CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A federal judge on Thursday sentenced David H. Petraeus, a former C.I.A. director and the highest-profile general from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, to two years’ probation for providing classified information to a woman with whom he was having an affair.
Mr. Petraeus was also fined $100,000, more than double the amount the Justice Department had requested.
The sentencing was a disappointing one for F.B.I. officials, who believed that Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. had given Mr. Petraeus preferential treatment by allowing him to plead guilty to a misdemeanor and recommending that he receive probation instead of prison time. Federal judges are not bound by such recommendations, but they almost always follow them.
Although the judge overseeing the case, David C. Keesler of United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, agreed to the probation sentence, he added $60,000 to the government’s suggested fine of $40,000. Judge Keesler did not give an extensive explanation for why he raised the fine, saying it was necessary because of “the seriousness of the offense.”
This case brings about many questions. Had he not been the rising star, would he have even been prosecuted? He breached security with those emails he carelessly let his lady friend have access to. Should he have been tried for more serious crimes involving national security?
Is Petraeus being excessively punished for something that goes on all the time? Isn’t his embarrassment and spiraling descent enough punishment? He has fallen from grace. Shouldn’t that be enough?
Would Eisenhower even have been president if he had been politically active in this post-Watergate environment? He had a lady friend on the side while he was in Europe. The dalliance was fairly well-known. I say no, the press would have gotten hold of it and Eisenhower would have been toast.
What say you?