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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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  • Story
  • david
  • NEW YORK, NEW YORK, United States
  • 06-11-12

Intense & Powerful Peek Behind The Curtain

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

It was amazing story of how an ordinary little boy became the nation's top spy master and his journey to protecting the American people after 9-11. Mr Rodriguez bravely took the fight right to the terrorists front door and gives a peek behind the CIA's curtain. Its about an ordinary man who is tasked with an extraordinary responsibility -

Which character – as performed by Sean Pratt – was your favorite?

Mr. Pratt did an excellent job to bring depth and personality to all of the players

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

That it is possible to be a terrorist-hunting super-hero by day, and still host dinner parties and do the whole family thing on nights and weekends. - Amazing!

like all government agencies - its run by bureaucratic people who put covering their own butts ahead of whats best for the people of the United States - which Mr. Rodriguez had to navigate while still keeping the focus on getting the terrorists off the battle field. (its like walking a high-wire without a net- and being forced to juggle bureaucratic chain-saws)

Without Mr. Rodriguez the US would have had several more terrorists attacks on its soil.
Every person in the country would buy this guy a beer if they knew his story.

Any additional comments?

I have recommended this book to all of my family and friends.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Excellent, Gripping, Can't-Put-It-Down "Read"!

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

A unique inside story by the person at the sharp end of the CIA's covert intelligence spear.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

The struggles between the agency operatives dedicated to their work and the bureaucrats who were more interested in covering their asses.

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

The narrator was quite good, but I with the author had read it himself. There was a bit of cognitive dissonance because the narrator didn't have the Hispanic accent of the author. Small point, though.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Absolutely!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Story
  • Ann
  • West Bloomfield, MI, United States
  • 05-28-12

Great insight - fascinating reading

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely a must read for all American patriots. This is a great account on what went on with with the non-existant "tourture" and the men and women who protect this country every day.

What other book might you compare Hard Measures to and why?

It is the real "Mitch Rapp" book.

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

Excellent recount of the history.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, I listened to the book in one day.

Any additional comments?

It is comforting that there are still man and women who serve and protect the people not the politicians who spinn facts to support thier own needs.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Interesting read.

Where does Hard Measures rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Appreciate the insight into these type of institutions. Jose's first hand account of the processes the CIA agents went through plus the issues of different political philosophies at different time periods gives a powerful message of the issues agents face.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Frank
  • Wellington, FL, United States
  • 05-28-12

Insiders view of harsh interrogations

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

Great insight on the debate and internal and external battles fought over the detention and interrogation of terrorists.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

The author's unapologetic defense of the actions of the CIA and his disdain for those individuals who tried to hide from their decisions or tried to take advantage of the controversy to promote their own agenda.

What three words best describe Sean Pratt’s performance?

Even

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

No

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Curtis
  • OJAI, CA, United States
  • 05-28-12

Making clear the CIA's role in fighting Terrorism

This book explains clearly how the CIA operates to glean intelligence and maintain the safeguards necessary to insure that detainees are not tortured. All the while doing what is needed to get the intel. that keeps America safe from Radical Islam.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Good discussion on rendition and interrogation

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, I don't have the credentials to layout this argument.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

The discussion on what exactly waterboarding is, how it was used, what information came from it's use and the fact that we do it to all of our own special forces people as part of their training.

Which character – as performed by Sean Pratt – was your favorite?

Jose

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

Rendition often resulted in prisoners being returned to us in less than satisfactory condition so we found it necessary to interrogate our prisoners ourselves.

Any additional comments?

The funny part is, when the interrogation practices the CIA uses were demonstrated on CIA agents for the Obama administration their reaction was " is that really all you guys do?"

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great book

loved the Insight from someone that was there found it hard to put it down.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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paid the penalty for a tough decision

He essentially destroyed Ali Soufan and other fakers who wrote books to try and remain in the government after the hiring boom after 03-04. He also corroborated enough of John Rizzo's book to seem believable.

Most of the things in there are factual, but until it is all released in about 50 years, we will never know All of it, just broad strokes from his account.

The ending is kind of his justification for writing the book, as most of these retirees do, they bought a house somewhere and are having a tough time getting a job on the outside. It's not a politically motivated book, but there are some valid points where he calls out Clinton, Bush, and Obama as well as Senators like Pelosi and McCain.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • gene
  • brooklyn, NY, United States
  • 04-07-13

Intelligence nonfiction is hard to rate

while i found the subject matter and story fascinating, i also wanted it to end quickly. there was to much defense and not enough detail of what really goes on in the trenches.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful