Last week, Robert Gibbs, who served as White House Press Secretary from 2009 to 2011, told MSNBC that he was told by his superiors not to discuss the drones program, which has come under controversy recently:
“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,” he said Sunday on MSNBC’s “Up With Chris Hayes.” “You’re not even to discuss that it exists.”
“Here’s what’s inherently crazy about that proposition,” he 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 no attention to the man behind the curtain. I think in many ways and I think what the president has seen — and I have not talked to him about this, I want to be careful. This is my opinion. But I think what the president has seen is our denial of the existence of the program when it’s obviously happening undermines people’s confidence overall in the decisions that their government makes.”
On Tuesday, Gibbs was thoroughly ripped by Jon Stewart on The Daily Show for these comments, basically an admission of lying for purposes of deceiving the American people, showing a couple of clips where the former White House Press Secretary refused to answer questions about the drones program:
There’s no getting around it, Gibbs was essentially the Obama Administration’s Minister of Propaganda.
While apologists of the program — including President Obama, some Democrats in Congress, and neo-conservatives — insist that it’s an effective means to eliminate terrorists, a somber report released last year by the law schools at Stanford and New York University highlighted that hundreds of innocent Pakistanis have been killed by drones.
The report, Living Under Drones, also noted that use of drones have “giv[en] rise to anxiety and psychological trauma among civilian communities” due to the fact that “[d]rones hover twenty-four hours a day over communities in northwest Pakistan, striking homes, vehicles, and public spaces without warning.”
A recently leaked memo by Department of Justice laid out the foundation through which the Obama Administration will make the legal case for drone strikes on American citizens. What has not been made clear, however, if White House will use this justification for drone strikes on targets inside the United States. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has sought answers from John Brennan, President Obama’s appointment to lead the CIA, but he has been met with obfuscation from Brennan and the White House and derision by the media.