The 9/11 Commission Report: The Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States (Authorized Edition)by National Commission on Terrorist Attacks
Pub. Date: 07/23/2004
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
In November 2002 the United States Congress and President George W. Bush established by law the National
Nearly three thousand people died in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. In Lower Manhattan, on a field in Pennsylvania, and along the banks of the Potomoc, the United States suffered the single largest loss of life from an enemy attack on its soil.
In November 2002 the United States Congress and President George W. Bush established by law the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, also known as the 9/11 Commission. This independent, bipartisan panel was directed to examine the facts and circumstances surrounding the September 11 attacks, identify lessons learned, and provide recommendations to safeguard against future acts of terrorism.
This volume is the authorized edition of the Commission's final report.
- Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- Authorized Edition
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- 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.60(d)
Table of Contents
|List of Illustrations and Tables||ix|
|1.||"We have some Planes"||1|
|1.1||Inside the Four Flights||1|
|1.2||Improvising a Homeland Defense||14|
|1.3||National Crisis Management||35|
|2.||The Foundation of the New Terrorism||47|
|2.1||A Declaration of War||47|
|2.2||Bin Ladin's Appeal in the Islamic World||48|
|2.3||The Rise of Bin Ladin and al Qaeda (1988-1992)||55|
|2.4||Building an Organization, Declaring War on the United States (1992-1996)||59|
|2.5||Al Qaeda's Renewal in Afghanistan (1996-1998)||63|
|3.1||From the Old Terrorism to the New: The First World Trade Center Bombing||71|
|3.2||Adaptation--and Nonadaptation--in the Law Enforcement Community||73|
|3.3||... and in the Federal Aviation Administration||82|
|3.4||... and in the Intelligence Community||86|
|3.5||... and in the State Department and the Defense Department||93|
|3.6||... and in the White House||98|
|3.7||... and in the Congress||102|
|4.||Responses to al Qaeda's Initial Assaults||108|
|4.1||Before the Bombings in Kenya and Tanzania||108|
|4.2||Crisis: August 1998||115|
|4.5||Searching for Fresh Options||134|
|5.||Al Qaeda Aims at the American Homeland||145|
|5.2||The "Planes Operation"||153|
|5.3||The Hamburg Contingent||160|
|5.4||A Money Trail?||169|
|6.||From Threat to Threat||174|
|6.1||The Millennium Crisis||174|
|6.2||Post-Crisis Reflection: Agenda for 2000||182|
|6.3||The Attack on the USS Cole||190|
|6.4||Change and Continuity||198|
|6.5||The New Administration's Approach||203|
|7.||The Attack Looms||215|
|7.1||First Arrivals in California||215|
|7.2||The 9/11 Pilots in the United States||223|
|7.3||Assembling the Teams||231|
|7.4||Final Strategies and Tactics||241|
|8.||"The System was Blinking Red"||254|
|8.1||The Summer of Threat||254|
|8.2||Late Leads--Mihdhar, Moussaoui, and KSM||266|
|9.||Heroism and Horror||278|
|9.1||Preparedness as of September 11||278|
|9.2||September 11, 2001||285|
|9.3||Emergency Response at the Pentagon||311|
|10.1||Immediate Responses at Home||326|
|10.2||Planning for War||330|
|10.3||"Phase Two" and the Question of Iraq||334|
|12.||What to Do? A Global Strategy||361|
|12.1||Reflecting on a Generational Challenge||361|
|12.2||Attack Terrorists and Their Organizations||365|
|12.3||Prevent the Continued Growth of Islamist Terrorism||374|
|12.4||Protect against and Prepare for Terrorist Attacks||383|
|13.||How to Do it? A Different Way of Organizing the Government||399|
|13.1||Unity of Effort across the Foreign-Domestic Divide||400|
|13.2||Unity of Effort in the Intelligence Community||407|
|13.3||Unity of Effort in Sharing Information||416|
|13.4||Unity of Effort in the Congress||419|
|13.5||Organizing America's Defenses in the United States||423|
|Appendix A||Common Abbreviations||429|
|Appendix B||Table of Names||431|
|Appendix C||Commission Hearings||439|
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It comes down to this: no matter what your political persuasion, every American should read this. This report lays out in minute detail the failings of two administrations in keeping America safe. In addition, it gives us an opportunity to make sure it never happens again, at least make it as difficult as possible. This is not a Republican issue or a Democrat issue, it's an AMERICAN issue. If we bury our heads in the sand or close our minds because of partisanship, we are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past. Do we really want to lose another 3,000+ innocents?
It might seem long at first, but it is any easy read, very accessible - the style is more like a novel than anything else. If you only read the 'report' itself it is a shame because many of the interesting hard facts and factoids are to be found in the foot/endnotes - the 'meat' is there, the reader must just make the effort to read everything. Same for the recommendations, they make sense, but their application seems uncertain as they are over-broad in some cases (increasing congressional oversight?!) or bound to become political hot potatoes. The bi-partisan approach shows in such that the errors made by both administrations involved are mentioned. The style might detract from the importance of what is written, but overall this should be definite required reading for all. May there be more commission reports published in a similar way on issues just as important, if not more! (as medicare, ..)
The authors of the Report have managed to so subtly impress order on a vast amount of information that they have recreated not only the events of September 11, but the atmosphere in which they unfolded. The result is a narrative which neither trivializes the public and personal cost by opting for sensation nor minimizes the reality by resorting to a sterile recitation of innumerable facts. The reader is impelled by the flow of information; and this is as it should be for so overwhelming a day. The facts are what they are. The art is in the accessibility.
Why isn't everyone reading this book? I commute by train, and in the week I spent carrying it around and reading it, I never once saw a fellow reader. If you're afraid that it's a turgid 500-page government memorandum, you'll be pleasantly surprised. The prose style is graceful and sometimes inspired. The factual chapters are real page-turners. (I confess I skipped around once I got to the policy analysis at the end, but a different reader might flip straight to that section.) Unless you've been living in a cave these past three years, you've seen some of this material before in news articles and other books. This book weaves the story together, integrating facts from many different (and often contradictory) sources and specifically debunking various news stories. But that's not the best part. I was fascinated to learn how the enemy works, in intensive detail. The hijackers were NOT religious fanatics drunk on the fumes of unstable millennialist passion. They were operatives in a very structured organization. They filled out applications (I kid you not), attended training sessions complete with binders and CD-ROMS, and attained their infamous place in history through competitive selection (and in some cases nepotism). Al Qaeda itself is straight out of a business-school textbook, complete with organizational charts, salaries, press releases, brainstorming meetings and cost-benefit analyses. Sure, the Commission made choices, and radicals on either side may be disappointed to see that their favorite theories are given short shrift. But there's a lot in there, much of it based on classified intelligence reports that you wouldn't ordinarily see. Read other books too, but be sure to read this one.
This is a must read. Prior to reading this book I don't think I had a clue about what was going on. Now I feel enlightened by the facts. I think this an historic read that will be remembered.
This book must be read by every American. It is essential reading before you cast your vote in November! I forsee that this publication will eventually be required reading on the high school and/or college level. It is captivating, sad, frightening and enlightening.
The tragedy that unfolds throughout the pages of the 9/11 Commission Report is a reminder to each and every reader that individuals cannot change the events that happen during a lifetime but individual lives are changed by events. Read the book and use all of the emotions that it evokes to make meaningful changes in your own life. Commit to living each and every day to the fullest. Regardless of how the terrorist attacks happened, we can all agree that the events before, during and after that unforgettable September morning were life altering.
I havent gotten all the way through yet but this book is very imformative and lets you understand what the government knows about the goings on in the plane during the hi-jackings and also the type of man Bin Ladin is. This is something everyone should read.
I picked it up the day it came out, I've never put it down more than 3 times since then. It's really a great book, and you can finally get a sense of closure from the terrorist attacks. The timeline is so amazingly on track, and it's amazing to look at the time, and think what you were doing at that exact moment on 9/11. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants closure from the attacks. No one is to blame for the attacks, it was a series of poor communication, and false information.
The information in this Report is absolutely stunning. What happened during the time of the 9/11 attacks was riveting reading. It is also important for Americans to truly understand the nature and intent of the attackers and their deep hatred of America and what we stand for. It can and will probably happen again unless we change our way of doing things in the world. Just increasing security in airports wont cut it.
I admit, I haven't read the whole thing yet, but I already know that each and every citizen of the US should read this report. Have a copy in every home for younger people to read when they are old enough. 20 years from now this report should still be mandatory at every high school in the country.
The 9-11 Commission Report is over 500 pages long. In the preface the authors say that the report was written to provide the fullest possible account of the events surrounding 9-11. However the collapse of Building 7 wasn't even mentioned in the report. Building 7 was a 47-story skyscraper which was not hit by a plane. It fell straight down symmetrically into its own footprint at virtually freefall speed. And they completely ignored it!
Exactly what I had ordered and was expecting. Unfortunately, always consider the latest date of delivery: when they say, between 8 and 14 days for delivery, it means 14 days. In other words, it came very late.
This is an excellent report by the 9/11 Commission. They point out all the problems that occurred and the lack of preparedness of the United States. However, they do not cast the direct blame to Bush and his faction, rather they illuminate the systemic problems of all agencies involved. Therefore, the Commission proves that this attack was allowed to come to its fruition, because of every government agency's quantum incompetence.
One of the first F-15 pilots to arrive over New York City on September 11, 2001, as the World Trade Center towers dissolved into billowing clouds of dust and debris beneath him, said in a PBS interview, as he recounted his actions and emotions on that fateful day, that ¿It was the sickest feeling I¿ve ever had in an airplane.¿ More than anything else, this report puts human faces¿and hearts¿before us, laid out in a pastiche of tragic biographies, missed opportunities and, yes, some not unexpected examples of human venality and incompetence. As you might expect, there are reams of detail for the historian here. Though presented in a somewhat bureaurocratically self-serving way, it¿s interesting stuff, nonetheless. Much of it is riveting; some is wrenchingly painful to read. But it is not, as some have suggested, an attempt to exculpate the Clinton and Bush administrations, nor the CIA, FBI, FAA or even Congress by glossing over or covering up ¿important¿ questions, such as why members of Bin Laden¿s family were allowed to leave the country only a few days after the attack, which Michael Moore made much of in his ludicrous attempt at documentary film-making. No, if chasing conspiracy theories is to your liking, read a good summer thriller like Second Eden or The Da Vinci Code. In reality, real people make real mistakes, sometimes big ones, and all questions cannot be answered as quickly¿or as completely¿as we¿d like, at least not always when we¿d like those answers the most. And while this book reaches few unexpected conclusions, its biggest contribution, in this readers opinion, was in at last defining for us who the enemy is: Radical Islam, in all its many guises, not just al-Qaeda but Hezbollah, Hamas and all the others from Israel to Indonesia. Ultimately, this insight is what¿s so scary about the report: The world really has changed since 9/11; there¿s no turning back. Primitive people, inflamed by religious intolerance, with access to the modern technology of mass death, which is ever more miniaturized and portable, has made us all vulnerable in new and frightening ways. It makes George Bush¿s preemptive doctrine look not just rational but essential.
In addition to reading this Commission Report, one must read 'The New Pearl Harbor - Disturbing Questions about the Bush Administration and 9/11' to see the gaping holes in this Commission inquiry and report. From massive defense failures and multiple lies by the FAA and NORAD, to the bizarre actions of Bush et al on 9/11, you'll see what the Commissioners bizarrely sought to avoid scrutinizing. Issues that call this 'Omission' Report into question.
While this may be an interesting read as far as government reports go, and it reveals more than the average American knew before about 9/11, there is SO MUCH missing from this report. The report starts with a basic premise and never truly examines and proves it's (never mentioned) assumptions......like a police murder investigation that does not document or take forensic evidence of a crime scene. To understand what I mean, check out David Ray Griffin's book 'The New Pearl Harbor'. Then you will see the huge amount of evidence the 9/11 Commission left out and ignored in their report.
The commission did the best it could, hampered as it was by the refusal of the administration to cooperate. For a fuller, more complete view of what led to 9/11, check the titles below.
I also admit that I have yet to finish this excellent report. Many meaningful facts are presented in this book as well as insights to what went wrong on that horrible day. Also included are ways to prevent future attacks. The dialogue of the terrorists onboard American 11, 77, 93, and 175 are very chilling, as well as the calls made by passengers, very sad. I believe that in the future, this report will be a mandatory read in many high schools, as it should be.