RealNews

Senator Steps in as the Referee in Washington's Turf Battles Over Counterterrorism

After Senator Susan Collins pointedly criticized Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld during hearings over the scandal involving abuse of Iraqi prisoners, she was summarily dropped from his list of Pentagon breakfast invitees. Now she is tangling with an even more powerful cast of characters: President Bush and the leaders of the nation’s intelligence community. Ms. Collins, a Maine Republican, may well have the toughest assignment in Washington: drafting legislation to overhaul the way the nation combats terrorism. Independent-minded but cautious – she will take issue with Mr. Bush in one breath but praise him in the next – she is dancing a delicate dance as chairwoman of hearings that are exposing conflicts among the White House, intelligence agencies and members of the commission that investigated the Sept. 11 attacks.Full Story

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