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To Send a Message, Judge Sentences David Petraeus to 75% of One Speaking Fee

'Petraeus admitted his crimes and apologized to those he hurt.' When you're a retired general and the former head of the CIA, that's about all you have to do when you leak classified documents. (Photo: AP file)

Former CIA Director David Petraeus just got sentenced to two years of probation for leaking highly sensitive information to his mistress and then lying to the FBI about it.

Petraeus had asked to enter the court room via a backdoor, so he would not be photographed, but he was forced to enter the courthouse in the normal fashion.

As happens with big-wigs, Petraeus’ lawyer cited the 34 letters of support from other big-wigs sent on his behalf. Petraeus admitted his crimes and apologized to those he hurt.

The only “surprise” of the hearing is that, rather than getting slapped with a $40,000 fine, Judge David Keesler more than doubled the fine to send a message.

To $100,000.

According to SpeakerPedia, Petraeus makes upwards of $132,750 for each speech.

In other words, this fine, meant to be especially harsh so as to send a message about the gravity of Petraeus’ crimes, is about 75% of one speaker’s fee for Petraeus.

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Marcy Wheeler

Marcy Wheeler writes the blog Emptywheel. and the "Right to Know" column for ExposeFactsorg. Her book, Anatomy of Deceit: How the Bush Administration Used the Media to Sell the Iraq War and Out a Spy, provided a primer on the CIA Leak case surrounding Valerie Plame and her husband, Joe Wilson. She publishes at various outlets including the Guardian, Salon and the Progressive. Wheeler won the 2009 the Hillman Award for blog journalism.

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