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WikiLeaks posts CIA chief’s hacked emails
WikiLeaks began posting what it claims are the contents of CIA Director John Brennan's private email account on Wednesday, days after a teenager claimed to have hacked into his account.
The six initial emails posted by the anti-secrecy organization date from 2007 and 2008, and include personal information as well as draft versions of advice and policy positions.
Additional documents will be posted "over the coming days," WikiLeaks said, while claiming that Brennan used the account "occasionally for several intelligence related projects."
In a statement, CIA spokesman Dean Boyd did not dispute the authenticity of the leaked emails.
"The hacking of the Brennan family account is a crime and the Brennan family is the victim," Boyd said. "The private electronic holdings of the Brennan family were plundered with malicious intent and are now being distributed across the web. This attack is something that could happen to anyone and should be condemned, not promoted.
"There is no indication that any the documents released thus far are classified," Boyd added. "In fact, they appear to be documents that a private citizen with national security interests and expertise would be expected to possess."
Among the released documents is a draft version of Brennan's security clearance questionnaire, which contains detailed information about his life and biography, including his passport number, home telephone number and a list of home addresses dating back to his childhood home in 1963. The document also contains Brennan's wife's Social Security number as well as birthdates, names and other information about close family members.
The form, known as an SF86, is a common questionnaire for performing background checks of national security officials and contains information that could be personally compromising.
The draft of a 2007 memo also contained in Brennan's emails contains advice for the next president - who would be President Obama - about what to do with Iran.
"Whoever takes up residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in January 2009 will need to 'hit the ground running' on Iran," Brennan said in the draft memo.
Talks between the U.S. and Iran "should not have a narrow focus," Brennan added, given that its support for terrorism, nuclear ambitions and regional goals "are inextricably intertwined."
The note is particularly striking given the Obama administration's recent nuclear deal with Iran, which it has repeatedly said is a narrow agreement unrelated to Iran's other activities.
The memo also called for the White House to appoint an envoy to Iran. As possible candidates for the post, Brennan suggested former Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Madeleine Albright, ex-Vice President Al Gore and former National Security Advisors Anthony Lake and Brent Scowcroft.
Another 2007 memo outlines how U.S. intelligence agencies need to "evolve" from their "Cold War roots." Among other points, it calls for the head of the CIA and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to be appointed for 10-year terms, which has not happened.
A 2008 fax, meanwhile, outlines a legal dispute between the CIA and a defense contracting firm.
Also contained in the cache of leaked documents are a letter from former Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) about brutal CIA interrogation methods often considered to be torture and the text of a 2008 bill to limit the interrogation program.
The announcement follows the government's admission that it was investigating reports that a high schooler had broken into Brennan's personal AOL email account along with the Comcast account of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.
The hacker and their associates claim to have broken into Brennan's account by posing as a Verizon worker and getting the company to reveal his personal information, according to Wired.
Brennan's account was broken into on Oct. 12, the hacker allegedly said.
According to reports, none of the documents obtained in the apparent hack contain classified information.
FBI Director James Comey declined to answer reporters' questions about the incident on Tuesday. CIA representatives did not respond to an inquiry about the leaked documents.
- This story was last updated at 5:16 p.m.