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Company Man: Thirty Years of Controversy and Crisis in the CIA [Kindle Edition]

John Rizzo

Kindle-Preis: EUR 11,82 Inkl. MwSt. und kostenloser drahtloser Lieferung über Amazon Whispernet

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“CIA Directors have come and gone over the past several decades. There were two constants at the agency: crises and John Rizzo in the Office of General Counsel helping to manage them. A larger than life character, with great style, nobody worked harder to protect the nation and the men and women of CIA than John Rizzo. Company Man offers fresh insights into the some of the most highly debated national security issues of our time, from the perspective of an honest and dedicated public servant. It is a must read for those trying to understand some very important moments in the history of the CIA.” (George J. Tenet, Former Director of Central Intelligence)

“A wonderful book by a man who was in the eye of the storm for thirty-four years. Told with humor and unfailing appreciation for the politics of espionage, Company Man is the best book out there on the modern CIA.” (Robert Baer, New York Times-bestselling author of See No Evil and The Perfect Kill)

“John Rizzo has seen it all in his 30 years as a CIA lawyer, and he tells the truth in this absorbing, well-written memoir of his life as a Company Man. Think of Tom Hagen, the Corleone family lawyer in "The Godfather," and you begin to get the flavor of what Rizzo had seen and heard. He draws vivid portraits of the agency's great characters and their sometimes outrageous schemes. The best thing about the book is that you sense Rizzo never stopped being a lawyer or trying to give his clients good, straight-up advice. If you're interested in the inside life of the CIA, read this book!” (David Ignatius, Washington Post columnist and New York Times-bestselling author of Body of Lies)

"John Rizzo, formerly the CIA's top attorney, has superbly captured the scope of his fascinating career in Company Man. Not only does he cover the major espionage and covert action of the decades he served, he also conveys an enduring and critical lesson for all liberal democracies--the centrality of the rule of law at the nexus of foreign policy and intelligence. John, who always provided clear and honest counsel to the CIA's Clandestine Service, has crafted an important book with the same sense of intellectual integrity and duty." (Ambassador Henry A. Crumpton, New York Times-bestselling author of The Art of Intelligence, Chairman & CEO of Crumpton Group LLC and 24-year veteran of the CIA's Clandestine Ser)

“When the CIA was in trouble, big trouble, it called John… Rizzo knows where the bodies are buried because he helped stash them. Company Man reads like the CIA's conscience: what the CIA was thinking as it shifted from collecting information to killing terrorists after 9/11. Why did the CIA violently interrogate suspects and then destroy the evidence? Rizzo knows, and he's talking.” (Richard Engel, NBC News Chief Foreign Correspondent and author of War Journal)

Company Man is simply the most revealing insider account to date of the top ranks of the CIA during its most historic--and controversial--era. There is news and humor in every chapter. Frankly, I often found myself wondering why the CIA's pre-publication censors signed off on some of it.” (Dana Priest, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for the Washington Post and co-author of Top S)

“[A] lively memoir of life and work inside the nation’s intelligence headquarters.” (Publisher's Weekly)

“Under seven presidents and 11 different CIA directors, Rizzo rose to become the CIA’s most powerful career attorney… [he] accumulated more than 30 years of war stories, and he tells most of them…[Rizzo] clearly loved his job and, readers conclude, served the agency and his country well.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Must reading for today’s political junkies…. As insider looks go, this one is about as close-up as you can get.” (Booklist)

“[A] revealing and funny memoir…. Rizzo provides a clear, detailed account of his decision-making and his role in the C.I.A.’s interrogation program…. Rizzo’s memoir is an important contribution.” (Steve Coll The New Yorker “Daily Comment”)

“Revealing… Whatever conclusion you draw, Rizzo's book makes an important contribution to history and the debate over interrogation…. Company Man is tailor-made for CIA buffs. Rizzo's career as an agency lawyer spanned the decades from Iran-Contra to drones, with Russian turncoat Aldrich Ames, the rise of al-Qaida…. His book manages to strike notes that are both earnest and candid. That alone sets Company Man apart in the genre.” (Matt Apuzzo Associated Press)

"A gripping story." (New York Times Book Review)

"Both students and lay readers of American politics should find considerable value in this memoir." (Library Journal)

"Rizzo's memoir often reads like a good spy novel." (Andrea Mitchell, NBC's Today Show)

“A gripping, affecting and revelatory story.” (The Age (Australia))

“John Rizzo takes readers deep inside Langley.... Informative and mordantly witty, [Rizzo] … reveals fascinating details … and does not hesitate to peer into the future with an insider’s prediction that ought to command our attention.” (Boston Globe)

"Few books have this scope or insider perspective on the CIA. Rizzo seems to have been there for everything — from Iran-contra to Valerie Plame to the arrival of President Obama. And that makes Company Man a front-row seat on the hidden world of intelligence over the past 30 years.... Rizzo rose from humble beginnings to become a fixture in national intelligence.... An atlas to navigate the dark, murky morality that governs the business of intelligence." (Dina Temple-Raston Washington Post)

"Emphatically a book for anyone who cares about the security of this country and about how the political classes treat those charged with protecting it." (Michael Mukasey Wall Street Journal)

“Anyone who reads spy novels or political thrillers will find the real-life version of both in this book… A big, important story, covering many years of our country's secret history. It's told well; it's gripping and intense and feels like the truth. Rizzo has a knack for turning events into story, for bypassing hysteria and discovering history.” (Bookotron)

“Fascinating and insightful… A unique and refreshing perspective… a surprising page-turner.” (Fredericksburg Freelance Star)

“Rizzo saw and heard a lot. The astonishing roster of his bosses begins with William Colby, followed by George H.?W. Bush, Stansfield Turner, William Casey, William Webster, Robert Gates, James Woolsey, John Deutch, George Tenet, Porter Goss, and Leon Panetta. Rizzo’s portraits of these individuals in action—some of them legendary figures in the history of American espionage—make this memoir worth the price of admission. But Company Man also holds interest for the light it sheds on a variety of quasi-secret subjects, some of them highly controversial.” (Gabriel Schoenfeld The Weekly Standard)

“[A] remarkable career… Rizzo is a good story-teller… I liked this book very much …. one man whose story is wrapped up in the many twists and turns of the CIA’s modern history of triumph, failure, and scandal, and whose personal story offers an important window into why those triumphs, failures, and scandals probably can’t ever be separated.” (Benjamin Wittes, Lawfare Blog)

“An exceptionally valuable resource. What this book does well, among other things, is explain the inner workings of the processes of the most controversial CIA programs of the past decade…. Reading John Rizzo’s book, and being more familiar with the scope of law within the area of national security law would help citizens and reporters to process the actions and accusations of our nation’s elected and appointed leaders…. Company Man is an excellent read." (Tobias T. Gibson, Law and Politics Book Review)


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 résumé to the Central Intelligence Agency. 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 a victim of the toxic winds swirling in post-9/11 Washington. From serving as the point person answering for the Iran-contra scandal to approving the rules that govern waterboarding and other “enhanced interrogation techniques,” John Rizzo witnessed and participated in virtually all of the significant operations of the CIA’s modern history.

In Company Man, Rizzo charts the CIA’s evolution from shadowy entity to an organization exposed to new laws, rules, and a seemingly neverending string of public controversies. Rizzo offers a direct window into the CIA 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. In Company Man, Rizzo is the first CIA official to ever describe what “black sites” look like from the inside and he provides the most comprehensive account ever written of the “torture tape” fiasco surrounding the interrogation of Al Qaeda suspect Abu Zubaydah and the birth, growth, and death of the enhanced interrogation program.

Spanning more than three decades, Company Man is the most authoritative insider account of the CIA ever written—a groundbreaking, timely, and remarkably candid history of American intelligence.


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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 3.9 von 5 Sternen  67 Rezensionen
51 von 52 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Read it for the interrogation expose, stay for the history 9. Januar 2014
Von Raymond - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
I heard about Rizzo's book on NPR, and then read the excerpt from it on Politico. His revelations about how the Enhanced Interrogation Techniques (AKA what some call torture) came to be approved by the CIA and Justice Department is getting lots of attention. No matter where you fall politically, Rizzo's account is pretty gripping. What would you do, as a CIA lawyer, in a post-9/11 environment, if your operatives came to you and said, "We need these methods to get vital information." But beyond the War on Terror chapters, this is really a history of the CIA over the past 30 years. Rizzo sheds light on a range of fascinating CIA moments (and outrageous miscues), from Iran Contra, to Aldrich Ames, to Valerie Plame and dozens of others. He may not have been a spy operating out of some far flung outpost, but Rizzo makes the day-to-day functioning of the agency seem interesting in its own right--how the CIA deals with presidents (of all political stripes), Congress, the Justice Department, etc. He's a good writer. There's a lot of voice and personality--not dry at all. Armchair CIA buffs like me, those interested in the law -- you will find a lot to like here, even if you don't like Rizzo's politics.
21 von 22 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Outstanding memoir of premier intelligence lawyer 23. Januar 2014
Von Fred Manget - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
John Rizzo's book, "Company Man", is much like the author himself: smart, insightful, wry, self-deprecating, funny, and charming. I spent a quarter-century working for, with, and around John Rizzo at CIA, and I recommend the book to anyone who would like an insider's view of some of the most remarkable and now public national security episodes at the highest levels of the U.S. government during the last thirty years.

Rizzo arrived at CIA in 1976 as a dark-haired naif with a vague notion that intelligence law might be more interesting than the drudgery at the U.S. Customs Service in the Treasury Department that he had been doing fresh out of law school.

He was right about that. He left thirty-plus years later with his hair white and his personal file full of some of the most fascinating things a lawyer could ever do.

He almost immediately began a long and mutual love affair with the directorate at CIA whose mission includes acquiring secrets, catching spies, and stopping terrorists. It has been known by various names, most of the time being called the Directorate of Operations (the "DO") and now clumsily relabeled the National Clandestine Service. He rose up through the ranks of the career attorneys at CIA by dint of three characteristics lacking in most lawyers: a sense of humor, good nature, and an uncanny sense of how to successfully maneuver among a cacophony of competing equity holders both inside and outside of the Agency. He was a true adept.

His career was bracketed from beginning to end by deep involvement in the law, lore, and politics of covert action, much beloved by the seven presidents he served. The list of CIA activities he describes in his book reads like a Tolstoy novel: the Church Committee, William Casey, the Iran-Contra Affair, the Ames spy case, the rise of Al Qaeda, the 911 attacks, Valerie Plame, and the world-wide counterterrorist activities of the Agency.

And he was there, unlike a lot of others who never set foot at CIA or had any access to classified information. For example, how could Tim Weiner write a credible book purporting to be a history of the Agency without authorized access to any classified information? He didn't even get the meaning of the title of his book right. According to Agency historians who looked up the actual quote, "A Legacy of Ashes" was a phrase President Eisenhower directed at the military intelligence establishment, not CIA.

Rizzo's book does not shy away from his most controversial assignment related to enhanced interrogation techniques and treatment of high value detainees. The introduction of the book is titled, "The Tale of the Torture Tapes," and it provides the most detailed and accurate description of a program authorized by the president, found legal by the Department of Justice, and agreed to by the leadership of the intelligence oversight committees and the House and Senate. This ultimately scuppered his nomination to be the CIA's General Counsel, a Senate-confirmed position. His description of the process, decision-making, and agonizing that went into the establishment, oversight, and review of the program is both the most accurate to date and the most chilling, not because of the techniques used but rather the effect it had on highly dedicated and conscientious civil servants who carried it out.

When your lawyers have to get lawyers, you might as well pack up and leave.

The most striking parts of the book to an old hand like me are his wonderful descriptions of the many characters he ran into over the many years: Bill Casey, Stan Sporkin, George Tenet, Yuri Nosenko, Dewey Clarridge, Cofer Black, John Bellinger, Pat Fitzgerald, John Deutch, and a host of others, including the traitor Aldrich Ames.

Rizzo's interactions with members of Congress, including the shabby treatment he received during his confirmation process, should be required reading for any lawyer or policy-maker with designs on saving the world in Washington. Rizzo was entirely too polite in his book. Read Bob Gates's descriptions of Congress in his book, "Duty": Members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee were "rude, nasty, and stupid." Senators were "hypocritical and obtuse." And the most complete: "I saw most of Congress as uncivil, incompetent at fulfilling their basic constitutional responsibilities...micromanagerial, parochial, hypocritical, egotistical, thin-skinned and prone to put self (and re-election) before country."

With the exception of Porter Goss and maybe David Boren, that's about right, from my years (including military service) working for eight presidents, eleven administrations, nine DCIs/ directors of CIA, and ten CIA general counsels.

As for Ron Wyden, who is much in the news lately and who seemed to take a personal dislike to Rizzo and the lead in unfairly trashing his nomination and ability--well, for someone who looks like a badly-aged Howdy-Doody, he's a perfect representative of those spineless dweebs infesting U.S. politics who would have been feebly waving their ACLU cards as the Soviet jackboots came up their streets and the mushroom cloud blossomed over Washington, all the while bleating, "Our government is after your liberties!"

If you want the views and memories of an actual insider participant in CIA history, as opposed to ignorant outsiders, read this book. It has as companions several other good memoirs written by Rizzo's contemporaries: "The Art of Intelligence" by Ambassador Hank Crumpton, "Hard Measures" by Jose Rodriguez, “At the Center of the Storm" by George Tenet, "Circle of Treason" by Sandy Grimes and Jeanne Vertefeuille.

All honorable, distinguished, and unabashed patriots.

And they were actually there.
22 von 25 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Interesting & easy read! 10. Januar 2014
Von Amy G. - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Rizzo makes this an easy read with his writing style and a little bit of humor. But the bottom line is, if you have an interest in CIA, secrets behind the government, politics, conspiracies or government things that make the headlines you will like this book. Its seems to me the people that have given this book a bad review just simply don't like his politics and disagree with Rizzo not putting a stop to water boarding. So therefor give the book of one of the guys involved a bad review. Now I call that being political! I have read books and autobiographies of people I don't like or agree with, but I am strong enough and fair enough to still be honest and say they made a good book. It doesn't mean you have to agree with the person or things they did. Geeesh!
Anyway, back to what makes this a good book. As information finally gets told or leaked over years passing from various events it can be concluded there are THOUSANDS of things we, the public, don't know about. And I am fine with that. History shows some events that if there weren't a few people willing to stick their neck out, that America would not be the same great place. This era of "everybody needs to know everything all the time" is a detriment to America. Just my opinion, I will admit and say. Classified papers and issues, events just might be keeping you, your children, your Grandma, or....... quite possibly...... your great grandchildren you haven't even met yet SAFE! This is an interesting read to hear from a lawyer who had to make some tough decisions that affected America. He wasn't a spy or out traveling the world, but a boring lawyer that got to see and be in on some VERY interesting things, even making decisions on some of them. Which makes him a little more normal and down to earth of a guy to consider, than a fancy spy type. Good book.
19 von 21 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Enlightening and Refreshing Page-Turner 8. Januar 2014
Von Jan E Messerschmidt - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
As an aspiring government lawyer, John Rizzo's book is an eye-opening memoir. Though I'm sure much of the attention will be paid to Rizzo's controversial decisions after 9/11, particularly the decisions regarding the so-called enhanced interrogation techniques, some of the most interesting parts of the book are Rizzo's lengthy path and rise through the ranks at the CIA. Understandably, there is much that Rizzo could not disclose. But despite this, Rizzo shows a surprising frankness about some of his closest colleagues that is both enlightening and refreshing. Rizzo's memoir is a true page turner and a resource for understanding the CIA, especially during it's toughest times.
11 von 12 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Insider's perspective written with grace and wit 13. Januar 2014
Von Stewart Baker - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition
I can recommend Company Man by John Rizzo. Rizzo was one of the first lawyers at the CIA, and he recounts a thirty year career there with grace and a remarkable absence of rancor, even though he was denied the ultimate promotion — to General Counsel — after a highly politicized confirmation hearing. (His offense was asking the Justice Department whether certain harsh interrogation techniques were legal, and not selling out the CIA officers who relied on Justice’s advice by disavowing it when he got to the hearing.)

Rizzo had a ringside seat at all the most dramatic political events involving the CIA from the 1970s to the Obama Administration. He brings self-deprecating wit and a lot of human insight to his portrayal of these events and the CIA directors he helped guide through them. It’s available on January 5, 2014. (Disclosure: I got an early copy because John and I have been friends and colleagues for a long time. But in the interest of full disclosure, I have no incentive to overpraise his book, since I’m afraid it’s actually better than my book, Skating on Stilts.)
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