A former US intelligence analyst was sentenced Tuesday, July 27, to 45 months in prison for transmitting information to the press about a secret military program of targeted assassinations by drones under the administration of Barack Obama.
To read also: Drones: Obama arrogates to himself "the right to kill"
Daniel Everette Hale was employed by the US military intelligence agency, the NSA, in 2011 and 2012 in Afghanistan, where he participated in numerous drone strikes, an experience that he said affected him emotionally. After leaving the army, he worked in 2014 at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), responsible for collecting geospatial intelligence from satellite imagery, which gave him access to top secret documents on a program of targeted assassinations by drone in Yemen, Afghanistan and Somalia. He had stolen documents about this program and gave them to a journalist at the site ofonline information
which revealed the scandal in 2015 in a major investigation called
"The Drone Papers"
, which caused a scandal.
"Crime of conscience"
Hale, 34, faced 50 years in prison. During a trial delayed by restrictions due to defense secrecy but also by the Covid-19 pandemic, he pleaded guilty to
"possession and transmission of information relating to national defense"
. Citing mental health problems linked to a difficult childhood, he asked that his detention not exceed 12 to 18 months. His lawyers assured in a document submitted to the court that by sharing these documents, he did not intend to harm the United States but that it was a
"crime of conscience"
"He wanted to ease his conscience and inform his compatriots in the hope that America will respect its ideals,"
To read also: Syria: Fabien Clain would have been killed by a drone strike in the combat zones
The prosecution had required 9 to 11 years in prison, believing that he had only joined the NGA to steal and pass the documents, knowing that this would seriously harm the national security of the United States.
Other cases of persons having disclosed information to
have given rise to legal proceedings.
In October 2018, an FBI agent was sentenced to four years in prison for disclosing confidential information about federal police recruiting methods.
Before him, a former NSA subcontractor was sentenced to more than five years in prison for disclosing a top secret report on Russian hacks during the 2016 presidential election.