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Retired US General Pleads Guilty in Classified Leak Case

Retired Marine Gen. James Cartwright follows his attorney Greg Craig into U.S. District Court in Washington, Oct. 17, 2016. Cartwright pleaded guilty to lying during a federal investigation into a leak of classified information.

A retired U.S. Marine general who at one time was the nation’s second highest-ranking military officer, pleaded guilty Monday to charges that he lied to investigators about leaking classified information.

General James Cartwright, a retired 4-star general, is a former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Investigators wanted to know if he was the source of the leak to journalists about a computer virus the U.S. and Israel used to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program.

A computer virus called Stuxnet caused Iranian centrifuges enriching uranium to spin out of control in 2010, possibly setting back Iran’s efforts to build a nuclear bomb.

The information was spelled out in the book Confront and Conceal by New York Times reporter David Sanger.

Cartwright could face up to five years in prison, but reports say his lawyer and government prosecutors have agreed on a six-month sentence.

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