Hard Measures: How Aggressive CIA Actions after 9/11 Saved American Lives

Hard Measures: How Aggressive CIA Actions after 9/11 Saved American Lives

by Jose A. Rodriguez Jr.
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Hard Measures: How Aggressive CIA Actions after 9/11 Saved American Lives by Jose A. Rodriguez Jr.

An explosive memoir about the creation and implementation of the controversial Enhanced Interrogation Techniques by the former Chief Operations Officer for the CIA's Counterterrorism Center.

While the American public is aware of the CIA’s use of highly controversial “enhanced interrogation techniques,” few know the man who, in the wake of September 11, led all U.S. counterterrorism operations and oversaw the use of those procedures—procedures that obtained vital and timely intelligence and helped safeguard the nation from future attacks.

Puerto Rican–born Jose A. Rodriguez, Jr., served the United States for twenty-five years as an undercover officer before bringing his wealth of field knowledge to the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center; now, in this riveting account and fascinating life story, one of America’s top undercover operatives reveals how hard measures have derailed terrorist activity targeting the U.S., and saved countless American lives. Fully disclosed here for the first time are the undercover operations and tactics implemented during the George W. Bush presidency—which were approved by the highest levels of the U.S. government, certified as legal by the Department of Justice, and supported by bipartisan leadership of congressional intelligence oversight committees.

But as the shock of 9/11 faded, the support that the intelligence community enjoyed and deserved gave way to shortsighted and potentially dangerous political correctness. One by one, the tools needed to successfully fight terrorism were banished, and the men and women who volunteered to carry out our nation’s orders in combating al-Qa'ida found themselves second-guessed, hamstrung, and investigated— including Rodriguez himself. In effect, the United States has chosen to willfully and unilaterally disarm itself in the war on terror. In Hard Measures, Rodriguez convincingly argues for the techniques used, and uncompromisingly details when these techniques were necessary, why they worked, and how, ultimately, they contributed to the capture of the world’s most-wanted terror operatives, including Usama bin Ladin. From law school student to CIA recruit to his role as America’s top spy, Rodriguez’s full story is one of utmost importance—a rare, insider’s look at an issue that demands attention. Above all, it’s a reasoned, imperative, and fully informed case for hard measures, and an explosive and gripping account of the real war on terror— where it’s been and where it’s headed.


Terrorism has always been one of the toughest targets on which to collect intelligence. The secrets you want to steal frequently don’t reside in computer systems, which can be hacked, or safes, which can be broken into, but in the inner recesses of a handful of individuals’ minds.

The cliché about intelligence work is that it is like working on a thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle but not having the box top to show you what the finished picture should look like. If only it were that easy. In fact, it is more like working on a million-piece puzzle with no box top, and having millions more random pieces that look like they might fit, but actually are from different puzzles altogether.

It fell to us to make sense of the countless fragments of information and to take action on the chunks of the puzzle, which represented a real and growing threat to the United States and our allies.

—from Hard Measures

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781451663471
Publisher: Threshold Editions
Publication date: 04/30/2012
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.42(w) x 9.34(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Jose A. Rodriguez, Jr. joined the Central Intelligence Agency in 1976 and served with the Agency for thirty-one years. At the time of his retirement he was the Director of the National Clandestine Service for the CIA, responsible for the coordination of clandestine human operations for the intelligence community. As a former Director of the Counterterrorism Center, he led the worldwide intelligence collection programs and covert action operations against international terrorist organizations following the ouster of terrorists from Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks.
Bill Harlow is the former chief spokesman for the Central Intelligence Agency. He was the coauthor of former CIA director George Tenet’s #1 New York Times bestseller, At the Center of the Storm, published in 2007. He is a retired Naval Officer who served in top spokesman jobs at the White House, Pentagon, and CIA.

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Hard Measures: How Aggressive CIA Actions after 9/11 Saved American Lives 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 42 reviews.
CompulsiveReader-VA More than 1 year ago
WOW! This is a real eye opener. I don't think I would be able to put up with one tenth of the horse hooey that those folks who dedicate thier lives to keeping the rest of us safe have to deal with. And i don't mean all the really horrible bad guys they shield us from every day, I mean thier own government and fellow citizens, the ones who should be the most supportive! It is astounding to me that our best and brightest still choose to serve.
Easton More than 1 year ago
Excellent read, Jose Rodriguez is a great patriot.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Reads like a tom clancy novel except its true! A must read!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book shows just how screwed up our politicians and our political process CAN be!!!!!
Cabo More than 1 year ago
Hard Measures shows the reader in detail just what enhanced interrogations are. It clearly shows that waterboarding is NOT torture. Our own military people are subjected to this. The enemy has long been prepared for this. Loud music and standing for long times .....also not torture. The book points out that by just killing with drones, we do not get any intelligence to stop future attacks. This book is for anyone who wants to learn the truth about our government and our military.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written and compelling narrative must read story of a greatly undervalued American hero
lgken More than 1 year ago
This book covers much of the same material as The Black Banners by Ali Soufan but from the CIA perspective. This book is best read with the Black Banners. The two books sometimes supplement each other. They sometimes complement each other. They sometimes contradict each other. Together they present a fuller and more accurate account of the war against Al Qaeda. What I found most interesting is the difference in viewpoints about what to do with the terrorists after you stop them. The FBI wants to convict and imprison them. The CIA seems to feel this is not their business. The result is the limbo of Guantanamo prison which is neither a civilian prison nor a POW camp but something of both.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read after seeing his interview on 60 Minutes. We owe a debt of gratitude for all willing to put themselves in such a position to protect our country...in or out of uniform!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very well written book by Jose Rodriguez. After you read this book you have a full understanding of the value of interrogation programs that thwart more terrorist attacks and help make our country safer. You leave with a better understanding of how Courageous CIA Officers really are putting themselves in harm's way to protect our nation. A Must Read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a shame to see how honorable members of one of our governments most important organizations are repeatedly dragged over the coals for doing the legal and right thing. To cause a terrorist discomfort in order to save lives (American, European, Middle Eastern or other) is not a crime, it's a necessity. This book was very good at showing how our intelligence service responded after the attacks on 9/11 and the techniques that they used to save lives. Very, very well written insightful book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book but more of an apologia for his CIA career than an expose'.
TBird03 More than 1 year ago
the book sounds factual.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very informative. Thank God someone wants to protect this country at all costs.
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Hard measures lives up to its title!!
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ArchangelAV More than 1 year ago
The author brings the reader on a journey as a rookie Agency officer, onwards through various foreign assignments up to his appointment as head of the NCS. The book brings valuable insight into the hard work and dedication that Agency officers do in order to keep our country safe. In the end, the reader will end up having a deep sense of gratitude that we have Mr. Rodriguez and others like him who did their job well, and yet are unable to openly share their successes. Mr. Rodriguez, thank you very much for your service to our country! And thank you for writing this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"hard measures" is a great book that gave me a better understanding of 9/11 and the terrorists that attacked us on 9/11. the arthur is one of the top interrogators of many of those that planned and murdered american soldiers and civialians. this book gives the inside story and tells the truth of how information was recieved from murderers. great gift idea for a friend or family member.