Book Reviews

Book Review: Company Man

CIA is always regarded as a covert and overt American spy agency in gathering intelligence all over the world, analysing, distilling it to plan future strategies and present it to the White House.

It operates with an undisclosed budget and rarely divulges any information about its human resources and organizational structure.

John Rizzo has worked as a CIA lawyer for 30 years and eventually was promoted to acting chief legal counsel,

He reveals in this highly interesting book how much legal effort is expended at the agency to adhere to the US government legal system. In fact, he tells the reader that 180 lawyers work at the agency.

He also tells us that after 9/11 CIA came under intense pressure regarding its “enhanced” interrogation techniques (i.e water boarding, sleep deprivation, and many others) and “black sites” that he visited.

All of the above have been formulated by agency lawyers and cleared with the department of justice lawyers.

While opposition politicians at the time were insistent in finding out about tapes of “enhanced interrogation techniques”, all processes remained unchanged when they were elected to govern.

Even high-level appointments are subject to White House and congressional approval, and often opposition politicians manage to thwart an apportionment due to political reasons.

Al Qaida’s attack in 9/11 forced CIA to intensify its activities in countries identified as breeding grounds willing to train people to kill thousands of innocent individuals.

The author reveals insider information that has never been made public. The whole text was read and approved by the agency’s lawyers before publication – a rarity in the annals of the CIA.

John Rizzo served under 11 directors and tells us about their strengths and weaknesses, personalities and relations with the White House.

When CIA was involved in controversies with politicians John Rizzo was called upon to clarify and defend the agency before a panel of aggressive politicians.

Company Man is the most authoritative insider account of the CIA ever written and published.

This is a groundbreaking, timely and remarkably candid history of American intelligence.

Run to your nearest bookstore and get a copy before it is sold out.

Highly recommended.

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