Ilhan Omar Requests Joe Biden Pardon Confirmed Leaker

( Last week, Squad member Ilhan Omar sent a letter to President Biden asking him to pardon Daniel Hale, an Air Force veteran severing a 45-month prison term for leaking classified documents about the US drone program.

Hale, a former drone operator, pleaded guilty in March to one count of violating the US Espionage Act for having illegally retained and shared classified national defense information.

In her letter, Omar said that she takes the prohibition on leaking classified information seriously, but…

There’s always a but.

…but she believed that several aspects of Hale’s case “merit a full pardon.” Specifically, Omar believes that since nobody’s life was put in danger when Hale revealed details about the US drone operations abroad, it’s really no big deal.

So leaking classified information is fine so long as nobody dies as a result?

Hale served during the Obama presidency from 2009 to 2013 before working for a US defense contractor. It was while working for the defense contractor, Hale had access to classified material. And in 2014, he leaked to The Intercept seventeen classified documents related to the US drone operations in Afghanistan. Among the documents leaked, were details related to US kill lists as well as a list of civilian casualties killed during US drone strikes in the region.

In 2019, Hale was charged with disclosing intelligence information and theft of government property. In March of this year, he pleaded guilty to retaining and transmitting national defense information.

And on July 27, 2021, Hale was sentenced to 45 months in prison for violating the Espionage Act.

For those opposed to the Obama drone program, Hale is viewed as a “whistleblower” in the same vein as Edward Snowden, Bradley Manning or Reality Winner.

Calling the leaked information “politically embarrassing to some,” Omar wrote that Hale shined a “vital light” on the “legal and moral problems of the drone program.”

While admitting that the legal question of Hale’s guilt is settled, Omar told the President that the “moral question remains open.” She concluded her letter by saying that she strongly believed that “a full pardon, or at least a commutation of his sentence, is warranted.”

The White House has not issued a response to Omar’s request.