Air Force Punished 15 People Over Leak

Inspector general says multiple security failures led to alleged Jack Teixeria leak
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 11, 2023 2:15 PM CST
Air Force Punished 15 People Over Leak
This image contained in a Justice Department motion for continued pretrial detention of Jack Teixeira, shows electronic items recovered from a dumpster at his mother and stepfather's home in North Dighton, Massachusetts.   (Justice Department via AP, File)

The massive classified documents leak by an Air Force service member earlier this year was made worse by the intentional failure of multiple officials to take required action on his suspicious behavior, the Air Force inspector general reported Monday. Massachusetts Air National Guard member Jack Teixeira is accused of leaking highly classified military documents on the social media platform Discord. In its investigation of the leaks, the Air Force inspector general found both security gaps where personnel had access to classified documents without supervision and instances in which Airman 1st Class Teixeira was caught violating security policies but none of the personnel who caught him took the actions necessary in response, the AP reports.

"Based on the preponderance of the evidence gathered during the investigation, three individuals in the unit who understood their duty to report specific information regarding A1C Teixeira's intelligence-seeking and insider threat indicators to security officials, intentionally failed to do so," the inspector general found. In response, the Air Force said it took action against 15 people, ranging from relieving personnel from their positions, including command positions, to non-judicial punishment under Article 15 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Teixeira, 21, has been behind bars since his April arrest on charges stemming from the most consequential intelligence leak in years. He is charged under the Espionage Act with unauthorized retention and transmission of classified national defense information. He has pleaded not guilty, and no trial date has been set. Teixeira worked as a cyber transport systems specialist, essentially an information technology specialist responsible for military communications networks. As such, Teixeira was part of a three-person crew that had unsupervised access at night to an open storage Top Secret-Secret Compartmentalized facility to perform maintenance inspections.

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"At times, members were required to perform preventive maintenance inspections and other tasks, which required individuals to be on their own for hours, unsupervised in other parts of the facility," the IG found. "Further, no permission controls were in place to monitor print jobs, and there were no business rules for print products. Any night shift member had ample opportunity to access (classified) sites and print a high volume of products without supervision or detection."

(More Jack Teixeira stories.)

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