Former Counterterror Chief: CIA Weakened Under Obama, Leaks Very Damaging

Family Security Matters

Veteran CIA official Jose A. Rodriguez, Jr., who led all U.S.   counterterrorism operations after 9/11, tells Newsmax that under  President  Barack Obama the agency has been forced to give up  interrogation “capabilities”  that it may need to protect American lives. He also warns that al-Qaida  still poses a “continuous threat” of a  terrorist strike, and says the leaking  of details regarding the new  underwear bomber is “very damaging to national  security.”

  Rodriguez is the former director of the CIA’s  National Clandestine  Service, and oversaw the Counterterrorism Center, which  collected vital  intelligence from captured terrorists following the Sept. 11,  2001,  attacks. His new book is “Hard Measures: How Aggressive CIA Actions After  9/11 Saved American Lives.” In an exclusive interview with Newsmax TV,  Rodriguez discussed the  leaking to the press of details about the new underwear  bomber. The plot  to use an underwear bomb was recently foiled by the CIA  through the use  of an operative posing as a would-be bomber, and some reports  allege  that the leak came from Obama’s White House. “I am very  distraught by the leak,” he says. “People don’t understand that this is  very damaging to national  security. It prevents us from doing similar things in  the future because  the methodology is compromised. I think it is just very  unfortunate.” While al-Qaida has been crippled to some extent by  American  anti-terrorism efforts, “the foiling of this plot demonstrates that  they  are still around,” Rodriguez notes. “They are capable of striking  at any moment. I don’t think we can ever  be so complacent. I don’t think we  should ever declare victory over this  enemy. “Al-Qaida is a worldwide  organization. It’s a continuous threat.” In his book, Rodriguez asserts  that the CIA’s interrogation program  using enhanced techniques such as  waterboarding was the most maligned  and misunderstood mission in the agency’s  history, with Obama openly  criticizing the program and, therefore, the CIA.  Asked if he fears the  CIA will be weakened, especially if Obama is re-elected,  he responds: “I  am very concerned that we have given up capabilities and  methodologies  that have worked in the past. “I know they work and I’m  concerned because in the future we may need these. “So while it is the  prerogative of the president to make that decision, I  am concerned that in the  future we may miss these and we may need them  to protect American lives.”

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