Daniel Hale Sentenced to Prison for Drone Warfare Leaks

Image for article titled Ex-Airman Who Leaked Secrets of America's Drone War Gets 45 Months in Prison

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A whistleblower who leaked high secret details about America’s drone warfare program has been sentenced to 45 months in federal jail.

Daniel Hale, 33, who previously labored as an intelligence analyst for the U.S. Air Force, pled guilty in March to retaining and transmitting nationwide protection info. He was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va. by Judge Liam O’Grady on Tuesday.

In 2014, Hale leaked greater than 150 pages of categorised materials to a journalist, revealing particulars in regards to the authorities’s unmanned aerial car operations. Hale took the paperwork from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the place he was working as a contractor on the time.

While it has by no means been formally admitted, Politico reports that “details about Hale’s activities and the records he leaked make clear that the reporter was Jeremy Scahill of the Intercept.” Documents that Hale leaked had been subsequently cited in The Drone Papers, an investigation by the outlet into the federal government’s actions. Scahill additionally wrote a book about drone warfare, wherein he elaborated on the findings. Hale later said that guilt over his personal participation in drone strikes abroad had compelled him to come ahead with the data.

Charging Hale beneath the Espionage Act, federal prosecutors had beforehand sought a maximum punishment for him—which might’ve netted him 11 years behind bars.

Politico writes that Hale appeared “choked up” by way of components of Tuesday’s judicial proceedings however confirmed “no remorse about his disclosures.” Instead, he expressed remorse about having performed an element in America’s drone program.

“I am here because I stole something that was never mine to take—precious human life. For that, I was compensated and given a medal,” Hale mentioned. “I couldn’t keep living in a world in which people pretended that things weren’t happening that were. Please your honor, forgive me for taking papers instead of human lives.”

Throughout each the Obama and Trump administrations, the federal government has proceeded to ramp up an aggressive crackdown on whistleblowers—looking for to impose ever harsher punishments for authorities operatives who disclose categorised info to reporters. As instance, NSA whistleblower Reality Winner was recently released from prison, after serving a majority of a 63-month sentence for leaking categorised details about Russian interference within the 2016 presidential election.

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