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James Tweedie
James Tweedie
Originally from London’s Fulham district, James Tweedie is a print and web reporter and occasional commentator on world affairs. He is a former international editor for the Morning Star, and has also worked for RT and The Mail Online among other titles. He has appeared as a guest on BBC Radio 4’s PM programme, RT’s CrossTalk with Peter Lavelle and Iran’s Press TV. He has lived and worked in South Africa and Spain, and speaks fluent Spanish.

Pentagon Leaks pretext to grant US government new snooping powers

The Pentagon leaks have caused acute embarrassment in Washington and among the US national media, which missed the story for months.

Steve Poikonen, national organizer for Action4Assange, and writer Dr Jim Kavanagh, editor of online magazine The Polemicist, discuss the improbability of the entire narrative.

Washington is using the leak of classified Pentagon documents on Ukraine as an excuse to further invade citizens’ online privacy, says a defender of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

Steve Poikonen told Sputnik that the arrest and charging of 21-year-old Air National Guardsman Jack Teixeira was a gift to those in Washington pushing for more authoritarian controls on citizens’ web surfing.

“They have quite literally tailor made a present, built the box for it and then gift wrapped all of the reasons for Congress to pass the Restrict Act,” Poikonen said. “It makes sense if you’re trying to get that particular piece of legislation passed. It also makes sense if you’re trying to look for a pivot point in which to move the money laundering from Ukraine over to Taiwan. But outside of that… it’s ludicrous on its face.”
Writer Jim Kavanagh agreed that it was “kind of an unbelievable story,” but believed “documents are real, most of them anyway.”

“It’s astounding to me that this 21-year-old kid had top secret access to government,” Kavanagh stressed. “This is a pivot point in the sense that nobody can look at this stuff and deny that, first of all, the Americans are running this war.”

The leaks also prove that “Ukraine cannot win this war,” he added. “It’s creating a situation where the whole narrative of the Ukraine war is being undermined.”

“The worst results of it are going to be this thing where the media has turned into… little deputies for the security state and running around trying to find the culprits and demanding that they be punished,” Kavanagh warned. “It’s going to be used as fodder to get the Restrict Act and more government control of social media.”

Poikonen also slammed the mainstream media for helping the Pentagon distract attention from the content of the leaks and Washington’s misadventure in Ukraine.

“If anybody is looking at this kid as anything other than a fully shielded party at this point, it’s because they’re being asked to look in a different direction,” he said.

Teixeira’s alleged use of an online chat group on the Discord app to leak images of the documents perplexed Kavanagh, who said it indicated “an incredible incompetence” among security agents — and gave credence to the idea that the junior airman was fed the leaks by someone higher up the command chain.

For more in-depths analysis, check out the latest episode of Sputnik’s podcast The Critical Hour.

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