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Published on Thursday, May 8, 2003 by
Ari the Evader by Russell Mokhiber...
Ari & I
White House Press Briefing with Ari Fleischer
Thursday, May 8, 2003
by Russell Mokhiber

(Background: Russell nabbed a seat in Row 4 of the White House briefing room today. On previous days this week and in prior weeks, he could only find a seat in Row 5 or Row 6, which Ari tends to skip over.)

Ari Fleischer: Russell, you haven't been here for a while.

Mokhiber: I have been, but I've been in row five, and that doesn't count. (Laughter).

Ari Fleischer: Okay, we'll skip row four and move to row five. (Laughter).

Mokhiber: The President was in Santa Clara, California last week. And he appeared at United Defense, a major defense contractor controlled by the Carlyle Group. The President's father is a paid advisor to the Carlyle Group. So, you have a situation where the President is there touting the products of a company that directly benefit financially his father. Why isn't that unethical?

Ari Fleischer: The question is - are Bradley Fighting Vehicles part of what the military does and should be supported? The answer is - of course yes, regardless of who serves on Carlyle Group.

Mokhiber: But what if the President's father was the President of United Defense. Would that be unethical?

Ari Fleischer: What if the President's father was on Social Security and the President wanted to strengthen the Social Security system so that all Americans could have a strong retirement?



-Thanks to Russell Mokhiber

White House reporter Russell Mokhiber is the editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Corporate Crime Reporter - He co-authors the weekly Focus on the Corporation column with Robert Weissman which Common Dreams publishes. He can be reached at:


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