The Lawfare Podcast

Lawfare Podcast Episode #71: A Conversation with John Rizzo

By Benjamin Wittes
Saturday, April 19, 2014, 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 the podcast while I finished it.

I caught up with Rizzo at a recent conference at Pepperdine University Law School. We talked about the book, some of its major themes, the persistence of the interrogation controversies and their latest manifestations. We also talked about the growth of lawyering at the CIA and why all the lawyers in the world can't seem to keep the agency out of trouble. And we talked about a career that, in many ways, tells the story of the modern CIA and the effort to do intelligence and covert action under law---from the Church Committee to the post 9/11 scandals.