This article has been updated.

A much darker picture has emerged of the 21-year-old Air National Guardsman whistleblower Jack Teixeira: that of a disturbed young man on the brink of mass murder, who wrote that he wanted to “kill a [expletive]-ton of people” as an act of “culling the weak-minded.”

According to reporting by the Boston Globe,

Before his arrest, Jack D. Teixeira, the Massachusetts Air National Guardsman accused of leaking secret intelligence documents, slept beside a locker full of handguns and “high-capacity” rifles, fantasized online about shooting people and used his security clearance to search classified information on notorious mass shootings in the United States, according to new court records filed Wednesday.

The documents also revealed Teixeira was twice denied a gun owner’s permit by his local police department because of potentially threatening remarks he made while in high school, but was granted one in 2020 after he had enlisted, telling Dighton police that he had received a security clearance.

The new revelations, from filings prosecutors submitted to keep Teixiera in custody until trial, paint a picture of a disaffected young man who had receded into a largely online existence, where he spoke openly of violence and bragged about his ability to share state secrets — and get away with it.

These new revelations are fueling the obvious question: How did a young man with a troubled record like this get access to security clearance (and weapons)?

Read the full story here.

April 14th, 2023

Today in a Boston federal court, a 21-year-old Massachusetts Air National Guardsman, Jack Teixeira, will face charges related to the unauthorized removal of classified national defense documents related to the Ukraine war. Teixeira, who belonged to the intelligence division of his Cape Cod-based wing, posted the documents on a small Discord chatroom that he ran — attended largely by a few dozen teenagers — called Thug Shaker Central. 

The details of Teixeira’s case have surprised observers for a number of reasons — beginning with the fact that the Air National Guard has an intelligence division. Even those intimately familiar with this domestic sub-branch of the Army have expressed shock that a low-level staffer like Teixeira had access to sensitive information about a war in eastern Europe. 

“I can’t explain why the Massachusetts Air National Guard’s intelligence wing would have access to the kind of information that has been disclosed,” Juliette Kayyem, a former National Guard adviser to the Massachusetts governor’s office, told The Boston Globe. “Why a 21-year-old in the Air National Guard has access to intelligence about a war that we’re not fighting, and that poses no threat to the homeland, is the question that has to be answered.”

Another important question, argues Matt Taibbi on his Substack publication Racket, is why media outlets accepting framing of the leak as a “deliberate, criminal act” have been happy to accept and even celebrate leaks by highly placed officials in recent years.

“The intelligence community has itself been massively interfering in domestic news using illegal leaks for years,” writes Taibbi. 

Remember the “Why Did Obama Dawdle on Russia’s Hacking?” story by David Ignatius of The Washington Post in January of 2017, outing would-be Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn had been captured in intercepts speaking with a Russian ambassador? That was just the first in a string of leak- or intercept-based news stories that dominated news cycles in the Trump years, involving everything from conclusions of the [Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act] court to supposedly secret meetings in the Seychelles.

When civilians or whistleblowers like Edward Snowden, Julian Assange (in jail for an incredible four years now), Reality Winner and now the “Discord Leaker” bring leaked information to the public, the immediate threat is Espionage Act charges and decades of jail time. When a CIA head or a top FBI official does it, it’s just news. In fact, officials talk openly about using “strategic leaks” as a public relations staple.

Read the full public post here

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