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25 questions for Dick Cheney

ASK THIS | October 25, 2006

Even after extensively researching their book about Vice President Cheney – 'Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency' – Lou Dubose and Jake Bernstein found they still had lots of unanswered questions.

By Lou Dubose
and Jake Bernstein

Dick Cheney is the most powerful American vice president in modern history. He is also the most secretive. As vice president, Cheney has carved out a largely unaccountable netherworld between the White House and the Senate where he can hide information from the public.

We compiled these questions in the course of reporting our Random House Book, available on Amazon.com and at local bookstores: Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency:

1. Why was your energy task force reviewing maps of Iraqi oilfields in 2001, two years prior to the Iraq War, while Iraq oil was embargoed on the open market?

2. After the initial military success in Afghanistan and Iraq in 2003, the Iranian government offered to negotiate with the United States regarding al-Qaeda, relations with Israel, and the Iranian nuclear energy and weapons program. Why did you kill the negotiations before they began?

3. Do you believe that in wartime there are any limits on the powers of the commander in chief, and if so, what are they?

4. What was the extent of your participation in the awarding of the no-bid single source contracts the Army Corps of Engineers awarded to Halliburton?

5. What were your intentions when you scribbled in the margins of The New York Times on July 6, 2003, “did his wife send him on a junket?”

6. At what point were you aware that Niger was not providing large quantities of uranium “yellow cake” to Iraq?

7. Exactly how many times did you visit CIA headquarters prior to the Iraq War, and what did you ask of the CIA analysts with whom you met?

8. How do you explain the complete reversal of your position on invading and occupying Iraq, a course of action you unequivocally opposed as George H. W. Bush’s secretary of defense?

9. How do you justify ignoring CIA pleas for more U.S. forces whenAmerican and Northern Alliance forces had Osama bin Laden trapped in a cave complex in Tora Bora?

10. Was it your expectation leading up to the Iraq War that Ahmed Chalabi would replace Saddam Hussein, and did you or your staff discuss the organization of a provisional or future government of Iraq with Chalabi?

11. Considering that American and European intelligence sources were discounting the idea at the time, where did you get the information on which you based your claim that the Iraqi government was developing nuclear weapons in 2002?

12. What foreign policy instructions did you convey to your daughter Elizabeth while she was in the number two spot at the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs of the State Department?

13. Considering the North Korean missile tests in June 2006 and North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons (including the recent detonation of a nuclear devise), how do you justify the constraints you personally imposed on a negotiation agenda that had been drafted and approved by the president and secretary of state in 2004?

14. Do you believe that human-caused global warming is a reality? If so, do you believe the U.S. government has an obligation to do something about it?

15. Why doesn’t the public have a right to know who serves on the vice president’s staff and the size and details of the staff budget office, and how many documents it has classified?

16. How long do you envision continuing warrantless wiretapping ofAmerican citizens, surveillance of their financial and telephone records, and other extraordinary domestic measures your administration has put in place to fight the “global war against terror”?

17. If there were to be a major attack on the United States involving weapons of mass destruction, what plans are in place for continuity of government, and will they comply with the constitutional statutory line of succession?

18. Do you believe the administration’s signing statements take precedence over congressional statutes? How have these signing statements been put into effect in executive branch actions?

19. What was your involvement, either independently or through David Addington, in the drafting of the Yoo and Bybee memos justifying torture?

20. Are you still receiving any compensation of any kind from Halliburton, and would you provide an account of all Halliburton compensation you have received since you became George Bush’s vice presidential nominee?

21. What request did Ken Lay make of you regarding Enron and the California electricity markets in 2001?

22. Did you have any discussions with Jack Stanley regarding bribing Nigerian officials while you were CEO at Halliburton?

23. Will you release the full list of names of the donors to the 2000 Presidential Transition Foundation and the amounts they gave?

24. Is the public subsidizing in any way your frequent travel to and attendance at fundraising events for congressional candidates?

25. Why won’t you release your complete medical history and list of medications you take?

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