Gibney (again dubbing the film) managed to interview several key figures in the fight against terrorism, and meticulously recorded the extent to which the government had breached the established guardrails in the name of safety and security.
Gibney argued that the terrorists thus effectively angered the US government to “abandon the democratic principles on which we claim to survive.” The nature of how these principles were distorted fell directly on Zubaida, who was the first detainee to be called enhanced interrogation techniques by bureaucracy.
“Prisoner forever” described the waterboarding conference in detail and included an interview with CIA contractor James Mitchell about such practices. Although some officials objected to describing the policy change as permitting torture, the documentary explained the suspicions at the time. The former head of the CIA’s Counter-Terrorism Center, Ser Rodriguez, told his subordinates, “Don’t write down your legal issues. No. help.”
In this way and other ways, “Prisoner forever” not only asks the right questions about Zubaidah, but also asks the right questions about the wider prosecution of the war on terrorism. As the movie shows, it turns out that this is an elusive answer.
“Prisoner forever” premiered on HBO at 10 PM Eastern Time on December 6, HBO, like CNN, is a division of WarnerMedia.