Following the leak of sensitive Defense Department documents, President Joe Biden announced an initiative to protect sensitive intelligence. For many conservatives, they argue that it is an issue of too little, too late.
The Biden administration announced the major changes after the arrest of 21-year-old airman Jack Teixeira. Teixeira is accused of releasing approximately 100 sensitive documents on a Discord server. The information made its rounds on other sites until a New York Times report made the information more public.
During Biden’s trip to Ireland, the White House released a statement in which the president praised the “rapid action taken by law enforcement to investigate and respond” to the leaks.
The president added that he “directed our military and intelligence community to take steps to further secure and limit distribution of sensitive information.”
Biden previously said that he was “not concerned about the leak” because “there’s nothing contemporaneous that I’m aware of that is of great consequence.”
While President Biden saw the information within the leaked documents as not important, members of both parties and the intelligence community appear quite concerned.
The documents outline the scope of the war in Ukraine, including an estimate that appears to show lower Russian casualties than reported. Furthermore, the documents uncovered a potential plan by Egypt, an American ally, to send rockets to Russia.
House Speaker Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) criticized the White House over the initial leak, stating that it “failed to secure classified information.”
The California Republican wrote on Twitter that “Congress will get answers as to why they were asleep at the switch.”
The Biden administration has failed to secure classified information.
Through our committees, Congress will get answers as to why they were asleep at the switch.
— Kevin McCarthy (@SpeakerMcCarthy) April 14, 2023
The sheer size and scope of the information is the largest such revelation since Edward Snowden’s 2013 leaks about federal government spying.
The leaks not only contain a number of important assessments on the war between Russia and Ukraine but also that the United States has been spying on a number of its allies.
According to the documents, Washington has spied on internal communications within Ukraine, South Korea, and Israel. In particular, the Pentagon was concerned that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky would launch a strike deep into Russian territory.