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Damaged area of Pentagon seen at sunrise with US Capitol in the background.

REUTERS/Larry Downing

9/11 and after: A personal reminiscence from inside the machine

In 2001, I was US National Intelligence Officer for Economics, and had spent much of that summer traveling in China. At the time, all signs were pointing to China becoming the predominant focus of the George W. Bush administration, and I needed to become much more conversant with the workings of the Chinese economy.

All of that changed on September 11th, just five days after I returned to Washington. For national crisis contingencies, I had an additional assignment that would turn out to be crucial that day: I was the liaison between the intelligence community and the Congressional leadership.

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