A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership

A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership

Former FBI Director James Comey shares his never-before-told experiences from some of the highest-stakes situations of his career in the past two decades of American government, exploring what good, ethical leadership looks like, and how it drives sound decisions. His journey provides an unprecedented entry into the corridors of power, and a remarkable lesson in what makes...

DownloadRead Online
Title:A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership
Author:James Comey
Rating:
Edition Language:English

A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership Reviews

  • Nicki

    Goodreads is crap. How can folks review or rate a book that hasn't even been released yet? Since we are rating a book we haven't read yet, I'll give it 5 stars just because it may cause trump to have a stroke.

  • Furrawn

    Inspiring. Can I just say that with all the many expectations I brought to the reading of this book, being inspired was not one of them. Yet, here I am. Inspired.

    I vehemently disliked James Comey over the Hillary Clinton email debacle. Now I realize that I was unfair. I didn’t know the truth. I didn’t know all the facts. I try so hard to always look at things from other viewpoints. I failed. I thought myself righteous in my outrage. Truly, James Comey chose the only honorable path. It was a terr

    Inspiring. Can I just say that with all the many expectations I brought to the reading of this book, being inspired was not one of them. Yet, here I am. Inspired.

    I vehemently disliked James Comey over the Hillary Clinton email debacle. Now I realize that I was unfair. I didn’t know the truth. I didn’t know all the facts. I try so hard to always look at things from other viewpoints. I failed. I thought myself righteous in my outrage. Truly, James Comey chose the only honorable path. It was a terrible path, but it was the least worst option.

    We, the American public, we are the culpable ones. We are the ones who chose the people who were running for President. We are responsible for not putting Hillary in office. We are the ones who chose not to re-elect Jimmy Carter because he was too good of a man and too kind of a man. Well, not me personally. I was a child then. Carter was judged as weak when really what he was was ethical.

    Ethical. Good. Kind. What has happened to us that we’re at each other’s throats. People clamor for what is best for them with no thought of what’s best for America. We are America. All of us. Kindness and goodness are not weakness.

    I digress. The book will take you through a teenager trying to avoid being murdered, a mafia boss in court, pasta made by a serial killer, the truth about Hillary’s emails, and what happened with Trump.

    There’s no smoke and mirrors. Just the truth. My God, it’s refreshing to just read a book that’s honest. How do I know the book is honest? I can feel the truth ringing from sentence to sentence. This is how the Liberty Bell sounds in my head.

    This man. James Comey. This man I so unfairly blamed for Hillary losing the election. This man is good and kind and ethical and smart AND he laughs. This man. James Comey. This man would make a good POTUS. I know everyone is going to say that his character has been so besmirched in the media that there’s no coming back from that. I bet someone with a mind like Hamilton Jordan could get him elected. We need someone who doesn’t want the job. An ethical person who will help us make better laws rather than caring if he/she is re-elected. If Elizabeth Warren won’t run, then perhaps James Comey should.

    By the way, if James Comey happens to be reading this... the problem with privacy and Apple, Google, etc... You’re missing a piece. You saw the lines arcing away from each other leading to increased murder rates in cities. Well, the privacy problem is also lines arcing away from each other. Whatever one’s opinion of Snowden, he did let the American people know they were unfairly and unconstitutionally being spied on by our own government. It’s wrong to pull data from innocent people’s emails. If someone is suspicious, get a court order like the FBI. There is no freedom of speech if everyone’s emails or texts are being scanned by a branch of the government that is supposed to protect us. The desire for privacy isn’t a sign of wrongdoing despite how some twist it into that as an argument. I’m not doing anything wrong when I go to the bathroom, but I still want a door! Imagine if Hitler had been able to scan the texts and emails of his citizens. Absolute power corrupts.

    Apple, Google, etc have responded by making our data inviolable because of the outcry of the American people. Our freedom of speech is compromised if as an innocent citizen every word we write is scanned as a matter of course. 1984 is not a democracy. As consumers, our spending allows us to have a voice. We demanded the right to privacy from Apple, Google, etc, because we found that we were not getting it from our government.

    Take us back to the land of the free. Equality. Ethical goodness. Kindness. Gain our trust. If the government can be trusted to only get data with a court order AND that was actually the TRUTH, then people wouldn’t clamor for privacy from companies.

    Just my two cents, of course. I love this country. I think we have the best country in the whole damn universe. We’ve got some work to do on balancing safety with civil rights and constitutional freedoms. We also have some work to do in learning how to care about each other.

    I was a kid when the hostages were taken in Iran during Carter’s presidency. Know what I remember?? Yellow ribbons on trees. Everywhere. Remember that? The song? “Tie a yellow ribbon round the ole oak tree.” I saw yellow ribbons tied around trees everywhere. I had a hard childhood- was molested for a decade. Those yellow ribbons. They brought tears to my eyes. Each time I saw one, I could feel how the people in America were a community filled with a lot of love and light. I could feel the goodness in people and sustain the belief that, despite my own experience, most people are inherently good. I still believe that.

    We need love and light back. Maybe we should start tying yellow ribbons on trees again to remind each other that America is still one community where we love, share, and support each other.

  • Bill  Kerwin

    There are two things every reader should know about James Comey and his book. First, whatever your politics, whatever you may think of his decisions, Comey is a fine writer who has written an excellent book about leaders and leadership, a superb story teller with a knack for bringing his object lessons to life. Second, however much MSNBC you watch, however much of

    and

    you have read in the last year, you will still find stories here—good stories—that you have not heard before.

    H

    There are two things every reader should know about James Comey and his book. First, whatever your politics, whatever you may think of his decisions, Comey is a fine writer who has written an excellent book about leaders and leadership, a superb story teller with a knack for bringing his object lessons to life. Second, however much MSNBC you watch, however much of

    and

    you have read in the last year, you will still find stories here—good stories—that you have not heard before.

    Here, as a teaser, I offer four snippets—one per decade--culled from Comey’s stories.

    1.

    . The great man, showboat Federal prosecutor Rudy Guliani, drops by for a rare chat with young government attorney Comey:

    2.

    . Jim’s wife Patrice copes with the death of her infant son—from streptococcus infection transmitted through the mother—by lobbying for a change in the law.

    3.

    . Comey, as acting attorney general, has offered his opinion that “Stellar Wind”—a government program of warrantless wiretapping—is illegal, but Vice President Dick Cheney won’t be deterred by claims of illegality:

    4.

    Donald Trump, during his

    dinner with Comey, speaks of the White House menu cards:

    There are plenty more stories where these four came from: some are amusing, some inspiring, some infuriating, but they all tell us something about leadership. And the last hundred pages give an absorbing account—inevitably biased, but not intentionally so—of some of the crucial decisions surrounding the last election.

    What is my impression of this man as a leader? Although of high moral integrity, he is also a man of lofty self-regard, someone who believed he could best protect America by safeguarding his own reputation and the reputation of the government institution he represented. In normal times, this might have made for a profile in courage, but, awash in our extraordinarily politicized climate, enmeshed in the black swan event of the Trump/Clinton election, our hero made one flawed calculation—namely,

    . This mistake colored and contaminated the crucial decisions and non-decisions—about Hillary and her emails, Trump and his Russians—that his subtle (perhaps too subtle) intellect made in the summer and fall of 2016.

    Funny, but reading over the previous paragraph, I find that this is exactly what I think of President Obama too.

  • Will Byrnes

    James Comey is a lawyer, and in

    he has presented a case to the jury of American public opinion. He lays out the steps of his interactions with Swamp Thing, from introduction to long-distance buh-bye. This is what happened, here, here, and there, on this, this, and that dates. This is what was said. This is what I understood those words to mean

    James Comey is a lawyer, and in

    he has presented a case to the jury of American public opinion. He lays out the steps of his interactions with Swamp Thing, from introduction to long-distance buh-bye. This is what happened, here, here, and there, on this, this, and that dates. This is what was said. This is what I understood those words to mean. And really, who are you going to believe, a public servant with a decades-long reputation for, among other things, honesty, or a feckless serial and possibly pathological liar?

    - image from the NY Times

    One can argue that it was not Swamp Thing’s clear collusion with Russia that constituted Ground Zero for what would become, in effect, a large-scale impeachment inquiry. Given the spinelessness of GOP legislators and the toadying nature of most of Trump’s appointees, given the clear intention of the Trump administration to install such creatures in as many positions of power as possible, it is a distinct possibility that there might have been no Special Counsel investigation but for a single action, taken by Swamp Thing, and his childish inability to keep his lies straight. We would still have the Quisling sorts like Devin Nunes, who could be counted on to cover their boss’s and their own butt cheeks instead of doing their constitutionally defined job of overseeing the executive branch. The hyper-partisanship and cowardice of most Republicans in the federal government have made a laughing stock of our democracy across the planet. That would have been there in any case. But on May 9, 2017, after having failed to gain a personal loyalty pledge, Swamp Thing fired James Comey as the head of the FBI, with the laughable excuse that Comey had mishandled his job of investigating Hillary Clinton, which is not to say that Comey managed it well, of which more later, but that Swamp Thing had previously praised Comey’s actions as courageous. (

    ) When he subsequently admitted on a nationally televised interview that his reason for doing so was “the Russia thing,” he opened the door to a world of hurt. In the absence of the Comey firing there may never have been a Special Counsel investigation into “the Russia thing,” but by so blatantly obstructing justice by firing Comey, Swamp Thing placed the target, in flashing neon, on his own back.

    That is the true starting point of Comey’s book. But, like most well written legal documents, there is considerable backstory, and in a very well written case, there is a central thrust. The tale told here is not just about his few months of interactions with the president. He offers pieces of his life story to let us know the kind of person he is, or at least the kind of person he wants us to see him as, the experiences that molded his character, the personal motivations that informed his adult decisions, and what he portrays as ethical choices made in challenging situations in his career. He wants us to understand that he believes he acted properly, both in doing what he did during the 2016 presidential campaign, and in refusing to do what the tainted president demanded of him. And, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the decision will be yours.

    Image from SusieMadrak.com

    Here are the

    -----Did Director Comey tell the truth when he testified that the president had pressured him to drop the case against Michael Flynn?

    -----Is Director Comey an egotistical prima donna who put his personal needs and perspective above the needs of the nation and his bosses?

    -----Did FBI Director Comey, with forethought and malice, and by choosing to break with FBI protocol, deliberately affect the 2016 presidential election in such a way as to damage the campaign of Hilary Clinton?

    -----Does Swamp Thing really run his White House as if he were a mafia don?

    -----Does a guy who’s 6’8” really think he can fade into the woodwork by getting up close and personal with White House drapery that sort of matches his suit?

    -----Has Comey behaved in a non-partisan manner in the jobs he has held, in the decisions he made in those jobs?

    Image from @dumptrump33 – Of course we may be raising our expectations a tad high for RM

    As for that central thrust thing, it is alluded to in the opening quote. Comey bloody hates bullies. He had to contend with them as a not-nearly-oversized teen. He was thrilled, when pursuing his legal career, to have an opportunity to go after some of the uber-bullies of our society, members of organized crime. He was also on the scene when one of our major political bullies, Dick Cheney, tried to wrest a signature from a man in a hospital ward, just so he could continue an expiring domestic surveillance program of questionable legality. In a way, all his life had led up to his dealings with Swamp Thing, a person who is the very personification of the coward as bully. Comey knew what he was facing when Swamp Thing was elected. He hoped to be able to avoid conflicts with him, and see out his ten-year term as FBI head. He knew the odds of that happening were small.

    We are offered a look into Comey’s upbringing in Yonkers, and then New Jersey.

    He walks us through some of his career steps and big moments. These include the successful prosecution of a large chunk of the New York area mafia, prosecuting Martha Stewart, prosecuting Scooter Libby, and the event that made his reputation. He was the acting Attorney General at a time when the

    program, an illegal domestic spying undertaking, according to DoJ analysis, was up for renewal. The administration needed a sign-off by the AG, and acting AG Comey refused. Getting wind that Presidential counsel Alberto Gonzalez and Chief of Staff Andy Card were on their way to the hospital to wrest a signature from the barely conscious John Ashcroft, being treated for a life-threatening condition, he dashed to the hospital himself, sirens howling and lights flashing, calling Robert Mueller, then the head of the FBI, to join him in preventing this blatant malfeasance. It is the stuff of legend. And secured him a place in the pantheon of political heroes for his courage under such withering political fire. The passage could have been written by any of today’s best-selling writers of political thrillers, leaving one breathless, even though we know the outcome. Though the broad strokes are at least somewhat familiar to folks who pay attention to the news, there are details I bet you do not know and will be very surprised to learn. The book is worth it just for that section alone.

    - image from US News

    Throughout, Comey talks about trying to do the right, the moral, the ethical thing when confronted with difficult decisions. He is certainly persuasive when he writes about the lessons he has learned over his life from people he has known and respected, and from important people and writers whose work has informed his growth as an ethical person. He cites as a particular influence the writings of religious philosopher Reinhold Nieburh, someone many in government, from both parties, have looked to for inspiration. You may be surprised at some of the other people he notes as influencers.

    Also a bit of a surprise is his take on various people he has been connected to, most of whom will be familiar. Rudy Giuliani, who had held the US Attorney position for the Southern District of New York when Comey was a prosecutor there, comes in for a look.

    Hizzoner’s fondness for the limelight has not faded a single watt. Comey also talks about his dealing with former AGs and others in government. His meetings with President Obama make for fascinating and surprising reading.

    As with anyone who is presenting himself as ethical, and better than the pack in that regard, he offers up some specifics of errors he has made, including one fairly meaningless lie that he told as a young man, which made him feel particularly guilty. He points out an error of insensitivity he had made when addressing the Michael Brown case, but it is presented in such a way as to show how receptive he is to learning something new. It’s a bit like a job interview when the applicant tries to skirt the “What’s your worst quality?” question with how he works too hard for his own good. Eye roll please. Comey offers fleeting mea culpas on having an outsized ego and an eye for the dramatic, then notes several examples of what a wonderful, thoughtful boss he is. It is clear that he wants us to like, and respect him, and take his “aw, shucks,” demeanor at face value. But it is also quite clear that he is a well-armed, and well armored political in-fighter, familiar with his home turf, sharp-edged, and deft in the art of manipulation.

    It is a clear thread throughout Comey’s book that his literary RPG is locked, loaded, and aimed at one Donald J. Trump. The things that disgusted him throughout his life, from childhood and in his public career are epitomized by the man who fired him for doing his job. A secondary, related, core is centered on defending his actions in 2016 and 2017, making the case that he should not have been sacked.

    So what about the charges and questions?

    I’m almost there. But before that, you should know that James Comey, whatever you think of him as a public official or as a political person, is a wonderful writer. He is able to paint a picture and bring you along with him with seeming effortlessness. No doubt this talent has been honed by his many years of preparing and presenting cases. This book is his case to all of us.

    Ok, down to the end

    -----Does Swamp Thing really run his White House as if he were a mafia don?

    Really? Have you heard anything to offer a more accurate description? I haven’t. Spot on, JC, particularly given his familiarity with less powerful dons as a prosecutor in the SDNY.

    -----Does a guy who’s 6’8” really think he can fade into the woodwork by getting up close and personal with White House drapery that matches his suit?

    Yeah, he kinda thought he could. The drapery is taller than he is and the color matched his suit somewhat.

    Darth on Twitter had a bit of fun with this

    As you can see from this image from War News Blogspot, Comey was sure to be spotted

    -----Has Comey behaved in a non-partisan manner in the jobs he has held, in the decisions he made in those jobs?

    As for being non-partisan, I call BS on that. Comey is a Republican, and, while there have been notable instances in which he has risen above purely partisan perspectives, that bias has, I believe, interfered with his ability to remain consistently above the political fray. He writes, for example,

    A politically disinterested official would have given such a concern zero consideration.

    Rather a false equivalence, no? It is pretty obvious how flawed the Republican candidate was, but the Democratic nominee was one of the most qualified presidential candidates in modern history. The deep flaws some insist on seeing were primarily made up of lies that had been broadcast about her for decades by a well-financed and relentless political attack machine. Like one of those

    games that let you superimpose imaginary characters onto a real-world scene. (Pokémon GOP?) So BS on that, too. Opting to go public with a re-opening of the investigation of Hillary so late in the election season, against protocol, and without the prior knowledge of his AG, knowing it would likely impact the election, while simultaneously keeping under wraps the ongoing investigation of Trump for collusion with Russia was really the kicker. I believe this revealed his partisan stripes, however well he may have tried to disguise them in the tall grass of self-justification. Many will find his explanation persuasive. I am not among them. Bias revealed.

    -----Did Director Comey tell the truth when he testified that the president had pressured him to drop the case against Michael Flynn?

    Here is piece of how he describes that interaction

    The preponderance of news coverage, confirmed by Comey’s reporting here, makes it abundantly clear that Swamp Thing did indeed ask for special treatment for his guy, a glaringly illegal no-no. Comey was right to continue with business as usual after getting this appalling directive, which is exactly what it was.

    -----Is Director Comey an egotistical prima donna who put his personal needs and perspective above the needs of the nation and his bosses?

    IMHO, Yes, but with significant asterisks.

    See more on this below.

    -----Did FBI Director Comey, with forethought and malice, and by choosing to break with FBI protocol, deliberately affect the 2016 presidential election in such a way as to damage the campaign of Hillary Clinton?

    Yes

    No. It seems to me that Comey’s identification with the departments to which he has belonged or which he has headed, whether temporarily or long-term, is extremely strong. Not a bad thing, per se. But I believe there have been times when he has proven himself unable to separate where James Comey ended and the FBI or the Department of Justice began, leading to situations where

    . I believe that in some of his actions, Comey, knowingly or unknowingly, became, in his head, one with the department. Therefore, it is impossible to differentiate where actions intended to protect the reputation of the FBI or the Department of Justice leave off and become actions to defend the ego and reputation of James Comey. And there is a considerable ego involved. I would not be surprised if Comey, at some not necessarily conscious level, saw himself as a sacrificial figure, a Prometheus who gave the nation the fire of just cause to investigate Trump’s Russia dealings, or even a Christ-figure, sacrificed, if perhaps not as intentionally as the original, for the greater good.

    Bottom line is that if you have not read this book, really, what the hell are you waiting for? It is a beautifully written picture of one of the most compelling political stories of our time. Even if you have strong party-based feelings about Swamp Thing or Comey, even if you may (as I did) roll your eyes on occasion, it is worth hearing the story from the horse himself. You will learn some things you did not know and be entertained while doing so. You don’t have to swear a loyalty oath to read this book, but you would be doing yourself a disservice to let it slip.

    Review posted – May 11, 2018

    Publication date – April 17, 2018

    =============================

    Comey on

    Items of interest

    -----Vanity Fair

    - by Bethany McLean

    ----- Wiki on

    -----full transcript of

    -----

    -----

    -----

    - by Michael S. Schmidt

  • Stephanie *Very Stable Genius*

    Oh.... this is going to make a certain *president further soil himself. Heh heh.

    More popcorn please!

    *fake, illegitimate, criminal president

  • Diane S ☔

    I knew little about James Comey, the ex-FBI director, before he was brought to my attention and I'm sure many of yours, after being fired by Trump. Not so much fired as ambushed, since Trump didn't even have the decency to let him know he had been fired . Comey saw it on the TV while giving a speech to s group of people he was trying to recruit for his service. He found out the same time we the public did. Unconsciousable!

    This book describes Comeys life, his many years in the public eye, service

    I knew little about James Comey, the ex-FBI director, before he was brought to my attention and I'm sure many of yours, after being fired by Trump. Not so much fired as ambushed, since Trump didn't even have the decency to let him know he had been fired . Comey saw it on the TV while giving a speech to s group of people he was trying to recruit for his service. He found out the same time we the public did. Unconsciousable!

    This book describes Comeys life, his many years in the public eye, service to his country. An impressive background, an ehical man who constantly fought to be fair, remain unbiased. Something he admits to struggling with. His time in the Bush White House, as director appointed by Obama, and then in just the last part of the book, Trump.

    He lays out clearly what the role of the FBI must be, a service that to put the public first must remain unbiased. Untied to the Oval office, Obama understood this, Trump clearly didn't. He explains the Clinton emails, how his team thought and the hard decision he had to make. Why he made the decision and proceeded the way he did.

    That he finds Trump to not have the necessary character traits to serve as the head of this country, is something many of us feel. From his first strange meeting with Trump, to a wildly inappropriate dinner, he was put in a terrible bind, one he didn't know how to handle. He did make a few catty remarks in describing Trump's physical characteristics, but other then that he was eloquent and stuck to the facts as he saw them.

    I quickly gobbled up this book, read it in a day, which I rarely do with books. I found Comey to be credible, fair, and his treatment at the hands of Trump, despicable. His view for our country in the long term is a hopeful one and one in which I wish I could share.

  • Lola

    And here I thought I couldn't hate Donald Trump more.

  • Malia

    As anticipated, this is a difficult book to review. In fact, I was in two minds about even reading it, though I am not unhappy that I did. On the one hand, I do feel I know Comey better and that he is, in many ways, a good, stand-up sort of guy (which he reiterates in every conceivable way throughout the book, mind you). He has had his struggles and personal tragedies, and I do think he gives himself a far more human face with this book, when before I knew so little about this man beyond his que

    As anticipated, this is a difficult book to review. In fact, I was in two minds about even reading it, though I am not unhappy that I did. On the one hand, I do feel I know Comey better and that he is, in many ways, a good, stand-up sort of guy (which he reiterates in every conceivable way throughout the book, mind you). He has had his struggles and personal tragedies, and I do think he gives himself a far more human face with this book, when before I knew so little about this man beyond his questionable actions. An aspect I enjoyed, was learning about his family and past and noting the obvious love and admiration he feels for his wife and his family.

    On the other hand, I finished it feeling frustrated. Despite having a better understanding regarding the difficult decisions he faced, and hearing his uncertainty about how to handle the Clinton investigation, he never seems quite willing to take responsibility for the fallout, even after he makes it very clear how little respect he has for Trump. I struggled with this aspect of the book and his character, as I am sure many other readers will. Comey makes an effort to show he is not partisan, and yet he cannot help offering small barbs against George Bush and complimenting Barack Obama (can't blame him on that front, it's OBAMA!). Yet his insistence that the FBI remained wholly separate from the politics of the president as well as partisanship rung false to me. If you, as the acting Director of the FBI make monumental decisions during a fraught election cycle, you are meddling with politics. He claims, like so many of us, he felt certain Clinton would win either way and was as stunned as anyone when she lost, so I believe him when he says he didn't intend for this outcome. All the same, this is the outcome we got and I feel my liking for this book and my sympathy for Comey waned considerably once I realized he would not be taking any blame. Additionally, and more puzzling in my opinion, he states he would act precisely as he did if he could do it all again. This seems insane, since he also makes it evident that he thinks Trump is a very dangerous and incompetent person (an UNstable genius...;) ?! I am left feeling baffled and not very satisfied having read this book, but that seems to be my perpetual state these days. In the end, I am glad I read it, but am disappointed as well by the cowardice of so many of the people in positions of power, whose ego and ambition rule their actions, instead of their principles or a sense of morality. Comey can say what he will, but it takes courage to admit a mistake, and I think that courage is lacking in him, at least for now.

    Find more reviews and bookish fun at

  • Manny

    I have written to the publisher to ask whether they would like to send me a review copy of this book. If they do, I'll read it, but I'm not keen on giving money to the guy who probably made Trump president by reigniting the Hillary email server issue just before the 2016 election.

    Trump first said he'd fired Comey because of his actions here. From a certain point of view this was quite reasonable, except that it is of course strange to fire someone for fixing an election in your favour. But then

    I have written to the publisher to ask whether they would like to send me a review copy of this book. If they do, I'll read it, but I'm not keen on giving money to the guy who probably made Trump president by reigniting the Hillary email server issue just before the 2016 election.

    Trump first said he'd fired Comey because of his actions here. From a certain point of view this was quite reasonable, except that it is of course strange to fire someone for fixing an election in your favour. But then he turned round and gave a second version of the story, where he said that really he'd fired Comey because he wouldn't be cooperative about the Russia investigation. The direct result was that Mueller was appointed to find out what was going on, which could end up getting Trump impeached. It's certainly created a great deal of trouble for him already, and everything suggests there's more to come.

    This is the clearest example I've seen so far to support the claim that Trump isn't following some kind of deep strategy, he's just insane.

Best Free Books is in no way intended to support illegal activity. Use it at your risk. We uses Search API to find books/manuals but doesn´t host any files. All document files are the property of their respective owners. Please respect the publisher and the author for their copyrighted creations. If you find documents that should not be here please report them


©2018 Best Free Books - All rights reserved.