Information on Hungary in leaked NATO documents deemed authentic

May 03. 2023. – 09:41 AM



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The National Information Centre (Nemzeti Információs Központ,NIK) has declassified a report on the Hungarian implications of the intelligence leaks known as the Pentagon Leaks, Hvg noticed. According to the accompanying cover letter, the documents contained three allegations concerning Hungary, none of which appear to be false, but NIK has found that the Americans did not wiretap the Hungarian government.

The report was presented to the National Security Committee of the National Assembly on 19 April and was originally classified.

However, on the initiative of the committee's chairman, Zoltán Sas, the director general of the NIK declassified the report, so now both the presentation and the letter that Brigadier General András Kovács, the Director General of the NIK, attached to the presentation are available.

The Pentagon documents contain allegations concerning Hungary on three topics:

  • The first document in the presentation identifies Hungary as part of the alliance cooperation, fulfilling its allied responsibilities as part of the Southeast Battalion Combat Group.
  • In the second document, the intelligence section of the Joint Chiefs of Staff summarises the then current position of the allied countries on arms transfers – and states that Hungary doesn't supply lethal equipment to Ukraine and doesn't intend to do so in the future. However, 14 Mi-8 HP helicopters of the Croatian Armed Forces will be delivered to Ukraine via Hungarian airspace.
  • The CIA Operations Center report says that Viktor Orbán identified the United States as one of his party's top three opponents at a political strategy meeting on 22 February. The report's author cited the US Embassy in Budapest as a source, noting that this represents an increase in the level of anti-American rhetoric in communications.

In the document, Zoltán András Kovács writes that the last point is based on press reports and not on information from the Hungarian government being wiretapped. The Director General noted that since most media outlets apparently processed the information without knowing the exact content of the documents, they may have contributed to the spread of disinformation. He also wrote in the letter that the authenticity of the Hungarian-related documents had been verified and no subsequent modifications had been detected.

"Based on the documents that have become available so far, no direct Hungarian interests have been harmed," the Director General wrote.

"…the documents that have been made public presented the official Hungarian position adequately and accurately, and the documents did not contain any elements that could be considered negative for Hungary, and their appearance in the public discourse is only due to the previously mentioned distorting factors."

The Pentagon documents were leaked by a 21-year-old man, Jack Douglas Teixeira, formerly of the intelligence unit of the Massachusetts Air National Guard. The leak disclosed top-secret US and NATO intelligence documents on a planned spring offensive in Ukraine as well as highly classified foreign policy analyses. Teixeira may be in trouble not only on account of the leaks, but also because US federal prosecutors say he had previously repeatedly posted on his social media pages about wanting to kill "a lot of people" and had looked up several past massacres on his government computer.

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