More than 350 never-before-seen photographs which capture the reaction of US Government officials the day 9/11 terror attacks unfolded have been released by the US National Archives.
On the day of the attacks, then Vice President Dick Cheney, now 74, was in charge at the White House, with President Bush visiting a school in Sarasota, Florida, at the time. In one photo, he is seen resting his feet on his desk as he watches a live TV news report of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
In another, he is seen with his head in his hands as he makes a phone call from the President’s
Emergency Operations Center (PEOC), a highly-secure underground bunker below the White House’s East Wing that can withstand nuclear hits and other devastating attacks.
These never-before-seen images capture Cheney’s reaction to the attacks, which saw two hijacked passenger planes crash into the World Trade Center in New York, another jet strike the Pentagon and a fourth crash in Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001, killing 2,996 people.
They also show the horror felt by other senior government officials, including then-President George Bush (after he returned from the school) and his wife Laura, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, CIA Director George Tenet, Cheney’s top lawyer, David Addington, and Chief of Staff Andrew Card.
The then-President would shortly address the nation about the day’s atrocities, which were aired live on TV screens across the world. The same evening, Cheney and his wife, Lynne, were flown via Marine Two to a secret destination, revealed in the photos to be Camp David. They were later moved to other undisclosed sites as thousands of rescue workers descended on the wreckage of the WTC towers.
The newly-released images of Cheney and other officials’ reactions to 9/11 were captured by Cheny’s staff photographer, according to PBS. The photos were released by the National Archives following a FOIA request by FRONTLINE filmmaker Colette Neirouz Hanna.