Pentagon to Tighten Controls on Classified Info Following Leak

July 6, 2023

The Pentagon on Wednesday announced plans to tighten controls on classified information following the arrest of a Massachusetts Air National Guardsman charged with leaking dozens of Pentagon documents.

Jack Teixeira faces up to 25 years in prison if found guilty of the charges against him under the Espionage Act. The 21-year-old was arrested on April 13.

The conclusion Wednesday of the Pentagon’s 45-day review did not identify a single point of failure related to the leak of some 100 or so documents on social media. However, the Pentagon did say that policies, including those related to electronic devices in sensitive areas, were ambiguous and led to inconsistencies in implementing them.

The Pentagon’s measures include establishing a new office of “Top Secret Control Officers” to root out insider threats, and to implement electronic device detection systems in classified, secret and top-secret work areas.

In May, the Department of Justice disclosed that Teixeira had been warned repeatedly by his superiors about the mishandling of classified material.

Federal prosecutors filed in court that superiors had referred to “concerning actions” by the National Guardsman. A memo from September of last year noted that Teixeira was observed taking notes on classified intel and putting those notes in his pocket. He was instructed afterward to no longer take notes in any form on classified information.

A second memo the next month found that Teixeira was “potentially ignoring the cease-and-desist order on deep diving into intelligence information” from September. 

His arrest in April came after an online friend of the alleged leaker shared details of him—without disclosing his proper name—to The Washington Post.

The Pentagon documents leak was believed to be the most serious security breach since more than 700,000 documents, videos and diplomatic cables were posted on Wikileaks’ website in 2010.

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