The End Game in the War on Whistleblowers

By: Jesselyn Radack & Kathleen McClellan

As attorneys representing dozens of national security whistleblowers who have been criminally investigated and prosecuted under the draconian Espionage Act for disclosing information in the public interest, we have long cautioned that the war on whistleblowers was a back-door way of going after journalists. That warning was borne out when the US brought criminal charges against Julian Assange for ordinary journalistic activity: investigating government wrongdoing, cultivating sources, and encouraging encryption. However, we now have proof that the situation was far more sinister than just criminalizing protected First Amendment activity. The CIA discussed how to kidnap or assassinate controversial Wikileaks founder Julian Assange — all the more audacious because Assange had been granted humanitarian asylum precisely because he had had valid fears of persecution based on his political opinion.

The Myth of “Internal Channels” for National Security Whistleblowers

By Jesselyn Radack and Kathleen McClellan

In the chaotic last days of the war in Afghanistan, U.S. officials told the press that the U.S. had executed a deadly drone strike that destroyed a vehicle containing “multiple suicide bombers.” Thanks to investigative journalists who dug deeper into the government’s vague and clinical “reports of civilian casualties,” we now know the strike killed at least 10 civilians, eight of them children. Journalists were not always so quick to question the U.S. drone program. Thanks to whistleblowers like Daniel Hale, who disclosed that civilian casualties were grossly underreported, the government’s word on “civilian casualties” is no longer the last word the public hears.

Abortion Bounty Hunters in Texas Are Not ‘Whistleblowers’ — They’re Cruel Vigilantes

By Norman Solomon

One of the many preposterous claims coming from supporters of the vicious new Texas law against abortion is that bounty hunters — standing to gain a $10,000 reward from the state — will somehow be “whistleblowers.” The largest anti-abortion group in Texas is trying to attach the virtuous “whistleblower” label to predators who’ll file lawsuits against abortion providers and anyone who “aids or abets” a woman getting an abortion.

Truth Is National Security

By Jeffrey Sterling : 22 August 21

Last month marked another notch on the weapon that is the Espionage Act, as it continues to be misused by the Department of Justice. Drone whistleblower Daniel Hale was sentenced to spend 45 months in federal prison. Once again, so-called justice in this country will subject a person of truth to the desolate confines of prison, not because of the rule of law and justice, but out of a continuing desire to retaliate against those who dare stand up for truth and accountability in our government.

UK court allows expanded US appeal for Assange extradition

Committee to Protect Journalists

Washington, D.C., August 12, 2021 — In response to Britain’s High Court decision yesterday to allow the United States government to expand its appeal to extradite Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, the Committee to Protect Journalists issued the following statement:

Drone Whistleblower Daniel Hale Is a Truth-Teller in a Time of Systemic Deceit and Lethal Secrecy

Hale should be pardoned and released, and the government should pay him restitution.

By Jeremy Scahill – The Intercept

In Pre-Sentencing Letter, Drone Whistleblower Daniel Hale Says Crisis of Conscience Motivated Leak

By Brett Wilkins —

“I came to believe that the policy of drone assassination was being used to mislead the public that it keeps us safe… I began to speak out, believing my participation in the drone program to have been deeply wrong.”

“Committing the Truth”: Whistleblower Daniel Hale to Be Sentenced for Drone Program Leaks

Democracy Now!

At a sentencing hearing Tuesday, whistleblower Daniel Hale faces at least nine years in prison for leaking classified information about the U.S. drone and targeted assassination program. During his time in the Air Force from 2009 to 2013, Hale worked with the National Security Agency and the Joint Special Operations Task Force at the Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, where he helped identify targets for assassination. He later worked as a contractor for the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency. In March, Hale pleaded guilty to one count of violating the World War I-era Espionage Act for leaking documents exposing the drone program. “This has been an odyssey that has occupied most of the better part of his adult life for basically committing the truth,” says Jesselyn Radack, an attorney for Daniel Hale. “The U.S. has never contested any of Daniel’s disclosures,” Radack adds. We also speak with Noor Mir, Daniel Hale’s close friend and part of his support team, who describes him as a compassionate person willing to make sacrifices to do the right thing. “I know that when he’s out, he will remain committed to ending suffering in all forms,” Mir says.

Secrecy, Repression, and The Espionage Act Century: Carey Shenkman

Primary Sources Podcast

Passed during World War I, the Espionage Act was President Woodrow Wilson’s “firm hand of repression” that he used to silence antiwar voices.

Snowden, Surveillance and Whistleblowing: Unlearned Lessons and Unfinished Business

By Patrick G. Eddington –

It’s been the better part of a decade since NSA contractor-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden first revealed massive U.S. government surveillance of our phone communications. The additional disclosures that followed led to no meaningful public Congressional hearings into Snowden’s revelations; a cynical, totally ineffectual law that didn’t actually stop much, if any, of the mass telephone surveillance; and lots of attacks on the whistleblower himself—not just from his former government employers, but from multiple House and Senate members, as well as some in the press.