Central Intelligence Agency

Acronym: 
CIA
Seal/Image: 

George Tenet

Torture Connection: 
Lord of the Black Sites
  • Born 1953, Flushing, Queens, New York.
  • B.A., Georgetown University; Master's degree, Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs.
  • Served in staff positions in U.S. Senate, including Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, 1979-93.
  • Bill Clinton applinted him to National Security Council, then as Deputy Director, CIA
  • Became CIA Director, 1997. Bush kept him on till 2004.
  • Currently managing investment bank Allen & Co.

Jose Rodriguez

Torture Connection: 
"We are the dark side."
  • Born 1948 in Puerto Rico.
  • BA and JD from University of Florida.
  • Joined the CIA in 1976.  Worked as a field officer in the clandestine service, specializing in Latin America.
  • Served as chief of station in Panama, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic.
  • In 1997, sent home from his post in the Dominican Republic after pressuring the government there to drop charges against a friend of his who’d been arrested for drug trafficking. Disciplinary action included a letter accusing him of “remarkable lack of judgment.”
  • Named director of the CIA’s covert-services Latin American Division.
  • After 9/11, appointed Chief of Staff, CIA Counterterrorism Center.
  • Published a memoir, Hard Measures, in 2012, in which he claimed that harsh interrogation saved the public from multiple terrorist attacks and led to the capture of Osama bin Laden. CIA interrogators were heroes, doing “the right thing for the right reason.”
  • Joined Edge Consulting, a private intelligence assessment and strategy consulting organization purchased in 2010 by IBM.
  • Mentioned in November 2016 as a possible Trump nominee for Director of the CIA.

John Rizzo

Torture Connection: 
Lawyer for the CIA
  • Graduated from Brown University, George Washington Law School.
  • Thirty-year career with CIA. Under Bush, served as CIA Acting General Counsel.
  • Nominated as General Counsel in 2006, but nomination stalled for more than a year, then withdrawn in August 2007 after senators indicated disapproval of his role in CIA torture.
  • Despite withdrawing the nomination, Bush kept Rizzo as the CIA's top lawyer, still designated "acting."

James L. Pavitt

Torture Connection: 
Pushed the CIA to the Forefront
  • Born 1946, St. Louis
  • B.A. University of Missouri, graduate study at Clark University
  • 1969-73, U.S. Army intelligence officer, congressional liaison
  • 1973, joined CIA clandestine service
  • 1999-2004, Deputy Director for Operations under George Tenet
  • Private intelligence consultant with Scowcroft firm

James Mitchell

Torture Connection: 
Designed and implemented CIA torture methods
  • Retired from U.S. Air Force in May 2001 as an officer administering SERE training--programs training military personnel to withstand possible enemy torture
  • June 2001-April 2002, operated several firms providing services associated with "extreme situations." Contacted CIA with torture contract proposal.
  • April 2002-?? as principal in new company, Mitchell, Jessen & Assocs., contracted with CIA to provide torture services

Bruce Jessen

Torture Connection: 
The shrink
  • Born in 1949, raised in Idaho
  • Joined the Air Force as an enlisted man, attended college and graduate school while in the service
  • Ph.D. in psychology, Utah State University. Dissertation on family therapy.
  • In late 2001, obtained copy, possibly through CIA channels, of alleged "Al-Qaeda training manual" that discussed resistance to standard interrogation procedures.
  • From 2002 on, left air force to work with fellow psychologist James Mitchell in private corporation, Mitchell Jessen Associates, that contracted with the CIA to supervise "enhanced" interrogation procedures--i.e., torture.

Cofer Black

Torture Connection: 
"The gloves come off."
  • Born 1950, Stamford, CT
  • High school at Canterbury prep school, college at University of Southern California
  • Master's of International Relations, USC, 1974.
  • Joined CIA clandestine service in 1974, served 6 foreign tours, mostly in Africa.
  • CIA station chief in Khartoum, Sudan, 1993-94, when bin Laden was there. Helped capture Carlos the Jackal.
  • Director of CIA's Counter-terrorism Center (CTC), 1999-2001
  • After 9/11, "led the hunt" for Osama bin Laden, including at Tora Bora.
  • State Department ambassador-at-large for Counterterrorism, 2002-04
  • Vice-chairman, Blackwater USA, 2005-present
  • Principal, 2006-present, Complete Intelligence Solutions, a Blackwater spin-off providing security data and services for the private sector
  • Advised Romney presidential campaign on national security issues, 2007-08.