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kskiska Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-21-04 09:58 PM
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Bush Considers Replacing Tenet More Quickly
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WASHINGTON, June 21 The White House is actively debating whether to act this summer to select a permanent successor to George J. Tenet, the director of central intelligence, who is scheduled to step down on July 11, Congressional officials and others involved in the discussions said Monday.

John McLaughlin, Mr. Tenet's top deputy, was chosen earlier this month by President Bush to take over as acting director. But Mr. Bush is now reconsidering an earlier plan to leave Mr. McLaughlin in place through the November election, the Congressional officials and others said.

Among those being mentioned within the administration and in Congress is Representative Porter J. Goss of Florida, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Mr. Goss, 65, served for about 10 years as a Central Intelligence Agency case officer, beginning in the early 1960's.


Mr. McLaughlin is highly regarded, but White House officials have said a central motivation for keeping him on is to avoid a confirmation battle in the Senate this summer. Now, however, people involved in the discussion say that plan is being revisited out of concern that a failure to select a permanent successor may be both a practical and political mistake.

One hypothetical situation reportedly being discussed within the White House is how Mr. Bush would be perceived by the public if there is another terrorist attack against an American target before the election and an acting intelligence chief is still in place.

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