Ari & I: June 26, 2001
White House Press Briefing with Ari Fleischer
Mokhiber: Ari, could I follow up on that? According to the Washington Post yesterday in an article titled "Sharon's Action in 1982 Massacre Stirs New Debate," this whole issue was triggered by a BBC Documentary called "The Accused."
This is the key point of evidence that they raised. During the BBC program, Morris Draper, the U.S. Special Envoy to the Middle East at the time, said U.S. officials were horrified when Sharon had allowed Phalange militias in the camps, "because it would be a massacre," according to Draper.
And this is Draper. He told the BBC that after the killings began, he cabled Sharon, telling him "You must stop the slaughter. This situation is absolutely appalling. They are killing children. You have the field completely under your control and are therefore responsible for that area."
And that's why Human Rights Watch wants a criminal investigation.
Does the President support a criminal investigation, given that evidence?
Ari Fleischer: I think the very fact that the President is meeting this afternoon at the Oval Office with the duly elected leader of a democratic nation speaks for itself about what the President will do and what the President supports.