Congress Asks CIA Lawyer Nominee to be Withdrawn


The Washington Post‘s Joby Warrick reports:

Members of the Senate intelligence committee have requested the withdrawal of the Bush administration’s choice for CIA general counsel, acknowledging that John Rizzo’s nomination has stalled because of concerns about his views on the treatment of terrorism suspects.

The decision followed a private meeting this week in which committee leaders concluded that the troubled nomination could not overcome opposition among Democratic members. It comes less than a month after a key member, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), announced his intention to block the nomination indefinitely.

Rizzo, a career CIA lawyer, has drawn fire from Democrats and human rights groups because of his support for Bush administration legal doctrines permitting “enhanced interrogation” of terrorism detainees in CIA custody.

In other intelligence news, Newsweek reports that intelligence czar Michael McConnell has asked to withdraw a statement to Congress that a recently passed electronic surveillance law contributed to the capture of German terrorism suspects earlier this month. Turns out, it didn’t have anything to do with it.

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