Grilled to Order

What we’d Like to ask when Bush and Cheney take the hot seat

Now for the vice president:

1. Mr. Cheney, we know—more or less—what Bush did on 9-11. What did you do? A chronology, please.

2. Did you receive any orders from Bush that morning? If so, what were they?

3. Did you issue any orders, either in your own or in the president's name, to civilian and/or military agencies of the U.S. government that day? If so, what were they?

4. Before 9-11, Bush entrusted you to head a task force to work alongside the new Office of National Preparedness, a part of FEMA. This office is supposed to oversee a "national effort" to coordinate all federal programs for responding to domestic attacks. You told the press, "One of our biggest threats as a nation" may include "a terrorist organization overseas. We need to look at this whole area, oftentimes referred to as homeland defense."

The focus was to be on state-funded terrorists using weapons of mass destruction, and you mentioned neither bin Laden nor Al Qaeda. Your task force was supposed to report to Congress by October 1, 2001, after a review by the National Security Council. Bush stated that he would "periodically chair a meeting of the National Security Council to review these efforts." Yet neither your review nor Bush's seems to have taken place before 9-11. Your deadline was a couple of weeks later.

What had you done up to then? How many meetings had you held? Who were the members of your task force?

Additional reporting: Alicia Ng and Phoebe St John

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