Morning Joe | February 25, 2013
>>> when i went through the process of becoming press secretary, one of the things -- 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. here's what's inherently crazy about that proposition. you're being asked a question based on reporting of a program that exists. this is my opinion.
>> yeah, yeah.
>> 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.
>> wow. that was robert gibbs talking about the administration's decision to keep quiet on america's drone program until only recently. we have some must-reads.
>> it's like fight club rules , mika. you know what the first rule of fight club is, don't you?
>> of course you don't.
>> one of the great movies of our time.
>> sorry. richard, what do you think?
>> robert gibbs saying i was being asked a question about a program that i was told to say didn't exist.
>> people are talking about it more now. i think what's happening with the brennan confirmation and all that is two issues. what is the criteria by which we decide when to use drones? i think the general sense that the criteria aren't right, they're a little too loose. and second of all, what's the process by which we decide particularly when americans are the target. and i think people there feel there's got to be more of a process since obviously due process is not being provided. so i think what's happening is the administration now is going to have to open up this policy, both to get brennan confirmed, and more broadly, there's a lack of congressional and public support. the feeling is it's just gone a little too far. no one's talking about shutting it down but dialing it back.
>> an overreach.
>> my dad writes in "the financial times ," "the cyber rage demands new rules of war . today the interstate rules of the game are degrading, highly sophisticated capabilities for inflicting violence on remote targets as well as cross-border, state-sponsored terrorism are undermining the clear demarcation of what is is permissible and what is not. indeed, the world community is witnessing an increasing reliance by states on covert acts of violence without declarations of war . leaders can now use long-distance air drones for lethal strikes across national borders against targeted individuals occasionally killing civilians, too. calm and determined deterrence including intensified efforts credibly to identify perpetrators as well as readiness in effect to retaliate in kind -- must be the point of departure for new and genuinely reciprocal rules of the game . the need for such rules is becoming urgent."
>> and richard, we've been talking around this table for a couple of years now about the dangers of going into countries where you haven't declared war and killing not only targets but also civilians. we've got to tighten these rules.
>> we do. one of the problems, though, is the technology has so far outpaced the rules and laws. we see it with cyber. we see it with drones. there's a gap or a lag that's grown up. the other thing is you're right. sovereignty, had it came around literally in the 17th century was a big innovation. the idea was to keep the kingdoms from constantly going to war with one another. what we're now doing is we live in a different world where we say sovereignty is no longer than absolute. it's conditional. again, there's a lag. we haven't quite figured out what we want to preserve and where we want to open things up.
>> i wonder what would happen if an american went into mexico, and let's say they're involved in a drug war and killed a mayor on the mexican side of the border, and the mexicans decided ten years from now to drop a drone over the guy in dallas suburbs. i wonder how we'd react.
>> a number of years ago there was a case of a dea going into mexico going after somebody. these are real issues.
>> this is the question we have to ask. so if we drop drones in neighborhoods in countries where we haven't declared war , what's our response when the mexicans drop drones in dallas suburbs? of course, they would never do that. because, of course, we live by double standards. and if they did that, our tanks would be to mexico city by nightfall. but if we want to see how the rest of the world looks at us in these drone wars, maybe we should start thinking about how we would look at other countries if they did the same to us.
>> it ought to be an exceptional instrument. the truth is we're going to live in a world of proliferated drones where dozens of countries are going to have them.
>> before we go, i grabbed a must-read out of "the new york times" magazine.
>> that's exciting.
>> not from this piece, don't worry, although this was amazing. this is by gretchen reynolds, and it's about exercising because a lot of people are on treadmills right now. i've been exercising indoors.
>> it's great. it's changed my life.
>> just wait. y you stride differently when running outdoors. outdoor exercise tends, too, to be more strenuous than the indoor version. in studies comparing the exertion of running on a treadmill and the exertion of running outside, treadmill users expended less energy to cover the same distance as those striding across the ground outside, primarily because indoor exercisers face no wind resistance or changes in terrain no matter how subtle. in virtually all of the studies -- and i thought this was interesting -- the volunteers reported enjoying the outside activity more and on subsequent psychological tests, scored significantly higher on measures of vitality, enthusiasm, pleasure and self-esteem and lower on tension, depression and fatigue after they walked outside." and i just started running oud outside again.
>> it's true.
>> it makes a big difference. i get distracted, mike, when i run outside. you know, you pass all those convenience stores . a lot of times i go in for a beer, a pack of cigarettes. i can run and smoke and drink at the same time.
>>> "hardball's chris matthews .
>> what about you?
>> there's nothing more exciting than