What to Know in Washington: US Left Red-Faced Over Secrets Leak

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The Biden administration is going to have a hard time explaining how the biggest US intelligence leak in a decade may have been committed by a 21-year-old airman whose role — “cyber transport systems journeyman” — required a high-school degree, a driver’s license and up to 18 months of on-the-job-training.

The FBI arrested Jack Teixeira, of Dighton, Massachusetts, on Thursday, with the promise of a swift arraignment on Friday. Attorney General Merrick Garland said he was being held in connection with the “unauthorized removal, retention and transmission of classified national defense information.”

As Pentagon jobs go, Teixeira’s was pretty junior. An Air Force job description says workers like him “keep our communications systems up and running and play an integral role in our continuing success.” He joined the Air National Guard in 2019, according to his service record.

That will raise the inevitable question: If a low-level Defense Department employee has access to such sensitive information, who doesn’t?

Source: WCVB

To address those concerns, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced Thursday that he’d ordered a review of the Pentagon’s “intelligence access, accountability and control procedures” to make sure a leak like that never happens again. Read more.

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To contact the reporters on this story: Brandon Lee in Washington at blee@bgov.com; Giuseppe Macri in Washington at gmacri@bgov.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Katrice Eborn at keborn@bgov.com; Kayla Sharpe at ksharpe@bloombergindustry.com

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