Secret Service FOIA Request: Arrival Time Of VP Dick Cheney At The White House PEOC & Names Of Those Provided Entry On 9/11/2001

The following is a response from the U.S. Secret Service to a Freedom of Information Act request for the arrival time of U.S. vice president Richard Cheney at the Presidential Emergency Operations Center (PEOC) on September 11, 2001, as well as the names of all those granted entry there that day.

Dear Requester:

Reference is made to your Freedom of InformationlPrivacy Acts requests originally received by the United States Secret Service on April 17, 2008, for information pertaining to the following:

File no. 20080330: copies of documentation pertaining to the names of persons admitted entry into the Presidential Emergency Operations Center (PEOC) located within the White House on September 11, 2001 ;

File no. 20080331: copies of documentation which reveal the time on September 11, 2001, Vice President of the United States Richard Cheney entered the Presidential Emergency Operations Center (PEOC) located within the White House.

A review of the Secret Service's systems of records indicated that there are no records or documents pertaining to your requests in Secret Service files. Enclosed is a copy of your original request.

If you disagree with our determination, you have the right of administrative appeal within 35 days by writing to Freedom of Information Appeal, Deputy Director, U. S. Secret Service, Communications Center, 245 Murray Lane, SW, Building T-5, Washington, D.C. 20223. If you choose to file an administrative appeal, please explain the basis of your appeal and reference the case number listed above.

Craig W. Ulmer
Special Agent In Charge
Freedom ofInformation &
Privacy Acts Officer

From the History Commons:

(9:10 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Rice and Cheney Apparently Go to White House Bunker; Other Accounts Have Cheney 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. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, after initiating a video conference with Richard Clarke in the West Wing, goes to the PEOC to be with Cheney. 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] One eyewitness, David Bohrer, a White House photographer, says 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, appears 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 says 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] However, there is a second account claiming that Cheney doesn’t leave until sometime after 9:30 a.m. In this account, Secret Service agents burst into Cheney’s White House 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] At about the same time, National Security Adviser Rice is told to go to the bunker as well. [ABC News, 9/11/2002] 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 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.

(Between 9:20 a.m. and 9:27 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Transportation Secretary Mineta Reaches Bunker, Meets Vice President Cheney

Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta arrives at the White House bunker—the Presidential Emergency Operations Center (PEOC)—containing Vice President Dick Cheney and others. Mineta will tell NBC News that he arrives there at “probably about 9:27,” though he later says to the 9/11 Commission that he arrives at “about 9:20 a.m.” He also later recalls that Cheney is already there when he arrives. [MSNBC, 9/11/2002; 9/11 Commission, 5/23/2003; St. Petersburg Times, 7/4/2004; Academy of Achievement, 6/3/2006] This supports accounts of Cheney reaching the bunker not long after the second WTC crash (see (9:10 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Questioned about this in 2007 by an activist group, Mineta will confirm that Cheney was “absolutely… already there” in the PEOC when he arrived, and that “This was before American Airlines [Flight 77] went into the Pentagon,” which happens at 9:37. Yet, while admitting 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.” Mineta also later claims that when he arrives in the PEOC, Mrs. Lynne Cheney, the wife of the vice president, is already there. Yet the 9/11 Commission will claim she only arrives at the White House at 9:52 (see (9:52 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [9/11 Commission, 7/24/2004, pp. 40; 911truthseattle (.org), 6/26/2007] Once in the PEOC, Mineta establishes open phone lines with his office at the Department of Transportation and with the FAA Operations Center. [Academy of Achievement, 6/3/2006]

(9:26 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Cheney Given Updates on Unidentified Flight 77 Heading toward Washington; Says ‘Orders Still Stand’

According to some accounts, Vice President Cheney is in the Presidential Emergency Operations Center (PEOC) below the White House by this time, along with Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta and National Security Adviser Rice. Mineta says that, while a suspicious plane is heading toward Washington, an unidentified young man comes in and says to Cheney, “The plane is 50 miles out.” Mineta confers with Acting FAA Deputy Administrator Monte Belger, who is at the FAA’s Washington headquarters. Belger says to him, “We’re watching this target on the radar, but the transponder’s been turned off. So we have no identification.” According to Mineta, the young man continues updating the vice president, saying, “The plane is 30 miles out,” and when he gets down to “The plane is 10 miles out,” asks, “Do the orders still stand?” In response, Cheney “whipped his neck around and said, ‘Of course the orders still stand. Have you heard anything to the contrary?’” Mineta says that “just by the nature of all the events going on,” he infers that the order being referred to is a shoot-down order. Nevertheless, Flight 77 continues on and hits the Pentagon. [BBC, 9/1/2002; ABC News, 9/11/2002; 9/11 Commission, 5/23/2003; St. Petersburg Times, 7/4/2004] However, the 9/11 Commission will later claim the plane heading toward Washington is only discovered by the Dulles Airport air traffic control tower at 9:32 a.m. (see 9:32 a.m. September 11, 2001). But earlier accounts, including statements made by the FAA and NORAD, will claim that the FAA notified the military about the suspected hijacking of Flight 77 at 9:24 a.m., if not before (see (9:24 a.m.) September 11, 2001). The FBI’s Washington Field Office was also reportedly notified that Flight 77 had been hijacked at about 9:20 a.m. (see (9:20 a.m.) September 11, 2001). The 9/11 Commission will further contradict Mineta’s account saying that, despite the “conflicting evidence as to when the Vice President arrived in the shelter conference room [i.e., the PEOC],” it has concluded that he only arrived there at 9:58 a.m. It also claims that Condoleezza Rice only entered the PEOC shortly after Cheney did. [9/11 Commission, 6/17/2004] According to the Washington Post, the discussion between Cheney and the young aide over whether “the orders” still stand occurs later than claimed by Mineta, and is in response to Flight 93 heading toward Washington, not Flight 77. [Washington Post, 1/27/2002]

Incredible ...

The SS wants us to believe they don't know when they took Don Cheney to the PEOC ?

Aidan, your FOIA-tactic is brilliant, I just love the way you force them to lie or evade the issue in writing ..
Slowly but surely they are digging the hole they are in deeper and deeper .
"Listen carefully now : DO NOT DESTROY OIL-WELLS" Dubya

I don't have...

The 9/11 Report in front of me, but doesn't one of the footnotes cite Secret Service logs?

213. On the Vice President’s call, see President Bush and Vice President Cheney meeting (Apr. 29, 2004). For the Vice President’s time of arrival in the shelter conference room, see White House record, PEOC Shelter Log, Sept. 11, 2001 (9:58); USSS memo, OVP 9/11 Timeline, Nov. 17, 2001 (9:52; Mrs. Cheney arrived White House and joined him in tunnel); White House notes, Lynne Cheney notes (9:55; he is on phone with President); White House transcript, Lynne Cheney interview with Newsweek, Nov. 9, 2001, p. 2 (“And when I got there, he was on the phone with the President . . . But from that first place where I ran into him, I moved with him into what they call the PEOC”); White House transcript, Vice President Cheney interview with Newsweek, Nov. 19, 2001, p. 4 (9:35 or 9:36 arrival; he estimated a 15-minute stay); Carl Truscott interview (Apr. 15, 2004) (arrived with Rice and the Vice President in conference room; called headquarters immediately; call logged at 10:00); President Bush and Vice President Cheney meeting, Apr. 29, 2004 (Vice President viewed television footage of Pentagon ablaze in tunnel); White House transcript, Rice interview with Evan Thomas, Nov. 1, 2001, p. 388 (Rice viewed television footage of Pentagon ablaze in Situation Room). For the Vice President’s recollection about the combat air patrol, see President Bush and Vice President Cheney meeting (Apr. 29, 2004); White House transcript, President Bush interview with Bob Woodward and Dan Balz, Dec. 17, 2001, p. 16.

Why isn't Dick Cheney in prison?

Yes it does ..

.. but Cheney himself is on record saying (or implying) he was in the PEOC when Pentagon was hit :
"But when I arrived there (the PEOC) within a short order, we had word the Pentagon's been hit."
This corroborates Norman Minetas "forgotten" testimony, making it virtually impossible for a professional bureaucrat
to use the logs. One thing these people are extremely careful about is being caught in written lies .

EDIT : I believe he is ALSO on record saying that he wasn't there, doesn't make the job any easier for the bureaucrats :)
"Listen carefully now : DO NOT DESTROY OIL-WELLS" Dubya

Additional comment-parsing

"Cheney himself is on record saying (or implying) he was in the PEOC when Pentagon was hit :
'But when I arrived there (the PEOC) within a short order, we had word the Pentagon's been hit.' "

His statement could be interpreted to mean that he arrived in the PEOC soon after , and upon his arrival in the PEOC he was told that the Pentagon had (just moments earlier) been hit.

That is, technically speaking, the quote could mean that he was still not in the PEOC when the Pentagon was hit.


except 9.58 can hardly be "within a short order" of Pentagon being hit at 9.38 ..
Oh I get it, for 20 minutes the VeePee had no clue whatsoever about what was happening or where he was, nobody told him ..
So, either Norman Minetas version is true, supported by the fact that he has never changed it, OR he committed perjury !

"Listen carefully now : DO NOT DESTROY OIL-WELLS" Dubya


This statement of Cheney has been misinterpretated many, many times, and just the way you've indicated.

In the same interview, Cheney clearly says that he was in his office when he talked to Bush for the first time (which happened surely after 9:15, because Bush was with the children before), and that only after several minutes SS agents grabbed him and moved him out due to an incoming unknown plane (this was when the White House evacuation order was issued, at about 9:35).

Cheney's statement is inherently consistent. That doesn't mean it's true, but it can't be taken as an admission that he was already in the PEOC when the Pentagon was hit. Dylan Avery, who is familiar with the interview, agrees with me in this point.

Here's the relevant part of the interview:

CHENEY: So we turned on the television and watched for a few minutes, and then actually saw the second plane hit the World Trade Center. And the--as soon as that second plane showed up, that's what triggered the thought: terrorism, that this was an attack...

MR. RUSSERT: You sensed it immediately, "This is deliberate"?

VICE PRES. CHENEY: Yeah. Then I convened in my office. Condi Rice came down. Her office is right near mine there in the West Wing.

MR. RUSSERT: The national security adviser.

VICE PRES. CHENEY: National security adviser, my chief of staff, Scooter Libby, Mary Matalin, who works for me, convened in my office, and we started talking about getting the Counterterrorism Task Force up and operating. I talked with the president. I'd given word to Andy Card's staff, who is right next door, to get hold of Andy and/or the president and that I wanted to talk to him as soon as they could hook it up. This call came in, and the president knew at this point about that. We discussed a statement that he might make, and the first statement he made describing this as an act of apparent terrorism flowed out of those conversations. While I was there, over the next several minutes, watching developments on the television and as we started to get organized to figure out what to do, my Secret Service agents came in and, under these circumstances, they just move. They don't say "sir" or ask politely. They came in and said, "Sir, we have to leave immediately," and grabbed me and...

MR. RUSSERT: Literally grabbed you and moved you?

VICE PRES. CHENEY: Yeah. And, you know, your feet touch the floor periodically. But they're bigger than I am, and they hoisted me up and moved me very rapidly down the hallway, down some stairs, through some doors and down some more stairs into an underground facility under the White House, and, as a matter of fact, it's a corridor, locked at both ends, and they did that because they had received a report that an airplane was headed for the White House.

Yes, the footnotes indeed cite SS documents


Maybe we should narrow down the request to these documents (USSS memo etc.)?

Excellent work, Aidan

It seems truly bizarre that now they are denying information they have already publicly submitted (nice catch, Jon), and more important, information that, in a real democracy, should not be considered sensitive at all!

I mean, why should it matter what time Cheney (an elected official) entered the PEOC on 9/11? (Of course, it does.)

another nail

You have narrowed their options. This denial means the SS (DHS) cannot in future credibly produce documentation "clarifying" the Mineta testimony.

“On the altar of God, I swear eternal hostility against all forms of tyranny over the mind of man."--Thomas Jefferson

Thank you Aidan

Thank you Aidan


deleted for wrong place

How long 'till the penny drops

At the White House:

CHENEY: So we turned on the television and watched for a few minutes, and then actually saw the second plane hit the World Trade Center. And the--as soon as that second plane showed up, that's what triggered the thought: terrorism, that this was an attack.

Two planes struck the World Trade Center before the thought of terrorism is triggered in the mind of the U.S. Vice President and former Secretary of Defense.

Meanwhile at Booker Elementary School:

BUSH: I saw an airplane hit the tower - the TV was obviously on - and I used to fly myself, and I said, 'There's one terrible pilot.' And I said, 'It must have been a horrible accident.'
upon hearing of the second strike:
I wasn't sure what to think at first. You know, I grew up in a period of time where the idea of America being under attack never entered my mind - just like your daddy and mother's mind probably. And I started thinking hard in that very brief period of time about what it meant to be under attack.

Two planes struck the World Trade Center and the President is not sure what to think.

Meanwhile in an apartment overlooking the Trade Center:

BRI: I just hear a loud boom...
FRIEND: I saw that actually.
BRI: You did? Was it a plane? .... That's what I was thinking - it was a terrorist attack.

One plane struck the World Trade Center and immediately Bri thinks it is a terrorist attack.

Bob & Bri - What We Saw

Good Find Jon

Thanx all.

Strange how the 9/11 Commision cites records the Secret Service claims don't exist.

I believe my request was specific enough to indicate information contained within the SS logs.

I already have sent an appeal indicating the 9/11 Commision's reference to these logs.