Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Air Force watchdog finds Jack Teixeira’s unit failed to take action to stop Pentagon leak

Suspect arested in April after classified information was posted in Discord channel

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Monday 11 December 2023 19:26 GMT
Related video: Pentagon leaks: Merrick Garland says Jack Teixeira was arrested ‘without incident’

The Air Force has disciplined 15 members after a watchdog found that alleged Pentagon leaker Jack Teixeira’s unit “enabled” him by failing to take action on at least four occasions.

The Air Force inspector general stated in a report that although the service views Guardsman Teixeira as solely responsible for the alleged leaks, members of the Massachusetts-based unit did not properly supervise his access to classified information.

The Air Force says the Air National Guard has now taken action against the individuals for “dereliction in the performance of duties” following the report’s publication on Monday.

The probe states that although none of his supervisors were aware he was posting classified information, they did witness acts by Guardsman Teixeira that should have been reported between July 2022 and January 2023.

The report also concluded that several members of the 102nd Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group, had failed to report the incidents because they feared security officials might “overreact.”

“Had any of these members come forward, security officials would likely have facilitated restricting systems/facility access and alerted the appropriate authorities, reducing the length and depth of the unauthorized and unlawful disclosures by several months,” the report stated.

Among the 15 individuals punished is Colonel Sean Riley, the ex-commander of the 102nd Intelligence Wing, who has been relieved of his command for cause.

“Every Airman and Guardian is entrusted with the solemn duty to safeguard our nation’s classified defense information. When there is a breach of that sacred trust, for any reason, we will act in accordance with our laws and policies to hold responsible individuals accountable,” Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall said in a statement.

“Our national security demands leaders at every level protect critical assets, ensuring they do not fall into the hands of those who would do the United States or our allies and partners harm.”

Punishments ranged from removing personnel from their position to non-judicial punishment under Article 15 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Guardsman Teixeira was a “cyber defense operations journeyman” helping the unit with its tech requirements and had top secret security clearance.

The Air Force says that he started posting the text of classified documents in a Discord channel in February 2022, but was not identified as the leaker until April 2023.

He was arrested on 13 April and has been indicted on six charges of unauthorized disclosure after dozens of printed classified documents appeared online.

He has pleaded not guilty to the charges, brought against him by the Department of Justice. He remains behind bars and is still awaiting a trial date.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in