Clinton, Gore Set to Face 9/11 Commission
WASHINGTON - The federal panel reviewing the Sept. 11 attacks has scheduled interviews with former President Clinton and former Vice President Al Gore this month but is struggling to get similar cooperation from President Bush and administration officials.
Members of the bipartisan commission said they were considering a subpoena to force the public testimony of national security adviser Condoleezza Rice. She has declined to appear at the panel's two-day hearing later this month.
"The commission wants to go back in the court of public opinion and appeal to the administration for them to reconsider their first stand," said commissioner Timothy Roemer, a former Democratic congressman from Indiana. "If we don't get that kind of cooperation, compelling Dr. Rice to come before us is an option."
The White House said Tuesday that Rice's testimony was a constitutional issue of separation of powers. "As a matter of law and practice, White House staff have not testified before legislative bodies," National Security Council spokesman Sean McCormack said. "This is not a matter of Dr. Rice's preferences."
The 10-member commission also requested private meetings with Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney about what the administration knew before the attacks, potentially a sensitive subject in an election year.
While Clinton and Gore have consented to private questioning without a time constraint, Bush and Cheney have agreed only to private, separate, one-hour meetings with the commission's chairman and vice chairman, instead of the full panel.
Wednesday, March 3
9/11 Commission: Some People Can't Wait To Tell Their Side Of The Story
Seems the 9/11 commission is about to get an earful from the Big Dog and Big Al - but they're getting nothing but static from their successors. This is gonna get VERY interesting. And suddenly, Dennis Hastert's bum's rush to a windup becomes clear.
Posted by Howard Hoffman at 12:21 AM