David Johnston

With Others


Johnston, David, and Raymond Bonner. "Suspect in Indonesia Bombings Is Captured in Asia." New York Times, 15 Aug. 2003. [http://www.nytimes.com]

According to Indonesian and U.S. officials, Riduan Isamuddin, an Indonesian believed to be the mastermind behind the Bali bombings, was captured on 19 August 2003 "in Thailand in an operation" by the CIA. Isamuddin, also known as Hambali, was taken by U.S. authorities "to an undisclosed location in another country where he is being questioned." See also, Ellen Nakashima and Alan Sipress, "Al Qaeda Figure Seized in Thailand: Local Units, CIA Cooperated to Nab Top Asian Terror Suspect," Washington Post, 15 Aug. 2003, A1.

[CIA/00s/03; Terrorism/War/03]

Johnston, David, and Douglas Jehl. "Bush Refuses to Declassify Saudi Section of Report." New York Times, 30 Jul. 2003. [http://www.nytimes.com]

"President Bush refused [on 29 July 2003] to declassify a 28-page chapter of a Congressional report on the Sept. 11 attacks. He said disclosure of the deleted section, which centers on accusations about Saudi Arabia's role in financing the hijackings, 'would help the enemy' and compromise the administration's campaign against terror."


Johnston, David, and Douglas Jehl. "F.B.I.'s Recruiting of Spies Causes Rift with C.I.A." New York Times, 11 Feb. 2005. [http://www.nytimes.com]

Senior government officials have said that a "new effort by the F.B.I. to recruit foreigners in the United States and use them as spies overseas has created new frictions" with the CIA. According to senior intelligence officials, there "have been several episodes in which the F.B.I. failed to inform the C.I.A. fully about its relationships with intelligence sources overseas or practiced poor tradecraft in its dealing with them."

[CIA/00s/05/Gen; FBI/00s/05]

Johnston, David, and Douglas Jehl. "Report Cites Lapses Across Government and 2 Presidencies." New York Times, 23 Jul. 2004. [http://www.nytimes.com]

The report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, released on 22 July 2004 says that the "Clinton and Bush administrations failed to grasp the gravity of the threat from Al Qaeda before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and left counterterrorism efforts to a disparate collection of uncoordinated, underfinanced and dysfunctional government agencies." According to the report, "[t]errorism was not the overriding national security concern for the U.S. government under either the Clinton or the pre 9/11 Bush administration."


Johnston, David, and Eric Lichtblau. "Pentagon Analyst Charged With Disclosing Military Secrets." New York Times, 5 May 2005. [http://www.nytimes.com]

On 4 May 2005, Pentagon analyst Lawrence A. Franklin was arrested on charges of "illegally disclosing highly classified information about possible attacks on American forces in Iraq to two employees" of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPIC). Franklin made "a brief appearance ... in federal court in Alexandria, Va., and was released on $100,000 bond. A preliminary hearing ... is scheduled for [27 May 2005]. If convicted, Mr. Franklin could be sentenced to a maximum of 10 years in prison."


Johnston, David, and Eric Lipton. "U.S. Report to Fault F.B.I. on Subpoenas." New York Times, 9 Mar. 2007. [http://www.nytimes.com]

On 9 March 2007, the Justice Department’s inspector general will issue "a scathing report criticizing how the F.B.I. uses" national security letters "to obtain thousands of telephone, business and financial records without prior judicial approval.... Under the USA Patriot Act, the bureau each year has issued more than 20,000" such letters. "The report is said to conclude that the program lacks effective management, monitoring and reporting procedures." National security letters "were once used only in espionage and terrorism cases, and then only against people suspected as agents of a foreign power. With the passage of the Patriot Act, their use was greatly expanded and was allowed against Americans who were subjects of any investigation. The law also allowed other agencies like the Homeland Security Department to issue the letters." See also, John Solomon and Barton Gellman, "Frequent Errors In FBI's Secret Records Requests: Audit Finds Possible Rule Violations," Washington Post, 9 Mar. 2007, A1.


Johnston, David, and David E. Sanger. "Yemeni Killing Based on Rules Set Out by Bush." New York Times, 6 Nov. 2002. [http://www.nytimes.com]

"The lethal missile strike ... in Yemen was carried out under broad authority that President Bush has given the C.I.A. over the past year to pursue the terror network" anywhere in the world, senior government officials said on 5 November 2002. "The decision to approve the missile launch was made by 'very senior officials' below the level of the president..., the officials said.... The strike was authorized under the same set of classified presidential findings, legal opinions and policy directives ... that have set the rules for the administration's campaign to prevent terror."


Johnston, David, and Scott Shane. "C.I.A. Fires Senior Officer Over Leaks." New York Times, 22 Apr. 2006. [http://www.nytimes.com]

According to intelligence officials on 21 April 2006, the CIA "has dismissed a senior career officer for disclosing classified information to reporters, including material for Pulitzer Prize-winning articles in The Washington Post about the agency's secret overseas prisons for terror suspects.... The C.I.A. would not identify the officer, but several government officials said it was Mary O. McCarthy, a veteran intelligence analyst who until 2001 was senior director for intelligence programs at the National Security Council, where she served under President Bill Clinton and into the Bush administration. At the time of her dismissal, Ms. McCarthy was working in the agency's inspector general's office."

See also, Dafna Linzer, "CIA Officer Is Fired for Media Leaks: The Post Was Among Outlets That Gained Classified Data," Washington Post, 22 Apr. 2006, A1.


Johnston, David, and Scott Shane. "Study Faults U.S. Response to Outlawed Arms." New York Times, 31 Mar. 2005. [http://www.nytimes.com]

The report of the WMD commission, to be made public on 31 March 2005, "concludes that the [U.S.] government has failed to respond to the dire threat posed by unconventional weapons with the urgency and national purpose displayed after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor." However, even before the report's public release, "officials at some intelligence agencies privately expressed fatigue and scant enthusiasm for further reshuffling, noting the agencies have been in a continuous state of flux since the September 2001 attacks."


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