A little earlier today, the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia announced that yet another person has been indicted for leaking classified information to a media outlet. The guy involved, Daniel Hale, is a former Air Force analyst who later worked as a contractor for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). This is from the indictment:
According to allegations in the indictment, beginning in April 2013, while enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and assigned to the NSA, Hale began communicating with a reporter. Hale met with the reporter in person on multiple occasions, and, at times, communicated with the reporter via an encrypted messaging platform. Then, in February 2014, while working as a cleared defense contractor at NGA, Hale printed six classified documents unrelated to his work at NGA and soon after exchanged a series of messages with the reporter. Each of the six documents printed were later published by the reporter’s news outlet.
According to allegations in the indictment, while employed as a cleared defense contractor for NGA, Hale printed from his Top Secret computer 36 documents, including 23 documents unrelated to his work at NGA. Of the 23 documents unrelated to his work at NGA, Hale provided at least 17 to the reporter and/or the reporter’s online news outlet, which published the documents in whole or in part. Eleven of the published documents were marked as Top Secret or Secret.
According to allegations in the indictment, in August 2014, Hale’s cell phone contact list included contact information for the reporter, and he possessed two thumb drives. One thumb drive contained a page marked “SECRET” from a classified document that Hale had printed in February 2014 and had attempted to delete from the thumb drive. The other thumb drive contained Tor software and the Tails operating system, which were recommended by the reporter’s online news outlet in an article published on its website regarding how to anonymously “leak” documents.
Met with a report, you say? You mean like this?
"Hale sat next to the Reporter at a public event at the Bookstore to promote the Reporter's book." Did @jeremyscahill really seat his own source next to him at the Busboys and Poets events? See video below @theintercept @_whitneywebb
— Llama (@jimmysllama) May 9, 2019
That image is the reporter, The Intercept’s Jeremy Scahill, seated on the left, and the guy contemplating the prison shower room there on the right is Daniel Hale.
What makes this case interesting is that Hale’s home was searched by the FBI back in 2014 and he appeared in a film that used the information he leaked in 2016:
In October 2015, The Intercept published a “cache of secret documents detailing the inner workings of the U.S. military’s assassination program in Afghanistan, Yemen, and Somalia.” The media organization said the documents were provided by a whistleblower and offered “unprecedented glimpse into Obama’s drone wars.” They were called “The Drone Papers.”
The Intercept granted “the source’s request for anonymity because the materials are classified and because the U.S. government has engaged in aggressive prosecution of whistleblowers.”
Hale also appeared in the 2016 documentary, “National Bird.” He wore a pin supporting U.S. Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning and was following CIA whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling’s prosecution. The FBI raided his home on August 8, 2014, while the film was in production. He reached out to attorney Jesselyn Radack for legal assistance.
This makes three leakers that The Intercept has burned to the ground because their staff is just too stupid to manage confidential sources. The other two are the improbably named Reality Winner and former FBI agent and current federal inmate Terry Albury.
There are two other interesting points here.
Why did it take five years to indict this guy? That’s sort of a rhetorical question. The Obama administration never cared about anti-American leaks to leftwing media, they were only concerned about leaks about Benghazi and Fast and Furious.
The second item is more interesting. Julian Assange was indicted for giving advice to the Manning creature on how to possibly acquire classified information. According to charging documents, Scahill did the same thing.
This part of indictment highlighting Daniel Hale's alleged use of Tor and Tails is important to pay attention since WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was indicted for allegedly helping Chelsea Manning engage in source protection. One can argue criminalizes Scahill and Intercept. pic.twitter.com/KgCpcmHc7H
— Kevin Gosztola (@kgosztola) May 9, 2019
Will Justice go after him and, if not, why not?