June 21, 2013
In nominating Jim Comey to be the next FBI director on Friday, President Barack Obama said the former Justice Department official will help strike a balance between the need for information on terrorist plots and respecting Americans’ privacy.
The need for such balance has been brought to the fore recently with the disclosure that the U.S. government has conducted vast surveillance of Americans’ phone and internet data in its search for foreign terrorism plots.
Obama used the example of a tumultuous episode from Comey’s past to promote the Republican. Comey had famously refused to certify the legal aspects of National Security Agency domestic surveillance during a 2004 stint as acting attorney general while then-Attorney General John Ashcroft was hospitalized with pancreatitis.