White House

Gitmo meeting canceled…for now

The United States is helping build a prison in Afghanistan to take some prisoners now at Guantanamo Bay, but the White House said Friday it is not meant as an alternative to the detainee facility in Cuba.

The Bush administration wants to close Guantanamo Bay and move its terror suspects to prisons elsewhere and senior officials have told The Associated Press a consensus is building among the president’s top advisers on how to do it.

Bush’s bungled mideast policy

The Bush administration, generally impetuous in most of its undertakings, has been uncharacteristically glacial about brokering an Arab-Israeli settlement and ushering into existence an independent Palestinian state. It is coming up on five years since President Bush announced his support for a two-state solution and a road map for getting there.

But when the radical Hamas forcibly took control of Gaza, leaving President Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah party in charge of the West Bank, the larger of the two fragments of Palestinian territory, the White House acted rapidly.

Bush’s budget director quits

Another senior official in George W. Bush’s troubled White House is jumping ship. Budget director Rob Portman turned in his resignation Tuesday.

Bush immediately tapped former Iowa Congressman Jim Nussle to replace Portman but the former chairman of the House Budget Committee may get a cool reception from Senate Democrats on Capitol Hill.

Nussle ran for Iowa governor in 2006 but lost and has been working as an advisor to Rudy Giuliani’s Presidential campaign.

White House illegally destroyed emails

The Bush Administration knowingly and openly violated the law by deleting email records for 51 White officials who had email accounts with the Republican National Committee.

A report issued Monday by the House Oversight Committee says the White House eliminated the email records to thwart a Congressional investigation into overt political activity by the White House.

The House investigation also found the White House lied about the number of staff members with the illegal RNC email accounts and deliberately concealed details on usage of the accounts.

Veto? We don’t need no stinkin’ veto

When the Republicans were in charge of Congress, President Bush was the most spendthrift chief executive since LBJ and the Great Society. But now that Democrats are in charge the president has decided it’s time to hold the line on spending.

He has promised to veto any spending bill that exceeds the amounts he asked for in the budget he submitted in February.

So far he’s off to an uneven start.

Bush skirts law with ‘signing statements’

President George W. Bush breaks the law by failing to follow provisions of legislation passed by Congress and illegally modifies those bills through the use of “signing statements” that add his own interpretations or limitations.

That’s the conclusion of an investigation by the General Accounting Office, an independent investigatory arm of Congress.

Administration critics say the report is another indication of how the Bush Administration ignores the law of the land.

Another Gonzales aide bails out

Another Justice Department official involved in the controversial firings of federal prosecutors is resigning, the department said on Friday.

Mike Elston, the chief of staff to outgoing Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty, is the fifth Justice Department official to resign since March as the Democratic-led Congress investigates the department’s firing of nine U.S. attorneys.

Elston said he was leaving to join a law firm in the Washington area. His resignation takes effect next Friday.

Gonzales under investigation

The US Justice Department is investigating its own chief, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, to see if he tried to skew testimony over the firings of nine federal prosecutors, officials said.

Two department officials, in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee dated Wednesday, confirmed that the probe into the firings includes examining a meeting between Gonzales and one of his former top aides, Monica Goodling.

Goodling, questioned by the committee last month over her role in the allegedly politically motivated sackings, testified that Gonzales’s remarks in a March discussion with her on the issue left her feeling “a little uncomfortable.”

Pace says he was forced out

In his first public comments on the Bush administration’s surprise decision to replace him as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Gen. Peter Pace disclosed that he had turned down an offer to voluntarily retire rather than be forced out.

To quit in wartime, he said, would be letting down the troops.

Pace, responding to a question from the audience after he spoke at the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Va., on Thursday evening, said he first heard that his expected nomination for a second two-year term was in jeopardy in mid-May. Defense Secretary Robert Gates on June 8 announced Pace was being replaced.