President Obama plans to nominate James B. Comey, a former hedge fund executive who served as a senior Justice Department official under President George W. Bush, to replace Robert S. Mueller III as the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to two people with knowledge of the selection.Sure. Comey objected to exploiting then-Attorney General John Ashcroft while he was "feeble, barely articulate, and stressed" after surgery to get his sign-off on Bush's warrantless wiretapping program, and refused to sign off on it himself, but just because he looked like a hero compared to the rest of the dipshits and reprobates in the Bush administration doesn't actually make him one.
By choosing Mr. Comey, a Republican, Mr. Obama made a strong statement about bipartisanship at a time when he faces renewed criticism from Republicans in Congress and has had difficulty winning confirmation of some important nominees. At the same time, Mr. Comey's role in one of the most dramatic episodes of the Bush administration — in which he refused to acquiesce to White House aides and reauthorize a program for eavesdropping without warrants when he was serving as acting attorney general — should make him an acceptable choice to Democrats.
In another episode, Comey reportedly objected to the Bush administration's "overreaching legal reasoning" justifying "enhanced interrogation tactics" (torture), and "told colleagues at the department that they would all be 'ashamed' when the world eventually learned of it."
Bravo, etc. Except for the fact that he didn't make any public objections so that "the world" learned of it sooner rather than later.
While the Obama administration is under fire for the Justice Department's campaign against leaks to the news media and for its crackdown on whistleblowers, it seems a wee bit concerning, ahem, that Obama wants to appoint a guy to head the FBI who will raise objections in-house, but won't do anything ZANY like actually share with the US public when the administration for whom he's working is engaging in illiberal, harmful, dubiously legal bullshit.
I hope this is just a trial balloon, and that there is widespread rejection of a potential Comey nomination. He's not the right person for this job, for a lot of reasons, and picking a Republican because Republicans are petulant obstructionists who hold up nominations empowers and validates that garbage strategy. A Democratic President does not need to appear to agree that nominating a Democrat is, as Drum calls it, "an intolerable provocation."
As Drum further notes: "I sure hope this reporting is wrong. Nominating Comey because he thinks he's the best person for the job is one thing. But if Obama thinks that nominating Comey will be seen as some kind of bipartisan olive branch, he's [mistaken]." Correct. Because his objections to warrantless wiretapping and torture were enough to ensure he'd never get another job in a Republican administration—but his minor display of basic decency is enough to get him a job in a Democratic one. Apparently.