Ex-US official gets probation in leaking case

AP News
Posted: Jul 15, 2011 4:37 PM
Ex-US official gets probation in leaking case

A federal judge has sentenced a former senior spy agency official who leaked information to the media to a year of probation, a move that could spell trouble for the Obama Administration's crackdown on leakers.

Fifty-four-year-old Thomas Drake has said he gave The Baltimore Sun information about alleged mismanagement inside the National Security Agency, which gathers electronic intelligence. But he denied giving away secrets.

Drake was indicted on felony espionage charges that could have sent him to prison for the rest of his life. But the case fell apart in June, and he pleaded guilty to a minor charge in a plea deal.

The administration is still pursuing similar charges against others, but whistleblower groups say officials accused of leaking to the media should not be treated like spies.