James Comey, the new Federal Bureau of Investigation director, will require new agents visit the memorial to Martin Luther King Jr., in order to remind them “of the dangers in becoming untethered to oversight and accountability,'' the Wall Street Journal reports. Comey announced the new practice in a speech yesterday at his formal installation as the seventh head of the FBI. The FBI's relationship with Rev. King is one of the ugliest blemishes on its record. According to the bureau's own review, conducted in the 1970s, agents working at the behest of Director J. Edgar Hoover ran a wide-ranging effort not just to spy on the civil rights leader, but undermine him.
President Obama used the ceremony to regale the crowd with a story from Comey's days in New York as a young prosecutor. While prosecuting an alleged mafia hit man named Lorenzo, Comey won an award from the local bar association. The next day in court, he got a handwritten note that read: “Congratulations on your award. No one deserves it more than you. You're a true professional. Sincerely, Lorenzo.'' Said Obama: “Now, we don't know how sincere he was. We don't know whether this was a veiled threat, or a plea for leniency, or an honest compliment. But I think it is fair to say that Jim has won the respect of folks across the spectrum – including Lorenzo.''