- The Washington Times - Monday, December 23, 2002

NEW YORK The FBI agent who wrote a scathing memo on FBI intelligence failures and women who blew the whistle on corruption at corporate giants WorldCom and Enron were named yesterday as Time magazine's Persons of the Year.
The magazine's editors chose Coleen Rowley, Cynthia Cooper and Sherron Watkins "for believing really believing that the truth is one thing that must not be moved off the books, and for stepping in to make sure that it wasn't."
Time Managing Editor Jim Kelly said the women embody a critical struggle facing the country how to restore trust in disgraced institutions, including major corporations and the Roman Catholic Church.
"It's their modesty that's so becoming," Mr. Kelly said. "All three are just resolute in standing up for what is right. All three of them are made of very strong character."
Mrs. Rowley, 48, wrote a letter to FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III in May criticizing the agency for ignoring evidence before September 11, 2001, that hinted of an attack.
She later told the Senate that the FBI was mired in bureaucracy and "careerism."
"I think there are changes in the works," Mrs. Rowley said yesterday on ABC's "This Week." "We have yet to see how they're all going to work out. I think that, you know, we're trying."
Mrs. Cooper, 38, a WorldCom internal auditor, alerted the company's board in June to $3.8 billion in accounting irregularities. A month later, the telecommunications giant declared the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history.
Mrs. Watkins, 43, sent memos in August 2001 warning Enron Chairman Kenneth L. Lay that improper accounting could cause the company to collapse. The company later filed for bankruptcy, and Mrs. Watkins resigned as a vice president last month.

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