Thursday, April 23, 2015

Rank has its privileges: part 2

 David Petraeus goes to court today to plead guilty to a single misdemeanor charge. Let's compare and contrast, shall we?
Petraeus, who was one of the best-known military leaders of the past decade and a valuable adviser to the Obama administration, joins a short list Thursday of convicted leakers who either served time or are in prison.
Chelsea Manning, formerly Bradley Manning, was sentence to 35 years in prison in 2013 for disclosing classified documents to WikiLeaks. Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, a former State Department contractor, entered a guilty plea last year to one felony count of disclosing classified to a Fox News reporter in February 2014. He was sentenced to 13 months in prison.
On Monday, prosecutors urged a judge to sentence Jeffrey Sterling, a former CIA officer, to at least 20 years in prison for leaking classified plans to sabotage Iran’s nuclear-weapons program to a New York Times reporter. Sterling will be sentenced next month.
And former CIA officer John C. Kiriakou served 30 months in federal prison after he disclosed the name of a covert operative to a reporter. He was released in February and is finishing up three months of house arrest.
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,” he said in a statement. [my bolding]
Quite.This is what happens when the rule of law meets the rule of rank.
Petraeus isn’t facing any jail time, however. His misdemeanor charge carries with it a one-year prison sentence, but prosecutors have suggested a sentence of two years’ probation and a $40,000 fine in return for a guilty plea. Judge Keesler is free to reject the prosecutors’ recommendation, but it rarely happens.
Petraeus can easily make $40,000 in one speaking engagement and likely makes seven figures as a partner at KKR, an equity firm, Zaid said. Indeed, Petraeus’s star hasn’t fallen far despite the charges, a very public affair, and his resignation from the CIA. He is advising the National Security Council on the self-proclaimed Islamic State, according to the White House. He is also a visiting professor at two universities.
Let's stop pretending that the rule of law means anything other than that the law is ruled by elites and their institutions to maintain their power and secure fearful obedience from everyone else.

No comments:

Post a Comment