On Thursday, the New York Times publicly exposed the identity of the individual who allegedly shared classified documents that exposed lies by the Biden administration and media about US involvement in Ukraine.
Mere hours after the Times identified the alleged leaker as Jack Teixeira and visited his parents’ house, the 21-year-old member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard had been arrested in connection with the “transmission of classified national defense information,” the Justice Department said.
In identifying the alleged source, the Times worked closely with Bellingcat, a US state-funded organization with close ties to the US intelligence agencies. The lead author of the Times report was Aric Toler, a staff writer at Bellingcat.
The action by the New York Times exposes it, yet again, as a branch of both the intelligence agencies and the police: Its reporters are agents and informers.
The Times is particularly bitter because the revelations expose that it has been promoting a false pro-war narrative.
The leaked documents showed that US President Joe Biden lied when he said, “I will not send American servicemen to fight in Ukraine.” In fact, over 70 US soldiers are deployed in Ukraine, alongside over 100 NATO special forces, according to the document.
They also showed that the White House lied when it said, “NATO is not involved” in the conflict, as the documents do not make a distinction between efforts to train and lead Ukrainian forces and the other operations of NATO.
Rather than exposing, or even questioning, Biden’s lies, the New York Times served to promote the Biden administration’s propaganda narrative. And the leaks are as damaging to the Times as they are to the US government.
On Tuesday, White House national security spokesperson John Kirby called on the US media to exercise self-censorship, declaring, “This is information that has no business in the public domain. It has no business, if you don’t mind me saying, on the front pages of newspapers, or on television. It is not intended for public consumption, and it should not be out there.”
The US media has granted this request. In a Pentagon press briefing Thursday, there was not a single question directed to Pentagon spokesperson Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder about the contents of the leaked documents. The vast majority of questions had to do with the identity of the leaker and what the Pentagon was doing to stop further leaks.
The first five questions addressed to Ryder included the following:
- “Can you confirm that Airman First Class Jack Teixeira, a member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard, is a person of interest in this leaked document’s case?”
- “In the days after the leaks came to light, what steps has DOD taken to reduce the number of people who have access to not only these classified briefings but classified material in general?”
- “In the DOD’s efforts to change the way you do business in terms of protecting classified information, apart from the stuff that you do already, is that DOD-led, or is that Joint Staff-led? Who’s kind of directing what on that?”
- “General Ryder, you say that there are strict protocols in place, and yet, a 21-year-old airman was able to access some of the nation’s top secrets. How did this happen? And isn’t this a massive security breach?”
When a reporter asked about China’s reaction to the trip by Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen to the United States, Ryder responded, “Wait? What?... Read the room… Come on.”
The Times claimed that Teixeira, a 21-year-old member of the intelligence wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard, shared the documents in a private chat group with 20 or 30 people.
The newspaper reported that it “has established, through social media posts and military records, that Airman Teixeira is enlisted in the 102nd Intelligence Wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard. Posts on the unit’s official Facebook page congratulated Airman Teixeira and colleagues for being promoted to Airman First Class in July 2022.”
Times reporters traveled to Teixeira’s house and spoke to his mother immediately prior to the arrest: “Airman Teixeira’s mother, Dawn, speaking outside her home in Massachusetts on Thursday, confirmed that her son was a member of the Air National Guard and said he had recently been working overnight shifts at a base on Cape Cod. In the last few days, he had changed his phone number, she said.”
While about 60 or so documents have been made public so far, US media outlets indicate they have access to far more. The Washington Post reported Thursday, “The Post also reviewed approximately 300 photos of classified documents, most of which have not been made public.”
And the Post and the other media outlets are responsible for maintaining this secrecy. They are not reporting information that undermines and contradicts the official line from the Pentagon, State Department and White House.
Rather, the Post is selectively releasing sections of the documents with an aim to facilitate US war propaganda. An article published Thursday by anti-China war propagandist Josh Rogin declared, “The most shocking intel leak reveals new Chinese military advances.” He wrote, “China has tested and deployed a new longer-range hypersonic missile that is probably able to evade U.S. defenses, according to an overlooked top-secret document among those recently leaked.”
The rush by the US media to the defense of the White House and the Pentagon is motivated by hostility to any genuine exposure of the crimes of US imperialism. The New York Times, Washington Post and US broadcast media see their job not as exposing the crimes of the US government but as covering them up and keeping the US government’s secrets.
The Times’ role in facilitating the arrest of a leaker has revealed, in vivid detail, that the American corporate press is as tightly controlled as in any dictatorship.