Why Leakers Rarely Do Time: The Legal Case


It sounds like a tough law, but hardly anyone gets charged under the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. In fact, only one person is known to have been successfully prosecuted under the statute since Congress passed it in 1982 to shut down serial leakers like Philip Agee, a renegade ex--CIA operative who routinely unmasked spies in the 1970s. It is rarely invoked, in part because it was designed to stem not the epidemic of Washington security leaks but a specific and pernicious act: the deliberate revelation of a covert agent's identity.

The law is also seldom applied because it sets such...

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