The Pentagon is on the defensive after Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador accused them of spying on Mexico’s government.
Obrador raised his concerns after a spate of documents leaked in U.S. media, claiming the Pentagon was targeting Mexico several days after the leaks exposed alleged tensions between Mexico’s Navy and the Army.
“We are going to take care of the information from Semar and Sedena because we are being spied on by the Pentagon, and many media outlets are leaking information that the [Drug Enforcement Agency] gives them,” Obrador said without providing evidence.
The accusations come as the Biden administration is attempting to tamp down a series of foreign policy controversies triggered by the Pentagon leaks, raising concerns among allies about the security of intelligence shared with the U.S.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said over the weekend that the leaks had not affected U.S. cooperation with allies, but Obrador said the U.S. intelligence in the leaks was an “abusive, overbearing intrusion that should not be accepted under any circumstance.”
The FBI recently arrested 21–year–old Jack Teixeira, a Massachusetts Air National Guard member, and charged him with violating the Espionage Act for posting dozens of transcriptions and photos of classified documents to a private Discord server. It is believed that some of the documents later circulated freely online after a member of the Discord group posted them publicly.
The arrest of Teixeira, who was granted top–secret security clearance to aid his unit in sharing intelligence for combat support and homeland security, has done little to quell the fears of U.S. allies over the security of U.S. intelligence.
U.S. allies have reportedly expressed concern over the security of U.S. intelligence before and after it was revealed that the leaks allegedly came from Teixeira, a junior IT worker in the Air National Guard.
The Pentagon has yet to respond to Obrador’s accusations, but the controversy over the leaks and their potential effects on U.S. security partnerships will likely continue to simmer until the Biden administration is able to assure allies that their intelligence is safe.