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Thad W. Allen

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ASSOCIATED PRESS Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen on Tuesday looks over a Conductivity-Temperature-Depth carousel, which is used to assist Deepwater Horizon oil spill response efforts by capturing subsurface water samples on the Gulf of Mexico near the coast of Louisiana.

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Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen gives an update on efforts to stop the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico during a briefing at BP headquarters Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2010, in Houston. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

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Retired U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen (right), the national incident commander for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, helps load a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration boat with rehabilitated Kemp's Ridley sea turtles to be released off the coast of Cedar Key, Fla., on Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2010. (AP Photo/Phil Sandlin)

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** FILE ** Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the national incident commander, is the federal government's point man for the BP oil-well disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. (AP Photo)

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Associated Press "I'm not prepared to say the well is shut in until the relief well is done," says retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen.

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President Obama, flanked by Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, left, National Incident Commander Adm. Thad Allen, right, makes a statement on Pensacola Beach, Fla., Tuesday, June 15, 2010, as they visited the Gulf Coast region affected by the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

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President Obama talks about the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill on Monday, June 14, 2010, at the U.S. Coast Guard Station in Gulfport, Miss. At the far end of the table are (from left) Carol M. Browner, White House climate and energy adviser; U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the national incident commander; Mr. Obama; Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour; Mr. Barbour's wife, Marsha; and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)