A former air force intelligence analyst was sentenced to 45 months in prison on Tuesday for leaking top secret information about the US government’s drone strike program to a journalist.
Daniel Hale of Nashville, Tennessee, has said he was motivated by guilt and a desire for transparency when he disclosed to an investigative reporter details of a military drone program that he believed was indiscriminately killing civilians in Afghanistan far from the battlefield.
“I believe that it is wrong to kill, but it is especially wrong to kill the defenseless,” he said in court, according to the Washington Post. He said he shared what “was necessary to dispel the lie that drone warfare keeps us safe, that our lives are worth more than theirs”.
In issuing the sentence, US District Judge Liam O’Grady cited the need to deter others from disclosing government secrets and told Hale that he had other options besides sharing classified information with a reporter.
“You are not being prosecuted for speaking out about the drone program killing innocent people,” said O’Grady. “You could have been a whistleblower … without taking any of these documents.” Continue