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Air Force disciplines 15 members over Jack Teixeira’s alleged leak of classified national security documents

The U.S. Air Force on Monday announced an investigation by the inspector general into Jacques Teixeira, a 21-year-old Airman who allegedly leaked national security documents on the social media platform Discord that were exposed earlier this year. It was announced that 15 people had been disciplined. Year.

The inspector general's investigation was separate from the one conducted by the Justice Department that resulted in Teixeira's arrest in April and subsequent indictment in June on six counts of fraudulently disclosing national defense information. Teixeira pleaded not guilty in June but remains in custody awaiting a trial date.

The Department of the Air Force on Monday released a report on the findings of an Air Force Inspector General (IG) finding that members of Teixeira's 102nd Intelligence Group at Otis Air National Guard Base, Massachusetts, “failed to take appropriate action.” After becoming aware of his espionage activities. ”

However, the IG's investigation found no evidence that members of Teixeira's supervisory chain were aware of his alleged fraudulent disclosures. The Air Force said that since September 7, Air National Guard leaders have “initiated disciplinary and other administrative actions against 15 individuals in ranks E-5 through O-6 for dereliction of duty.” Announced.

Defense Department leak suspect Jack Teixeira's lawyer seeks release pending trial

In April, FBI agents arrested Jack Teixeira, a young National Guard soldier, on suspicion of being involved in a major leak of classified U.S. government information. (Stephanie Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images)

Measures taken range from dismissal of personnel, including commanders, to non-judicial punishment under Article 15 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

“All Airmen and Guardians have a solemn duty to protect our Nation's classified defense information. If there is a violation of that sacred trust, for any reason, we will comply with law and policy. We will act accordingly and hold responsible individuals accountable,” Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said in a statement. “Our national security requires leaders at all levels to protect critical assets and keep them out of the hands of those who seek to harm the United States and our allies and partners. ”

Col. Sean Riley, 102nd IW commander, was administratively disciplined and relieved of command for cause, and Col. Enrique Dobarro, 102nd Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Group commander, cited concerns about unit culture and compliance with policies and standards. He received administrative punishment for this reason. The previously suspended commander of the 102nd Intelligence Support Squadron and the detachment that oversees administrative support to airmen for units mobilized for duty under Title 10 of the United States Navy has been permanently relieved. The Air Force announced that.

Teixeira's relatives leave Boston federal courthouse

Relatives of Jack Teixeira leave the John Joseph Mauchly U.S. Courthouse on April 14, 2023 in Boston. (Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

Teixeira was relieved of duty by the 102nd Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group after it was discovered that he was the source of the unauthorized disclosure. The group's missions remain reassigned to other organizations within the Air Force.

Who is Jack Teixeira, the Air National Guard agent behind the leak of classified documents?

According to the IG's report, indirect factors that enabled Teixeira's unauthorized disclosures included commanders' failure to properly inspect areas under their command and inconsistent efforts to report security incidents. guidance, inconsistent definitions of “need-to-know” concepts, and confusing information with access to sensitive systems. “need to know” principles, inefficient and ineffective processes for managing disciplinary actions, lack of oversight/monitoring of night shift operations, and failure to provide security clearance on-site findings.

Leaked image of Pentagon suspect

Jack Teixeira of the Massachusetts National Guard with the Discord logo in an image of the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. (Stephanie Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images)

The Air Force said the IG's investigation found that the 102 IW's leadership did not carefully examine the actions of all individuals under its command.

The IG's investigation found, among other things, that 102 IW leadership “failed to take the necessary steps to fully and effectively carry out its security program responsibilities and did not effectively prioritize the security of the mission at hand.” There was found. The Air Force outlined department-wide security improvements made as a result of the IG's investigation. This includes implementing several reforms to improve procedures related to must-know information and confidential access, as well as improving accountability for the protection of classified and sensitive information.

J.D. Vance speaks to Senate on Pentagon leaks

On April 19, 2023, Republican Sen. J.D. Vance of Ohio arrives at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center for a private briefing by intelligence officials regarding the Discord breach. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

According to the Justice Department's indictment, Teixeira, who joined the Air National Guard in 2019 and has been in possession of top-secret classified information since 2021, has been posting military posts related to the Ukraine-Russia war on the social network Discord since around January. began sharing secrets and other national security secrets. A popular media platform for online gamers.

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Prosecutors allege Teixeira began by typing classified documents and then sharing photos of files marked “confidential” or “top secret.”

Teixeira reportedly served as a “cyber transportation systems specialist,” an IT specialist in charge of military communications networks. The Justice Department has not disclosed a motive.

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