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Former CIA Officer Charged With Sharing Secrets With Reporter

by Eyder Peralta
Jan 6, 2011

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Eyder Peralta

Federal prosecutors have indicted a former Central Intelligence Agency officer for sharing classified information about Iran's weapons capabilities with a New York Times reporter.

NPR's Carrie Johnson reports:

Jeffrey Sterling worked for the CIA for nearly a decade, including a stint as a clandestine operative studying weapons capabilities of foreign countries.

But prosecutors say he grew angry at the agency after it refused to settle discrimination lawsuits he had filed against the CIA.

The indictment says, in retaliation, Sterling improperly shared secret information with a reporter NPR has identified as James Risen of the New York Times.

FBI agents arrested Sterling Thursday in Saint Louis, where he will make an initial court appearance.

Sterling's indictment is the latest in a string of attempts from the Obama administration to stop leaks of classified information to the press. There is, of course, the on-going investigation of WikiLeaks and Reuters points out two more:

Stephen Kim, a foreign policy analyst who worked at the U.S. State Department, was charged in August with leaking a top-secret intelligence report to a news reporter last year.

Also last year, a former high-ranking official at the National Security Agency was charged with illegally possessing classified information that he allegedly gave to a reporter at the Baltimore Sun newspaper.

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