My 9/11: A Personal Reflection by General Jack Keane

Members Only Subscribe to read the full article

I was in the Pentagon on 9/11 and lost 85 teammates from the Army Headquarters (among the 125 people killed in the Pentagon and the 59 passengers who died on Flight 77), including a dear friend, Lt. Gen. Timothy J. Maude, a three‐star general. My secretary lost five friends she had known for more than 20 years. We sent a general officer to every funeral. Terry, my wife, and I attended scores of funerals. Most were buried in Arlington, all together at a site selected in view of the Pentagon.

On that fateful day, I was in my office when one of my staff rushed in to turn on the TV and advise me something terrible had happened in New York City. I saw that a plane had hit the World Trade Center (WTC). I am a born and raised New Yorker. I noticed it was a blue‐sky day and you could not hit the WTC by accident. I knew in 1993 terrorists had tried to bomb the WTC and bring it down from an underground parking garage. I knew instinctively it had to be a terrorist attack and said as much. I ordered the Army Operations Center (AOC) to be brought up to full manning (which was fortuitous because many who occupied it came from the blast area where the plane would eventually hit the Pentagon). The Pentagon is five stories high and five stories below ground level. It houses on a normal day about 25,000 people, most of them civilians. Up until the time the Sears tower was built in Chicago, it was the largest office building in the U.S. The AOC was on the lowest floor.

The Cipher Brief has become the most popular outlet for former intelligence officers; no media outlet is even a close second to The Cipher Brief in terms of the number of articles published by formers.” —Sept. 2018, Studies in Intelligence, Vol. 62

Access all of The Cipher Brief‘s national security-focused expert insight by becoming a Cipher Brief Subscriber+Member.

Continue Reading

Get access to all our briefs

Sign up Today

Categorized as:International

Related Articles

Search

Close