Whistleblower Sentenced to Serve 45-Month Term
For Exposing Criminal US Military Drone Strikes
WASHINGTON (July 27, 2021) — Today, drone whistleblower Daniel Hale was sentenced to 45 months in prison in violation of the Espionage Act. Daniel was accused of leaking secret documents detailing the US drone program to a journalist.
His prison sentence is dangerous for everyone who values freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Sentencing Daniel to prison for speaking the truth is in direct violation of the Bill of Rights and threatens to have a chilling effect on future reporting about what the US military does in our name around the world.
In 2013, Daniel spoke at CODEPINK’s drone summit. Watching him speak was surprising and moving. He seemed shy, a personality trait you may not expect from someone who blew the whistle on the most powerful military in the world. He did something so simple, but so meaningful at the time: he apologized to drone victims and their families.
“To the people in the audience who are victims or who are families of victims or have families who live in countries where US militarism, specifically unmanned systems are conducting kinetic strikes, I’m sorry,” he said. “For a short period of time during my military career as an analyst, I worked with unmanned systems and deployed to Afghanistan. And at the very least, you all deserve an apology” Hale said. Daniel does not deserve to go to prison, especially when there has not been a single ounce of accountability for the war criminals that authorized the use of drones.
In 2009, President Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for diplomacy. He, like presidents before and after him, killed countless civilians with drones. Our courts are holding the wrong people accountable when we send whistleblowers to jail. Daniel, who saw first-hand how brutal drone strikes were, had the courage to tell the American people what was really being done in our name. He deserves our gratitude, not prison.
Medea, Danaka, Ally, Ann, Ariel, Carley, Ciara, Emily, Farida, Jodie, Kelly, Leila, Leonardo, Madison, Mary, Marcy, Michelle, Moses, Nancy, Paki, RJ, Sana, and Teri
ACTION ALERT: Stand with Whistleblower Daniel Hale
A Week in Solidarity with Daniel Hale – July 28 – August 3
ALEXANDRIA, VA (July 27, 2021) — Daniel Hale was sentenced on July 27 to 45 months in prison.
In 2014, Air Force veteran Daniel Hale blew the whistle on secret watchlists, targeted drone killings, and other abuses in the War on Terror. The information Hale shared revealed gross human rights violations in the preparation of target lists for deadly attacks where 90% of the people killed were not the intended targets. He was charged under the Espionage Act and pled guilty to one count.
ACTION: People throughout the US are asked to go to federal buildings, drone bases, public squares and elsewhere in the week following his sentencing — July 28 to August 3 — with signs and banners expressing solidarity with and support for Daniel Hale.
• Please take pictures and post them far and wide on social media using the hashtag #FreeDanielHale
• Remember to let local media know of your plans, and send them a press release with photos afterwards.
• Some suggestions for signs and banners:
* Whistleblowing is Not a Crime
* President Biden: Pardon Daniel Hale
* Free Daniel Hale — Exposed Killer Drone Crimes
* Thank You, Drone War Whistleblower Daniel Hale
* Exposing War Crimes is not a Crime
* Daniel Hale — Hero, not Criminal
* We Stand With Daniel Hale, Killer-Drone Whistleblower
* Stop the Killing, Stop the Terror, Stop the Drones
More information about Daniel Hale is at https://standwithdanielhale.org/.
Letters of Support May Be Sent To:
Daniel E. Hale
William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center
2001 Mill Rd.
Alexandria, VA 22314
Correspondence must be in blue or black ink on white paper.
Hand drawings are allowed, and we encourage them.
You can send more than one page, as long as it all fits in a standard envelope.
Pages can be front and back.
The Alexandria sheriff’s department has a list of official restrictions on what can be sent, but mail is sometimes rejected for seemingly arbitrary reasons.
Daniel will soon be moved to a federal prison. When writing, you can check for his current mailing address at https://standwithdanielhale.org/.
The Story of Whistleblower Daniel Hale
Stand With Daniel Hale
In May 2019, drone whistleblower Daniel Everette Hale was arrested and indicted on allegations that he disclosed classified documents about the US military’s assassination program, believed to have been the source material for a series in The Intercept called “The Drone Papers”.
On March 31, 2021, Hale pleaded guilty to a single count under the Espionage Act, carrying a maximum sentence of 10 years.
On July 27, 2021, Daniel was sentenced to 45 months in prison.
Hale is a veteran of the US Air Force. During his military service from 2009 to 2013, he participated in the US drone program, working with both the National Security Agency and the Joint Special Operations Task Force at the Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan.
After leaving the Air Force, Hale became an outspoken opponent of the US targeted killings program, US foreign policy more generally, and a supporter of whistleblowers. He publicly spoke out at conferences, forums, and public panels. He was featured prominently in the award-winning documentary National Bird, a film about whistleblowers in the US drone program who suffered from moral injury and PTSD.
Hale based his criticisms on his own participation in the drone program, which included helping to select targets based on faulty criteria and attacks on unarmed innocent civilians.
Daniel will be serving more than 3.5 years in prison for contacting the press about a matter of extreme public importance that has been shrouded in secrecy. But the larger concern is not what Hale did or didn’t do but what our government has been doing.
For almost two decades, they have used a veil of secrecy to deny the American public the basic right to informed debate and consent. Government officials have repeatedly lied about nature and the extent of drone assassinations. No one has ever been held accountable for these lies, or for the war crimes they have enabled.
Daniel is a whistleblower who has enriched the public’s knowledge about matters of grave civic concern. It is unconscionable to use a law supposedly aimed at actual spies and saboteurs, against individuals who act in good faith to bring government misconduct to the attention of the public.