The striking thing about the 9/11 photos





150725155957-08-cheney-911-19729053490-8ffafbb2ec-o-jpg-exlarge-169The National Archives released 350 photos in a Friday history dump .. Those pictures presented the never before behind the scenes imagery of what Bush Administration officials were doing during and after 9/11..

There are scenes of Dick Cheney with his feet on his desk, old style computer and phone cords abounding, watching the World Trade Center burn on in computer.. There is one shot of Cheney and Condi Rice staring at papers.. One image of President Bush shows him with a look of fatigue and almost confusion on his face while speaking to aides:

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The pictures were released after a FIOA request was filed for old images–the pictures are being used in a Kirk Documentary being produced by Colette Neirouz Hanna.
You can see all of the images released here on the National Archives FLICKR account: https://www.flickr.com/photos/usnationalarchives/sets/72157656213196901/with/19917058105/

I had a gut reaction when I saw the images.
I recalled my own plight and where I was in life during 9/11 immediately.. I recalled being 21 by only 9 days when the attacks occurred.. I remember racing to my computer and updating my website with news of the event.  There are a million more bits of memory I recall from that day, ending with Art Bell signing onto to Coast to Coast with open lines of people mourning the Americans continent’s horrorshow ..  I am sure many who see the photos will recount the entire day again, play it in their head over and over.. What we saw that day, regardless of the whos whats or whys, was tragic and also had an indelible effect on the psyche of those who lived during it and in the aftermath of it..

The other striking thing about the photos: The lack of the President .. It is quite apparent that the bunker Cheney found himself in was where the action was. The decisions were being made. This is where that choice was rendered to shoot down a plane–though we are told that shootdown did not occur..

At the time, I presume, many of these photos were taken, Bush was zigzagging across America and being told not to land in D.C.  If you recall reports of that day, we were told that the President wanted to return to Washington but was told it was too dangerous, finally getting back to the White House that night shortly before his 8pm address to the nation from the Oval Office. In the photos released by the Archives, we see a man on a mission and on in charge: Not the President, but Dick Cheney calling the shots.

In all fairness, the FIOA request is focusing on Cheney in the aftermath of 9/11.. But that is the other amazing part: How Cheney seemingly was in charge after 9/11.

I think history will explicate a very different story from any narrative presented in the past 14 years (14 years already…Think about that, as well.)
I can envision a future history book that is able to be presented (probably not on paper) taking into account all of the upcoming revelations about 9/11 that are sure to be seen as secret papers and files, photos and briefings, become releasable after enough years go by.

I also think that regardless of when they are released–14 years or 40 years from now–the people who are alive who witnessed 9/11 will have the same visceral reaction any time they see the grainy images and antiquated technology presented in photos of officials from that fateful day on a beautiful September morning, 2001.

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