In the first of what is promised to be a string of emails released to the public, WikiLeaks, the international non-profit group which publishes government and personal secrets obtained from anonymous sources, has divulged six emails from John Brennan’s personal AOL account.
John Brennan is the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
WikiLeaks allegedly acquired the emails from a group of high school students who claimed to have hacked into the Director’s personal email account. On Monday, hackers disclosed a spreadsheet with the personal information of over a dozen CIA employees.
Exploiting a hacking procedure referred to as “social engineering,” hackers deceived both Verizon and AOL into providing Brennan’s personal information and re-setting the password to Brennan’s AOL account.
Phone numbers, Social Security numbers and email addresses are among the information revealed.
The CIA announced no information appeared to be classified; however, a press release characterized the hacking as a “crime with malicious intent.”
First reported by the New York Post, one hacker announced he is an “American high school student who is not Muslim and was motivated by opposition to US foreign policy and support for Palestine.”
According to the WikiLeaks’ website, their goal is:
“To bring important news and information to the public. We provide an innovative, secure and anonymous way for sources to leak information to our journalists (our electronic drop box). One of our most important activities is to publish original source material alongside our news stories so readers and historians alike can see evidence of the truth. Since 2007, when the organization was officially launched, WikiLeaks has worked to report on and publish important information. We also develop and adapt technologies to support these activities.”
It must have been a slow week at WikiLeaks to publish John Brennan’s application for security clearance.
Though there is little to this story other than minor details of a public official and the need for better security in cyberworld, this release has the flavor of the troubled minds who administer WikiLeaks and their desire to publicly embarrass the United States rather than aspiring to keep its unflappable disciples well informed.
While Brennan is one of influence and clutches broad knowledge, memos released can acquit members of the Senate when describing torture: A letter from Senator Kit Bond, dating back to 2008, urges the CIA to adhere to regulations in the Army Field Manual (AFM), and ban harsh procedures while continuing to discover effective techniques without breaching the Geneva Conventions.
Regardless, all sorts of wild notions will be conceived and likely published on WikiLeaks’ website with their tacit approval and without shame, all of which will tarnish the reputations of elected lawmakers and military personnel.
While attempting to establish a dauntless reputation for courageous acts and fascinating insight, WikiLeaks has revealed itself to be a clownish organization which has embraced the theft of personal and sensitive documents as a mechanism of public service and whose publicity-hound leader, Julian Assange, retreated to the Ecuadorian embassy in 2012, waiting for the statute of limitations on a rape charge to expire in 2020.
WikiLeaks may serve a sample of the disaffected with possession of rare knowledge, but its disturbing core remains: Besmirching many if only by association.
[The Guardian] [New York Post] [BBC] [Photo courtesy Libyan Express]