Thursday, May 31, 2018

the last book I ever read (A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership by James Comey, excerpt three)

from A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership by James Comey:

It took me a while to realize that Giuliani’s confidence was not leavened with a whole lot of humility. The cost of that imbalance was that there was very little oxygen left for others. An early clue was my first press conference. I had worked with the FBI to bust a criminal ring that was stealing SUVs from Manhattan parking garages and loading them on shipping containers in the Bronx. The containers were the hustled onto ships bound for Africa or the Caribbean, where the cars were resold. The investigation, led by Special Agent Mary Ellen Beekman, who had been a Roman Catholic nun before joining the Bureau, had penetrated the operation was secretly photographing the loading. Mary Ellen’s specialty was car-theft rings and convincing hardened criminals to become government informants. And although she didn’t apprive of the foul language so common in law enforcement, she was an extraordinary interrogator; she had retained from her prior career the ability to use guilt in powerful ways to make thugs melt. The thieves in this case were so efficient that cars were on their way out of the country before being reported stolen. It was a cool case, and the FBI and Giuliani decided to do a press conference.

My supervisor told me I was to stand behind the podium while Giuliani, the NYPD commissioner, and the head of the FBI’s New York office spoke to the press. I was not, under any circumstances, to speak or move. He then repeated a line I had heard before: “The most dangerous place in New York is between Rudy and a microphone.” I stood frozen in the back, looking like an extra from a basketball movie who had wandered onto the wrong set.

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