In a letter sent to the White House on Thursday, Omar said the information Hale revealed, “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.”
This courageous whistleblower feared the temptation not to question U.S. drone policy. Complicity was the opposite burden he feared, the sacrifice of his moral autonomy and dignity.
Drone strikes shield U.S. military members from harm in order to minimize Americans’ opposition to war. But drone operators who make or carry out remote targeting decisions nevertheless suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
At his sentencing hearing, Hale told U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady, “I believe that it is wrong to kill, but it is especially wrong to kill the defenseless.” Hale said he revealed what “was necessary to dispel the lie that drone warfare keeps us safe, that our lives are worth more than theirs.”
Before he was sentenced, Hale read a powerful and intensely emotional speech to the court, condemning the horrors of war, particularly the post-9/11 U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and drew attention to Iraqi and Afghan victims of the U.S. drone assassination program. He said he opposes war for the same reasons he opposes the death penalty, saying it’s wrong to kill and especially wrong to kill the defenseless. The U.S. often posthumously labels those it kills as “combatants,” and Hale said that sometimes up to 90% of victims in a given airstrike are unidentifiable.
The artists aimed to inform the U.S. public about Daniel E. Hale, a former Air Force analyst who blew the whistle on the consequences of drone warfare.
„Freiheit für Daniel Hale!“
Diese Worte hingen an einem Samstagabend in der Luft, projiziert auf mehrere Gebäude in Washington, D.C., über dem Gesicht eines mutigen Whistleblowers, dem zehn Jahre Gefängnis drohen.
Die Künstler wollten die US-Öffentlichkeit über Daniel E. Hale informieren, einen ehemaligen Analysten der Air Force, der die Folgen des Drohnenkriegs an die Öffentlichkeit brachte. Hale wird am 27. Juli zur Urteilsverkündung vor Richter Liam O’Grady erscheinen.