Ex-CIA agent on controversial interrogations: "We needed a new approach"
(CBS News) A retired CIA agent and designer of the enhanced interrogation program defended the techniques Monday, saying "we needed a new approach," after a detainee who initially provided information, "clamped up."
Jose Rodriguez told "CBS This Morning," co-host Charlie Rose and senior correspondent John Miller "we were under tremendous threat," in the spring of 2002, and "the FBI was dead in the water."
Rodriguez said high level detainee Abu Zubaydah had provided some initial information, but then he "clamped up and he was not talking anymore."
"We needed a new approach, a new technique," Rodriguez said. "Something new, something outside the box. That's how we came up with the enhanced interrogation techniques."
Rodriguez broke his silence in a "60 Minutes" interview that aired Sunday night. He told Leslie Stahl they had legal clearance for everything they did - from waterboarding, on down.
He gives more detail about the waterboarding and other tactics in his book, "Hard Measures: How Aggressive CIA Actions After 9/11 Saved American Lives," published by Simon and Schuster, a part of the CBS Corporation.
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