Maddow said she was troubled by the secrecy with which the strikes were carried out, since the Obama administration's policy is to refuse to talk about them.
"The most amazing thing about this as a matter of policy is that it isn't a matter of policy," she said. "...The fact that we know that these things are happening and that our government considers these things deniable is frankly one of the more Orwellian things about being an American in the 21st century."
Maddow continued that the lack of accountability meant that citizens were denied a say in their government's military policy.
"We may or may not like what our military does in wartime, but the expectation ... [is that] we get to know what they're doing," she said. "Our political leaders can be voted out of office if we do not like what they have the military do. We do not have that luxury, that accountability, when our government does not admit to what we do."
She also said she was skeptical about Brennan's supposed desire to bring more transparency to drone strikes when he moves to run the CIA.
"Why are we now supposed to believe ... that regardless of how things have gone under his leadership so far, it all might change and get a lot more accountable and a lot more transparent if he gets this big new job?" she asked. "It is kind of hard to believe that he's going to go run an agency so he can go give some of that agency's authorities away."