WASHIINGTON, D.C. – A 21 year-old member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard is now facing two espionage charges after allegedly leaking hundreds of classified documents. Retired Vice Admiral Robert Murrett shares his perspective of the leak.
Helicopters hovered over a Massachusetts home yesterday, documenting the arrest of 21 year-old Jack Douglas Teixeria, who allegedly leaked classified documents online.
“Any leak is a problem,” said Ret. Vice Admiral Robert Murrett. “It’s something you have to do a damage assessment of. In our recent history this is not a new thing to have leaks like this.”
Murrett is a specialist in defense analysis, military intelligence, national security and international relations. He is now with Syracuse University’s Institute for Security Policy and Law. He said everything that he has seen what the administration is trying to do is contain the fallout from the leak.
“From what I’ve seen, they started doing that before the story got a bunch of attention from what I understand,” said Murrett. “Dealing with our international partners and allies because some of them were affected by the information.”
According to reports from The Washington Post and The New York Times, the leaked documents exposed the ability of U.S. surveillance on Russia and discussed weaknesses in the Ukrainian military.
“From what I’ve seen in the reporting we need to have frank assessments on how things are going there,” said Murrett. “We are sharing far more intelligence with Ukraine than anything that came out of that leak and the Ukrainians know that. So I’m not concerned about that.”
The leaked info also included information on our allies. Defense officials said they are still investigating the scope and impact from this leak.
“A leak like this is never good especially when it reveals things that have to deal with our allies,” said Murrett. “Having said that and not having looked at every one of the documents in detail, I haven’t seen anything in the press reporting in the last week or so that suggests anything truly incendiary. The fact that countries want to know what’s going on in other countries should not surprise anybody.”
President Biden released a statement following Teixiera’s arrest. Biden said in part: “While we are still determining the validity of those documents, I have directed our military and intelligence community to take steps to further secure and limit distribution of sensitive information.”