The Los Angeles Times editorial board disdained the Obama administration for its “double standard” on government leaks after Army General and former CIA Director David Petraeus was let go on a misdemeanor charge Tuesday.
Petraeus was accused of revealing classified info to his biographer/mistress Paula Broadwell in 2011. He pled guilty Tuesday to one count of “unauthorized removal and retention of classified material,” in part to avoid a trial in which potentially embarrassing details about his affair would become public record.
This, the Times ed board pointed out, was a slap on the wrist compared to the punishments handed out to lower profile whistleblowers, who have received years in prison, part of what the paper called “the Obama administration’s unprecedented war on national-security leaks.”
“The whiff of a double standard is overwhelming, the Times wrote, noting that Petraeus’ initial denial compounded the charges. “If anything, a leader at Petraeus’ level should be held to a higher standard than lower-level officials or contractors.”
The paper seemed especially bothered by the prospect that Petraeus would soon return “to the role of Washington wise man.”
“Other targets of the administration’s war on leaks, including some who might reasonably be considered whistle-blowers for bringing to light government abuses, aren’t likely to be given a similar fresh start, even after regaining their freedom,” the paper wrote. “That may be the way of the world, but it’s not justice.”
[h/t Los Angeles Times]
[Image via DoD]
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