Windows on the World of 9-11

My first time to visit the World Trade Center in New York was about 30 years ago.  I was General counsel to an investment banking firm and had to attend a conference at the Windows on the World restaurant near the top of one of the twin towers.  I recall the spectacular view.

When I learned of the attack on 9-11 I was checking the news on the internet.  I turned on the TV because it seemed to have more immediate news.  When I saw the replay of the planes hitting the towers, one of my thoughts was that those above the attack point would have a difficult time getting down.  That was in fact, the case as some of the victims were staffing Windows on the World.

Many others were also trapped who worked at prestigious firms near the top.  Later when the intense fire caused by the crash started melting the support structure and then the building started collapsing  it was really extraordinary that so many people did escape the carnage.

I have friends who witnessed the plane hitting the Pentagon.

What many people do not realise is that it was not the first attack by al Qaeda against the US.  During the Clinton administration, there were bombings of African embassies and on the USS Cole.  That administration chose to respond with a lawfare approach to the war being waged against the US.  This was a mistake that would have fatal consequences on 9-11.

During the trial of some of those responsible for the African embassy bombings, in order to prove Osama bin Laden's responsibility, the prosecution introduced satellite phone intercepts of bin Laden talking with the bombers.  Not surprisingly, after that the phone went dead and the US lost this valuable intelligence link that might have disclosed the 9-11 attacks.


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