The Espionage Act is a 1917 law passed shortly after the United States entered World War I. Its original intent was to prohibit interference with military operations, prevent insubordination in the military, and inhibit support for U.S. enemies during wartime. No administration in the history of the nation has used this law more than the Obama administration, which most recently used it to prosecute two members of the intelligence community.
One of the men, John Kiriakou, is a former CIA counter-terrorism operative who spent two years in federal prison and three additional months under house arrest for leaking the name of a covert CIA official. The other man, Thomas Drake, is a former NSA agent who went to Congress after 9/11 to sound the alarms about what he called unconstitutional surveillance. Although the government’s case against Drake fell apart in 2011, he lost practically everything he owned and continues to face a mountain of legal bills.
Both Kiriakou and Drake paid a big price. Both wonder now whether former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will receive the same treatment they did, or whether her former boss will — as expected —employ a double standard.
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“The FBI is going to investigate [Hillary Clinton], but it is not up to them,” Kiriakou told Fox News, adding:
If they [the FBI] want to charge Hillary Clinton with a crime, they can certainly find a crime with which to charge her. But there is no way the Obama administration is going to prosecute her. No way.
I think [Clinton] is vulnerable, but whether she enjoys what I call ‘elite immunity,’ we don’t know. For much lesser violations people have lost their jobs. But when you get to the higher ranks, it’s like another set of rules.
The Washington Post reports that one of the two veteran prosecutors overseeing the FBI investigation into Clinton’s email hi jinx helped manage the prosecution of former general and CIA director David Petraeus, who was sentenced to probation after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified materials. He was also fined $100,000.
This fact might be taken to indicate that Clinton’s “punishment” in the event she is found guilty of wrongdoing will be similar.
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