White House Press Briefing with Ari Fleischer
Tuesday, May 27, 2003 – 12:30 PM
by Russell Mokhiber
Mokhiber: Ari, there is a new documentary film by an Irish journalist, Jamie Doran. He alleges –
Ari Fleischer: I haven’t seen it.
Mokhiber: Well, let me tell you about it. He alleges U.S. military involvement in a massacre of 3,000 Taliban prisoners in Afghanistan. He says that the 3,000 prisoners were forced into sealed containers and loaded onto trucks for transport to Sheberghan prison. When the prisoners began shouting for air, U.S. allied Afghan soldiers fired directly into the truck, killing many of them. Then, witnesses in the film said that when the trucks arrived and soldiers opened the containers, most of the people inside were dead. U.S. special forces redirected –
Fleischer: And your question is?
Mokhiber: Well, you said you hadn’t seen it, so I’m giving you some background. One more thing – U.S. special forces redirected the containers carrying the dead into the desert and stood by as survivors were shot and buried.
Fleischer: I think I understand your movie review.
Mokhiber: And there is a mass grave of 3,000 Taliban prisoners. Question – does the President know about this massacre? Is he ordering an investigation?
Fleischer: Number one, I would not use a movie as a basis to make assumptions about what is right and what is wrong. If your question is about a factual matter in Afghanistan dealing with military actions, that is a question you should address to the Pentagon. I’m not aware of any such –
Mokhiber: Is the President aware of it?
Fleischer: I don’t know if he is aware of this movie or not – I would doubt it.