Doesn’t Anyone Ever Go to Prison for Leaking Classified Info Anymore?


Retired four-star general and former Director of Central Intelligence David Petraeus was sentenced last week to two years’ probation and a $100,000 fine for spilling classified information to his biographer and mistress, Paula Broadwell. Like a teenager, the senior-ranking Army officer did some pretty boneheaded stuff just to impress a girl. His disclosures included, according to the indictment, “classified information regarding the identities of covert officers, war strategy, intelligence capabilities and mechanisms, diplomatic discussions, quotes and deliberative discussions from high-level National Security Council meetings.”

Did the punishment fit the crime? It’s certainly harsher than I thought he would get. I had assumed that he would simply resign his position as CIA director and retire to private life. His punishment, however, does not include jail time, which I’m fairly certain it would if he were an ordinary Army private in military intelligence caught doing the same thing.

Four-stars don’t do jail time, I suppose. But maybe they should.

If justice is to be blind in this country we need to start holding powerful people accountable for their actions. We don’t do a very good job of that and we have no one to blame but ourselves. The public tolerates a lot of Men Behaving Badly in positions of power, and some Women Behaving Badly too.

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