“They are demanding that the government clamp down and keep things more and more secret.”
Independent reporter Glenn Greenwald bashed the journalistic response to the intelligence leaks during a segment with Fox News host and Daily Caller co-founder Tucker Carlson.
“What do you make of this?” Carlson asked Greenwald on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Thursday.
“[The alleged leaker] exposed the truth about what you were doing. What’s amazing is, The New York Times, The Washington Post, all the people who were at that Pentagon briefing today, think the way the CIA and the Pentagon think. They hate this person. It was The New York Times and The Washington Post that did the FBI’s work and found the leaker and led the FBI to him,” Greenwald said.
“They’re demanding that he be punished. They are demanding that the government clamp down and keep things more and more secret. What kind of journalist would ever do that, would want to see a leaker exposed and punished, and then demand that the government keep even more secrets?” Greenwald continued.
The FBI arrested 21-year-old Air National Guard member Jack Teixeira on Thursday for allegedly leaking a trove of classified documents on the social media platform Discord. He allegedly posted the documents over a period of months to a server made up of online males in their teens and early 20s. The documents revealed highly classified details about the war in Ukraine, U.S. spying operations and other military operations.
Journalists at The Washington Post identified the server where the documents were leaked. A user named “OG” posted the information and told the server about his position on a military base, the outlet reported. The alleged leaker’s identity was disclosed by The New York Times right before he was arrested.
Five Damaging Claims from the Alleged Pentagon Leaks
The Pentagon is scrambling to contain the damage from an alleged intelligence leak that revealed Ukraine’s military vulnerabilities in its ongoing war with Russia as well as embarrassing claims regarding some of the United States’ closest allies.
At least some of the purportedly leaked material appears to come from the Joint Staff’s Directorate of Intelligence’s daily brief to the chairman, although it is supposedly compiled from various intelligence sources throughout the U.S. government.
A source told Breitbart News that the distribution of that daily brief — which is typically available digitally to thousands — has been curtailed.
The Pentagon has claimed that some of the documents were altered, and have cautioned reporters against sharing their contents. In addition, officials from the United Kingdom, South Korea, Israel, Egypt, Ukraine, and Russia have all claimed the allegations in the documents are untrue.
Here are some of the most embarrassing claims gleaned from the alleged U.S. documents:
Ukraine’s Air Defense Munitions Are Running Low
According to one document dated February 28, Ukraine would run out of missiles for the S-300 and Buk air defense systems used to defend against air attacks by May 3 and April 13 respectively.
The purported shortages painted a dire picture for Ukraine’s front line troops, or “FLOT”:
The Russian Air Force, which Russia has used sparingly in Ukraine, is largely intact and has been held at bay by Ukrainian air defense, but that could change if Ukraine’s air defenses are incapacitated.
Another document claimed to show that Russian fighter jets deployed to Ukraine outnumber Ukrainian jets by more than four to one: 485 Russian fighter jets compared to 85 Ukrainian fighter jets. In addition, Russia has 572 rotary-wing aircraft compared to Ukraine’s 107 rotary-wing aircraft.
Another document indicated that some of the Western-trained Ukrainian forces would not be fully trained and equipped until April 30. Of 12 combat brigades being assembled, nine would be ready by March 31 and three ready by April 30, it said.
American Special Operations Forces Are Deployed in Ukraine
According to another document dated March 23, the U.S. had 14 special operations forces in Ukraine.
President Joe Biden and other officials have implied that no U.S. forces would be sent to Ukraine.
Defense officials have acknowledged some troops are in Ukraine to keep track of weapons shipments, but have not gone into detail on who they were, and it is not clear if the special operations forces are the ones involved in those efforts.
According to the document, the United Kingdom has the largest deployment of special operations forces in Ukraine of the NATO allies, with 50 forces. Latvia was second with 17, France with 15, and the Netherlands with one.
The British government has denied the information was accurate.
The U.S. Is Spying on Allies and Partners
Some of the documents involve the U.S. relationship with its allies, allegedly revealing that Washington is spying on allies, including Israel, South Korea, and Egypt.
Citing signals intelligence — or electronic surveillance — one document marked “Top Secret” from March 1 claimed Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency was encouraging protests against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s judicial system reforms. The document said, citing in part a March 1 purported “CIA Intel Update”:
In early to mid-February, Israeli Secret Intelligence Service (Mossad) leaders advocated for Mossad officials and Israeli citizens to protest against the new Israeli Government’s proposed judicial reforms, including several explicit calls to action that decried the Israeli Government, according to signals intelligence.
Another document dated February 28 assessed ways the U.S. could pressure Israel to provide lethal aid to Ukraine.
Another document also citing signals intelligence showed that South Korean officials allegedly were worried about supplying the U.S. with weapons out of concern they would end up in Ukraine in contradiction with its policy, and that the country considered changing that policy or routing weapons to Poland for Ukraine.
Another document dated February 17, reported by the Washington Post, claimed that Egypt was planning to supply Russia with 40,000 rockets, artillery rounds, and gunpowder for Russia to use against Ukraine and keep it secret from the West to repay Russia for help earlier. The document cited discussions between Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and senior Egyptian military officials.
Citing signals intelligence, one document said, according to the Post, the Wagner Group emissaries had secretly met in Turkey with Turkish contacts in February to discuss obtaining weapons and equipment for Russia, potentially by routing them through Mali. It was not clear whether the Turkish government was involved. Turkey has supplied weapons to Ukrainian forces.
Sources: GOP senators preparing for McConnell retirement
Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell has been out of the public eye for weeks, following a serious fall that hospitalized him. Now multiple sources confirm that Senators John Barrasso of Wyoming, John Cornyn of Texas and John Thune of South Dakota are actively reaching out to fellow Republican senators in efforts to prepare for an anticipated leadership vote — a vote that would occur upon announcement that McConnell would be retiring from his duties as leader, and presumably the Senate itself.
One source says that Cornyn has been particularly active in his preparations, taking fellow senators with whom he has little in common to lunch in attempts to court them.
Requests are being targeted at a plethora of conservative senators, including the sixteen who voted to delay the leadership election earlier this year, a proxy for opposition to McConnell’s leadership. Rick Scott, the Florida senator and former NRSC head who challenged McConnell, ultimately received ten protest votes. These members could prove key to determining the next Republican leader. Queries are also being made internally about the rules regarding replacement, and how the contest would be structured given the lack of an obvious heir apparent.
McConnell fell at a dinner event for the Senate Leadership Fund on March 8 at the Waldorf Astoria, formerly the Trump Hotel, in Washington, DC. He suffered a concussion, and only after being treated at a hospital and at his home did murmurs begin that he might be unable to return to the Senate. These discussions increased in volume based on the inability of other senators to do their jobs — with California’s Dianne Feinstein missing votes due to a shingles diagnosis and John Fetterman of Pennsylvania’s hospitalization for depression.
McConnell has guided the Republican Senate since 2007, and his role at the top of the party has been enormously significant. As the longest serving Senate Party Leader in history, he has been both a target for critics of the Republican establishment and a skilled leader in the judicial nomination fights that became one of the most important battlefields in Washington. His departure from the role of Republican leader would leave a massive vacuum, one that could be filled by Barrasso, Cornyn, Thune or potentially a dark horse ambitious enough to seize the moment.