Former CIA clandestine chief in memoir to explain why interrogation videos destroyed

May 5, 2011

Jose Rodriguez, the former director of the CIA’s National Clandestine Service who landed in controversy over ordering the destruction of videotapes of terrorism suspects being interrogated, is writing a book in which he will explain why for the first time.

Rodriguez is unabashed that enhanced interrogation techniques used on top al Qaeda operatives produced information that ultimately led to Osama bin Laden, who was killed by U.S. forces last weekend.

“The actions we took in the aftermath of 9/11 were harsh but necessary and effective. These steps were fully sanctioned and carefully followed.  The detention and interrogation of top terrorists like Abu Zubaydah, Khalid Sheikh Muhammed and Abu Faraj al-Libbi yielded breakthroughs which have kept this country safe,” Rodriguez said in a press release.

The Justice Department decided last year that no CIA personnel would face criminal charges for the 2005 destruction of hundreds of hours of videotapes of harsh interrogations of terrorism suspects Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. Zubaydah was subjected to waterboarding and it was believed that the tapes included footage of that.

“Hard Measures” is scheduled for release in spring 2012 and is to be co-authored by former CIA spokesman Bill Harlow, who also co-authored former CIA Director George Tenet’s book.

“Osama Bin Laden’s death is the culmination of years of covert operations and tactics largely overseen by Rodriguez from 2001 to late 2007. During Rodriguez’s  at times controversial tenure, CIA officers captured and detained senior al Qaeda operatives and implemented Enhanced Interrogation Techniques as an integral tool in the War on Terror,” a press release from publisher Threshold Editions said.

Photo credit: Reuters/Larry Downing (lobby of CIA headquarters)


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

[...] Former CIA clandestine chief in memoir to explain why … [...]

You can’t destroy evidence and then argue that the destroyed evidence makes your case.

Posted by jeff81201 | Report as abusive

Jose Rodriguez is an American HERO.

Posted by Makman | Report as abusive

[...] a memoir being published Monday and obtained by The Daily Beast, the former CIA official Jose Rodriguez [...]