Ex-CIA Chief Defends Waterboarding of Al Qaeda Leader
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 at 7 p.m. ET/PT.
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.”
Lesley Stahl discusses her “60 Minutes” report
Pressed by Stahl about charges that Zubaydah, who was waterboarded and sleep deprived, gave false information that wasted U.S. resources, Rodriguez replies, “Bull****!, He gave us a roadmap that allowed us to capture a bunch of al Qaeda senior leaders,” says the ex-spy.