Minneapolis FBI agent Colleen Rowley, who last year exposed the agency's mishandling of warning signs prior to September 11, has written a new letter to FBI director Robert Mueller, warning that "the diversion of attention from al-Qaeda to our government's plan to invade Iraq ... will, in all likelihood, bring an exponential increase in the terrorist threat to the U.S., both at home and abroad. ... It is altogether likely that you will find yourself a helpless bystander to a rash of 9-11s. The bottom line is this: We should be deluding neither ourselves nor the American people that there is any way the FBI ... will be able to stem the flood of terrorism that will likely head our way in the wake of an attack on Iraq." Rowley also alludes to "immense pressures you face as you try to keep the FBI intact and functioning amid persistent calls for drastic restructuring. You have made it clear that the FBI is perilously close to being divided up and is depending almost solely upon the good graces of Attorney General Ashcroft and President Bush for its continued existence." She hints broadly that recent FBI statements about al-Qaeda and its alleged link to Iraq are "largely the product of a desire to gain favor with the administration," and states that government detentions of more than 1,000 illegal alients following 9/11 were done "for what seem to be essentially PR purposes."
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