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Downing Resigns Anti-Terror Post

June 27, 2002

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ The retired general who coordinated White House efforts to combat terrorism resigned nine months after taking the post, the administration said Thursday.

Another retired general who was an aide to the first President Bush replaced him.

Retired Army Gen. Wayne A. Downing was tapped in early October and charged with starting up the White House Office for Combatting Terrorism.

White House spokesman Ari Fleischer announced Thursday that Downing had quit, but offered no explanation. Nor did he say when Downing stepped down.

Downing’s family is still in Colorado and he never intended to stay long in Washington, a White House official said.

``The administration has valued General Downing’s leadership and his legacy of a highly effective Office of Combatting Terrorism,″ Fleischer said.

Bush named Retired Air Force Gen. John A. Gordon to the position, which coordinates military, diplomatic, law enforcement, intelligence, financial and strategic information activities meant to deter terrorism.

Gordon was the Department of Energy’s undersecretary for nuclear security and administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration.

Under the first President Bush, he was a top National Security Council adviser, and under President Clinton, he was a deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Downing is one of a small number of high-ranking White House officials who have resigned. Next month, presidential counselor Karen Hughes is to leave for her native Texas. The director of Bush’s faith-based office, John DiIulio, quit in August after seven months on the job.

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