Before mass swoons over James Comey paralyze the nation, let's remember that President Obama's likely nominee to head the currently-in-very-deep-shit FBI is about as far from a defender of Americans' civil rights as you can get this side of Rand Paul.
Lest you get the idea, after all of this, that we're lauding Comey for anything more than the seemingly heroic behavior he describes on the night in question and concerning the matter discussed in his testimony, here is a cautious reminder about who Comey is, from the ACLU's Executive Director Anthony D. Romero, in response to reports of Comey's nomination to FBI Director:Nor should we forget to ask - as many people did at the time - just what kind of program could be horrible and unconstitutional enough to make the guy who thought nothing of OKing torture and indefinite detention of American citizens say "no, uh-unh, not that!"
As the second-highest ranked Justice Department official under John Ashcroft, Comey approved some of the worst abuses committed by the Bush administration. Specifically, the publicly available evidence indicates Comey signed off on enhanced interrogation techniques that constitute torture, including waterboarding. He also oversaw the indefinite detention without charge or trial of an American citizen picked up in the United States and then held for years in a military brig. Although Comey, despite tremendous pressure from the Bush White House, deserves credit for courageously stopping the reauthorization of a secret National Security Agency program, he reportedly approved programs that struck at the very core of who we all are as Americans.