The independent commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks is refusing to accept strict conditions from the White House for interviews with President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney and is renewing its request that Bush’s national security adviser testify in public, commission members told the New York Times.
The panel members, interviewed after a private meeting on Tuesday, said the commission had decided for now to reject a White House request that the interview with Bush be limited to one hour and that questions come from only the panel’s chairman and vice chairman.
The members said the commission had also decided to continue to press the national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, to reconsider her refusal to testify at a public hearing. Bush and Cheney are expected to be asked about how they had reacted to intelligence reports before Sept. 11, 2001, suggesting that Al Qaeda might be planning a large attack. Panel members want to ask Rice the same questions in public.