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Taking note of 9/11 report, Bush considers his options

CRAWFORD, Texas -- President Bush met with his task force reviewing the Sept. 11 commission's recommendations via videoconference yesterday and is considering acting within days on some of them, White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan said.

Buchan would not say which of the more than 40 recommendations Bush was likely to adopt or if he would make his own proposals, and it was unclear if he will make any announcements on the matter this week as the Democratic National Convention is underway in Boston.

The president said he was reading the report and found it ''interesting."

''It reads like a mystery, a novel. It's well written," Bush said in a brief interview outside his home in Crawford.

''We've got work to do," he said, adding that the nation is ''safe but not safe enough."

He declined to offer an opinion of the commission's recommendations, or when he would act.

''The president thinks that his most important obligation is to protect the American people . . . and he will be governed by doing what's best and doing what's right and by acting as quickly as possible," Buchan said. ''If there's something we can do to protect the American people, it isn't going to wait."

The White House is studying which of the panel's proposals would improve domestic security, which can be implemented by executive order, and which require congressional approval.

White House chief of staff Andrew Card has been assigned to undertake a speedy high-level review of the proposals with Cabinet members and others.

The president has called for better coordination among intelligence agencies, increased collection of human intelligence, and better technology to track enemies.

When the Sept. 11 commission issued its report last week, Democratic presidential hopeful John F. Kerry endorsed all its recommendations.

The commission report recommended a sweeping overhaul of the nation's intelligence community. Congress adjourned for its summer recess Friday, a day after the report's release.

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