Following a hack of the top CIA’s spy personal email account, Wikileaks released personal information of CIA Director John Brennan. All documents are dated prior to Brennan’s time in the Obama administration. Much of the personal information was contained in a dated 2008 application for a national security clearance, well before he was named CIA director.
Information released included passport numbers, addresses of his family and associates as well as Social Security numbers. The disclosures come after a hacker, described as an American high school student, initially claimed in a New York Post report to have breached the private email accounts of Brennan and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson. Following those claims, the hacker posted separate personal information associated with Brennan, Johnson and other current and former intelligence officials. None of that material contained classified information, officials said, though the breaches prompted the Secret Service and the FBI to launch an investigation into the attacks.
Among the additional documents disclosed Wednesday by WikiLeaks included a copy of Senate bill outlining certain torture techniques and a draft position paper, titled “The Conundrum of Iran.” The CIA immediately condemned the release, characterizing the breach as “a crime.”
The hacking of the Brennan family account is a crime and the Brennan family is the victim,” the agency said. “The private electronic holdings of the Brennan family were plundered with malicious intent and now being distributed across the web. The attack is something that could happen to anyone and should be condemned, not promoted.”
WikiLeaks later tweeted that it planned to release more emails from the agency’s director. “Tomorrow we will continue our CIA chief John Brennan email series, including on U.S. strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan.” Also among the documents are a guide to the political outlook for the future of the intelligence community, recommendations on Iran diplomacy, communications about a legal spat with a contractor called the Analysis Corporation, and two letters from former Senate Select Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Christopher Bond in 2008 listing types of torture that should be forbidden for US personnel.
Even though the FBI has begun investigating the hack, this does not ensure that Brennan’s secrets will remain secret. Though WikiLeaks hasn’t revealed its source, there’s little doubt the files were handed off by the self-described teen hackers calling themselves CWA or “Crackas With Attitude,” who claim to have hacked Brennan’s AOL account through a series of “social engineering” tricks. Concerns over government officials using personal accounts for handling sensitive information is expected to take center stage on Thursday when former-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is scheduled to testify before Congress concerning the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack and will likely be asked about her usage of a custom email server while in office.