|ETL screenshot from MSNBC|
Former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said that he was told to deny the very existence of the Obama administration’s drone program that has killed untold numbers of civilians in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere.
Meanwhile, the Obama administration will not say if they claim the authority to similarly kill Americans on U.S. soil without charge or trial.
While we know very little about the administration’s assassination program, we do know that they claim the authority to kill Americans abroad without clear evidence based on secret meetings all built upon a similarly secret legal justification.
While Gibbs said he was told to “not even discuss that it exists,” the current press secretary called drone strikes “legal,” “ethical,” and “wise.”
“When I went through the process of becoming press secretary, one of the first things they told me was you’re not even to acknowledge the drone program,” Gibbs said on MSNBC. “You’re not even to discuss that it exists.”
“Here’s what’s inherently crazy about that proposition,” Gibbs said. You’re being asked a question based on reporting of a program that exists. So you’re the official government spokesperson acting as if the entire program – pay attention to the man behind the curtain.”
We are still being told the same thing, evidenced by a federal judge comparing her decision to “Alice in Wonderland” when ruling that the Obama administration can claim there is a legal basis for the assassination of Americans by drone without charge or trial while never having to actually show that legal justification to anyone, including the judge.
While the Obama administration was reportedly going to release some of the memos justifying the program to the intelligence committees in the House and Senate, they merely allowed select individuals to look at them without copying the documents or having them analyzed by legal experts.
The Obama administration wouldn’t even give full access to drone program apologists like Senator Dianne Feinstein who deny the reality of the numbers of civilians killed by the program.
“I think what the president has seen is that our denial of the existence of the program – when it’s obviously happening – undermines peoples’ confidence overall in the decisions that their government makes,” Gibbs said.
“In order to bolster that confidence and bolster the belief that we’re making those correct decisions on this policy, you do have to lift the veil some to both acknowledge that it exists, as he’s done, but also to do it in a way that provides better understanding,” Gibbs concluded.
Watch the video from “Up with Chris Hayes” on MSNBC below:
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