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Official's wife was aboard jet

Barbara Olson, wife of the U.S. Solicitor General, dies in the Pentagon attack.

©Associated Press

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 12, 2001


WASHINGTON -- The wife of U.S. Solicitor General Theodore Olson was aboard the jetliner that crashed into the Pentagon and called him as the plane was being hijacked.

WASHINGTON -- The wife of U.S. Solicitor General Theodore Olson was aboard the jetliner that crashed into the Pentagon and called him as the plane was being hijacked.

Barbara Olson, 45, a former congressional investigator and aide to Senate Minority Whip Don Nickles, left Dulles International Airport aboard American Airlines Flight 77 heading to Los Angeles.

She twice called her husband and described some details of the hijacking, including that the attackers were using knife-like instruments, law enforcement officials said.

They declined to further describe the conversation.

In a brief telephone interview from his home, Olson said his wife was on the plane and called him as the hijacking unfolded.

"She was on the plane that crashed into the Pentagon," Olson said. "She called from the plane while it was being hijacked. I wish it wasn't so but it is."

Olson argues President Bush's cases before the Supreme Court.

In the mid 1990s, Barbara Olson was a chief investigator for the House Government Reform Committee that investigated Clinton-era allegations. She later became a lawyer on Nickles' staff before branching out on her own as a TV commentator and private lawyer.

She was a frequent critic of the Clinton administration and wrote a book on Hillary Rodham Clinton.


Barbara Olson, wife of the U.S. Solicitor General, dies in the Pentagon attack.

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