Pentagon lost a comm link in crash

Pentagon lost a comm link in crash

John P. Stenbit, Defense Department CIO

The damage caused by the terrorist-commandeered jetliner that crashed into the Pentagon Tuesday will surely include lost data and impaired Defense systems, said John P. Stenbit, Defense Department CIO.

'There are places here that don't exist anymore,' Stenbit said during a press briefing in his office today. Some data is easily replaceable and some is not, he said, adding, 'You can believe there are things that don't work.'

'There are two major communications links' into the Pentagon, Stenbit said. 'One went away and had to be restored.' But it's still too early to determine everything that was lost, Stenbit said. Volunteer crews are now hauling away debris, cordoning off evidence and searching the area for bodies.

'It's far too early to predict the details of what we're going to learn,' he said.

Down the corridors of the Pentagon from the crash site, Stenbit's office smelled of burnt debris. At the River Entrance stood two employees armed with semi-automatic guns. All visitors submitted their license plate numbers and went through metal detectors on arrival.

It all still seemed shocking to Stenbit. He said while he is 'fortunate that none of the people directly in his office were affected,' he is saddened that so many people are still missing and presumed dead.

'It doesn't make any difference if you knew them or not,' he said. 'It's a horrendous issue to have this kind of thing happen, and everybody is changed. It's a different world.' But, Stenbit added, he never considered not returning to work on Wednesday.

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