Two days ago, Rep. Porter Goss, R-Fla., the 61-year-old chairman of the joint congressional Select Intelligence Committee, was asked on Face the Nation about an internal memo from the FBI’s Minneapolis field office alleging that FBI headquarters failed to follow up leads that might have uncovered the Sept. 11 plot before it unfolded. The memo, an edited version of which has been posted by Time.com, was written by FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley. Here’s how Goss downplayed her side of the story:
[T]his young lady may be a witness, be invited [before] our panel, so this matter is in hand. … This is one perspective that this young lady has given that we have to look at very closely because of the seriousness of what she said. But the other perspective of it is, what other advice did the director get or those in charge in Washington get that may have ameliorated or colored the situation? And until we have all of those facts, I think it’s a little bit wrong to rush to judgment.
Speaking of gathering facts before rushing to judgment, here’s a rudimentary bio of the “young lady” to whom Goss refers. She’s the chief division counsel at the FBI’s Minneapolis field office. She’s been an agent at the bureau for more than 20 years. She’s 47 years old, about a decade shy of the FBI’s mandatory retirement age. The FBI has refused to release her résumé to the media. Perhaps they should release it to the chairman of the Select Intelligence Committee.