Statement by Ban Killer Drones Coalition
We raise our voice in deep concern on the silencing and imprisonment of Daniel Hale. Daniel Hale did not commit a crime.
It is outrageous that Daniel Hale was charged, prosecuted and sentenced to 45 months in Federal prison for exposing a criminal program. Daniel Hale should be pardoned!
Daniel Hale leaked documents that revealed extremely high civilian death rates in U.S. drone attacks. The 33-year-old Air Force veteran first spoke out publicly against drone warfare in 2013. Daniel Hale’s whistleblowing also uncovered secret U.S. watch lists, Presidential drone kill lists, and other criminal and unethical aspects of the U.S. deployment of killer drones.
Since the Nuremberg Tribunal we have been taught that “just following orders” is not a defense. Soldiers, even in time of war, have a moral obligation to oppose illegal orders in every possible way, especially the killing, for any reason, of non-combatants.
Daniel Hale revealed that a U.S. government “kill chain” targeted its victims for extrajudicial execution based on minimal evidence and that, in one 5 month period in Afghanistan, 90% of the people killed in drone attacks were not the intended targets. NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden explained that that showed that the majority of those killed were “innocents, bystanders, or not the intended target. We couldn’t have established that without Daniel Hale’s voice.” Daniel Hale felt a responsibility to oppose these criminal acts.
With much publicity we are told that U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq are withdrawing. But attacks on defenseless civilians through U.S. drone wars and economic sanctions are intensifying.
Daniel Hale felt deeply that the people in the U.S. have a right to know the crimes committed in their names.
We also have a responsibility to raise our voices in opposition to these continuing wars and to the sentencing of Daniel Hale.
The war criminals who authorize the use of thousands of drone strikes and other criminal killings should be prosecuted.
Sign the Petition for a pardon for Daniel Hale:
Initial signers of the above statement:
- Ban Killer Drones
- International Action Center
- Peace Action New York State
- “Rising Together!”
- Upstate NY Coalition to End the Wars and Ground the Drones
- Wisconsin Coalition to End the Wars and Ground the Drones
- Brandywine Peace Community, Philadelphia
- Occupy Beale Air Force Base
- The Nuclear Resister
- Fellowship of Reconciliation USA
- Veterans for Peace New York City Chapter 34
- United National Antiwar Coalition