Nominee for F.B.I. Director Appears Before Senate Panel
Christopher Gregory/The New York Times
Statement From F.B.I. Director Nominee: At his nomination hearing on Tuesday, James B. Comey said he would follow the example of the current
F.B.I. director and noted that the agency must act as an “independent entity.”
By MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT
James B. Comey, President Obama’s nominee for F.B.I. director, said on Tuesday that although he authorized the use of waterboarding when he was a deputy attorney general under President George W. Bush, he believes that the technique is torture and illegal.
QUESTIONS (Jim Craven):
Does Mr. Comey only now believe that waterboarding is torture? Does he not know the history of “the water cure”?
Did he not know then, when he authorized its use and gave it “legal cover” from the A.G.’s Office, that it was developed during the Spanish Inquisition as a method of interrogation when the Pope banned any methods that drew blood or maimed?
Did he not know that the U.S. Government employed its use in the Philippines in 1902 while later AFTER WWII putting Japanese on trial as War Criminals for using waterboarding on American and Allied POWs?
FROM: Christopher Gregory/The New York Times:
James B. Comey appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.
“When I first learned about waterboarding when I became deputy attorney general, my reaction as a citizen and a leader was, this is torture,” Mr. Comey said in testimony during a confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. “It’s still what I think.”
But Mr. Comey, who was the deputy attorney general from 2003 to 2005 under Mr. Bush and whose job was to review the government’s legal opinions, said the question of whether waterboarding was legal was hard to determine because the government’s statute was vague. He said that despite believing it was legal at the time, he urged the administration to stop using the tactic.
QUESTIONS (Jim Craven):
What kind of double-talk is this and why is this allowed? Whether a given act is torture or not is determined by the nature of the act, facts on the ground and definitions of torture.
If an act is torture by definition, then any attempt to selectively redefine an act [so that it is allowed only by word games and the act disingenuously not being viewed as torture as defined by the act–rather than the act clearly seen for what it clearly is] then that is Conspiracy to Obstruct Justice and Pervert/Corrupt the Spirit and Intent of the Laws Against Torture [as well as following what one knows to be at the time an illegal order.] That is being a sycophant and toady of the worst kind: giving a green-light to lawlessness under the guise and cover of law itself.
For the recipients of waterboarding, as well as for those who administer it under the guise of national security and expedience but do so covertly destroying any evidence of it, both recognize it as torture. There is no need to cover-up what is clean or what one believes to be clean; only what is dirty and what one knows to be dirty.
JAMES COMEY: “And so I made that argument as forcefully as I could to the attorney general,” Mr. Comey said. “He took my — actually literally took my notes with him to a meeting at the White House and told me he made my argument in full [paper trail?] and that the principals were fully on board with the policy, and so my argument was rejected.”
QUESTIONS (Jim Craven):
Where was the “spine-to-resign” his position by Mr. Comey rather than carry-out or publicly endorse and/or fail to call-out and expose, an order or practice (torture) you believed to be a form of torture, that the U.S. Government was on record in War Crimes Trials against Japanese as calling torture, and without a record of responses for the record to your written reservations and objections?
So in other words when push came to shove, Mr.Comey moved forward and not only allowed and endorsed, but made no public mention of any private reservations about, methods of interrogation that even the CIA destroyed taped evidence of while proclaiming its legality?
Yet when it came to attempts by Alberto Gonzales and others to get Attorney General Ashcroft to sign-off on widespread wiretapping without warrants, and he thought Ashcroft, in critical condition with very painful pancreas distress was being pressured and intimidated, he wrote but did not send a resignation letter over that; while he later went on to endorse what Ashcroft was being pressured to sign and had refused to sign on to. Where is the outrage and willingness to draw the line against breach of the law alluded to in his letter?
THE ARTICLE CONTINUES:
Mr. Comey’s nomination has received strong bipartisan support, but some Democrats and civil liberty groups have raised questions about his role in the Bush administration.
In particular, two senior Democratic senators, Richard J. Durbin of Illinois and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, raised concerns last week about how Mr. Comey approved the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” that included waterboarding.
In testimony before the same Senate committee five years ago, Mr. Comey distinguished himself from many members of the Bush administration — and significantly raised his national profile — with testimony that was perceived as repudiating government surveillance programs.
QUESTIONS (Jim Craven):
At this stage, with these kinds of questions yet to be posed or answered, why support bipartisan or otherwise for Mr. Comey? Is this another “Manchurian Candidate” this time for FBI?
Why is the FBI Headquarters Building in Washington D.C. part of “The JUSTICE Department” still named after J. Edgar Hoover? This is an individual who serially shit all over the U.S. Constitution and the rights of many citizens an destroyed many innocent lives.
This is an individual who, according to many authoritative biographies, was a thug, a hypocritical homophobe, a blackmailer and extortionist, who used the resources of the FBI to create a kind of GESTAPO that it was supposed never to be. Why did no one ask Mr. Comey how he felt about the legacy of lawlessness and corruption J. Edgar Hoover and his soul mate Clyde Tolson?
What is Mr. Comey’s position on the legacy of J Edgar Hoover and Clyde Tolson in the FBI? What has been done to get rid of the “Old Guard” and those mentored by them?
THE ARTICLE CONTINUES:
At a hearing about the Justice Department’s firings of several United States attorneys, Mr. Comey riveted the senators by testifying about a 2004 episode in which he believed that senior Bush administration officials tried to persuade his ailing boss, Attorney General John Ashcroft, to sign off on an illegal data-collection program.
QUESTIONS (Jim Craven):
Did Mr. Comey or anyone immediately call FBI to report attempts by others to solicit him and others to commit and cover-up criminal acts?
Conspiracy means two or more people take at least one affirmative step ([they need not complete their objectives] in furtherance of a common and coordinated plan to pursue objectives or engage in activities they know or should know to be illegal. Even if one does not join-in on a conspiracy, but does not report it, that too is a major felony called “Misprision of a Felony”; Failure to report attempts to solicit someone to be part of “illegal activities” and/or to further illegal objectives.
Misprision of a Felony
Misprision of a felony is the offense of failure to inform government authorities of a felony that a person knows about. A person commits the crime of misprision of a felony if that person:
• Knows of a federal crime that the person has witnessed or that has come to the person’s attention, or failed to prevent.
• Fails to report it to a federal judge or other federal official (who is not thems4elves involved in the crime).
Federal Crime Reporting Statute
The federal offense of failure to disclose a felony, if coupled with some act concealing the felony, such as suppression of evidence, harboring or protecting the person performing the felony, intimidation or harming a witness, or any other act designed to conceal from authorities the fact that a crime has been committed.
Title 18 U.S.C. § 4. Misprision of felony. Whoever, having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the United States, conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
A federal judge, or any other government official, is required as part of the judge’s mandatory administrative duties, to receive any offer of information of a federal crime. If that judge blocks such report, that block is a felony under related obstruction of justice statutes, and constitutes a serious offense.
Upon receiving such information, the judge is then required to make it known to a government law enforcement body that is not themselves involved in the federal crime.
Another federal statute exists for reporting high-level corruption in government:
Title 28 U.S.C. § 1361. Action to compel an officer of the United States to perform his duty. The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of any action in the nature of mandamus to compel an officer or employee of the United States or any agency thereof to perform a duty owed to the plaintiff.
This federal statute permits any citizen to file a lawsuit in the federal courts to obtain a court order requiring a federal official to perform a mandatory duty and to halt unlawful acts. This statute is Title 28 U.S.C. § 1361.
These two statutes are among the most powerful tools in the hands of the people, even a single person, to report corrupt and criminal activities by federal officials−including federal judges−and to circumvent the blocks by those in key positions in the three branches of government. That statute was also repeatedly blocked by federal judges and Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court.
THE ARTICLE CONTINUES:
Mr. Comey said that Mr. Ashcroft, who was in the hospital, had signed his powers over to him. But Mr. Bush’s chief of staff and White House counsel, he said, went to Mr. Ashcroft’s hospital room and asked him to sign off on a National Security Agency program that was collecting Internet data on Americans.
Mr. Comey, who said he had been tipped off that the White House officials were headed to the hospital, testified that he confronted them. The program was halted soon after.
After his testimony, Mr. Comey was widely credited with putting the law over political concerns. But senior Bush administration officials said that although Mr. Comey’s objections halted the program, it was later resumed under a similar legal framework and with few procedural changes.
Mr. Comey did not provide new details about the incident on Tuesday, but he did defend the use of surveillance programs to identify terrorists. “I do know as a general matter that the collection of metadata and analysis of metadata is a valuable tool in counterterrorism,” he said.
QUESTIONS (Jim Craven): Why is it that programs to which Mr. Comey expressed objections in private get moved forwarded anyway and he winds up later publicly supporting them and their intentions while at the same time now highlighting past objections that were never serious enough to cause his resignation on a matter of principle and his Duty as an Officer of the Court, Law Enforcement/Justice Department Official?
Where is any record of his internal concerns?
Why did CIA destroy all tapes of waterboarding? What about the other practices in addition to waterboarding routine at places like GITMO?
THE ARTICLE CONTINUES:
When Mr. Obama nominated Mr. Comey as F.B.I. director, Bush administration officials and civil liberty groups raised questions about whether he was truly skeptical of government surveillance programs.
They have pointed to the other surveillance programs that Mr. Comey supported — like wiretapping without warrants — as examples of how he is comfortable with an array of controversial programs. A senior Bush administration official who worked closely with Mr. Comey said that “he was quite comfortable with a whole bunch” of government surveillance programs and that he had repeatedly signed off on their authorization.
“There’s one very big problem with describing Comey as some sort of civil libertarian — some facts suggest otherwise,” Laura W. Murphy, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s legislative office in Washington, said in an article published by The Guardian.
She added: “While Comey deserves credit for stopping an illegal spying program in dramatic fashion, he also approved or defended some of the worst abuses of the Bush administration during his time as deputy attorney general. Those included torture, warrantless wiretapping and indefinite detention.”
Before serving as the deputy attorney general under Mr. Bush, Mr. Comey was the United States attorney in the Southern District of New York, where he oversaw a variety of prosecutions, including the case against Martha Stewart. He teaches at Columbia Law School after having served as general counsel for the large Connecticut hedge fund Bridgewater Associates.
QUESTIONS (Jim Craven):
Just who exactly do the FBI and Mr. Comey regard as potential “terrorists”? For an idea, here is a flyer put out by FBI asking citizens to spy on their neighbors if they appear to belong to any of the groups listed on the pamphlet:
What does he have to say about the FBI special handling of Jill Kelly by investigating her complaint (which had the unintended but excellent effect of taking Petraeus out of CIA and exposing him for what he clearly is) relative to others who have tried to get FBI to investigate serious civil rights, hate and related crimes for years with no response?
What does Mr. Comey have to say about the “cross-embedding” of favored journalists from the media and groupies like the Kelly sisters, into special access to FBI and other operations and tradecraft along with/versus the embedding of former FBI and intelligence officials like John Miller now of CBS into the media after retirement as “consultants”?
What is the price of “special access” given by or to FBI and other such agencies?
TERRORISTS ACCORDING TO THE FBI ARE THOSE WHO BELIEVE THAT THE U.S. CONSTITUTION AS THE “SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND”
Please note this FBI Flyer that suggests that “Terrorists” include ‘Super-patriots’ who are ‘defenders’ [their use of quotes to suggest not real patriots nor defenders] of the U.S. Constitution against the Federal Government and the U.N. [gee whiz, when has the U.S. Government EVER violated the U.S. Constitution?] those who attempt to ‘police the police’ [again their use of quotes to suggest that anyone who believes in transparency and accountability for the police and all government employees is some kind of potential terrorist] and those who “make numerous references to the U.S. Constitution” are also potential terrorists.
Also included are left-wing groups particularly Marxists and Marxist-Leninists which the universities are full of some claim. But anyone who has read Marx or Lenin knows that they were both anti-terrorists and regarded any forms of terrorism as not only “Left-wing infantilism” and counter-productive, but also as objectively and even subjectively aiding the enemy and causing misery to those the Leftist is purporting to want to help to liberate. Marxists of various camps all regard the masses and the masses alone (not geniuses, “great men”, technology, ideas,) through class struggle as the motive or driving force of history; they also believe that ideas only take root and become a material force when grasped and applied by those masses.
They believe that terrorism is not only morally evil and harms defenseless innocents, but also works against, not ever for, the consciousness-raising that is necessary for mass movements to produce their own real liberation rather than new forms of the same old things and forms of oppression in essence. Marxists believe that terrorism is the infantile attempt to build movements and actions on the cheap, through theatrical and terrorist acts that involve “politics of the deed”; these are seen as the acts of petit-bourgeois types who want instant results and gratification in lieu of the protracted, patient and persuasion of mass work. Of course there are those who do terrorism who call themselves Marxists or whatever, but there is nothing in Marxism that sanctions terrorism in any way; real Marxists are anti-terrorism and anti-terrorists.
As for the right-wing “hate groups” yes some of these have been involved in terrorism as defined as any form of violence or coercion aimed at or indifferent to non-combatants, civilians and innocents with no means of defense. But terrorism is not holding thoughts or beliefs that are used later to justify violence. Terrorism is the actual turning thoughts and ideas into violence or conspiracy to do so while merely holding ideas, with no intention to turn them into real acts of violence is protected by that U.S. Constitution that is the supreme law of the land.
HERE IS WHAT THE U.S. CONSTITUTION SAYS AND WHY:
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Article VI, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution, known as the Supremacy Clause, establishes the U.S. Constitution, federal statutes, and U.S. Treaties as “the supreme law of the land.” The text provides that these are the highest form of law in the U.S. legal system, and mandates that all state judges must follow federal law when a conflict arises between federal law and either the state constitution or state law of any state.
The “supremacy clause” is the most important guarantor of national union. It assures that the Constitution and federal laws and treaties take precedence over state law and binds all judges to adhere to that principle in their courts. – United States Senate
The Supremacy Clause only applies if Congress is acting in pursuit of its constitutionally authorized powers. Federal laws are valid and are supreme, so long as those laws were adopted in pursuance of—that is, consistent with—the Constitution. Nullification is the legal theory that states have the right to nullify, or invalidate, federal laws which they view as being unconstitutional; or federal laws that they view as having exceeded Congresses’ constitutionally authorized powers. The Supreme Court has rejected nullification, finding that under Article III of the Constitution, the power to declare federal laws unconstitutional has been delegated to the federal courts and that states do not have the authority to nullify federal law.
So according to FBI, if one too often expresses support for the U.S. Constitution or makes “numerous references” to it when interacting with law enforcement, or if one is to assert that somehow the police might need policing themselves, and that law enforcement and indeed all government employees must be transparent, accountable act always in accordance with their oath to uphold, support and protect the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic, that kind of person must be some kind of potential terrorist to be snitched on to your local FBI in Arizona or elsewhere.