White House

War on the installment plan

Betting that congressional Democrats’ opposition to the Iraq war will remain ineffectual, President Bush has asked for another $46 billion to continue fighting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

That brings the total amount he has asked for this fiscal year, which is barely 3 weeks old, to over $196 billion. If this funding goes through, the United States will have spent over $800 billion on the wars since 2001, most of it carried off budget.

Bush’s out-of-control war

The cost of President George W. Bush’s illegal and immoral war in Iraq — in both dollars and American lives — continues to spiral out of control.

Bush not only wants to send more and more Americans into harm’s way in his war. He wants to spend more and more money to fund his failing efforts.

All this comes when polls show more and more Americans not only want the soldiers home but want spending in the Iraq debacle reduced and the hemorrhaging economy brought under control.

But Bush has a habit of getting what he wants and the timid Democratic Congress appears powerless to stop him.

Another Bush legacy in jeopardy

President Bush had hoped to leave behind a nuclear cooperation deal with India that would be a legacy foreign policy and energy achievement. But for reasons beyond Bush administration control, the deal is in danger of unraveling.

Rice covers up ‘endemic corruption’

Four powerful Democratic lawmakers on Friday warned Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that “endemic corruption” in Iraq was fueling the insurgency, and accused her department of covering it up.

The House of Representatives committee chairmen also accused US officials of refusing to answer questions on corruption in Iraq, and complained the department had reclassified data on the issue after it had been released.

Bush demands power to spy at will

President George W. Bush on Wednesday warned the Democratic-led Congress not to “weaken” the power of US spy agencies to eavesdrop on communications between alleged terror suspects.

But the House of Representatives’ judiciary and intelligence committees both defied the president and approved a new bid by Democrats to revise a law extending authorization for warrantless wiretaps.

The new measure would revise the “Protect America Act” hastily passed under fierce pressure from Bush and the intelligence community before Congress broke up for its summer recess in August.

Gonzales can resign but he can’t hide

Only hours after announcing in late August he would resign, embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales talked to Ruben Navarrette, a columnist with the San Diego Union Tribune.

Gonzales told Navarrette he wanted to be remembered “as someone who did the best he could … based on what was right and what was just.”

That sounds like a fair yardstick for measuring his public service. But there was more about Alberto Gonzales not yet known.

Bush’s ediface complex

There must be some logic to building the United States’ — and the world’s — largest embassy in the world’s 44th largest nation, coming somewhere after Nepal and Uganda.

Carter: Bush allows torture

US President George W. Bush’s administration tortures detainees in defiance of international law, former US president Jimmy Carter charged Wednesday.

“I don’t think it, I know it, certainly,” Carter told CNN television when asked if he believed the US administration allowed the use of torture.

Carter rejected Bush’s statement last week that the United States does not torture terror suspects.

Bush issues new WMD claim

Osama bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda network remains bent on getting nuclear and biological weapons to unleash apocalyptic destruction, a new White House report on national security warned Tuesday.

The report, which called for redoubled anti-terror coordination at all levels of government, said Al-Qaeda remains “the most serious and dangerous manifestation” of extremist threats against the United States.

Bush’s double standard on torture

After publicly renouncing torture as a tool in the war on terror, it turns out the Bush administration secretly reserved the right to do so.

In 2002, the administration announced that al Qaeda prisoners were not subject to international law against the torture of captives. Later that year, the administration produced a legal opinion authorizing the CIA to use interrogation techniques that stopped short of the sort of pain caused by serious physical injury, organ failure or death. This was our government talking.