Leniency for whistleblower Daniel Hale

Defending Rights & Dissent

On March 31, Daniel Hale, a drone whistleblower, pled guilty to one count of violating the Espionage Act. Hale admitted in court that he gave to an investigative reporter documents detailing human rights abuses pertaining to the US’s troubling assassination program. Although this information was in the public interest, the government nonetheless indicted Hale under the Espionage Act. Read our statement here.

This fits into a troubling pattern where those who expose official abuses of power, including war crimes and unconstitutional surveillance, are charged under the Espionage Act.

For more information about Hale’s case and the bipartisan disgrace of Espionage Act abuse, a topic too often ignored by the media, check out our April 6 special broadcast with Hale’s lawyer Jesselyn Radack, NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake, and CIA whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling. In addition, our policy director Chip Gibbons appeared on Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting’s Counterspin and wrote an article for Jacobin explaining the significance of the case.

Petition to Judge O’Grady

Dear Judge O’Grady,

We, the undersigned, respectfully ask for leniency for Daniel Hale. 

Although he pled guilty to one count of “retention and transmission of national defense information” in violation of the Espionage Act , Daniel Hale is not a spy. On the contrary, his actions were patriotic and served democracy and the American people. 

Because of his courage the public now better understands the decision-making process for US targeted killings and that nearly 90% of those killed by drone strikes were not the intended target. These are matters of great national interest.

We ask you to consider that Daniel Hale’s actions were actions of conscience and public service, and grant him leniency.