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Today we hear a unique Combat Story from the former Director of the CIA’s Directorate of Operations and long-time Case Officer Jose Rodriguez. Jose’s level at the CIA was equivalent to a general officer in the military, to give you an idea of his responsibility and impact.
Jose was a case officer and Chief of Station in several Latin American countries and would eventually lead Latin America Division at the CIA before transitioning over to CTC right after 9/11 where he served as the Division’s Chief Operating Officer (a title he made up in true Agency fashion) and then was tapped to lead CTC just months after the invasion of Afghanistan.
Jose has a fantastic book titled “Hard Measures: How Aggressive CIA Actions After 9/11 Saved American Lives” which recounts not only some of the innovative HUMINT ops he ran as a CO (like his ability to use horses to gain access), but also some of the incredibly challenging decisions he made at the highest levels of the CIA, including the creation of the Enhanced Interrogation program.
This was a really special episode for me given Jose’s role and history at the Agency and hope you enjoy a glimpse behind the curtain of one of the most secretive organizations from someone who went from the bottom to the very top as much as I did.