The year's must-Skip series!

Political commentary and more.
March 3 2002 2:55 PM

Ten Years in September

This season's must-Skip series!

Kausfiles' Series-Skipper™ lets concerned citizens avoid actually reading award-winning newspaper series—without fear of missing anything good. (For more on the rationale for Series-Skipper™, click here.) Responding to massive public demand, this edition summarizes the Washington Post's 8-part instant history of the Bush administration's reaction to 9/11.

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Series: "Ten Days in September," by  Dan Balz, Bob Woodward, and (on Part 3) Jeff Himmelman, Washington Post, eight parts, Jan. 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, and Feb. 1, 2, and 3.

Semi-banal "billboard" paragraph: "The president and his advisers started America on the road to war that night without a map. They had only a vague sense of how to respond, based largely on the visceral reactions of the president. But nine nights later, when Bush addressed a joint session of Congress, many of the important questions had been answered."

Bush, sounding like he's writing a sexier billboard paragraph:

"Nor does the nation, by the way, understand what it's like to have a commander in chief tested under fire like this. No one knew."

Basic picture of Bush: Reacts emotionally, but keeps his head. Knows immediately the direction he wants to go in (war), though he tries to avoid being too war-like in public for the first few days. Lets his Cabinet figure out the details.  

John-Wayneish moments:

"Let's pick them off one at a time."—Bush, upon being informed on the evening of 9/11 that al-Qaida was a "60-country problem"

"We will find these people. They will pay. And I don't want you to have any doubt about it."—Bush, at the end of the 9/11 NSC meeting