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Donald Rumsfeld 'Deserted His Post' on 9/11

 
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Shoestring
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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 11:04 am    Post subject: Donald Rumsfeld 'Deserted His Post' on 9/11 Reply with quote

Here is my new blog entry, in which I look in detail at the actions of then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld while the 9/11 attacks were taking place. I describe how Rumsfeld continued with a routine intelligence briefing despite knowing the U.S. was under attack and then "deserted his post" to visit the crash site after the Pentagon was hit. He only got involved with defending his country after the terrorist attacks were over.

You can read the original article, with links to sources, on my blog, here:
http://shoestring911.blogspot.co.uk/2017/05/secretary-of-defense-donal d-rumsfeld.html

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld 'Deserted His Post' While America Was Under Attack on 9/11

Donald Rumsfeld, the U.S. secretary of defense, proceeded as normal with his daily intelligence briefing at the Pentagon on the morning of September 11, 2001, despite learning that a second aircraft had hit the World Trade Center and America was clearly under attack. Even when the Pentagon was attacked, over 30 minutes later, he still did nothing to assist the military's response to the crisis and instead hurried outside to the crash site, simply to inspect the damage and help carry a stretcher. By the time that he became involved in defending his country, the terrorist attacks were over.

Rumsfeld, as secretary of defense, had important responsibilities that day. And yet he repeatedly ignored the appeals of colleagues when they tried to get him involved with the military's response to the attacks. Remarkably, he rejected the advice of two aides to abandon his usual activities because, he told them, if he did so, "the terrorists have won."

Some government and military officials, as well as journalists, have criticized Rumsfeld for effectively deserting his post at such a critical time, when he should have been focused on preventing possible further attacks. These commentators have made clear how unusual and unacceptable his actions were.

In light of what is known about the defense secretary's actions on September 11, we need to consider whether Rumsfeld's behavior while the 9/11 attacks were taking place was simply due to negligence and recklessness or the result of something more disturbing. Might Rumsfeld perhaps have known in advance what was going to happen on September 11?

If he had foreknowledge of 9/11, he would presumably have known he could get away with abandoning his responsibilities as secretary of defense while America was under attack. And if he knew what the targets would be, he would have known that the area of the building where his office was located would not be hit when the Pentagon was attacked, which meant it was safe for him to continue with his intelligence briefing. He would also have known there would be no second attack on the Pentagon and so he could safely go to the crash site after the building was hit.

Official investigations have failed to thoroughly probe Rumsfeld's actions on September 11 and the media have never inquired why the secretary of defense acted so inappropriately in response to the terrorist attacks. It is important, therefore, that we now closely examine what Rumsfeld did that day.

RUMSFELD THOUGHT THE FIRST CRASH WAS A 'TRAGIC ACCIDENT'
Donald Rumsfeld was hosting a breakfast meeting in his private dining room at the Pentagon, attended by several members of Congress, when the first hijacked plane--American Airlines Flight 11--crashed into the World Trade Center, at 8:46 a.m. on September 11. [1]

He learned of the crash shortly after it occurred when Larry Di Rita, his special assistant, sent him a note telling him what had happened. [2] Vice Admiral Edmund Giambastiani, his senior military assistant, received the note and passed the message on to him while he was in the meeting. He assumed the incident was a "tragic accident," he has recalled, and took no action in response to the news. His meeting apparently therefore continued until 9:00 a.m., when it was scheduled to end. [3]

He then went to his office for his intelligence briefing. [4] Giambastiani turned on the television and he then started watching the coverage of the burning World Trade Center. [5]

RUMSFELD WENT AHEAD WITH HIS INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING, DESPITE KNOWING AMERICA WAS UNDER ATTACK
Rumsfeld received a daily intelligence briefing, similar to the one provided to the president each morning. [6] The briefing on September 11 was scheduled to run from 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and was going to be delivered by DeNeige ("Denny") Watson, an analyst with the CIA. [7]

Watson learned of the first crash at the World Trade Center when she arrived at the Pentagon that morning and saw people watching the coverage of it on television. She learned of the second crash, and presumably realized that America was under attack, before she went in to brief Rumsfeld, seeing the incident live on television, at 9:03 a.m., in the anteroom of Rumsfeld's office. She immediately called the operations center at CIA headquarters and asked what people there knew about what was going on. She was told there were 50 airborne planes still unaccounted for.

In light of what was happening, Watson apparently expected Rumsfeld to cancel his schedule so he could focus on responding to the crisis. As she was about to go into his office, she "declined to even open her briefcase to pull out the PDB [President's Daily Brief], figuring it had been overtaken by events," author David Priess described. The secretary of defense, though, was determined to go ahead with the briefing.

Inside Rumsfeld's office, Watson relayed what she had been told by the CIA's operations center. And yet, while this information surely indicated that more attacks might be imminent, Rumsfeld just nodded his head and started flipping through the copy of the PDB she had brought with her. [8]

RUMSFELD WAS DETERMINED TO STICK TO HIS SCHEDULE
Around this time, while he was receiving the briefing, Rumsfeld was told about the second crash by Edmund Giambastiani. "Someone came in and said that another plane had hit a different tower of the World Trade Center," Rumsfeld recalled. [9] "I went in and informed the secretary [of the second crash]," Giambastiani said. [10] At that point, "it became clear that it was more than an accident," Rumsfeld commented. [11] "We knew there was a problem here," Giambastiani stated. [12] All the same, Rumsfeld continued with the briefing as if nothing unusual had happened.

Minutes after Watson entered the office, two of Rumsfeld's aides came in: Victoria Clarke, Rumsfeld's spokeswoman, and Larry Di Rita.

Clarke had been in her office at the Pentagon when she learned of the first crash from seeing the coverage of it on television. She'd called Di Rita to discuss the incident and, as the two were talking, they saw United Airlines Flight 175--the second hijacked plane--crashing into the World Trade Center live on their TVs. Realizing this was "clearly a terrorist attack of some kind," Clarke headed to Di Rita's office, down the hallway from Rumsfeld's office.

On the way, she made some notes about what needed to be done in response to the crisis, such as contacting the president, the vice president, and the director of the CIA. She and Di Rita then went together to Rumsfeld's office to discuss "the kinds of things [Rumsfeld] needed to do in response to this," Clarke recalled. [13] Upon entering the office, they told Rumsfeld what they knew about the terrorist attacks and that the crisis management process was starting up. [14]

Clarke and Di Rita wanted Rumsfeld to cancel his schedule, presumably so he could focus on responding to the attacks. "Sir, I think your entire schedule is going to be different today," Di Rita said. [15] But Rumsfeld refused to change his plans. [16]

He told them to go to the Pentagon's Executive Support Center (ESC), which was well equipped to deal with crisis, and said he would join them later. At that time, he "wanted to make a few phone calls," Clarke recalled. The two aides therefore left the office and headed to the ESC. [17] Rumsfeld, meanwhile, went back to skimming through the PDB. [18]

RUMSFELD WENT TO THE CRASH SITE AFTER THE PENTAGON WAS HIT
The secretary of defense was still in his office with Watson at 9:37 a.m., when the Pentagon was attacked, and felt the building shake from the impact. "I knew that only something truly massive could have made hundreds of thousands of tons of concrete shudder," he recalled.

The attack on the Pentagon surely emphasized why he needed to get involved with responding to the crisis right away, as the extent of the emergency and the capability of the attackers became increasingly apparent. And yet he still did nothing to help the military react to the crisis. Instead, he rushed outside to the scene of the attack. [19] "I wanted to see what had happened; I wanted to see if people needed help," he has commented. [20]

Rumsfeld went to the site accompanied by Officers Aubrey Davis and Gilbert Oldach of the Defense Protective Service--the Pentagon's police force; Joseph Wassel, his communications officer; plus Rick Kisling and Kevin Brown, the director and deputy director of security for his office. [21]

Davis and Oldach had headed to Rumsfeld's office after Flight 175 hit the World Trade Center with the intention of moving the secretary of defense to a better-protected location. They'd encountered Rumsfeld outside his office just after the Pentagon was hit.

Rumsfeld hurried toward the scene of the attack based on information Davis was receiving over his radio. Davis called on Oldach to join him as he accompanied the secretary of defense to the crash site and motioned to Kisling, Wassel, and Brown, who were in the personnel security office, to do the same. Davis protested that Rumsfeld should head back, but the secretary of defense ignored his objections.

Rumsfeld and his entourage reached the crash site "by 9:40 at the latest," according to Davis. "It was not more than two or three minutes [after the building was hit] before we were actually on site," Davis said. [22]

COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER DETERMINED THAT RUMSFELD SHOULD RETURN TO THE PENTAGON
Upon reaching the scene of the attack, Rumsfeld inspected the area and helped carry a survivor on a stretcher to where they could get medical attention. [23] But after he had been at the site for some time, Wassel decided it was unnecessary for the secretary of defense to be there and told him, "I really need to get you on the phone with the president." Rumsfeld asked, "Where do we go?" Wassel apparently said they should return to the Pentagon. He recalled that he determined that "the hit seemed to be localized and we should have good communications inside the building." [24]

"At some moment, I decided I should be in [the Pentagon] figuring out what to do, because your brain begins to connect things," Rumsfeld has said. [25] He therefore announced, "Let's go" and led his group back inside.

Rumsfeld returned to the building at around 9:56 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., according to Davis. Accompanied by Davis, Wassel, Oldach, Brown, and Kisling, he initially went to his office and talked briefly with President George W. Bush on the phone. [26]

At around 10:10 a.m. to 10:15 a.m., he went to the ESC where a number of his colleagues had assembled. Those in the center included Stephen Cambone, a special assistant to Rumsfeld; William Haynes, the general counsel of the Department of Defense; Victoria Clarke; Larry Di Rita; and Edmund Giambastiani. [27]

In the well-equipped facility, Rumsfeld was finally in a location suitable for responding to the crisis. He was able to participate in the White House video teleconference while he was there. [28] But by the time he reached the ESC, the last of the four planes that were hijacked that morning--United Airlines Flight 93--had already crashed, reportedly going down in a field in Pennsylvania at 10:03 a.m., and so the attacks were over.

Rumsfeld then went to the Pentagon's National Military Command Center (NMCC), entering it at around 10:30 a.m. His "primary concern" once there was ensuring that the fighter pilots who had taken off to defend America's airspace "had a clear understanding of their rules of engagement," he told the 9/11 Commission. [29] He rapidly went to work on developing "some rules of engagement for what our military aircraft might do in the event another aircraft appeared to be heading into a large civilian structure or population," he said. [30]

In the NMCC, which was particularly well-equipped for dealing with the crisis, Rumsfeld was able to participate in the air threat conference call, which had been set up in response to the attacks. [31] But by the time he reached the center, it was too late for his actions to make a difference to the outcome of the attacks.

RUMSFELD THOUGHT THERE MIGHT BE ADDITIONAL ATTACKS
Donald Rumsfeld's failure to get involved with the military's response to the crisis until the terrorist attacks were over could have had serious consequences. However, according to retired Lieutenant Colonel Robert Darling, who was working for the White House Military Office on September 11, even if Rumsfeld had gone to the NMCC immediately after the second hijacked plane hit the World Trade Center, there is "no indication" that this action "would have changed the devastating outcome [of the attacks] for the better." [32]

Rumsfeld, though, ought to have been unaware of this at the time and should surely have assumed that he needed to get involved with responding to the crisis as quickly as possible. If 9/11 was a surprise, as has been officially claimed, no one would have known how many attacks were planned. Terrorists may have intended to hit numerous additional targets beyond the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Indeed, Victoria Clarke recalled, "Everybody was fixated for the first few hours on what could be next." [33]

Rumsfeld himself said he believed that additional attacks were possible. When asked, "Did you have a concern that the U.S. was about to be hit again in those early moments, those early hours?" he replied: "Sure. There's no question about it." Considering that three planes had crashed into buildings and other suspicious aircraft were still in the air, he explained, "you can't help but be very attentive to the possibility of another attack." [34]

If more attacks had been planned, Rumsfeld's failure to promptly get involved with the military's response to the crisis could have cost many lives. An unnamed senior White House official who was in the White House Situation Room that morning, trying to coordinate a response to the attacks, has angrily criticized Rumsfeld in this regard. "How long does it take for something bad to happen?" the official asked. "No one knew what was happening," they pointed out. "What if this had been the opening shot of a coordinated attack by a hostile power?" [35]

RUMSFELD WAS OUT OF COMMUNICATION WHILE HE VISITED THE CRASH SITE
A number of accounts have indicated that, regardless of its impact on the outcome of the attacks, Rumsfeld's decision to visit the scene of the Pentagon attack had a detrimental effect on the military's ability to respond to the crisis. It meant, for example, that in the 20 minutes between when Rumsfeld left his office and when he returned to the building, people who urgently needed to talk to him were unable to do so.

Aubrey Davis kept receiving frantic calls over his radio while he was with Rumsfeld at the crash site, saying: "Where's the secretary? Where's the secretary?" But he was unable to answer the inquiries. "I kept saying, 'We've got him,' but the system was overloaded," he recalled, "so I couldn't get through and they went on asking." [36] In that 20-minute period, Rumsfeld was "completely out of touch," journalist and author Andrew Cockburn concluded.

The situation was surely made worse because Rumsfeld failed to tell his command staff where he was going when he headed toward the crash site. [37] "He came out [of his office] and he didn't even talk to his staff," Joseph Wassel recalled. "His staff only found out where he was after the fact," Wassel said. [38]

Rumsfeld's colleagues therefore didn't know where the secretary of defense was at this critical time. Davis heard people over his radio saying, "Doctor Cambone wants to know where the secretary is; Admiral Giambastiani wants to know where the secretary is." [39] Several times in the half-hour after the Pentagon was attacked, Victoria Clarke heard people in the ESC asking where Rumsfeld was. [40] And for 30 minutes, personnel in the NMCC "couldn't find him," Brigadier General Montague Winfield said. [41]

Furthermore, because he went to the crash site, Rumsfeld was unable to join the Pentagon's air threat conference call when it commenced, at 9:37 a.m. Captain Charles Leidig, who ran the air threat conference, requested that the secretary of defense be brought into the conversation at the start of the call, but minutes later it was reported that Rumsfeld was nowhere to be found. [42] This meant that "the chain of command was broken," Cockburn concluded. [43] Rumsfeld only joined the conference call over 50 minutes after it began, once he arrived at the NMCC. [44]

THE ESC AND THE NMCC WERE EQUIPPED TO DEAL WITH THE ATTACKS
Analysis of Donald Rumsfeld's behavior at the time of the 9/11 attacks gives rise to many concerns. Rumsfeld appears to have acted in a way that was inconsistent with his responsibilities as secretary of defense and inappropriate in light of the crisis that needed his urgent attention.

He should surely have left his office right away after he learned a second plane had hit the World Trade Center and it became clear that America was under attack. To begin with, had he done so, he could have immediately gone to either the Executive Support Center or the National Military Command Center, where he would have been in a good position to respond to the attacks while they were still taking place.

The ESC and the NMCC, unlike Rumsfeld's office, were equipped to deal with a crisis like what happened that day. Additionally, numerous key officials responded to the terrorist attacks from these facilities. In either of them, therefore, Rumsfeld could have conferred with these officials about what to do in response to the attacks.

The ESC was a communications hub with a video teleconference facility, located on the third floor of the D ring--the second-outermost ring of the Pentagon. [45] It consisted of conference rooms that were secure against electronic eavesdropping. [46] People there had "instant access to satellite images and intelligence sources peering into every corner of the globe," Victoria Clarke described. [47] And "because it had so many communications in it," Joseph Wassel said, it could serve as a command center. [48]

Clarke called the ESC "the Pentagon's war room" and said it was "the place where the building's top leadership goes to coordinate military operations during national emergencies." [49] In it, therefore, Rumsfeld would have been well placed to respond to the attacks.

The NMCC, located in the Joint Staff area of the Pentagon, was a two-story complex of rooms that, Rumsfeld described, were "outfitted with televisions, computer terminals, and screens tracking military activities around the world." [50] It was equipped with numerous communications systems, including multiple screens for video conferences, and was staffed 24 hours a day by up to 200 employees. [51]

General Richard Myers, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on September 11, called it "a switchboard connecting the Pentagon, the civilian government, and the combatant commanders." [52] CNN called it the U.S. military's "worldwide nerve center." [53]

The NMCC had a key role to play during an event like what happened on September 11. It was "the operational center for any and every crisis, from nuclear war to hijacked airliners," Andrew Cockburn wrote. [54] "The job of the NMCC in such an emergency" as occurred on September 11, according to the 9/11 Commission Report, was "to gather the relevant parties and establish the chain of command between the National Command Authority--the president and the secretary of defense--and those who need to carry out their orders." [55]

The NMCC would presumably have been an ideal location for the secretary of defense to go to immediately when he learned that America was under attack. Indeed, after he finally entered it at around 10:30 a.m. on September 11, the communications network there "enabled him to keep in touch with key government officials and military commanders," according to the Department of Defense's book about the Pentagon attack. [56] Rumsfeld said he gained "situational awareness" of what was happening after he arrived at the center. [57]

Robert Darling, who spent much of September 11 responding to the crisis from the White House, wrote that he believed that "Rumsfeld's appointed place of duty" while the attacks were taking place "was at the helm in the NMCC." If the secretary of defense had gone to the NMCC earlier than he did, Darling wondered: "Could he have made a difference? What information would he have learned? What orders might he have given? Could there have been a better outcome?" [58]

THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE HAD SPECIFIC RESPONSIBILITIES DURING A CRISIS
Rumsfeld should also have canceled his schedule and left his office after he learned of the second attack because, as secretary of defense, he had a unique role to play during a crisis like what occurred on September 11. He therefore needed to get involved with the military's response to the attacks as quickly as possible in order to carry out his duties.

To begin with, he was part of the National Command Authority (NCA). The NCA consists of the president and the secretary of defense. [59] Directions for military operations originate from the NCA and, by law, no one else in the chain of command is permitted to authorize the execution of military action. [60] "No offensive, lethal military action will ever be taken by any component of the U.S. military without the direct consent of the president or the secretary of defense," Darling wrote. [61]

Cockburn called the NCA "the ultimate source of military orders, uniquely empowered, among other things, to order the use of nuclear weapons." In times of war, he wrote, the secretary of defense "was effectively the president's partner, the direct link to the fighting forces, and all orders had to go through him." [62]

As part of the NCA, Rumsfeld surely had a crucial role to play on September 11. But, Darling pointed out, "In the worst attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor, taking nearly 3,000 American lives, destroying billions of dollars' worth of property, sending Americans running in fear through our country's streets, and nearly crippling the world's largest financial system, no official National Command Authority response came until after the attacks had ended." [63]

THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE HAD A KEY ROLE IN THE RESPONSE TO HIJACKINGS
Rumsfeld's prompt involvement with the military's efforts to respond to the crisis was also surely important because the secretary of defense had a unique role to play when an aircraft hijacking occurred. The key role of the secretary of defense had been laid out in military instructions dating back as far as 1997, if not earlier. [64] The defense secretary was usually required to give his approval before the military could take action in response to a hijacking, according to the most recent of these instructions prior to 9/11.

The NMCC was the "focal point" within the Department of Defense for providing assistance in response to hijackings in U.S. airspace, the instruction stated. And upon being notified of a hijacking, the NMCC was, "with the exception of immediate responses," required "to forward requests for [Department of Defense] assistance to the secretary of defense for approval." [65]

Major General Larry Arnold, commander of the Continental United States NORAD Region on September 11, confirmed the crucial role of the secretary of defense when he described the procedure for responding to hijackings. "The FAA [Federal Aviation Administration] contacts the National Military Command Center whenever there is a problem," he said. "They, in turn, go to NORAD [the North American Aerospace Defense Command] to see if assets are available. Then the secretary of defense grants approval to intercept a hijacked airplane." [66]

Of course, the military should presumably have scrambled fighter jets in response to the four hijackings on September 11 even without Rumsfeld's approval simply due to factors such as the hijacked planes losing contact with air traffic control or deviating from their flight plans. The secretary of defense's permission was apparently unnecessary for responding to these kinds of emergencies. [67] All the same, in light of the defense secretary's unique responsibilities when a hijacking occurred, Rumsfeld should surely have become involved in the military's response to the crisis as soon as possible on September 11.

RUMSFELD PUT HIMSELF IN DANGER BY STAYING IN HIS OFFICE
Another reason why Rumsfeld should have left his office after he learned about the second crash at the World Trade Center is that, since by then it was clear that America was under attack and the Pentagon was a potential target, he should have been concerned for his own safety. Indeed, some officials who were in the Pentagon that day--including Stephen Cambone, Edmund Giambastiani, and William Haynes--have recalled wondering if the Pentagon would be attacked after they learned of the crashes at the World Trade Center. [68]

And yet Rumsfeld stayed in his office, simply for the sake of receiving a routine intelligence briefing, even though the office was in a vulnerable area of the Pentagon, on the third floor of its outer ring. He surely should have thought that he might be seriously injured or killed if terrorists attacked that part of the building by crashing an aircraft into it or by some other means, such as detonating a truck bomb outside of it.

Some of Rumsfeld's colleagues certainly seem to have believed he might be unsafe in his office. These include Cambone and Giambastiani. Following the second attack on the World Trade Center, Cambone went to Giambastiani's office and told Giambastiani they needed to get Rumsfeld out of the building. When Giambastiani asked why, Cambone mentioned the planes that had flown into the World Trade Center and said that "there was no telling what would happen next." The two men discussed "what the evacuation plan should be for the secretary," according to Giambastiani. [69]

Aubrey Davis and Gilbert Oldach also thought Rumsfeld might be in danger in his office. Davis recalled that after he saw Flight 175 crashing into the World Trade Center on television, at 9:03 a.m., he and his colleagues "looked at each other and knew that this was warning us to prepare to get Secretary Rumsfeld out of the building, and what measure we would utilize to transport Secretary Rumsfeld to a safe location." [70] Davis and Oldach then headed to Rumsfeld's office because they intended to take the secretary of defense to somewhere that was "better protected" than the office, according to Andrew Cockburn. They planned to take him "to some bunker somewhere." [71]

Their boss, John Jester, chief of the Defense Protective Service, seems to have shared their concern. At some point before they set off to take the secretary of defense to a safer location, he came into the room and said to them, "Let's get prepared to get Secretary Rumsfeld out of here." [72]

And Denny Watson appears to have recognized that Rumsfeld's office was in a vulnerable area of the Pentagon. After the building shook when it was attacked, Rumsfeld peered out of the window to look for signs of what had happened. Concerned at his action, Watson said, "Sir, everything in my training says you need to be back, away from those windows." [73]

Even if he was determined to stay in the Pentagon, Rumsfeld would surely have been safer if he had gone to the ESC or the NMCC after he learned about the second crash at the World Trade Center, rather than remaining in his office at that time. The ESC was "a secure facility" and had "a secure door with a screening process," William Haynes described. [74] And the NMCC was in an area that was presumably much less likely to be damaged than Rumsfeld's office was if the building was attacked. It was in "a very secure location," CNN reported, in the basement of the Pentagon. [75]

Although Rumsfeld did eventually leave his office, after the Pentagon was attacked, he then put himself in an even more vulnerable position by going to the crash site. He should surely have considered it possible that there would be additional attacks at the Pentagon, just like there had been a second attack at the World Trade Center. And if another attack occurred there, he would presumably have been most at risk of being killed or seriously injured outside the building, where there were no walls to protect him.

Those who accompanied him to the scene of the attack certainly seem to have thought so. While he was at the crash site, they "were really preaching [to him] that it is really dangerous," Oldach recalled. [76]

RUMSFELD'S VISIT TO THE CRASH SITE WAS BRIEF AND UNNECESSARY
Going to the scene of the attack, as well as putting the secretary of defense potentially in danger, was a pointless exercise. Although about 20 minutes passed between when Rumsfeld left his office to visit the crash site and when he returned to the building, the attack occurred on the opposite side of the Pentagon to his office. [77] Taking into account the time it would have taken to walk to and from the site, Rumsfeld could only have been at the crash scene for a few minutes. [78] This was presumably too little time for him to achieve anything meaningful while there.

Visiting the crash site--where all he did was inspect the area and help carry a stretcher--also meant Rumsfeld was unable to attend to the tasks he was responsible for at that time. Whereas any Pentagon employee could have gone to the site and reported back to Rumsfeld what they saw, and there were trained medical personnel whose job it was to assist the wounded, Rumsfeld was irreplaceable as the secretary of defense. "He was the secretary of defense; the country was under attack; he actually had a job to do," Andrew Cockburn commented. [79]

Rumsfeld offered a weak explanation for why he abandoned his responsibilities and went to the crash site, saying, "It was a funny thing for me to do, I suppose, and unusual, but I just felt I had to see what it was and what had happened, because no one knew." [80] Some of his colleagues, though, seem to have thought his actions were inappropriate. These include Stephen Cambone, who commented that Rumsfeld only stayed at the crash site for a short time because "his job was inside, not outside the building." [81]

And Joseph Wassell urged Rumsfeld to go back into the Pentagon because he recognized the unnecessity of the secretary of defense being at the scene of the attack. He recalled that after Rumsfeld and his entourage had been at the site for some time, he "decided that there was probably already a mechanism in place to take care of this recovery effort."

He therefore said to Rumsfeld, "Mr. Secretary, I know Doc Baxter [Colonel John Baxter, commander of the Air Force Flight Medicine Clinic] and I know that there is a mechanism." "This was going to be taken care of by the professionals," he has commented. He told Rumsfeld, "I really need to get you on the phone with the president." Rumsfeld agreed with his evaluation and subsequently headed back into the Pentagon. [82]

RUMSFELD IGNORED ATTEMPTS TO GET HIM INVOLVED WITH THE RESPONSE TO THE ATTACKS
The failure of Donald Rumsfeld to help deal with the crisis after the second crash at the World Trade Center occurred is particularly alarming considering that some of his colleagues apparently tried to get him involved with the military's response to the attacks at that time, but he rejected their advice. This indicates that he made a conscious decision to do nothing.

For example, when she entered his office to give him his intelligence briefing, Denny Watson told Rumsfeld: "Sir, you just need to cancel this [briefing]. You've got more important things to do." But he replied: "No, no. We're going to do this."

And when Victoria Clarke and Larry Di Rita came in and tried to get Rumsfeld to cancel his schedule, he refused to do so. They advised him to cancel his appointments for the rest of the day, presumably so he could focus on responding to the attacks. But, astonishingly, he told them: "No! If I cancel my day, the terrorists have won."

Even when Clarke and Di Rita pulled out a copy of his agenda, took him through it point by point, and showed him why each appointment could be canceled, Rumsfeld remained unmoved. His only response was to turn to the television on his desk and look at the coverage of the attacks in New York. After Clarke and Di Rita left the office, he just returned to skimming through the President's Daily Brief. [83]

Rumsfeld still failed to do anything meaningful when he returned to the building following his visit to the scene of the Pentagon attack. Although he talked on the phone with President Bush shortly after 10:00 a.m., the call apparently did little, if anything, to help deal with the attacks. According to a 9/11 Commission staff statement, "No one can recall any content [of the call] beyond a general request to alert forces." Rumsfeld and Bush "did not discuss the use of force against hijacked airliners," the statement added. [84] Rumsfeld's only recollection of the call in his memoir was of telling the president what he knew about the extent of the damage to the Pentagon. [85]

Then, after entering the ESC at around 10:10 a.m. to 10:15 a.m., rather than inquiring about the attacks or immediately issuing some orders, Rumsfeld "pulled out a yellow legal pad, took his seat at the head of a conference table, and wrote down three categories by which his thinking would be organized the rest of the day," according to Victoria Clarke. He wrote down "what we needed to do immediately, what would have to be underway quickly, and what the military response would be." [86]

Although the secretary of defense became more involved in the military's response to the attacks after he entered the NMCC, at around 10:30 a.m., his attempt at developing "rules of engagement" for the fighter pilots who were defending America's airspace was "an irrelevant exercise," according to Andrew Cockburn, since he did not complete and issue the rules until 1:00 p.m., "hours after the last hijacker had died." [87]

RUMSFELD CONTRIBUTED TO 'THE DYSFUNCTIONAL REACTION TO THE ATTACKS'
Donald Rumsfeld has been criticized by a number of officials and journalists for his blatant failure to help the military respond to the terrorist attacks on September 11 until it was too late to make a difference. These criticisms highlight the contrast between what Rumsfeld, as secretary of defense, should have done and what he actually did.

He "contributed materially to the whole dysfunctional reaction to the attacks," Cockburn said, explaining: "He was in the wrong place. ... He didn't do his duty and concerned himself with irrelevant matters." [88] He "essentially was a bystander that morning, with little or no input in the crisis," journalist James Ridgeway noted. [89]

Robert Darling expressed his concerns about Rumsfeld's actions, asking: "Why did Secretary Rumsfeld abandon his post that day by not responding to the National Military Command Center the moment the attack on our country was realized? Why didn't he attempt to contact the president sooner? Why was the National Command Authority so ineffective?" [90]

RUMSFELD'S DECISION TO GO TO THE CRASH SITE WAS 'UNBELIEVABLY SHOCKING'
Rumsfeld has faced particular criticism for his decision to visit the crash site immediately after the Pentagon was hit. "The country was under attack and yet the secretary of defense disappears for 20 minutes," Cockburn remarked. "He abandons his wider responsibilities to go look at the fire." [91]

"In the time that Rumsfeld had taken to go outside, he was out of the national command loop, out of touch with other high-level government officials who were trying frantically to figure out the nation's response," veteran Washington Post reporter Bradley Graham noted. He consequently "played no part in the urgent initial efforts to determine whether any additional air threats remained or in the decision to authorize military pilots to shoot down any menacing aircraft that refused to divert," Graham added. [92]

John Jester complained that since Rumsfeld was "in the National Command Authority," he "should not have gone to the scene" of the attack. "One of my officers tried to stop him and he just brushed him off," Jester said, adding, "I told his staff that he should not have done that." [93]

Darling criticized Rumsfeld's decision to leave the building and go to the crash site, saying: "His absence was unbelievably shocking. He should have been at his post in the national command structure organizing the defense of the country and instead he was outside helping the wounded." [94]

An unnamed senior White House official had particularly harsh words for Rumsfeld. He angrily commented: "What was Rumsfeld doing on 9/11? He deserted his post. He disappeared. The country was under attack. Where was the guy who controls America's defense? Out of touch!" The official said it was "outrageous" for Rumsfeld "to abandon [his] responsibilities and go off and do what you don't need to be doing, grandstanding." [95]

Rumsfeld, however, claimed his decision to visit the crash site was of little consequence. When asked if he thought his absence from the NMCC during the first minutes after the attack on the Pentagon had a detrimental effect, he replied: "I don't think so--who knows? My deputy was here. The chain of command was complete." [96]

DID RUMSFELD HAVE FOREKNOWLEDGE OF 9/11?
Donald Rumsfeld should surely have assumed, when he learned about the crashes at the World Trade Center on September 11, that his actions might make a difference to the outcome of the crisis and have got involved with the response to it as quickly as possible. Why, then, did he continue with a routine intelligence briefing and make a pointless visit to the scene of the Pentagon attack when his job was to protect his country? His actions effectively meant that for the entire time America was under attack, the nation was without a secretary of defense.

Furthermore, why was Rumsfeld apparently unconcerned for his own safety at the time of the attacks? If 9/11 was unforeseen, as has been officially claimed, he should surely have thought the Pentagon was a potential target after he learned what had happened at the World Trade Center.

Why, then, did he apparently place himself in danger by remaining in his office, on the outer ring of the building, at that time rather than going to somewhere less vulnerable? And why did he leave the relative safety of the building to visit the crash site after the Pentagon was hit, even though it was possible that the Pentagon would be attacked again?

It seems difficult to attribute Rumsfeld's actions to incompetence. Rumsfeld had been secretary of defense for eight months under President Bush when 9/11 occurred and previously served as defense secretary for 14 months during the presidency of Gerald Ford in the 1970s. [97] He should surely therefore have acquired a good understanding of his responsibilities in this important post and known what his duties were on September 11.

A possible, albeit sinister, explanation for Rumsfeld's actions while the 9/11 attacks were taking place is that Rumsfeld had foreknowledge of what was going to happen on September 11. If this was the case, he presumably would have known he could get away with taking no action in response to the attacks until it was too late to make a difference. And if he knew in advance what the targets of the attacks were going to be, he would have known he would be safe in his office while he received his intelligence briefing and at the scene of the attack after the Pentagon was hit.

VISITING THE CRASH SITE WAS 'VERY ASTUTE, POLITICALLY'
If Rumsfeld knew in advance what would happen on September 11, this could mean his decision to hurry to the scene of the Pentagon attack, where he was caught on video helping to carry a stretcher, may not have been spontaneous but could instead have been made beforehand, as a cynical way to exploit the catastrophe to improve his public image.

The decision to go to the crash site, while making it impossible for colleagues to communicate with him and apparently placing him in danger at the time, certainly benefited Rumsfeld later on. One Pentagon official said he thought the decision was "very astute, politically." Andrew Cockburn commented that Rumsfeld's "dash to the crash site could inspire loyalty and support" among the Pentagon workforce. [98]

Some people regarded Rumsfeld's "instinctive response" to the Pentagon attack as "a gutsy move that showed a basic humanity," according to Bradley Graham. Rumsfeld's "involvement, however brief, in the rescue efforts was a selfless act that won him a measure of appreciation and respect," Graham wrote. [99]

The defense secretary's actions, according to Cockburn, meant, "On a day when the president was intermittently visible, only Rumsfeld, along with New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, gave the country an image of decisive, courageous leadership." The few minutes he spent at the crash site "made Rumsfeld famous, changed him from a half-forgotten 20th-century political figure to America's 21st-century warlord." [100]

If Rumsfeld decided before September 11 that he would go to the scene of the attack immediately after the Pentagon was hit, this might explain why he was dressed ready to go to the crash site when the attack occurred. Normally, according to Cockburn, when he was in his office, Rumsfeld "would take off his suit jacket and put on a sort of like a vest, because he found it chilly in the office." And yet just 15 to 20 seconds after there was a loud "boom" when the Pentagon was hit, he was seen by Aubrey Davis walking out of his door, "looking composed and wearing the jacket he normally discarded while in his office." It appeared as if, in the space of under 20 seconds, Rumsfeld "had time to change his clothes, put on his going-outside jacket, [and] come out," Cockburn commented. [101]

If Rumsfeld indeed knew in advance what was going to happen on September 11, the question arises of how this came about. Did he know someone who had learned about the 9/11 attacks before they occurred or was involved in planning them and this person told him what was going to happen? Might Rumsfeld himself have been involved with planning the attacks, which would be falsely blamed on Islamic terrorists?

While these are serious and unsettling possibilities to suggest, they need to be investigated. As has been pointed out, Rumsfeld "deserted his post" while America was under attack. His decision to visit the crash site immediately after the Pentagon was hit instead of helping to defend his country was "unbelievably shocking." We therefore need to find out exactly why he neglected his duties at such a critical time, on what was surely the most important day of his professional life.

NOTES
[1] "National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States: Eighth Public Hearing." 9/11 Commission, March 23, 2004; Donna Miles, "Vice Chairman: 9/11 Underscored Importance of DoD Transformation." American Forces Press Service, September 8, 2006; Alfred Goldberg et al., Pentagon 9/11. Washington, DC: Historical Office, Office of the Secretary of Defense, 2007, p. 130; Steve Vogel, The Pentagon: A History. New York: Random House, 2007, p. 428.
[2] "Secretary Rumsfeld Interview With Larry King, CNN." Larry King Live, CNN, December 5, 2001; Torie Clarke, Lipstick on a Pig: Winning in the No-Spin Era by Someone Who Knows the Game. New York: Free Press, 2006, p. 218; Donald Rumsfeld, Known and Unknown: A Memoir. New York: Sentinel, 2011, pp. 334-335.
[3] Edmund P. Giambastiani Jr., interview by Alfred Goldberg and Rebecca Cameron, part I. Historical Office, Office of the Secretary of Defense, July 18, 2002; Donna Miles, "Vice Chairman: 9/11 Underscored Importance of DoD Transformation"; Donald Rumsfeld, Known and Unknown, pp. 334-335.
[4] "Secretary Rumsfeld Interview With John McWethy, ABC." U.S. Department of Defense, August 12, 2002; 9/11 Commission, The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2004, p. 37; Steve Vogel, The Pentagon, p. 428.
[5] Donald Rumsfeld, Known and Unknown, p. 335.
[6] Ibid.
[7] "Secretary Rumsfeld Interview With John McWethy, ABC"; David Priess, The President's Book of Secrets: The Untold Story of Intelligence Briefings to America's Presidents From Kennedy to Obama. New York: PublicAffairs, 2016, pp. 243-244.
[8] David Priess, The President's Book of Secrets, p. 244.
[9] "Secretary Rumsfeld Interview With John McWethy, ABC."
[10] Edmund P. Giambastiani Jr., interview by Alfred Goldberg and Rebecca Cameron, part I.
[11] Face the Nation. CBS, September 8, 2002.
[12] Edmund P. Giambastiani Jr., interview by Alfred Goldberg and Rebecca Cameron, part I.
[13] Victoria Clarke, interview by Alfred Goldberg and Rebecca Cameron. Historical Office, Office of the Secretary of Defense, July 2, 2002; Bill Vidonic, "Area Native Recalls Events at Pentagon." Beaver County Times, September 9, 2002; Torie Clarke, Lipstick on a Pig, pp. 216-218.
[14] "Assistant Secretary Clarke Interview With WBZ Boston." WBZ, September 15, 2001; Victoria Clarke, interview by Alfred Goldberg and Rebecca Cameron.
[15] Torie Clarke, Lipstick on a Pig, p. 219.
[16] David Priess, The President's Book of Secrets, p. 244.
[17] "Assistant Secretary Clarke Interview With WBZ Boston"; Victoria Clarke, interview by Alfred Goldberg and Rebecca Cameron; Torie Clarke, Lipstick on a Pig, p. 219.
[18] David Priess, The President's Book of Secrets, p. 244.
[19] Andrew Cockburn, Rumsfeld: His Rise, Fall, and Catastrophic Legacy. New York: Scribner, 2007, pp. 1-2; Donald Rumsfeld, Known and Unknown, pp. 335-336.
[20] "Secretary Rumsfeld Interview With Larry King, CNN."
[21] Joseph M. Wassel, interview by Alfred Goldberg and Rebecca Cameron. Historical Office, Office of the Secretary of Defense, April 9, 2003; Aubrey Davis and Gilbert Oldach, interview by Diane Putney. Historical Office, Office of the Secretary of Defense, July 20, 2006.
[22] Aubrey Davis and Gilbert Oldach, interview by Diane Putney; Andrew Cockburn, Rumsfeld, pp. 1-2.
[23] Alfred Goldberg et al., Pentagon 9/11, p. 130; Toby Harnden, "Donald Rumsfeld on How He Survived the September 11 Pentagon Attack." Daily Telegraph, September 9, 2011.
[24] Joseph M. Wassel, interview by Alfred Goldberg and Rebecca Cameron.
[25] "Secretary Rumsfeld Interview With Parade Magazine." U.S. Department of Defense, October 12, 2001.
[26] Joseph M. Wassel, interview by Alfred Goldberg and Rebecca Cameron; "National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States: Eighth Public Hearing"; 9/11 Commission, The 9/11 Commission Report, p. 43; Aubrey Davis and Gilbert Oldach, interview by Diane Putney.
[27] Edmund P. Giambastiani Jr., interview by Alfred Goldberg and Rebecca Cameron, part II. Historical Office, Office of the Secretary of Defense, August 1, 2002; Torie Clarke, Lipstick on a Pig, pp. 219-221; William Haynes and Lawrence Di Rita, interview by Alfred Goldberg and Rebecca Welch. Historical Office, Office of the Secretary of Defense, May 16, 2006; Andrew Cockburn, Rumsfeld, pp. 5-6.
[28] Edmund P. Giambastiani Jr., interview by Alfred Goldberg and Rebecca Cameron, part II; 9/11 Commission, The 9/11 Commission Report, p. 43.
[29] 9/11 Commission, The 9/11 Commission Report, pp. 43-44; Donald Rumsfeld, Known and Unknown, p. 337.
[30] "Secretary Rumsfeld Interview With John McWethy, ABC."
[31] 9/11 Commission, The 9/11 Commission Report, pp. 37-38.
[32] Robert J. Darling, 24 Hours Inside the President's Bunker: 9/11/01 The White House. Bloomington, IN: iUniverse, 2010, pp. 106-108.
[33] Victoria Clarke, interview by Alfred Goldberg and Rebecca Cameron.
[34] "Secretary Rumsfeld Interview With John McWethy, ABC."
[35] Andrew Cockburn, Rumsfeld, pp. 3-4.
[36] Aubrey Davis and Gilbert Oldach, interview by Diane Putney; Andrew Cockburn, Rumsfeld, p. 2; "Andrew Cockburn: Author, 'Rumsfeld: His Rise, Fall, and Catastrophic Legacy.'" Q&A, C-SPAN, February 25, 2007.
[37] "Journalist and Author Andrew Cockburn on Donald Rumsfeld: His Rise, Fall, and Catastrophic Legacy." Democracy Now! March 7, 2007.
[38] Joseph M. Wassel, interview by Alfred Goldberg and Rebecca Cameron.
[39] Aubrey Davis and Gilbert Oldach, interview by Diane Putney.
[40] Victoria Clarke, interview by Alfred Goldberg and Rebecca Cameron.
[41] "9/11: Interviews by Peter Jennings." ABC News, September 11, 2002.
[42] Air Threat Conference and DDO Conference, Transcript. U.S. Department of Defense, September 11, 2001; Air Threat Conference Call, Transcript. U.S. Department of Defense, September 11, 2001; 9/11 Commission, The 9/11 Commission Report, p. 38.
[43] Andrew Cockburn, Rumsfeld, p. 5.
[44] 9/11 Commission, The 9/11 Commission Report, p. 38.
[45] Lawrence Di Rita, interview by Alfred Goldberg and Stuart Rochester. Historical Office, Office of the Secretary of Defense, June 27, 2002; Steve Vogel, The Pentagon, p. 440.
[46] Andrew Cockburn, Rumsfeld, p. 5.
[47] Torie Clarke, Lipstick on a Pig, p. 219.
[48] Joseph M. Wassel, interview by Alfred Goldberg and Rebecca Cameron.
[49] Torie Clarke, Lipstick on a Pig, p. 219.
[50] Donald Rumsfeld, Known and Unknown, p. 337.
[51] Andrew Cockburn, Rumsfeld, p. 5.
[52] Richard B. Myers and Malcolm McConnell, Eyes on the Horizon: Serving on the Front Lines of National Security. New York: Threshold Editions, 2009, p. 151.
[53] "'The Pentagon Goes to War': National Military Command Center." American Morning, CNN, September 4, 2002.
[54] Andrew Cockburn, Rumsfeld, p. 5.
[55] 9/11 Commission, The 9/11 Commission Report, p. 37.
[56] Alfred Goldberg et al., Pentagon 9/11, p. 132.
[57] 9/11 Commission, The 9/11 Commission Report, p. 44.
[58] Robert J. Darling, 24 Hours Inside the President's Bunker, pp. 104, 108.
[59] 9/11 Commission, The 9/11 Commission Report, p. 17; Andrew Cockburn, Rumsfeld, p. 4.
[60] Multiservice Procedures for Humanitarian Assistance Operations. Fort Monroe, VA: U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, 1994; Geoffrey S. Corn, Rachel E. VanLandingham, and Shane R. Reeves (Editors), U.S. Military Operations: Law, Policy, and Practice. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016, p. 8; "DoD 101: Overview of the Department of Defense." U.S. Department of Defense, n.d.
[61] Robert J. Darling, 24 Hours Inside the President's Bunker, p. 103.
[62] Andrew Cockburn, Rumsfeld, p. 4.
[63] Robert J. Darling, 24 Hours Inside the President's Bunker, p. 103.
[64] See Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, CJCSI 3610.01: Aircraft Piracy (Hijacking) and Destruction of Derelict Airborne Objects. Washington, DC: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, July 31, 1997.
[65] Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, CJCSI 3610.01A: Aircraft Piracy (Hijacking) and Destruction of Derelict Airborne Objects. Washington, DC: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, June 1, 2001.
[66] "Conversation With Major General Larry Arnold, Commander, 1st Air Force, Tyndall AFB, Florida." Code One, January 2002.
[67] See Bob Arnot, "What Was Needed to Halt the Attacks?" MSNBC, September 12, 2001; "Statement of Robin Hordon, Former FAA Air Traffic Controller." Patriots Question 9/11, April 10, 2007.
[68] Edmund P. Giambastiani Jr., interview by Alfred Goldberg and Rebecca Cameron, part I; William J. Haynes II, interview by Alfred Goldberg and Rebecca Cameron, part I. Historical Office, Office of the Secretary of Defense, April 8, 2003; Donna Miles, "Vice Chairman: 9/11 Underscored Importance of DoD Transformation."
[69] Stephen Cambone, interview by Alfred Goldberg and Rebecca Cameron. Historical Office, Office of the Secretary of Defense, July 8, 2002; Edmund P. Giambastiani Jr., interview by Alfred Goldberg and Rebecca Cameron, part I; Donna Miles, "Vice Chairman: 9/11 Underscored Importance of DoD Transformation."
[70] Aubrey Davis and Gilbert Oldach, interview by Diane Putney.
[71] Andrew Cockburn, Rumsfeld, p. 1; "Journalist and Author Andrew Cockburn on Donald Rumsfeld: His Rise, Fall, and Catastrophic Legacy."
[72] Aubrey Davis and Gilbert Oldach, interview by Diane Putney.
[73] David Priess, The President's Book of Secrets, p. 245.
[74] William J. Haynes II, interview by Alfred Goldberg and Rebecca Cameron, part I.
[75] A Status Report to Congress: The Renovation of the Pentagon. Washington, DC: Office of the Secretary of Defense, March 1, 1997, p. 23; "'The Pentagon Goes to War': National Military Command Center."
[76] Aubrey Davis and Gilbert Oldach, interview by Diane Putney.
[77] Charles Aldinger, "Aircraft Crashes Into Pentagon, Triggering Chaos." Reuters, September 11, 2001.
[78] Andrew Cockburn, Rumsfeld, p. 3.
[79] "Journalist and Author Andrew Cockburn on Donald Rumsfeld: His Rise, Fall, and Catastrophic Legacy."
[80] Steve Vogel, The Pentagon, p. 439.
[81] Stephen Cambone, interview by Alfred Goldberg and Rebecca Cameron.
[82] Joseph M. Wassel, interview by Alfred Goldberg and Rebecca Cameron.
[83] David Priess, The President's Book of Secrets, p. 244.
[84] "Staff Statement No. 17: Improvising a Homeland Defense." 9/11 Commission, June 17, 2004.
[85] Donald Rumsfeld, Known and Unknown, p. 337.
[86] Torie Clarke, Lipstick on a Pig, p. 222.
[87] Andrew Cockburn, Rumsfeld, p. 7.
[88] "Journalist and Author Andrew Cockburn on Donald Rumsfeld: His Rise, Fall, and Catastrophic Legacy."
[89] James Ridgeway, "On 9/11, Rumsfeld Fiddled While Cheney Ran the Country." Mother Jones, February 9, 2011.
[90] Robert J. Darling, 24 Hours Inside the President's Bunker, p. 109.
[91] "Andrew Cockburn: Author, 'Rumsfeld: His Rise, Fall, and Catastrophic Legacy.'"
[92] Bradley Graham, By His Own Rules: The Ambitions, Successes, and Ultimate Failures of Donald Rumsfeld. New York: PublicAffairs, 2009, pp. 282-283.
[93] John Jester, interview by Alfred Goldberg, Diane Putney, and Stuart Rochester. Historical Office, Office of the Secretary of Defense, October 19, 2001.
[94] Philip Sherwell, "How the Drama Unfolded Aboard Air Force One, Inside the White House Bunker and at the Pentagon." Daily Telegraph, September 10, 2011.
[95] Andrew Cockburn, Rumsfeld, pp. 3-4.
[96] Steve Vogel, The Pentagon, p. 441.
[97] "Secretary of Defense-Designate Donald Rumsfeld." PBS, December 28, 2000; George M. Watson Jr., Secretaries and Chiefs of Staff of the United States Air Force: Biographical Sketches and Portraits. Washington, DC: Air Force History and Museums Program, U.S. Air Force, 2001, p. 202; "Timeline: The Life & Times of Donald Rumsfeld." PBS, October 26, 2004.
[98] Andrew Cockburn, Rumsfeld, p. 3.
[99] Bradley Graham, By His Own Rules, p. 283.
[100] Andrew Cockburn, Rumsfeld, p. 3.
[101] Ibid. p. 1; "Andrew Cockburn: Author, 'Rumsfeld: His Rise, Fall, and Catastrophic Legacy.'"

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Marigold2
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice smoke and mirrors post shoestring.

Keep the distraction posts coming. Laughing

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld 'Deserted His Post' While America Was Under Attack on 9/11
Shoestring thu, 05/25/2017 - 5:47am
http://911blogger.com/news/2017-05-25/secretary-defense-donald-rumsfel d-deserted-his-post-while-america-was-under-attack-911

Denny Watson Donald Rumsfeld pentagon
Donald Rumsfeld, the U.S. secretary of defense, proceeded as normal with his daily intelligence briefing at the Pentagon on the morning of September 11, 2001, despite learning that a second aircraft had hit the World Trade Center and America was clearly under attack. Even when the Pentagon was attacked, over 30 minutes later, he still did nothing to assist the military's response to the crisis and instead hurried outside to the crash site, simply to inspect the damage and help carry a stretcher. By the time that he became involved in defending his country, the terrorist attacks were over.
Rumsfeld, as secretary of defense, had important responsibilities that day. And yet he repeatedly ignored the appeals of colleagues when they tried to get him involved with the military's response to the attacks. Remarkably, he rejected the advice of two aides to abandon his usual activities because, he told them, if he did so, "the terrorists have won."
Some government and military officials, as well as journalists, have criticized Rumsfeld for effectively deserting his post at such a critical time, when he should have been focused on preventing possible further attacks. These commentators have made clear how unusual and unacceptable his actions were.
In light of what is known about the defense secretary's actions on September 11, we need to consider whether Rumsfeld's behavior while the 9/11 attacks were taking place was simply due to negligence and recklessness or the result of something more disturbing. Might Rumsfeld perhaps have known in advance what was going to happen on September 11?
If he had foreknowledge of 9/11, he would presumably have known he could get away with abandoning his responsibilities as secretary of defense while America was under attack. And if he knew what the targets would be, he would have known that the area of the building where his office was located would not be hit when the Pentagon was attacked, which meant it was safe for him to continue with his intelligence briefing. He would also have known there would be no second attack on the Pentagon and so he could safely go to the crash site after the building was hit.
Official investigations have failed to thoroughly probe Rumsfeld's actions on September 11 and the media have never inquired why the secretary of defense acted so inappropriately in response to the terrorist attacks. It is important, therefore, that we now closely examine what Rumsfeld did that day.
RUMSFELD THOUGHT THE FIRST CRASH WAS A 'TRAGIC ACCIDENT'
Donald Rumsfeld was hosting a breakfast meeting in his private dining room at the Pentagon, attended by several members of Congress, when the first hijacked plane--American Airlines Flight 11--crashed into the World Trade Center, at 8:46 a.m. on September 11. [1]
He learned of the crash shortly after it occurred when Larry Di Rita, his special assistant, sent him a note telling him what had happened. [2] Vice Admiral Edmund Giambastiani, his senior military assistant, received the note and passed the message on to him while he was in the meeting. He assumed the incident was a "tragic accident," he has recalled, and took no action in response to the news. His meeting apparently therefore continued until 9:00 a.m., when it was scheduled to end. [3]
He then went to his office for his intelligence briefing. [4] Giambastiani turned on the television and he then started watching the coverage of the burning World Trade Center. [5]
RUMSFELD WENT AHEAD WITH HIS INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING, DESPITE KNOWING AMERICA WAS UNDER ATTACK
Rumsfeld received a daily intelligence briefing, similar to the one provided to the president each morning. [6] The briefing on September 11 was scheduled to run from 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and was going to be delivered by DeNeige ("Denny") Watson, an analyst with the CIA. [7]
Watson learned of the first crash at the World Trade Center when she arrived at the Pentagon that morning and saw people watching the coverage of it on television. She learned of the second crash, and presumably realized that America was under attack, before she went in to brief Rumsfeld, seeing the incident live on television, at 9:03 a.m., in the anteroom of Rumsfeld's office. She immediately called the operations center at CIA headquarters and asked what people there knew about what was going on. She was told there were 50 airborne planes still unaccounted for.
In light of what was happening, Watson apparently expected Rumsfeld to cancel his schedule so he could focus on responding to the crisis. As she was about to go into his office, she "declined to even open her briefcase to pull out the PDB [President's Daily Brief], figuring it had been overtaken by events," author David Priess described. The secretary of defense, though, was determined to go ahead with the briefing.
Inside Rumsfeld's office, Watson relayed what she had been told by the CIA's operations center. And yet, while this information surely indicated that more attacks might be imminent, Rumsfeld just nodded his head and started flipping through the copy of the PDB she had brought with her. [8]
RUMSFELD WAS DETERMINED TO STICK TO HIS SCHEDULE
Around this time, while he was receiving the briefing, Rumsfeld was told about the second crash by Edmund Giambastiani. "Someone came in and said that another plane had hit a different tower of the World Trade Center," Rumsfeld recalled. [9] "I went in and informed the secretary [of the second crash]," Giambastiani said. [10] At that point, "it became clear that it was more than an accident," Rumsfeld commented. [11] "We knew there was a problem here," Giambastiani stated. [12] All the same, Rumsfeld continued with the briefing as if nothing unusual had happened.
Minutes after Watson entered the office, two of Rumsfeld's aides came in: Victoria Clarke, Rumsfeld's spokeswoman, and Larry Di Rita.
Clarke had been in her office at the Pentagon when she learned of the first crash from seeing the coverage of it on television. She'd called Di Rita to discuss the incident and, as the two were talking, they saw United Airlines Flight 175--the second hijacked plane--crashing into the World Trade Center live on their TVs. Realizing this was "clearly a terrorist attack of some kind," Clarke headed to Di Rita's office, down the hallway from Rumsfeld's office.
On the way, she made some notes about what needed to be done in response to the crisis, such as contacting the president, the vice president, and the director of the CIA. She and Di Rita then went together to Rumsfeld's office to discuss "the kinds of things [Rumsfeld] needed to do in response to this," Clarke recalled. [13] Upon entering the office, they told Rumsfeld what they knew about the terrorist attacks and that the crisis management process was starting up. [14]
Clarke and Di Rita wanted Rumsfeld to cancel his schedule, presumably so he could focus on responding to the attacks. "Sir, I think your entire schedule is going to be different today," Di Rita said. [15] But Rumsfeld refused to change his plans. [16]
He told them to go to the Pentagon's Executive Support Center (ESC), which was well equipped to deal with crisis, and said he would join them later. At that time, he "wanted to make a few phone calls," Clarke recalled. The two aides therefore left the office and headed to the ESC. [17] Rumsfeld, meanwhile, went back to skimming through the PDB. [18]

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Shoestring
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marigold2 wrote:
Nice smoke and mirrors post shoestring.

Keep the distraction posts coming. Laughing

"Smoke and mirrors"? In what way?

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marigold, gaslighting, not good karma being paid to destroy the civilised world is it?
Selling ones soul.
Has its own 'rewards'.

Shoestring wrote:
Marigold2 wrote:
Nice smoke and mirrors post shoestring.

Keep the distraction posts coming. Laughing

"Smoke and mirrors"? In what way?

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Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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