Ten years ago Friday morning, the men who would become the Sept. 11 hijackers were ready. They woke up on Sept. 9, 2001, in small motels along the East Coast. Their leader, Mohammed Atta, was one of the last ones on the move. He was checking in with the teams on his way to Boston.
The White House counterterrorism chief, Richard Clarke, was also at work that day. He was watching something happening in al-Qaida email chatter — he just didn't know what.
Since Sept. 11, 2001, no U.S. diplomat has spent more time in more sensitive places than Ryan Crocker. He was ambassador to Pakistan as that country struggled with political turmoil and violence; he was ambassador to Iraq as the U.S. military surge changed the complexion of the war; and now he is ambassador to Afghanistan.
Father Mychal Judge was a Franciscan friar and a chaplain to the New York City Fire Department. He was also a true New York character. Born in Brooklyn, Mychal Judge seemed to know everyone in the city, from the homeless to the mayor.
On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Father Mychal arrived at the World Trade Center shortly after the first plane hit. And as firefighters and other rescue personnel ran into the North Tower, he went with them.
The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, inflicted the single greatest loss of life ever suffered by a police department in U.S. history. The department wasn't the New York Police — it was the less well-known Port Authority Police Department. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey polices the bridges and tunnels around New York, and it also was in charge of security at the Twin Towers. It's a small, tight-knit department, and it lost 37 officers that day.
ROBERT SIEGEL, host: Big question, of course, is how do Republicans in the House, where they are the majority, how did they react to the president's speech this evening. We're going to find out from one member of the House leadership right now. Congressman Tom Price of Georgia is chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee, and a member of the Budget Committee and the Ways and Means Committee. Welcome to the program once again.
Representative TOM PRICE: Thank you so much, Robert. Good to be with you.
ROBERT SIEGEL, host: Joining us now is a Democrat, Jan Schakowsky, Democrat of Illinois, a member of the House Progressive Caucus, someone who's proposed her own jobs bill. Well, how did the president do?
ROBERT SIEGEL, host: From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
President Obama called on Congress tonight to stop the political circus and pass his plan, dubbed the American Jobs Act.
President BARACK OBAMA: There should be nothing controversial about this piece of legislation. Everything in here is the kind of proposal that's been supported by both Democrats and Republicans, including many who sit here tonight. And everything in this bill will be paid for - everything.
MELISSA BLOCK, host: This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
ROBERT SIEGEL, host: And I'm Robert Siegel. President Obama addressed a joint session of Congress this evening, urging adoption of what he called the American Jobs Act. It is a package of payroll tax cuts and spending increases aimed at jobless benefits and infrastructure improvements. The overall price tag is nearly $450 billion and the president said it will be all paid for.
ROBERT SIEGEL, host: We've been hearing reactions to President Obama's jobs speech, which he made before a joint session of Congress. He started about an hour ago. Of course, he was done extremely early so that he could be done in time for the opening kickoff of the National Football League season. We'll have more on this subject.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.