“It’s ironic that Petraeus, whose actions exposed classified government information, now wants privacy for those pleading his case. But beyond irony are larger concerns about his access to friends in high places and how that subverts the principle of equal treatment under the law. Asothers have pointed out,his monetary penalty is less than what Petraeus makes for giving a speech. And, probation is a joke as punishment, up against prison sentences meted out to those who act out of conscience to expose what they believe to be government wrongdoing.
Just this month, the government backed a recommendation of 19 to 24 years for Jeffrey Sterling, who was convicted of providing classified information to Times reporter James Risen about the CIA’s efforts to undermine Iran’s nuclear program. Before that, former intelligence adviser Stephen Jin-Woo Kim was sentenced to 13 months for disclosing a report about North Korea to a reporter. CIA veteran John Kiriakou received a 30-month sentence for revealing the identity of an undercover agent who used enhanced interrogation techniques. Chelsea Manning was sentenced to 35 years for violations of the Espionage Act and Edward Snowden is on the run for his role in leaking classified information from the National Security Agency.”