Acting General Counsel of the CIA: You talkin' to me?

Categories: Politics

In early May, Acting General Counsel of the CIA John Rizzo will have the uncomfortable honor of testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee in an open hearing to determine whether the first word of his title will be removed.

Last Wednesday evening, the silver-maned Rizzo, ever dapper in a pinstriped suit with pink shirt and matching pocket-handkerchief, faced a much easier crowd at William Mitchell. He was the featured guest on a panel, assembled by law professor A. John Radsan, on the relationship between the CIA and Hollywood.

Rizzo regaled the audience with a Robert DeNiro story. The Hollywood legend visited the agency not long ago to research his film, The Good Shepherd. DeNiro, Rizzo recalled, was dumbstruck upon learning that the CIA had lawyers. (In fact, it has about 130 of them.) As Rizzo took his leave, however, DeNiro had recovered. "Hey," he called out as Rizzo was walking away. "Nice threads."

While the lawyer can expect plenty of tough questions from senators on some of the more aggressive CIA initiatives occurring on his watch—extraordinary renditions and secret prisons, to name just two—we can be reasonably assured he won't lose any points for style.

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