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Ex-CIA chief defends waterboarding of al Qaeda leader
Former Clandestine Service head Jose Rodriguez defends "enhanced interrogation techniques" and questions the drone strike policy. Watch Lesley Stahl's interview on Sunday, April 29 at 7 p.m. ET/PT.
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."
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.
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.
originally posted by: seagull
a reply to: neformore
If to fight the monster we must become the monster, I'll pass. We can protect ourselves without resorting to methods that are of dubious effectiveness.
How the Hell can anyone not call waterboarding torture? It is cruel, and unusual, and is in direct contravention of the Geneva convention.
originally posted by: neoholographic
With drones, innocent children are killed.
Again, it's not torture and the people who are waterboarded still have three hots and a cot. They're still living and it only happened to a handful of terrorist and we got useful information from them.
originally posted by: spinalremain
a reply to: neoholographic
I hear you, man. The incessant drone strikes and subsequent collateral damage turns my stomach.
originally posted by: buster2010
a reply to: schuyler
Someone who is waterboarded has the sensation that they are drowning, but they aren't. There is no physical harm to them at all. Yet people call waterboarding "torture."
Have it done to you and let's see if you change your mind.
Even the Nazis learned you get no real information by using torture to keep doing so is just idiotic.
You said it mate. This argument IS idiotic. Torture is against the Geneva Conventions
originally posted by: ausername
You have to wonder if you had a man who you suspect has knowledge about a bomb plot in your city, and you knew the threat was credible, you have only hours or less to find it, and this uncooperative man was the only option you have... Would you be willing to use torture?
How far would you go?
originally posted by: seagull
a reply to: neo96
...and it was wrong then, too, neo.
If you utilize the same sort of tactics as those we so, rightfully, despise, how are we morally superior, again?
The fight needs fighting. I'm not arguing that...but the means are as important as the end. MHO, of course.