Somewhat Sort Of Semi Nice-Time: FBI Nominee Comey Condemns That Waterboarding He Authorized A While Back
James Comey, Barack Obama's nominee for Director of the FBI,testified Tuesday that he believes whistle-blowers are a necessary part of democracy. Appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Comey said that
“whistle-blowers are also a critical element of a functioning democracy. Folks have to feel free to raise their concerns, and if they are not addressed up their chain-of-command, to take them to an appropriate place.”
Comey also said that he thinks retaliation against whistle-blowers is "unacceptable," at which point several thousand bloggers yelled, "Dude, did you even notice whose administration you want a job in?" Unperturbed by the karmic outburst, Comey went on to condemn waterboarding as torture, saying he had opposed it while serving in the Bush administration (although he also signed a 2005 memo that allowed it and other harsh interrogation techniques that he says he opposed). So hey, two morally conflicted cheers for James Comey!
In response to a question from Judiciary Committee chair Patrick Leahy, Comey said that waterboarding is illegal:
"When I first learned about waterboarding, when I became deputy attorney general, my reaction as a citizen and a leader was: This is torture. It's still what I think," said Comey.
He added that if he were FBI Director, "it would never have anything to do with that."
Yr Wonkette is all kinds of happy to hear this, although maybe a little less than thrilled that, as deputy attorney general in the Bush administration, Comey nonetheless signed off on a 2005 memo authorizing techniques that he says he opposed. Comey testified that before the memo was drafted, he had tried to convince the Bush DOJ that waterboarding and other forms of torture were illegal and ineffective, but his arguments had been shot down by the Bush national security team, and he had already announced that he was leaving the Justice Department when the memo came to him for his signature. Asked if he would have resigned in protest over the torture policy if he hadn't been leaving, Comey said "I would have given it very serious consideration." Does he contradict himself? Very well, then, he contradicts himself. James Comey is large, he contains multitudes.
We know how it goes -- you want to make a moral stand, but you've got a plane to catch, and so maybe making a big fuss over a little torture just seems like a lot of trouble at the moment, especially since you know your bosses are going to just go ahead and torture the poor bastards anyway.
Really who hasn't been there, huh?
Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.