Wednesday, May 09, 2007


"The Bush administration is facing growing difficulties in filling a rising number of high-level vacancies following a recent spate of senior departures. In the last 10 days alone Mr Bush has lost four senior officials and more resignations are expected to follow."

Recent administration officials who have left include J.D. Crouch, deputy head of the national security council; Randall Tobias, who left after it was revealed he used call-girl services; Dinah Habib Powell, the administration's senior-most Arab-American; and Timothy Adams, a top Treasury Department official.

Today, Johnnie Burton of the Interior Department, "who was roundly attacked by Democrats and Republicans in Congress for not aggressively pursuing billions of dollars in royalties from oil and gas companies from their operations in the Gulf," also resigned.

The series of resignations is creating problems for the White House in filling these new vacancies, seen, for example, in the difficulty Bush has had in finding a "war czar" to oversee operations in Iraq, spurring questions as to the popularity of his Iraq policies within his own inner circles.

"Republican allies of the president, who are growing increasingly jittery about the rising number of American deaths in Iraq without signs that Washington's 'new way forward' is working, have publicly questioned the rationale for such a job." Privately, President Bush has expressed concerns about the growing number of vacancies.

"The real concern is that the Bush administration is losing its ability to control Iraq policy," said David Frum, a former White House speech writer.

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