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Found - The 9/11 'Stand Down Order'?

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Instruction CJCSI 3610.01A (dated 1 June 2001) changed the protocol so that any requests for "potentially lethal support" had to come explicitly from the secretary of defense, leaving commanders in the field unable to respond to hijackings in any meaningful fashion.

Where was Rumsfeld
During the 9/11 Attacks?

Extracts from 'Who's in Charge Here?' by Gail Sheehy

When President Bush finally agreed to have a "conversation" with the 9-11 commissioners--provided it was not under oath, not recorded, and Cheney was at his side--the account the two top leaders gave was murky and unverifiable. On the crucial matter of whether fighters should be sent up to protect the nation's capital, for example, the final report says that "the Vice President stated that he called the President to discuss the rules of engagement for ordering [air cover]." But, it continues, the two did not order air cover because it would "do no good unless pilots had instructions on whether they were authorized to shoot if the plane would not divert." The job of issuing such instructions belonged to Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld.

Rumsfeld's public testimony before the commission last March was bizarre. When Gorelick asked the Secretary of Defense what he had done to protect the nation—or even the Pentagon—during the "summer of threat" preceding the attacks, Rumsfeld replied simply that "it was a law-enforcement issue." (So, observers were left to wonder, should the FBI be out with shoulder-launched missiles?)

"We still don't have a full accounting of Rumsfeld's whereabouts and knowledge on the morning of 9-11," Gorelick acknowledged after the commission's final public hearing. "We don't have answers to the questions that you're asking. But I'm going to make sure it's nailed down," she promised. Yet the final published report offers no further details on Rumsfeld's inactions or the reason he was "out of the loop" (as the secretary himself put it) that morning.

The National Military Command Center (NMCC) inside the Pentagon was the nerve center of the military's response to the attacks on 9-11. But the lead military officer that day, Brigadier General Montague Winfield, told the commission that the center had been leaderless."For 30 minutes we couldn't find [Secretary Rumsfeld]." Where was Rumsfeld on 9-11? I put the question to the commission's vice chair, Lee Hamilton, following the release of the report the commissioners call "the definitive account of 9-11."

"We investigated very carefully Mr. Rumsfeld's actions," said Hamilton. "He was having breakfast with Congressional leaders, and they hear a plane has hit the Pentagon, and he runs out."

"He had to have been told before the Pentagon was hit that two trade centers were hit and the country was under attack," I suggested.

Was the commission comfortable with the fact that the country's Secretary of Defense was not in the chain of command or present in the Pentagon's command center until all four suicide hijacked planes were down?

"I'm not going to answer that question," said Hamilton, and turned away.


See also: The 9/11 USAF Stand Down


What Really Happened

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