In a shocking example of the double standard in the American justice system, disgraced former general and CIA Director David Petraeus walked.
Specifically, Petraeus was sentenced to two years of probation and a $100,000 fine. The fine is about the amount of his speaking fee and represents the lightest possible slap on the wrist. And he was allowed to plead to a misdemeanor; he’s a felon, but he was convicted as a petty criminal.
Let’s compare Petraeus’s sentence to those imposed on other persons who leaked national secrets recently.
|Chelsea Manning||Leaked classified information to Wikileaks demonstrating U.S. misconduct.||35 years in prison|
|Stephen Jin-Woo Kim||Leaked classified information to a Fox News reporter||13 months in prison|
|Jeffrey Sterling||Leaked classified plans to sabotage Iran’s nuclear-weapons program to a New York Times reporter||Recommended 20 years (sentencing next month)|
|John C. Kiriakou||Disclosed the name of a covert operative to a reporter||Served 30 months in prison|
(Petraeus even endorsed Kirakou’s sentence.1)
Hello? How is this possibly defensible? Aren’t the only differences (1) Petraeus acted solely for his personal self-interest, providing his mistress and biographer with juicy bits to boost his personal story; and (2) Petraeus has lots of very powerful friends in high places.
And he got a short period of probation and a ridiculously small fine. The fine would have been smaller, $40,000, but that was too low for US Magistrate Judge David Keesler, who bumped it to $100,000.
WC has worked in and around the American legal system his entire professional career. WC has never – not during the Chicago 7 show trial, not during the Nixon administration, not during Reagan’s Contragate, not during the political theater of the Clinton impeachment – WC has never been so embarrassed and appalled by and for the justice system.
This is so wrong in so many ways. This isn’t justice; it’s rank hypocrisy.
- In October 2012, Petraeus, then Director of the CIA, praised the Kiriakou conviction: “Oaths do matter, 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.” ↩