America Embarrassed by Reservist Who Leaked Pentagon Papers: Who Has Access to Secret Information? | Abroad

America Embarrassed by Reservist Who Leaked Pentagon Papers: Who Has Access to Secret Information?  |  Abroad

With videoJack Teixeira’s arrest has raised questions in the United States. How is it possible for a 21-year-old Massachusetts reservationist to have access to classified documents?

Bob Van Hood

Latest update:

Teixeira, who worked as an “information technology specialist,” will appear in federal court in Boston today. The FBI arrested him yesterday at his parents’ home in North Titan, Massachusetts, about 75 miles from the Otis Air National Guard base (a military training facility) where he worked. Coincidentally, Teixeira was arrested only after US journalists revealed all about him in an investigation into leaks of classified documents.

next day The Washington Post And The New York Times After clarifying how classified documents including Ukrainian air defense ended up on social media, the ‘OG’, as Teixeira called himself online, was arrested. US media have compared the scandal to the infamous Snowden files of 2013, when Edward Snowden, an employee of the National Security Agency (NSA), made public a number of classified documents. That had consequences: Angela Merkel, among other things, learned she was being tapped because the Americans were spying on several Western allies.

US reservist Jack Teixeira leaked classified documents from the Pentagon. ©AFP

Mind Ft

Despite what Teixeira’s documents reveal, it is surprising how many people in many US services openly access these classified documents. Why can a rookie like Jack Teixeira see how Ukraine’s air defense is organized? Very dangerous. Another thing the U.S. Secret Service is now grappling with: How could Teixeira remove classified material from an undoubtedly secure site? Later it is reported that he is a handsome honest boy from a religious patriotic family. Not about an experienced Russian spy.

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‘A lot of people can read that kind of piece’, reports The New York Times Today: From National Guard members at bases in Massachusetts and generals at NATO headquarters in Brussels to U.S. officials around the world. ‘ so calledTop secretIn practice, the degree of approval appears to be accessible to a significant number of eyes. “It allows them to see US intelligence through the eyes of secure Pentagon and other intelligence sites, daily intelligence briefings, situational maps and detailed analysis of the state of the world.”

Jack Teixeira was taken in a T-shirt and red shorts;  Today he must avoid.
Jack Teixeira was taken in a T-shirt and red shorts; Today he must avoid. © AB

Among US military personnel with “top secret clearances” are approximately 600 US generals, their military aides, several colonels working in the Pentagon, naval captains, various junior officers and even, in ‘Airman Teixeira’s’ case, trainees. Officials at the Pentagon, the U.S. Department of Defense, estimate the number of recipients of classified documents to be in the tens of thousands. Even analysts from non-military think tanks are said to have some degree of “security clearance”.

The main secret

The question is whether the term ‘top secret’ is really secret and whether the national security services have allowed their sensitive material to move too far. The New York Times. Teixeira’s arrest will certainly have consequences for him. A slightly overzealous gamer will probably receive a severe punishment, and a warning of what awaits those who mishandle confidential information.

FBI agents at the door of Jack Teixeira's home.
FBI agents at the door of Jack Teixeira’s home. © AB

Teixeira, 21, was arrested under the Espionage Act and faces up to 10 years in prison on each count. So that could put him behind bars for decades. US Navy SEAL Jonathan Tobe was sentenced last year to 19 years in prison for trying (but failing) to sell foreign secrets classified at the lowest secret level. Some military officials supported the practice of granting security clearance to soldiers regardless of age. “When one is old enough to die for their country, they are old enough to be entrusted with its secrets,” the argument goes.

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Actions were taken at the time after the leaks by Edward Snowden, but they were apparently not followed up enough. After the Snowden case, it was made harder for employees of the services to digitally copy classified material to control breaches of intelligence. In the case of OG, the documents appear to have been printed and removed from confidential files.

Hours after Teixeira’s arrest, Defense Department Undersecretary Kathleen Hicks sent a memo reiterating the rules for handling classified material. “Individuals who have access to classified information are fiduciary stewards of that information and the responsibility to protect classified information is a lifelong requirement of any individual granted a security clearance.”

President Biden insists the spill is painful, but its consequences should not be overstated.

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