In the past, presidents set up buffers to distance themselves from covert action. But this president, who is breaking down the boundaries between covert action and conventional war, seems to relish the secret findings and the dirty details of operations.

John Rizzo is a classic DO lawyer. He understands the culture, the intelligence business. He admires the case officers. And they trust him to work out tough issues in the grey with them. He is like a corporate lawyer who knows how to make the deal happen.