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Still Sensible

(2,870 posts)
Thu Apr 13, 2023, 02:22 PM Apr 2023

The Question! Why in the hell does a 21-year-old in the

Air National Guard even have access to the breadth of classified intelligence that was shared?

I know it's early and we don't yet know the whole story, but this question really sticks out, I mean, really? Putin's health info and Ukraine battle planning and real data on casualties??? And on and on!

Honestly, how did this obviously remote member of a state National Guard get this material?

52 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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The Question! Why in the hell does a 21-year-old in the (Original Post) Still Sensible Apr 2023 OP
According to several sources sarisataka Apr 2023 #1
No it is not reasonable. former9thward Apr 2023 #5
I can't snswer that specifically sarisataka Apr 2023 #11
More info has been released sarisataka Apr 2023 #17
Why was the MA National Guard needed to facilitate these documents? former9thward Apr 2023 #20
As I said below, Guardsmen are part of the military sarisataka Apr 2023 #23
You keep saying this. former9thward Apr 2023 #26
I am speculating sarisataka Apr 2023 #28
My additional concern is that this material was online for months. former9thward Apr 2023 #29
Yes, it's a worry; no, it's a good thing. Igel Apr 2023 #33
his initial posts were on a private chat pimpbot Apr 2023 #46
He utterly ruined his life Dave says Apr 2023 #43
intel / cyber / security is an in demand role pimpbot Apr 2023 #48
If that's the explanation, then there's a big problem. If he was working as that MOS in the Still Sensible Apr 2023 #7
Most do not understand sarisataka Apr 2023 #12
He had an account on JWICS pimpbot Apr 2023 #42
That was my first question as well. It appears our national security system is a joke. Irish_Dem Apr 2023 #2
That's my thought Dave says Apr 2023 #45
Trump, the MAGAs and the Putin GOP members of congress have damaged national security. Irish_Dem Apr 2023 #49
He could be pretty sharp when it comes to ... hacking and computers RussBLib Apr 2023 #3
A better question: Fiendish Thingy Apr 2023 #4
I had access to Top Secret information as a teenager EYESORE 9001 Apr 2023 #6
But I'm guessing what you had access to or accessed was limited in scope to your Still Sensible Apr 2023 #9
True. I never saw anything beyond the scope of my duties. EYESORE 9001 Apr 2023 #18
This message was self-deleted by its author EYESORE 9001 Apr 2023 #19
I went into the Navy at 19. I was vetted for a top secret clearance because I was selected for Chainfire Apr 2023 #16
I just saw that 3,000,000 people in government louis-t Apr 2023 #8
classified is a deceptive term..... getagrip_already Apr 2023 #13
It's a broad term. Igel Apr 2023 #35
Well inthewind21 Apr 2023 #10
The average age of people who have access to those documents is not 23. former9thward Apr 2023 #24
I was 19 when I had access to TOP SECRET communications at NSA headquarters. friend of a friend Apr 2023 #30
I was in the military and "TOP SECRET" is used all over the place. former9thward Apr 2023 #32
We are basic at a war footing so all security on all of our bases need to be reviewed yaesu Apr 2023 #14
I'm surprised at how much authority and clearance very young service members are given f_townsend Apr 2023 #15
Look at WWII. A 22 year old pilot, flying a B-17, was looked upon as the old man in the crew. Chainfire Apr 2023 #21
The people commanding them were middle aged and more. former9thward Apr 2023 #25
Who do you think collects and prepares that information for those commanders? hack89 Apr 2023 #39
My dad was a WWII veteran. Mr.Bill Apr 2023 #51
Is it possible that a higher-ranking MAGA type provided him some documents? n/t Just_Vote_Dem Apr 2023 #22
Of course, sarisataka Apr 2023 #27
Why look for a conspiracy when simple foolishness accounts for everything ... Igel Apr 2023 #36
I didn't mean it to sound like a conspiracy theory Just_Vote_Dem Apr 2023 #37
I wonder too because earlier reports said some of the info might have been falsified or altered wishstar Apr 2023 #38
Looks like some are desperate to blame Biden. Kingofalldems Apr 2023 #31
I'm not sure why their age is relevant. Act_of_Reparation Apr 2023 #34
This is a direct result of Sept 11 pimpbot Apr 2023 #40
Recommended. H2O Man Apr 2023 #41
The Massachusetts National Guard has its own Signals Intelligence unit jmowreader Apr 2023 #44
data sharing came from the 911 commission pimpbot Apr 2023 #47
You'd think after Snowden, Manning and Winner they'd reconsider that stance jmowreader Apr 2023 #50
computer hacking ? DemocraticPatriot Apr 2023 #52

sarisataka

(18,062 posts)
1. According to several sources
Thu Apr 13, 2023, 02:24 PM
Apr 2023

His MOS was in intelligence. It is reasonable therefore he would have access to such documents, as part of his duties.

former9thward

(31,515 posts)
5. No it is not reasonable.
Thu Apr 13, 2023, 02:30 PM
Apr 2023

It is not reasonable that a member of the National Guard would have access to those materials. It matters not what his MOS is. Why would a member of the National Guard need access to that material?

sarisataka

(18,062 posts)
11. I can't snswer that specifically
Thu Apr 13, 2023, 02:39 PM
Apr 2023

However if the unit is part of planning, they would be processing such info. If there are supporting supply missions they also could be seeing such documents

sarisataka

(18,062 posts)
17. More info has been released
Thu Apr 13, 2023, 03:59 PM
Apr 2023

CNN says he was a cyber transport systems operation. So my first thought was correct.

He was working on the communication systems. In such a position you are not supposed to read the documents you have access to, in most cases. Obviously, also, you are not supposed to put them online to impress your pals

former9thward

(31,515 posts)
20. Why was the MA National Guard needed to facilitate these documents?
Thu Apr 13, 2023, 04:03 PM
Apr 2023

That makes no sense. These were top level documents being generated and used by the CIA and Joint Chiefs.

sarisataka

(18,062 posts)
23. As I said below, Guardsmen are part of the military
Thu Apr 13, 2023, 04:10 PM
Apr 2023

Not just weekend warriors. There is often more to do than active members can handle so they call on the Guard and Reserves for support. This is especially true in specialized job fields.

sarisataka

(18,062 posts)
28. I am speculating
Thu Apr 13, 2023, 04:19 PM
Apr 2023

Based on experience.

I served active, reserve and even spent time cross attached to Guard units. Young kids are trusted not only with sensitive materials but also very expensive equipment.

My concern in this case is how he was able to copy so much information without his command being aware. That is the greater failing.

Igel

(35,104 posts)
33. Yes, it's a worry; no, it's a good thing.
Thu Apr 13, 2023, 06:15 PM
Apr 2023

It's a problem because there are things that could be bad that nobody notices.

Yes, it's a good thing because it means that the government isn't monitoring everything in an attempt to be all-knowing about what we do.

The first can lead to the occasional problem. The second leads to a very bad problem of long duration.

pimpbot

(937 posts)
46. his initial posts were on a private chat
Thu Apr 13, 2023, 07:11 PM
Apr 2023

Reading the Post articles, he started hand transcribing the material in a private chat forum with about 10 users. Unfortunately none of those people turned him in. At some point they stopped caring about his posts, so he starting taking pictures and posting the actual documents.

After that, someone copied his posts and put them in a public chat forum. Shortly after that happened, people started re-posting on really public forums like twitter. Thats when the gov't figured out they had a problem.

Areas of concern: He printed these docs, and no one was alerted that some rando at the MA ANG was printing a bunch of docs. Does the MA ANG really need a JWICS printer? Should printed docs be checked by a information security officer before the user can have the print? Should users have a "buddy" while accessing the system? Two person access is usually reserved for "admin" duties like server configuration, but maybe these field sites need something like that.

pimpbot

(937 posts)
48. intel / cyber / security is an in demand role
Thu Apr 13, 2023, 07:19 PM
Apr 2023

Private sector can't even find people to hire, and those they do hire command premium salaries. Government can't offer the premium salary so are at an even bigger disadvantage. Many of the people doing these jobs now are fresh out of boot camp. They also take all the free government training and in a couple years interview in the private sector and cash in.

This idiot is cashing in on a long jail sentence.

Still Sensible

(2,870 posts)
7. If that's the explanation, then there's a big problem. If he was working as that MOS in the
Thu Apr 13, 2023, 02:33 PM
Apr 2023

Pentagon, or in theater, I get it. But if our intelligence on the Ukraine war and Russia's internal operations are going through the Mass Air National Guard, the words secret and classified are bullshit!



sarisataka

(18,062 posts)
12. Most do not understand
Thu Apr 13, 2023, 02:42 PM
Apr 2023

The Guard is an integral part of the military. While the majority of members do the one weekend a month, the units have full time members.

One of the Chinese balloons was shot down by the MN Air Guard out of Duluth. They didn't have to wait for a drill weekend to accomplish that mission

pimpbot

(937 posts)
42. He had an account on JWICS
Thu Apr 13, 2023, 06:46 PM
Apr 2023
https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2023/04/13/document-leak-jack-teixeira-og/

How would he allegedly have access to such sensitive information?

- Teixeira’s security clearance level isn’t clear, but he did have access to an internal Defense Department computer network for top secret information called the Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System (JWICS), a U.S. official familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity as the investigation proceeds told The Post.

- Access to JWICS would have given Teixeira the ability to read and potentially print records classified at the same level as many of the leaked documents, per the official.

Think of it as a clearing house for classified info. Unfortunately most of our classified systems run on trust. Trust that users have been vetted properly and aren't traitors. He probably got bored and started searching for things he had no business looking at.

Irish_Dem

(44,378 posts)
2. That was my first question as well. It appears our national security system is a joke.
Thu Apr 13, 2023, 02:26 PM
Apr 2023

No wonder Zelensky kept his government and military secrets away from the US.

Dave says

(4,586 posts)
45. That's my thought
Thu Apr 13, 2023, 06:57 PM
Apr 2023

Yet we are amongst the very secure. That this doesn’t do the trick is apparent. Look at all the info we have concerning Russia and Ukraine. “Top Secret”, now, has to be taken with a grain of salt. Should be “we prefer that most of you don’t read this” - true for even the best nations it seems.

Irish_Dem

(44,378 posts)
49. Trump, the MAGAs and the Putin GOP members of congress have damaged national security.
Thu Apr 13, 2023, 08:02 PM
Apr 2023

I am not sure the US us the most secure nation any more.

RussBLib

(8,902 posts)
3. He could be pretty sharp when it comes to ... hacking and computers
Thu Apr 13, 2023, 02:27 PM
Apr 2023

Kids today!

Back in my day, hacking only meant you had a bad cough or were trying to chop down a tree.

https://russblib.blogspot.com

Fiendish Thingy

(15,071 posts)
4. A better question:
Thu Apr 13, 2023, 02:29 PM
Apr 2023

How did this particular 21 year old pass and maintain a security clearance?

Enlisted personnel with clearances often have access to top secret documents, as do civilian contractors (Snowden, Schulte), so that by itself isn’t unusual.

Because it is classified, we aren’t likely to find out if the defendant had wide access to these materials as part of his job, or if he breached a firewall or just protocol in accessing what he did.

EYESORE 9001

(25,705 posts)
6. I had access to Top Secret information as a teenager
Thu Apr 13, 2023, 02:30 PM
Apr 2023

I don’t recall it ever being an issue in our command.

Still Sensible

(2,870 posts)
9. But I'm guessing what you had access to or accessed was limited in scope to your
Thu Apr 13, 2023, 02:36 PM
Apr 2023

responsibilities, certainly not the breadth of information this person allegedly shared.

EYESORE 9001

(25,705 posts)
18. True. I never saw anything beyond the scope of my duties.
Thu Apr 13, 2023, 04:01 PM
Apr 2023

I hope this brings about a better way to screen those with access to a broad array of classified data as their primary duty.

Response to Still Sensible (Reply #9)

Chainfire

(17,178 posts)
16. I went into the Navy at 19. I was vetted for a top secret clearance because I was selected for
Thu Apr 13, 2023, 03:48 PM
Apr 2023

submarine service. In fact, I never went aboard a sub, and dealt with nothing more secure than a mop... I was afraid that when the FBI was talking to my friends that someone would tell them how much pot I had smoked; something that I did not own up to on the paperwork.

louis-t

(23,101 posts)
8. I just saw that 3,000,000 people in government
Thu Apr 13, 2023, 02:34 PM
Apr 2023

have access to classified documents. I believe it was John Bolton that said it so who knows?

getagrip_already

(13,757 posts)
13. classified is a deceptive term.....
Thu Apr 13, 2023, 02:47 PM
Apr 2023

There is a class of document which is essentially PII and other "business" level info that is technically classified. It is commonl called CUI, controlled unclassified information, but it is indeed treated as classified material. It just isn't the type that can harm the us.

So if you look at everyone that technically has access to any type of classified material, it would be a large number.

But there are not 3M people with both the clearance and the need to know for this type of info.

Even the people who carry it out in burn bags don't have the authority to actually read it.

Igel

(35,104 posts)
35. It's a broad term.
Thu Apr 13, 2023, 06:24 PM
Apr 2023

I interned as a data processor for DARCOM.

I took raw test data and processed it to yield graphs and tables that the engineers doing the testing wanted. Nothing more.

Was it a problem that a specific mortar base plate failed with a certain stress level? Sure. Was it really top secret? Nah. Esp. if it was still in development. At best the "enemy" would be able to tell if the new mortar base plate was on track for production and deployment or would be delayed.

Still, my last day I finished my last task and had 7 hours till quitting time. With no assignment that would take less than that on the board, I was told to pack up all the crap in my desk that I'd produced--we needed to keep the raw data and program deck--then check out and beat the rush. So by lunch I was officially resigned and my clearance revoked. After lunch the boxes I'd packed before lunch and stacked by my desk needed to be put in storage 200 feet down the hall. I began to pick up a box and I was told I couldn't--I lacked the proper security classification to pick up, in a closed container that I had personally sealed, the documents I'd produced at 10 am and packed at 11 am.

Let's just say I understood some of the humor in M*A*S*H a bit better.

But there really are different levels of classification.

former9thward

(31,515 posts)
24. The average age of people who have access to those documents is not 23.
Thu Apr 13, 2023, 04:11 PM
Apr 2023

These are documents about Ukrainian air defenses, Putin's health and foreign leaders' conversations. Some of the documents are meant to be seen by less than 100 people nationwide. Their average age is a hell of lot more than 23.

former9thward

(31,515 posts)
32. I was in the military and "TOP SECRET" is used all over the place.
Thu Apr 13, 2023, 04:39 PM
Apr 2023

The amount of potatoes the commissary orders is Top Secret. These documents were far above the general TS grade. And 19 year olds or 21 year olds should not have access. The judgement section of the male brain does not fully develop until about 25.

 

f_townsend

(260 posts)
15. I'm surprised at how much authority and clearance very young service members are given
Thu Apr 13, 2023, 02:51 PM
Apr 2023

During wartime, when things are helter-skelter, it's understandable. No excuse during peacetime, though.

Chainfire

(17,178 posts)
21. Look at WWII. A 22 year old pilot, flying a B-17, was looked upon as the old man in the crew.
Thu Apr 13, 2023, 04:04 PM
Apr 2023

Everything that they did, other than drinking beer was secret. A 20 year old bombardier could be responsible for the highly secret Norden bomb sight. Richard Bong (pilot) was a major at age 24...Paul Tibbets who dropped the first atomic bomb, was a colonel only 30 at age 30. It is only in the movies that most soldiers are middle aged men.

former9thward

(31,515 posts)
25. The people commanding them were middle aged and more.
Thu Apr 13, 2023, 04:12 PM
Apr 2023

That was the set of people who were supposed to have access to these specific documents.

hack89

(39,171 posts)
39. Who do you think collects and prepares that information for those commanders?
Thu Apr 13, 2023, 06:33 PM
Apr 2023

The military is full of young people that handle Top Secret material on a daily basis. More so if you are an intel person like this guy is - the lowest classification is usually TS.

Mr.Bill

(23,863 posts)
51. My dad was a WWII veteran.
Thu Apr 13, 2023, 09:16 PM
Apr 2023

He had dropped out of the 9th grade to work on the family farm. He joined the Army in 1943 at age 20 and they made him a flight engineer and top turret gunner on a B-24 in Italy. My dad turned 21 over there. The pilot of his plane was 19. Their base had hundreds of B-24s which carry a crew of ten men. The base Commander was 28.

sarisataka

(18,062 posts)
27. Of course,
Thu Apr 13, 2023, 04:14 PM
Apr 2023

Because a lifer is going to risk his career to help some kid impress his buddies and trust he won't squeal when caught.

No conspiracy is needed. This is (most likely) exactly what it appears to be.

Igel

(35,104 posts)
36. Why look for a conspiracy when simple foolishness accounts for everything ...
Thu Apr 13, 2023, 06:26 PM
Apr 2023

In a much neater and cleaner fashion?

Just_Vote_Dem

(2,776 posts)
37. I didn't mean it to sound like a conspiracy theory
Thu Apr 13, 2023, 06:29 PM
Apr 2023

But I was surprised to see the age of the guy, and that he was in the national guard, and I didn't think he would have access to that kind of info, that's all.

wishstar

(5,261 posts)
38. I wonder too because earlier reports said some of the info might have been falsified or altered
Thu Apr 13, 2023, 06:30 PM
Apr 2023

but so far mainstream news reports haven't mentioned those earlier reports of falsified info and the possibility someone else provided some altered docs to this guy.

Act_of_Reparation

(9,076 posts)
34. I'm not sure why their age is relevant.
Thu Apr 13, 2023, 06:20 PM
Apr 2023

But I'm sure we'll have more information when the exact nature of their security clearance is revealed.

pimpbot

(937 posts)
40. This is a direct result of Sept 11
Thu Apr 13, 2023, 06:37 PM
Apr 2023

The big conclusion from Sept 11 was that the various intel agencies were not set up to share their information with other agencies. If analysts had access to the various info and put it together, something might have been done to stop the guys who hijacked the planes.

So all of the recent classified doc disclosures (Snowden, Manning, etc) are because after 2001, agencies built common networks to share data.

From this article:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2023/04/13/document-leak-jack-teixeira-og/

How would he allegedly have access to such sensitive information?
- Teixeira’s security clearance level isn’t clear, but he did have access to an internal Defense Department computer network for top secret information called the Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System (JWICS), a U.S. official familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity as the investigation proceeds told The Post.

- Access to JWICS would have given Teixeira the ability to read and potentially print records classified at the same level as many of the leaked documents, per the official.

Unfortunately in an effort to improve collaboration, there is a lot of info on JWICS that is accessible by anyone with an account. So he might have had an account on JWICS for a specific task assigned to the MA ANG group, but he started searching for other stuff. The assumption is that if you have the clearance and account, you have been vetted and are trusted to only access data on a need to know basis. Up until recently this has worked pretty well. I fear collaboration between agencies will decline and regress to a pre-911 state, harming our intelligence agencies ability to process information.

The big question is why, after all these years are these networks not using common data loss provention (DLP) tools to monitor user activity. It is pretty common for Corporations to monitor their user's activities, and when they access data they don't normally access, to alert on that. Corporations also monitor what is printed. In fact I believe this is how Reality Winner got busted.

The other question is how this individual passed a background investigation. He might have been vetted at 18 and only recently showed anti-government signs. The government also does not monitor private Internet forums/chats so things can be hidden from investigators.

jmowreader

(50,353 posts)
44. The Massachusetts National Guard has its own Signals Intelligence unit
Thu Apr 13, 2023, 06:55 PM
Apr 2023

Most states don't have one, but Massachusetts does.

As such, they're on the Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System, which is rated to carry any level of classified information we have. And, strangely enough, it isn't compartmented as to user needs - you can get into anything even if you're not working those targets. Back in the day if you were working, say, African targets you couldn't get any North Korean stuff, but after Dubya Bush decided the "war on terror" was a global thing, everyone has access to everything.

pimpbot

(937 posts)
47. data sharing came from the 911 commission
Thu Apr 13, 2023, 07:15 PM
Apr 2023

But yea, once you have a JWICS account, it is down to trusting the user to do the right thing. Maybe for some of these remote sites they need to implement some sort of two person access so no one can be alone while accessing data.

At the very least have a two person rule for print outs. Second person verifies the document printed is something the user is supposed to be accessing.

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