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

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  309 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
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
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 30th 2012 by Threshold Editions
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Jul 31, 2012 James rated it liked it
I had previously read The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against al-Qaeda by Ali Soufan, so I was curious to read this book, as I thought it was the opposite side of coin vis a vis enhanced interrogation techniques.

After reading this book, some of my resistance to EIT has been lowered. I am glad Mr. Rodriguez has had the opportunity to set the record straight on what had previous been some bias reporting on the nature and extent of EIT. The program was far better reviewed,
Jan 23, 2016 Paul rated it really liked it
Shelves: al-qaeda, cia
First hand account by the man behind the development and implementation of the Enhanced Interrogation Techniques (EIT's) used by the CIA after 9/11 on high value terrorists prisoners. The media has only given us one side of the story. Here, Mr. Rodriguez gives us the CIA's version of events and how, in very few instances, these EIT's were applied and the valuable information obtained as a result that thwarted future attacks and saved countless lives. Information received by these high value pris ...more
Don Johnson
May 06, 2012 Don Johnson rated it it was amazing
An excellent read by a good man and a man of integrity. We need more men like this in government service and fewer of those like Barack Obama.
The book complements others I have read about the CIAs role in terrorist interrogation, including those by George Bush and Dick Cheney.
Jan 14, 2014 Cynthia rated it liked it
Hard Measures is a timely book about topics (interrogation techniques including waterboarding, terrorism, detainee camps, drones) by someone who was intimately involved (head of CIA counter-terrorism division) that should be discussed and analyzed. I would have appreciated a book that presented facts, figures, history etc of these topics.

I tried to come at this book with an open mind. Torture is awful: yes; would I torture someone if it would save my loved ones from harm? yes.
Therefore: I abhor
M.P. McDonald
Mar 09, 2013 M.P. McDonald rated it it was amazing
It's not the most exciting book in the world, but there is a very straightforward style of writing that I appreciated. I saw Mr. Rodriguez discussing the movie Zero Dark Thirty on a video panel discussion and wanted to read more about his angle.
Jan 22, 2013 William rated it it was amazing
Forget what the major media has told you about CIA interrogations. Listen to the guy in charge of them. Laugh when he reveals what really broke KSM and made him compliant. Water isn't involved but a long standing but simple technique is.
May 09, 2012 Yokarine rated it it was amazing
This is a must read book! Mr. Rodriguez is a true American Hero and needs to be awarded a Nobel Peace Price. Thank you for all the sacrifices you've made to keep our country safe.

PS: Did I mention this book is a page turner?
Mustang USMC
Dec 11, 2014 Mustang USMC rated it it was amazing
I believe that Jose Rodriguez’ book titled Hard Measures, is a valid discussion about the courage, commitment, and decisiveness of the CIA in the period following 9/11 and before the American people (and politicians) lost their courage to do whatever it takes to defeat a determined enemy and safeguard our communities.

Here we learn about our intrepid silent warriors putting themselves in harms way, only to be destroyed by politicians who, rather than looking out for America, spend millions od dol
Rex Fuller
Aug 23, 2012 Rex Fuller rated it liked it
Very interesting first hand perspective on CIA interrogation.
Sep 16, 2013 Foxglove rated it liked it
Still opposed morally to torture.
Dec 02, 2014 Katie rated it it was ok
Shelves: school-books
An excerpt from a paper I wrote about Hard Measures:
"Reading Hard Measures was like slogging through a bad essay—you really want to get it over with, but the author just keeps droning on and talking in circles. It reminds me of a high school exam paper, where students who don’t actually know the answers to the questions, so they (and excuse my language) bullshit their way through it with enough to make it seem like they have at least an inkling of what they’re talking about. I mean, Rodriguez op
Jul 16, 2012 Josh rated it liked it
Hard Measures covers the career of Jose Rodriquez, the former director of the CIA’s National Clandestine Service. It is as much his autobiography as it is a leadership story from the intelligence world during the War on Terrorism. He skillfully describes the steps taken in the Counter Terrorism Center after the 9-11 attacks to develop a program capable of combating al-Qaeda.

The author’s primary motivation, as revealed by the subtitle, “How Aggressive CIA Actions After 9/11 Saved American Lives,”
Jun 17, 2012 Rat rated it it was amazing
nhanced Interrogation as part of a HUMINT collection program works! Anyone who denies this knows nothing about interrogation or HUMINT. Jose Rodriguez is a great American Patriot. Thank God we still have a few people like this left to keep us safe. On the other hand, the book reveals what many Americans have suspected for some time: There are anti-American ideologues in the government and media, who will do everything within their power to harm the U.S. and anyone who tries to protect and defend ...more
Mar 17, 2013 Gary rated it it was amazing
Hard Measures is the story of Jose A. Rodriguez (and told by him) and his time at the CIA. Rodriguez was born in Puerto Rico, but lived in many international locations as his father’s job took him to many countries. Rodriguez attends university in the US and obtains a law degree. After graduation, he decides to join the CIA, to try to recapture some of the excitement and adventure of his youth with his many exotic travels.
The majority of story documents his many years at the CIA and how he moved
Further reading:

Here's the Senate Committee's report of an investigation started after Rodriguez reportedly destroyed at least 100 tapes of interrogations and was accused of lying to a Senate committee and covering up illegal activities.

CIA report PDF
CIA report text
Dec 03, 2015 Derek rated it liked it
This is the first book I have read by an insider regarding enhanced interrogation techniques the CIA administered on terrorists. I had read Ali Soufains book and his criticism of the CIA interrogation methods and this book is very different in the effectiveness of the EIT. Rodreguiez makes a good case for the EIT program and why he destroyed tapes of the interrogations. This is a very readable book.
Jan 04, 2015 Debra rated it liked it
Shelves: memoirs, non-fiction
An interesting look into the life of a CIA agent. I appreciated the facts about waterboarding- the technique, the limited application, and its effectiveness. I thank him for his service and pray that other men who can act in upright ways follow. The way these people are hounded and second guessed makes you wonder why anyone would want this kind of job. If Congress had a smidge of his character we would be in a better place.
David Taylor
Mar 13, 2014 David Taylor rated it it was amazing
Hard Measures is exciting from beginning to end. If you want to know what really happened with the CIA "torture" chambers, you need to read this book. The difference between this book and what the media says happened is amazing, personally, I think I'll believe the guy who was there.
Jul 09, 2015 Mark rated it it was amazing
I read this book back in 2012. A good book outlining advanced interrogation used after 9/11. The author describes the process for approval, limitations set and why techniques were used with some individuals.
Richard Taylor
Feb 18, 2014 Richard Taylor rated it really liked it
A good, well told account of the actions taken under the Bush administration to track down Bin Laden. Hard decisions explained by a hero of 9/11.
Jan 12, 2015 Megan rated it really liked it
Interesting read regardless of your political stance on enhanced interrogation techniques. The book is a bit repeatitive.
Jan 15, 2015 Karen rated it it was amazing
This book does ring true. Not like a lot of books and movies about the CIA that are made for Hollywood....
Steve Cobleigh
One can't sit atop this Occam's razor for any length of time.
You're either with - or against.
Jo Ann
May 13, 2014 Jo Ann rated it it was amazing
good read!
Sep 09, 2013 Alice rated it it was ok
Hard Measures is a defense of CIA use of rendition and "enhanced interrogation techniques" in the aftermath of 9/11 and specifically of his decision to have videos of some interrogations destroyed. As such, the book gives unusually detailed information about the workings of the Agency's Counterterrorism Center as well as strong opinions of the actions of some US officials.
Charles Blumberg
Sep 03, 2012 Charles Blumberg rated it really liked it
Very good book, easy read by the man to established, got approval, and oversaw the administration of enhanced interrogation techniques. Describes why they were necessary, how they worked, how they were used, how the terrorists were not harmed by them, how the information obtained has kept Americans safe, and how they led to the capture of Osama Bin Laden.
May 12, 2012 Lisa rated it really liked it

Very enlightening book to highlight how little is done to obtain info from terrorists. Why anyone works in intelligence with how politicized and undervalued our politicians make these positions is beyond me. So few these days willing to make courageous decisions because of politicians try to ruin your reputation and career
Mar 21, 2016 Jer rated it liked it
Interesting, if you want an opinionated version of one man's story. Pair with "The Black Banners" for an ironic juxtaposition. Still, there are informative points, and the truth likely lies somewhere between what the popular press purports and this, more self-vindicating, account.
Mar 31, 2014 Anang rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Unapologetic, from the trenches view of the post 9/11 national clandestine service. The best defense of the CIA's EIT methods after Marc Thiessen's "Courting Disaster".
While the Justice League was fighting green men from space, this American hero was fighting real monsters.
Sep 19, 2012 B. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
A testament to the United States and its lawful, humane treatment of detainees captured in the War on Terror. Jose Rodriquez is a nonpartisan, genuine hero who is owed immense gratitude, and certainly not what he was subjected to concerning "the tapes." This is a must read.
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