from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2011, Issue No. 94
October 5, 2011

Secrecy News Blog:


Former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling, who is accused of leaking classified information to reporter James Risen, should not be permitted to argue at trial later this month that he was unfairly singled out for prosecution, government attorneys urged in an October 4 motion.

"The Court should bar the defendant [Sterling] from presenting any evidence, argument or comments of selective prosecution or that everybody leaks classified information," the prosecution motion said.

Further, the motion said, Sterling should not be allowed to introduce evidence "that everyone at the CIA or on Capitol Hill leaks information" or evidence "regarding specific examples of the leaking of classified information, whether prosecuted or not."

If such evidence were to be introduced at trial, prosecutors said, then "Fights over the classification levels of the information, the potential damage caused to the United States, and a host of other issues would consume and overwhelm the real issues in this case."

Among several other categories of defense evidence or argument that prosecutors asked the Court to rule out of order were claims that the alleged leaks were justified or necessary, unsupported defense allegations of an alternative perpetrator of the leaks, and arguments that CIA has conspired to implicate the defendant.

Prosecutors said that case law does not allow the presentation of "arguments that leaks are good or necessary, or that [Sterling] was a whistleblower, thereby justifying his conduct or negating his criminal intent."

And they said "There is absolutely no evidence that the CIA was out to get the defendant, or that the CIA orchestrated some grand conspiracy to blame the defendant for the leaks to Risen."

In a separate motion yesterday, prosecutors petitioned the court to admit into evidence several categories of statements. These included CIA records of phone calls made by James Risen to CIA public affairs, talking points presented by Condoleezza Rice at a White House meeting with Risen and Jill Abramson of the New York Times, and "excited utterances" made by an individual identified as Human Asset No. 1 who believed his identity might have been compromised by publication of information in Mr. Risen's book.

The trial of Jeffrey Sterling is scheduled to begin on October 17.


"The Soldier's Guide," which is something like the U.S. Army equivalent of the Boy Scout Handbook, was updated last month. The 436 page Guide is filled with instruction and lore about life in the U.S. Army. It covers Army history, traditions, and professional development.

In places the text limps. Thus, "The Army's core values are loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage. They form the acronym LDRSHIP." In other places, it is moving and profound. The Guide explains that when you are in the Army, your first duty is not to the Army, but to the U.S. Constitution. "Put [your] obligations in correct order: the Constitution, the Army, the unit, and finally, self."

See "The Soldier's Guide," Field Manual, 7-21.13, February 2004, with Change 1, September 20, 2011:

"Law and Order Operations" is the topic of another recently updated Army manual. In the past, this term referred primarily to law enforcement activities at military facilities. But its scope has now expanded. "The applications of L&O [law and order] operations and the requirements for Army LE [law enforcement] personnel to conduct these operations have grown tremendously as nation building and protracted stability operations have demonstrated the need for civil security and civil control as critical lines of effort within the larger effort to transfer authority to a secure and stable HN [host nation] government."

See "Law and Order Operations," ATTP 3-39.10, June 20, 2011:

This week the Army published an updated regulation on "Military Justice." The 176-page regulation presents rules and procedures for administering justice in the military. It addresses a variety of particular offenses, including "subversion, treason, domestic terrorism, and known or suspected unauthorized disclosure of classified information or material."

See "Military Justice," Army Regulation 27-10, October 3, 2011:


Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the Federation of American Scientists.

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