After The New York Times revealed in June 2012 that the United States and Israel were responsible for the Stuxnet cyberattacks against Iranian nuclear facilities, the US government ordered an investigation to find out who leaked the information to the press. Now, the Justice Department has a suspect.
In late January 2013, we learned that the FBI was determined to find out who leaked the information about the Olympic Games operation and Stuxnet to the press. The agency was confident that it could catch the culprit, since only a small number of people knew about Stuxnet.
According to NBC News, the Justice Department has notified Retired Marine General James Cartwright that he’s being investigated for the leak.
Cartwright, who previously held the position of vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, hasn’t made any comments, and neither did his attorney. However, several officials have stood up for the 63-year-old former general.
“He’s a great American. All I know is he’s always been one who acted in a way to defend the country and do so in a way that is beyond reproach,” commented former Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D.-Calif.
Others, however, have highlighted that the Stuxnet leak has had “devastating consequences.”
Cartwright was named in the 2012 New York Times article as being the one who, along with other intelligence officials, presented the sophisticated cyberweapon to President George W. Bush.
Interestingly, a couple of sources have told NBC News that prosecutors had managed to identify Cartwright as a potential leaker without having to subpoena the phone records of NYT reporters.
Eight individuals of the Obama administration suspected of violating the Espionage Act by leaking classified information have been prosecuted or charged.
So far, the Justice Department hasn't decided if it will press charges on Cartwright.