Retired General James Cartwright, a four-star general and former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (2007 to 2011), is under investigation for allegedly leaking top secret information about a covert computer virus, Stuxnet.
The computer virus was reportedly used by the U.S. government in a massive covert cyber attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities, notes NBC News (video below).
General Cartwright was part of the development of Stuxnet, which was exposed in a New York Times article published last year.
The article described Stuxnet (code name "Olympic Games"), the cooperation of Israeli intelligence and how the virus disabled nearly 1,000 Iranian centrifuges.
At the time of the New York Times article, President Obama stated: "My attitude has been zero tolerance for these kinds of leaks. These are criminal acts when they release information like this."
The Obama administration has charged whistleblowers such as Private Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden with espionage based on a little-used and archaic law signed by President Woodrow Wilson.
"There are many reasons why people leak classified information. Sometimes to attack a program, sometimes to defend it, sometimes we don't ever know," Steve Aftergood, director of the Federation of American Scientists, told NBC News.
A possible reason for General Cartwright to leak the information in 2012 might be the fact that President Obama passed him up for the U.S. military's highest post, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in 2011, reported NationalJournal.com.
Cartwright nor his lawyer responded to requests for comment.