The Discord Leaks

By Kendall McElroy

Joint Base Cape Cod, a lackluster military facility, nestled in New England’s most picturesque sea-side destinations has become center stage to one of the most groundbreaking leaks of government information. Dozens of highly classified documents, unveiling sensitive information only intended for the eyes of senior military and intelligence leaders, resulting in one of the most significant and devastating disclosures of top secret intelligence in a decade. 

Entrusted with the job of analyzing intelligence collected by surveillance drones and various other U.S assets, Airman 1st Class Jack Teixeira, a charismatic young man and gun enthusiast, the alleged source of the breach. Allegedly taking photographs and smuggling out hundreds of highly classified documents, detailing the alarming extensiveness of the United State’s foreign spying capabilities. 

According to federal prosecutors, Teixeira, 21, grew up less than an hour from the base in Dighton, Massachusetts. Reportedly having a troubled past, Teixeira has been suspended from high school after allegedly making violent threats and extremist views on race. These actions resulted in law enforcement denying Texeira’s request for a firearm permit, though this barring was dropped after his recruitment to the military.

Despite his past, Texeira was permitted to enlist in the Air National Guard and was allowed access to classified information for the greater part of his enlistment. It is still being investigated as to whether the rest of his unit had complied with his directive to divulge these sensitive documents, however it is known that both of Teixeira’s supervising officers have been suspended pending the results of the internal investigation. 

The circle of suspects does not end there, however. Teixeira had accumulated a far-flung posse of like-minded individuals, united under their mutual love of military gear, guns, and God. During the isolation of the pandemic, roughly two dozen men and boys had formed an invite-only clubhouse in 2020 on popular social sight, Discord. Soon, group members began noticing cryptic messages from an “OG”, or Teixeira, that relayed almost verbatim transcriptions of classified intelligence papers that he claimed to have taken home from his job, which he declined to elaborate on. Teixeira went on to expand on the hours he spent typing out and annotating the hundreds of documents to share with his Discord companions, explaining that he did it in order to keep his peers “in the loop.” 

What he divulged included the following: top secret reports on the movements of high-ranking political leaders, tactical updates on U.S military forces, and classified updates on the war in Ukraine.

Teixeira now sits in custody of the Justice Department’s criminal case, facing 25 years in prison after the proceeding judge decided he could do more damage to national security if released. In the meantime, Air Force officials are coordinating closely with the FBI to investigate the depth of this breech.

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