The Cable

WikiLeaks Releases Snoozefest Documents from CIA Director’s Hacked Email

The documents were purloined by a self-described teenage stoner hacker.


A draft copy of CIA Director John Brennan’s application for a top secret clearance was among six files that Wikileaks released Wednesday, on the heels of an email hack by a self-proclaimed teenage stoner against one of America’s top spies.

The CIA denounced the documents’ release. “The hacking of the Brennan family account is a crime, and the Brennan family is the victim. The private electronic holdings of the Brennan family were plundered with malicious intent and are now being distributed across the web,” a spokesman for the agency said. “This attack is something that could happen to anyone and should be condemned, not promoted.”

Yet the content of the files were far from dramatic — despite claims by hackers Crackas With Attitude they had found explosive documents pointing to the CIA’s complicity in torture in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Crackas With Attitude has claimed responsibility for penetrating Brennan’s email accounts. The hackers’ link to Wikileaks, the information freedom website that has published thousands of classified Pentagon and State Department documents, was not immediately clear.

Brennan’s draft SF-86 form, which requires extensive personal information for those seeking clearances, revealed little about the spymaster that is not already in the public record, other than his passport number and his wife’s social security number. In a section asking whether Brennan had ever “consulted with a mental health professional,” Brennan said yes, but provided no details on the treatment he received.

When Chinese hackers breached the servers of the Office of Personnel Management, U.S. officials said they made off large numbers of completed SF-86 forms.

Another document released by WikiLeaks detailed a contract dispute between the U.S. government and The Analysis Corporation, a private intelligence firm that Brennan headed for several years before joining the Obama administration as a deputy national security adviser in 2009. The document — a letter from a CIA lawyer to another lawyer at the Government Accountability Office — contains the agency’s response to claims by TAC that one of its competitors had been unfairly awarded a contract for work on a terrorist watchlist program.

The other documents released include a draft position paper on the role of the U.S. intelligence community in post-9/11 world and a draft document on a policy of engagement with Iran. The latter draft appears to have been eventually published in the The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science in 2008.

A CIA spokesperson said there is no indication that the documents released are classified and “appear to be documents that a private citizen with national security interests and expertise would be expected to possess.”

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Elias Groll is a staff writer at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @EliasGroll

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