Normal Topic Polygraph Screening Seems Likely in Pentagon Document Leak Investigation (Read 867 times)
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Polygraph Screening Seems Likely in Pentagon Document Leak Investigation
Apr 10th, 2023 at 8:42am
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In recent days, it has been reported that dozens of classified U.S. Department of Defense briefing documents on the war in Ukraine have been made publicly available through the message platform Discourse and social media sites including Telegram.

For background, see, for example, Alexander Rubinstein's report for The Gray Zone, "Leaked documents expose US-NATO Ukraine war plans." Excerpt:


Quote:
Classified Pentagon documents containing information about US and NATO plans for a Ukrainian offensive and key details of the ongoing war have leaked. And the Biden administration is reportedly demanding they be scrubbed from the internet. Is there a hidden agenda behind the leak?

The New York Times has reported “a significant breach of American intelligence in the effort to aid Ukraine” through the leak of classified documents which have been shared on social media. It correspondents cited “senior Biden administration officials” who apparently tipped the outlet off to the story. Documents circulating on Telegram which closely resemble those referred to by the Times are reproduced at the end of this article.


Aljazeera reports that a leak investigation has been launched. Excerpt:

Quote:
The United States is scrambling to identify the source of a possible leak of highly-classified documents that appear to reveal sensitive details about US allies, including Ukraine’s vulnerabilities in its war with Russia.

The Pentagon said on Sunday it had made a formal referral to the Department of Justice, asking it to investigate the apparent leak of the documents, which have been circulated on social media sites, including Twitter.

The documents, which resemble non-public daily updates produced by the US military’s Joint Staff, appear to contain intelligence related to Ukraine, China, the Middle East and Africa.

The leak appears to show Washington spying on close US allies, including Ukraine, South Korea and Israel, a potentially embarrassing revelation for the administration of US President Joe Biden.


Given the U.S. counterintelligence community's heavy reliance on polygraph screening (now at an historic high), it seems inevitable that polygraphs will be part of the leak investigation.

It should be borne in mind that polygraphy has a poor track record in leak investigations. In fact, I am not aware of any national security leak investigation that was solved through polygraph screening.

I would be interested to hear from anyone with knowledge of the use of polygraphs in this leak investigation. Details on how to contact me securely (and anonymously, if desired) are available here.
  

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Re: Polygraph Screening Seems Likely in Pentagon Document Leak Investigation
Reply #1 - Apr 12th, 2023 at 5:23am
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Susan Katz Keating, the owner, editor, and publisher of Soldier of Fortune magazine, reports that the FBI conducted three polygraph examinations in connection with the Pentagon leak investigation. Her short article is cited here in full:

Quote:
https://sofmag.com/fbi-polygraphs-documents-leak/

EXCLUSIVE: FBI Polygraphs Three People in Connection With Pentagon Documents Leak, Sources Say

Susan Katz Keating 3 hours ago Breaking News, Security

by Susan Katz Keating

Three people who work for a U.S. government agency have been given polygraph exams in connection with classified defense documents leaked last week, sources told Soldier of Fortune. The people were given the exams at an FBI facility located within the Quantico Marine Corps Base in Virginia, the sources said.

The three people are civilians who do not work for the Department of Defense, the sources said. The alleged polygraph subjects are believed to work in an office that is based in Northern Virginia.

The sources have knowledge of the investigation, and are known by Soldier of Fortune to be reliable.

The sources did not reveal why the three people were given polygraph exams, only that they were done in connection with an investigation into the leak. The Justice Department reportedly has opened a criminal investigation into the leak. 

The Pentagon was roiled last week by a report that highly classified documents were posted on Twitter and Telegram after having been published weeks earlier on the Discord chatroom site.

“We don’t know who’s behind this,” NSC spokesman John Kirby told reporters at the White House. The White House does not know the motive, nor what else might have been taken from classified vaults, Kirby said. “Is that a matter of concern to us? You’re darn right it is.”

The leak includes photographs of slides from earlier this year. Some are marked “Top Secret” or “NOFORN,” for “no foreign nationals.”

The National Security Advisor’s office did not immediately return a request for comment.
  

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Re: Polygraph Screening Seems Likely in Pentagon Document Leak Investigation
Reply #2 - Apr 13th, 2023 at 6:48am
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New reporting by Washington Post reporters Shane Harris and Samuel Oakford leads me to revise my opinion regarding the extent to which the Pentagon document leak investigation may rely on polygraph screening.

Harris and Oakford interviewed an adolescent who communicated directly with the leaker and who claims to know his real name and the state where he lives (but would not divulge this information to the Washington Post or the FBI).

The leaker reportedly ran a Discord chat server since 2020. It is difficult to do this anonymously, and I expect that an analysis of electronic records will identify the leaker in short order (if it hasn't already).

Here's an excerpt from Harris and Oakford's report, "Leaker of U.S. secret documents worked on military base, friend says":

Quote:
The man behind a massive leak of U.S. government secrets that has exposed spying on allies, revealed the grim prospects for Ukraine’s war with Russia and ignited diplomatic fires for the White House is a young, charismatic gun enthusiast who shared highly classified documents with a group of far-flung acquaintances searching for companionship amid the isolation of the pandemic.

United by their mutual love of guns, military gear and God, the group of roughly two dozen — mostly men and boys — formed an invitation-only clubhouse in 2020 on Discord, an online platform popular with gamers. But they paid little attention last year when the man some call “OG” posted a message laden with strange acronyms and jargon. The words were unfamiliar, and few people read the long note, one of the members explained. But he revered OG, the elder leader of their tiny tribe, who claimed to know secrets that the government withheld from ordinary people.

The young member read OG’s message closely, and the hundreds more that he said followed on a regular basis for months. They were, he recalled, what appeared to be near-verbatim transcripts of classified intelligence documents that OG indicated he had brought home from his job on a “military base,” which the member declined to identify. OG claimed he spent at least some of his day inside a secure facility that prohibited cellphones and other electronic devices, which could be used to document the secret information housed on government computer networks or spooling out from printers. He annotated some of the hand-typed documents, the member said, translating arcane intel-speak for the uninitiated, such as explaining that “NOFORN” meant the information in the document was so sensitive it must not be shared with foreign nationals.

OG told the group he toiled for hours writing up the classified documents to share with his companions in the Discord server he controlled. The gathering spot had been a pandemic refuge, particularly for teen gamers locked in their houses and cut off from their real-world friends. The members swapped memes, offensive jokes and idle chitchat. They watched movies together, joked around and prayed. But OG also lectured them about world affairs and secretive government operations. He wanted to “keep us in the loop,” the member said, and seemed to think that his insider knowledge would offer the others protection from the troubled world around them.

“He’s a smart person. He knew what he was doing when he posted these documents, of course. These weren’t accidental leaks of any kind,” the member said.

The transcribed documents OG posted traversed a range of sensitive subjects that only people who had undergone months-long background checks would be authorized to see. There were top-secret reports about the whereabouts and movements of high-ranking political leaders and tactical updates on military forces, the member said. Geopolitical analysis. Insights into foreign governments’ efforts to interfere with elections. “If you could think it, it was in those documents.”

In those initial posts, OG had given his fellow members a small sip of the torrent of secrets that was to come. When rendering hundreds of classified files by hand proved too tiresome, he began posting hundreds of photos of documents themselves, an astonishing cache of secrets that has been steadily spilling into public view over the past week, disrupting U.S. foreign policy and aggravating America’s allies.

This account of how detailed intelligence documents intended for an exclusive circle of military leaders and government decision-makers found their way into and then out of OG’s closed community is based in part on several lengthy interviews with the Discord group member, who spoke to The Washington Post on the condition of anonymity. He is under 18 and was a young teenager when he met OG. The Post obtained consent from the member’s mother to speak to him and to record his remarks on video. He asked that his voice not be obscured.

His account was corroborated by a second member who read many of the same classified documents shared by OG, and who also spoke on the condition of anonymity. Both members said they know OG’s real name as well as the state where he lives and works but declined to share that information while the FBI is hunting for the source of the leaks. The investigation is in its early stages, and the Pentagon has set up its own internal review led by a senior official.

“An interagency effort has been stood up, focused on assessing the impact these photographed documents could have on U.S. national security and on our Allies and partners,” Pentagon deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh said in a statement.

Discord said in a statement that it is cooperating with law enforcement and has declined to comment further.

  

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Re: Polygraph Screening Seems Likely in Pentagon Document Leak Investigation
Reply #3 - Apr 13th, 2023 at 4:22pm
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The New York Times has identified the Pentagon document leaker as Airman First Class Jack Teixeira of the Massachusetts Air National Guard. Teixeira is assigned to the 102nd Intelligence Wing.

The following is an excerpt from "Leader of Online Group Where Secret Documents Leaked Is Air National Guardsman":

Quote:
The leader of a small online gaming chat group where a trove of classified U.S. intelligence documents leaked over the last few months is a 21-year-old member of the intelligence wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard, according to interviews and documents reviewed by The New York Times.

The national guardsman, whose name is Jack Teixeira, oversaw a private online group named Thug Shaker Central, where about 20 to 30 people, mostly young men and teenagers, came together over a shared love of guns, racist online memes and video games.

Two U.S. officials confirmed that investigators want to talk to Airman Teixeira about the leak of the government documents to the private online group. One official said Airman Teixeira might have information relevant to the investigation.

Federal investigators have been searching for days for the person who leaked the top secret documents online but have not identified Airman Teixeira or anyone else as a suspect. The F.B.I. declined to comment.

Starting months ago, one of the users uploaded hundreds of pages of intelligence briefings into the small chat group, lecturing its members, who had bonded during the isolation of the pandemic, on the importance of staying abreast of world events.

The New York Times spoke with four members of the Thug Shaker Central chat group, one of whom said he has known the person who leaked for at least three years, had met him in person, and referred to him as the O.G. The friends described him as older than most of the group members, who were in their teens, and the undisputed leader. One of the friends said the O.G. had access to intelligence documents through his job.

While the gaming friends would not identify the group’s leader by name, a trail of digital evidence compiled by The Times leads to Airman Teixeira.

The Times has been able to link Airman Teixeira to other members of the Thug Shaker Central group through his online gaming profile and other records. Details of the interior of Airman Teixeira’s childhood home  — posted on social media in family photographs — also match details on the margins of some of the photographs of the leaked secret documents.

The Times also 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.

...


I wonder whether Airman Teixeira's position required him to submit to polygraph screening. (It seems likely.)
  

George W. Maschke
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Re: Polygraph Screening Seems Likely in Pentagon Document Leak Investigation
Reply #4 - Apr 15th, 2023 at 1:03pm
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So exact level of security clearance did Jack Teixeira have? Did he pass a polygraph during his leaking?
  
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Re: Polygraph Screening Seems Likely in Pentagon Document Leak Investigation
Reply #5 - Apr 15th, 2023 at 1:49pm
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Teixeira had a TS-SCI clearance. There is no public information regarding any polygraph examinations he may have undergone.
  

George W. Maschke
I am generally available in the chat room from 3 AM to 3 PM Eastern time.
Tel/SMS: 1-202-810-2105 (Please use Signal Private Messenger or WhatsApp to text or call.)
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Polygraph Screening Seems Likely in Pentagon Document Leak Investigation

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