Watchdog Blog

Archive for the 'Bush Administration' Category

Gilbert Cranberg: For Romney et al, the Presidency that Wasn’t

How much longer will Republican presidential candidates pretend that George W. Bush doesn’t exist? Mitt Romney’s victory speech in Florida is a case in point. Romney tore Barack Obama limb from limb on joblessness and other issues, but never once acknowledged that what preceded Obama’s election might have had a bearing on his record. Leaving [...]

Mary C. Curtis: Condi Veers from the Party Line

While no one could ever say Condoleezza Rice has strayed far from Republican beliefs – in a recent appearance in Charlotte, N.C., she touted “low regulation and low taxes” as economic solutions – the views of President Bush’s Secretary of State on immigration and education reform reveal just how much the party itself has changed. [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: Iraq, a spectacular failure in many ways

As American troops prepare to head for the exit in Iraq, pundits prepare to critique the war. Let me contribute my two cents worth: the war was a spectacular failure for the vaunted American system of checks and balances. The only checks in evidence were those written to pay for the trillion or so dollars [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: Bush Boycott in Iowa

On Saturday August 13th, I cleared the deck of distractions and sat glued to C-span’s coverage of the Iowa GOP’s fundraiser in Ames, the extravaganza better known as the Iowa Straw Poll. I didn’t want to miss a word. The word I especially didn’t want to miss was “Bush.” How, I wondered, would this highly [...]

Barry Sussman: Justice Department Shows Its Mettle, Indicts Clemens

I got this note from a friend and colleague a little while after Roger Clemens was indicted by a federal grand jury on Aug. 19th: “And meanwhile, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, CIA officials and others who lied to Congress in sworn testimony about Iraq go free. If we can ‘look forward, not backward’ on torture, [...]

Myra MacPherson: Helen Thomas and the (So-called) Correspondents at the White House

Full disclosure up front. I have been a Helen Thomas friend ever since we stood on a tarmac, interviewing Jackie Kennedy through a crack in the window as The First Lady sat in a limo, waiting for her infant son, John, and three-year-old Caroline, to arrive in a plane and commence life in the White [...]

Barry Sussman: The torture coverage

We planned our Nieman Watchdog series on torture before President Obama released four secret memos that spelled out what techniques interrogators could use, thereby unleashing furious public reaction and an enormous wave of news and editorial page coverage. Now it seems that what we had in mind—keeping Bush administration torture and other abuses of power [...]

Barry Sussman: A Nieman Watchdog Project—the Torture Record and the Press

The book is not yet closed on torture and other possible crimes ordered by American leaders in recent years. A lot is known but a lot isn’t. Exactly what happened in Bagram, in Guantanamo, in Abu Ghraib and in dark rendition prisons? How many people were whisked off and put away for no good reason? [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: Will the Bush Library Tell It Like It Was?

Now that George W. Bush has vacated the Oval Office he will have time on his hands, some of which he plans to devote to the George W. Bush Presidential Center on the campus at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. That may not be altogether welcome to some SMU faculty and staff. Word that the [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: The White House Press as Patsies to the End

President Bush’s final press conference, Jan. 12, 2009: Q. Mr. President, in recent days, there’s been a fair amount of discussion in legal circles about whether you might give preemptive pardons, pardons in advance, to officials of your administration who engaged in anything from harsh interrogation tactics to perhaps dismissing U.S. attorneys. I’d like to [...]