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Hard Measures: How Aggressive CIA Actions After 9/11 Saved American Lives [Kindle Edition]

Jose A. Rodriguez Jr. , Bill Harlow
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (205 customer reviews)

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Kindle Price: $10.99
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Book Description

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

Editorial Reviews


"Jose Rodriguez guided some of the CIA's greatest counterterror victories, and his story is one of courage, commitment, and decisiveness.  In this book, he provides concrete details about the value of the Agency's interrogation program of terrorists -- a program which thwarted terrorist attacks and has made America safer." -- General Michael V. Hayden, USAF (Ret.) Former Director of Central Intelligence


"Jose Rodriguez guided some of the CIA's greatest counterterror victories, and his story is one of courage, commitment, and decisiveness.  In this book, he provides concrete details about the value of the Agency's interrogation program of terrorists -- a program which thwarted terrorist attacks and has made America safer." -- General Michael V. Hayden, USAF (Ret.) Former Director of Central Intelligence

Product Details

  • File Size: 9144 KB
  • Print Length: 290 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1451663471
  • Publisher: Threshold Editions; Reprint edition (April 30, 2012)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005GG0KJ4
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #183,501 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
166 of 194 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What Hard Measures really is about May 1, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Hard Measures has been promoted on CBS 60 Minutes and on Hannity as an expose of the Obama administration's misguided policies related to interrogations of detainees in the War on Terror.

But it is more than that.

The author and his collaborator, Bill Harlow, spend most of their space in the book defending the author's controversial and correct decision to order the destruction of tapes of interrogations of al Qaeda detainees.

The book also:

1. Covers and celebrates the author's 31-year career in the CIA, where he rose to the top ranks of the agency.
2. Celebrates and promotes the hard work the agency's employees have done to identify, capture and kill those who have tried to replicate 9/11 and other terrorists acts. It's quite a good story.
3. Mocks the FBI's attempts to build legal cases against captured terrorists for their crimes instead of focusing on extracting information that would help prevent more attacks on the homeland.
4. Mocks former FBI and CIA employees who, the author says, falsely claim to know about or to have been involved in capturing terrorists or interrogating them.
5. Attacks the CIA's office of Inspector General for being staffed by CIA employees who are expendable by the CIA because they aren't the brightest bulb s in the agency.
6. Attacks the Inspector General and his staff for demoralizing CIA employees and getting in the way of their important work.
7. Effectively says former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has lied when she claimed she didn't know about the interrogation processes used and discarded by the CIA. That is not news, however.
8. Paints the author as a victim of grandstanding members of Congress, the ACLU and the media (New York Times).
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68 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding May 1, 2012
By Antoin
This book finally details what life was like in the trenches in the War on Terror and the brave men and women involved in the fight. It also provides credible insight into the politics of the situation and how politicians manipulated truth for political gain and cover. It's saying something that a man like Rodriguez trained in the art of deception and lying is more credible than the former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Her blatant lies regarding her knowledge and approval of these events are chilling. We are lucky to have hero's like Rodriguez providing an inside look at what is a dangerous business.;
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93 of 119 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An American Hero April 30, 2012
Every American should read this book. It should be compulsory reading in every high school civics/government class. Mr. Rodriguez honestly describes what he and his team did, why they did it, and why it was the right thing to do. It is so refreshing to find someone who is willing to do the right thing, even when it is extremely difficult for the ordinary lay person to understand, and to admit unapologetically that he did it. Regardless of your political persuasion, this is an important book to read.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
"Hard Measures" is informative to all readers, but especially to those who have little or no experience in the world of Special Compartmented Information. It is imperative that our intelligence officers be able to keep certain sources and methods secret when collecting intelligence to protect not only our nation's interests, but the freedom seeking and loving people around the world. The roll and requirements of executive and congressional oversight are also clearly described and their employment in the war on terror extensively demonstrated in this book. "Hard Measures" does a great service in explaining the need to protect the methods and the brave men and women in the CIA who put their lives at risk every day. It also clearly demonstrates the behavior of our political and chattering class in the halls of power. Many wish to claim credit for all success but deny knowledge of any and all things which may cause harm to their progressive careers or political agenda. Without rendition, black sites and Enhanced Interrogation Techniques, we would still be looking for UBL.

Jose Rodriquez demonstrated true fidelity to his nation and loyalty to his colleagues in his long and valiant service with the CIA. He was true to his oath, defending the constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. "Hard Measures" provides clear insight into the decision making process behind the EIT's used to obtain critical information from the leaders of illegal combatants of al-Qa'ida. This resulted in saving thousands of innocent lives. Every word said about EITs is true, since this writer was subjected to many of the very techniques, including water boarding, as a part of SERE training as a fighter pilot in the U S Navy.

Jose Rodriguez deserves our gratitude for his valuable service, as do all our valiant warriors who choose to live in the shadows so that we can live in the full light of liberty and freedom.
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64 of 84 people found the following review helpful
Ex CIA Chief Rodriguez is to be commended for coming forward with this fine volume detailing how U.S. intelligence and skullduggery saved lives in the post-9/11 world. According to Rodriguez, "enhanced interrogation techniques" and other methods were a necessary evil on the fight on terrorism. Agree or disagree with the man, but this is a fine, no-holds-barred look into the CIA and the methods and ideas used to combat evil. I highly recommend former CIA & Secret Service Agent Dan Emmett's brand new book "Within Arm's Length", as it provides a perfect companion piece to "Hard Measures", as Emmett left the Secret Service---and the job of protecting President George W Bush---to join the CIA in 2004. Both highly recommended and essential to an understanding of what makes a patriot tick.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great perspective
Very interesting. Great source to understand this side of the debate
Published 14 days ago by William Sheppard
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
As described. Fast ship. Would use again.
Published 21 days ago by aleykhat
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting read
Darn good book if you really want to know how we all got here.
Published 1 month ago by Michael St Denis
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good reading!
Published 1 month ago by R. Don Breithaupt
5.0 out of 5 stars Real American Heroes
Just fantastic, to get that intimate, inside look at what was going on, and maybe what is still going on. The people whom Rodriguez Jr. describes are American Heroes! As to Mr. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Rick Alan
4.0 out of 5 stars a must read
I purchased this book solely to finally get the details behind our "torture" of those that attacked us in 2001. Read more
Published 1 month ago by A reader
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing how this administration screws the honest employees
very informative.amazing how this administration screws the honest employees.
Published 1 month ago by michael g powlin
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent account of a patriot surviving Monday morning quarterbacks...
The author lays out a truthful account of a legal practice that was later termed torture. His portrayal of politics trumping patriotism and the lying Pelosi truly exposes many... Read more
Published 1 month ago by JMII
5.0 out of 5 stars An American hero
Excellent record of a true American hero. A shame that he and others have been treated so shamefully for political purposes and put our country to great risk.
Published 2 months ago by highland
5.0 out of 5 stars unflinching, unapologetic and informative
In an age of equivocation where mealy mouthed politicians fill books with empty slogans and infantile pap, it is refreshing to read an unflinching, unapologetic defense of one of... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jedrury
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