Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

As Drone Whistleblower Daniel Hale Pleads Guilty, Advocates Warn of ‘Profound Threat’ to Free Press

Soviet America attack press freedom to defend war criminals and torturers.

By Brett Wilkins, Common Dreams

Press freedom, peace, and human rights advocates are rallying behind Daniel Hale, the former intelligence analyst who blew the whistle on the U.S. government’s drone assassination program, and who pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to violating the Espionage Act.

“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.”
—Jesselyn Radack, Hale’s attorney

The Washington Post reports Hale, who was set to go on trial next week, pleaded guilty to a single count of violating the 1917 law that has been used to target whistleblowers including Julian Assange, John KiriakouChelsea Manning, Edward Snowden, Jeffrey SterlingReality Winner, and others.

Hale was charged in 2019 during the Trump administration after he leaked classified information on the U.S. government’s targeted assassination program to a reporter, who according to court documents, matches the description of The Intercept founding editor Jeremy Scahill. He is the first person to face sentencing for an Espionage Act offense during the admnistration of President Joe Biden.

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