Hero or Villain?

Last week, Jack Teixira, a 21-year-old National Guardsman, leaked military secrets that could damage the efforts of Ukraine to defend itself against Russian aggression. It will certainly damage the reputation of the United States with its allies, and could help Russia identify American agents abroad.

What should be done to punish this person? Should he be tried in civilian or in military court? How are his actions different from those who seek open government?

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28 Responses to Hero or Villain?

  1. Bill Arnoldus says:

    The punishment for leaking classified information is up to 10 years in prison, a large fine, or both. So somewhere around 10 years is good and considering he is 21, he probably can’t pay a large fine. The president isn’t too worried about the actual information that got leaked so neither am I. As far as I’m concerned nothing has came from the leaking of the documents and it’s just the principle thats being upheld, “you don’t leak classified information on discord servers”.

  2. Gordon Welch says:

    I believe he should be tried in civilian court to avoid bias that might exist in military court since he leaked documents. I believe he deserves ten years in prison with no bail. This will hopefully give him enough time in prison to realize that what he did was really stupid. It will also be hard for him to find a job out of prison, since no government or large corporation will want to hire him. Those who seek open government want to know what their government is doing and see necessary documents. However, even in open government, some documents are kept hidden to protect citizens.

  3. Kelvin Pool says:

    I believe he should be tried in civilian court. It seems his biggest crime was cockiness and not having a life. While he definitely knew what he was doing was wrong, that’s what people like him do. I don’t th9ink he’s special enough to warrant some heinous punishment. He’s just a young guy in a world where old people run the government. Someone like me could spot a discord incel a mile away. In a suit or basketball shorts.

    • James Talamo says:

      Trying him in civilian court would make no sense considering his crime. He leaked documents directly linked to his service. His trial should be conducted by a jury of enlisted individuals, who actually understand the severity of the crime. If these crimes like his aren’t punished severely, then people will simply do it more often, which can lead to danger for NATO and its allies, as well as the whole world. Regardless of how “special” he is, making sure he isn’t let off the hook is vital to making sure leaks like this are avoided in the future.

  4. Ava Wilson says:

    I think that he should be tried in a civilian court to avoid bias from the military court. The more articles I read, the bigger the leak seems to have been. The Guardian even said that there are up to 300 documents circulating, some marked top secret, and that it is one of the worst leaks in the past decade of US government history. I wouldn’t be surprised by any time in prison that he might face. If the leak is as bad as it seems, then I think that he should receive the punishments under the Espionage Act, in which he is being charged on two counts. The Espionage Act calls for death (which I don’t think he should get death) or imprisonment for no more than 30 years.

  5. Gracyn Young says:

    If the information leaked is nothing of any major importance, I believe that he should be tried as a civilian and charged with the typical sentence of ten years. I agree with what most people are commenting about his age, how he is young and still learning, but still needs to be held accountable for his wrongdoings. This is the reason why I am not suggesting that he be tried in a military court because their punishments are typically harsher and frowned upon.

    However, if the information was of any substance, and could cause harm to a handful of people, it would be a different case, despite his age, job, and financial status.

  6. Teixira isn’t a hero. The leaked documents contained information about an ongoing war in Ukraine where over 8,000 civilian deaths have been confirmed so far. The information that he leaked, “detailed intelligence assessments of allies and adversaries alike,” meaning that his acts put the lives of thousands of U.S. soldiers at risk. He should be tried in a military courtroom. While his actions would have inadvertently affected US citizens, they would have had a direct effect on the soldiers in Ukraine and spoiled any military action that they had planned. His punishment should be decided in court, but he should serve time in federal prison. The careless act of leaking state secrets that put the lives of soldiers at risk should not be swept under the rug or given a second chance. The government should not make it look like somebody can get away with something this serious.

  7. Laykin Dixon says:

    I believe he should be trialed in civilian court. In the military court, it would be way too much bias. He deserves ten years without bail. His actions of releasing this put so many people at risk. He definitely deserves punishment for those actions. Even though he is young he should still pay for his actions. Actions have consequences and he definitely has some learning to do about that.

  8. Laykin Dixon says:

    I believe he should be trialed in civilian court. In the military court, it would be way just so many people against him due to his connection. He deserves ten years without bail. His actions of releasing this put so many people at risk. He definitely deserves punishment for those actions. Even though he is young he should still pay for his actions. Actions have consequences and he definitely has some learning to do about that.

  9. Kinsley Hendricks says:

    I think Jack should be trialed in military court because he did something against the military therefore his punishment will be equal for his crime. He has potentially put people from the US and Ukraine and danger. Hundreds to hundreds of thousands of people could be attacked or killed by this. According to an article I had read Jack was already a man people were weary of from some of the things he’s done; some people said they never would’ve thought he would do something like that. Regardless of if he did it on purpose or not is unknown but he still deserves an appropriate consequence for what he did.

    • Victoria West says:

      I agree with this. Though military court would likely involve a harsher punishment, it may be necessary. He deserves to face the consequences of the actions that took place. In places where I’ve read that 300+ governmental documents are circulating, law enforcement is dealing with an extreme case. Like Kinsley said, whether he did it on purpose or not, he deserves the punishment.

  10. Kinsley Collum says:

    I think that Jack should be tried in military court since his offence is mainly related to military actions. Legally it makes more sense for him to be tried by military court than civilian, as there is be less relations to civilians. I feel that he should receive a fair trial completely weighing the consequences of his actions to the “why” he did it and his young age. Either way the court rules, Jack should spend time in prison because his actions affected a great deal of people, regardless of if it was an accident.

  11. Atticus Ross says:

    For this matter, I think he should be tried in civilian court. The punishment should definitely be pretty serious because of how serious leaking military secrets is. Up to 10 or more years in prison could be the right amount. Putting other lives at risk and putting a negative lens on the US with its allies is very unforgiving and this may make it different from others who seek open government.

  12. Justin Doan says:

    I believe Jack should be tried in military court. What Jack did was basically no different from espionage so he should tried as so with at least 15 years of imprisonment. Jack leaked military information for no reason that could put many lives at risk and did not think about the consequences. However, Jack is still young so even if he does get let off with light charges, society will shun him in the future for what he has done which may as well be a great enough punishment.

  13. Alex White says:

    I believe Teixira should be tried in military court seeing as he abused his military access. 10 years in prison is a reasonable punishment. His actions are different from those who seek open government because of its extremity level. He did more than alert the American public of what it’s government was doing, he jeopardized lives, compromised plans, and prevented possible solutions from being executed. His actions had a magnificent impact on an international conflict which is what differentiates his actions from those who seek open government.

  14. Makayla Houston says:

    I believe that Teixeira should be tried in military court. For someone like him who was an Air Force Guardsman the punishment for civilian court would not do it any justice. In military court the punishment for leaking documents like that would be far more severe. He would be tried for espionage and far worse he would be considered a traitor to the States. He risked the lives of many American citizens. This was an abuse of power on his part, and he knew exactly what he was doing.

  15. Rushyendranath Reddy Nalamalapu says:

    The individual should be tried in military court. Even if there was an argument that he was a civilian, his actions caused detriment to a government organization and potentially the accountability of the U.S. government.
    There may exist an argument that he was seeking an open government. However, it should be known that he released information during times of rising global political tension. His actions cause a string of consequences that can not be recovered. In situations where the decisions of one individual cause permanent damage in any respect, there is a hefty punishment to be followed. Open government and survival in the global politic landscape is a balance that must be met. By championing open government, there may be a sacrifice in global events. These sacrifices are not justifiable for the current situation in my opinion.

  16. Vishnu Gadepalli says:

    This sounds like he is definitely not a good guy. Who knows what his actions have caused in foreign countries. Assuming that the documents were actually important, his sentence seems to fit. We can’t live in a world where people like this get let off the hook. I think he should be tried in military court because what he did directly concerns the military. I don’t really understand any argument for him being tried in civilian court and frankly, it’s irrelevant. As a member of the military he needs to have more awareness of what he’s doing and understand the consequences of his actions, however from his descriptions, he knew exactly what he was doing, and that only further supports his sentence.

  17. Avery McMechan says:

    Here’s the issue, our Airman and National Guardsman in question, should under no circumstances be charged in a civilian manner. I’m not sure why that’s even a question as what he did is military related, destabilization in particular, he’s an armed service member, and the crime he’s being charged with is of military precedence. I understand what he was trying to do, yes the Ukraine war and America’s involvement has been an absolute joke to the Biden Administration since it started, and yes it is certainly wrong. There’s just one issue, now American agents are at risk, now people’s lives are in danger even more than they were before. The saying you can’t handle the truth is pretty ironic when it’s right. I believe that the Airman should be charged, but so should the Biden Administration be equally held accountable for taking advantage of a war in the way they have. In the Navy we have these fun little things called CDM’s or Closed Door Meeting’s, I’m not entirely sure what the other branches equivalents are but it’s when higher ups and somebody who’s got something important but problematic, all meet behind closed doors to solve it, no cameras, nothing leaves the room. This is what he should have done, reports to the Officers and Generals in charge would have helped, but writing this I see why that wasn’t an option. Because they already knew, and equally knew that they could do nothing because of the current Presidential Administration. I commend Jack Teixira, he did something that he knew would likely cost a large debt to his life, but he did the right thing nonetheless, atleast people know what kind of monsters among men “lead” our country now.

  18. Vivian Peng says:

    Jack Teixira should face charges in military court despite being a civilian. By exposing sensitive information and causing harm to a government organization, he could have endangered both military and civilian lives during a time of political tension. As an individual with national guardsman status, he should have been aware of the seriousness of his actions. The prosecution process must be carried out within legal boundaries while considering national security concerns. I do not think it is not appropriate for him to receive leniency for immaturity due to the gravity of his offense.

    To be frank, since his crime was a military violation, he should face charges in military court.

  19. Elijah Camba says:

    I think, just like any other citizen, he should receive the standard punishment for this crime, 10 years in prison and fined. And, since he served in the military, he should be fined by a military court. Ideally (and I might be wrong), it wouldn’t make much of a difference whether the court is civilian or military. As far as I know, those who serve in the military are still subject to the customs and policies of the land. What really concerns me is just how safe information is nowadays, since a gun geek can leak documents online just out of pure interest. In fact, it is quite scary, in my opinion, on how common those types of people are, and it bothers me that he might not be the only one that can pull off something like this.

  20. James Talamo says:

    I believe that he should 100% be tried in military court. I see a lot of comments expressing concern about bias in military court, but this guy isn’t some high ranking officer or general, he’s just an Airman first class. The crimes he committed were also completely surrounding his military duty. In military court, a jury only has to have 3/4 majority to convict, so if there was any bias (which I doubt a military jury, made up of enlisted member, is going to be in favor of someone who leaking documents that threatens not only US allies, but also the USA itself) it would be easier for logic to prevail than if there was a single biased juror in civilian court.

  21. Bryanna Boggs says:

    Since he is not a civilian, I think trying him in a military court would make sense. Though there is some concern about bias in a military court, I don’t think it would be concern enough to risk that the jury of a civilian court could potentially not understand the severity, or lack thereof, of the crime itself. For his punishment, I think that he should get the standard 10 years for leaking government documents, especially since the repercussions of his actions weren’t felt immensely.

  22. Kermit Oville says:

    I believe he should be tried in a military court. Even though his trial may include people who would want him to be severely punished, he gave information to Russia that could not only effect the Ukraine but also the United States of America. Every action has a consequence. We, as people, have been taught to think before we complete any action that may cause trouble for another person. He has put many lives in danger from this action. I believe the same people he caused trouble for should determine his punishment.

  23. Anthony Bradley says:

    The guy is just kind of stupid. He should be tried in a military court as he is a part of the national guard and also leaked military secrets. He did it purposely and maliciously which makes it even worse for him.

    There is a difference between wanting an open government and doing what this guy did. He just randomly gave out highly secret information with no actual reason beyond being an idiot. Plus, if we had all our government information open to the public, then our enemies could access it just as easily. Pretty much while human conflict is still a thing and there are nefarious people out there, we cannot have an open government. Unless you want our country in implode on itself that is.

  24. Bradley Kuebler says:

    I believe he should be tried in a military court since his actions were directly related to his service. He committed a federal crime that could’ve risked the lives of thousands of people and interfere with an ongoing war. His actions are the same as people who are seeking open government is that he literally committed a federal crime that endangered thousands of people and could’ve sabotaged an ongoing war in which a country we support is being ruthlessly invaded.

  25. Jacqueline Smith says:

    I think he should be imprisoned as an example. I agree with the 10 years that is being thrown out. I don’t think he should be put in a strict institution as his crimes were dumb and nonviolent. Someone else should also be held accountable that a 21-year-old who posts on Discord had access to top-secret documents. However, he should be tried in military court, as his actions have international consequences. I agree with Bryanna that a civilian court would not fully understand the severity of his actions. It doesn’t seem like he has leaked information for the education or well-being of civilians, so this instance significantly differs from open government. This entire ordeal was idiotic, it had no point or agenda, and it was embarrassing to the United States. I think there is a consensus that the government needs to be more careful with who they hire.

  26. Komal Patel says:

    While his actions did not constitute direct harm to Americans, it was a military offense that supported a country harming an entire country. So I think (like most of the bloggers) Jack Teixeira should be tried in military court, and Jack Teixeira is a National Guardsman so it is does make sense for him to be tried in a military court. It did not seem like a progressive step toward an open government because an open government calls for transparency between citizens and the government(not the same as military information given to another country).The main drawback seems to be the bias in the court. Obviously, he would most likely receive a harsher punishment if he was tried in military court. Although, I agree with Bryanna and Jacqueline about the severity of his actions for the military, and the consequences that will occur unknown to the public. This situation will mostly affect the military so they should handle it.

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