Is the Internet celebrity wronging the country in the US leak case or is it a strategic deception?
The U.S. Department of Justice recently announced that the FBI has arrested a suspect who leaked classified U.S. defense intelligence documents, 21-year-old Jack Teixeira, a member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard.
The impact of this leak is difficult to estimate for the time being, but judging from what has been made public, the content of the leak involves a wide range, not only involving military secrets in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, but also a large number of information about the United States in the Middle East, South America, and the Asia-Pacific region. Top-secret information has also been leaked. Among the most sensitive state secrets in the leaks were details of Ukraine’s preparations for a spring offensive and intelligence information that the United States has been monitoring its allies, including South Korea. If the top-secret information leaked by this National Guard member is true, then the content of this leak is likely to exceed the scope of Prism Gate.
However, according to the information currently disclosed by the US judiciary and the media, the motivation behind this leak is quite novel, and it has not been seen in previous leaks.
First of all, the U.S. judiciary has not yet found that the suspect Jack Teixeira received funding from any foreign intelligence agency in the leak, nor did he find that Teixeira deliberately leaked confidential information based on political reasons or revenge. According to relevant media reports, Teixeira put some confidential information on Discord, a closed personal social platform that he is a blogger, and the users who see this information are all subscribers to his channel. Teixeira opened a channel about military, firearms and equipment on this platform, and is a standard military weapon internet celebrity. As a military Internet celebrity, his release of top-secret information in a small circle will definitely adore military fans who love the military. This seems to be his motivation for leaking secrets.
As a person who has written military columns for nearly 20 years and also runs a personal self-media account, I am very aware of the sense of accomplishment that this kind of behavior may bring. This is undoubtedly a new challenge to national security after the rise of social media.
It is necessary to popularize common sense in the industry here. What is the motivation for those who have secrets to betray the organization and leak secrets when they know it is a crime?
Professionally, we call this kind of leaker an informant. The motives of the informant can be roughly divided into the following categories: The first category is based on ideals or political ambitions. They are often the most determined undercover agents, such as lurking in the early days of the Cold War The Soviet “mole” in the British military intelligence department is known as the “Cambridge Five”. They cooperated with the KGB based on their ideals; the second type is to betray the organization for real economic benefits or covet beauty. This type is the most common The traitors and undercover agents are also the motives of defection that most people can understand; the third category is based on revenge or disappointment with the organization. His boss, Beria, took over his wife, causing the Soviet Union’s number one spy in Asia to use a rebel organization to confront the shamelessness of his superiors; the fourth category is for showing off, that is, this leak Motives provisionally disclosed in .
Leaking secrets based on showing off rarely happened in the past, because the secrecy unit would filter out such candidates during recruitment, and it was difficult for players with a flaunting personality to get access to secrets. However, after the “9.11” incident, the US intelligence community began a reform of intelligence operations to avoid the next “9.11” incident. The U.S. intelligence community found that before the “9.11” incident, the CIA, the FBI, and even the Department of Homeland Security had discovered clues to some large-scale attacks. However, based on their respective confidentiality principles, these key intelligences were not effectively shared. There was insufficient warning to stop the attack.
This is actually a very common problem in intelligence work, that is, the amount of information is greater than the information processing capacity, resulting in some key information not being processed into intelligence products and provided to decision makers in time. One of the reasons for this problem is that the scope of information is too narrow, and only a few people have access to this information, and their processing power is very limited. In order to solve this problem, the U.S. intelligence community decided to establish an interconnected intelligence sharing platform and launched an automated intelligence analysis system to speed up the intelligence analysis process and prevent critical intelligence from being processed in a timely manner.
Openness and interoperability will inevitably allow more people to obtain the right to read classified information, and the qualification standards for personnel who have access to such sensitive information will also decrease accordingly. The rise of social media has also made it easier and more rewarding to flaunt such information. In the past, a person showed off his work content only at the dinner table or at a party. These content may become gossip and spread, but it is difficult to trace the instigator of the spread. However, social media makes it easy to trace the original sources of these gossips, and the content of the flaunting is often more specific. For example, netizens often ask for evidence. question.
Of course, the above speculations and descriptions are only based on the premise that this matter is a real leak, not an information interference operation. In the world of stealth, it’s very difficult to cover up a truth, so distractors are often used to obscure the truth. For example, whether the truth of this leak was announced, or the smoke was released deliberately, I am afraid that there will be no answer for a long time, and it may always be a historical mystery, and there will always be disputes.