• This is a rush transcript from "Special Report," September 11, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


    FORMER PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Today our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts. The victims were in airplanes or in their offices, secretaries, businessmen and women, military and federal workers, moms and dads, friends and neighbors. Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror.


    BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: President Bush 10 years ago tonight.

    We are honored this evening to have a terrific line-up in our all-star panel. Retired general Richard Myers was acting chairman of the Joint Chiefs on 9/11. He was confirmed as chairman a few days later and served until 2005. He's the author of the book, "Eyes on the Horizon."

    Dick Cheney, of course, was vice president for President George W. Bush. His new book is called, "In My Time." Donald Rumsfeld was Defense Secretary on 9/11. He also has a book out, "Known and Unknown." And retired general Jack Keane was Army vice chief of staff from 1999 to 2003. He's a Fox News military analyst. And we're waiting on the book to come out.

    Welcome, General. And welcome, panel. Thank you very much.

    I want to start with that day and the first moments, as you look back and when you knew we were under attack. Vice President Cheney, let's start with you. Your recollections of those first moments?

    FORMER VICE PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY: Well, I was in my West Wing office. Secretary called in and said a plane had hit the World Trade Center. I turned on my television in time to see the second one hit.

    And shortly after that, staff began to gather around. And I talked to the president on the telephone. He was in Florida. And then my Secret Service agent came in, said, Sir, we have to leave immediately. He put one hand on my belt, one on my shoulder and propelled me out of my office and down the hall, headed for the bunker under the White House, and told me en route that there was a plane out at Dulles, headed towards Crown, the code word for the White House, at 500 miles an hour. That turned out to be American Flight 77 that went in and hit the Pentagon. But that's how my day began.

    BAIER: Defense Secretary Rumsfeld?

    DONALD RUMSFELD, FORMER DEFENSE SECRETARY: Well, I was in the Pentagon and had been meeting with a group of congressmen, trying to persuade them that 10 years after the end of the Cold War, we'd skimped on our intelligence capabilities and we'd reduced our defense investments in a way that was harmful and that we needed to increase the defense budget under President George W. Bush.

    And I was told by my military assistant about the first plane and assumed it was accident, and then told about the second one. And it was clearly not an accident. Shortly thereafter, when I was getting -- still meeting with my CIA briefer, the Pentagon was hit.

    And I went down the hall and downstairs when the smoke got too bad, went outside and out in the apron, the grass out there, were just hundreds and hundreds of pieces of metal, small pieces of metal. This plane had impacted the Pentagon at 500 miles an hour, filled with jet fuel, and the place was burning and people were streaming out, trying to save themselves.

    BAIER: Vice President Cheney, in your book, you detail a phone call that you made to Defense Secretary Rumsfeld. You were in the presidential emergency operations center. Secretary Rumsfeld, you were in the national military command center. You made this phone call I guess at 10:39, according to the transcript. And it really dealt with some confusion about the communication and what was going on.

    CHENEY: There was a lot of confusion that morning. When I arrived in the bunker, I was told there were six airplanes that had been hijacked -- they had actual flight numbers -- but there were only four -- and told there was a car bomb that had gone off at the State Department. That turned out not to be true.

    On the other hand, when they said there was a plane coming in from Pennsylvania towards Washington, that was true. That was United Flight 93. So the information flow, basically, was -- there was a lot of misinformation, which is not unusual under those circumstances.

    BAIER: And you thought maybe a plane had been shot down.

    CHENEY: That was one possibility. I'd passed along -- I'd been asked by an officer in the PEOC whether or not our pilots were authorized to shoot down planes that wouldn't divert. The president and I had talked about that previously, and I passed along that order.

    And when Don and I got on the telephone together then a few minutes later, really, that's one of the subjects that we talked about. We thought the possibility existed that we'd shot down what turned out to be United 93. We hadn't, thankfully, but if -- we didn't have a plan, really, that was in a position to intercept it.

    BAIER: General Myers, your first recollections?

    GEN. RICHARD MYERS (RET.), FORMER JOINT CHIEFS CHAIRMAN: First recollections were, I was on Capitol Hill getting ready for my confirmation hearing to be chairman. I was meeting with then Senator Max Cleland from Georgia, and got there at 9:00 o'clock. First tower had been hit. We saw it on the TV. Nobody knew what that was about. Went into the meeting. The second tower was hit, so it was a very short meeting.

    And I come out, there's a phone call from General Ed Eberhart out at North American Aerospace Defense Command, saying, We've got all these hijack codes, airplanes that are telling people they've been hijacked. And he says, It's very confusing. We've to land them and we'll sort it out on the ground.

    And we headed back towards the Pentagon, and en route got word that the Pentagon had been hit, came across the 14th Street bridge, and there was the Pentagon, this iconic symbol of our military strength, with flames and black smoke.

    And I went to the national military command center, and my first question was, where's the secretary, because we got a lot of things to do here. And he was still outside, working the triage of those who had been injured as the plane crashed into the -- into the Pentagon. And he showed up shortly thereafter actually.

    BAIER: General Keane?

    GEN. JACK KEANE (RET.), FMR. ARMY VICE CHIEF OF STAFF, FOX MILITARY ANALYST: Yeah, I was in my office in the Pentagon, and the door flung open, and one of my sergeants ran across the cavernous offices we all have in the Pentagon and said, you got to look at the TV.

    I'm a New York kid, so when I saw that plane that hit the first building, I suspected it was terrorism -- blue sky day. I called my operations officer (INAUDIBLE) the operations center up to full manning, the Army's operations center, had subsequent conversations after the second one hit about an airplane that had come into the vicinity of Washington, D.C., and had turned south. He was picking it up on an FAA net.

    And during that conversation, we were talking about, what do we do about evacuating buildings in Washington and evacuating this building? Then it hit the building as we're having that conversation.

    My desk moved. The whole office shook. I told my people, call your homes, tell them you're OK and get out. I kept my XO and my aide. We took some T-shirts, and we went in -- down the hallway, you know, through some white smoke, then in some black smoke to give some people some hand getting out of there. Then my guys did kind of what the secretary's did, said, Sir, you got to go to the operations center and let's leave this to other people.

    And we went on down there, and my people were coming in from out -- out there, and they had one story after another about what was taking place. I knew there had been a lot of heroism that day, so I called the -- the chief (INAUDIBLE) military history, told him to get over here the next day and capture this history of this new battlefield and a new war.

    BAIER: We are dealing with new threats right now. We will talk about that with our special all-star panel after the break.



    JOHN BRENNAN, CHIEF WHITE HOUSE COUNTERTERRORISM ADVISER: We know that it is specific related to both Washington and New York, trying to carry out some type of attack here. It is credible in terms of the source that it comes from. And what we're trying to do is to put the pieces together. We are trying to be as vigilant as possible. We're trying to ensure that we're able to tap into all of those databases that we have, to correlate the bits and pieces of information that are coming in. But we are taking this very seriously.


    BAIER: President Obama's counterterrorism adviser talking about a new, specific threat that the U.S. is facing that the administration is dealing with.

    We're back with our special panel. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, you've looked at a lot of intelligence, similar things, threats during your time as Defense Secretary, and Vice President Cheney, all of you, have seen specific threats. What's going on behind the scenes now, dealing with this kind of thing?

    RUMSFELD: Well, of course, initially, they have to make a judgment whether they want to announce it. And you can't really call up the additional police people and firemen and security people unless you say there's a reason because they'll wonder why they're being called up. So seems to me, they've done exactly the right thing.