How tough justice keeps us free.
Jul 30, 2012, Vol. 17, No. 43 • By REUEL MARC GERECHT
The CIA produced thousands of intelligence reports through EIT interrogations. The FBI, having opted out of the aggressive interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, wanted back in when the flood of intelligence started pouring forth from Zubaydah and Mohammed. The quality and quantity of the intelligence produced (according to Rodriguez) silenced whatever concerns the bureau may have had about methods. Langley decided, however, not to let the FBI return.
Rodriguez, who has the direct, earthy manner typical of case officers who’ve risen through the Latin America division, isn’t kind in describing how the FBI initially handled itself with Zubaydah, the first of the big al Qaeda targets to be captured. He gives examples of FBI interrogation methods, which so many journalists and counterterrorist pundits have decided are superior to the CIA’s more aggressive approach. It’s worthwhile to hear Rodriguez at length:
As Rodriguez underscores, the FBI and CIA have two fundamentally different missions. The bureau is always thinking about criminal prosecutions. (Read Ali Soufan’s The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against al-Qaeda; the FBI’s clear focus on prosecuting jihadists is omnipresent through this agent’s solipsistic voyage through American counterterrorism.) But unless the CIA is operationally subordinate to the FBI, Langley couldn’t care less; it’s after “actionable intelligence.” Both organizations obviously want to stop future terrorist attacks, but the approaches are invariably different. Indeed, the British use MI5 in fundamentally different ways than they use Scotland Yard precisely because Parliament has recognized the superiority of intelligence methods against certain targets, including jihadists. And the British public is willing to tolerate MI5’s very intrusive methods because they know it has no law enforcement, judicial, or prosecutorial powers.
Different missions attract and build different personalities, which has further complicated the tense, historic relationship between case officers and G Men. Although Rodriguez doesn’t dwell on FBI-CIA relations, Hard Measures reveals clearly that the two organizations still don’t work well together. Read between Rodriguez’s lines, where he talks about most FBI and CIA officers working collegially side by side, and it’s a good guess that, since 9/11, greater familiarity has actually bred greater contempt.