She said she was worried by the bureau's continuing mishandling of the cases against Mr. Moussaoui, the only person charged in an American court with conspiring in the Sept. 11 terror attacks, and Mr. Reid, who pleaded guilty last year to trying to blow up an American Airlines plane over the Atlantic.
Specifically, she said, she was alarmed that the bureau and the Justice Department had failed to try to question either of the two about their Al Qaeda contacts, choosing instead to focus entirely on prosecution.
"It therefore appears that the government may have sacrificed the possibility of acquiring information pertinent to future attacks, in order to conduct criminal prosecution of these two individuals," she wrote. "Although prosecution serves worthy purposes, including deterrence, standard practice in `Organized Crime/Terrorism 101' dictates imaginative, concerted attempts to make inroads into well-organized, cohesive groups. And sometimes that requires `dealing with the devil.' "
"Lack of follow-through with regard to Moussaoui and Reid gives a hollow ring to our `top priority" — i.e. preventing another terrorist attack," she wrote. "Moussaoui almost certainly would know of other Al Qaeda contacts, possibly in the U.S., and would also be able to alert us to the motive behind his and Mohammed Atta's interest in crop-dusting."
She also notes that during all this, the FBI brass has apparently been preoccupied trying to keep the agency from getting broken up or restructured. (Which, given the agency's performance, might be the best thing that could happen to it, though I'm sure Ms. Rowley, a career agent, would disagree).
There will presumably be the usual whining from the usual quarters about how she's only seeking attention, and so forth -- never mind that she turned down some potentially lucrative book contracts...