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Tag Archives: John Rizzo

Company Man: Thirty Years of Controversy and Crisis in the CIA

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Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:14 PM

In our conversation the other day for the Lawfare Podcast, longtime CIA lawyer John Rizzo jokingly—but only sort of jokingly—composed the first paragraph of his own obituary: “John Rizzo, who approved a controversial CIA program post-9/11 to interrogate suspects—a program that many observers [regarded] as torture—died today.” Are you comfortable with having your obituary open . . .
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Lawfare Podcast Episode #71: A Conversation with John Rizzo

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Saturday, April 19, 2014 at 2:00 PM

I had meant to have a book review of former CIA lawyer John Rizzo’s new book, Company Man: Thirty Years of Controversy and Crisis in the CIA, ready to run along with this episode of the podcast. But I’m still working on the review, which will be up shortly, and I didn’t want to hold up . . .
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John Rizzo on Enhanced Interrogation Techniques

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Monday, January 6, 2014 at 10:47 AM

This must read exerpt from John Rizzo’s forthcoming book bears the provocative title, “I Could Have Stopped Waterboarding Before It Happened.”  It’s a fascinating insider account from the 30-year veteran of the CIA.  It begins: In the weeks after 9/11, the name Abu Zubaydah seemed to pop up daily at the five o’clock meeting that . . .
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A Book I Look Forward To Reading

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013 at 7:15 AM

John Rizzo, Company Man: Thirty Years of Controversy and Crisis in the CIA.  Publication date: January 2014.

Will Saletan on AEI’s CIA Interrogation Panel

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Sunday, February 3, 2013 at 8:00 AM

I missed this week AEI’s panel on Zero Dark Thirty and the reality of coercive interrogation at the CIA, though I have been meaning to watch the video. I also missed Will Saletan’s excellent article Wednesday on the panel in Slate, which distills with an admirable economy of words and virtually no rhetoric, the basic . . .
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A Different Take on Zero Dark Thirty

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 3:38 PM

Ritika already posted about AEI’s panel yesterday on Zero Dark Thirty, along with a link to the video of the proceedings. Given the composition of the panel, one can hardly be surprised by overall tenor of the AEI conversation (which is well summarized in this Slate story). Separating “fact” from “fiction,” indeed. At the same time, . . .
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AEI Event on Zero Dark Thirty

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 12:04 PM

The American Enterprise Institute held an event yesterday entitled “Watching ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ with the CIA: Separating fact from fiction.” According to the event description, the discussion centered around some of the following questions: Just how accurate is Bigelow’s depiction of enhanced interrogation techniques? Did intelligence from detainees really play a critical role in leading . . .
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Liveblogging Session 5: “The Ethics and Law of International Counter-terrorism: The Challenges of the Next Ten Years”

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Saturday, September 17, 2011 at 2:03 PM

The afternoon session of Day 2 of the conference begins with introductory remarks from Gabby Blum, the moderator of the afternoon’s first panel.  She asks the panel to discuss the utility of force; what are the costs of engaging in intervention and counter-terrorism operations?  Is there an incentive to do more outside the borders so . . .
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Mea Culpa: John Rizzo

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Thursday, September 8, 2011 at 11:18 AM

John Rizzo, former acting general counsel for CIA, writes in with the following in connection with Lawfare’s 9/11 10th Anniversary Project. This essay is adapted from a longer piece, entitled “9/11: Three Major Mistakes,” which was published today in the Hoover Institution’s Defining Ideas:   I was the CIA’s chief legal officer for six-and-a-half of the first . . .
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Picking at the Scab

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011 at 4:48 PM

Guess what? Human Rights Watch still wants to prosecute former President George W. Bush for torture. You knew that already? Yeah, so did I. But just in case anyone has forgotten, the group has released a new 107-page report that urging that: Human Rights Watch believes there is sufficient basis for the US government to . . .
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Bergen & Tiedmann Question CIA’s Legal Vetting of Drone Strikes in Pakistan

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Friday, July 1, 2011 at 10:32 AM

Peter Bergen and Katherine Tiedmann have a piece in the new issue of Foreign Affairs (mostly behind the pay wall, but an excerpt is here) offering a mixed verdict on drone strike operations in Pakistan.   After cataloguing the policy pros and cons, the authors come to the conclusion that there are “no better military options” for dealing with . . .
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The CIA, Lawyers, and Targeting Decisions: Glimpses Behind the Curtain

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Monday, February 14, 2011 at 4:50 PM

Tara Mckelvey at Newsweek has a story about her interview of former CIA acting general counsel John Rizzo, regarding the internal CIA process associated with decisions to kill specific individuals.  The details are tantalizing but limited.  In brief, Rizzo describes a process in which as many as ten high-level attorneys vet targeting packages, frequently rejecting the proposals.  But the story does not address . . .
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Classified Information in Woodward’s “Obama’s Wars”

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010 at 7:50 AM

The first Chapter of Bob Woodward’s Obama’s Wars describes Barack Obama’s first post-election intelligence briefing from Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell, on November 6, 2008.  The chapter shows McConnell, at the direction of President Bush, excluding many Obama aides (including Clinton Chief of Staff John Podesta and former Deputy National Security Advisor James Steinberg) . . .
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