Stunning Photos Show Life Inside The White House Immediately Following The 9/11 Attacks

These never-before-seen photos of President Bush and his staff on 9/11 show the shock, horror and gravity of the terrorist attacks from inside the White House’s secure bunker.

On Tuesday September 11, 2001, Vice President Dick Cheney was being shadowed by a White House photographer who happened to captured the dreadful terrorist attack from a perspective that has never been seen before.

These images, which were uploaded to the National Archives Flickr page, were recently released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, showing a very tired, stressed, and devastated morale amongst the top officials in the George W. Bush administration.

Vice President Cheney watches as the first reports of terrorist attacks appear on television.

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Rewatch CNN’s live coverage of the morning as it happened

Vice President Cheney talks with Chief of Staff I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby as the World Trade Center burns on TV

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Chaney watching President Bush addressing the nation from Emma E. Booker Elementary School. Within minutes he would be frog-marched by Secret Service agents to the basement elevator of the White House.

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First Lady Laura Bush joined the Dick and Lynn Cheney as secure communications were established for the basement room.

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Cheney made a series of calls from the PEOC, including to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Terrorists had attacked the Pentagon at 9:37 a.m.

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National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice joined Cheney in the PEOC. Throughout the morning they were receiving reports of airplanes headed toward the White House.

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The vice president’s top lawyer, David Addington (kneeling), conferred with Cheney. Addington would begin to secure the legal authority to respond to the attacks.

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Those in the room that day say the attacks had a profound effect on Cheney and shaped his entire time in office.

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Cheney confers with President Bush, who had arrived at the PEOC around 7:00 p.m., after his plane was diverted to Louisiana and Nebraska.

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Prior to addressing the nation, Bush is briefed by Chief of Staff Andrew Card, Cheney and Rice.

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Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet watches President Bush’s 8:30 p.m. address from the PEOC.

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Tenet and FBI Director Robert Mueller watch as President Bush promised the nation that the government would go after “the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.”

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The Cheneys leave the White House for an “undisclosed location.”

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Marine Two takes off with the Cheneys.

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Moving the vice president is part of a Secret Service plan to preserve the continuity of leadership.

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Chaney arriving at Camp David

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Images via FLickr, captions via PBS