"He looked up - it was only a matter of seconds - but it seemed like a matter of minutes," said [Andrew H. Card Jr.]. "I tried to be succinct . . . so that he understood the enormity of the problem . . . I was uncomfortable about interrupting the president . . . but I felt if I were president, I would want to know." Card walked away from [Bush] immediately after delivering the bad news.
"We also didn't want to telegraph where we were going, because we didn't know if we were a bigger target," said Card. "We told no one we were going (to Barksdale) until we got there." Card was concerned that if Bush stayed on Air Force One, he wouldn't be able to address the nation via TV. The plane, despite its sophisticated communications gear, cannot produce such broadcasts.
GETTING THE NEWS: A stunned President Bush looks past Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr. after Card told him that a second jet struck the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. AP file photos