Inside the White House on 9/11: Unseen photos of Bush and Cheney in bunker
Vice President Dick Cheney on September 11, 2001 (National Archives)

Previously unreleased images obtained by documentarian show president, vice-president, and their spouses and staff as they react to the terror attacks


A never-before-released set of photos show the anxiety of the Bush administration as it reacted to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Related: Inside the White House on 9/11 - in pictures

The documentarian Colette Neirouz Hanna, whose work with PBS has focused on the Bush administration, received the photos in response to a freedom of information request.

The set of photos show President George W Bush, Vice-President Dick Cheney, First Lady Laura Bush, Cheney’s wife, Lynne Cheney, high-level staffers and department directors reacting as the seriousness of the attacks becomes apparent.

Two hijacked airliners were flown into the World Trade Center in Manhattan. One plane was flown into the Pentagon in Washington DC. One plane crashed into a field in Pennsylvania, after passengers fought back against the hijackers.

Nearly 3,000 people died , in the most costly attack on US soil in history.

The newly released photos were taken by the vice-president’s staff photographer. They show leaders in a secure bunker deep beneath the White House and at the president’s retreat at Camp David. Leaders were also shuttled between a set of “undisclosed locations”, the public broadcasting company said , in response to the security threat.

The photos are the second set of candid shots obtained by Hanna, whose films include Bush’s War , Cheney’s Law and The Dark Side .

Another request by the documentarian revealed scenes including the president and vice-president sharing a laugh in the Oval Office and the two men touring Sydney Harbor with Australian leaders.

The full set of 9/11 photos were made available on Flickr .

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