An Audio Chronicle

NPR Coverage of the Commission's Press Conference

The commission charged with investigating the 2001 terrorist attacks releases its final report. The panel claims a "failure of imagination" across the government, from the executive branch to Congress.

Hear an NPR News Special Previewing the Report


November 27, 2002

Kissinger Named Head of 9-11 Commission

Henry Kissinger speaks to reporters on November 27, 2002 after Bush appointed him head of the 9-11 Commission. Credit: Corbis

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger speaks to reporters on Nov. 27, 2002, after President Bush named him chairman of the newly created 9-11 Commission. Kissinger would resign from the commission on Dec. 12, 2002, after he declined to disclose the client list of his consulting firm.


March 31, 2003

Kean Opens First 9-11 Commission Hearing

Thomas H. Kean. Credit: 9-11 Commission

9-11 Commission chairman Thomas Kean opens the first public hearing of the panel in New York on March 31, 2003. President Bush appointed Kean, a former Republican governor of New Jersey, after former secretary of state Henry Kissinger stepped down from the post.


March 23, 2004

Albright Defends Handling of Al Qaeda Under Clinton

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is sworn in at a hearing of the 9-11 Commission, Mar. 23, 2004. Credit: Reuters

Madeleine Albright, who was secretary of state under President Bill Clinton, testifies before the 9-11 Commission on March 23, 2004. She explains the Clinton administration's response to the Al Qaeda attacks on the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.


March 24, 2004

Clarke: Government 'Failed You'

Former counterterrorism Richard Clarke testifies before the 9-11 Commission. Credit: Reuters

Former White House counterterrorism adviser Richard Clarke appears before the 9-11 Commission on March 24, 2004. He begins his comments by addressing the family members of 9-11 victims.


April 8, 2004

Rice Testifies Under Pressure

Condoleezza Rice on '60 Minutes,' March 28, 2004. Credit: CBS News

National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice explains the development of the terrorist threat in testimony before the 9-11 Commission on April 8, 2004. Rice agreed to testify in public after pressure was applied by 9-11 families and members of the commission.


April 8, 2004

Rice Defends 9-11, Iraq Link

National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice responds to former White House counterterrorism adviser Richard Clarke's claim that President Bush asked him, "in a very intimidating way," to find out if Saddam Hussein was connected to the 9-11 attacks.


April 8, 2004

Mother of Sept. 11 Victim Pushes for Answers

Mary Fetchet, left, co-chair of 'Voices of September 11,' an advocacy group providing resources and support to 9-11 families, speaks to a woman during a hearing of the 9-11 Commission. Credit: Corbis

Mary Fetchet is founding director of Voices of September 11th, a group of 9-11 families. Her son, Brad, died at the World Trade Center. In an NPR interview, Fetchet questions why key documents, such as President Bush's Aug. 6, 2001, intelligence briefing, need to remain classified. The White House would later de-classify the briefing on April 10, 2004.


April 13, 2004

Pickard: Terrorism Was 'Not a Top Item' for Ashcroft

Former Acting FBI Director Thomas J. Pickard. Credit: FBI

In a public hearing on April 13, 2004, 9-11 Commission member Tim Roemer, a former Democratic congressman from Indiana, questions former acting FBI Director Thomas Pickard about Attorney General John Ashcroft's commitment to counterterrorism.


April 13, 2004

Ashcroft Rebuts, Claims Terrorism Was 'Priority'

Attorney General John Ashcroft. Credit: U.S. Dept. of Justice

In testimony on April 13, 2004, Attorney General John Ashcroft responds to former acting FBI Director Thomas Pickard's claim that terrorism was not "the top item" on Ashcroft's agenda.


April 14, 2004

Tenet Concedes CIA Made Mistakes

Former CIA Director George Tenet. Credit: CIA

Former CIA Director George Tenet testified publicly before the 9-11 Commission on April 14, 2004. In this appearance, Tenet admits that the CIA "made mistakes" before Sept. 11. Tenet would submit his resignation on June 3, 2004.


April 29, 2004

Bush Reveals Little on Closed-Door Testimony

CIA Director George Tenet, testifying on Capitol Hill, Feb. 14, 2004. Credit: Corbis

U.S. President George W. Bush speaks to the press corps at the White House Rose Garden after meeting privately with the 9-11 Commission for over two hours, April 29, 2004.


May 19, 2004

Giuliani Addresses New York Efforts Against Terror

Fomer New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. Credit: NYC Govt.

9-11 Commission member Tim Roemer, a former Democratic congressman from Indiana, questions former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani on May 19, 2004.


May 19, 2004

Family Members Interrupt Giuliani's Testimony

During the testimony of former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani on May 19, 2004, several family members interrupt the proceedings, demanding the panel address the communications problems in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.


June 17, 2004

Hijacker: 'We Have Some Planes'

Mohamd Atta. Credit: FBI

A radio transmission, believed to be the voice of Sept. 11 hijacker Mohamed Atta at the controls of American Airlines Flight 11, is played by the commission on June 17, 2004. The speaker says, "We have some planes. Just stay quiet, and you'll be okay. We are returning to the airport." The plane would later crash into Tower One of the World Trade Center.


June 17, 2004

Nation's Air Defense in Chaos on Sept. 11

A Sept. 11, 2001, radio transmission between the Federal Aviation Administration and the Northeast Air Defense Sector of the North American Aerospace Defense Command. The 9-11 Commission played the audio at its final public hearing on June 17, 2004.




The Complete Report

Read the Final Report of the 9-11 Commission (PDF)

Read the Report from the 9-11 Commission

The panel claims a "failure of imagination" across the government.


Read the Executive Summary and Recommendations (PDF)


The 9-11 Commission Official Web Site


Download a PDF Viewer


Timelines, Audio of Hijacked Flights


The Sept. 11 Attacks

America Transformed

NPR Coverage of the Sept. 11 Attacks


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