Rizzo, John PDF Print E-mail

rizzo-mugName: John Rizzo

Profession: Attorney

Positions in the Bush regime and Obama Administration:

Acting General Counsel and Senior Deputy General of the Central Intelligence Agency through July 2009 when he was repolaced by Stephen Preston.

(Mr. Rizzo, employed by the CIA since 1976, has previously served in other CIA leadership positions, including Deputy General Counsel for Operations and Deputy Director of the Office of Congressional Affairs.)

War crime charge(s):

  • Complicity in the commission of a war crimes – torture, ill-treatment of detainees, the establishment of secret prisons, extraordinary rendition and kidnapping, and destruction of evidence of torture.
  • On behalf of the CIA he requested the "torture memo" of Aug. 2002, to provide legal cover for the CIA’s torture program.  He authorized torture by the CIA even prior to the receipt of OLC memos. In 2007 testimony to Congress, Rizzo stated that the legal opinion in the torture memo “on the whole was a reasonable one.”  (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/12/AR2007091202353.html)
  • He also requested various other “legal” memos from the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel to permit extraordinary rendition and illegal detention.
  • He illegally sanctioned the destruction of videotapes that recorded the interrogation and torture of CIA detainees held in CIA secret prisons.
  • A Pakistani lawsuit charges Rizzo with "conspiracy to murder a large number of Pakistani citizens" through his participation, with John Brennan, in the selection of victims and claims of "legality" of the US drone program.

Other Association:

Rizzo was waist deep in the Iran/Contra affair in the 1980s providing support to the Contras.


Primary Association:

  • Senior counsel at Steptoe and Johnson in Washington DC.
  • Completed his memoir, Company Man: Thirty Years of Controversy and Crisis in the CIA, and begins touring with it Jan. 2014.

Excellent biography page on Rizzo from The Center for Torture Accountability.

More information:

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