Former CIA Official and Author of 'Hard Measures' Jose Rodriguez Defends Enhanced Interrogation Techniques on Hannity
Former CIA official Jose Rodriguez, Jr. is speaking out one year after the raid that killed Usama bin Laden. Rodriguez spent 31 years in the CIA and after the 9/11 attacks, he led the agency’s counterterrorism center. In the new book, “Hard Measures,” he defends the enhanced interrogation techniques like waterboarding that were used on some Al Qaeda leaders and helped lead to the capture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Rodriguez said the techniques led to the interruption of at least 10 large scale plots and the capture of many more terrorists.
Controversy erupted when it was discovered that Rodriguez ordered the destruction of video tapes that show the waterboarding of Abu Zubaydah. In 2009, Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi accused the CIA of misleading Congress about using such interrogation practices; though she seemed to backtrack when confronted with documents showing her aide briefed her specifically on waterboarding.
Rodriguez sat down with Sean Hannity tonight to talk more about the issue. Hannity asked him why he said the CIA is on the “dark side” during his recent interview with ’60 Minutes.’
Rodriguez clarified, “Well we are in the shadow and we do what no one else in the U.S. government does … We get extraordinary authorities to go beyond."
He described interrogation techniques such as the attention grasp, the insult slap, stripping them of clothes, sleep and food deprivation, stress techniques and so on. The goal is to make them as uncomfortable as possible in order to extract information. Waterboarding has been used on three people in all: Abu Zubaydah, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri.
Rodriguez described the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, saying, “He is a very tough individual. He gave us some early information and then he stopped talking.” In 2002, Rodriguez says there was a wave of information that led the CIA to believe a second attack was coming, though they did not know when. He enlisted the help of a psychologist that trains U.S. soldiers on how to resist giving information if they are ever taken prisoner. After which, waterboarding was used on Zubaydah.
President Obama stated numerous times that he has banned the use of enhanced interrogation techniques. Now the president is taking credit for killing bin Laden. However, Rodriguez says the CIA received much information that led to finding bin Laden by using these methods on detainees.
Regarding the destroyed tapes of Zubaydah’s interrogation, Rodriguez said they realized some of those tapes had the faces of interrogators on them which compromised their security. He said he was “disgusted” that he and his colleagues were being called torturers after they stepped up to the plate to protect America.
“These tools saved us and saved lives. I am convinced that it saved lives. It allowed us to stop plots against us. It allowed us to go after all these terrorists. We don’t capture anybody anymore. So we don’t get the intelligence anymore,” he said.