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Posts Tagged ‘George Bush’

Dem Senators To DOJ: How’s That Report On Torture Opinions Coming?

Looks like it’s not just journalists who are interested in the progress of that DOJ report into whether Bush administration lawyers shaded their opinions on the legality of harsh interrogation methods in order to please the White House.

In the wake of Newsweek‘s story from over the weekend that a draft of the report criticizes several top Bush officials, including John Yoo, Democratic senators Dick Durbin and Sheldon Whitehouse, both of whom sit on the Judiciary committee, have sent a letter to Marshall Jarrett, who heads the DOJ’s Office of Professional Responsibility and is overseeing the report.

In the letter, the senators, who wrote to Jarrett last year requesting the investigation, note that, according to Newsweek, a draft of the report was submitted in the final weeks of the Bush administration. They ask for an update on the status of Jarrett’s probe by February 23.

They also suggest that they’ll take action if the evidence shows that DOJ lawyers shaped their opinions to conform to the White House’s views, writing:

Our intelligence professionals should be able to rely in good faith on the Justice Department’s legal advice. This good faith is undermined when Justice Department attorneys provide legal advice so misguided that it damages America’s image around the world and the Justice Department is forced to repudiate it. If the officials who provide such advice fail to comply with professional standards, they must be held accountable in order to maintain the faith of the intelligence community and the American people in the Justice Department.”

As we noted before, it’s not clear that the report will ultimately be released to the public. But at least some in Congress appear to be taking it seriously.

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Gibbs: We’re Mulling Rove Subpoena

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was just asked at a briefing about Congress’s subpoena, issued yesterday to Karl Rove, seeking his testimony on the US Attorneys firings.

Gibbs replied that the White House counsel’s office “is studying those issues and will advise us when they have a recommendation.”

As we reported earlier, the ball is now largely in President Obama’s court as to whether Rove can continue to defy Congress’s subpoena.

We’ll keep you posted.

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Saudi Prince: Bush Left “Sickening Legacy” In Middle East

DONNA ABU-NASR | January 24, 2009 02:41 PM EST | AP

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Saudi Arabia’s ex-ambassador to Washington said former President George W. Bush left a “sickening legacy” in the Middle East and warned that U.S.-Saudi relations would be at risk if the Obama administration doesn’t change America’s policy in the region.

Prince Turki al-Faisal’s unusually tough words were the latest blunt assessment by the Saudi royal family that prospects for Arab-Israeli peace are growing dim unless dramatic policy changes are made.

Turki said he strongly promoted the Arab-Israeli peace process in his decades as a public servant. But after Israel’s three-week assault in the Gaza Strip, the prince said, “these pleas for optimism and co-operation now seem a distant memory,” he said in a Financial Times op-ed published Friday.

The kingdom has resisted calls for a holy war against Israel, “but every day this restraint becomes more difficult to maintain,” he added.

The comments followed a warning from King Abdullah on Monday that his 2002 Arab-Israeli peace initiative won’t remain on the table forever.

“America is not innocent in this calamity,” said Turki, who is the chairman of the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies in Riyadh. “Not only has the Bush administration left a sickening legacy in the region, but it has also, through an arrogant attitude about the butchery in Gaza, contributed to the slaughter of innocents.”

The impassioned comments are a departure from the oil-rich kingdom’s normally diplomatic rhetoric toward the U.S., its longtime ally. The Bush family has had strong ties with the Saudi royal family, and Turki’s harsh public comments about Bush were rare.

Analysts say the king had to send a clear message after Israel’s assault in Gaza left almost 1,300 Palestinians dead. A cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, which rules Gaza, was in its sixth day Saturday.

MORE HERE

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Cheney: Bush should have pardoned Libby

CNN- updated 1:03 p.m. EST, Thu January 22, 2009
WASHINGTON (CNN) — Former President George Bush should have pardoned Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Dick Cheney said after stepping down as vice president this week.

“He was the victim of a serious miscarriage of justice, and I strongly believe that he deserved a presidential pardon. Obviously, I disagree with President Bush’s decision,” Cheney told Stephen F. Hayes of the Weekly Standard, a leading conservative Washington magazine.

Libby, Cheney’s former chief of staff, was convicted of obstructing a federal investigation into the revelation that Valerie Plame Wilson was a CIA agent.

He was sentenced to 30 months in prison and fined $250,000. Bush commuted the sentence, which he called “excessive.” But he did not pardon Libby, much to the aggravation of many influential conservatives.

Unlike a presidential pardon, which wipes a person’s crimes off the books, Bush’s commutation of Libby‘s sentence only means that he does not have to serve the prison sentence. He is still considered guilty of the crime of which he was convicted.

MORE HERE

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President George W. Bush gestures during a news conference, Monday, Jan. 12, 2009, in the pressroom at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)

President George W. Bush gestures during a news conference, Monday, Jan. 12, 2009, in the pressroom at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)

Bush speaks in probable final press conference

RAW STORY
Published: Monday January 12, 2009

In what will probably [be ] his last press conference with the press, President George W. Bush is speaking to gathered media this morning.

>>>WATCH HERE<<<

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As January 20 grows larger in the window, I’ve been thinking more often about the Bush legacy — specifically about certain aspects of the president’s record that are in danger of being completely obliterated and replaced with myths and wholesale fiction. Some of this effort is of course the purview of Karl Rove and Karen Hughes and their legacy project, while rough drafts of revisionist Bush history are being contributed by certain establishment media hacks — desperate to chisel into the record their take on this outgoing president.

For example. Last week on a special episode of Hardball, my favorite insufferable hack, TIME‘s Mark Halperin, remarked that one of the president’s greatest accomplishments was his response to the September 11 terrorist attacks.

I do think he deserves high marks for his public presentations after a rocky start in the first few hours. [...] You can’t be sure of it, but I’m confident that he performed there very well. And other presidents may not have performed as well.

Which other presidents? Lincoln after Fort Sumter? Roosevelt after Pearl Harbor? Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis? At least Halperin interrupted his verbal dry-hump to acknowledge (sort-of) that President Bush sat there in a glazed stupor for nine minutes after being told, literally, that America was under attack.

Like many Bush legacy myth-makers, Halperin has no sense of history. Or he does, but he conveniently ignores it. If he were able to peg this historical event into its proper context, Halperin would realize that the president’s “rocky start” was the first in a series of disastrous performances. The Indonesian tsunami. The Iraq insurgency. Katrina. The economic meltdown. And on and on. Halperin describes those several hours as if the president’s inexcusable behavior was an isolated incident — an aberration — a brief hiccup in an otherwise stellar eight years of lightning fast reflexes and unwavering heroism.

(more…)

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To the Rescue: Bush to Give Low-Interest Loans to Carmakers

Obama Team Agrees to Bush’s Strategy

The White House has come to the rescue of beleaguered General Motors and Chrysler by providing them with $17.4 billion in low-interest loans, ABC News has learned.

“In the midst of a financial crisis and a recession, allowing the U.S. auto industry to collapse is not a responsible course of action,” President Bush said today. “It could send our suffering economy into a deeper and longer recession. And it would leave the next president to confront the demise of a major American industry in his first days of office.”

The money for the loans will come from the Troubled Asset Relief Program fund, signed into law this fall to bail out the financial industry.

The Treasury Department will provide $13.4 billion in short-term financing in December and January and plans to make another $4 billion available in February, provided Congress allows the White House to reach into the second half of the $700 billion TARP fund.

MORE HERE

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