Wilson Center Newsletter

September 2012 Volume 6 Issue 6



"9/11 in Retrospect 

Did the US Overreact? Some Personal and Historical Reflections"


EdelmanAmbassador Eric Edelman

former ambassador to the Republics of Finland and Turkey and Under Secretary of Defense for Policy

For this year's September 11th Symposium, Hampden-Sydney College was fortunate to have a very special guest speaker: Ambassador Eric S. Edelman, a retired U. S. Ambassador to Turkey and Finland with a distinguished career that included assignments in both the State and Defense Departments. Ambassador Edelman began his presentation by giving his account of the event of 9/11/01 with a special focus on what transpired in the situation room of the White House. The Ambassador related the story from the point of view of his involvement with leaders such as former Vice President Cheney and National Security Advisor Condeleeza Rice. In short, he gave his audience an insider look at how the core US leadership responded to the 9/11 attacks so that everyone had the feeling that they were in the PEOC with Vice President Cheney and the national security staff, a truly insightful experience. Ambassador Edelman described the atmosphere surrounding 9/11 as a mixture of surprise, anxiety, and calm responsibility. In the midst of a good deal of initial confusion and uncertainty about the nature and extent of the attacks, Vice President Cheney insisted on remaining in the White House in the absence of President Bush, who was visiting with school children in Florida at the time of the attacks. Ambassador Edelman noted that it is easy to forget the trauma that the nation experienced on 9/11/01. The Ambassador ended his speech with a quote by President Obama, reiterating that al-Qaeda is still a significant national security threat to the United States, despite what some may argue.  The Ambassador made it quite clear in responding to a question following his remarks that he believes the United States must be assertive in protecting its interests at home and abroad, and this requires a properly funded military and an up-to-date nuclear arsenal. 

by Scott Clayton '13


Ambassador Edelman Speaks  

by Joseph Lantagne '16

as appeared in The Hampden-Sydney Tiger


audience shot


Ambassador Edelman & President Howard

edelman group

Jay Adams, Mark Finelli '98, Brian Shaw, Ambassador Edelman, Dr.Howard, LtGen Boykin, Charles Payne '88




"Preparing for and Responding to 9/11: The Evolution of Joint Special Operation Forces and Intelligence"


James Locher

Deputy Asssistant Secretary of Defense for Special

Operations and Low-Intensity Conflicts under President George H. W. Bush



Lt. General Samuel Wilson, U.S. Army Retired



 Lt. General Jerry Boykin, U.S. Army Retired





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