Former top US general pleads guilty in Stuxnet leaks case


WASHINGTON (JTA) — A retired top U.S. general pleaded guilty in a case involving leaks that revealed a joint U.S.-Israel program to cripple Iran’s uranium enrichment system.

James Cartwright, who until 2011 was the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, pleaded guilty Monday in a federal court in Washington, D.C., to lying to the FBI about his role in the leaks, The New York Times reported.

Cartwright, who was under investigation in 2012 for providing details to reporters about the Stuxnet computer virus, which sabotaged Iranian centrifuges, told FBI agents at the time that he had neither leaked the information nor confirmed it.

In statements, he and his lawyer continued to deny that he was the source of the information, suggesting that his lie to the FBI was that he had not confirmed the information once it was leaked.

Sentencing is in January, and ranges from a $500 fine to six months in prison, The New York Times reported.

The Stuxnet sabotage helped delay advances in Iran’s nuclear program. Last year Iran and six major powers, led by the United States, reached a deal rolling back nuclear development in exchange for relief in international sanctions on the country.

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