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White House what do you think EW are.
One of his top advisors and you are now supposed to give him advice about something that.
Quite honestly wasn't a playbook for this was this was all of a sudden you guys were thrust into something you did not expect.
Now no in fact I remember as we had a president.
I need to talk with press about this after He got briefed by whatever the snippets of information you could get from the initial phone calls.
He said we need to say some in the press I remember sitting at a table.
It there were the India I think -- gold desk had been taken out of this particular classroom that we were using as a scaffold.
-- literally sitting in one of those little elementary school chairs and little of those little elementary school.
Activity desks with a piece of Paper and scribbling the comments He was gonna make to the country with you know Ari Fleischer and Dan.
-- live in NI and a couple of others making suggestions to him about it it was at that moment that anymore and -- ahead of the Secret Service detail -- -- came in.
And said Mr.
President we need to get you airborne we need to get to the airport an airborne as quickly as possible.
The Secret Service have become concerned the president's whereabouts public whereabouts unknown they they were afraid that there would be an effort to decapitate the government.
And so they wanted to get him to the safest place they can get into quickly and that was Air Force One they're worried that somebody might try to -- a plane into the elementary school were blow -- up with a bomb.
They wanna -- president of most secure place they could as quickly as possible that was the airport and therefore.
Which ones did you feel at that time that there was a probability or possibility I'd -- a possibility that.
That you were maybe.
-- -- target range that we didn't know who the enemy was within know what was gonna have right next.
Yeah I know you'd want in a mobile like that you.
Sort of focus at the at the task at hand and it's only later that you recognize.
That that that there could have been a threat.
We got in the motorcade of president -- for me to get into the limousine with him.
And as we sped to the airport He got reports.
Believe that the Pentagon strike as we are en -- to the airport.
It was a very unusual -- because most times presidential motorcade goes to forty or 45 miles an hour.
That day we made the five plus miles to the airport in just over four minutes I mean.
We were going very very fast and when we got to the airport the president.
You know -- you've seen and countless number of presidential drivers arrivals or departures.
If there's a departure the president shakes hands at the bottom of the steps when this goes says goodbye.
Takes his time walks up the stairs by itself turns round at the top steps of waves to the crowd.
And then goes on into the -- into the into the craft and then a few minutes later three or four minutes later the staff comes in.
Up the stairs and and five or ten minutes after that after the plane is so filled up.
They they they turn up the engines Begin to move the -- and that's not how it happened that day the president got about.
Just over -- -- up the stairs are standing next to any Moran's all the -- -- looked at me and said move.
And -- up the stairs and we all began running up the steps and I remember looking as I got about halfway up the steps.
Over to my right and underneath the wing tip of the Air Force One they've forced all the media to drop all of their equipment.
And they were going over with a bomb dog they were afraid to somebody might try to smuggle bomb onto the plane and they were taking no.
You know there are taking -- -- taking every possible precaution and as they -- pieces of equipment to stewards of the airplane would grab.
Handfuls of this so the press equipment and throw it onto the airplane as people ran up the steps.
One of the when you get on their one of the reporters it was on Air Force One with you that day I've talked to many times an old friend and she said that.
You took off in the end the the device to showed the air show the shows where you are.
What airport you're going to what your elevation altitude speed all those sorts of nice things are.
That they turn that off that nobody on that plane new.
Where you were going.
Well we knew where we are going we just -- want to Preston that you don't know where we're going we.
We flew on north Sarasota and then cut west over the peninsula the Florida peninsula and began to make our way up the East Coast.
And while we're doing this there was a debate going on and they indicated -- on the plane.
In an idea I never made it to my seat the president -- to me to sit in the chair across from him in his in his personal office and that's where I spent a lot of the day.
And immediately they're began to be a debate the president said He wanted to return to Washington and the that the Pentagon the military the vice president the FBI all of them tried the Secret Service all tried to discourage the president from returning to -- -- Because this and we don't know -- we don't know and we can't guarantee the security airspace over Washington.
In this this conversation continued as we made our way up the East Coast of the Florida peninsula.
Andy card made -- made you know made the case not to return to portion and at one point He said any Moran's all in to make the case -- -- -- bush is not in any does not managed by anger.
But He sort of snap Canadian said you -- and if you wants to make the Idec argument coming make himself.
Finally one of the military aides I came up to can -- help contribute to solution.
And that was the the plane did not have a full fuel so they said Mr.
We want to take the craft to the nearest military installation that is on blocked -- completely secure.
And that's the -- headquarters of the eight air force in Shreveport Louisiana.
And Barksdale Air Force Base in their we will load the plane -- full fuel load we will offload extraneous personnel -- we've got a lighter load on the plane.
And then that way if when you get to -- and you cannot land the plane you're able to circle until you can.
And -- but they were they were trying to discourage the president from from doing this and He was pretty insistent right from the get go I need to be in Washington.
-- in the meantime you land.
And if I remember right -- if I'm wrong but I thought there the president did make the quick comment -- the school.
And then I thought they made a comment when He was at Barksdale -- Is my -- certainly mean yes He did.
Yes she AS I believe it's the first time uses the word war but now he's received reports that this is likely to be the work of al-Qaeda.
And it is clear that this is you know the it was clear to him the moment that the second plane hit that we are war.
And He -- but is is the first time which uses the word and we -- at Barksdale and the president wanted to return to Washington and the military said the Defense Department and others said Mr.
President we can't guarantee the security over the over war should you -- -- them coming back.
They said Mr.
President that we've disperse the leadership of the government to secure locations around Washington.
The secretary of state is in South America.
The nearest facility at which we can get a secure video conference to link all of them together.
Is often air force base in Omaha Nebraska.
You know it's interesting Helm rapidly technology has changed now President Obama travels with a small suitcase that if He plugs it into any.
Internet outlook gives -- the capacity to have secure video conference.
With people all around the world anywhere that He has been -- in the technology was a little was not as far advanced certainly not available.
On Air Force One so we won't we like to leave the president authorized us to go to often air force base but as we left Barksdale He told me.
This is the last excuse you're gonna give me were going back to Washington office.
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