Saturday, May 7, 2016
Exclusive: New Photos Show Bush’s Response To 9/11 Attacks
On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, the presidency of George W. Bush changed instantly. In a new collection of never-before-seen photographs from that day, the president can be seen responding to the worst terrorist attack in United States history — an event that would redefine his time in office and propel the nation into two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The images, which were given to FRONTLINE through a Freedom of Information Act request, provide a new window into President Bush’s actions on 9/11 — from the initial scramble for information upon learning of the attack at an elementary school in Florida, to his meetings with senior staff throughout the day, and his return to the White House that evening, where in an address to the nation he vowed to “find those responsible and bring them to justice.”
The images were released Friday in response to a FOIA request by Colette Neirouz Hanna, coordinating producer for the Kirk Documentary Group, which has covered the legacy of 9/11 in multiple films for FRONTLINE, including Bush’s War, Cheney’s Law, and the forthcoming investigation The Secret History of ISIS.
The collection of photos from the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum is now the third to be released in response to FOIA requests from Neirouz Hanna. One batch, released by the National Archives in July 2015, contained more than 350 behind-the-scenes images of 9/11 by Vice President Dick Cheney’s personal photographer. A set of 2,664 images released one month earlier provided a rare glimpse of Cheney’s tenure in office.