James Comey, the Would-Be J. Edgar Hoover, by Matt Taibbi

James Comey is completely tangled up in his own lies and self-serving justifications. From Matt Taibbi at rollingstone.com:

The former FBI Director’s memoir obsesses about lies, sincerity and conscience – and offers few tangible answers

FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Michael Rogers testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, in Washington D.C. on March 20, 2017. Mark Peterson/Redux

The most damning passage in former FBI Director James Comey’s new book, A Higher Loyalty, regards his decision to make public the re-opening of the Hillary Clinton email investigation:

“It is entirely possible that, because I was making decisions in an environment where Hillary Clinton was sure to be the next president, my concern about making her an illegitimate president by concealing the re-started investigation bore greater weight than it would have if the election appeared closer or if Donald Trump were ahead in the polls.”

Comey portrays the Clinton decision as a binary choice: either speak a truth that may result in Trump’s victory, or conceal key facts from the public thus making her, as he tabs the ostensible shoo-in Clinton, an “illegitimate president.”

These meanderings might carry more weight if Comey did not have a lengthy record of “concealing” far more important issues from the American public.

Comey, for instance, comes across as an opponent of torture, and in the book writes about how his wife Patrice’s exhortation – “Don’t be the torture guy” – disturbed his sleep “for many nights.” But a close look at Comey’s Bush-era record indicates he signed off on policiesthat essentially re-sanctified most forms of “enhanced interrogation.”

In the book, Comey says he was held back from doing more because the CIA didn’t tell him everything about its interrogations, leaving him with nothing to do but silently hope the torture program would “crater” under Justice Department guidelines:

“Although our internal voices screamed this was terrible stuff and was based on inflated claims of success, those voices had to stay trapped inside us,” Comey writes.

So he was able to stay quiet about torture – keeping it “trapped inside” – but couldn’t keep secret the details of an email investigation he himself doubted would lead anywhere important?

Comey is equally two-faced on the question of surveillance. He describes himself forcefully opposing the NSA’s “Stellar Wind” program, which he says went “beyond even the legally dubious.”

This is how Comey became famous the first time, trying to head off the program’s re-authorization by racing to a convalescing John Ashcroft in the much-publicized “hospital showdown.”To continue reading: James Comey, the Would-Be J. Edgar Hoover

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