==
1031 AM > The FAA allows the resumption of flights by military and law enforcement aircraft.      [time.Sep.14.2001]

==1032 AM > Cheney calls Bush - who is still circling above Florida - and claims that there is evidence that terrorists are planning to attack Air Force One.  See 1041 AM      [wap.Jan.27.2002]

==1041 AM > Cheney again alerts Bush to an alleged terrorist threat to Air Force One, and - supported by the Secret Service - strongly urges the president to stay away from Washington.  Bush agrees without much discussion, and a few minutes later Air Force One veers westward toward Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana. Cheney's claims of a threat to Air Force One are later shown to be false, but the origins of the story are obscure.      [wap.Jan.27.2002 / tele.Dec.16.2001]

==1043 AM > All remaining federal office buildings in Washington are evacuated. Much of the Federal government effectively shuts down, 250,000 federal employees pour into the streets, and the city is paralyzed by massive traffic gridlock. A radio reporter warns that "people are not paying attention to things like stop signs and red lights today…" "It's turmoil. Mass confusion," said one observer.     [cnn.Sep.12.2001 / wap.Sep.11.2001]

==1049 AM > All museums and public attractions in the District of Columbia are closed.      [bro&c.Aug.26.2002]

==1052 AM > There are false news reports that there are five hijacked planes still in the air.    [bro&c.Aug.26.2002]

==1053 AM > New York primary elections are canceled.      [cnn.Sep.12.2001]

==1053 AM > At about this time, the Department of Defense puts the US military on high alert worldwide, going to DEFCON 3 status for the first time since 1973. Deputy Secretary of State Armitage alerts the Russians just as they were about to commence a full-scale exercise of their strategic nuclear forces.      [clarke]

==1054 AM > All Israeli diplomatic missions are evacuated.      [cnn.Sep.12.2001]

==1057 AM > Governor Pataki closes all New York state government offices.      [cnn.Sep.12.2001]

==1059 AM > There are false news reports that an ambulance exploded at the World Trade Center.      [fark.Sep.11.2001]

==1100 AM, approximately > There are false news reports of a plane crashing into Camp David. At about the same time, there are erroneous reports of another plane crashing in Kentucky, and of still another plane landing in Rockford, Illinois, with a bomb on board.      [fark.Sep.11.2001 / bro&c.Aug.26.2002 / ust.Aug.13.2002]

==1102 AM > Mayor Giuliani orders the evacuation of south Manhattan.  Many thousands of stunned, dust-covered survivors and bystanders stream over the bridges from Manhattan. A man holding his sobbing wife as they trudge along tells her, "Let's walk over the bridge to Brooklyn. They can't hurt us in Brooklyn." On the bridges people are remarkably calm, but once they reach the other side some show signs of confusion and others sit down on the curbs and cry. Many keep walking without a clear idea of where they are going.      [nyt.Sep.12.2001]

==1116 AM > The CDC is reported to be preparing emergency response teams as a precaution against the possibility of bioterrorism.      [cnn.Sep.12.2001]

==1118-1159 AM > American and United airlines publicly confirm the loss of the four hijacked flights.     [cnn.Sep.12.2001]

==1130 AM > Former NATO commander and future presidential candidate Wesley Clark tells CNN that only bin Laden’s group has the ability to launch such attacks.  By late morning and early afternoon, many authorities are publicly speculating that bin Laden is behind the attacks.      [ottc.Sep.11.2001]

==1145 AM, approximately > Air Force One lands at Barksdale AFB near Shreveport. Fearful of being tracked by terrorists, White House aides ask reporters to turn off their cell phones and to refer to Barksdale as an "unidentified location" - but local news stations have already reported Bush’s arrival.      [sal.Sep.11.2001 / 911cm]

==1200 Noon, approximately > After having been unavailable for nearly three hours, CNN.com is back online in a stripped-down version. See News Coverage/Communication     [fark.Sep.11.2001]

==1200 Noon, approximately > There are false reports of a plane crash at Chicago.      [cbs]

==midday > By this time, there are many reports from around the US of tall buildings and government offices being evacuated.      [fark.Sep.11.2001]

==midday > The CIA is already briefing Congress that bin Laden is a leading suspect.      [lat]

==midday > Around this time, key legislators - including House Minority Leader Gephardt, House Majority DeLay, and Senate Majority Leader Daschle - are belatedly evacuated to an unidentified complex in Virginia. One evacuee described the atmosphere in the complex as something out of 'Dr. Strangelove.'      [wap.Sep.13.2001]

==1202 PM > The Taliban regime denounces the attacks.  See International Reaction, below      [wiki]

==1204-1215 PM (EDT) > LA and San Francisco International Airports are evacuated.      [cnn.Sep.12.2001]

==1215 PM > The INS announces that the US borders with Mexico and Canada are on the highest state of alert. Some border crossings are closed.      [cnn.Sep.12.2001 / msnbc.Sep.22.2001]

==1216 PM > By this time, all civilian aircraft in the United States have landed.      [nwd.Sep.23.2001]

==1235 PM > Senator Orin Hatch says on CNN that "the highest levels of the FBI and of the intelligence community" believe that the attacks were carried out by al-Qaeda.  Also on September 11, Hatch tells reporters that the government has intercepted a telephone call between al-Qaeda suspects discussing the attacks.  This information is highly classified, and the administration uses Hatch’s indiscretion as justification to limit the information it divulges to Congress.  See Administration, Sep.12       [cnn.Sep.11.2001 / ctr.Sep.14.2001]

==1236 PM > At Barksdale AFB, Bush gives his second short speech of the day, saying "Freedom itself was attacked this morning by a faceless coward, and freedom will be defended," and "Make no mistake: The United States will hunt down and punish those responsible for these cowardly acts." Bush seems nervous, and the film is jumpy and grainy. The speech is broadcast on the networks at 0104 PM.      [nyt.Sep.16.2001 / ap.Sep.11.2001 / cnn.Sep.12.2001]

==0110 PM > CIA analysts find two names of known members of al-Qaeda on Flight 77's passenger list. Working independently, an FBI team had found a link about three hours earlier. See 920 AM      [susk2]

 

==0124 PM > Already under suspicion after confusing communications a couple hours earlier, Korean Air Flight 83 transmits a hijacking alert signal while flying over southern Alaska.  The signal sets off immediate widespread evacuations in Anchorage and emergency orders for tankers to put to sea from Valdez.  The local NORAD commander later stated that he was prepared to shoot the airliner down if it appeared to be threatening an important target.  Flight 83 lands safely in northern Canada an hour-and-a-half later.  It has never been publicly explained why the pilot sent a hijacking signal.      [ust.Aug.12.2002]

==0127 PM > Washington, DC, declares a state of emergency.      [cnn.Sep.12.2001]

==0131 PM, approximately > With a reduced entourage of aides and reporters, Bush leaves Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana for Offutt AFB in Nebraska.  Cheney has again convinced him to avoid returning to Washington.      [sal.Sep.11.2001 / tele.Dec.16.2001]

==0144 PM > Five warships and two aircraft carriers are ordered to deploy off the East Coast by the commander of the Atlantic Fleet, acting on his own initiative.  During the day, other warships are deployed off the West Coast and Hawaii.      [cnn.Sep.12.2001 / clarke / wap.Sep.12.2001]

==0145 PM > With muffled gas main explosions in the background, small groups of firefighters and construction workers begin carefully climbing over the great piles of highly unstable debris at Ground Zero.  Because of the heavy smoke and dust still in the air, the threat of more collapses, the emotionally shattered state of many of the rescue workers, and general disorganization, the rescue effort makes little progress in the first few hours.      [nyt.Sep.12.2001]

==0200 PM > The SEC closes all US stock markets for the afternoon.      [bbc.Sep.12.2001]

==0207 PM > The FAA reports that all domestic flights have been accounted for.      [wap]

==0230 PM > The FAA announces that there’ll be no commercial air traffic until noon Wednesday at the earliest.      [cnn.Sep.12.2001]

==0230 PM > Senator John McCain calls the attacks "an act of war."      [wiki]

==0230 PM > 11 survivors, mostly members of Ladder Company 6, are rescued from a portion of a stairwell that freakishly remained intact as the North Tower collapsed around it.  Even after their rescue, they have to pick their way across 400 yards of unstable, smoking wreckage while ammunition cooks off in the Secret Service arsenal burning nearby.  At one point, they must cross over a 12-inch wide steel beam suspended over an abyss in the rubble.      [msnbc.Sep.28.2001]

==0240 PM > Rumsfeld begins urging the military to develop strike plans against Saddam Hussein as well as bin Laden, although there is no evidence linking Saddam with the 9/11 attacks.  Rumsfeld writes: "Go massive. Sweep it all up. Things related and not."  Also on September 11, before retired General Wesley Clark appears on CNN, he is encouraged by an unnamed individual from the White House to implicate Iraq in the attacks.  Clark later recalled the exchange: "'You got to say this is connected. This is state-sponsored terrorism. This has to be connected to Saddam Hussein.' I said, 'But--I'm willing to say it, but what's your evidence?' And I never got any evidence." These are perhaps the first steps in moving toward crisis and war with Iraq.      [cbs.Sep.04.2002 / nbc: meet the press.Jun.15.2003]

==0248 PM > Mayor Giuliani says that 1500 "walking wounded" have been taken to a nearby park and 600 more are being treated in area hospitals. The shaken Giuliani comments "I have a sense it's a horrendous number of lives lost.  The number of deaths will be more than we can bear." Unfounded estimates of 50,000 dead in New York are being bandied about.  At triage centers and hospitals near Ground Zero, the expected flood of thousands of injured survivors never materializes, and medical staff wait hour after hour with nothing to do.      [wap.Sep.11.2001 / slash.Sep.11.2001 / nyt.Sep.18.2001]

==0250 PM > Air Force One arrives at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. Bush is soon whisked down into an underground bunker, designed to withstand a nuclear blast - ABC reporter Anne Compton tells Peter Jennings that the president has gone "down the bunny hole."       [sal.Sep.11.2001 / tele.Dec.16.2001]
=By the afternoon, Bush’s failure to return to Washington is causing concern across the political spectrum.  Conservative commentator William Bennett says "It cannot look as if the president has been run off, or it will look like we can't defend our most important institutions."  A Republican fundraiser worries "I am stunned that he has not come home. It looks like he is running. This looks bad.''       [nyt.Sep.12+Sep.16.2001]

==Afternoon > The FBI recovers Mohamed Atta’s travel bag, which had not made it onto Flight 11, and find Atta's will and other evidence linking him to the attack. Also about this time, a man reports that early that morning he had a sharp argument with several Arabs in a white sedan over a parking space in the underground garage at Logan Airport. The Arabs were al-Shehhi's group, who were about to hijack Flight 175. Police search the car and find documents with several names that appear on the passenger lists of the hijacked planes, as well as papers providing the first links with Florida.      [inside / obs.Sep.16.2001 / mcder]

==330 PM > The first high-level meeting after the 9/11 attacks: from the bunker at Offutt Air Force Base, Bush convenes a long teleconference with Cheney, Clarke, Rumsfeld, Rice, and members of the National Security Council. CIA Director Tenet affirms that the attacks were the work of al-Qaeda. Bush finally insists on returning to Washington. He also orders that commercial air traffic be resumed by noon on Sep.12, which proves to be impossible.      [woodw1 / tele.Dec.16.2001 / clarke]

==0355 PM > At a press conference, Karen Hughes assures reporters "your federal government continues to function effectively," but refuses to answer questions on where the president is.      [cnn.Sep.12.2001 / sal.Sep.11.2001]

==0400 PM > CNN reports that US officials are saying "new and specific" information revealed in the hours since the attacks give "good indications" that bin Laden is involved.  There's been speculation along these lines from the beginning, but this is the first official public statement linking al-Qaeda to the 9/11 operation.     [cnn.Sep.12.2001]

==0410 PM > Building 7 of the World Trade Center is reported to be on fire.      [cnn.Sep.12.2001]

==0425 PM > The New York Stock Exchange, the American Stock Exchange, and the Nasdaq announce that they will remain closed Wednesday. In fact, the NYSE is unable to reopen until Monday, September 17. See Sep.13-Economy     [cnn.Sep.12.2001]

==0430 PM > Bush flies out of Offutt Air Force base, heading back toward Washington.      [cnn.Sep.12.2001]

==0510 PM > In a Washington Post opinion piece, prominent neoconservative Robert Kagan writes: "We should now immediately begin building up our conventional military forces to prepare for what will inevitably and rapidly escalate into confrontation and quite possibly war with one or more (nations hostile to the US). Congress, in fact, should immediately declare war. It does not have to name a country."  This idea of open-ended war without a specific target will in fact effectively become US policy.  Ironically, Kagan is a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.  See Sep.20      [wap.Sep.11.2001]

==0525 PM > The 47-story Building 7 of the WTC collapses.  Building 7 had already been evacuated.      [nwd.Sep.23.2001]

==0600 PM (early AM Sep.12 local time) > The Northern Alliance launches heavy missile strikes against Kabul. At 730 PM, the US denies any involvement.     [cnn.Sep.12.2001 / wiki]

==0600 PM, approximately > Commuters stranded in Manhattan line up for eight blocks for ferries to Brooklyn, Queens, or New Jersey.  For reasons that are not explained, officials at several places in New Jersey require passengers to be fumigated as they step off the ferries.      [nyt.Sep.12.2001]

==0615 PM > Larry Kudlow, financial editor for the conservative National Review, writes that Bush's tax cuts and energy policies are essential to the struggle against al-Qaeda.  Posted only 9 1/2 hours after the start of the attacks, this is one of the first public attempts to exploit the 9/11 crisis to further the administration’s domestic agenda.     [natrev.Sep.11.2001]

==0640 PM > Defense Secretary Rumsfeld holds a news conference in the Pentagon, and announces that the building "will be in business tomorrow."      [cnn.Sep.12.2001 / wap.Sep.12.2001]

Bush arrives at Andrews Air Force Base,
near Washington


==0654 PM > Bush finally arrives at the White House after flying from Andrews Air Force Base by helicopter.      [sal.Sep.11.2001]

==early evening > Secretary of State Powell arrives at the White House after an eight-hour flight from Peru. He had been unable to contact Washington all day, and apparently no attempt had been made to contact him.      [tele.Dec.16.2001 / abc.Sep.11.2002]

==early evening > Less than 12 hours after the attacks began, the first articles blaming Clinton for 9/11 appear on the conservative websites WorldNetDaily and Accuracy in Media.      [conww.Sep.12.2001 / wdntd.Sep.11.2001 / aim.Sep.11.2001]

==0730 PM, approximately > "Dozens of members of Congress from both parties stood side by side on the East Front of the Capitol and declared they would stand united behind President Bush… After their leaders spoke, the lawmakers unexpectedly punctuated their unity by bursting into a rendition of God Bless America.  Many lawmakers hugged.  Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Democrat of New York, was in tears."  But even then there was some doubting - conservative Congressmen Bob Barr of Georgia said there was a "tremendous question about why we didn't have some warning."      [nyt.Sep.12.2001 / csm.Sep.17.2001]

==0745 PM > It is announced that at least 78 NYPD officers are missing, and that as many as half of the first 400 firemen to respond at the WTC were killed.  Grief-stricken New York City Fire Commissioner Von Essen says "The Fire Department will recover, but I don’t know how."      [cnn.Sep.12.2001 / nyt.Sep.12.2001]

==0830 PM > Bush gives a brief prepared address from the Oval Office. Overall, the speech is not a success, but it contains the important line "We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them." The significance of this statement - which the administration will come to call the Bush Doctrine - will not be evident until later, when it opens the door for military actions against governments as well as terrorist organizations. According to Bob Woodward, Bush personally inserted the statement. He did so after talking to Rice, who approved with some reservation, but without consulting Cheney, Powell, or Rumsfeld.     [sal.Sep.11.2001 / wap.Jan.27.2002 / woodw1]

==0830 PM (0830 AM Wednesday local time) > The Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur - the tallest buildings in the world - are evacuated after a receiving a bomb threat.      [ap.Sep.12.2001]

==0900 PM > Bush meets with the National Security Council, followed a half-hour later by a smaller meeting with what will become his war cabinet.  According to Bob Woodward, the participants already generally understand that the attacks were carried out by al-Qaeda, and there is strong sentiment for going after the Taliban.  Bush seems more confident and forceful than he appeared to be in his televised speeches earlier in the day. He unrealistically demands that the economy - including the Stock Market - become fully functional by the next day. He responds angrily when Rumsfeld points out that international law prohibits war for retribution, shouting "No. I don’t care what the international lawyers say, we are going to kick some ass." When CIA Director Tenet comments that al-Qaeda’s operations are so widespread that the organization is a 60-country problem, Bush reportedly replies "Let's pick (the countries) off one at a time."  Bush also reportedly says "This is a great opportunity," evidently already thinking of initiatives extending far beyond the hunt for al-Qaeda.      [wap.Jan.27.2002 / clarke]

==late > Five Israeli citizens are arrested in New Jersey, after angry witnesses reported that they were seen cheering the attack on the World Trade Center.  They are turned over to the INS, which later judges them to be "removable from the United States."      [nyt.Sep.14.2001]

==night > Military police are guarding key intersections in Washington.      [nyt]

==late night > Trying to sound upbeat, a top Pentagon official announces "Now we're getting confident we have control of the air."      [wap.Sep.12.2001]

==1100 PM, approximately > There are false reports that a van full of explosives has been stopped on the George Washington Bridge.       [msnbc]

==1100 PM > There are false reports that survivors are making cell phone calls from the wreckage of the Twin Towers.      [wiki]
 
==1108 PM > Bush and his wife are roused from their sleep and briefly hustled down to a secure bunker, after the Secret Service receives false reports of an unidentified aircraft in the area.      [wap.Jan.27.2002]

==1150 PM, approximately > The FBI reports that it is investigating links some of the suspected hijackers had to South Florida.      [cnn]


 

Lost in the smoke in lower Manhattan, late morning, September 11  [sipa]


American Public Reaction
==In America, the 9/11 attacks produce an overwhelming and confusing mix of shock, horror, fear, rage, and grief.

==Just after the collapse of the Towers, a hysterical woman stranded in south Manhattan screams "I just want to go home. I want to go home. I need to get to my kids. I want this to stop." A Washington Post reporter encounters a man standing on a corner, crying and saying "I don’t know what’s happening."  A Georgia State student, unable to reach her father who works at the Pentagon, tearfully says "It's scary. It's so scary. This is not something that is supposed to happen."    [wire.Sep.11.2001 / wap.Sep.11+Sep.12.2001]

==For many people, the predominant reaction is anger.  The attacks are frequently compared with Pearl Harbor, and - as with the original Pearl Harbor - there is a powerful impulse for revenge.  For many months to come, this will translate into widespread support for the radically more aggressive foreign policy that the administration soon adopts.
=After several hours of stunned shock, by afternoon newsgroups on the internet are full of outraged postings advocating full-scale war and the use of nuclear weapons.  Torture and assassination are also popular topics, along with uninhibited racist diatribes and calls for mob action.      [sal.Sep.11.2001]
=Until the building was evacuated, a volunteer at the White House phone bank took calls from the public. “People calling on the phones were hysterical. They said, 'Do something now. Do it swiftly. Don't be a wuss. Don't be moderate. Get Bin Laden.”  A caller to a Denver radio talk show said "It's time for a little school-yard justice… Put the geographers on notice. We need to rearrange the map."  In a Kroger’s supermarket check out line in Gross Point, Michigan, an angry man loudly says "Bush isn't going to stand for this.  We'll take care of it. One plane and an atom bomb. An atom bomb. That's all it will take."  A cashier turns to him and asks "Who are we going to drop it on?"      [wap.Sep.11.2001 / scmp.Sep.13.2001 / nyt.Sep.12.2001]

==Sales of US flags at Wal-Mart on September 11 are up 1800% from a year ago.  Ammunition sales are up 100%.  There is a brief spike in gun sales, but some gun dealers fear that they’ll be selling weapons to enraged vigilantes, and suspend sales for a day.      [time.Sep.09.2002 / sal / csm]

==Candlelight vigils and other spontaneous remembrance gatherings are held across the country for several days, and many impromptu memorial sites appear.  On Tuesday afternoon, in Union Square in New York City, a 19-year-old student tapes down a piece of butcher paper to give people something to write comments on, and soon there are over a hundred sheets of paper laid out, covered with tributes and statements. One message written repeatedly is "Why?"  At another improvised memorial site across the Hudson in New Jersey, someone leaves a message in Spanish: "I cry and cry and cry for the city of New York."      [nyt.Sep.14.2001]
=At a vigil at the University of Texas in Austin, a student holding a sign reading 'War Is Not the Answer' is confronted by another student who says "If you don't want to stand behind our president, get the fuck out of the country."      [sal.Sep.13.2001]

==Much later, gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson characterized the long-term American response to 9/11 as "a nationwide nervous breakdown."      [sal.Feb.03.2003]



News Coverage and Communication
==A Long Island schoolteacher says of the television coverage: "It's just surreal. It's just like a movie. And every time you watch it, you expect it to have a different ending."      [csm.Sep.17.2001]

==The television networks soon begin broadcasting uninterrupted news coverage, which they will continue to do for almost four complete days, losing enormous amounts of advertising revenue.  Cable sports networks switch to news coverage.  Cable shopping networks shut off entirely.      [nyt / wap.Sep.12.2001]

==Television news shows the second plane crashing into the WTC again and again.  The news media are unsure how graphic their coverage should be.  ABC and MSNBC do not show people leaping from the Towers; NBC, CBS, Fox, and CNN do, though NBC and Fox executives decide it was a mistake.  The New York Daily News prints a close-up of a perfectly formed severed hand.  A Daily News editor comments "You can't do the story without doing the story.  It's no time to be squeamish."      [nyt.Sep.13.2001]

==The attack on the World Trade Center knocked out the broadcast antennas of all but one of New York City’s local television stations, making them unable to transmit to anyone who lacked cable or satellite service.  Several radio stations were also silenced.      [wap]

==Internet news sites are swamped right after the attacks.  CNN.com, which normally gets about 14 million page views a day, is suddenly overwhelmed with a viewing rate of 9 million hits an hour and becomes inaccessible shortly after 0900 AM, along with most other major news sites.  But webmasters quickly increase their number of servers and strip off advertisements and graphics, leaving only a few kilobytes of essential text, and the news sites soon become usable, if slow.      [cnn.Sep.12.2001 / regis.Sep.11.2001]

==Telephone service is overwhelmed in parts of the country, especially in Washington, DC, and in New York, where the World Trade Center housed major communications nodes.  "This is akin to an earthquake times 10," says a spokesman for Verizon.  British Telecom reports a 6,000% rise in phone calls from Britain to the US.  E-mail is more functional.        [wap.Sep.11.2001 / gdn.Sep.12.2001]

==Unable to use the overloaded phone system and desperate for news of their families or friends, people turn to the Internet.  Around late morning, New York programmer Bill Shunn sets up an 'I'm Okay' list for his friends on his website.  Others are soon using the registry, and by midnight, when Shunn is compelled to shut off the board due to high traffic, the list has thousands of names and messages from around the world.  The other survivor message centers which spring up will handle an immense volume of activity over the next days. A UC Berkeley survivor site set up early Tuesday afternoon has 580,000 hits within 24 hours.     [William Shunn website / wap.Sep.13.2001]


 

Airport scene, Wichita, September 11


Institutional Chaos
==There are large-scale evacuations in New York City and Washington, DC, but all over America, skyscrapers, government buildings, offices, malls, and monuments are locked down.  Disneyworld and Disneyland, Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, the Washington Monument, the Statue of Liberty, the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, the Space Needle in Seattle, and the TransAmerica pyramid in San Francisco are all closed.  In southern California, Knott's Berry Farm and the Museum of Tolerance are shut down. 3,700 Starbucks coffee shops close nationwide.  No one is allowed near Mt. Rushmore.  Most major sporting events are canceled until next Monday at the earliest.  An execution is postponed in Texas. Dump trucks form a protective cordon around the Baltimore City Hall.  Zanesville, Ohio, postal workers padlock the loading dock doors of the local mail facility.  The Onion later runs a satirical article on how the Cedar Rapids Public Library is beefing up its security to guard against terrorist attacks.  A panicky Denver municipal spokesman says "I don’t think there’s any place in America right now that’s not at risk." But in Las Vegas, casinos continue gambling without interruption.      [wap.Sep.11+Sep.12.2001 / wiki / cbs.Sep.11.2001 / scmp.Sep.13.2001 / oni.Sep.26.2001 / ap.Sep.11.2001]

==Travel is largely paralyzed. With all planes grounded in America until Thursday, Amtrack shut, and many bus lines halted, many thousands are stranded all over the country and abroad.  It’s estimated that at least 80,000 travelers from Britain alone are stuck in the US and Canada.      [nyt / wap]


 

Visibly distressed, French President Chirac
speaks shortly after the 9/11 attacks.


International Reaction
==9/11 utterly stuns the world - Mexican President Fox calls it "high-impact news."  Nearly all political leaders powerfully condemn the attacks and express sympathy and support for America.  The words 'shock' and 'horror' frequently recur in the statements, most of which have a ring of sincerity unusual in official announcements.  European Union External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten says "This is an act of war by madmen… This is one of those few days in life that one can actually say will change everything." Many nations around the world fly flags at half-mast.  Even Cuba, Libya, and Iran express outrage.  Arafat very strongly denounces the attacks, saying "It's unbelievable, unbelievable, unbelievable," but some public reaction in the Middle East is unsympathetic to the US.  Films of Palestinians celebrating and passing out candy in the streets of Nablus don't go over well in America.  In Cairo, a pair of cab drivers watching television coverage are heard to taunt "Bullseye!" and another onlooker comments "Nice work!"  Iraq is virtually the only national government that expresses hostility to America - Iraqi television comments "The American cowboys are reaping the fruit of their crimes against humanity." Through a spokesman in Kandahar, Taliban leader Mullah Omar denies the possibility that Bin Laden could be behind the attacks and says "We have brought peace to this country and we want peace in all countries."  The Taliban Foreign Minister says hopefully "We don't foresee an attack against us because there is no reason for it."      [wap.Sep.11.2001 / cnn.Sep.11.2001 / afp.Sep.11.2001 / bbc.Sep.12.2001 / nyt.Sep.12.2001]

==In many national capitals, people leave flowers, candles, or cards near US embassies over the next few days.  America was generally becoming markedly less popular internationally in the previous months, but that trend is very sharply reversed in the aftermath of 9/11, with great outpourings of public sympathy throughout the world.  The change will only be temporary.      [sal]

==Non-essential staff are evacuated from NATO’s Brussels headquarters, while NATO ambassadors hold an emergency meeting Tuesday night.  Several US embassies around the world are closed and evacuated.      [wap.Sep.11.2001 / cnn.Sep.11.2001]

==Russia puts its air defense system on 'permanent alert.' Worldwide, many armed forces go into heightened states of readiness.      [wap.Sep.11.2001]

==Commercial flights are forbidden to fly near London or Brussels.      [bbc]

==European stock markets are in free-fall after the attacks, reacting "with a mixture of fear and bewilderment."  The business editor of the BBC notes that oil prices are rising sharply and concludes "From here, the threat of recession looms large."  But he also writes: "Suddenly, worries about equity values, industrial output and rising unemployment became utterly futile."      [bbc.Sep.12.2001]



Terrorism and Counterterrorism
==On a videotape made a few weeks later during an informal gathering, a relaxed bin Laden relates how he and some associates listened to radio coverage of the attacks: "The brothers who heard the news were overjoyed by it."  Pakistani intelligence reports that bin Laden changed his location within minutes of the 9/11 attacks.      [bern / ap.Sep.13.2001]

==Imprisoned al-Qaeda operative Moussaoui cheers as he watches television coverage of the attacks in his secure unit.      [lat.Sep.17.2001]

==New York City’s anti-terrorist contingency plans were regarded as some of the best in America.  But the plans concentrated on biological and chemical terrorism, and the city’s anti-terrorist command center was located in the World Trade Center.      [econ.Sep.11.2001]

==Unnamed federal officials publicly claim that they’d failed to detect any sign that indicated a major terrorist attack was imminent.  Morton Abramowitz, former head of intelligence and research at the State Department, calls it a "massive intelligence failure." An NSA employee writes "I want to know as a member of the intelligence community how the fuck we didn't see this happening." A terrorism expert at the Congressional Research Service calls it an intelligence failure of "catastrophic proportions… How nothing could have been picked up is beyond me—way beyond me.  There’s a major, major intelligence failure…" A CIA spokesman replies that "it doesn’t serve any useful purpose to respond to such criticism."       [nyt.Sep.12.2001 / wap.Sep.11.2001 / poli.Sep.11.2001]

==The Boston Globe quotes a "former FBI agent, who was based in Boston for more than a decade" as saying that there are "a lot of terrorist cells in this area. It's a facilitator for terrorist activity. There have been cells here of bin Laden's associates. They're entrenched here. They're able to use this area because of the proximity to New York and to fold into the local population, and they're able to facilitate terrorist attacks."  Louis Elisa, the former FEMA regional director says categorically "It was obvious, then, that there is a terrorist cell operating here in New England."  In fact, no evidence is uncovered that al-Qaeda ever had any active cells in New England.      [bog.Sep.11.2001]

==Congressman Don Young of Alaska says radical environmentalists might be responsible for the 9/11 attacks. "If you watched what happened (at past protests) in Genoa, in Italy, and even in Seattle, there's some expertise in that field. I'm not sure they're that dedicated but eco-terrorists -- which are really based in Seattle -- there's a strong possibility that could be one of the groups."      [adn.Sep.12.2001]



Civil Liberties
==Many civil libertarians are immediately apprehensive about the attacks' likely effects on public freedoms. 
=Even as they are watching live coverage of the 9/11 attacks, veteran civil liberties advocate Jim Dempsey and his colleagues at the Center for Democracy and Technology grasp that there will be a powerful push for intrusive new laws.  "We all knew well enough what it meant," Dempsey later said.      [wap.Oct.27.2002] 
=Village Voice commentator Natt Hentoff later wrote that an "inveterate civil libertarian" friend of his said on 9/11 "This is going to cause a surge by government—local, state, and federal—to shred the Bill of Rights. And it will be cheered by an enthusiastic, indignant public."      [vv.Sep.19.2001]
=Left-leaning Counterpunch predicts: "The targets abroad will be all the usual suspects: rogue states… The target at home will of course be the Bill of Rights."      [cnp.Sep.11.2001]
=A widely circulated e-mail by Eric Raymond says "If we accept 'anti-terrorism' measures that do further damage to our Constitutional freedoms, that will have been a victory for terrorism."  But Raymond - a hard-core libertarian - also eccentrically advocates that passengers should be encouraged to carry concealed weapons onto airliners. The next day, John Montoya satirizes Raymond’s pompous tone in a piece entitled 'Why the Bombings Mean That We Must Support My Politics.'       [Eric Raymond e-mail.Sep.11.2001 / adequacy.net.Sep.12.2001]
=Internet pioneer and free-speech advocate John Perry Barlow warns that "Control freaks will dine on this day for the rest of our lives."      [yahoo groups.Sep.11.2001]

==Within hours of the attacks, FBI agents show up at leading ISPs and e-mail firms, requesting that they be allowed to install 'Carnivore' spy systems to monitor internet traffic.  See Sep.12      [wire.Sep.12.2001]



Muslims in America
==An Egyptian cab driver in New York’s East Village tells a reporter "I want to pull over and cry.  I love this country.  America tried to help everybody.  God bless America."      [nyt.Sep.12.2001]

==The New York Times comments that Muslims "across the country immediately braced for the backlash with the grim panic of students rehearsing a duck-and-cover air-raid drill." Hate e-mail began arriving at Muslim organizations within hours of the attacks.      [nyt.Sep.12.2001 / wap]



Miscellaneous
==Despite the chaos, there is almost no lawlessness in New York City immediately after the attacks.  A grand total of six looting arrests were made in the city on September 11.    [time.Sep.09.2002]
 
==Within hours of the attacks, World Trade Center memorabilia - including purported debris from Ground Zero - is being sold for inflated prices on online auction sites like eBay.  One man who bought a WTC souvenir ascribes a higher purpose to his transaction: "I began to think that that is what America is all about, free trade. And that is what these people lost their lives over. Not only their lives but those who have fought for freedom in the past and those who will lose their lives in the future."  But many eBay users are disgusted by the profiteering, and organize to sabotage the auctions by submitting false bids.  This in turn enrages the WTC sellers, one of whom accuses the saboteurs of "terrorist acts… against Free Trade and Commerce" that make them comparable to al-Qaeda.  eBay finally shuts down the selling of WTC souvenirs late on 9/11.      [wire.Sep.11.2001 / sal.Oct.15.2001]

==The first 9/11-related spams are reportedly sent within an hour of the attacks.      [cauce.Sep.12.2001]

==Millions of scraps of paper from the World Trade Center flutter over Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn - office records from vanished offices.  One page found later predicts that authorities "will continue to pursue a vigorous program of safety, service and efficiency improvements at Logan Airport."  Both of the airliners that hit the Twin Towers originated from Logan.      [nyt.Sep.14.2001]

==Both of the two hijacked United Airlines flights are handled by the same dispatcher. He stays at his post throughout September 11, but at day’s end he immediately goes home and gets drunk.  Weeks later, he is still unable to look at a television.      [wsj.Oct.15.2001]

==Irish architect Ronnie Clifford narrowly escapes death at the World Trade Center, only to learn that his sister and his young niece were on the flight that crashed into the South Tower.      [bbc.Sep.12.2001]

==A reporter encounters a dazed telephone worker among the crowd trudging over bridges from Manhattan into Brooklyn, who says he was supposed to have been on the 103rd floor of the North Tower by 8 AM.  "I was running late," he mutters.       [nyt.Sep.12.2001]

==John L. Tishman, who had been the construction manager of the World Trade Center when it was built, watches the South Tower collapse on television at his corporate offices in Manhattan.  "He froze.  He was just in shock," says one of his executives.  Soon afterwards, Tishman leaves for home without saying a word.      [nyt.Sep.12.2001]

==Seismographs at Columbia University register the impact of the planes and the collapse of the buildings at the World Trade Center.  Won-Young Kim, the scientist on duty, is watching the Towers collapse on television while his instruments are jumping.  "I just cried," he said.      [nyt.Sep.12.2001]

==As of Jul.09.2004, the death toll from the 9/11 attacks is believed to be 2,992.  265 people died on the four hijacked flights, including the 19 hijackers. Not including the loss of life on the airliners, 125 were killed at the Pentagon and an estimated 2,602 died at the World Trade Center. Of those 2,602, between 2,052 and 2,152 were ‘civilians’ (that is, they were not rescue personnel). The Fire Department of New York lost 343 firefighters, "the largest loss of life of any emergency response agency in (American) history," according to the 9/11 Commission. The Port Authority Police Department lost 37 officers and the New York Police Department lost 23, the largest and second largest losses ever recorded for any US police forces.  The 9/11 attacks are generally considered to be the bloodiest and most destructive terrorist operation ever carried out.     [911cm]

==The commander of the orbiting space station reports that smoke can be seen rising from New York City.      [ap.Sep.11.2001]

 

 

 

9/11 Intro          Source Abbreviations


1948-1978      1979-1986      1987-1992      1993-1995      1996-1998      1999-2000

2001, Jan-Jun      2001, Jul-Sep.10

September 11, 2001, Part I       September 12, 2001