Friday, August 12, 2011

What Were You Doing on 9/11? My Story

The tenth anniversary of 9/11 is coming and the LA Times is asking people what they were doing that day. This is my story:

I was home getting ready for the day when I heard a second plane had hit a World Trade Center tower. At that second I knew it was a terrorism attack instead of an aircraft accident. I called the TV station where I had been a Middle East expert during the first Gulf War against Saddam Hussein (I had been an international legal negotiator in a past life and had been writing a 'fiction' book about a flash war in the Middle East when Saddam invaded Kuwait).

The TV station said "come in" so I spent the entire day at the Fox 26 studios in Houston, watching the news and giving analysis from time to time during the day, not really knowing exactly what was going to happen next or even WHO was behind the attack. I was there until 9 pm that night and I was the lead interview, followed by Rep. Tom DeLay who had called in from Washington, DC. I still have the videotapes. (I later heard he was quite mad about it since I had run against him in the primary for his Congress seat the year before in 2000).

At one point an anchor told me about a photo someone had sent to her from New York that we didn't air. She said the person who sent it asked "Do you notice anything unusual?" It was a photo of several people falling from one of the towers. She said no. Then the person said, "Look again. None of them have feet." Apparently the fire was so hot that jumping was better than the searing heat that was burning off their feet.

It was a shocking day I will remember vividly for the rest of my life.

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