White House

Gonzales lied in testimony to Senate

Documents show that eight congressional leaders were briefed about the Bush administration’s terrorist surveillance program on the eve of its expiration in 2004, contradicting sworn Senate testimony this week by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

The documents, obtained by The Associated Press, come as senators consider whether a perjury investigation should be opened into conflicting accounts about the program and a dramatic March 2004 confrontation leading up to its potentially illegal reauthorization.

Bush: Iraq is war against al Qaeda

Defending his strategy in an increasingly unpopular war, President George W. Bush on Tuesday ratcheted up his effort to link the U.S.-led fight in Iraq to the broader battle against al Qaeda.

Bush spoke at an air force base in Charleston a day after the city hosted a Democratic presidential debate in which calls for a U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq were a common theme.

Special prosecutor to investigate Gonzo?

Angry senators suggested a special prosecutor should investigate misconduct at the Justice Department, accusing Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on Tuesday of deceit on the prosecutor firings and President Bush’s eavesdropping program.

Democrats and Republicans alike hammered Gonzales in four hours of testimony as he denied trying, in 2004, to push a hospitalized former attorney general into approving a counterterror program that the Justice Department then viewed as illegal.

Bush admits his ignorance

Really, who could blame President Bush for being a bit flummoxed by the query?

At a town-hall meeting in Nashville, Tenn., on Thursday, a questioner pressed the president about why the United States does not pay a “statutory royalty” to performing artists for airplay.

This is Bush’s reply, verbatim:

“Help. Maybe you’ve never had a president say this — I have, like, no earthly idea what you’re talking about,” Bush said, to laughter and applause.

Senate stalemate benefits Bush

An ill-tempered Senate stalemate may have bought President George W. Bush two more months for his Iraq troop “surge” but a pivotal and even more testy showdown looms over the war’s fate in September.

Democrats failed on Wednesday to overcome blocking maneuvers by Bush’s allies, as a thinning line of Republican support held firm against their latest drive to get most US troops home by the end of next April.

If at first you don’t succeed, fail again

With his lies-based Iraq war a failure and his Presidency in tatters, an unbowed George W. Bush is launching a futile effort to broker a Mid-East peace.

Like all his efforts, the attempt is doomed from the start.

Bush’s push for a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian peace is seen by both friends and foes as little more than posturing by a President who is grasping at straws to leave some legacy from a failed two terms.

It won’t work. It can’t work. Everybody except Bush seems to know so.

Embattled VA head steps down

U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary James Nicholson said on Tuesday he would step down, leaving an agency criticized for the care provided to veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Nicholson, whose resignation is effective no later than October 1, said he wanted to return to the private sector.

“This coming February, I turn 70 years old, and I feel it is time for me to get back into business, while I still can,” he said in a prepared statement.

Recurring debate on executive privilege

If history is a guide — and on this constantly recurring controversy it usually is — the so-called constitutional showdown under way between the White House and Capitol Hill over “executive privilege” will likely end with a convoluted compromise that decides little.

Every administration has at least one set-to with Congress over “executive privilege,” which the White House says prevents the Hill from compelling an administration official to testify.

Bush claims critics wrong about Iraq

President Bush took his critics to task Saturday for using the poor marks the Iraqi government received on a progress report this week as reason to argue that the war is lost.’

Bush acknowledged the Iraqis received “unsatisfactory” marks on eight benchmarks, including failure to prepare for local elections or to pass a law to share oil revenues among Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds. But the president said “satisfactory” grades the Iraqis received in eight other areas — like providing three Iraqi brigades for the military offensive under way and providing $10 billion of their money for reconstruction — were cause for optimism.

“Our strategy is built on the premise that progress on security will pave the way for political progress,” Bush said in his weekly radio address. “This report shows that conditions can change, progress can be made, and the fight in Iraq can be won.”

Bush calls CIA leak story ‘old news’

President Bush always said he would wait to talk about the CIA leak case until after the investigation into his administration’s role. On Thursday, he skipped over that step and pronounced the matter old news hardly worth discussing.

“It’s run its course,” he said. “Now we’re going to move on.”

Despite a long history of denouncing leaks, Bush declined to express any disappointment in the people who worked for him and who were involved in disclosing the name of a CIA operative. Asked about that during a wide-ranging news conference, the president gave a dodgy answer.