Saturday, November 26, 2005
Section 1, "We Have Some Planes" A complete and detailed summary of the events, the first sub-section dealing with the intimate details of the flights is difficult to read. I actually read this sub-section several months ago, and found that I couldn't continue. I recently picked up the report again, on the advice of a friend who had read it while serving in the Army. He explained that he had read the entire report, found it fascinating, and felt that everyone should read it. So I toughened up a touch, and started in again. The only thing scarier than the actual hijackings is reading about the complete lack of coordination and communication. In particular, the FAA was totally disconnected from the military and the executive branch of government. The final twist was the difficulty in keeping the Secretary of Defense, The Vice President, and the President in close contact. Naturally, Secretary Rumsfeld was unavailble during and immediately following the attack on the Pentagon (he was actually assisting with rescue efforts). All of the participants acted with the level of intensity and ingenuity the situation required, but the report makes evident how unprepared the government and military were for this kind of attack. The planes turned missiles were dramatically effective at inducing confusion, and had they been an overture rather than the central movement, we would have been easy prey.