Mokhiber: Ari, yesterday, there were reports in the British press that
a catastrophic error by U.S. Air Force bombers killed 150 Afghan
Does the administration have any numbers on how many civilians have
been killed by U.S. bombs since the bombing started?
Ari Fleischer: Let me make two points on that.
One is that I don't think you will ever witness a nation that has
worked so hard to avoid civilian casualties as the United States has.
It's part of the training, part of the mission, part of the
professionalism of the men and women who serve in the armed forces, who
work so hard to conduct a war, and who work so hard to protect innocent
lives on the ground.
If you are asking for more specific operational questions, including
numbers, you would have to talk to DOD.
Mokhiber: In his book Veil, Bob Woodward reported a couple of years ago
that a CIA sponsored car-bomb killed 80 innocent civilians in Beirut.
You talk about terror and the war on evil. Does the war on terror and
evil include U.S. sponsored terror and U.S. sponsored deaths -- civilian
Fleischer: I am not going to accept the premise of that question, we
are talking about the United States acting in self-defense. And I'm not
referring to the question of anything that was written in Mr. Woodward's
If you are suggesting an equivalence in the United States protecting
itself in the war in Afghanistan and the terrorism practiced against the
United States, I don't accept the premise of that question, the moral
equivalence that you are suggesting.
Mokhiber: I'm talking about the car bomb --
(Ari moves on.)