WikiLeaks and CIA Chief Brennan’s Emails; The Roundup So Far
The fallout from the social-engineering hack of CIA chief John Brennan’s personal email account continues. WikiLeaks has released a third batch of personal emails. Among information such as an “unidentified Brennan Group,” a detailed dossier of an FBI agent and insight into geopolitical world politics, CIA Director Brennan’s email contacts list included a certain “hottie _200518 @ yahoo.com”
Less than a week ago, it was revealed that teenage hackers gained access to the CIA Director’s personal email through a simple social engineering hack. At the time, the incident had conflicting reports, which while amusing at first quickly turned into an embarrassment when the hack was confirmed to be true.
To make matters worse for CIA head Brennan, the hackers who call themselves “Cracka and associates” handed over the emails to chief-whistleblower and transparency organization WikiLeaks.
In taking up the mantle, WikiLeaks has published three batches of the CIA Director’s personal emails to date.
The First Batch of Emails
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) October 21, 2015
A draft paper dated July 15, 2007 revealed Brennan’s take on the U.S. intelligence infrastructure, noting that the “intelligence mission of our country must involve more than the [sum] of the departments and agencies of the federal government.”
He called for a national security architecture in “all levels and governments as well as those of the private sector.”
A document titled “the Connundrum of Iran,” dated November 18, 2007 had Brennan point to Iran being a pawn of global politics due to “the CIA-engineered overthrow” of Iranian Prime Minister Mossadegh back in 1953, allowing the pro-U.S. Shah to reclaim power for the next 25 years.
Another interesting document from the first WikiLeaks release showed a letter from Christopher Bond, vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence who weighed in on the use of torture during interrogation techniques.
Talking about the need for the possibility of “new techniques” that are not explicitly authorized by the Army Field Manual (AFM) but “nevertheless comply with the law,” Bond asks for such law-circumventing techniques to be developed while stressing on a proposal to ban “certain harsh interrogation techniques.”
“Rather than authorizing intelligence agencies to use only those techniques that are allowed under the AFM, I believe the more prudent approach is to preclude the use of specific techniques that are prohibited under the AFM.”
These ‘specific techniques,’ includes sexual acts, beatings, waterboarding, mock executions, water and food deprivation among other techniques.
The Second Batch of Emails
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) October 22, 2015
Brennan urged the U.S. President to appoint a ‘Special Co-ordinator” in Afghanistan, just two days after President Barrack Obama was elected into the office in November 2008. The CIA Director suggested the importance of Pakistan’s role and co-operation in U.S. operations in Afghanistan.
There was also insight into the geopolitical situation in the region, noting “Pakistan’s use of militant proxies (the Taliban) in its conflict with India.”
The report also has Brennan elaborating on the narcotics industry in Afghanistan, the world’s largest producer of heroin. The production of the opium accounts for more than 35% of the country’s GDP and 10% of the Afghan population are directly employed by the poppy industry.
The leaked report reads:
“Successful counter narcotics campaigns in the Andes, Thailand, Burma, Pakistan, and India have taught us that a balanced and coordinated effort is the only way to achieve sustainable reductions in drug production.”
Another reveal highlighted a particular entry from the CIA director’s contact’s list:
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) October 26, 2015
The Third Batch of Emails
WikiLeaks has deemed it the “Unidentified Brennan Group”, a table of 22 people including Brennan along with prominent figures in Homeland Security and former CIA employees. The release also contains information pertaining to Brennan’s previous employers – the Analysis Corporation along with details of the 22 people such as previous employment, compensation, security clearance etc.
Another document revealed a comprehensive dossier on an FBI agent, taken directly from Brennan’s personal email. FBI agent Donovan J. Leighton was the FBI program manager for the FBI’s counterterrorism division in the Arabian Peninsula.
WikiLeaks also published e-mails taken from the Stratfor breach, a private firm that deals with global intelligence operations. Interestingly, one of the emails taken from the company revealed an added insight into Brennan’s activities:
Brennan is behind the witch hunts of investigative journalists learning information from inside the beltway sources.