With MTG and Tucker Carlson coming to the defense of the man arrested for the recent leaks, there is the smell of rank hypocrisy.
The use of the term “enemy of the state” is powerful and its rhetorical use can have consequences. One is left wondering whether the likes of Republican lawmaker Marjorie Taylor Greene and extreme Fox mouthpiece Tucker Carlson are in the Kremlin’s pocket. Roll up, roll up, for the latest act of the Pro-Putin Propaganda Circus is in town.
Yesterday saw US Air National Guardsman Jack Teixeira arrested by the FBI as the source of recent intelligence leaks. Under the moniker “OG” (i.e., “original gangster”), leading his gang of young gamers and fellow racists, he allegedly left a trove of photographed intelligence documents on a Discord server. Indeed, in a video seen by the Washington Post, a man identified as OG is seen at a shooting range with a large rifle, making racist and antisemitic slurs on camera.
The 21-year-old is deployed in the 102nd Intelligence Wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard. He is an adult who is enlisted to serve his country.
Certain commentators and politicians, though, prefer to see him as just a “kid.” You know, just engaging in spreading racist memes with friends in the group (including Holocaust jokes, anti-semitism, bigotry against Ukrainians, and such like), while stopping for the occasional prayer. Tucker Carlson was one of these defenders of the leaker, waxing lyrical on his recent Fox News show, as the Daily Beast reveals:
“The United States is a direct combatant in a war against Russia. As we speak, American soldiers are fighting Russian soldiers,” Carlson claimed. “This is a hot war between the two primary nuclear superpowers on Earth, and yet this war has never been formally declared. It has not been authorized by Congress. And for that reason, this war is a violation of American law. It is a crime.”
Tucker defended Teixera in no uncertain terms Thursday during his broadcast, repeatedly referring to the 21-year-old as a “kid” and suggesting that he should be celebrated as a whistleblower.
This is a whole suite of wrong in terms of the official position of the US government, laid out just hours before on Fox by National Security Council member John Kirby. US soldiers are not fighting Russian soldiers. Some special forces and other troops may well be out in Ukraine in embassies (the presence of US military personnel at the embassy was announced as early as last fall) and in capacities that are not unusual. And even if there were some special forces personnel working covertly in Ukraine, they would certainly not be involved in “fighting Russian soldiers.” I don’t see Carlson complaining of US special forces working in dozens of countries at any one time in operations to further the US agenda.
As the Daily Beast confirmed:
Despite Carlson’s assertions that the U.S. and Russia are engaging directly, Kirby confirmed to the Fox host’s own network that the American military presence in Ukraine is limited to the U.S. Embassy in Kiev—and is not involved in providing combat support, Fox News reporter Jacqui Heinrich tweeted.
A US Marine reached out to me today, saying:
As an American, I am enraged at the leak of classified documents. I’m angrier at the right-wing populist extremists making him sound like a juvenile or some anti-war activist. I joined the U.S. Marines when I was 19. I held a secret-level security clearance due to the position I held in the Marines. I held it for the duration of my military service 23 years. I’m not unique in this respect. Literally hundreds of thousands of other military people have done that. This traitor is a 21-year-old man—he’s not a child!
Other news outlets have pointed out his love of guns, antiwar stance, and religious views. As The Sun reported:
Together the crew of young men and boys would watch movies, laugh at edgy memes, and pray.
Teixeira was described as a natural leader and Christian who was anti-war.
Although I’m not sure that overt racism can be coined as merely “edgy.”
In case Marjorie Taylor Greene has the self-awareness to remove her foot-in-mouth tweets, you can check the image of her response below. However, I doubt very much she realizes her mouth-as-footwear predicament:
For years, we have been told in no uncertain terms that identity politics is the purview of the left. It appears that this is not really the case. The conclusion that Greene is drawing here is that the Biden “regime” sees white people and males and Christians and anti-war people as enemies. It’s quite amazing that Biden successfully garnered a record number of votes given the scale of people he and his party apparently see as enemies.
Another incredibly dangerous conclusion that Greene comes to is that it is somehow wrong to come to the defense of a country that is attacked if it is not in NATO, and that we shouldn’t defend any nation if the aggressor has nuclear weapons. This is an overt advocacy for bullying: saying that if Russia does anything (or any other nuclear nation), the US should step back and allow them full permission to do what they like because they have nuclear capability.
The US is not “waging war.” I contest this in the strongest of manners. A country that comes to the aid (when asked) of a sovereign nation invaded by an aggressor (and arguably a true enemy of the state) is not the wager of war but the defender of rights.
This is moral insanity.
In this sense, Greene is an enemy of the principles that the US supposedly stands for, and that the US is exhibiting precisely in defending and allying with Ukraine. I don’t see Greene defending the huddled masses—either in the US or hiding in the rubble of a missile-shattered building in Kramatorsk)—but rather dividing as opposed to unifying the people of the US.
If we are to throw the label around (and I would advise caution in doing so), then the person who best fits the bill for “enemy of the state” is Greene, the person who rushes to support an adult who purposefully leaks internationally sensitive national intelligence documents that could very well risk lives.
And with the same caveats, it might be worth throwing in Tucker Carlson as another worthy label recipient.