* "Tuesday, September 11, 2001 dawned temperate and nearly cloudless in the eastern United States. Millions of men and women readied themselves for work. Some made their way to the Twin Towers, the signature structures of the World Trade Center complex in New York City. Others went to Arlington, Virginia, to the Pentagon. . . . In Sarasota, Florida, President George W. Bush went for an early morning run. For those heading to an airport, weather conditions could not have been better for a safe and pleasant journey."

* ". . .The conflict did not begin on 9/11. It had been publicly declared years earlier, most notably in a declaration faxed early in 1998 to an Arabic- language newspaper in London. Few Americans had noticed it. The fax had been sent from thousands of miles away by followers of a Saudi exile gathered in one of the most remote and impoverished countries on earth."

* ". . . Although the [1993 World Trade Center] bombing heightened awareness of a new terrorist danger, successful prosecutions contributed to widespread underestimation of the threat. The government's attorneys stressed the seriousness of the crimes, and put forward evidence of [Ramzi] Yousef's technical ingenuity. Yet the public image that persisted was not of clever Yousef but of stupid [Mohammed] Salameh going back again and again to reclaim his $400 truck rental deposit."

* "[Khalid Sheikh Mohammed] describes a grandiose original plan: a total of ten aircraft to be hijacked, nine of which would crash into targets on both coasts . . . . KSM himself was to land the tenth plane at a U.S. airport and, after killing all male passengers . . . and alerting the media, deliver a speech excoriating U.S. support for Israel, the Philippines, and repressive governments in the Arab world. This is theater, a spectacle of destruction with KSM as the self-cast star -- the

superterrorist."

"[President Bush] was seated in a classroom [in Sarasota, Fla.] when . . . Andrew Card [his chief of staff] whispered to him, 'A second plane hit the second tower. America is under attack.' ""[Passenger Peter Hanson called] his father: 'I think they've taken over the cockpit -- An attendant has been stabbed -- and someone up front may have been killed. The plane is making strange moves. Call United Airlines -- Tell them it's Flight 175. . .' "Osama bin Laden Khalid Sheikh Mohammed