Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 17 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 7/6/21

Why Daniel Hale Deserves Gratitude, Not Prison

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   No comments
Message Kathy Kelly
Become a Fan
  (4 fans)

From Progressive

The whistleblower acted on behalf of the public's right to know what is being done in its name.


(Image by Commons photo)   Details   DMCA

"Pardon Daniel Hale."

These words hung in the air on a recent Saturday evening, projected onto several buildings in Washington, D.C., above the face of a courageous whistleblower facing 10 years in prison.

The artists aimed to inform the U.S. public about Daniel E. Hale, a former Air Force analyst who blew the whistle on the consequences of drone warfare. Hale will appear for sentencing before Judge Liam O'Grady on July 27.

The U.S. Air Force had assigned Hale to work for the National Security Agency. At one point, he also served in Afghanistan at the Bagram Air Force Base.

"In this role as a signals analyst, Hale was involved in the identifying of targets for the U.S. drone program," says Chip Gibbons, policy director for Defending Rights and Dissent, in a lengthy article in Jacobin about Hale's case. "Hale would tell the filmmakers of the 2016 documentary National Bird that he was disturbed by 'the uncertainty if anyone I was involved in kill[ing] or captur[ing] was a civilian or not. There's no way of knowing.' "

Hale, 33, believed the public wasn't getting crucial information about the nature and extent of U.S. drone assassinations of civilians. Lacking that evidence, people in the United States couldn't make informed decisions. Moved by his conscience, he opted to become a truth-teller.

The U.S. government is treating him as a threat, a thief who stole documents, and an enemy. If ordinary people knew more about him, they might regard him as a hero.

Hale was charged under the Espionage Act for allegedly providing classified information to a reporter. The Espionage Act is an antiquated World War I era law, passed in 1917, designed for use against enemies of the U.S. accused of spying. The U.S. government has dusted it off, more recently, for use against whistleblowers.

Individuals charged under this law are not allowed to raise any issues regarding motivation or intent. They literally are not allowed to explain the basis for their actions.

One observer of whistleblowers' struggles with the courts was himself a whistleblower. Tried and convicted under the Espionage Act, John Kiriakou spent two and a half years in prison for exposing government wrongdoing. He says the U.S. government in these cases engages in "charge stacking" to ensure a lengthy prison term as well as "venue-shopping" to try them in the nation's most conservative districts.

Daniel Hale was facing trial in the Eastern District of Virginia, home to the Pentagon as well as many CIA and other federal government agents. He was facing up to 50 years in prison if found guilty on all counts.

On March 31, Hale pled guilty on one count of retention and transmission of national defense information. He now faces a maximum of 10 years in prison.

At no point has he been able to raise before a judge his concern about Pentagon claims that targeted drone assassination is precise and civilian deaths are minimal.

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Rate It | View Ratings

Kathy Kelly Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Kathy Kelly is a co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence and a co-founder of Voices in the Wilderness, a campaign to end economic sanctions against Iraq. She and her companions helped send over 70 delegations to Iraq, from 1996 to (more...)
 

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

 
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Feed the Hungry, Treat the Sick: A Crucial Training

The Not So Land of the Free

A Future in Prison

Taking Next Steps Toward Nuclear Abolition

On the Quality of Mercy

Report from prison: Possibility of Escape

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend