White House

Bush wants expanded spy powers

The Bush administration asked Congress Friday to allow monitoring of more foreigners in the United States during intelligence investigations.

The plan is one of several proposed changes, which have been in the works for more than a year, that go to the heart of a key U.S. surveillance law.

The administration says the changes are intended to help the government better address national security threats by updating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to bring it into line with rapid changes in communications technology.

Politics plays big in U.S. attorney evaluations

The Justice Department weighed political activism and membership in a conservative law group in evaluating the nation’s federal prosecutors, documents released in the probe of fired U.S. attorney show.

The political credentials were listed on a chart of all 124 U.S. attorneys nominated since 2001, a document that could bolster Democrats’ claims that the traditionally independent Justice Department has become more partisan during the Bush administration.

E-mail controversy spotlights Rove

041307rove.jpgWhite House political adviser Karl Rove was embroiled in a new controversy over potentially missing e-mails on Friday, the latest twist in the firings of eight U.S. prosecutors last year.

The White House disclosed that the Republican National Committee in early 2006 took away Rove’s ability to delete e-mails sent and received through a party e-mail account.

Let’s focus on a real issue: Alberto Gonzales

040709gonzalessm.jpgOne would think Attorney General Alberto Gonzales would have already thrown in the towel. His two top staff members have resigned and Congress is demanding more documents from him, and his anticipated testimony before a Senate hearing is expected to produce fireworks.

So, what makes him tick? What’s back there?

Czar wars

Yet another leak out of the White House: President Bush has quietly been searching for what could be called, for lack of a better term, a “war czar” to oversee the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

That official would have the title assistant to the president, report directly to Bush and National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley and have the authority to issue instructions to the departments of Defense and State and other agencies.

The Bush doctrine: ‘My way or the highway’

041107bush.jpgWhen President Bush invited Democratic leaders for a sit-down on Iraq, it seemed to offer the opportunity for a breakthrough in their bitter differences over the war. For about five seconds. Then the White House spent the rest of Tuesday explaining what the meeting would not be.

It is not a chance to compromise, the administration insists. Bush isn’t budging from what kind of war-spending bill he can accept.

Bush wants expanding spying powers

041106spy.jpgPresident 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.

Bush wants a ‘war czar’

041107war.jpgThe 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.

You’ve got supoenas!

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.

Another Bush plan headed for failure

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.