When James Comey threatened to quit the Bush administration over a wiretapping dispute, he was an instant liberal hero. The incident certainly impressed President Obama, who cited Comey’s “fierce independence” when he made him FBI director in 2013.
But now that Comey is resisting Obama’s party-line claims about police brutality and mass incarceration, the White House is furious with him. Its chief propaganda arm, The New York Times editorial page, is harshly denouncing the man it praised for resisting Bush.
Same Comey, same streak of independence, but now he’s goring the wrong ox. Thou shalt not contradict Dear Leader!
Comey’s sin is that he dares to tell the obvious truth.
From the White House point of view, it’s one thing for mayors and police chiefs to defend cops. It’s quite another when a top member of the president’s law-enforcement team break ranks, which is why the hatchet is out for Comey.
In two speeches, the FBI boss said he believes crime is rising in much of the nation in part because growing criticism of cops has emboldened criminals and caused law enforcement to retreat. He said cops complain their every move is often captured on cellphone videos by hostile crowds, and so have backed off from making arrests.
“I do have a strong sense that some part of the explanation is a chill wind that has blown through American law enforcement over the last year,” Comey said at the University of Chicago Law School.
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