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The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground. —THOMAS JEFFERSON, 1788

Obama administration told press secretary ‘not to acknowledge’ drone warfare to press

DroneIt’s a bit of a shocker, this revelation coming today from one-time White House press lesson for the most transparent administration in history. Mediaite’s Noah Rothman reports that former Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was a guest on Sunday morning’s “Up,” on MSNBC, where he dropped a bombshell.

When asked by host Chris Hayes asked if the White House was “sufficiently forthcoming” with information about the drone warfare program, Gibbs allowed as how Obama was already focused on keeping the program under wraps before he even took office in 2009.

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. You’re not even to discuss that it exists.’

Gibbs went on to describe the “inherent craziness” of being instructed to adopt this position when members of the White House press corps already knew about the program and periodically asked questions about it.

This is not the first time the president’s drone program has been grist for finger-wagging discussion on MSNBC. Earlier this month, the topic was broached on “Morning Joe.” There a panel of commentators went so far as to concede that had George W. Bush authorized the use of drones to kill American citizens, the press would have been clamoring (again) for his impeachment.

Yet, no one in the mainstream media is rushing to coin the neologism dronegate to frame the debate, or even treating it as much of a scandal.

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Howard Portnoy has written for HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.

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