“He Loved America…”*

The cursory way in which media outlets covered the alleged leaks of secret US intelligence information is highlighted in this BBC newscast. What kind of surprise, with less than startling information, does the BBC think is revealed when it reports that the US spies on friends and so-called enemies alike? Spying and open warfare and covert warfare is the name of the US game. The bulk of spying on Russia and the former Soviet Union encompasses entire libraries full of information. Equivalent masses of information must exist in other world powers’ archives. What’s missing from the BBC report is the incredible account in Teixeira’s alleged leaks that many US allies and the US are reported to have special forces on the ground in Ukraine. Think of the magnitude of the latter. Several nuclear powers, and most strikingly the US, have forces active in a war in which they are not involved as combatants and which includes the second most armed nuclear power in the world, Russia. These are startling, but not unexpected revelations!

NATO expansion after the fall of the Soviet Union, the proxy war in Ukraine, and Russia’s preemptive war in Ukraine set the stage for disaster.

A call and an email to the Pentagon to learn whether the US has boots on the ground in Ukraine received no response.

A call to the Anti-Defamation League to learn the contents of a video the Washington Post acknowledges, which I cannot locate on the Internet, of Teixeira allegedly shouting racist and anti-Semitic rants at a gun range. I received no return call from the Anti-Defamation League. This is significant news if a US service member accused of leaking secret information is also a racist, anti-Semite, and gun enthusiast.

In the apparently unavailable video uploaded by the Washington Post, Teixeira allegedly holds a rifle and wears protective covering over his eyes and ears, while yelling anti-Semitic and racist slurs.  He is at a rifle range. Why is this information, critical to Teixeira’s case, not easily accessible? We need to judge for ourselves, at a minimum, the nature of the person who allegedly leaked information important to the government and may or may not be both a racist and an anti-Semite and have a penchant for guns.

According to the Post, many of those who belonged to the Internet group Teixeira led on Discord would regularly make racist jokes, though one teenager who spoke on the condition of anonymity downplayed the comments, saying the forum was not aimed at promoting fascism (“Report: Leaker of classified documents also posted antisemitic content,” Forward, April 13, 2023).

According to the Jerusalem Post (April 14, 2023), “Pentagon leaker filmed himself in antisemitic rant at gun range,”

Congresswoman Majorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia), of Jewish space laser fame, posted on Twitter in defense of Teixeira after his arrest: “Jack Teixeira is white, male, christian [sic], and antiwar. That makes him an enemy to the Biden regime,” the Republican representative from Georgia said. Even hideous characters like Greene speak the truth some of the time, as she is accurate in her assessment of Biden on war.

Lindsey Graham, however, for those who think that the Republicans are anything but the party of war, along with Democrats, chastised Greene (Guardian, April 16, 2023):

Senator Lindsey Graham condemned his fellow Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene as ‘terribly irresponsible’ on Sunday, after the far-right congresswoman defended the air national guardsman charged with leakingPentagon intelligence documents.

Speaking on ABC’s This Week show, Graham said the leaks had ‘done a lot of damage to our standing’ and criticized ‘those who are trying to sugarcoat this on the right.’

Teixeira allegedly uploaded classified information to the online group Thug Shaker Central, which is mostly made up of young men and teenagers (“Pentagon leaks: US air national guardsman, 21, identified as suspect,”Guardian, April 13, 2023):

Teixeira was the leader of an online chat group who uploaded hundreds of photographs of secret and top-secret documents, according to the New York Times. The online group called itself Thug Shaker Central, made up of 20 to 30 young men and teenagers who shared their love of guns, racist memes and video games.

Members of the group have told the investigative journalism organization Bellingcat, the Washington Post and the New York Times that the documents were shared on Thug Shaker Central in an apparent attempt to impress the group, rather than to achieve any particular foreign policy outcome.

The Times said it had seen about 300 of the documents, only a fraction of which have so far been reported, indicating the national security damage could be worse than has been acknowledged.

Suggested reading might include “Pentagon leak: Dangerous radicalization of American white youth now a national security threat,” (Salon, April 15, 2023) Now, with Trump and Greene and Fox, et al., an alleged leaker like Jack Teixeira gets lots of this antisemitic and racist trash. Perhaps it’s the racist and antisemitic history of the US that is contained deep within the economy, politics, and social fabric of this nation!

In “He’s from a military family—and allegedly leaked U.S. secrets,” (Washington Post, April 13, 2023) one of Jack Teixeira’s friends said “He loved America, but simply didn’t feel confident in its future…At the end of the day he would side with this country over any other.”

The Boston Globe reported (April 16, 2023):

For years, the US military has pushed to meet prospective Generation Z recruits on Discord, the online group-chat tool where many spend their time. It even runs a 17,000-member chatroom there for service members to talk about first-person shooter games, meet with career counselors, and participate in what one sergeant in 2019 called the ‘Army of tomorrow.’

But Defense Department officials have also struggled to confront the risks of how Discord’s closed channels operate — and the ease with which they can be used to expose military intelligence. Last month, in a detailed guide aimed specifically at Discord users, Special Operations Command, which oversees the country’s most elite forces, told service members: ‘Don’t post anything in Discord that you wouldn’t want seen by the general public.’

With the possibility of the Espionage Act of 1917 being successfully used in any trial or plea deal involving Teixeira, readers may wonder if the Biden administration would now work to keep Julian Assange in prison and continue to push for his extradition to the US.

The dictates of empire require that the lawlessness of war be often kept secret. Greed calls the tune, and the masses are kept in check through materialism and pandering to hate and violence. When wars are not overt acts of violence, they are often secret operations condoned at the highest levels of government and administered through secret agencies and armies.

*Statement by a friend of Jack Teixeira

Howard Lisnoff is a freelance writer. He is the author of Against the Wall: Memoir of a Vietnam-Era War Resister (2017).