Pentagon classified documents leaked


Jamie Chaney, News Writer

In connection with the recent leaks of classified documents from the Pentagon, 21-year-old, Air Force IT specialist, Jack Teixeira was arrested at his Massachusetts home on April 13.

According to Netherlands-based journalism and fact-checking group, Bellingcat, the leaks began as far back as October 2022 in a Discord server for the YouTuber Oxide. A server administrator with the username OG, now all but confirmed through a trail of digital evidence to be Teixeira, would post relevant, classified documents in the servers channel for discussing the conflict in Ukraine.

Following a series of bannings, the activity moved over to another Discord server in which Teixeira would regularly share documents he had brought home. From there, others would post the leaks to sites like 4chan, and then from there, Russian and Ukrainian news sites would begin reporting on them.

Since being widely exposed to the public, the documents have been widely circulated on various social media platforms. Twitter is the most notable of these platforms as Elon Musk suggested they would not be taken down on the site, referencing the Streisand Effect, which means that taking down the leaks would only draw more attention to them, increasing viewing and sharing of them.

The actual contents of the documents are mostly known to contain information gathered by U.S. intelligence on the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The documents contain estimated casualty rates for both sides in specific regions, comments about logistical issues on both sides and concerns about Ukraine’s anti-air systems. When reported on various news stations in both countries, the casualty numbers appear altered from the original document.

Information about various other countries spied on was also contained in the leaks. These countries include China, Egypt, Iran, Serbia, South Korea, Israel, Taiwan, Turkey, Canada, Haiti, and the United Arab Emirates at the time of writing. Most of these are related to various actions by Russian groups in these countries, or criminal groups within those countries.

In the case of China and Taiwan, the reports mainly focus on the ability of Taiwan to withstand a Chinese invasion. The reports note inadequacies with Taiwan and U.S. missile defense systems, as well as China’s advantage in establishing air superiority over Taiwan.

In the wake of the leaks, multiple claims within the documents have been refuted by the concerned parties, but the true answer will likely remain unknown. Teixeira now faces up to 15 years in prison for violating two sections of the Espionage Act of 1917, and members of Congress at every level are scrambling to find how such a low-ranking member of the armed service could even have the chance to create the biggest leak in U.S. history.