21-year-old National Guard airman arrested over leaked Pentagon documents
21-year-old Jack Douglas Teixeira of the United States Air Force National Guard has been arrested and charged for his involvement in the Pentagon leak. The airman has been charged with two counts under the Espionage Act and the government is seeking 10 years on each charge.
The leaked documents are said to contain classified information on the US and NATO involvement in the war between Russia and Ukraine. The documents also contain information on China and its allies including discussions by top Jordanian officials on possible Chinese retaliation over the Huawei ban.
According to reports, Teixeira posted the documents to his private Discord server in an attempt to impress the members of the group. The documents were then shared outside the group by another member and that’s how they ended up in the public domain.
However, the involved authorities are convinced it was a deliberate act by the airman.
“The Pentagon has stringent guidelines in place for safeguarding classified and sensitive information. This was a deliberate criminal act, a violation of those guidelines,” said Air Force Brigadier General Pat Ryder.
The attorney general, Merrick Garland wants the Air Guardsman to be made an example of. “People who sign agreements to be able to receive classified documents acknowledge the importance to the national security of not disclosing those documents, and we intend to send that message of how important it is to our national security,” he said.
US President Biden has also commented on the issue but downplayed the consequences of the leak to the US and its allies. “I'm not concerned about the leak. I'm concerned that it happened, but there's nothing contemporaneous that I'm aware of that is of any consequence,” the president said. The president also said that steps were underway to control access to classified information.
“While we are still determining the validity of those documents, I have directed our military and intelligence community to take steps to further secure and limit distribution of sensitive information, and our national security team is closely coordinating with our partners and allies,” he said.
The document’s legitimacy has been in question ever since they were leaked with experts believing they may have been to, among other things, overstate supposed American estimates of Ukrainians killed, and understating Russian deaths.
Teixeira is expected to enter into a plea during his next hearing which will be heard by US Judge, David Hennessy.