Air National Guard member pleads guilty to leaking Pentagon papers

A member of the US Air National Guard has pleaded guilty to posting dozens of classified documents online, the BBC reports.

Prosecutors recommend that Jack Teixiera (22) be sentenced to up to 16 years and eight months in prison.

While working at an Air National Guard base, Jack Teixiera posted documents on Discord, a popular platform for video game fans.

The materials he posted included maps, satellite images and intelligence on US allies.

Teixeira pleaded guilty in federal court in Boston on Monday to six counts of willfully withholding and disseminating national defense information.

Each charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

However, under the details of a plea deal, prosecutors agreed to seek a 200-month prison sentence — which Teixeira agreed not to contest.

He will also be fined $50.

Teixeira first began sharing classified information in late 2022 with a small community of weapons and military enthusiasts on a Discord server or chat room.

Initially the documents stayed within the group – and Teixeira expressed frustration that his online friends did not understand their meaning – but the information quickly began to be re-circulated in more public channels.

Eventually, the documents spread across major social networks and were picked up by pro-Kremlin Telegram channels and military bloggers.

Some copies of the documents were later altered by those there, for example to inflate the figures of casualties in Ukraine.
Teixeira was stationed at Otis Air National Guard Base, near his home about an hour south of Boston, Massachusetts.

He worked in cyber defense as an enlisted man — a technology job to maintain the Air Force's communications network — and held the third-highest rank in the US Air Force, as an "A1C."

Teixeira was warned by supervisors that he had been seen taking notes while looking at classified documents, prosecutors said, and that he had asked certain questions based on classified intelligence.

Teixeira is said to have taken advantage of the lack of supervision and leaked the documents outside the base.