Feds Target Retired General In Iran Leaks Probe

By: CBS News (Posted by Amanda Lanum)
By: CBS News (Posted by Amanda Lanum)

(CBS News) -- Retired U.S. Marine Gen. James Cartwright is the target of a criminal leak investigation involving a covert cyberattack on Iran's nuclear facilities in 2010. On Friday, a U.S. official confirmed to CBS News' Bob Orr that the four-star general is the target of the investigation, being conducted by the U.S. attorney out of Baltimore.

The cyberattack at the root of the investigation involves the Stuxnet computer virus, which was used in 2010 to disrupt 1,000 Iranian centrifuges and is widely believed to be sponsored by the U.S. and Israel.

The New York Times, and subsequently other newspapers, published extensive details about the attack and the Obama administration acted swiftly, launching a leak investigation to determine who provided the secret information.

As the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the second-highest ranking military officer in the U.S., Cartwright was privy to issues at the center of national security.

The Justice Department declined to comment to CBS News, and CBS News has unable to reach Cartwright.

No one, including Cartwright, has been indicted at this point in the case, but Cartwright had been identified as the target of the ongoing probe, one of two high-profile, currently ongoing cases. The other case involves the leaking of information regarding a disrupted terror plot out of Yemen.

Throughout President Obama's time in office, seven current government officials or contractors have been charged with leaking classified information. The most recent example of highly publicized compromised intelligence is the leaked information regarding government surveillance programs on the part of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who continues to evade U.S. authorities.

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