Former intelligence analyst who leaked information sentenced to prison for 45 months

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Jul 28, 2021, 02:33 PM(IST)

US Justice Dept Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Daniel Hale told a federal judge he felt compelled to leak information to a journalist out of guilt over his own participation in a program that he believed was 'indiscriminately' killing civilians in Afghanistan

A former Air Force intelligence analyst who helped find targets for deadly US drone strikes has been sentenced to 45 months in prison for leaking top-secret details about the program.

Daniel Hale told a federal judge he felt compelled to leak information to a journalist out of guilt over his own participation in a program that he believed was 'indiscriminately' killing civilians in Afghanistan.

In a statement, Hale said, "It is wrong to kill. It is especially wrong to kill the defenceless".

However, the US District Judge Liam O’Grady told Hale that he had options to seek other measures than speaking with the journalist. 

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Also, he imposed a punishment that was harsher than the 12 to 18-month term sought by Hale’s attorneys.

Prosecutors argued that Hale, who deployed to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan in 2012 and was honourably discharged the following year, abused the government’s trust and knew the documents he was sharing “risked causing serious, and in some cases exceptionally grave, damage to the national security” but leaked them anyway. 

They further say that the documents leaked by Hale were found in an internet compilation of the material designed to help Islamic State fighters avoid detection.

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