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Bush to name new anti-terrorism adviser

From Kelly Wallace
CNN Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush plans to name a retired Army general to a new administration post to fight terrorism, senior government officials confirmed Sunday.

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Bush could announce his selection of retired Army Gen. Wayne Downing for the position of deputy national security adviser as early as this week, officials told CNN.

A former chief of the U.S. Special Operations Command, Downing is the author of a scathing task force report investigating the June 1996 terrorist attack on the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia in which 19 members of the U.S. Air Force were killed.

In the report, Downing criticized U.S. commanders for not ensuring tighter security to prevent the attack, blamed U.S. intelligence and said the entire federal government needed to make fighting terrorism a higher priority.

"I am concerned that insufficient attention is being given to anti-terrorism measures and force protection," Downing wrote.

When the president announced that Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge would become director of the Office of Homeland Security, a new cabinet-level position focusing on domestic terrorism, CNN reported that Bush also planned to name a deputy national security adviser whose concern would be counter-terrorism efforts.

The administration is still working out the "lines of authority" between the two new positions, officials said.



 
 
 
 



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