In 1975, fresh out of law school and working a numbing job at the Treasury Department, John Rizzo took “a total shot in the dark” and sent his resume to the CIA. He had no notion that more than thirty years later, after serving under eleven CIA directors and seven Presidents, he would become a notorious public figure—a symbol and victim of the toxic winds swirling in post-9/11 Washington. From approval of the rules governing waterboarding and other “enhanced interrogation techniques” to serving as the point person answering for the Iran Contra scandal, John Rizzo witnessed and participated in virtually all of the significant operations of the CIA’s modern history.
In Company Man:Thirty Years of Controversy and Crisis in the CIA ($28.00), Rizzo charts the CIA’s evolution from shadowy entity to an organization exposed to new laws, rules, and a seemingly never-ending string of public controversies, from Iran-Contra to Valerie Plame. Rizzo offers a direct window into the CIA’s actions in the years after the 9/11 attacks, when he served as the agency’s top lawyer, with oversight of actions that remain the subject of intense debate today, including CIA black sites and the infamous memos surrounding the interrogation of Al Qaeda suspect Abu Zubaydah. Spanning more than three decades, Company Man is the most comprehensive insider account of the CIA ever written. Filled with revelatory stories set against a backdrop of some of Washington’s biggest political dramas, it is a groundbreaking, timely, and remarkable personal history of American intelligence.
John Rizzo had a thirty-four-year career as a lawyer at CIA, culminating with seven years as the Agency’s chief legal officer. In the post-9/11 era, he helped create and implement the full spectrum of aggressive counterterrorist operations against Al Qaeda, including the so-called “enhanced interrogation program” and lethal strikes against the Al Qaeda leadership. Since retiring from the CIA, he has served as senior counsel at a Washington, D.C., law firm and is a visiting scholar at the Hoover Institution. He is a graduate of Brown University and George Washington University Law School.