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

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Simon and Schuster, Jan 7, 2014 - History - 336 pages
The “revealing” (The New Yorker) insider history of the CIA from a lawyer with a “front-row seat on the hidden world of intelligence” (The Washington Post). Former CIA director George J. Tenet called Company Man a “must read.”

Over the course of a thirty-four-year (1976-2009) career, John Rizzo served under eleven CIA directors and seven presidents, ultimately becoming a controversial public figure and a symbol and victim of the toxic winds swirling in post-9/11 Washington. In Company Man, 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. As the agency’s top lawyer in the years after the 9/11 attacks, Rizzo oversaw actions that remain the subject of intense debate, including the rules governing waterboarding and other “enhanced interrogation techniques.”

Rizzo writes about virtually every significant CIA activity and controversy over a tumultuous, thirty-year period. His experiences illuminate our nation’s spy bureaucracy, offering a unique primer on how to survive, and flourish, in a high-powered job amid decades of shifting political winds. He also provides the most comprehensive account of critical events, like the “torture tape” fiasco surrounding the interrogation of Al Qaeda suspect Abu Zubayadah, and the birth, growth, and death of the enhanced interrogation program. Company Man is the most authoritative insider account of the CIA ever written—a groundbreaking, timely, and remarkably candid history of American intelligence. This is “emphatically a book for anyone who cares about the security of this country” (The Wall Street Journal).

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - gbelik - LibraryThing

I really enjoyed this memoir by John Rizzo, who was a lawyer for the CIA for three decades. He seems like a man of principle, with a great respect for his agency while at the same time not ignoring the faults and bad leadership he sometimes witnessed. Read full review

COMPANY MAN: Thirty Years of Controversy and Crisis in the CIA

User Review  - Kirkus

At the intersection of politics, law and national security—from "protect us at all costs" to "what the hell have you guys been up to, anyway?"—a lawyer's life in the CIA.Under seven presidents and ... Read full review


The Tale of the Torture Tapes 1
Entering the Secret Club 19751976
Not Your Everyday Legal Issues 19771980
Enter William Casey and a Whole New Ball Game 19811984
The Calm Before the Storm 1985
The Wheels Come Off 1986
The IranContra Hearings 1987
An Offer I Couldnt Refuse 2006
Out of the Shadows and Into the Spotlight 2007
A Failed Nomination and the End ofa Program 20072008
Lessons Learned and a Look Forward
Index xi

The IranContra Hangover 19881992
Dealing with Devils 19931996
Bin Laden Bursts Out 19972001
The Attacks and the Response September 2001January 2002
The Birth of the Enhanced Interrogation Program 2002
Trouble on the EIT Front and the Valerie Plame Diversion 20032004
Enter Porter Goss 2005

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About the author (2014)

John Rizzo had a thirty-four-year career as a lawyer at the 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. He has served as senior counsel at a Washington DC law firm and is a visiting scholar at the Hoover Institution. He is a graduate of Brown University and George Washington University Law School.

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