Bill Johnson was the department’s political adviser to the special operations section of the US Pacific Command (PACOM) from 2010 to 2011, after a long military career. He says secret plans targeting Umbra Jumdail, the leader of a Filipino Islamist separatist group, as well as plans to intercept Chinese-made weapons components being smuggled into Iraq, were both repeatedly foiled.
He claims that he and his team determined unprotected phone calls of Clinton and her aides were the likely problem, after eliminating other possibilities. Johnson says, “I had several missions that went inexplicably wrong, with the targets one step ahead of us.” For instance, his target Jumdail in the Philippines was repeatedly tipped off. He traced the problem to unsecure communications between Washington, DC, and the US embassy in Manila. “Anyone can just sit outside the embassy and listen” with off-the-shelf eavesdropping devices, he claims.
He argues that the leaks stopped after Special Operations Command stopped giving advance warning to senior State Department officials about the raids. Jumdail was killed in a US-based airstrike not long thereafter.
Johnson says such problems “could’ve been avoided if the CIA gave her a secure phone. She requested one, but they turned it down.”
A Clinton spokesperson calls the allegations “patently false.” (Newsweek, 5/25/2016)