As I am still dealing with a very nasty head cold, I'm having difficulty writing much of anything that would be considered halfway cogent. So, in this post plus the previous one this afternoon, I will share portions of a recent Glenn Greenwald column that underscores just how partisan partisanship can be!
It was announced yesterday that this very same James Comey - who as Bush's Deputy Attorney General authorized the once-very-controversial, patently illegal Bush NSA eavesdropping program - is President Obama's choice to be the new Director of the FBI.
How are Obama's most devoted media loyalists reacting to the news that he is about to put in charge of the FBI the Bush lawyer who authorized the illegal NSA warrantless eavesdropping program based on warped right-wing legal theories? Exactly as you would expect. Here's one of them - who wrote post after post after post in 2006 and 2007 vehemently denouncing the NSA program which Comey authorized and the theories on which it was based - hailing Comey as "not only non partisan in [his] job but consistently put constitutional equities at center [of his] thinking".
It is true that Comey was at the center of a dramatic Bush-era political controversy that earned him praise from many Bush critics, including me. Comey was one of the Bush DOJ lawyers who, along with Ashcroft, Goldsmith, and FBI Director Robert Mueller, had threatened to resign if Bush did not modify the NSA program in order to make it legal in Comey's eyes, and he then went to the hospital where Ashcroft was quite ill to prevent then-White House counsel Alberto Gonzales and then-White House chief of staff Andy Card from bullying the infirm and barely cogent Attorney General into signing off on the legality of the NSA program.
In other words, there was something the NSA was doing for years - that we still don't know - even more extreme than the illegal NSA program revealed by the NYT in 2005. It was Comey, along with Ashcroft, Mueller, and Goldsmith, who threatened to resign if it did not stop, and they deserve credit for that. But the reason they didn't end up resigning was because Bush officials "modified" that NSA program into something those lawyers could and did endorse: the still-illegal, still-radical NSA eavesdropping program that spied on the communications of Americans without warrants and in violation of the law. And this was accomplished by inventing a new legal theory to accompany the old one: that Congress, when it enacted the 2001 AUMF, silently and "implicitly" authorized Bush to eavesdrop in exactly the ways the law expressly forbade.
Thus, it was Comey who gave his legal approval to enable that NSA eavesdropping program to spy on Americans without warrants: the same program that produced so much outrage and scandal when revealed by the NYT. How can any progressive who spent the Bush years vehemently denouncing that domestic spying program as the symbol of Bush radicalism and lawlessness now cheer when the lawyer who approved it is about to be put in charge of the FBI?
~ from Obama's New FBI Chief Approved Bush's NSA Warrantless Wiretapping Scheme by Glenn Greenwald ~
In case you still don't get it, Corney was a bad guy when he was on Team Bush, but now he has magically been transformed into a good guy with a white hat simply because he is set to join Team Obama. It's the same guy with the same bad policies and yet here we are!