While America Sleeps: An FBI Whistleblower's Story

While America Sleeps: An FBI Whistleblower's Story

by Mr John M Cole


Publisher Mr John M Cole

Published in Biographies & Memoirs/Memoirs, Biographies & Memoirs, Nonfiction

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Book Description

The book describes my experience during my 19 years with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It goes into how I joined the FBI, my experience working with Robert Hanssen, FBI agent who was convicted of espionage, my dealings with Earl Pitts, another FBI agent convicted of espionage, the 9/11 attacks, working in the FBI's Command Center after the attacks, and the response of FBI management. It also goes into security issues and mismanagement I witnessed and reported, my testimony to the Senate and culture of the FBI.

Sample Chapter

Covert Facility - Counterintelligence Division's Operational Training Unit

The Counterintelligence Operational Training Unit’s Covert Facility was established for several reasons. Mainly it was established to enhance training between the FBI and another federal agency and to provide a secure place to train employees that worked in undercover positions. Prior to its establishment all this training was done at the FBI Academy at Quantico, VA. The main problem with the Academy was that foreign nationals, many believed to be intelligence officers were also allowed to train there which was problematic because they could identify the FBI's undercover agents. As students of the National Academy these foreign nationals had access to almost every area of the FBI Academy and the student population, which included those working in under cover positions. While at the Counterintelligence Operational Training Unit’s facility at the Academy I documented several security instances involving foreign students to management. For example, on one occasion a foreign student at the Academy began researching the names of new agents attending the Academy and then attempted to recruit them. In another instance, a Soviet defector, who had agreed to discuss his experiences to a group of students attending a counterintelligence course at the Academy, was horrified when he walked into the Academy front doors and saw two former Soviet Intelligence Service officers. The defector informed me that one of the individuals had authorized a bounty on his head. They were apparently allowed into the National Academy as members of the Russian Federation Police Force. These are just two examples of the lack of security that exists at the FBI Academy and the need for a separate facility to train FBI employees working undercover. Another reason was just pure politics. Congress was pushing for more cooperation and training between the FBI and other government agency and they had the money and willingness to approve such a facility. The other federal agency and the FBI realized this and decided to present a plan to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees to establish this under cover training facility. The presentation was a success and the approval was made to start the facility.

In July 1999, I reported for duty at this cover facility. The other agency had already occupied their space and had begun to run classes out of the facility. The FBI, however, was still trying to get the basic resources together in order to start its first class at the facility. When I agreed to stay in the Unit and work at the facility I was told that we would have a total of eight employees and that whatever resources needed would be made available. It soon became apparent that it was another empty promise by FBI management. The reality was that upon my arrival at the facility Spike was the only individual there. The Counterintelligence Division had just gone through an inspection and the Unit had received a schedule F, the worst possible mark, because there was no one at the facility to handle the confidential funding issues. My presence at the facility took care of the confidential funding problem and gave Spike some assistance in getting the facility up and running. As previously stated, Spike and I had worked together on several occasions over the years and we had become a great team together especially when something had to be done. It was a very interesting combination because we both knew each other’s capabilities, strengths and weaknesses and with that knew right away what needed to be done to get the facility up and running. With those attributes it was easy for both of us to get whatever job or mission that had to be done accomplished. As far as the facility, there was a lot of work that had to be completed before the facility could be utilized. Upon my arrival Spike walked me through the facility and pointed out everything that needed to be completed. We made a list of all the items that were needed in order to get the facility up and running. The first issue on the list was to get the Confidential funding issues resolved so that we could get the funding started for its operation. Spike then handed me a confidential funding manual and told me that the manual should contain the information needed to start the process. Other issues were to get additional staff, computers, get a secure communications line established so that we could have access to the FBI mainframes, have all the vehicles covertly registered prior to bringing them up to the facility, ensuring that all the radio equipment was installed and hidden within the vehicles, acquiring additional furniture for the offices, finding a local hotel that would be willing to commit 30 to 40 rooms for 7 weeks for those individuals that would be attending the training, finding a location that we could use to provide self defense training, and discreetly transferring FBI equipment to the facility. These were just a few of the items that needed immediate attention.

As we began to work on the list of items Spike received a telephone call from our Unit Chief. After the telephone conversation Spike came out and told he had some good news and bad news. The good news was that another professional support employee in the Unit was assigned to the facility and would be reporting the next day. The bad news was that FBI management informed him that we would have to run our first course within a month which provided us very little time to complete everything that was needed.

The professional support employee reassigned to the facility was an individual known as “Focus”. He was a very bright and very hard working individual and an asset to the Unit. Focus was responsible for all the photography instruction to the FBI’s surveillance teams. He was also very knowledgeable in tradecraft. The three of us were able to accomplish almost everything that had to be done in the month prior to the start of the first class. The vehicles had all the radio equipment installed and were all covertly registered, Focus and I picked up and installed all 50 plus computers for the facility, we purchased and installed the furniture that was needed, and discreetly transported and inventoried all the necessary equipment. I was able to find a local hotel that was willing to provide the necessary rooms when needed at substantial savings and also to locate a facility that we could use to provide self-defense to the students.

[1] FBI EC dated July 24, 2000, Request ASD provide a desk Audit

[2] EC From J. Binnie, Re: Request for Medical Accommodation Transfer, July 6, 2000 and EC dated June 28, 2000, Request for Hardship Transfer


Excerpted from "While America Sleeps: An FBI Whistleblower's Story" by Mr John M Cole. Copyright © 2009 by Mr John M Cole. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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