John Podesta, president of the Center for American Progress and Bill Clinton's former chief of staff, argued Thursday that the Obama administration should release any and all information, redacted as necessary, relating to its targeted drone killing program because to not do so would undermine the nation's system of checks and balances.
"In refusing to release to Congress the rules and justifications governing a program that has conducted nearly 400 unmanned drone strikes and killed at least three Americans in the past four years, President Obama is ignoring the system of checks and balances that has governed our country from its earliest days," Podesta writes in a Washington Post editorial published Thursday. "And in keeping this information from the American people, he is undermining the nation’s ability to be a leader on the world stage and is acting in opposition to the democratic principles we hold most important."
"This is why I say, respectfully: Give them up, Mr. President," Podesta adds.
Confronted on the issue by two Democratic senators at an Organizing for Action summit dinner in Washington on Wednesday, President Obama asserted executive priviledge to keep such information secret as needed, the Huffington Post reported.
“This is not Dick Cheney we’re talking about here,” Obama said, according to lawmakers quoted by Politico.