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

Biden discontinues Trump’s good policies, like on immigration and taxation, and continues his terrible policies, like on Espionage Act prosecutions of whistleblowers who disclose government misdeeds. From Brett Wilkins at commondreams.org:

“Using the Espionage Act in this way to prosecute journalists’ sources as spies chills newsgathering and discourages sources from coming forward with information in the public interest.”

Drone whistleblower Daniel Hale (R) stands next to CodePink co-founder Medea Benjamin in this undated photo. (Photo:Democracy Now!)

Drone whistleblower Daniel Hale (R) stands next to CodePink co-founder Medea Benjamin outside the White House in Washintgon, D.C. in this undated photo. (Photo:Democracy Now!

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 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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