The Ground Truth: The Untold Story of America Under Attack on 9/11

The Ground Truth: The Untold Story of America Under Attack on 9/11

by John Farmer


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From the senior counsel to the 9/11 Commission, a mesmerizing real-time portrayal of September 11th, 2001, why we weren’t told the truth, and why our nation is still at risk

As one of the primary authors of the 9/11 Commission Report, John Farmer is proud of his and his colleagues’ work. Yet he came away from the experience convinced that there was a further story of the September 11th attacks to be told, one he was uniquely qualified to write.

Now that shocking story can be told. Tape recordings, transcripts, and contemporaneous records that had been classified have since been declassified, and the inspector general’s investigations of government conduct have been completed. Drawing on his knowledge of those sources, as well as his years as an attorney in public and private practice, Farmer reconstructs what happened on September 11th, 2001 and the disastrous circumstances that allowed it: the institutionalized disconnect between what those on the ground knew and what those in power did. He details—terrifyingly and illuminatingly—the key moments in the years, months, weeks, and days that preceded the attacks, then descends almost in real time through the attacks themselves, portraying them as they have never before been seen.

Ultimately, Farmer builds the inescapably convincing case that the official version not only is almost entirely untrue but serves to create a false impression of order and American national security. The result is "a major, carefully documented and deeply disturbing book, one that deserves the most serious attention of every American concerned about our future" (Haynes Johnson, Pulitzer Prize winner and bestselling author).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781594484780
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/07/2010
Pages: 432
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

John Farmer served as Senior Counsel to the 9/11 Commission from 2003 to 2004 and assisted in writing The 9/11 Commission Report. Cleared to Top Secret/SC1 level, his areas of responsibility included assessing the national response to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, evaluating the current state of national preparedness, and assessing the current state of private sector preparedness for terrorist attacks.

As Attorney General for the State of New Jersey from 1999 to 2002, he supervised nearly 10,000 employees (including more than 700 lawyers and nearly 3,000 state troopers) in ten divisions in the Department of Law and Public Safety, including the Divisions of Law, Criminal Justice, Civil Rights, Consumer Affairs, Gaming Enforcement, Highway Traffic Safety, Juvenile Justice, State Police, Elections, and Alcoholic Beverage Control.

Farmer also supervised the state’s Office of Emergency Management and oversaw New Jersey’s response to Hurricane Floyd in 1999; worked to anticipate the Y2K and potential emergency impact of the millennium; and coordinated the State’s response to both the 9/11 attacks and the anthrax attacks later that same year.

Farmer has also served as chief counsel to New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman, as a federal prosecutor, and as a security expert to the special envoy for Middle East regional security.

Over the past six years, Farmer has lectured and written extensively on post-9/11 safety and security issues, and published safety and security-related pieces in the Washington Post, New York Times, USA Today, Newark Star Ledger, the New Jersey Lawyer, and other publications. He has also spoken on panels at Harvard Law School, the University of Southern California, Willamette Law School, and Johns Hopkins University’s Paul Nitze School of Advanced International Studies.

FEMA-certified in all-hazards disaster planning and mitigation, Farmer has consulted with a wide range of institutions and officials on everything from port security issues to private sector preparedness. In July 2009, he left the New Jersey law firm in which he was a founding partner in order to accept an appointment as Dean of Rutgers School of Law in Newark, where he had previously taught national security law.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The View from the Ground 1

Part 1 Years 11

Part 2 2001 49

Part 3 Day of Days 93

Part 4 Whiskey Tango Foxtrot: The Tale of Tales 233

Part 5 Aftermath: Katrina and the Consequences of Denial 291

Afterword: Systemic Failures 337

Appendix: Timeline of Hijackers' Movements, 1991-2002 353

Acknowledgments 375

Notes 377

Index 401

What People are Saying About This

William Langewiesche

"Revelatory-Farmer makes shattering new sense of the day's events and exposes the true disarray and arrogance in the military and government responses."--(William Langewiesche, author of American Ground and The Atomic Bazaar)

Haynes Johnson

"In revisiting the tragedy of the 9/11 attacks that still haunt America, John Farmer provides a devastating account of how what government and military officials told Congress, the 9/11 Commission on which he served, the media, and the public 'was almost entirely, and inexplicably, untrue.' The result is a major, carefully documented and deeply disturbing book, one that deserves the most serious attention of every American concerned about our future."--(Haynes Johnson, Pulitzer Prize winner and best-selling author)

Jim Dwyer

"Physics teaches us that waves of the same frequency amplify each other. That's what brought down the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. The Ground Truth reveals 9/11 as a manifestation of that same phenomenon, with waves of history cresting together. It does so with perfect clarity, thanks to the brilliance of finding, in the examples of two "minor" national security agencies, the dysfunctionality that plagued the mightiest-seeming arms of the government. I made the mistake of not writing down the first two or three times I felt goosebumps. The Ground Truth is superbly conceived and carried out. What a great book."--(Jim Dwyer, author of 102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers)

Bob Kerrey

"No one is more qualified to write the definitive book about the tragedy of 9/11 than John Farmer. Fortunately, he has done so. Even more fortunately the language is clear, alive and instructive for anyone who wants to make certain this never happens again."--(Bob Kerrey, Former US Senator and Member of the 9/11 Commission)

From the Publisher

"A startling revised picture of 9/11.... [Farmer] builds suspense and creates a compelling albeit disturbing narrative." —-Library Journal Starred Review

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