Jeffrey Sterling, a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer and center of a much-publicized case alleging he revealed classified secrets to a reporter, has just been convicted of Espionage. Sterling was accused of revealing secrets about a CIA plan to disrupt the nuclear program in Iran to a New York Times reporter named James Risen, a claim he continues to deny. His lawyer has claimed that this is part of a campaign by the Obama administration to crack-down unduly on leaks relating to sensitive stories. It has produced a national backlash from journalists relating to government interference and the ability to protect sources on important stories.
Sterling claims that his conversations with Mr. Risen were related to a discrimination suit he was filing against the Agency, and that there was no proof of his doing anything more. The alleged operation that was the focus of these charges involved the U.S. getting a scientist , formerly of Russia, to provide flawed nuclear plans to Iran in an attempt to deliberately sabotage their program. Sterling will face years in prison with this conviction.
By Jim Malone
Image courtesy of Jay Cross – Flickr License