Daniel Hale, who “accepted responsibility” for violating the Espionage Act, responded to the spitefulness of prosecutors by submitting a letter [PDF] to Judge Liam O’Grady, a judge for the district court in the Eastern District of Virginia. It could be construed as a plea for mercy from the court ahead of sentencing, but more than anything, it outlines a defense of his actions that the U.S. government and a U.S. court would never have allowed him to present before a jury.
Dear Judge O’Grady:
It is not a secret that I struggle to live with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Both stem from my childhood experience growing up in a rural mountain community and were compounded by exposure to combat during military services. Depression is a constant. Though stress, particularly stress caused by war, can manifest itself at different times and in different ways. The tall-tale signs of a person afflicted by PTSD and depression can often be outwardly observed and are practically universally recognizable. Hard lines about the face and jaw. Eyes, once bright and wide, now deepest and fearful. And an inexplicably sudden loss of interest in things that used to spark joy.
These are the noticeable changes in my demeanor marked by those who knew me before and after military service. [That] the period of my life spent serving in the United States Air Force had an impression on me would be an understatement. It is more accurate to say that it irreversibly transformed my identity as an American. Having forever altered the thread of my life’s story, weaved into the fabric of our nation’s history. To better appreciate the significance of how this came to pass, I would like to explain my experience
— source thegrayzone.com | Jul 27, 2021