Ex-CIA chief: Pelosi did not object to waterboarding

Ex-CIA head Jose Rodriguez claims he briefed Nancy Pelosi on the torture tactic; former speaker denies it


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," May 3, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: And in the "Impact Segment" tonight, a new book called "Hard Measures: How Aggressive CIA Actions after 9/11 Saved American Lives" causing major controversy. It's written by Jose Rodriguez who was in charge of the CIA's Counter Terrorism Center and who did have authority to waterboard captured terrorist suspects.

On May 14th, 2009, then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi denied the CIA told her that waterboarding was being used.


PELOSI: In the briefing that I received, we were told that they had legal opinions that this was legal. We were not told that it was -- that there were other legal opinions to the contrary in the administration. And we were told specifically that waterboarding was not being used.


O'REILLY: Here now is Jose Rodriguez.

So you are in the meeting with her, right?


O'REILLY: You are looking at her like you are looking at me this close to her?

RODRIGUEZ: That close.

O'REILLY: All right. You tell her waterboarding was going on?

RODRIGUEZ: I -- I was the person who led the team on September 4th, 2002 to the Congress to brief here and Porter Goss and some other staff about the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah the techniques that were used including waterboarding.


O'REILLY: I want to tell you, I want to rephrase the question again. Did you tell, you tell Nancy Pelosi waterboarding was being used?

RODRIGUEZ: Yes, I did.


O'REILLY: Calling her a liar.

RODRIGUEZ: Well, she is confused or she not telling the truth. I think she is not telling the truth.

O'REILLY: If you are sitting there and you are looking her in the eye like you are looking me in the eye; and you are telling her and the other people in the room that you did use waterboarding on Abu Zubaydah and she then comes out and says they didn't tell me, it's not about her confusion. That -- that's -- that's a word that people remember, "waterboarding".


O'REILLY: All right.

RODRIGUEZ: And you know what? They don't have to take my word for it there is a cable dated 10th September, 2002 where we spell out exactly the briefing that we gave Nancy Pelosi.

O'REILLY: Is the word "waterboarding" used in that cable?

RODRIGUEZ: It's used waterboarding and the other techniques that were used on Abu Zubaydah. Abu Zubaydah had been subjected to the enhanced interrogation techniques in August of that year. And the briefing took place in September when we got back to Washington from her recess.

O'REILLY: Ok so there's a written cable of what happened in the meeting saying that you used the word "waterboarding" and then as your word and the other people who are with you --



O'REILLY: -- that you told Nancy Pelosi that that was being used?


O'REILLY: When you told the Congresswoman the Speaker of the House back then.

RODRIGUEZ: Yes. No. She was not the Speaker. She was Minority Ranking --

O'REILLY: In '09, oh no minority, right yes, that's right. They had just come in. When you told her that did she say to you, Mr. Rodriguez, do not use waterboarding or I object to waterboarding or waterboarding is torture. Did she say that?

RODRIGUEZ: She did not.

O'REILLY: What did she say about the technique?

RODRIGUEZ: She did not say a word about the technique. And actually, the way I remember this is that we talked about other potential techniques that we were going to use. And she objected to those.

O'REILLY: Like what?

RODRIGUEZ: You know there was a talk about mock execution. And you know, we never.

O'REILLY: Ok you didn't do it but you said you might do this kind of stuff.

RODRIGUEZ: Yes and she said well, that I object to.

O'REILLY: Ok but waterboarding you are 100 percent positive she did not raise an objection to it.

RODRIGUEZ: I'm 100 percent positive. Yes.

O'REILLY: All right, now you know who Ali Soufan is.

RODRIGUEZ: I sure do.

O'REILLY: Ok he's an FBI guy, he wrote a book too.


O'REILLY: Ali Soufan says that you are a screw up, Mr. Rodriguez. Here is what he says. "Zubaydah gave up valuable information to the FBI interrogators including information about Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and they obtained information that led the CIA and the FBI to capture Jose Padilla," all right? The American guy in Chicago then Soufan says when the CIA interrogation team headed by you, Mr. Rodriguez, used enhanced interrogation techniques, Zubaydah stopped cooperating.

RODRIGUEZ: Well, Ali Soufan was not there when we started to use enhanced interrogation techniques. Because they start --


O'REILLY: All right so let's -- let's walk through it Soufan says that the FBI got the information about Khalid Sheikh Mohammed not the CIA. True or false?

RODRIGUEZ: You know the only two things that Ali Soufan got. The one thing that he got was that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was Muktar, Muktar that was the name Khalid Sheikh Mohammed had used. But even the story about Jose Padilla is not so.


O'REILLY: Ok but not -- don't get ahead of yourself there. Who -- who interrogated Zubaydah first who you or the FBI?

RODRIGUEZ: It was our prisoner. It was our detention facility and we had a joint FBI/CIA team.

O'REILLY: But who went in first to ask him. CIA or FBI?

RODRIGUEZ: It -- it was a joint effort and we went in together.


O'REILLY: You went in together?

RODRIGUEZ: Of course yes.

O'REILLY: All right but Soufan says that he got information from Zubaydah that led directly to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed without the rough stuff.

RODRIGUEZ: It did not lead to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Bill.

O'REILLY: But wait, wait, wait. But once you started the rough stuff Zubaydah shut up, is that true?

RODRIGUEZ: Well, no Abu Zubaydah basically have had enough of the FBI and basically told Ali Soufan to go home. Basically --


O'REILLY: I'm still confused did Zubaydah shut up after you waterboarded him? Did he just shut down?

RODRIGUEZ: No because we did not waterboard him until August of that year.

O'REILLY: Did the FBI gets very high-valued information without the rough stuff? Did they get it? I mean the FBI and you did they get --

RODRIGUEZ: The only thing the FBI will give credit for them to get the nickname of Muktar and that was it.

O'REILLY: Ok. So you contend that Ali Soufan is not telling the truth here.

RODRIGUEZ: I contend that he is not telling the truth and doesn't know because he was not there when we started to do the enhanced interrogation techniques. He doesn't know what we got. We got thousands of intelligence reports that basically allowed us to take down and destroy the al Qaeda organization that attacked us on 9/11. He doesn't know.

O'REILLY: Is there bad blood between the FBI and CIA on the terror front?

RODRIGUEZ: No, there is not. Actually, the relationships are very good and having improved with time.

O'REILLY: So this guy is just a rogue guy, this Soufan and he was causing trouble.

RODRIGUEZ: He's a difficult guy, he had difficulty before he even got to the black side. He had difficulty during the millennium plot in Jordan. He actually was thrown out there and he had difficulty after he left us and he went to Guantanamo with the military. So you know he's a difficult guy.

O'REILLY: All right. Well the book is fascinating. And I have to say anybody who is interested in the war on terror you're going to want to pick up "Hard Measures". And we appreciate you coming in Mr. Rodriguez.

RODRIGUEZ: Thank you very much. Thank you very much.


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