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Mr. Reid yesterday praised the Bush administration”s decision not to renominate Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“He was never as candid as he should have been about the conduct and progress of this war,” Mr. Reid said.

White House spokesman Tony Snow questioned why the majority leader would impugn the integrity of a general who had “demonstrated to us to be straightforward with the American people.”

“There used to be a tradition that partisanship stopped at the water”s edge in a time of war,” Mr. Snow said.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, strongly disagreed with Mr. Reid’s characterization that the general lied about the war, McConnell spokesman Don Stewart said.

He noted that Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin, Illinois Democrat, said Sunday that he would have voted to confirm Gen. Pace to a second term.