5,814. 4/29/2004

President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney eventually agreed to be interviewed by the 9/11 Commission on April 29, 2004, “as long as they appeared together and no transcript or recording was made. The insistence that the two do the interview jointly set tongues wagging about a president who needed to lean on his vice president, feeding into a public perception that it was Cheney who was really in charge, not just in ordering that hijacked planes be shot down on September 11, but in every phase of the war on terror that followed. ‘My immediate suspicion was that they want to do it together so that we don’t get them separately and their stories don’t match up, including about the shoot-down episode,’ recalled Philip Zelikow, the commission’s executive director. Timothy J. Roemer, a Democratic member of the commission, said he thought it might be ‘a way of diluting the time we would have with the president.’ ”

 – Peter Baker, Days of Fire, Page 324

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