Posted by Curt on 13 May, 2017 at 5:08 pm. 2 comments already!


Brandon J. Weichert:

In Miguel de Cervantes’ classic 17th century work, Don Quixote, the eponymous character becomes enamored with the concept of chivalry. Believing that chivalry was dead and in need of rehabilitation, Quixote assumes he is the last chivalrous man alive. Thus, he resolves to single-handedly revive chivalry and bring justice to all.

Of course, as the reader soon discovers—spoiler alert!—Quixote is insane. In Quixote’s self-imposed quest to revive chivalry, he often confuses his arrogant urge to feed his ego with a desire to do good. Quixote is also delusional and often suffers from impaired judgment; as he prefers to view the world according to the dictates of his delusions rather than from within the confines of reality. Hilarious adventures ensue.

The characteristics that make Don Quixote such a great fictional character are terrible traits to have in a director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. With James Comey, the United States had a Don Quixote-like character running the FBI.

After all, Comey was a quixotic individual who was so wrapped up in his own delusions about being the “last honest man in Washington, D.C.,” that he brought professional ruin to himself and likely damaged the reputation of the FBI.

Comey was a federal prosecutor for many years (having famously taken down Martha Stewart on trumped up insider trading charges that later resulted in a conviction for “obstruction of justice” and making false statements under oath). Comey soon became the deputy attorney general during the George W. Bush Administration, serving under former Attorney General John Ashcroft. Despite being a lifelong registered Republican, Comey’s allegiance was with neither the Bush Administration nor the GOP. Comey’s allegiance wasn’t to the Truth, either―whatever his rumored reputation may be. Like Don Quixote’s dedication to his perception of chivalry, Comey’s dedication was to his own definition of Truth (which was ultimately self-serving).

First, as deputy attorney general, Comey selected federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald to lead the independent investigation of the Valerie Plame scandal.

Here’s how Peter Baker described Comey’s role in the Plame investigation:

John Ashcroft [the Attorney General] recused himself from the CIA leak case because Karl Rove [senior Bush adviser] used to work for him, so the matter had fallen to his deputy attorney general, James Comey. In turn, Comey had decided to turn it [the investigation] over to a special prosecutor. On December 30, he announced that Patrick Fitzgerald [a] close friend, would lead the investigation of the White House.

Swamp creatures always stick together.

By selecting his friend as special prosecutor, Comey was setting up the Bush Administration (whether he meant to or not is irrelevant) for destruction. Fitzgerald was the lead federal prosecutor in Chicago. Not only was he obsessed with his conviction rate, he was also dogmatic in his belief that if he was investigating someone, they were guilty. As Baker details, after a particularly contentious interview with Vice President Dick Cheney, Fitzgerald became obsessed with indicting someone high up in the Bush Administration. Cheney was his target, but in the process, he ended up forcing Karl Rove out and, more damagingly, destroying the man described as “Cheney’s-Cheney,” I. “Scooter” Libby. But, all that mattered was that Fitzgerald passed the James Comey “honesty” and “moral rigidity” test!

Comey, the ultimate Washington insider, was not finished forcing the Bush Administration to conform to his own absurd standards. In 2005, the Bush Administration’s warrantless surveillance program was up for reauthorization. Basically, the program was so controversial (even within the Bush Administration), that the DOJ had to get monthly presidential reauthorization allowing for the continuation of the program. Both Bush and Cheney firmly believed that the program was a vital tool in the War on Terror.

The reauthorization process was usually a matter of course. However, personnel changes in the DOJ’s Department of Legal Counsel began a major debate between the Bush DOJ lawyers and the White House. Unfortunately for the White House, Attorney General Ashcroft was hospitalized with a bout of pancreatitis. Yet again, his number two, the incorruptible Don Comey, took umbrage with the White House.

Being in command of the DOJ for a very short period, Comey upended administration policy by refusing to reauthorize the program without significant changes. Irrespective of one’s opinion on the warrantless surveillance program, the fact remains that it was not up to Comey to alter Administration policy in fundamental ways. If he (and others in the Administration) were so concerned, they should have aired their grievances through proper channels.

Ultimately, Comey resigned—and ran to the Democrats in Congress to testify about the administration’s alleged missteps. His quixotic tale doesn’t end there, of course. President Barack Obama would name Comey as his FBI Director in 2013. Here’s what the New York Times had to say about his nomination at the time:

Read more

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x