Press Briefing by Ari Fleischer
White House Press Secretary

February 25, 2002


Q: Ari, why would this administration choose a man for couterterrorism who is so associated with the dark side of the Iran Contra scandal, Admiral Poindexter?

MR. FLEISCHER: When you say, choose him for counterterrorism, can you be more specific?

Q: He's in the Pentagon, he's been appointed head of DARPA, which is a counterterrorist office, developing plans, demonstrations with information.

MR. FLEISCHER: I'm not aware of any appointment.

Q: Yet.

MR. FLEISCHER: Let me just say about Admiral Poindexter, Admiral Poindexter is somebody who this administration thinks is an outstanding American and an outstanding citizen who has done a very good job in what he has done for our country, serving in the military.

Q: How can you say that, when he told Colonel North to lie?

MR. FLEISCHER: Helen, I think your views on Iran Contra are well-known, but the President does believe that Admiral Poindexter served --

Q: It isn't my view, this is the prosecutor for the United States.

MR. FLEISCHER: I understand. The President thinks that Admiral Poindexter has served our nation very well.

Q: Really?

MR. FLEISCHER: That's the President's thoughts.

Q: Do you know his record?

MR. FLEISCHER: I'm sure you will inform me.

Q: I don't have to, all you have to do is look it up.