Monday 18 June 2012

Laura Bush on 9/11: Why Was the President's Wife Left Vulnerable and Unprotected?

Laura Bush appears live on CNN

The wife of the U.S. president is considered one of the nation's "most visible targets," and is therefore provided with a detail of Secret Service agents whose job is to protect her and keep her out of harm's way. And yet on September 11, 2001, Laura Bush, the wife of then-President George W. Bush, was left vulnerable all through the terrorist attacks.

She was allowed to head to her scheduled destination¸ the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill, even after a second plane hit the World Trade Center and it was obvious the U.S. was under attack. She was allowed to spend time there, even though her Secret Service agents should have taken her away to a "secure site." She even appeared live on CNN, thereby revealing her location to any terrorist who might be watching television. And when people were ordered to evacuate, due to reports that a suspicious plane was heading toward Capitol Hill, Bush remained in the Russell Office Building, even though this could have proved fatal had a plane crashed into it. She was only driven away to a "secure location" at 10:10 a.m., after the attacks had ended. And all this time, she was accompanied by her Secret Service detail.

The failure of those agents to properly protect Bush was extraordinary. Examination of their actions raises serious questions. We need to discover what caused these skilled professionals to repeatedly leave the first lady in serious danger.

September 11, 2001, had events gone as originally planned, would have been an historic day for Laura Bush. That morning, she was scheduled to become only the fourth first lady to testify before Congress. [1] At 10:00 a.m., Bush was going to appear before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, and talk about early childhood education. [2] She was set to arrive at the Russell Senate Office Building, located just north of the Capitol building in Washington, DC, at 9:15 a.m. for the hearing. [3]

According to Noelia Rodriguez, the first lady's press secretary, with Laura Bush set to appear at the hearing that morning, "We expected it to be a big news day for us." [4] The forthcoming event had been well publicized. It had been reported in advance by the Associated Press and in major newspapers such as USA Today and the New York Daily News. [5] This meant that had terrorists wanted to attack an important person representing the U.S. government as part of the 9/11 attacks, they could have targeted the wife of the president. They could easily have found out her plans for September 11, simply by reading a newspaper or checking on the Internet.

On September 11, Laura Bush learned that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center at around 9:00 a.m., as she was about to be driven from the White House to Capitol Hill. She did not see the initial coverage of the crash on television. Instead, the head of her Secret Service detail, Ron Sprinkle, told her what had happened as she was getting into her limousine. Bush has said she didn't initially think the crash was an act of terrorism. She speculated about what could have happened with Andi Ball, her chief of staff, and Margaret Spellings, the White House domestic policy adviser, who were with her. But "at that time," Bush has recalled, "we thought it was just some weird freak accident." [6]

Nevertheless, Bush thought the Senate hearing should perhaps be canceled, because New York Senator Hillary Clinton was supposed to attend it. Bush has said that after learning of the first crash, "I thought we probably should cancel, because Mrs. Clinton was on the [Senate education] committee and she's from New York, and she'd probably want to rush home at that time." [7] But, despite her reservations, Bush continued to Capitol Hill. Most of her staffers traveled there with her, while the others stayed behind at the White House. [8]

At 9:03 a.m., a second plane crashed into the WTC. It was then clear that the U.S. was suffering a serious and unprecedented terrorist attack. [9] According to a National Geographic Channel documentary about the Secret Service, "In a state of emergency, the Secret Service's plan is to get every protectee to a secure site." [10] But, in this obvious emergency, the first lady's Secret Service agents made no attempt to rush their "protectee" to a secure site, and they appear to have raised no objections to her continuing to her planned destination.

Bush's limousine and the vehicles accompanying it drove off from the White House for the two-mile journey to Capitol Hill at 9:07 a.m., four minutes after the second crash took place, according to Noelia Rodriguez, who was traveling in the staff van. At that time, Bush and the members of staff accompanying her were apparently unaware of the second crash. [11] Bush was traveling with four Secret Service agents that day, according to journalist and author Ronald Kessler. [12] It is unclear if these agents learned of the second crash right after it happened. If they did, why did they fail to pass on the news to the first lady immediately? If not, this would be extraordinary: Surely their colleagues would have seen the crash live on television and should have contacted them at once to pass on the critical news.

Instead, it was several minutes before the first lady was told about the second crash. Bush has recalled, "As we approached Capitol Hill, the Secret Service said that another plane had hit the second tower." She "knew then that it was terrorism" and not an accident. [13] Bush's limousine arrived at the Russell Senate Office Building at 9:16 a.m., according to Rodriguez. [14] And Bush has written that she was told about the second crash two minutes before then, meaning around 9:14 a.m. [15] If correct, this means the wife of the U.S. president only learned of the crash 11 minutes after it happened.

Laura Bush's limousine pulled up outside the Russell Senate Office Building just one minute behind schedule, at 9:16 a.m. Senator Edward Kennedy, the chairman of the education committee, came to greet the first lady after she entered the building, as planned. [16] In light of the events in New York, Bush and Kennedy immediately agreed to postpone the hearing and then headed to Kennedy's office, accompanied by the first lady's staff. [17] After a time, they were joined by Senator Judd Gregg, a longtime Bush family friend. It appears the group stayed in Kennedy's office for around 20 minutes. Bush's Secret Service agents allowed this, even though they should surely have taken the first lady away to a "secure site."

Although a television in a corner of the room was showing the catastrophe taking place in New York, Kennedy, rather than focusing on the attacks, took the first lady on a tour of his office and, Bush has recalled, the two talked about "mundane things." [18] They were "talking about some other items" besides the terrorist attacks, according to Gregg. [19]

Meanwhile, Bush's Secret Service agents and senior staff reportedly "frantically worked their earpieces and cell phones to get a handle on the unfolding attacks." Although the first lady and those with her weren't catching all of the television coverage of the events in New York, Bush has recalled that they "knew what was happening because people kept coming in." [20]

Bush and Kennedy decided they should offer some words of reassurance to the American public. [21] Therefore, at around 9:41 a.m., Bush, Kennedy, and Gregg went to the Caucus Room in the Russell Senate Office Building, where they appeared before reporters and television cameras. Kennedy and Bush announced that the planned Senate education committee hearing had been postponed and commented on the attacks in New York. [22] (Although the Pentagon had been hit a few minutes earlier, Bush and the two senators were at that time unaware of this. [23])

The beginning of the appearance was actually broadcast live on CNN. [24] This means the location of the wife of the U.S. president was revealed to any terrorist who might have been watching television. So why did the Secret Service, whose job was to protect the first lady, let Laura Bush make this appearance, thereby putting herself in greater danger?

Furthermore, Bush, Kennedy, and Gregg's appearance was unnecessary. People would have guessed that the Senate hearing was canceled, so there was no need for these prominent individuals to announce the fact in front of television cameras. At most, all that would have been needed was for someone to contact the TV networks and inform them of the cancelation. Fox News correspondent Brian Wilson, who was reporting from Capitol Hill at the time, has noted this oddity, saying, "They were (incredibly) trying to set up a brief photo opportunity" for Bush and the senators. [25]

However, the appearance did end up serving a significant purpose for Laura Bush. After she and Kennedy had given their statements and were turning to leave the room, USA Today reporter Laurence McQuillan said: "Children are kind of struck by all this. Is there a message you could tell to the nation's ..." Before he could finish the sentence, Bush replied, "Parents need to reassure their children everywhere in our country that they're safe." [26]

The first lady's answer to McQuillan is, according to Noelia Rodriguez, "what people remember her for that day." [27] With her words of advice for American parents, according to Ronald Kessler, Laura Bush "became the comforter in chief, calmly reassuring the nation and dispensing advice on how parents should deal with the tragedy." [28] September 11 was therefore a turning point for her. A few weeks later, Us Weekly magazine described, "The former librarian from Midland, Texas, has transformed her image from the behind-the-scenes presidential wife most comparable to Mamie Eisenhower to the nation's comforter in chief." [29]

As Laura Bush was leaving the Caucus Room, John Meyers, her advance man, received a call on his cell phone from a friend of his, who said CNN was reporting an attack on the Pentagon. [30] It was now clear that Washington, and not just New York, was being targeted. And yet Bush's Secret Service agents still did not take the first lady away from Capitol Hill to somewhere secure and less prominent.

At 9:48 a.m., an evacuation of the Russell Senate Office Building and the nearby Capitol building began, apparently because of concerns that a suspicious plane was heading toward Capitol Hill. Capitol Police officers were hearing in their radios that there was "another plane in the air, likely headed for the Capitol," according to CNN. [31] Andi Ball has recalled: "Our agents thought another plane was coming toward Washington. The Capitol was being evacuated." [32]

Ann Gerhart, a Washington Post reporter, was actually warned to stay away from a window of the Russell Senate Office Building in case a plane crashed into there. Gerhart had just left the Caucus Room, where she had watched Bush and the senators make their brief appearance. She has recalled, "As I moved closer to one of the building's tall, beautiful leaded glass windows to get better cell phone reception, a Capitol Police officer practically tackled me." The officer yelled, "Get away from the window!" When Gerhart asked why, the officer replied: "Because we're under attack! There's still one plane up there and it's headed right for us!" [33]

And yet, despite these concerns, Bush's Secret Service agents allowed the first lady to stay in the Russell Office Building.

After leaving the Caucus Room, Bush and her staff initially started making their way down to the cars that would take them back to the White House. But, according to Ball, Bush's Secret Service agents then told them, "We can't go right now." The agents said, "We need to go back and wait a few minutes." [34] Bush has recalled that her lead agent told her and her staff that they needed to head to the basement immediately. Her agents told John Meyers "that they were waiting for an emergency response team to reach the Capitol."

Judd Gregg suggested that they all go to his office, which was an interior room and was on a lower floor of the Russell Office Building. Whether it was in the basement, however, is unclear. Nevertheless, that is where Bush and her staff went. [35] In Gregg's office, according to Edward Kennedy, they "kept the television set off and simply talked for a while." [36]

The fact that, in the middle of a major terrorist attack on the United States, Laura Bush and her staff were allowed to go to the Russell Senate Office Building and then spend so much time there is particularly alarming considering that the Capitol building, located just south of there, was an obvious target for terrorists. As USA Today has commented, "Democracy's most important icons are also terrorists' most likely targets." [37]

The 9/11 Commission in fact claimed that had United Airlines Flight 93--the fourth hijacked plane--not crashed in rural Pennsylvania on September 11, its hijackers would have aimed for "symbols of the American Republic, the Capitol or the White House." [38] Laura Bush has written that in the years since 9/11, she "and many others were left to contemplate what if Flight 93 had not been forced down by its passengers into an empty field; what if, shortly after 10:00 a.m., it had reached the Capitol dome?" [39]

Not only was Bush allowed to stay in the Russell Senate Office Building during the attacks, it also appears there was no increase in security after she arrived on Capitol Hill. Fox News correspondent Brian Wilson has recalled that when he was reporting from the Capitol building that morning, he had been "on the air talking about the first lady being in the Capitol and saying that I had not seen any signs of tighter security in the building." [40]

Bush has recalled that she stayed in Judd Gregg's office until "sometime after 10:00 a.m.," when she was finally evacuated from the Russell Senate Office Building. She was collected from Gregg's office by her Secret Service agents, who, she has recalled, were joined by "an additional Secret Service detail and an emergency response team, dressed in black tactical clothing like a SWAT force and moving with guns drawn." [41] Presumably these armed agents were members of the Secret Service emergency response team (ERT), which guards the president at the White House. This unit's "primary mission" is "to provide tactical response to unlawful intrusions and other protective challenges related to the White House and its grounds." [42] Its members are "sharpshooters assigned to respond to any terrorist strike," according to U.S. News & World Report. [43] They are "equipped with the very latest in armor and weaponry, and receive advanced gun and defense training." [44]

Bush has described being escorted from the building, writing: "As we raced through the dim hallways of the Russell Building, past panicked staffers emptying from their offices, the ERT team shouted 'Get back' and covered my every move with their guns. We reached the underground entrance; the doors on the motorcade slammed shut, and we sped off." [45]

Bush and her staff left Capitol Hill at 10:10 a.m., according to Noelia Rodriguez. Secret Service agents protected them with their guns as they were driven away. Ashleigh Adams, Bush's deputy press secretary, has described, "It felt like we were in a war, because the Secret Service was driving next to the motorcade and they were hanging out of the windows with their machine guns out." [46]

This urgency exhibited by the ERT is surely what would be expected when protecting a person as important as the president's wife during a terrorist attack. What is remarkable is that such urgency was not evident earlier that morning among those responsible for protecting Laura Bush.

It is unclear why the ERT only arrived to collect the first lady after 10:00 a.m., and what it was doing before then is unknown. But by the time Laura Bush left Capitol Hill, Flight 93 had already crashed and so the terrorist attacks were over.

Bush's Secret Service agents said they were going to take the first lady and her staff to a secure location. This turned out to be the Secret Service headquarters. [47] The nine-story office building had been reinforced to survive a large-scale blast after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. It is in Washington, just a few blocks away from the White House. [48] However, Andi Ball has recalled, the traffic at the time "was so bad that everything was stopped." [49] Therefore, the drive to the headquarters took 45 minutes, according to Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward, meaning the first lady would have arrived there at around 10:55 a.m. [50]

After they arrived at the Secret Service headquarters, Bush and her entourage were taken to the office of Secret Service Director Brian Stafford, which was on an upper floor of the building. [51] There, Bush made phone calls to her two daughters and to her mother, and her staffers called their families to let them know they were alright. [52]

After a time, Bush and her staff were moved to the basement. This was because the agents responsible for the first lady realized that, since the attacks in New York had involved planes being crashed into tall buildings, having Bush on an upper floor was "perhaps not such a hot idea," according to journalist and author Robert Draper. [53] Again, the behavior of the Secret Service was extraordinary. If the 9/11 attacks were a surprise to the U.S. government, as is officially claimed, and the targets unknown beforehand, then these agents had taken the first lady somewhere--an upper floor of a government building--where there was a greater risk of her becoming a victim of the attacks.

In the basement, Bush and her staff were taken to a windowless conference room, which had a large display screen across one wall, showing a constant TV feed. They remained in the conference room for much of the rest of the day and spent time watching the television coverage of the attacks. [54]

At some point in the afternoon, Laura Bush and those with her learned that the president would be coming back to Washington that day, and so it was decided that the first lady could return to the White House. At 6:30 p.m., the Secret Service drove her there. Bush found the White House surrounded by "heavily armed men in black" when she arrived. Upon entering the building, she was taken to the Presidential Emergency Operations Center, a secure bunker below the East Wing, where she remained until the president arrived back at the White House. [55]

The first lady is regarded as one of the nation's "most visible targets," and so the Secret Service is responsible for protecting her. [56] As one of the agency's "permanent protectees," she, like the president, has a detail of special agents assigned to her. [57] These agents' mission is to keep the first lady "in sight and out of harm's way," according to a book about the Secret Service by author Philip Melanson. [58]

Secret Service agents are highly trained, and according to Jeffrey Robinson, co-author of another book about the Secret Service: "The Secret Service has an esprit de corps like the Marines. They are very proud of what they do." [59] Laura Bush praised the agency in her memoir, Spoken From the Heart, calling it "a remarkable institution" whose "men and women are willing to risk their lives to guard the president's." Secret Service agents, she wrote, "wait in broiling sun and subzero cold; their mission is to protect the first family from harm." [60]

Furthermore, the Secret Service makes extensive preparations before one of its protectees visits a location. The agency stated on its website: "The advance team surveys each site to be visited. From these surveys, the members determine manpower, equipment, hospitals, and evacuation routes for emergencies." Before the visit, the Secret Service establishes a command post with full communications facilities for the security operation. What is more, "Intelligence information is discussed, identification specified, and emergency options outlined." The work of the Secret Service when someone it protects visits a particular location is clearly a sophisticated operation. [61]

Additionally, the Secret Service had capabilities that should have meant its response to the 9/11 attacks was particularly prompt and effective. Notably, it was able to monitor U.S. airspace. Richard Clarke, the White House counterterrorism chief on September 11, mentioned in his book Against All Enemies that the "Secret Service had a system that allowed them to see what FAA's radar was seeing." [62] According to Secret Service agent Barbara Riggs, "Through monitoring radar and activating an open line with the FAA [the Federal Aviation Administration], the Secret Service was able to receive real-time information about ... hijacked aircraft." Riggs, who was in the Secret Service headquarters on September 11, added, "We were tracking two hijacked aircraft as they approached Washington, DC, and our assumption was that the White House was a target." [63]

In light of these facts, it would be difficult to claim that the Secret Service's failure to adequately protect Laura Bush on the morning of September 11 was due to incompetence. It seems that something must have happened to hinder the first lady's Secret Service agents. While a new investigation of 9/11 is necessary to properly look into this matter, we can at least speculate about factors that may have been involved.

One possibility to consider is that key individuals in the Secret Service knew in advance what the 9/11 attacks would involve and what the targets would be. Consequently, they knew it would be safe for Laura Bush to go to the Russell Senate Office Building, as planned, and remain there until the attacks ended.

Any such individuals would presumably have included whoever was responsible for directing the actions of the first lady's Secret Service detail. The identity of that person (or persons) is currently unknown. In her memoir, Bush mentioned that on September 11, the head of her Secret Service detail was Ron Sprinkle. She named another of her agents, Dave Saunders, who she said drove her to the White House that evening. And she named four more of her "closest agents"--Wayne Williams, Leon Newsome, Ignacio Zamora, and Karen Shugart--but did not say whether any of them were with her on September 11. [64] It is unknown which, if any, of these agents was responsible for the failure to properly protect the first lady on September 11, or whether Laura Bush's Secret Service detail was instead directed by someone else, perhaps one of these agents' superiors.

Another possibility is that the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks sabotaged communications in the Washington area on September 11, so as to limit the flow of information and impede the ability of honest and principled individuals to effectively respond. If this happened, Secret Service agents protecting the first lady may have had only a limited awareness of the crisis taking place, and were therefore slowed in their response to it.

There is in fact considerable evidence indicating that communications were sabotaged on September 11. [65] A classified report was produced that, reportedly, "does not paint a favorable picture of the government's overall crisis management capabilities" during the attacks. A government official told author Dan Verton that the U.S. was "deaf, dumb, and blind" for much of that day. [66]

More specifically, there is evidence that communications may have been sabotaged on Capitol Hill. Noelia Rodriguez recalled that when Laura Bush and her staff were in Edward Kennedy's office, "Nobody could get a cell [phone call] to get through," and so "we took turns using the office phone." [67] Tom Daschle, the Senate majority leader on September 11, has stated that after the Capitol building was evacuated: "People were punching their cell phones to no avail. The lines were jammed." [68] And CNN senior political correspondent Candy Crowley described: "The cell phones went down. Eventually ... the personal BlackBerrys that bring your e-mail to you, they went down." Landline phones were also affected. Crowley added: "Inside the Capitol, remember [there are] still switchboard operators there. Inside the Capitol, the phones worked only on and off." [69]

Even the president and the first lady were affected. They finally spoke over the phone at around 11:45 a.m., when President Bush was descending into Barksdale Air Force Base on Air Force One and Laura Bush was at the Secret Service headquarters. George W. Bush has recalled that before then, he "had been trying to reach Laura all morning." He described: "I placed several calls, but the line kept dropping. I couldn't believe that the president of the United States couldn't reach his wife." Laura Bush recalled, "I tried to reach George, but my calls could not get through." She commented, "It is stunning now to think that our 'state-of-the-art' communications would not allow him to complete a phone call to Secret Service headquarters, or me to reach him on Air Force One." [70]

Another possibility is that rogue Secret Service agents in key positions were deliberately negligent, so as to impair their colleagues' responses to the attacks. Some evidence indicates this could have happened. For example, U.S. News & World Report noted, "On the morning of the September 11 attacks, Secret Service executives did not implement an 'emergency call-up' of all personnel until the third plane crashed, into the Pentagon." [71]

And some agents appear to have failed to pass on critical information to their colleagues. Shortly after the second plane hit the WTC, Nelson Garabito, the Secret Service agent in charge of protecting the White House airspace, called his contact at the FAA. The FAA employee told Garabito there were two unaccounted for planes that had possibly been hijacked, in addition to the two planes that had crashed into the WTC. Garabito told a colleague "to convey this information to the Secret Service's operations center," according to the 9/11 Commission Report. However, the information "either was not passed on or was passed on but not disseminated." [72]

The U.S. military is known to have been conducting a number of training exercises when the 9/11 attacks began, and evidence indicates that its response to the attacks was hindered as a result. [73] A possibility to consider is that the Secret Service was similarly conducting a training exercise on the morning of September 11, and this led to confusion and delayed the agency's response to the attacks. Secret Service agents could have mistaken reports of the real-world attacks for simulations incorporated into the exercise. Or agents could have been unable to respond to the attacks immediately because they were busy participating in the exercise.

It is worth noting the similarities between the actions of Laura Bush and her Secret Service detail, and the actions of President Bush and his Secret Service detail on September 11. The president, like the first lady, was allowed to proceed to his scheduled destination that morning--in his case, an elementary school in Sarasota, Florida. (His destination, like the first lady's, had been publicly announced several days earlier.)

He was allowed to stay at the school after the second plane hit the WTC and it was obvious that America was suffering a major terrorist attack. And, as it did with the first lady, the Secret Service let the president appear live on television in the middle of the attacks: Bush gave a brief statement in the school's library at 9:30 a.m., thereby revealing his location to any terrorist who might have been watching TV. He only left the school at around 9:35 a.m., more than half an hour after the second attack in New York. [74]

There are many serious questions that need to be investigated. For example, why did the Secret Service allow Laura Bush to go to her planned destination on September 11 when it was apparent that the United States was under attack and she could have been a target? Why did it fail to get her away from the Russell Senate Office Building, even when it was thought that a suspicious plane was heading toward Capitol Hill? Why did it instead allow her to stay there for almost an hour, so that by the time she was taken away to a "secure location," the terrorist attacks had ended?

Laura Bush's Secret Service agents would have been highly trained professionals. Something must surely have happened that led to them being unable to provide the first lady with the usual level of protection, at a time when that protection was most critically needed. The question is what was it?

[1] Laurence McQuillan, "Bushes' Push for Education Bill Starts This Weekend." USA Today, September 6, 2001; Nina Burleigh, "Life for Laura Bush." Us Weekly, October 15, 2001.
[2] Laurence McQuillan, "Laura Bush Stepping out Into Spotlight." USA Today, September 10, 2001; Ian Christopher McCaleb, "Bush: U.S. Feels 'Quiet, Unyielding Anger.'" CNN, September 12, 2001; "Sunset Ceremony Commemorates Lighting of Eternal Flame." Live Event/Special, CNN, September 11, 2002.
[3] Laura Bush, Spoken From the Heart. New York: Scribner, 2010, p. 197.
[4] "Sunset Ceremony Commemorates Lighting of Eternal Flame."
[5] Laurence McQuillan, "Bushes' Push for Education Bill Starts This Weekend"; Timothy J. Burger, "1st Ladies to Meet at Kids' Forum." New York Daily News, September 7, 2001; "President to Push Reading." Associated Press, September 8, 2001; Lawrence L. Knutson, "Bush Presses for Action on Education Plan." Associated Press, September 9, 2001.
[6] Nina Burleigh, "Life for Laura Bush"; "Voices of 9/11: 'A Cacophony of Information.'" National Journal, August 31, 2002; Laura Bush, Spoken From the Heart, pp. 197-198.
[7] Laurence McQuillan, "Laura Bush Stepping out Into Spotlight"; Ann Gerhart, The Perfect Wife: The Life and Choices of Laura Bush. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004, p. 162.
[8] The Oprah Winfrey Show. Harpo Productions, September 18, 2001.
[9] 9/11 Commission, The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2004, p. 8.
[10] Inside the U.S. Secret Service. National Geographic Channel, October 24, 2004.
[11] "Voices of 9/11: 'A Cacophony of Information'"; Laura Bush, Spoken From the Heart, pp. 197-198.
[12] Ronald Kessler, Laura Bush: An Intimate Portrait of the First Lady. New York: Doubleday, 2006, p. 136; Ronald Kessler, In the President's Secret Service: Behind the Scenes With Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect. New York: Crown, 2009, p. 181.
[13] "Sunset Ceremony Commemorates Lighting of Eternal Flame."
[14] "Voices of 9/11: 'A Cacophony of Information.'"
[15] Laura Bush, Spoken From the Heart, p. 198.
[16] "Sunset Ceremony Commemorates Lighting of Eternal Flame"; Laura Bush, Spoken From the Heart, pp. 197-198.
[17] Christopher Andersen, George and Laura: Portrait of an American Marriage. New York: William Morrow, 2002, p. 4; "Voices of 9/11: 'A Cacophony of Information.'"
[18] "September 11: One Year Later." Larry King Live, CNN, September 11, 2002; Laura Bush, Spoken From the Heart, pp. 198-199.
[19] "Sunset Ceremony Commemorates Lighting of Eternal Flame."
[20] Nina Burleigh, "Life for Laura Bush."
[21] Christopher Andersen, George and Laura, p. 5.
[22] "Mrs. Bush Addresses Senate." Associated Press, September 11, 2001; Margaret Carlson, "A Pillow Away From the President." Time, December 31, 2001; Laura Bush, Spoken From the Heart, p. 199.
[23] "Voices of 9/11: 'A Cacophony of Information.'"
[24] "9:29 a.m.-10:11 a.m." CNN, September 11, 2001; "Senator Kennedy Addresses the Recent Terrorist Attacks." Live Event/Special, CNN, September 11, 2001.
[25] Allison Gilbert et al. (Editors), Covering Catastrophe: Broadcast Journalists Report September 11. Chicago, IL: Bonus Books, 2002, p. 64.
[26] "Sunset Ceremony Commemorates Lighting of Eternal Flame"; Ann Gerhart, The Perfect Wife, p. 163; Laura Bush, Spoken From the Heart, p. 199.
[27] "Voices of 9/11: 'A Cacophony of Information.'"
[28] Ronald Kessler, Laura Bush, p. 136.
[29] Nina Burleigh, "Life for Laura Bush."
[30] Laura Bush, Spoken From the Heart, p. 200.
[31] "Mrs. Bush Addresses Senate"; "Related Major Developments in the Year Since the Sept. 11 Terrorist Attacks." Associated Press, August 21, 2002; "9/11: The World Remembers; Plane Diverted." CNN Newsroom, CNN, September 11, 2006."
[32] Ronald Kessler, Laura Bush, p. 136.
[33] Ann Gerhart, The Perfect Wife, p. 163.
[34] Ronald Kessler, Laura Bush, p. 136.
[35] Laura Bush, Spoken From the Heart, p. 200.
[36] Edward M. Kennedy, True Compass: A Memoir. New York: Twelve, 2009, p. 492.
[37] Kathy Kiely, "Post-9/11 Security Hinders Access at Capitols." USA Today, August 4, 2002.
[38] 9/11 Commission, The 9/11 Commission Report, p. 14.
[39] Laura Bush, Spoken From the Heart, p. 201.
[40] Allison Gilbert et al. (Editors), Covering Catastrophe, p. 64.
[41] Laura Bush, Spoken From the Heart, p. 200.
[42] "Uniformed Division." United States Secret Service, 2010; Niall Firth, "Defending the White House: What a Special Forces Guard Wears When He's Protecting the President." Daily Mail, December 16, 2010.
[43] Chitra Ragavan, "Under Cloudy Skies." U.S. News & World Report, December 1, 2002.
[44] Niall Firth, "Defending the White House."
[45] Laura Bush, Spoken From the Heart, p. 200.
[46] "Voices of 9/11: 'A Cacophony of Information.'"
[47] Ronald Kessler, Laura Bush, p. 136.
[48] James Bamford, "James Bamford Reviews Ronald Kessler's 'In the President's Secret Service.'" Washington Post, August 23, 2009; Laura Bush, Spoken From the Heart, p. 200.
[49] Ronald Kessler, Laura Bush, p. 136.
[50] Bob Woodward, Bush at War. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2002, p. 17.
[51] Robert Draper, Dead Certain: The Presidency of George W. Bush. New York: Free Press, 2007, p. 143; Laura Bush, Spoken From the Heart, p. 201.
[52] "Voices of 9/11: 'A Cacophony of Information'"; Laura Bush, Spoken From the Heart, p. 202.
[53] Robert Draper, Dead Certain, p. 143.
[54] Nina Burleigh, "Life for Laura Bush"; "Voices of 9/11: 'A Cacophony of Information'"; Laura Bush, Spoken From the Heart, pp. 201-203.
[55] Ronald Kessler, Laura Bush, p. 136; Laura Bush, Spoken From the Heart, pp. 203-205.
[56] "Testimony of Paul H. O'Neill, Secretary of the Treasury, Before the Senate Committee on Appropriations." U.S. Department of the Treasury, May 8, 2001; Office of Management and Budget, Annual Report to Congress on Combating Terrorism. Washington, DC: Office of Management and Budget, July 2001, p. 82; "Protection: Protective Mission." United States Secret Service, 2002.
[57] "Protection: How Protection Works." United States Secret Service, 2002.
[58] Philip H. Melanson with Peter F. Stevens, The Secret Service: The Hidden History of an Enigmatic Agency. New York: Carroll & Graf, 2002, p. 273.
[59] "Secret Service: Not Just an Elite Guard." Associated Press, February 13, 1998; Karen McVeigh, "Secret Service Scandal in Colombia Has Agency's Culture Under a Microscope." The Guardian, April 20, 2012.
[60] Laura Bush, Spoken From the Heart, p. 260.
[61] "Protection: How Protection Works."
[62] Richard A. Clarke, Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror. New York: Free Press, 2004, p. 7.
[63] "Spotlight on: Barbara Riggs." PCCW Newsletter, Spring 2006.
[64] Laura Bush, Spoken From the Heart, pp. 197, 203, 260.
[65] See "'Deaf, Dumb, and Blind': Were Communications Sabotaged on 9/11?" Shoestring 9/11, October 19, 2007.
[66] Dan Verton, Black Ice: The Invisible Threat of Cyber-Terrorism. Emeryville, CA: McGraw-Hill/Osborne, 2003, pp. 150-151.
[67] "Voices of 9/11: 'A Cacophony of Information.'"
[68] Tom Daschle with Michael D'Orso, Like No Other Time: The 107th Congress and the Two Years That Changed America Forever. New York: Crown, 2003, p. 110.
[69] "9/11: What Really Happened at Congress." Live Event/Special, CNN, September 11, 2002.
[70] George W. Bush, Decision Points. New York: Crown, 2010, p. 132; Laura Bush, Spoken From the Heart, pp. 202-203.
[71] Chitra Ragavan, "Under Cloudy Skies."
[72] "USSS Statements and Interview Reports." 9/11 Commission, July 28, 2003; 9/11 Commission, The 9/11 Commission Report, p. 464; "The Footnotes of 9/11." CNN Presents, CNN, September 11, 2011.
[73] See, for example, "Did Training Exercises Prevent Andrews Air Force Base From Responding to the 9/11 Attacks?" Shoestring 9/11, October 26, 2009; "'Real-World or Exercise': Did the U.S. Military Mistake the 9/11 Attacks for a Training Scenario?" Shoestring 9/11, March 22, 2012; "Training Exercises on 9/11." Complete 9/11 Timeline, n.d.
[74] For more information on President Bush's actions on September 11, see Allan Wood and Paul Thompson, "An Interesting Day: President Bush's Movements and Actions on 9/11." Center for Cooperative Research, May 9, 2003; Susan Taylor Martin, "Of Fact, Fiction: Bush on 9/11." St. Petersburg Times, July 4, 2004; Kevin Ryan, "Secret Service Failures on 9/11: A Call for Transparency." Washington's Blog, March 25, 2012; "Bush's Actions on 9/11." Complete 9/11 Timeline, n.d.

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