It’s not just because I have yet to read Dostoevsky’s The Possessed or George Eliot’s Middlemarch or an embarrassing amount of Faulkner that I will not pony up $17.95 for a hard copy or even $14.95 for the Kindle version of James Comey’s new book A Higher Loyalty, subtitled, in case you miss his drift, Truth, Lies and Leadership.
It’s also not just because I find him one of the more pompous individuals, real or imagined, this side of an Oscar Wilde play. And it’s further not just because from the few excerpts I’ve seen the writing seems predictably puerile. (In case you’re interested, Comey’s still identifying with Reinhold Niebuhr.)
It’s not even because the forthcoming inspector general’s report will undoubtedly make this all seem like a pile of self-serving ballast (it is already). The fired McCabe, Strzok, Page and the rest of the jerks, you will recall, all worked for Comey. Some manager!
And, by the way, while we’re at it, has anyone else considered that Strzok and Page never had an affair and that said affair was a cover invented to hide their nefarious doings, i. e. undoing the results of a presidential election? How come no divorces or even pouting spouses after all this publicity? How come no explicit sexy stuff in all the tweets, just Trump bashing? Oh, well, moving on. I guess I wrote too many mysteries.
No, the reason is there’s absolutely nothing to learn from this book. The five so-called takeaways listed by The Hill are so much pointless bilge. That Comey doesn’t like Trump — in the book comparing him to a Mafia chieftain — is about as revelatory as “the sky is blue.” That Comey regrets his explanation of the Clinton email investigation is, as noted above, self-serving. That John Kelly threatened to quit over Comey’s firing is meaningless gossip. (He didn’t.) And that Obama “comforted” Comey after the election, saying he did a good job, is touching — unless you’re a Hillary supporter.
The supposedly big takeaway that everyone is talking about is that Trump asked Comey to investigate the notorious dossier, notably the “golden shower” part because there was a one percent chance Melania might believe it.
Er… I have a question for you, dear reader. Wouldn’t you want the FBI to find out who was behind such salacious charges if they were made against you, especially if you didn’t do them? I certainly would. And I would not make such a request if I were guilty — too risky. This is another “the sky is blue” revelation and is actually evidence of Trump’s innocence. But to Comey it’s an opportunity to make snarky comments about Trump’s marriage. I wonder how his is.
But who cares? Not only will I not read the book, I will not watch George Stephanopoulos’ interview with the former director (I never watch George anyway). Nor will I watch Bret Baier’s scheduled interview. There’s too much of importance going on in the world and, it goes without saying, too many worthwhile books to read.
But speaking of books, I thought high-level government officials like Comey were not supposed to publish kiss-and-tell tomes like this what seems like minutes after leaving their position. It was contractually prohibited. Or was that just the CIA? Whatever the case, it’s more than unseemly. It’s repugnant. The publication of this book is just one more indication, as if we needed one, that the FBI is a rancid, corrupt organization that should be disbanded.
Roger L. Simon is an award-winning novelist, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and co-founder of PJ Media. His latest book is I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn’t Already. He tweets @rogerlsimon but is thinking of imitating Comey and using the handle of a famous theologian as he did Niebuhr. @MartinBuber anyone?