September 11 2001. Al Qaeda terrorists hijack US airplanes and crash them into high value targets.
With the President in Florida, National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice must try and stop the chaos spiralling out of control.
Condoleezza Rice tells the President in a raised voice that he cannot come back to the White House yet and hangs up.
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is AWOL surveying the damage of the attack on the Pentagon and helping the wounded when he should be in the Pentagon Command Center co-ordinating the military response. Neither the President, his chief of staff nor Condoleezza Rice can contact Rumsfeld at a critical time.
The US military forces raise their alert level to DEFCON 3, the highest state of war readiness since the Cuban missile crisis but Condoleezza Rice keeps her head and uses the hot line to call the Kremlin to stop a cold-war-style of escalating alerts.
Edited extracts from a documentary, partially dramatised for British Channel 4. 14 minutes 2 seconds.