The Center for Grassroots Oversight

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Profile: Chris Henick

Chris Henick was a participant or observer in the following events:

According to New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s 9/11 Commission testimony in 2004, about one minute before the first WTC tower falls, he is able to reach the White House by phone. Speaking to Chris Henick, deputy political director to President Bush, Giuliani learns the Pentagon has been hit and he asks about fighter cover over New York City. Henick replies, “The jets were dispatched 12 minutes ago and they should be there very shortly, and they should be able to defend you against further attack.” (9/11 Commission 5/19/2004) If this is true, it means fighters scramble from the Otis base around 9:46 a.m., not at 8:52 a.m., as most other accounts have claimed. While Giuliani’s account may seem wildly off, it is consistent with reports shortly after 9/11. In the first few days, acting Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Richard Myers, and a NORAD spokesman, Marine Corps Major Mike Snyder, claimed no fighters were scrambled anywhere until after the Pentagon was hit. (US Congress 9/13/2001; Johnson 9/15/2001) This story only changed on the evening of September 14, 2001, when CBS reported, “contrary to early reports, US Air Force jets did get into the air on Tuesday while the attacks were under way.” (CBS News 9/14/2001)


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