While federal investigators arrested a man they believe was behind the massive leak of intelligence documents from the U.S., a lot of damage has already been done.
On Thursday, Jack Teixeira was arrested in connection with the leak. He is being accused of being the leader of a chat group on an online gaming social media channel where the documents appeared at first. Teixeira, 21, is a Massachusetts national guardsman.
The online group was private and called Thug Shaker Central. There, as many as 30 people shared their love of racist memes, video games and guns. Teixeira was allegedly the ring leader of that group, which was composed mainly of young men and some teenagers.
The material that was shared in the group was pictures of briefing reports that were printed. Many experts who reviewed the leaked materials told The New York Times it looked as if the classified documents were crumpled up in someone’s pocket, taken from a secure location and then photographed.
After they were posted in the chat group, they eventually made their way onto larger social media platforms such as Telegram, 4chan and Twitter. The documents were originally posted on the Discord social media site in early March.
There is a treasure trove of information that is included in those documents, including information about how the U.S. conducted surveillance on both enemies and friends.
Security analysts told The Times that it includes sensitive materials from briefings held about South Korea, Israel, Canada and China, to name a few. There’s also plenty of information on Middle East countries as well as the military theater in the Indo-Pacific.
The documents provide a lot of insight into the war going on between Russia and Ukraine. It details secret plans that NATO and the United States have for helping Ukraine build up their military. It suggests that forces in Ukraine aren’t doing nearly as well as the Ukrainian government has revealed to the public.
One of the biggest concerns the leak has brought up is that many of America’s allies may not reconsider sharing any sensitive information they have, lest it be leaked to the public. It’s also not a good look that it was confirmed that the U.S. spies on its allies to try to gain information on them.
One other item that jumps off the page, so to speak, is that the U.S. intelligence community seems to have in-depth knowledge about the intelligence and security services of Russia, which has allowed America to send warnings to Ukraine about strikes Russia might be planning.
It has also helped to reinforce the idea that the U.S. intelligence community has a much clearer picture of what the military operations in Russia look like than what Ukraine seems to be planning.
It’s suggesting that Russia’s military is so compromised that U.S. intelligence officials have obtained warnings on almost a real-time basis when Russia is going to strike, and what they’re going to strike.
Of course, that could all change now that the world knows about it.