Class Notes

Tuesday, March 8, 2016


Graded assignment; “labor of love,” = enterprise reporting; please yourself & be proud of it

  1. Story package
  • 3 two-minute videos (total of 6 minutes), 1200 words, 3 pictures
  • be selfish-love your subject matter; can be about living with a roommate, coming out as a singer, etc. cannot be first person; passion = launchpad; pick something that will allow you to shine;
  • feature piece about someone you admire, etc.
  • graded on how you applied the videos, how it is put together – topic isn’t her biggest concern
  1. Reporter’s notes
  • first person narrative evaluating your own work – what went wrong, what went right


Between now and Thursday – write a plan and figure out what you’re going to write on

Due: March 29


  • interview people about what inspires them



  • watching 9/11 video commission report- each person will pick one chapter of it to read



November 27, 2002 George Bush establish the national commission on terrorists

  • commission in session for more than a year and they conducted 1200 interviews
  • analyzed 2.5 million documents

September 11, 2001

  • late summer day in New York


  • if every person had been doing their job, these people would not have gotten in
  • the detectors were the only line of defense
  • American Flight 11 – Ahmed, etc.
  • brought 4-in. knives
  • people didn’t bother to look into their bags where they had maize, tear gas, etc.


  • not even filled out
  • way too vague
  • 19 men defeated every layer of airport security that we had to stop hijackers

Plot was years in the making

7:59 a.m. the flight took off

  • knew where to sit
  • 2 of them are in the front row of first class, stab the flight attendants
  • terrorist spray maize and tear gas in front of plane
  • stabbed pilot and copilot to death
  • 2 flight attendants in coach called & they made it able to
  • person in boston
  • hijackers turned off plane’s transponder – plane = lost
  • flight crossed in New York,

Osama Bin Laden

  • leader of al khaida
  • created plot evil and ingenious
  • hatched in remote Afghanistan, and
  • original plot was khalid – wanted to attack a lot of planes & multiple places in US
  • Bin Laden said to scale it back, so they decided on the capitol, world trade center, pentagon
  • Mostly Saudis were involved – not innocent people; these were highly motivated, sophisticated people, true believers, etc.
  • Mohammed Attah led the attack; spoke fluent English; really hated US
  • learned how to be terrorists; taught how to storm cockpit, killed animals to practice killing people
  • training in the US; attah & other pilots became certified
  • Atta didn’t wanna leave anything unplanned
  • wanted Boeing flight; picked transcontinental flights, disciplined
  • training was not to storm the cockpit doors-wait till they open them
  • 400-500 thousand dollars; didn’t come from Bin Laden’s pocket – he was cut off
  • Attah accounted for $, gave instructions; worried about the other pilot backing out, but he didn’t
  • didn’t need back up plans
  • picked a date – sept. 11; tickets purchased between august and september

8:28 a.m.

  • Cape Cod planes try to find the planes – don’t know what to do
  • protect lives
  • no one thought you’d use an airplane as a missile

8:42 a.m.

  • Boston to LA; plane goes toward New York
  • Betty and Amy report that plane is low

8:46 a.m. the plane crashes into North world trade center; no one was aware

Al Qaeda

  • US didn’t understand the threat of Al Qaeda until 1997-1998
  • Soviet War ended in 1989 – Osama was still furious
  • Osama Bin Laden launched Al Qaeda – built with assistance from the Taliban
  • Set up like a mini government; with all sorts of committees
  • sophisticated training camps; had a special department for media and propaganda programs
  • had his own satellite; knew how to put things out
  • message reached other terrorist groups
  • 1992 bombed a hotel where us service men were staying, ready to go to the somalia operation; no americans killed
  • Black Hawk down incident;
  • October 12, 2000 america’s warship was attacked; 17 soldiers killed, more were wounded

8:46 a.m.

  • flight 11 crashed into world trade center
  • flight 175 is hijacked
  • flight 77 from washington DC to LA; murder of co pilot and pilot,

President Bush is in Sarasota, FL

  • unknown that there’s more than 1 hijacking; 7 minutes later, military planes

9:03 a.m.

  • flight 175 hits south world trade center
  • how many others are involved?
  • first of many questions
  • nation wanted answers, commission had to find them

shadow war

  • Richard Clarke apologized to families of the dead
  • should have stopped training camps during Clinton administration
  • Pentagon didn’t want to attack
  • would be risky, another Black Hawk down incident, would need thousands of troups

America finally fought back

  • August 1998 – crew’s missiles launched miles away from the Arabian Sea; missed him
  • President Clinton wanted to launch more missiles, but the media said that they were pretending
  • tracked Bin Laden with the spy plane “Predator”
  • Found Bin Laden many times; fear of killing innocent people got in the way; did not have intelligence of sufficient info; didn’t kill him
  • 1999- CIA located him in Afghanistan; crew’s missiles were ready to attack, but then plan didn’t go through
  • US did not retaliate after the Cole ship was attacked
  • should’ve treated it like an act of war


  • two planes now have crashed
  • president is informed of the 2nd attacked; continues listening to the children read, instinct was to remain calm
  • why was the president allowed to just sit there? Who was leading this country?
  • Dick Chaney VP is there, watching TV when the 2nd plane strikes; speaks to the president

flight 77 is missing, over west virginia, turns south,

  • air traffic control never saw flight 77 turn around; traveling directly toward washington DC
  • lack of communication between flights and Norad
  • we were essentially defenseless that morning; Norad wasn’t prepared for this event
  • Norad’s facilities had been slashed after the Soviet War (?)

9:37 a.m.

  • flight 77 crashes into the Pentagon
  • everyone on board was killed

failure of CIA and FBI communicating in Kuwala Lampur

  • Commission asked Richard Clarke what he would’ve done
  • likes to think that he’d have had FBI release a press release, get pics on front page, evening news, etc. & caused a successful manhunt; didn’t happen, though

flight 93

  • on a suicide mission; heading for nation’s capitol
  • delayed flight; saved lives
  • passengers wouldn’t have known about world trade centers
  • nearly prevents the 4th plane

9:26 a.m.

  • flight 93 still attacked
  • people called loved ones and they’re telling us there’s a bomb on board
  • one passenger called United Airlines (?)
  • president bush is in the air circling on Air Force 1; lost touch for a while with the white house
  • Nobody was in control

10:02 a.m.

  • hear reports of United 93
  • Chaney gives orders to shoot down any plane in route to attack government buildings
  • orders never came through
  • military jets were in no position to defend the capitol


homework tab: plan for labor of love

also: find one of the victims and get to know as much about the person; read up on them, do links on a blog post



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