White House

Bush bullies Congress…again

Even though the Democrats are now in charge, President Bush has not lost his ability to bully Congress into passing national-security legislation against its better judgment.

By threatening to keep Congress in emergency session during its August vacation — a power that’s supposed to be used only for matters of grave national importance — he stamped the lawmakers into an 11th-hour rewrite of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the law governing national-security eavesdropping.

Bush signs 9/11 bill

President George W. Bush on Friday signed legislation implementing key counter-terrorism recommendations that emerged from the independent probe into the September 11, 2001 attacks.

The measure requires the introduction of a system to screen all cargo loaded onto passenger jets within three years, improves airport and port security, and hands out grants to protect against terror strikes to US cities based on risk.

Secret court outlawed Bush’s spy program

A U.S. intelligence court earlier this year secretly struck down a key element of President George W. Bush’s warrantless spying program, The Washington Post reported in its Friday edition.

The decision is one reason Congress is trying to give legal authorization to the spying program in fevered negotiations with the Bush administration this week, the Post reported.

Deja-vu all over again?

President George W. Bush Wednesday barred his political guru Karl Rove from testifying to Congress in a furious political row sparked by a mass firing of federal prosecutors.

Bush invoked “executive privilege” to prevent Karl Rove and Scott Jennings, deputy White House political director, from providing documents and testimony under oath before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

Forget the war Mr. Bush…Talk soccer

Mr. President, here’s a draft of your next major speech. Even though you didn’t actually request it — you will see that it is your best and maybe last chance to see if there is perhaps a sliver of high ground beneath the quicksand that has become your legacy:

Bush lied about extent of domestic spying

President George W. Bush, in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, approved a vast domestic spying operation that went far beyond just using the National Security Agency to snoop into the private lives of Americans.

In an executive order signed by Bush in 2001, the efforts of all of America’s extensive intelligence communities were turned inwards, monitoring the day-to-day activities on U.S. citizens on a level that rival’s Russias famed KGB.

And, as with most activities of the Bush administration, most of the details of the domestic spying operation remain secret, hidden behind the cloak of “national security.” When Bush previously admitted the NSA’s role in domestic spying he was, as usual, telling only part of the real story.

Full spin cycle on Gonzales

The White House accused congressional Democrats on Friday of waging a crusade to bring down U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales after lawmakers sought a perjury probe against him.

The criticism came a day after testimony by FBI Director Robert Mueller raised questions about Gonzales’ credibility under questioning by Democratic lawmakers.

Mueller told a congressional hearing he had serious reservations about a warrantless domestic spying program that Gonzales testified drew little disagreement within the administration.

Senate ramps up pressure on Bush

Democrats Thursday demanded a perjury probe against embattled US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, as the Senate whipped up a new legal row by subpoenaing White House political guru Karl Rove.

The double-pronged assault came as a senator investigating a scandal over fired federal prosecutors said President George W. Bush was guilty of Nixon-style obstruction, prompting an angry White House counter-attack.

Gonzales, one of Bush’s closest aides, faced new demands for his resignation, and took another blow as the director of the FBI contradicted an element of his testimony during a tense Senate committee hearing this week.

Bush wants to rebuild nuclear arsenal

The White House wants Congress to fund US nuclear missile updates to dissuade possible attacks from countries such as Iran and North Korea, according to a government report released Wednesday.

“Credible US nuclear capabilities and our security commitment to allies remain an indispensable part of deterrence and an important element in our effort to limit proliferation,” said the report prepared by the Departments of Energy, Defense and State.

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.