Blogger Profile: Coleen Rowley
Coleen Rowley grew up in a small town in northeast Iowa. She became an FBI Agent in 1981 and subsequently the “Chief Division Counsel” of the Minneapolis FBI in 1990.
In May of 2002 Rowley brought some of the FBI’s 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 and again in 2007, 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 but was allowed to languish.
Rowley 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.
July 20th, 2010
Join the FAT (Fast Against Torture) on August 1, 2010
Please consider participating in a 24 hour Fast Against Torture in memory of all those illegally, unethically tortured around the world, including, most importantly, those tortured and waterboarded by the Bush-Cheney administration. Sunday August 1, 2010 is the eight-year anniversary of the writing of the "torture memos" by Office of ...
June 30th, 2010
Sad Clouds Hang Over St. Thomas Law Graduation
By Roger Cuthbertson and Coleen Rowley UPDATED 6/29/2010 Clouds hung over the St. Thomas School of Law graduation on May 8, 2010, in more ways than one. The University of St. Thomas Law School held its graduation ceremony at Orchestra Hall, a few blocks from their campus. So most of ...
June 24th, 2010
Victims of Oiligarchy?
Maybe it was because June is "Torture Awareness Month", but when the wrenching image of an oil drenched pelican (taken by Associated Press Photographer Charlie Riedel) as a result of the BP oil spill appeared in our Star Tribune newspaper earlier this month, anti-torture activist Diane Steen-Hinderlie quickly spotted this ...
May 2nd, 2010
Karl Rove: No Courage. No Consequences. Yet.
We had to scurry last week to organize the proper welcome when we heard that war criminal Karl Rove was coming back to the Twin Cities to “inspire” his young Republicans at the University of Minnesota and try to peddle more of his bizarrely-titled Courage and Consequence books. Even though ...
April 15th, 2010
Asking Minnesotan Senators Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar to Say NO to War
Tuesday evening over 100 Minnesotans demonstrated outside Senator Amy Klobuchar’s office with half of our group eventually going inside to seek a response from the Senator as to how she would vote on the upcoming $33 billion “war supplemental” to continue the escalation of war on Afghanistan. After a couple ...
April 9th, 2010
Franken Peace Arrests
Last night our group of over 50 “Minnesotans for Peace” asked Al Franken “What Would Wellstone Do?” The response was extremely disappointing. To be clear, Franken’s staff and the St. Paul police officers are to be commended for their patience, professionalism and willingness to listen. Al Franken is to be ...
February 4th, 2010
End the Fog of War! Read the Eikenberry Memos!
This new video from Robert Greenwald “Rethink Afghanistan War: The Eikenberry Cables” is a must-view for those who remember the Vietnam War and the difficulty of ending a quagmire that dragged on long after military officials and Presidential Administrations knew it was “unwinnable” and wrong. The actual conversations of despair ...