126 From the Bureau to the Boardroom
there is every reason to establish and maintain a business rela-
The interesting thing about the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list
is that it does not diminish with success—there is a replacement
for every captured suspect. It’s always a top ten list. The same
should be true with the commercial equivalent. For every cus-
tomer captured, another must take its place. Thus, the vendor’s
work is never done. It continues to strive in a most public way.
Year after year the target companies will change, to the gratifi-
cation of the vendor’s employees and other stakeholders—and,
of course, to the gratification of the well-served customer. The
market as a whole will take note. A company with the courage
to post and maintain a top ten list of desired customers will
distinguish itself from all the organizations without the courage
to do likewise.
Counter (and Positively
Influence) Unfair Criticism
The sensitive nature of the FBI’s covert ‘‘war on terror’’ makes
the Bureau particularly vulnerable to outside criticism for a
number of reasons. The progress of these long-term investiga-
tions often cannot be reported for fear of jeopardizing related
operations. ‘‘Progress,’’ in fact, may require months or years of
patient commitment to materialize. Antiterror operations are
complicated, global in scope, and difficult to reduce to a story
line. And it is often difficult if not impossible for the FBI to
correct the public record should the Bureau be mischaracter-
ized, especially regarding investigations where the safety and the
efficacy of courageous undercover agents might be compro-
Managing the Light at the End of the Tunnel 127
‘‘It’s a little different if we bust twenty-five gangbangers,’’
explains Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Robert Loosle, ‘‘be-
cause then we can hold a press conference and stand tall
next to the display of weapons we’ve harvested. But there
are agents here and in the CIA who are doing incredible
jobs that no one will ever hear about. On top of that, their
agency is getting bashed.’’
Although the FBI wouldn’t put it in quite these terms,
the Bureau feels entitled to a little slack from the news
media when it comes to coverage of highly sensitive co-
vert operations that cannot be commented upon in all but
the most general terms.
So it was only natural that when Assistant Director
John Miller slammed down the February 7, 2008, issue
of Rolling Ston e magazine—which featured a long article
likening the FBI to a ‘Fear Factory’’ that cranked out in-
vestigations based on ‘‘concocted threats’’ in order to
prop up its own role in a hyperbolized war on terror—
steam came out of his ears.
A former journalist himself who once served as chief of
counterterrorism for the Los Angeles Police Department,
Miller was not only irked by the mischaracterization but
by what he considered a lack of professionalism. Seated
at his computer, he pounded out a response to the editors
of Rolling Stone. ‘‘Before coming to the FBI,’’ he began, ‘‘I
won most of the major awards that they give to a re-
porter. I feel I have standing to say that a journalist has
an obligation to tell at least two sides of a story. Your
readers only got one.’’ Miller then proceeded to take the
article apart point by point, strongly disputing the charge
that his agency pursued trumped-up investigations.
‘‘In almost every case heard by a jury,’’ he wrote, ‘‘the
defendants were found guilty, in spite of having some
dedicated and talented defense lawyers articulate the

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