Pictures of the missing, posted on a TV news truck
near Bellevue Hospital, September 12.


==By dawn, Bush, Powell, and other senior US officials are calling on world leaders to form a coalition to combat international terrorism.  Powell contacts Sharon, Arafat. Kofi Annan, key figures in the European Union, and several Arab leaders.  Bush speaks with Blair, Chirac, Chinese President Jiang, Putin (twice), and others.  The intended role of the coalition is unclear.      [wap.Sep.13.2001 / nyt.Sep.13.2001]

==Foreign policy experts - including Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Joseph Biden - begin to predict that the campaign against terrorism will force the Bush administration to abandon its unilateralism and to start working constructively with other nations.  But the administration's new multilateralism is halfhearted - according to Bob Woodward, Bush and his senior advisers value the legitimacy they can gain from an international coalition, but are unwilling to allow other coalition members to have serious input on policy matters (as Woodward puts it, “they did not want the coalition to tie their hands”).      [nyt.Sep.13.2001 / wap.Jan.28.2002]

==The phrase “You’re either with us or against us” appears for the first time after 9/11, in a quote from an unnamed senior US official.      [nyt.Sep.13.2001]

==Both the UN General Assembly and Security Council approve resolutions condemning the attacks and calling on member states to cooperate in tracking down the perpetrators.      [usdos.Dec.26.2001]

==In Brussels, an emergency meeting of European Union Foreign Ministers expresses “complete solidarity” with the US and proclaims a European day of mourning on Friday.      [gdn.Sep.12.2001]
==After Powell calls NATO Secretary General George Robertson, NATO pledges collective military assistance for the US by invoking Article 5 for the first time in its history.  Article 5 states that an attack against one member of the alliance is an attack against all.      [wap.Sep.13.2001]

==On Wednesday morning, an American flag is tied to an oak tree in a traffic island close by Grosvenor Square near the US embassy, and soon Londoners are laying flowers and mementoes around the tree in a spontaneous memorial. Among the tributes are many from British Islamic organizations.  One of the offerings is a bouquet from the London branch of a New York firm, with the message “To memory of staff of Alliance Consulting, 102nd floor, South Tower, World Trade Centre. We now know none of them got out.”      [wap.Sep.13.2001]

==In Paris, Le Monde’s leading editorial is headlined “We Are All Americans.” (Five years later, Saudi commentator Mai Yamani expresses her disillusionment with post-9/11 US Middle Eastern policy in a Guardian editorial entitled "We Are No Longer All Americans.")      [lmon.Sep.12.2001 / gdn.Sep.07.2006]
==German Chancellor Schroeder tells the Reichstag that the 9/11 attacks are "a declaration of war against the entire civilized world."  He receives unanimous applause from the assembly.      [sal.Sep.13.2001]

==Despite broad international support, there is already unease in Europe over the possibility of an American overreaction. In Britain, the Guardian reports “Alongside the outpouring of condolence and revulsion, however, some commentators feared the outcome will be an angry and isolationist US, lashing out at its shadowy enemies, not caring who or what is damaged in the process.”  The French Foreign Minister urges Washington to think about the risks of provoking a new round of terrorism, contending that "if an act of retaliation leads to a new destabilization, you haven't won anything at all."      [gdn.Sep.12.2001 / wap.Sep.13.2001]

Middle East:
==Through its ambassador, Jordan pledges to "lend support in any way" to the US.      [nyt.Sep.13.2001]
==President Assad of Syria calls for “global mutual help” to eradicate terrorism and to protect human rights.      [nyt.Sep.13.2001]
==Both Yasser Arafat and Israeli President Moshe Katsav separately announce that they’re donating blood for the victims of 9/11.  Israel observes a day of mourning.      [nyt.Sep.13.2001]

==Israeli intelligence erroneously claims that al-Qaeda could not have accomplished the 9/11 attacks by themselves, and speculates that the attacks were backed by Saddam Hussein.      [wdt.Sep.12.2001]

==Israeli military incursions into the West Bank kill at least ten Palestinians at Jenin and Jericho in the worst bloodshed in weeks.  Palestinians accuse Sharon of taking advantage of the international distraction caused by the 9/11 attacks.      [gdn.Oct.17.2001]

==A Lebanese paper - the Daily Star - hopes that the attacks will “prompt a renewed American resolve to understand the region and to help redress the inequities that prevail here… In the long run, this could actually help America and all parties in the Middle East by causing them to see that they in fact have a common interest in achieving a fair and comprehensive peace that portends a better life for Arabs and Israelis alike.”  This optimism proves to be excessive.      [dast.Sep.12.2001]

Persian Gulf:
==Prince Bandar, the Saudi ambassador to the US, offers “full support fighting terrorism,” but declines to provide any details.      [wap.Sep.13.2001]

Afghanistan/South Asia:
==The UN envoy for Afghanistan says that for three months the US had made it clear to the Taliban regime that any serious act of terror by al-Qaeda would result in retaliation.  Powell ominously singles out the Taliban for providing "protection, opportunity, facilities" to bin Laden.      [gdn.Sep.13.2001 / wap.Sep.13.2001]

==The Taliban ambassador to Pakistan claims that his regime has taken away all communications from Bin Laden, but that talk of extradition is “premature.”  The Taliban regime is clearly worried.  In the evening it issues a desperate plea for restraint by the US: “Killing our leaders will not help our people any. There is no factory in Afghanistan that is worth the price of a single missile fired at us.”  Pakistani military intelligence reports that Taliban leader Mullah Omar has slipped out of Kandahar and has gone into hiding.  There are early reports of Taliban preparations for war.      [gdn.Sep.13.2001 / nyt.Sep.13.2001 / wap.Sep.13.2001]

==The few Afghans who still have money begin fleeing Kabul, heading for the Pakistani border. Afghans have learned of the 9/11 attacks through radio reports, and are beginning to understand the danger of their situation - but more than twenty years of war and hardship has made many of them fatalistic.  When asked what he thinks of the possibility of an American attack, one Kabul resident shrugs and says “Americans are powerful and can do anything they like without us stopping them.”      [obs.Sep.16.2001 / nyt.Sep.13.2001]
==International aid workers rush to leave Afghanistan - a special UN flight carries the first evacuees out of Kabul by noon.  The UN World Food Program stops importing wheat into the drought-stricken country, citing security risks.  [nyt.Sep.13.2001 / bbc.Sep.22.2001]

==The US  begins to pressure Pakistan into turning against the Taliban and al-Qaeda.  In Washington, Deputy Secretary of State Armitage meets with Pakistani intelligence chief Mahmood Ahmed, who has close ties to the Taliban.  A US official comments “There was an extremely candid exchange from our side, one that left little room for misunderstanding. It is safe to say the rules have changed. They changed yesterday.”  The implications are that if Pakistan does not cooperate, it will become a target. Through his ambassador, Musharraf pledges “unstinted cooperation,” but does not yet make specific commitments.      [wap.Sep.13.2001 / nyt.Sep.13.2001]

==Maulana Sami-ul-Haq, a pro-Taliban Pakistani activist, says religious leaders will proclaim a jihad against America if the US attacks Afghanistan.      [reu.Sep.14.2001]

==In India, two Pakistanis with links to Kashmiri terrorists are arrested for plotting bombings in Delhi.  [bbc.Sep.13.2001]

==In the northern Nigerian city of Kano, where Osama Bin Laden posters are selling briskly, there are attacks on Christian churches, and in Jos in central Nigeria, where there has been unrest since Sep.07, Islamist extremists inspired by the 9/11 attacks riot against non-Muslims.  A BBC correspondent in Jos sees two people hacked to death by machetes, as their murderers shout “Allahu Akbar” (God is great).  Perhaps as many as 500 have died in Nigerian religious violence in the last few days.  [nyt.Sep.13.2001 / bbc.Sep.13.2001 / gdn.Sep.13.2001]

Far East:
==Chinese President Jiang tells Bush that he’s ready to join an international campaign against terrorism.       [nyt.Sep.13.2001]

==North Korea announces that it is opposed to all terrorism.      [nyt.Sep.13.2001]

Latin America:
==The lead story in the state-controlled Cuban press is not the 9/11 attacks, but the visit of the President of Mali.      [nyt.Sep.13.2001]

==With 30,000 stranded passengers, Canada reopens its domestic airspace.      [nyt.Sep.13.2001 / iasa]

==The Bush administration begins describing its response to 9/11 as a full-scale war rather than as an counterterrorist operation. Bush, Cheney, and Powell make the fateful decision to describe the 9/11 attacks as ‘acts of war’ around early AM Wednesday.  [nyt.Sep.16.2001]
==In a televised interview on Wednesday morning, Secretary of State Powell says “The American people made a judgment - we are at war.”  Powell speaks of going after terrorism “branch and root” and says that nations that aid terrorists will be held accountable.  Powell also calls the 9/11 attacks “a war against civilization.”      [nyt.Sep.13.2001 / wap.Sep.13.2001 / cnn.Sep.12.2001]
==After conferring with his national security team on Wednesday morning, Bush makes a statement to reporters, saying that the 9/11 attacks were "more than acts of terror. They were acts of war,” speaking of using “all of our resources” in response, and going on to say “We will rally the world… This will be a monumental struggle of good versus evil, but good will prevail."  This is a sharp escalation of rhetoric from his speech on Tuesday night.      [ap.Sep.12.2001 / wap.Jan.28.2002 / nyt.Sep.16.2001]
==At this time, the administration’s decision to invoke war is supported by the majority of the public and the press.  (See Public Mood and Opinion, below)  But for the first time in American history, the country is in a state of war without knowing who or what it’s at war with.  Al-Qaeda is a clandestine organization, not a military target, and its ally the Taliban regime is too primitive for the sort of massive military action the US seems to be gearing up for.  The Bush administration will treat the vaguely defined, open-ended ‘war on terrorism’ as a sort of blank check that gives it a completely free hand in foreign policy.  The administration’s goals are quickly becoming very ambitious - when Bush speaks of “a monumental struggle of good versus evil,” he’s apparently already contemplating something much grander than just settling scores with al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

==More than four years later, disillusioned neoconservative Francis Fukuyama writes "we need to demilitarize what we have been calling the global war on terrorism and shift to other types of policy instruments… 'war' is the wrong metaphor for the broader struggle, since wars are fought at full intensity and have clear beginnings and endings. Meeting the jihadist challenge is more of a 'long, twilight struggle' whose core is not a military campaign but a political contest for the hearts and minds of ordinary Muslims around the world."      [nyt.Feb.19.2006]

==Richard Clarke later writes “On the morning of the 12th, (the Pentagon’s) focus was already beginning to shift from al-Qaeda.” Deputy Secretary of Defense Wolfowitz begins promoting the idea that Iraq sponsored the attacks, despite a complete lack of evidence.      [clarke]
==War with Iraq is discussed among senior administration officials for the first time after 9/11. During NSC meetings on Wednesday, Vice President Cheney repeatedly urges that the ‘war on terrorism’ be directed primarily against states rather than specifically against al-Qaeda.  "To the extent we define our task broadly," Cheney says, "including those who support terrorism, then we get at states. And it's easier to find them than it is to find bin Laden."  Rumsfeld advocates an immediate war with Iraq, at one point bizarrely suggesting that Iraq should be bombed because it had so many more suitable targets than Afghanistan.  Powell counters that the American people expect action against al-Qaeda and that they would not now support an attack on Iraq.  The disgusted Richard Clarke tells Powell “Having been attacked by al-Qaeda, for us now to go bombing Iraq in response would be like our invading Mexico after the Japanese attacked us at Pearl Harbor.”      [wap.Jan.28.2002 / clarke]
==In the White House Situation Room Wednesday evening, Bush repeatedly tells the incredulous Richard Clarke to find links between the 9/11 attacks and Iraq. One of Clarke’s aides says of the president “Wolfowitz got to him.” On the day after 9/11, Bush already seems committed to pursuing a conflict with Iraq. See Sep.13      [clarke]

==Pentagon adviser Richard Perle, who will become a key promoter for war against Iraq, is already saying that “one or more governments” must be responsible for preparing the 9/11 attacks.  Perle erroneously assumes that the hijackers couldn’t have learned to fly airliners “without the assistance of large governments.”      [wap.Sep.12.2001]
==Former CIA Director James Woolsey, another war enthusiast, tells commentator James Fallows that Saddam Hussein must be overthrown even if he wasn’t involved in the 9/11 attacks, since he’ll probably be involved the next time.      [atl.Jan.2004]

==The administration is reportedly already considering sustained, large-scale military operations.  One officer says “The constraints have been lifted.”      [nyt.Sep.13.2001]
==The call-up of as many as 40,000 reservists is under consideration.      [nyt.Sep.13.2001]
==“Crisis action teams” are established at most major military commands to prepare units for war and to increase security at US bases.      [wap.Sep.13.2001]
==Defense Secretary Rumsfeld prepares a video for US troops, saying "…it is my duty as head of this department to tell you that more, much more, will be asked of you in the weeks and months ahead.”      [defl.Sep.12.2001]

==Speaking in the Senate, John McCain says “I say to our enemies: We are coming. God may have mercy on you, but we won't.”  Zell Miller of Georgia says “I say, bomb the hell out of them. If there's collateral damage, so be it. They certainly found our civilians to be expendable.”      [cnn.Sep.13.2001 / millz.Sep.12.2001]
==Military writer Ralph Peters says “It's time now to start talking about killing people.”      [wap.Sep.13.2001]

==A few observers have already detected that some members of the Bush administration are pushing for war with Iraq.  Media critic Danny Schechter writes “So, is another Gulf War in the offing? Will Son of Bush "finish" his father's failed Desert Storm? That is a real possibility, suggesting also that more media manipulation is on the way… But you heard it here first: the road to revenge may just take us back to Baghdad, guilty or not.”      [mdc.Sep.12.2001]

==See also Congress - and for more warlike rhetoric, see Press

==According to a Pakistani newspaper, bin Laden denies responsibility for the 9/11 attacks.  Later that day, there are false reports that the Taliban has placed him under house arrest.      [reu.Sep.12.2001 / afp.Sep.13.2001]

==Attorney General Ashcroft calls the FBI’s response to 9/11 “perhaps the most massive and intensive investigation ever conducted in America,” already involving 4000 agents and 3000 support personnel.      [nyt.Sep.13.2001]

==The FBI establishes that the hijackers who piloted the planes trained in American flight schools.  The name ‘Mohamed Atta’ appears in news reports for the first time.      [wap.Sep.13.2001 / indy.Sep.12.2001]

==The round-up of suspects begins.  In the weeks after 9/11, US authorities arrest many hundreds of Muslim immigrants, often holding them for months while denying them virtually all legal rights and subjecting them to harsh verbal and physical abuse, according to a June 2003 report by the inspector general of the Justice Department. Although the Justice Department refuses to release figures, it’s been estimated that more than 5,000 aliens are detained in the two years after 9/11.  Of these, as of Sep.2003, a grand total of four are charged in connection with terrorism, and two of the four are later acquitted.  The American press pays very little attention to the detainees’ treatment.      [cnn.Jun.03.2003 / nyrb.Oct.23.2003]
==FBI and ATF agents, along with two bomb squads and two SWAT teams equipped with battering rams, shields, and machine guns, descend on the Westin Copley Hotel in Boston and detain three guests - a Saudi businessman, his wife and his sister - in response to reports that suspects were holed up in the hotel. Shortly afterwards, authorities evacuate the entire hotel and an adjacent shopping mall. A few days later, the FBI confirms that the tip was false and that the arrested Saudis had no connection with terrorism. Other agents search homes and businesses in New Jersey, Massachusetts and Florida.  [indy.Sep.12.2001 / wap.Sep.15.2001 / nyt.Sep.12.2001]
==In a highly publicized arrest, two Muslims from India - Mohamed Azmath and Syed Shah (also known as Ayub Khan) - are pulled off an Amtrak train in Fort Worth, after police notice that their behavior is “nervous and evasive” and find that they are in possession of box cutters, hair dye, letters written in Arabic and other suspicious items.  At the time, the incident is seen as a frightening indication that terrorists are still at large in America.  The two detainees are denied access to a lawyer until December and are kept in solitary confinement in exceptionally severe conditions for about a year, while their families back home are harassed by Indian authorities.  It’s eventually determined that they have no connection with terrorism - they had box cutters because they had worked at a news stand, they had hair dye because they were going gray, and they had good reason to be nervous. The two are finally convicted of unrelated credit card fraud, released on time served, and deported back to India… though their release gets much less news coverage than their arrest.  The US attorney who prosecuted their cases later says “I don't think anyone would say the government acted unreasonably.”  Azmath and Shah see things rather differently.  After his release, the disgusted Azmath comments “America is still the same, but the federal system is totally changed.”      [cnn.May.27.2003 / vv.Sep.25.2002]
==Overzealous police in Providence, Rhode Island, pull about ten Arabs and South Asians from another Amtrak train and question them for almost two hours while the train idles in the station.  One Sikh who has a kirpan (a small knife worn as a religious symbol) is arrested for carrying a concealed weapon - train passengers cheer and run after the police car as he’s driven away.  The city of Providence finally drops his charges in late October.      [nyt.Sep.14.2001 / csm.Oct.21.2001 / indy.Sep.12.2001]
==Unnamed officials announce that five men from Union City, New Jersey, are being investigated for supposedly setting up cameras beforehand to photograph the attacks on the World Trade Center, and then congratulating each other on the buildings’ destruction.  But this story of sinister al-Qaeda cameramen is evidently unfounded, and nothing more is heard of it.      [nyt.Sep.13.2001]

==The FBI announces that some of the hijackers who took off from Boston entered the US from Canada.  This proves to be untrue.  It is also announced that the hijackers were assisted by supporters in Newark, Boston and Virginia - and this also evidently turns out to be untrue.      [nyt.Sep.13.2001]

==Increased security measures are being hurriedly implemented throughout the world, especially regarding air travel - but air travel is already massively disrupted everywhere.      [cnn.Sep.12.2001 / bbc.Sep.12.2001]
==At 0200 AM Transportation Secretary Mineta announces that heightened security measures will be implemented as soon as airports reopen.  Curbside check-ins will be eliminated and all knives of any sort will be banned from commercial planes and from airport terminals - patrons of airport diners will have to cut their food with their forks.  The Air Line Pilots Association urges its members to wear civilian clothing “so as to not be targeted by terrorists as pilots to be used in further hijackings.”   [time.Sep.14.2001 / wap.Sep.12.2001]

==The General Accounting Office warns that the internet is still very vulnerable to attack, and the FBI's National Infrastructure Protection Center holds an emergency meeting on cyber-security.  A security consultant warns “Terrorists attacked our financial and political centers Tuesday.  The logical next step is to attack our computer infrastructure.”      [bbc.Sep.12.2001 / ust.Sep.13.2001]

==Worldwide, about 50 US embassies and consulates are either partially or entirely closed for security reasons, including many in the Middle East.      [wap.Sep.12.2001 / iasa]

==Salon airs comments by disenchanted intelligence personnel, who complain that the CIA and FBI have long been grossly mismanaging counterterrorist activities. Intelligence-gathering capability is said to be very weak throughout the Middle East - Iraq in particular is described as “a black hole.”  The issue of pre-9/11 intelligence failures doesn’t really become a major news story until the spring of 2002.      [sal.Sep.12.2001]

==On Wednesday morning, the German federal police (the BKA) receive a request from the FBI to look into the background of the 9/11 suspects, most of whose names the FBI has already determined.  From Wednesday night to early Thursday morning, German police raid eight addresses in Hamburg, including some of Mohamed Atta’s old homes.  This is the beginning of an enormous German investigation, involving a 600-agent BKA task force.      [bbc.Sep.14.2001 / inside]
==The Russian foreign intelligence agency announces that it will work closely with the US against terrorism.      [bbc.Sep.12.2001]
==Israel offers to immediately send 170 counterterrorist experts to aid the US.      [ap.Sep.12.2001]
==Philippine police raid a Manila hotel looking for three Omanis believed to be linked to al-Qaeda.      [bbc.Sep.14.2001]

==Kim Schmitz, a young German Internet tycoon, offers a $10 million reward for information leading to the arrest of bin Laden.  He receives 10,000 e-mails in 24 hours.      [cnn.Sep.14.2001]

==US officials are investigating three Afghans arrested a year ago in the Cayman Islands, and later anonymously accused of involvement in 9/11.  (see late Aug.2001)  The Afghans say they arrived in the Caymans by accident, mistaking it for Canada.  A Cayman police commissioner told American reporters “You may have some bizarre things where you are, but this takes the biscuit here.”      [lat.Sep.20.2001]

==See also Civil Liberties, for the genesis of the USA Patriot Act.

9/11 Aftermath:
==Early attempts are made to estimate the number of causalities.  Congressman Jim Moran speculates that 10,000 may have been killed at the World Trade Center, and it’s thought that there may have been 800 fatalities at the Pentagon.  Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson estimates that 15,000 to 25,000 died.  Fortunately, these figures prove to be much too high… but estimates of 300 firefighters and 85 police officers killed are closer to the mark.      [cnn.Sep.12.2001 / indy.Sep.12.2001]

==Five survivors are rescued from the debris of the World Trade Center, many fewer than was hoped.  The last person to be rescued alive is a woman pulled from a collapsed walkway on Wednesday, shortly after noon.  There are more false reports of survivors trapped under the rubble calling for help on their cell phones, and false reports that a policeman who’d been on the 82nd floor of one of the towers miraculously “rode the building down to the ground” and survived.      [nyt.Sep.13.2001 / wire.Sep.12.2001 / urblrp.Sep.11.2003]
==A five-story-high remnant of the South Tower collapses in late afternoon, causing rescue workers and medical personnel to flee.  Other buildings in the area are in danger of falling.  CNN reports “One 20-story building seems as if it would tumble in a heavy wind.”      [nyt.Sep.13.2001 / cnn.Sep.13.2001]
== A weary firefighter at Ground Zero comments "I lost count of all the dead people I saw.  It is absolutely worse than you could ever imagine."  A man leaving the area says “You don't want to know. You don't want to know the things we stepped over.”  A doctor who is asked what sort of injuries victims have, replies “The sort of injuries you expect when billions of tons of rubble fall from the sky on top of people.” A volunteer says “We found some people and they were squished. There's not much of them. They were squished so hard that basically there's nothing. We were asking for small body bags because otherwise they were going to get lost.”  A dog trained to detect cadavers is overwhelmed - his handler says “Basically, what he's doing is smelling flesh in the air, and it's just coming out of the cracks. It's everywhere.”      [gdn.Sep.13.2001 / cnn.Sep.12.2001 / nyt.Sep.13.2001]
==The EPA finds the amount of asbestos in the air at Ground Zero to be four times the acceptable level.  More than 300 rescue workers are treated for eye and respiratory injuries, and doctors predict that some workers may suffer permanent respiratory damage.  Two years later, a medical screening survey finds that almost half of the rescue workers still have ear, nose, or throat problems.      [wap.Sep.13.2001 / cnn.Aug.28.2003]
==One Liberty Plaza, the home of NASDAQ across from the WTC, is sealed off when it appeared to be about to collapse, but is later reopened.  The upscale Brooks Brothers clothing store in One Liberty Plaza and the elegant lobby of the nearby American Express Building - both now strewn with debris - are being used as temporary morgues.  Outside the Brooks Brothers morgue, someone has scrawled in the ash “God bless America, land that we love.”      [nyt.Sep.12.2001 / gdn.Sep.14.2001]
==The Fresh Kills Landfill on Staten Island, which had been closed in March, reopens to receive the rubble of the World Trade Center.  Many commentators note the grim irony of the landfill’s name.  The Washington Post estimates that it will take over 100,000 dump truck loads to shift most of the rubble.      [wap.Sep.14.2001]

==Hundreds of men and women wander around New York City, checking hospitals for relatives or friends who never came home.  Posters seeking news of the missing begin to appear in the morning, and are all over the town by afternoon.  On Wednesday night, the city opens a missing persons information center at the 69th Regiment Armory, and within less than a day, 2,500 people register information about vanished friends or family members.  Near the armory, at Union Square, near Bellevue Hospital, and in other places searchers cover walls with flyers about the missing.  Thousands of somber visitors file past, starting at one end and working their way down, peering closely at the photographs and information.  By Sep.22, a reporter writes of the posters: “At this point it seems clear that they are not queries so much as memorials.”      [gdn.Sep.22.2001 / nyt.Sep.13.2001 / csm.Sep.17.2001]

==There is a tremendous wave of volunteerism.  One woman who tried to volunteer her services in New York said "I'm here to do whatever.  I can hold hands, listen to stories, sweep the streets, whatever."  But there was little to volunteer for.  More than enough blood is quickly donated, and only those with special skills are allowed to assist in the rescue work.  For the most part, volunteers are turned away.      [nyt.Sep.13.2001]

==Giuliani’s vigorous and humane handling of the disaster is much admired, even by old foes.  One long-time critic notes that the mayor has completely resisted using macho political rhetoric.  But Salon editor Joan Walsh remains a little wary: “I try to check myself before going into full swoon over Giuliani. You can see how decades of crisis could lead to fascism; at a time like this I worry I'm entirely too ready to fall into the arms of a strong man.”      [sal.Sep.12.2001]

==New York City is eerie, almost lifeless.  Most businesses and stores are closed, streets, subways, and parking lots are nearly empty, and what activity there is seems muted.  Only essential personnel are allowed into the evacuated zone of lower Manhattan south of 14th Street.      [nyt.Sep.13.2001 / iasa]

==Frequent bomb hoaxes and building evacuations occur over the next few days - about this time the NYPD estimated that bomb hoaxes jumped from about seven to over one hundred per day.  The UN and the Empire State Building are evacuated on Sep.12, as are many other buildings around the world, including 10 Downing Street in London and the German Foreign Ministry in Berlin.      [sal.Sep.20.2001 / irex.Sep.12.2001 / cnn.Sep.12.2001 / iasa]

==About 230 AM, rescue workers hang an American flag from the roof of the Pentagon near the crash site.  Just before noon, a false report that a plane is closing in from four miles away, pursued by fighters, causes personnel to briefly flee the recovery area.  The Pentagon fire is under control by mid-day.  Rescue workers find corpses still sitting at their desks, as well as an open dictionary on a wooden pedestal, untouched in the midst of the ruins.      [wap.Sep.13.2001]
==A large part of the Pentagon is sealed off and guarded by MPs armed with M-16s, and much of the rest of the immense building reeks of smoke.  In a show of defiance, around half the workforce shows up - about 10,000 employees - but little work is getting done.  Bush makes a brief public appearance at the Pentagon in late afternoon.      [wap.Sep.13.2001 / nyt.Sep.16.2001]

==Snipers are still deployed on rooftops near the White House.      [cnn.Sep.12.2001]

==Air traffic is still shut down for most of the day throughout America.  A ground crew member describes La Guardia Airport in New York: “It's like a ghost town.  All we need is the tumbleweed blowing through.” A few flights stranded in Canada are given clearance to return in the evening. Many international carriers cancel flights to the Middle East.      [nyt.Sep.13.2001 / iasa]

==Reports begin to appear of 9/11-related Internet scams, often in the form of fraudulent e-mails soliciting donations for victims’ charities.      [cauce.Sep.12.2001]

The Administration:
==For a couple of days after the attacks, Bush’s behavior on 9/11 is frequently unfavorably compared with Giuliani’s in New York, with Rumsfeld’s at the Pentagon, or with John F. Kennedy’s during the Cuban Missile Crisis.  Until Friday, the president has little interaction with the press or the public.  The conservative Boston Herald bluntly states that the president’s conduct “did not inspire confidence.”      [nyt.Sep.13.2001 / sal.Sep.12.2001]
==Administration officials publicly claim that Bush failed to immediately return to Washington because there was evidence that the terrorists were planning to crash into the White House or to attack Air Force One.  In the morning, Karl Rove says "We are talking about specific and credible intelligence, not vague suspicions."  In the afternoon, Ari Fleischer says that the plane which crashed into the Pentagon originally intended to hit the White House. These claims prove to be untrue.      [nyt.Sep.13.2001]
==In a taped address to US forces, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld feels a need to assure his listeners that “throughout this crisis, the President has been as commanding and impressive in person as he has been in his public addresses.”      [defl.Sep.12.2001]

==Apparently reacting to earlier indiscretions by Senator Hatch, Rumsfeld bitterly denounces officials who leak sensitive information, saying they are “willing to frustrate our efforts to track down and deal with terrorists, and willing to reveal information that could cost the lives of men and women in uniform.” The administration prevents the CIA and FBI from briefing the Senate Intelligence Committee behind closed doors, and tells the agencies that all future briefings will be controlled by the White House’s National Security Council.  In the afternoon, the administration finally gives an intelligence briefing to the Senate, but a Congressional source said the briefing was merely cosmetic, “the same as no briefing at all.”  From this point on, the administration tightens its control over what information is released to the Congress and the press.  At the same time, its careful grooming of Bush’s image is intensified.      [wap.Sep.13.2001 / bls.Sep.14.2001]

==At 1000 AM, Congress reconvenes for the first time after the attacks with strong shows of bipartisanship.  Hillary Clinton warmly praises Bush.  A government professor at Cornell says that Congress will likely be devoid of partisanship for months to come.  Bad prediction.      [nyt.Sep.13.2001]

==Both houses of Congress unanimously pass a resolution condemning the attacks, supporting Bush in punishing the perpetrators, and proclaiming September 12 to be a “national day of unity and mourning.”     [wap.Sep.13.2001]
==Action is begun on a $20 billion emergency recovery package, to help pay immediate costs of rescue and rebuilding at the Pentagon and the WTC, and to bolster security.  This emergency funding request is developed through consultation between the administration and Congressional Republicans. In contrast, Congressional Democrats are given "no consultation, no collaboration, virtually no information." Meanwhile, the harsh Congressional debate on preserving Social Security surpluses that was underway before 9/11 has abruptly ended.  See Sep.13 and Sep.14      [wap.Sep.13.2001 / nyt.Sep.14.2001]
==In the evening, the Bush administration asks Congress to authorize the president to use force against whoever committed 9/11, to deter future acts of terrorism, and to draw whatever funds were needed.  Congress fears that the administration is asking for the power to wage war at will and for a blank check, and quietly balks at the demands while maintaining a public show of solidarity. See Sep.14      [sal.Sep.13.2001]

==A prayer service is held under the dome of the Capitol, during which Capitol Police Officer Dan Nelson sings an unaccompanied pitch-perfect rendition of ‘Amazing Grace.’      [wap.Sep.13.2001]

==In Britain, newspapers enormously increase their print runs, sometimes by hundreds of thousands, but many newsstands are still sold out by mid-morning.      [gdn.Sep.12.2001]

==The first wave of written commentary on 9/11 is coming out.  Media observer Jamie L. Jones divides the early editorials into basic categories: mourning, raging, scholarly, flag-waving, and warning.  Rage is predominant.  Jones comments that overall “much of (the writing) is the drivel that spews forth on such public occasions, but there too are the odd commentaries of great insight, seemingly slipped in as if by accident amid the torrents of anger and rabble-rousing rhetoric.”      [mdli.Sep.14.2001]

==Some commentators have become unhinged.  The Philadelphia Daily News publishes a blood-curdling editorial by Frank Burgos: “REVENGE. Hold on to that thought. Go to bed thinking it. Wake up chanting it. Because nothing less than revenge is called for today… we will remember your actions, and crave only one thing: blood for blood.”  Columnist Lance Morrow writes in Time magazine: “Let's have rage… What's needed is a unified, unifying, Pearl Harbor-sort of purple American fury… Let America explore the rich reciprocal possibilities of the fatwa. A policy of focused brutality does not come easily (but) America needs to relearn why human nature has equipped us all with a weapon (abhorred in decent peacetime societies) called hatred.”  In a New York Post editorial entitled ‘Simply Kill the Bastards,’ Steve Dunleavy cuts loose with comments like “A gunshot between the eyes, blow them to smithereens, poison them if you have to…. As for cities or countries that host these worms, bomb them into basketball courts,” and so on.      [pdn.Sep.12.2001 / time.Sep.12.2001 / nyp.Sep.12.2001]
==Equally violent commentary can be heard on television - but TV producers deny that their broadcasts are feeding war fever, and insist that they’re only reflecting the reaction of the public and the government.      [nyt.Sep.14.2001]

==Henry Kissinger writes that the US must destroy “the system that is responsible for (the attacks). That system is a network of terrorist organizations sheltered in capitals of certain countries.”  Kissinger doesn’t specify the countries.      [wap.Sep.12.2001]
==Making the already standard comparison between the 9/11 attacks and Pearl Harbor, a Washington Post editorial says that America must commit itself to full-scale war… but also warns that the country must not allow its freedoms to be eroded.      [wap.Sep.12.2001]
==Political commentator William Pfaff writes that “the only real defense against external attack is serious, continuing and courageous effort to find political solutions for national and ideological conflicts that involve the United States.”  But Pfaff is aware that the Bush administration is not inclined to go that route.      [inht.Sep.12.2001]

==The generally pro-Arab Robert Fisk writes a despairing piece in The Independent: "So it has come to this. The entire modern history of the Middle East… all erased within hours as those who claim to represent a crushed, humiliated population struck back with the wickedness and awesome cruelty of a doomed people… America is at war and, unless I am mistaken, many thousands more are now scheduled to die in the Middle East, perhaps in America too. Some of us warned of "the explosion to come". But we never dreamt this nightmare."      [ind.Sep.12.2001]

==David Rieff writes “Instead of the next big thing being some new technological innovation or medical breakthrough, the next big thing is likely to be fear.”      [lat.Sep.12.2001]

==Lead news stories of a couple days earlier have been buried by 9/11.  In Los Angeles, stand-up comedienne Paula Poundstone pleads no-contest to lewd conduct and child abuse charges.  For months the case had been a media circus with reporters “literally… stumbling and tripping” over each other - but at this climactic hearing, one day after the attacks, “there may have been one camera” in the courtroom.      [lat.Sep.20.2001]

==Numerous movie releases, television series premieres, promotional campaigns, sports events, and other such entertainment activities are postponed.  Major league baseball games are called off for the second night for the first time since D-Day in 1944.      [cnn.Sep.13.2001 / nyt.Sep.12.2001 / wap.Sep.13.2001]
==Weirdly, both Disneyland and Disney World reopen the morning after the attacks.  Crowds are thin.     [cnn.Sep.12.2001 / nyt]

Public Mood and Opinion:
==A number of opinion polls are conducted in America immediately after the attacks.  A CNN/Gallup/USA Today poll released on Wednesday finds that 86% consider the attacks an act of war and 92% favor military retaliation, though most (71%) want to wait until the guilty parties are clearly identified before launching attacks.  ABC reports that 84% support attacking countries that assist terrorists, while only 11% oppose it.  In all polls, an overwhelming majority is very confident or somewhat confident that the US will apprehend those responsible for planning the attacks.  Gallup finds that 45% were ‘very confident’ in Bush’s ability to handle the crisis, 33% ‘somewhat confident’ and 18% ‘not too confident’ or ‘not confident at all.’  An Ipsos-Reid survey asking about emotional response finds sorrow to be predominant at 82%, with anger a distant second at 42%.  CBS finds shock to be the most common reaction.  According to Gallup, 87% of the respondents say that the attacks were the most tragic news event of their lifetime.  See other poll results under Civil Liberties.      [gallup.Sep.13.2001 / gl&m.Sep.13.2001]

==The text of Canadian radio commentator Gordon Sinclair's 'The Americans' begins to be widely circulated. This very pro-American 1973 broadcast praises the United States for its generosity and laments the world's lack of gratitude.      [usen.Sep.12.2001]
==An unidentified man spent most of Wednesday waving an American flag from an overpass above busy Interstate 480 in Ohio.      [gdn.Sep.14.2001]

==In Wyoming, a retired truck driver tells the local newspaper “I know just what to do with these Arab people.  We have to find them, kill them, wrap them in a pigskin and bury them. That way they will never go to heaven.”      [nyt.Sep.14.2001]
==Muslim groups have already received over a hundred reports from across the US of harassment of Middle Easterners and South Asians.  Among other incidents, Molotov cocktails are tossed into a Sikh temple in suburban Cleveland, and a Pakistani woman in Long Island is nearly run over by a man who screams that he was “doing this for my country.”  Wednesday night, in the Chicago suburb of Bridgeview, a crowd of over 100  - many of them teenagers - marches on a mosque waving American flags and shouting ‘U.S.A.’  While there are many reports of harassment by individuals, the Bridgeview incident seems to be the only case of anti-Muslim mob action in America.  A Muslim woman in San Francisco says "There are no words.  This is my country, these are my people. It is a double-edged sword because I know when people look at me they won't see that, they'll just see that I'm one of them."      [nyt.Sep.14.2001 / sfc.Sep.12.2001]
==A school bus full of Muslim children is stoned near Brisbane, Australia.      [age.Sep.13.2001]

==3,000 people attend an interfaith mourning service at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, that opens with a Muslim call to prayers. There are quite a few similar services held across America around this time.      [sal.Sep.16.2001 / plupr]

==A poster to alt.conspiracy has his own theories: "Geoge Bush is Bill Clinton! They are both "Alien Agency" Presidents and they all are allowing the alien race to play the "snuff" game here in America… NYC, like the othe major cities of the world, is a huge alien agency HIVE. 99% of the people who work or live there are telepathic aliens and are protected by the alien agency… Any act of violence or catistrophic occurence in NYC is controlled by the "Alien Agency"… Its about time human Americans found out the truth."      [usen.Sep.12.2001]
==An Associated Press photo of the burning World Trade Center that had been printed in some papers on September 11 becomes famous when it’s noticed that the smoke pouring out of the South Tower resembles a face.  Thousands believe that the picture reveals the image of Satan, presiding over the 9/11 attacks. Other observers, less impressed, think that the face looks more like Bob Hope, Richard Nixon, or Harvey Keitel.      [sagin.Sep.13.2001 / gadf.Oct.08.2001]
==A very widely circulated e-mail appears that suggests that the number 11 recurs with sinister regularity in dates and words associated with the attacks (“The date of the attack: 9/11 - 9 + 1 + 1 = 11… September 11th is the 254th day of the year: 2 + 5 + 4 = 11…” and so on.)  This ominous message is soon satirized by Dave Pawson, who comes up with other 11-letter phrases, including ‘It’s Bullshit.’    [alt.conspiracy.Sep.12.2001 / urblrp.Oct.26.2001]

Civil Liberties:
==The Justice Department begins work on what will become the USA Patriot Act.  In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, Bush tells Attorney General John Ashcroft to take extraordinary measures. Ashcroft later recalls “My instruction was this: We've got to think outside the box…”  On Wednesday morning, he is still in hiding with other senior government officials, but he conveys a directive to Assistant Attorney General Viet Dinh, who convenes a meeting of a half dozen officials in the Justice Department.  Dinh eagerly tells the group “Beginning immediately, we will work on a package of authorities” that will give far-reaching new powers to law enforcement, and he charges his colleagues with cataloging any legal restraints that might get in the way.      [wap.Jan.28.2002+Oct.27.2002]

==Internet service providers AOL and Earthlink announce that they’re providing information on their clients to the FBI, but decline to give details.  Both ISPs deny reports that ‘Carnivore’ spy systems have been installed.      [cnet.Sep.13.2001]

==Republican Senator Trent Lott declares: "When you are at war, civil liberties are treated differently. We cannot let what happened yesterday happen in the future."       [nyt.Sep.15.2001]

==A Washington Post/ABC poll released on Wednesday found that 66% of respondents would be willing to surrender some of the civil liberties guaranteed Americans in order for the government to crack down on terrorism, 24% were unwilling, and 10% had no opinion.      [gl&m.Sep.13.2001]

==Morton Halperin, a former head of the Washington ACLU and a former national security official who had himself been wiretapped by the Nixon administration, sends an e-mail calling on civil libertarians to organize in opposition to the sweeping counterterrorism legislation expected to emerge soon in Congress.  See Sep.14       [wap.Oct.27.2002]

Liberal commentator Harold Meyerson writes “We could… end up making war on ourselves, sacrificing our freedoms to the security of a garrison state… In a war against terrorism… a number of government agencies and their cheerleaders would be clearly tempted to lock the Bill of Rights away in some basement dustbin of the National Archives.”      [ampros.Sep.12.2001]

==In the Washington Post, commentator David Von Drehle foresees the coming struggle between those who want to preserve civil liberties and others who want to strengthen the government’s police powers - “What We Stand For versus What It Takes,” as Von Drehle puts it.  He predicts “these attacks truly were the first step down a very dark and dangerous alley.”      [wap.Sep.12.2001]

==See also the crackdown on suspected immigrants in the Countererrorism section.

==There is growing fear of a global recession.  An American financial analyst says “We're right on the edge of whether it's a worldwide recession or not.  It's not going to take too many things to tip the balance the wrong way.” A British economist glumly comments “The world was looking for the United States economy to recover later this year and help the global economy get back on its feet. Suddenly, everything that seemed well established has been blown out of the water.”  A few analysts are still trying to be optimistic - a Boston money manager says “My guess is that after an initial shock, there will not be a lot of effect on the economy or markets.”  James Glassman, chief domestic economist for J. P. Morgan Chase, is even more determined to be positive, saying “…good things are going to come out of it.”      [indy.Sep.12.2001 / gdn.Sep.12.2001 / wap.Sep.12.2001 / nyt.Sep.12.2001]

==Asian, European, and Latin American stock markets plummet in reaction to the attacks.  Japan’s Nikkei average drops nearly 7%, falling below 10,000 for the first time since 1984, which temporarily puts it below the Dow Jones industrial average for the first time since 1957. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong falls nearly 10%.   But financial markets showed signs of stabilizing later in the day.  Share prices of airlines and travel industry companies fell especially sharply.     [wap.Sep.13.2001 / nyt.Sep.12.2001 / bbc.Sep.12.2001]
==The Federal Reserve injects $38.25 billion into the financial system by buying up government bonds.  Worldwide, governments pump in about $120 billion.      [nyt.Sep.13.2001 / wap.Sep.13.2001]

==The first air carrier falls victim to the 9/11 attacks: Midway Airlines, already bankrupt, announces that it is suspending operations and immediately laying off its 1,700 employees.      [cnn.Sep.13.2001 / iasa]

==Beginning the day of the attack, panic briefly drives gas prices up – in some places to $5/gallon – before state governments step in and threaten price gougers with hefty fines.  Opec announces that it will ensure a steady flow of oil, helping to stabilize petroleum prices.      [ap.Sep.11.2001 /wiki / bbc.Sep.12.2001]

==Shipping of goods within the US is somewhat slowed but not paralyzed.  However, the aviation shutdown and tightened border security is badly hurting international commerce.      [nyt.Sep.13.2001]

==Mayor Giuliani vows that New York City will come back "economically stronger."  But many observers worry that the 9/11 attacks will lead to a slump in tourism and loss of revenue.  There are also fears that some firms will move out of the city. The attacks destroyed or damaged about 27.5 million square feet of office space, or roughly 20 percent of the space available in lower Manhattan, and many businesses are desperately searching for new locations. Some are leasing offices in New Jersey rather than Manhattan.      [goth.Sep.14.2001 / cnn.Sep.14.2001]

==An internal Sierra Club memo outlines the group's post-9/11 policy. "In response to the attacks on America, we are shifting our communications strategy for the immediate future. We have taken all of our ads off the air; halted our phone banks; removed any material from the web that people could perceive as anti-Bush, and are taking other steps to prevent the Sierra Club from being perceived as controversial during this crisis. We will re-evaluate as the national climate shifts… For now, we are going to stop aggressively pushing our agenda and will cease bashing President Bush." Other environmental groups are soon backing away from protests and generally damping down their activities.      [grist.Sep.15.2001 / cnp.Sep.14.2001]


9/11 Intro

September 11, 2001, Part I      September 11, 2001, Part II

September 13, 2001