by Roger Thomas

This content is part of a series.

Ezekiel: The Code of the Whistle-Blower (7 of 20)
Roger Thomas
Ezekiel 33:1-10

Introduction: At the end of 2002 Time Magazine surprised many with its selection of the Person of the Year. Many thought President Bush might be the selectee. Other guessed that Saddam Hussein or even Ossam Ben Ladden might be picked. After all the designation doesn't mean that the person had a positive impact on the year, just that the influence was great and lasting. A few years ago a computer was the ''person'' of the year.

Generally the picks are household names easily recognizable by most people who watch the news or read the paper. But not this year. Until their stories became known in 2002, few people outside of their immediate circle knew the names of Cynthia Cooper, Coleen Rowley and Sherron Watkins. When the Time cover appeared with their pictures, most people still didn't know who they were.

Sherron Watkins was a vice president at Enron. In the summer of 2001 she wrote a letter to chairman Kenneth Lay warning him that the company's methods of accounting were improper. She would later testify before congress and further expose the inner deceit of the huge company.

Coleen Rowley worked at the FBI. She caused a sensation in May with a memo to FBI Director Robert Mueller about how the bureau had ignored pleas from her Minneapolis, Minn., field office about Zacarias Moussaoui, the now infamous co-conspirator in the September 11 tragedy. No one knows how things might have turned out if her superiors had paid attention to her reports.

In June of 2002 Cynthia Cooper sent the communications giant WorldCom spiraling toward bankruptcy when she informed its board that executives had been covering up billions of dollars in losses through phony bookkeeping.

The Time article went on to say, ''These women were for the 12 months just ending what New York City fire fighters were in 2001: heroes at the scene, anointed by circumstance. They were people who did right just by ...

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