Slap-on-the-Wrist Sentence for Petraeus Reveals ‘Leak Prosecution Double Standard’

Slap-on-the-Wrist Sentence for Petraeus Reveals ‘Leak Prosecution Double Standard’

‘If leaks were the real concern, Petraeus would receive punishment as harsh as the government demanded for other accused leakers’
by Andrea Germanos


The light sentence a federal court gave Gen. David Petraeus on Thursday is indicative of the hypocrisy in the two-tiered justice system that aims to aggressively punish whistleblowers, rights groups have charged.

The former CIA head pleaded guilty at a federal court in Charlotte, North Carolina for leaking highly classified information, including identities of covert officers, war strategy, intelligence capabilities and mechanisms, via “black books” with his biographer and mistress, Paula Broadwell.

For the leak, a misdemeanor charge for violating the Espionage Act, U.S. Magistrate Judge David Keesler’s sentenced Petraeus to two years’ probation and a $100,000 fine. The retired four-star general leader had reached a plea deal (pdf) with the Justice Department in March which also included two years’ probation but a $40,000 fine. He was not sentenced to any time in prison.

Investigative journalist Marcy Wheeler writes that the higher fine, “issued to send a message,” is equal to “about 75% of one speaker’s fee for Petraeus.”

Whistleblowers and their advocates have pointed out the discrepancy between the aggressive sentences the administration has pursued for high level officials and those who’ve blown the lid on government wrongdoing.

John Kiriakou, a former CIA counter-terrorism officer and the only government official to be punished in connection with the Bush-era torture program, said ahead of the sentencing that charging Petraeus under the Espionage Act was wrong, as it was in his own case.

“Both Petraeus and I disclosed undercover identities (or confirmed one in my case) that were never published. I spent two years in prison; he gets two years probation,” Kiriakou stated.

Jesselyn Radack, head of National Security and Human Rights at the whistleblower advocacy organization Government Accountability Project (GAP), stated: “Petreaus’ light sentence makes clear that the consequences for whistleblowing are far more severe than the negligible consequences for Petreaus’ leaks.”

“GAP’s whistleblower clients lost their careers and spent millions on legal fees while Petraeus was able to retain his security clearance, advise the White House, make lucrative speeches across the globe, and pull in a massive salary as a partner in one of the world’s biggest private-equity firms.

“The fact that Petraeus is the recipient of a such a comparatively light sentence is of particular significance considering that three most recent directors of the CIA–Leon E. Panetta, Petraeus and John O. Brennan–have all leaked classified information casually, regularly and with impunity.

“The leak prosecution double standard makes clear that the Obama administration’s record breaking number of Espionage Act prosecutions has nothing to do with protecting classified information and everything to do with punishing and silencing whistleblowers. If leaks were the real concern, Petraeus would receive punishment as harsh as the government demanded for other accused leakers,” Radack stated.

Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg previously noted that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden‘s charges “are not more serious, as violations of the classification regulations and non-disclosure agreements, than those Petraeus has admitted to,” and that CIA whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling‘s “violations of security regulations were in no way more serious than what Petraeus has now admitted to.”

http://www.informationliberation.com/index.php?id=50581

FBI’s abuse of the surveillance state is the real scandal needing investigation – informationliberation

FBI’s abuse of the surveillance state is the real scandal needing investigation

That the stars of America’s national security establishment are being devoured by out-of-control surveillance is a form of sweet justice
Glenn Greenwald


The Petraeus scandal is receiving intense media scrutiny obviously due to its salacious aspects, leaving one, as always, to fantasize about what a stellar press corps we would have if they devoted a tiny fraction of this energy to dissecting non-sex political scandals (this unintentionally amusing New York Times headline from this morning – “Concern Grows Over Top Military Officers’ Ethics” – illustrates that point: with all the crimes committed by the US military over the last decade and long before, it’s only adultery that causes “concern” over their “ethics”). Nonetheless, several of the emerging revelations are genuinely valuable, particularly those involving the conduct of the FBI and the reach of the US surveillance state.

As is now widely reported, the FBI investigation began when Jill Kelley – a Tampa socialite friendly with Petraeus (and apparently very friendly with Gen. John Allen, the four-star U.S. commander of the war in Afghanistan) – received a half-dozen or so anonymous emails that she found vaguely threatening. She then informed a friend of hers who was an FBI agent, and a major FBI investigation was then launched that set out to determine the identity of the anonymous emailer.

That is the first disturbing fact: it appears that the FBI not only devoted substantial resources, but also engaged in highly invasive surveillance, for no reason other than to do a personal favor for a friend of one of its agents, to find out who was very mildly harassing her by email.

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About jimcraven10

About jimcraven10 1. Citizenship: Blackfoot, U.S. and Canadian; 2. Position: tenured Professor of Economics and Geography; Dept. Head, Economics; 3. Teaching, Consulting and Research experience: approx 40 + years all levels high school to post-doctoral U.S. Canada, Europe, China, India, Puerto Rico and parts of E. Asia; 4. Work past and present: U.S. Army 1963-66; Member: Veterans for Peace; former VVAW; Veterans for 9-11 Truth; Scholars for 9-11 Truth; Pilots for 9-11 Truth; World Association for Political Economy; Editorial Board International Critical Thought; 4.. U.S. Commercial-Instrument Pilot ; FAA Licensed Ground Instructor (Basic, Advanced, Instrument and Simulators); 5. Research Areas and Publications: International law (on genocide, rights of nations, war and war crimes); Imperialism (nature, history, logic, trajectories, mechanisms and effects); Economic Geography (time and space modeling in political economy; globalization--logic and effects; Political Economy and Geography of Imperialism); Indigenous versus non-Indigenous Law; Political Economy of Socialism and Socialist Construction; 6. Member, Editorial Board, "International Critical Thought" published by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; International Advisory Board and Columnist 4th Media Group, http://www.4thMedia.org (Beijing); 7. Other Websites publications at http://www.aradicalblackfoot.blogspot.com; wwwthesixthestate.blogspot.com;https://jimcraven10.wordpress.com; 8.Biography available in: Marquis Who’s Who: in the World (16th-18th; 20th; 22nd -31st (2014) Editions); Who’s Who in America (51st-61st;63rd-68th(2014) Editions); Who’s Who in the West (24th- 27th Editions);Who’s Who in Science and Engineering (3rd to 6th, 8th, 11th (2011-2012) Editions); Who’s Who in Finance and Industry (29th to 37th Editions); Who’s Who in American Education (6th Edition). ------------------- There are times when you have to obey a call which is the highest of all, i.e. the voice of conscience even though such obedience may cost many a bitter tear, and even more, separation from friends, from family, from the state, to which you may belong, from all that you have held as dear as life itself. For this obedience is the law of our being. ~ Mahatma Gandhi
This entry was posted in AMERICAN HUBRIS AND CULTURE, Behind the Masks of the Democratic Party, Conspiracy against Rights and under Color of Law, Corruption and Intrigue in Government, courage and treachery in government, Faces of Fascism, FALSE FLAGS, FBI-CIA MACHINATIONS, FBI-DOJ CORRUPTION, Imperial Hypocrisy and Intrigue, Legal System Corruption, MSM Mainstream Media Sycophancy, NATIONAL SECURITY-SURVEILLANCE STATE. Bookmark the permalink.

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