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Vice president in secure location at night

Dick Cheney
Dick Cheney  

From John King
Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON -- Vice President Dick Cheney is spending nights this week at a secure location as part of the security precautions put in place because of the September 11 anniversary, administration officials said Tuesday.

The officials said there is no evidence of a threat against the president or vice president, but the move is being taken as part of routine security protocols.

A decision was made late Monday that Cheney would not attend a Kennedy Center concert with the president, officials said, because of what one called "an overabundance of caution" that triggered concerns about having the president and vice president together.

The vice president is scheduled to deliver a speech Tuesday night in Washington, but officials said he also will videotape his remarks in case a decision is made later in the day that he should be out of the public eye.

U.S. at 'high alert' on eve of 9/11 

Also to be decided is whether Cheney will join Bush at three September 11 commemoration events: a morning church service, a moment of silence on the White House grounds, and a ceremony at the Pentagon.

"We're back in a minute-by-minute approach to scheduling and security for a few days," said a senior administration official.

Cheney was on hand Tuesday morning for his regular White House schedule, including a meeting of top national security officials. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Colin Powell also attended. After that session, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice traveled to Capitol Hill to brief lawmakers on Iraq policy.

Cheney spent considerable time out of the public eye after last year's attacks, because of "continuity of government" protocols that recommend keeping the president and vice president in separate locations during times of significant terrorist threat. The vice president often jokes about his time at a "secure and undisclosed" location.

The official vice presidential residence is at the Naval Observatory in Washington and is protected by the Secret Service.

White House officials declined to provide details of the vice president's security arrangements. But they officials stressed there is no credible information suggesting a specific terrorist threat or plan for attacks linked to the September 11 anniversary.

"Just simple common sense to be extra careful," one of the officials said.




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