Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership By James Comey
From the day it appeared on Amazon’s pre-order list, I waited with impatience and anxiousness. Higher Loyalty is literary nonfiction: part memoir, part inescapably political, and part need-to-know from the nonpartisan, former FBI agent, now a man without a political home.
He’s been called a liar by Republicans, but I didn’t read anything to pinpoint falsehood. It’s a book about Comey, the truth-teller, who vollleys of lies morphing into believable falsehoods widening the chasm between truth and falsity that emboldens silent complicity. But this thorough, need-to-know about a nation under stress, Comey responds to a quest for knowledge that questions who we are and if we’re still the country we want to be.
Regardless of integrity and loyalty to the country, the public, and to the law, a palette of rot gut landed in the fired director’s Play Bill. Lordy, there weren’t presidential tapes, but the White House and Congress deem Comey’s handwritten notes a leak of classified materials though they are not.
Higher Loyalty is robust speak about the FBI’s purpose and value to our democracy, and about the bureau and Justice Department besieged by organized attacks of defamation and deprivation: career hemorrhaging.
The former head of the bureau extols value and truth about career, dedicated agents on the frontline to take down “the biggest, the baddest.”
Comey writes artfully, openly, and honestly about his travails of a downfallen FBI director, dismissing Trump Adminstration rhetoric that the agency had “lost confidence” in its director and claims of an organization in “disarray.”
Aside from criticism about salaciousness or pettiness in the book, I focused on the lumnious and insightful his-story America needs to know about a presidential firing “without cause,” and about Comey’s leadership in upholding the values and principles of the law. His scrutiny of the short-sightedness and poor leadership is a disturbing trend of untruths disputes that truth is the reality.
Higher Loyalty…” is a terrific tribute to public servants who have had America’s back decades before “…had my back” struck the proverbial sidewalk.
But Comey who dedicated his life to public service and the law isn’t without flaws. Who is? He’s the accused “culprit” of the unpresidency of Hillary Clinton. He espoused his rationale, but I’m certain he’ll never walk that back. Not successfully. He’s paid a helluvah price no matter what. Bad judgment? Who doesnt have it? Besides the rest of the story is untold inside the Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation.
Fourteen months post-election, Clinton voters and Democrats are still rankled about his decision to reopen the Hillary Clinton e-mails nine days before the Nov. 8, 2016 election. What I know for sure is that we were daily election watchers glued to our big-screen TV as his words sucked all the oxygen out of the room. My husband, Taft, and I could barely breathe. We were livid for a while but slowly believed in a positive outcome though the strains and scars had already sunk the ship. The Clinton polls led Trump’s, but the sudden drop before election day belied hopefulness.
Comey explained that if he had not acted… “if she’d won,” he would’ve given anti-Clinton folk a pallet of false reasoning to delegitimize her presidency. But he never explains why he announced the decision so close to the election without reading the presumed new e-mails. We don’t have to punish ourselves harnessing negative energy because he will berate himself — maybe — forever, but he shouldn’t because things are not always as they seem.
His explanation of pressure about putting Hillary in office is truth serum results. Trump’s repeated statement: “This is a rigged system, folks.” In addition, Trump repeatedly informed rally goers that “If Hillary wins she’d be under investigation so long she wouldn’t be able to run the country.”
Judging by his continued “crooked Hillary” identification and the overzealous efforts to investigate and jail her for uncommitted crimes, I believe he wouldn’t have quit if she’d won. And Trump Backers wouldn’t either. A political Facebook page indicates the strength of an unending political savagery via words and pictures.
No matter what Comey wrote or when his book rolled off the press, the critics would scream bloody epitaphs for one reason or a thousand others. Aren’t we glad there is freedom to express ideas, opinions, or even lies protected by a democracy?
Democrats have left Comey on the operating table for GOP slaughter despite all the Russian meddling and a myriad of full-blown effects to assure her loss. It seems to me that the GOP’s intent to punish Comey for a Trump presidency aligns ingrates with a plausible excuse: Comey did it, knowing it’s “not the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”