Leakers and spies — the United States' totalitarian perspective

© 2019 Peter Free


01 November 2019



Let flaming paranoids rule?


Today's blurb requires some background.


It's about the American government's attempt to prevent the public from knowing the illegal and immoral things that it does every day.


Drone murder, for instance.


Civilian Daniel Everette Hale (reportedly) was a civilian intelligence analyst working for the US Air Force in 2013 and afterward for the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency.


In May 2019, the Associated Press indicated that Hale had been arrested for espionage.


AP journalists Matthew Barakat and Eric Tucker had this to say about what happened:



According to the indictment, Hale provided 11 Top Secret or Secret documents to the reporter and his online news outlet.


Those documents were later published either in whole or in part.


They include a secret memo outlining a military campaign against al-Qaida overseas, a top secret intelligence report on an al-Qaida operative, and a secret PowerPoint slide “outlining the effects of the military campaign targeting Al-Qaeda overseas" . . . .


One of Hale's attorneys — Jesselyn Radack, who specializes in representing whistleblowers — said the investigation of Hale had essentially lay dormant for five years up until Hale's arrest.


She said the Trump administration is continuing and escalating what she called "a toxic trend" started under the Obama administration of aggressively prosecuting legitimate whistleblowers.


Court papers do not identify by name the reporter who allegedly received the leaks, but details in the indictment make clear that Jeremy Scahill, a founding editor of The Intercept, is the reporter who received the leaks.


On October 15, 2015, Scahill published an article on The Intercept titled “The Assassination Complex” that relies on “a cache of secret slides that provides a window into the inner workings of the U.S. military’s kill/capture operations at a key time in the evolution of the drone wars.”


© 2019 Matthew Barakat and Eric Tucker, Ex-Air Force intelligence analyst charged with leaks to reporter, Air Force Times (09 May 2019) (extracts)



Hale, we can reasonably and tentatively infer, is a whistleblower of the freedom-preserving kind.



Although the Feds acknowledged that Daniel Hale is not a spy


They argued (in court) that leakers are worse than spies:



Entrusted with some of the nation’s most highly sensitive secrets, Defendant Daniel Everette Hale exploited the access bestowed upon him to steal documents containing the very type of information he was supposed to protect.


Hale retained and disclosed documents pertaining to the means, sources, and methods of the country’s defense and intelligence gathering capabilities. His disclosures had the potential to harm the nation’s security.


He engaged in thievery, not protected speech, and a jury should be given the opportunity to hold him accountable for his criminal conduct.


[T]he defense’s bifurcation of spies and leakers is dubious at best.


While spies typically pass classified national defense information to a specific foreign government, leakers, through the internet, distribute such information without authorization to the entire world.


Such broad distribution of unauthorized disclosures may actually amplify the potential damage to the national security in that every country gains access to the compromised intelligence.


A foreign military officer from Russia confirmed as much when he explained, “I was amazed—and Moscow was very appreciative—at how many times I found very sensitive information in

American newspapers.


"In my view, Americans tend to care more about scooping their competition than about national security, which made my job easier.” Stanislav Lunev, Through the Eyes of the Enemy 135 (Regnery Publishing, Inc.) (1998)


Government's opposition to Defendant's motion to dismiss the indictment, US v. Daniel Everette Hale, Criminal No. 1:19cr59, US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (18 October 2019) (at pages 1 and 7-8)



Let's translate the Government's Constitution-obliterating argument


Daniel Hale is a bad man because he told a reporter about the secret (and internationally illegal) crap that the Feds and our Military Industrial Complex do all the time.


The Feds' implied argument is that everyone knows that American Government has the right and obligation to make anything and everything secret — if that is what suits them — in their presumably Almighty wisdom.


Hitler, Mao, Stalin and Caligula would have argued identically.



The moral? — By its own judicial admission, American national government is out of control


American Feds no longer seek to rationally distinguish themselves from their equivalents in totalitarian states.


Concepts of Liberty and an informed electorate have disappeared from the American lexicon.


American sheep will march in straight, goose-stepping lines. Or else.