WikiLeaks on Wednesday posted apparently authentic intimate personal details of CIA Director John Brennan, including his health history, home address and wife’s Social Security number, in the latest hacking scandal to spill sensitive government information.
The documents, including draft intelligence reports and a lengthy employment application form dating from before Mr. Brennan joined the Obama administration, came two days after a young unnamed American hacker said he had broken into the email accounts of the nation’s spy chief and that of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.
The secret-spilling group shared a half-dozen files attributed to one of Mr. Brennan’s “non-government email accounts” and said that more documents would be uploaded in the coming days.
“Brennan used the account occasionally for several intelligence related projects,” WikiLeaks announced. None of the documents made available by the organization as of Wednesday appeared to be explicitly marked as top-secret or otherwise classified, but do contain information regarding Mr. Brennan’s private company, The Analysis Corp., as well as a report on Iran and a letter involving his agency’s post-9/11 torture tactics, among others.
Included within the document dump is a 48-page “National Security Position” form believed to have been filled out by the CIA chief in November 2008, more than four years before he assumed his current role, containing home addresses, Social Security numbers and other personally identifiable information relating to Mr. Brennan, his immediately family and professional references.
The Washington Times’ attempt to reach a previously unpublished phone number included on the form as a way of reaching one such reference, then-CIA Director George Tenet, ended in an abrupt end to the phone call after the individual on the other end of the line agreed to take a message for “George” until they were told the contact info had come from WikiLeaks.
The CIA in a statement called the posting of Mr. Brennan’s correspondence, all dating from 2009 or earlier, a “crime.”
“The Brennan family is the victim,” the agency said in an unattributed statement, in keeping with agency policy, the Associated Press reported. ” … There is no indication that any the documents released thus far are classified. In fact, they appear to be documents that a private citizen with national security interests and expertise would be expected to possess.”
Hours earlier, Mr. Johnson told a Capitol Hill hearing that the FBI and Secret Service were investigating claims that his Comcast email account and one of Mr. Brennan’s had been compromised by hackers.
But he also cautioned lawmakers against believing all they were hearing about the cyber break-in.
“The one thing I’ll say is, ‘Don’t believe everything you read in the newspaper,’ because a lot of it is inaccurate,” Mr. Johnson said.
The New York Post reported first on Monday that the department heads had their accounts compromised by a person claiming to be an American high school student who supports Palestine, disagrees with U.S. foreign policy and had accomplished the breach under the banner of “Crackas With Attitude.”
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.
Other files published by WikiLeaks on Wednesday included an unfinished draft concerning national security challenges — among them “Damaging Leaks of Classified Information” — said to come from Mr. Brennan’s inbox, as well as a report entitled “The Conundrum of Iran” and a 2008 letter discussing the CIA’s enhanced interrogation tactics.
“If you have similar official documents that have not been published yet, send them to WikiLeaks,” the group said.