A well-known conservative pundit and secrecy expert who once worked as an NSA officer has deleted all of his social media accounts after screenshots leaked this weekend that appeared to show him sending sexy messages and a shot of his soft penis to a Twitter follower who was not his wife.
John Schindler is a professor at the Naval War College who has written conservative analyses on global security for Politico and Foreign Policy while scrapping with leftists and libertarians online. A former naval officer who worked as a counterterrorism operative at the NSA for more than a decade, Schindler has long defended that agency's secret surveillance efforts while attacking information activists like Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden, and Glenn Greenwald.
In the process, he acquired a massive following in the conservative and national security circles, even while he complained about repeated abuse by liberal antagonists; his left-of-center foils have similarly accused him of online intemperance.
Schindler may have had some secrets of his own leak out in the open. Late Sunday, a Twitter user published several pics of emails and texts purportedly from Schindler to a female conservative tweeter. He "was involved in some sort of flirty, lurid exchange of emails and texts with a Twitter user named @currahee88," a longtime Twitter follower of the professor's says. "In one screencapped exchange, he sent her a picture of his mostly flaccid penis."
"My views are much more right wing and I am much more religious than I ever let on," the spy-turned-professor reportedly tells her before downplaying his own marriage, calling her "engaging and enticing"... and sending a dick pic, shown below [NSFW].
It's not clear whether the messages are authentic, although the woman who was supposedly on the receiving end has acknowledged and thanked her friend who tweeted the screenshots. (That tweeter has since deleted his tweets, saying his "point was made.")
The pic, of course, lives on. There's been no admission that the photographed member is Schindler's, but both he and his wife have deleted their social media accounts, and he left a cryptic signoff on his blog Monday afternoon that he edited at least once. The first time around, he blamed his going dark on harassment by partisan cyber-enemies:
But just a few minutes later, that blog post had been edited down to a more laconic over-and-out:
One Twitter user who's mixed it up with Schindler online said the pundit often conflated verbal eye-rolling with harassment on Twitter. "I obviously dislike the guy's writing and all quite a bit, but Schindler seems genuinely mentally unhinged," the user said.
Anyone who has more details, feel free to share them in comments.
Update: The Associated Press is reporting that Schindler has been placed on leave from the Naval War College:
A blogger sent a complaint to the War College's administration. The college's president has ordered an investigation.
Schindler has refused to discuss the photo, citing legal reasons. He has deleted his Twitter account.
Update: The Twitter user to whom the texts and pics were apparently sent both confirmed that Schindler was the sender and expressed regret for their publication, saying she engaged in a consensual virtual relationship with Schindler. This at least puts to rest any rumors that the pic was sent unsolicited. After tweeting her apologies, the user again deleted her account. Here is a screengrab: