Transcript of Reporters Roundtable Discussion With Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey

WASHINGTON , Dec. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a transcript of a reporters roundtable discussion with Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey : 10:35 A.M. EST ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: Good morning...


WASHINGTON , Dec. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a transcript of a reporters roundtable discussion with Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey :

10:35 A.M. EST

ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: Good morning.

QUESTION: Good morning.

ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: Nice crowd.

QUESTION: How do you feel?

QUESTION: Yeah. We want to take your blood pressure.

(Laughter.)

ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: Shall I pass out now or --

(Laughter.)

ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: -- I'm fine, thank you. I really am.

QUESTION: Well, I suppose we should get it past us, but what happened?

ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: What happened? What happened was I got down to the last paragraph of my speech and the lights went out. I mean, I don't want to dwell on this for the whole of the time any more than you want me to, but I then woke up, realized what had happened, was absolutely mortified because I asked somebody whether the people were still in the room. The lights were dim. It was obvious people were still in the room. There was dead silence. And it was clear that I had traumatized the whole room full of people who had come for a nice evening and were witnessing God knows what. And then that was that.

I mean, you know, then I got hauled off to the hospital much against my will, kept asking for my glasses. Finally, somebody got them for me, and I spent the rest of the evening arguing with the doctors about when I was going to get out.

(Laughter.)

QUESTION: Do you think it was just fatigue, working too hard?

ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: Pardon?

QUESTION: Do you think it was fatigue, just working too hard?

ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: No. It was not fatigue from working too -- I don't -- look, the short of it is, I don't know what it was. I have a deal with the doctors. They don't practice law, I don't practice medicine. I'm sorry it happened under the circumstances. Nothing I can do to change that.

QUESTION: Mumbai . Can you give us your assessment of the situation as it is and offer whatever guidance you can at this point?

ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: I can't. I mean, it's obviously a horrible incident, a horrific incident, nothing we ever want to see happen here. And to the extent it's an object lesson, it's an object lesson in maintaining vigilance and in the need for surveillance, electronic surveillance and other kinds of surveillance and the need for protection.

QUESTION: Do you think that at this point from what you know, are you getting the kind of cooperation or is the FBI getting the level of cooperation that would allow them to gather evidence that would allow you to bring charges in the United States against the surviving member of the attack team or others who may be involved in the conspiracy?

ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: I don't yet have that level of detail and I don't think I could share it if I had it. I know -- I mean, I can confirm finally that the FBI is over there, that they're working with the Indian police on gathering evidence.

QUESTION: Why is the FBI there?

ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: To provide assistance, and to gather evidence.

QUESTION: What was the -- I assume there was a request, obviously, from the Indian government. What was the nature of the request? What did they want?

ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: I don't know what the nature was of the request.

QUESTION: As a general matter, inasmuch as six Americans died there, do you have a desire that some charges eventually be brought by U.S. authorities?

ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: It's not a question of my desire. We have jurisdiction.

QUESTION: You do have jurisdiction?

ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: I believe we have jurisdiction over violence committed against Americans in connection with acts of terrorism like this.

QUESTION: Is the FBI also working with the Pakistani government to --

ATTORNEY GENERAL MUKASEY: I can't comment on that.

This content continues onto the next page...