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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)

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OK, kept me interested.

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

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  • Rachel
  • 05-10-14

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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Dmon
  • 08-07-12

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!

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  • Mike
  • 25-06-12

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!

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  • Mitch
  • 15-05-12

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.

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  • Wayne
  • 07-12-15

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.

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  • Elton
  • 13-08-12

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.

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  • INFIDEL
  • 17-02-21

🤘🏼🤘🏼🤘🏼🤘🏼

Great book… Very well written… The narrator was sub par in my opinion… But it is not the worst… Overall very informative

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  • ERIC ZIMMERMAN
  • 07-02-21

Amazing

What you always thought things were going on , with politics not letting CIA , do there job what crooks are in congress

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  • USAGUY
  • 07-01-21

Very well detailed book, more than expected.

Must read before considering a career into any Govnment Agency. The World has turned neurotic with baeucratic red tape. There are too many rules & regulations as we pursuit some man made false utopian society. LET'S GO BACK TO THE BASICS OF DEFENDING OR FAMILIES. THE TAPES SHOULD BE DESTROYED TO PROTECT OUR FAMILIES AND PEOPLE. We need more common sense in our World. It's clear all branches of governments need term limits for all elected officials. Politicians need to be impeached for lieing to the public. Honesty is the best policy. I'm highly impressed with the author's integrity and fortitude. We need more honest people in government. Traitors need to be hung to stop corruption. As our society moves away from GOD we loose our moral integrity. Bring back the basic Ten Commandments. The World needs the teachings of Jesus Christ and his teachings found in the Bible & Book of Mormon. Reading these work's of GOD will make interigation & eventually killing 'mad dog' terrorists easier to understand and morally correct. See Alma Ch. 51 for better understanding. https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/bofm/alma/51

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-02-20

A MAN OF COURAGE

For over seventy years I’ve watched the politicians play with the lives of heroes such as Jose A. Rodriguez. As always, when politicians like Nancy Pelosi have a chance to undermine the heroic actions of those who risk their own lives, she and others like her have no shame. Nancy Pelosi and others like her are soulless cowards who stand on the necks of brave men like Officer Rodriguez for a few minutes on CNN.

I applaud Jose A. Rodriguez for his actions and highly recommend this book.
May God bless Jose A. Rodriguez and others like him who have the courage to lead, while the politicians sit in their heads in the sand of fools.