There was a fascinating Vanity Fair exclusive that came out earlier this week about the 9/11/2001 attacks. Michael Bronner, one of the associate producers from the film United 93, was able to obtain tapes from NORAD’s northeast headquarters that were recorded during the 2001 attacks and wrote out an in-depth examination of them, including transcript snippets and audio clips.

Part of the subtitle of the piece—”the author reconstructs the chaotic military history of that day—and the Pentagon’s apparent attempt to cover it up”—sounds more titillating than it really is. The ‘coverup’ was little more than standard government spin to try any make them look like they did a better job than they really did. Anybody who follows the activities of the federal bureaucracy is aware that kind of thing happens every day.

But it is worth seeing where the system didn’t work on 9/11. The more we know and understand about those attacks, the better equipped we will be to handle the next ones.

  • 9/11 Live: The NORAD Tapes (Vanity Fair [no longer available]).