I have no idea why he said them, but I really appreciate the words recently spoken by the FBI director.
From the Washington Times:
FBI Director James Comey has a message for Americans: be suspicious of the federal government.
Mr. Comey told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that in the wake of the Edward Snowden scandal he could understand why Americans would be worried about government overreach.
“I believe people should be suspicious of government power. I am,” Mr. Comey said, The Hill reported.
“I think this country was founded by people who were worried about government power so they divided it among three branches,” he added.
I don’t want to be naïve here. I know who James Comey answers to, and I’m not expecting a miraculous outbreak of virtuous behavior at any Federal agency. But I am still encouraged by the statements he made.
Even if Comey didn’t mean a word he said, he would still be acknowledging that his audience has those values and expectations. No matter what he plans to do or how he interprets his own statements, at least we see an acknowledgment from our government of the values of the American heritage. No matter what might be said negatively, that is still better than ignoring the American heritage and labeling it as terrorism. If Comey felt compelled to say these words even though he didn’t want to, that would mean that he realizes that he has to try to placate us in order to go forward. So even under that cynical interpretation, Comey’s words are encouraging.
It is also hard to see how the Administration could deal with Comey’s words if anyone in Congress questioned them. Obama has been openly preaching that the American people should trust their government. I haven’t seen a lot of rhetoric about how government ought to be trustworthy (perhaps for a brief moment when the IRS scandal first broke). Rather, he treats the lack of trust as a moral or mental failing of the American people. If we were better or less paranoid than we would be completely trusting in our government.
I would love to see someone in the Administration asked to respond to Comey’s words. It would also be nice if someone could ask Comey about how his convictions might correspond to the FBI’s decision to change their mission statement.