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Michael Ramirez: Loose Lips
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LOOSE LIPS by Michael Ramirez, June 18, 2023
Airman Jack Teixeria was indicted by a federal Grand Jury on Thursday on six counts of retaining and disseminating sensitive national defense information.
You may remember the story.
Jack was a 21-year-old airman in the 102nd intelligence Wing of the Air Massachusetts National Guard, who was arrested in April for allegedly removing and divulging classified Pentagon documents from Otis Air National Guard Base.
He was part of the gaming community and a member of an online chat group called “Thug Shaker Central” on Discord. Jack had been bragging about his access to classified material. At one point, he stated he couldn’t believe people actually trusted him with top secret material.
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He allegedly used his access to the material to impress his friends and began releasing, at first, transcriptions of documents and printouts he had read, and later, dozens of pictures of classified documents.
The New York Times reported the leak after having discovered them on several Russian Telegram Channels. All paths led back to Jack.
The sad thing is, he had been warned repeatedly about looking at intelligence. Jack was a cyber transport systems journeyman. His job was merely to keep the Air Force global communications network in his sector operational.
He had been warned several times about accessing classified material.
A memo in September of 2022 stated that he had been observed taking notes on classified material and putting it in his pocket. He was subsequently told not to take notes on any classified material.
A second infraction occurred during a briefing when he asked “very specific questions” during a weekly intelligence briefing. That prompted officials to inquire if he had been accessing the Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System (JWICS).
Coupled with the previous observation, that should have raised red flags.
The third incident occurred in January of 2023 when he was observed on a JWICS machine viewing intelligence that was unrelated to his job. Later, a trove of documents was discovered “lying around” on the internet.
Some people just don’t get it.
When Jack was discovered the first time, he received a warning. All he had to do was follow instructions. Instead, he purportedly continued his reckless behavior of inappropriately accessing and divulging classified material.
There is a reason why classified material must be handled with great care. Not only is the information itself important, but it may also reveal how the material was collected, who collected it, and where it was collected. The information itself could jeopardize current and future operations and personnel.
These actions are serious enough to be called deliberate criminal acts, with each charge carrying a sentence of up to ten years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 apiece.
In 2016, a 22-year-old U.S. sailor was sentenced to one year in prison for taking six photos in a nuclear submarine to show his family “what he did in the Navy.”
Access to intelligence information is done carefully, incrementally over many years. Agents and personnel risk their lives and the lives of their families to gather the intelligence. There have been many instances where information divulged has resulted in the exposure of covert operations, the termination of resourcing channels, and the imprisonment and death of covert operatives.
Just recently, traitor and former FBI agent Robert Hanssen died in prison. Hanssen was serving a life sentence without parole for divulging information on U.S. counterintelligence operations, U.S. nuclear war preparations, and intelligence gathering in the Soviet embassy in Washington D.C.
The cost of his betrayal was $1.4 million in diamonds and cash.
The price paid was the life of Soviet General Dmitri Polyakov and at least two other soviet officers working for U.S. intelligence.
Jack Teixeira was arrested in April and charged under the Espionage Act.
Jack Teixeira is being held in prison while he awaits trial.
As far as we know, it wasn’t a deliberate act of espionage. He was sharing classified documents merely to impress a bunch of people.
Granted, the documents bore classification markings including ‘SECRET,’ ‘TOP SECRET,’ and SCI designations, but Jack was just showing off.
Who could possibly be that reckless and stupid?
Whether you are showing off or committing espionage, the consequences are grave. At least he didn’t leave the documents in a bathroom, ballroom or shower.
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