He wouldn't comment on drone missions or other issues mattering most. The Post, however, obtained numerous unclassified military documents. They cover construction blueprints, drone accident reports, and internal planning memos.
They show how Djibouti-based drone wars escalated exponentially since early 2011. They also reveal ambitious future plans.
The Pentagon's Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) plays a central role. It's used for top-secret counterterrorism missions. Navy SEALs, Army Delta Force commandos, and other Special Ops forces are involved.
Operations known about include counterterrorism missions, surveillance, intelligence gathering, and hostage rescues.
About 300 Special Ops personnel plan, coordinate, and execute these and other missions. Others on base aren't told what they do.
In September 2011, a Lemonnier-based drone killed Muslim cleric/US citizen Anwar Al Awlaki. He lived in Yemen. He committed no crime. He was assassinated for opposing US belligerency.
His murder and others put all anti-imperial opponents at risk. US citizenship protects no one. If outspoken enough, anyone may be next. Perhaps writers, authors, and media hosts will be targeted. Warrior states don't tolerate truth-tellers.
Lemonnier is home to around 3,200 military, civilian and private contractor personnel. Most know little about highly classified counterterrorism work. The select 300 handle it. Their mandate also includes intelligence gathering. Killing, however, is prioritized.