US Department of State Daily Briefing #113 Wednesday, 8/5/92

Boucher Source: State Department Deputy Spokesman Richard Boucher Description: Washington, DC Date: Aug, 5 19928/5/92 Category: Briefings Region: E/C Europe, Subsaharan Africa Country: Yugoslavia (former), Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia-Montenegro, Somalia Subject: Regional/Civil Unrest, Military Affairs, Development/Relief Aid, United Nations, CSCE 3:01 P. M. (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED) MR. BOUCHER: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I'm sorry to keep you and sorry to ruin your afternoon.

[Former Yugoslavia: Statement by Acting Secretary Eagleburger]

I have a statement on various things in the Bosnia-Hercegovina and adjacent areas. This is a statement by the Acting Secretary, Lawrence S. Eagleburger, which I will read to you -- which I have been entrusted to read to you on his behalf. And then afterwards I'll be glad to take your questions about it. Over the past week, we have seen an increasing number of reports about detention centers in Bosnia-Hercegovina and Serbia, including reports that indicate the possibility of executions, torture and other gross human rights abuses. These reports have included press interviews, charges and counter-charges by the parties, and reports from others in the area. The International Committee of the Red Cross has visited nine facilities where they registered 4300 prisoners. At this point the Red Cross has reported on very difficult conditions of detention, but they have not found any evidence of death camps. Nonetheless, there are reports of many other detention centers which the Red Cross has not been able to visit, and that it is at some of these that atrocities have been reported. These reports, although unconfirmed, are profoundly disturbing. It is vital that any and all prisons and detention centers be opened to the Red Cross and other neutral parties. Urgent action is required to reveal the truth and to prevent any abuses which may be occurring. Yesterday morning, we began a series of steps to support such access. We instructed our diplomatic personnel immediately to contact senior Serbian, Bosnian and Croatian officials to insist that the International Committee of the Red Cross be granted immediate, unimpeded and continuing access to any places of detention. We have asked the United Kingdom -- the Presidency country of the European Community -- and through them the other members of the EC to make similar approaches. We have asked the Russians to use their influence with the Serbs to this same end. We proposed and we obtained a statement by the Security Council yesterday evening which endorsed this demand and reminded those involved in any abuses that they can be held individually responsible for breaches of the Geneva Conventions. Today, we have called for an emergency, extraordinary meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva to examine this situation in more detail, to discuss gross human rights violations, and to press for full access to detention camps. We look to the Human Rights Commission to forcefully exercise its mandate in this regard by appointing a special representative who should be granted access to investigate these charges and report back to the members of the United Nations with his recommendations. This will be the first ever such meeting by the United Nations Human Rights Commission. We have been urging governments throughout the world to support this call immediately, even before the formal proposal was circulated, so that the meeting could take place as soon as possible. Our proposal has now been circulated in Geneva, asking the 53 members for their views by 1:00 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time on Monday, August 10. We hope to see the necessary endorsement from at least 27 members even before that, if possible. In addition, we are undertaking other steps immediately: We're calling on the CSCE to invoke the appropriate measure of the CSCE Human Dimension mechanism in order to telescope the process of choosing a rapporteur to look into the allegations. We are undertaking renewed efforts to tighten sanctions enforcement, in addition to the efforts that we made earlier this month which have met with some success. We will facilitate the deployment of monitors to Romania to ensure that the effect of the U.N. sanctions on the Serbian economy is as devastating as possible. And we are developing a Security Council resolution which would call on states and organizations to collect substantiated information concerning war crimes and to make that information available to the Security Council. There are today some indications that our urgings are being heard: In Belgrade, Mr. Panic promised our Charge to invite international observers to sites of alleged camps in Serbia and Montenegro. Mr. Panic also pledged his support to the U.N. Presidency statement demanding the opening of camps run by Serbians in Bosnia. Press reports today indicate leaders of the so-called "Serbian Republic of Bosnia" have said that they are ready to open all facilities to international inspection. Bosnian President Izetbegovic told our Charge in Belgrade that he has offered access to international observers to all facilities within Bosnia. President Tudjman told our Consul General in Zagreb yesterday that he would contact Croatian leaders in Bosnia to request their complete cooperation with the ICRC. These promises are welcome, but what is important is real action. We cannot allow excuses such as those used in the past that the safety of the ICRC delegates could not be ensured, to block their important mission. We will press to see that real action is achieved. Let me also add to that that we are intent upon seeing a U.N. Security Council resolution to ensure that humanitarian assistance is delivered through whatever means are necessary, and that we have been discussing with our key allies a draft of such resolution. Now I'd be glad to take your questions. Q Do you have any copies? MR. BOUCHER: We should have copies by the time we get out of here. Q With all due respect, Richard, if this situation is so profoundly disturbing and requires urgent action, why doesn't the Deputy Secretary come down here for himself and make his statement and answer questions? What is it so busy? What's he doing that's so urgent that he can't take this issue on? MR. BOUCHER: He's doing a great variety of things. He's meeting with different people that he has to meet, and he's been engaged fully in this set of actions that we're discussing today. Q If I could follow that -- Q Could you describe in what way he's been engaged? Has he been in touch with any of these leaders? Has he been in touch with other Foreign Ministers? Has he been in touch with people at the U.N.? MR. BOUCHER: The demarches that we've been making and the discussions that we've been having have been done by instructions to our Embassy. Yesterday morning actually he called our Charge in Belgrade to issue the first instructions about the approaches that were to be made out there. He hasn't himself been in touch with any leaders in the area. Q What about Wyoming? Has he been in touch with the Secretary? MR. BOUCHER: I didn't ask him. I'm sorry. Q Richard -- Q Wait. Are you saying that these things he initiated on his own without consulting with Secretary of State Baker? MR. BOUCHER: I'm sure he consulted with everyone who he felt was appropriate. I just can't tell you specifically that he did. I'll try to check on that. Q Richard, I'm still not sure about the extent of your direct knowledge about what is going on in these camps. Could you go through that for us? MR. BOUCHER: I believe we told you something about that yesterday. I would -- I guess I would say, as we said yesterday, we don't have independent information or firsthand confirmation of all the stories. We have looked for information to verify the charges and claims, and we will continue to do so. At the same time, our information is no substitute for access by the ICRC. The ICRC is the international organization responsible for the Geneva Conventions. It is the best placed to determine the facts and by their presence to prevent abuses. What we know, we know from the various sources and reports that I've described to you. I guess I would describe sort of two tiers of knowledge. I think we know from the ICRC and from the admission of some of the parties themselves that they maintain detention centers in Bosnia and elsewhere. We have allegations and charges of what is occurring at those sites. At this point we can't confirm or evaluate which of those charges and reports are true, but given their extremely serious nature, we felt that they deserved serious action. Q Richard, what's the recourse of the United States and the rest of the world community if the combatants either refuse to permit access to the camps, as they have been doing up to now, or permit access to selective camps while not permitting access to the ones where the serious allegations have taken place? MR. BOUCHER: That's a hypothetical question. About all I can say about it at this point is that we would look for other measures to achieve our objectives. Q What steps is the U.S. taking to determine what has happened up to now, even if you assume for a moment that your plea for access will be granted, which is also hypothetical? Even if you assume that, what can the U.S. do to determine -- to make sure that the allegations of things that have happened up to this date are correctly recorded and prosecuted? MR. BOUCHER: Well, I made reference in the statement to seeking United Nations resolution on war crimes that would ask all parties, all people, to collect information that's substantiated, that would let us evaluate what has occurred up to now. As I said, we also are using our own sources to acquire information, whatever we can, and we would expect to see others to provide such information as well. Q Mr. Boucher, when you say -- MR. BOUCHER: Hang on a sec. Q Would there be a war crimes trial or trials? You talk about individuals being held responsible. MR. BOUCHER: At this point what we're seeking is a U.N. resolution. You know from the U.N. Presidency statement yesterday that it established that individuals do have a responsibility for grave breaches of the convention. What we're seeking is a resolution that would collect such information, substantiate such information and provide it to the Security Council. So I can't -- I think that's the next step and that it would be up to the Council and others, I assume, to decide on the further course of action. Q Mr. Boucher, what is the baseline for your war crimes search? The fighting in Yugoslavia started on June 25 of last year, and there were allegations almost immediately afterward of atrocities committed in the fighting in Slovenia from both sides. That is, from the Yugoslav People's Army on the one hand, and from the Slovenian Territorial Forces on the other. There were atrocity reports almost from that Day One onward from Serbian forces, from Croatian forces, from the People's Army, and so on. So I ask, where would the base line be? MR. BOUCHER: A good question, but one that I can't give you the answer to right now. I assume that would be a question that we would have to work out as we developed the resolution. Q Richard, a couple of questions about the proposed resolution that would allow the humanitarian assistance to go in by all possible means. Can you give us a more complete sense as to where that stands, how much support you've got for it, and when you think you might be able to have such a resolution passed? MR. BOUCHER: I can't give you a timetable. The status right now is we're consulting on a possible draft resolution with our close allies. We've not discussed the text with the Security Council as a whole. Q Is there any consideration being given to broadening the definition of humanitarian assistance, so that humanitarian assistance might be construed as keeping people out of death camps? Or would it be simply as narrow as maintaining relief supplies into Sarajevo Airport? MR. BOUCHER: It's the -- this is the resolution that we've talked about for some time, that the G-7 endorsed the concept of. I haven't actually seen the full text to see if it goes more into the definition, but it's the one that we've been talking about to ensure the humanitarian assistance is delivered through whatever means are necessary. Q Richard, I take it you -- the United States sees -- has no plans to call for a session of the Security Council to air this situation -- to talk about the situation in public. Is that the position of the United States, that you don't think it's necessary at this point? MR. BOUCHER: Well, at this point, Saul, the -- I mean, the first thing was to have a meeting of the Security Council yesterday, which we proposed and we got. Q That was a closed meeting. MR. BOUCHER: And there was an open session where they read the statement that represented what -- the consensus of all the members of the Council. It was read by the President of the Council, the Chinese Ambassador this month. The places to follow up are a number of places where we can get action -- action that will not just air the problems and air the differences, but hopefully will investigate and will help prevent things from happening. And so you have, first of all, the emphasis on the ICRC getting in there, because that's what they do best. Second of all, to go to the CSCE and try to telescope their procedures so that we can get a CSCE rapporteur mission. And -- well, second of all, I should have mentioned the U.N. Human Rights Commission, which is the appropriate U.N. body under which we should discuss these gross violations of human rights that have been reported. Q If I may follow, after the invasion of Kuwait, at the behest of the United States the Security Council stayed in almost constant session, airing what was going on in a bit of a crisis atmosphere so as to keep some public pressure on Iraq and make Saddam Husayn understand what was going on. Can you tell me that there would be no use for the United States to seek a Security Council session to air this in public and thus to bring some pressure on the combatants, Serbia being the one that we blame the most? MR. BOUCHER: No. I can't tell you that there would be no use for that. I can tell you that the U.N. Security Council has dealt with matters relating to Yugoslavia very frequently. There are several resolutions which deal with this. And, if you note the statement of the President of the Security Council yesterday, it said, I believe, that this Council will remain seized with the matter. So they consider it -- it's a matter that is before the Council, that the Council will continue to deal with. Q I'm seeking to find out why the United States would go seek the Human Rights Commission public forum and wait until Monday before you get some answers. MR. BOUCHER: Well, we may not wait until Monday. Q Why not ask now for the Security Council to take this up so as to create the kind of public pressure the United States is pretty good at creating in such -- MR. BOUCHER: Well, Saul -- Q Why not? MR. BOUCHER: -- I mentioned to you already two things involving the Security Council that we're doing that will involve public statements and resolutions by the Council. The first one is -- the more immediate one is the resolution that we're consulting on with close allies we hope to take to the rest of the members on the use of all necessary means to ensure the delivery of humanitarian assistance. That is something that if we can get it as a resolution will involve a public discussion and a public passage. And the second one then is the resolution that we're proposing to develop on war crimes information -- to collect that information -- and that also will be of the same nature. Q But on the proposal of Clinton and others and people in the Congress to ask for a Security Council session on this, you have no plans to do that? MR. BOUCHER: We had a Security Council session on this yesterday, and we'll have further Security Council sessions on this. The Council has reported that it's seized with the matter. We hope the Council will be taking up a resolution dealing with war crimes information, and that will involve full discussion of this. Q Richard, the basis of the criticism seems to be that the United States and the U.N. are moving very slowly, given the urgency of the situation and the extent of the reported atrocities. And we asked you before what time frame do you have for some kind of resolution. You said you couldn't give one. Can you be at least clear to say that you're aiming for this week within days rather than allowing this thing to drag on for a week or more? MR. BOUCHER: We would hope to do these things as soon as possible, but I don't understand why the focus on exactly when the Security Council is going to pass these resolutions, because, I mean, we have action that we've already undertaken in terms of direct approaches -- action that we've already undertaken in terms of getting others to make the same kind of points and the same kind of approaches. We've got action that we've already undertaken in Geneva to get a U.N. Human Rights Commission meeting as soon as possible, and we've got actions that we're in the process of undertaking with regard to the CSCE and the Security Council and better sanctions enforcement. Q Well, one reason I asked -- MR. BOUCHER: Let's go back there for a second. Q Mr. Boucher, I realize this is a little fresh in the minds of yourself and the other officials engaged here. But on war crimes, do you have any sense -- on two points -- one, who would do the collecting of information under your envisaged resolution, as you would envision -- the United States Government would envision a resolution? And, second, is it contemplated to have some kind of war crimes tribunal at the end of this process? MR. BOUCHER: That gets back to Ralph's sort of question: "What happens after the information is collected and given to the Security Council?" And at that point, all I can say for the moment is that the Security Council members are going to have determine what the next steps are. Q I'm asking of the United States. MR. BOUCHER: Let's go back one more step. What we're developing -- let me read this to you again. "We're developing a Security Council resolution which would call on states and organizations" -- you were asking who would do the collecting -- "to collect substantiated information concerning war crimes and to make that information available to the Security Council." Q Let me ask then more specifically on that point. Would that mean that you would -- assuming that such a resolution was agreed to -- have the United States representatives in the former Yugoslavia also engage on the ground in collecting information? MR. BOUCHER: As a state which was able to collect substantiated information, if we had any such information, we would turn it over to the Security Council. Any information we acquired, however we acquired it, could be done in that means. Q Would you be tasking American officials to do this? MR. BOUCHER: We have already asked American officials and others in the American Government to make sure that we get any information possible on these matters. Q You said earlier that you hoped to have answers by Monday from at least 27 member nations about an emergency session in Geneva. MR. BOUCHER: Yes. Q Do you also have a target date for when the meeting would take place if -- MR. BOUCHER: We want the meeting to take place as soon as possible. The way the U.N. Human Rights Commission extraordinary meeting mechanism works is that you have to have half of the members of the Commission -- that's 27 out of 53 -- to call, to endorse the call for the meeting. We sent a letter this morning from our Ambassador to the U.N. Human Rights Commission, to the -- I guess the Secretary General, and he has now circulated that to other members. But before that even, we went into other governments and said, "Don't wait for the piece of paper. Don't wait for the proposal to come to you. Go. Step forward, please, and endorse this proposal." So it doesn't have to wait until Monday. If there are 27 members that endorse it before Monday, then, presumably, a meeting could be scheduled forthwith. Q Would this be on a ministerial level? MR. BOUCHER: We've asked that it be on a high level, but I can't define that any further in terms of the United States at this point. Q Can I follow up on Barrie's question about the U.N. resolution on humanitarian aid, which is the second. You said you're consulting with your close allies on the Security Council but have not discussed it with the Security Council as a whole. MR. BOUCHER: Yes. Q You told us that the U.S. has talked with Russia about a number of things in connection with this crisis, including tightening sanctions, and so on, and getting information and access to the camps, and so on. MR. BOUCHER: Pressure on the Serbs. Q Have you not discussed, in the course of those conversations with Russia, the idea and the text of such a resolution? And if not, why not? If you want to get it going and you want to get it going fast, and you've had all these talks with them, why not? MR. BOUCHER: A good question to which I don't know the answer right now. I'll try to get one for you. Q Richard, is there any enforcement mechanism for the sanctions? Does the United States believe there should be such a mechanism similar to the one that was put in place with Iraq? And do you know particularly if there's any way of tracking the goods that are transshiped across Serbia to make sure that they're not unloaded there? MR. BOUCHER: Do you mean the sanctions that we already have? The sanctions that have already been passed on Serbia and Montenegro, I believe, contain the same enforcement measures as in other cases that the Security Council has constituted the Sanctions Committee that looks at requests and provides exceptions and monitors compliance, and things like that. Of course, many of us are involved in the effort to monitor how compliance has been. I think if you read Tom Niles' testimony yesterday, you'll find that he said that compliance has been very good. As I made mention in the statement, to efforts that we have made with various parties earlier this month to tighten up the sanctions, particularly in regard to some of the shipments that were coming up the Danube. Romania has asked the NAC-C -- the North Atlantic Council coordinating body -- that involves a broader membership, if they could help out with some monitors of this. So, presumably, we're willing to facilitate the deployment of monitors. So that is something, presumably, that will likely come out of NAC-C countries. So there are a variety of both the international and normal U.N. means of monitoring enforcement and watching what's going on as well as what we and others do ourselves as well as the cooperation of neighboring countries. As far as transshipments through Serbia that might get hijacked, I hadn't heard of any such thing, and I rather doubt there are that many transshipments going across Serbia these days. Q Richard, on the issue of verifying detention camps and what's going on there, the United States has very sophisticated technology that enables us to read license plates thousands of miles away. MR. BOUCHER: So it's said. Q So it's said by experts. MR. BOUCHER: Not me. Q By U.S. officials. Q And by U.S. officials. Is the United States using this technology to try to verify these reports? MR. BOUCHER: I go back to the answer that I gave you earlier: We've looked for information to verify the charges and claims, and we will continue to do so. Q Is the U.S. asking that its personnel on the ground, either in Zagreb or in Belgrade, be given personal access to any of these places -- any of these camps? MR. BOUCHER: Not that I'm aware of at this point, Ralph. I think I have to go back to the point that I made earlier, that we are trying to obtain information. The first and best way to do this is with the ICRC; first of all, because their international responsibility is to monitor compliance with the Geneva Conventions, and they're both skilled and expert in doing this. And, second of all, was we believe that their presence, more than any others, can prevent any abuses from occurring, if there are such abuses. Q You've started a new process now. You started this process, or you're trying to start this process of collecting war crimes information and you're calling on nations to do that. You're calling on organizations to do that. Essentially, it sounds to me like you're going to have a CSCE investigator that you're urging to go there and find out things. You're going to ask the ICRC to do it. You're asking other countries and other organizations to do it. Is the U.S. going to do it? MR. BOUCHER: In terms of going to the ground and looking around? I thought you were asking specifically, "Have we asked for access to detention centers for U.S. persons?" Q I am. What are all these people -- aren't all these people going to be doing that? Are you asking for all these people to do that? MR. BOUCHER: Yes. Q So the question is, "Is the U.S. doing it?" MR. BOUCHER: That's a good suggestion, Ralph. I'm not aware that we have issued such instructions at this point. We have certainly asked our people to obtain any information that they can. Whether that will involve at some point being able to go to these detention centers, I don't know. I'm sure if there were access provided, that we would want to do that. Q Have any of their -- Q Is there a possibility of advocating the use of force to inspect detention centers? MR. BOUCHER: At this point, any questions involving military action, I'm going to leave with the answer the President gave this morning on C-Span. I'll refer you to him. Q What did he say? MR. BOUCHER: I'll refer you to him. Q Something like "stay tuned." MR. BOUCHER: No. It was a little more than that. Q Back on war crimes. Understandably, this is to be the subject of a Security Council discussion and possible resolution. But is the thinking in the United States Government that this war crimes search process should end with a tribunal? MR. BOUCHER: I really can't give you the answers to that at this point. I've described the resolution that we're seeking, the action, and further discussion of the information that we're looking for in the Security Council. We will see where we get to after that. Q Can you give us some information on who spoke with Panic and what promises, specifically, did he make; and why are promises necessary and why don't they simply open the doors to these two camps -- Omarska, and one that I can't pronounce? MR. BOUCHER: I thought I did, but I'll go back over it again. In Belgrade, our Charge talked to Mr. Panic. Mr. Panic promised to invite international observers to sites of alleged camps in Serbia and Montenegro. He also pledged his support to the U.N. Presidency statement demanding the opening of camps run by Serbians in Bosnia. As you know, there are a variety of parties involved in the fighting in the former Yugoslavia. There are probably detention centers of one sort and another -- large, small -- in schools, hospitals, factories, villages, a lot of places like that, that are operated by various factions. I guess I would say that and then agree with what you said, that it's good to have these promises; and these people, we hope, will be using their influence in the way that they say they will. But the bottom line is the ICRC should just plain have access. Q Did he give any timetable at all in which he's going to open these two specific ones that the ICRC wants to get into? MR. BOUCHER: I'm not sure if we discussed those two specific ones with him. The ICRC has had standing requests to see some of these places and, in particular, some of the places where the atrocities have been reported. As I remember it, the statements imply, at least, right away. But, again, we'll have to see when that happens. Q Do we now believe that Panic has sufficient authority to be able to deliver on such promises? MR. BOUCHER: We'll have to see. Q Richard, somebody said earlier there have been reports for over a year of atrocities, wholesale atrocities. Why, then, the sudden attention by this government to these reported atrocities now? MR. BOUCHER: Jim, there have been reports of various kinds of atrocities occurring in this fighting for quite some time. The reports of detention centers and so-called concentration camps, the ones I've seen sort of started, I think, towards the beginning of this month or late June -- some mention of them. I believe President Izetbegovic mentioned it in his speech in Helsinki. Why today and yesterday and the day before is, because over the past week, I would say, we have seen a number of new reports, press reports. Things like the document that the Bosnian Government has which lists 105 detention centers where they believe Bosnian Muslims are being held, which was, I think -- they provided a copy to John Bolton at the U.N. Refugee Conference -- the 28th, I think it was -- and he gave that to the ICRC right away, and then that was circulated as a U.N. document. For the last week or so, we have had a number of new pieces of information and more specific reports. Q Richard, give us your best appraisal, if you can, of travel conditions in Croatia for inspectors, for journalists, and others, especially around Zagreb? MR. BOUCHER: I can't. I'd refer you to the travel advisory which I don't have in my head. Q It's dated by now. It's several weeks later. MR. BOUCHER: I assume if it needed to be substantially changed, we would have changed it. Q Have we heard from Milosevic? Has the Administration heard from Milosevic? MR. BOUCHER: I don't believe I've seen anything in public from Milosevic. And in terms of the authorities in Belgrade, the person we talk to is Mr. Panic. Q Richard, what's the U.S. position on refugees? Are refugees from this fighting welcome in the United States? Are any substantial numbers of them trying to come to the United States? MR. BOUCHER: I'm not aware that any substantial numbers are trying to come. Our position on refugees is that they need to be cared for. They need to be taken care of. But by and large, these are people who have been pushed out of their homes and would like to return there and therefore they need a place to live safely until they can do that. Q Richard, did the Bosnians provide the locations of these 105 camps? MR. BOUCHER: I believe the document that they circulated as a U.N. document -- the document that I was referring to -- lists locations and things like that; yes. Q Is there anything to prevent international inspectors from travelling on their own to those locations, whether or not they're actually allowed in at that time to see the camps? MR. BOUCHER: My understanding, Mark, is that since the Red Cross, since the ICRC set up shop again in Bosnia on July 7, that they have been trying to visit such locations; that they have visited, as I said, nine facilities where they have registered -- which is the process they go through -- 4,300 individuals who are being held, and that they have sought to visit other camps, including some of the camps -- I think the two that have been prominent in some press reports -- but that they have frequently been told, as I think I mentioned, that the parties along the way or at the site could not guarantee their security, thus effectively preventing them from being able to go there. And therefore that's why we tried to make clear that real action is necessary, and that doesn't mean promises and then excuses. That means real action to let these people get there safely and do their job. Q You need a guarantee of security before these visits can occur? MR. BOUCHER: The Red Cross will determine that. But what we don't need are any excuses of one kind or another to prevent these visits from taking place. Q Richard, the U.N. Secretary General mentioned -- I think it was yesterday -- that there are also tremendous atrocities being committed in places like Somalia that has not gotten much press attention. My question is, why is there a need for a briefing here to focus on what's going on in the former Yugoslav republics when there seems to be no action being taken in places such as Somalia or perhaps half a dozen other places around the world. MR. BOUCHER: You obviously didn't attend the briefing that we did at 2:00 p.m. just two days ago on Somali and everything that the United Nations and others are trying to do there. Q You want to, for the record, just tell us why you did have this briefing? MR. BOUCHER: Why we did have this briefing? We were asked to, by you all, when there was something of important newsworthiness, in somebody's judgment, that we come down and brief. We had a statement we wanted to make and rather than just handing it to you, we thought that for the benefit of those that like voice and picture that we would do it at a briefing. People like you Barrie. (Laughter) Thank you. (Press briefing concluded at 3:36 p.m.)