This morning former Deputy CIA Director Mike Morrell was on CBS to talk about the massive leak of CIA hacking tools to Wikileaks and from there to the world.
Morrell is asked, point blank, if this was an inside job. Go to 2:50 on the video to hear the relevant clip.
“Absolutely, this data is not shared outside CIA. It’s only inside CIA. It’s on CIA’s top secret network, which is not connected to any other network. So, this has to be an inside job.”
There are other questions here, too. Why wasn’t the system alerted when someone was downloading information? How was someone able to get a flash drive into this facility, use it, and get it out again without being discovered?
So we aren’t looking for another Edward Snowden. We are looking for a career CIA employee, not a contractor. We’re looking for someone with access who deliberately decided to betray those secrets, and probably a lot more, to the SVR/FSB.
This brings me to a second and related point.
Yesterday, Michael Hayden was interviewed by the BBC. The betrayal of the CIA hacking tools to Wikileaks came up:
This from the Washington Post:
The latest massive leak of government secrets — a trove of apparent CIA documents posted online this week by WikiLeaks, an anti-secrecy organization — is still so new that federal officials say they are only in the early stages of investigating the breach.
Still, the former head of the CIA has a theory about a possible root cause of the leak: Millennials.
Michael V. Hayden, who was the CIA director until 2009, said that in order for the agency to engage in the digital espionage described by the documents, the agency must “recruit from a certain demographic” — in this case, younger hackers brought on to help with these efforts.
“I don’t mean to judge them at all, but this group of millennials and related groups simply have different understandings of the words loyalty, secrecy and transparency than certainly my generation did,” Hayden told the BBC in an interview this week. “And so we bring these folks into the agency, good Americans all, I can only assume, but again, culturally they have different instincts than the people who made the decision to hire them.”
Hayden called the latest CIA leak “incredibly damaging” and said it appears to have “made my country and my country’s friends less safe.” He also tied what he described as the “culturally” different viewpoint of millennials to some of the most high-profile breaches that have rattled the country’s national security apparatus in recent years.
“We may be running into this different cultural approach that we saw with Chelsea Manning, with Edward Snowden, and now, perhaps, with a third actor,” Hayden said.
This is bullsh**. Substitute “black” or “Hispanic” or “Asian” for “millennial” and read it again. This is just stereotyping. Contrary to popular belief the idea that entire generations behave in certain ways has exactly as much science behind it as astrology, necromancy, or phrenology. What Hayden is doing is blaming failed, lackadaisical and flaccid leadership and pig ignorance of the most basic security and counterintelligence principles upon his work force. Generations are not predisposed to treason.Even if you believe that a majority of millennials have the attitudes Hayden describes, there is no reason to assume the CIA would attract individuals with a privacy fetish.
The problem with the CIA is rot. Instead of being the shield of the republic, it has devolved into a cozy little club where the insiders protect each other and their prerogatives. When we look back on the Robert Hanssen debacle with the FBI, we find they had more than ample clues that he was a security risk and they did nothing because he was one of theirs. The CIA is no different. When we find who this guy is we’re going to find that someone knew he was downloading information and decided to not do anything about it because they didn’t want to ruin a promising career.