Advocating on Behalf of the American Military and Defense on the War on Terror

Former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs says he was instructed when  he joined the administration not to “acknowledge” the existence of America’s  drones program.

“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.”

Gibbs, who stressed that he was speaking only for himself, called that  dynamic “crazy” and said that the lack of transparency surrounding the drones  program “undermines” broader confidence in government.

“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.”

He called for lifting “the veil” on the issue.

“And 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 [Obama’s] done, but also to do it in a  way that provides better understanding,” Gibbs said.

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