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Publisher's Summary

From a top-level operative in the counterterrorism unit of the CIA comes an explosive memoir about the behind-the-scenes fight against Al Qaeda after September 11.

Since the death of Osama Bin Laden, interest in counterterrorism is at an all-time high. Most people don’t know that Bin Laden’s death was the culmination of years of covert operations and tactics largely overseen by Jose Rodriguez from 2001 to late 2007 and built on by his successors.

Like a real-life Jack Bauer from television’s 24, Rodriguez’s sometimes controversial tenure as Chief of the Agency’s Counterterrorism Center involved CIA officers capturing and detaining key senior Al Qaeda operatives and implementing Enhanced Interrogation Techniques, tools which were an integral part of the War on Terror but are no longer available to those fighting America's fiercest foes.

Born in Puerto Rico and raised in Columbia, Bolivia, and the Dominican Republic, Rodriguez shares his unlikely journey from law school student to CIA recruit and finally, at the end of a 31-year career, to being America’s top spy. Rodriguez sparked controversy and a three-year investigation by his decision to order the destruction of videotapes showing CIA officers conducting harsh, but what he describes as “legal, necessary, and effective interrogation[s]”.

Riveting and timely, Hard Measures also examines how the current political climate and resulting policies have negatively impacted the CIA’s efficiency - even taking away the mechanisms that made feats like the successful Bin Laden operation possible.

©2012 Jose A. Rodriguez Jr (P)2012 Simon & Schuster

Critic 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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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for and against

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The author, in a way that reminds me of John Mcain in his autobiography, is ready to question everyone else's integrity and decisions but never his own. the lack of self criticism takes away from this book. also the bitching about the FBI is pretty tiresome at times

Would you be willing to try another book from Jose A. Rodriguez? Why or why not?

Yes. he's been in a powerful, exclusive position and has experience that puts him in a position to tell us a lot of interesting stuff. the interesting stuff is present but so is some pretty dull stuff

Would you listen to another book narrated by Sean Pratt?

Yes. Not outstanding but he settled in to his narration and didn't show off or impose himself

Did Hard Measures inspire you to do anything?

not particularly

Any additional comments?

There are some really interesting and informative sections but Jose spends a little more time than i think he should have done on some pretty uninteresting bugbears he has. It's his autobiography so of course he has the right but if you, like me, are more interested in the job than the man yo might want to skip some sections.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Not politically slanted as I expected

If you could sum up Hard Measures in three words, what would they be?

First hand account

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

The author explained the process so precisely & gave the reader the best understanding of the motives and logic behind the decisions that are used within the intel community to keep our citizens safe. I trust now, even less than I ever have, the media for taking the work of these individuals so far out of context. The sad thing is, so much has been revealed as a result of the fact that the CIA had to defend themselves that we may less safe as a nation than before this issue was raised.

What does Sean Pratt bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

That the folks within the Intel Community are humans too!

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

How blatantly un-American our Liberal media has become.

Any additional comments?

Very definately worth the time to read/listen!

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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One of the best books on the war on terror!

This is by far the magnum opus of terrorism history books. You can't get any more direct than from the man who ran the Counter-Terrorism Center for the CIA. Most of the books I read (or listen to) are pretty good. But this book is great, in fact, it's perfect. I was very sad to hear it end.

It's because of men like Jose Rodriguez, that I am able to sit inside the US and write this review. Thank you to such a great American hero.

In addition to this book, I highly recommend Marc Thiessen's Courting Disaster book.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

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That's a story that needed to be told!

Written by a person who led the interrogation of some of the worst terrorists....and he justifies the treatment those killers deserve!

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 12-07-15

Necessary summary of post 9/11 CIA activity!

Less than 15% of the 900+ books in my Audible library are non fiction, yet more than 15% of my reviews are of non-fiction books. My issue with this book is I'm uncertain how much of it is true and how much, if any, is self serving fiction. The book was released 3.5 years ago and it is among the long since listened to audiobooks in my Audible library.

As ex-chief of the CIA's Counterterrorism Center Jose Rodriguez certainly has the CIA background and first hand experience to write this book. On balance I am inclined to view Hard Measures as a factual recounting.

In any case, Hard Measures is a very worthwhile, even necessary, listen. Rodriguez's justification for aggressive interrogation techniques is especially worthwhile. Rodriguez is a true hero and his story needed to be told to the US public. I do not detect a political slant.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Elton
  • Lumberton, TX, United States
  • 08-13-12

Truth beyond media and politics

What made the experience of listening to Hard Measures the most enjoyable?

The book was well written.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

How the slanted news media twisted truth to further their discrediting of G. W. Bush.

What about Sean Pratt’s performance did you like?

He spoke very well making the book more enjoyable and presented the author in a personal light.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No. It did make me frustrated at how politics and the news media work to paint a patriot in the most negative light by using lies. Truth is not what they are about. We really can't believe anything they say because it is filter through their politically slanted pen.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Solid counter-narrative to the media/political one

I've read a number of articles on the topic of enhanced interrogation from unbiased investigative journalists - an increasingly rare thing. So I knew what the ultimate tone was going to be. It fleshes the story out as much as the author can. I believe him and agree with him.

The most frightening aspect is how the media and politicans can be so disingenuous, and/or worse. They did the same stuff with the NSA and PRISM. It's a very real problem and ironic that many of the people talking about the Trump effect and not being able to walk that back, were doing things we also cannot walk back years before Trump. The arbiters of truth have lost their way. This is just another major example. At this point we see it daily in many smaller ways. It's death by a thousand cuts.

I'm grateful that Americans like Mr. Rodriguez still choose to serve our country. I don't know how much longer they will put up with the backstabbing. We are our own worst enemies at this point.

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fantastic

amazing book. informative, god bless the cia and armed forces fighting terror all over the world.

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  • we
  • 07-20-17

THE TITLE SAYS IT ALL

It certainly lives up to its billing. But don't expect anything more.

I didn't understand why Rodriguez didn't destroy the recordings of EIT the first three times he got approval. Hanging on to them didn't change the outcome. He seemed to know someone was going down based on the content of the tapes so it seems the only result of keeping them was anxiety among the ranks.
It certainly portrays what it's like to work in the federal government. My experience is that everyone is looking for that "gotcha" moment.

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  • david
  • United States
  • 06-24-17

Heroes harassed by the people they protect & serve

I have read quite a bit about EITs and I'm glad I learned more about what the men and women in the CIA did to protect us. The only disgusting thing in the story is what our own leaders did to these heros is beyond belief. Nancy Pelosi, Diane Fienstien, and a couple republicans too need to be tried for treason for what they did to keep others from safeguarding America.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-23-17

OK, kept me interested.

realistic, not over sensationalist. Does not give a huge amount away. I found it interesting.