Former FBI Agent and Whistleblower
What if you lived in a country where, after the Administration negligently failed to prevent a major terrorist attack, they deliberately exploited everyone's fears and utilized shock doctrine to do INSANELY stupid and dangerous things: things like launching costly pre-emptive wars, subverting law, and destroying the checks and balances of the Constitution and common standards of decency by re-instituting torture?
Well, We DO live in that country.
Additional Quotes by Coleen Rowley
- We have got to call America's attention to this in order to stop the continuation of errors.
- This was a lied-into war that is a quagmire now, ... It could be worse than Vietnam. The truth is we can't win, and there's still an ongoing deception.
- Trying to tie this in with terrorism is a little overblown because you can't communicate that kind of information over a non-secured system that goes outside the FBI anyway.
Coleen Rowley grew up in a small town in northeast Iowa. She obtained a B.A. degree in French from Wartburg College, Waverly, Iowa and then attended the College of Law at the University of Iowa and graduated with honors in 1980 also passing the Iowa Bar Exam that summer.
In January of 1981, Rowley was appointed a Special Agent with the FBI and initially served in the Omaha, Nebraska and Jackson, Mississippi Divisions. In 1984 she was assigned to the New York Office and for over 6 years worked on Italian organized crime and Sicilian heroin drug investigations. During this time Rowley also served three separate temporary duty assignments in the Paris, France Embassy and Montreal Consulate.
In 1990 Rowley was transferred to Minneapolis where she assumed the duties of "Chief Division Counsel" which entailed oversight of the Freedom of Information, Forfeiture, Victim-Witness and Community Outreach Programs as well as providing regular legal and ethics training to FBI Agents of the Division and some outside police training.
In May of 2002 Rowley brought some of the pre 9-11 lapses to light and testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee about some of the endemic problems facing the FBI and the intelligence community. Rowley's memo to FBI Director Robert Mueller in connection with the Joint Intelligence Committee's Inquiry led to a two year long Department of Justice Inspector General investigation. She was one of three whistleblowers chosen as persons of the year by TIME magazine.
In April 2003, following an unsuccessful and highly criticized attempt to warn the Director and other administration officials about the dangers of launching the invasion of Iraq, Rowley stepped down from her (GS-14) legal position to go back to being a (GS-13) FBI Special Agent. She retired from the FBI at the end of 2004 and now speaks publicly to various groups, ranging from school children to business/professional/civic groups, on two different topics: ethical decision-making and "balancing civil liberties with the need for effective investigation."
In February 2005, a majority of Minnesota congresspersons and senators nominated Rowley to serve on the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board but she was not selected by the Bush Administration. This Board was mandated by 2004 federal intelligence reform legislation implementing the recommendations of the 9-11 Commission.
Rowley has authored a chapter in a book published by the Milton Eisenhower Foundation entitled, Patriotism, Democracy and Common Sense: Restoring America's Promise at Home and Abroad. She also ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Congress in Minnesota's Second Congressional District in 2006.