Inside the Pentagon leak

April 15, 2023
Hello, Insiders. I sent a memo to the Insider newsroom this week about artificial intelligence and journalism. You can read it here.

The TL;DR: AI — specifically, ChatGPT — can be useful for research and brainstorming, but it’s not a journalist. It often gets facts wrong. So we will use it very carefully, and our reporters and editors will always be accountable and responsible for accuracy, fairness, originality, and quality in every story we publish.

As for today’s newsletter, our senior correspondent Mattathias Schwartz is breaking down what the Pentagon leak means for the US’s secrecy system. Let’s start there.

— Nicholas Carlson

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iStock; Rebecca Zisser/Insider


Jack Teixeira, an airman at a National Guard Unit in Massachusetts, was indicted Friday for leaking hundreds of classified documents to a private Discord server.

At 21 years old, his alleged behavior indicates that despite his training, he was little more than a child. Teixeira seems to have spent much of his free time hanging out online, arguing with strangers, and venting reportedly racist opinions, Insider’s Mattathias Schwartz reports. Nevertheless, the United States government allegedly saw fit to grant him access to some of its most closely guarded secrets.

The math has been stacked against the secret-keepers for a generation, from Edward Snowden to Reality Winner. But what’s different about Teixeira is his apparent motive.

Teixeira allegedly did it not for country, but for clout. The case exposes how the US classification system is failing on its own terms — namely the ability to make a select group of people trustable in the keeping of secrets.


What everyone’s talking about

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  • More men are getting plastic surgery. Adam Rubinstein, a Miami-based board-certified plastic surgeon, told Insider he’s seen an uptick in men coming into his practice over the past few years. He revealed the top four procedures trending among men right now, including “fake ab” surgery and buccal fat removal for a chiseled jawline.
  • Cash stuffing, an old-school budgeting trick, is gaining traction again. Cash stuffing, which involves putting cash in labeled envelopes, has become particularly popular on TikTok, where videos with the hashtag #cashstuffing have collectively been viewed over 970 million times. Some say it’s helped them turn their financial situations around.
  • 2023 will be the year of “Barbiecore.” With the looming release of the “Barbie” movie, the internet has a new aesthetic obsession: Barbiecore. Mattel’s Barbie is the muse of the moment — and her signature campy, pink-laden, and doll-like fashion is the latest look that everyone is clamoring to get.

How I make money

Courtesy of The Peninsula Beverly


  • “I manage a luxury hotel in Beverly Hills.” Rebecca Goldberg has been hotel manager of The Peninsula Beverly Hills for over two years. She told Insider what it’s like balancing celebrities, former presidents, and regular guests. Read on.
  • “I used Turo to scale my business.” After getting laid off, Lavell Riddle started driving for Uber and Lyft to pay his bills. In 2021, he rented out five vehicles on the car-sharing app Turo to make additional income. Last year, he earned $72,020 in income on Turo. More here.
  • “I bought 2 Airbnb tiny houses and put them in my yard — now it’s my primary source of income.” Ansel Troy bought the homes for $35,000 each, and has been able to keep prices low to keep people coming. Read his story.

Royals, Trump, & more

TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images


  • Royal experts say Meghan Markle’s decision to skip King Charles’ coronation was a “brilliant” strategy in an impossible situation.
  • Rupert Murdoch’s divorce settlement with Jerry Hall reportedly banned her from sharing story ideas with “Succession” writers. The Murdoch family largely served as inspiration for the HBO hit show.
  • It’s much easier to buy a home in these 5 cities than it was last year, from Raleigh to Huntsville, Alabama. See the list.
  • Tesla fans are buzzing about a suspected Model 3 redesign after a Reddit poster claimed to have captured an un-camouflaged photo of the new front-end for the Model 3. It’s unclear if the photo is real, so take it with a grain of salt.
  • John Edwards and Donald Trump were both accused of paying money to women who said they had affairs with them. But the cases are quite different.
  • “A stranger hired me as her assistant so I could quit my day job.” Tiana Duarte-Kargbo took her photography side hustle full time after an opportune offer.
  • Thieves stole at least 1 million dimes — that’s $100,000 — from a cargo truck parked overnight at a Philadelphia Walmart. The truck was carrying $750,000 in dimes from a US Mint facility to Florida.

Your entertainment planner

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Coachella


  • Coachella weekend kicked off Friday afternoon in Indio, California. Bad Bunny headlined the first day, while Blackpink is the big draw today and Frank Ocean is the main attraction for Sunday. Keep up with our coverage.
  • The final season of “Barry” premieres Sunday. Just like “Succession,” one of HBO’s most popular shows is ending with its fourth season. And by all accounts, the dark comedy starring Bill Hader is going out with a bang. For more on the final season of “Barry,” read this feature from The Ringer.
  • Netflix’s next live event: The “Love is Blind” reunion special. The season 4 finale aired Friday, but everyone involved in the reality show — where people propose without ever seeing each other — will reunite and debrief in a live show Sunday night. For more “Love Is Blind,” check out the season’s most cringeworthy moments.

Marketing for Small Business

Join us Tuesday, April 25 at 12 p.m. ET: For small and midsize business owners, creative and efficient marketing is a must-have — even with limited resources.


Insider’s virtual event, “Marketing for Small Business,” presented by Mailchimp, is designed for entrepreneurs and marketers looking to learn the latest strategies, grow their customer base, and maximize ROI. Register now.


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This edition was curated by Nicholas Carlson, and edited by Lisa Ryan, Dave Smith, Nathan Rennolds, and Jensen Rubinstein. Get in touch:

Categories: Military

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