President Bush’s spy chief is pushing to expand the government’s surveillance authority at the same time the administration is under attack for stretching its domestic eavesdropping powers.
National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell (left) has circulated a draft bill that would expand the government’s powers under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, liberalizing how that law can be used.
The White House wants to appoint a high-profile overseer to manage the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan but has had trouble finding someone to take the job, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday.
At least three retired four-star generals approached by the White House in recent weeks have turned down the position, the report said.
When President Bush took office, he said he would not use e-mail in the White House so that his communications could not be subpoenaed.
But the White House, no less than any other operation today, can’t do business without e-mail. Bush’s aides do use e-mail and now, true to the president’s prediction, their communications have been subpoenaed.
Official communications through the White House computer system are preserved and eventually will be archived and made public. But the picture becomes murkier where private e-mail accounts are involved.
President Bush has re-launched his drive to win passage of comprehensive immigration-law reform, very likely his last chance at a major legislative initiative.
The White House has advanced a detailed plan, but one the White House stops short of labeling the president’s, saying it is a draft and intended to put ideas on the table for discussion. It’s unlikely opponents will be fooled.
Bush at the border (AP)
By BEN FELLER
President Bush visited the U.S.-Mexico border Monday to tout a guest worker program for immigrants, pursuing a key domestic policy goal despite chilly relations with Congress.
The Bush White House, already recognized as the most secretive in history, used laptop computers and other communications devices paid for by the Republican National Committee to conceal questionable activities from investigators and circumvent the law.
By PATRICK CONDON
Three lawyers in the U.S. Attorney’s office in Minneapolis resigned their management posts, moves that gained national attention against the backdrop of claims top federal prosecutors elsewhere were fired for political reasons.
U.S. Attorney Rachel Paulose confirmed Friday that John Marti, a first assistant U.S. attorney, Erika Mozangue, head of the office’s civil division, and James Lackner, who heads the office’s criminal division, have decided to “go back to the line to be full-time prosecutors.”
By LARA JAKES JORDAN
A top aide to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales (right) abruptly quit Friday, almost two weeks after telling Congress she would not testify about her role in the firings of federal prosecutors.
There was no immediate reason given, but Monica M. Goodling’s refusal to face Congress had intensified a controversy that threatens Gonzales’ job.
By SUSAN CORNWELL
Vice President Dick Cheney accused U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday of "bad behavior" on her Middle East trip, saying she bungled a message for Syria’s president that was later clarified by Israel.
Cheney harshly criticized Pelosi’s visit to Syria this week and declared in an interview, "The president is the one who conducts foreign policy, not the speaker of the House."
By BEN FELLER
President Bush on Thursday acknowledged the deep frustration of Hurricane Katrina victims and said the federal government shares the blame for the slow recovery of the Gulf Coast.
He gave residents of the battered region a message: “The federal government still knows you exist.”
In stops across coastal Mississippi and Louisiana, Bush defended the federal allotment of $110 billion in relief aid. Of that total, less than half has been spent.