Tuesday, June 30, 2009

John Rizzo: The Most Influential Career Lawyer In CIA History

The CIA's Acting General Counsel John Rizzo, left, will retire this summer — and not entirely on his own terms. His role in the CIA’s interrogation program hurt his chances of a Senate confirmation for the agency’s top legal post. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

From The L.A. Times:

John Rizzo, acting general counsel, has long guided the agency through murky legal matters, but he's paying the price for it.

Reporting from Washington -- In his memoir, former CIA Director George J. Tenet described the agency's first course of action in a crisis. "Despite what Hollywood might have you believe," Tenet wrote, "you don't call in the tough guys; you call in the lawyers."

For more than three decades, that almost always has meant making a call to John A. Rizzo.

The acting general counsel at the CIA, Rizzo has guided generations of agency leaders on the legal contours of clandestine operations and the often-ensuing investigations.

Read more ....

My Comment: Your political bosses tell you to examine the legal guidelines on a policy, and you provide it to the best of your abilities But when the political opponents to the policy hold the reigns of power, your career is then effectively over. this is not a good sign.

The question that needs to be asked now is .... who will replace him, and will the CIA's legal department follow a legal structure on what will be the legal contours of clandestine operations and investigations .... or will it be a political structure with priority on CYA.

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