Newly Released Photos Show Reactions of President, Vice-President, to the 9/11 Attacks

Newly Released Photos Show Reactions of President, Vice-President, to the 9/11 Attacks

A set of over 300 never-before-released photos taken on September 11, 2001 has just been posted on the U.S. National Archives' Flickr page. These images take us right into the middle of meetings between President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State Colin Powell, and more. They offer us a powerful look at the reactions of our nation's leaders as they are faced with the largest terrorist attack ever on U.S. soil.

The photos were part of a set of 2,664 images released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request submitted by Colette Neirouz Hanna, Coordinating Producer at the Kirk Documentary Group. The photos were shot by Vice President Cheney's personal photographer David Bohrer. The album shows Cheney watching footage of the attacks in his office, as well as his meetings with President Bush and other senior staff members in the President’s Emergency Operations Center.

Check out some images from the gallery below, or view the entire set on Flickr.

Vice President Cheney in the President's Emergency Operations Center (PEOC)

President Bush with Vice President Cheney and Senior Staff in the President's Emergency Operations Center (PEOC)

Secretary of State Colin Powell in the President's Emergency Operations Center (PEOC)

President Bush with Vice President Cheney and Senior Staff in the President's Emergency Operations Center (PEOC)

Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice in the President's Emergency Operations Center (PEOC)

Vice President Cheney with Laura Bush, Lynne Cheney and Senior Staff in the President's Emergency Operations Center (PEOC)

Vice President Cheney with National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice in the President's Emergency Operations Center (PEOC)

Vice President Cheney Watches Television

[via PBS]

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38 Comments
Prefers Film's picture

The first image is Cheney's 1/60th of a second of guilt.

Andrew Strother's picture

There's always "that" guy. Congratulations on being him.

Prefers Film's picture

Thanks. If you post political photos, you should be prepared for a strong reaction. This ain't your first rodeo, is it? ;)

I'm sure there were some people that worried Cheney would have trouble balancing his political roles with his own financial interests, but it does not appear that he ever had a moment of indecision. He simply put his own interests first. In my opinion, he is one of the reasons that America is so hated by people in other countries. Greedy, shameless, and with no moral compass. And we elected him. Repeatedly.

The photos are interesting, but they are no more or less important than those of the innocent people who have lost their lives due to America's hubris.

Andrew Strother's picture

If this was a political site then political opinions would be appropriate. This is, however, a photography site, and the photos in this post are documenting history, not commenting on it. The internet is a surprisingly vast place where I guarantee you can find a venue to discuss your political views. The respectful thing to do would be to restrict your political opinions to appropriate forums.

Also, your original comment was not an attempt at political discourse, it was a poorly executed attempt at humor; just as the last sentence you typed was a poorly executed straw man.

Prefers Film's picture

I can assure you that my original comment was not an attempt at humor.

B Jota's picture

This is a real life issue that affects the lives of Billions of people around the world even today. Like Prefers Film says, if you post political photos be prepared for strong reactions. Nobody here is commenting on his gear or composition are they?

Daniel LLOYD's picture

If the content of the shot is irrelevant then what's the point of the photo. Also why bother documenting history at all if we aren't going to discuss it.

Would you only have people discus the technical and stylistic aspects? To me that feels shallow.

I'm not saying I agree with the gentlemen's comment but I do find it obnoxious to tell people what they can and can't discuss, when the whole point of recording such events is so that we can learn from them.

Patrick Hall's picture

I'm not sure I follow....Bush and Cheney were just recently elected and put into office. No Iraqi war had happened yet, so I don't see how he can be much to blame for anything. Anything done up until that point was under a different presidency or voted the green light by the majority of congress.

Andrew Strother's picture

Hey now! Get outta here with your fascist logic! G'on now! Git!

Prefers Film's picture

You should learn to differentiate between opinions of our Executive Office, and criticsm of your article. Don't take it so personal. Unless you voted for them, although you don't seem old enough to have voted back then.

Andrew Strother's picture

Oh I don't feel criticized at all, I was merely posting a news piece. I just thought your original comment was childish and unnecessary. The internet is a free place though, you get to post your comments and I get to post mine and in three weeks neither of us will remember or care about them anymore, because cat videos.

Prefers Film's picture

And that's the beauty of the internet (Not just the cats). You don't know me, you don't know my sense of humor, and you don't know when I am being serious or not. (For what it's worth, I was very serious about the idea of Cheney actually feeling some sort of guilt, rather than just making a profit at the expense of taxpayers, the lives of our servicemen, and innocent citizens of foreign countries)

My disgust for politicians runs pretty deep. I have a great respect for the founding fathers of this country, and I'm sure they would be appalled by what has happened to the system they helped create.

And I think drones are replacing cats, at least for a while. A drone flown by a cat, with fireworks on board, soundtrack by PSY. That would OWN the internets.

Andrew Strother's picture

Kinda crazy when you think about it right? We (the universal "we", not myself and you specifically) get so worked up and form these concrete opinions about people we really only know maybe 1% about, and then we say really intense things based off of those minimal impressions.

I think you and I very much in the same place about politicians and the current state of government and how the founders would feel about it.

Good point, it's all about drones now. I am now very excited for the first video of a cat riding a drone. In a little Rambo costume.

Prefers Film's picture

Cheney's business interests were firmly rooted in military and other overseas ventures before he was VP. The attacks opened the door for his own interests even further. Didn't Halliburton make $39B off the Iraq war?

Patrick Hall's picture

Yes, we all know who Cheney is and what his business was. I'm just not sure I understand your original comment about him second guessing his investments or about him feeling guilty. Just because you invest in oil, military tech, or any other overseas capital doesn't mean you should feel guilty when nut jobs pull off something purely evil.

Prefers Film's picture

I'd like to think that for at least one brief moment, he cared about the lives lost, before he went back to figuring out how to profit from the events of the day.

Luc Szczepanski's picture

Photos are designed to tell a story, or illicit a reaction. To suggest that someone shouldn't have a political reaction to a politically set photograph is a bit farfetched.

Ernesto Gonzalez's picture

There's always an Obama apologetic to the world person, mostly everywhere you go. Not even the photography community can escape this individuals. I hope you don't live in the United States of America cus otherwise your comments wouldn't make much sense.

Simon Patterson's picture

The president's first reaction to hearing of the 9/11 attacks was actually to read "My Pet Goat" with a class of school children.

JD J's picture

I dont know why there are two "thumbs down"... this is a factually correct statement. Bush was not in DC, but in Florida at an elementary school during the first plane crash. He then flew to Barksdale AFB, LA, then Offut AFB, NE. He landed at Andrews AFB, MD, later that night. The pictures on the flicker site give a deceiving timelime as it jumbles pictures of Cheney in the PEOC, on Marine-2, (since POTUS isnt on board), Camp David, Bush with Cheney in PEOC, and Cheney in his office during the day.

Mokhtar Chahine's picture

I don't get the white house sometimes, so 9/11 happens, and a photographer is on the loose taking photos during intense moments "shutter sound".

Some of these photos look staged, "Oh hey POTUS, lets take some photos and release them after a couple of years, so they can remember you were on the face of all this mess"

Patrick Hall's picture

The white house has a photographer shooting every single hour. They are used to it by now. If anything this was the best time to be taking photographs.

Mokhtar Chahine's picture

I had no idea, thanks for that peoce of info, do you think they have super silent shutters ?

Morgan Moller's picture

The current White House photographer is an amazing photographer called Pete Souza. Definitely look his work up, he shot some amazing amazing images. I gathered a small selection of them in a blog post I did a while back, super amazing stuff really. Being able to work under such pressure and still have the time and eye for composition, I tip my hat !

https://morganmoller.wordpress.com/2014/03/06/feeding-your-creativy-the-...

Daniel LLOYD's picture

These are incredible, thanks for sharing.

Andrew Strother's picture

They were released because of a FOIA request, not some intentional act of the government. The White House employs multiple photojournalists to document history as it happens. Also, I guarantee that the photographer's shutter was far from the loudest thing in that room.

Mokhtar Chahine's picture

I can imagine !

Roger Batchelor Jr's picture

I usually don't respond to posts but I have to say..... If you post strong images or images that are likely to cause a strong emotional response, then you have to be prepared to have people respond with sometimes emotionally driven comments and reactions. 9/11 is a period of time that has affected almost everyone.
For FS staff ( or whatever it means to have a the little FS by your pic ) to call someone out is bullying and something that we should be well past. We all have different opinions. We are photographers and that alone might make us see life and images differently than most so we need to accept that and not complain that someone posted something that they do not understand or feel.

Prefers Film's picture

Hey, I don't feel bullied. I just feel that some people are taking my comments personally, when they shouldn't. It's my reaction to the images.

michael buehrle's picture

if we are just talking about the photos then i think they are kind of stale. they don't tell any story and the only one that even has a "date" on it is the last one where he is watching it on tv. any of the others could have been taken at any time in their years in the house. Mrs. Rice looks sleepy in one too. as photos go they are just your average pic. could have been taken by your average high school kid.

Anonymous's picture

Interesting look into the most powerful control room of the known universe. Too bad they didn`t have Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock to guide them in the right direction.

Ralph Frattura's picture

So the site operators expect one kind of audience response, and the audience delivers something else. That's never happened before on the internet.
I'm with the people who find the shots kinda dead. (My biggest moment: Why is Laura Bush there? Is this meeting room The Bunker? That and: Hey, they have cookies at meetings too.)
These comments are far more interesting. Be grateful, Fstoppers.

Prefers Film's picture

And why is Laura Bush throwing gang signs?

Andrew Strother's picture

Illuminati brah.

Jon McGuffin's picture

It's an interesting set of images at a very important point that took place and time in our country. I'm thankful to see the images, thankful for how our government and people responded to the attack, and continue to be thankful for the governments ability to continue to fight terrorism now 12+ years afterwards through many different changes in political leadership.

Deleted Account's picture

Typical liberal arrogance in full display. Some people just can't help themselves.

Anonymous's picture

It is a shame that the word and point of view "Liberal" has become un-American. Democracy in the USA was founded on liberal progressive principles,

Deleted Account's picture

True, very true.. Liberal or now Libertarian... But I believe the country was founded on Judeo-Christian principles... not progressive principles. :-)