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‘Not Holy Writ’:

On August 2, President Bush announced his support for two of the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations: a new Office of National Intelligence Director, and a National Counterterrorism Center.

Bush, however, rejected the commission’s recommendation that the new intelligence director control all intelligence budgets and select the heads of the CIA, FBI, and Defense Intelligence Agency. He also turned aside the commission’s idea for placing both the counterterrorism center and the director within the White House itself. Some of the 9/11 commissioners, including Republican Fred Fielding, criticized Bush for not embracing all of the recommendations, but Democrat Commissioner Jamie Gorelick refused to join in. Calling Bush’s action “a helpful opening position,” Gorelick said, “Our recommendations are not a holy writ. . . . We don’t have a monopoly on wisdom, and there may be better ideas.”

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