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Redmond passes on counterspy post

March 31, 2006 at 10:01 AM

WASHINGTON, March 31 (UPI) -- The search for the Bush administration's top counterspy is focusing on new candidates now that former CIA spy hunter Paul Redmond has withdrawn.

Redmond, who helped catch notorious Moscow mole Aldrich Ames, had been selected to be national counterintelligence executive, The Washington Times said.

But, he reportedly backed out after the FBI held up his formal appointment by conducting a lengthy background investigation.

Not only is the national counterintelligence post vacant but counterspy posts at the CIA and FBI also remain vacant or held by acting officials while foreign spying continues to be growing problem.

U.S. President George Bush signed an executive order in March of last year calling for aggressive, offensive counterintelligence activities against foreign spies.

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