Classified documents leaker, Airman First Class Jack Teixeira, was arraigned and charged on Friday morning with retention of defense information and willful control of classified documents.
The 21-year-old Massachusetts Air National Guardsman faces up to 15 years in prison.
When news broke that classified information was shared online that could compromise national and international security, it read like something out of a Tom Clancy novel.
Unfortunately, there is nothing fictitious about the security breach.
That hasn’t stopped high-profile Republicans from jumping to Teixeira’s defense.
Unsurprisingly those on the right have seized the opportunity to politicize and weaponize Teixeira’s arrest to push their anti-Biden agenda.
“Jake Teixeira is white, male, Christian, and anti-war,” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) tweeted on Thursday evening. “That makes him an enemy to the Biden regime.”
No Marge, sharing top secret government materials with dozens online makes Teixeira an enemy to the United States – and his name is Jack, not Jake.
“Ask yourself who is the real enemy? A young low level national guardsman? Or the administration that is waging war in Ukraine, a non-NATO nation, against nuclear Russia without war powers?” – Rep. Greene
Jake Teixeira is white, male, christian, and antiwar.
That makes him an enemy to the Biden regime.
And he told the truth about troops being on the ground in Ukraine and a lot more.
Ask yourself who is the real enemy?
A young low level national guardsmen?
— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene🇺🇸 (@RepMTG) April 13, 2023
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) was having none of it.
“I’m sorry, Marge, being white, male, and Christian is not license to betray your country and put the lives of thousands at risk,” he said. “But this wouldn’t be the first time she sided with traitors.”
Fox News host – and Putin stan – Tucker Carlson did what he does best and used his platform to accuse the federal government of treating Teixeira “worse than Osama bin Laden.”
“Tonight, the news media are celebrating the capture of the kid who told Americans what’s actually happening in Ukraine,” Tucker said.
Carlson conveniently leaves out that in 2017, he said the exact opposite after reports that whistleblower – former U.S. Air Force Senior Airman, and NSA translator, Reality Winner –leaked classified information about Russian hackers.
Saying that Winner’s actions were “a felony by the way.”
Heros: Assange, Snowden, Teixeira
Criminal: Reality Winner
🚩 Tucker Carlson https://t.co/XilscVNpg9
— Justice (@Loveon999) April 14, 2023
Right-wing pundits and sycophants are trying to paint the disgraced national guardsman as an Edward Snowden-type whistleblower, despite Teixeira and other members of Thug Shaker Central contradicting those statements.
Teixeira reportedly told the gamers not to share the information outside of the group – but everyone didn’t follow the direction.
A teenager in the group allegedly posted information on a public server.
It spiraled from there, putting O.G. aka “Jack the Dripper” on the feds’ radar.
According to Carlson, Teixeira’s arrest was retaliation for “exposing” an illegal U.S. presence in Ukraine.”
Not true – but when it comes to facts, Republicans don’t let the truth get in the way of their gaslighting.
According to federal authorities, Teixeira leaked highly sensitive documents revealing key intelligence about Russia and the war in Ukraine – including what is considered to be strategic location information of those fighting in the war-torn country – in the social media chat app, Discord.
The New York Times was present before, and during, the arrest of the cyber transport systems specialist.
Federal authorities swarmed Teixeira’s family home in North Dighton, Mass., which he shares with his mother and step-father, Dawn and Thomas Dufault.
“He needs to get an attorney if things are flowing the way they are going right now,” Mr. Dufault told the Times when asked to speak with Teixeira. “The feds will be around soon, I’m sure.”
He was right.
A few short hours later, their home would be crawling with federal law enforcement.
A cyber transport systems specialist, Teixeira was identified as O.G. on the Thug Shaker Central Discord server where, in an effort to impress members of the group, he posted copies of U.S. surveillance and intelligence information, putting the U.S. government in a compromising position as it tries to mitigate the damage.
Revelations that the United States is spying on its allies sent a ripple effect as the Pentagon and top intelligence agencies scrambled to find the source.
Teixeira didn’t enter a plea on Friday and will remain in custody pending a hearing Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.
Original reporting by David Gilbert at Vice News, Devlin Barrett, and John Wagner at The Washington Post, Haley Willis, Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Aric Toler, Christiaan Triebert, Julian E. Barnes, and Malachy Browne at The New York Times.
Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick