Editor’s note: Each week, WorldNetDaily White House correspondent Les Kinsolving asks the tough questions no one else will ask. And each week, WorldNetDaily brings you the transcripts of those dialogues with the president and his spokesman. If you’d like to suggest a question for the White House, submit it to WorldNetDaily’s exclusive interactive forum MR. PRESIDENT!
At the most recent White House news briefing, WorldNetDaily asked Presidential Press Secretary Ari Fleischer:
- QUESTION: Why is it acceptable for the IRS to profile millions of American taxpayers, but not acceptable for federalized airport security to profile Muslim males between 17 and 45 visiting from terrorist nations, with one-way tickets and little luggage, when even liberal Democrat Sen. Feinstein says this hurts the effort to track down terrorists?
FLEISCHER: Well, I’m not sure what you’re referring to on the predicate of your question with the IRS. But I can assure you, as somebody who just traveled commercial over the weekend, I had my shoes removed and I think many Americans of all backgrounds, when they go through these airports they recognize that the security people are working very hard and inspecting many people. And most of the people I know said “thank you” to them because these people have a hard job, and they’re doing it regardless of what the nature of the passenger is.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Sen. Diane Feinstein, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said U.S. authorities have hurt their efforts to track down terrorists living in the United States, because they’re too afraid of being accused of racial profiling of Arab-Americans.
“I think the racial profiling debate has created a kind of disservice, if you will, in the terrorism area, particularly with respect to the FBI. I believe it has had a chilling impact this brings up the whole debate of racial profiling, which I believe – and I didn’t initially – but I believe it has played a role in the reticence of the FBI,” she said.
Sen. Feinstein’s comments came following reports that the FBI didn’t act quickly on a Phoenix FBI agent’s warning that Middle East men were training in U.S. flight schools for terrorist attacks, because the agency feared it would be seen as racial profiling of Arabs and Arab-Americans.
In my follow-up question at Tuesday’s briefing, I asked Fleischer:
- Q: The President’s sister, Dorothy – who I think you know – was in the Washington Cathedral on Saturday when the preacher, the Rev. William Sloan Coffin, declared that the axis of evil is not Iran, Iraq, and North Korea, but what he termed “environmental degradation, pandemic poverty, and a world awash with weapons.”
And my question is, is the president aware that this renowned peace activist, Coffin, was reported on September the 26th, 1980, by the New York Post as being charged in court by his wife, Harriet, with having assaulted her with “a karate chop,” and he was trained in all of that in the CIA? Is the president aware of that?
FLEISCHER: I have no idea.
Q: Thank you.
FLEISCHER: Thank you.