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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 11/1/16

James Comey has been abusing his power for years

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From The Guardian

We shouldn't be surprised at the FBI director's intervention in the presidential campaign. He has a track record of dubious decisions

James Comey
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FBI director James Comey set off a torrent of criticism late last week when he directly inserted himself into the presidential campaign with a vague letter to Congress about the reopening of the Clinton email case. His conduct has shocked many observers across the political spectrum, but the only thing truly surprising about this episode is that people are only now realizing how power-hungry and dangerous Comey actually is.

During his stints in the Bush and Obama administration Comey has continually taken authoritarian and factually dubious public stances both at odds with responsible public policy and sometimes the law. The Clinton case is not an aberration, it's part of a clear pattern.

Liberals were once enthralled when Obama appointed the Republican as FBI chief in 2013. They talked about Comey as if he was above reproach because of his role as acting attorney general under George W Bush, when he threatened to resign over an aspect of the president's illegal warrantless wiretapping program.

As Glenn Greenwald explained at the time of Comey's confirmation in 2013, this story is incredibly misleading. Yes, Comey did curtail a small part of the NSA's sprawling surveillance program in 2004, however, that occurred before the public ever knew of the existence of any NSA domestic program. The version of illegal warrantless wiretapping that the New York Times revealed in 2005, which sparked a firestorm of liberal criticism and widespread accusations of illegal conduct, was the program that Comey was totally fine with and signed off on.

Why he is celebrated as anything close to the hero is baffling. During the Bush administration, Comey also aggressively defended the arrest and due process-free imprisonment of a US citizen, Jose Padilla, on US soil. He was held as an "enemy combatant," tortured, and refused a lawyer for three and half years -- to this day, one of the most egregious violations of the constitution by the Bush administration. In addition, Comey also gave his legal sign-off on torture techniques during the Bush administration, despite harboring personal doubts.

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