Friday, July 16, 2004

Today on Holden's Obsession with the Gaggle

Helen Thomas has a question:
Q Does the United States harbor secret detainees who are not available --

MR. McCLELLAN: Holly, go ahead. I'll come back to you, Helen. I'll come back to you. Go ahead, Holly.

Q Okay.
And later... 
Q I have a question.

MR. McCLELLAN: I'm coming to you, Helen.

Later still... 
Q Can I ask you a question on Taiwan?

MR. McCLELLAN: And then I'm coming to Helen. 


Go ahead. Oh, I'm sorry, Helen. Go ahead. 

Q Does the President -- does the United States harbor or hold secret detainees who are not available to the International Red Cross?

MR. McCLELLAN: Actually, this is an issue that came up earlier in the week and I talked about it at that point. When it comes to the International Committee for the Red Cross, we work very closely with them on detainee issues, and we --

Q I have a follow-up.

MR. McCLELLAN: Okay -- we stay in close and regular contact with the Red Cross on all the issues related to detainees. And they do, from time to time, raise issues and we work to address those issues directly --

Q Why don't you answer the question? Do we have secret detainees and is it possible that they could be subjected to the same treatment as in Baghdad prisons?

MR. McCLELLAN: We work to address these issues that the Red Cross raises directly with the Red Cross. And any issues that they have, we respond directly to the --

Q That's not the answer to the question.

MR. McCLELLAN: -- Red Cross. We meet with them on a regular basis at a variety of levels, and we stay in close and constant contact with them. And I really don't have anything else to add to this issue.

Q You don't know whether we have secret detainees --

MR. McCLELLAN: Like I said, Helen, I don't have anything else to add to this issue.

Q Why?

MR. McCLELLAN: Go ahead.
Well, that clears it up.