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Saturday, May 05, 2018

More from James Comey's book

- Comey, President Obama, and outgoing FBI Director Robert Mueller at Comey's nomination to become FBI Director, June 21, 2013

I'm still reading former FBI director James Comey's book, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership. I was touched by what he wrote about the death of his baby son, Collin ...

In the years that followed Collin's death, I have seen a lot of bad things happen to good people, and I have been asked to help explain it and give those losses some sense of meaning. In 2002, when I went back to serve as the United States Attorney in Manhattan, I stood in the freshly excavated pit at Ground Zero, a place where thousands died, including hundreds of whom no trace was found. I had invited the country's ninety-two chief federal prosecutors to this spot. I explained that those lost innocents were all around us, even though we couldn't see them. This was a place of suffocating loss. It was holy ground.

Channeling Patrice [his wife], I told them that I didn't know why bad things happen to good people. I recalled that, for those of us from a Judeo-Christian tradition, the Book of Job rebukes us for even asking the question. The voice in the whirlwind replied, in essence, "How dare you?" The truth is, I can't explain God's role in human history. To do that would require an understanding far beyond the loss of my son, and sweep in the suffering and loss of countless innocent sons and daughters. I just don't know, and I have little patience for those who claim to know. What I do know is what Patrice taught me. There is meaning and purpose in not surrendering in the face of loss, but instead working to bind up wounds, ease pain, and spare others what you have sen .... In that mission lies the beauty and genius of our justice system.


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