WASHINGTON — President Obama’s pick to head the FBI — who fought broad phone snooping in the Bush administration — on Tuesday defended the collection of some private communication data to fight terror.
James Comey, a former Manhattan U.S. attorney who served as second-in-command at the Justice Department from 2003 to 2005, testified at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) asked if Comey backs bulk collection of U.S. phone call logs, called “metadata” — an Obama administration practice revealed in June by leaker Edward Snowden.
Comey called collection of metadata “a valuable tool in counterterrorism.”
The nominee emphatically rejected the “enhanced interrogation technique” of waterboarding, approved by the Justice Department during his tenure — over his opposition.
“When I first learned about waterboarding when I became deputy attorney general, my reaction as a citizen and a leader was, this is torture. It’s still what I think,” Comey said.
On a mobile device? Click here to watch the video.