Background Briefing: April 13, 2023
The Arrest of the Leaker and the Inordinate and Unnecessary Amount of Widely Circulated Classified Material
We begin with the arrest today of the leaker of classified documents that first appeared online eight months ago on Discord a gaming site where the postings by Jack Teixeira, a 21 year-old member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard under the handle of Jackthedripper, were shared by a small group of mostly teenagers calling themselves Thug Shaker Central who referred to Teixeira as OG. Joining us to discuss the inordinate and unnecessary amount of widely circulated classified material generated by the government is William Arkin, a Senior Editor at Newsweek and one of America’s premier military experts whose investigative work has appeared on the front pages of The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times. At the Washington Post he conceived and co-authored the landmark “Top Secret America” investigation, and co-wrote the national bestseller of the same name and has been a consultant to wide-ranging organizations, including the US Air Force, the United Nations Secretary General, Human Rights Watch, and the Natural Resources Defense Council. The bestselling author of more than a dozen books, includingThe Generals Have No Clothes: The Untold Story of Our Endless Wars, his latest book is On That Day: The Definitive Timeline of 9/11and his latest article at Newsweek is “Moscow’s Slow, Bloody March to Defeat.”
The Dangers Racist, White Supremacist, Anti Semitic and Anti Government Views Pose to the US Military
Then since the leaker clearly shared racist, white supremacist and anti-Semitic views, we look into dangers posed to the US military by far-right, racist and anti-government characters like Teixeira and speak with Dr. Heidi Beirich, co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism. An expert on the American and European far right, including white supremacist, anti semitic, anti-immigrant, anti government and other extremist movements, she has testified in Congress on issues related to extremism in the military and among veterans and on the dangers of accelerationist and neo-Nazi movements. The House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 attack on the US Capitol sought her testimony on the threat posed by the extremist Proud Boys and on the rise of white supremacy in the US.
Having Missed 60 Votes, Senator Feinstein is in No Hurry to Go Back To Work As She Holds Up Judicial Nominations
Then finally we look into how Senator Diane Feinstein is holding up judicial nominations and has missed 60 votes in the Senate, indicating she is in no hurry to go back to work as she recuperates from shingles after announcing she will not run again in 2024. Joining us to discuss whether Feinstein is undermining the Democrats’ slim majority in the Senate because of arrogance or dementia or a combination of both, is Alexander Sammon, a politics writer at Slate who has previously written for Mother Jones, The New Republic and the American Prospect. His latest article at Slate is “Democrats Can Be Democrats and Win” and we discuss calls for Feinstein to resign which would mean Governor Newsom would get to pick another senator for California having already promised to choose a woman of color.