The arrest of a young Air Force National Guardsman accused of sharing government secrets on a social media platform is setting off alarms that the military and Department of Defense is rife with young men who subscribe to the anti-government beliefs of the domestic militias which took part in the Jan. 6 insurrection.
According to a report from Vice, Jack Teixeira's arrest last week for sharing the documents with his friends on Discord is just the tip of the iceberg of what could be a serious national security threat with one DOD staffer saying the number of far-right extremists they are surrounded with is frightening.
As Vice's Ben Markuch wrote, "Someone allegedly taking classified information to impress their chaos-loving online friends is yet another security threat to a defense force that military sources say has yet to even properly handle individuals with anti-government or extremist beliefs. "
According to the DOD staffer, "It highlights the need to screen harder in our clearance process."
They continued, "I’m not saying Republicans can’t have clearances, but the amount of Three Percenters and Boogaloo guys I work with is untenable.”
According to Joshua Fisher-Birch of the Counter Extremism Project, "Right-wing extremists in the military pose security risks beyond their potential for violence."
"The recent leak case highlights the possibility that individuals could share sensitive information with a broader online audience or with potential extremists or other hostile actors," Fisher-Birch elaborated. "Ideological views that sympathize with a U.S. opponent might also heighten the risk of sharing sensitive information.”
Vice's Markuch added, "Other military sources have told VICE News in the past that seeing active duty servicemen posting in support of Kyle Rittenhouse or Boogaloos Bois employed at the NSA, is not unheard of."
The report notes that extremist GOP lawmakers are not helping the DOD deal with the problem.
"Some Republican lawmakers have publicly embraced policies that counter the U.S. government's national security goals, which has created political divisions inside institutions like the military and intelligence services. Other GOP operators have also been instrumental in spreading the idea that the Pentagon is somehow suffering from progressive human resource policies and not with the insider threat of a shadow Boogaloo contingent walking its halls," the report states.
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