9-11: Limiting Access to Senior Administration Officials: Bush & Cheney
Former President Clinton and former Vice President Al Gore agreed to be interviewed by the full Commission for an unlimited time. [Fox News 3/2/04; Salon 3/2/04] President Clinton testified in front of the Commission on April 8th, and was "frank and informative." Al Gore met the following day. President Bush initially insisted that only two members of the Commission interview him and for only one hour, [White House Press Briefing 2/27/04] though he has wavered on the one-hour limitation. [New York Times 3/9/04] Coincidentally, Sen. John Kerry noted Bush’s misplaced priorities just the day before spokesman Scott McClellan announced the President’s flip-flop. [CBS News 2/27/04; New York Times 3/10/04]
As part of negotiations to allow the Commission access to Condoleezza Rice, Bush and Cheney agreed to be interviewed by the entire commission, but only together and in private. This White House requested arrangement is utterly ridiculous. "House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says it's baffling and embarrassing that President Bush is appearing before the September 11 commission with Vice President Dick Cheney at his side instead of by himself."