STATEMENT FROM JOSE A RODRIGUEZ JR REGARDING CIA RELEASE OF MATERIAL ABOUT TAPE DESTRUCTION ISSUE
DATE: April 18, 2018
I have consistently taken full responsibility for the destruction of interrogation tapes from the very beginning. I wrote an entire chapter about it in my book Hard Measures. I took complete responsibility for my actions on CBS 60 Minutes and in numerous TV interviews and documentaries.
My primary motivation in ordering the destruction of the tapes was to do what many in the intelligence community and the White House had failed to do at the time: protect the identities of the CIA personnel whose faces were seen on those tapes. I was concerned that Al Qaeda would retaliate against them and their families. The enhanced interrogation program was a legally authorized program and our government had the responsibility to protect the CIA officers who courageously came forward to participate in it. I did what no one else in government was willing to risk doing. I have no regrets.
The letter of reprimand I received in 2011 says that my actions were inappropriate because I allegedly knew that my bosses, not to mention the White House counsel, did not want the tapes destroyed. Nobody ever gave me an order not to destroy them. I was under the impression that the chain of command did not think it was illegal to destroy the tapes but that no one wanted to make the decision at the time. I signed the letter of reprimand with the understanding that doing so indicated only that I had read the letter not that I agreed with it.
Jose A. Rodriguez Jr.