Annie Jacobsen on the resignation of the lackluster director of the Federal Air Marshal Service, Thomas Quinn:
Director Quinn has been no stranger to bad press during his time at the helm of the agency, but this past November-January was a particularly rough season. To an agency that counts on remaining unseen, unheard and undercover, the public spotlight is not a welcome beacon. In November 2005, writing for WomensWallStreet.com, I revealed that Quinn maintained two corporations—both in forfeited franchise tax status—which could put him at odds with government conduct codes. (Quinn originally denied having these corporations but, according to FAMS spokesman Dave Adams, after reading my article, "his [Quinn's] memory was jarred.") In December 2005, the Christian Science Monitor reported on numbers that the FAMS had been working hard to conceal: possibly fewer than 3,000 air marshals cover some 25,000 daily flights. And Vanity Fair, in its February 2006 issue, published an unflattering portrait of the director, including the fact that "the man in charge of one of America's key countermeasures to attacks carried out largely by Saudi nationals worked for the Saudi Arabian royalty" before he became director. Rebellion in the ranks was taking hold, and information was making its way into the public eye.