[from my 2018 Goodreads review]
James Comey is a Boy Scout and a true believer, and I don’t mean either of those judgements in a pejorative way. Let me repeat: He’s a Boy Scout in that Scout oath ‘duty-to-God-and-country’ way and a true believer in that Superman ‘truth-justice-and-the-American-way’ way. His explanation of the Martha Stewart case rings authentic in every detail, especially his exasperation at people who make the cardinal error of lying to federal investigators.
…Martha Stewart had told us a whopper, and now we could prove it well beyond any reasonable doubt. Ugh. The lie she had told was so unnecessary. She could have offered to repay the fifty thousand dollars she had saved, chump change to her, expressed remorse, and vowed never to trade on insider information again. Instead she engaged in an elaborate deception and then involved others to try to cover her tracks.
It’s never about the crime, it’s always about the cover-up. You’d think after Nixon people would have learned, but no-ooo-oooo.
And Comey’s work as director at the FBI to bring the department into this century can only be described as admirable.
No question, he thinks we’re in trouble
We all bear responsibility for the deeply flawed choices put before voters during the 2016 election, and our country is paying a high price: this president is unethical, and untethered to truth and institutional values. His leadership is transactional, ego driven, and about personal loyalty…What is happening now is not normal. It is not fake news. It is not okay.
but he also believes we’re going to get ourselves out of it, saying that the forest fire that is the Trump administration
…also offers an opportunity to rebalance power among the three branches of our government, closer to the model of the founders intended.
albeit not without some work.
I know there are men and women of good conscience in the United States Congress on both sides of the aisle who understand this. But not enough of them are speaking out…Their silence is complicity—it is a choice—and somewhere deep down they must know that.
Comey is not much of a practical politician; in fact he’s not a politician at all, which is why I believe his account of releasing the news of the resumption of the investigation into Clinton’s emails to the American people two weeks before the 2016 election. If the news broke before the election it might (and did) taint the election, but if it broke afterward and Clinton was elected as everyone at that moment believed she would be, the news would taint her presidency from the getgo. He was damned if he did and damned if he didn’t.
And, really? It wasn’t up to him to make those judgements anyway. It was up to the voters. People in government suck at keeping secrets (yes, I’m including the security services in that judgement, too), and we the people always find out those secrets, usually at the time most inconvenient to the people trying desperately to keep them (vide current events).
His comparisons of the current administration to the mafia dons he prosecuted early in his career are telling
As I found myself thrust into the Trump orbit, I once again was having flashbacks to my earlier career as a prosecutor against the Mob. The silent circle of assent. The boss in complete control. The loyalty oaths. The us-versus-them worldview. The lying about all things, large and small, in service to some code of loyalty that put the organization above morality and above the truth.
and we should all find them chilling. Recommended.
Author and founder of Storyknife.org.