Jack Teixeira: What Went Wrong

May 30, 2023

In a May 30 column for Clearancejobs.com, Val LeTellier, chair of INSA's Insider Threat Subcommittee, Emerging Threat Working Group, looks at the disconnect in the Teixeira case between the presence of numerous insider threat risk indicators and prevention. 

Jack Teixeira: What Went Wrong

Based on publicly available court documents, it is known that Air National Guardsman Jack Teixeira allegedly repeatedly accessed classified information without a need-to-know, even after being directed by his leadership not to access similar information. He then allegedly shared the information on Discord, a social media platform not authorized for classified information to anonymous individuals.

What has not yet been publicly disclosed is how the Air National Guard security system failed to prevent the unauthorized disclosure of classified information.

While new details continue to be revealed, Air Force officials were aware of Teixeira’s transgressions months before his March 2023 arrest. Although he was reportedly written up in September 2022 for taking unauthorized notes on classified intelligence information and cited for ignoring this cease-and-desist order a month later, he continued to view classified intelligence information unrelated to his primary duty as late as January 2023.

Over the months Teixeira posted classified information on Discord, Teixeira displayed extremist views—exhibiting profound disloyalty to the U.S. government, an interest in racist and white nationalist propaganda, a fascination with weapons and war, and unusual opinions about mass shootings.

Psychosocial and behavioral indicators associated with violent extremism or weapons/mass shootings are themselves worthy of further examination. It’s possible that if not for his arrest, Teixeira might have carried out an act of violence like those that he had so frequently praised.

The question then becomes: Given the indicators of concern, why was Teixeira able to retain a top-secret security clearance?

Read the full column

Special thanks to working group members Sue Steinke, Bishop Garrison, Michael Crouse, Frank Greitzer, Eric Lang, James Onusko, Ross Tapp, and Fred Walker for their contributions to this series. 

First Installment: 

Jack Teixeira: Anomaly or Archetype