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Among the group are 20 ambassadors, appointed by presidents of both parties, other former State Department officials and military leaders whose careers span three decades.
Prominent members include retired Marine Gen. Joseph P. Hoar, commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East during the administration of Bush's father; retired Adm. William J. Crowe Jr., ambassador to Britain under President Bill Clinton and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President Ronald Reagan; and retired Adm. Stansfield Turner, former head of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Hoar is a prominent critic of the war in Iraq, and Crowe and Turner have endorsed Kerry.
Also included is Jack F. Matlock, who was appointed by Reagan as ambassador to the Soviet Union and retained the post under the first President Bush, and William C. Harrop, the first President Bush's ambassador to Israel and four African countries.
Normally, former diplomats and military commanders avoid making political statements, especially in an election year. But last month 53 former diplomats accused the Bush administration of undermining U.S. credibility in the Middle East by its strong support for Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
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