More On Rizzo’s Part in Torture Tapes Decisions

I mentioned last week the story of how CIA acting general counsel John Rizzo — despite having his confirmation challenged earlier this year by Oregon Senator Ron Wyden — had been in that position for most of the past six years and remains there to this day.

The latest story on the destruction of CIA torture interrogation tapes gives a little more information about his role in the matter:

In describing the decision to destroy the tapes, current and former officials said John A. Rizzo, the agency’s top lawyer at the time, was not asked for final approval before the tapes were destroyed, although Mr. Rizzo had been involved in discussions for two years about the tapes.

It is unclear what weight an opinion from a lawyer within the clandestine service would have if it were not formally approved by Mr. Rizzo. But the former official said Mr. Rodriguez and others in the clandestine branch believed the legal judgment gave them the blessing to destroy the tapes.

The former official said the leaders of the clandestine service believed they “didn’t need to ask Rizzo’s permission.”