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?


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  • 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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