London: Former US secretary of state, Condoleeza Rice, has revealed that she ordered the then President George W Bush not to return to Washington after the 9/11 attacks before hanging up the phone on him.
Rice claimed that Bush, who was in Florida at that time, said that he would come back to the White House but she stopped him and hung up the phone because it was a potential terrorist target.
“The President got on the phone and he said ‘I'm coming back’ but I replied ‘You can’t’…the United States of America is under attack, you have to go to safety. We don't know what is going on here, and hung up," the Daily Mail quoted Rice, as saying.
Concerned about his security, she claimed that for the first time, she raised her voice at the President.
She also revealed that the government's communications systems proved inadequate and key officials resorted to mobile phones ''to communicate the most sensitive information''.
“That was really dangerous because, if the terrorists were monitoring our communications, they would have heard a lot on cell phones. Had another plane hit the White House or the capital, I just don't think we had much more capacity to absorb greater shock than we already had,” she added.
First Published: Monday, September 06, 2010, 12:36