Daniel Hale is the first person accused of an unauthorized disclosure of information to be imprisoned in a Communications Management Unit by the United States government.
Drone whistleblower Daniel Hale, who pled guilty to violating the Espionage Act, was transferred from a jail in Virginia to a communication management unit (CMU) at United States Penitentiary Marion in southern Illinois.
He is the first person convicted for an unauthorized disclosure of information to the press to be incarcerated in a CMU, which the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) claims is for terrorists and “high-risk inmates.”
The decision may effectively cut him off from his entire support network, including friends and fellow whistleblowers who were by his side as federal prosecutors aggressively pursued charges against him.
Hale was a signals intelligence analyst in the U.S. Air Force. He was deployed to Afghanistan and stationed at Bagram Air Base. He later worked as a contractor for a firm known as Leidos. His contracting job gave him access to documents on the drone program, and he shared copies with journalist Jeremy Scahill.
He pled guilty to one count of violating the Espionage Act on March 31. The Justice Department had him jailed at the Alexandria Detention Center after he pled guilty, and he was sentenced to 45 months in prison on July 27.
After sentencing, Hale was transferred to Northern Neck Regional Jail, where he expected to be held for two or three weeks until a bed opened at Federal Medical Center Butner in North Carolina, a facility that could offer him some form of mental health treatment.
But he was held at Northern Neck until October 1, when the BOP transported him to Marion. He arrived on October 6.