Gen. James E. Cartwright. Photo by Hyungwon Kang/Reuters
Who Leaked the Stuxnet Virus Story? -- Fred Kaplan
Why retired Gen. James Cartwright is facing allegations—and could be the first higher-up to go down.
In one way, it’s a big surprise that the Justice Department is investigating retired Gen. James “Hoss” Cartwright for allegedly leaking classified information about the Stuxnet computer virus, which briefly disabled Iran’s nuclear program a few years back.
In another way, though, it’s not a surprise at all.
It’s surprising because four-star generals, active or retired, aren’t the usual targets of such probes. This is especially so of a general like Cartwright, who, from 2007–11, was vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff—the U.S. military’s second-highest-ranking officer—and who, in his final years, was known as “Obama’s favorite general.” Officers of this stature tend to build layers of insulation around themselves.
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My Comment: It looks like he was someone who stepped on a lot of toes.