Thursday, May 30, 2013

Obama to nominate former Bush official and Republican for FBI director

President Obama will nominate James Comey to serve as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The date when Obama will make the nomination is not known.
Obama apparently is anxious to please Republicans, Wall Street, and the military-industrial complex. Comey was a former counsel for Bridgewater Associates, a huge hedge fund , and also a senior official in the Bush administration:"As Deputy Attorney General, Comey was the second-highest ranking official in the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and ran the day-to-day operations of the Department, serving in that office from December 2003 through August 2005."
No doubt Democrats will play up Comey's role in refusing to reauthorize a program for eavesdropping without warrant when he served as acting attorney general during the Bush administration. This event is played up by the PBS news report appended.However, an even stronger recommendation will be his role in the Arar case where a Canadian citizen was rendered to Syria for torture and interrogation and then tried to sue the US attorney general. Comey deftly stopped the suit in its tracks by invoking the state secrets privilege:" The privilege was invoked against a case where Maher Arar, a wrongfully-accused and tortured victim, sought to sue Attorney General John Ashcroft for his role in deporting Arar to Syria to face torture and extract false confessions. It was formally invoked by Deputy Attorney General James B. Comey in legal papers filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The invocation read, "Litigating [the] plaintiff's complaint would necessitate disclosure of classified information", which it later stated included disclosure of the basis for detaining him in the first place, the basis for refusing to deport him to Canada as he had requested, and the basis for sending him to Syria."
At present Comey teaches at Columbia Law School, but for several years he was also General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Lockheed Martin. The law, hedge funds, and military contractors, all prime references to serve in a government that serves the military-industrial complex not to mention the fact that he is a good Republican who donated to the McCain and Romney campaigns. Choosing Comey will no doubt ensure that Obama will not face problems from Republicans at confirmation hearings.
Comey may face questions about his three years working as counsel for the world's largest hedge fund, a job he gave up just earlier this year. Senator Charles Grassley notes:“The administration’s efforts to criminally prosecute Wall Street for its part in the economic downturn have been abysmal, and his agency would have to help build the case against some of his colleagues in this lucrative industry."No doubt Comey will continue the good work of doing an abysmal job of convicting his former colleagues.

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