Chris Hedges: When the Just Go to Prison

Hale, a 34-year-old former Air Force signals intelligence analyst, is serving a 45-month prison sentence, following his conviction under the Espionage Act for disclosing classified documents about the U.S. military’s drone assassination program and its high civilian death toll.

The documents are believed to be the source material for “The Drone Papers” published by The Intercept, on Oct. 15, 2015.These documents revealed that between January 2012 and February 2013, U.S. special operations drone airstrikes killed more than 200 people — of which only 35 were the intended targets.

According to the documents, over one five-month period of the operation, nearly 90 percent of the people killed in airstrikes were not the intended targets. The civilian dead, usually innocent bystanders, were routinely classified as “enemies killed in action.”

The terrorizing and widespread killing of thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of civilians was a potent recruiting tool for the Taliban and Iraqi insurgents. The aerial attacks created far more hostile fighters than they eliminated and enraged many in the Muslim world.

informationclearinghouse Chris Hedges: When the Just Go to Prison

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