In Bush’s Defense


At a White House briefing last week, Russell Mokhiber, publisher of Corporate Crime Reporter, renewed his running colloquy with Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer.

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 adviser 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?

Fleischer: The question is, are Bradley fighting vehicles part of what the military does and should [they] be supported? The answer is, of course, yes, regardless of who serves on the Carlyle Group.

Mokhiber: But what if the president’s father was the president of United Defense? Would that be unethical?

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?

Additional reporting: Phoebe St John and Joanna Khenkine