November 7, 2010
The National Military Command Center (NMCC) is the most secure part of the Pentagon and, at the time of the 9/11 attacks, was “the focal point within [the] Department of Defense for providing assistance” to law enforcement efforts in response to aircraft hijackings in U.S. airspace, according to military instructions.  In response to the attacks on New York and Washington, the job of the NMCC, according to the 9/11 Commission, was “to gather the relevant parties and establish the chain of command between the National Command Authority–the president and the secretary of defense–and those who need to carry out their orders.” 
The NMCC therefore had a critical role to play that day. And yet evidence reveals that emergency actions conducted from the center were totally inadequate. Numerous obstructions occurred, including technical problems and outside agencies failing to provide the center with the information it required. Furthermore, a number of military leaders were particularly slow in reaching the NMCC, from where they could assist emergency response efforts, and only arrived there after the attacks ended and it was too late to make a difference.
The evidence currently available is insufficient to draw firm conclusions from. But the sheer number of factors that hindered the actions of those in the NMCC, combined with several oddities, raises the possibility that a deliberate and coordinated attempt was made by treasonous U.S. government and military insiders to sabotage the center’s ability to respond to the 9/11 attacks, at a time when its rapid actions were imperative.
THE U.S. MILITARY’S ‘WORLDWIDE NERVE CENTER’
The NMCC has been described as “a communications hub, a switchboard connecting the Pentagon, the civilian government, and the combatant commanders.”  It is a maze of offices, cubicles, and conference rooms in an area of the Pentagon where offices of the military’s Joint Staff and many top officials, including the secretary of defense, are located. The center is designed to operate in an emergency, and has its own electrical, heating, and air-conditioning systems. 
The NMCC’s primary task is to monitor worldwide events for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Its other main missions are providing a strategic watch component and providing a crisis response component. At the time of the 9/11 attacks, it was operated by five teams on a rotating basis, with each operations team typically having 17 to 20 personnel on duty and performing a variety of functions. 
OFFICERS LACKED URGENCY IN RESPONSE TO FIRST CRASH
The morning of September 11, 2001, the NMCC was receiving live feeds from numerous television stations, which its personnel were monitoring, and those in the NMCC learned of the first plane crashing into the World Trade Center from TV news reports.  This was reportedly the first time they learned anything of the crisis in the skies over America that morning. 
NMCC personnel supposedly didn’t realize that the crash was a terrorist attack. Operations officer Dan Mangino has recalled, “At first, we thought it was a terrible accident.”  Major Charles Chambers recalled, “My instinct was that the pilot had used the towers to point himself towards the area, lost consciousness, and autopilot had done the rest.” Therefore, at that time, “Our interest in the crash … was no different from anyone else’s in the country.” 
The operations team’s response was to continue monitoring media reports and make notifications up the chain of command, simply telling senior Pentagon officials that a plane had crashed into one of the WTC towers.