Wikileaks claims to have gained access CIA Director John Brennan’s personal email account and is releasing documents from it. The Hill reports:
The six initial emails posted by the anti-secrecy organization date from 2007 and 2008, and include personal information as well as draft versions of advice and policy positions.
Additional documents will be posted “over the coming days,” WikiLeaks said, while claiming that Brennan used the account “occasionally for several intelligence related projects.”Among the released documents is a draft version of Brennan’s security clearance questionnaire, which contains detailed information about his life and biography, including his passport number, home telephone number and a list of home addresses dating back to his childhood home in 1963. The document also contains Brennan’s wife’s Social Security number as well as birthdates, names and other information about close family members.
The form, known as an SF86, is a common questionnaire for performing background checks of national security officials, and contains information that could be personally compromising.
The draft of a 2007 memo also contained in Brennan’s emails contains advice for the next president — who would be President Obama — about what to do with Iran.
This comes on the heels of the OPM hack, Hillary Clinton’s private server scandal, and other cyber breaches. It’s becoming embarrassingly clear that the U.S. is dropping the ball on cyber security—and that many senior government officials have no idea how to keep information safe in the digital age. What, in 2015, is the director of a U.S. intelligence agency doing using an unsecured AOL account to discuss agency business? Even if, as some reports suggest, all of the information winds up being technically unclassified, you have to figure that some of this will be useful to foreign intelligence agencies. And access to anyone’s personal information, much less that of the head of the CIA, can be deeply damaging stuff in the 21st century.
This news also continues to fill in a picture of WikiLeaks and related figures such as Edward Snowden that’s troubling. Whatever the agenda of Assange, Snowden, and company is, civic-minded reform of the United States government is no longer it (if it ever was). This will give further credence to those, such as former NSA official John Schindler (a.k.a. @20committee) who accuse WikiLeaks, with some evidence, of being a Russian intel outfit. At a minimum, we’re dealing with useful idiots, with an anti-U.S. agenda, who don’t care about collateral damage.
Stay tuned to the news to see just how much more damaging this becomes.