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Government’s AP spying led to ex-FBI agent leaker

When news broke Monday that a former FBI agent, Donald Sachtleben, had agreed to plead guilty to leaking government information about a foiled bomb plot in Yemen, it was evident that the story would prove multi-faceted.

As of Tuesday, federal investigators confirmed that Sachtleben was traced as a suspect through the Justice Department's mass spying on AP reporters' phone records. The AP spying scandal, which came to light in May, sparked outrage among defenders of press freedom and became the first in a series of disconcerting revelations, highlighting this government's scant regard for constitutionally inscribed media protections.

The DOJ is already using Sachtleben's plea as evidence of its commitment to upholding the duty of governmental office. Ronald C. Machen Jr., the United States attorney for the District of Columbia announced: “This prosecution demonstrates our deep resolve to hold accountable anyone who would violate their solemn duty to protect our nation’s secrets, and to prevent future, potentially devastating leaks by those who would wantonly ignore their obligations to safeguard classified information.”

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