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Tipsheet

The Lingering Issue About the Pentagon Leaker

AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File

For days when this was the media's focus, the Pentagon leaker’s social media activity was the primary action item. It’s simple: he posted stuff about guns and memes, some of which were racist. You can see where the liberal press would go with this background information. 

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This morning, we learned that the leaker, Jake Teixeira, had a history of violent and racist outbursts. Federal agents arrested Teixeira on April 13 for leaking classified information about the Pentagon’s ongoing intelligence-gathering operations in Ukraine, specifically our penetration into the Kremlin war machine. There were also briefs about how we’re spying on our allies. It’s an embarrassing situation for the Biden administration, made worse because Pentagon officials didn’t know these sensitive materials were disclosed for weeks.

Teixeira posted the briefs on Discord, where his online gaming friends could view the material. Yet, while the racist outburst revelation might have some rehashing of the ‘white nationalist’ military infiltration narrative, which has no merit, it does highlight the ongoing mysteries about Mr. Teixeira’s security clearance. We’ve noted before how 1.25 million Americans have such clearances and that leaks are common and should be expected in the digital age. But our friends at RedState added that Teixeira’s security clearance was unlikely to grant him access to the materials he made public; he’s a low-level Air National Guardsman from Massachusetts: 

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Despite working in information technology within an intelligence wing of the Air Force, Massachusetts Air National Guardsman Jack Teixeira would not have legally had access to the classified information he’s accused of leaking on a Discord server, former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Kash Patel said… 

[…]

Some have argued that since Teixeira worked on the computer systems within a SCIF he would have had access to these documents and that perhaps the intelligence wing he supported possessed the work product of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Presidential Daily Brief. Patel says, no way:

“This is crazy sensitive stuff,” he said. “Ninety-nine percent of people who have a Top Secret/SCI clearance don’t have access to this information. And me, as the former deputy DNI and chief of staff of the DOD and publisher of the [Presidential Daily Brief], with the highest security classification, knows that, literally, there is not a lot of people in the U.S. that have access to this kind of intel. It’s done for a reason. So this doesn’t happen.”

“The amount of intelligence they got…Somebody’s giving them that type of documentation. It’s just not readily available,” he said about the reporting. “Where did they get that from? That doesn’t come from anyone who doesn’t have direct access at the end in the United States.” 

As Patel said, in addition to the classification level and the “need to know” basis, there’s also the compartmentalization of information. While silo-ing of information within a corporate structure is a bad thing, within military intelligence it is vital. 

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Jennifer Van Laar, who penned the piece, cited several other outlets, including ABC News, highlighting that Teixeira’s classification did not rise to ‘need to know.’ Does the Pentagon need to do another hunt for a leaker?

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