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Who is Jose A. Rodriguez? CIA Operative has Lawyered Up = Torture Evidence Destroyed.

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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 01:38 PM
Original message
Who is Jose A. Rodriguez? CIA Operative has Lawyered Up = Torture Evidence Destroyed.
Edited on Fri Dec-14-07 01:44 PM by L. Coyote
Congress will soon be grilling Jose Rodriguez about destruction of evidence of torture.

Who is he?

What do we know, and what remains obscure?

The following was gleaned from Wikipedia:

1994-1996: Military Attache, U.S. Embassy, Argentina.
1996-1998: CIA's station chief in Bogota, Colombia.
1999: Rodriguez was the station chief in Mexico City (in charge of about 500 agents).
Chief of the Latin America Division of the Operations Directorate of the CIA.
May 2002: Director of the CIA's Counterterrorism Center.
Nov 2004: CIA's Deputy Director for Operations
Oct 2005: Director of the National Clandestine Service
Feb 2006: Rodriguez fires Robert Grenier, his successor as Director of the National Counterterrorism Center.
Oct 2007: Retired.

Vest, Jason (November 24, 2004). Destabilizing the CIA. The Nation.

Vest, Jason. Politicized espionage: Insiders fear that changeovers at the CIA will weaken the agency. Boston Phoenix.

Gellman, Barton; Dafna Linzer (February 7, 2006). Top Counterterrorism Officer Removed Amid Turmoil at CIA. The Washington Post.
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 01:57 PM
Response to Original message
1. DDO Rodriguez had to sign off on extraordinary renditions and "harsh interrogation."
Was Rodriguez in charge of torture?

I'm not assessing the source here, just putting this out for assessment.
This article has considerable info on rendition flights.

CIA Prison Flights Hypocrites Gripe on? Jose Rodriguez, CIA DDO, Made Deals for Them!
Posted by CHallmark - Nov29, 2005

As Deputy Director of Operations, Rodriguez has to sign off on "extraordinary renditions," or "snatches" -- CIA transports of Muslim militants from their country of residence to another country for interrogation, usually to a country that allows torture. According to report on renditions issued by the NYU Law School and the New York City Bar Association, an estimated 150 persons have been renditioned. Many of the renditions are described in the book "Operation California" by Guido Olimpio, which unfortunately has not been translated from Italian.

Earlier this year, Jose Rodriguez told a Congressional committee that CTIC joint spy ventures in over 30 countries have resulted in over 3000 arrests of terrorist suspects. About 150 of these were renditions. It is estimated that hundreds are permanently held in a US concentration camp at Guantanamo Bay. A dozen or so of the most high-value suspects apparently are shuttled by CIA flights among secret prisons in Eastern Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

Relatively few terrorists have been tried. This always makes big news. So what happened to those 3000 people? Every one of them needs to be accounted for.

Some Dare Call It Torture

As DDO, Jose Rodriguez also must sign off on what the CIA euphemistically calls "harsh interrogation." It actually is torture. Your average CIA officer could likely suffer about 15 seconds of the harshest of the methods involved.
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 02:53 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. CIA Prison Flights Led by DDO JOSE RODRIGUEZ from Latin America Division
CIA Prison Flights Led by DDO JOSE RODRIGUEZ from Latin America Division
Anonymous, Nov 26, 2005 -

We describe CIA treatment of prisoners so you can judge for yourself. Each escalation of maltreament reportedly comes ONLY after an inquiry to, and approval from, JOSE RODRIGUEZ, the CIA's Deputy Director of Operations (DDO) at the McLean, VA, headquarters. We describe how the torture works and how agents work it with Mr. Rodriguez (and allegedly with his predecessors, Stephen Kappes and James Pavitt).
Rest of the text:

The CIA shuttles the prisoners around the world on civilian aircraft, almost all of which the CIA owns. The CIA owns the aircraft through holding companies that have one employee -- a contracted private attorney in the US. A Smithfield, NC, firm, Aero Contractors, operates most of the planes. We show how the CIA aviation office works with private attorneys. The lawyers have no need to know what the planes are used for, and undoubtedly the CIA does not tell them about prisoner transports.


The front companies are set up by lawyers (see below). They are holding companies for aircraft and they provide a mail drop for business related to the aircraft, such as registering with the FAA and the state secretary-of-state. Several real companies -- contractors, some set up by the CIA -- have actual operations, including employees and premises such as aircraft hangars.

The CIA minimizes contact with outsiders and works through buffers. The front-company lawyers are buffers between civilians and the CIA. The Naval Engineering Logistics office is the go-between for military personnel interfacing with the CIA's aviation office on administrative matters. For sensitive top-secret mission communication, the channel is direct between the CIA and military personnel with top-secret clearance and a need to know. The CIA employs military personnel in renditions (kidnappings), and communication about this would be direct. The contractors like Aero Contractors occupy a position of trust with the CIA, and communication with them is more or less direct.


These treatments are administered directly by CIA officers. To optain harsher treatments, the CIA "renditions" (snatches and transports) the victims to Jordan, Syria (our supposed arch enemy), and Egypt. The CIA's own methods have been approved by one or more American "physicians" (reminiscent of the Nazi Dr. Mengele), which supposedly has limited deaths from torture to two or three.

Here's how it works: ......................
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 02:57 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. GRAPHIC: "CIA Airlines" Shell Game
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Or as one news outlet called it "the rough and tumble
Latin America division of the 80s".

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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 03:33 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Great euphemism for death squads and "disappeared"
For details read the article linked at this thread:

TERRORISM as a Tool of the State = Operation Condor: Clandestine Inter-American System.

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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 03:41 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Check out what The Boys are doing in Indonesia right now.
Via Amy Goodman yesterday. Seems like old times! The story is about spying on cell phones but the history of a currently active, CIA created Indonesian terror unit is included in this report.

US Intelligence Tapping Phones of Indonesian Civilians

Investigative journalist Allan Nairn reveals that U.S. intelligence officers in Jakarta are secretly tapping the cell phones and reading the SMS text messages of Indonesian civilians. Some of the Americans involved in the spy operation work out of the Jakarta headquarters of Detachment 88, a US-trained andfunded paramilitary unit which is part of Kopassus, the Indonesian armys special forces famed for abduction, torture and assassination. The news comes as Congress weighs whether to send more military aid to Indonesia.
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 06:57 PM
Response to Original message
7. CIA's Rodriguez Lawyers Up = bought a very generous legal insurance policy
CIA's Rodriguez Lawyers Up
By Spencer Ackerman - Dec 14, 2007 -

Blink and you'll miss it in today's New York Times piece on the House's torture ban. But Jose Rodriguez, the CIA's ex-operations director who ordered the interrogation tapes destroyed in late 2005, has hired one of Washington's most prominent criminal attorneys:

Mr. Rodriguez has hired Robert S. Bennett, a well-known Washington lawyer, to represent him in Congressional and Justice Department inquiries into his handling of the tapes.

Mr. Bennett has represented a number of high-profile clients among them former President Bill Clinton, Caspar W. Weinberger, the former defense secretary, and Paul D. Wolfowitz, the former deputy defense secretary and World Bank president. .......

.... Rodriguez, like many CIA officers, bought a very generous insurance policy in anticipation of getting into some kind of legal jeopardy of one sort or another.
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 07:19 PM
Response to Original message
8. Disentangling Torture TapeGate By Larry Johnson
Edited on Fri Dec-14-07 07:22 PM by L. Coyote
Disentangling Torture TapeGate By Larry Johnson

After querying former intelligence officers and reviewing the letter from the U.S. Attorneys in Richmond, Virginia, I can clarify some issues surrounding whats what with respect to the question of the destruction of interrogation tapes and speculate on others.

The bottom line is: Jose Rodriguez, the recently retired Deputy Director of Operations, has been fingered as acting unilaterally, but that is not true. He did check with both the IG and the DOs assigned Assistant General Counsel before destroying the DOs copies of the tapes. Although Jose is a lawyer, he made the mistake of trusting fellow lawyers, and now is likely to get chopped up in the political meat grinder while trying to clear his name and reputation. (UPDATE: See todays NY Times piece by Scott Shane and Mark Mazzetti confirming Jose got a legal opinion before destroying the tapes.)

Why destroy the tapes?

It appears that the June 2005 decision of the Italian judge to issue arrest warrants for C.I.A. officers and contractors involved in the kidnapping of Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr in 2003 may have been the precipitating incident convincing Jose Rodriguez that Agency must destroy video tapes of terrorist interrogations. That operation was conducted with the full knowledge and approval of the Italians. If the Italians could flip on us that meant anyone could.


March 2002Abu Zubaydah is captured in Pakistan. George Bush is briefed regularly by George Tenet on the details of Zubaydahs interrogation .....What we know for certain is that the CIA was keeping the President and his National Security team fully briefed on the methods and results of interrogating Abu Zubaydah. In fact, it is highly likely that George Tenet showed part of the videotape of the interrogation to the President.

......... During Iran-Contra, he and another C.I.A. officer were summoned to DC for questioning by the FBI. He could prove that he had asked for, and never received, DCI confirmation through cable command channels that Ollie Norths orders were legit, and thus diplomatically told Felix Rodriguez to pound sand. However, when it was thought that he was going to be called to testify on the Hill, the DCIs office told him that, despite what the regulations said, OGC would not provide him legal support for acting within his authority and the law. Then C.I.A. Director told Jose thru a friend that Iran-Contra was political, get your own lawyer. .............
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 07:38 PM
Response to Original message
Jose Rodriguez is Jack Bauer
Dec 09, 2007 -

The Chair of the House Intelligence Committee favorably compared the former head of the National Clandestine Service to the fictional torturer Jack Bauer at a CIA awards ceremony last August. ... Rep. Sylvestre Reyes (D-TX) gave Jose Rodriguez, Jr. a flag and called him an American hero.

.... On Tuesday, 16 August 2007, during the 4th annual "Border Security Conference" in El Paso, Texas, Congressman Silvestre Reyes ....

CHAIRMAN REYES: Thank you very much, General. Before I bring up to the podium a very special guest who is going to wrap up our conference and I consider him a personal friend, although weve been working together a very short six months, but I feel like Ive really got an opportunity to know, Director Mike McConnell I thought it would be appropriate to honor an individual. And when we honor this individual, we normally dont get an opportunity to thank the people that worked so hard on behalf of our national security. By the very nature of their job, they have to stay in the shadows; no one ever knows who they are and nobody ever gets an opportunity to thank them.

We have an individual here that Mike Delaney tells me was the impetus to I hope all of you are familiar with the TV series 24. This gentleman that Im about to thank was really the genesis with a few liberties that Hollywood takes the exploits of Jose Rodriguez are documented in the series 24. .... I consider him an American hero .....

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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 09:47 PM
Response to Original message
10. The CIA in Columbia: Bush Revisits Iran-Contra?
The CIA in Columbia: Bush Revisits Iran-Contra?
January 23, 2002 - by Faun Otter -

For some reason, our always-probing US media have hardly mentioned the rising toll of murdered civilians in Colombia, the heart of Latin America's cocaine exporting region. The BBC report that the right wing hit teams, the AUC, are led by medellin drug lords such as Jose Rodriguez Gacha and Fidel Castano. The AUC sign up anyone who wants to grab a gun and slaughter people that they brand "guerrillas." Their recruits are a mixture of local warlords, drugs traffickers and disaffected members of the security forces, ominously similar to the Contras under Reagan.

The paramilitaries have experienced tremendous growth under Bush's chum, president Andres Pastrana. This is due in part to their links to the Colombian army. As their numbers have swollen, so have the number of massacres and murders of left-wing intellectuals, union workers, human rights activists and journalists.

For anyone who has read about the CIA supervised methods of suppressing peasant populations, the AUC's procedures are chillingly familiar -

"The death squads arrive in communities in areas of guerrilla influence with a list in hand. The list contains names of suspected guerrilla sympathisers. All those on the list are killed, usually in front of their families and in a most gruesome manner." ( )

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Disturbed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 10:03 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. He is the fall guy but he will never do any prison time.
Testifying to Congress will give him Immunity from charges.

This will all go nowhere.
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UTUSN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 10:17 PM
Response to Original message
12. O.K., I'm biting for K&R #5. Now that I've got your attention,
He's an a-hole, like all of the ShrubCo a-holes. Yet, has anybody noticed (I'm playing the Race card) that LIBBY gets off, CHEENEE gets off, Shrub gets off. But the Minority slugs are the ones who get NAILED?!1

It's FINE with me. They are wingnut, traitorous-to-home-group, sockpuppets, so whatEVER they get is totally fine with me. So what's up with ABA naming Gonzo as "Lawyer of the Year"?!1 Yeah-yeah, I get it ("it" being the garBAGE).

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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-15-07 06:44 PM
Response to Original message
13. NEWSWEEK: "top intelligence official warned the CIA not to destroy its interrogation tapes"
Tracking a Paper Trail
A memo from a top intelligence official warned the CIA not to destroy its interrogation tapes
Tim Sloan / AFP-Getty Images
John Negroponte testifies before Congress in September
By Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball | NEWSWEEK
Dec 24, 2007 Issue -


Current and former U.S. officials familiar with the history of the tapes, who also asked for anonymity, told newsweek that Jose Rodriguez Jr., then chief of the CIA's espionage branch, the National Clandestine Service, decided on his own authority in late 2005 to destroy the tapes in order to protect the identity of undercover CIA officers. The officials said that Rodriguez and his close aides had been asking top agency managers for more than two years about what to do with the tapes, but felt they never got a straight answer.

The tapes were keptand destroyedat a secret location overseas. It is unknown whether Rodriguez knew about Negroponte's position. Goss believed he had an "understanding" with Clandestine Services that the tapes were to be preserved and was dismayed to learn that they had been destroyed, according to a source familiar with his views.

The fate of the congressional inquiries remains unclear. On Friday, the Justice Department asked the House intel panel to back off its request for documents and testimony on the grounds that it might interfere with its own probe. In addition, prominent criminal defense lawyer Robert Bennett confirmed that he is representing Rodriguez. Bennett told NEWSWEEK that his client had been "a dedicated and loyal public servant for 31 years" and "has done nothing wrong." But he warned that Rodriguez may refuse to cooperate with investigators if he concludes that the probes are a "witch hunt." "I don't want him to become a scapegoat."
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L. Coyote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-15-07 06:46 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Taking the Fifth?
Taking the Fifth?
CIA official in tape tangle lawyers up
Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball
Dec 14, 2007 |

The CIA official at the center of the controversy over the destruction of interrogation tapes may invoke his Fifth Amendment privileges and refuse to cooperate in investigations by Congress and the Justice Department, his lawyer warned today.

The lawyer, Robert Bennett, confirmed today that he has been retained by Jose Rodriguez, the former chief of the CIA's Clandestine Service. Rodriguez's testimony is considered essential to official inquiries into why highly sensitive interrogation tapes of key Al Qaeda suspects were destroyed in November 2005.

But Bennett, one of Washington's premier criminal-defense lawyers, said Rodriguez may decline to testify if he concludes that the probes are a "witch hunt"a threat that could significantly delay congressional efforts to get to the bottom of the matter. "I don't want him to become a scapegoat," Bennett said.

The House Intelligence Committee had notified the CIA that it wanted to call Rodriquez to appear as early as next Tuesday................
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