A former Air Force intelligence analyst turned whistleblower who leaked America's drone secrets to the press was sentenced to 45 months behind bars in an Alexandria, VA federal court on Tuesday.
33-year old Daniel Hale is now widely understood to be the leaker of classified info to Intercept journalist Jeremy Scahill, who wrote a series of reports on the Obama administration's secretive drone program and the mounting civilian casualties - as well as the flimsy and dubious legal justifications offered based on 'war on terror' rationale.
"I came to believe that the policy of drone assassination was being used to mislead the public," Hale wrote in an eleven page letter to the court.
He described that even within his first days of being deployed to Afghanistan, he personally witnessed civilians being taken out by US drones in what amounts to 'guilt by association' policies. A major turning point which set Hale on the path to becoming a whistleblower was described in the letter to the court, recounted in Business Insider as follows:
It was back in 2012, and Hale found himself watching a car being driven by a suspected bomb-maker from Jalalabad head toward Pakistan. Hale's superiors were "alarmed" and feared that the suspect was trying to escape across the border, prompting the car to be targeted with a drone strike.
"It was a windy and clouded afternoon when one of the suspects had been discovered heading east at a high rate of speed," Hale wrote. "A drone strike was our only chance and already it began lining up to take the shot."
But the payload missed the target, and the car "continued on ahead after narrowly avoiding destruction" before stopping. A man emerged and looked shocked he was still alive. To Hale's surprise, a woman also stepped out and rushed to the trunk.
It turns out the couple's two young children had been traveling in the back of the car, and the mother was trying desperately to get to them from behind the damaged car. The 3-year old and 5-year old were later found the next day in a dumpster.
The tragic account continues:
"The eldest was found dead due to unspecified wounds caused by shrapnel that pierced her body. Her younger sister was alive but severely dehydrated," Hale said, going on to describe his distress over his commanding officer being more disgusted with the children being left in the dumpster than with the fact they had "errantly fired on a man and his family, having killed one of his daughters."
In issuing the sentence the Bush-appointed judge appeared to sympathize with Hale's motivations for the leaks, but still said "You’re not facing prison for speaking out about the drone program injuring and killing innocent persons... You could have been a whistleblower and garnered all this attention without leaking any of these documents, frankly."
Federal prosecutors had actually been pushing for a sentence of over nine years. It demonstrates that the Biden administration is going after leakers of classified information just as fiercely as prior administrations.
One key line in the Business Insider report strongly suggests Biden is set to continue ramping up his war on both whistleblowers and the press: "The hefty sentence the Biden Justice Department sought for Hale signals that, while the new administration’s appointees are eager to make peace with journalists and news outlets, prosecutors will continue to throw the book at the men and women who leak information to the media."
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Townsville, Queensland - just as the last rays of light had retreated from the dry riverbed, a low rumble began to echo across the darkened landscape.
The rumble grew to a roar as three U.S. Marine Corps MV-22B Ospreys, an American multi-mission tiltrotor military aircraft with both vertical and short takeoff and landing capabilities, descended out of the dark sky and onto a landing zone several kilometers west of their primary objective.
The Osprey’s massive rotating propellers tilted skyways as they slowed to a hover before descending onto the dusty terrain below.
Under the full moon, the green, disk-like glow of the rotor lights were further illuminated by the sparks of static electricity and sand whipped up by the spinning blades.
Then, as quickly as the Ospreys appeared, they were gone.
In place of the Ospreys were 150 U.S. Marines assigned to Marine Rotational Force-Darwin (MRF-D). Heavily-armed, loaded with equipment and prepared to launch a ground assault on their primary objective - a critical airfield west of the quiet beach town of Bowen, Queensland.
U.S. Marines, Australian Army, Royal Marine Commandos and elements of the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force participated in a combined joint amphibious landing and air assault from July 23-24 in Bowen, Queensland, Australia, as part of Exercise Talisman Sabre 21 (TS21).
“Air assault is a big part of our mission as Marines,” said U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. John Philip Raper, a rifleman with 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment. “We inserted by helo five klicks west and practiced assaulting an airfield with the Australian Defence Force.”
The overnight assault on Bowen airfield was an important part of TS21, the ninth iteration of the largest training exercise between Australian and U.S. military forces. It is a key training opportunity that supports the advancement of a free and open Indo-Pacific by strengthening relationships, building trust and interoperability among ally and partner nation militaries.
“I love working with the Australians. Their tactics are very similar to ours and we work great together,” said Raper. “We had a chance to try each other’s weapons and swap kit, and it’s been great to learn from each other.”
The Marine rotational force out of Darwin is a portion of the larger U.S. force participating in this year’s Talisman Sabre. U.S. forces from the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force are all taking part this year.
“Talisman Sabre supports the U.S. National Defense Strategy, enhancing the U.S. military’s ability to protect the homeland and support Indo-Pacific allies and partners across the full spectrum of potential security concerns,” said U.S. Army Col. Jerry Hall, the TS21 deputy exercise director.
“Realistic exercises like Talisman Sabre provide effective and intense training to ensure our forces are capable, interoperable and combat-ready.”
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California Governor Gavin Newsom pulled his children from a summer camp after photos surfaced of his son attending without a mask while indoors - in clear violation of Newsom's own guidance.
And while the camp explicitly tells parents "Masks will not be enforced," Newsom - who's facing a recall - is playing it off like he had no idea.
"The Newsoms were concerned to see unvaccinated children unmasked indoors at a camp their children began attending yesterday. Their kids will no longer be attending the camp," said communications director, Erin Mellon, in a statement to Fox News.
Newsom has confirmed. His response is complete BS!— Reopen California Schools (@ReopenCASchools) July 27, 2021
- State mandates everyone mask at “youth settings”
- His kid is 10, ineligible for vax.
- Camp basically advertises online they’re maskless (which is great!)
- Camp said masking left up to families
- Finds out from media?
Oh but wait...
A parent sent the following literature from the camp to Reopen California Schools (@ReopenCASchools) - a group which recently filed a lawsuit against Newsom over masking requirements in classrooms.
A waiver form for kids to participate in camp sporting activities reads: "Masks will not be enforced. Please know that your child is more than welcome to wear a mask during camp."
This email was just sent by a parent attending the same camp. There is absolutely no way Newsom didn’t know.— Reopen California Schools (@ReopenCASchools) July 27, 2021
“Masks will not be enforced. Please know that your child is more than welcome to wear a mask during camp”
Good for them! I now know why Newsom picked this camp.
Newsom's current guidance for children aged 2-11 is that masks should be worn during "camps for youth, youth sports and other youth activities, including theater and music performances and band. Updated CDC guidance is forthcoming for youth settings."
California officials announced July 9 that students and teachers returning to the classroom this year will also be required to wear masks, regardless of vaccination status.
"We’re going to start with a requirement K through 12 that the year begins with masks," California Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly said at the time. "At the outset of the new year, students should be able to walk into school without worrying about whether they will feel different or singled out for being vaccinated or unvaccinated — treating all kids the same will support a calm and supportive school environment." -Fox News
This is laughable. Of course Newsom knew.— Reopen California Schools (@ReopenCASchools) July 28, 2021
But say he didn’t. Why did they still attend when they arrived and saw no one in masks? Regarding French Laundry, he said he should have turned around and left. They didn’t.
He wants for his kids what we want for ours - normalcy. https://t.co/ydfv1HbLs6
The incident is reminiscent of the French Laundry episode - in which Newsom apologized after he was caught dining with lobbyists and top brass from the California Medical Association last year against his own lockdown mandate.
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Ed Buck appears in Los Angeles Superior Court in Calif. on Sept. 19, 2019. (Damian Dovarganes/AP Photo)
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Submitted by Joseph Carson, former chief economist at Alliance Bernstein
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell in 2021 faces a similar challenge that former Fed Chair Alan Greenspan faced in 1994. Fast growth as the economy re-opened triggered substantial cyclical inflation pressures, somewhat similar to 1994 when headwinds from tight credit and balance sheets strains faded. Yet, Powell's policy response to the inflation challenges has been markedly different than Greenspan's.
Powell has employed a "hands-off" approach, maintaining the overly accommodative monetary policy stance, thinking the inflation surge will prove to be temporary. The inflation results for all of 2021 are not in, but consumer price inflation in the first six months (3.6%) exceeded what occurred in the twelve months of 1994 (2.6%).
In 1994, Greenspan used a "hands-on" approach, quickly and rapidly tightening monetary policy, arguing that letting the pipeline inflation pressures go unchecked was too risky. In 1994, pipeline inflation pressures measured by the producer price index of core intermediate materials rose 5.2%. In the first six months of 2021, those prices have increased 14.7%, nearly three times faster.
Greenspan's preemptive policy was successful as pipeline pressures never percolated to the consumer level. The headline and core CPI ended 1994, advancing 2.6%, some 20 to 50 basis points below the inflation rates of 1993.
Powell acknowledges that the uptick in 2021 inflation rates has been far more significant than the Fed expected. Yet, Powell takes comfort in that longer-term market inflation expectations remain well-anchored, and the drop in long bond yields shows little market fear of sustained inflation.
But people's spending behavior shows that inflation expectations are on the rise. A 10% increase in used car and truck prices in early 2021 did not deter buyers as prices rose an additional 20% in Q2. Nor has a record climb in house prices stopped people from buying. Aren't these examples of a rise in inflation expectations?
The recent bond market rally is puzzling. But it is worth noting that in 1994 a surprising drop in ten-year bond yields (over 50 basis points) occurred in the middle of the Fed's tightening cycle. Back then, analysts and investors viewed a significant increase in business inventories as a sign that demand was peaking and the Fed tightening cycle would soon be over. That proved to be a big mistake.
Greenspan said the inventory build is intentional as sharp increases in order backlogs forced firms to buildup stock levels to protect future production schedules. Following that assessment of the inventory situation and growth outlook, Greenspan delivered an additional boost of 175 basis points in the federal funds rate over the next six months, sending 10-year bond yields surging higher by over 100 basis points. The 1994 bond market reversal shows that not all bond market rallies are an accurate predictor of the future.
At the press conference following the April 27-28 Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, Powell stated that "the economy is a long way from our goals," and it's not time to begin discussing the process of even talking about tapering asset purchases. Three months later, press reports say that the Powell-led Fed is accelerating the tapering discussions at the July 27-28 FOMC meeting. If Powell can reverse course on asset purchases in three months, he could flip on interest rate policy quickly as well.
A "hands-off" policy is a short-term friend to finance until it isn't, whereas a "hands-on" is a long-term friend as it attempts to limit the scale of the inflation cycle. Greenspan's "hands-on" policy worked, and early results indicate Powell's "hands-off" isn't. How long will it take before investors realize Powell will eventually need to follow Greenspan's plan?
The first hearing of Nancy Pelosi’s highly dishonest Jan. 6 commission took place today on Capitol Hill.
On Tuesday night Newsmax host Greg Kelly took directed his attention and Lt. Mike Byrd who gunned down Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt in cold blood.
ALthough, Greg Kelly did not mention Byrd by name, he did offer a list of questions for the cold-blooded killer:
1.) Ashli Babbitt was unarmed. Did you know that? If you didn’t know that what made you think she was armed?
2.) Did you verbally order her to stop? Did you use any customary words such as “Freeze”, ‘halt”, “go back”, or “stop”?
3.) Police guidelines and law dictates that deadly force not be used unless there is an imminent risk of death to the officer or someone else. What deadly threat did you perceive? Please explain especially as she was unarmed and not within reach of a Capitol Hill police officer or a member of Congress.
4.) Do you have any awareness of the presence of the BLM activist John Sullivan who was recording your shooting of Ashli Babbitt?
5.) What were your personal political views of President Trump, Trump supporters? If negative as has been suggested could that have had any bearing on your decision to shoot?
Via Greg Kelly Tonight: