Coleen Rowley

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Coleen Rowley first made headlines when her thirteen page memo criticizing the FBI was leaked to the public in the spring of 2002. In it she claimed that, before 9.11, higher-ups at the agency wantonly disregarded intelligence about suspected high-jacker Zacarias Moussaoui –missing a real opportunity to prevent the attacks.

Rowley — an agent with a reputation for loyalty and a love for the FBI — suddenly found herself in the uncomfortable role of whistleblower. After 24 years with the FBI, Rowley has now retired from the Minneapolis field office. But she hasn’t stopped thinking about how to fix the nation’s intelligence apparatus — or how to balance fighting terror and preserving civil liberties. Coleen Rowley on the promise and peril of intelligence reform.


Coleen Rowley, retired FBI Special Agent.