where we should all be because that’s what [it] was built for.” [FINK AND MATHIAS, 2002, PP. 230] All civilians were evacuated from WTC 7 earlier on, around the time the second WTC tower was hit (see (9:03 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Entity Tags: Secret Service, Thomas Von Essen, Office of Emergency Management Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(9:30 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Who Warns Who of Flight 77’s Impending Approach to D.C.? Edit

Chris Stephenson, head flight controller at Washington’s Reagan National Airport tower, says that he is called by the Secret Service around this time. He is told an unidentified aircraft is speeding toward Washington. Stephenson looks at the radarscope and sees Flight 77 about five miles to the west. He looks out the tower window and sees the plane turning to the right and descending. He follows it until it disappears behind a building in nearby Crystal City, Virginia. [USA TODAY, 8/11/2002] However, according to another account, just before 9:30 a.m., a controller in the same tower has an unidentified plane on radar, “heading toward Washington and without a transponder signal to identify it. It’s flying fast, she says: almost 500 mph. And it’s heading straight for the heart of the city. Could it be American Flight 77? The FAA warns the Secret Service.” [USA TODAY, 8/13/2002] In short, it is unclear whether the Secret Service warns the FAA, or vice versa. Entity Tags: Chris Stephenson, Federal Aviation Administration, Secret Service Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(After 9:30 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Secret Service Finally Rushes President Bush Out of School Kevin Down, a Sarasota police officer, recalls that immediately after President Bush’s speech concludes, “The Secret Service agent [runs] out from the school and [says] We’re under terrorist attack, we have to go now.” [BBC, 9/1/2002] The motorcade departs a few minutes later. Entity Tags: George W. Bush, Secret Service, Kevin Down Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(9:33 a.m.-9:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Smooth Flight Path Indicates No Loss of Control on Flight 77 Based on an analysis of radar data for Flight 77 as it approaches the Pentagon and makes a 330 degree loop (see 9:34 a.m.- 9:37 a.m. September 11, 2001), experts will later say that the plane is being flown so smoothly that “it’s clear there [is] no fight for control going on.” [CBS NEWS, 9/21/2001; BOSTON GLOBE, 11/23/2001] The plane gets near the White House during this turn. “Sources say the hijacked jet… [flies] several miles south of the restricted airspace around the White House.” [CBS NEWS, 9/21/2001] The Daily Telegraph will later write: “If the airliner had approached much nearer to the White House it might have been shot down by the Secret Service, who are believed to have a battery of ground-to-air Stinger missiles ready to defend the president’s home. The Pentagon is not similarly defended.” [DAILY TELEGRAPH, 9/16/2001] White House spokesman Ari Fleischer will suggest the plane goes even closer to the White House, saying, “That is not the radar data that we have seen. The plane was headed toward the White House.” [CBS NEWS, 9/21/2001 SOURCES: ARI FLEISCHER] Entity Tags: Pentagon, Secret Service Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(9:33 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Dulles Airport Supervisor Notifies Secret Service of Aircraft Approaching the White House A supervisor at Washington Dulles International Airport contacts the Secret Service at the White House and informs it that an unidentified aircraft is heading toward Washington at a high rate of speed. [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 9/17/2001 ; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/22/2003 ] Air traffic controllers at the Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) at Dulles Airport have recently noticed this aircraft on their radar screens (see (Between 9:25 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.) September 11, 2001 and 9:32 a.m. September 11, 2001). Its identity and type are currently unknown, but it is later determined to be Flight 77. [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 9/17/2001 ; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 9, 25] Supervisor Calls White House over Hotline - The Dulles TRACON has a direct phone line to the Secret Service at the White House. After a controller alerts him to the suspicious aircraft, John Hendershot, the operations supervisor, calls the Secret Service over this line. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/22/2003 ; 9/11 COMMISSION, 12/22/2003 ] He says, “We have an unidentified, very fast-moving aircraft inbound toward your vicinity, eight miles west.” [ABC NEWS, 10/24/2001] Supervisor Uncertain about Response - Hendershot is unsure what response his call elicits. He will tell the 9/11 Commission, “I guess the operator picked it up,” and say that he assumed the information he provided was relayed to the relevant people at the White House. He will also tell the Commission that, following his call, “no one from Dulles tower was talking to the White House during the minute-minute countdown concerning the unknown primary approaching from the west.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 12/22/2003 ] A supervisor at Washington’s Reagan National Airport also contacts the Secret Service around this time, to notify it of the approaching aircraft (see (9:33 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 9/17/2001 ; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 9] But, while the White House is alerted, personnel at Dulles Airport will tell the 9/11 Commission that there is no discussion about notifying the US Capitol of the unidentified aircraft. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/22/2003 ] Entity Tags: Washington Dulles International Airport, Secret Service, John Hendershot Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(9:33 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Reagan Airport Informs Secret Service about Aircraft Approaching the White House, but Cheney Reportedly Not Evacuated A supervisor at Washington’s Reagan National Airport calls the Secret Service Joint Operations Center (JOC) and warns it about an unidentified aircraft that is heading toward the White House. [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 9/14/2001; FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 9/17/2001 ; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 9] Controllers at Reagan Airport have just been contacted by controllers at Washington Dulles International Airport, and notified of the unidentified aircraft, later determined to be Flight 77, approaching Washington (see (9:33 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [WASHINGTON POST, 9/11/2001; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/26/2004, PP. 33 ] Supervisor Calls Secret Service - Immediately after he learns of this aircraft, Victor Padgett, the operations supervisor at the Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) at Reagan Airport, picks up a direct line to the White House and informs the Secret Service JOC there: “We have a target five [miles] west. He’s turning south but he’s still on our scope. We’re not talking to him. It’s definitely a suspicious aircraft.” [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 9/14/2001; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 146] According to the 9/11 Commission, this is “the first specific report to the Secret Service of a direct threat to the White House.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 39] Padgett provides the Secret Service with continuous updates on the aircraft’s actions. [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 9/14/2001; FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 9/17/2001 ] After traveling almost 10 miles south of Reagan Airport, the aircraft turns back toward Washington and again appears to be heading for the White House. Padgett tells the Secret Service: “What I’m telling you, buddy, if you’ve got people, you’d better get them out of there! And I mean right g_ddamned now!” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 158] (People will begin rapidly evacuating from the White House at about 9:45 a.m. (see (9:45 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [CNN, 9/11/2001; CNN, 9/12/2001] Cheney Not Evacuated - According to the 9/11 Commission, when Padgett initially calls the JOC, “No move [is] made to evacuate the vice president” from his White House office. The officer who takes the call will explain, “[I was] about to push the alert button when the tower advised that the aircraft was turning south and approaching Reagan National Airport.” According to the Commission, Vice President Dick Cheney is not evacuated until “just before 9:36.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 39] (However, other accounts indicate he was evacuated earlier on, shortly after 9:00 a.m. (see (9:10 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/13/2001; ABC NEWS, 9/14/2002] ) A supervisor at Dulles Airport also contacts the Secret Service around this time to notify it of the approaching aircraft (see (9:33 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 9/17/2001 ] Entity Tags: Richard (“Dick”) Cheney, Secret Service, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Victor Padgett Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(9:34 a.m.) September 11, 2001: President Bush Leaves Booker Elementary School for Sarasota Airport, Initially Heading in Wrong Direction; Possible Threat En Route

Bush’s motorcade on its way to the Sarasota airport. [Source: CBC] President Bush’s motorcade leaves Booker Elementary School bound for Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport. It initially heads off in the wrong direction, though, and has to perform a U-turn in order to proceed toward the airport. [DAILY TELEGRAPH, 12/16/2001; WASHINGTON TIMES, 10/8/2002; WALL STREET JOURNAL, 3/22/2004 ; 9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004; CANADIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, 9/10/2006] A few days after 9/11, Sarasota’s main newspaper reports: “Sarasota barely skirted its own disaster. As it turns out, terrorists targeted the president and Air Force One on Tuesday, maybe even while they were on the ground in Sarasota and certainly not long after. The Secret Service learned of the threat just minutes after Bush left Booker Elementary.” [SARASOTA HERALD-TRIBUNE, 9/16/2001] Kevin Down, a Sarasota police officer at the scene, recalls, “I thought they were actually anticipating a terrorist attack on the president while we were en route.” [BBC, 8/30/2002] ABC News reporter Ann Compton, who is part of the motorcade, recalls, “It was a mad-dash motorcade out to the airport.” [BBC, 9/1/2002] Entity Tags: George W. Bush, Kevin Down, Ann Compton, Andrew Card, Secret Service Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(Shortly After 9:33 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Secret Service Asks DC Air National Guard If It Can Launch Fighters

Daniel Caine. [Source: White House] The Secret Service calls the District of Columbia Air National Guard (DCANG) at Andrews Air Force Base, just outside Washington, and asks if it can get fighter jets launched. [FILSON, 2003, PP. 78] Secret Service Calls DCANG - Major Daniel Caine, the supervisor of flying with the 113th Wing of the DC Air National Guard, which is based at Andrews, called his contact at the Secret Service earlier on to see if they needed assistance from his unit, but was told they did not (see (Between 9:05 a.m. and 9:32 a.m.) September 11, 2001). But the Secret Service has just learned of a suspicious aircraft five miles from the White House (see (9:33 a.m.) September 11, 2001 and (9:33 a.m.) September 11, 2001), and so one of its agents now calls Caine back. [FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, 9/17/2001 ; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 124, 156] Caine’s previous call to the Secret Service had been with agent Kenneth Beauchamp, who told Caine he would call back. However, he did not do so. The name of the agent that makes the current call is unstated. [9/11 COMMISSION, 3/8/2004 ] Agent Wants Planes Launched - The Secret Service agent asks, “Can you get airplanes up?” He then tells Caine to stand by, and says somebody else will call. Caine will later recall, “When I heard the tone in his voice, I called our bomb dump and told them to uncrate our missiles.” [FILSON, 2003, PP. 78] But before Caine does this, Lieutenant Colonel Marc Sasseville, the acting operations group commander under the 113th Wing, calls Brigadier General David Wherley, the commander of the 113th Wing, to get permission to use their “war-reserve missiles.” Wherley gives the go-ahead, and then Caine calls the weapons loaders across the base and orders them, “Get some live AIM-9s [missiles] and bring them over!” At the same time, Sasseville calls the unit’s maintenance officer and orders that their jets be prepared for launch (see (9:35 a.m.-11:05 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 9/9/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 3/8/2004 ; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 156-157] Someone from the Secret Service’s White House Joint Operations Center will soon call Caine, and request that armed fighters be launched over Washington (see (Shortly After 9:35 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [FILSON, 2003, PP. 78; 9/11 COMMISSION, 3/11/2004 ] Entity Tags: Daniel Caine, Secret Service, David Wherley, Marc Sasseville, District of Columbia Air National Guard Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(Shortly After 9:35 a.m.) September 11, 2001: DC Air National Guard Officer Receives Call from Secret Service at White House, Requesting Armed Fighters The District of Columbia Air National Guard (DCANG) at Andrews Air Force Base, just outside Washington, receives a call from the Secret Service at its White House Joint Operations Center (JOC), requesting armed fighter jets over the capital. JOC Calls DC Air National Guard - Major Daniel Caine is the supervisor of flying with the 113th Wing of the DC Air National Guard at Andrews, and is currently at the operations desk, where a Secret Service agent recently called him and asked if the DCANG could launch fighters. The agent then told Caine to stand by and said someone else would call (see (Shortly After 9:33 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Now the phone rings, and Caine answers it. The caller, from the JOC, asks for armed fighter jets over Washington. Caine is unsure how the JOC has got the operations desk phone number. He will later speculate that it got it from Secret Service agent Kenneth Beauchamp, who he’d contacted earlier on (see (Between 9:05 a.m. and 9:32 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Caine Possibly Hears Cheney in Background - The name of the caller is unstated. However, Caine believes he can hear Vice President Dick Cheney’s voice in the background. He will tell author Lesley Filson: “I could hear plain as day the vice president talking in the background. That’s basically where we got the execute order. It was ‘VFR [visual flight rules] direct.’” He will later tell the 9/11 Commission that he “thought, but would not swear to it, that he heard the vice president’s voice in the background.” Caine Learns of Pentagon Attack - Around this time, Caine learns that the Pentagon has been hit. Even though the Pentagon is just 10 miles from Andrews Air Force Base, he will later recall that he only learns of the attack from news reports, and “no other source.” The result of learning this, according to Caine, is that “the intensity level increased even more.” [FILSON, 2003, PP. 76, 78; 9/11 COMMISSION, 3/8/2004 ; 9/11 COMMISSION, 3/11/2004 ] Commander Arrives, Takes over Call - At some point during Caine’s call with the JOC, apparently soon after the Pentagon attack, Brigadier General David Wherley, the commander of the DC Air National Guard, finally arrives at the headquarters of the 121st Fighter Squadron, where Caine and his colleagues are (see (Shortly After 9:39 a.m.) September 11, 2001). (The 121st Fighter Squadron is part of the 113th Wing of the DCANG.) At this time, Caine has a phone to each ear. He passes the phone with the call from the JOC to Wherley, saying, “Boss… here, you take this one!” He passes the other to Lieutenant Colonel Phil Thompson, the chief of safety for the 113th Wing. Caine has decided he is going to fly, and so Thompson will be replacing him as the unit’s supervisor of flying. Caine then goes to join the other pilots that are suiting up, ready to take off in their jets. [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 9/9/2002; FILSON, 2003, PP. 78-79; 9/11 COMMISSION, 3/8/2004 ; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 184] Caine will take off from Andrews at 11:11 a.m. (see 11:11 a.m. September 11, 2001). [FILSON, 2003, PP. 84; 9/11 COMMISSION, 2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 2/17/2004] Entity Tags: District of Columbia Air National Guard, Daniel Caine, Phil Thompson, David Wherley, Richard (“Dick”) Cheney, Secret Service Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(9:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Richard Clarke Learns of Aircraft Approaching White House

Barbara Riggs. [Source: Miles B. Norman / Elmira Star-Gazette] Counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke learns of an aircraft heading toward the White House. Clarke, who is in the White House Situation Room, is passed a note by Secret Service Director Brian Stafford, which says, “Radar shows aircraft headed this way.” [CLARKE, 2004, PP. 7] Around this time, the FAA’s Boston Center is reporting a low-flying aircraft six miles southeast of the White House (see 9:36 a.m. September 11, 2001), so this is presumably the same airliner to which Stafford’s note refers. [VANITY FAIR, 8/1/2006] Clarke later comments that the Secret Service is aware of the approaching plane because it has “a system that allowed them to see what FAA’s radar was seeing.” [CLARKE, 2004, PP. 7] Secret Service agent Barbara Riggs, who is in the agency’s Washington headquarters, will later corroborate this, recalling: “Through monitoring radar and activating an open line with the FAA, the Secret Service was able to receive real time information about… hijacked aircraft. We were tracking two hijacked aircraft as they approached Washington, DC, and our assumption was that the White House was a target.” [PCCW NEWSLETTER, 3/2006] Stafford informs Clarke that he is going to evacuate the White House complex. (This evacuation appears to take place at around 9:45 (see (9:45 a.m.) September 11, 2001).) Those in the Situation Room are then informed that there has been an explosion at the Pentagon, and soon after that a plane has hit it. [CLARKE, 2004, PP. 7] Entity Tags: Brian L. Stafford, Richard A. Clarke, Barbara Riggs, Secret Service Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(Shortly After 9:40 a.m.) September 11, 2001: DC Air National Guard Commander Wherley Wants Orders from Someone More Senior before He Will Launch Fighters Brigadier General David Wherley, the commander of the District of Columbia Air National Guard (DCANG), speaks to a Secret Service agent over the phone, but declines the agent’s request to launch DCANG fighter jets without first receiving an order to do so from someone more senior. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 184] Wherley Takes over Call - Wherley has just arrived at the headquarters of the DCANG’s 121st Fighter Squadron at Andrews Air Force Base, near Washington (see (Shortly After 9:39 a.m.) September 11, 2001). At the operations desk there, Major Daniel Caine passed Wherley a phone he was talking over, before heading off to prepare to get airborne. [FILSON, 2003, PP. 78; VOGEL, 2007, PP. 445] Caller Wants Jets over Washington - Wherley finds that the caller Caine was speaking with is from the Secret Service. They want the DCANG to put up a combat air patrol (CAP) over Washington. But, according to author Lynn Spencer: “Wherley knows that there has never been a CAP anywhere over this country, much less over Washington. Such a request—coming from someone not even in the military—is unheard of.” Wherley understands the power of the Secret Service, and knows that with its responsibility to protect the president it clearly has some authority over other agencies, including the military. “But still, such an order from a Secret Service agent seems rather far-reaching.” He therefore tells the caller, “I would feel more comfortable receiving such an order from someone higher in the chain of command, preferably in the military.” Wherley Told to Call 'Operations Center' - According to Spencer, the agent gives Wherley “a phone number and tells him to call over to the White House Operations Center, where Vice President [Dick] Cheney has been ushered.” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 184] Presumably the “Operations Center” is the Presidential Emergency Operations Center (PEOC) below the White House, where Cheney is evacuated to by his Secret Service agents (see (9:10 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [ABC NEWS, 9/14/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 39-40] However, other accounts, including Wherley’s interview with the 9/11 Commission, will state that Wherley subsequently calls someone at the Secret Service’s White House Joint Operations Center (JOC), not the PEOC (see (9:45 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [FILSON, 2003, PP. 79; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/28/2003] (Wherley’s current call is also with an agent at the JOC. [9/11 COMMISSION, 3/8/2004 ; 9/11 COMMISSION, 3/11/2004 ] ) Entity Tags: District of Columbia Air National Guard, David Wherley, Secret Service Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

9:43 a.m. September 11, 2001: President Bush Reaches Sarasota Airport and Boards Air Force One

Bush boards Air Force One in Sarasota, Florida, waving to people below as if the day were like any other. [Source: Agence France-Presse] President Bush’s motorcade arrives at Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, racing across the tarmac there and pulling up close to Air Force One. Bush ascends the stairs by the left wing onto the plane. [SAMMON, 2002, PP. 98-99; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 39] He pauses in the doorway to wave to photographers. The St. Petersburg Times will later note that this raises “further questions about security [on 9/11].” [ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 7/4/2004] Meanwhile, 13 members of the press, and others such as congressmen Dan Miller (R) and Adam Putnam (R), hurry onto the plane through its rear entrance. [SARASOTA MAGAZINE, 9/19/2001; BBC, 9/1/2002] Secret Service agents with dogs hurriedly check people’s luggage. [ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 9/8/2002] Even White House employees who are wearing special lapel pins identifying themselves as such have their belongings checked by the bomb-sniffing dogs. According to journalist and author Bill Sammon, the mood is “extraordinarily tense.” A military aide snaps: “We gotta hurry up and get out of here. Let’s go!” [SAMMON, 2002, PP. 99] Secret Service agents are yelling, “Move it, move it, move it!” [BBC, 9/1/2002] But White House chief of staff Andrew Card is reportedly “frustrated because so many guests [have] come on the plane and [are] delaying the takeoff.” [ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 9/8/2002] Air Force One will not take off until about 9:56 (see (9:56 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [WASHINGTON POST, 1/27/2002] Entity Tags: Adam Putnam, Andrew Card, George W. Bush, Secret Service, Dan Miller Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(9:44 a.m.) September 11, 2001: President Bush Requests Protection for His Family

President Bush’s daughters Barbara and Jenna. [Source: ABC News] After boarding Air Force One, President Bush is concerned about the safety of his wife and daughters. [NEW YORKER, 9/25/2001] He heads directly to his private cabin near the front of the plane, and then his first act is to order his Secret Service agents to get additional protection for his twin daughters Barbara and Jenna, who are both at university, and his wife Laura, who is on Capitol Hill. By about 10:35, Bush will learn that all three have successfully been moved to safe locations. [WOODWARD, 2002, PP. 16; SAMMON, 2002, PP. 99-100 AND 108] Entity Tags: George W. Bush, Secret Service Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(9:45 a.m.) September 11, 2001: White House Evacuated after Secret Service Learns of Plane en Route to Washington

Secret Service with automatic weapons directing people away from the White House. [Source: Associated Press] The White House is evacuated after the Secret Service receives what the Associated Press describes as a credible threat of a terrorist attack against it. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 2001 ; CNN, 9/11/2001; CNN, 9/12/2001] Minutes earlier, in the White House Situation Room, Secret Service Director Brian Stafford informed counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke that an aircraft was heading in their direction, and said he was going to order the evacuation of the White House (see (9:37 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [CLARKE, 2004, PP. 7] The Secret Service learned of this aircraft by monitoring radar and over an open line with the FAA (the “hijack net”), which enable them to receive real time information about the hijacked aircraft. The Secret Service, which has been using an air surveillance system called Tigerwall for some time (see (September 2000 and after)), tracks both American 77 and United 93 as they approach Washington and assumes the White House is a target. Secret Service agent Barbara Riggs will later say, “The Secret Service prepared to defend the facility,” although the precise nature of the preparations is unclear. [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/12/2001; MSNBC, 9/22/2001; DAILY TELEGRAPH, 12/16/2001; WASHINGTON POST, 1/27/2002; ASSOCIATED PRESS, 8/21/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004; PCCW NEWSLETTER, 3/2006] A slow and orderly evacuation of the White House had in fact begun earlier on (see (9:22 a.m.) September 11, 2001). But now the Secret Service orders people to run so as to evacuate faster. [CNN, 9/11/2001; ABC NEWS, 9/11/2002] Entity Tags: Barbara Riggs, Secret Service Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(9:45 a.m.) September 11, 2001: On Orders of Secret Service, Condleezza Rice Heads to White House Bunker National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice heads down to the Presidential Emergency Operations Center (PEOC), the bunker below the White House. [FELIX, 2002, PP. 227] According to her own later recollections, Rice was in the White House Situation Room when the Pentagon was hit at 9:37 a.m., and had subsequently looked up and seen the television footage of the burning building. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 464; BUMILLER, 2007, PP. XIII] She will recall: “[T]he picture had just come up on television of the plane lodged in the side of the Pentagon. And no one had told me. I literally turned and looked at the picture and saw it.” She describes: “And then there were incoming reports that there had been a car bomb at the State Department, that there was a large fire on the Mall near the Washington Monument, and [I was] just trying to sort through the information when a Secret Service agent came and said: ‘You have to go to the bunker. The vice president is already there. There may be planes heading for the White House.’” [MSNBC, 9/11/2002] Rice phones President Bush and warns him not to return to Washington, either before she leaves the Situation Room or while on her way to the PEOC (see (Between 9:45 a.m. and 9:58 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [FELIX, 2002, PP. 227; PBS FRONTLINE, 7/12/2002] However, counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke will contradict Rice’s account, indicating that she headed to the PEOC significantly earlier, roughly around 9:15 a.m. (see (9:15 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [CLARKE, 2004, PP. 3-4] Entity Tags: Condoleezza Rice, Secret Service Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(9:45 a.m.) September 11, 2001: DC Air National Guard Commander Wherley Calls Secret Service Operations Center, Wants Instructions for Fighters Brigadier General David Wherley, the commander of the District of Columbia Air National Guard (DCANG) at Andrews Air Force Base, near Washington, calls the Secret Service at the White House, seeking instructions from someone senior—preferably a military person—to launch his fighter jets, but the only people available are Secret Service agents. [FILSON, 2003, PP. 79; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 184-185] Wherley Calls Joint Operations Center - Wherley has just spoken over the phone with a Secret Service agent. After he asked to talk to “someone higher in the chain of command, preferably in the military,” the agent gave him a number at the White House to call (see (Shortly After 9:40 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 184] Wherley now calls the Secret Service’s White House Joint Operations Center. He will later recall making this call “while watching TV footage of employees evacuating the White House complex.” [FILSON, 2003, PP. 79; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/28/2003] This would mean he makes it at around 9:45 a.m., when people start running from the White House, or shortly after (see (9:45 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [CNN, 9/11/2001; CNN, 9/12/2001] Delay before Call Answered - It takes some time before anyone answers the call. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 184] According to Wherley, “the phone rings about eight times before somebody picks up.” [FILSON, 2003, PP. 79] The Secret Service agent that answers is Kenneth Beauchamp. Wherley knows Beauchamp from other routine work with the DC Air National Guard. [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/28/2003] Beauchamp had spoken to DCANG officer Major Daniel Caine earlier on and told him the Secret Service did not require help from his unit (see (Between 9:05 a.m. and 9:32 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 3/8/2004 ; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 124] Beauchamp Requests Fighters - But now Beauchamp asks Wherley to launch aircraft to protect Washington. He implores: “We want you to put a CAP [combat air patrol] up over the city. We need some fighters now.” However, Wherley is reportedly “not very comfortable taking orders from a Secret Service agent. That’s just not how things are done.” He wants to “speak to someone a little higher up the food chain,” and asks, “Is there anybody else there from the military available to talk?” [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/28/2003; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 185] But, as Wherley will later comment, “[T]hey have nobody in uniform, it was all Secret Service people and a team communicating with the president.” [FILSON, 2003, PP. 79] Wherley therefore decides he will accept orders from the Secret Service, and says to Beauchamp: “Okay, then. What exactly do they want me to do?” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 185] Wherley Wants Precise Instructions - Wherley wants specific instructions about setting up a CAP over Washington, and Secret Service agents at the White House will work hard to get these for him. He will wait until senior agent Becky Ediger comes on the line and gives him the information he needs (see (10:15 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [FILSON, 2003, PP. 79; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/28/2003; WALL STREET JOURNAL, 3/22/2004 ; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 218] Wherley will reportedly receive the instructions for his pilots “within a half-hour.” [WASHINGTON POST, 4/8/2002] Entity Tags: Secret Service, Kenneth Beauchamp, District of Columbia Air National Guard, David Wherley Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(9:45 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Bush Aides Debate Where to Fly Air Force One According to the 9/11 Commission, Chief of Staff Andrew Card, the lead Secret Service agent, the president’s military aide, and Air Force One pilot Colonel Mark Tillman, confer on a possible destination for Air Force One around this time. According to witnesses, some support President Bush’s desire to return to Washington, but the others advise against it. The issue is still not decided when Air Force One takes off around 9:55 a.m. (see (9:56 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] Entity Tags: George W. Bush, Mark Tillman, Secret Service, Andrew Card Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(9:52 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Lynne Cheney Joins Husband in White House Bunker

Lynne Cheney conferring with Dick Cheney in the early afternoon on 9/11. [Source: David Bohrer/ White House] According to the 9/11 Commission, the Secret Service logs Lynne Cheney’s arrival at the White House at 9:52 a.m. She joins her husband, Vice President Dick Cheney, in the tunnel leading to the Presidential Emergency Operations Center (PEOC) bunker below the White House, and then enters the PEOC alongside him. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 40] She had been at her downtown office around the time the second tower was hit, at 9:03, when she was driven by the Secret Service to the White House. [NEWSWEEK, 12/31/2001] Yet, in a brief interview with an activist group in 2007, Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta will claim that Lynne Cheney was already in the PEOC when he arrived there. [911TRUTHSEATTLE (.ORG), 6/26/2007] According to Mineta’s recollections, this was at around 9:20-9:27 (see (Between 9:20 a.m. and 9:27 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [MSNBC, 9/11/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 5/23/2003] Lynne Cheney will sit in a corner of the PEOC, and write down notes on the various reports that are received this morning by the vice president. [CHENEY, 9/11/2001; NEWSWEEK, 12/31/2001] Entity Tags: Norman Mineta, Secret Service, Lynne Cheney, Richard (“Dick”) Cheney Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(9:56-10:40 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Air Force One Takes Off, Then Flies in Circles While Bush and Cheney Argue Air Force One takes off and quickly gains altitude. One passenger later says, “It was like a rocket. For a good ten minutes, the plane was going almost straight up.” [CBS NEWS, 9/11/2002] Once the plane reaches cruising altitude, it flies in circles. Journalists on board sense this because the television reception for a local station generally remains good. “Apparently Bush, Cheney, and the Secret Service argue over the safety of Bush coming back to Washington.” [SALON, 9/11/2001; DAILY TELEGRAPH, 12/16/2001] For much of the day Bush is plagued by connectivity problems in trying to call Cheney and others. He is forced to use an ordinary cell phone instead of his secure phone. [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] Entity Tags: Richard (“Dick”) Cheney, George W. Bush, Secret Service Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(10:00 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Langley Pilots Hear Warning that Planes Could Be Shot Down; Ordered to Protect the White House The pilots that took off from Langley Air Force Base (see (9:25 a.m.-9:30 a.m.) September 11, 2001) hear a warning over radio that errant aircraft will be shot down, and receive an instruction from the Secret Service to protect the White House. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 222-223] Pilots Learn of FAA Order - The three Langley fighter jets have now reached the Baltimore-Washington area. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 222] The pilots hear over their radios that the FAA has ordered all civilian aircraft to land. [NEW YORK TIMES, 10/16/2001] (The FAA issued this instruction at around 9:45 a.m. (see (9:45 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [US CONGRESS. HOUSE. COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE, 9/21/2001; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 29] ) Borgstrom Hears Shootdown Warning - The three pilots are all on different radio frequencies, but are able to communicate between themselves on their auxiliary frequency. According to author Lynn Spencer, one of them, Captain Craig Borgstrom, hears a message over the emergency radio frequency that is in response to the FAA’s recent order: “Attention all aircraft! Attention all aircraft! You are ordered to land at the nearest suitable airport. All aircraft must land immediately. Violators will be shot down.” The source of this message is unstated. [FILSON, 2003, PP. 66; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 222-223] (Author Leslie Filson will describe the Langley pilots hearing what is apparently a separate but similar message later on, some time after 10:42 a.m. (see 10:05 a.m.-11:05 a.m. September 11, 2001). [FILSON, 2003, PP. 82] ) Instructed to Protect the White House - Around the time Borgstrom hears this, Major Dean Eckmann, the lead Langley pilot, is on the radio with the FAA’s Washington Center. A Secret Service agent has arrived there and wants to talk to him. [FILSON, 2003, PP. 68; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 222-223] Eckmann then receives a garbled message over his radio, which is difficult to make out. [NEW YORK TIMES, 11/15/2001] The message is, “Protect the house.” Eckmann will later recall, “I took it to mean protect the White House.” [FILSON, 2003, PP. 68] He notifies the two other pilots—Borgstrom and Major Brad Derrig—of this message. He tells them, “I think I just talked to the Secret Service, but I’m not sure.” [NEW YORK TIMES, 11/15/2001] Possible Shootdown Order? - According to Spencer, this message means that “Unknown to NEADS” (NORAD’s Northeast Air Defense Sector), Eckmann has been “given shootdown authority directly from the Secret Service, bypassing the military chain of command.” [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 223] But Borgstrom and Derrig will later say they “never received explicit orders to fire on incoming planes perceived to be hostile.” [NEW YORK TIMES, 11/15/2001] Borgstrom radios NEADS weapons director Steve Citino and asks for specific instructions about what to do (see 10:07 a.m. September 11, 2001). [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 223] According to the 9/11 Commission, NEADS will only learn that NORAD has been given clearance to shoot down threatening aircraft at 10:31 a.m., and even then it does not pass this order along to the fighter pilots under its command (see 10:31 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 42-43] Entity Tags: Brad Derrig, Washington Air Route Traffic Control Center, Craig Borgstrom, Dean Eckmann, Secret Service Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

10:02 a.m. September 11, 2001: Secret Service Warns Vice President Cheney that Hijackers Are Headed Toward Washington Vice President Cheney and other leaders now in the White House bunker begin receiving reports from the Secret Service of a presumably hijacked aircraft heading toward Washington. The Secret Service is getting this information about Flight 93 through links to the FAA. However, they are looking at a projected path, not an actual radar return, so they do not realize that the plane crashes minutes later. [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration, Richard (“Dick”) Cheney, Secret Service Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

10:03 a.m. September 11, 2001: NMCC Learns of Flight 93 Hijacking, NORAD Still Not Told Edit

According to the 9/11 Commission, the NMCC learns about the Flight 93 hijacking at this time. Since the FAA has not yet been patched in to the NMCC’s conference call, the news comes from the White House. The White House learned about it from the Secret Service, and the Secret Service learned about it from the FAA. NORAD apparently is still unaware. Four minutes later, a NORAD representative on the conference call states, “NORAD has no indication of a hijack heading to Washington, D.C., at this time.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] Entity Tags: Secret Service, Federal Aviation Administration, National Military Command Center Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(After 10:06 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Richard Clarke Updated on Fighter Situation, Told Flight 93 Still Headed toward Washington Counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke is told by White House Situation Room Deputy Director Ralph Seigler, “Secret Service reports a hostile aircraft ten minutes out.” Two minutes later, he is given an update: “Hostile aircraft eight minutes out.” In actual fact, when Flight 93 crashed at 10:06 a.m., it was still about 15 minutes away from Washington. Clarke is also told that there are 3,900 aircraft still in the air over the continental US (which is roughly accurate); four of those aircraft are believed to be piloted by terrorists (which is inaccurate by this time). Joint Chiefs of Staff Vice Chairman Richard Myers then reports: “We have three F-16s from Langley over the Pentagon. Andrews is launching fighters from the DC Air National Guard. We have fighters aloft from the Michigan Air National Guard, moving east toward a potential hostile over Pennsylvania. Six fighters from Tyndall and Ellington are en route to rendezvous with Air Force One over Florida. They will escort it to Barksdale.” [NORTH AMERICAN AEROSPACE DEFENSE COMMAND, 9/18/2001; CLARKE, 2004, PP. 8-9] However, fighters do not meet up with Air Force One until about an hour later (see (11:29 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Franklin Miller, a senior national security official who is working alongside Clarke on 9/11, and another official who is also in the Situation Room, will later fail to recall hearing any warning that a plane could be only minutes away. [NEW YORK TIMES, 3/30/2004] The time of this incident is unstated, but the Michigan fighters are not diverted until after 10:06 a.m. (see (After 10:06 a.m.) September 11, 2001). If it takes place after 10:06 a.m., this would parallel similar warnings about Flight 93 after it has already crashed provided to Vice President Dick Cheney elsewhere in the White House (see (Between 10:10 a.m. and 10:15 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Entity Tags: Secret Service, Richard B. Myers, Franklin Miller, Ralph Seigler, Richard A. Clarke Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(Between 10:10 a.m. and 10:15 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Vice President Cheney Is Told that Flight 93 Is Still Heading to Washington, Orders It Shot Down

Dick Cheney in the White House bunker, speaking to administration officials including (from left) Joshua Bolten, Karen Hughes, Mary Matalin (standing), Condoleezza Rice and I. Lewis ‘Scooter’ Libby. [Source: David Bohrer / White House] (click image to enlarge) The Secret Service, viewing projected path information about Flight 93, rather than actual radar returns, does not realize that Flight 93 has already crashed. Based on this erroneous information, a military aide tells Vice President Dick Cheney and others in the White House bunker that the plane is 80 miles away from Washington. Cheney is asked for authority to engage the plane, and he quickly provides it. The aide returns a few minutes later and says the plane is 60 miles out. Cheney again gives authorization to engage. A few minutes later and presumably after the flight has crashed or been shot down, deputy White House chief of staff Josh Bolten suggests Cheney contact President Bush to confirm the engage order. Bolten later tells the 9/11 Commission that he had not heard any prior discussion on the topic with Bush, and wanted to make sure Bush knew. Apparently, Cheney calls Bush and obtains confirmation (see 10:18 a.m.-10:20 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] However, there is controversy over whether Bush approved a shootdown before this incident or whether Cheney gave himself the authority to make the decision on the spot. As Newsweek notes, it is a moot point in one sense, since the decision was made on false data and there is no plane to shoot down. [NEWSWEEK, 6/20/2004] Entity Tags: Secret Service, Joshua Bolten, Richard (“Dick”) Cheney, George W. Bush Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(10:15 a.m.) September 11, 2001: DC Air National Guard Permitted to Shoot Down Threatening Planes over Washington

David Wherley. [Source: US Air Force] Brigadier General David Wherley, the commander of the District of Columbia Air National Guard (DCANG), finally receives specific instructions from the Secret Service for his fighter jets to follow when they launch over Washington, and is told they can use “whatever force is necessary” to prevent another aircraft hitting a building. [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/28/2003; VOGEL, 2007, PP. 446; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 218] Instructions Received within 'Half-Hour' of Request - Wherley phoned the Secret Service’s White House Joint Operations Center after arriving at the headquarters of the DCANG’s 121st Fighter Squadron at Andrews Air Force Base, near Washington (see (Shortly After 9:39 a.m.) September 11, 2001). The agent he talked to requested that DCANG fighters be sent up over the capital, but Wherley asked for more specific instructions (see (9:45 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Secret Service agents at the White House have been working hard to get these. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 184-185, 218] According to the Washington Post, “within a half-hour,” Wherley receives “oral instructions from the White House giving the pilots extraordinary discretion to shoot down any threatening aircraft.” [WASHINGTON POST, 4/8/2002] Jets May Use 'Whatever Force Is Necessary' - Wherley had been talking to Secret Service agent Kenneth Beauchamp, but these instructions are given to him by Becky Ediger, the deputy special agent in charge of the Presidential Protective Division, who now comes on the line. Ediger says the instructions have come directly from Vice President Dick Cheney. She tells Wherley: “We want you to intercept and turn away any airplane that attempts to fly within 20 miles of the Washington area. If you are not able to turn them away, use whatever force is necessary to keep them from hitting any buildings downtown.” Wherley Wants to Talk to Military - Wherley asks if there is anybody in a uniform—i.e. from the military—with Ediger that he could talk to. Ediger alludes to a Navy captain who is busy with other things, but says no one from the military is available. Although the instructions he has been given are not in military terms, Wherley feels they are understandable enough. [PEABODY GAZETTE-BULLETIN, 2/12/2003; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/28/2003; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 218] According to the 9/11 Commission, Wherley translates Ediger’s instructions in military terms to flying “weapons free,” meaning “the decision to shoot rests in the cockpit, or in this case in the cockpit of the lead pilot.” He will pass these instructions to the DCANG pilots that take off at 10:42 a.m. and after (see 10:42 a.m. September 11, 2001 and 11:11 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 44] Instructions Coming from Cheney - Wherley will later say that Ediger is “standing next to the vice president” during their call. [FILSON, 2003, PP. 79] However, the 9/11 Commission will apparently state differently, saying a “Secret Service agent” (presumably Ediger) has “a phone in each ear, one connected to Wherley and the other to a fellow agent at the White House, relaying instructions that the White House agent said he was getting from the vice president.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 44] White House Denies Cheney Involvement - In 2004, Secret Service officials will confirm that its agents’ actions relating to the DCANG on September 11 are ordered by Cheney. The agency will issue a statement, clarifying, “The Secret Service is not authorized to, nor did it, direct the activation or launch of Department of Defense aviation assets.” But two unnamed White House officials that are involved in the emergency response to the attacks will say the Secret Service acts on its own. An official speaking on behalf of Cheney will say he doesn’t know whether the vice president directed Secret Service agents to call the DCANG, and he would not be able to find out. [WALL STREET JOURNAL, 3/22/2004 ] The 9/11 Commission will state that both Cheney and President Bush “indicated to us they had not been aware that fighters had been scrambled out of Andrews, at the request of the Secret Service and outside the military chain of command.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 44] Wherley Wants More Information - Wherley still has questions about the rules of engagement for his fighter jets, which will subsequently be answered by a Secret Service agent at the White House, possibly Ediger (see (Between 10:16 a.m. and 10:35 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/28/2003] Entity Tags: District of Columbia Air National Guard, Richard (“Dick”) Cheney, Becky Ediger, David Wherley, Secret Service Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(Between 10:16 a.m. and 10:35 a.m.) September 11, 2001: DC Air National Guard Commander Wherley Discusses ‘Rules of Engagement’ for Fighters Brigadier General David Wherley, the commander of the District of Columbia Air National Guard (DCANG), talks to a Secret Service agent at the White House regarding some questions he has about the rules of engagement for his fighter jets. [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/28/2003] Wherley, who is at the headquarters of the DCANG’s 121st Fighter Squadron at Andrews Air Force Base, near Washington, has been talking over the phone with Becky Ediger, a senior Secret Service agent at the White House, and told his fighters can use “whatever force is necessary” to prevent an aircraft crashing into a building in the capital (see (10:15 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [WALL STREET JOURNAL, 3/22/2004 ; VOGEL, 2007, PP. 445-446; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 218] Wherley Concerned about Rules of Engagement - As Wherley will later tell the 9/11 Commission, he still has “some questions about rules of engagement” that his jets are supposed to follow. He “finally” speaks with a Secret Service agent who answers his concerns. (From the account Wherley gives to the 9/11 Commission, it is unclear if this agent is Ediger, or someone else.) The agent confirms that DCANG fighters are free to engage aircraft if they cannot successfully be diverted. This seems clear enough to Wherley, and, like the previous instructions he received, he interprets it as flying “weapons free,” meaning the decision whether his jets shoot down a threatening aircraft rests with the lead pilot. Agent Possibly Standing next to Cheney - Wherley will tell the 9/11 Commission that the agent he talks to at this time is “standing next to the vice president.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/28/2003; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 44] If correct, this would mean they are in the Presidential Emergency Operations Center (PEOC) below the White House, where Vice President Dick Cheney was evacuated to earlier on (see (9:10 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [ABC NEWS, 9/14/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 39-40] Entity Tags: David Wherley, District of Columbia Air National Guard, Becky Ediger, Secret Service Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(10:30 a.m.-10:40 a.m.) September 11, 2001: DC Air National Guard Commander Wants Fighters Launched in Response to Aircraft Approaching Washington, Supposedly Flight 93 Brigadier General David Wherley, the commander of the District of Columbia Air National Guard (DCANG) at Andrews Air Force Base, near Washington, wants his fighter jets to intercept a suspicious aircraft coming down the Potomac River toward the capital, which is apparently thought to be Flight 93, although that plane has already crashed (see (10:06 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [WASHINGTON POST, 4/8/2002; FILSON, 2003, PP. 79-81; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/28/2003] Numerous Suspicious Aircraft - According to the Washington Post, the DCANG has learned there are “about a half-dozen suspicious aircraft in the air across the country, among them hijacked United Airlines Flight 93, on a path toward Washington.” Wherley will add: “Nobody knew it had crashed. We just knew there was an airplane out there that could be coming to Washington. We knew the threat was real.” Fighters Launched due to False Report - The first three DCANG fighters to take off in response to the attacks are ordered to go after this alleged inbound aircraft. [WASHINGTON POST, 4/8/2002] Lieutenant Colonel Phil Thompson, the chief of safety for the DC Air National Guard, will later recall: “We had something coming down the Potomac at low altitude. Brigadier General Wherley is standing here, and we’ve got the tower with the Secret Service agent, and they want us to launch anything we’ve got. And the general said, ‘Do it.’” [FILSON, 2003, PP. 81] DCANG pilot Billy Hutchison, who takes off at 10:38 a.m. (see (10:38 a.m.) September 11, 2001), will describe, “There was an aircraft coming down the Potomac that they needed me in the air for” that had to “be prevented from reaching the DC area.” He is told this aircraft is “coming from Pennsylvania.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 2/27/2004] And pilot Marc Sasseville, who, along with Heather Penney Garcia, takes off at 10:42 a.m. (see 10:42 a.m. September 11, 2001), later says: “We all realized we were looking for an airliner—a big airplane. That was Flight 93; the track looked like it was headed toward DC at that time.” [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 9/9/2002; VOGEL, 2007, PP. 446] Incorrect Report Comes from Secret Service - According to Major David McNulty, the senior intelligence officer of the DCANG, his understanding is that “the information about the plane coming down the river” came from the Secret Service’s White House Joint Operations Center. [9/11 COMMISSION, 3/11/2004 ] FAA personnel are also receiving similar information from the Secret Service. At 10:32, an FAA employee tells John White, a manager at the FAA’s Herndon Command Center, “Secret Service is reporting one unknown eight miles out, flying inbound.” Two minutes later, this employee says they are “[t]rying to tell [the] Secret Service about [Flight] 93,” because the Secret Service is “a little bit behind, still getting reports.” They then tell White, “Secret Service is saying the aircraft they are talking is coming up the Potomac right now.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 11/4/2003] Fire and rescue workers are evacuated away from the Pentagon site around this time, in response to a report from the FBI of a hijacked aircraft flying toward Washington (see (10:15 a.m.-10:38 a.m.) September 11, 2001). This may be the same alleged plane that the DCANG and FAA learn of. [US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, 7/2002, PP. A30; FIRE ENGINEERING, 11/2002] Aircraft Supposedly a Helicopter - The incoming aircraft is apparently a false alarm. [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/28/2003] After searching for it, Hutchison will be instructed to fly back toward Washington because, he will say, “the plane had been lost.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 2/27/2004] According to a 9/11 Commission memorandum, “FAA tapes and transcripts” reveal the aircraft to be “an Army National Guard helicopter based out of Davison Field, Fort Belvoir, Virginia, which had become isolated in Maryland as events unfolded and which wanted to return to its home field.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 3/11/2004 ] Secret Service Thinks Plane Crashed at Camp David - However, at 10:36, the FAA employee relays that the “Secret Service is saying they believe United 93 hit Camp David.” Seconds later, they add that the Secret Service is “confirming that UA 93 did go into Camp David.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 11/4/2003] Even President Bush is given an incorrect report of a plane going down near Camp David around this time (see (10:37 a.m.-11:09 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [SAMMON, 2002, PP. 108] So this erroneous information may be what leads to Hutchison being informed that the aircraft he was sent after has been lost. [9/11 COMMISSION, 2/27/2004] Entity Tags: Secret Service, David Wherley, Billy Hutchison, Phil Thompson, David McNulty, John White, Marc Sasseville, District of Columbia Air National Guard, Heather Penney Garcia, Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

10:32 a.m. September 11, 2001: Cheney Warns Bush of Apparent Threat to Air Force One; Official Account Murky, Disbelieved by Many Vice President Cheney reportedly calls President Bush and tells him of a threat to Air Force One and that it will take 40-90 minutes to get a protective fighter escort in place. Later, many will express doubt about the existence of this threat. For instance, Representative Martin Meehan (D) says, “I don’t buy the notion Air Force One was a target. That’s just PR, that’s just spin.” [WASHINGTON TIMES, 10/8/2002] A later account will call the threat “completely untrue,” and say Cheney probably made the story up. A well-informed, anonymous Washington official says, “It did two things for [Cheney]. It reinforced his argument that the president should stay out of town, and it gave George W. an excellent reason for doing so.” [DAILY TELEGRAPH, 12/16/2001] In 2004, the Wall Street Journal will investigate the alleged threat and report two differing accounts of this episode, one from White House spokesman Dan Bartlett, and the other from the office of Vice-President Cheney. No Actual Threat - Bartlett will say there had not been any actual threat, but that word of a threat results from confusion in the White House bunker, as multiple conversations go on simultaneously. Many of these exchanges apparently relate to rumors that turn out to be false, such as reports of attacks on the president’s ranch in Texas and the State Department. Bartlett will say, “Somebody was using the word ‘angel,’ [a code word for Air Force One and] that got interpreted as a threat based on the word ‘angel.’” Cheney's Account Changes - The vice president’s office will say it still could not rule out that a threat to Air Force One actually had been made. Cheney initially says word of the threat had been passed to him by Secret Service agents, but two former senior Secret Service agents on duty that day will deny their agency played any role in receiving or passing on the threat. An official in Cheney’s office will then say that Cheney was mistaken and that he had received word of the threat from “a uniformed military person” manning the underground bunker. Apparently, nobody knows the identity of this person. [WALL STREET JOURNAL, 3/22/2004 ] Entity Tags: Martin Meehan, George W. Bush, Dan Bartlett, Richard (“Dick”) Cheney, Secret Service Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(10:35 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Secret Service Again Calls DC Air National Guard and Requests Fighters A Secret Service agent at the White House calls the District of Columbia Air National Guard (DCANG) at Andrews Air Force Base, near Washington, and asks it to launch fighter jets immediately. According to author Lynn Spencer, a report has been received at the White House from the FAA “that there are three planes unaccounted for,” and the Secret Service has therefore determined “it needs fighters up now.” It calls the DCANG to request these jets. [SPENCER, 2008, PP. 236] Apparently around the same time, the DCANG receives a call from someone else at the White House—presumably another Secret Service agent—declaring the Washington area “a free-fire zone.” Lieutenant Colonel Marc Sasseville, one of the DCANG pilots, will later comment, “That meant we were given authority to use force, if the situation required it, in defense of the nation’s capital, its property, and people.” [AVIATION WEEK AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, 9/9/2002] Between 10:38 a.m. and 11:11 a.m., five DCANG fighter jets will take off from Andrews to defend Washington (see (10:38 a.m.) September 11, 2001, 10:42 a.m. September 11, 2001, and 11:11 a.m. September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 2/17/2004; VOGEL, 2007, PP. 446] The Secret Service contacted the DCANG several times earlier on, requesting that it launch fighters (see (Shortly After 9:04 a.m.) September 11, 2001, (Shortly After 9:33 a.m.) September 11, 2001, and (Shortly After 9:35 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [FILSON, 2003, PP. 78; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 465] Brigadier General David Wherley, the commander of the DC Air National Guard, has been on the phone with Secret Service agents at the White House, who have told him his jets should “turn away any airplane that attempts to fly within 20 miles of the Washington area,” and the pilots can use “whatever force is necessary” to prevent another aircraft hitting a building (see (10:15 a.m.) September 11, 2001 and (Between 10:16 a.m. and 10:35 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/28/2003; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 44; SPENCER, 2008, PP. 218] Entity Tags: Marc Sasseville, District of Columbia Air National Guard, Secret Service Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(10:37 a.m.-11:09 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Plane Incorrectly Reported to Have Crashed at Camp David The press incorrectly reports that an airliner has crashed on or near Camp David. [DAILY RECORD (BALTIMORE), 9/12/2001; US DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, 3/2002] Camp David is the presidential retreat, located about 70 miles north of Washington, DC, in the Catoctin Mountains of Maryland. [FEDERATION OF AMERICAN SCIENTISTS, 10/2/2000; ASSOCIATED PRESS, 7/30/2007] On Air Force One, at 10:37, White House chief of staff Andrew Card relays to the president the incorrect report of the crash. [SAMMON, 2002, PP. 108] At around 11:09, CBS News reports that “a plane apparently has crashed at or near Camp David.” [BROADCASTING AND CABLE, 8/26/2002] An early article by Forbes states, “There are reports of a fourth airliner [having] been brought down near Camp David… by US military fighters.” [FORBES, 9/11/2001] And an early report by the Northwestern Chronicle similarly states, “Air Force officials say an airliner has been forced down by F-16 fighter jets near Camp David.” [NORTHWESTERN CHRONICLE, 9/11/2001] Theresa Hahn, the catering manager for a restaurant in the Camp David area, hears the erroneous report. She subsequently describes, “Lots of fire trucks were on the road and no one can get up there.” But J. Mel Poole, the Catoctin Mountain Park superintendent, states there has been “no crash at Camp David.” [DAILY RECORD (BALTIMORE), 9/12/2001] At some point, the FAA calls the military to confirm the crash, and is reassured that no crash occurred at Camp David. [FRENI, 2003, PP. 42] The actual Flight 93 crash site is about 85 miles northwest of Camp David. [PBS, 9/11/2001] The Secret Service reportedly tells the White House that Flight 93 may have been on a course for Camp David. [PITTSBURGH CHANNEL, 9/11/2001] And, following a military briefing, Representative James Moran (D-VA) tells reporters that Flight 93 was apparently heading for Camp David. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 9/11/2001; WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/12/2001] (However, the 9/11 Commission will later state that its intended target was either the White House or the Capitol building. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 14] ) The source of the incorrect report of the Camp David crash is unclear. However, when the FAA’s Washington Center first informed NEADS that Flight 93 had crashed, at 10:15, it simply reported that it had gone down “somewhere up northeast of Camp David” (see 10:15 a.m. September 11, 2001), so this may have created some of the confusion. [VANITY FAIR, 8/1/2006] There are also numerous false reports of terrorist attacks having taken place in Washington, DC around this time (see (Between 9:50-10:40 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Some commentators make the connection that the 9/11 attacks come 23 years after the signing of the Camp David accords—a peace agreement between Israel and Egypt—on September 17, 1978. [FORBES, 9/11/2001; VILLAGE VOICE, 9/11/2001; DAILY RECORD (BALTIMORE), 9/12/2001] WCBS reports, “[T]here is speculation that perhaps, perhaps, this may be in retaliation for those accords.” [BROADCASTING AND CABLE, 8/26/2002] Entity Tags: Federal Aviation Administration, J. Mel Poole, Andrew Card, James Moran, Theresa Hahn, Secret Service Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(10:55 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Air Force One Takes Evasive Action from False Alarm

Colonel Mark Tillman in the cockpit of Air Force One. [Source: CBS News] Col. Mark Tillman, pilot of Air Force One, is told there is a threat to President Bush’s plane. Tillman has an armed guard placed at his cockpit door while the Secret Service double-checks the identity of everyone on board. Air traffic controllers warn that a suspect airliner is dead ahead, according to Tillman: “Coming out of Sarasota there was one call that said there was an airliner off our nose that they did not have contact with.” Tillman takes evasive action, pulling his plane high above normal traffic. [CBS NEWS, 9/11/2002] Reporters on board notice the rise in elevation. [SALON, 9/11/2001; DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 8/28/2002] The report is apparently a false alarm. Entity Tags: Secret Service, Mark Tillman Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(12:58 p.m.-1:25 p.m.) September 11, 2001: President Bush Argues with Cheney and Others about Where He Should Go Next; Agrees to Stay Away from Washington President Bush spends most of his time at Barksdale Air Force Base arguing on the phone with Vice President Dick Cheney and others over where he should go next. The media are now starting to ask about the president’s whereabouts, and why he has not returned to Washington. “A few minutes before 1 p.m.,” Bush agrees to fly to Nebraska. As earlier, there are rumors of a “credible terrorist threat” to Air Force One that are said to prevent his return to Washington. [DAILY TELEGRAPH, 12/16/2001] In addition, there are reports of other unaccounted for planes that are seen as possible threats: two international flights and two domestic ones. A senior administration official will later comment, “That’s a potential of four missiles in the air, and we were concerned that if Air Force One landed in a predictable place, one of those planes could hit it on the ground.” [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/16/2001] At 1:25, Bush speaks with his chief of staff Andrew Card and the head of the Secret Service detail. He tells them: “I want to go back home ASAP. I don’t want whoever this is holding me outside of Washington.” But the Secret Service agent replies, “Our people say it’s too unsteady still,” and Card adds, “The right thing is to let the dust settle.” Bush acquiesces. [SAMMON, 2002, PP. 119] In a book about the Secret Service, author Philip Melanson will later comment on the president’s failure to promptly return to Washington: “If the president appeared less than resolute at any point… it was the fault of agents who were overzealous in their desire to protect him, administration sources have offered.” Yet, “The Service, whose first duty that day or any other day is to protect the president, has never publicly pointed out that Bush could have overruled them at any time and ordered Air Force One to Washington, DC.” [MELANSON, 2002, PP. 326] Entity Tags: Andrew Card, Secret Service, George W. Bush, Richard (“Dick”) Cheney Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(4:00 p.m.) September 11, 2001: Bush Determined to Return to Washington, Despite Advice of Secret Service

Brian Stafford. [Source: Publicity photo] President Bush reportedly had begun his video conference call with the National Security Council (see (3:15 p.m.) September 11, 2001) by announcing, “I’m coming back to the White House as soon as the plane is fueled. No discussion.” [CLARKE, 2004, PP. 21] Toward the end of this meeting, around 4 p.m., Secret Service Director Brian Stafford tells Bush, “Our position is stay where you are. It’s not safe.” The Secret Service reportedly wants to keep the president where he is, at Offutt Air Force Base, overnight, and—according to some later accounts—indefinitely. To Stafford’s surprise, Bush ignores his advice and tells him, “I’m coming back.” Leaving the meeting, Bush tells his staff, “We’re going home.” [DAILY TELEGRAPH, 12/16/2001; SAMMON, 2002, PP. 123; WOODWARD, 2002, PP. 28] Bush adviser Karl Rove later claims that, around this time, there are concerns that several planes still remain unaccounted for (see (4:00 p.m.) September 11, 2001). Entity Tags: George W. Bush, Brian L. Stafford, Secret Service Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(Shortly After 10:00 p.m.) September 11, 2001: President Bush, Going Against Secret Service Advice, Refuses to Sleep in White House Bunker After meeting with a small group of his key advisers in the Presidential Emergency Operations Center (PEOC) below the White House (see (9:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.) September 11, 2001), President Bush is heading for the elevator to go back upstairs, when he is stopped by a Secret Service agent. The agent tells him, “You’ll be sleeping down here tonight.” Bush says no. When the agent tries to argue about it, Bush repeats, “No, I’m not going to.” He later says his reasons for refusing the Secret Service agent’s instruction are, firstly, “the bed [in the PEOC] looked unappetizing. Secondly, it was a little stale in there. And I needed sleep.” The agent acquiesces, but warns, “If we have any threats, we will come and get you.” Bush then heads up to his bedroom. [NEWSWEEK, 12/3/2001; SAMMON, 2002, PP. 133-134] But, shortly after going to bed, the president and first lady will be rushed down to the PEOC due to a false alarm over an approaching plane (see 11:08 p.m. September 11, 2001). Entity Tags: Secret Service, George W. Bush Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

September 12, 2001: Threat to Air Force One? Stories Conflict White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer explains that President Bush went to Nebraska because “[t]here was real and credible information that the White House and Air Force One were targets.” The next day, William Safire of the New York Times writes, and Bush’s political strategist, Karl Rove, confirms, that the Secret Service believed “‘Air Force One may be next,’ and there was an ‘inside’ threat which ‘may have broken the secret codes [i.e., showing a knowledge of presidential procedures].’” [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/13/2001 ] By September 27, Fleischer begins to backpedal on the claim that there were specific threats against Air Force One and/or the president, and news stories flatly contradict it. [WASHINGTON POST, 9/27/2001] A well-informed, anonymous Washington official says, “It did two things for [Cheney]. It reinforced his argument that the president should stay out of town, and it gave George W. an excellent reason for doing so.” [DAILY TELEGRAPH, 12/16/2001] By 2004, a Bush spokesperson says there was no threat, but Cheney continues to maintain that there may have been. Cheney also claims the Secret Service passed him word of the threat, but two Secret Service agents working that day deny their agency played any role in receiving or passing on such a threat. The threat was allegedly based on the use of the word “Angel,” the code word for Air Force One, but Secret Service agents later note that the code word was not an official secret, but a radio shorthand designation that had been made public well before 2001. [WALL STREET JOURNAL, 3/22/2004 ] Entity Tags: Ari Fleischer, Richard (“Dick”) Cheney, George W. Bush, Secret Service, Karl Rove Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

October 7, 2001: Stolen 9/11 Documents Appear in Mysterious Circumstances On this day, Zeljko E., a Kosovar Serb, enters a Hamburg, Germany, police station and says he wants to turn himself in. He tells the police that he has robbed a business and stolen piles of paper written in Arabic, with the hopes of selling them. A friend of his told him that they relate to the 9/11 attacks. The 44 pounds of papers are translated and they prove to be a “treasure trove.” The documents come from Mamoun Darkazanli’s files, which were not in Darkazanli’s apartment when police raided it two days after 9/11. “It makes for a great story. A petty thief pilfers files containing critical information about the largest terrorist attack in history and dutifully turns them over to the police. [But German] agents do not buy this story for a minute; they suspect that some other Secret Service was trying to find a way of getting evidence into [their] hands. The question is, whose Secret Service?” Some German investigators later suggest that the CIA was responsible; there are also reports that the FBI illegally monitored Darkazanli after 9/11. [DER SPIEGEL (HAMBURG), 10/27/2001; DER SPIEGEL, 2002, PP. 166-67; CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 11/17/2002] Entity Tags: Germany, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Der Spiegel, Secret Service, Central Intelligence Agency Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline


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