Streetwise Professor

June 29, 2013

The Cartwright Leak Investigation: A Small, Ugly Story With Disturbingly Russian Overtones

Filed under: Military,Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 5:11 pm

Retired Marine Corps general, and former Vice Chairman of the JCS, General James Cartwright, is apparently on the verge of being indicted for the leaking of information about the Stuxnet virus.  Many things are disturbing about this.  Yes, the leak-if Cartwright did indeed leak-is disturbing, and I excoriated the administration for this leak last year.

But that’s not the only thing that is disturbing.  Sadly, leaking by figures in the government and the military is ubiquitous.  The leak is the tool-or weapon-of choice of virtually every major figure in DC.  Some very esteemed figures are alleged to be notorious wielders of the leak weapon (Colin Powell comes to mind).  Meaning that since pretty much everybody does it, the few prosecutions that do occur are inherently arbitrary.  The fact that a damaging leak occurred is not the catalyst for an investigation or prosecution: instead, the ubiquity of the leaks and the rarity of prosecution makes it clear that prosecution is driven by score settling or ass covering or something other than the leak itself.  That is, a leak is not a sufficient condition for prosecution.

It’s very Russian, in a way.  In Russia, high-level corruption is rife-nay, universal-but investigations and prosecutions of high-level corruption are extraordinarily rare. The investigations or prosecutions (Surdyukov comes to mind) are a cudgel used to punish those who have fallen from favor, or attracted powerful enemies, or have become inconvenient for some reason.  A corruption allegation is a handy hammer to bludgeon someone who has committed some other sin.

Obviously, this analogy to Russia is not a compliment.

I don’t know why Cartwright is in the crosshairs, but I’m sure that the leak qua leak isn’t it: if it were, every heavy hitter in DC would be perp walking.  There’s a real story here, and I am sure it is a very small, ugly story indeed.

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  1. Proff:

    Don’t say you didn’t see this coming! Birds of a feather ….

    Makes one wonder. Who is the puppet & who the puppet master. You know MY sentiments on that! Keep up the great analysis. Know that the Kremlin watches your posts with increasing interest.

    Why waste time on a Russian novel when you can just watch Obama Administration current events.


    P.S. You should sleep more soundly knowing that Susan Rice is in charge over @ the NSA. Be not afraid.

    Comment by ObamaPutin — June 29, 2013 @ 10:11 pm

  2. Nobody really knows what led to the Serdyukov investigation. Maybe he’s fallen out of favor, maybe it’s payback for alienating the wrong people. Most likely he was simply too brazen and the prosecution was itching for a high-profile corruption case. Perhaps that’s also what happened to Cartwright.

    Comment by aaa — June 30, 2013 @ 12:40 am

  3. @aaa-Yes. This is why I consider the analogy plausible.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — June 30, 2013 @ 7:08 am

  4. Don’t underestimate simply feeding the press something to divert them (an G-d alone knows enough of them want to be diverted) from small issues like the IRS, Perjury by the AG, etc.

    Comment by Sotos — July 1, 2013 @ 2:37 pm

  5. Obama is getting rid of the Generals any way he can.

    Comment by Tom — July 1, 2013 @ 7:03 pm

  6. @Tom. Yes, if you think about it. Patreaus, McCrystal, Cartwright, maybe Ham. Though Cartwright was supposedly an Obama ally.

    @ObamaPutin-Thanks. And what’s the basis for your “know that” statement? Inquiring minds, and all that. Are you saying I shouldn’t apply for that Russian visa?

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — July 1, 2013 @ 7:29 pm

  7. I am not familiar with this story and am not sure what the connection to Russia is here. Are you saying that the US government is in its way almost as corrupt as the Russian one or snoops on its citizens as much if not more? Duh.

    Comment by Vlad — July 28, 2013 @ 12:17 am

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