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.|
testimony before the commission last March was bizarre.
When Gorelick asked the Secretary of Defense what he had
done to protect the nationor even the
Pentagonduring 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
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
"I'm not going to answer that question," said Hamilton, and turned away.
See also: The 9/11 USAF Stand Down
What Really Happened