Coleen Rowley

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Coleen Rowley, former legal counsel at the FBI Minneapolis field office, earned national recognition and Time Magazine's Person of the Year award for her courageous whistleblowing, which helped expose intelligence failures within law enforcement.

She ran for Congress in Minnesota's Second District, but lost to the stiffly conservative incumbent, Republican John Kline, see Minnesota U.S. House election, 2006.

As her announcement stated:

Our agents had a sense of urgency. Washington did not. What I learned from that experience is not to rely upon others, those with more apparent authority, to always do what they should. I regret that I remained on the sidelines and did not interject myself into our agents' roadblocks in August 2001. Would this have changed the course of events in this country? I do not know. As the explanations of our government subsequent to 9/11 came out, I felt compelled to clarify what I knew.
What I did do in May 2002 was to tell the special staff of the Joint Intelligence Committee what I knew about issues and mistakes that I believed contributed to the FBI's institutional failure on 9/11. My letter to them exposed a big hole in the prevailing blanket defense that 9/11 could not have been prevented. This defense had conveniently shielded literally hundreds of government employees from further scrutiny -everyone from visa stampers and airport security staff to mid-level managers and lawyers (including myself) to agency directors to President Bush himself.

Rowley's credibility was damaged when her campaign website showed an image of Kline's face imposed on Colonel Klink from Hogan's Heroes. After widespread criticism, she publicly apologized. Partly as a result, Republicans are becoming more confident about this race. Kline was reelected in 2004 due to the collapse of his challenger's campaign, winning by a margin of 57% to 40%.


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