“At the same time that Mr. Obama commuted the sentence of Ms. Manning, a low-ranking enlisted soldier at the time of her leaks, he also pardoned James E. Cartwright, the retired Marine general and former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who pleaded guilty to lying about his conversations with reporters to F.B.I. agents investigating a leak of classified information about cyberattacks on Iran’s nuclear program.”
Charles Savage — NYT (January 17 2017)
January 18 2017 — Chelsea Manning will be released in the spring 2017, so that is good news for her and her family. Unfortunately, Jeffrey Sterling’s name was not on the list of people receiving clemency. Follow us on Twitter: @Intel_Today
RELATED POST: Obama: “I Cannot Pardon Snowden.”
UPDATE (January 18 2019) — On January 16 2018, Jeffrey Sterling was released from prison to a halfway house, ahead of the original end date of his 3.5 year prison sentence on June 14, 2018.
Main Stream Media have apparently forgotten former CIA Jeffrey Sterling and Operation MERLIN.
Still, Gareth Porter has penned a very thoughtful piece on this important affair: How ‘Operation Merlin’ Poisoned U.S. Intelligence on Iran.
Gareth Porter — an independent journalist and winner of the 2012 Gellhorn Prize for journalism — came to the following conclusion.
“Operation Merlin is the perfect example of powerful bureaucratic interests running amok and creating the intelligence necessary to justify their operations.
The net result is that Jeffrey Sterling was unjustly imprisoned and that the United States has gone down a path of Iran policy that poses serious – and unnecessary – threats to American security.”
I certainly agree with this analysis. I also believe that many aspects of this affair — beside Operation MERLIN itself — should be investigated by serious journalists.
I will suggest four areas of investigations:
1 — How did Jeffrey Sterling become the centre of the investigation?
2 — Is it possible that he was betrayed by his own lawyer?
3 — Could it be that the CIA was monitoring US congress emails regarding whistleblowers?
4 — Considering what we now know about the true reason of the CIA debacle in China, is it possible that the CIA went after Sterling to hide the truth about their crappy covert communication system that was previously used in Iran?
I would think that MSM journalists would research these stories… But obviously, they do not. Why on earth not?
END of UPDATE
Nobody expected Mr Obama to pardon Edward Snowden but some had hoped that the US President would pardon ex-CIA Jeffrey Sterling.
Jeffrey Alexander Sterling is an American lawyer and former CIA employee who was arrested, charged, and convicted of violating the Espionage Act for revealing details about Operation Merlin to journalist James Risen. Sterling denies the charges.
The case against him is circumstantial. (There is evidence that Sterling and Risen have called each other. Risen has of course dozens of contacts at the CIA.)
Sterling joined the CIA on May 14, 1993. In 1995, he became operations officer in the Iran task force of the CIA’s Near East and South Asia division.
On December 22, 2010, U.S. attorney Neil H. MacBride filed an indictment against Jeffrey Alexander Sterling on the Unlawful Retention and Unauthorized Disclosure of National Defense Information, Mail Fraud, Unauthorized Conveyance of Government Property, and Obstruction of Justice. Sterling was arrested on January 6, 2011.
Sterling was convicted of espionage charges on January 26, 2015
On 11 May 2015, Sterling was sentenced to 3½ years in prison and thus set for release in 2018.
On August 11 2016, Jeffrey Sterling filed a health complaint against Colorado federal correctional institution.
December 2016 — Jeffrey’s appellate hearing took place in early December 2016.
June 22, 2017 — The appellate court upheld all but one of Jeffrey’s convictions.
January 16 2018 — Sterling is released to a halfway house
UPDATE (January 18 2018) — On Christmas eve, I told you that former CIA Jeffrey Sterling could be released from jail early this year. I am happy to report that this prediction came true.
Two days ago — January 16 2018 — Jeffrey Sterling was released from prison to a halfway house, ahead of the original end date of his 3.5 year prison sentence on June 14, 2018.
Short Documentary: “The Invisible Man: CIA Whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling”
One Year Ago — No Presidential Pardon for Ex-CIA Jeffrey Sterling
Two Years Ago — Manning Sentence Commuted. No Presidential Pardon for Ex-CIA Jeffrey Sterling