Daniel Hale, a former US Air Force intelligence analyst who leaked information about civilian deaths caused by drone strikes overseas, has been sentenced to almost four years in prison under the Espionage Act. US District Judge Liam O’Grady passed the sentence on Tuesday in a federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, saying that the 45-month sentence was needed as a deterrent to others from disclosing government secrets. O’Grady told Hale he had other options than to share classified documents with a reporter. While working as a private contractor, Hale leaked a number of documents to the Intercept’s Jeremy Scahill, showing the extent to which President Barack Obama’s drone warfare program in places like Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen resulted in civilian casualties. Documents showed that, of the 200 people killed between January 2012 and February 2013, only 35 were the intended targets. During one five-month period, nearly 90% of those killed were innocents, who were nonetheless classified as “enemies killed in action.”
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