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

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  349 Ratings  ·  48 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
Kindle Edition, 288 pages
Published April 30th 2012 by Threshold Editions
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Jul 22, 2012 James rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 22, 2013 William rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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?
M.P. McDonald
Mar 09, 2013 M.P. McDonald rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Don Johnson
May 06, 2012 Don Johnson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Rex Fuller
Very interesting first hand perspective on CIA interrogation.
Still opposed morally to torture.
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
Will Thompson
Jul 01, 2017 Will Thompson rated it it was amazing
Levity and Honesty Paint Clear Picture

Jose Rodriguez is a national hero who sacrificed years of his life in some of the most dangerous places in the world to ensure the safety and security of the American republic. When the highly-politicized farce of an investigation into the CIA's operations - directed as always by the President, approved by the Department of Justice, and overseen with necessary knowledge by Congress - reached its crescendo, the man who brought the fight to Al-Qaeda in the dec
Jun 17, 2012 Rat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 24, 2012 Josh rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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,”
Mar 16, 2013 Gary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 12, 2014 Katie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 23, 2016 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mustang USMC
Dec 11, 2014 Mustang USMC rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
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 28, 2014 Debra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
John Berzanske
Interesting read. Mr. Rodriguez had a fascinating life story but more than half the book expectedly read as a plea to justify the enhanced interrogation techniques he became famous for. To be fair, his clarification on many details was a bit eye opening, especially after further reading up on them. However I still fundementally disagree with the approach and the results.
May 06, 2012 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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
Sep 09, 2013 Alice rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
May 01, 2012 Charles Blumberg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jul 09, 2015 Mark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
May 13, 2012 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.
David Taylor
Mar 10, 2014 David Taylor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Karen  Fiandaca
Fred gave me this to read - if you like insider stories about the CIA this one's for you. He had an interesting life - lot of stuff about his views on "torture". Felt it could be a hesaid/she said sort of memoir? I confess I skimmed a lot....
Sep 14, 2012 B. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jan 09, 2016 Jer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Aug 29, 2012 Patricia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
So far good - will update once finished.
If I only got one thing right from this book, is how much info leaks from the CIA !!!!
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Former director of the National Clandestine Service (D/NCS) of the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). He was the final CIA deputy director for operations (DDO) before that position was expanded to D/NCS in December 2004.
More about José A. Rodríguez Jr....

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