Johnston, David. "Reno's Handling of Reports of Chinese Spy Are Criticized." New York Times, 20 May 1999. [http://www.nytimes.com]
"Senators at a closed-door hearing of the Intelligence Committee [on 19 May 1999] lashed out at Attorney General Janet Reno for what they said was her failure to aggressively manage the case of a suspected spy for China at the Los Alamos nuclear weapons."
Johnston, David. "Report of 9/11 Panel Cites Lapses by C.I.A. and F.B.I." New York Times, 24 Jul. 2003, A12.
The report of the joint panel of the House and Senate intelligence committees, released on 24 July 2003, provides "a scathing critique of the performance of the F.B.I. and C.I.A." before the 9/11 terrorist attacks and "recommend[s] several changes, including the creation of [a] cabinet level national intelligence chief.... The report concluded that in the months before the hijackings, the F.B.I. and C.I.A. did not comprehend the gravity and imminent nature of the threat inside the United States and failed to assess all of the available information about the risk of an attack."
Johnston, David. "Single Indictment Against Accused Spy in C.I.A." New York Times, 22 Nov. 1996, A16 (N).
A Federal grand jury in Alexandria, Virginia, on 21 November 1996 returned an indictment against Harold J. Nicholson for conspiracy to commit espionage. The one-count indictment is "a tactical step designed to streamline the prosecution of the accused spy." The possibility of a broader espionage indictment at a later date remains.
Johnston, David. "Suspect in Loss of Nuclear Secrets Unlikely to Face Spying Charges." New York Times, 15 Jun. 1999. [http://www.nytimes.com]
On 14 June 1999, Government officials said that "it is most unlikely" that Wen Ho Lee "will ever face criminal charges of espionage.... Investigators pieced together an account of Lee's contacts with Chinese over the years, producing an outline of circumstantial information. Some of it seemed to raise questions about Lee. Some of it seemed too speculative to shed significant light on his activities. And none of it was solid enough to form the basis for an indictment.... One crucial component is missing. There is no direct evidence that Lee ever passed or tried to pass on to China any classified national security information."
Johnston, David. "U.S. Arrests Australian in Spy Case." New York Times, 18 May 1999. [http://www.nytimes.com]
Jean-Philippe Wispelaere, a former Australian military intelligence analyst who worked in Canberra for the Australian Defense Intelligence Organization, was charged on 17 May 1999, "with trying to sell more than 700 highly classified American defense documents to an undercover FBI agent who posed as an overseas spy.... Wispelaere was arrested on [15 May 1999] as he arrived at Dulles International Airport on a flight from London for a meeting with the undercover agent." See also, Roberto Suro, "Australian Arrested on Spy Charge," Washington Post, 18 May 1999, A9; and Bill Gertz, "FBI Sting Snags Australian Spy Attempting to Sell U.S. Secets," Washington Times National Weekly Edition, 24-30 May 1999, 20.
Johnston, David. "U.S. Case Sets Out 2-Year Betrayal by C.I.A. Official." New York Times, 19 Nov. 1996, A1, A12 (N).
Harold J. Nicholson probably began spying for the Russians in 1994 while he was stationed in Malaysia. Nicholson served in Manila, Bangkok, Tokyo, Bucharest, and Kuala Lumpur and as an instructor of CIA Trainees. In a joint news conference on 18 November 1996, FBI Director Louis J. Freeh and DCI John M. Deutch described the investigation that led to Nicholson's arrest. Click for text of the press release from the joint FBI-CIA news conference. See also, Tim Weiner, "Spy Suspect Seemed Like the Best and the Brightest," New York Times, 19 Nov. 1996, A12 (N).
Return to Johnston