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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Ex-CIA Official Jose Rodriguez Inks Book Contract, Claims Torture Led to Bin Laden

José A. Rodriquez, the former CIA official who ordered the destruction of  “enhanced interrogation" videotapes and claimed Wednesday that waterboarding was directly responsible for the liquidation of Osama Bin Laden, today announced he has signed a book contract.

Rodriguez, former chief of the CIA counterterrorism center, will write a memoir, “Hard Measures,” that "details Rodriguez’s role in helping lead the fight against Al Qaeda," according to an announcement from his publisher, Threshold Editions, the conservative nonfiction imprint of Simon & Schuster.

Rodriguez will be aided in his endeavor by Bill Harlow, the agency’s chief spokesman under CIA Director George Tenet, according to a statement from Threshold’s executive vice president and publisher, Louise Burke.

“Rodriguez will, for the first time publicly, describe why he ordered the destruction of videotapes of Al Qaeda operatives undergoing interrogation and he will write about subsequently being subjected to a three year investigation by the Department of Justice," Burke said.

"The actions we took in the aftermath of 9/11 were harsh but necessary and effective,” Rodriguez said in the press release. 

“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. 

Despite Sunday’s successful liquidation of Bin Laden in Pakistan, Rodriguez also took a swipe at the Obama administration’s detention and interrogation policies, claiming that  the abandonment of  torture techniques was hurting the fight against terrorism.

"The reluctance to capture, hold and effectively question such terrorists now will inevitably put our country at greater risk," he said.

In an interview with Time magazine on the eve of his publishing announcement, Rodriguez echoed the claim, made by many Bush administration officials, that torture led to Bin Laden.

“Information provided by KSM [Khalid Sheik Mohammed] and Abu Faraj al Libbi about Bin Laden’s courier was the lead information that eventually led to the location of [bin Laden’s] compound and the operation that led to his death,” Rodriguez told Time’s Massimo Calabresi. 

But White House national security spokesman Tommy Vietor dismissed the claim of Rodriguez, who ran the CIA counterterrorism center from 2002 to 2005 and retired as deputy director for operations four years ago.

“There is no way that information obtained by [enhanced interrogation techniques] was the decisive intelligence that led us directly to bin Laden,” Vietor said.

“It took years of collection and analysis from many different sources to develop the case that enabled us to identify this compound and reach a judgment that bin Laden was likely to be living there.
“Hard Measures” is scheduled for publication in the spring of 2012, Burke said.