Sunday, March 29, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Comey’s a good pick for the FBI

By
From page A6 | June 05, 2013 |

The issue: Republican raised the right red flags during Bush administration

James Comey, 52, is the probable nominee to be the next FBI director. Whether part of a deliberate strategy or not, he would be the second Republican — after former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel at the Defense Department — picked for a highly visible and important job in the current Obama administration.

COMEY WOULD BRING a wide range of legal and law-enforcement experience to the job, which carries a 10-year term limit. Now teaching national-security law at Columbia University law school, he ran a hedge fund and served as senior vice president and general counsel for defense contractor Lockheed Martin and earlier spent years in government service.

The sole quibble about his nomination was raised by Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, the Senate Judiciary Committee’s ranking Republican, who has questions about the Obama administration’s “abysmal” investigations of Wall Street for its role in the economic downturn.

It should be a fascinating line of questioning because Comey was never part of the Obama administration. He did serve the George W. Bush administration’s Justice Department for almost five years, including two as the No. 2 official.

Comey entered government service in 1985, right out of the University of Chicago law school. He went to work for that great prosecutorial proving ground, the Southern District of New York, where he prosecuted terrorism, white-collar crime, organized-crime and drug cases.

In Richmond, Va., he took over the investigation of the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia that had dragged on for five years. In short order, he indicted 14 suspects.

BARRING SOME unforeseen disclosure, Comey deserves to be confirmed as FBI director — if only for his role in thwarting an ill-thought-out and likely illegal warrantless domestic eavesdropping program cooked up in the Bush White House.

The plan needed Attorney General John Ashcroft’s signature, which the White House surreptitiously tried to obtain when Ashcroft was hospitalized after gall bladder surgery. Comey, his deputy, arrived with FBI Director Robert Mueller III at the hospital in time to prevent Bush chief of staff Andy Card and chief counsel Alberto Gonzales from browbeating the ailing Ashcroft into signing off on these greatly expanded wiretapping powers.

The standoff ended with the senior Bush aides returning to the White House empty-handed. Mueller posted FBI guards at the hospital.

Comey also spoke out forcefully against the administration’s “enhanced interrogation techniques,” which he correctly predicted would damage the country’s reputation when they became public.

AT THE FBI, where Mueller must retire by Sept. 4, Comey would face a desk crowded with problems, including: the subpoenaing of news organizations’ phone records and emails; whether the Internal Revenue Service was politically selective in its handling of conservative groups’ tax-exemption applications; and whether the FBI dropped the ball on a Russian heads-up about one of the alleged Boston Marathon bombers.

All indications are that Comey is the man for the job.

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Motive for murder-suicide remains a mystery

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

     
    Davis sewage to get new digs

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

    Where do Davis recyclables go?

    By Felicia Alvarez | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    UCD faculty receive lowest pay in the system

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A1

    Human Relations Commission hosts Chávez celebration

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A2

     
     
    Davis Flower Arrangers meet Wednesday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

    ‘Music as Medicine’ is radio show topic

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

     
    Friendship the topic on radio program

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Forum

    A phone call could have fixed this

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

     
    Milt Prigee cartoon

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

    Some ‘survey’ …

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

     
    These results were meaningless

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    Survey not representative

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

     
    Answers on the green waste program

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

    A Little Respect for Dr. Foster

    By Nicholas Kristof | From Page: B5

     
    Universities need more funding

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

    Mayor’s corner: Looking ahead to spring

    By Dan Wolk | From Page: B5 | Gallery

     
    Father of the bride snubbed

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

    Which experiences count as ‘once in a lifetime’?

    By Marion Franck | From Page: A8

     
    After a month of no TV news, I’m feeling much better

    By Debra DeAngelo | From Page: A8

    Take a hike for your heart

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Sports

    Aggies’ walkoff win clinches series against Riverside

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Aggie softball splits doubleheader

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Davis softballers suffer setback, remain optimistic

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Republic stun Galaxy with repeated history

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Bad fourth quarter sinks boys lacrosse

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Burns scores shootout winner to lift Sharks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    UCD roundup: Aggie women’s tennis dominates at home

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B10 | Gallery

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    Grant writing for non-profits workshop set

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

     
    Millennials are changing our community

    By Rob White | From Page: A9

    With new owner, DAC will Get Fit

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, March 29, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8