Jan 28 2015

Former CIA Operator Jeffrey Sterling Found Guilty on 9 Charges of Espionage

Feature Stories | Published 28 Jan 2015, 10:15 am | Comments Off on Former CIA Operator Jeffrey Sterling Found Guilty on 9 Charges of Espionage -

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GUEST: Marcy Wheeler, journalist specializing in national security issues, the “war on terror,” and civil liberties. She has a column on ExposeFacts.org called Right to Know, where she has been detailing the case against Sterling.

After three days of deliberations, 14 jurors in a federal case concerning the Espionage Act found a guilty verdict against Jeffrey Sterling. The 47-year old Sterling is a former CIA operator who oversaw an ill-conceived US plan to thwart Iran’s nuclear ambitions by planting flawed documents through a Russian double agent.

The details of Project Merlin, as it was called, were revealed in a chapter of the book by New York Times reporter James Risen. The Obama administration aggressively pursued the case against Sterling, alleging that he had leaked the plan to Risen even though Risen refused to testify or confirm that Sterling was his source.

Mr. Sterling remained stoic as the verdict was read while his wife, Holly, openly sobbed. His sentencing trial will take place this April.

US Attorney General Eric Holder called the verdict, “a just and appropriate outcome.” He added, “The disclosures placed lives at risk…And they constituted an egregious breach of the public trust by someone who had sworn to uphold it.” President Obama has used the Espionage act to pursue cases against whistleblowers more often than any other President in US history.

To read Marcy Wheeler’s work, visit emptywheel.net.

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