03 March 2003
White House Daily Briefing Transcript (President's schedule, Khalid
Sheik Mohammed, Pope's peace emissary, Iraq, disarmament, alleged
surveillance of UN members, Turkey, terror alert status, Medicare,
Bush/political support, White House reaction to Arab League proposal,
second resolution, Miguel Estrada, executive order banning assassinations,
medical malpractice, bin Laden, president's possible decision to
go to war) (7340)
White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer briefed.
Following is the White House transcript:
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
March 3, 2003
PRESS BRIEFING INDEX
Q: May I also ask you about a report in The
in London, of a memo purported to be from the NSA -- an email message
from a man who actually works at the NSA they established -- in
which he describes a surge in surveillance of U.N. Security Council
members to see what these nations are thinking about an Iraq vote.
What's your response?
MR. FLEISCHER: Terry, as a matter of long-standing policy, the
administration never comments on anything involving any people
involved in intelligence. For example, if somebody were to say
to me, is Libya an object of American intelligence -- I would never
answer that question yes or no. The administration does not answer
questions of that nature. We don't answer who does or does not
work in the intelligence community. Once you start that, you start
getting into process of elimination and we do not do that about
any question, about any report, as a blanket matter of policy.
Q: But, then, if you're a Cameroonian diplomat or a French diplomat
at the United Nations, because of what you just said, you're going
to have to operate on the assumption that the United States is
MR. FLEISCHER: No, it's a blanket matter of policy that we do
not answer questions of that nature, whether it's true or not true,
and I'm not indicating to you whether it is true or not true. It's
a blanket matter of approach and policy that predates this administration.