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Security politics

The Washington Post front-pages the portion of the Woodward book dealing with then-White House chief of staff Andy Card's consideration of replacing Rumsfeld. 

The Wall Street Journal notes how the Woodward book turns up the heat on Rumsfeld even more.  On NBC's Meet the Press, Sen. Mike DeWine (R) of Ohio said he has no confidence in Rumsfeld.  "Yesterday, Mr. Rumsfeld told reporters that he isn't considering resigning and that Mr. Bush telephoned him recently to express his confidence in the defense chief.  Meanwhile, senior White House officials made it clear that Mr. Bush still supported Mr. Rumsfeld." 

The most recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll conducted in the days leading up to September 11 shows Rumsfeld with a personal rating of 31% positive, 43% negative.  Asked whether or not Rumsfeld should resign, 44% said yes and 46% said no, a slight improvement for Rumsfeld since we last asked that question in April, when 47% said yes and 39% said no.  Sixty-eight percent of those polled in early September said that if Rumsfeld were to resign, it would be a symbolic gesture that wouldn't make a real difference in the war.

Members of the September 11 Commission are furious, the New York Times reports, about the revelation from Woodward's book that former CIA director George Tenet and another aide had warned then-National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice in July 2001 that an al Qaeda attack was imminent.  "The disclosures took members of the bipartisan Sept. 11 commission by surprise last week. Some questioned whether information about the July 10 meeting was intentionally withheld from the panel." 

The White House, however, vigorously disputes that revelation in the book. 

The Sunday New York Times reported that in June 2005, acting deputy defense secretary Gordon England and State Department counselor Philip Zelikow sent the Administration a memo urging them to "seek Congressional approval for its detention policies."  The memo's recommendations "included several of the major policy shifts that President Bush laid out in a White House address on Sept. 6...  But the memorandum's fate underscores the deep, long-running conflicts over detention policy that continued to divide the administration." 

The three Senate Republican holdouts who negotiated the deal with the White House on detainee policy seek to clarify some of the less understood points of the compromise bill in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. 

A former CIA counterterrorism official during the Clinton Administration, who went on the record last week disputing Clinton's depiction of his counterterror efforts to FOX, was on FOX himself yesterday and called Clinton's claims "lies."