David Johnston

A - Q


Johnston, David. "An Inquiry Seen as Payback in a Rivalry." New York Times, 4 Jan. 2008. [http://www.nytimes.com]

"The Justice Department's criminal inquiry into the destruction" of the CIA "interrogation tapes will be carried out largely by agents" from the FBI, "which has been sharply at odds with the C.I.A. over the agency's interrogation practices. In some law enforcement circles the prospect of the F.B.I. interviewing high-level C.I.A. officials ... and rummaging around the files of the agency's secret interrogation programs represents a payback moment in the rich history of rivalry between the agencies."


Johnston, David. "Antiterror Head Will Help Choose an F.B.I. Official." New York Times, 12 Jun. 2005. [http://www.nytimes.com]

The FBI "will allow" DNI John D. Negroponte "to help choose" jointly with FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III the FBI's associate director for intelligence. The recommendation to appoint a head of intelligence was contained in the report of the Silberman-Robb presidential commission on U.S. intelligence in Iraq.

[FBI/00s/05; DNI/05]

Johnston, David. "C.I.A. Director Will Lead Center to Combine Agencies' Information on Terror Danger." New York Times, 29 Jan. 2003. [http://www.nytimes.com]


Johnston, David. "C.I.A. Tells of Bush's Directive on the Handling of Detainees." New York Times, 15 Nov. 2006. [http://www.nytimes.com]

In a letter sent by CIA Associate General Counsel John L. McPherson to ACLU lawyers on 10 November 2006, the CIA acknowledged "the existence of two classified documents, including a directive signed by President Bush, that have guided the agency's interrogation and detention of terror suspects.... McPherson confirmed the existence of the documents but declined to release them, saying that essentially all of their contents were exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act because release would damage national security and violate attorney-client privilege."

[CIA/00s/06; Terrorism/00s/06]

Johnston, David. "Classified Section of Sept. 11 Report Faults Saudi Rulers." New York Times, 26 Jul. 2003. [http://www.nytimes.com]

According to people who have read a classified section of the report by the Congresional joint committee on the 9/11 hijackings, senior Saudi officials "have funneled hundreds of millons of dollars to charitable groups and other organizations that may have helped finance the ... attacks.... The 28-page section of the report was deleted from the nearly 900-page declassified version." People who saw the section said that "[t]he chapter focuses on the role foreign governments played in the hijackings, but centers almost entirely on Saudi Arabia."


Johnston, David. "Former F.B.I. Director Faults Lawmakers on Terror Fight." New York Times, 9 Oct. 2002. [http://www.nytimes.com] 

Testifying on 8 October 2002 before the joint congressional committee investigating the 9/11 attacks, former FBI Director Louis J. Freeh "faulted lawmakers ... for failing to approve bigger budgets that he said were vital to the F.B.I.'s antiterror effort.... Freeh said he fought throughout his eight-year tenure to make terrorism a high priority, but was hobbled by a lack of money and legal restraints that hampered the bureau in penetrating terror networks."

[FBI/00s/02; Terrorism/02/Congress]

Johnston, David. "Former Military Analyst Gets Prison Term for Passing Information." New York Times, 21 Jan. 2006. [http://www.nytimes.com]

On 20 January 2006, a federal judge sentenced Lawrence A. Franklin "to 12 years and seven months in prison ... after the analyst admitted passing classified military information about Iran and Iraq to two pro-Israel lobbyists and an Israeli diplomat." The lobbyists, Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman, "are scheduled for trial in April."


Johnston, David. "How the F.B.I. Finally Caught Aldrich Ames." New York Times, 27 Jan. 1995, A9 (N).


Johnston, David. "How F.B.I. Finally Got Its Man, Tracing Him to Afghan Hideout." New York Times, 19 Jun. 1997, 1, 3.


Johnston, David. "If Lawmakers Call for Blood, They May End Up With Reno's." New York Times, 27 May 1999.

The Cox committee's "conclusion that China systematically stole nuclear secrets has roused angry lawmakers in both parties to look for a high-profile official to blame, and increasingly they are taking aim at Attorney General Janet Reno, for failing to respond aggressively to the threat. Ms. Reno is not alone in the cross hairs; other officials, like Samuel R. Berger, the national security adviser, have also come under attack. But it is Ms. Reno who appears to be most vulnerable."


Johnston, David. "Israel Lobbyists Facing Charges in Secrets Case." New York Times, 5 Aug. 2005. [http://www.nytimes.com]

The 4 August 2005 indictment against Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman, former employees of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), says that "the two men had disclosed classified information about a number of subjects, including American policy in Iran, terrorism in central Asia, Al Qaeda and the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers apartment in Saudi Arabia."

The indictment also contains additional charges against Lawrence Franklin. It accuses him "of using his position as a desk officer to gather information to hand over to Mr. Rosen or Mr. Weissman, or to an unidentified foreign official, who government officials and lawyers involved in the case have said was Naor Gilon, an Israeli Embassy political officer. The indictment refers to two other foreign government officials, but does not identify them. Both are Israelis, a government official said."


Johnston, David. "Justice Dept. Calls F.B.I. Derelict in Pursuit of C.I.A.'s Most Damaging Spy." New York Times, 18 Apr. 1997, A13 (N).

Johnston, David. "Justice Dept. Report Advises Pursuing C.I.A. Abuse Cases." New York Times, 24 Aug. 2009. [http://www.nytimes.com]

According to a person officially briefed on the matter, the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility "has recommended reversing the Bush administration and reopening nearly a dozen prisoner-abuse cases, potentially exposing [CIA] employees and contractors to prosecution for brutal treatment of terrorism suspects."

CNN, "Source: Prosecutor to Investigate CIA Interrogations," 24 Aug. 2009, reports that the Justice Department announced on 24 August 2009 that "Attorney General Eric Holder has asked federal prosecutor John Durham to examine whether CIA interrogations of suspected terrorists were illegal."

See Pam Benson, "CIA to Cover Legal Expenses of Employees Caught Up in Interrogation Probe, Official Says," CNN, 28 Aug. 2009, reports that CIA Director Leon Panetta has decided "to reimburse the legal expenses of agency officers who might be investigated for their roles in the controversial interrogation program, according to a U.S. intelligence official." See also, Walter Pincus, "CIA Will Cover Legal Fees: Policy Will Help Officers Ensnared in Interrogation Probe," Washington Post, 28 Aug. 2009, A10.


Johnston, David. "Justice Department to Investigate Handling of Spy Case." New York Times, 7 May 1999. [http://www.nytimes.com]

"Attorney General Janet Reno said [on 6 May 1999] that the Justice Department would examine whether federal authorities had mishandled the investigation of a nuclear scientist suspected of spying for China."


Johnston, David. "Pressure Is Again Emerging to Free Jonathan Pollard." New York Times, 13 December 2000. [http://www.nytimes.com]

President Clinton "is facing a new round of pressure to free Jonathan Jay Pollard.... Administration officials said Prime Minister Ehud Barak of Israel raised the issue with President Clinton on [11 December 2000], and the president essentially restated the official position on the matter, telling Mr. Barak he would review the issue along with other clemency requests."


Johnston, David. "Pushed to a Wall by Lawmakers, Reno Defends Herself." New York Times, 28 May 1999. [http://www.nytimes.com]

"Attorney General Janet Reno said on [27 May 1999] that she was never fully informed of a dispute between the Justice Department and the FBI over a proposal to wiretap a scientist suspected of spying for China. Reno ... said that FBI Director Louis J. Freeh or her own intelligence staff should have advised her of their disagreement."



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