New Details Reveal Confused Government Response to 9/11 | NBC Bay Area
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New Details Reveal Confused Government Response to 9/11

Based on a review of newly unclassified documents and other published accounts, NBC News learned that emergency protocols were not followed on 9/11

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    AP
    President Bush's Chief of Staff Andy Card whispers into the ear of the President to give him word of the plane crashes into the World Trade Center, during a visit to the Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, Fla., Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001.

    When chief of staff Andrew Card knelt down and told George Bush "America is under attack" 15 years ago Sunday, the words he whispered in the president's ear in a Florida classroom launched what was supposed to be a planned, orderly response to a national emergency.

    But what followed instead was chaos, a breakdown in communication and protocol that risked international conflict and could have made Sept. 11, 2001, a still bigger tragedy.

    Based on a review of newly unclassified documents, memoirs and other published accounts, and interviews with U.S. officials, NBC News has learned that top U.S. officials couldn't talk to each other or to anyone else due to inadequate communications equipment and procedures, and that only one top official followed the emergency “continuity of government plan.”