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(9:00 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Condoleezza Rice Informs President Bush Flight 11 Has Hit the WTC, but Knows Nothing Else

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Condoleezza Rice later claims she was in her White House office when she heard about the first World Trade Center crash just before 9:00 a.m. [see 1]. She will recall, “I thought to myself, what an odd accident.” She reportedly speaks to President Bush around 9:00 a.m. on the telephone, and tells him that a twin-engine plane has struck the WTC tower. She says, “That’s all we know right now, Mr. President.” . [1] Rice later claims: “He said, what a terrible, it sounds like a terrible accident. Keep me informed.” . [2] Despite her title of national security adviser, she is apparently unaware that NORAD scrambled fighter jets about 15 minutes earlier in response to the hijacking of Flight 11 [see 2]. She goes ahead with her usual national security staff meeting.[3] Author James Bamford Wikipedia.png will comment,

“Neither Rice nor Bush was aware that the United States had gone to ‘battle stations’ alert and had scrambled fighter jets into the air to intercept and possibly take hostile action against multiple hijacked airliners, something that was then known by hundreds of others within NORAD, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the Pentagon.”[4]

Congressman Dan Miller, who is waiting in a receiving line to meet Bush at the Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, says he waits a few minutes for the call with Rice to end. Bush appears unbothered when he greets Miller after it. Miller recalls, “It was nothing different from the normal, brief greeting with the president.”[5]

Cite error: <ref> tags exist for a group named "see", but no corresponding <references group="see"/> tag was found, or a closing </ref> is missing

  1. [NEWSWEEK, 12/31/2001]
  2. [ABC NEWS, 9/11/2002]
  3. . [NEWSWEEK, 12/31/2001]
  4. . [BAMFORD, 2004, PP. 17]
  5. . [ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 7/4/2004]