Washington pulse: news from inside the beltway.

Author:Erwin, Sandra I.
Position:Brief article
 
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"In the long run, I'm anxious to understand our dependence on contractors."

Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, responding to a soldier's question at Fort Lewis, Wash., about why security contractors in war zones, unlike military troops, are granted immunity when they kill civilians.

"For all my pessimism, there's been progress. It's a work in progress."

Defense Secretary Robert Gates, answering questions at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce about the level of collaboration between the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

"The...

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