One of the gang 1

Why did anyone expect James Comey to recommend the prosecution of Hillary Clinton for grave crimes that he himself enumerated?

Because “anyone” did not know or had forgotten that Comey is a member of Obama’s gang.

James Comey would not have been appointed head of the FBI had President Obama sensed the least trace in the man of that right-wing weakness called “objective judgment”.  

On June 13, 2013, when James Comey was nominated by President Obama to head the FBI, Bret Stephens wrote at the Wall Street Journal:

President Obama on Friday nominated James Comey to run the FBI, and the former prosecutor and deputy attorney general is already garnering media effusions reserved for any Republican who fell out publicly with the Bush Administration. Forgive us if we don’t join this Beltway beatification.

Any potential FBI director deserves scrutiny, since the position has so much power and is susceptible to ruinous misjudgments and abuse. That goes double with Mr. Comey, a nominee who seems to think the job of the federal bureaucracy is to oversee elected officials, not the other way around, and who had his own hand in some of the worst prosecutorial excesses of the last decade.

The list includes his overzealous pursuit, as U.S. Attorney for New York’s Southern District, of banker Frank Quattrone amid the post-Enron political frenzy of 2003. Mr. Comey never did indict Mr. Quattrone on banking-related charges, but charged him instead with obstruction of justice and witness tampering based essentially on a single ambiguous email.

Mr. Comey’s first trial against Mr. Quattrone ended in a hung jury; he won a conviction on a retrial but that conviction was overturned on appeal in 2006. …

There is also Mr. Comey’s 2004 role as deputy attorney general in the Aipac case, in which the FBI sought to use bogus “secret” information to entrap two lobbyists for the pro-Israel group and then prosecuted them under the 1917 Espionage Act. The Justice Department dropped that case in 2009 after it fell apart in court — but not before wrecking the lives of the two lobbyists, Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman.

Or the atrocious FBI investigation, harassment and trial-by-media of virologist Steven Jay Hatfill, falsely suspected of being behind the 2001 anthrax mail attacks. Mr. Comey continued to vouchsafe the strength of the case against Dr. Hatfill in internal Administration deliberations long after it had become clear that the FBI had fingered the wrong man. …

Yet the biggest of Mr. Comey’s misjudgments are the ones for which he gets the highest accolades from his media admirers. In March 2004 Mr. Comey raced to the hospital bedside of then-Attorney General John Ashcroft to stop his boss from signing off on a periodic reauthorization of the “warrantless wiretap” surveillance program authorized by President Bush shortly after 9/11. Mr. Comey’s hospital theatrics have since been spun — above all by Mr. Comey — as a case of a brave and honest civil servant standing up to an out-of-control White House seeking to take advantage of a sick man for morally dubious and even criminal ends.

Yet the reason the White House needed Mr. Ashcroft’s signature in the first place was that President Bush had subjected the surveillance program to a stringent 45-day reauthorization schedule (with the knowledge and approval of senior members of Congress), and Mr. Ashcroft had signed off on the same program multiple times before having an apparent change of heart shortly before the March incident.

None of this kept Mr. Comey from abusing his role as Acting AG implicitly to threaten the White House with the likely exposure of the classified program — all because his interpretation of the law differed from that of Mr. Gonzales and other government lawyers. …

Then there’s Mr. Comey’s role in the investigation of the leak of Valerie Plame’s identity as a CIA employee. Mr. Comey first encouraged Mr. Ashcroft to recuse himself in naming a special counsel on grounds that the AG could run into a conflict of interest if the investigation implicated Karl Rove.

Whereupon Mr. Comey gave the job to Patrick Fitzgerald, a close personal friend. Unlike independent counsels under the now defunct statute, a special counsel is supposed to be under the Justice Department’s supervision, and it would be interesting to hear Mr. Comey explain how appointing the godfather of one of his children to a high-profile job under his direction did not entail a conflict of interest.

Mr. Fitzgerald quickly found out that the leaker of Ms. Plame’s identity was Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, a fact Mr. Fitzgerald kept secret for years. Yet instead of closing the case down, Mr. Comey signed off within weeks on an expansion of Mr. Fitzgerald’s mandate. After a three-year investigation that turned up almost nothing new, the prosecutor tried to salvage his tenure with a dubious indictment of Scooter Libby for perjury.

Mr. Fitzgerald … supported by his superior Mr. Comey, also managed to land New York Times reporter Judith Miller in jail for 85 days for refusing to reveal her sources, and nearly did the same for Time magazine’s Matthew Cooper. With another FBI violation of internal Justice guidelines regarding media freedoms in the news, someone might ask Mr. Comey why he was prepared to resign on principle over surveilling terrorists, while doing nothing to stop Mr. Fitzgerald’s efforts to criminalize journalism?

None of this may stand in the way of Mr. Comey’s confirmation in a Democratic Senate. But before Senators yawn their way to rubber-stamping President Obama’s “bipartisan” pick, they should ask Mr. Comey some harder questions than the ones to which his media fan base have accustomed him.

No hard questions were asked. James Comey was appointed head of the FBI.

For about a year his investigators have been looking into whether Hillary Clinton had broken laws governing her communications as secretary of state, and they find that she had. Her aides were questioned, and it’s been found that they helped her break the laws. Finally, Comey had some of his investigators ask Hillary Clinton herself, in person, face to face, if she had intended to break the law. No, she said, she had not. (She was not under oath, so there was no risk that she might be accused of perjury. And no one will ever know what was said on either side because no record of the exchange was made.) Her denial of intent was all Comey needed. Although he is absolutely sure that she has indeed broken many laws, he has announced that “no reasonable prosecutor” would bring any charges against her.      

In an article also at the Wall Street Journal, published yesterday (July 7, 2016), Kimberley Strassel recollects the instances Bret Stephens listed at the time of Comey’s appointment, and comments:

It was no surprise that Mr. Comey this week let Mrs. Clinton off, despite the damning evidence amassed by the FBI of gross negligence in her handling of classified material. A prosecutor — for this was the position Mr. Comey essentially assumed on Tuesday — who put the law above all else would have brought charges, holding Mrs. Clinton to the same standard as other officials convicted of similarly “extremely careless” handling of classified material. 

A prosecutor who had spent a lifetime with one eye on politics and one eye on his résumé would have behaved exactly as Mr. Comey did. He must have noticed that Mrs. Clinton, leading in the polls, had recently dangled a job offer in front of his boss, Attorney General Loretta Lynch. He saw President Obama pressing not just his thumb, but his whole body, on the scales of justice. Reporters were on Mrs. Clinton’s side. Democrats were ready to be furious if he decided the wrong way.

We were among the ones who had, in foolish ignorance, supposed James Comey to be a man of integrity. As a result we were disappointed and angry at the miscarriage of justice.

Now that we know more about Mr. Comey … we are no less disappointed, and even more angry.

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Ten questions that will not be answered 11

Judith Miller asks ten pertinent questions about the Times Square act of terrorism.

Read them all here.

We are most interested in the answers to these, the last five, though we don’t expect to get them:

  • On Sunday just after the failed Times Square attack, why did DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano describe the failed terrorist attack as a “one-off”? And what on earth did she mean by that? [Actually, we know what she meant: “don’t even suggest that this attack is part of the jihad” – JB.]
  • Why did members of President Obama’s national security team – Napolitano, Holder, and Robert Gibbs (who as press secretary seems to be an insider even on national security issues and operating way beyond his pay grade) go out of their way to avoid using the term “terrorism” to describe the failed attack until the obvious could no longer be denied? And why, to this day, has the term “Islamic” never been linked with Shahzad or his plot?
  • If Shahzad really got some terrorist training up in Waziristan, what on earth did they teach him? How to pick a fertilizer for a bomb that could not explode? How to leave your own car and house keys in the ignition of the vehicle you intend to blow up in Times Square? And how can Washington ensure that all aspiring terrorists enroll in such classes?
  • But seriously and most important – when, where, why, and how was Faisal Shahzad radicalized? How did a happy-go-lucky Facebook guy, married with two kids and apparently doing OK in America, go from watching “Everyone Loves Raymond” – listed as one of his favorite TV shows – to Peshawar for terrorist training and back to Times Square to kill his fellow Americans? Was he radicalized during his stay in Pakistan by the steady stream of deadly American drone attacks on Muslim extremists as some newspapers are now suggesting? Or, more likely and as some of his neighbors have alleged, was he already withdrawing from society and being radicalized in Shelton, or Bridgeport, Connecticut?
  • Finally, as former deputy police commissioner Michael Sheehan has asked, if “home-grown” radicalization is the challenge we believe it to be, why have local police forces in areas with large clusters of young Muslim residents – yes, in Connecticut and New Jersey and Rhode Island — not mimicked the NYPD by investing at least SOME resources in trying to spot radicalized, potentially dangerous people and prevent terrorist organizations from establishing a presence in their communities? This is not rocket science. As Sheehan argues, we know how to do this.

Until we know the answers to these and other vexing questions surrounding our latest terrorist near-miss, self-congratulation is, to say the least, premature. Let’s remember that [the] Faisal Shahzad alleged deadly plot failed not because America’s law enforcement and homeland defense systems are effective, but because he was incompetent.