White House's New Leak Villain: Former Top General

James Cartwright faces investigation over Stuxnet worm story

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 28, 2013 5:47 AM CDT | Updated Jun 28, 2013 7:48 AM CDT

(Newser) – The Obama White House has prosecuted or charged eight people under the Espionage Act thus far—and another one is under investigation. Retired four-star Marine Gen. James "Hoss" Cartwright, former deputy chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, got a letter saying he was facing an inquiry over the leak of information on a cyberattack against Iran, NBC News reports. A Stuxnet worm attack against Iran's nuclear program briefly halted 1,000 centrifuges in 2010. The information was revealed in a New York Times report last year.

At the time, Obama slammed the leaker of the information, while some Republicans called it an intentional move to improve Obama's national security image. Cartwright was one of Obama's closest security advisers and the second-highest-ranking military officer in the US. (Bob Woodward once wrote that he was Obama's "favorite general," notes New York.) The FBI has been focusing on him since late last year, insiders tell NBC. Justice officials haven't yet decided whether to charge him, a source says. The administration has already taken action against more leaks than all previous administrations combined, the Washington Post adds.

In this Jan. 29, 2011 file photo, then Joint Chiefs Vice Chairman Gen. James E. Cartwright takes part in a media briefing at the Pentagon in Washington.
In this Jan. 29, 2011 file photo, then Joint Chiefs Vice Chairman Gen. James E. Cartwright takes part in a media briefing at the Pentagon in Washington.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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