Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence

Daniel Hale

First presented at WEDF 2022.

Award Citation for Daniel E. Hale

Daniel Hale
Daniel Hale

Know all ye by these presents that Daniel Everette Hale is hereby awarded the Corner-Brightener Candlestick, presented by Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence.

Sam Adams Associates are proud to honor Mr. Hale’s decision to heed his conscience and give priority to the Common Good over concerns about his own personal future. In doing so, he displayed the kind of moral heroism seldom seen in history.

Daniel’s patriotism, heroism and loyalty to the Constitution parallels that of Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg and the late CIA analyst Sam Adams, whose legacy this award commemorates. Both demanded of US military and CIA leaders that they cease their lying to the American people during the Vietnam War.

We can only hope that others with similar moral fiber will be inspired by Mr. Hale’s exceptional public service in exposing US war crimes and violations of US law, which have placed the human rights of free citizens everywhere in serious jeopardy.

By heeding the dictates of conscience and patriotism, Mr. Hale knowingly sacrificed his freedom in order to reveal to the public that in one five-month period in Afghanistan, 90 percent of those killed by US air strikes were not the intended targets, but included women, children, and other non-combatants. In addition to classified documents about the US global assassination program, Hale also disclosed unclassified but still publicly unavailable guidelines for the US Terrorism Watch List. As a direct result, many innocent individuals were able to successfully challenge their placement on the so-called “No-Fly List”.

At his mockery of a trial Mr. Hale explained: “This outrageous explosion of watch listing—of monitoring people and racking and stacking them on lists, assigning them numbers, assigning them ‘baseball cards,’ assigning them death sentences without notice, on a worldwide battlefield—it was, from the very first instance, wrong.”

If only US officials would recognize the need for the collective “banality of evil” permeating the US national security apparatus to be exposed for what it is: Criminal!

And just as Daniel Ellsberg, Edward Snowden and Julian Assange exposed US war crimes to the public with clear documentary evidence, Mr. Hale’s beacon of light has pierced a thick cloud of deception. As with Assange and other truth tellers whose revelations brought the iron fist of US government repression down upon them, it has resulted in the imprisonment of Mr. Hale and the denial of freedoms that he and every courageous whistleblower like him have the right to enjoy.

Mr. Hale was well aware of the cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment to which other courageous officials have been subjected — and that he would likely suffer the same. And yet — in the manner of his famous ancestor Nathan Hale — he put his country first, knowing what awaited him at the hands of those who serve what has become a repressive Perpetual War State wreaking havoc upon much of the world.

Presented this 18th day of October 2022 by admirers of the example set by the late CIA analyst, Sam Adams.

Related Articles

Rep. Ilhan Omar writes to Biden in pardon effort

Minnesota Democrat writes letter to Biden on Daniel Hale’s behalf.

Star Tribune,August 26, 2021 — 5:47pm

WASHINGTON – Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar is publicly pushing President Joe Biden to pardon a former Air Force intelligence analyst after the man pleaded guilty earlier this year to leaking classified information to a journalist.

In a letter this week, Omar wrote to Biden in an effort “to strongly encourage” the Democratic president’s help in the situation facing Daniel Hale, whom Omar described as “one of the most outspoken critics of the drone program in which he had participated.”

Hale served for a time as an intelligence analyst in Afghanistan before later going to work for a defense contractor from December 2013 to August 2014, according to a statement of facts in his legal case. The indictment in Hale’s case alleged that he provided classified documents to a reporter of an unnamed online news publication after Hale obtained them during the period of time he was working for the defense contractor.

In May 2019, the U.S. Justice Department announced that Hale had been “charged with obtaining national defense information, retention and transmission of national defense information, causing the communication of national defense information, disclosure of classified communications intelligence information, and theft of government property.”

After pleading guilty in March to one count against him that involved violating the Espionage Act, Hale was sentenced last month by a judge to 45 months in prison. The other four counts against him were dismissed.

“As an analyst for the Intelligence Community, Daniel Hale knowingly took highly classified documents and disclosed them without authorization, thereby violating his solemn obligations to our country. We are firmly committed to seeking equal justice under the law and holding accountable those who betray their oath to safeguard national security information,” Raj Parekh, who serves as the acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, said in a March statement.

In her letter, Omar wrote that she takes “extremely seriously the prohibition on leaking classified information.” But she also stated that “the investigation of Mr. Hale’s leaks began under the Obama Administration,” before pointing to Hale not being indicted until former President Donald Trump was in office. Omar said she believes “that the decision to prosecute Mr. Hale was motivated, at least in part, as a threat to other would-be whistleblowers.”

She added that in Hale’s case, “the information, while politically embarrassing to some, has shone a vital light on the legal and moral problems of the drone program and informed the public debate on an issue that has for too many years remained in the shadows.” In her letter to Biden, Omar also referred to Hale’s guilty plea and his letter to a judge about the violence and impact of drone strikes, his life and decisions.

“The legal question of Mr. Hale’s guilt is settled, but the moral question remains open,” Omar wrote in the letter. “I strongly believe that a full pardon, or at least a commutation of his sentence, is warranted.”

A spokesperson for the White House referred a request for comment to the Department of Justice, which did not immediately respond Thursday.

Omar’s letter comes as Biden faces controversy and pushback for how the United States is dealing with the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan after years of war.

Hunter Woodall • 612-673-4559

Twitter: @huntermw

Lawmaker wants pardon for Daniel Hale, who leaked drone secrets

(Article written by Rachel Weiner and published in Washington Post on August 26, 2021)

In July, Daniel Hale pleaded guilty in federal court in Alexandria to violating the Espionage Act and was sentenced in July to 45 months in prison for leaking classified documents to the Intercept.

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) is asking President Biden to pardon a former Air Force intelligence analyst who exposed secrets about drone warfare in Afghanistan.

In court, Hale said he felt compelled to speak out about the immorality of the drone program after realizing he had helped kill Afghan civilians, including a small child.

“Not a day goes by that I don’t question the justification for my actions,” he wrote to the judge. “I am grief-stricken and ashamed of myself.”

One document he leaked showed that during a five-month operation in Afghanistan, nearly 90 percent of the people killed were not the intended targets.

“I take extremely seriously the prohibition on leaking classified information, but I believe there are several aspects of Mr. Hale’s case that merit a full pardon,” Omar wrote in the letter sent to Biden on Thursday morning. “The information, while politically embarrassing to some, has shone a vital light on the legal and moral problems of the drone program and informed the public debate on an issue that has for too many years remained in the shadows.”

Omar has also demanded more information from the Biden administration about a recent airstrike in Somalia, where she was born.

She called Hale’s letter to the court “profoundly moral” and urged Biden to consider either a full pardon or commutation of his sentence.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment Thursday morning. The U.S. attorney’s office in the Eastern District of Virginia, which handled Hale’s prosecution, declined to comment.

Prosecutors said Hale could have endangered Americans with his leaks, noting that some of the details were reproduced in Islamic State publications. Hale, they said, recklessly shared reams of sensitive information when he could have simply spoken out in opposition to drone warfare. But no U.S. agency reported any harm caused by the revelations.

This week, Hale was awarded the Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence, given by a group of whistleblowers from the national security community. Edward Snowden received the same award in 2013.

Biden has pulled U.S. troops out of Afghanistan, calling the war “a conflict that is not in the national interest of the United States.” But his administration has planned to continue drone operations from nearby countries.



August 23, 2021


The Sam Adams Associates are pleased to announce drone warfare whistleblower Daniel Hale as the recipient of the 2021 Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence.  Hale — a former Air Force intelligence analyst in the drone program — was a defense contractor in 2013 when conscience compelled him to release classified documents to the press exposing the criminality of the US targeted assassination program [“We kill people based on metadata” — Michael Hayden, former Director of CIA & NSA].

The leaked documents — published in The Intercept on October 15, 2015 — revealed that from January 2012 to February 2013, US special operations airstrikes killed more than 200 people. Of the dead, only 35 were the intended targets. For one five-month period of the operation, according to the documents, nearly 90 percent of the people killed in airstrikes were not the intended targets. The innocent civilians — who were often bystanders — were routinely categorized as “enemies killed in action.”

On March 31, 2021 Hale pled guilty to a single count under the Espionage Act, carrying a maximum sentence of 10 years.  In July 2021, he was sentenced to 45 months in prison for revealing evidence of US war crimes.  In a hand-written letter to Judge Liam O’Grady Hale explained that the drone attacks and the war in Afghanistan had “little to do with preventing terror from coming into the United States and a lot more to do with protecting the profits of weapons manufacturers and so-called defense contractors.”

Hale also cited a 1995 statement byformer US Navy Admiral Gene LaRocque: “We now kill people without ever seeing them. Now you push a button thousands of miles away … since it’s all done by remote control, there’s no remorse … and then we come home in triumph.”

During his military service from 2009 to 2013, Daniel Hale participated in the US drone program, working with the NSA and JSOC (Joint Special Operations Task Force) at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. After leaving the Air Force, Hale became an outspoken opponent of the US targeted killing program, US foreign policy in general, and a supporter of whistleblowers. He spoke out at conferences, forums, and public panels. He was featured prominently in the award-winning documentary National Bird, a film about whistleblowers in the US drone program who suffer from moral injury and PTSD.

The Sam Adams Associates wish to salute the courage of Daniel Hale in performing a vital public service at great personal cost — imprisonment for truth-telling.  We urge an end to the War on Whistleblowers and remind government leaders that secrecy classification systems were never intended to cover up government crimes. To that end, the public’s right to know about their government’s wrongful actions — including the adverse consequences of policies carried out in their name — must be respected and preserved.

Mr. Hale is the 20th awardee of the Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence. His distinguished colleagues include Julian Assange and Craig Murray, both of whom are also unjustly incarcerated for truth-telling.  Other fellow Sam Adams Award alumnae include NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake; FBI 9-11 whistleblower Coleen Rowley; and GCHQ whistleblower Katharine Gun, whose story was recounted in the film “Official Secrets.”  The full roster of Sam Adams awardees is available at

Details about the upcoming Sam Adams Award ceremony will be announced soon.