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9-11Commission Hearing 2004-06-17

9-11Commission Hearing 2004-06-17

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Published by: jrod on Apr 28, 2009
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his office, and he had to go to the window of his office to see

that the Pentagon was shot down. Couldn't somebody have called

him in his office? Doesn't that make us a little nervous about

the Secretary of Defense?

MR. KEAN: A lot of things about this story make us nervous.

Communications is one of the main ones, and the Secretary of

Defense isn't the only one. He was aware that the second plane

119

had hit the Pentagon. By the time he became aware of that -- not

the Pentagon, excuse me, the World Trade Center -- but they

didn't convene the Command Center till about 9:30. And of course

when the Pentagon was hit that took him out. But this whole

story is one of a failure of communication, and you find it

here, you find it in a lot of other places, that's been outlined

today. And that's one of the areas that we have got to get it

right.

MR. FELZENBERG: The gentleman in the front row, please.

Q: Mike -- (inaudible) -- Tribune. I just wanted to ask sort

of a bottom-line question to you. Compared to the version of

events that was publicly given right after the attack, it seems

like there's a lot of what all the details you've learned since.

Has this sort of surprised you how chaotic it was in comparison

to the original public portrait of it? What's the difference in

your mind between the original public portrait that was in the

media that we were reporting before you guys did your

independent investigation and the one you have now in terms of

how people responded that day?

MR. HAMILTON: I guess what has surprised me is that we're

really the first ones to put it all together. I think we have

presented the most comprehensive detailed story of 9/11 that

I've seen. And what I remember -- I may not remember correctly,

but what I remember after 9/11 is that you had a lot of bits and

pieces -- that is, every agency, every department was telling

their story, and a lot of individuals were telling their

stories, as they recollected the events of those days. And one

of the things that struck me as we began the investigation here

is that this story had never been put together in a

comprehensive, coherent way -- detailed. And I guess that was

our job to try to do it as extensively as we could.

MR. KEAN: But you're right to say the confusion affected so

many other areas. I mean, it's been called I guess the fog of

war. But when this happens, the phantom planes, the decisions

were made based on a lack of information, the lack of

communications. I mean, all this -- this is the story of a lot

of problems. And shame on us if we don't learn from them. I

mean, the whole point of our investigation is not just to do

what we've done. We've got to learn from these problems.

MR. FELZENBERG: Chris, please, and then we'll move around.

120

Q: The Philadelphia Inquirer. Governor Kean and Chairman

Hamilton, your report this morning makes clear that there was a

lot of --

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