A comprehensive and at times excruciatingly detailed narrative about Abu Zubaydah and the people who ordered and oversaw his interrogation. The authors managed the extraordinary feat of communicating with him through a 'circuitous route' that they don’t describe, presumably because it violated the rules of his confinement ... The broad outlines of this story are now depressingly familiar ... Cathy Scott-Clark and Adrian Levy...interweave the stories of captive and interrogator, showing how fatally unprepared they were to understand each other ... The Forever Prisoner is impressively thorough, but at times it wallows in the details rather than mastering them. We get a little lost in the acronym-rich language of the bureaucrats, and the repeated accounts of waterboarding and other horrors, vivid at first, become numbing after a while. The book’s most powerful and original passages are about Abu Zubaydah himself.
... disturbing and deeply reported ... Using extensive interviews with interrogators, testimony from secret hearings, and classified documents made public through FOIA lawsuits, the authors chart the downward spiral of the first legally authorized torture program in American history and persuasively dispute CIA claims that enhanced interrogation was 'tough but necessary.' Though the excruciatingly detailed interrogations of Abu Zubaydah and other prisoners, some of whom died while being questioned, become nearly indistinguishable, this is a crucial record of how the U.S. government betrayed its ideals to wage the war on terror.