Aside from general shock that someone still uses AOL, what else did the infodump reveal? Not much. The documents include policy papers, recommendations and a draft copy of Brennan’s SF-86.
An SF-86 is an almost 50-page document government employees fill out to get a security clearance. The curious may learn Brennan’s mother’s maiden name and the details of his personal life … and that of his family.
That’s right. WikiLeaks doxed the CIA director’s family. Which is a shitty thing to do. And what did the public gain at the cost of the Brennan family’s privacy? Not much — a fax from a lawyer, an opinion piece on how to handle Iran and some stuff about torture we already knew.
To be sure, his draft of an intelligence position paper is a little creepy. It begins sedately enough:
“[The intelligence community] must always maintain its independence, objectivity, and integrity, providing the President and policymakers throughout the Government unvarnished intelligence and analytic assessments on national security issues,” he wrote. “The individuals who lead our Intelligence Community have a special responsibility to protect that mandate.”
But his plans to secure that independence are questionable. Brennan wrote that “the positions of Director of National Intelligence and the Director of the CIA should be made ten-year term appointments, with confirmation by the Senate. We need to take these positions out of the cycle of partisan political appointments and, at the same time, ensure needed continuity at the helm of U.S. Intelligence.”
Ten-year term appointments for national security officials seems outlandish, a step backwards into the dark old J. Edgar Hoover days. But this is a draft of a paper written in 2008 and left to rot in an old AOL account.
Are flawed gems such as this worth the collateral damage of the coming dox storm his family will face? No, they aren’t. Some may find delicious delight in exposing the family of a man who lied about torture and runs America’s drone wars, but I don’t.