A series of confidential documents from the US Pentagon have been leaked on a Discord server, with these documents pertaining to US surveillance of both its allies and enemies. The documents include spying on key allies across the globe such as South Korea, Israel and the Ukraine. What is interesting about all these countries is that they are all embroiled by diplomatic or military conflict (South Korea is dealing with increased military provocations from its northern neighbour, Israel is dealing with Palestinian dissidents, and Ukraine is defending itself from a Russian invasion that has already commenced for a year ever since its beginning in late February 2022. The documents also show that the USA has penetrated the Russian Ministry of Defense and the Russian mercenary organisation Wagner Group mainly through intercepted communications and human sources, which could now be compromised or cut off entirely. They also detail key weaknesses in Ukrainian weaponry, air defence, and battalion sizes and readiness at a time when Ukrainian forces are preparing to launch a counteroffensive against the Russians. As a result, this has put Ukraine and America’s mutually trusting relationship over intelligence-sharing into some doubt, although according to a source close to Ukrainian President Zelenskyy this has been anticipated by the country’s intelligence units. Nevertheless, it has ruffled the feathers of the diplomats of the countries involved in the leaks, given that this could potentially fuel negative sentiment towards the USA as an ‘imperialist’ nation, an agenda which is being pushed in US enemy countries such as North Korea.
The Discord server in the centre of this event has also been the source of much attention given that it belonged to wow_mao, a Filipino-born Youtuber currently based in the UK capital London that created meme videos concerning a wide range of topics such as country trivia that catered to a niche audience. A moderator (someone who regulated the content posted on the server in order to prevent sensitive information, for example) of this online community for wow_mao’s fans had posted images of leaked documents concerning leaked Pentagon information on March 1st of this year, taking the content creator by surprise. He was even later interviewed online by Times Radio, where he stated‘’Now I have to deal with the CIA and FBI”, and told them that ‘[he] didn’t know that [the documents] were posted on [his] server until the news broke about a week ago in April’. The quick-moving nature of Discord as a social media platform would justify this absence of knowledge, as the messages that contained the leaks would slowly have increasingly more unrelated messages piled on top of it as time went on.