Ex-CIA agent on controversial interrogations: "We needed a new approach"

Waterboarding the mastermind of 9/11
The CIA officer in charge of the interrogation of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed speaks with "60 Minutes" correspondent Lesley Stahl about what it was like waterboarding the terrorist.

(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."

Hard Measures: Ex-CIA head defends post-9/11 tactics
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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.