May 30, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: 212-549-2666, media@aclu.org

WASHINGTON – Below is a statement from Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, on President Obama's reported plan to nominate James B. Comey as the next director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

"While the ACLU does not take official positions on nominations to appointed office, there are many questions regarding Comey's record that deserve careful scrutiny from the Senate Judiciary Committee. As the second-highest ranked Justice Department official under John Ashcroft, Comey approved some of the worst abuses committed by the Bush administration. Specifically, the publicly available evidence indicates Comey signed off on enhanced interrogation techniques that constitute torture, including waterboarding. He also oversaw the indefinite detention without charge or trial of an American citizen picked up in the United States and then held for years in a military brig. Although Comey, despite tremendous pressure from the Bush White House, deserves credit for courageously stopping the reauthorization of a secret National Security Agency program, he reportedly approved programs that struck at the very core of who we all are as Americans.

"It's critical that the Senate ensures that the men and women of the FBI know that they have a leader who will demand adherence to the rule of law and will hold those accountable who do not, wherever he or she may find them."

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