CIA SPY BEHIND THE USE OF �ENHANCED INTERROGATION TECHNIQUES� ON AL-QAEDA DETAINEES TALKS ABOUT THOSE HARSH METHODS AND DEFENDS THEM FOR THE FIRST TIME � �60 MINUTES� SUNDAY
Ex-Clandestine Service Head Jose Rodriguez Also Questions the White House�s
Drone Strike Policy that Has Killed Al-Qaeda Leaders Instead of Capturing Them
Jose Rodriguez has no regrets about using the �enhanced interrogation techniques� � methods that some consider torture � on al-Qaeda detainees questioned after 9/11, and denies charges they didn�t work. The former head of the CIA�s Clandestine Service talks to Lesley Stahl about those methods, including waterboarding, for the first time and defends their use � even comparing them to the current policy of killing al-Qaeda leaders with drone strikes. The Rodriguez interview will be broadcast on 60 MINUTES Sunday, April 29 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Rodriguez says everything his interrogators did to top-level terrorists like Khalid Sheik Mohammed and Abu Zubaydah was legal and effective. �We made some al-Qaeda terrorists with American blood on their hands uncomfortable for a few days,� he tells Stahl. �I am very secure in what we did and am very confident that what we did saved American lives,� says Rodriguez, who has written a book on the subject called �Hard Measures.�
Pressed by Stahl about charges that Zubaydah, who was water-boarded and sleep-deprived, gave false information that wasted U.S. resources, Rodriguez replies, �Bulls--t. He gave us a roadmap that allowed us to capture a bunch of al-Qaeda senior leaders,� says the ex-spy.
Rodriguez says the interrogation program, which also included stress positions, nudity and �insult slaps,� was �about instilling a sense of hopelessness�despair�so that he [the detainee] would conclude on his own that he was better off cooperating with us.� He says that even Khalid Sheik Mohammed, whom he termed �the toughest detainee we had,� eventually gave up information. Watch an excerpt.
KSM, as the mastermind of 9/11 was known, would not cooperate at first. �He eventually told us, �I will talk once I get to New York and I get my lawyer,�� Rodriguez recalls. But KSM was subjected to the enhanced techniques, including water-boarding and sleep deprivation, and Rodriguez believes, �it was the cumulative effect of waterboarding and sleep deprivation and everything else that was done that eventually got to him.�
Rodriguez maintains he got information from the interrogations of KSM and others that enabled the CIA to disrupt at least 10 large-scale terrorist plots. But when Stahl reminds him the CIA�s own Inspector General said that his enhanced interrogation program did not stop any imminent attack, Rodriguez says, �We don�t know. �if, for example, al-Qaeda would have been able to continue on with their anthrax program or nuclear program�or sleeper agents �working with Khalid Sheik Mohammed to take down the Brooklyn Bridge, for example.�
Stahl then suggests that KSM was never really broken, because he never gave up Osama bin Laden. �There is a limit� to what they will tell us,� replies Rodriguez.
Rodriguez regrets the cancellation of his enhanced interrogation program by the current administration, accusing the White House of tying America�s hands in the war on terror. �We don�t capture anyone anymore, Lesley� the default option of this administration has been to kill all prisoners. Take no prisoners,� he tells Stahl. �The drones. How could it be more ethical to kill people rather than capture them?�