- by theguardian
- 21 Sep 2023
Jack Teixeira, the 21-year-old Massachusetts air national guard member who was charged on Friday with leaking classified Pentagon documents, has joined a long list of individuals who have been prosecuted for allegedly disclosing sensitive US national security intelligence.
Previous leaks have ranged from information about US wars in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan to details of Russian interference in American elections. Despite the diversity of the subject matter, the treatment of the leakers has shared a common relentlessness on the part of the US government in pursuing those it accuses of breaching its trust.
In March 1971, Ellsberg, a military analyst, leaked a top-secret study to the New York Times. The document, which became known as the Pentagon Papers, spanned US involvement in Vietnam between 1945 and 1967 and exposed covert efforts by successive US presidents to escalate the conflict while hiding deep doubts about the chances of victory.
Early last month, the 92-year-old Ellsberg, who has become revered as the doyen of whistleblowers, revealed that he has terminal cancer and has months to live.
Sterling, a former CIA operations officer, served more than two years of a 42-month sentence after he was prosecuted under the Espionage Act for allegedly leaking information about a botched covert US operation with Iran to the then New York Times journalist James Risen. In 2003, Risen published details of the operation in a book, State of War.
Sterling has denied ever talking to Risen about Iran.
A former senior official with the National Security Agency (NSA), Drake was charged in 2010 with leaking classified information to the Baltimore Sun. He faced 10 counts with a possible 35-year sentence, though the charges were whittled down to a single misdemeanor for which he was given a year of probation.
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