The former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Kash Patel said on Friday that, even though Massachusetts Air National Guardsman Jack Teixeira worked in information technology for an intelligence wing of the Air Force, he would not have been legally able to access classified information he’s being accused of leaking on a Discord server.
Several other methods were described by Patel on Breitbart News as ways for Teixeira to access the information:
Patel said, first, the suspected leaker, Jack Teixeira, would not have had access to the information without someone within the Department of Defense (DOD) or the intelligence community giving it to him, providing it to him, or telling him it should be put out there. “It’s just not possible,” he said.
“You can be the biggest IT person in DOD, and you are still compartmented off of the actual information. Almost never does an IT person need to know, as we say, the substance of the intelligence. Their job is to provide the secure informations systems around it to protect any disclosures.”
ABC News also published a story on Saturday,which,surprisingly,, cited defense officials who echoed the same sentiment that Teixeira’s job description does not equal “need to know.”
Defense officials told ABC News that having a TS-SCI clearance is typical for Air Force personnel who in order to provide IT support might need access to classified spaces, computers and networks so they could do their jobs.
But the fact that you have a clearance does not mean you have access to everything at that level. That access is based on your “need to know” the information for your job.
According to some, Teixeira worked on the computer systems within a SCIF, so he might have had access to these documents, and perhaps the intelligence wing he supported had the President’s Daily Brief and the work product of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). In Patel’s opinion, there is no way:
“This is crazy sensitive stuff,” he said. “Ninety-nine percent of people who have a Top Secret/SCI clearance don’t have access to this information. And me, as the former deputy DNI and chief of staff of the DOD and publisher of the [Presidential Daily Brief], with the highest security classification, knows that, literally, there is not a lot of people in the U.S. that have access to this kind of intel. It’s done for a reason. So this doesn’t happen.”
“The amount of intelligence they got…Somebody’s giving them that type of documentation. It’s just not readily available,” he said about the reporting. “Where did they get that from? That doesn’t come from anyone who doesn’t have direct access at the end in the United States.”
The compartmentalization of information is in addition to the classification level and the “need to know” basis, Patel explained. While siloing information inside a corporation is bad, it plays a vital role within military intelligence.
It’s been suggested recently that Teixeira may not have acted alone:
A possibility that needs to be considered is that Teixeira was given many of the documents by someone else who did have access to them, and who wanted them to be leaked.
Considering the methodical manner in which the leaks occurred, Patel believes that possibility is very likely.
“Whether he’s in IT or not, is irrelevant. The way it was produced, the way it was put out there — pages, printed photographs taken, published online — that is a methodical way of releasing classified information illegally,” he said.
“I think he’s definitely working with other people in DOD or the intel space to get this information out. This is an Assange-style operation. This kid — no offense to him — at 21 years old, cannot put out this five-months, unlawful disclosure of sensitive intelligence,” he said.
Several parts of the government’s complaint against Teixeira have been highlighted by ABC News as problematic given the claim that Teixeira did this for months with no one knowing. As was reported lat week, a number of stories about Teixeira were stealth-edited on both Wednesday and Thurday of last week. According to an article from NBC News, officials had been monitoring Teixeira for some time, before it was changed to say that they were “onto him.” Then that paragraph was deleted in its entirety.
According to the criminal complaint, Teixeira accessed or searched for a variety of documents as evidenced by logging systems.
The criminal complaint provides a description of how investigators used information from an unnamed U.S. government agency that “has access to logs of certain documents” to track how Teixeira allegedly used his clearance in February to look for a specific document that he later posted on a small Discord channel the following day.
Another logging system from another U.S. government agency that “can monitor certain searches conducted on its classified networks” indicated that Teixeira may have been concerned about the initial news reports that classified intelligence documents had begun to appear on Twitter and Telegram.
Teixeira on April 6 “used his government computer to search classified intelligence reporting for the word ‘leak,’” according to the complaint.
“The first public reporting regarding the Government Information appeared on or around April 6, 2023,” it added. “Accordingly, there is reason to believe that TEIXEIRA was searching for classified reporting regarding the U.S. Intelligence Community’s assessment of the identity of the individual who transmitted classified national defense information, to include the Government Document.”