Jesselyn Radack, Whistleblower & Source Protection Program (WHISPeR)
Last month, after an excruciatingly long wait in a regional jail, drone whistleblower Daniel Hale was finally transferred to a federal prison facility. In most respects, this was a significant upgrade in living conditions. But it also meant that Daniel was placed in the restrictive “Communications Management Unit” (CMU) — one of the lesser-known Kafkaesque legacies of the Bush administration’s War on Terror. These facilities have stricter limits on correspondence, and much heavier surveillance than other facilities. The effect is to distance Daniel from friends and supporters, and to impede his contact with the outside world at a time when drone strikes have come under closer scrutiny from mainstream journalists than ever before. With the belated media attention, more Americans saw what Daniel had been trying to tell them for years. We may never get a full accounting of how many innocent lives, how many whole families were destroyed in those years the government spent prosecuting a voice of conscience instead of admitting the truth about civilian casualties in drone warfare.
Daniel’s journey took him to the dark heart of the War on Terror abroad, and as reward for blowing the whistle, he has been sent to its darkest corner on American soil, a facility that has been dubbed “Guantanamo North”. This will be his first Thanksgiving incarcerated, after struggling to live under the shadow of an Espionage Act prosecution for the past seven years.
I hope you’ll write to Daniel, using the mailing address and guidelines here. Communication through the CMU can be slow and cumbersome, but he deeply appreciates hearing from you. We also urge supporters to donate to his welcome home fundraiser to cover his debts and prison expenses so that he can start fresh and finally move forward with his life upon release.
Daniel’s prosecution is one of the most egregious cases of retaliation and repression I have witnessed — it is exactly these kinds of cases that led us to start WHISPeR. Our base of small donors has allowed us the independence to support clients like Daniel, when no one else can or will. We are the only organization dedicated to providing direct legal representation for national security whistleblowers who lack the financial means or the mainstream political support to defend themselves against the full fury of the U.S. government.
We’re thankful for your continued support, and wish you a warm holiday
Further reading https://standwithdanielhale.org/
Who is Daniel Hale?
In May 2019, drone whistleblower Daniel Everette Hale was arrested, charged with disclosing classified documents about the U.S. military’s assassination program, believed to have been the source material for a series in The Intercept called “The Drone Papers”. In 2021, Hale pleaded guilty to a single count under the Espionage Act and was sentenced to 45 months in prison. Please write to Daniel.