JUNE 06, 2002
Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption and abuse, said today that the Bush administration announced its plans to reorganize government agencies and create a new presidential cabinet-level "Department of Homeland Security," in large part, due to sharp criticism and questioning by both the media and members of Congress in response to FBI whistleblowers Coleen Rowley and Robert G. Wright, Jr.
Both Special Agents Rowley and Wright have detailed a pattern of obstruction and negligence on the part of senior FBI officials and FBI headquarters support staff in the investigations of terrorists, their organizations and supporting infrastructure – operating both in the United States and overseas. Yesterday, Agent Rowley, whose 13-page memo to FBI Director Mueller was leaked to the press, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Agent Wright, who has doggedly pursued and complied with the FBI’s pre-publication review process in bringing forward his whistleblower disclosures appeared on CNN’s Crossfire with Judicial Watch Chairman and General Counsel Larry Klayman.
The proposed new Department of Homeland Security would be the largest reorganization of government agencies since 1947. It is the Bush administration’s attempt to merge a broad array of diverse government offices and functions, totaling over 170,000 employees – into one coherent, manageable organization. Current Office of Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge, who lacks any professional background or experience in counterterrorism or intelligence is slated for the new cabinet post. Debate over the Bush administration initiative has already shifted attention away from the past month’s steady drumbeat of failures and mis-communications between the CIA, FBI and other intelligence and security agencies.
"This reorganization by the Bush administration is long overdue, but does not address the serious failures of the FBI and CIA," stated Judicial Watch Chairman and General Counsel Larry Klayman. "We need a new, separate, counterterrorism agency to take the terrorists head-on, not a game of musical chairs," Klayman added.