James Comey: A Closer Look

In late May, James B. Comey's name was floated as President Obama's top choice to succeed Robert Mueller as director of the FBI. As the second-highest ranked Justice Department official during the Bush administration, Comey has gained near mythic status for his opposition to a secret NSA surveillance program at the bedside of his terribly ill boss, Attorney General John Ashcroft. But recent revelations about NSA spying raise questions about what Comey resisted and why, and a closer look at his civil liberties record raises serious concerns. During his time as deputy attorney general, Comey approved or defended some of the worst abuses of the Bush administration: torture, warrantless wiretapping, and the indefinite detention of an American citizen. The ACLU looks at each one individually. President Obama should too before making the nomination official.

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