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Democratic Congressman Calls for Resignation of Bush Officials Over Iraq - 2003-09-16

Democrats in Congress are stepping up their criticism of Bush administration handling of post-war Iraq. They say senior administration officials should be held accountable for a lack of planning, and resign.

John Murtha, a military veteran and top Democrat on the House Defense Appropriations subcommittee, says administration "miscalculations" in Iraq have damaged U.S. credibility.

Restoring that credibility, he says, will require someone to step down. "The architect of this post-war planning has to go," he said.

Reporters suggested several names, but neither Mr. Murtha nor top House Democrat Nancy Pelosi would specify who they think should step down.

Mr. Murtha indicated he does not believe Defense Secretary Rumsfeld should resign, saying Mr. Rumsfeld only carries out policy.

There was no direct response from the White House to the criticisms, which come as Congress prepared to take up the administration's $87 billion request for more money for Iraq and Afghanistan.