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The Eleventh Day: The Full Story of 9/11 and Osama bin Laden Hardcover – July 19, 2011
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Guest Reviewer: Jean Sasson on The Eleventh Day
The Eleventh Day: The Full Story of 9/11 and Osama Bin Laden turns back the clock, taking us to a black day filled with blue skies. A day that began so normally became a day that no one can forget, a day that ended with countless questions, many of which have remained unanswered, until now. The Eleventh Day provides the answers to the questions we have been seeking since that fateful day, now ten long years ago.
From the first page, The Eleventh Day rekindles many memories. The horrifying sights of American Airlines flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 crashing into the twin towers and the American Airlines Flight 77 disappearing into the bowels of the Pentagon were such extraordinary phenomena that that few of us could believe what we were seeing. While we understood that a powerful enemy was near, we did not know its face.
Witnesses to the events were hit by one shock after another, from the collapse of the towers to the attack upon the Pentagon to the shattering end of United Flight 93. By the time that last planeload of innocent passengers disappeared forever into the soil near to Shanksville, Pennsylvania, the national tally of loss was staggering.
What new horror would come next? Innocent victims lay dead, unaware of why they had died; family members of victims were stunned by grief; Americans in every city and town were gripped with white anger.
Little did we know that our representatives in the White House had received ample warnings. But now we know, for The Eleventh Day is like a carefully crafted map. Summers and Swan have drawn this map after poring through endless documents, interviewing countless witnesses, and researching the movements of the 19 attackers, bringing the facts together as never before.
For months, opportunities were missed at every turn. Before the inauguration of President Bush, The Commission on National Security was ready to issue their final report which concluded that an attack “on American soil” was likely in the not-too-distant future. The Commission members requested a meeting with the incoming president and vice-president (Bush and Cheney) before the inauguration. Shockingly, the commission members never got their meeting, not then, and not later. No one ever called them back.
We also learn that Clinton’s Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations, Brian Sheridan, personally warned National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice that al-Qaeda was “not an amateur-type deal…It’s serious stuff, these guys are not going away.” Amazingly enough, Sheridan reports that Rice listened but asked no questions. Sheridan recalls that he offered to brief the incoming officials on al-Qaeda, but no one in the new administrator took him up on the offer.
The authors tell us that the governments of Israel, France and Egypt issued warnings of an upcoming al-Qaeda attack in the United States. All were ignored.
As time passed, several more opportunities were missed. Only a few days before 9/11, suspicions from instructors at the Pan Am International Flight Academy in Minneapolis over new student Zacarias Moussaouri prompted the manager to alert the local FBI. Moussaouri’s leading questions about the “damage an airliner could cause if it collided with something” had aroused concerns. The local FBI official reacted quickly and Moussaouri was detained on grounds of an expired visa. Although the lead agent sent 70 messages to the head office for approval for search warrants, he was blocked at every turn. Only after 9/11 was it discovered that Moussaouri was part of a team to ram airplanes into buildings.
And this is only one example of many that Summers and Swan bring to light in this book. Did the American government fail the American people? Tragically and sadly, the answer is: yes.
The publisher’s book jacket says that: “The Eleventh Day is the essential one-volume work on a pivotal event in our history.”
I couldn’t have said it better.
“Essential.”—The Wall Street Journal
“Meticulous, comprehensive . . . an extraordinary synthesis.”—John Farmer, 9/11 Commission senior counsel
“This wide-angle look . . . examines the personalities behind the terror plot, U.S. intelligence blunders, the toxic environmental impact on first responders, the march to war, [and] gray areas in the 9/11 Commission Report.”—The Washington Post
“The best available general account of 9/11—soberly written, judiciously weighed, meticulously sourced.”—The Sunday Times
“A sweeping report on the Saudis’ broad involvement in the 9/11 attacks.”—Vanity Fair
“Tick-tock journalism . . . a micro-feel for a macro-event.”—The Star-Ledger
“Stunning . . . retells [the] events with unbridled drama.”—Boston Sunday Globe
Top customer reviews
There are many people out there (and I know a few personally) who will never be convinced that 9-11 was not an 'inside job' and that the Pentagon was not hit by a plane but a missile, the Twin Towers were demolished by bombs planted by Americans, and the planes that crashed that day were drones.
Page-by-page the authors carefully put the puzzle together so that by page 100 you pretty much have a blueprint of the actions of the day. However, it is very clear that numerous questions regarding the White House and whether the President/Vice President ordered fighter jets to shoot down suspicious planes that morning remain unanswered. The military, White House operatives & those-in-the-know have differing opinions of what transpired while Bush was in the air.
They have interviewed many people who were at the scene that morning and have poured over countless reports and studies. What they write is convincing. It is not a book you can read cover-to-cover in one sitting. It is laborious and time-consuming because it transforms you back to that bright, sunny September morning in NYC when all was well one moment and all hell breaks out in a heartbeat.
I still have questions about that day I am sure will never be answered to my satisfaction. Ten years later, I cannot shake the 'gut' feeling I have about the French brothers who just happened to be in NYC, just happened to be filming a documentary on NYC Firemen, who just happened to be stationed within visual site of the World Trade Centers, who just happened to be in the street when the first plane hit, who just happened to take the only known shots of the plane hitting the tower, who somehow managed to gain access (carte blanche)to action inside the WTC when no American cameras were allowed in, and who both somehow managed to make it out alive!!! No one will ever convince me this was just a lucky break for these two foreign photographers.
With that exception, I believe what we saw happen on 9-11 happened as we saw it. No missiles under the planes, no bombs planted in the WTC that brought the buildings down, no missiles into the Pentagon. The US government had ample warning this was going to occur. So did President Roosevelt just before Pearl Harbor. Both events got us into wars.
The events of that morning have cost this country billions upon billions of dollars in both reconstruction and defense spending for soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan,etc. 'They' beat us down that morning and continue to cause American deaths on a weekly basis in the war zones. The US government knows full well what countries were involved in a major way that morning and will never hold them accountable for very personal and political reasons.
Ten years after 9-11, Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan in the home he and his family had lived in for many years, protected by the Pakistani government. Pakistan continues to take millions of dollars of US aid with one hand, and stab us in the back with the other, with a smile on their face. The US government does nothing about this. In the meantime, Pakistan is cozying up to our enemies just in case we stop funding them in the future. They will not suffer a bit. They see the US going down the financial drain and they are jumping ship while they can.
This book answers just about every question that has been asked in the last 10 years. You may not like their answers but they back them up. Of course there are those of you who will say they were paid to write this and print what the US wants us to continue thinking really happened on 9-11. The authors can't win, can they? Regardless of what the real truth is, there are thousands of men, women and children who died that morning and countless thousands who were their families who will never be whole again. I cannot believe it has been ten years! It feels like it happened last week. It always will.
The book opens with the most accurate and well-documented timeline of events yet published. It follows this up with a blistering criticism of the many personal failures in our defense apparatus and the administration of Pres. George W. Bush. The FAA, the FBI, the CIA, and even the NSA are all brought before the docket and found lacking in both training and professionalism. Names are named, careers are ended, and the history of 9/11 is finally told in crystalline detail and exactitude with precise, verifiable, genuine sources. There is very little speculation and no hyperbole, making it a bit of a dry read, but facts are facts and in cases like this it is vital to get your facts straight before you start making accusations.
Genuinely scientific future historians will begin their research of the events of that tragic morning with this book. When the realistic movies and true to life documentaries are finally made and the speculative, mythologized accounts of insider involvement and black flag conspiracies finally die down, this book will be at the heart of the transition from internet myth into verified history.
The book begins with the very human story of a group of people who by the end of the day will share the common fate of becoming victims to something much larger and out of sight of most citizens. Not tempted by patriotic jingoism, the book, through competent and seemingly exhaustive research builds a story based on interactions, memos and eye witness accounts from both sides of the confrontation. This "factual" approach allows the reader (for the most) to draw their own interpretation of the shadowy world of Realpolitik. Occasionally the book indulges those that in hindsight should have been listened too with more intent. On the whole, The Eleventh Day is a worthy contribution to a story that one has the suspicion is yet far from told in it's entirety.
This book is no exception.
We get an exhaustive rendition of the events before, during and after 9/11. The authors take up step by step through the actions of the parties on all sides and provides some thought provoking questions about the perpetrators.
It is a long book, certain parts are extensively examined even looking at the internet sites that purport to debunk the fact that 9/11 ever happened the way history has told us it happened.