Loose Twits Sink Ships: Taking the Intelligence out of Military Intelligence
From America's Premier Editorial Cartoonist
The most sophisticated advanced defense can be defeated if you can't keep a secret. by Michael P. Ramirez, April 16, 2023
The Biden administration has taken the intelligence out of military intelligence.
On Friday, the FBI arrested 21-year-old Air National Guardsman, Jack Teixeira for leaking classified documents. According to the charging document, the first of these was leaked to a social media site that was revealed to be a closed Discord server in December of 2022.
In February, 107 images were shared, followed by more documents posted in March and the subsequent distribution of the material on other servers. ABC News reviewed 38 images at the beginning of March. The New York Times confirmed the existence of classified material on April 6th.
According to the charging documents, the FBI finally interviewed a member of the online platform on April 10th.
Two days later, the Washington Post published an interview with a friend of the leaker, stating it had reviewed 300 documents. According to a CNN story, the friend indicated that these were a “near-verbatim transcription of classified documents that OG (Teixeira) indicated he had brought home from his job on a ‘military base.’” Because of fear of being caught at work transcribing the documents, the accused leaker then took them home and photographed them.
Immediately, a series of questions come to mind…
Don’t miss out! Subscribe for free, or with a paid subscription, enjoy early access to Michael’s editorials like this each Sunday, along with daily exclusive sketches, access to the full archive, discounts, and more.
How did an Airman First Class get access to such a wide variety of highly sensitive material? Was he working in the Biden vice-presidential office at the Penn Biden Center or did he have a side job at Mar-A-Lago?
How were these documents allowed to be copied by low-ranking military personnel and taken home? Does anyone in the Department of Defense remember Chelsea Manning?
Why did it take so long to discover the leak and isolate the classified material? Were they launched on Chinese weather balloons?
And why was it the press and not the FBI or government/military counterintelligence agencies who made the discovery of these leaks? Was the DOJ too focused on disgruntled parents from PTA meetings to notice?
This breach appears to be the stupid act of an immature braggart who opposed the war in Ukraine and wanted to impress a bunch of guys on the Discord server. We don’t know the full extent of the damage. Many of our allies have recently raised concerns about the sharing of intelligence material and how secure US intelligence information may be.
I don’t blame them.
This administration already has a poor performance record when it comes to intelligence, or the lack of, and the acuity of the Pentagon brass… The bungled withdrawal in Afghanistan, the bungled review of the bungled withdrawal of Afghanistan, the Chinese Spy Balloon caper or, as the streaming movie will be called, “Around the World in Seven Days” - ironically, the leaks revealed four more spy balloon incursions, and now this.
The January 28th Chinese weather balloon debacle demonstrated a serious lack of judgment by our senior defense officials. The balloon was allowed to float across the United States for seven days. The administration wanted to wait until it was in “open space” before they shot it down. They assured Americans that they could block any intelligence gathering.
As we found out, the administration finally admitted that the balloon gathered intelligence, collecting electronic signals as it flew figure eights and multiple passes over sensitive military installations.
As I stated in one of my cartoons, they should have positioned Secretary Defense Lloyd Austin’s head below the balloon as soon as it entered US airspace. You can’t find more open space than that.
The discovery of classified material in unsecured areas in Biden’s possession, and at Mar-A-Lago only reinforces our inability to keep track of and guard our nation’s secrets.
And there are plenty of examples of the cavalier handling of classified material during the Trump administration.
In April 2017, President Trump revealed the location of two nuclear submarines in a phone call to Philippine President Duterte.
The following month, President Trump discussed classified information with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak that revealed which nation was behind the intelligence and the manner in which it was collected.
In July of that year, U.S. intelligence officials suspected that Trump may have improperly revealed more classified material during a private meeting with Putin but he took the extraordinary step of confiscating his interpreter’s notes.
In October 2018, Trump tweeted a video of members of Seal Team Five while visiting Al Asad Airbase, revealing the team’s location and faces.
In August 2019 Trump tweeted a classified image of damage that resulted from an explosion at the Imam Khomeini spaceport that revealed highly classified U.S. surveillance capabilities.
While these revelations may seem inconsequential, they can have significant corollary repercussions to intelligence gathering, the sharing of information with allies, and our national security.
Even while I was visiting our troops with the USO, we were cautioned that we could not share pictures or our location during our tour, or reveal sensitive information or personnel.
There needs to be a better system of accountability for guarding our nation’s secrets, a better system to safeguard them, a better system to track them, and a better system to select who has access to this material.
Even the most advanced and sophisticated defense can be defeated, if secrets cannot be kept. Loose lips and loose twits sink ships.
Finding someone you can trust who will implement the necessary reforms should be part of the equation in weighing our choices in 2024.
There are many good choices. President Biden isn’t one of them… and that’s no big secret.
Have a great week,
Latest Essays by Michael:
George Santos and Mexico's President Obrador Have a Lot in Common
Visit the T-Shirt Store, Michael P. Ramirez Store (for special request art prints please write to: email@example.com) Original Website: michaelpramirez.com Ver Animados en Español AQUI
Click on mylvrj.com/ramirez to enjoy two months of the Review-Journal for just 99 cents.
Just wanted you to know that I think you are a talented genius!
I agree, we need to protect our national secrets, much better, but at the same time, when they are outright, deceiving and lying to the American people for their own ends, that is also very problematic.