Suspected Ukraine classified docs leaker appears in court as questions of information security abound

by Jacob Fuller

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News

Friday marked the first day in court for the 21-year-old Air National Guardsmen federal authorities have accused of leaking classified information to his online gaming colleagues.

It’s a criminal proceeding that has led to questions from Republicans and Democrats about how the military protects national secrets.

Jack Douglas Teixeira of North Dighton, Massachusetts, who was arrested at his home Thursday, appeared before a federal judge Friday.

In a brief proceeding, Teixeira confirmed that he understood his Fifth Amendment rights and was appointed a federal public defender.

Federal prosecutor Nadine Pellegrini moved that Teixeira be detained until his trial and the judge scheduled a Wednesday hearing to address that request.

Teixeira is accused of leaking scores of classified documents about the war in Ukraine as well as the United States’ efforts to gather intelligence on some of its allies. Concurrently, the FBI alleges, Teixeira used his government computer to search for classified intelligence reporting for the word “leak.”

According to a USA Today report, the FBI identified Teixeira with the help of Discord, the gaming-centric social media platform on which Teixeira engaged with a small group of friends and allegedly shared the classified information.


Although Teixeira is in custody and efforts have been made by military intelligence to prevent similar leaks, the entire episode has left people in all corners of the political spectrum with a bevy of questions.

At the surface level, Democrats, Republicans, and journalists have questioned how a low-ranking Air National Guardsman, even one with top-secret clearance, could access so much high-level information, copy it, and then disseminate the copies on the internet without being noticed for at least several weeks.

“I just don’t know why he should be able to print lots of documents. That makes no sense,” The Washington Post quoted a former senior intelligence official as saying. “What were we not doing, not noticing that pattern of behavior? Who’s not checking that? Where’s the human monitoring?”

Kash Patel, a former deputy director of national security under President Donald Trump, told Breitbart he believes Teixeira could not have worked alone.

“You can be the biggest IT person in [the Department of Defense], and you are still compartmented off of the actual information,” Patel said Saturday. “Almost never does an IT person need to know, as we say, the substance of the intelligence. Their job is to provide the secure information systems around it to protect any disclosures.”

Patel added, “This is crazy sensitive stuff. Ninety-nine percent of people who have a Top Secret/SCI clearance don’t have access to this information.”

There has been no accusation from the FBI or any federal agency that Teixeira had any compatriots.


The New York Times and Washington Post exerted as much effort as the federal government to uncover the identity of the accused leaker, and the overwhelming spirit of questioning by journalists with access to the White House or Department of Defense has been one centered on discovering what failures led to the leak.

Glenn Greenwald — a liberal journalist who was once revered on the left for his investigation into alleged corruption in the government of former Brazilian President Jaire Bolsonaro and heading The Guardian team that won a Pulitzer Prize for its pieces about the NSA — raised a different question: Why are so many journalists so turned off by a leak?

“Literally every day, major media corporations (NYT, WPost, NBC, CNN) publish leaks of classified information from anonymous officials,” Greenwald tweeted Saturday. “What’s the difference between them and Jack Teixeira? The media outlets are publishing what the Govt orders them [to] say.”

Greenwald, who was an early skeptic of Russiagate, took exception to both the New York Times and Washington Post vilifying Teixeira while also “having a party with the docs, publishing one ‘EXCLUSIVE’ after the next as if they bravely ‘obtained’ them.”

Numerous pundits, among them Greenwald, have speculated that the New York Times and Washington Post worked in collaboration with U.S. intelligence agencies, or at least sought to help the agencies — to discover Teixeira’s identity.

FISM News has seen no concrete evidence that this occurred. It is possible that journalists and federal authorities, both of whom have expertise in and access to social media, could have arrived at the same conclusion absent the other.

However, it does seem strange for journalists to be the ones dead set on uncovering the identity of a leaker.

In a since-deleted tweet, New York Times military reporter David Phillips wrote, “The NYT worked feverishly to find the identity of the guy leaking TS docs on Discord. Ironically, if the same guy had leaked to the NYT, we’d be working feverishly to conceal it.”

The debate is largely philosophical. Even if the New York Times and other media outlets had not sought Teixeira’s identity, the FBI would have shared it anyway, and at approximately the same time.

While it is considered an ethical imperative that journalists protect the identity of their own anonymous sources, no such standard exists for protecting the identity of someone else’s source, especially given that Teixeira was not actually anyone’s source. He effectively leaked his information to everyone and no one in particular at the same time.


Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) drew heat from the left and elements of the Republican Party for expressing sympathy toward Teixeira.

“Jack Teixeira is white, male, Christian, and antiwar. That makes him an enemy to the Biden regime,” Greene tweeted. “And he told the truth about troops being on the ground in Ukraine and a lot more. Ask yourself who is the real enemy?”

The Georgia congresswoman also questioned why federal authorities could so quickly identify Teixeira but have made no progress in determining who leaked a draft of the Dobbs decision prior to the Supreme Court issuing its ruling.

“They couldn’t find the Supreme Court leaker who put Supreme Court Justices lives in danger, but magically, they can find 21-year-old low-level National Guardsman ‘responsible’ for exposing the truth about Ukraine,” Greene tweeted Thursday.

Sunday, on ABC’s “This Week,” Sen. Lindsey Graham blasted Greene as irresponsible.

“The ability for America to gather intelligence from human resources on the ground has been compromised,” Graham said. “There is no justification for this. And for any member of Congress to suggest it’s OK to leak classified information because you agree with the cause is terribly irresponsible and puts America in serious danger.”

Former CIA Director John Brennan, who appeared on MSNBC, said Greene was unfit for office.