The Secretary of Defense Stands Down on 9/11

The CNN documentary "America Remembers," includes footage of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's immediate actions after the Pentagon was hit. CNN's Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr describes what happened : "Secretary Rumsfeld was in his suite of offices on the other side of the building from the impact zone. He felt it and he immediately was on the attack site within moments, much to the displeasure of his security people, but he did it, and there are pictures of the secretary helping other men carry stretchers of the injured."

View the footage here:

Yet surely, as secretary of defense, shouldn't Rumsfeld have been concerning himself with defending America from further attacks? What if there'd been another attack on the Pentagon? In fact, emergency workers had to be evacuated from the area at around 10:15 a.m., due to an erroneous report of another hijacked aircraft approaching. And according to the recent Vanity Fair "9/11 Live" article, false reports of hijackings continued "well into the afternoon" of 9/11. So why wasn't Rumsfeld helping to protect his country?

In fact, military instructions indicate that the secretary of defense had a specific role to play in helping co-ordinate the response to the attacks. Military instruction CJCSI 3610.01A from June 1, 2001 required: "In the event of a hijacking, the NMCC [the National Military Command Center, located within the Pentagon] will be notified by the most expeditious means by the FAA. The NMCC will, with the exception of immediate responses as authorized by reference d, forward requests for DOD assistance to the Secretary of Defense for approval." (However, it is worth noting that this requirement for defense secretary approval was not new, as some people mistakenly believe. The previous instruction for dealing with hijackings, CJCSI 3610.01, dated July 31, 1997, also required it.)

Therefore, if 9/11 was really a surprise attack (as the U.S. government claims), why did Rumsfeld, at the time when he should have been helping coordinate the military's response, hurry outside for a photo opportunity? According to the 9/11 Commission, "The Secretary of Defense did not enter the chain of command until the morning's key events were over." Not only does it seem that the U.S. Air Force was stood down during the 9/11 attacks: So too was there a stand down of the secretary of defense.

AWOL chain-of-command

Yes, Curious indeed.

The military chain of command begins thusly from the top:
1) POTUS, 2) Secretary of Defense, 3) Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.

The President's non-engagement (and non-protection) at Booker is well known and a matter of public record. The bald lie that he "learned of the attacks at about 9:30" is nontheless peddled in many current books about the Secret Service and Air Force One.

Rumsfeld seems to have sat in his office watching tv until the Pentagon was struck, then took a long, exposed stroll around the outside of the building, played paramedic, did a photo op, then disappeared somewhere (presumably he had no pager) for a half hour before finally entering the NMCC at 10:30 after the whole show was over. ( His Deputy Wolfowitz actually claims to have turned off his tv after the 2nd hit, shrugged his shoulders and gone back to his routine!)

Richard Myers went into his scheduled meeting with Max Cleland (to discuss terrorism, of course) after seeing the first smoking hole in the WTC on tv (thinking it an accident), then was not notified of the second hit until he emerged from his meeting, which was about the time the Pentagon was hit. Like Rumsfeld, he finally reached the NMCC about 10:30.

Cheney, who is not in the chain of command (unless the POTUS is incapacitated) was apparently very busy in the White House bunker issuing unspecified orders.

This is what they expect you to accept.

One more to add to this list...

Another commander who went AWOL during the critical period of 8:30 - 10:30 a.m. was Brigadier General W. Montague Winfield, the deputy director for operations in the Pentagon's National Military Command Center (NMCC). He had a rookie officer take his place for the entire duration of the 9/11 attacks. See here for details:

Rummy outside carrying stretchers proves his guilt

If we were really under attack from outside enemies, Rummy would be down in a bunker out of harms way, not in front of the Pentagon where Flight 93 was supposedly headed back towards D.C.

And what if there was a 2nd wave of attack from air, or more importantly, from the GROUND?


Focus on the botched crash scene at Shanksville.