White House backs down, withdraws CIA nominee.

The White House has withdrawn the nomination of John Rizzo to become General Counsel at the CIA. Rizzo’s nomination had elicited a fury of outrage from key senators and human rights and advocacy groups. The anger stemmed form Rizzo’s refusal at a June confirmation hearing to disavow his approval of a 2002 memo that stretched the definition of torture. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), who spearheaded the efforts against Rizzo, said the White House should take some lessons from this before sending up its next nominee:

“I hope that the administration’s next nominee for the position demonstrates greater respect for the rule of law and a firmer commitment to making sure that our nation’s counterterrorism programs have the strong legal foundation that they deserve,” Wyden said.