On Friday, April 23, General David Petraeus, former Director of the CIA was fined $100,000 and given two years probation for leaking several ‘black books,’ containing important military information, to his biographer, Paula Broadwell with whom he was also having a relationship. The books included code word information, intelligence capabilities, war strategy and details of classified White House meetings.
Civil liberties organisations say his sentence is too lenient and amounts to a double standard when compared to the fate of whistle-blowers like Edward Snowden, Jeffery Sterling, John Kiriakou and Chelsea Manning.
Jeffrey Sterling was recently found guilty of nine counts under the espionage act in relation to leaking information about a botched CIA plan aimed at thwarting Iranian nuclear ambitions to a New York Times journalist, James Risen. Risen wrote about the CIA plan in his book, detailing how dangerous it was and how it could easily help Iran.
While Risen said he had several sources for his information, the prosecution in this case contended that the Risen’s criticisms were similar to that of Sterling’s view of the mission during this time.
Sterling is due to be sentenced next month. It is possible he will be handed down decades in prison. He denies all charges.
Jesselyn Radack is a former ethics adviser to the United States Department of Justice, now National Security & Human Rights Director at the Government Accountability Project representing Edward Snowden and other Whistleblowers.
She says at least Snowden et al leaked information that was in the interest of the public, unlike Petraeus: