DoD Staffer’s Notes from 9/11 Obtained Under FOIA
On July 23, 2005, I submitted an electronic Freedom
of Information Act request to the Department of Defense
seeking DoD staffer Stephen Cambone’s notes from
meetings with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on
the afternoon of September 11, 2001. Cambone’s notes
were cited heavily in the 9/11 Commission Report’s
reconstruction of the day’s events. On February 10,
2006, I received a response from the DoD which
includes partially-redacted copies of Cambone’s notes.
The documents can be viewed as a photo set on Flickr.
The released notes document Donald Rumsfeld’s 2:40
PM instructions to General Myers to find the “[b]est
info fast . . . judge whether good enough [to] hit S.H. [Saddam Hussein] at same time – not only UBL [Usama Bin Laden]” (as discussed on p. 334-335 of the 9/11 Commission Report and in Bob Woodward’s Plan of Attack).
In addition, the documents confirm the contents of CBS News’ Sept. 4, 2002 report “Plans For Iraq Attack Began on 9/11,” which quoted Rumsfeld’s notes as stating: “Go massive . . . Sweep it all up. Things related and not.” These lines were not mentioned in the 9/11 Commission Report or Woodward’s Plan of Attack, and to my knowledge, have not been independently confirmed by any other source. After the Rathergate fiasco, I wondered if CBS had been fooled into publishing a story that, from a publicity perspective, seemed too good to be true.
Finally, these documents unveil a previously undisclosed part of the 2:40 PM discussion. Several lines below the “judge whether good enough [to] hit S.H. at same time” line, Cambone’s notes from the conversation read: “Hard to get a good case.”
In addition to being available as a photo set on Flickr, you can download the documents in PDF format below. BitTorrent users can also download a 6.9 MB zip file containing PDFs of all the documents. [Torrent / Prodigem torrent details page]
Notes from 12:05 PM meeting [PDF]
Notes from 12:05 PM meeting (negative) [PDF]
Notes from 2:40 PM meeting [PDF]
Notes from 2:40 PM meeting (negative) [PDF]
Notes from 9:53 PM meeting [PDF]
Notes from 9:53 PM meeting (negative) [PDF]
DoD’s FOIA release letter [PDF]
Raw scan of page 3 of notes [PDF]
Raw scan of page 5 of notes [PDF]
Raw scan of page 6 of notes [PDF]
Raw scan of page 9 of notes [PDF]