Coleen Rowley

Coleen Rowley
Coleen Rowley
Born December 20, 1954 (1954-12-20) (age 56)
New Hampton, Iowa
Residence Apple Valley, Minnesota
Occupation political activist, retired F.B.I. agent
Years active 2006 - Present
Political party Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party
Spouse Ross Rowley
Children 4

Coleen Rowley (born December 20, 1954) is a former FBI agent and whistleblower, and was a Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL) candidate for Congress in Minnesota's 2nd congressional district, one of eight congressional districts in Minnesota in 2006. She lost the general election to Republican incumbent John Kline.[1]


Early life

Rowley grew up in New Hampton, Iowa and graduated valedictorian of her high school class in 1973. Her father was a letter carrier for 31 years. She attended Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, graduating in 1977 with a degree in French. In 1980, she received her Juris Doctor from the University of Iowa College of Law and passed the Iowa Bar Exam. She is married and has four children.[citation needed]

FBI career

Shortly after she became a Special Agent with the FBI, Rowley was assigned to the Omaha, Nebraska and Jackson, Mississippi Divisions. Beginning in 1984, she spent six years working in the New York Office on investigations involving organized crime. She also served in the U.S. embassy in Paris, and the consulate in Montreal. In 1990, she was assigned to the FBI's Minneapolis office where she became the chief legal adviser to the office.[citation needed]

After the September 11, 2001, attacks, Rowley wrote a paper for FBI Director Robert Mueller documenting how FBI HQ personnel in Washington, D.C., had mishandled and failed to take action on information provided by the Minneapolis, Minnesota Field Office regarding its investigation of suspected terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui. This individual had been suspected of being involved in preparations for a suicide-hijacking similar to the December 1994 "Eiffel Tower" hijacking of Air France 8969. Failures identified by Rowley may have left the U.S. vulnerable to the September 11, 2001, attacks. Rowley was one of many agents frustrated by the events that led up to the attacks, writing:

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 FBI HQ personnel had to be spies or moles, like (Robert Hanssen), who were actually working for Osama Bin Laden to have so undercut Minneapolis' effort.) [2][3]

Rowley testified in front of the Senate and for the 9/11 Commission about the FBI's internal organization and mishandling of information related to the September 11, 2001, attacks. Mueller and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) pushed for and got a major reorganization, focused on creation of the new Office of Intelligence at the FBI. This reorganization was supported with a significant expansion of FBI personnel with counterterrorism and language skills.[citation needed]

Rowley retired from the FBI in 2004 after 24 years with the agency. She jointly held the TIME "Person of the Year" award in 2002 with two other women credited as whistleblowers: Sherron Watkins from Enron and Cynthia Cooper of WorldCom. She also received the Sam Adams Award for 2002.[citation needed]

Political career

Coleen Rowley at her rally in Rosemount, Minnesota on September 17, 2006
US Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) endorsing Rowley at a rally in Rosemount, Minnesota on September 17, 2006
Protestors at her rally in Rosemount, Minnesota on September 17, 2006

In May 2005, Rowley announced that she was considering running against incumbent Representative John Kline for Minnesota's 2nd District seat in the United States House of Representatives in 2006. At the time of her announcement, she had been living in Apple Valley, Minnesota for 15 years. Previously she had voted and identified as a Republican, but on June 27, 2005, Rowley announced that she was entering the race as a DFLer, and officially kicked off her campaign at her home on July 6.[citation needed]

On August 18, 2005 she attended a vigil in Crawford, Texas outside President George W. Bush's ranch requesting that the president meet with Cindy Sheehan to answer Sheehan's questions regarding the War in Iraq and the death of Sheehan's son, Casey.[citation needed]

On January 3, 2006, an unauthorized professionally retouched image appeared on the Rowley campaign website. This image depicted Kline, a retired Colonel of the Marine Corps, as Colonel Klink from Hogan's Heroes. Kline objected to the photo. The campaign removed the image the same day and initiated an investigation. Rowley apologized quickly.[4] The Kline campaign also accused a Rowley supporter, David Bailey, of attempting to make a cash contribution to Kline’s campaign. A cash contribution is not legal and Kline subsequently asserted that this constituted an effort to undermine his campaign apparatus.[citation needed]

Representative John Murtha (D-PA) endorsed Rowley. He visited the district during the campaign and held a rally for Rowley at the local VFW in Rosemount, while veterans protested against them outside. The Rowley campaign subsequently focused efforts on veterans' groups and others with experience that relates directly to the war in Iraq. Obtaining financing for her campaign proved difficult. Opposing an incumbent conservative such as Kline in a conservative district did not attract money from the most robust of Democratic resources such as the DNC.[5]

Kline's campaign achieved a 2-1 advantage in raising funds,[6] and he retained his seat.

See Also


  1. ^ "Results from Congressional District 02". Minnesota Secretary of State. Retrieved 2006-12-27. 
  2. ^ "The Bombshell Memo: Were Warnings Ignored?". Time. May 26, 2002. Retrieved April 30, 2010. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Gordon, Greg (2006-01-30). "Rowley issues apology to Rep. John Kline over his depiction on website". Star Tribune 
  5. ^ Melo, Frederick (2006-12-19). "What's a Rowley lawn sign go for?". St. Paul Pioneer Press. Retrieved 2006-12-28. 
  6. ^ Meggen, Lindsay (2006-11-03). "Kline leads Rowley in fundraising, 2-1". St. Paul Pioneer Press. Retrieved 2007-02-22. 

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Coleen — may refer to: People Coleen Mostyn, TV journalist Coleen Gray, actress Coleen Rooney, wife of Wayne Rooney Coleen K. Menlove, Mormon leader Coleen Nolan, singer Coleen Rowley, FBI agent and politician Coleen Seng, politician Coleen Sommer,… …   Wikipedia

  • Rowley — may refer to:Places;Australia * Rowley Shoals in the Timor Sea;Canada * Rowley, Alberta * Rowley Island, Nunavut;United Kingdom * Rowley, East Riding of Yorkshire, England * Rowley, Shropshire, England * Rowley, London, a former parish in Barnet …   Wikipedia

  • NSA warrantless surveillance controversy — For the related controversy about data mining of domestic call records see NSA call database. National Security Agency logo The NSA warrantless surveillance controversy (AKA Warrantless Wiretapping ) concerns surveillance of persons within the… …   Wikipedia

  • Time Person of the Year — For other uses, see Person of the Year. For other uses, see Man of the Year. Person of the Year (formerly Man of the Year) is an annual issue of the United States newsmagazine Time that features and profiles a person, couple, group, idea, place,… …   Wikipedia

  • John Kline (politician) — Infobox Congressman name = John Kline state = Minnesota district = 2nd date of birth = birth date and age|1947|09|06 place of birth = Allentown, Pennsylvania party = Republican term start = January 3, 2003 preceded = Mark Kennedy succeeded =… …   Wikipedia

  • Sibel Edmonds — Infobox person image size = 150px |caption=Sibel Edmonds April 22, 2005 name=Sibel Deniz Edmonds birth date=1970 birth place=Iran nationality=Turkish American known for=US WhistleblowerSibel Deniz Edmonds (born 1970) is a Turkish Americancite web …   Wikipedia

  • Sharon Marko — is a former candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives from the Second District of Minnesota. She ran for the DFL party nomination, opposite Coleen Rowley, but announced the end of her campaign after less than two months, saying she had… …   Wikipedia

  • Zacarias Moussaoui — Moussaoui redirects here. For other persons, see Moosavi (name). Zacarias Moussaoui Nickname Abu Khaled …   Wikipedia

  • United States House of Representatives elections, 2006 - notable races — Information Summary of party changesElections to the United States House of Representatives for the 110th Congress were held on November 7, 2006. The House of Representatives has 435 seats. In the 109th Congress, Republicans held 230 seats,… …   Wikipedia

  • Whistleblower Week in Washington — is the name given to a series of events in Washington, D.C. meant to raise awareness about whistleblowing. The first Whistleblower Week took place in Washington, D.C. from May 13 19, 2007 and was sponsored by a loose coalition of whistleblower… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”