Former U.S. general James Cartwright has pleaded guilty at federal court in Washington on Monday for making false statements to the Federal Investigation Bureau (FBI) into a leak of classified information about the computer software known as "Stuxnet" case, which was designed to cyberattack the Iranian nuclear facility.
Everything Began With An Interview About Stuxnet
According to Reuters, Cartwright was questioned by the FBI in 2012 because of a book written by New York Times journalist David Sanger, where Stuxnet was exposed as a cyberweapon. Also, Cartwright confirmed top-secret information about an unnamed country to Newsweek reporter Daniel Klaidman.
Regarding this situation, the Department of Justice explained that Cartwright signed a non-disclosure agreement after retiring, which included warnings about how an unauthorized disclosure could affect the U.S., or the way that a foreign nation could take advantage of it.
The U.S. General Lied To The FBI
Apparently, some FBI agents interviewed Cartwright on 2 November 2012, and he reportedly gave false information to them, denying the exposition of any classified information and assuring that he was not the source of Sanger´s book, which revealed many details about Stuxnet. However, the FBI eventually discovered the truth.
"We conducted a thorough and independent investigation including collecting tens of thousands of documents through subpoenas, search warrants and document requests, and interviewing scores of current and former government employees. The evidence showed that General Cartwright disclosed classified information without authorization to two reporters and lied to federal investigators," US attorney Rod Rosenstein told the International Business Times.
Cartwright´s attorney told the judge that they agreed with the government on a recommended sentence of no more than six months, which could be a good news for the former U.S. general, considering that lying to investigators and talking to the press when the person isn't allowed to carries a maximum of five years in prison. The sentence will be determined by U.S. district Richard Leon on 17 January 2017.