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Coleen Rowley's Memo to FBI Director Robert Mueller
An edited version of the agent's 13-page letter

May 21, 2002

FBI Director Robert Mueller
FBI Headquarters Washington, D.C.

Dear Director Mueller:

I feel at this point that I have to put my concerns in writing concerning the important topic of the FBI's response to evidence of terrorist activity in the United States prior to September 11th. The issues are fundamentally ones of INTEGRITY and go to the heart of the FBI's law enforcement mission and mandate. Moreover, at this critical juncture in fashioning future policy to promote the most effective handling of ongoing and future threats to United States citizens' security, it is of absolute importance that an unbiased, completely accurate picture emerge of the FBI's current investigative and management strengths and failures.

To get to the point, I have deep concerns that a delicate and subtle shading/skewing of facts by you and others at the highest levels of FBI management has occurred and is occurring. The term "cover up" would be too strong a characterization which is why I am attempting to carefully (and perhaps over laboriously) choose my words here. I base my concerns on my relatively small, peripheral but unique role in the Moussaoui investigation in the Minneapolis Division prior to, during and after September 11th and my analysis of the comments I have heard both inside the FBI (originating, I believe, from you and other high levels of management) as well as your Congressional testimony and public comments.

I feel that certain facts, including the following, have, up to now, been omitted, downplayed, glossed over and/or mis-characterized in an effort to avoid or minimize personal and/or institutional embarrassment on the part of the FBI and/or perhaps even for improper political reasons:

1) The Minneapolis agents who responded to the call about Moussaoui's flight training identified him as a terrorist threat from a very early point. The decision to take him into custody on August 15, 2001, on the INS "overstay" charge was a deliberate one to counter that threat and was based on the agents' reasonable suspicions. While it can be said that Moussaoui's overstay status was fortuitous, because it allowed for him to be taken into immediate custody and prevented him receiving any more flight training, it was certainly not something the INS coincidentally undertook of their own volition. I base this on the conversation I had when the agents called me at home late on the evening Moussaoui was taken into custody to confer and ask for legal advice about their next course of action. The INS agents was assigned to the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force and was therefore working in tandem with FBI agents.

2) As the Minneapolis agents' reasonable suspicions quickly ripened into probable cause, which, at the latest, occurred within days of Moussaoui's arrest when the French Intelligence Service confirmed his affiliations with radical fundamentalist Islamic groups and activities connected to Osama Bin Laden, they became desperate to search the computer lap top that had been taken from Moussaoui as well as conduct a more thorough search of his personal effects. The agents in particular believed that Moussaoui signaled he had something to hide in the way he refused to allow them to search his computer.

3) The Minneapolis agents' initial thought was to obtain a criminal search warrant, but in order to do so, they needed to get FBI Headquarters' (FBIHQ's) approval in order to ask for DOJ OIPR's approval to contact the United States Attorney's Office in Minnesota. Prior to and even after receipt of information provided by the French, FBIHQ personnel disputed with the Minneapolis agents the existence of probable cause to believe that a criminal violation had occurred/was occurring. As such, FBIHQ personnel refused to contact OIPR to attempt to get the authority. While reasonable minds may differ as to whether probable cause existed prior to receipt of the French intelligence information, it was certainly established after that point and became even greater with successive, more detailed information from the French and other intelligence sources. The two possible criminal violations initially identified by Minneapolis Agents were violations of Title 18 United States Code Section 2332b (Acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries, which, notably, includes "creating a substantial risk of serious bodily injury to any other person by destroying or damaging any structure, conveyance, or other real or personal property within the United States or by attempting or conspiring to destroy or damage any structure, conveyance, or other real or personal property within the United States") and Section 32 (Destruction of aircraft or aircraft facilities). It is important to note that the actual search warrant obtained on September 11th was based on probable cause of a violation of Section 32.1 Notably also, the actual search warrant obtained on September 11th did not include the French intelligence information. Therefore, the only main difference between the information being submitted to FBIHQ from an early date which HQ personnel continued to deem insufficient and the actual criminal search warrant which a federal district judge signed and approved on September 11th, was the fact that, by the time the actual warrant was obtained, suspected terrorists were known to have highjacked planes which they then deliberately crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. To say then, as has been iterated numerous times, that probable cause did not exist until after the disasterous event occurred, is really to acknowledge that the missing piece of probable cause was only the FBI's (FBIHQ's) failure to appreciate that such an event could occur. The probable cause did not otherwise improve or change. When we went to the United States Attorney's Office that morning of September 11th, in the first hour after the attack, we used a disk containing the same information that had already been provided to FBIHQ; then we quickly added Paragraph 19 which was the little we knew from news reports of the actual attacks that morning. The problem with chalking this all up to the "20-20 hindsight is perfect" problem, (which I, as all attorneys who have been involved in deadly force training or the defense of various lawsuits are fully appreciative of), is that this is not a case of everyone in the FBI failing to appreciate the potential consequences. It is obvious, from my firsthand knowledge of the events and the detailed documentation that exists, that the agents in Minneapolis who were closest to the action and in the best position to gauge the situation locally, did fully appreciate the terrorist risk/danger posed by Moussaoui and his possible co-conspirators even prior to September 11th. Even without knowledge of the Phoenix communication (and any number of other additional intelligence communications that FBIHQ personnel were privy to in their central coordination roles), the Minneapolis agents appreciated the risk. So I think it's very hard for the FBI to offer the "20-20 hindsight" justification for its failure to act! Also intertwined with my reluctance in this case to accept the "20-20 hindsight" rationale is first-hand knowledge that I have of statements made on September 11th, after the first attacks on the World Trade Center had already occurred, made telephonically by the FBI Supervisory Special Agent (SSA) who was the one most involved in the Moussaoui matter and who, up to that point, seemed to have been consistently, almost deliberately thwarting the Minneapolis FBI agents' efforts (see number 5). Even after the attacks had begun, the SSA in question was still attempting to block the search of Moussaoui's computer, characterizing the World Trade Center attacks as a mere coincidence with Misseapolis' prior suspicions about Moussaoui.2

4) In one of my peripheral roles on the Moussaoui matter, I answered an e-mail message on August 22, 2001, from an attorney at the National Security Law Unit (NSLU). Of course, with (ever important!) 20-20 hindsight, I now wish I had taken more time and care to compose my response. When asked by NSLU for my "assessment of (our) chances of getting a criminal warrant to search Moussaoui's computer", I answered, "Although I think there's a decent chance of being able to get a judge to sign a criminal search warrant, our USAO seems to have an even higher standard much of the time, so rather than risk it, I advised that they should try the other route." Leaked news accounts which said the Minneapolis Legal Counsel (referring to me) concurred with the FBIHQ that probable cause was lacking to search Moussaoui's computer are in error. (or possibly the leak was deliberately skewed in this fashion?) What I meant by this pithy e-mail response, was that although I thought probable cause existed ("probable cause" meaning that the proposition has to be more likely than not, or if quantified, a 51% likelihood), I thought our United States Attorney's Office, (for a lot of reasons including just to play it safe) in regularly requiring much more than probable cause before approving affidavits, (maybe, if quantified, 75%-80% probability and sometimes even higher), and depending on the actual AUSA who would be assigned, might turn us down. As a tactical choice, I therefore thought it would be better to pursue the "other route" (the FISA search warrant) first, the reason being that there is a common perception, which for lack of a better term, I'll call the "smell test" which has arisen that if the FBI can't do something through straight-up criminal methods, it will then resort to using less-demanding intelligence methods. Of course this isn't true, but I think the perception still exists. So, by this line of reasoning, I was afraid that if we first attempted to go criminal and failed to convinced an AUSA, we wouldn't pass the "smell test" in subsequently seeking a FISA. I thought our best chances therefore lay in first seeking the FISA. Both of the factors that influenced my thinking are areas arguably in need of improvement: requiring an excessively high standard of probable cause in terrorism cases and getting rid of the "smell test" perception. It could even be argued that FBI agents, especially in terrorism cases where time is of the essence, should be allowed ot go directly to federal judges to have their probable cause reviewed for arrests or searches without having to gain the USAO's approval.4

5) The fact is that key FBIHQ personnel whose jobs it was to assist and coordinate with field division agents on terrorism investigations and the obtaining and use of FISA searches (and who theoretically were privy to many more sources of intelligence information than field division agents), continued to, almost inexplicably,5 throw up roadblocks and undermine Minneapolis' by-now desperate efforts to obtain a FISA search warrant, long after the French intelligence service provided its information and probable cause became clear. HQ personnel brought up almost ridiculous questions in their apparent efforts to undermine the probable cause.6 In all of their conversations and correspondence, HQ personnel never disclosed to the Minneapolis agents that the Phoenix Division had, only approximately three weeks earlier, warned of Al Qaeda operatives in flight schools seeking flight training for terrorist purposes!

Nor did FBIHQ personnel do much to disseminate the information about Moussaoui to other appropriate intelligence/law enforcement authorities. When, in a desperate 11th hour measure to bypass the FBIHQ roadblock, the Minneapolis Division undertook to directly notify the CIA's Counter Terrorist Center (CTC), FBIHQ personnel actually chastised the Minneapolis agents for making the direct notification without their approval!

6 ) Eventually on august 28, 2001, after a series of e-mails between Minneapolis and FBIHQ, which suggest that the FBIHQ SSA deliberately further undercut the FISA effort by not adding the further intelligence information which he had promised to add that supported Moussaoui's foreign power connection and making several changes in the wording of the information that had been provided by the Minneapolis Agent, the Minneapolis agents were notified that the NSLU Unit Chief did not think there was sufficient evidence of Moussaoui's connection to a foreign power. Minneapolis personnel are, to this date, unaware of the specifics of the verbal presentations by the FBIHQ SSA to NSLU or whether anyone in NSLU ever was afforded the opportunity to actually read for him/herself all of the information on Moussaoui that had been gathered by the Minneapolis Division and the French intelligence service. Obviously verbal presentations are far more susceptible to mis-characterization and error. The e-mail communications between Minneapolis and FBIHQ, however, speak for themselves and there are far better witnesses than me who can provide their first hand knowledge of these events characterized in one Minneapolis agent's e-mail as FBIHQ is "setting this up for failure." My only comment is that the process of allowing the FBI supervisors to make changes in affidavits is itself fundamentally wrong, just as, in the follow-up to FBI Laboratory Whistleblower Frederic Whitehurst's allegations, this process was revealed to be wrong in the context of writing up laboratory results. With the Whitehurst allegations, this process of allowing supervisors to re-write portions of laboratory reports, was found to provide opportunities for over-zealous supervisors to skew the results in favor of the prosecution. In the Moussaoui case, it was the opposite -- the process allowed the Headquarters Supervisor to downplay the significance of the information thus far collected in order to get out of the work of having to see the FISA application through or possibly to avoid taking what he may have perceived as an unnecessary career risk.7 I understand that the failures of the FBIHQ personnel involved in the Moussaoui matter are also being officially excused because they were too busy with other investigations, the Cole bombing and other important terrorism matters, but the Supervisor's taking of the time to read each word of the information submitted by Minneapolis and then substitute his own choice of wording belies to some extent the notion that he was too busy. As an FBI division legal advisor for 12 years (and an FBI agent for over 21 years), I can state that an affidavit is better and will tend to be more accurate when the affiant has first hand information of all the information he/she must attest to. Of necessity, agents must continually rely upon information from confidential sources, third parties and other law enforcement officers in drafting affidavits, but the repeating of information from others greatly adds to the opportunities for factual discrepancies and errors to arise. To the extent that we can minimize the opportunity for this type of error to arise by simply not allowing unnecessary re-writes by supervisory staff, it ought to be done. (I'm not talking, of course, about mere grammatical corrections, but changes of some substance as apparently occurred with the Moussaoui information which had to be, for lack of a better term, "filtered" through FBIHQ before any action, whether to seek a criminal or a FISA warrant, could be taken.) Even after September 11th, the fear was great on the part of Minneapolis Division personnel that the same FBIHQ personnel would continue their "filtering" with respect to the Moussaoui investigation, and now with the added incentive of preventing their prior mistakes from coming to light. For this reason, for weeks, Minneapolis prefaced all outgoing communications (ECs) in the PENTTBOM investigation with a summary of the information about Moussaoui. We just wanted to make sure the information got to the proper prosecutive authorities and was not further suppressed! This fear was probably irrational but was nonetheless understandable in light of the Minneapolis agents' prior experiences and frustrations involving FBIHQ. (The redundant preface information regarding Moussaoui on otherwise unrelative PENTTBOM communications has ended up adding to criminal discovery issues, but this is the reason it was done.)

7) Although the last thing the FBI or the country needs now is a witch hunt, I do find it odd that (to my knowledge) no inquiry whatsoever was launched of the relevant FBIHQ personnel's actions a long time ago. Despite FBI leaders' full knowledge of all the items mentioned herein (and probably more that I'm unaware of), the SSA, his unit chief, and other involved HQ personnel were allowed to stay in their positions and, what's worse, occupy critical positions in the FBI's SIOC Command Center post September 11th. (The SSA in question actually received a promotion some months afterward!) It's true we all make mistakes and I'm not suggesting that HQ personnel in question ought to be burned at the stake, but, we all need to be held accountable for serious mistakes. I'm relatively certain that if it appeared that a lowly field office agent had committed such errors of judgment, the FBI's OPR would have been notified to investigate and the agent would have, at the least, been quickly reassigned. I'm afraid the FBI's failure to submit this matter to OPR (and to the IOB) gives further impetus to the notion (raised previously by many in the FBI) of a double standard which results in those of lower rank being investigated more aggressively and dealt with more harshly for misconduct while the misconduct of those at the top is often overlooked or results in minor disciplinary action. From all appearances, this double standard may also apply between those at FBIHQ and those in the field.

8) The last official "fact" that I take issue with is not really a fact, but an opinion, and a completely unsupported opinion at that. In the day or two following September 11th, you, Director Mueller, made the statement to the effect that if the FBI had only had any advance warning of the attacks, we (meaning the FBI), may have been able to take some action to prevent the tragedy. Fearing that this statement could easily come back to haunt the FBI upon revelation of the information that had been developed pre-September 11th about Moussaoui, I and others in the Minneapolis Office, immediately sought to reach your office through an assortment of higher level FBIHQ contacts, in order to quickly make you aware of the background of the Moussaoui investigation and forewarn you so that your public statements could be accordingly modified. When such statements from you and other FBI officials continued, we thought that somehow you had not received the message and we made further efforts. Finally when similar comments were made weeks later, in Assistant Director Caruso's congressional testimony in response to the first public leaks about Moussaoui we faced the sad realization that the remarks indicated someone, possibly with your approval, had decided to circle the wagons at FBIHQ in an apparent effort to protect the FBI from embarrassment and the relevant FBI officials from scrutiny. Everything I have seen and heard about the FBI's official stance and the FBI's internal preparations in anticipation of further congressional inquiry, had, unfortunately, confirmed my worst suspicions in this regard. After the details began to emerge concerning the pre-September 11th investigation of Moussaoui, and subsequently with the recent release of the information about the Phoenix EC, your statement has changed. The official statement is now to the effect that even if the FBI had followed up on the Phoenix lead to conduct checks of flight schools and the Minneapolis request to search Moussaoui's personal effects and laptop, nothing would have changed and such actions certainly could not have prevented the terrorist attacks and resulting loss of life. With all due respect, this statement is as bad as the first! It is also quite at odds with the earlier statement (which I'm surprised has not already been pointed out by those in the media!) I don't know how you or anyone at FBI Headquarters, no matter how much genius or prescience you may possess, could so blithely make this affirmation without anything to back the opinion up than your stature as FBI Director. The truth is, as with most predictions into the future, no one will ever know what impact, if any, the FBI's following up on those requests, would have had. Although I agree that it's very doubtful that the full scope of the tragedy could have been prevented, it's at least possible we could have gotten lucky and uncovered one or two more of the terrorists in flight training prior to September 11th, just as Moussaoui was discovered, after making contact with his flight instructors. If is certainly not beyond the realm of imagination to hypothesize that Moussaoui's fortuitous arrest alone, even if he merely was the 20th hijacker, allowed the hero passengers of Flight 93 to overcome their terrorist hijackers and thus spare more lives on the ground. And even greater casualties, possibly of our Nation's highest government officials, may have been prevented if Al Qaeda intended for Moussaoui to pilot an entirely different aircraft. There is, therefore at least some chance that discovery of other terrorist pilots prior to September 11th may have limited the September 11th attacks and resulting loss of life. Although your conclusion otherwise has to be very reassuring for some in the FBI to hear being repeated so often (as if saying it's so may make it so), I think your statements demonstrate a rush to judgment to protect the FBI at all costs. I think the only fair response to this type of question would be that no one can pretend to know one way or another.

Mr. Director, I hope my observations can be taken in a constructive vein. They are from the heart and intended to be completely apolitical. Hopefully, with our nation's security on the line, you and our nation's other elected and appointed officials can rise above the petty politics that often plague other discussions and do the right thing. You do have some good ideas for change in the FBI but I think you have also not been completely honest about some of the true reasons for the FBI's pre-September 11th failures. Until we come clean and deal with the root causes, the Department of Justice will continue to experience problems fighting terrorism and fighting crime in general.

I have used the "we" term repeatedly herin to indicate facts about others in the Minneapolis Office at critical times, but none of the opinions expressed herin can be attributed to anyone but myself. I know that those who know me would probably describe me as, by nature, overly opinionated and sometimes not as discreet as I should be. Certainly some of the above remarks may be interpreted as falling into that category, but I really do not intend anything as a personal criticism of you or anyone else in the FBI, to include the FBIHQ personnel who I believe were remiss and mishandled their duties with regard to the Moussaoui investigation. Truly my only purpose is to try to provide the facts within my purview so that an accurate assessment can be obtained and we can learn from our mistakes. I have pointed out a few of the things that I think should be looked at but there are many, many more.8 An honest acknowledgment of the FBI's mistakes in this and other cases should not lead to increasing the Headquarters bureaucracy and approval levels of investigative actions as the answer. Most often, field office agents and field office management on the scene will be better suited to the timely and effective solution of crimes and, in some lucky instances, to the effective prevention of crimes, including terrorism incidents. The relatively quick solving of the recent mailbox pipe-bombing incidents which resulted in no serious injuries to anyone are a good example of effective field office work (actually several field offices working together) and there are hundreds of other examples. Although FBIHQ personnel have, no doubt, been of immeasurable assistance to the field over the years, I'm hard pressed to think of any case which has been solved by FBIHQ personnel and I can name several that have been screwed up! Decision-making is inherently more effective and timely when decentralized instead of concentrated.

Your plans for an FBI Headquarters' "Super Squad" simply fly in the face of an honest appraisal of the FBI's pre-September 11th failures. The Phoenix, Minneapolis and Paris Legal Attache Offices reacted remarkably exhibiting keen perception and prioritization skills regarding the terrorist threats they uncovered or were made aware of pre-September 11th. The same cannot be said for the FBI Headquarters' bureaucracy and you want to expand that?! Should we put the counterterrorism unit chief and SSA who previously handled the Moussaoui matter in charge of the new "Super Squad"?! You are also apparently disregarding the fact the Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs), operating out of field divisions for years, (the first and chief one being New York City's JTTF), have successfully handled numerous terrorism investigations and, in some instances, successfully prevented acts of terrorism. There's no denying the need for more and better intelligence and intelligence management, but you should think carefully about how much gate keeping power should be entrusted with any HQ entity. If we are indeed in a "war", shouldn't the Generals be on the battlefield instead of sitting in a spot removed from the action while still attempting to call the shots?

I have been an FBI agent for over 21 years and, for what it's worth, have never received any form of disciplinary action throughout my career. From the 5th grade, when I first wrote the FBI and received the "100 Facts about the FBI" pamphlet, this job has been my dream. I feel that my career in the FBI has been somewhat exemplary, having entered on duty at a time when there was only a small percentage of female Special Agents. I have also been lucky to have had four children during my time in the FBI and am the sole breadwinner of a family of six. Due to the frankness with which I have expressed myself and my deep feelings on these issues, (which is only because I feel I have a somewhat unique, inside perspective of the Moussaoui matter, the gravity of the events of September 11th and the current seriousness of the FBI's and United States' ongoing efforts in the "war against terrorism"), I hope my continued employment with the FBI is not somehow placed in jeopardy. I have never written to an FBI Director in my life before on any topic. Although I would hope it is not necessary, I would therefore wish to take advantage of the federal "Whistleblower Protection" provisions by so characterizing my remarks.


Coleen M. Rowley
Special Agent and Minneapolis Chief Division Counsel


1) And both of the violations originally cited in vain by the Minneapolis agents disputing the issue with FBIHQ personnel are among those on which Moussaoui is currently indicted.

2) Just minutes after I saw the first news of the World Trade Center attack(s), I was standing outside the office of Minneapolis ASAC M. Chris Briesse waiting for him to finish with a phone call, when he received a call on another line from this SSA. Since I figured I knew what the call may be about and wanted to ask, in light of the unfolding events and the apparent urgency of the situation, if we should now immediately attempt to obtai

-- Cherri (whatever@who.cares), May 28, 2002


I am sorry to inform you, Cherri, but because you post many articles that cast President Bush or his administration in a harsh light, as a result FBI Special Agent Coleen M. Rowley is a scum-sucking, welfare queen, Bush-hater.

Consequently, Special Agent Rowley's training is void, her experiences are invalid, her facts are unimportant and her conclusions are designed solely to undercut the man Maria calls the greatest president ever to occupy the office. We must notify the Congress that Special Agent Rowley has been tainted by contact with your person and is fataaly afflicted with your cooties.

-- Little Nipper (, May 28, 2002.


2) Just minutes after I saw the first news of the World Trade Center attack(s), I was standing outside the office of Minneapolis ASAC M. Chris Briesse waiting for him to finish with a phone call, when he received a call on another line from this SSA. Since I figured I knew what the call may be about and wanted to ask, in light of the unfolding events and the apparent urgency of the situation, if we should now immediately attempt to obtain a criminal search warrant for Moussaoui's laptop and personal property, I took the call. I said something to the effect that, in light of what had just happened in New York, it would have to be the "hugest coincidence" at this point if Moussaoui was not involved with the terrorists. The SSA stated something to the effect that I had used the right term, "coincidence" and that this was probably all just a coincidence and we were to do nothing in Minneapolis until we got their (HQ's) permission because we might "screw up" something else going on elsewhere in the country.

4) Certainly Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure which begins, "Upon the request of a federal law enforcement officer or an attorney for the government" does not contain this requirement. Although the practice that has evolved is that FBI agents must secure prior approval for any search or arrest from the United States Attorneys Office, the Federal Rule governing Search and Seizure clearly envisions law enforcement officers applying, on their own, for search warrants.

5) During the early aftermath of September 11th, when I happened to be recounting the pre-September 11th events concerning the Moussaoui investigation to other FBI personnel in other divisions or in FBIHQ, almost everyone's first question was "Why?--Why would an FBI agent(s) deliberately sabotage a case? (I know I shouldn't be flippant about this, but jokes were actually made that the key FBIHQ personnel had to be spies or moles, like Robert Hansen, who were actually working for Osama Bin Laden to have so undercut Minneapolis' effort.) Our best real guess, however, is that, in most cases avoidance of all "unnecessary" actions/decisions by FBIHQ managers (and maybe to some extent field managers as well) has, in recent years, been seen as the safest FBI career course. Numerous high-ranking FBI officials who have made decisions or have taken actions which, in hindsight, turned out to be mistaken or just turned out badly (i.e. Ruby Ridge, Waco, etc.) have seen their careers plummet and end. This has in turn resulted in a climate of fear which has chilled aggressive FBI law enforcement action/decisions. In a large hierarchal bureaucracy such as the FBI, with the requirement for numerous superiors approvals/oversight, the premium on career-enhancement, and interjecting a chilling factor brought on by recent extreme public and congressional criticism/oversight, and I think you will see at least the makings of the most likely explanation. Another factor not to be underestimated probably explains the SSA and other FBIHQ personnel's reluctance to act. And so far, I have heard no FBI official even allude to this problem-- which is that FBI Headquarters is staffed with a number of short term careerists* who, like the SSA in question, must only serve an 18 month-just-time-to-get-your-ticket-punched minimum. It's no wonder why very little expertise can be acquired by a Headquarters unit! (And no wonder why FBIHQ is mired in mediocrity! -- that maybe a little strong, but it would definitely be fair to say that there is unevenness in competency among Headquarters personnel.) (It's also a well known fact that the FBI Agents Association has complained for years about the disincentives facing those entering the FBI management career path which results in very few of the FBI's best and brightest choosing to go into management. Instead the ranks of FBI management are filled with many who were failures as street agents. Along these lines, let me ask the question, why has it suddenly become necessary for the Director to "handpick" the FBI management?) It's quite conceivable that many of the HQ personnel who so vigorously disputed Moussaoui's ability/predisposition to fly a plane into a building were simply unaware of all the various incidents and reports worldwide of Al Qaeda terrorists attempting or plotting to do so.

*By the way, just in the event you did not know, let me furnish you the Webster's definition of "careerism" - - the policy or practice of advancing one's career often at the cost of one's integrity". Maybe that sums up the whole problem!

6) For example, at one point, the Supervisory Special Agent at FBIHQ posited that the French information could be worthless because it only identified Zacarias Moussaoui by name and he, the SSA, didn't know how many people by that name existed in France. A Minneapolis agent attempted to surmount that problem by quickly phoning the FBI's legal Attache (Legat) in Paris, France, so that a check could be made of the French telephone directories. Although the Legat in France did not have access to all of the French telephone directories, he was able to quickly ascertain that there was only one listed in the Paris directory. It is not known if this sufficiently answered the question, for the SSA continued to find new reasons to stall.

7) Another factor that cannot be underestimated as to the HQ Supervisor's apparent reluctance to do anything was/is the ever present risk of being "written up" for an Intelligence Oversight Board (IOB) "error." In the year(s) preceding the September 11th acts of terrorism, numerous alleged IOB violations on the part of FBI personnel had to be submitted to the FBI's Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) as well as the IOB. I believe the chilling effect upon all levels of FBI agents assigned to intelligence matters and their manager hampered us from aggressive investigation of terrorists. Since one generally only runs the risk of IOB violations when one does something, the safer course is to do nothing. Ironically, in this case, a potentially huge IOB violation arguably occurred due to FBIHQ's failure to act, that is, FBIHQ's failure to inform the Department of Justice Criminal Division of Moussaoui's potential criminal violations (which, as I've already said, were quickly identified in Minneapolis as violations of Title 18 United States Code Section 2332b [Acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries] and Section 32 [Destruction of aircraft or aircraft facilities]). This failure would seem to run clearly afoul of the Attorney General directive contained in the "1995 Procedures for Contacts Between the FBI and the Criminal Division Concerning Foreign Intelligence and Foreign Counterintelligence Investigations" which mandatorily require the FBI to notify the Criminal Division when "facts or circumstances are developed" in an FI or FCI investigation "that reasonably indicate that a significant federal crime has been, is being, or may be committed." I believe that Minneapolis agents actually brought this point to FBIHQ's attention on August 22, 2001, but HQ personnel apparently ignored the directive, ostensibly due to their opinion of the lack of probably cause. But the issue of whether HQ personnel deliberately undercut the probable cause can be sidestepped at this point because the Directive does not require probable cause. It requires only a "reasonable indication" which is defined as "substantially lower than probable cause." Given that the Minneapolis Division had accumulated far more than "a mere hunch" (which the directive would deem as insufficient), the information ought to have, at least, been passed on to the "Core Group" created to assess whether the information needed to be further disseminated to the Criminal Division. However, (and I don't know for sure), but to date, I have never heard that any potential violation of this directive has been submitted to the IOB or to the FBI's OPR. It should also be noted that when making determinations of whether items need to be submitted to the IOB, it is my understanding that NSLU normally used/uses a broad approach, erring, when in doubt, on the side of submitting potential violations.

8) For starters, if prevention rather than prosecution is to be our new main goal, (an objective I totally agree with), we need more guidance on when we can apply the Quarles "public safety" exception to Miranda's 5 Amendment requirements. We were prevented from even attempting to question Moussaoui on the day of the attacks when, in theory, he could have possessed further information about other co-conspirators. (Apparently no government attorney believes there is a "public safety" exception in a situation like this?!)

-- Cherri (whatever@who.cares), May 28, 2002.

Cherri, apparently you do not understand the gravity of this situation. Time magazine printed this memo. You quoted it. Therefore, Time magazine is a worthless liberal rag and out to get the president.

William Safire, columnist for the NY Times, said in his column that the efforts of the FBI to suppress this memo clearly constitute a cover-up designed to save the asses of some incompetant senior bureaucrats. Just through your own failure to supress this memo, Mr. Safire is transformed from a crusty right-wing pundit into an airhead, liberal cat's paw for the purpose of forwarding the Democratic agenda.

Many members of Congress are taking this memo very seriously. Because you have cut-and-pasted it here, this effort has turned into a partisan witch hunt and a shameful source of comfort to the enemies of this country, who fear the FBI and would like nothing better than to see it disgraced and the president shamed.

According to some other members of this forum, there is no cure for the Cherri cooties. The mere touch of your hand to any article, any memo, any opinion, renders it worthless.

Stop this senseless waste, Cherri, I implore you! We are duty-bound to ignore, dismiss and denigrate your every post, no matter the content. Our national security is at stake!

-- Little Nipper (, May 28, 2002.

Cherri, LN, Oh since Time published it, it must be authentic. A 13-page memo to a company head, sorry I ain't buying but I have some really good land deals for ya if you're interested.

-- Maria (, May 28, 2002.

Maria, congress was given a copy of this letter as well as it going to FBI Director Robert Mueller. What will you believe when?

You still believe Clinton trashed the WH and ripped of Air Force One? Geeze girl.

-- Cherri (Whatever@who.cares), May 28, 2002.

First can you imagine yourself writing a 13-page memo to the CEO of your company? I can't and y'all know how opinionated I am. I'm not shy about writing any letters and have written a few with a poison pen. But I could never imagine anyone writing a memo of this kind, even someone with an axe to grind and then making it public.

Second, why would anyone write this, airing events that happened under someone else's watch? The current CEO wasn't around when this all occurred. So, she's writing it to the wrong person; her beef is with someone who's long gone.

Third, might she expect some reward with this? No. If she wants to effect change within her organization this confrontation is not the way to go. My advice would be to couch in terms of lesson learned not whining.

Sorry, not buying. Cherri do you still believe in the fairy godmother?

-- Maria (, May 28, 2002.

*First can you imagine yourself writing a 13-page memo to the CEO of your company?*

Good point, Maria.

-- (cin@cin.cin), May 28, 2002.

Well, Nipper, we know Cherri has mastered the "cut and paste" and little more. The real issue here is the FBI bureaucracy, not Pres. Bush. Ms. Rowley and other Minneapolis agents were very angry at the FBI headquarters for a failure to act on the Moussaoui case. You'll have to dazzle me with more than your usual song-and-dance to explain how Mr. Bush is responsible for the problems of the federal law enforcement monolith.

My reading of the memo is that Ms. Rowley is not only angry, but bitter, and about more than just the Moussaoui case. Apparently, before 9/11 Minneapolis agents were so annoyed they were attaching a copy of the Moussaoui information to all documents headed to HQ.

The FBI is a closed organization with a terrible habit of covering its collective backside much like every other federal bureaucracy. Instead of working on this inherent problem, this will degrade into partisan politics. Oh, lest I forget, some of the reluctance from FBI HQ seems due to concerns about racial profiling and the high standard of probable cause required because of the rights of noncitizens. Hmmmm....

-- Ken Decker (, May 28, 2002.

Maria, if I were about to jump over the heads of my immediate bosses to the CEO, and if it were over a 'hot potato' of this magnitude, then I would write a memo however long it took to indemnify myself against blowback from those of my superiors at HQ whose judgement I was calling into question. I'd dot every 'i', cross every "t', and generally cover my heinie seven ways to Sunday.

If Special Agent Rowley had been content to sit in silence, then nothing more would be required of her than to grit her teeth and fold her hands. Once she made the decision to pursue the matter, then a 13 page memo like this would be unavoidable, in my view.

-- Little Nipper (, May 28, 2002.

Ken, as we all know:

1) Cherri only cuts and pastes material that places Bush in a bad light.

2) Cherri cut and pasted this memo.

3) Therefore, this memo places Bush in a bad light.

Once you have carefully examined the first terms of our common faith about Cherri, it is easy to see that, in spite of the fact that the memo never mentions Bush, addresses only the activities of certain parties at the FBIHQ, and was posted without additional comment by Cherri... still, it is an unavoidable conclusion that this memo is all about Bush, that it throws him in a bad light, and that this bad light is an artificial light that does Bush an injustice, and that Cherri's sole aim in posting this was to generate false propaganda for the Democratic Party and to throw undeserved mud at our dear president.

Cherri posted it, so how could it be otherwise than as I say?

-- Little Nipper (, May 28, 2002.


-- wake me up (when@it's.over), May 28, 2002.

LOL "Yawn"! I hear ya.

Are these pugs ever gonna get enough brains to come up with some decent posts, or will they just continue to wait for Cherri to post something, then ridicule her and bash the authors? I doubt they have the brainpower to do anything original, they prefer having tantrums!

-- (repugs@are.dimwits), May 28, 2002.

Don't usually do the cut and paste, but this article belongs with the long memo. Make of it what you will.

Click here to email this story to a friend:

Click here to read this story online:

Headline: Other unheeded warnings before 9/11? Byline: John K. Cooley Date: 05/23/2002 (ATHENS)The Bush administration may hesitate to give Arab allies public credit, but Washington investigators should consider warnings that at least two friendly Arab intelligence services sent to Washington just weeks before the Sept. 11 attacks.

Jordan, beyond a doubt, and Morocco, with some certainty, advised US and allied intelligence that Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda terrorists were preparing airborne terrorist operations in the continental United States.

What Washington's investigators should do now, after verifying the authenticity and content of those messages, is discover how seriously and at what levels of government, if any, they were considered or shared. And what, if any, operational conclusions were drawn.

First, the Jordan case: Since the early 1990s, the kingdom's well-organized and efficient intelligence service, called the GID (General Intelligence Division), reporting directly to the king, carefully tracked CIA- and Pakistani-trained Arab guerrillas both in and outside of Jordan. Many had fought in the victorious war to expel the Soviets from Afghanistan.

Thousands of Arab veterans - many trained in Muslim religious schools as well as in the arts of war, sabotage, and terrorism - returned to Jordan and their other homelands. They organized Islamist uprisings, aided civil wars (Egypt, Algeria, Sudan, the Philippines, Indonesia), and carried out terrorism (cinemas in Jordan; the World Trade Center in New York in 1993).

Jordan's GID captured and brought to justice a number of guerrillas who had become active terrorists, and kept a watch on those who did not. The GID aided the United States government in countless ways. In cooperation with the US, it foiled multiple attacks on Jordanian tourist sites planned for New Year's Eve 1999. It helped US law enforcement apprehend Al Qaeda and other operatives who had reached the US or Canada and had formed active or "sleeper" cells there.

Sometime in the late summer of 2001, GID headquarters in Jordan intercepted a crucial Al Qaeda communication. This probably took place after the July 5 warning by a Phoenix, Ariz., FBI agent that Arab terrorists could be sending men to flight schools, and either before or shortly after Aug. 6, when President Bush received a CIA briefing about possible hijackings.

The intercept's content was deemed so important that Jordanian King Abdallah's men relayed it to Washington, probably through the CIA station at the US Embassy in Amman. To be sure that the message got through, it was also passed to a German intelligence agent who was visiting Amman at the time.

The message showed clearly that a major attack was planned inside the continental US. It said aircraft would be used. But neither hijacking nor, apparently, precise timing nor targets were named. The code name of the operation was mentioned: in Arabic, Al Ourush al-Kabir, "The Big Wedding."

When it became clear that the information about the intercept was embarrassing to the Bush administration and to congressmen who at first denied there had been any advance warnings of 9/11, senior Jordan officials backed off their earlier confirmations.

Last November, a French magazine and a Moroccan newspaper simultaneously reported a story that has never been publicly confirmed or denied - in Paris, Rabat, or Washington.

It said that a Moroccan secret agent named Hassan Dabou had infiltrated Al Qaeda. Several weeks before Sept. 11, the story goes, he informed his chiefs in King Muhammed VI's royal intelligence service that Mr. bin Laden's men were preparing "large-scale operations in New York in the summer or autumn of 2001." The warning was said to have been passed from the Moroccan capital of Rabat to Washington.

Mr. Dabou was said to have reported that bin Laden was "very disappointed" by the failure of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center to topple the towers. The Moroccan agent was said to have begun his career as an informant in Casablanca's slums, then was assigned to missions in Algeria, Iran, and finally Afghanistan.

Though he won bin Laden's confidence at first, according to an unnamed French intelligence agent cited in the reports, Dabou lost contact with Al Qaeda after he was invited to the US to tell his story there. Losing his sources in Afghanistan curtailed his ability to predict or help prevent 9/11.

Nonetheless, the story goes, he was given refuge and a new identity in the US. There, he was said to be helping out in the "war on terror."

The devil may lie in the details of these two stories. The first has been confidently authenticated by this reporter. The second remains to be proved or disproved. But the lesson of both is surely that no American administration should ever downgrade or dismiss the help it gets from friendly allies, Arab or otherwise.

* John K. Cooley, an author and a former Monitor correspondent in the Middle East, wrote 'Unholy Wars: America, Afghanistan and International Terrorism,' which will appear in a third, updated edition from Pluto Books this summer.

(c) Copyright 2002 The Christian Science Monitor. All rights reserved.

-- dandelion (golden@pleurisy.plant), May 28, 2002.

Fortune FBI's 'Phoenix' Memo Unmasked
Fortune's investigative reporter, the only journalist to see confidential
document, reveals its true name and nature.
Wednesday, May 22, 2002
By Richard Behar

What happens when bosses ignore memos from subordinates? The country is now learning the answer to that question in a most painful way.

On July 10, 2001, an FBI agent in Phoenix wrote a memo raising serious concerns about Middle Eastern men attending U.S. flight schools. The memo never made its way up the chain of command, and no action was taken. It wasn't seen by FBI Director Robert Mueller until after Sept. 11, and President Bush wasn't made aware of its contents until a few weeks ago. The confidential document still hasn't been released, and yesterday it was the subject of a closed-door Senate Intelligence Committee session.

Recently, I had a chance to read the memo -- apparently the first journalist to have done so. It was shown to me by a reliable government source, who permitted me to take notes but wouldn't let me copy it. What I learned -- and what FORTUNE aired yesterday on CNN -- is chilling. The memo raises questions about what federal law enforcement officers knew and what they did or didn't do to protect the U.S. from terror attacks in the months before Sept. 11. After reviewing the memo, one cannot help but conclude that the FBI dropped the ball -- perhaps ignoring the alert altogether.

The memo was written by Phoenix FBI Special Agent Kenneth J. Williams, described as a member of "Squad 16," and it was approved by a man named William A. Kurtz. The title reads: "Zakaria Mustapha Soubra; IT-OTHER (Islamic Army of the Caucasus)." The "synopsis" says: "Usama bin Laden and Al-Muhjiroun supporters attending civil aviation universities/colleges in Arizona." And the memo bears the FBI codes: "Derived from G-3" and "Declassify on X1."

Soubra, the memo said, was a student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Ariz. (According to the Los Angeles Times, he was questioned by FBI agents in 2000, after he was observed at a shooting range with another Muslim, who was a veteran of Islamic jihads in the Balkans and the Middle East. No charges were brought against him, and he is currently a senior at Embry-Riddle.) The organization named in the memo's title, the Islamic Army of the Caucasus, is based in Chechnya and was at one time headed by a man named Amir Khattab, who, according news reports, is suspected of having ties to Osama bin Laden.

The FBI's probe of Soubra, according to the Williams memo, was instituted on April 17, 2000, nearly 17 months before last year's terror attacks. Williams warns in his July 10 memo of a possible "effort by Usama bin Laden to send students to the U.S. to attend civil aviation universities and colleges." He also refers to a "fatwa by Al-Muhjiroun, spiritual leader Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed Fostok." (Fostok, according to news reports, once ran a London-based radical group called the Islamic Liberation Party, dedicated to overthrowing Western society.

He was arrested for suggesting that it was permissible to kill then British Prime Minister John Major, which he denied and was released without any charges being filed.)

The Williams memo included the names of several Middle Eastern students, one identified as a "Saudi national," who were apparently students at Embry-Riddle at the time. One reason FBI officials have given for not releasing the memo is that several of these individuals are still under investigation. So, although those names are now in my notebook, they will not be published here.

FBI officials apparently didn't do much with the Phoenix memo. It was sent to roughly a dozen FBI officials, none of whom apparently sent it to the agency's acting director. FBI Director Mueller, who took over in early September, before the attacks, concedes that the agency didn't act aggressively on the memo. Among other lapses, it never shared the memo with the CIA, which only learned of its existence a few weeks ago.

So the question is: Had senior FBI officials, the CIA, and the Bush Administration seen the Phoenix memo, could they have stitched together enough clues to prevent the terror attacks?

That's something that may take months of hearings and investigation to answer. But the first step is clear: The memo should be released immediately, names blacked-out if necessary, so we can all learn what Agent Williams knew.

-- Cherri (whatever@who.cares), May 29, 2002.

Maria, First can you imagine yourself writing a 13-page memo to the CEO of your company? I can't and y'all know how opinionated I am.

Maria, Maria... you should know better than to ask ME that question.

You yourself have probably benefited from some of the efforts I made when I was in The Air Force. There were numerous regulations which should have been rendered invalid when they opened up "men's" jobs to women, but weren't. I came upon one after another, some of which I had to take up to USAF Headquarters in order to have them changed. I was brought up by my parents to be honest and stand up for the things I believed were right. I was not afraid of "uniforms" I understood my rights and made sure they were enforced. I could write a book (and have had offers for it) about what I had to deal with just to be able to do my job while in the Air Force.

The same thing at Boeing, I went to the top of Flight Crew Training Division with an outline of the problems that existed. When people's lives are at sake, it is more than correct to take actions that can prevent death and injury. There were a LOT of problems in the management in the maintenance department at Boeing, good people kept leaving and the incompetent were promoted via the Peter principle. I was walking down the hall as the head of the division walked out of an office and asked the "walls" what was going wrong. I stopped and told him I knew. He looked at me and said "you do?". I answered yes, I do, and said nothing more. He asked me what the problems were.
I asked him "Are you asking me to tell you what the problems are around here". He was a pretty smart man (had to be to get where he was) and stated; "Yes, "I" am asking you to come to my office in the morning and have a conference with me, explaining what problems exist and what you believe can be done to remedy them." As I was not allowed to go over the head of my lead, supervisor and maintenance manager on my own to talk to him (chain of command) he had to specifically request that I speak to him.

At the time I was "on loan" to a special project where I developed, implemented, and maintained an inventory and tracking program for Boeing aircraft parts ordered by different simulator manufacturers who were building 757 and 767 flight simulators for all of the major airlines who had ordered the simulators to train their crews to fly the 757 and 767's they had on order.

I had been playing around with the software on one of the mainframes and discovered a basic program the software engineers believed did not work. Actually they had been taught that it didn't work.
When we were on the day shift there was usually little work to do unless one of the sims went down, so I had one of the engineers teach me the basics and started taking our inventory (which was on punch cards) and ran them through a program I wrote, using them to develop the end software project.

From the engineers having to use stacks of punch cards to change the software, I developed a program to store the entire simulator software in memory, making it a tad easier for the engineers to change and recompile the software that ran the sims.

When Boeing needed to provide the aircraft parts to the manufacturers they hired a bunch of temps to do it all "by hand". It was a mess, typed by hand on typewriters, pages inserted for changes and man-hour costly. I offered to do it all on the computer and was given the two year job of doing so. At that time I had one supervisor, so after talking to management that day I went to my supervisor and told him what had happened. I asked if he had any objection to my having the meeting and he said he did not object.

He also knew what the major problems were. So the next morning, before meeting with the head of Boeing, the head of FCT and I had a two hour meeting where I explained to him exactly what the situation was. I made a few suggestions, backed up with logical reasoning. I suggested he talk to certain people about specific situations. The Head of engineering was banging on his door, wanting to meet with him before "the big meeting" also, but was told to go away. I went through my outline, he asked questions I answered them. Oddly enough, I didn't have to say too much, I never let my personal feelings for or against anyone to influence what I said to him. As a matter of fact he specifically asked me about my "normal" supervisor and I told him I could not say anything because I was negatively biased against him and anything I said would be tainted with my dislike for him.

It was weird, I went back to work, word spread, meetings were called, every individual was eventually called into meeting with upper management.

It got to the point where no one wanted to be seen talking to me *grin* and would sneak into my office to talk about what was going on. I never told anyone what had been said.

Personally I didn't care if I lost my job over it, pilots were not being trained correctly, some systems that were critical never worked in the sims so the pilots did not get authentic training.

I am still bothered about the 737 that went down in the Potomac, the pitot tube (heat) had not been turned on, that was one of the faults that would never get fixed in the sim. I have often wondered if the crew had trained in our sim and learned to disregard the procedure because it didn't work, so when he went through his preflight checklist in the aircraft he ignored it because he had been "trained" to ignore it in our sim.

One afternoon a few weeks after my meeting with management, I was sent home at noon. I was 8 1/2 months pregnant with my oldest daughter and management was worried that the head of maintenance might blow up and actually physically harm me. You see, he had been demoted down to my level and was extremely upset. There was a complete revamping of crews, leads, supervisors and middle management. I did nothing wrong. And yes, some people made life at work miserable for me but all I had to do is stare them down and walk away. They thought I was buddy buddy with upper management, which was not true. I allowed the assumption to stand, for protection.

When I was TDY in the Air Force and crew leader, I worked directly under the wing commander. I was working on the mobile B 52-G when the air conditioning went out. This old analog computer was run on vacuum tubes and could not be allowed to overheat or the tubes would fry along with half of the hardware.
I called the flight line to get a mobile air cart. It was brought over by this airman who would not show me how to start and work it. I was a SSgnt at the time and told him that he was to sign over the machine and instruct me in it's use.

He refused. He honestly could not comprehend the fact that I had the ability to run it. He asked if there were any airmen working with me, he would show "him". I called back into the sim and brought my "airman" out. He wouldn't sign it over and give instructions to "her" either. It was a saturday night and I had to call the wing commander at a formal officer's party, explain the situation to him and ask him to order this kid to do as I had asked.

The airman didn't believe me until he got his ass chewed off by the wing commander.

We were always on a very tight schedule at each base the mobile sim went to, the crews had to get their reoccurring checks or they couldn't fly. We didn't have the time to go through regular channels to get things done. What we needed we got when we wanted it or heads would fly.

Maria, I have never had a problem with authority, and I am definitely not afraid of it either. Some have earned my respect and others have not. That's life, you have to learn when it would be fruitless to "go to the top", and it should not be attempted in a lot of situations. But there are times when it is the right thing to do. As I read the letter Coleen Rowley had written and sent to Mueller and congressional intelligence committees, I understood what it must have taken for her to HAVE to do it.

If incompetence, corruption and cover-ups are a problem at the FBI, and if these problems prevented others from stopping the attacks on 911, Then those people committed a crime against our country. If it was their responsibility to gather information to prevent terrorist acts and they purposely failed to do so, they were criminally negligent. Any ass covering is perjury and obstruction of justice.

I'm sorry, but I was not raised in a time where people did half assed jobs and were more concerned with covering their asses than preventing harm and /or death to thousands of fellow citizens.

So perhaps it is beyond your comprehension that some people will stand up and do the right thing, even if it puts their carriers in jeopardy, but some people live by a higher standard than what appears to be the normal selfish attitude which seems to be so common these days.

-- Cherri (whatever@who.cares), May 29, 2002.

Actually, I'm not sure I understand the responses here, which have devolved into the usual Bush Basher vs. Bush Supporter stuff.

Rowley's letter itself isn't that hard to accept; we DO need to find out where the failures occurred. What's a dangerous waste of time, though, is attempting to make this a political issue. (And from my reading of Rowley's letter, she DOESN'T make it a political issue, at least not overtly.)

What I object to is Dick Gephardt's *deliberate* use of that loaded phrase, "what did the President know, and when did he know it?" Those words became famous during Watergate, and Gephardt, 100% political creature that he is, knew exactly what he was trying to stir up when he uttered them.

Of course, he has since learned that dog won't hunt and has backed down (as has Daschle), but he sure tried it before some of his fellow Democrats reminded him that the general failures and mistakes in this case stretch all the way back into the Carter Administration. So ... if they go on an unlimited fishing expedition just to find something to hammer Bush with, they run the almost certain risk of unearthing a few things that won't exactly help THEM.

(For example, the fact that the Clinton administration made it a matter of policy not to recruit spies with "human rights" problems. That directly affected our ability to penetrate Al Qaeda.)

Were mistakes made? Sure. Do we need to improve the intelligence community? Sure. Do we need another political witch hunt? Absolutely not.

-- Stephen (, May 29, 2002.

And Cherri?

If incompetence, corruption and cover-ups are a problem at the FBI, and if these problems prevented others from stopping the attacks on 911, Then those people committed a crime against our country. If it was their responsibility to gather information to prevent terrorist acts and they purposely failed to do so, they were criminally negligent. Any ass covering is perjury and obstruction of justice.

I agree with that, 1000%.

(By the way ... I wish I'd been there to see the look on the face of that guy when he got chewed out. You SHOULD write a book.[g])

-- Stephen (, May 29, 2002.

Cherri, you've had many great life experiences by what you've written on these boards. I also don't have a problem with authority; I too go directly to them and (as most must have concluded on this forum) speak my mind. However, that's where the similarity ends with this agent. I wouldn't have written the memo; I would have written more of a talking paper and spoke directly to him. I've learned from my life experiences that you never put in writing things that may come up and bite you in the end.

Also I wouldn't have put in something even close to "From the 5th grade, when I first wrote the FBI and received the "100 Facts about the FBI" pamphlet, this job has been my dream." No room for a walk down memory lane. The objective is to get the CEO's attention and then give him or her a solution, not whining. She's only demonstrated here how defenseless she is. She obviously wrote this with a novel in mind.

-- Maria (, May 29, 2002.

So perhaps it is beyond your comprehension that some people will stand up and do the right thing, even if it puts their carriers in jeopardy, but some people live by a higher standard than what appears to be the normal selfish attitude which seems to be so common these days.

Magnificent! I propose a monument to the noble Cherri; the last honest person; the martyr for freedom, social justice, mom and apple pie.

-- (, May 29, 2002.


-- Cherri (whatever@who.cares), May 29, 2002.

Thanks for the grin Roland.

Cherri forgot to mention the fact that she herself never conducted her life to these ‘high standards’ she speaks of. Also, she has demonstrated a penchant for glamorizing her past and elevating her abilities and experiences way beyond fact. As you can tell from her writings, she is not the kind of person that most companies will voluntarily keep on the payroll.

Now, she gorges herself at the public assistance trough, squats her fat ass in front of the PC, and spends most of her miserable life complaining about the hand that feeds her. Just what this country needs more of….NOT!!!

-- Oink (oink@welfare.hog), May 29, 2002.

Yeah, we need more people like "Oink". An unemployed pig.

-- (Oink@unproductive.shitscum), May 29, 2002.

What Oink seems not to grasp is that, Unk's now being a password-protected forum with a limited number of screened participants, we all formed our judgement of Cherri long ago.

Face it, Oink, you are playing to a non-existant audience. Only a newbie would be swayed, if ever so slightly, by your unflattering characterization. And there aren't any newbies here, just old hands. If we agree with you, there's no point in telling us what we already think. If we don't agree, it's too late to change our minds.

The only other audience you might be aiming at is Cherri, trying to goad her and get under her skin -- except she has shown a relatively great indifference to ignorant slurs, and also knows what I've already pointed out, that your slurs fall to the ground without effect. Knowing that, why would she let you bother her?

-- Little Nipper (, May 29, 2002.

Very well said, Little Nipper. I smile deeply.

-- (, May 29, 2002.

You make a relevant point in passing, LN---

there aren't any newbies here, just old hands.

More's the pity. By creating a protected (barely) forum, we have inadvertantly created an incestuous forum. Almost no new blood. (LadyVi may be an exception). It would be good if each one of us made an effort to solicit one new participant.

Think of it--double your pleasure, double your fun!

-- (, May 29, 2002.

“If we agree with you, there's no point in telling us what we already think. If we don't agree, it's too late to change our minds.”

Well there ‘Little Thing’, once again you presume to speak for the masses, sprinkling your tripe with the WE word. If the forum were to follow your simple-minded dictate, there would be scant need for anyone to post.

I simply am exercising my right to counter the endless pile of crap posted here by Cherri, and unilaterally supported by sappy liberals… you for example.

Look at it this way if you will. Cherri spends a great deal of time laying waste to President Bush with no concern of any direct response from the man. As a proud American I am just making sure that her low- life lifestyle is not forgotten and her vile words are put in the proper perspective.

Welcome aboard Lady Vi56. Is that your age, waistline, or IQ?

-- Oink (oink@welfare.hog), May 29, 2002.

incestuous forum ...?

-- helen (well@I.never), May 29, 2002.

Well, Oink, they say a word to the wise is sufficient. You prove to be ... otherwise.

-- Little Nipper (, May 29, 2002.

Get lost Oink, no pigs allowed on this forum.

-- (you@are.disgusting), May 29, 2002.

Cherri forgot to mention the fact that she herself never conducted her life to these ‘high standards’ she speaks of. Also, she has demonstrated a penchant for glamorizing her past and elevating her abilities and experiences way beyond fact. As you can tell from her writings, she is not the kind of person that most companies will voluntarily keep on the payroll. Ahh geeze, do I have to make a copy of the PIE (Pride in excellence) award I got from that "parts project" or just go over to my good friend (although he issorely incorrect in his political beliefs) Stephen Poole's old Y2K website and cut and paste a picture or two, but I am sure they have been seen enough times by the others here. Besides, I don't have to "prove" anything to you *snicker*, you've proven yourself to be less than an advisory than a moron. I attempt to change the thinking of some, but that's only because I feel they are worth the effort.

Now on to the continuing saga of The FBI and how they mismanaged the terrorism threat to American's on American soil....

FBI Says Clues May Have Been Missed
Wed May 29, 6:32 PM ET

By TED BRIDIS, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - FBI (news - web sites) Director Robert Mueller said Wednesday there may have been more missed clues before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and he suggested for the first time that investigators might have uncovered the plot if they had been more diligent about pursuing leads.

"The jury is still out on all of it," Mueller said, during a wide-ranging, two-hour presentation at FBI headquarters. "Looking at it right now, I can't say for sure it would not have, that there wasn't a possibility that we could have come across some lead that would have led us to the hijackers." Mueller's remarks came after his announcement of a broad

reorganization of the nation's premier law enforcement agency — changes at least partly in response to criticism of the FBI after the attacks. The director is moving hundreds of agents, mostly from drug investigations, to focus on terrorism and prevent future attacks.

The FBI's new marching orders will focus on terrorists, spies and hackers, in that order.

Mueller's statement on clues represented the first time any senior official in the Bush administration has allowed that counterterrorism investigators might have detected and averted the Sept. 11 hijackings if they had recognized what they were collecting. That question is the focus of a congressional inquiry, and is almost certain to come up next week during Judiciary Committee (news - web sites) hearings on the FBI's reorganization plans.

"Putting all the pieces together, who is to say?" Mueller said, though he also noted that those pieces amounted to "snippets in a veritable river of information." Mueller took over as FBI director just days before Sept. 11.

Attorney General John Ashcroft (news - web sites) said the time had come to change the "structure, culture and mission" of the agency.

President Bush (news - web sites) has bristled over suggestions that the government knew enough to avert the attacks. "Had I known that the enemy was going to use airplanes to kill on that fateful morning, I would have done everything in my power to protect the American people," Bush said earlier this month.

Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, praised the reorganization plan, saying it could "substantially improve the FBI's ability to investigate and prevent terrorism."

The FBI disclosed two other clues Wednesday that it said might be relevant to the investigation into the September hijackings. A Middle Eastern country where U.S. shipments are restricted sought unsuccessfully before Sept. 11 to buy a commercial flight simulator, and an FBI pilot in 1998 expressed concerns to a supervisor in Oklahoma City about a number of Arab men seeking flight training.

The unidentified pilot told his supervisor "that he has observed large numbers of Middle Eastern males receiving flight training at Oklahoma airports in recent months," according to a copy of the memo. The pilot added that "this is a recent phenomenon and may be related to planned terrorist activity." He also "speculates that light planes would be an ideal means of spreading chemical or biological agents."

The FBI memo, dated May 18, 1998, was marked "routine" and never was forwarded to FBI headquarters.

The FBI would not identify the country that sought to buy the simulator except to say it was not one publicly connected to the September attacks. It said the information was given to the FBI by another U.S. agency that it would not identify.

Asked whether investigators might discover more clues that were already in their possession hinting at suicide hijackings, Mueller said: "There may be others out there."

He also expressed regret about FBI headquarters mishandling a memorandum from its Phoenix office expressing concern about a large number of Arabs seeking pilot, security and airport operations training at one U.S. flight school.

Mueller said Wednesday that midlevel FBI managers should have immediately given the Phoenix memo to top FBI officials, the CIA (news - web sites) and FBI agents in local offices who might have recognized the significance of the information.

"There were a number of things that organizationally should have happened," Mueller said. He has asked the Justice Department (news - web sites)'s inspector general to investigate whether any FBI employees should be punished.

Mueller previously had said that the Phoenix memo was not detailed enough, by itself, to suggest the hijacking plot.

He also disclosed Wednesday that he did not learn about the memo until after Sept. 14, when he had said at a news conference: "The fact that there were a number of individuals that happened to have received training at flight schools is news, quite obviously. If we had understood that to be the case, we would have — perhaps one could have averted this." "I was wrong, and I found out I was wrong afterward," Mueller said Wednesday.

Mueller praised Coleen Rowley, an FBI lawyer in Minnesota who wrote a letter harshly critical of the FBI's handling of its investigation of accused terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui. He described Minnesota agents as being "tremendously aggressive" in arranging for Moussaoui's arrest in August 2001, adding: "We should have been more aggressive here in supporting them."

Mueller did not say whether he believed there was sufficient evidence to search Moussaoui's computer and home — a central question in FBI's handling of that investigation in the weeks before Sept. 11.

Mueller said Rowley's job was "absolutely not" at risk, and said he wrote a personal letter to her over the weekend. "Look, it's hard to take criticism," Mueller added. "The fact of the matter is, I welcome her criticism."

-- Cherri (whatever@who.cares), May 30, 2002.

Damn. The cat just threw up. Sorry to interrupt with important stuff.

-- Carlos (, May 30, 2002.

And there you have it!! Carlos’ cat, after a steady diet of Cherri’s junk postings and blathering bullshit, has reacted accordingly.

-- Oink (oink@welfare.hog), May 30, 2002.

If you don't like it here Oink, you're welcome to get the fuck out.

-- (it', May 30, 2002.

Cherri working on an old analog computer ...

(Wonder how many people here know what an analog computer is?)

-- Stephen M. Poole (, May 30, 2002.

Duuuuh, none of us know Poole, we're all morons, you better explain it to us because you're so brilliant. We were all born within the last 5 years and we've never heard of anything but digital.

-- (golly@you'!), May 31, 2002.

Is the world analog or digital?

-- (, May 31, 2002.

Bush Evil, Demmys good.

-- simple minds (, May 31, 2002.

Duuuuh, none of us know Poole, we're all morons, you better explain it to us because you're so brilliant. We were all born within the last 5 years and we've never heard of anything but digital. Oh, so you have heard of analog computers huh? Where, in history books? Have you ever seen one, or better yet, do you have any idea of the difference between one and an analog computer?

-- Cherri (whatever@who.cares), May 31, 2002.

Oh please, will you shut the hell up you lazy bitch. You served a hitch in the Air Farce as a friggin airman and you keep passing yourself off as some sort of ‘expert’. Why then are you camped on your fat ass sucking off the government tit instead of working like most Americans?

-- Oink (oink@welfare.hog), May 31, 2002.

Maybe she knows a lot about vacuum tubes and analog junk that is slower than molasses, but she don't know jack shit about digital.

-- cherri = old hag (too old to work @ brain cells. not upgradeable), May 31, 2002.

Analog computers have their limitatations but speed is not one of them.

-- (, May 31, 2002.

Show me an analog computer that works as fast as digital and I'll show you someone who is full of shit.

-- (hee-haaw@lars.dumb), May 31, 2002.

Considering the "speed" of digital computers are determined by analog means.....

How fast is fast? Instantainious? if you understood computers, you might realize how silly you sound.

-- Cherri (whatever@who.cares), May 31, 2002.

"Is the world analog or digital?"


See Freeman Dyson's Is Life Analog or Digital?

-- (Algernon C. Braithewait III@Cambridge.MA), May 31, 2002.

You're the one who sounds silly Cherri, your head is still stuck in the 60's. All of the world's fastest computers are digital, but of course you don't know jack shit about them.

-- lol (ignorance@is.bliss!), May 31, 2002.

You insult your ideological soulmate, Cherri? Sad, now you have no friends at all.

BTW, how fast is the fastest digital computer? Hmmm, still talking clock cycles are we?

-- (, May 31, 2002.

I would guess that some of the latest high-speed processor chips, running highly optimized software, could approach the speed of an analog computer. But it'd be close.

They're still used today in applications where a virtually instantaneous, infinitely variable (rather than digitized, in discrete "steps") result is needed.

Knowing this doesn't make me a genius. It means that I'm probably (a) getting old, (b) underpaid and unappreciated and (c) bored enough to post it to start with. :)

(Correct answer? (d): All of the above.[g])

-- Stephen (, May 31, 2002.


How did I miss your comment? I'm glad I finally saw it - it gave me quite a chuckle.

I'm not quite as old as you think I am. My waistline will speak for itself; I make not apologies. Actually, I'm quite pleased. As for my IQ, I readily admit I'm no match for most posters on this forum but it's been quite interesting. I'm enjoying it and learning a heck of a lot. What more could I ask for?

-- (, June 09, 2002.

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