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Profile: Richard B. Myers

 
  

Positions that Richard B. Myers has held:

  • Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • Chief of Space Command


 

Quotes

 
  

Quote, 2000

   “The American military is built to dominate all phases and mediums of combat. We must acknowledge that our way of war requires superiority in all mediums of conflict, including space. Thus, we must plan for, and execute to win, space superiority.” [American Foreign Services Association, 4/2001]

Associated Events


 

Relations

 
  

No related entities for this entity.


 

Richard B. Myers actively participated in the following events:

 
  

2000      US Military

       General Richard B. Myers, chief of Space Command, states: “The American military is built to dominate all phases and mediums of combat. We must acknowledge that our way of war requires superiority in all mediums of conflict, including space. Thus, we must plan for, and execute to win, space superiority.” [Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, 1/2001; American Foreign Services Association, 4/2001; Yes Magazine, Summer 2001]
People and organizations involved: Richard B. Myers
          

End of 2001-early 2002      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       US Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld authorizes the creation of a “special-access program,” or SAP, with “blanket advance approval to kill or capture and, if possible, interrogate ‘high value’ targets in the Bush administration's war on terror.” [The New Yorker, 5/15/2004; The Guardian, 9/13/2004] The operation, known as “Copper Green,” is approved by Condoleezza Rice and known to President Bush. [The New Yorker, 5/15/2004 Sources: Unnamed former US intelligence official] A SAP is an ultra secret project, the contents of which are known by very few officials. “We're not going to read more people than necessary into our heart of darkness,” a former senior intelligence official tells investigative reporter Seymour Hersh. [The Guardian, 9/13/2004; The New Yorker, 5/15/2004] The SAP is brought up occasionally within the National Security Council (NSC), chaired by the president and members of which are Rumsfeld, Cheney, and Powell. The former intelligence official tells Hersh, “There was a periodic briefing to the National Security Council giving updates on results, but not on the methods.” He also says he believes NSC members know about the process by which these results are acquired. Motive for the SAP comes from an initial freeze in the results obtained by US agents from their hunt for al-Qaeda. Friendly foreign intelligence services on the other hand, from countries in the Middle East and South-East Asia, which employ more aggressive tactics on prisoners, are giving up much better information by the end of 2001. By authorizing the SAP, Rumsfeld, according to Hersh, desires to adopt these tactics and thus increase intelligence results. “Rumsfeld's goal was to get a capability in place to take on a high-value target—a stand-up group to hit quickly,” the former intelligence official tells Hersh. The program's operatives were recruited from among Delta Force, Navy Seals, and CIA's paramilitary experts. They are given, according to Hersh, “blanket advance approval to kill or capture and, if possible, interrogate high-value targets.” They are permitted to carry out “instant interrogations—using force if necessary—at secret CIA detention centers scattered around the world.” Information obtained through the program is sent to the Pentagon in real-time. The former intelligence official tells Hersh: “The rules are ‘Grab whom you must. Do what you want.’ ” [The Guardian, 9/13/2004] The operation, according to Seymour Hersh, “encouraged physical coercion and sexual humiliation.” [The New Yorker, 5/15/2004]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Richard B. Myers, George W. Bush, Richard ("Dick") Cheney, Colin Powell
          

(January 30, 2001): First National Security Council Meeting Focuses on Iraq and Israel, Not Terrorism      Complete 911 Timeline, Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       The Bush White House holds its first National Security Council meeting. The focus is on Iraq and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. [Bamford, 2004, pp 261 Sources: Paul O'Neill]
Israeli-Palestinian conflict - “We're going to correct the imbalances of the previous administration on the Mideast conflict,” Bush reportedly tells his national security team. “We're going to tilt it back toward Israel.” His view is that the Israeli government, currently headed by Ariel Sharon, should be left alone to deal as it sees fit with the Palestinians. “I'm not going to go by past reputations when it comes to Sharon. I'm going to take him at face value. We'll work on a relationship based on how things go.” Justifying his position, he recalls a recent trip he took to Israel with the Republican Jewish Coalition. “We flew over the Palestinian camps. Looked real bad down there. ... I don't see much we can do over there at this point.” Powell, surprised by Bush's intended policy towards the 50-year old Israeli-Palestinian conflict, objects. According to Secretary of Treasury Paul O'Neil, Powell “stresse[s] that a pullback by the United States would unleash Sharon and the Israeli army.” When Powell warns the president that the “consequences of that [policy] could be dire, especially for the Palestinians,” Bush shrugs. “Sometimes a show of strength by one side can really clarify things,” he suggests. [Bamford, 2004, pp 265-266]
Iraq - The meeting then moves on to the subject of Iraq. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice begins noting “that Iraq might be the key to reshaping the entire region.” She turns the meeting over to CIA director George Tenet who summarizes current intelligence on Iraq. He mentions a factory that “might” be producing “either chemical or biological materials for weapons manufacture.” The evidence he provides is a picture of the factory with some truck activity, a water tower, and railroad tracks going into a building. He admits that there is “no confirming intelligence.” [Bamford, 2004, pp 267] US Secretary of Treasury Paul O'Neill, later recalls: “From the very beginning, there was a conviction, that Saddam Hussein was a bad person and that he needed to go ... From the very first instance, it was about Iraq. It was about what we can do to change this regime. Day one, these things were laid and sealed.” O'Neill will say officials never questioned the logic behind this policy. No one ever asked, “Why Saddam?” and “Why now?” Instead, the issue that needed to be resolved was how this could be accomplished. “It was all about finding a way to do it,” O'Neill will explain. “That was the tone of it. The president saying ‘Go find me a way to do this.’ ” [CBS News, 1/10/04; New York Times, 1/12/04; Guardian, 1/12/04; Vanity Fair, 5/04, pg 234 Sources: Paul O'Neill] Another official who attends the meeting will later say that the tone of the meeting implied a policy much more aggressive than that of the previous administration. “The president told his Pentagon officials to explore the military options, including use of ground forces,” the official will tell ABC News. “That went beyond the Clinton administration's halfhearted attempts to overthrow Hussein without force.” [ABC News, 1/13/04 Sources: Unnamed senior official of the Bush administration] The council does more than just discuss Iraq. It makes a decision to allow the Iraqi National Congress (INC), an Iraqi opposition group, to use $4 million to fund efforts inside Iraq to compile information relating to Baghdad's war crimes, military operations, and other internal developments. The money had been authorized by Congress in late 2004. The US has not directly funded Iraqi opposition activities inside Iraq itself since 1996. [Guardian, 2/3/2005] After Paul O'Neill first provides his account of this meeting in 2004, the White House will attempt to downplay its significance. “... The stated policy of my administration toward Saddam Hussein was very clear,” Bush will tell reporters during a visit to Mexico In January 2004. “Like the previous administration, we were for regime change. ... And in the initial stages of the administration, as you might remember, we were dealing with desert badger or fly-overs and fly-betweens and looks, and so we were fashioning policy along those lines.” [New York Times, 1/12/04]
People and organizations involved: George Tenet, Colin Powell, Richard B. Myers, Paul O'Neill, Iraqi National Congress, George W. Bush, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld
          

February 1, 2001: Rumsfeld Envisions Post-Saddam Iraq      Complete 911 Timeline, Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       The Bush White House holds its second National Security Council meeting. Like the first meeting (see (January 30, 2001)), the issue of regime change in Iraq is a central topic. [CBS News, 1/10/04; New York Times, 1/12/04] Officials discuss a memo titled “Plan for post-Saddam Iraq,” which talks about troop requirements, establishing war crimes tribunals, and divvying up Iraq's oil wealth. [Sources: Paul O'Neill] Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld argues that by removing Saddam Hussein, the Bush administration would “demonstrate what US policy is all about.” It would also help transform the Middle East, he claims. According to Paul O'Neill, Rumsfeld talks at the meeting “in general terms about post-Saddam Iraq, dealing with the Kurds in the north, the oil fields, the reconstruction of the country's economy, and the ‘freeing of the Iraqi people.’ ” [New York Times, 1/12/04 Sources: Paul O'Neill] Other people, in addition to O'Neill, Bush, and Rumsfeld, who are likely in attendance include Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Colin Powell, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Richard B. Myers. [Sources: National Security Presidential Directives—NSPD-1, 2/13/01]]
People and organizations involved: Paul O'Neill, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Richard B. Myers, George Tenet, George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld
          

July 3, 2001: Rare Discussion Takes Place Between National Security Advisers on Terrorism      Complete 911 Timeline

       This is one of only two dates that Bush's national security leadership discusses terrorism. (The other discussion occurs on September 4.) Apparently, the topic is only mentioned in passing and is not the focus of the meeting. This group, made up of the national security adviser, CIA director, defense secretary, secretary of state, Joint Chiefs of staff chairman and others, met around 100 times before 9/11 to discuss a variety of topics, but apparently rarely terrorism. The White House “aggressively defended the level of attention [to terrorism], given only scattered hints of al-Qaeda activity.” This lack of discussion stands in sharp contrast to the Clinton administration and public comments by the Bush administration. [Time, 8/4/02] Bush said in February 2001, “I will put a high priority on detecting and responding to terrorism on our soil.” A few weeks earlier, Tenet told Congress, “The threat from terrorism is real, it is immediate, and it is evolving.” [Associated Press, 6/28/02]
People and organizations involved: Richard B. Myers, Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, George Tenet, US Congress, Bush administration, Clinton administration, al-Qaeda
          

August 24, 2001      US Military

       President George W. Bush appoints Gen. Richard Myers, an expert in hi-tech computer and space warfare, as the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Observers say that Bush's nomination of Myers, a former head of the US Space Command, reflects the Bush administration intent to develop a missile defense system and weaponize space. [Reuters, 8/30/2001; US Department of State, 8/24/2001; PBS, 8/24/2001]
People and organizations involved: George W. Bush, Richard B. Myers
          

(After 8:48 a.m.): Joint Chiefs of Staff Vice Chairman Still Oblivious? Accounts Are Contradictory      Complete 911 Timeline

      
Air Force General Richard Myers, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and acting Chairman on 9/11.
Air Force General Richard Myers, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, sees reports of the first WTC crash on television. Myers is acting Chairman of the US military during the 9/11 crisis because Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army General Henry Shelton is flying in a plane across the Atlantic. [ABC News, 9/11/02] Myers sees the television in an outer office of Senator Max Cleland (D), but he says, “They thought it was a small plane or something like that,” so he goes ahead and meets with Cleland. He says, “Nobody informed us” about the second WTC crash, and he remains oblivious to the emergency until the meeting with Cleland ends, and as the Pentagon explosion takes place at 9:37 a.m. Then Myers speaks to General Ralph Eberhart. [Armed Forces Press Service, 10/23/01] Yet, in testimony on September 13, 2001, he states, “after the second tower was hit, I spoke to the commander of NORAD, General Eberhart. And at that point, I think the decision was at that point to start launching aircraft.” [General Myers' confirmation hearing, 9/13/01] NORAD claims the first fighters are scrambled even before the first WTC hit. [NORAD, 9/18/01] In his 2004 testimony before the 9/11 Commission, Myers' account changes again. He says that he gets a call from Eberhart, and then “shortly thereafter that the Pentagon was hit as we were on our way back to the Pentagon.” [9/11 Commission Report, 6/17/04 (B)] Myers' claim that he is out of the loop contradicts not only his previous account but also counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke's account of what Myers does that day. According to Clarke's recollection, Myers takes part in a video conference from about 9:10 a.m. until after 10:00 a.m. (see (9:10 a.m.)). If Myers is not involved in this conference, then his whereabouts and actions remain unknown until he arrives at the NMCC around 10:30 a.m. (see (Before 10:30 a.m.)).
People and organizations involved: Richard B. Myers, Henry H. Shelton, Richard B. Myers, Richard A. Clarke, Ralph Eberhart, Max Cleland
          

(9:10 a.m.): Clarke Directs Crisis Response through Video Conference with Top Officials; 9/11 Commission and Others Barely Mention the Conference      Complete 911 Timeline

       Around this time, counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke reaches the Secure Video Conferencing Center next to the Situation Room in the West Wing of the White House. From there, he directs the response to the 9/11 attacks and stays in contact with other top officials through video links. On video are Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, CIA Director Tenet, FBI Director Mueller, FAA Administrator Jane Garvey, Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson (filling in for the traveling Attorney General Ashcroft), Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage (filling in for the traveling Secretary of State Powell), and Vice-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Myers (filling in for the traveling Chairman Henry Shelton). National Security Adviser Rice is with Clarke, but she lets Clarke run the crisis response, deferring to his longer experience on terrorism matters. Clarke is also told by an aide, “We're on the line with NORAD, on an air threat conference call.” [Clarke, 2004, pp 2-4; Australian, 3/27/04] The 9/11 Commission says of this conference in a staff report: “The White House Situation Room initiated a video teleconference, chaired by Richard Clarke. While important, it had no immediate effect on the emergency defense efforts.” [9/11 Commission Report, 6/17/04] The 9/11 Commission's Final Report covers the conference in greater depth and suggests begins about 15 minutes later than Clarke claims, at 9:25 a.m.(see 9:25 a.m.). Yet, as the Washington Post puts it, “everyone seems to agree” Clarke is the chief crisis manager on 9/11. [Washington Post, 3/28/04 (B)] Even Clarke's later opponent, National Security Adviser Rice, calls him 9/11's “crisis management guy.” [UPI, 4/10/04] The conference is where the government's emergency defense efforts are concentrated.
People and organizations involved: Colin Powell, John Ashcroft, Richard Armitage, Donald Rumsfeld, George Tenet, Richard A. Clarke, Condoleezza Rice, Richard B. Myers, 9/11 Commission, Larry D. Thompson, Robert S. Mueller III, Jane Garvey, Henry H. Shelton, North American Aerospace Defense Command
          

9:28 a.m.: NORAD Possibly Holding ‘Live-Fly’ Training Exercise      Complete 911 Timeline

       According to former counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke, around this time the acting Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Myers tells him via video link: “We are in the middle of Vigilant Warrior, a NORAD exercise, but ... Otis [Air National Guard Base] has launched two birds toward New York.” [Clarke, 2004, pp 5] However, no other references have been found to this exercise, “Vigilant Warrior.” Considering that exercise terms are “normally an unclassified nickname,” [CJCSM, 4/23/98] this is perhaps a little odd. Could Richard Clarke have mistakenly been referring to the Vigilant Guardian exercise (see (6:30 a.m.)), which is taking place on 9/11? According to a later news report though, NORAD confirms that “it was running two mock drills on Sept. 11 at various radar sites and Command Centers in the United States and Canada,” one of these being Vigilant Guardian. [New Jersey Star-Ledger, 12/5/03] If this is correct then there must be another NORAD exercise on 9/11. If not “Vigilant Warrior,” a possibility is that the exercise referred to by Richard Clarke is in fact “Amalgam Warrior,” which is a NORAD-sponsored, large-scale, live-fly air defense and air intercept field training exercise. Amalgam Warrior usually involves two or more NORAD regions and is held twice yearly, in the spring for the West Coast and in the autumn for the East Coast. [Airman, 1996; GlobalSecurity [.org], 4/14/02; Committee on Armed Services, 2000; Arkin, 2005, pp 254] Is it possible that in 2001 the East Coast Amalgam Warrior is being held earlier than usual (like Global Guardian (see 8:30 a.m.)) and is taking place on 9/11? In support of this possibility is a 1997 Defense Department report that describes the Stratcom exercise Global Guardian, saying it “links with other exercise activities sponsored by the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Unified Commands.” The exercises it links with are Crown Vigilance (an Air Combat Command exercise), Apollo Guardian (a US Space Command exercise), and—significantly—the NORAD exercises Vigilant Guardian and Amalgam Warrior. [GlobalSecurity [.org], 10/10/02; Defense Department, 5/97] Since in 2001, Vigilant Guardian (see (6:30 a.m.)) is occurring the same time as Global Guardian, might Amalgam Warrior be as well? In his book Code Names, William Arkin says that Amalgam Warrior is “sometimes combined with Global Guardian.” [Arkin, 2005, pp 254] Amalgam Warrior tests such activities as tracking, surveillance, air interception, employing rules of engagement, attack assessment, electronic warfare, and counter-cruise-missile operations. A previous Amalgam Warrior in 1996 involved such situations as tracking unknown aircraft that had incorrectly filed their flight plans or wandered off course, in-flight emergencies, terrorist aircraft attacks, and large-scale bomber strike missions. Amalgam Warrior 98-1 was NORAD's largest ever exercise and involved six B-1B bombers being deployed to Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, to act as an enemy threat by infiltrating the aerial borders of North America. [Arkin, 2005, pp 254; Airman, 1/96; GlobalSecurity [.org], 4/14/02] Another Amalgam Warrior in fall 2000 similarly involved four B-1 bombers acting as enemy forces trying to invade Alaska, with NORAD going from tracking the unknown aircraft to sending up “alert” F-15s in response. [Eielson News Service, 10/27/00; Associated Press, 10/29/00] If either one (or both) of these exercises ending with the name “Warrior” is taking place on 9/11, this could be very significant, because the word “Warrior” indicates that the exercise is a Joint Chiefs of Staff-approved, Commander in Chief, NORAD-sponsored field training exercise. [NORAD, 8/25/89] Real planes would be pretending to be threats to the US and real fighters would be deployed to defend against them.
People and organizations involved: Ellington Air National Guard Base, Vigilant Guardian, Richard B. Myers, Amalgam Warrior, US Department of Defense, Richard A. Clarke, North American Aerospace Defense Command
          

(Between 9:45-9:55 a.m.): Clarke Initiates Continuity of Government Plans; Hears Shoot Down Talk from Cheney Bunker      Complete 911 Timeline

       At some point after the White House is evacuated, counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke institutes Continuity of Government plans. Important government personnel, especially those in line to succeed the president, are evacuated to alternate Command Centers. Additionally, Clarke gets a phone call from the PEOC Command Center where Vice President Cheney and National Security Adviser Rice are positioned. An aide tells Clarke, “Air Force One is getting ready to take off with some press still on board. [President Bush will] divert to an air base. Fighter escort is authorized. And ... tell the Pentagon they have authority from the president to shoot down hostile aircraft, repeat, they have authority to shoot down hostile aircraft.” However, acting Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Richard Myers wants the rules of engagement clarified before the shootdown order is passed on, so Clarke orders that pilots be given guidelines before receiving shootdown authorization. [Clarke, 2004, pp 8-9] Clarke's account that Cheney is giving shootdown authorization well before 10:00 a.m. matches Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta's account of seeing Cheney giving what he interprets as a shootdown order before the Pentagon crash. [9/11 Commission Report, 5/23/03] However, the 9/11 Commission later asserts that Cheney doesn't make the shootdown decision until about 10:00 a.m. (see (Between 10:00-10:15 a.m.)). [9/11 Commission Report, 6/17/04]
People and organizations involved: Richard A. Clarke, Richard ("Dick") Cheney, Richard B. Myers, Condoleezza Rice, US Department of Defense, George W. Bush, Norman Mineta
          

9:46 a.m.: NMCC Teleconference Still Looking to Include Rumsfeld and Myers      Complete 911 Timeline

       Defense Secretary Rumsfeld's office, and acting Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Myers' office, report to the NMCC teleconference that they are still trying to track down Rumsfeld and Myers, respectively, and bring them into the conference. [9/11 Commission Report, 6/17/04] Rumsfeld is apparently outside the Pentagon looking at the Flight 77 crash site (see (After 9:37 a.m.)), though counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke suggests Rumsfeld is elsewhere in the Pentagon for much of the time (see (Between 9:37-9:45 a.m.)). Myers' whereabouts in the period after the Pentagon crash have not been fully explained (see (Before 10:30 a.m.)). Rumsfeld and Myers do not enter the NMCC until about 10:30 a.m. (see (10:30 a.m.)).
People and organizations involved: National Military Command Center, Donald Rumsfeld, Richard B. Myers
          

(Between 10:00-10:30 a.m.): Rumsfeld Returns to the Pentagon and Speaks to Bush; Rumsfeld's Whereabouts Murky      Complete 911 Timeline

       Rumsfeld returns from the Pentagon crash site “by shortly before or after 10:00 a.m.” Then he has “one or more calls in my office, one of which was with the president,” according to his testimony before the 9/11 Commission. [9/11 Commission Report, 6/17/04 (B)] The commission later concludes that Rumsfeld's call with President Bush has little impact: “No one can recall any content beyond a general request to alert forces.” The possibility of shooting down hijacked planes is not mentioned. [9/11 Commission Report, 6/17/04] Then Rumsfeld goes to the Executive Support Center before finally entering the NMCC at 10:30 a.m. Acting Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Richard Myers repeats all these details. [9/11 Commission Report, 6/17/04 (B)] The Executive Support Center has secure video facilities [Washington Times, 2/23/04] , so it is possible Rumsfeld joins or rejoins the video conference that counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke claims Rumsfeld is a part of much of the morning (see (9:10 a.m.)).
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld, Richard A. Clarke, National Military Command Center, George W. Bush, Richard B. Myers
          

(After 10:06 a.m.): Clarke Updated on Fighter Situation, Told Flight 93 Still Headed Toward Washington      Complete 911 Timeline

       Counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke is told by an aide, “Secret Service reports a hostile aircraft ten minutes out.” Two minutes later, he is given an update: “Hostile aircraft eight minutes out.” In actual fact, when Flight 93 crashes at 10:06 a.m., it's still about 15 minutes away from Washington. Clarke is also told that there are 3,900 aircraft still in the air over the Continental US (which is roughly accurate); four of those aircraft are believed to be piloted by terrorists (which is inaccurate by this time). Joint Chiefs of Staff Vice Chairman Richard Myers then reports, “We have three F-16s from Langley over the Pentagon. Andrews is launching fighters from the D.C. Air National Guard. We have fighters aloft from the Michigan Air National Guard, moving east toward a potential hostile over Pennsylvania. Six fighters from Tyndall and Ellington are en route to rendezvous with Air Force One over Florida. They will escort it to Barksdale.” [NORAD, 9/18/01; Clarke, 2004, pp 8-9] However, fighters do not meet up with Air Force One until about an hour later. Franklin Miller, a senior national security official who worked alongside Clarke on 9/11, and another official there, later fail to recall hearing any aide warning that a plane could be only minutes away. [New York Times, 3/30/04 (B)] The time of this incident is not given, but the Michigan fighters are not diverted until after 10:06 a.m. (see (After 10:06 a.m.)). If this takes place after 10:06 a.m., it would parallel similar warnings about Flight 93 after it has already crashed provided to Vice President Cheney elsewhere in the White House.
People and organizations involved: Richard B. Myers, Secret Service, Franklin Miller, Richard A. Clarke
          

(10:10 a.m.): Military Put on High Alert      Complete 911 Timeline

      
Blast doors at NORAD headquarters in Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado.
All US military forces are ordered to Defcon Three (or Defcon Delta), “The highest alert for the nuclear arsenal in 30 years.” [ABC News, 9/11/02; CNN, 9/4/02; Daily Telegraph, 12/16/01; Clarke, 2004, pp 15] Rumsfeld claims that he makes the recommendation, but it is hard to see how he can do this, at least at this time. He later asserts that he discusses the issue with acting Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Richard Myers in the NMCC first. However, they do not arrive at the PEOC until about 10:30 a.m. [9/11 Commission Report, 3/23/04] At 10:15 a.m., the massive blast doors to US Strategic Command, headquarters for NORAD in Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado, are closed for the first time in response to the high alert. [Aviation Week and Space Technology, 6/3/02; BBC, 9/1/02] In another account, acting Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Richard Myers gives the Defcon order by himself. President Bush later contradicts both accounts, asserting that he gives the order. [Wall Street Journal, 3/22/04]
People and organizations involved: Richard B. Myers, National Military Command Center, North American Aerospace Defense Command, George W. Bush, US Strategic Command, Donald Rumsfeld
          

(Before 10:30 a.m.): Myers Finally Enters NMCC; Prior Whereabouts Disputed      Complete 911 Timeline

       Acting Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Richard Myers enters the NMCC, though exactly when this happens remains unclear. According to his own statements, he was on Capitol Hill, in the offices of Senator Max Cleland (D) from the time just prior to the first WTC attack until around the time the Pentagon was hit (see (After 8:48 a.m.)). However, counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke claims Myers takes part in a video conference for much of the morning. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, who enters the NMCC around 10:30 a.m., claims that as he entered, Myers “had just returned from Capitol Hill.” [Defense Department, 3/23/04 Sources: Richard A. Clarke, Donald Rumsfeld] In Myers' testimony before the 9/11 Commission, he fails to mention where he was or what he was doing from the time of the Pentagon crash until about 10:30 a.m., except to say, “I went back to my duty station. And we—what we started doing at that time was to say, ‘OK, we've had these attacks. Obviously they're hostile acts. Not sure at that point who perpetrated them.’ ” [9/11 Commission Report, 6/17/04 (B)] These discrepancies in Myers' whereabouts remain unresolved.
People and organizations involved: National Military Command Center, Richard B. Myers
          

September 14, 2001: Officials Deny Flight 93 Shot Down      Complete 911 Timeline

       Officials deny that Flight 93 was shot down, but propose the theory that the hijackers had a bomb on board and blew up the plane. [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 9/14/01] Later in the month, it is reported that the “FBI has determined from the on site investigation that no explosive was involved.” [Associated Press, 9/25/01]
People and organizations involved: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Richard B. Myers, North American Aerospace Defense Command, National Transportation Safety Board
          

September 15, 2001-April 6, 2002: Bush Shifts Public Focus from bin Laden to Iraq      Complete 911 Timeline, Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       On September 15, 2001, President Bush says of bin Laden: “If he thinks he can hide and run from the United States and our allies, he will be sorely mistaken.” [Los Angeles Times, 9/16/01 (B)] Two days later, he says, “I want justice. And there's an old poster out West, I recall, that says, ‘Wanted: Dead or Alive.’ ” [ABC News, 9/17/01] On December 28, 2001, even as the US was declaring victory in Afghanistan, Bush says, “Our objective is more than bin Laden.” [Associated Press, 8/19/02 (B)] Bush's January 2002 State of the Union speech describes Iraq as part of an “axis of evil” and fails to mention bin Laden at all. On March 8, 2002, Bush still vows: “We're going to find him.” [Washington Post, 10/1/02] Yet, only a few days later on March 13, Bush says, “He's a person who's now been marginalized. ... I just don't spend that much time on him. ... I truly am not that concerned about him.” Instead, Bush is “deeply concerned about Iraq.” [White House, 3/13/02] The rhetoric shift is complete when Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Richard Myers states on April 6, “The goal has never been to get bin Laden.” [Department of Defense, 4/6/02] In October 2002, the Washington Post notes that since March 2002, Bush has avoided mentioning bin Laden's name, even when asked about him directly. Bush sometimes uses questions about bin Laden to talk about Saddam Hussein instead. In late 2001, nearly two-thirds of Americans say the war on terrorism could not be called a success without bin Laden's death or capture. That number falls to 44 percent in a March 2002 poll, and the question has since been dropped. [Washington Post, 10/1/02] Charles Heyman, editor of Jane's World Armies, later points out: “There appears to be a real disconnect” between the US military's conquest of Afghanistan and “the earlier rhetoric of President Bush, which had focused on getting bin Laden.” [Christian Science Monitor, 3/4/02 (B)]
People and organizations involved: George W. Bush, Richard B. Myers, Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein
          

Early October 2001: General Franks Disregards Advice to Open Second Front in Afghanistan      Complete 911 Timeline

       The Washington Post reports in late 2004 that, shortly after Richard Myers officially becomes Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman on October 1, 2001, he raises doubts about the military plan to topple the Taliban in Afghanistan. General Tommy Franks, the chief of US Central Command, plans a single thrust towards the capital, Kabul, from the north. Myers urges Franks to open a southern front. A brigade of the Army's 10th Mountain Division in Uzbekistan and two Marine Expeditionary Forces in the Arabian Sea are prepared and in position for the role. However, Franks does not position a blocking force to meet any retreating forces. The Washington Post reports, “Some Bush administration officials now acknowledge privately they consider that a costly mistake.” Franks later claims that it would have taken too much time to put a force into position and would have antagonized the country's Pashtun majority. Most of al-Qaeda and the Taliban's leaders are eventually able to escape the country. “A high-ranking war planner [later] likened the result to throwing a rock at a nest of bees, then trying to chase them down, one by one, with a net.” [Washington Post, 10/22/04]
People and organizations involved: Thomas Franks, Richard B. Myers, al-Qaeda, Taliban
          

January 11, 2002      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Guantanamo receives its first twenty prisoners from the Afghan battlefield. Rumsfeld, acting on the advice of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, publicly declares them “unlawful combatants” and thereby not entitled to the rights of the Geneva Conventions. “Unlawful combatants do not have any rights under the Geneva Convention,” Rumsfeld says. Though according to Rumsfeld, the government will “for the most part treat them in a manner that is reasonably consistent with the Geneva Conventions, to the extent they are appropriate.” [Reuters 1/11/2002, cited in Human Rights Watch, 6/2004] There is no reason to feel sorry for these detainees, is Gen. Richard B. Myers' message, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the highest ranking military officer in the US. He assures: “These are people who would gnaw through hydraulic lines at the back of a C-17 to bring it down.” [New York Times, 6/21/2004]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld, Richard B. Myers
          

January 19, 2002      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Rumsfeld sends a memo to General Richard Myers informing him that Bush has declared the Geneva Conventions invalid with regard to conflicts with al-Qaeda and the Taliban (see January 18, 2002). In this “Memorandum for Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,” Rumsfeld states: “The United States has determined that al-Qaeda and Taliban individuals under the control of the Department of Defense are not entitled to prisoner of war status for purposes of the Geneva Conventions of 1949.” Nevertheless, “[t]he Combatant Commanders shall, in detaining al-Qaeda and Taliban individuals under the control of the Department of Defense, treat them humanely and, to the extent appropriate and consistent with military necessity, in a manner consistent with the principles of the Geneva Conventions of 1949.” [Sources: Memo from Donald Rumsfeld to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1/19/2002] The same day, the memorandum is disseminated as an order by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. [Sources: Order from Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1/19/2002]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld, Richard B. Myers
          

February 24, 2002      Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

       Four-Star Marine General Carlton W. Fulford Jr., deputy commander of the US European Command, arrives in Niger on a scheduled refueling stop. At the request of US Ambassador to Niger Barbro Owens-Kirkpatrick, Fulford joins the ambassador at a meeting with Niger's President Mamadou Tandja and Foreign Minister Aichatou Mindaoudou. He explains the importance of keeping Niger's ore deposits secure. At the meeting, President Tandja assures the ambassador and General Fulford that Niger is determined to keep its uranium “in safe hands.” [Voce of America, 7/15/03; Vanity Fair, 5/2004, pg 282; The Washington Post, 7/15/03 Sources: Report On The US Intelligence Community's Prewar Intelligence Assessments On Iraq] After the meeting, Fulford is of the opinion that Niger's uranium is safely in the hands of a French consortium and that there is little risk that the material will end up in the wrong hands. These findings are passed on to General Joseph Ralston who provides them to General Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. [Vanity Fair, 5/2004, pg 282; Voce of America, 7/15/03; The Washington Post, 7/15/03 Sources: Carlton W. Fulford] The Pentagon will later say that Donald Rumsfeld was not informed about the trip or its conclusions. [Voice of America, 7/15/03]
People and organizations involved: Barbro Owens-Kirkpatrick, Joseph Ralston, Richard B. Myers, Aichatou Mindaoudou, Mamadou Tandja, Carlton W. Fulford  Additional Info 
          

April 4, 2002: Head of US Military States ‘The Goal Has Never Been to Get bin Laden’       Complete 911 Timeline

       Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Richard Myers states in an interview, “The goal has never been to get bin Laden.” He adds, “Obviously, that's desirable,” but then he hints it won't be desirable to do so soon, saying, “I just read a piece by some analysts that said you may not want to go after the top people in these organizations. You may have more effect by going after the middlemen, because they're harder to replace. I don't know if that's true, or not, and clearly we would like to eventually get bin Laden.” [Defense Department, 4/6/02] In early 2005, the recently retired Executive Director of the CIA will explicitly state that it is better to let bin Laden remain free.
People and organizations involved: Osama bin Laden, Richard B. Myers
          

August 15, 2002: US General Believes Troops Will Remain in Afghanistan for Long Time      Complete 911 Timeline

       General Tommy Franks, commander of US troops in Central Asia, says, “It does not surprise me that someone would say, ‘Oh gosh, the military is going to be in Afghanistan for a long, long time.’ Sure we will be.” He likens the situation to South Korea, where the US has stationed troops for over 50 years. A few days earlier, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Richard Myers said the war on terrorism “could last years and years.” [CBS News, 8/16/02]
People and organizations involved: Thomas Franks, Richard B. Myers
          

October 25, 2002      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Gen. James T. Hill, commander of the Southern Command, sends a memo to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Richard B. Myers providing him information on the new interrogation techniques that have been requested for use at Guantanamo (see October 11, 2002). He says that new methods are needed because, “despite our best efforts, some detainees have tenaciously resisted our current interrogation methods.” He says he thinks Categories I and II techniques are “legal and humane.” He only questions the legality of category three techniques, recommending additional legal advice from lawyers at the Pentagon and the Justice Department. Hill writes: “I am particularly troubled by the use of implied or expressed threats of death of the detainee or his family. However, I desire to have as many options as possible at my disposal ....” [Sources: DoD memo from Gen. James T. Hill to Gen. Myers, 10/25/2002] Gen. Hill later says, “We weren't sure in the beginning what we had; we're not sure today what we have. There are still people who do not talk to us. We could have the keys to the kingdom and not know it.” [New York Times, 6/21/2004]
People and organizations involved: James T. Hill, Richard B. Myers
          

November 27, 2002      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Department of Defense General Counsel William Haynes sends Donald Rumsfeld an action memo to approve for use, at General James T. Hill's discretion, all techniques from Categories I and II, and the “mild, non-injurious contact” from category three that were suggested by the Guantanamo legal staff (see October 25, 2002). With regard to the remaining harsh techniques in category three, the death threats, and use of wet towels, Haynes writes that they “may be legally available [but] as a matter of policy, a blanket approval ... is not warranted at this time.” Haynes mentions having discussed the matter with “the deputy, Doug Feith and General Myers,” who, he believes, join him in the recommendation. He adds, “Our Armed Forces are trained to a standard of interrogation that reflects a tradition of restraint.” [Sources: DoD action memo from General Counsel Haynes to Donald Rumsfeld, 11/27/2002]
People and organizations involved: William J. Haynes, Douglas Feith, James T. Hill, Donald Rumsfeld, Richard B. Myers
          

February 5, 2003      US Military

       US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and General Richard Myers, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, inform the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee that they intend to seek permission from George Bush to use calmative agents (see February 12, 2001-March 30, 2001) against Iraqi civilians, in cave systems or to take prisoners. [Independent article; Newsmax, 2/6/2003] Rumsfeld calls the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) a “straightjacket” [Baltimore Sun, 3/27/2003; The Guardian, 4/8/2003] and insists that “there are times when the use of non-lethal riot agents is perfectly appropriate.” [The Guardian, 3/12/2003; The Guardian, 4/8/2003; Christian Science Monitor 2/14/2003; Newsmax, 2/6/2003] Under the provisions of the CWC, military use of chemicals—including non-lethal gases like tear gas—is prohibited. The treaty only permits the use of non-lethal agents for law enforcement purposes. [Christian Science Monitor 2/14/2003; Newsmax, 2/6/2003]
People and organizations involved: Donald Rumsfeld, Richard B. Myers, George W. Bush
          

November 2003      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, at the request of George J. Tenet, orders military officials in Iraq to keep a high-value detainee being held at Camp Cropper off the records. The order is passed down to Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, then to Gen. John P. Abizaid, the commander of American forces in the Middle East, and finally to Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, the ground commander in Iraq. “At each stage, lawyers reviewed the request and their bosses approved it,” the New York Times will report. “This prisoner and other ‘ghost detainees’ were hidden largely to prevent the International Committee of the Red Cross from monitoring their treatment, and to avoid disclosing their location to an enemy,” the newspaper will report, citing top officials. The prisoner—in custody since July 2003—is suspected of being a senior officer of Ansar al-Islam, an Islamic group with ties to al-Qaeda. Shortly after being captured by US forces, he was deemed an “enemy combatant” and thus denied protection under the Geneva conventions. Up until this point, the prisoner has only been interrogated once. As a result of being kept off the books, the prison system looses track of the detainee who will spend the next seven months in custody. “Once he was placed in military custody, people lost track of him,” a senior intelligence official will tell the New York Times. “The normal review processes that would keep track of him didn't.” [Fox News, 6/17/2004; Reuters, 6/17/2004; New York Times, 6/17/2004]
People and organizations involved: Ricardo S. Sanchez, Richard B. Myers, John P. Abizaid, George Tenet, Donald Rumsfeld
          

Mid-April 2004      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       The Abu Ghraib prison photos are leaked to CBS. The network informs the Pentagon that it will broadcast a story on the prison abuses and include the photos. But the network delays broadcasting the story at the request of Gen. Richard Myers. [CNS, 5/7/2004; The Guardian, 4/30/2004; CBS News, 5/6/2004; Los Angeles Times, 5/6/2004; Agence France Presse, 5/7/2004]
People and organizations involved: Richard B. Myers
          

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