James Comey. (AP Photo)
Some of us have been shouting from mountaintops, others from molehills: James Comey, currently sailing smoothly through Senate Judiciary Committee hearings for confirmation as chief of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, was:
(a) in charge, and proudly so, of a “terrorism” case that began with a detention without charges, continued with made-up and spurious charges, and ended with a conviction won against an American whose treatment during confinement (on the American mainland) turned his brain to jello;
(b) general counsel for a defense contractor while it was busy hushing up a whistleblower who exposed $24 billion contract that they were building vessels for the Coast Guard, on a $24 billion contract, that buckled and leaked on the high seas;
(c) as of three months ago on the board of a bank, in charge of cleaning up their reputation after it paid a $1.92 billion fine for laundering drug money from Mexico; and
(d) the man who, as former FBI agent Colleen Rowley pointed out this morning in The New York Times, “sign[ed] off on most of the worst of the Bush administration’s legal abuses and questionable interpretations of federal and international law. He ultimately approved the C.I.A.’s list of “enhanced interrogation” techniques, including waterboarding, which experts on international law consider a form of torture.
Lots of shouting going on. But not much listening.
I maintain an active salon of sorts on my Facebook page, welcoming anyone who wants to join the ride (Hop aboard!). It’s my own little online magazine, with upwards of 3,600 subscribers, and I love them all. (Hi, guys!) When I post something political that tickles their fancy, it’s not unusual for me to get upward of a hundred “likes.” Yesterday, though, I reposted there my June 24 Nation anatomy of Comey’s sins and got four “likes.” (The next thing I posted, Nick Turse’s outstanding dispatch on the secrecy surrounding the America military’s activities in Africa, a crucial subject but not one three and a half times more important than confirming a new Justice Department chief law enforcement officer who’s on the record defiling the Constitution, got fourteen.) I noted, this morning, “When you’re a writer you never know which of your pieces are going to gain a toehold and which will not, and it’s best not to care too much. But I’m dismayed at the chirping of crickets that has greeted my work on our next FBI chief as a torture enabler. How deadened have our civic muscles become?” Then I posted the former FBI agent Colleen Rowley’s mighty evisceration in the Times—and that got three “likes.” Come on, guys!