James B. Comey at lectern with President Obama and FBI Director Robert Mueller. Comey has been nominated by the president to replace Mueller as FBI Director.
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James Comey at lectern with President Obama and FBI Director Robert Mueller. The president has nominated Comey to replace Mueller as new FBI Director
James Comey, a former deputy attorney general during the George W. Bush administration has been nominated by President Obama to replace Robert Mueller as the new FBI director. Mueller is term limited by law after 10 years as the director.
Yesterday, before the Senate Judiciary Committee Comey was asked to explain his "approving the Office of Legal Counsel memo allowing waterboarding, sleep deprivation and other enhanced interrogation techniques for captured terrorists" back in 2005.
He told the Committee that at the time he urged his boss Attorney General John Ashcroft to tell President Bush not to implement these techniques considering as they were torture.
However, when the memo authorizing the torture techniques (which Bush's National Security Council wanted implemented) came before Comey for his signature, he signed it. Yesterday he said, "I'm not sure that I did it right", explaining he signed the memo knowing he would soon leave the Justice Department.
When asked by the Committee, "Would he have abruptly resigned had he not already announced his departure, he replied, "I would have given it serious consideration", (how nice of you to say that at this time).
So this writer has some direct questions to ask of Mr. Comey i.e. "So which is it? You say you were against the torture techniques yet you signed the memo approving them. Isn't that a bit disingenuous on your part and trying to have it both ways? Now that you're nominated for FBI Director isn't it convenient of you to tell us now you were against torture but signed the memo anyway because you were leaving your post as assistant attorney general? What exactly does your leaving the Justice Department have to do with your signing the memo?
From here that sounds like, "What the hell, I'm outta there and who knows maybe I'll get back in the government someday and I wouldn't want to be seen as some loose cannon that opposed the administration's torture policies. Yet all your supposed reservations and hesitations are superfluous and irrelevant because in the end you signed the memo."
So when you get right down to it yesterday's mea culpa by Comey saying, "I'm not sure I did it right" just doesn't cut it.
Yet apparently Comey's nomination is expected to "sail through the Committee and be approved by the full Senate."
Maybe I'm an old curmudgeon but where is the moral integrity anymore? I realize the days of high government officials resigning out of principle are long gone; a bygone anachronism.
Today you may be a moral pigmy (is that too politically incorrect?) but a Comey still gets nominated by the president and apparently the majority of the Senate will approve his appointment.
From here it points to the almost complete moral degeneracy that's prevailed in our government since 9/11, (although our war in Viet Nam and the plethora of Nixon's wrongdoing were good indications of the direction we were heading).
Sure Nixon was forced to resign and Senator Frank Church's Judicial Committee hearings did rein in some government excesses at the time such as authorizing the FISA Court that oversees and approves governmental wiretapping requests.
But look at the secret FISA Court today. It essentially approves all requests by the NSA snooping network making it no better than a rubber stamp outfit authorizing every surveillance request that comes before it.
So a Comey nomination and expected approval as FBI director fits perfectly within our government's descent into moral and ethical hell.