John Schindler, a former NSA analyst who made a name for himself as a leading critic of Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald, has been put on leave by the US Naval War College after it was discovered that he had sent at least one photo of his genitals to a woman he met through social media. After Schindler sent a picture of his penis to an online acquaintance the picture was then sent, presumably by the recipient, through social media and went viral online.
According to the Associated Press, the Naval War College’s president, Rear Adm. Walter E. “Ted” Carter Jr., has ordered an investigation into the incident and placed Schindler on leave. Evidence published so far, including an email between Schindler and a woman known as “Lesley” with the Twitter handle @Currahee88, indicates Schindler was in a non-traditional second marriage and sent the picture in furtherance of trying to have sex with “Lesley.” Both Schindler and his wife have deleted their social media accounts.
While Schindler has become most well known for his Tweets, he wrote two different messages on his blog about taking a break from the internet. The first was deleted then replaced with a second. In the first message Schindler attempts to blame his actions on his advocacy for the NSA and cites a “smear campaign.” The second version merely lists “personal problems” as the cause of Schindler deleting his Twitter account and taking a “strategic pause” from blogging.
Schindler worked as an NSA analyst from 1996 to 2004 and has taught at the Naval War College since 2005. He was also part of an interagency intelligence task force in 2002-2003 that claimed Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.
While a professor at the Naval War College, with a background in history, Schindler compared Edward Snowden to Hitler and said Pulitzer prize winning journalist Glenn Greenwald was a Stalinist at the level of mass murderer Lavrentiy Beria. Whether Schindler actually believes these are appropriate comparisons and statements is unknown, though he represents himself as an expert continually noting his PhD, NSA background, and his position as a professor at the Naval War College to validate his views.
It is not currently known how far reaching the investigation by the Naval War College will be into Schindler’s online activities.