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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.

Coleen Rowley's Blogs

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Coleen Rowley

FBI Whistleblower

April 19th, 2013

Chechen Terrorists and the Neocons

I almost choked on my coffee listening to neoconservative Rudy Giuliani pompously claim on national TV that he was surprised about any Chechens being responsible for the Boston Marathon bombings because he’s never seen any indication that Chechen extremists harbored animosity toward the U.S.; Guiliani thought they were only focused ... continue reading

Coleen Rowley

FBI Whistleblower

September 28th, 2012

'Our (New) Terrorists' the MEK: Have We Seen This Movie Before?

And what kind of mind-boggling corruption -- of the worst kind -- influence peddling by a "foreign power" (as defined by the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to include foreign terrorist groups) -- lies hidden behind the curtain? Could some members of the MEK "foreign terrorist organization," their murderous history ... continue reading

Coleen Rowley

FBI Whistleblower

August 29th, 2012

Selling War as Smart Power

In recent years, it has become evident that use of deadly force by a U.S.-dominated NATO is not only outside the parameters of international and constitutional law, but also in some cases outside basic legal principles that have stood the test of time for decades and even centuries. One explanation for ... continue reading

Coleen Rowley

FBI Whistleblower

May 13th, 2012

Militarization of the Mothers: You've Come a Long Way, Baby, from Mother's Day for Peace

Recall that Mother's Day was originated by Juliet Ward Howe not to fill restaurants or boost the stock of Hallmark cards but as an anti-militarism effort, to further the cause of peace. In her 1870 Proclamation, Howe, after witnessing the suffering and horrors of the Civil War, laid the foundation ... continue reading

Coleen Rowley

FBI Whistleblower

March 10th, 2012

Nothing “Purist”—Just Everything Hypocritical About Awarding Nobel “Peace” Prize to Promote Western Militarization

Background During the last 4 years the dispute over the implementation of Nobel´s prize for the "champions of peace" has come to a head. The Norwegian awarders seem to reinterpret Nobel´s wishes and award the prize for whatever in their judgment is good and valuable, based on "a broad concept ... continue reading

Coleen Rowley

FBI Whistleblower

December 14th, 2011

The Danger from Politicizing ‘Terror’

Glenn Greenwald’s critique – regarding the recent U.S. indictment of 38-year-old Iraqi Faruq Khalil Muhammad  Isa (currently in Canada) – is spot on about “terrorism” coming to simply mean opposing United States’ interests or resisting U.S. military invasions. U.S. authorities have now dropped any requirement that the “terrorists” target or ... continue reading

Coleen Rowley

FBI Whistleblower

December 4th, 2011

Bringing the ‘War on Terror’ Home

The political, military industrial, corporate class in Washington DC continues to re-make our Constitutional Republic into a powerful, unaccountable Military Empire. The U.S. Senate has just voted 93 to 7 to pass the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2012, which allows the military to operate domestically within ... continue reading

Coleen Rowley

FBI Whistleblower

November 11th, 2011

11/11/11 Will Be Celebrated as Originally Intended: As Armistice Day!

Why will members of Veterans for Peace again ring bells 11 times on Armistice /Veterans Day instead of shooting guns into the air? As David Swanson, (founder of War Is A Crime.org and author of War Is A Lie) explains in his piece "Fahrenheit 11-11-11": Believe it or not, November ... continue reading

Coleen Rowley

FBI Whistleblower

October 18th, 2011

Neither security nor democracy comes from a gun

I recently enjoyed the opportunity to speak to various groups at the University of Northern Iowa in connection with the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and also in celebration of Constitution and Citizenship Week. All the more because the overarching post 9/11 challenge: "How do we defeat terrorism without ... continue reading

Coleen Rowley

FBI Whistleblower

September 29th, 2011

October 2011: Let's Shape Up as Citizens by Exercising First Amendment!

In the course of making our final plans to travel to Washington DC's Freedom Plaza next week for the historic October2011 events, our Minnesota peace group delegation did not think to ask along any First Amendment legal scholars who often prove invaluable in situations like this. So if there are ... continue reading

Coleen Rowley

FBI Whistleblower

September 20th, 2011

Secrecy Kills

With editing assistance from Hugh Iglarsh, writer/editor/citizen based in Chicago These two words sum up well the op-ed I co-wrote with Bogdan Dzakovic before the ninth anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks last year, a shortened version of which was published later in the Los Angeles Times under the title: WikiLeaks ... continue reading

Coleen Rowley

FBI Whistleblower

September 16th, 2011

Bush Kept Out of Canada, Can We Keep Him Out of Minnesota Too?

Please JOIN US for an anti-torture candlelight vigil dedicated to detainees and victims of torture authorized by George Bush! Wednesday, September21, 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. Beth El Synagogue, public sidewalk area along parking lot, 5224 West 26th Street, St. Louis Park, Minnesota. (This is the same synagogue that hosted Condi ... continue reading

Coleen Rowley

FBI Whistleblower

August 21st, 2011

Republican Golfing, Political Kabuki Theater and W.A.R. (Wasted American Resources)

As you can see, the John Boehner-Minnesota Golfing Fundraiser in Minnesota enjoyed beautiful weather on Wednesday August 17, 2011.  So did our Come Home America group as we traveled to Wayzata, Minnesota to banner outside the event.  We had read that House Speaker John Boehner, Rep. Michele Bachmann, Rep. Erik ... continue reading

Coleen Rowley

FBI Whistleblower

February 17th, 2011

"Then They Pulled the Plug" – Hillary Clinton

Unbelievable! Someone just sent me this article below which describes how retired CIA analyst and Veteran for Peace Ray McGovern was drug out of Hillary Clinton's press conference yesterday: At Clinton Speech: Veteran Bloodied, Bruised and Arrested for Standing Silently As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave her speech at ... continue reading

Coleen Rowley

FBI Whistleblower

February 9th, 2011

British Consul Closes Office to Duck Assange Letter

On February 7, 2011, a small group of peace activists organized by the "Tackling Torture at the Top" Committee of Women Against Military Madness (WAMM) tried to meet with the British Honorary Consul at his office on the 26th floor of the US Bancorp Center, 800 Nicollet Mall, in downtown ... continue reading

Coleen Rowley

FBI Whistleblower

February 6th, 2011

NYT's Keller Disparages Assange

How unseemly for New York Times executive editor Bill Keller to look down so disdainfully at WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, with a nasty ad hominem portrayal in last Sunday’s New York Times Magazine, “Dealing With Assange and the WikiLeaks Secrets.” Someone should count how many disparaging descriptions Keller slips in ... continue reading

Coleen Rowley

FBI Whistleblower

January 25th, 2011

State of the Union: Don’t Ignore the Elephant War Machine in the Room

We are soon going to hear about our "State of the Union" but no matter what is said and no matter how good the speech, the current war machine dominating the state of the union will remain difficult to turn around. Even a president with military leadership like Eisenhower quickly ... continue reading

Coleen Rowley

FBI Whistleblower

January 21st, 2011

How Top Secret America Misfires

Why Those Who Value Constitutional Rights and Civil Liberties Must Ask Congress to Initiate "Church Committee"-type Hearings Why has Congress not yet awoken to the fact that since 9-11 we have been sailing into a perfect storm? Here are just some of the turbulent winds blowing and pushing officials in ... continue reading

Coleen Rowley

FBI Whistleblower

January 11th, 2011

OMB Orders Government Agencies to Monitor Disgruntled Employees -- What's Next?

By Linda Lewis and Coleen Rowley As Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano recently admitted, the notion of "fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them over here" is so totally passé. (She didn't explain, of course why, if Bush's old rationale is no longer valid, we still ... continue reading

Coleen Rowley

FBI Whistleblower

January 8th, 2011

'Dear Afghanistan': A New Year's Call for Peace

Here are some of the e-mails from Minnesotans (beginning with my own) sent today, New Year's Day 2011, taking advantage of the "Dear Afghanistan" communication exchange opportunity organized by the Afghan Youth Voices of Peace. Given our ongoing war situation, some (like mine) probably commenced a little awkwardly but at ... continue reading

Coleen Rowley

FBI Whistleblower

October 13th, 2010

Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace

By Susu Jeffrey and Coleen Rowley Domestic surveillance of peace groups, speech elevated to material support for state enemies, secret assassinations of American citizens — the war on terror has come home. Even publishing an op-ed or filing an amicus brief could be a criminal act. Offering training in non-violent ... continue reading

Coleen Rowley

FBI Whistleblower

October 4th, 2010

Presidential Powers: Prudence or Perversion? Playing Jeopardy

If we're playing Jeopardy, and we are, this would be the answer: It's the real no-brainer answer to the legal and ethical questions posed by the University of St. Thomas Law School in allowing "torture memo" authors John Yoo and Robert Delahunty to speak this Thursday, October 7th. Let's hope ... continue reading

Coleen Rowley

FBI Whistleblower

September 28th, 2010

Update about the Government’s New War on Peace

In the first of 20 some rallies being conducted outside FBI offices in cities around the country, a few hundred peace and civil liberties activists gathered yesterday in Lake Wobegon Minneapolis. Some of last week’s victims of FBI raids and grand jury subpoenas spoke out: The Minnesotans who had gathered ... continue reading

Coleen Rowley

FBI Whistleblower

September 26th, 2010

Inspector General Criticism Doesn't Faze FBI Raids on Midwestern Anti-war Activists

The war on dissent, rather than terrorism, continued full steam with FBI SWAT teams breaking down doors at 7 am Friday (Sept 24) morning and raiding the homes of several anti-war leaders and activists in Minneapolis, Chicago and possibly a couple other Midwest cities. Members of the FBI's "Joint Terrorism ... continue reading

Coleen Rowley

FBI Whistleblower

August 3rd, 2010

Obama Warned Israel May Bomb Iran

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) SUBJECT: War With Iran We write to alert you to the likelihood that Israel will attack Iran as early as this month. This would likely lead to a wider war. Israel’s leaders would calculate that once the battle is ... continue reading

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Big new story from David Sirota and Pando on top Christie adviser and appearance of corruption at New Jersey's pension fund: REVEALED: Gov....

Apr 17th
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Apr 15th
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Revealed: Rahm Emanuel's top donor bought stock in Marriott just before it was awarded huge contract pando.com As schools are closed and pensions cut,...

Apr 9th
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I'll be at First Time Fest today in New York City at the screening of my first film, Roger & Me. Loews Village 7 at 12:30 pm. Come see it on the big...

Apr 5th
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Revealed: Rahm Emanuel cuts public pensions, diverts money to benefit campaign donors pando.com If you've read the financial news out of Chicago the last...

Apr 4th
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Please take a moment today to think of Casey Austin Sheehan, son of Cindy and Patrick, who was murdered by U.S. foreign policy in Sadr City, Baghdad ten years...

Apr 4th
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ICYMI - I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence...

Apr 3rd
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I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention...

Apr 2nd
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I am opposed to the death penalty, but to every rule there is usually an exception, and in this case I hope the criminals at General Motors will be arrested...

Apr 1st
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How Long Some in the US Will Survive Under New Health Law ...by Donna Smith www.michaelmoore.com Those who must access care to live and can afford it are not...

Mar 31st
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Last night, The Good Wife on the East Coast started 40 minutes late due to the overrun of the NCAA basketball game. If you had your DVR set for the show, you...

Mar 24th
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Watching films today, looking for the ones I'm going to pick for my film festival this summer. I (and a whole bunch of others!) have this thing we put on...

Mar 23rd
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When the U.S. Health Care System Keeps Killing, Who Cares Enough to Fight? ...by Donna Smith www.michaelmoore.com We have largely forgotten that people are at...

Mar 21st
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Tell the White House not to give up on Dr. Vivek Murthy's nomination as Surgeon General despite the ferocious opposition from the NRA: Don't give...

Mar 21st
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This criminal would never see a jail cell, nor would his cronies. In fact, they'd later be rewarded with re-election: Presidential Address on War with...

Mar 19th
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The crime of the century -- our invasion & slaughter in Iraq -- started 11 years ago tonite in this 7pm (ET) hour, March 19th, 2003: CNN Coverage of...

Mar 19th
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Washington’s Back-to-the-Future Military Policies in Africa ...by Nick Turse www.michaelmoore.com Nick Turse is an award-winning journalist, historian,...

Mar 17th
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"I think democracy is the most revolutionary thing in the world." -- Tony Benn, 1925-2014 Tony Benn in 'Sicko'

Mar 14th
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RIP Tony Benn, one of the UK's greatest leaders: Tony Benn, veteran Labour politician, dies aged 88 www.theguardian.com Former cabinet minister died at...

Mar 14th
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Please read this important story from K. Ford K.: Am I the Face of the New American Middle Class? www.huffingtonpost.com I began to feel I had slipped so low...

Mar 13th
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Yesterday Dianne Feinstein revealed that the CIA has been spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee. This is all about the report the committee has produced...

Mar 12th
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Mar 10th
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Mar 10th
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Did you know the Lehrer Newshour on PBS has been produced for 20 years by a company owned by conservative cable billionaire John Malone? Me neither. After...

Mar 7th
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Mr. Obama, if int’l law is so damn crucial . . . | RootsAction.org act.rootsaction.org The Russian intervention deserves criticism. But let’s be clear. The...

Mar 6th
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Enron billionaire John Arnold thinks everyone should believe him when he says we've got to cut pensions because he's so incredibly rich: John...

Mar 5th
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More in David Sirota's continuing series on the billionaire takeover of PBS: More PBS conflict woes as activists move to eject David Koch from board of...

Mar 3rd
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Ukraine: One ‘Regime Change’ Too Many? ...by Ray McGovern www.michaelmoore.com Is “regime change” in Ukraine the bridge too far for the neoconservative...

Mar 2nd
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Latest from David Sirota on Enron billionaire John Arnold smuggling anti-pension propaganda into "neutral" institutions like PBS and now, the...

Mar 1st
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