Hundreds of photographs documenting Vice President Dick Cheney on September 11, 2001 have been released by the National Archives. And yes, he's got a leg up on his desk as he watches a news broadcast of the burning Twin Towers.

The set of photographs, which also features President George W. Bush, Secretary of State Colin Powell, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, Cheney's right hand man Scooter LIbby, Cheney's wife Lynne, First Lady Laura Bush, CIA Director George Tenet, and many more, was dumped yesterday (Take Out The Trash Day, amirite?) due to a Freedom of Information Act request from documentarian Colette Neirouz Hanna, whose company produces films for PBS's FRONTLINE, like Bush’s War, Cheney’s Law and The Dark Side.


“We have wanted these photos for years to help us tell the story of probably the most powerful vice president in American history,” Hanna said.

For almost 15 years, FRONTLINE has been covering the role that Vice President Cheney played in the Bush administration’s response to the 9/11 attacks. And from the beginning, one of the biggest challenges was the intense secrecy that surrounded the Office of the Vice President.

“Time and again we ran into roadblocks,” said Hanna. “The White House would refuse to cooperate with our requests for photographs and even our attempts to film hallways in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building were denied.”

At one point, the administration refused to provide FRONTLINE a high resolution photograph of the vice president that had already appeared on the White House website. We used the low resolution photograph anyway.

Without cooperation from the White House, the Kirk Documentary Group — whose coverage of the Bush administration for FRONTLINE includes the films Bush’s War, Cheney’s Law, The Dark Side, and most recently, the 2014 investigation Losing Iraq -- worked to find the images in other ways.

But Hanna knew there was a trove of other photographs out there, and when the National Archives took over the Bush administration’s records, she was one of the first to file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the long-denied photographs.

The photographs were available on January 20, 2014, and Hanna told the Boston Globe, “I knew of the date of their availability and was literally the second person to have submitted a FOIA request to the Cheney archive for materials." She added, "From the first moments after the attacks on the World Trade Center, Vice President Cheney has been at the center of much of the government’s response. We knew he had a photographer assigned to take pictures of almost everything he did and have been trying to obtain those pictures — from inside the secret bunker under the White House to the ‘undisclosed secure locations’ where he spent the weeks after September 11, 2001. Now, 14 years later we finally have those photographs and the American people can see for themselves what took place in those first 24 hours.”

As for what she might do with the photos, Hanna said they "will use them for future film projects on the topic and may even use them to re-edit past films we’ve produced about the Bush administration... to make them more vivid with these photographs.”

The Flickr album of photos says, "This album contains photos of Vice President Cheney on September 11, 2001 including meetings in the President’s Emergency Operations Center (PEOC) and Vice President Cheney traveling to Camp David." There are photos of top officials huddling together as well as ones of Cheney watching Bush's press conference in Florida after the attacks.

There are also unflattering ones, like of Cheney yawning and Rice looking tired. To be fair, it was a long, horrible, exhausting day, much of which may have involved going over the August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Briefing that included the part "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S." and other warnings from the CIA.