Mokhiber: On the issue of freedom of the press, you've spoken often to today of a free Iraq. On September 10th, Secretary Rumsfeld said there is a free press in Iraq where people are able to say whatever they wish. Yesterday, the interim council said they would close down any news outlet that advocated the return of the Baath Party. So, obviously, they can't say whatever they wish.
Scott McClellan: You might want to talk to the Governing Council about the decisions that they make.
Mokhiber: They consulted with Paul Bremer before they came down with the rules.
Scott McClellan: Yes, previously under the former regime, it shows how brutal they were, you'd have your tongue cut out if you spoke out against the regime. There is freedom of press in Iraq, and there are a lot of newspapers and there are a lot of media outlets now that previously -- where it wasn't. That's part of all moving towards a better future for the Iraqi people.
Mokhiber: Second question, Attorney General Ashcroft is not speaking with print reporters. Does the President agree with that policy?
Scott McClellan: I don't know what his individual policy is. The Attorney General --
Mokhiber: He's not speaking with print reporters.
Scott McClellan: The Attorney General has been out --
Mokhiber: -- he's just talking with TV --
Scott McClellan: The Attorney General has been out talking about some important priorities of this administration and he will continue to do that. I haven't heard --
Mokhiber: He's not talking to print reporters.
Scott McClellan: Talk to the Attorney General.
Mokhiber: He won't talk to a print reporter. (Laughter.)
Scott McClellan: Talk to the Department of Justice.
I don't know what individual policies are. I haven't heared that.