David Petraeus, a top West Point grad who led U.S. military forces in Iraq and Afghanistan before becoming the head of the Central Intelligence Agency, pled guilty Thursday to sharing classified information with his biographer/lover.
Fellow leaker Chelsea Manning, on the other hand, remains in prison. And earlier this week, federal prosecutors called for accused leaker and former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling to serve up to 24 years in prison.
From the Charlotte Observer's coverage today:
U.S. Magistrate Judge David Keesler sentenced Petraeus to two years’ probation and a $100,000 fine, throwing out a recommended $40,000 fine because of the seriousness of the charges and to deter others. He called Petraeus’ actions a “serious lapse of judgment” that stood “in stark contrast to 37 years of achievement.”
In the sentencing phase of today's hearing, Petraeus was informed that he may travel internationally with the approval of his probation officer. The former has become a popular speaker on global security topics.
When he was done, Judge Keesler said, “Mr. Petraeus, I want to wish you good luck.”
In addition to being a liar, the former spy-in-chief is also a hypocrite. From the New York Times' coverage of today's sentencing hearing:
Shortly after Mr. Petraeus’ plea deal was announced, the lawyer for an imprisoned former State Department arms contractor sent a letter to prosecutors contending that the deal given to Mr. Petraeus revealed a “profound double standard” in the way the Obama administration treats people who leak classified information.
The contractor, Stephen J. Kim, had received a 13-month sentence for disclosing classified information to Fox News about North Korea.
Mr. Petraeus had been a vocal advocate for government officials closely protecting classified information.
“Oaths do matter,” Mr. Petraeus said in October 2012 when a C.I.A. officer accepted a plea agreement for disclosing sensitive information, “and there are indeed consequences for those who believe they are above the laws that protect our fellow officers and enable American intelligence agencies to operate with the requisite degree of secrecy.”
The officer later received a 30-month sentence.