On COI #141, Kyle Anzalone breaks down the leak, arrest, and sentencing of drone whistleblower Daniel Hale. While working for a defense contractor at the National Geostrategic Intelligence Agency, Hale handed scores of important documents exposing the drone program to the Intercept. His leak revealed an unconstitutional killing machine that murdered civilians without consequence.
In 2014, Hale’s residence was raided by federal law enforcement, but half a decade went by before he was arrested and indicted for leaking the documents. During that time, Daniel was an outspoken critic of the empire, appearing in the anti-drone documentary ‘National Bird.’ Hale pled guilty to the charges and was sentenced to 45 months in jail. However, the criminals exposed by the leaked drone papers remain heroic leaders in the eyes of many Americans.
The Senate Armed Services Committee added an amendment to the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act that requires women to register for the draft. The move comes as legal challenges to the draft claim it is sexist against men. Rather than make the draft illegal – as it is slavery – politicians are seeking to solve the equality issue by making everyone forfeit their rights.
The Veterans Affairs department will require 115,000 healthcare personnel to be vaccinated. The move comes before any Covid vaccination has received full approval from the FDA. New York City is making a similar requirement for its more than 300,000 city employees. The mandates raise serious civil liberties questions.
The US has signaled openness for arms control talks with North Korea and Russia. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said the US offered to engage in dialog with North Korea, but it is unclear if Washington is prepared to drop its demand for North Korean disarmament. The Kim government has said the demand is a poison pill for talks. The US opened weapons control talks with Russia in Geneva, first floated during Biden’s June summit with Putin.
The US continues to ramp up its aggressive posture towards China. The US is beginning the Pacific Iron 21 war games in Guam, and the new UK aircraft carrier – the HMS Queen Elizabeth – entered the South China Sea. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin is visiting several southeast Asian countries hoping to grow the anti-China coalition.
In Ethiopia, fighting continues to spread from the Tigray region. Two regions neighboring Tigray, Afar, and Amhara, have reported that Tigrayian forces attacked their region and are looking to raise their own militia. At the same time, the Somali region of the country reported being attacked by militias from the Afar region, killing 100s of civilians.
In Somalia, the US carried out a second airstrike against al-Shabaab in the space of one week. In Mali, a man attempted to assassinate the interim president, who came to power after a recent coup. The president survived the attack and the assassin died in police custody. In Tunisia, the president, Kais Saied, appears to be making a major power grab by firing the prime minister and dissolving parliament.