News Release

Military Analyst Daniel Hale to Be Sentenced for Exposing Drone Killings to Public

The Washington Post reports “Former intelligence analyst Daniel Hale pleads guilty to leaking classified information.”

JESSELYN RADACK, jess@exposefacts.org@JesselynRadack
Radack serves as Hale’s whistleblower attorney. She heads the Whistleblower and Source Protection Program (WHISPeR) at ExposeFacts and is quoted in the Post article.
She said today: “Hale is not a spy. He was accused of giving an investigative journalist truthful information in the public interest about the U.S. drone warfare program. That information revealed gross human rights violations, and that drones were more deadly and less accurate than the U.S. presented publicly. Ninety percent of people killed were not the intended target — including an American father and teenage son. Articles, books, and documentaries featuring his disclosures have won numerous awards.”

Radack’s work focuses on the issues of secrecy, surveillance, torture, and drones, where she has been at the forefront of challenging the government’s unprecedented war on whistleblowers. Among her clients are national security and intelligence community employees who have been prosecuted under the Espionage Act for allegedly mishandling classified information, including Edward Snowden, Thomas Drake, and John Kiriakou. (IPA is the fiscal sponsor of WHISPeR.) For more on the case, see: StandWithDanielHale.org.
CHIP GIBBONS, chip@rightsanddissent.org@RightsDissent
Gibbons is policy director at Defending Rights & Dissent, which has done extensive work on Hale’s case. He said today: “On Wednesday, Daniel Hale pled guilty to one count of ‘retention and transmission of national defense information’ in violation of the Espionage Act. Hale’s crime is exposing the human rights abuses of U.S. drone strikes, including that during a given time period nearly 90 percent of those killed by drone strikes were not the intended target.

“It is a disgrace to this country that time and time again when brave truth tellers, many of them relatively young, expose the crimes of our government it is they who go to jail.

“Shame on both [political] parties for their role in this and Congress for failing to act.

“Whistleblowers charged under the Espionage Act have an almost impossible chance of mounting a fair defense, which is why Defending Rights & Dissent has repeatedly urged Congress to amend this draconian and antiquated law. Had Hale gone to trial he would have been barred from even uttering the word whistleblower, fairly explaining his actions, or how they were in the public interest.

“It is outrageous that a law ostensibly designed to target spies and saboteurs is used to jail journalists’ sources and even journalists who act in the public interest to reveal official abuses of power.

“Hale’s case spans three administrations, including presidents from both major parties. Espionage Act abuse to prosecute whistleblowers is a bi-partisan disgrace.”

Correction: This IPA news release was initially titled “Military Analyst Daniel Hale Jailed for Exposing Drone Killings to Public.” That is inaccurate. Hale is not in jail, but is currently out on his own recognizance awaiting sentencing, which is widely expected to include jail time.