John Jumper

Why Did the Air Force's Top Officials at the Pentagon Delay Responding to the 9/11 Attacks?

F-16 fighter jets over Washington, DC

The immediate response to the 9/11 attacks of dozens of the most senior U.S. Air Force officials at the Pentagon who were together in a meeting when the attacks began appears to have been far from what we might reasonably expect, considering the serious and unprecedented crisis the officials had to deal with and the Air Force's key role in responding to it. Evidence suggests that after the first plane crash at the World Trade Center was reported on television on September 11, 2001, there was a delay of over 10 minutes before the officials' meeting was interrupted and the officials were alerted to the incident. The subsequent response of the officials appears to have been slow and lacking urgency.