Amazon.com Review – IF you are only going to read ONE book on 9/11, I highly recommend this book. The two authors, Summers and Swan, have done an enormous amount of research to provide the definitive book on the events leading up that day, and a blow by blow account of how everything unfolded.
Jean Sasson on The Eleventh Day
Sasson is an American writer and humanitarian whose work centers on
women in the Middle East and the injustices that they suffer at the hands of
patriarchal societies. Jean’s published works are The
Rape of Kuwait, Princess,
Sultana’s Daughters, Princess
Sultana’s Circle, Ester’s
Daughter of Iraq, Love
in a Torn Land, Growing
Up bin Laden, and For
the Love of a Son. Jean Sasson’s 10th book, American Chick in
Saudi Arabia, is currently being written. The passage of time and recent
accessibility of government papers have been put to good use by veteran
reporters Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan. Together they have written the
definitive book on 9/11.The Eleventh Day: The Full Story of 9/11 and Osama Bin Laden turns back the clock, taking us to a
black day filled with blue skies. A day that began so normally became a
day that no one can forget, a day that ended with countless questions, many of
which have remained unanswered, until now. The Eleventh Day provides
the answers to the questions we have been seeking since that fateful day, now
ten long years ago.
From the first page, The Eleventh Day rekindles many memories. The
horrifying sights of American Airlines flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175
crashing into the twin towers and the American Airlines Flight 77 disappearing
into the bowels of the Pentagon were such extraordinary phenomena that that few
of us could believe what we were seeing. While we understood that a powerful
enemy was near, we did not know its face.
Witnesses to the events were hit by one shock after another, from the
collapse of the towers to the attack upon the Pentagon to the shattering end of
United Flight 93. By the time that last planeload of innocent passengers
disappeared forever into the soil near to Shanksville, Pennsylvania, the
national tally of loss was staggering.
What new horror would come next? Innocent victims lay dead, unaware of why
they had died; family members of victims were stunned by grief; Americans in
every city and town were gripped with white anger.
Little did we know that our representatives in the White House had received
ample warnings. But now we know, for The Eleventh Day is like a
carefully crafted map. Summers and Swan have drawn this map after poring through
endless documents, interviewing countless witnesses, and researching the
movements of the 19 attackers, bringing the facts together as never before.
For months, opportunities were missed at every turn. Before the inauguration
of President Bush, The Commission on National Security was ready to issue their
final report which concluded that an attack “on American soil” was likely in the
not-too-distant future. The Commission members requested a meeting with the
incoming president and vice-president (Bush and Cheney) before the inauguration.
Shockingly, the commission members never got their meeting, not then, and not
later. No one ever called them back.
We also learn that Clinton’s Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special
Operations, Brian Sheridan, personally warned National Security Adviser
Condoleezza Rice that al-Qaeda was “not an amateur-type deal…It’s serious stuff,
these guys are not going away.” Amazingly enough, Sheridan reports that Rice
listened but asked no questions. Sheridan recalls that he offered to
brief the incoming officials on al-Qaeda, but no one in the new administrator
took him up on the offer.
The authors tell us that the governments of Israel, France and Egypt issued
warnings of an upcoming al-Qaeda attack in the United States. All were
As time passed, several more opportunities were missed. Only a few days
before 9/11, suspicions from instructors at the Pan Am International Flight
Academy in Minneapolis over new student Zacarias Moussaouri prompted the manager
to alert the local FBI. Moussaouri’s leading questions about the “damage an
airliner could cause if it collided with something” had aroused concerns. The
local FBI official reacted quickly and Moussaouri was detained on grounds of an
expired visa. Although the lead agent sent 70 messages to the head office for
approval for search warrants, he was blocked at every turn. Only after 9/11 was
it discovered that Moussaouri was part of a team to ram airplanes into
And this is only one example of many that Summers and Swan bring to light in
this book. Did the American government fail the American people? Tragically and
sadly, the answer is: yes.
The publisher’s book jacket says that: “The Eleventh Day is the
essential one-volume work on a pivotal event in our history.”
I couldn’t have said it better.