Kash Patel, former chief of staff at the Pentagon and former deputy director of National Intelligence, in an exclusive interview with Breitbart News on Friday, questioned the evolving narrative over the Pentagon leaks — specifically that a 21-year-old Massachusetts Air National Guard reservist acted alone to leak top secret military data.
(Article by Kristina Wong republished from Breitbart.com)
Patel, a former federal prosecutor, said he does not believe “for a single second, this guy — a 21-year-old Air National Guardsman — ran this operation alone.”
Patel said, first, the suspected leaker, Jack Teixeira, would not have had access to the information without someone within the Department of Defense (DOD) or the intelligence community giving it to him, providing it to him, or telling him it should be put out there. “It’s just not possible,” he said.
He said even though he worked in information technology (IT), he still would not have had access to the information.
“You can be the biggest IT person in DOD, and you are still compartmented off of the actual information. Almost never does an IT person need to know, as we say, the substance of the intelligence. Their job is to provide the secure informations systems around it to protect any disclosures,” he said.
“This is crazy sensitive stuff,” he said. “Ninety-nine percent of people who have a Top Secret/SCI clearance don’t have access to this information. And me, as the former deputy DNI and chief of staff of the DOD and publisher of the [Presidential Daily Brief], with the highest security classification, knows that, literally, there is not a lot of people in the U.S. that have access to this kind of intel. It’s done for a reason. So this doesn’t happen.”
Patel said while the Joint Chief of Staff’s daily brief produced by its Directorate of Intelligence (J2) goes out to thousands of people, there is underlying contributing information that is compartmented and goes to fewer people. “The underlying intel — that’s very sensitive because it exposes how we got it, who we got it from, when we got it, and whether we can get it again, how is that delivered,” he said.
The Air Force confirmed to Breitbart News that Teixeira is Airman First Class, which is the third lowest enlisted rank in the Air Force and is a “cyber transport systems journeyman,” which is essentially an IT technician. He entered the Air National Guard in September 26, 2019. He is based at the Otis Air National Guard Base in Massachusetts.
Second, Patel said the way the classified information was put out suggests Teixeira did not act alone.
“Whether he’s in IT or not, is irrelevant. The way it was produced, the way it was put out there — pages, printed photographs taken, published online — that is a methodical way of releasing classified information illegally,” he said.
“I think he’s definitely working with other people in DOD or the intel space to get this information out. This is an Assange-style operation. This kid — no offense to him — at 21 years old, cannot put out this five-months, unlawful disclosure of sensitive intelligence,” he said.
Patel said the tradecraft around the way the leaks are being disclosed also suggests a cover-up of how damaging the leaks are.
“I think the DOD and the [intelligence community] gave it to [the New York Times and the Washington Post],” he said. “They’re giving it to them to say we need, you know, we needed a cover-up. We need to make sure people think Ukraine’s working, we need to make it seem like it’s one rogue 21-year-old actor in some airbase in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.”
“The amount of intelligence they got…Somebody’s giving them that type of documentation. It’s just not readily available,” he said about the reporting. “Where did they get that from? That doesn’t come from anyone who doesn’t have direct access at the end in the United States.”
“That the New York Times and Washington Post ‘broke’ this story, that also leads me to believe it’s the same tradecraft from Russiagate, that when deep state actors want stuff out there, they put it out to their sources,” he said. “Am I to believe that these two newspapers found this guy out first, before the FBI? That’s absurd. That’s the timeline we’re being told. So now, we have better investigators at the New York Times and the Washington Post than in the FBI?”
“This is an extensive cover-up,” Patel said of Teixeira’s arrest. “It’s going to go on for some time, and they needed a quick victory. This kid should be prosecuted, no questions asked, no questions about it in my mind — he broke the law and needs to be prosecuted.”
But, he said, “It’s a CYA operation, for sure. Because we haven’t gotten to the worst of it. We’re not there yet. There’s more stuff. And you know, there’s probably more stuff floating around in these chat rooms and whatnot, but they want to talk about him, the kid, and not the [verified intelligence].”
He said the intelligence shows that the Pentagon and President Joe Biden have been lying to the American people about how well the Ukraine War was doing.
“I think the substance of the intel…it says basically, our effort in the Ukraine, our $100 billion effort, is failing,” he said.
“And I think that’s why this has ignited such a firestorm in DOD–because they’ve been exposed and no one’s had any answers. So I don’t know if Congress is going to act, but the Gang of Eight, the Armed Services Committee, and possibly even Intel Committees need to jump in on this,” he said.
“Why hasn’t the Armed Services Committee subpoenaed [Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley] and [Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin] and demanded an answer under oath as to why they have been lying to the President of the United States, or permitted him to lie on the success and failure of our operations in Ukraine, who we have there, and how much money we’re spending there? Because they’ve been telling us for months and months and months that we’re on the verge of beating Putin,” he said.
“Why wasn’t this intelligence briefed to these members in Congress who are supposed to oversee our highest levels of intelligence? And if they were told it, it’s an even bigger problem because it clearly shows the U.S. position in the Ukraine failing,” he said.
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