Daniel Hale recently pleaded guilty to leaking US military documents, he has been sentenced to 45 months in prison, or about half the nine years pushed by the Biden administration. Working as a security analyst from 2009-2013 as part of the US Air Force’s drone program, Hale was eventually stationed at Bagram Air Force base in Afghanistan as part of the Department of Defence’s Joint Special Operations Task Force. He later worked for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) as a contractor and is alleged to have started printing documents, which he eventually provided to Jeremy Scahill for The Intercept, eleven of those documents were marked “secret” or “top secret”.
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The Drone Papers
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The Drone Papers
The leaks, the information itself, should still be the main story here, that drone warfare is inaccurate, inhumane, and maximises civilian casualties. Hale leaked information that allowed accurate reporting on secret documents that demonstrated that the US defence departments drone assassination program that has operated in Afghanistan, Yemen, and Somalia is not effective and often kills civilians. The program relies on phone intercepts to provide signal intelligence and metadata that are used to target individuals for assassination, but the documents Hale leaked demonstrated these methods were known to be unreliable and dangerous. The problem is so bad that during one five-month sample period over 90% of US targeted killings were of unintended targets, yet these were covered up and labeled as "enemies killed in action” regardless.