Anyone can make a mistake. But this could be a big one – and, if it happened, it may not have been a mistake.
Retired Marine general James “Hoss” Cartwright is under investigation for leaking word to the New York Times in 2012 of the Stuxnet computer virus that bollixed up Iran’s nuclear centrifuges, according to NBC and the Washington Post.
The New York Times – no surprise – was scooped, and declined comment (in this coy, sans-byline piece), as did the various law enforcement agencies involved and Cartwright’s lawyer. Cartwright is reported to be a “target” in the investigation, meaning there is evidence linking him to wrongdoing.
Cartwright was the nation’s No. 2 military officer from 2007 to 2011, and was deeply involved in cyber-warfare efforts while there, and in his previous assignment as chief of U.S. Strategic Command, which oversees cyberwar for the U.S. military.
Shortly before retiring, he said the Pentagon’s emphasis on defensive cyber-security needed to become more offensive in nature. A new U.S. cyber-warfare strategy “will have to start to talk about here’s a strategy that says to the attacker, ‘If you do this, the price to you is going to go up,’” he said.