CIA Top Lawyer Won’t Be Rizzo

A controversy over John Rizzo’s role in harsh interrogations of terrorism suspects has scuttled his nomination to become general counsel of the Central Intelligence Agency.

The administration withdrew Rizzo’s name yesterday, the New York Times reports.

Rizzo has been acting general counsel at various times over the last six years. He had raised no objections to a 2002 Justice Department memo opining that painful interrogation techniques do not amount to illegal torture unless the pain is at the level “accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of body function, or even death.”

Members of the Senate intelligence committee had asked that the nomination be withdrawn, the Washington Post reported in a Sept. 13 article.

He is expected to continue as acting general counsel.

We welcome your comments, but please adhere to our comment policy and the ABA Code of Conduct.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.