Sunday, January 01, 2006

Singing the unsung hero

One of the most interesting developments in the last few days is the report that John Ashcroft's number two at Justice, James Comey, refused to OK the violation of FISA desired by the White House.

From the Times via Jane @FDL:

With Mr. Ashcroft recuperating from gall bladder surgery in March 2004, his deputy, James B. Comey, who was then acting as attorney general, was unwilling to give his certification to crucial aspects of the classified program, as required under the procedures set up by the White House, said the officials, who asked for anonymity because the program is classified and they are not authorized to discuss it publicly.

I am beginning to think we will need to make a spot for Mr. Comey in the pantheon where we will be lionizing Patrick Fitzgerald. We now know of three hugely important moves that Comey made, against what must have been horrific pressure to knuckle under to the Borg. In addition to refusing to participate in the defacto repeal of the Constitution in the FISA scandal, Comey made sure Fitz had the broadest possible mandate, and of course appointed Fitz in the first place. And when he left the DOJ, Comey made sure Fitz would report to someone who would not pull the plug. If we somehow save our republic from the thugs who now hold it hostage, it will be because of Comey and Fitz.

As Jane knows far better than most, this is playing out like a melodramatic Hollywood intrigue: a handful of brave, incorruptible men save the nation against overwhelming odds from cartoonish villians.

I remember thinking when I saw the footage of the second plane hitting the WTC that I would never have guessed that a real-world collision would create exactly the sort of massive fireball Hollywood loves to give us in its endless "All Blow'd Up" retreads. Score another for the fantasists of Hollywood, I guess -- real life is shaping up as a more improbabe story than anything Tinseltown has greenlighted since Frank Capra checked out.


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