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How Low Can Marjorie Taylor Greene Low?

U.S. Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene speaking with attendees at the 2022 Student Action Summit at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Florida.
U.S. Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene speaking with attendees at the 2022 Student Action Summit at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Florida.

The best that could be said of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s commentary on the recent national security leaks is that the mainstream left likely would have said something identical if the current president was a Republican.

Otherwise, the Georgia Republican who has been little more than a human Twitter feed since she was elected might have topped herself for abhorrent conduct.

Greene came to the defense of the alleged leaker, who far from some insider Edward Snowden or Daniel Ellsberg, was a low-level 21-year-old member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard trying to impress his teenage gaming buddies.  

“Jake Teixeira is white, male, Christian, and antiwar. That makes him an enemy to the Biden regime,” Greene tweeted.

“And he told the truth about troops being on the ground in Ukraine and a lot more,” she ranted. “Ask yourself who is the real enemy? A young low level national guardsmen? Or the administration that is waging war in Ukraine, a non-NATO nation, against nuclear Russia without war powers?”

The documents did reveal that the picture for Ukraine in fending off Russian aggression is not as rosy as the Biden administration would have the public believe.

Teixeira was a member of the Massachusetts Air Force National Guard’s 102nd Intelligence Wing. He was charged last week for allegedly leaking the documents through a Discord chat group.

In addition to Ukraine and Russia, the documents also included information about the Middle East and Asia.

The Pentagon called this a deliberate criminal act, and it appears to be, no matter how petty the motive regarding gaming buddies who liked to play war video games.

An equally moronic human Twitter feed, Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., sniped, “This wouldn’t be the first time she sided with traitors,” referring to MTG. As compared to sleeping with Chinese spies like Swalwell? That might be a little worse on the scale of siding against your country.

Of course, Democrats will criticize her, but Swalwell’s buffoonery doesn’t make any of her buffoonery OK. She simply makes a big target of herself. 

This comes after she attempted to look sort of establishment-ish when she backed Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., for speaker of the House against a Republican insurgency. She also came off looking not entirely as horrible as one might expect from a 60 Minutes feature about her.

Then she has to do this. Being counterintuitive, and challenging conventional wisdom can be a good thing if done in a thoughtful, logical manner. For example, Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky. and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., frequently force uncomfortable conversations.

But Greene seems to simply crave national headlines and is willing to say anything to get them.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. said it’s irresponsible for any member of Congress to defend the leaker’s actions.

“What they’re suggesting will destroy America’s ability to defend itself. That it’s OK to release classified information based on your political views. That the ends justify the means. It is not OK,” Graham said. 

“If you’re a member of the military intelligence community and you disagree with American policy and you think you’re going to be OK when it comes to leaking classified information, you’re going to go to jail,” he continued. “It’s one of the most irresponsible statements you could make. The ability for America to gather intelligence from human resources on the ground has been compromised. We can’t have a chaotic intelligence-gathering system. If you give us information and it’s disclosed, you can lose your life. The way we gather intelligence protects our country. There are military members serving today from Georgia and other places who are less safe because of what this airman did.”

This is true now, but was also true in the past when the left lionized leakers. Perhaps the line between a “leaker” and a “whistleblower” depends on which party is getting dinged. For this conversation, let’s define whistleblowers as exposing corruption at risk to themselves while exposing classified information as leaking.

As easy a target as Greene is for Democrats now, she’s basically said many of the same things that progressives have said of past leakers.

The New York Times gave sympathetic coverage to Reality Winner.

President Barack Obama commuted the sentence of Chelsea Manning, convicted after sending classified documents to Wikileaks. Manning then went on to launch an unsuccessful Senate campaign in Maryland.

Former President Jimmy Carter and former Vice President Al Gore were among politicians on both sides to defend Edward Snowden who leaked National Security Agency information about domestic surveillance during the Obama administration. Snowden was glorified by an Oliver Stone film. Now he’s living in Russia, a country with few human rights.

Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers, has been lionized in history, and to his credit was willing to go to jail, believing he could save lives by exposing the government’s lies about the Vietnam War.

Whether it’s Republicans being knee-jerk supportive of anything that makes President Joe Biden look bad, or if it’s Democrats ever go back to being themselves on leaks (and they will when the White House changes hands), it’s time for the public to call for an end to the cult of the leaker.

There was nothing courageous about what this little gaming nerd did.

One important difference between a whistleblower and a leaker is that there is a process for a well-intentioned whistleblower to be protected.

Snowden could be a free man in a free country now had he gone to an inspector general or to a member of Congress and sought whistleblower protection. The same could be said of the other characters.

We learned this in part from the first Trump impeachment, as silly as that was.

It’s damaging to international relations to leak the contents of a presidential phone call with another head of state, as occurred with Trump and Ukraine President Zelensky. Whether the leaker was sincerely offended or just a deep state Trump hater, he went to the Intelligence Community’s inspector general, and coordinated with Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif. and gained legal whistleblower protection.

Overclassification is a problem, but a separate discussion.

In the meantime, there have to be consequences for endangering classified information and thus potentially endangering American lives. 

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Barbara Joanna Lucas is a writer and researcher in Northern Virginia. She has been a healthcare professional, political blogger, is a proud dog mom, and news junkie. Follow her on Twitter @BasiaJL.

Barbara Joanna Lucas is a writer and researcher in Northern Virginia. She has been a healthcare professional, political blogger, is a proud dog mom, and news junkie. Follow her on Twitter @BasiaJL.