Skip to main content

Dateline DC, May 29, 2013.
James Comey, a former top legal beagle appointed by George the W, was selected by President Obama to take the top slot at the FBI.

His top competition, Lisa Monaco, was considered too close to the faux Ben Ghazzi Scandal, currently peddled by Congressman Issa.

Before anyone here gets all high (weel, on second thought, that is OK) and mighty, reach back to the days when General Ashcroft was suffering from intense pain in the local Hospital, and Comey refused to cave into the White House thugs who wanted an unconstitutional expansion of domestic surveillance on Americans.

Amazingly, Ashcroft held his ground and stated that Comey had full authority. Comey objected so much to the expansion of powers, that he threatened to resign.

Shortly afterward, W had a private meeting with Comey, and two things happened. Comey withdrew his threat to resign, and W caved in to Comey's demands for changes to the law.

Comey also is on record for saying that while every top appointee is naturally "political", he thought it critical that, at least within the DOJ, politics must be left at the door.

The Wiki has a nice, even handed article about him.

I don't know how you feel, but I am very satisfied with this appointment. The rule of law MUST be applied fairly, and the powers of the Feeblies are huge. His appointment does not mean there won't be any mistakes, but it sure seems like a solid choice.

Poll

Good choice?

30%24 votes
36%29 votes
5%4 votes
6%5 votes
11%9 votes
2%2 votes
2%2 votes
5%4 votes

| 79 votes | Vote | Results

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Your poll choices don't include the (11+ / 0-)

    following: "Another Bush Administration player advances under the Obama Administration".  

    I am tired of the hopey-changey thing on some of the most important issues basically never happened.

    Maybe Comey did the right thing at that time, but the reality is that there are probably plenty of other people who would have done thing at that time - and they are not all Republican insiders.

    I mean allegiance to Ashcroft isn't exactly a compelling badge of honor.  Sorry.

  •  It's nice to see attorneys look at Cheney's... (15+ / 0-)

    Imperial Presidency nonsense and reject it outright.
    I'm hopeful Obama's nomination of Comey is an early glimpse at a renewed attempt to curb the surveillance state.

    That would be fking awesome if true.
    Or am i kidding myself?

  •  just one concern (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AnnieR

    Did TOO BIG TO JAIL begin in 2005? #KPMG Tax Shelter Indictment & James #Comey, FBI Director nominee http://www.nytimes.com/...

    It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

    by War on Error on Wed May 29, 2013 at 06:48:58 PM PDT

  •  As an attorney general I think his record (9+ / 0-)

    looks pretty politics-neutral, which is a good reason to appoint him to the position.  Just because he served under the Bush administration - with whom he fought on some major, important points - isn't a disqualifier in my view.  He acquitted himself well.

    On the other hand, he's worked recently both for Bridgewater (until earlier this year) and now on the board of directors of HSBC.  It'd be nice to put people in these positions who aren't recent and/or current employees of our messed up financial system, and continue this revolving door of government and big finance.

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Wed May 29, 2013 at 07:46:56 PM PDT

  •  Obama's Chief of Staff couldn't be bothered to (3+ / 0-)

    assemble a list of competent Dems who could administer the FBI?

    Give me a friggin break.

    After this latest bit of treachery, no Dem owes Obama the slightest bit of loyalty any longer, imho.

    Is it me or are both sides playing for the same team (not mine)? Up until now, I've kept my party registration Democratic but I may actually jump ship now.

  •  Comey (0+ / 0-)

    Was Comey part of Karl's successful religious assault on the justice department ?

    •  I doubt it (4+ / 0-)

      Comey set up the special prosecutor role for Patrick Fitzgerald to investigate the outing of Valerie Plame, before he left DOJ.  He set it up so Fitzgerald didn't answer to anyone.  He was making it possible to go after Rove, Cheney, GWB or anyone else with a hand in outing Plame.  Too bad Fitzgerald got timid in the end and didn't go after Cheney.  He said Scooter kicked sand in his face or some such thing as his excuse not to be able to accuse Cheney or Rove. I'll be very interested to see how it works out for Comey at FBI.

      Shine like the humblest star.

      by ljm on Wed May 29, 2013 at 09:05:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  As long as the FBI (3+ / 0-)

    doesn't get political the way it did under Hoover, I don't think it matters what party the director is from.  The FBI just enforces whatever laws Congress passes - it doesn't make policy or engage in other activity for which political affiliation would be important.

  •  Looks like a terrific pick. (3+ / 0-)

    We are all going to miss Obama when he's gone. No matter who is president, they will suck compared to him.

    •  So, if Clinton or O'Malley or Gillibrand... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Simplify

      ...become president, you're going to be telling us every day how bad they are?

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Wed May 29, 2013 at 11:16:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not unless they are bad, which would be (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jeff Simpson

        surprising. But are they likely to be preternaturally gifted as Obama is? That is doubtful to me. He's got something special. Hillary cannot rise to Obama's level IMO unless she changes. She needs to shed her need to prove that women can be more hawkish than men. Any president who still thinks the Iraq War was the right decision at the time will by definition be a worse president than Obama, to me at least. The Iraq War was the focus of this website in its early years, and we're supposed to be excited about one of its proponents and defenders representing us in the Oval Office? It'll be immensely better than having a Republican, that I will confess. But it won't be Obama.

      •  That would be the progressive thing to do. (0+ / 0-)

        Progressives have a history of telling the world every day how horrible the president of the US at the time is.

        •  Did you buy that broad brush at the hardware... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BenderRodriguez

          ...store or did you have to special-order it?

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Thu May 30, 2013 at 12:48:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  3-D printer, MB. Get with the times, man. (0+ / 0-)

            In fairness, though, I can predict safely that progressives (and that word, like so many others in our political discourse, has become so malleable I'm not even sure what it means anymore) will heap scorn on the next Democratic president, no matter who he or she is.

            In fact, I'd like to be the first on record to denounce President Gillibrand on her position concerning the situation in Oregon.

            How about I believe in the unlucky ones?

            by BenderRodriguez on Thu May 30, 2013 at 01:54:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  All anybody has to do to shut me about... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BenderRodriguez

              ...this is apply a qualifier: "some" or "many," for example.

              Totally agree about "progressive." But that's not new. In the 1960s, some of us who did not want to be identified with Cold War liberals adopted the label "progressive" to mean to the left of liberals. These days, the term seems to embrace some on the left all the way to some on the center-right. Consequently, there are a number of people today who have chosen to describe themselves as not progressive but "liberal" as an indication that they are to the left of progressives. Full circle.

              Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

              by Meteor Blades on Thu May 30, 2013 at 02:50:13 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Superb Choice. (7+ / 0-)

    Independent. Principled. Tough. Supremely qualified.  Great on white collar crime, great on counterterrorism, great on civil rights.  With a solid relationship with current Director Mueller ensuring a smooth transition.  Like Bob Gates, a career public servant.

    And only a douchebag corrupt Republican would oppose him (and I'm sure there'll be a few)

    FBI Director is different from most other national security posts like SecDEF or DCI.  They serve ten year terms, and we've only actually had six FBI directors in the Bureau's history.  The guy who held the seat the longest built a horrific reputation for paranoia, vendettas, and corrupt use of power.

    I'm not looking for politics when it comes to the Bureau.  Qualifications and belief in the rule of law...thats what matters.

    Seriously, watch his testimony of how he stymied Gonzales & Cheney.  It will fill you with incredible pride in this country's institutions.  This is a home run pick.

    Follow Me on Twitter! https://twitter.com/#!/ZeddRebel

    by TarantinoDork on Wed May 29, 2013 at 09:47:05 PM PDT

  •  I was just thinking (3+ / 0-)

    that while Comey is to be commended for his outstanding behavior during that whole sordid affair and appears to be a decent, qualified and by the book kind of guy who's more than qualified for the job, why does Obama seem to feel that he has to appoint white conservative men to many of his top positions to be taken seriously by the beltway media and political elite?

    And then I remembered that Eric Holder is the AG.

    Perhaps he'll step down and someone more principled and tougher will take his place, like Patrick Fitzgerald or Kamala Harris (whose brother-in-law is an associate AG at present which could be a problem)?

    I would have preferred a Dem, but I'll take Comey, and given today's political climate, perhaps having a Repub in this job makes sense, like Hagel.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Wed May 29, 2013 at 10:09:21 PM PDT

  •  Before getting too comfortable with Comey ... (4+ / 0-)

    I'd strongly recommend reading about his efforts (with other political appointees of the Bush administration) to, at virtually the last minute, limit the remedies that could be sought against the cigarette manufacturers in DOJ's landmark tobacco case.  You can read all about it in Bad Acts: The Racketeering Case Against the Tobacco Industry, by Sharon Y. Eubanks, who headed DOJ's case against the cigarette manufacturers for most of its existence.

    I've got no problem with appointing a Republican to this job, but I have a major problem with appointing one who has proven willing to do the bidding of his political superiors to interfere with an ongoing case -- especially one which he and his political superiors apparently let proceed on the belief that they could avoid any political heat for stopping it (which they had every right to do) by letting people invest years of their lives in bringing the case to trial.  They pretty clearly thought the case would inevitably be lost, and then when it looked like it might actually be won, they did everything possible to sabotage it.

    James Comey showed some guts when John Ashcroft was hospitalized, but I think that was largely because he was smart enough to realize that the Bush administration's ham-handed approach would blow up in their faces.  But his role in the tobacco litigation convinces me that he is far from the non-partisan professional that the Obama administration seems to think it's getting.

    Bin Laden is dead. GM and Chrysler are alive.

    by leevank on Wed May 29, 2013 at 10:39:32 PM PDT

    •  I got flack from some neoLib who frequents (0+ / 0-)

      this board for calling Comey a 'hack.' Your post gives new meaning to the word 'hack'

      Thanks for posting.

      •  I was very badly mistaken (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        agnostic

        I got James Comey mixed up with Robert McCallum, his successor (on an acting basis) as Deputy AG.  James Comey had already left DOJ by the time of the events in the tobacco litigation, and so far as I know, never acted even arguably inappropriately in regard to it.

        I should have looked it up, rather than relying on my memory.  There is absolutely nothing I know of that would cause me to characterize Comey as a hack, or as less than professional.

        Bin Laden is dead. GM and Chrysler are alive.

        by leevank on Thu May 30, 2013 at 02:22:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  How about this: (0+ / 0-)
          Thus, it was Comey who gave his legal approval to enable that NSA eavesdropping program to spy on Americans without warrants: the same program that produced so much outrage and scandal when revealed by the NYT. How can any progressive who spent the Bush years vehemently denouncing that domestic spying program as the symbol of Bush radicalism and lawlessness now cheer when the lawyer who approved it is about to be put in charge of the FBI?

          Then there's Comey's mixed and quite murky role in authorizing Bush's torture program. Internal DOJ emails released to the New York Times in 2009 show Comey expressing serious reservations, and even objections, to the willingness of Albert Gonzales to legally authorize any interrogation techniques the White House wanted, and he warned those officials that their involvement would be condemned by history. But even as he did so, Comey, as the New York Times explained, eventually, albeit reluctantly, gave his legal approval to those techniques:

          www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/may/30/james-comey-fbi-bush-nsa

          Thanks for clarifying the chronology though. I'll have to find my hack ironies elsewhere, I suppose.

  •  There is no defense for Comey being (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BradyB

    appointed by a Democrat.

    Just because Comey did one good thing doesn't mean he's the right person for the job, i.e.,

    Another of the most controversial acts of the Bush administration was the due-process-free imprisonment of US citizen Jose Padilla, who was arrested in 2002 on US soil, then put in a military brig, without charges, for 3 1/2 years. During that time, he was denied a lawyer, held incommunicado, and tortured. That was the incident that, more than any other, really motivated me to begin writing about politics: back then, it actually shocked me that the US government would claim the power to imprison US citizens on US soil without charges of any kind. As Charles Davis recalls, it was James Comey who took a leading role in the Bush administration in defending that lawless imprisonment, arguing in 2004:
    And if the Democrats can't find a good person to run the DoD or the FBI, that means the Democrats are weak and have a shallow bench, if any bench at all.  Or it means a person who ran under the Democratic Party really favors republican positions.  It's been factually established that being "bipartisan" when it comes to appointments will.not.advance a Democratic agenda.

    Either way, it's bad.  

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site