by Matt Agorist, The Free Thought Project:
Hale’s case reflects the twisted morality and corruption of the legal system in an imperialist nation.
CovertAction Magazine) In our upside-down world, good guys often go to jail, and bad guys get promoted and live luxuriously.
Ex-President Barack Obama, a key architect of modern drone warfare, today lives in an $11.75 million, 6,892 square-foot waterfront mansion on a 30-acre property on Martha’s Vineyard, and is regarded by many people as a great moral leader.
TRUTH LIVES on at https://sgtreport.tv/
Donald Trump, who expanded the drone war even further than Obama, is also enjoying life these days at his $160 million Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida.
Daniel Hale, by contrast, a principled former Air Force officer and defense contractor who publicly exposed the drone program, will likely be spending at least the next two years in federal prison.
On March 31st, Hale pleaded guilty in the Eastern District of Virginia to one count of illegally retaining and transmitting classified national defense information in violation of the Espionage Act of 1917.
The documents pertaining to the U.S. drone war were transmitted to The Intercept reporter Jeremy Scahill in 2014/5 and published as part of a series called “The Drone Papers.”
Under the terms of the plea deal, four other counts against him were not dropped but placed in abeyance, giving the government the theoretical option to bring them to trial in the future.
Hale’s lawyer, Jesselyn Radack, stated in an exclusive interview with CovertAction Magazine (CAM) that Hale accepted the plea deal because he “would not have received a fair trial because the arcane Espionage Act does not allow for a public interest defense. Meaning, Hale’s motive of wanting to inform the public could not be raised as a defense to the charge of disclosure of information.”
According to Radack, “the U.S. government’s policy of punishing people who provide journalists with information in the public interest is a profound threat to free speech, free press, and a healthy democracy.”
“Classified information is published in the press every day; in fact, the biggest leaker of classified information is the U.S. government. However, the Espionage Act is used uniquely to punish those sources who give journalists information that embarrasses the government or exposes its lies.”
“Those Who Speak for Reasons of Conscience Get Punished”
Before Hale, Radack represented national security whistleblowers Edward Snowden, John Kiriakou, and Thomas Drake. She is the founder of the Whistleblower and Source Protection Program (WHISPeR) at ExposeFacts, which she helped establish to protect investigative journalism and provide pro bono direct legal representation to whistleblowers.
Radack became a whistleblower herself in 2001 while working at the Department of Justice (DOJ), which suppressed emails she had sent to a DOJ counterterrorism prosecutor stating that the FBI’s initial interrogation of John Walker Lindh, a U.S. citizen who fought for the Taliban, was illegal because it was not conducted with a lawyer present and the information gained could not be used for criminal prosecution.
The DOJ subsequently dismissed Radack and tried to have her disbarred, and she was blacklisted for a period from the legal profession in Washington.