US Air Force disciplines 15 people over leaked Pentagon documents

Leak earlier this year was largest national security breach since WikiLeaks in 2010

Air National Guardsman Jack Teixeira was arrested in June on suspicion of leaking classified US documents. Reuters
Powered by automated translation

The US Air Force moved to discipline 15 personnel over the leaking of classified military information allegedly carried out by Air National Guardsman Jack Teixeira, the military said on Monday.

Prosecutors say Mr Teixeira, who was 21 at the time of his arrest in June, leaked classified documents to a group of gamers on the messaging app Discord.

The classified material included highly sensitive US military assessments, including on the war in Ukraine.

The leak is considered the most serious US national security breach since more than 700,000 documents, videos and diplomatic cables appeared on the WikiLeaks website in 2010.

“The actions ranged from relieving personnel from their positions, including command positions, to non-judicial punishment under Article 15 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice,” a US Air Force statement said.

Col Sean Riley, commander of 102nd Intelligence Wing to which Mr Teixeira belonged, was relieved of command.

An Air Force Inspector General report into the incident found that some member of Mr Teixeira's unit and leadership “had information about as many as four separate instances of his questionable activity”.

US arrests Air Force Guardsman over classified information leak

US arrests Air Force Guardsman over classified information leak

A smaller number of people had a more complete picture of his intelligence-seeking behaviour and “intentionally failed to report the full details of these security concerns/incidents”.

“Had any of these members come forward, security officials would likely have facilitated restricting systems/facility access and alerted the appropriate authorities, reducing the length and depth of the unauthorised and unlawful disclosures by several months,” the report said.

The US Air Force statement accompanying the report added that the investigation did not find evidence that Mr Teixeira's chain of command was aware of his alleged disclosures.

Updated: December 11, 2023, 6:18 PM